These are the characters that appear in Family Matters.
Winslow Family (in order of billing)
Portrayed by: Reginald VelJohnson
The patriarch of the Winslow family and an officer for the Chicago Police Department.
- Action Dad: Justified since he's a cop. He has taken down crooks and has verbally defended his family (and Steve) several times and helped to defuse a bomb.
- Angrish: More than once.
- Angry Black Man: In "Fight the Good Fight" and "Good Cop, Bad Cop."
- Acrofatic: Carl's remarkably fast, despite his spare tire. Just look at any occasion when he chases Steve.
- Berserk Button: Steve, mostly. More specifically, whenever Steve's clumsiness ends up wrecking his property or physically injuring him.
- Big Eater: His mother often makes fun of him for it.
- Bumbling Dad: Zigzagged. While he's very good at his job and is a loving and attentive father, nine times out of ten, his attempts at home maintenance turn out to be a disaster even when Steve isn't involved.
- Often on the receiving ends of Steve's antics.
- His mother, Estelle, makes more than a few sarcastic comments about her son's weight, too.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: His general view of Steve. For all the times that Steve's damaged his person or his property, and otherwise driven him nuts, Carl realizes that Steve still looks up to him as a father figure, and has also helped the Winslows out multiple times.
- Catchphrase: "OH, WOULD YOU (come on/hurry up/get on with it/etc.)!"
- Cursed With Awesome: When Myra messed with the transformation chamber that turned Steve into Stefan, she ended up turning Carl into a nerdy "Urkelized" version of himself. Stefan tries to fix the chamber, but he's having trouble since he's not as smart as he is when he's Steve. Fortunately, being turned into a nerd made Carl a scientific genius, and so he fixed the chamber himself before being turned back to normal.
- Deadpan Snarker: He usually does this when he's around Steve.
- Deuteragonist: Though he and Harriette were originally the show's protagonists, due to Steve's Breakout Character status, Carl becomes the deuteragonist and is still important to the show thanks to his regular interactions with Steve. Even when he is not part of the A-Plot along with Steve, he tends to be the main focus of the B-Plot. He is also the only character to appear in all the episodes.
- Doom It Yourself: Carl's a top notch police officer. Unfortunately, when he starts trying to build or repair things around the house, things don't go so well. This is occasionally subverted when he's paired up with Steve, as his attempt at building a shelf turns out just fine while Steve's attempt looks more like a post-modern art project.
- A Father to His Men: Carl's leadership positions at the precinct show that he's an attentive, caring boss that genuinely wants the best for the cops who work in his department.
- Follow in My Footsteps: Played with. When Eddie tells Carl he wants to become a cop, Carl takes him to a bar the police frequent and makes the risks of the profession very clear. After Eddie makes it clear he still wants to become a cop, Carl proudly calls for a toast and declares his son is following in his footsteps to the cheers of the other officers.
- Good Parents: He loves his children, and Steve, very much.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He gets angry very easily, especially when Steve is around.
- Happily Married: To Harriette.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Carl's suffered everything from falling off the roof of his house to having Steve's inventions repeatedly blow up in his face.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gruff and short-tempered but still a kind and loving Family Man.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Carl is this when it comes to repairing things and going on camping trips.
- Like a Son to Me: He eventually comes to realize that Steve is truly part of the Winslow family and loves him like his own child.
- No Indoor Voice: When he gets especially angry, he screams at the top of his lungs.
- Odd Name Out: In his high school band, the Darnells. He was the only one of the band whose first name wasn't Darnell.
- Papa Wolf: To his own kids, obviously, but he even gets like this for Steve, too.
- Parental Hypocrisy: He scolds Eddie for his poor grades at school, but it's stated more than once (both by himself and his mother) that he used to be a poor student when he was younger. His mother uses this to prank him in one episode. He gets angry when he looks at Judy's apparently bad report card until it's revealed that it's actually one of his old report cards.
- Parental Substitute: Seen this way by Steve. He eventually accepts this role, despite his initial misgivings.
- Police Are Useless: Subverted. Carl is very competent at his job.
- Rank Up: Carl begins the series with the rank of police sergeant. He's twice promoted over the course of the series, first to lieutenant and then to captain.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Due to the fact that he's a cop.
- Scary Black Man: Whenever one of Steve's mishaps pushes him too far, he ends up chasing after Steve while bellowing like a rogue elephant.
- Stout Strength: More than one crook has learned the hard way that Carl's pretty strong underneath his fat.
- Straight Man: Carl becomes the Oliver Hardy to Steve's Stan Laurel as the series progresses.
- Trademark Favorite Food: According to his mother, it's donuts. Then again, he is a cop.
- Tranquil Fury: When Carl yells and shouts, it's usually at Steve for comically destroying his house. However, when he is calm while angry, run. Especially if someone hurts his kids, including Steve.
- Unfortunate Name: In this case, unfortunate initials: Carl Otis Winslow.
- What You Are in the Dark: There are several instances on the show where Carl is faced with ethical conundrums, such as accepting a bribe or getting revenge on the man who received a promotion he thought he was sure to get. Every time, he proves that his moral center is unmoving, and always chooses to do the right thing.
Portrayed by: Jo Marie Payton (Seasons 1-9), Judyann Elder (Season 9)
Carl's strong-willed wife and the mother of Eddie, Laura, and Judy.
- The Artifact: After Steve became the undisputed main character, more and more members of the Winslow family got phased out. Unlike Laura, Eddie, and Carl, Harriette lacked any dynamic and comedic relationship with Steve leaving her as the odd man out.
- Ascended Extra: Prior to being one of the main characters of this series, she was a recurring character in Perfect Strangers.
- Beware the Nice Ones: While Harriette is a nice person, she has no problem telling somebody off.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes, she snarks at Carl to put him in his place.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
- She's the serious, responsible sibling, while her sister Rachel is a playful man-chaser.
- Inverted when she helps Rachel out at the latter's restaurant. Not only is she abrasive to the customers (getting less than five dollars in tips compared to the hundreds Laura gets) but she upsets Rachel's chef and completely reorganizes the pantry. Rachel doesn't take it well, particularly since one of the reasons she started the restaurant was to prove to herself that she could be responsible and didn't always need to rely on Harriette.
- Good Parents: Along with Carl.
- Happily Married: To Carl. They occasionally get into arguments but they clearly adore each other.
- Mama Bear: For her children, Richie, 3J, and Steve.
- Not So Above It All: Usually the voice of reason, but even she has her irrational moments, like being abrasive to the customers at Rachel's restaurant, or dressing herself in ridiculously youthful clothes in order to feel young in another episode.
- Only Sane Woman: One of the most levelheaded characters. When another family member screws up, she's usually the one who convinces them to do the right thing.
- Out of Focus: Originally the character for whom the series was developed for in the first place, Harriette was completely eclipsed by Steve's shadow.
- Parental Substitute: Just as Carl is a (reluctant) father figure to Steve, Harriette is a mother figure to him. She generally has more patience for Steve's antics than any of the other Winslows except for Estelle. Notably, when his parents left him alone at home, she let him stay with the Winslows while the rest of the family was begging her not to. She also defended him when they went to see a therapist to deal with their Steve-related stress.
- Rank Up: She goes from being an elevator operator to department store clerk to head of security.
- Sassy Black Woman: Whenever she is upset or is telling someone off.
- Tsundere: Often argues with her husband and has no problem calling him out when he says or does something stupid. She also shows her love for him regularly.
- Women Are Wiser: She tends to win most of her arguments with Carl.
Portrayed by: Rosetta LeNoire
Carl's mother who is a wise Cool Old Lady.
- Advertised Extra: In the later seasons, she's entirely absent in many episodes and is rarely important to the plot, despite being the third billed character in the opening for most of the show.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Estelle may be a kind old lady, but she is more than capable of taking care of herself. For example, in "Stake-Out", she throws a criminal on the ground when he tries to attack her.
- Catchphrase: "Way to go, Carl!"
- Commuting on a Bus: Made occasional appearances during the last two seasons.
- Cool Old Lady: Estelle is a very active old lady.
- Deadpan Snarker: In addition to berating her son whenever he screws up, Estelle could always be counted on to make cracks about Carl's weight and fondness for donuts.
- DecemberDecember Romance: With Fletcher.
- Determinator: As a little girl, she went to a whites only library in hopes of being given a library card every day for six months before the librarian finally relented and the library became integrated.
- Dirty Old Woman: In "Walk on the Wild Side", the waiters and dancers of Club Buff, a male strip club, greet her cheerfully as if they're good friends, indicating that she's a regular customer. She's also a huge fan of American Gladiators and loves ogling the handsome young musclemen in skintight outfits.
- Fan of the Underdog: She's the only one who genuinely liked Steve from the beginning.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Estelle showed a picture of what she looked like during World War II in the middle of a presentation in Eddie's history class.
- Never Mess with Granny: Estelle is a badass. She plays tennis, practices karate, is said to own a motorcycle and snowmobile, and is proud of all of the above.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Played straight initially, then inverted. In the pilot, Mother Winslow, while not doing it on purpose, manages to alienate Harriette through complaints about her cooking. She also causes friction between Eddie and Carl by giving Eddie permission to go to a party that Carl told him that couldn't go to earlier. After the pilot, she gets better as she gets along well with Harriette, including sticking up for her at times. If anything, she directs more of her sarcasm towards Carl.
- Parental Substitute: Estelle is a Grandparental Substitute to everyone from Steve to Richie. Notably, she was the first Winslow to truly accept Steve.
- Sassy Black Woman: Estelle isn't afraid to tell it like it is.
Portrayed by: Darius McCrary
The oldest child, he's an athletic and rebellious teenager.
- Berserk Button: Degrading sex jokes about women and guys bragging about who they scored with, both make Eddie really mad. That goes double for anyone who brags about having sex with his little sister.
- Big Brother Instinct:
- He occasionally has this relationship with Laura. When Ted, one of her boyfriends, started a rumor that they slept together, Eddie angrily grabbed him and pinned him to the wall.
- This can describe his friendship with Steve. As much as Steve annoys him, Eddie will always be there for him when push comes to shove. Even when a frat house, that he really wanted to be apart of, told him that either he stops being friends with Steve or lose his chance at being accepted, Eddie chose Steve in a heartbeat.
- Book Dumb: In contrast to his hard-working studious sister, he's not a particularly bright student.
- Butt-Monkey: To Laura, who often teases and belittles him. In "Dudes", she's excited just at the idea of Eddie making a fool of himself.
- The Casanova: Is known for being something of a ladies' man.
- Character Development: He becomes more responsible in the later seasons.
- Characterization Marches On: Early Season 1 Eddie is, for lack of a better word, a complete moron.note He evolves into Book Dumb, while his friend Waldo takes over the idiocy in later seasons.
- Dumbass Teenage Son: He starts as this in Season 1, but grows out of it, though he occasionally has his dumb moments even in the later seasons and he's constantly portrayed as being Book Dumb.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Laura's Responsible. He's an unrepentant skirt chaser and underachiever.
- Gentle Giant: He's a big and tall guy, and while not flawless, he's generally a nice person.
- Gold Digger: Implied to be this when Myrtle decides to move on from him meaning he can't get any gifts from her anymore.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Waldo, starting in Season 3. He eventually becomes this with Steve as well, though during the early years, he thought of him as being annoying like Laura and Carl did.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Girl chasing is a hobby of his.
- Jerkass Ball:
- In one episode after he's of legal age, he starts drinking and proves to be an irresponsible, mean drunk. It's so bad that Waldo condemns this behavior, telling Eddie that he won't be welcome in his house if Carl kicks him out.
- In another episode when he's training to become a policeman like his dad, he somehow gets it into his head that it's not a big deal if he shoots bystanders while trying to shoot criminals. He's training with pop-up cardboard cutouts, so Carl gets through to him by making a cardboard cutout of Laura, which Eddie shoots. He immediately breaks down and the episode ends with him asking to stay at the range so he can practice more.
- Lady Killer In Love: When he starts dating Greta in the later seasons, he stops chasing other girls.
- Lovable Jock: He's into sports but he's not a jerk, despite his occasional selfishness and immaturity.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Subverted in that Eddie doesn't typically care who Laura dates. The sole exception is when one of Laura's dates lies about sleeping with her, which pisses him off.
- Named After Somebody Famous: He is named after English kings.
- Never My Fault: Does this a lot with the problems he starts. He does often get called out for it, though.
- Nice Guy: He's a Bratty Teenage Son but all his selfish moments are usually unintentional, and is one of the friendliest and most easygoing members of the family, especially compared to Carl, Harriette, and Laura.
- Odd Friendship: Despite being the athletic cool kid at school, he accepts the nerdy Steve and the idiotic Waldo as his best friends, though he's reluctant with the former.
- Overly Long Name: Edward Arthur James Winslow.
- Scary Black Man: Eddie's generally an easygoing Nice Guy, but he's also a very big man. Anyone who pushes one of his Berserk Buttons quickly comes to regret it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
- Manly Man (the athletic womanizer) to Waldo's Sensitive Guy (he likes cooking and is always in love with the same girl). The contrast is made evident in "Till Death Do Us Apartment".
- He serves as the big, muscular Manly Man to Steve's skinny, geeky Sensitive Guy.
- The Slacker: Shown to be in terms of his education.
- Small Name, Big Ego: At his worst, like in "Rock Video", where everyone is disgusted by his narcissism.
- Straight Man: When he is with Waldo, because the latter is so stupid that would make everyone look like a Straight Man.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Steve.
- Wham Line: He delivers a pretty big one to his father in Season 9, which initiates the final major chapter of his character arc.Eddie: Dad, I want to do something that makes a difference. I want to work with people I respect and admire. I want a job that's different and exciting every day.
Carl: And what kind of fairy tale job is that? Hm?
Eddie: It's your job, Dad. I want to be a cop!
Portrayed by: Kellie Shanygne Williams
The older daughter, she's smart, popular, and the dream girl of Steve Urkel.
- The Ace: In the first season, she's just a brilliant student. As the show goes on, she becomes a Dude Magnet, head cheerleader, and School Idol, while still being a brilliant student.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Played with. Almost all of her potential suitors who serve as Romantic False Leads are unlikable jerks but this mostly happens because she's a Horrible Judge of Character. When she realizes that they are jerks, she loses interest in them. She also turns down the advances of bad boys and bullies several times (like Willie or Weasel).
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Laura is a cheerleader and an insanely popular Dude Magnet.
- The B Grade: In "Straight A's", Laura finds out on her progress report, not even her final grade for the semester, is going to be a B in one course. She instantly declares herself grounded from everything until she can bring it back up.
- Betty and Veronica:
- She can be seen as the Veronica (the unattainable popular girl, who will not date Steve until he gives himself a make-over) to Myra's Betty (a nerdy girl like Steve who loves him no matter what). Alternatively, she can also be seen as the Betty (the Girl Next Door, who has been Steve's "big love" since Kindergarten) to Myra's Veronica (a more sexually aggressive newcomer, who is there to mess with Steve's emotions). But anyhow, Steve chooses Laura in the end.
- She's always the Archie to Steve's Betty and her admirer/boyfriend of the week's Veronica. Over and over and over again.
- Boyish Short Hair: In Seasons 7 and 8, she keeps her hair very short, though she's never boyish.
- Butt-Monkey: In relation to Steve, of course. She's suffered everything from embarrassment to being Covered in Gunge due to the nerd's infatuation with her.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Anytime Steve focuses his attention on another girl, she shows shades of this to various degrees.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: As time went on, Laura began feeling this way whenever Steve showed interest in another girl, much to her own shock.
- Characterization Marches On: She wasn't popular in Season 1. In fact, in "Laura's First Dance", she's sad because no one asked her to a school dance. This changes once Steve becomes the show's Breakout Character. In order to give Steve competition for her heart, Laura suddenly becomes the most popular girl in her school, with boys fighting over her and hitting on her in every episode and she's considered to be a paragon of beauty by everyone.
- Deadpan Snarker: Usually the biggest one in the family. She's especially snarky towards her brother or Steve.
- Dude Magnet: Exaggerated. She's the dream girl of Steve and...all the teenage boys in town, apparently. Although most of her suitors are One Shot Characters who are introduced in different episodes.
- Everyone Has Standards: As vexing as she finds Steve, it's due to finding him an Abhorrent Admirer and she's quick to defend him against others who are blatantly mistreating him just for finding him irritating. Eddie's been called out for not being the greatest friend to Steve more than once.
- First Girl Wins: Becomes Steve's fiancée.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Eddie's Foolish.
- Give Geeks a Chance: In the last season, she eventually learns to love Steve and agrees to marry him.
- Go-Getter Girl: A very ambitious girl who always gets straight A's and takes both school and job seriously. She eventually gains admittance to Harvard but sadly her parents can't afford it.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Maxine.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: She has a lot of boyfriends, and then there's the way she fawns over Stefan, Steve's Sexier Alter Ego.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: She blasts anyone who dares to badmouth Steve, despite the fact that she herself can't stand him most of the time.
- Informed Attractiveness: Steve regards her as the most beautiful girl in the world, as do several of the other boys who show interest in her. She is pretty, but not that much more so than other girls in the series.
- Ivy League for Everyone: Subverted. She gains admittance, but her parents can't afford it.
- Little Miss Snarker: In Season 1, the pre-Steve days, Laura serves mainly as this.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Until the last season, she has a thing for handsome and popular boys who, most of the time, turn out to be bad for her or bad people in general (and many of them are also bullies to Steve).
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: A cheerleader who only wants to date popular jocks and in one episode she refuses to go to the dance with anyone but the Big Man on Campus. She can be rude to Steve, as lampshaded once when even Steve call her out on her Spoiled Brat behavior. But she still admits Steve's good qualities, tries to be a good friend and stands up for him when he needs it, and loves her family.
- Loves My Alter Ego: She loved and fawned over Stefan, Steve's Sexier Alter Ego.
- Nice Hat: Laura becomes a fashion plate in her later teens. She wears many of these in keeping with the styles of the time.
- Pom-Pom Girl: She's a cheerleader who has some Lovable Alpha Bitch traits but is still a good person and a good student who doesn't fit most of the cheerleader stereotypes.
- Proud Beauty: She doesn't brag about her looks, but is still fully aware of how attractive she is. As seen in "Life in the Fast Lane", she doesn't take well criticism about her appearance.
- Sassy Black Woman: Almost as much as her mother.
- Shipper on Deck: For most of the show, she encourages Steve do date Myra and hopes things work out between them.
- Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Pretty much applies to all the guys she likes throughout the show, many, many times. However, she's the most popular girl herself, so all of them will like her back instantly.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: In several episodes. After Steve and Carl, she's probably the character who is more involved in slapstick situations. She has been hit with pies, covered in milkshakes, and splattered with mashed potatoes.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Her default hairstyle in Season 1 is a low ponytail. From Season 2 onwards, she is seen with different hairstyles and often wears hair down.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Especially towards Steve. She wasn't very nice to him in the early seasons.
- Tsundere: To Steve. Initially a type A, then evolving into a type B.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Steve for most of the series and, eventually with Myra too (until the last season).
Portrayed by: Valerie Jones (pilot), Jaimee Foxworth (episode 2 onwards)
The younger, overlooked daughter of the Winslows who disappears after Season 4.
- Advertised Extra: As a member of the main family, she's credited as a main character in the first four seasons, but she's usually used as a background character who is lucky if she gets a line in nearly every episode. In her final season, before her unexplained disappearance, she doesn't even appear in most episodes, despite still being in the opening credits.
- Back for the Finale: The show was originally intended to last a season longer than it did. Judy was meant to come back for Steve and Laura's wedding. She would have had her aunt Rachel with her and the show would have explained they were living together in Detroit.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: One of the most infamous examples of this. She disappears after Season 4, without explanation. Afterwards, the other characters act as if she never existed and Harriette and Carl only had two kids (Eddie and Laura).
- A Day in the Limelight: Downplayed as Judy never really gets a day in the limelight, only a few subplots:
- In "Fast Eddie Winslow", she must write a book report about Swiss Family Robinson after she doesn't read the book.
- In "Ice Station Winslow", she feels ignored by her family because of her younger cousin Richie.
- In "A Thought in the Dark", she ruins Harriette's dress and begs Carl to cover for her.note
- In "Taking Credit", she's in the Framing Device along with Rachel and Richie.
- Flat Character: Her character never really had much to do. Season 1, the pre-Steve days, was her most prominent season: she provided comic relief by saying cute things, and was Laura's sidekick in several episodes. In Seasons 2 and 3, she's often paired with Richie, and aside from two small subplots, she usually has one or two lines, or sometimes none at all. In Season 4, her character appears in only 9 out of 24 episodes.
- Girlish Pigtails: Judy wears her hair in braided pigtails in Seasons 1 through 3. In her final season, she wears her hair down, including in her opening title credit.
- Out of Focus: After Steve is introduced, she becomes a background character; in Seasons 2, 3, and especially 4, she is given very few lines, usually in scenes involving the entire family, until her character is completely eliminated in Season 5.
- Sassy Black Girl: Mainly in Season 1, as her character would give sass mainly to her older siblings.
Portrayed by: Joseph & Julius Wright (Season 1), Bryton McClure (Seasons 2-9)
The youngest member of the family and Rachel's only son.
- Advertised Extra: Despite being a member of the family and credited as a main character in Seasons 1-7, he is entirely absent in many episodes, especially from Season 4 onwards, and rarely important to the plot, save for the occasional A Day in the Limelight. That said, he gets much more focus than Judy and unlike her, he keeps appearing sporadically until the end of the series.
- The Baby of the Bunch: The youngest of the family who's literally a baby in Season 1.
- The Bus Came Back: In some episodes, after being Put on a Bus.
- Cheerful Child: Most of the time, he's a friendly and happy kid.
- Children Are Innocent: He's a normal, naive child in contrast to the more morally ambiguous 3J.
- Deadpan Snarker: Richie grew into this, though his role was smaller by that point.
- Disappeared Dad: He lives with his mother, Rachel, and her family. His father is a Posthumous Character.
- Divergent Character Evolution: For most of Seasons 2 and 3, Judy and Richie were Those Two Kids. When Judy was written out of the show, Richie received his own Character Development and storylines.
- Put on a Bus: After Season 7, he's no longer part of the main cast, although he appears several times in Seasons 8 and 9.
- Sacred Hospitality: Will take in strangers without a second thought. Maybe he's paying Carl's kindness forward.
- Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: In Season 2, he was recast as a four year old kid.
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Karate Kids".
Portrayed by: Telma Hopkins
Harriette's attractive and widowed younger sister.
- And Starring: "And Telma Hopkins as Rachel".
- The Bus Came Back: She makes occasional guest appearances in Seasons 6 and 9.
- Cool Aunt: For the Winslow kids.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling:
- She's more flighty, while Harriette is more serious and responsible.
- It's inverted when Harriette helps Rachel out at the latter's restaurant. Not only she's abrasive to the customers (getting less than five dollars in tips compared to the hundreds Laura got) but she upsets Rachel's chef and completely reorganizes the pantry. Rachel doesn't take it well, particularly since one of the reasons she started the restaurant was to prove to herself that she could be responsible and didn't always need to rely on Harriette.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Was an aspiring writer in the first season.
- Nice Hat: She often wears hats.
- Out of Focus: From Season 4 onwards, her role is much smaller compared to the first three seasons and is eventually Put on a Bus. She is the first family member to be removed from the opening credits, even before Judy.
- Put on a Bus: After Season 4. Ironically, her son Richie apparently still lived with the Winslows. She only makes rare appearances in later seasons.
- Stacy's Mom: In "Torn Between Two Lovers", Steve wrongly assumes that Rachel has a crush on him. He's excited about the whole thing and admits he finds Rachel very attractive, although he eventually changes his mind because he's still devoted to Laura.
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Life of the Party", she tightrope walked on a clothesline several stories in the air (in heels) to save a drunk Steve from plummeting to his death.
- Widow Woman: Her husband died before the series started.
Portrayed by: Jaleel White
The show's Breakout Character, he's the smart, clumsy, and nerdy neighbor of the Winslows.
- Abhorrent Admirer: His undying devotion to Laura is not received well at all. But that has just as much (or more) to do with his outrageously weird personality than the way he looks.
- Abusive Parents: His parents are often implied to be this. Examples include trying to push him back into the womb, not owning a car because he was born in one, giving him a curfew that doesn't dictate when he must come home, but when he's allowed to, neglecting to feed him, making him pay rent even as a child, and finally moving to Russia without him. Of course, with his parents gone, Steve moves in with the Winslows, whom he likes better. By his own admission:Steve: Big Guy, I love you like a father, and my father like... a neighbor.
- Academic Athlete: Downplayed. He's a brilliant student and can play basketball, but he's not so good at other athletic activities.
- Accidental Pervert: Walks in on Laura in the shower by mistake when both planned to take one at the same time.
- All Men Are Perverts: Steve's feelings for Laura borders on obsession. For example, in "Rumor Has It...", it's revealed that his locker combination correspond to her measurements.
- All of the Other Reindeer: How he is seen and treated for most of the series. He's hated by his classmates, the teachers, including Principal Shimata, and his own family. The Winslows are the closest thing he has to real friends and most of them can't stand him most of the time.
- And Starring: He was always credited last in the opening (only before Rachel who gets the And Starring treatment in the first four seasons), but it wasn't until Season 6 that he finally gets the full "Jaleel White as Steve Urkel" credit.
- Annoying Laugh: "Ah heh-heh-heh *snort**snort*!"
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Steve annoys the hell out of the Winslows, especially Carl and Laura, mainly because he's extremely awkward and clumsy, and quite annoying. But while it appears that the Winslows can barely stand him, it's clear that despite Steve's flaws, they do love him and consider him a part of their family, even if they have a hard time showing it. This was shown more in the later seasons, especially with Carl and Laura, whose negative feelings towards Steve gradually softened after he moved in with them. This came to a head in the last season, where Steve and Laura start to date, and in the third-to-last episode, Steve and Laura get engaged, and in the final episode, the Winslows officially welcome Steve into the family.
- The B Grade: In "Food, Lies, and Videotape," Steve learns to cope with getting a C in home economics.
- Badass Bookworm: As Bruce Lee Urkel, an alter ego created by Steve via a celebrity sample potion called Bruce Juice.
- Beautiful All Along: Steve's "Stefan Urquelle" persona shows us that all he has to do to be attractive is get some contacts, flattering clothes, and stand up straight. Toning down the voice and not breaking stuff all the time doesn't hurt either. Furthermore, late in the series, he starts a vigorous self-improvement regime that tones down some of his Hollywood Nerd traits into more flattering Geek chic ones while remaining true to himself. Had Season 10 happened, we would in fact learn that Stefan is Steve's cool and suave half of himself, and his essence would have merged back into Steve.
- Betty and Veronica:
- The Archie in his Love Triangle with Myra and Laura. Either you can see Myra as the Betty (she's a fellow nerd, who loves him no matter what) and Laura as the Veronica (the unattainable popular girl, who will not date him until he gives himself a make-over), or you can see Laura as the Betty (the Girl Next Door, who has been Steve's "big love" since Kindergarten) and Myra as the Veronica (the more sexually aggressive newcomer, who is there to mess with Steve's emotions). But anyhow, Steve chooses Laura in the end.
- He's always the Betty to Laura's admirer/boyfriend of the week's Veronica. Over and over and over again.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Steve is a childish but friendly person. If you push him too far though, he'll either tell you off, embarrass you, or give you a beatdown as Bruce Lee.
- Black and Nerdy: Smart enough to create certain things such as a robot, a jetpack, and a transformation chamber. While Urkel wasn't the first notable geeky black character, his name would become synonymous with the idea.
- Black Sheep: Most of Steve's relatives can't stand him any more than anyone else. In fact, Steve mentions that they pay him a lot of money to keep him from visiting.
- Breakout Character: The irksome Steve was introduced as a single gag character in the episode "Laura's First Date". He was meant to highlight just how bad an idea it was for the well-meaning Carl to find his dateless daughter Laura a date for a junior high dance at the last minute. By the end of Season 1, Steve was appearing in every episode. When the first episode of Season 2, "Rachel's Place", aired, Jaleel White was given billing alongside the rest of the cast. Eventually, he would end up as the real star of the show, with the Winslows becoming supporting characters.
- Bully Magnet: The episodes where he is antagonized by the Jerk Jock or school bully of the week (who is different in every episode) are too many to count. And when he is asked to supervise an English class for his absent teacher, he is bullied by the entire class.
- Bungling Inventor: Some of his inventions work just fine. Others, not so much.
- Butt-Monkey: As a result of his nerdy and clumsy behavior, and being an easy target for bullies.
- "Did I do that?"
- "Got any cheese?"
- "You love me, don't you?"
- "I'm wearing you down, baby! I'm wearing you down!"
- "No sweat, my pet."
- "But last week you said, 'drop dead, nerd boy'."
- "Look what you did."
- "Shhhhhhh. Not while I'm [whatever Steve's current activity is]."
- "At least nobody was hurt."note
- Character Development: Later episodes portray him as less physically weak (he plays basketball), and less socially oblivious. He also becomes less obsessed with Laura and more respectful of her decisions.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Ultimately achieves this with Laura.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's annoyingly eccentric, childish and dramatic but also pretty entertaining and lovable in a way.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
- Played for Laughs. He's just so incompetent, inept, and prone to disaster that the amount of destruction he causes occasionally borders on the epic. In "The Science Project", Laura has a nightmare sequence where Steve builds a fully-fuctioning atomic bomb and inadvertently detonates it by uttering the code word "buttercup", blowing half of Chicago completely off the map and killing millions. As always, all Steve can say in light of his actions is "Did I do that?"
- Played straight when he used his invention to grant him the fighting skills of Bruce Lee, becoming Bruce Lee Urkel. When this happens, he'll open a can of whoop-ass on offending parties. On separate times, Carl, Richie, and 3J have also join in on the action.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes, especially in the later seasons. The dumber somebody interacting with Steve is, the more likely it is to get him going. Needless to say, Waldo is guaranteed to bring it out of him during any interaction between the two.
- Determinator: Nothing will stop Steve from achieving a goal.
- Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Steve adores the Winslows and takes their aggravation with him in stride, but there is a line for him and he has let them know when they've gone too far, reaching the point of genuinely hurting his feelings. Carl's gotten called out a few times and he once spectacularly called out Laura on being nothing but demanding and ungrateful when he was trying to help her and they had run into a streak of bad luck that was partly due to Laura's shortsighted hastiness.
- Ditzy Genius: Despite being a brilliant scientist and Teen Genius, he's clumsy, has No Social Skills and is a general nuisance and walking disaster.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Towards Laura. Steve invokes it at times (to questionable effect) when he points out moments where Laura uncharacteristically treats him like a human being:Steve: I'm wearing you down, baby! I'm wearing you down!
- Drop-In Character: Steve was this before he moved in with the Winslows.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Steve is normally even tempered but having to put up with outright moronic rhetoric can quickly drive him around the bend. Interactions with Waldo are a good example of this.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- In "The Science Project", Laura has a bad dream where Steve goes overboard to help her with a school project by building a functional atomic bomb that he accidentally detonates. When Steve learns of the dream, he notes that while he's perfectly capable of building such a thing, he would never go so overboard as to actually do so.
- While he's usually a doormat to Laura and idolizes her as the perfect girl, he has his limits. For example, in "It Didn't Happen One Night", when she's being particularly mean to him, even though Steve doesn't do anything wrong, he finally tells her off and gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- While he is unhealthily obsessed with Laura, he refuses to date Laura while under the influence of an aphrodisiac.
- Even though he is friends with Waldo, even Steve cant stand him because of Waldos stupidity.
- He's normally welcoming toward family, but he physically tries to block his cousin from Detroit from entering the Winslow's house for being a hoodlum.
- Extraverted Nerd: Despite the thick glasses, nasal voice, quirky hobbies note and interesting wardrobe, Steve would say he's a smooth, hip ladies man. He is incredibly upbeat and flamboyant, though, and wouldn't know embarrassment if it bit him...for better or worse.
- Flanderization: He goes from being a bright but mundane high school nerd to a full Mad Scientist who can wrap the laws of physics around his little finger.
- Freudian Excuse: Steve's attachment to the Winslows (especially Carl) stems from his parents' rather frigid treatment, eventually all but abandoning him for an extended research project. The Winslows act as a stable surrogate family for him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Among the Winslows, only Estelle and Richie like Steve, while the others try to tolerate him. He's also this whenever he hangs out with Laura or Eddie's friends. Justified due to his poor social skills and mishaps.
- Friend to All Children: While he's disliked by most people, kids like Richie and 3J seem to love him.
- Friend to Bugs: A typical nerd who adores insects. It provides the plot of episode "Citizens' Court".
- Gadgeteer Genius: His Flanderization in later seasons takes this Up to Eleven. He becomes a Mad Scientist able to create a time traveling machine and many other crazy inventions in which he can clone, teleport, and shrink himself.
- Geek Physique: Only in the earlier seasons where he was short and skinny. In the later seasons, Jaleel White develops a well-built physique, despite still playing a nerd.
- Graceful in Their Element: Steve is usually The Friend Nobody Likes to the Winslows and their friends, but the late series episode "Polkapalooza" shows him as a highly regarded figure among Polka fans, having done things that even Laura is openly impressed by. A few episodes imply that his social troubles don't crop up as much in things relating to his more "out there" interests. Laura even goes along with his quirk of dressing to match the food he eats in one of the final episodes and actually has a good time with him.
- Hidden Depths: He's a good basketball player, which especially stands out against his poor track record with other athletic activities.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: How he describes his parents treating him is always played for laughs, but it actually paints a picture of regular emotional abuse that justify why he gravitates towards the Winslows. His stories about his parents range from "not wanting to be around him" to "trying to push him back into the womb."
- Honorary Uncle: To Richie. Richie grows out of calling him "Uncle Steve", but keeps looking up to him.
- Hopeless Suitor: For most of the series, he was this for Laura.
- Humble Hero: Steve's not the boastful sort. If he does prop himself up it's usually in a "yeah I can do that" sort of manner with just a slight bit of self assured swagger. If he does heroic or impressive things, he's quick to play it off and note he's not looking for accolades. Actually being praised seems to make him a bit shy honestly.
- Hypocritical Humor: At the end of "Scenes from a Mall", he complains about Myra to Laura. He says he doesn't know what to do with Myra because she won't take "no" for an answer and is obsessed with him. Then in the same scene, he starts asking Laura out multiple times, and keeps insisting, despite Laura saying "No!" every time.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Something that keeps his Stalker with a Crush tendencies from getting as bad as Myra or Myrtle. He gets jealous if Laura dates someone else, but will accept it and support her doing so. And while he's quick to jump on the opportunity if he discovers said dates are just slimeballs, it's more because of how they're bad for Laura than because he looking to benefit. He's actually called Myrtle out on not doing this with Eddie. This is best shown in the Season 4 episode "Dance to the Music"; Steve, despite his feelings for Laura, sets her up with popular jock Ted Curran, one of Laura few dates who is not a jerk. When Ted asks why, because he knows of his feelings for Laura, Steve tells him that Laura wants to go with him and all he cares about is her happiness.
- Jerkass Ball: While mostly a very good-natured person, he has his moments where he's not so nice:
"As soon as I get a feeling that Laura wants me, I'm done with you."
- He keeps hitting on Laura even while he's dating Myra. In "Hell Toupee", he outright tells Myra this:
- He can be pretty mean to Waldo. While Eddie can also get annoyed by Waldo's stupidity, he's not as rude to him as Steve is.
- The Klutz: Bordering on Lethal Klutz, since he is infamous for causing disasters everywhere and destroying Carl's property as a result of his outright clumsiness.
- Large Ham: His nerdy and awkward behavior is very dramatic in a hilariously weird fashion.
- Last-Name Basis: The other students occasionally refer to him as Urkel, though his close friends usually call him Steve.
- Lethal Chef: Is a complete disaster in the kitchen. When he fails home economics and Waldo excels at it, he has a Heroic BSoD.
- Lethally Stupid: He often causes disasters without meaning to, much to Carl's dismay.
- Lovable Nerd: He has a kind heart and is willing to help anyone.
- Mad Scientist: He occasionally even laughs like one.
- The Millstone: Especially in the early seasons, thanks to his never-ending clumsiness. The Winslows' never-ending exasperation with Steve breaking things was expanded upon in several episodes.
- More Hypnotizable Than He Thinks: Steve claims he can't be hypnotized, but a hypnotist entrances him just by dropping the watch in front of his eyes.
- Multiform Balance: His three main "alter egos" correspond to your basic Fighter, Mage, Thief trio. Bruce Lee Urkel kicks ass, Steve Urkel is dorky and frail but brilliant, and Stefan Urquelle has almost inhuman charisma.
- Nerd Glasses: He wears a pair.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Usually averted considering how his nerdiness makes him extremely unpopular. However, he manages to attract at least four women on the show: fellow nerdy Susie, a very attractive woman on the dating show Dudes, his Stalker with a Crush Myra, and eventually Laura in the final season.
- Nerdy Nasalness: Steve has a very distinctive nasal voice, right down to the trademark Annoying Laugh.
- Nice Guy: He'll help anyone even if they bullied him beforehand and he would do anything for the Winslow family.
- The Nicknamer: He gives them out freely to almost every character. On top of the myriad of lovey nicknames he gives Laura, especially "My Pet", he calls Carl "Big Guy", Eddie is "Eddo", always greets Estelle as "My Belle", and even calls Lt. Murtaugh "Lou".
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup:
- Subverted in that many of Steve's inventions are the prototypes, and he hasn't worked all the bugs out yet. Hilarity Ensues.
- Averted with the "cool elixir" that turns Steve into Stefan. When Stefan turns out to be a Jerkass after the first time Steve turns into him, Steve reworks the formula to make Stefan a nicer person the next time he transforms.
- Also averted with Urkelbot. The first time Steve builds him, Urkelbot goes crazy and tries to kidnap Laura. When Steve rebuilds Urkelbot, he fixes Urkelbot's defective microchips so that he acts normally as a crimefighter. When Urkelbot decides police work is too dangerous, Steve builds Urkelbot his own Distaff Counterpart Laurabot and the two go off together to become dancers.
- Odd Friendship: Steve has a knack for forming these. Besides bonding with the Winslows, he's befriended everyone from Laura's friend Maxine to Carl's boss Lt. Murtaugh.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Steve is skilled at everything from genetic engineering (creating the "cool elixir" that turns him into Stefan) to robotic engineering (building Urkelbot and Laurabot) and quantum physics (inventing a teleportation pad and a time machine).
- Parental Neglect: The reason for his attachment to the Winslows.
- Persona Non Grata: In the beginning of "Scenes from a Mall".
- Phrase Catcher:"Go home, Steve!"
"Go home, go home, go home!"
"I don't have to take this. I'm going home.
- Polka Dork: He loves to polka and play the accordion.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 2. He already had began figuring heavily into the plots late in Season 1, and given his instant popularity, it naturally made sense to promote him.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Ultimately, this is how Steve feels, except when they wanted to give An Aesop about being happy with who you are. Most of the time, however, he seemingly didn't give a rats ass that everyone referred to him as a nerd, especially since he was probably the coolest person in the school despite his labeling.
- Reed Richards Is Useless: Steve Urkel rivals Mister Fantastic in the sheer amount of world changing things he's invented, none of which he's ever sold to to the public. It's occasionally justified In-Universe with moral or ethical objections, such as when he withdrew the transformation chamber from a contest fearing what society would do with it.
- Rejection Affection: Steve spends the entire run of this sitcom aggressively trying to win Laura's affections even though she is repulsed by him. His perseverance pays off in the end.
- Science Hero: He becomes this as the series goes on.
- Sexier Alter Ego: Stefan Urquelle.
- Show Stopper: He would often evoke this response upon entering the scene.
- Single-Target Sexuality: He is a Laura-sexual for most of the series. This is downplayed in the later seasons after he starts dating Myra. In "Bugged", he even fantasizes about kissing a girl named Agnes Pritzker.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Due to the fact that he's the breakout character. The problems began when the focus slowly but surely shifted from the Winslow family and Steve to just Steve, his annoying habits, and his bizarre inventions.
- Stalker with a Crush: He finds himself on both sides of this: for years he has been Laura's stalker with a crush, then eventually finds his own stalker in Myra Monkhouse. Unfortunately for poor Myra, Steve was a more successful stalker than she was.
- Teen Genius: Steve creates a lot of inventions in the series.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Just ask the Winslows. The last of Steve's intro IDs has the family trying to hold the front door shut in order to keep Steve from entering the house.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- In "Dog Day Halloween", Steve imagined himself fighting the robber one-on-one.
- Happens every time Steve goes into his transformation chamber to gain the personality, fighting skills and even the accent and hairstyle of Bruce Lee.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cheese. Lot of cheese.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With most of the Winslows. They find him annoying but ultimately care about him.
- Unwanted Assistance: One of the triggers for the Phrase Catcher above is Steve trying (and failing) to help the Winslows with a project despite their protests.
- Wolverine Publicity: The ubiquity was, and still is, amazing.
Waldo Geraldo Faldo
Portrayed by: Shawn Harrison
Eddie's best friend, known for not being the brightest bulb.
- Ascended Extra: Shawn Harrison first appeared in a Season 1 episode, credited as "Guy in Towel." Season 2 was when Waldo got his first proper appearance, portrayed as a sidekick to a bully, playing this role in two episodes. Eventually, Waldo returned, and was re-written as Eddie's best friend, and joined the main cast by Season 4.
- Beta Couple: With Maxine.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Initially, he was this to Willie, the school bully and a minor villain. Starting in Season 3, he becomes this to Eddie.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He goes from being an idiot who can't do anything right to being an idiot who also happens to be the best Supreme Chef in town.
- "No prob, Bob!"
- Character Development: He eventually becomes a Supreme Chef who goes off to culinary school.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He's so weird that he makes Steve look like a Straight Man.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: In "Scenes From a Mall", he gets insanely jealous towards Maxine, but it's hardly ever an issue in other episodes.
- The Ditz: Sometimes you have to wonder just how Waldo made to high school.
- Dumb Is Good: Invoked when Eddie and Laura set Laura's friend, Maxine, up with him. She's initially put off by his stupidity, but in the end, she finds him at the same time to be a charming and sweet guy.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In "Whose Kid Is It Anyway?", Eddie lets Waldo take Richie trick or treating. Waldo manages to take home the wrong kid and Eddie lambastes him for it:Eddie: This is the dumbest thing you have ever done!Waldo: You left a little kid with me and you calling me dumb?
- The Dutiful Son: Implied in "Best Friends." He notes that his entire family counts on his paychecks.
- Easily Forgiven: In the Season 2 episode "Life of the Party", he's involved in a cruel prank that almost kills Steve and is even arrested for it. Starting in Season 3, Steve and the rest of the cast seem to have forgotten about it and they all think of Waldo as a nice (if stupid) person. His transition from enemy to friend was made without explanation.
- Epic Fail: His tenure at Mighty Weenie was one disaster after another (culminating in an explosion) until Eddie made him a chef.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Not as much as Steve, but his stupidity frequently irritates the Winslows and other people, including his closest friends like Eddie, Weasel, and Maxine. He's also the only character who manages to annoy Steve instead of being annoyed by him.
- Genius Ditz: He's an excellent cook. In "Food, Lies and Videotape", he surprises everyone when he takes a home economics course and proves a natural genius as a chef. His talent is so good that in one episode, he reveals that he was trading recipes with Wolfgang Puck. His mom is a lousy cook, so he had to fend for himself.
- HeelFace Turn: Sort of. He was originally the sidekick of Willie, the school bully who picked on Steve, until he presumably stopped hanging out with him after they got arrested. Afterwards, he was rewritten as a good guy and one of Eddie and Steve's best friends.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Eddie.
- Hidden Depths: Besides his talent for cooking, he's also revealed to be good at tap dancing in "Twinkle Toes Faldo". Also, despite being generally an idiot, he has shown a strong sense of morality in more than one episode.
- Honor Before Reason: He would rather fail a test than cheat to get a good grade.Waldo: I may get Fs, but by God, I earn them!
- Iconic Sequel Character: He doesn't appear until the middle of Season 2, but becomes one of the main characters.
- Insecure Love Interest: In "Scenes From a Mall", he reveals that Maxine is the first girl who ever likes him back, and can't understand what she likes about someone like him.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: One of the most innocent and good-natured characters, except in his early appearances.
- Malaproper:"If you cut me, do I not sneeze?""Wake up and smell Juan Valdez!"
- Nice Guy: After he becomes Eddie and Steve's friend. Unlike most people, he actually doesn't mind Steve.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 4. He's the second non-Winslow to be added to the opening after Steve.
- Put on a Bus: After Season 7. A Season 8 episode reveals that he had been accepted into a cooking school in New York.
- Rhyming Names: Waldo Geraldo Faldo.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Eddie's Manly Man.
- Straw Loser:
- Eddie isn't the smartest person in the world, but next to Waldo, he looks like a genius.
- Waldo is there to show that Steve isn't Eddie's only friend who is a loser. Eddie's friendship with Steve makes more sense because all his bad qualities can be seen as not that bad when you consider that his other best friend is kind of dumb.
- Supreme Chef: After he discovers his talent for cooking. He's so good that he can turn ordinary ketchup into a hearty marinara sauce.
- The Teetotaler: Waldo swore off drinking and acts as the designated driver when and Eddie go out partying. He explains to Carl that booze gives him a British accent.
Portrayed by: Michelle Thomas
A pretty and bubbly girl who is madly in love with Steve Urkel.
- Alliterative Name: Myra Monkhouse.
- Ascended Extra: She's introduced as a cousin of Ted, Laura's boyfriend at the time. Like Steve, she was supposed to be a one shot character but eventually becomes part of the main cast and gets a Promotion to Opening Titles, even if her cousin Ted disappears after a few episodes.
- Ax-Crazy: In the last season.
- Betty and Veronica: She can be seen as the Betty (a nerdy girl like Steve who loves him no matter what) to Laura's Veronica (the unattainable popular girl, who will not date Steve until he gives himself a make-over). Alternatively, she can also be seen as the Veronica (the sexually aggressive newcomer, who is there to mess with Steve's emotions) to Laura's Betty (the Girl Next Door, who has been Steve's "big love" since kindergarten). But anyhow, Steve chooses Laura in the end.
- Big Bad: In the later seasons, she causes most of the trouble for Steve and Laura.
- Black and Nerdy: She shares a lot of common interests with Steve. She also has enough science smarts to mess with the transformation chamber when she tries to turn Stefan permanently back into Steve.
- Characterization Marches On: Upon her introduction, Myra is simply a nice gal who just so happens to really like Steve. By Season 5, Myra, now a main character, becomes something of a Seemingly-Wholesome '50s Girl who starts taking a shared interest in Steve's hobbies and is jealous of Laura. By later seasons, she goes completely off the rails by having her room into a shrine of Steve where she monitors his every move.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Especially in Seasons 5 and 9.
- Cute and Psycho: Myra is batshit insane.
- Derailing Love Interests: Myra's Clingy Jealous Girl behavior towards Steve is turned Up to Eleven in the final season, even after they breakup, to the point where she installs a spy cam in his glasses so she can watch him through a monitor in her bedroom. This so Steve, who'd been happily in a relationship with Myra for years, can be paired with Laura.
- Distaff Counterpart: Was originally supposed to be one for Steve, just less clumsy and more attractive.
- FaceHeel Turn: In the seasons where she and Steve are a steady couple, Myra's on friendly terms with the main cast and she even forms an Odd Friendship with Laura. By the last season, after her breakup with Steve, she becomes a villain and an Ax-Crazy Psycho Ex-Girlfriend trying to destroy Steve's relationship with Laura.
- Flanderization: She goes from being a perky girl who has a crush on Steve to being a borderline Ax-Crazy Yandere.
- Genki Girl: She can be very perky.
- Hollywood Nerd: Is supposed to be geeky like Steve, despite being played by a gorgeous actress.
- Iconic Sequel Character: She doesn't appear until the middle of season 4, but becomes one of the main characters, due to being part of the iconic Love Triangle with Steve and Laura.
- Love Makes You Crazy: She takes this to rather frightening extremes, going so far as to blame Steve's infatuation with Laura on Laura herself.
- Nerds Are Sexy: Definitely. While not a Dude Magnet like Laura, she's considered beautiful in-universe and out.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: Becomes a semi-regular in Season 6 and is added to the opening credits.
- Proud Beauty: She refers to herself as "gorgeous" and has the looks to back up that claim. Ironically, it's one of the things she has in common with Laura:Curtis: How is the prettiest girl in the school?Laura and Myra: Fine.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: In the last season, after her break up with Steve, and especially after he starts dating Laura, she becomes increasingly antagonistic and insane, and an even worse Clingy Jealous Girl than she was initially.
- Romantic False Lead: Before the last season, she's treated like a legitimate love interest. But Steve was meant to be with his first love Laura.
- Second Love: After his long-time crush on Laura, she's the second serious Love Interest to Steve... until the final season.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Totally and absolutely Steve-sexual.
- Stalker with a Crush: At one point, Steve finds out that she's painted a portrait of him. He notices that the background has his computer and other details of his bedroom that, to his knowledge, Myra has never been in. And most disturbing of all:Steve: That's me ... As naked as a jaybird.
- Teen Genius: The reason why she starts liking Steve is because she's an intellectual herself and is implied to be almost as smart as him. She also proves to be an Evil Genius in the last season, going so far as to install a special device in Steve's eyeglasses that allows her to track his every move.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Eventually, she becomes this with Laura until the final season.
- Villainous Crush: For Steve in the final season. After evolving into a genuinely loving girlfriend to Steve and a good friend to the rest of the cast, season 9 reverts all the Character Development she's gotten over the years and turns her into an Ax-Crazy antagonist to Steve and Laura who uses questionable methods to break them apart.
- What Does She See in Him?: Many have wondered how a hot girl like Myra can be attracted to Steve.
- Yandere: Especially in the last season where she secretly puts a camera in Steve's glasses so she can see what he's doing at all times.
Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson
Portrayed by Orlando Brown
A young orphan adopted by Carl and Harriette in the last few seasons.
- Alliterative Name: Jerry Jamal Jameson.
- Cousin Oliver: He's introduced in Season 7. Ironically, Richie's still around when this occurs.
- Foil: 3J finds some of Richie's pastimes to be boring, and is more morally ambiguous than he, but the two ultimately become best friends.
- Happily Adopted: The Winslows adopt him.
- Malicious Misnaming: 3J calls Steve "Urkie" until he realizes that Steve actually cares about him.
- Never Learned to Read: He's much younger than most other examples of this, but is old enough for it to be a problem.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Is almost always referred to as 3J.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: In Season 8.
- Sticky Fingers: His first episode, "My Big Brother", depicts him picking several people's pockets, although in the last instance, he does it to get some bullies off of Steve's back.
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Karate Kids".
- Will They or Won't They?: In a different sense; the functional difference between fostering 3J and adopting him outright is that the former leaves open the possibility that 3J's biological mother, to whom he unknowingly spoke, will come back for him and take him home. Carl finds 3J's mother more than a year after the Winslows welcome him into their home, but she asks Carl not to tell 3J why she can't take care of him. Instead, Carl tells 3J that he couldn't find her. The two discuss the prospect of 3J being adopted by the Winslows, and 3J happily accepts.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Due to his street smarts.
Portrayed by: Randy Josselyn
Eddie's best friend in the first two seasons.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He is last seen in "Fast Eddie Winslow", then is mentioned once again by Eddie in "Taking Credit". It's not clear what happened to him from Season 3 onwards.
- Out of Focus: Most of his appearances are in the first season. In Season 2, he only appears in two episodes.
- The Prankster: As seen in his first episode, he likes practical jokes.
- Token White: One of the few recurring white characters.
- Toxic Friend Influence: He tends to get Eddie in trouble, and even tries to convince him to ditch Steve.
Portrayed by: Cherie Johnson
Laura's best friend.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Before Waldo, she dated several jerks in the early seasons.
- Beta Couple: With Waldo for most of the series.
- Book Dumb: Unlike Laura, she gets poor grades.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Towards Waldo. As he says to another girl:"She's a sweetie pie, but if she saw us together, she'd rip your arm off and beat me with it."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Laura.
- Hypocritical Humor: In the last season, she makes fun of Laura when the latter starts liking Steve as a potential love interest. This is coming from the girl who dated Waldo for many years.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Like Laura, she's a Horrible Judge of Character when it comes to choosing boys to date. They usually turn out to be opportunistic or unfaithful. It's the reason why she ends up accepting Waldo so easily, despite his stupidity.
- Nice Girl: For most of the show, she seems more sweet and accepting than Laura.
- Odd Friendship: She gets along quite well with Steve, likely due to the fact that they both have neglectful parents.
- Parental Neglect: It's revealed that she has neglectful parents who don't care about her at all.
- Pom-Pom Girl: She's a cheerleader like Laura. While Book Dumb and boy-crazy, she's a nice, likable girl.
- Popular Is Dumb: She's almost as popular as her friend Laura. And unlike Laura, she's a poor student.
- Recurring Character: Despite appearing from Season 2 to Season 9, she never receives a Promotion to Opening Titles. She actually appears in more episodes than Myra, who becomes a main character from Season 6 onwards.
- Satellite Character: Most of her character revolves around the fact that she's Laura's friend and rarely has significant interaction with anyone else, Waldo included.
Portrayed by: Barry Jenner
Carl's obnoxious boss in early seasons.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Rachel, who's repulsed by him just as much as Laura is repulsed by Steve. He and Steve even bond over their shared dilemma in one episode.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He disappears without a mention and is never heard from again after his last appearance.
- The Comically Serious: Whenever he isn't playing the Jerkass, particularly in his first few appearances. He often says ridiculous things with a serious face.
- Demoted to Extra: Despite being a recurring character in Seasons 2 and 3, he only appears in one episode of Season 4. After that, he's never seen again. This is justified as Carl's promotion to Lieutenant and later Captain meant Murtaugh was no longer his superior on the force.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he's normally a complete boor and sometimes a bit of an asshole, he is given enough Pet the Dog moments to show that he's not really such a bad guy. He forms an Odd Friendship with Steve, and in the episodes where he's either antagonistic (Stop! In The Name of Love, where he feuds with Carl after Mother Winslow hits his new car) or the outright villain (A Pair of Ladies, where he shows no compunction taking all of Steve's money after the latter, who is, don't forget, a minor, loses to him in poker) usually end with him apologizing and offering an olive branch in some way.
- Large Ham: Whenever he wasn't comically serious, he was over-the-top pompous.
- Not So Different: He bonds with Steve over All Love Is Unrequited.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: To Carl. Carl serves as the Straight Man to his moronic boss.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He thinks highly of himself despite his total incompetence.
- They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: He insists that his first name is Lieutenant. He goes on to say, completely deadpan, that whenever he attains a new rank, he legally changes his name to match his rank. When Carl asked him what his name was before, he enthusiastically replies, "SERGEANT!"
- Token White: One of the few recurring white characters.
Portrayed by: Patrick J. Dancy
Laura's boyfriend in Season 4.
- The Ace: He's described as a "good-looking, popular jock with straight A's".
- Big Man on Campus: He's as popular as Laura, and it's the reason why she has a crush on him.
- Lovable Jock: Despite his mistakes, he is one of Laurs's nicer love interests.
- Not So Above It All: His friends spread fake rumors about him and Laura sleeping together, and he does nothing to stop the rumors, causing Laura, Eddie, and Steve to be mad at him. He later feels guilty.
- Put on a Bus: In "Heart Strings", Laura mentions she broke up with him.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears in a few episodes, but he's the one who introduces his cousin Myra to Steve and the rest is history.
Alex "Weasel" Park
Portrayed by: Shavar Ross
Another of Eddie's friends from high school.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He flirts with Laura in more than one episode. She doesn't take it well.
- Characterization Marches On: Like Waldo, he was originally a crony of an antagonistic character in his debut episode before being retooled into being one of Eddie's friends. In this case, he was one of Ted's friends.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After being a recurring character in Seasons 4 and 5, he disappears for the rest of the series.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Except in his debut episode, when he's referred to as his first name Alex, he's only known as "Weasel".
- Schemer: In several episodes, he involves Eddie in his schemes.
- Those Two Guys: He's paired with Waldo, Eddie's other friend, in most of his appearances.
- Toxic Friend Influence: Eddie's parents believe that he's a bad influence on Eddie. Even Waldo, normally a Kindhearted Simpleton, is slightly meaner than usual when he hangs out with Weasel.
- Wicked Weasel: Not a literal weasel, but he lives up to his nickname.
Portrayed by: Tammy Townsend
Eddie's girlfriend in later seasons.
Portrayed by: J. Lamont Pope
Laura's boyfriend in Seasons 7 and 8.
Portrayed by: Jaleel White
Steve's charismatic Sexier Alter Ego.
- The Ace: He's talented and good at everything. Unlike Steve, he also has social skills and is loved by everyone.
- Ascended Extra: He makes a single appearance in the Season 5 episode "Dr. Urkel and Mr. Cool", when Steve changes his DNA as a plan to become cool. Later, he turns into Stefan several times and in Season 7, thanks to Steve's cloning machine, Steve and Stefan become two different characters.
- Blessed with Suck: His talents and charms come with the drawback that his intellect is not on the same genius level as Steve's. Thus, when Myra messes with the transformation chamber and ends up turning Carl into a nerdy "Urkelized" version of himself, Stefan has trouble fixing the machine.
- Born as an Adult: Well, he's Steve's clone (originally alter ego).
- Characterization Marches On: In his first appearance, Stefan was actually an unrepentant narcissist who despises Steve. In his second appearance, Steve actually fine tuned the formula used to create Stefan in order to tone down these negative aspects of his personality and he became The Charmer.
- The Charmer: His personality is apparently irresistible.
- Chick Magnet: He's very popular with the ladies.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Laura chose Steve over him in the final season.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He retains most of Steve's smarts. While not as smart as Steve, he is still highly intelligent.
- It's All About Me: Originally, in his very first appearance. Later, less so.
- Sexier Alter Ego: He's this for Steve.
Portrayed by: Jaleel White
Steve's cousin who is madly in love with Eddie.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Eddie.
- Ascended Extra: She first appears in the Season 2 episode "Cousin Urkel". After several years, she comes back as a recurring character.
- Cross-Cast Role: She's played by Jaleel White in drag.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She does not take kindly to other women being around her beloved Eddie.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Steve.
- Meganekko: Like her cousin Steve, she wears a pair of nerdy (but fashionable) glasses.
- Replacement Flat Character: Around Season 6, when Steve is in a stable relationship with Myra and no longer an obnoxious Abhorrent Admirer, his cousin Myrtle comes back to fill this role to Eddie and she's even more obsessive than Steve was in the beginning.
- Rich Bitch: Her father, Big Daddy Urkel, is a wealthy peanut tycoon.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Eddie's eventual girlfriend Greta. They frequently get into a Cat Fight over Eddie.
- Southern Belle: She's from Biloxi, Mississippi, and speaks with a distinct Southern drawl.
- Stalker with a Crush: Is one for Eddie.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: While teenage Myrtle was obsessive and a Little Miss Snarker, she was relatively harmless compared to her adult self, who became much more conniving and confrontational after meeting Greta.