It's a Mad, Mad Mad House is the seventeen episode of the fourth season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on February 19, 1993. It was directed by John Tracy and written by Regina Stewart.
After Eddie pulls a classroom prank, his teacher (Debra Jo Rupp) wants to refer him to the principal. Knowing he could face dismissal from the basketball team for this offense, he relates a sob story about how he comes from a dysfunctional family. The teacher is so upset that she later confides in Urkel, who recommends that she pay a visit to this family, unaware that she is talking about the Winslows. What Miss Connors observes is exactly what Eddie described: she sees a highly chaotic household, thanks in part to Harriette having gone "on strike" after she became frustrated with her family constantly henpecking her. Having ignored Mother Winslow's warning not to push her, they must endure fending for themselves.
At the Winslow house, Richie, Judy and Laura are playing monopoly when Harriette comes home with the house in a mess. Laura and Judy blow her off and begins henpecking her for their stuff. Eddie and Carl makes it worse by annoying Harriette for their own things. That is until Mother Winslow appears and sends her off to a nice bubble bath in her personal bathroom. After she leaves, Estelle confronts the family for adding to her stress by henpecking her for their own material things. She points out that Harriette doesn't have the time to help them pick up their stuff and clean the house herself because she's working as the Head of Security at the Chicago Chronicle. She mentions as a family, they must make time to help her out in keeping the house clean and getting their own stuff. Mother Winslow also forewarns that if the family continue behaving the way they currently are in refusing to help Harriette out by not cleaning up after themselves and prioritize their own things, they will regret their actions later on. Carl blows Estelle's warning off by calling a cleaning crew to clean up the house for the family.
Practical jokester Eddie gets caught misbehaving in class for what apparently isn't the first time nor the last time. This time, he puts a picture of a bikini-clad girl on a pull-down chart, which his math teacher, Miss Vivian Connors, fails to notice initially but Steve does and tells her. However it wasn't until after the bell rings and the students are leaving, that his friend, Waldo opens his mouth, reminding him not to forget about retrieving his poster on the chart that he's in trouble with her for misbehaving again. Eddie's basketball coach had previously threatened to suspend him for the rest of basketball team's season by benching him, should his teachers report him to both his coach and Principal Shimata about him causing trouble in all of his classes by pulling practical jokes on them for the final time. So, to keep his spot on the team, he gives a sob story to Miss Connors he's got problems at home with his family. This upsets Miss Connors, whom (after he leaves the room) pours out her sorrows to Urkel. Steve unaware that the family she's talking about are the Winslows or that Eddie had shared anything, suggests paying this family a visit.
Meanwhile at the Winslow Home the next day, Carl, Judy, Laura and Eddie all had refused to heed Estelle's warning by continuing to take advantage of Harriette. The only one who tried to help her out is, Richie, by trying to make a chocolate cake. While it was misguided, Harriette appreciates his efforts before facing Carl, Eddie, Judy and Laura. When the four continue refusing to help Harriette clean the house and henpecking her for material things, she finally snaps. She reprimands the four in their refusal to help her clean the house and making Richie do it for them, reminding them that he's only a child. Harriette also points out that Mother Winslow had previously warned them not to take her for granted by henpecking her continuously and keeping the house a mess. She mentions Carl, Eddie, Laura and Judy ignored the warning by caring for their own interest. Harriette mentions that now the four will pay the price for their ignorance. As of this moment, she announces that Carl, Eddie, Judy and Laura will have to learn to fend for themselves because she's on strike. After Harriette leaves, Eddie cluelessly asks Carl if that's legal and he is hit with a tin pan. Its only then Laura and Judy both regret not listening to Mother Winslow when she first forewarned against taking Harriette for granted. Carl continues to ignore it, believing that she will come around and see things his way.
Five Days Later, Harriette continues her strike by reading a book in a dirty house. Laura comes in with Mother Winslow's evening dress from the dry cleaner and complained about the mess. Harriette orders her to clean it up herself because she's still on strike and continues reading. She cleans up some of the mess off the couch and informs her that she has to help Mother Winslow get ready for tonight. She mentions that it's the annual Charity Bachelor's Auction at the Senior Citizens Home. Harriette asks Laura if she remembers last year when Estelle bought a date with the retired underwear model. She remembers it very well and mentions that Mother Winslow was so humiliated that to learn that he used to model ladies underwear and not men's underwear liked she believed, that she immediately demanded her money back. Harriette laughs as Laura leave to help Mother Winslow get ready. Then, Carl comes down the stairs in his robe and becomes a chauvinist by telling her he doesn't have anything to wear. He adamantly tells her that if she wants to continue playing the strike game with the kids, that's fine with him. However, she crossed the line with the Big Kahuna and he wants some attention from her. He continues demanding her to clean up the mess and his old clothes(ripped jeans and bandana) because he needs them for his undercover drug bust for tonight. Harriette refuses and tells her sexist husband off that she will never wash his clothes as long as she's on strike. She mentions that if Carl needs them for tonight, he'll have to wash his clothes himself and leaves him in the living room.
Later on, Miss Connors decides to take Urkel's advice that she needs to pay this family a visit, unaware it's the Winslow family. From her limited observations by entering the home herself and hiding behind a chair, things are exactly as Eddie described:
- The entire house is a complete mess with 3-4 feet of trash in it, due to Harriette's strike against her family for taking her for granted and kept true to her threat.
- Richie and Judy are making ice cream sundaes for dinner while they are dressed in dirty clothes. Both were getting tired of eating candy bars and had to do something about it.
- Laura and Estelle talking about her buying more men when she arrives at the senior citizens home for the annual bachelor's charity auction.
- A chauvinistic Carl actually is yelling at Harriette because she didn't have his old clothes ready to go on an undercover drug stakeout/bust. She convinces him that he still looks nice in what he has, but he continues refusing to listen to her. Carl adamantly states he likes to wear old clothing with his ripped jeans "when I buy drugs!".
After observing the latter, Miss Connors is immediately disgusted and horrified by what she saw. She tries to bolt for the door and leave the house. She has intentions of reporting the Winslows to both the police and Child Services. However, Carl catches Miss Connors and asks what she's doing here. She informs them that she is Eddie's math teacher and confronts the Winslows about their influence on him. Harriette states that they are a loving family but she wasn't convinced by it. This is because Miss Connors had earlier observed the trashy mess of the house and including the Winslows' own behavior. She mentions from it all, she could see how it's a terrible influence on Eddie. Miss Connors reveals her concerns because she had heard Mother Winslow talking to Laura about her plans to buy more men with the belief she's running a male prostitution ring, the house being messy and covered in trash, young children wearing dirty clothes and eating candy since neither parent takes time to cook for them. Miss Connors admits the one thing she's offended by the most is that she had witnessed Carl's chauvinistic behavior in being abusive to Harriette by abrasively yelling at her for not getting his old clothing ready to buy drugs. She believes that he's spending money to fuel his drug addiction and that is a concern for her. Miss Connors proceeds to claim the Winslow family's structure as a disruptive madhouse because of it and can see why Eddie is acting up in class. She mentions that she is relieved that he's the only normal one in his family and that she can excuse him for pulling harmless pranks believing that he was only venting out his own frustrations from the madness in his home. Miss Connors admits that his own family is the one she can't excuse for their terrible behavior in leaving everything a mess in the house and doing their own activities. Just then, Eddie comes over and his teacher gives him a hug. Then Urkel shows up and confesses to the whole thing, angering his friend. The end result leaves him to do plenty of explaining to do to an extremely embarrassed, Carl and an irate but traumatized Miss Connors. Eddie has plans to beat up Steve for exposing him to his family and his teacher, but Urkel quickly bails out before he even had the chance. Out of loyalty to her family, Harriette offers to explain to Miss Connors about what is really going in the house, while Carl hauls Eddie to the kitchen for an explanation.
In the kitchen, Carl informs Eddie that he's very upset with him since he pulled a harmless, stupid but rude prank and reminds him that he must take his consequences like a man. He tells him that he has all five senses, look and appears normal by walking erect, but he often acts like a complete BONEHEAD. Especially when he's always told people around him that he was one of best students around aside Laura and Judy. He also mentions that his mother is currently in the living room trying to explain to an irate and traumatized, Miss Connors, about his behavior and the house. Eddie finally confesses to Carl that his coach has threatened to suspend him for the rest of the basketball season by benching him if he gets one more bad report from his teachers misbehaving in his classes. However, his father is less convinced and more importantly tells him off that it was plain wrong of him to lie to his teacher that he had a dysfunctional family structure just to make her feel sorry for him. Carl reveals that while he's walking on his beat as a cop, he frequently responds to domestic violence calls to people who truly comes from a dysfunctional family structure where the end results are often very tragic. He reminds Eddie that's the reason why he puts his family on top of the his list was because he knows they deserved to be on top and he's very proud of them. Carl mentions that the families who live in abusive and dysfunctional situations are not something that he can make jokes out of since they are real people in those situations. Eddie realizes he was wrong in his prank in class, lying to his math teacher and decides to face the consequences like a man. Harriette comes in soon after and she informs him that Miss Connors has understood why Carl was dressed up as a thug and the house was under three feet of trash. However, she was still bewildered about the fact that Estelle buys men at the senior citizens home for a Charity Bachelor's Auction.
In the end, Carl makes Eddie, Laura and Judy promise to pitch in and help Harriette around the house from now on. He also points out that should they refuse, he will start grounding them for it and the children agrees to pitch in. Harriette calls off the strike and tells everyone to clean up. Carl convinces her to just takes everyone out to dinner and he'll stay behind to clean the mess up himself. He mentions to Harriette he accepts full responsibility for setting a terrible example in not helping her out due to his chauvinism. This in turn, encouraged Eddie, Laura and Judy to continue taking her for granted by leaving the house in a trashy state and caring for their own things. This time, Carl is going to set a good example by staying home and cleaning up. That way when the family comes home, the house will be clean again. After Harriette and the others leave, Carl lets the crew in... that's right, another cleaning crew with him to clean the house properly.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow
- Bryton McClure as Richie Crawford
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- Shawn Harrison as Waldo Geraldo Faldo
- Debra Jo Rupp as Miss Connors
- Tom Kindle as Himself
- Debra Jo Rupp made her a special guest as Miss Connors in this episode, then she's the star as Kitty Foreman from TV sitcom That 70's Show.
- This episode marked the first time that the house being left as a mess is the focal point of the episode. This will be followed by Teacher's Pet
- However, unlike Teacher's Pet, Carl, Eddie, Laura and Judy were involved in keeping the house a mess.
- This episode marked the first time that the family ignored Mother Winslow's warning to not push Harriette and help her out.
- Harriette: Remember last year when your grandmother bought that date with the retired underwear model last year.
- Laura: Then she demanded her money back when she found out that he modeled ladies underwear.
- Harriette: Either the Big Kahuna has had too many Mai-Tais or he has his head up a volcano. Because there is no way this little wahine is going anywhere near his wiki-wiki.
|Family Matters Season 4|