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Grandmama is the seventh episode of the fifth season of Family Matters, which aired on ABC on November 5, 1993. It was directed by Richard Correll and written by Fred Fox Jr. and Jim Geoghan.


When Eddie dumps Urkel as his partner in a prestigious 2-on-2 basketball tournament in favor of a star player (Darius McCrary's real life brother, Donovan McCrary as Kenny "The Spider" Jackson), the nerd turns to Grandmama (NBA star Larry Johnson's alter ego). Meanwhile, Carl and Harriette quarrel over Laura's curfew.


Eddie is munching on a sandwich when Steve comes in the kitchen to talk to him about being partners for an upcoming 2-on-2 basketball game. At first, it was a come on deal from him and he asks Urkel what do they get if they win. Steve tells him season tickets all of the Chicago Bulls home games. He agrees to be Urkel's partner in the upcoming tournament.

In the living room, Laura is real depressed when Carl comes down the living room, blaming himself for not fixing the bathroom light before realizing that he has mistaken Harriette's candle for his stick deodorant. She's still depressed and he ask her what's wrong. Laura tells him that there's a party with all the cute guys, that she wants to go to but her mother tells her she has to be home by midnight. Carl brightens her mood by telling her that she can stay an extra hour.

In Downtown Chicago, the sign ups for the 3rd Annual 2-on-2 City Basketball Tournament is under way and both Waldo and Weasel complained that they're last in line. Eddie and Steve shows up a moment later to talk to them. Urkel decides to sign them up as partners. During that time, star player, Kenny "the Spider" Jackson shows up looking for a partner. Eddie agrees to be his partner in the tournament, as he thinks he has a better chance of winning the tickets. His buddies aren't amused by what happened and weren't even happy for him being Kenny's partner. Waldo reminds him that he and Steve were supposed to be partners. Eddie realizes his mistake but the damage is already done and tells Urkel about it. A disheartened Steve leaves him, partnerless and that their friendship is over.

In the living room of the Winslow house, Harriette is worried about Laura because she hasn't come home from the party. Her spirits jump assuming it's her daughter but isn't too thrilled when Carl comes home. He tells Harriette that he let Laura stay a little longer tonight and she accuses him of countermanding her. Carl tells her that he merely adjusted her decision. Harriette tells him when she made that decision, he's supposed to agree with her and walks off angry at him.

The next day at the living room, Estelle is knitting when Steve arrives and she's glad to see him. She understands that he and Eddie had a falling out with each other. Urkel agrees and tells her that they were supposed to be partners for a basketball tournament but he dumped him for star player, Kenny "The Spider" Jackson. Estelle feels sympathy for him and tells him that she has found the right partner for him. Steve asks if the person she knows is a guy. She tells Urkel, she's a girl and is a very good basketball player. Steve asks her how did she know this person. She met her at the senior center and then someone knocks on the door. Estelle is excited to introduce him to Grandmama. Steve tells her that many players had memorable names and he's stuck with her. He thinks it won't work as he opens the door to let Grandmama (Larry Johnson in his alter ego) in. She's a seven foot tall lady, wearing 50's type glasses, with short dark grey hair adorned with a hat, a light blue flower dress and black sneakers. She comes in with a baked cake for Estelle and Urkel is excited about working with her.

At the tournament, Steve shows up to see Eddie but is still upset with him for what he did. Weasel asked what loser decided to partner up with him. Urkel tells him to watch his mouth on how he treats her. Grandmama shows up in the same dress from yesterday, except she changed into a sports bra. Steve introduces her to the guys and he tells them that she'll be their worst nightmare. The referee shows up to announce the tournament has started and asks the first two teams on the court. The tournament begins with Eddie and The Spider against their first opponent, which they beat with ease. Steve is worried but Grandmama isn't and reassures him. He and Grandmama beat Langford and Barney, causing Eddie and Kenny to worry about them. Their next opponent had trouble faring against her, causing everyone on the courts to laugh at them. Steve passes the ball to Grandmama, who scores over three times. During that time, she has trouble with her girdle and Urkel shows her free it by sticking out her knees. It's Waldo and Weasel's turn against their opponents. This time it's them who's having the trouble. Weasel is upset and calls Waldo out for what's happened. He even told him he was practicing. Waldo said he did but he mentions that he practiced the harmonica. Weasel is even more upset at him, having realized that Waldo blew off practicing playing basketball for his harmonica.

At the Winslow house: inside the kitchen, Carl asks Laura to tell Harriette that she need to buy some more bologna because they're out. She counters by having their daughter tell him that as long as he lives in this house they'll never be out of bologna. Carl's had enough and demands for his anniversary gift back. Harriette tells him she already exchanged it and he tells her it was a cheap gift anyway. They start arguing again until Laura is fed with their fighting and she tells them to stop. She tells them that she knows what they were fighting about, her original curfew. They try to deny it of course but Laura already knows the truth. She admits that when she asked her mother if she could stay out for an extra hour and she refused, she should have listened to her mother and come home. Harriette agrees and tells her that she should leave it alone. Laura also admitted that she didn't listen to her and was also wrong in conning her father into letting her stay after curfew. Carl tried to convince her that he allowed her to stay out but she already made up her mind. She grounds herself for a week and leaves the kitchen to serve her time. After Laura leaves for her room, Carl and Harriette makes up knowing that she's taking responsibility for herself.

Back to the Basketball tournament, Eddie and Kenny along with Steve and Grandmama have advanced to the semifinals. Eventually, they meet up in the finals and during the time the score is tied 10 a piece. Grandmama is injured with her knee and Kenny is forced to the sidelines, after being threatened by her. It's Eddie vs Urkel for the final point, with Steve making the final point to win for him and Grandmama. Everyone erupts in cheers for them, except for Eddie who bitches at Kenny for losing.

At the Winslow home in the living room, Eddie is sitting on a chair and he nursing his busted up knee. Steve comes in and he treats him like a champion. Urkel was wary and shouldn't mistake it for a lost friendship. Eddie admits he deserved it because he got greedy and he wanted to win the Bulls tickets so bad. He thought he would've had a terrible chance if Steve remained his partner, causing him to ditch his friend. Eddie mentioned that he thought partnering up Kenny would've increased his chances of winning the Bulls tickets. He also admits that he ended up as a three time loser - he lost the tournament, hurt his knee and lost a good friendship with Urkel. He asks for forgiveness from him and Steve tells him they'll discuss it at the Chicago Bulls game. He has found out that Grandmama is a fan of the Charlotte Hornets and gives her ticket to Eddie. During the closing credits, as Urkel and Eddie are about to leave, Grandmama shows up and has spent the day with Estelle giving her a complete makeover. She tells them she's now a knock out. Mother Winslow shows up in the same fashion as her friend and both Eddie and Steve are surprised.







  • This episode's story was co-written Jaleel White. He would later be a writer in Season Eight's "Home Again".
  • Kenny "The Spider" Jackson is played by Donovan McCrary, Darius McCrary's brother.
  • This is the third episode to feature Steve Urkel's skill in basketball, after "Fight the Good Fight" and "Making the Team".
  • The surnames that were used for extras who played the basketball players in the episode are the surnames of the crew.
  • Due to the show being based in Chicago, both Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were pitched as possible players to play the role of Grandmama. However, producers voted against this, as both of their price tags would've been far too expensive.


  • Urkel and Grandmama's first match up is against Waldo and Weasel, according to the white board. However, Waldo and Weasel are shortly seen playing against another team even though they would have been eliminated in the first game against Urkel and Grandmama.


Urkel: I consider myself a feminist, but a girl?

Carl: [to Harriette] Is it just me or is she raising herself?
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Hell ToupeeIt Didn't Happen One NightSaved by the UrkelA Matter of PrincipleMoney Out the WindowBest FriendsGrandmamaDr. Urkel and Mr. CoolCar WarsAll the Wrong MovesChristmas is Where the Heart IsScenes from a MallRock EnrollLike a VirginGood Cop, Bad CopPresumed UrkelFather of the BridePsycho TwinsThat's What Friends Are ForOpposites AttractA-Camping We Will GoNunsenseAunt OonaStefan Returns