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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 by both 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 for her dinner date with Carl. He complains about it 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 his expense.

Harriette is adamantly refusing Laura to attend the dance until she learns some responsibilities in the way she treats Judy and that includes no more spitting cereal in her face.

Carl convinces Harriette to let Laura go just for one night but Harriette refuses because she thinks if Laura starts dating at 13 years old, she and the boy will get serious and it'll be a mess. Harriette reluctantly agrees when Carl convinces her that he'll keep tabs on Laura.

While at Leroy's, Laura is bemoaning about 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 to go out with Urkel and keeps looking towards Mark.

Back at home, no one has called, despite Carl's optimism. Harriette's pessimistic and refusal in letting her daughter go to the dance proved true 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 to the dance, 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 impressed 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, Laura is humiliated by Eddie and Carl for what they've done. She runs out of the house crying as Harriette talks to her. Laura thinks that she's ugly but Harriette 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 Laura that boys are shy like her and they are scared of rejection. She remembers 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 10:00 p.m. (which is the earliest that 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 says for three hours, they didn't dance until Mark asked her to. Carl apologizes to Laura for what happened and was a fool for making her look like a charity case.







  • This episode marked the first appearance of Steve Urkel (Jaleel White) during first-run broadcasts. However, following his popularity after this episode, opening segments with Urkel were filmed and added at the start of previous episodes during reruns, with these segments being retained in the home video releases.
  • Jaleel White originally signed on to Family Matters for just this episode, as a one-time guest appearance. However, the producers were surprised with the live studio audience's reaction to his first taping, and there were reportedly individuals in the audience that were chanting, "Urkel! Urkel! Urkel!" at the end of his first scene. As a result, he returned in a recurring role which eventually turned into a starring role, causing him to be the focal point of the series going forward, becoming the main character of the series as the Winslows became his supporting cast. He was also shoehorned into reruns of earlier episodes, explaining why Carl and Harriette Winslow seem to meet him for the first time in this episode, although to viewers watching reruns, they had already seen scenes with Urkel interacting with them in earlier episodes.
  • Despite chronologically being the 12th episode of the series, due to Steve Urkel's popularity, this episode is usually listed and shown as the second episode during syndication.
  • This is 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."
  • This is the last episode to air in 1989.
  • Although credited, Rosetta LeNoire (Estelle "Mother" Winslow) doesn't appear in this episode.
  • 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.


Carl: How annoying could one kid be? (Opens door)
Urkel: Hi Mr. Winslow. I'm Steve Urkel.

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
  v - e - dFamily Matters Season 1
The Mama Who Came to DinnerTwo-Income FamilyShort StoryRachel's First DateStraight A'sBasketball BluesBody DamageMr. BadwrenchStake-OutFalse ArrestThe QuiltLaura's First DateMan's Best FriendBaker's DozenThe Big ReunionThe PartyThe Big FixSitting PrettyIn a JamThe CandidateBowl Me OverRock Video