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The ninth and final season of Family Matters which was aired on CBS from September 19, 1997 to July 17, 1998. The season consists of 22 episodes. It was aired during the 1997–98 television season.


To be added



Portrayed by Character
Reginald VelJohnson Carl Winslow
Jo Marie Payton (E. 1–206) Harriette Winslow
Judyann Elder (E. 207–215)
Darius McCrary Eddie Winslow
Kellie Shanygne Williams Laura Winslow
Jaleel White Steve Urkel
Michelle Thomas Myra Monkhouse

Supporting cast[]

Portrayed by Character
Bryton McClure (E. 6–11) Richie Crawford
Orlando Brown Jerry Jamal "3J" Jameson


Portrayed by Character
Cherie Johnson Maxine Johnson
Tammy Townsend Greta McClure

Guest (cameo)[]

Portrayed by Character
Telma Hopkins Rachel Crawford
Rosetta LeNoire Estelle Winslow

Syndicated repeats closing[]

While the first seven seasons featured Reginald VelJohnson's voice in the closing of the syndicated repeats, it is absent for the final season. Instead, the Warner Bros. Television theme plays as it transitions from said logo to the Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution logo.


Reportedly, the rising salaries for the cast and rising production costs for CBS to keep it on the air were reasons for the cancellation. In late Spring 1998, despite CBS informs programming block of CBS Block Party that the sitcom "may get picked up" for tenth and final season, but on May 1998 the show of Family Matters was cancelled after nine seasons as well as Step by Step. Miller-Boyett stated that "the reason 'Family Matters' is not coming back when is purely demolished", after that Miller-Boyett has been shut down in 1999.

CBS’ reason for canceling the show has been seen as questionable as they would have been well aware about the shows financial costs when purchasing the show for what was to be two seasons. Years later, fans and critics have assessed that the purchase of both Family Matters and Step by Step was a ploy to demolish two of their competitors. This assessment was made due to the unexplained timeslot changes mid-way through the season, as well as both shows being cancelled nearly simultaneously.

After the series ended, the set was transformed into a new set for Everybody Loves Raymond, but it was replace by a highest rating series Friends, which had just finished up its fourth season, and was competing against Family Matters at the time.

Personal changes[]

Gary M. Goodrich becomes co-producer.


While the season was met with mixed reception from critics, it was a hit with fans. Both fans and most critics agreed that the ninth season was a much stronger season than the eighth, with acclaim going to the build up of Steve and Laura’s relationship. The season also received positive reception for focusing more on the Winslow family than it did in the eighth season.

Due to the show moving to CBS, the show struggled at the start of the season to live up to the networks ratings expectations, garnering only half of the audience it did during the prior season. However, positive word of mouth brought many fans back and improved the shows position. The positive turn brought hope to many that the show would continue for a tenth (and final) season but CBS would unexpectedly change the shows time slot. This move further cut into the shows ratings, leading to the cancellation of the show. The change led to the series finale airing to little fanfare as the episode was hardly promoted by CBS.


Season nine consists of 22 episodes.

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date Director Writer(s)
194 1 Out with the Old September 19, 1997 Joel Zwick David W. Duclon & Gary Menteer
Steve decides that he needs to give himself a whole new look, somewhat similar to alter ego Stefan Urquelle, in order to win Laura's heart. The makeover comes just in time for Laura's charity auction, where bachelors' kisses are auctioned. Eddie makes $5,000 because of Myrtle's bids. When nobody bids on the nerd, Laura, reluctantly, makes the one and only bid on Steve's kisses. This ending foreshadows the changing relationship between Steve and Laura as Laura seems to enjoy the kiss much more than she expected. Meanwhile, Carl gets upset when he learns Harriette is making more money than him after a promotion, so Carl takes a second job to become the breadwinner again. However, he once again regrets it when he learns that Harriette had been planning a birthday gift surprise.

Note: This was the first episode on CBS, after eight seasons on ABC.

195 2 They Shoot Ducks, Don't They? September 26, 1997 Joel Zwick Jim Geoghan
Carl promises to go hunting with Steve but would rather go hunting with Commissioner Geiss. Unbeknownst, Steve meets with them at a small pond. Steve refuses let Carl or Geiss kill the ducks which angers Carl and disappoints Geiss. That is until Geiss sees the ducks escorting their duckings across the pond and realized Steve was right to stop them. Meanwhile, Laura "borrows" her mom's diamond earrings for a night at the Sizzle Club, yet comes home shocked to find out that one of the earrings is missing. Harriette later picks up the missing earring and reprimands Laura for not confessing to using her earrings without permission. When Myra learns that Steve had gotten a makeover against her wishes, she tells him to return to the sexy nerd she loves so much.
196 3 Dumb Belle of the Ball October 3, 1997 Joel Zwick Fred Fox Jr.
Ending up in the hospital after saving Eddie from getting hit by an oncoming car, Myrtle is thrilled when Eddie promises to take her to the Biloxi Debutante Ball, and teaching the others, including Big Daddy why Myrtle deserves to be there. Meanwhile, Laura upsets Carl when she goes out to the Sizzle Club in a thin, tight dress after promising to change into anything that was less revealing. She soon realizes how much she has hurt Carl after catching an episode of Extra!
197 4 Drinking and Jiving October 10, 1997 Joel Zwick Gary M. Goodrich
Laura and Maxine go to a fraternity party and Laura ditches her goody-two-shoes reputation by having her first beer, along with her second and third. Steve arrives to stop this nonsense and gets a drunken Laura home. There, she gives Steve a huge kiss. In the morning, Steve mentions the kiss to Laura, yet she claims that she doesn't remember. When Maxine asks about it, Laura admitted she lied and remembered the kiss. Meanwhile, Carl and Harriette have separate wedding anniversary plans and both tell Eddie about their plans. Then, once they both find out about each other's plans, they start to fight, forcing one of them to reconsider their plans. Eddie wisely tells them to compromise instead of fighting with one another. This leads to Carl hiring a blimp to pronounce his love for Harriette and wishing her a Happy Anniversary while they're on a cruise.
198 5 Who's Afraid of the Big Black Book? October 17, 1997 Joel Zwick Stephen Langford & Laura M. Stein
Eddie and Laura play a series of "get even" tricks on each other. Eddie invites Laura's ex, Rick, over on a night she wants to spend with Stefan, who easily gets rid of his tormentor. An angry Laura decides to get even by tricking Steve into inviting Eddie's ex-girlfriends to a surprise birthday party. Infuriated, Steve and Greta sets them straight by making Eddie and Laura realize that their immature tricks are just that. Meanwhile, Carl is upset that Commissioner Geiss promotes his son (Joel Gray) instead of him. Carl proves to the commissioner his worth when he is able to defuse a potentially deadly gangfight, and the son also informs his father that he needs more time before he's ready to be a captain, allowing Carl to gain the position. During the end credits, Greta confronts Eddie for keeping a black book containing his ex-girlfriends' names and phone numbers on it and brings a blender filled with water to the kitchen table. She gives him a choice: surrender his black book so they can shred it in pieces or keep it which will likely end their relationship and take his chances with one of them whom will leave him dealing with Myrtle alone. Eddie reluctantly, but wisely chose Greta and surrendered his black book to the blender.
199 6 A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read October 24, 1997 Joel Zwick Timothy Stack
While testing an invention to improve memory in a school-funded laboratory, Steve gains the ability to read minds, but soon gives up his newfound powers when the Winslows feel their privacy has been invaded (But not before hearing that as of late, Laura has been attracted to him. After giving up his mind reading powers, Steve suffers a brief moment of short term memory loss. Meanwhile, Carl fills in as a Head Scoutmaster to Richie, 3J and their fellow Junior Woodsmen.
200 7 Stevil II: This Time, He's Not Alone October 31, 1997 Richard Correll Jim Geoghan
The follow-up to last season's Halloween episode "Stevil", an evil ventriloquist dummy that looks just like Steve. In this episode, Carl dreams of Stevil only this time, he is accompanied by Carlsbad, an equally evil dummy that looks like Carl.
201 8 Trading Places November 7, 1997 John Tracy Fred Fox, Jr.
Stefan, wondering if Laura had developed some loving feelings for Steve, swaps identities with Steve to find out. Though they are successful, Laura confronts both Steve and Stefan for their behavior and says she doesn't know which one of them is a better choice for their behavior. Meanwhile, Eddie shoots a class-project video about Carl and what he does as an officer for the Chicago Police Department. Though the first video comes off as a failure, Eddie comes up with another video with his community kindly contributing to it.
202 9 A Pain in Harassment November 14, 1997 Joel Zwick Beverly D. Hunter & Meg DeLoatch
Harriette and her co-workers get a new boss Mr. Benner (Mark Linn-Baker, Jo Marie Payton's Perfect Strangers co-star) who uses verbal abuse to try to make his employees perform better. Soon, she confronts him and tells him unless he treats her and the other co-workers better, she quits. This causes Mr. Ferguson to take immediate action and fires Benner for his abuse. Harriette is soon rehired and has a VP/Head of Sales job. Meanwhile, Steve wins a chance to win $1 million by making a half-court shot during the halftime portion of a Los Angeles Clippers game. Steve does win the $1 million only to lose nearly all of it when he throws the ball up in celebration and inadvertently destroys the scoreboard.
203 10 Original Gangsta Dawg December 5, 1997 John Tracy Meg DeLoatch
Cornelius Eugene Urkel aka Original Gangsta Dawg (O.G.D.) (Steve's hip-hop cousin from Detroit, Michigan) has an unwelcome visit to the Winslow household while Steve is away visiting his uncle. His gangster ways and behavior enrages both Carl and Harriette. Little does O.G.D. know is that he'll need the Winslows' help on evading a titanic thug (known as Fresh Squeeze), to whom he owes $4,000. Meanwhile after getting a rude answer from O.G.D, Stefan and Steve conference call O.G.D. to let him know that his behavior is unacceptable and that Steve will be dealing with him tomorrow. Later, Carl has an encounter with Fresh Squeeze and after recognizing him, sneakily escorts the thug to jail.
204 11 Deck the Malls December 19, 1997 Gary Menteer Stephen Langford
During the Christmas season, the Winslows and Steve get jobs at the mall. Steve becomes a gift-wrapper with Myra (which frustrates him after being pressured by his customers), Carl becomes a department store Santa Claus and Laura becomes an elf (which too frustrates them because of their dorky styles). Meanwhile, Richie is disappointed finds out that his mom, Rachel, is unable to come home for the holiday. When one kid makes a wish to help his father find a job, Carl as Santa, gives him a business card to give to his father to call of himself. The next morning, the Winslows are confused that Eddie is not home on Christmas morning just to pick up a present. When Eddie arrives, the Winslows learn he drove all night to Detroit to pick up Rachel and light up Richie's spirits.

Note: This episode is the final appearances of Estelle Winslow (Rosetta LeNoire), Richie (Bryton James) and Rachel Crawford (Telma Hopkins). This is also Jo Marie Payton's final appearance as Harriette Winslow.

205 12 Grill of My Dreams January 9, 1998 Gary Menteer Michael Dawson & Ron Geiger
In an effort to decrease his clumsiness, shenanigans and to keep him away from bothering the Winslows too many times, Steve gets a job at Tanaka Gardens (a Japanese restaurant) as a master teppanyaki chef (The owner was played by Pat Morita). His training is put to the test when Laura and Maxine drop by for a visit. Meanwhile, while Commissioner Geiss is away on a second honeymoon, Carl must watch his pet parrot, Andre (voiced by Neil Ross). However, when Andre starts to repeatedly say "Geiss is an idiot," Carl must try to make the parrot stop saying that phrase before Geiss comes home. When Geiss comes home, he explains to Carl that his wife taught Andre to say that line and admits that he thinks Blanche can be a real pain in the butt. It isn't long until Andre starts trouble by repeatedly saying "Blanche is a pain in the butt." and now Geiss must stop the parrot from saying that phrase.
206 13 Breaking Up Is Hard to Do January 16, 1998 Richard Correll Gary M. Goodrich
Steve decides to end his relationship with Myra when he becomes aware that Laura is beginning to gain romantic interest on him and the fact that Myra hates his makeover and wanted him to go back to the sexy nerd she loves. He becomes surprised at dinner that she breaks up with him first. However, Steve is unaware that it was just Myra's futile attempt to try to keep the relationship going by trying to get him to renounce his love for Laura. Myra walks in to find Steve and Laura locking lips and attempts to set Steve straight for his betrayal. Steve becomes frightened and Laura engages in an argument with Myra. After Steve breaks it up, he tells her off to leave and never come back. Meanwhile, Carl attempts to set Eddie straight for his mediocre grades. Eddie stays up all night to find a way to fix his grades and he decides to dropout of school to make a clear path to becoming a cop.
207 14 Crazy for You (Part 1) January 23, 1998 Richard Correll Jim Geoghan
Myra begins her attack on Steve and Laura's relationship with the help of her "Stevie-Glasses-Cam" (placed on Steve's glasses unbeknownst to him) and enlists the help of Stefan Urquelle to try to spoil an upcoming Saturday night date. However, Stefan soon feels guilty about the whole thing and stops after realizing how insane Myra really is. Meanwhile, Carl tries to show a trigger-happy Eddie a lesson in good judgment during police training. He uses a cardboard picture of Laura as part of the training and Eddie realizes how his lack of gun control could have negative consequences if he were to accidentally shoot an innocent bystander. Part 1 of 2.

Note: This is Judy Ann Elder's first appearance as Harriette Winslow. She will be replacing Jo Marie Payton for the rest of the series.

208 15 Crazier for You (Part 2) January 30, 1998 Richard Correll Fred Fox Jr.
Steve finds out that Myra has been using his glasses to spy on him and knows that she's really "snapped her cap" when she dresses like Laura and interrupts their romantic evening. Despite getting Laura arrested for "stealing her watch", Steve is able to get the charges dropped by exposing Myra's stalking that leads to both her arrest and possible charges. Meanwhile, Harriette finds out that her engagement ring was originally intended for another woman that Carl used to date. Conclusion of a two-parter.
209 16 Whose Man Is It Anyway? Richard Correll Meg DeLoatch June 5, 1998
Myrtle is willing to fight for her man, Eddie, so she decides to challenge Greta to a boxing match at Silver's Gym (the same one that Steve fought Willie Fuffner back in Requiem for an Urkel). Meanwhile, 3J begins asking questions about his biological mother, prompting Carl and Harriette to track the woman down. When Carl finds her, she mentions that 3J shouldn't know who she is.
210 17 Polkapalooza June 12, 1998 Joel Zwick Stephen Langford & Saundra Stein-Langford
Laura has never been a fan of polka music; she finally decides she has nothing to lose and decides to accompany Steve to a polka jamboree. But instead of being bored and annoyed by the larger-than-life festival-goers, she actually has a great time and finally realizes that, after all these years, Steve may indeed be the guy she was looking for all along. While the two are dancing to some slow, more romantic tunes, she finally tells him "I love you too" after one more of his love "confessions". Meanwhile, Eddie gets a room at an apartment building and even allows Carl to come see him anytime. Little does Eddie know is that he'll regret those words when he tries to have some alone time with Greta. When Carl got the idea, he apologizes and Eddie decides to compromise in letting him come when he's not with Greta.

Note: This episode is Tammy Townsend's final appearance as Eddie's girlfriend Greta McClure.

211 18 Throw Urkel off the Train June 19, 1998 Joel Zwick Michael Dawson & Ron Geiger
Carl fumes about not accepting a promotion five years ago that would have transferred him to Washington, D.C. While boarding a train to travel to the nation's capital for a seminar, luggage boy Steve accidentally stows away. The usual antics result, but the nerd helps Carl realize that "the road not taken" was perhaps the right decision after all. Meanwhile, Laura becomes suspicious about Maxine's new boyfriend D'Andre (Kristoff St. John), especially after he asks her to deliver a package for him and Eddie helps her prove it.
212 19 Don't Make Me Over June 26, 1998 Joel Zwick Beverly D. Hunter & Meg DeLoatch
Myrtle, making her last push for Eddie, enlists Laura and Maxine to make her over head to toe. But Eddie, firmly in love with Greta, still is not impressed, so Myrtle decides to pursue someone else, which makes Eddie realize he'll somewhat miss her annoying attempts to win him, and asks her what is he supposed to do now that she's leaving for good. Meanwhile, Carl doesn't want Harriette to worry about his beautiful new masseuse, so he fibs about her appearance, claiming the masseuse is a "big, beefy sistea".

Note: This episode is the final appearance of Maxine Johnson (Cherie Johnson) and Myrtle Urkel.

213 20 Pop Goes the Question July 3, 1998 Joel Zwick David W. Duclon & Gary Menteer
Carl tells a fellow police officer about Laura's engagement. Both Steve and Stefan propose to Laura. Her past adventures with both the nerd and the one-time "man of her dreams" are replayed through flashbacks (Steve in "Marriage 101," and Stefan in "We're Going to Disney World"). Laura is conflicted between the two, and when Steve feels Stefan is better, he plans to move to Russia to be with his parents, but Laura stops Steve when she realizes she couldn't live without him, and tearfully accepts his marriage proposal, saying that she is sure that he is the one for her, a promise which the two seal with a kiss.

Note: This episode is the final appearance of Stefan Urquelle.

214 21 Lost in Space (Part 1) July 10, 1998 Joel Zwick Gary M. Goodrich & Timothy Stack
After NASA buys the patent to one of Steve's inventions, he's sent into space with a pair of astronauts to test it out. However, Steve's invention unintentionally causes a nearby satellite to crash into the space shuttle, and before long he sends himself hurtling through outer space. Meanwhile, Harriette (worried for the well-being of rookie officer Eddie) demands to have him assigned to giving out tickets for parking meter violations. Myra attempts to use the media to pose as Steve's fiancée, but is caught by Stefan who finally forces her to relinquish her love for him.
215 22 Lost in Space (Part 2) July 17, 1998 Joel Zwick Gary M. Goodrich & Timothy Stack
NASA struggles to recover its astronauts and save Steve's life. However, all ends well, and Steve returns to Earth a national hero. Meanwhile, while on meter duty, Eddie finds himself in the middle of a shootout. Eddie survives thanks to the lucky bullet-proof vest that Carl gave him. During that time, Carl and Eddie help Harriette realize that the job is dangerous and she needs to support them no matter what. Steve sees Laura at the end of the episode and says "You get more beautiful every time I see you." Laura then says she will kiss him only on one condition, Steve will have to promise to "never go into outer space again." Steve replies with "Only when we kiss, Laura Lee, only when we kiss" and they do, much to the delight of the audience, who joyfully cheer in approval.


  • The series was picked up for a final season by CBS.

External links[]