Body Damage is the seventh episode of the first season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on November 10, 1989. It was directed by James O'Keefe and written by Ken Kuta.
Carl plans to drive a vintage police car in the upcoming Columbus Day parade. However, Rachel beats him to the punch, taking an unauthorized spin and getting into a minor accident as a result. She then makes a hurried effort to cover up the damage before Carl notices.
After Carl brings home a nice vintage police car to drive in the parade, Rachel and Harriette want to take it for a spin. However, Carl warns them not to do it because the car is old and wants it in top shape for the parade. Later, Rachel convinces Harriette to tag along with her for a spin in the car, going against Carl's wishes. Rachel ends up crashing the car while damaging the front left fender. The two of them struggle to keep the incident from Carl. Rachel fixes the car due to the lessons and skills she learned.
To keep Carl from finding out, Rachel enlists a previously grounded Eddie, whom was walking back from a friend's party to help out. Harriette comes in the kitchen and busts Carl for sneaking in a midnight snack even after he promised her that he'd stop. He claimed he was checking on a light bulb in the fridge. Carl also mentions that he's only having a snack because he's having a hard time sleeping because of all the noise outside. Harriette tries to stall Carl from leaving the house to find the sound by claiming that the Richardson family next door were making the noise with the loud auto work to their cars. She told them to keep it down, but their sons may keep up that racket all night. However, Eddie walks in and Carl catches him in the act. Once more, his father is angry with him again for violating his curfew by coming home late. Just before he could discipline Eddie, Harriette beats Carl to it by being angry. She admonishes him for having not learned his lesson from the previous time he came home late from another friend's party and of which lead to him being grounded. He tries to make up an excuse but Harriette cuts him off. She grounds Eddie again for another two weeks in violating his curfew and sends him off to bed. Carl questions her about her sudden rash of grounding their son. Harriette convinces him that she's just as angry as Carl is with Eddie for violating his curfew by coming home late and suggests they go back to bed.
The next day, Eddie tricks Harriette into signing a confession, which reveals lack of involvement just in case Carl finds out the truth. Carl is getting more suspicious and Harriette must seek the help of Laura and Judy whom blackmail her into doing things for them in exchange for covering for both their mother and Rachel's foul up. Eddie tries to be sensible to his sisters by reminding them that the family must stick together. Eventually, Carl gets concerned when he mentions the car. Laura quickly calls Eddie out for being a moron, knowing that their mother and Rachel will be in trouble. Harriette tries a last ditch effort to cover the garage door, but Carl orders her to move. He opens the garage to find the car is fine and Rachel is doing a last minute spot cleaning. When Carl asks her why she's near the car, Rachel claimed that she was trying to keep it neat and picture perfect for the photos of the parade. He thanks her for paying attention to the details and he drives off to the parade.
Later on, while Harriette is thankful Rachel was able to work fast to fix the car left fender, Laura reminds her about the deal that she made with Judy. Right away, Harriette calls her daughters out and expected them to do her a favor without asking much from her. Laura reveals she made the wrong assumption and that if she doesn't honor their deal, she and Judy will tell on them to Carl. The family hears the doorbell ring and Rachel opens the door to find him standing there. Carl enters the house with the left fender of the old police car and having found out about the damage done to it. He announces he's going to the parade and warns his family that they better do the right thing and confess by telling him the truth. Carl also mentions it will matter because once he's done with the parade, he will come home and do a lot of yelling at them. After leaving, Harriette and Rachel are concerned while Laura and Judy stand there smug.
Coming home from the parade, Rachel tries to look on the bright side with the day very nice for one. Harriette is more worried and remarked how much she wished it rained so the parade could've been cancelled. Laura agrees after seeing a furious Carl grinding his teeth during the parade. He comes home ready to yell at his family. Before he could do so, Harriette confesses to both her and Rachel's crime. She apologizes for their behavior while Carl admitted he was upset and betrayed by their behavior. The family promises him not to keep secrets from him anymore. Even Eddie agrees and tears up the confession. Carl asks Rachel if she can fix the fender again since he hit the car on one of the floats. She happily agrees to do so.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (credited as Jo Marie Payton-France)
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow
- Joseph and Julius Wright as Richie Crawford
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- This episode's original opener involved Eddie, Laura and Judy deciding which clean-up job, they'll do. After Urkel's first appearance in Laura's First Date, they producers replaced this opener with the one involving Steve using Estelle's shower.
- [Eddie has just come in the kitchen from helping Rachel.]
- Eddie: Mom. (nervous) Dad.
- Carl:(angered over seeing Eddie come home after curfew) What are you doing? Are you just getting in?
- Eddie: Getting in?
- Carl: Edward, do you know it's 2 hours past your curfew?
- Eddie: Well dad... You see... I was just... I was just..
- Harriette: You... you were just breaking your curfew.
- Eddie: Mom?!
- Harriette: And after being grounded for a week. Carl, what are we going to with him?
- Carl: Well I...
- Harriette: Never mind, I'll handle this. Young man, consider yourself grounded for another two weeks.
- Eddie: What?!
- Harriette: Now, I don't want to hear another word. Just go to bed. Go to bed