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My Big Brother is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on February 23, 1996. It was directed by Richard Correll and written by Fred Rubin.


In honor of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Association, Steve becomes a big brother to a street wise, smart-mouth kid named 3J. However, the boy's bravado is hiding an embarrassing secret, he can't read. Steve takes it upon himself to teach 3J how to read so he can go further in life. Meanwhile after learning that Harriette had gotten a separate bank account, Carl questions his faith in her, only for him to learn the truth why.


The episode begins with Mr. Lasker reprimanding 3J for what happened with his other four big brothers assigned to be a role model for him. The boy tries the innocent route but Lasker doesn't believe him and tells him about Leonard's complaints about him sticking a snake in his pants. 3J explains that it's a sign of respect in his neighborhood and that it was a big misunderstanding. Mr. Lasker tells him that he was on the verge of giving up on him if it wasn't for his aunt and he decides to give him one last chance. 3J isn't happy when he learns that his big brother is none other than Steve Urkel. They get along okay and he introduces him to the Winslows. When Steve learns that 3J can't read, he gets upset and storms out.

Meanwhile, Carl has discovered Harriette has a secret and separate account and it makes him question the faith of his wife. He gets one of his own and starts to mistrust her until she gives him a present. Harriette was hoping to save it for Carl on his birthday but because he was suspicious, she told him to open it up. He does and it's a camcorder which she bought for him as a birthday present. Feeling guilty for mistrusting Harriette, Carl apologizes for his behavior.

Urkel heads down to 3J's neighborhood to confront him for his inability to read and finds trouble with Baby Girl and her friends. They won't let him through but 3J saves him because he and the girls are friends. He pays Baby Girl and her friends $50 to leave Steve alone. Once they're out of sight, he confronts him about the money, only for 3J to tell him he's an expert pick-pocket and the money that he gave the girls was their own money. He asks Steve why he came down to his neighborhood for. Urkel reveals he wants to teach 3J how to read but the boy is hesitant. Steve gave him a card to read with the brand logo to read it out for him. He correctly identifies the basketball player as Scottie Pippen and even reads his stats. After being unable to read the Upper Deck logo, 3J admits that he can't read. When Steve asks him why he was so reluctant to learn how to read, 3J confesses that his reluctance to be taught stemmed from his other big brothers. They always broke their promises and he had to pay them back by pranking them which lead to the first four quitting on him. 3J is afraid that Steve will break his promise if he allows him to teach him how to read. Urkel reassures 3J that he's different from them and he keeps true to his promises. He sets a date for tomorrow to teach him how to read and 3J agrees.

In the end credits, a bored 3J and Richie have a hard time figuring out what activities to do until they play music on their harmonica.






  • Natalie Deselle Reid as Baby Girl (credited as Natalie Deselle)
  • Mayah McCoy as Chante
  • Maria Costa as Dornita
  • William Thomas Jr. as Mr. Lasker


  • First appearance of Orlando Brown as Jerry Jamal Jameson (3J)
  • First appearance of Baby Girl and her friends, Chante and Dornita.
    • However in this episode, she is played Natalie Deselle Reid, while in Karate Kids, she is played by Maya Lott.
  • Before 3J in the House, it was revealed that 3J lived with his aunt.
  • Urkel is the first of 3J's big brothers that was allowed to teach him how to read.
  • This is the first episode where Urkel showed 3J around the Winslow home and which he was able to hide in one of the unused attic rooms with Richie's help.


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