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Father Time is the sixteenth episode of the eighth season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on January 31, 1997. It was directed by Richard Correll and written both by David W. Duclon and Gary Menteer.


Steve creates a time traveling machine on his wrist to travel back into time. He and Carl travel back to the time he first bought the house. Despite Steve's warning not to mess around with the past by tampering with it, Carl leaves a note to invest in future stocks. When they return to the present, both are shocked to find out that Carl is the richest man in the world worth $247 billion. However, his tampering with the past came with a price when he learns that he hasn't been close to Estelle in years and that Harriette's leaving him because he was too busy with making money to care about having children.


As Harriette, Eddie, Laura and Steve are about to enjoy a nice meal, Carl ruins it with his complaints about money. Harriette orders him to lighten up and ask his brother, Calvin, to help him out with the taxes.

Carl refuses and Urkel invents a time machine to go back to the 70s when he and Harriette bought the house. Against Steve's wishes in leaving the past timeline alone, Carl leaves an envelope to his past self to invest in some stocks that will rocket. Urkel runs down the stairs warning him they have to leave because the Marshalls are returning. Carl is worried that it'll take too much time but Steve invented a home device to get them back fast.

After they return to the normal timeline, Carl finds out he's a billionaire from the nice couple who now lives there. Urkel's upset upon learning that Carl left a list of stocks for himself to market in the past. Steve reprimands him for being greedy in altering the past, after he specifically told him to leave things alone there. He defends himself but Urkel tells him that he will regret it.

In his excitement, Carl ignores the warning and he decides to see his new loft. He is happy about being worth $247 billion dollars. Carl soon learns the truth of Urkel's warning in having negative consequences in his actions for altering the past. At the loft, he and Steve discovers that Winslows are more miserable in the altered timeline. Carl learns that he has not hugged Estelle in years, causing her to turn to his brothers, Walter, Darryl, Frank and Calvin for support. She does not recognize Steve because they never lived next door to the Urkel family. Harriette is divorcing Carl and is taking the Ferraris with her. He asks about the children and their adopted son, 3J but she reveals they don't have any. Harriette always wanted children but Carl was too busy in wanting to be the rich man that she felt ignored. Urkel's upset when he learns that Eddie and Laura never existed and that the Winslows never adopted 3J. It was only then Carl realizes what he did was wrong and admitted that he got caught up in the excitement of being wealthy that he did not realize how important his family was to him until now.

They travel back to the 70s where things were. He takes the stocks away from the blueberry basket that Mrs. Marshall left behind and is ready to go home. Steve's nuclear batteries on his time machine died on him and therefore he needs to recharge it. Carl comes up with a quick solution for his dilemma. Remembering that when he and Harriette bought the house, there was a lot of extension cords, a role of electrical tape, aluminum foil and half jar of peanut butter. Steve uses the extension cords to recharge the nuclear batteries on his time machine, while Carl had a peanut butter sandwich. They fixed the timeline and things are back to normal.

Carl learns that despite a few debts here and there, he's the richest man in the world because of his family. He apologizes for his complaining about money and vows never to complain about it again.

Cast and Characters[]


Supporting Cast[]


  • Cynthia Graham as Mrs. Marshall
  • Tangie Ambrose as Mrs. Scott
  • Jeff Coopwood as Mr. Marshall
  • Tony Edwards as Mr. Scott
  • Rodney Noble as Charles
  • April Tatro as Living Art Work



  • This episode recons Judy's existence on this show when Steve and Carl goes back in time back to the 70's.
  • Harriette is revealed to have an affair with the butler due to Carl's neglect over her and is planning to leave him for the man who loves her.
  • Originally this supposed to be a three part episode where Carl and Steve go on separate adventures.
    • In Part 1, Carl learns how he's hated by everyone else due to his greed and comes into his lavish loft alone. What breaks his heart is when he is confronted by Eddie and Laura whom both hate him for abandoning them at the orphanage in part 2. It's from there, Carl realizes how much he's runed not only his life, but his family's as well. Estelle left him for Frank's home because he neglected her very much. Harriette was betrayed by Carl for his actions in selfishly abandoning Eddie and Laura at the orphanage because he felt like they would be in his way of his successful business dealings. She leaves him for their butler and is trying to get into contact with her kids. Eddie and Laura hate him and considers Tony and Tangie Scott as their real parents.
    • Herb and Diane were supposed to appear in part 2 played by Ted Lange and Vanessa L. Williams. Unlike the Winslows in the altered timeline, they love Steve as he is and the Urkels are the loving family who care about their children's well being. Stefan is his twin brother whom is successful in the modeling field. Steve is a caring scientist and philantropist who uses his inventions to make life better for the less fortunate. He begins to enjoy the loving attention of his family.
    • In Part 3, Carl convinces Steve to help him fix the timeline he ruined and get his family back. Back in the 1970s, Steve helps Carl take back the stocks and return home to the original timeline. Carl had learned his lesson and promises to ask Calvin to help with the taxes next time.
  • Part of Steve's time machine is actually a Zeonizer from Power Rangers Zeo.
  • The stocks Carl wrote to his past self to invest on are Disney, Microsoft, and Holiday Barbie.
  • This is the 2nd time Carl has complained about his taxes. The first time was in Rock Video
  • The Winslow's bought the house from the Marshalls in March 8, 1976. However Harriette was pregnant and later gave birth to Eddie on January 28, 1974 in Son. The later date was likely an error on the producer's part since Carl admitted in Son that in March 8, 1973, the Marshalls moved out just after they bought the house.
  • This episode reveals that Mr. Marshall doesn't like Carl and is concerned he'll eat all the blueberry muffins that his wife baked for both him and Harriette.
  • JoMarie Payton Noble's real life husband Rodney Noble, plays the butler Charles.


Mr. Scott: I'll say, you just bought New Jersey.
Mrs. Scott: And just last night the news said you had dinner with the President of the United States.
Carl: (gasp) Bill Clinton?
Mr. Scott: No, Rosie O'Donnell.
  v - e - dFamily Matters Season 8
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