Family Matters Wiki

Baker's Dozen is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Family Matters, which aired on ABC on January 12, 1990. It was directed by James O'Keefe and written by Ken Kuta.


Rachel persuades Carl to sell his secret recipe for lemon tarts to a local restaurant. Harriette warns against it because it's a bad idea but Rachel and the family ignores her. The Winslows then gets a huge order for the treats (12,000 tarts) and less than 48 hours to fulfill the contract. It isn't long until they realizes that Harriette's warning against selling the family's secret tart recipe was best heeded.


The Winslows are finishing up their dinner when Harriette asks who wants to help with cleaning the dishes, to which Laura replies that she has a ton of homework to finish up and so does Judy while Eddie says that he's going over to his best friend Rodney's to check out a new video game before Carl orders everyone to freeze, announcing that dinner isn't over yet and that he made desert, which brings groans from the family.

Carl says these are his lemon cream tarts but Rachel isn't convinced as she asks her brother-in-law if he bought them at the doughnut shop that named a doughnut after him to which Carl replies that he happens to bring a GREAT cook as Rachel snickers and Harriette says to him that he doesn't cook, he BURNS. He burns eggs, toast and that he is the ONLY man she knows who burns Jell-O. The Winslow patriarch says that he'll pretend that he wasn't insulted by Harriette's remark and he starts passing out tarts to everyone in the family, saying that once they've tasted his tarts, they'll all be heaping him with praise. He even made a "special tart" for Richie: a lemon cream tartette. Judy says that the tarts LOOK pretty good to which Eddie replies "Judy, Dad made 'em. How good could they BE ???" to which Carl walks over and stares down at his only son before he says "Of course, I know I'LL love 'em" before tasting it and is delighted by the taste, "Hey, this is pretty good !" Eddie says as Carl cheers "See, Edward likes 'em !" but Laura chimes in asking "What does that prove ? Eddie eats PASTE". Harriette then samples the tart and she likes it and so does Rachel, who says that it's more than delicious, it's fantastic. She then asks him where'd he learn to cook like this to which he replies that it was his father's secret recipe and that the Winslow men have been passing it down for generations. Now, it's time for Carl to pass on the secret recipe to Eddie, much to his terror. Rachel then persuades Carl to sell the family's secret recipe for lemon tarts to a local restaurant since she and the owner, Malcolm, are friends. Harriette is against it and tries to warn Carl of the consequences. He replies that it's almost the 90's and the Berlin Wall is down, he'll make an exception, much to her dismay.

A few days later, the family discusses the possibilities of starting their own family business and excited at the prospects of becoming millionaires but Harriette is skeptical. They soon get a huge order for the treats (12,000 tarts) with the baking supplies and cooking utensils that were delivered to the home for them to use.... but there's one HUGE problem: they have LESS than 48 hours to fulfill the contract WITHOUT the help of extra bakers. Seeing this, Harriette admonishes Rachel for her selfishness and tells her that she better do the right thing by explaining to Malcolm that the family can't fulfill that requisite on time. However, Rachel mentions that she can't because he put complete faith into her. Harriette points out that they need the extra help and tells her that she better ask Malcolm to get extra bakers. Rachel convinces the family that they can fulfill the order. Harriette is not convinced they can pull this off as she pleads with them stop and think about what they're about to get themselves into. The family stops for a sec to think about Harriette's advice before Rachel quips "All right, is everybody with me ?" as the family cheers "Yes !" as they all race into the kitchen to get started, leaving Harriette behind as she says to herself "Now, I know how the pastry chef felt on the Titanic" before joining the rest of the family in the kitchen.

Next, the Winslows are hard at work, completing their 12,000 tarts order while singing Donna Summer's "She Works Hard For the Money". Eddie returns with a tray of ready-made tarts from their neighbor Mrs. Cordelli's house (who agreed to let the family use their oven) and he tells Harriette that Mrs. Cordelli will let them use her oven all night...if they STOP singing to which Harriette sneers "That woman never did have any class, look at MR. Cordelli". Then, the nerdy Steve Urkel unwelcomely lets himself in the Winslow home and asks Laura if she was busy. She tells Steve that she's so busy that she doesn't even have time to be mean to him. The nerd then asks if he could give the Winslows a helping hand, to which Rachel says Yes and asked if his parents had an oven they could use, to which the nerd replies that they could use his parents oven for free as long as he could be with Laura.

Later that night, the Winslows are sleep-deprived, exhausted and struggling to meet the mark. Laura tells Judy to keep up but the youngest Winslow says that she has a stomachache as Laura says that it's because she EATS more tarts than she makes then Judy snaps back by saying "How would you like a tart up your nose ???". Harriette then relieves Judy of her duties, stating it was way past her bedtime and takes her upstairs. While taking her upstairs, Harriette tells Rachel this is a bad idea. She ignores Harriette as usual and calling her a grouch. The rest of the family can barely keep up as Rachel tells them they're slowing day as a frustrated Carl says that they're going as fast as they can before asking how many more of "these stinking tarts" they have to make, Rachel replies "9,432" as Carl, Eddie & Laura sigh exhaustedly as she says that they're never gonna make it be Monday then Eddie asks Carl when they can take a break to which he replies "I don't know, ask your Aunt Rachel, she's the Head Tart" as she glares at Carl before tell everyone they've got tarts to finish. Carl then tells Rachel that she was putting too much filling in the crusts before she accidentally squirts he apron with the lemon filling as he accuses her for doing it on purposely but she insists it was an accident and that they're already tired and shouldn't waste their energy fighting. Carl agrees as they get back to work but then Rachel's filling bag is clogged, Carl asks what's wrong and she replies that her filling bag was clogged just as the bag becomes unclogged as the lemon filling comes gushing out all over Carl's face. The Winslow patriarch then retaliates by grabbing a bowl with more lemon filling in it and he slings some of it at his sister-in-law as she grabs a bowl of flour and throws it in Carl's direction but it is Laura who gets the flour dumped on her due to Carl ducking behind her as Eddie is heard laughing hysterically. Rachel panics as Laura retaliates by grabbing another bowl of flour and goes gunning for her aunt and Eddie shouts "Food Fight !" as he grabs a couple of unmade tarts and gets his father's attention, Carl barks "You wouldn't dare !" as his only son guffaws and smashes one of the unmade tarts in his face, laughing wildly before Carl takes the other unmade tart and smashes it in Eddie's face and then a full blown food fight breaks out.

Dishes clattering, food being slung in every direction continue as then Steve, in his pajamas, comes back briefly breaking up the food fight as he says that he saw that their lights were on and asks if they had anything to eat. Carl, Eddie, Laura & Rachel all devilishly snicker and grin at their nerdy neighbor as they then smother and sling unmade tarts, filling and flour in his direction before slinging more food on each other just as Harriette returns after putting Judy to bed and breaks up the fight. The Winslow matriarch is furious as she starts lashing out at her family over the mess they've made in the kitchen. The family then starts blaming each other over who started the fight and a tart covered Steve saying that he only came over for a snack. Harriette sends him home and continues lashing out at her family, pointing out she doesn't care WHO started the fight. That she's not going to say how they've acted like children, how they've wrecked her kitchen or what a dumb idea this was to begin with. Carl says that he's not gonna say that Rachel started it. She shoots back that she's not to gonna say that she had lousy help and Harriette is glad they're all in agreement. Carl & Rachel continue to trade barbs, blaming each other for starting the fight as Harriette barks at them to stop the bickering but not before her husband & sister stick their tongues at each other. She sends Eddie and Laura to the bathroom to clean up before going to bed. Harriette resigns Carl and Rachel into the kitchen to clean up.

It's the next morning, the Winslow family are plum tired and exhausted as they've finally managed to complete the order of tarts as they are seen sprawled out on the living room furniture while Rachel is gone to take the tarts to the restaurant. Carl, while holding Harriette's foot, is having a nightmare, moaning that he does not wanting to be the King of tarts. Laura awakens as her father starts screaming "Hit the Decks, Hit the Decks !" and she rushed over to wake him, telling him that he was dreaming. Judy comes downstairs and asks did they finish making the tarts as Carl replies that they finished two hours ago and that Rachel took the them to the restaurant. But then Rachel returns home, sighing "Oh Vey" and hands the family the check made out to them, the Winslow kids get the first glance as Laura exclaims that they're rich and Eddie chimes in by saying that's a lot of money before handing the check to Carl for him to look at. But then Rachel throws in a damper on everything by saying that they have to deduct "a few expenses": the ingredients to make the tarts, the racks, pots & pans, the machinery & the truck to haul the tarts off to the restaurant. Harriette asks for the bottom line on how much profit are they looking, Rachel stutters before she replies that they've only made $24, Laura asks they've worked through the whole weekend and only made $24 each but then Rachel replies back that it's only $24 TOTAL as she ducks and Carl shouts they only get $4 apiece. Rachel beats herself up over the outcome, calling it a dumb idea but Harriette calms the waters by saying to her younger sister that while is was NOT a dumb wasn't THOUGHT OUT. Rachel then laments that she thought it would be a fun idea to start their own business as she & Carl start playing the blame game over who's at fault before Harriette chimes stating that everyone's at fault...except her. Laura's amazed that they were able to make 12,000 tarts and not counting the ones they've messed over while Eddie says that he liked the food fight and Harriette says that this past weekend the Winslows have proved that they do anything when they put their minds to it and Rachel adds that they now have to put their minds to cleaning up the kitchen but quickly change their minds after seeing the massive mess left behind. The kids run off and Harriette suggests they'd take the $24 profit they've made and PAY someone to clean up the mess, Rachel & Carl agree and they leave the messy kitchen behind and the EP credits appear on the screen.






  • Robert Grey Lee as Phil
  • Seth Sieuarine as Desmond Smith


  • According to a recent reunion, Urkel wasn't even written into the episode, but since Jaleel White showed up on set, they got him into a small part.
  • This episode is a remake of Family Matters parent series Perfect Strangers episode Just Desserts which aired in February of 1988. In that episode Larry Appleton tells his cousin Balki that a local restaurant loves a delicious tart dessert that Balki makes called Bibbi-Bapka that is from his homeland Mypos. The restaurant wants to buy some tarts but the only catch is that Larry and Balki have to make 2000 of then in only two days.


  • The streak of filling that Rachel spills on Carl's apron suddenly changes from smooth to smeared.
  • Just before Rachel says, "Let's not waste our energy fighting," there are only about three filled tarts on the the tray in front of her. After cutting to a close-up of Rachel saying the line, and then to a longer shot, almost all the tarts are filled without Rachel having had time to do so.
  • Just before Rachel comes in with the news about the restaurant, Carl and Harriet are standing up. In the next shot, as Rachel comes in, they are both sitting down in the same chair.


Carl: Hey, it's the nineties, the Berlin Wall is down. I'll make an exception.

Eddie: Dad, when are we going to take a break?
Carl: I don't know, ask your Aunt Rachel. She's the head tart.

Steve: Well they have one just like this at the donut shop downtown. You know, a mouse fell in there once when they were making a batch of jelly donuts.
Carl: That's terrible!
Steve: Not really, they didn't get one complaint!

Urkel: [after getting a face full of tart filling] Can I get some milk to go with my face?

Judy: Mom, I hate tarts.
Harriette: We all do.

Carl: [asleep after baking tarts all night] No, I don't want to be tart king. Get the mouse!

Laura: You mean we worked all through the weekend for a measly 24 dollars a piece?
Rachel: No, 24 dollars total.

  v - e - dFamily Matters Season 1
The Mama Who Came to DinnerTwo-Income FamilyShort StoryRachel's First DateStraight A'sBasketball BluesBody DamageMr. BadwrenchStake-OutFalse ArrestThe QuiltLaura's First DateMan's Best FriendBaker's DozenThe Big ReunionThe PartyThe Big FixSitting PrettyIn a JamThe CandidateBowl Me OverRock Video