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Surely You Joust is the first episode of the fourth season of Family Matters, which aired on ABC on September 18, 1992. It was directed by John Tracy and written both by Fred Fox Jr. and Jim Geoghan.


Carl and Urkel get into a feud, and decide the only way to settle their grievances is to compete on American Gladiators, thanks to Waldo's cousin, the American Gladiator model Sabre.


The text below is in severe need of a rewrite

At Rachel's Place as Laura tells Steve that he's late for work but the nerd, wearing a helmet, elbow and knee pads, explains that he was busy adding the final touches to another one of his crazy inventions: a motorized skateboard which he rides through the restaurant before it goes haywire and crashes into a table, knocking food & milkshakes onto two guys who were sitting at that table as Steve looks at the damage he caused and goes "Did I do that?".

Meanwhile, Carl and Eddie are on the rooftop of the Winslow household, trying to install a satellite dish in time for the "World Bikini Contest", according to Carl. Carl is about to connect some wires for the satellite dish as Eddie cautions for him to be careful. The Winslow patriarch tells his son to relax and that he is no neophyte when it comes to electronics and that the wires are not plugged in until Steve plugs in the cord into the wall in the living room and believes the Winslows have gotten a new bug zapper, exclaiming they've "must've zapped a big juicy one" before he exits, not knowing that he caused Carl & Eddie to nearly be electrocuted.

Later that day, Waldo comes over while the Winslow women are assorting finished laundry and Rachel asks how was the satellite dish coming along, to which he replies that Carl's almost finished and wanted him to shout through the fireplace on how the picture looks. Harriette turns it on with the remote control, flipping through the channels to see how the picture quality is. Waldo, still not understanding, hollers up to Carl that "the channels keep changing" before he notices that the "American Gladiators" game show shown on the television. Waldo then points out the male Gladiator model named Sabre (Lynn "Red" Williams), seen on the television, is his cousin to which the Winslow women are surprised by.

Back on the Winslow household rooftop, Carl & Eddie are just about finished installing the satellite dish but they're also annoyed as Steve has joined them up on the roof as well and Eddie warns the nerd not to mess things up. As he takes a look around, Steve notices something: Carl has used wooden screws instead of masonry screws for the satellite dish and insists that "wood screws are good enough". Steve tries to explain what may possibly happen to the satellite dish if it is not installed properly but Carl refuses to listen to what the nerd has to say and demands that he'd get off the roof. Steve loses his balance and starts to slide off the roof and takes Eddie and Carl down with him as he grabs onto to Eddie's jeans, partially pulling them down revealing his underwear, and Carl hanging onto the satellite dish and all are terrified and fearful for their lives. The satellite dish snaps as the men go tumbling off the roof with Carl still holding onto the satellite dish as they hit the ground & the leafy grass. Carl and Eddie are then seen lying on top of Steve with his clothes disheveled, foot prints on his shirt and his glasses knocked off his face.

Next, after hearing the commotion from the inside, the women & Waldo help the injured Carl & Eddie into the house after Steve's clumsiness caused them to fall off the roof as Estelle asks Carl is he's sure he's all right to which he replies that he's fine and fortunately that he and Eddie landed on Steve. As Rachel and Harriette sit Carl down in a chair, Steve comes storming through the door, as they all left him lying on the ground outside, and demands an apology from the Winslow patriarch, who responds by trying to lunge at the nerd as the women try to hold him back. Steve insists that he only came over to lend a helping hand and that Carl was rude, impatient & not a nice host but then Carl points out that Steve ruined their satellite dish and nearly killed him and Eddie by causing them to fall off the roof, then demands that he go home. As Carl and Steve argue, Waldo suggests that they let out their grievances by competing on the "American Gladiators" game show.

Carl and Steve are ready to compete on the "Gladiators" program as they are greeted the show's hosts, Mike Adamle & Larry Csonka, and discuss the grudge match. Carl, using the nickname "Bonecrusher", replies that if he wins the tournament, Steven, using the nickname "Hurricane", must stay away from them.

The two men sneer at one another as the competition is about to begin as the Winslow family are seen amongst the roaring audience, ready to cheer on the players. The first event is the "Joust" and Steve is up first as he faces off against the male Gladiator model named Turbo (Galen Tomlinson). The referee (Larry Thompson) blows his whistle and the jousting gets underway as Steve struggles with the gigantic pugio stick before finally managing to lunge it towards Turbo, who laughs at his weak hit then takes jabs at Steve as he manages to avoid Turbo's hits until the bulky Gladiator model swings backwards, knocking Steve off the pedestal.

Next, it's Carl's turn to take on Turbo and is much stronger than Steve at handing the gigantic pugil stick, even taking a couple hard hits from the bulky Gladiator model before Carl manages to get in a good enough whack that sends him to the padded mat underneath and the Winslow patriarch takes an early lead with 10 points. Turbo is on the mats, bewildered in how he lost to Carl just as Harriette comes rushing towards the stage with purse in hand as she shouts "You hit my husband and you'll have to answer to me !", whacking him with her purse as he goes down again to Carl applauds in approval as host Larry Csonka quips "Better not mess with MRS. Bonecrusher". Next up in the grudge match is the "Wall" and the referee gives the countdown and blows his whistle as Steve & Carl get the head start of climbing up the huge wall with the audience cheering them on. Then the referee blows his whistle a second, to which the two Gladiator models head towards the wall, with Turbo chasing after Carl while Waldo's cousin, Sabre, goes after Steve. This time around, it is Carl who'S having difficulty with this leg of the competition due to his weight as Turbo manages to pull him off the wall and he's out.

Steve, on the other hand, does not have as much trouble scaling the giant wall but Sabre manages to catch him and grabs hold of his ankle, causing the nerd to shriek before he tricks the Gladiator model into believing Arnold Schwarzenegger was there, Sabre turns around asking where as Steve kicks him off, clearing him a clear path to victory as the nerd climbs to the top of the wall, getting himself that important 10 points and he does a victory dance with the female Gladiator model who was waiting up at the top of the wall as Estelle jumps up and does the same victory dance from her seat in the audience.

Finally, it is the end of the competition as Carl and Steve are tied with ten points apiece and they now have to face-off against the "Eliminator" round and whoever completes the course first will be declared the overall winner. The entire "Eliminator" course causes problems for both Carl & Steve; Steve manages to slightly forge ahead on the backwards treadmill due to his agility but Carl on the other hand, is having massive trouble as host Larry Csonka quips that the treadmill isn't exactly the escalator at the mall. But the Winslow patriarch manages to catch up to Steve, who loses his balance on the spinning logs, eventually slipping off and has a 5-second penalty. Carl starts to make his way up to the cargo net but then his legs slips through one of the nets allowing Steve to catching up to him but they both scream as they fly down the zip line and then it's the last stretch of the course, making their way through the gauntlet as Steve gets hung up by one of the pillars while Carl is knocked to the floor by one. At the end, they cross the finish line at the same time and end in a tie.

Host Mike Adamle then reveals that as a result of their tie, they must repeat the entire course to determine a winner of the match to which Carl and Steve both object to. Carl then asks Mike to excuse himself so he and Steve can talk. After the "Gladiators" host steps away, Carl tells Steve he won. He declares Carl the winner and says that he will never come back to his house again but the Winslow patriarch admits that he doesn't want that. Steve goes on to say that he sorry for annoying Carl so much and doesn't blame him for being angry for nearly being electrocuted and almost being killed by falling off the roof. But then Steve confesses to Carl that he was hurt over the possibility of being forever banished from the Winslow home, citing that it's a pain too horrible to bear. Steve adds that he's aware he can be a pest but he tells Carl that he loves him, and while Carl cannot bring himself to say that he loves Steve back, he does however tell him that he admires his persistence. Steve replies that it's good enough for him and they hug as the Winslow family look on.




  • Mike Adamle as Himself
  • Larry Csonka as Himself
  • Lynn "Red" Williams as Sabre (as Lynn Williams)
  • Galen Tomlinson as Turbo
  • Larry Thompson as The Referee


  • "American Gladiators" hosts Mike Adamle and Larry Csonka appear as themselves in this episode. In addition to their appearances, as well as the appearances of male Gladiator models Turbo (Galen Tomlinson), Sabre (Lynn "Red" Williams) & the show's referee Larry Thompson, two of the show's female Gladiator models (Salina Bartunek as Elektra & Shelley Beattie as Siren) also appear although they are not mentioned by name & do nothing but cheer on Carl and Steve while they compete.
  • To accomplish the American Gladiator competition, the scene was scheduled to shoot directly after American Gladiators finished shooting one of their episodes. The live crowd were real-life spectators for the show, and were informed to avoid any eye contact with the cameras.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Rachel's Place, which is never mentioned again afterwards.
  • Although Urkel's info sheet card on "American Gladiators" lists him at 5'5", Jaleel White was 5'10" in this episode.
  • Shawn Harrison is promoted to the main cast as of this episode.


Urkel: [to Estelle] I only fell 20 feet and had all the male members of your family land on me. [to Carl] Carl, I'd appreciate an apology.
Carl: What? You want me to apologize to you?
Urkel: I came over to lend a helping hand. But you were rude, impatient, and not a nice host.
Carl: You ruined our satellite dish and you almost killed me and my son.
Urkel: And you think that justifies coarse behavior?
Carl: Steve, go home.
Urkel: Now, Carl...
Carl: Go home. Go home! Go home! Go home!
Urkel: I don't have to take this. I'm going home.
Carl: And don't you ever come back!
Urkel: What did you say?
Carl: Oh, you heard me. Don't ever come back.
Urkel: I will not be bullied. I love this lady. And I'll come over here any time I want to, and you can't stop me.
Carl: I'm gonna kill him.

Waldo: Stop this. Now, this is no way to behave. You two are friends. Buddies. Neighbors. We live in a civilized society, and by golly we should handle our differences in a civilized way. Fortunately, I have a cousin that can make that happen.

[Urkel's info sheet]
Infobox: Name: Steve Urkel. Age 16. Height: 5'5. Weight: 97 lbs. Hometown: Chicago, IL. Occupation: Nerd
[Carl's Info Sheet.]
Infobox: Name: Carl Winslow. Age: 45. Height: 5'9. Weight: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Hometown: Chicago, IL. Occupation: Police Officer.

Urkel: You win. I'll never come over to your house again.
Carl: No, I don't want that.
Urkel: Listen, Carl, I don't blame you for being upset about that electrocution thing. I mean, the sudden catastrophic loss of seven or eight million brain cells would make anyone blow a fuse.
Carl: Well, it probably smarted a little when I landed on top of you.
Urkel: A little? It was like being body slammed by a Steinway. But what hurt me even more, Big Guy... was the thought of being banished from your home. That's a pain too horrible to bear.
Carl: Really?
Urkel: I know I'm a pest, Carl. But I love you, Big Guy.
Carl: And I... And I... admire your persistence.
Urkel: That's good enough for me.

  v - e - dFamily Matters Season 4
Surely You JoustDance to the MusicDriving Carl CrazyRumor Has It...Number One With a BulletWhose Kid Is It Anyway?An Officer and a WaldoJust One DateThe Oddest CoupleIt's Beginning to Look a Lot Like UrkelMuskrat LoveHot WheelsThe Way the Ball BouncesA Thought in the DarkTender KissesHeart StringsIt's a Mad, Mad, Mad HouseHigher AnxietyMama's WeddingPulling TeethWalk on the Wild SideHot StuffStormy WeatherBuds 'n' Buns