Breaking Up Is Hard to Do is the thirteenth episode of the ninth season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from CBS on January 16, 1998. It was directed by Richard Correll and written by Gary M. Goodrich.
Steve is ready to calls it quits in his relationship with Myra but is shocked when she tells him she doesn't want to see him anymore. He's now free to be with his true love, Laura. A few weeks later, Myra makes a visit to the Winslow House deeply regretting her decision. Unfortunately for her, Steve doesn't want to reconcile. Meanwhile, Eddie quits college and decides to go to a police academy to be a policeman like his dad. Carl shows him the pros and cons about being a cop, wanting to make sure that Eddie made the right choice. Eddie settles on his decision to enter law enforcement like his father.
Urkel decides to end his relationship with Myra when he becomes aware that Laura is beginning to gain romantic interest on him. Being aware the fact that Myra hates his makeover believing he has become a Stefan look-a-like, Urkel felt like she wants too much control. When he tells Maxine about his plans, she wisely warns him against moving forward with Laura until he has made sure that it's all right with Myra to end their relationship. She explains to Steve about her concerns with Myra being angry at him later on if he doesn't deal with the issue at hand. Urkel tells Maxine that he understands her concerns but he admitted that he has grown tired of the latter's complaints in his makeover and demanding him to return to the sexy nerd (hitched up pants, bowtie and suspenders) she loves so much. Therefore, he needs to end things with Myra now while he has the chance. If Steve misses out on this opportunity, he may never have another chance with Laura and he'd be stuck in a relationship with someone he doesn't want to spend the rest of his life with.
Meanwhile, Carl attempts to set Eddie straight for his mediocre grades. He refuses to accept his son's excuse that he doesn't know how the topics are helping him. This is until Eddie finally confessed that he's dropping out of IOU because he realizes his dreams in following his father's footsteps and being a police officer. This shocks Carl because he had earlier known his son's earlier rejection of being a police officer. He asks Eddie about his former dreams of being a professional basketball player and playing in the NBA. He mentions that being at IOU helped him reassess his dreams to be a police officer. He tells Carl that he knows how dangerous the job is, but he wants to be a cop and make a difference in his community.
At Amore's, Steve and Myra are having dessert. It's there, he tries to calmly explain how concerned he is with her behavior in not allowing him to be himself. Myra doesn't accept that and tells Urkel again to drop the makeover and return to being the sexy, clumsy nerd he is. She mentions she knows Laura's only falling in love with the outside shell. Myra makes her point across that she thinks the latter is shallow and doesn't care for Steve for the wonderful man he is inside. Myra also mentions that she was the one who accepted him as himself and never asked him once to change a thing about himself. She claims out that Urkel was never grateful to her at all in defending his honor and always catered to Laura's needs by becoming Stefan all the time. She also points out that he's making a big mistake in wanting to leave her for the latter because she thinks those supposed change in feelings for him are fake. Myra believes that Laura can't and will never love Steve for the person he is like she could. She ends her argument by mentioning he should relinquish his love for her (Laura) and stay in the relationship with her. Infuriated over Myra insulting Laura, a furious Steve tells her off that she's too much of a commitment control freak in making him revert back to his nerdy self. He mentions that he thought she would understand the reason behind wanting that makeover. Urkel points out that he wanted a more mature appearance without giving up himself and Stefan helped him out due to his knowledge in fashion as a model. He mentions to Myra he wasn't that ungrateful in her accepting him as he is, but was more horrified by how jealous and possessive she was over him. Steve tells her off that their relationship can't continue on because of her problems in not fully understanding how he truly felt about her. He knows that Laura had some time to mature and realize her own feelings for him. Urkel reveals that being with Myra had also matured him too. However, Steve also admits he's resented her overtime for being jealous and possessive over him, along with how poorly she's treated his friends. Now realizing how much he resents her, Myra responds by breaking up with Urkel first and leaves.
Carl takes Eddie to his favorite bar and have him talk to a fellow police officer named Phil about the dangers in law enforcement. He mentions that the men and women as police officers give out their lives all the time to stop crime and the dangers that follow it. Carl asks Eddie if he's sure that he wants to be one and not follow his former dreams of being a professional basketball player. He remains resolute in wanting to follow his father's footsteps as a police officer. Eddie mentions that law enforcement is something he wanted to do and this makes Carl proud of him.
A few days later, Steve tells Laura about him breaking up with Myra. She is concerned, but he tells her that it's over between them. Urkel reassures Laura that they can be together and they kiss. Having a couple of days to think about her behavior, Myra is remorseful in how she's treated him and comes over to the Winslow home for a visit. Having finally understood how Steve felt about her, Myra wants to at least apologize for her behavior at Amore's and explain herself in the hopes he would reconsider breaking up with her. If he can't and decides they should break up for good, she will at least end it on a good note. When she catches Urkel and Laura kissing, the remorse Myra felt is gone and replaced by betrayal. She berates Laura for trying to steal her man from her, leading to a fight between them. Steve attempts to set Myra straight by reminding her that she broke up with him first and thus she has no rights fighting for him. He also points out that he has moved on with Laura and mentions that she should do the same. Myra is angry and calls Urkel out for trying to move on before she got a chance to explain herself and apologize for her behavior at Amore's. He immediately rejects her apology, believing she's using it as an excuse to try to make him renounce his love for Laura and stay with her. Steve orders Myra to leave the house and never come back.
In the end credits, Myra begins her attack on Urkel by suing him for alienation of affections by using Johnnie Cochran as her lawyer. Laura seeing how insane she is, defends Steve in the courtroom off-camera and convinces the judge to drop the case.
Cast and Characters
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Michelle Thomas as Myra Monkhouse
- Wendy Alane Wright as Bar Patron
- Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. as Himself
- Jeff Doucette as Phil
- Michael Caldwell as Waiter
- Although she had already left the show, JoMarie Payton would be credited one last time in this episode. Whether this was done by accident or on purpose is unknown.
- It was likely a mistake
- It's later revealed that Payton had grown tired of the show becoming too much like the Urkel show that it lost focus on the Winslow family. This sentiment is shared by Jaleel White who also felt like the show had focused too much on Urkel.
- Johnnie Cochran made a special appearance as Myra's attorney.
- This episode marks that Laura finally makes her love for Steve with a kiss.