Laura's First Date is the twelfth episode of the first season from the television sitcom on Family Matters, which aired from ABC on December 15, 1989. It was directed by Richard Correll and written both by William Bickley and Michael Warren.
Laura is dateless for the upcoming school dance, so well-meaning Carl and Eddie (without consulting each other) set Laura up with three different dates. Carl's pick for Laura's date is a decision that would change their lives and one he would forever live to regret: Steven Q. Urkel.
Rachel is using Eddie as a model for a dress that she's making for Harriette to wear. He complains about the whole thing but she convinces him to wait it out because she has to get more pins. Eddie attempts to get the dress off him before someone sees him and gets the wrong idea about him being a transsexual. Later on, Carl walks in with Laura and Judy and he gets the wrong idea. He tells the already humiliated Eddie it's time they had another father and son talk, while his sisters laugh at him.
Harriette is adamantly refusing Laura to go to the dance until she learns some responsibilites in the way she treats her sister. Carl convinces her to let her go just for one night but she refuses. She thinks if Laura starts dating at 13, she and the boy will get serious and it'll be a mess. She reluctantly agrees when Carl convinces her that he'll keep tabs on her.
At Leroy's a popular teen hangout, Laura is bemoaning her inability to get a date with cute classmate Mark for the school dance. However, her friend, Penny tells her that he's already going with another girl and the only one available is Steven Q. Urkel. Laura refuses the nerd and keeps looking towards Mark. At the home, no one has called, despite Carl's optimism. Harriette's pessimistic and refusal in letting her daughter go to the dance proved true. That is until, he convinces Rachel to make the dress for Laura. Eddie and Carl make well-meaning attempts to set Laura up with someone. It is Carl who sets his daughter up with Steven Q. Urkel, as a favor to Dr. Herb Urkel, a decision he'll live to regret. Laura eventually gets over her shyness and asks Mark out, per Eddie's recommendation to put herself on the market. He encourages her if no one wants to go to the dance with her, they're not worth it.
On the night of the dance, Harriette is impresseed by Rachel's dress she made for Laura and is reminded about the time when she made it when they were kids. Her mistake in pulling on a loose thread, causes Rachel and her to frantically fix the dress, while Laura runs upstairs to change into a different dress. Carl opens the door to and allows Urkel in with his flowers from the cemetery. The quintessential nerd drives everyone batty just being himself. Eddie shows up with Tyrone, before Mark shows up and Laura reveals that he's her date to the dance. Soon after, she's humiliated by Eddie and Carl for what they've done. She runs out of the house crying as Harriette talks to her. Laura thinks she's ugly but her mother reminds her that she's not. Laura revealed that Mark and his girlfriend broke up and would've gone with anyone else had she not asked him. Harriette tells her that boys are shy like her and are scared of rejection. She could remember how many times Carl had to get over his fear to ask her out. Laura and Mark leave for the dance, after Rachel has fixed the dress. Urkel decides to stay until 10 p.m. - the earliest his folks want him home - and makes himself at home! Then he asks if anyone's got any cheese, which horrifies everyone.
After the dance, Laura told them how her date went and for three hours, they didn't dance until Mark asked her to. Carl apologizes for what happened and was a fool for making her look like a charity case.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (credited as Jo Marie Payton-France)
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow (credit only)
- 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 marked the first appearance of Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) during first-run broadcasts.
- This is also the one of only two episodes in which Steve calls Carl "Mr. Winslow." Throughout the rest of the series, he either calls him "Carl" or "Big Guy."
- Jaleel White originally signed on "Family Matters" just to do a one-time guest appearance, but the producers were so pleased with the audience's reaction to his first taping; there were about 50 frat boys in the audience that were chanting, "Urkel! Urkel! Urkel!" at the end of his first scene. He returned in a recurring role which eventually turned into a starring role. He was also hastily shoehorned into some episodes already completed but not yet aired, explaining why the Winslow don't seem to know him although to viewers, he'd been seen a few times already. After his appearance, the show also reached the Top 20.
- Although credited, Rosetta LeNoire (Estelle "Mother" Winslow) doesn't appear in this episode.
- Despite chronologically being the 12th episode of the series, due to Steve Urkel's popularity, this episode is usually shown as the second episode in syndication.
- Laura claims how a blind date was how she met Urkel was referenced in season 5's All the Wrong Moves when Eddie tried to set her up on a blind date with a guy he's friends with and Season 7's South of the Border when Harriette set her up on a blind date with a nice guy named Junior.
- Urkel said that he had passed by the cemetery on the way to pick Laura up for the dance. He is the next door neighbor how would he "pass by" a cemetery to get to the Winslows.
- At the beginning of the program Laura says she wants to go to a dance as the program continues the word dance is constantly substituted with the word party.
- Urkel: Got any cheese?
- Harriette: If Laura starts dating, she'll get serious, then the boy will get serious, then they'll both get serious and that's serious!
- Carl: Harriette, will you get serious?
- Urkel: (to Laura) Wow! Are you wearing a bra?
- Eddie: Laura, you remember Tyrone, right? He's your date.
- Laura: He's not my date!
- Eddie: Sure he is! I paid him ten bucks to take you out tonight.
- Laura: Excuse me? You paid him to go out with me?
- Carl: (hiding the fact that he also set Laura up): Eddie! I'm surprised at you!
- Harriette: Judy, finish your Brussels sprouts.
- Judy: Brussels sprouts make me wanna puke.
- Harriette: At my table, you eat them. Now, what you do on your own time is your business.
- [Carl walks in the kitchen with Laura and Judy and sees Eddie in a pink dress Rachel made for Harriette. In a moment of shock, he gets the wrong idea.]
- Carl: Edward!
- Eddie: Dad?!
- Carl: Son, I think it's time we had a little talk
|Family Matters Season 1|