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. While Harriette tries to stall Carl from leaving the house to find the sound, Eddie walks in. Carl catches him sneaking in, but Harriette seemingly beats him by grounding Eddie again for another two weeks in breaking his curfew and sends him off to bed. Carl questions her about her sudden rash of grounding Eddie. Harriette convinces him that she's just as angry as him 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. Eventually Carl gets concerned when Eddie mentions the car. Laura quickly calls him out for being a moron. 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 doing a last minute spot cleaning. 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 as Carl enters the house with the fender and having found out about what happened. He makes a warning that they better tell him the truth because he plans to yell at his family when he comes home from the parade.
Coming home from the parade, Harriette 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. 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.