Steven Quincy "Steve" Urkel (born January 7, 1976), often referred to simply by his surname, Urkel, is a fictional character in Family Matters. He is portrayed by Jaleel White. In Season 1 he was a supporting character and made his first appearance as a background character in Rachel's First Date and had his first major role in Laura's First Date, however as of Season 2 he was officially considered a main character for the rest of the series. Originally slated to have only one appearance on the show, he soon became the series' most popular character.
Steve is the epitome of a nerd, with large, thick eyeglasses, "high-water" or "flood" pants held up by suspenders, multi-colored cardigan sweaters, a high-pitched voice and also the most irksome neighbor of the Winslows.
He professed unrequited love for his neighbor Laura Winslow, perpetually annoyed her father, Carl, and tried to befriend her brother Eddie (whom Steve calls "Eddo"). Amongst the rest of the family, Harriette, Rachel, Richie and "mother" Estelle Winslow were more accepting and caring of Urkel. Estelle always was delighted whenever he comes to visit. Throughout the series' run, Steve was central to many of its recurring gags, primarily gratuitous property damage and/or personal injury as a result of his inventions going awry or his outright clumsiness. He became known for several catchphrases uttered after some humorous misfortune occurred, including "I've fallen and I can't get up!" after he accidentally got drunk in Life of the Party and fell off the edge of a building (inspired by a Life Call commercial where an old woman says the same thing), "Did I do that?" (previously used by the character Curly in the Three Stooges short Punch Drunks), "Whoa Mama!" and "Look what you did" (if rarely someone else caused the damage, this catchphrase was used mostly exclusively in the last few seasons). As a boy, Steve was incredibly smart but annoyed everyone around him. Steve never really stayed at his own house because his own parents showed nothing but contempt for him. Which was in fact, just a few steps away from the Winslow's house. He enjoys bothering his neighbors too many times as well annoying Carl, Eddie and Laura on three separate occasions. Though at first, he went over there just to see his crush Laura but after making friendly relationships with everyone else, he decided to see the other members of the family. If Laura breaks Steve's heart, he says something to make her regret saying whatever insulted him. Once, Steve told Carl Winslow, the father, that he actually wanted him to be his father, because his own father was greatly disappointed with him for not wanting to be a surgeon. Steve has asked Carl to do a lot of things for him. Naming a few: how to swim, how to drive, how to ride a bicycle. Even though Carl bellows at Steve a lot, he cares for him. When Steve is not around the Winslows House, like Visiting his parents She's Back or paying for the damaged he caused Tips for a Better Life, allowed him to giving his neighbors a few weeks of Urkel will leave Carl, Eddie and Laura. Steve Urkel has been known to make crazy contraptions that usually never work but one did help him a lot: the transformation chamber. He could turn into Elvis, Einstein, or Bruce Lee. Or his other half: Stefan Urquelle. Turning into Bruce Lee helped him escape thugs and bullies. Turning into Elvis made him give up his chances into being able to go to MIT College. Turning into Einstein made him even smarter than he usually was. Finally, turning into Stefan got him chances with girls because Stefan was cool, slick and popular. This unknowingly made his parents love him only because Stefan was everything they had always wanted. Although they were nerds themselves, they were shallow people who preferred his company over Steve. Steve even made a cloning machine. When he showed it to Carl, Carl got excited and told him that he wanted Steve to clone his paycheck but Steve had already cloned himself and the clone destroyed the machine to prevent anybody crazy enough to clone a whole army and rule the world but, the Steve clone was bothering everyone, including his parents (who had moved to Russia). So, Laura told Steve to put the Steve clone into the transformation chamber and make him turn into Stefan Urquelle. In the fourth season, Steve went on a double date with Laura and her Boyfriend Ted and his cousin Myra. She was madly in love with him. So, a few weeks later. Laura brought Myra over to see Steve. He found out that she loved polka as much as he did. So, they shared a kiss. Myra loved Steve very much for about four years. Beginning in season 9, they grow apart immediately and eventually break up. The reason for the break up was not only because Laura started to like Steve but also that Myra was against his makeover and wanted him to stay as the sexy nerd she loved. She pretended to break up with him as a ploy to get him to stay with her and when it failed, she not only sued him for alienation of affections but also resorted to stalking and spying on him (although Laura was dating Stefan Urquelle). in Tips for a Better Life Urkel takes second job at Cafe Java Coffee House after he accidentally destroyed Carl and Harriette's master bedroom floor with his latest invention and in order for him to pay off Carl. A few months (weeks in episodes) later, Steve proposed to Laura and she had to make a tough decision but strangely enough, she chose Steve.
Stefan seemingly accepted it and moved on with his life, though in the Season 10 episode Death of a Stefan it is revealed that Stefan and Steve are two halves of one being and his cool and suave nature blends back into Steve's personality, deepening his voice and making him far more mature and self-assured than before and dressing better. He later in the season becomes the father of Stephanie Laurine Urkel, born in 1999.
If the show continued in its final season, he also would have gotten a high-paying job at an Internet start-up company where the boss reveals that the company would never have gone public without the hiring of minority employees. This disgusted him because it was racist and went to Carl for help. Steve's boss agreed to treat his employees equally and use their knowledge to make the company better after being threatened with arrest. He also, before Stefan's death, would have had a nightmare of becoming the father of unruly children when Laura would mention the idea of starting a family and babysit Looney's kids in another episode. Steve would finally be able to reconcile with his parents with Carl and Harriette's help when he learns that they were in his shoes at one point and encouraged him to treat his child with love and care.
Steven Quincy Urkel was born July 25, 1976 to Herb Urkel, a prominent neurosurgeon and his wife Diane Roberta Urkel.
Steven Quincy "Steve" Urkel was introduced as The Winslow's pesky, annoying next door neighbor. It was revealed that he likes coming over to their house more than his own because he sees Carl and Harriette as the loving parents that he should've had. Steve's own parents, Dr. Herb and Diane Roberta Urkel have nothing but the utmost contempt for him and do their part to avoid him at all times. In the Season 5 episode Dr. Urkel and Mr. Cool, while he was Stefan Urquelle, they showered him with love and introduced him to the rest of his relatives. It was also revealed that, although nerds themselves, Dr. and Mrs. Urkel are very shallow people and prefer Stefan's company over Steve's any day. The viewers also see that out of Steve's relatives, only four of them really care for him, such as his uncle Ernie who owns a horse trailer, revealed in both The Big Fix and Requiem for an Urkel. He maintains a good relationship with Aunt Oona (Donna Summer) from "Altoona" and she, aside from Estelle Winslow, is the closest thing he has to a mother figure. He's very close to his 'Sothern Belle' cousin, Myrtle Mae Urkel and she treats him like her brother. It has also been implied that one of his uncles, Cecil, also cares for Steve. It was revealed in Season 8's Nightmare at Urkel Oaks, that another one of Steve's uncles, Big Daddy Urkel, is a peanut farming mogul who did not think Eddie was a good choice for his daughter except when bribed with cash. It was mentioned in Season 2 that Big Daddy and the other relatives (excluding Oona, Cecil, Ernie and Myrtle) pay Steve a lot of money not to visit them. However, they tolerated him after he became more serious and less clumsy. Steve has a gangster cousin from Detroit named Cornelius Eugene Urkel (also played by White) who went by the moniker "Original Gangsta Dawg". He tries to avoid him at all costs because every time he visits, he wants money from him. Steve also has another cousin named Julie (who is a friend of Donna Jo "D.J." Tanner, who lives in San Francisco (which set up a crossover with Full House, titled "Stephanie Gets Framed" ). It was revealed in the episode Busted that the Urkels are very good at gambling and have some sort of a 'sixth sense', which allows them to easily win at casinos. Eddie drove without any real license to impress his girlfriend Jolene. This left him with $800 damage to Carl's beloved car and had to secretly fix it before he found out. He and Steve headed down to Mom's Bakery which secretly hosted an illegal casino. Raking in a win over $32,000 and on their way out, both boys along with the other gamblers are arrested by the police during a raid. Carl eventually paid their bail and found out about the damage to his car anyway and told his father, Dr. Herb Urkel, about what he and Eddie had done that night.
Though a nerd, Steve has often become suspicious of not-so- innocent natures. This was prominent with Laura when she dates guys who love to bully Steve but they would end up being warded off by him when he learns about their attempts to have sex with her. In Stormy Weather, her date, Jimmy, has shown to be not only annoyed but also possessive and jealous of Steve whom he sees as a potential rival for Laura's love. This lead to Laura quickly ditching him on the dance floor and leaving her friendship with Steve intact.
Despite being poorly conscious of his social outcast status, Urkel has shown excellent demonstrations of good judgment with the law and acute suspicions of law-breaking, mostly prominent in episodes involving Eddie and peer pressure. Though he was someone with no grudges, Steve has a known dislike for Clarence in Jailhouse Blues. When they first met, he saw Clarence for who he is: a loser who is going nowhere with his life with the way he's behaving. Urkel warned Eddie not go in the car because he suspected that Clarence had stolen it from the owner, only for him give in to temptation to be with the girls and ignore Steve. Clarence quickly took advantage by taking Urkel hostage so he can't tell Carl and the others the truth. Though Eddie tried to get him to think positive, Steve's warning against going on the joyride in the Porsche was best heeded and the police quickly put an end to it. It's implied that at the station, Urkel had told the authorities about him being an unwilling participant in Clarence's scheme because he took him against his will. In season 4's Hot Stuff, Steve became suspicious about a stereo system that Eddie bought from Weasel's friend for a good discount and a quick look proved his suspicions when he reveals the serial numbers were scraped off. He reveals to Eddie that he was ripped off by Weasel's friend and the system was stolen.
In season 5's Money Out the Window, Urkel refused to go along in a scheme with Eddie when it came to Weasel's betting system. Since he has learned his lesson from last time in Busted, Steve tried in vain to warn Eddie of the consequences again, only to watch his friend lose himself in debt. When he was in trouble with a bookie named Bones, Urkel suggested he went to Carl for help. Eddie refused and sold Carl's prized stamp in order to pay him off in a timely manner, which he later regretted and wished he was simply beaten up Bones. Steve told Carl the truth about Eddie gambling again and quickly buys back his stamp to back up his claims from the Stamp Emporium. This leads him giving Eddie a stern lecture and finally making him promise not to gamble again. And in Season 7's Scammed, when a con artist who owns the bar promised Eddie and Waldo a chance to meet the Chicago Bulls. While both were excited, Steve as usual refused to budge and is quite skeptical of him. He warns his friends not to go in the bar(despite the fact that Eddie was over 21 but Urkel and Waldo were both underage) because he suspects the owner being a con-artist and suggested they go home. Eddie would eventually see that Steve was right the whole time when the owner leaves him with an expensive bill and had to go to Carl for help. Steve has also shown to have a reluctance to date Myra, despite appreciating the fact she accepts him as a person. This would come into play in both Seasons 5 and 9 when he sees how possessive and jealous she is of his friendship with Laura. This more often than not got Myra in disputes with her and that disgusted Urkel to the point where he had to hide out with Estelle in order to avoid her.
However, because Laura wasn't interested in Steve at the time, she was willing to accept a truce and he dated her in season 6 through the first half of 9. By Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Steve finally realizes that Myra hated his makeover and wanted him to return to his quintessential nerdy self who she loved (with suspenders and hitched up pants). When he refused, she broke up with him first, though it turned out to be a ploy to try to get him to dump Laura and stay with her. When Steve refused to do so, Myra began her attack by not only suing him for alienation of affection but also stalking and spying on him. She would eventually leave him alone or would have if the show went on for another season.
Steve is commonly known and respected by other characters for his kindness to others, his never-ending love and loyalty for those he holds dear and alongside with Harriette, his position as a voice of reason and source of wisdom for the often bickering members of the Winslow family, all of which are the redeeming qualities for his generally unwelcome or tolerated presence. He always cares for and means well for other people but is often the misunderstood victim of the Winslows' anger and rejection, especially of Carl, Eddie and Laura, who all struggle to see through his clumsiness and annoying behavior and to understand and appreciate him for his positive traits. This was shown in season 6's What's Up Doc, when Harriette finally calls out her family and reminds them that while Steve was annoying, he has also helped them out in times of crisis. Although he is often portrayed positively for being a kind and virtuous person among other characters who must learn from their mistakes, Steve is not a flawless character. While he is indeed kind and seemingly means well for others, Steve tends to be needy, overbearing and often demonstrates very poor empathy, understanding and consideration of other people's feelings, especially when they feel negatively towards him (whether those feelings are justifiable or not). He shows little regard or respect for Laura's choice to not reciprocate Steve's affections. One example of Steve's lack of consideration for others is when he accidentally caused Carl and Eddie to fall off of their roof, only to demand an apology from Carl for unintentionally landing on top of Steve and even going so far as to fight back when Carl subsequently banished him from the Winslow house. He would eventually see what life is like as the Winslows in season 5 when he found himself in the same position with Myra stalking him and trying to visit him when she's not wanted. This plus being annoyed with Carl (as Carl Urkel) made him show more consideration other people's privacies, which he does try to respect in the later seasons. He is as well a humanitarian who only wants to his intellectual potential to make inventions that serve the greater good. It is for this reason that he dislikes people who use his inventions for evil purposes.
Nonetheless, Steve is kind, bears no hatred for anyone and is extremely loyal to the Winslow family, whom he is always ready to be there for. He would always be ready to forgive the Winslows when they take advantage of him, behave coldly towards him, harshly reject him and then learn that they hurt his feelings. Steve loves the Winslows like they were his real family and whether through kindness, persistence or force, he works tirelessly to become as much a part of their lives as a genuine family member. However by season 10, Steve has reconciled with his parents when he hears their story or would have if the show had gone on to it's final season. In the death of Stefan part 2 after Steve realizes that his cloning machine does not make "permanent" clone like he intended. After that, Stefan's personality and appearance reintegrate itself back into Steve, giving him a more mature appearance and deeper voice and dressing better and walking better.
Steve was shown to have an obsessive crush on Laura, however, this was unrequited until all the way in Season 9. Despite that, she has shown appreciation for the kind things he's done for her family. Laura has also dated guys who would bully Steve (and have one consider him competition in Stormy Weather), but it would end with him warding them off. He suspects their hidden motives were to take advantage of her and refuses to let that happen (though it'd take Laura until the end of the episode to learn their motives). At the same time, he does respect Laura's personal space, unlike his cousin Myrtle who straight-up kept stalking Eddie, much to his extreme terror (until Don't Make Me Over).
Steve's friendship with Eddie started off as a bit one sided--Eddie would see him as nothing more than a nerd, while Urkel thought of him as one of his closest friends. Eventually, this grew into a long-lasting friendship. Eddie would have been Steve's brother-in-law if the show had gone on for one last season.
Myra was introduced as both Ted Curran's cousin and a potential girlfriend for Steve just so Laura can have some breathing space. He was initially attracted to her because she was sweet and intelligent and didn't care of what others thought of both her and Steve. Urkel was soon repelled, however, by her jealous and possessive nature when she came to the conclusion that Laura was serious competition for his love. This was explored in both seasons 5 and 9 when he saw what life was like in Laura's shoes when she pursued him relentlessly. He and Myra dated during seasons 6-8. In season 9, they grew apart when Steve learned that she hated his makeover and demanded that he goes back to the sexy nerd she loved. He refused and Myra broke up with him first, though it later was learned that she only pretended to do so in order to get Urkel to renounce his love for Laura and stay with her. When Steve refused, she resorted to not only suing him, bur also stalking and spying with illegal subservience gear in her bedroom. She teamed up with Stefan and both set out to win their true loves back. Though initially successful, Laura still wanted to date him and Myra vowed never to rest until Steve is hers once and for all. Urkel soon learned that she was spying on him with a mini hidden surveillance camera in his glasses and demanded she renounce her love for him immediately because he loves Laura. Myra refused and got her arrested for stealing her watch. However, Urkel was able to drop the charges and expose her for spying on him with illegal spy gear. The police took everything from Myra's room and pursued criminal charges. In the ending credits of the episode when she had Laura arrested for stealing her watch, Laura was arrested again for assaulting her. When she learned of his and Laura's engagement, Myra continued to hold the torch even though he didn't love her. It's unknown what happened to her after that. If the show had continued on to it's final season, it was revealed that Stefan stopped Myra from ruining Laura and Steve's wedding. She finally relinquishes her love when meeting Steve's cousin, Cornelius.
A one time only character whom got along with Steve right away. Laura was instantly jealous of the two when they started dating. However, they broke up when Steve not only introduced her to the president of the chess club, but also admitting that he still loves Laura.
Vonda was a girl that Eddie dated in season 3. She had crush on Steve in The Love God, after he tutors her in a class she was failing in. Worried that she may sell herself just to have guys date her, he teaches Vonda the dangers of making herself easy and accept herself for who she is. Though she felt better about it, Eddie wanted to beat up Steve for interfering.
One of Laura's best friends whom had little to no patience for Urkel in Season 1. She has shown concern for him once in the episode In a Jam.
Unlike most of Laura's friends, Maxine's feelings for Steve were much kinder due to their similar situations with neglectful parents.
Another one of Urkel's friends, whom may be dimwitted at time, but Waldo has a key sense of morality and is an excellent chef. He originally started of as a sidekick to resident bully, Willie Fuffner, but grew up later on.
Urkel's relationship with Rodney is a bad one. Rodney had no patience with his antics, while Urkel sees him as a slacker.
Eddie's girlfriend who's feelings for Urkel is like Maxine's own, except she was dealing with a controlling father. She was the one who helped Steve point out Eddie and Laura's pranks as nothing more than immature and childish.
- Despite Steve's birthday being on July 25, in his cameo on the Full House episode Stephanie Gets Framed, he states that he was "born on a cold Chicago night.". While not confirmed, the weather potentially could've been due to a colder summer that year.
- His destructive clumsiness is widely known to the point that malls have to clear out shops to prevent him from causing property damages whenever he comes to the places.
- In Who's Afraid of the Big Black Book?, it's revealed that Urkel had been hurt by the neglect he's endured by his parents for years. If Season 10 happened, he would have finally confronted his parents about it.
- On the animated series titled "Scooby Doo and Guess Who?", Steve makes an appearance in the show (specifically in the episode titled "When Urkel-Bots Go Bad!"), with Jaleel White reprising his role once again as a voice actor.
- In "Sink or Swim", it is revealed that like Sonic the Hedgehog, Steve has a fear of water as he can't swim very well. Jaleel White also voiced Sonic the Hedgehog in some of his oldest cartoons, who has a totally different personality (more closely mirroring Stefan Urquelle) but apparently Steve and Sonic have many things in common.
- Steve also runs into the Winslow home on several occasions at super speed, often barging through the front door or crashing through windows.
- Sonic's favorite food is chili dogs, and Steve worked at Mighty Weenie, a hot dog restaurant, for some years. Their names also begin with the letter S too.
- Like the early version of Stefan, Sonic the Hedgehog can also be very vain, staring at himself in mirrors, complimenting himself, and smoothing his quills back like hair. However, while his vanity can irritate some (such as Tails and Blaze), he's also a good-natured person with a big heart and a strong sense of justice.
- He claims that his IQ is exactly 196.
- At the height of his popularity, Urkel's name was branded to several products including a short-lived fruit flavored cereal known as "Urkel-Os" and a Steve Urkel pull string doll, which were both released in 1991. There was also a T-shirt line that was created in 2002, but was discontinued shortly after its inception.
- Steve is also famous for his novelty dance called "The Urkel Dance", introduced in Life of the Party.
- Main article: Steve Urkel (Gallery)
- Urkel: "Did I do that?
- Urkel: "I've fallen...and I can't get up!"
- Urkel: "Look what you did..."
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm pouring!"
- Urkel: "Whoa Mama!"
- Urkel: "Got any cheeeese?"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm cutting!"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm chewing!"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm rolling!"
- Urkel: "Shh, Not while I'm stirring!"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm sawing!"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm dusting!"
- Urkel: "Shh! Not while I'm paddling!"
- Urkel: "I don't have to take this. I'm going home!"
- Urkel: "I don't have to take this. I'm getting off this roof!"