Mr. Badwrench is the eighth episode of the first season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on November 17, 1989. It was directed by John Bowab and written both by Alan Eisenstock and Larry Mintz.

Plot Edit

Carl and Eddie try to renovate an unused downstairs room into a bathroom for Estelle, despite Harriette's admonition to hire a contractor while Mother Winslow is visiting Carl's brother. In a b-story, Rachel unsuccessfully tries to get Richie to say "Mama," after she claims she heard him say it.

Synopsis Edit

While Estelle is finishing the last stanza in "Stormy Weather" and the children wait, Rachel comes downstairs with Richie, claiming he just said his first word. When Harriette asks about it, she smiles and repeated Richie when he said "mama". They're happy, but Carl criticize it and Mother Winslow comes downstairs for breakfast. As the kids run upstairs to take a shower, Rachel tells her about Richie's first word being "mama". Estelle tells her about Carl's first word being "donut", which offends him and reminds her they don't want to be late to the airport.

Later on, Carl decides to renovate one of the unused rooms downstairs for his mother's personal bathroom after being annoyed with her telling him about Frank's house having four luxury bathrooms and claims that he can do the job himself. Harriette thinks he's out of his mind and admonishes him to hire a qualified professional to do an estimate. Carl reluctantly does, but is disgusted in the price they're asking to do it with. So he kicks them out and decides to do the job himself despite Harriette's warning not to, due to the last failed times he tried to fix things around the house. She still insists that Carl hire the professionals in bathroom modifications that their neighbors recommended and claims he won't find someone cheaper and more qualified, but he refuses an act that he will later regret.

In a subplot, Rachel tries to record Richie saying his first words, but the tape recorder thwarts her efforts when it runs out of batteries. While going upstairs to get a new batch, Rachel misses out in Richie repeating his first word.

Meanwhile, Eddie's plans with his friends runs a serious derailment when Carl tells him that they're spending a week together. He claims he wants to spend quality time with his son in renovating one of the unused rooms to be Mother Winslow's personal bathroom. However, Eddie knows better, given their last failed attempt to fix things around the house and tried to get out of it. He begs Carl to listen to Harriette and get a qualified professional to do the job for him. He refuses to hear none of it and forces Eddie to help him out. Two night before Mother Winslow is due to return home, Harriette with Laura and Judy come in to the bathroom. Carl claims that he and Eddie had the hard part with the plumbing taken care off. He mentions it's time for the easy work with the cleaning up and installing tiles on the shower. That way when Estelle returns home, she'll have her personal bathroom ready for use. Harriette is skeptical and asks that the children give her one minute alone with their father. Laura and Judy are excited at the prospects of staying in hotel that they pack right away. Eddie is relieved to be away from Carl and heads upstairs to clean up. After the children leave, Harriette immediately demonstrates his ineptness at fixing things around the house when she notices that he crossed the plumbing pipes. She shows Carl this by turning on the faucet on the sink which activated the shower. After Carl turns it off from the shower faucet with his wrench, she admonishes him for not heeding her earlier warning to hire the professionals that she and their neighbors' recommended. Carl is forced to admit that he's not cut out at being a handyman like he thought. He just wanted to build the shower for his mother and prove Harriette wrong for once, but only succeeded in hurting himself. She understands, but tells Carl there is a lot of other things he's good at and he finally agrees to hire a professional to help him out.

The end reveals Mother Winslow is happy to be home from her time with Frank and loving her new bathroom. Harriette consoles Rachel when she feels bummed over missing Richie repeating his first word.

Cast Edit

Main Edit

Guest Edit

  • Susan Merson as Sylvia

Trivia and Notes Edit

  • The title is a parody of the General Motors "Mr. Goodwrench" auto repair service (now known as GM Certified Service). The episode name also is similar to a character portrayed by Jay Leno in his stand-up act as Mr. Goodwrench's evil twin.

Quotes Edit

Rachel: Mother Winslow, guess what?
Estelle "Mother": What?
Rachel: Little Richie spoke his first word
Estelle "Mother": Oh that's sweet, what did he say?
Rachel: Mama.
Estelle "Mother": Aww, that's cute. Carl's first word was Donut.
[Carl is appalled as he has a donut in his mouth]

Harriette: Nice going, Carl. You have to turn on the shower from the sink.
  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