Marriage 101 is the third episode of the second season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on September 28, 1990. It was directed by Richard Correll and written both by Pamela Eells and Sally Lapiduss.
Steve is paired with Laura in a class assignment about marriage. Urkel goes the extra mile to be a good husband, but when an exasperated Laura goes to Harriette for advice, she learns that her mother is actually envious of the attention Urkel had been showing her. Carl, it seems, had been taking Harriette for granted and was paying less romantic attention to her as of late, deeply concerning her. While Laura is enlightened, Carl gets the hint and promises to do better.
The subject in home economics class at school: marriage. Laura wants to be paired with any number of cute guys in her class for a project about marriage ... but winds up with Urkel instead. Eddie teases Laura and gives her flack for having to work with Steve. He goes above and beyond what it takes to be a good husband, but winds up angering Laura when she feels smothered by his constant attention. She demands that Steve leaves her alone. While in the process she finally realizes that he just wanted to be a good husband and ends up breaking his heart.
During that time, Harriette is constantly feeling like Carl takes her for granted. When Estelle and Rachel tell her to put him in his place, she too doesn't know what to do. When Laura complains to Harriette about Steve's constant devotion on a project they been working on for their Home Ec. class and wants sympathy, she gets called out by her mother. She tells Laura that even though it's a project for class, she should appreciate the fact that Steve does pay attention to her needs. Harriette tells her that she wishes Carl would pay attention to her more like Urkel does with Laura. While Laura is enlightened and takes her advice to be more appreciating, Carl overhears how disappointed Harriette is with him for taking her for granted and realizes his mistake.
During the next day, Maxine Johnson complains about her partner, Mark, cheating on her with another woman and flunks him. She and her partner spend some time insulting each other. Taking her mother's advice, Laura decides to give Steve a break and gives him an A.
Carl makes it up to Harriette with a ring he bought from Steve and a Strangers In The Night tape. He promises her to be more attentive as a husband and asks her to put on the nice dress she had bought for a reservation he has at Chez Josephine's.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (credited as Jo Marie Payton-France)
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow
- Bryton James as Richie Crawford (credited as Bryton McClure)
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- Susan Krebs as Ms. Steuben
- Clint Hyson as Mark Healy
- Cherie Johnson's first appearance as Maxine Johnson in this episode.
- Steve would buy back the ring from Carl in Pop Goes the Question.
- In the classroom when Laura finds out who shes been partnered with in the marriage project she faints. Then Steve comes in and says "give my wife some air", in this shot Laura is shown passed out with her hands crossed on her stomach. In the next, her arms are stretched out on each side, not crossed.
- In the close-up of Harriet saying, "You're doing fine" to Carl, part of his shoulder is visible, indicating they are sitting close together. In all other shots of the scene they are sitting about a foot apart.
- Laura: [after Steve gives her a ring] This is real! Where did you get the money for this?
- Urkel: From my stay away fund- every year all my relatives send me money and hope that I won't visit them.
- Urkel: Laura, I know that I'm not worthy of you, but I just can't help loving you. It's like wanting to touch a star- you know you'll never reach it but you've just gotta keep trying.
- Laura: [crying] Steve why do you always say things like that?
- Urkel: These last 2 weeks have been wonderful for me. It's the closest I'll ever get to marrying you- that's why I wanted you to have this- no strings attached- just the one to my heart.
- Laura: Steve, did you eat that moldy cheese?