The Crash Course is the fifth episode of the second season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on October 12, 1990. It was directed by Gary Menteer and written by Manny Basanese.
An unlicensed Eddie loses control of the family car and crashes it into the front of the house. Wanting his friend to stay out of trouble, Steve takes the fall. Eddie refuses to confess — that is, until Steve announces his family has enrolled him in military school.
Eddie is hoping to start his driver's exam and finally leave the house ready to drive. He thinks it will be easy, but Carl insists on giving him one last-minute test right before the exam. This time, he will be acting not as a father, but a driving instructor. In the car, he gives Eddie a harsh lesson in driving (losing points for things as frivolous as an imaginary bread truck), and he ends up losing his confidence behind the wheel.
Later on that day, Laura wants to know how the exam went and Eddie is reluctant to say anything. She guesses that he's flunked the test and he concurs...big time. He mentions that Carl had made him nervous the whole time that when he finally got to do his driver's exam, all he kept seeing was runaway bread trucks. Soon after, his girlfriend Jolene appears and pressures him into taking her for a drive. Laura warns him not to drive because should he starts driving right now without his license, Dad will kill him. Eddie ignores the warning and drives the car out of the garage.
Soon, Laura is fending off Steve Urkel's advances and in a bid to do anything for her, she thinks for a minute. Laura tells Steve to let her know as soon as Eddie comes home. As Steve waits quietly in the living room, we hear tires screeching, which is followed by he crashing the car right through the window and the door!
Eddie and Jolene exit the car and then Laura and Urkel want to know how this accident happened. He says he freaked out behind the wheel as a bread truck was to blame. Jolene makes a mad dash out from the house as Steve tells him it was an accident and father would understand. Seconds later, Carl, Harriette and Rachel come home through the giant hole and his rage is out of control. Just when he had a chance to throttle Eddie for this accident by warning him to go to his room, lock the doors and barricade the windows so he doesn't get him. Urkel refused to let his best friend to get in trouble, jumps in and takes the rap for the incident. He explains that he is 'bad to the bone' and Carl is now furious with Steve over an accident he did not cause. He tells Urkel to just go home right away before he kills him because after that, he will be telling his parents about whole the car in the living room accident.
In the kitchen, Eddie demanded to know why Steve took the rap for him. Urkel revealed he was his friend and he didn't want to stand by as Carl tried to rip him apart, so he stood up to take the fall. Laura remind him that their father will call his parents. Steve tells her that he knows, but it's better that way.
Some time later, Laura is telling Eddie that he's done some bad things, but allowing Urkel to take the rap over something this bad is a new low for him. She demands that he confesses to Carl right away and be an adult for once, but he refuses. Eddie thinks all will be fine that he'll find some way to repay the Urkels and tells her to relax. However, Steve walks in wearing a cadet's uniform explaining that his parents, after hearing of the accident, decided to ship him off to military school. He tells them that he tried to plead with them in order for them to change their mind, but their decision was final. He admits that maybe four frightening years of military school would do him some good and allow him to workout. Urkel gives Eddie, his old basebal catcher's glove, reminding him that he wanted to play catch with him for some time. Unfortunately, he was too busy to fit it in his busy schedule (which Laura shook her head) and now he wants him to have it as a going away gift. As Steve is giving Laura some parting gifts, Eddie's conscience starts to weigh down on him and he goes to tell Carl of the mistake he's made.
Eddie finds Carl in the garage, blowing up a balloon for Richie. He fesses up to the crime and his father asks him if he's aware he's done (driving without a valid license, causing thousands of dollars in collateral damage and letting someone else take the rap for him). Eddie admitted he was afraid and embarrassed to tell Jolene that he had flunked the driver's test. He didn't want to lose her respect for him and instead he caused even more trouble than he should have by losing his father's respect. Carl says that he hasn't lost his respect because messing up is a part of growing up and thinks he may be partly responsible due to the last minute test. He wanted to help, but he'd shaken his son up instead. After his apology, Carl still imposes a punishment on Eddie for the accident. He grounds his son for at least a month. In addition to his punishment, he'll wait two months before he can retake the test again, and he'll do odd jobs around the house to pay for the damage to the the living room. Plus, Eddie will also have to go to the Urkel house and explain to Steve's parents about what really happened.
Eddie tells Steve that he had confessed and he is happy with his friend. Urkel admits to him that he would not be looking forward to military school. They then start to play catch in the house and he accidently breaks a lamp. Carl starts to lose his cool, but Eddie takes the blame. Steve is again pleased that he was willing to go to that length, and he tells him that a real friend is willing to aid another in need.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (credited as Jo Marie Payton-France)
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow
- Bryton James as Richie Crawford (credited as Bryton McClure)
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- Brigid Coulter as Jolene Santiago
- Eddie's full name is given as Edward James-Arthur Winslow.
- This episode marks the first time Eddie has caused damages to the Winslow home. This will be repeated in Brain Over Brawn and Aunt Oona (episode)
- Eddie drives the car into the house. This is impossible as the exterior shot shows that there are stairs leading up to the front door.
- Urkel: Is there anything I can do for you while I'm down here waiting?
- Laura: Let me know when Eddie gets back.
- (Eddie comes crashing through the living room in the car)
- Urkel: (shocked) He's baaaaack!
- Carl: AAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Wha? Wha? Wha? Wha? Who? Wha? Wha? Wha? Who?
- Harriette: Carl! Carl, calm down!
- Carl: Harriette, there is a car in the living room!
- Harriette: Yes, I know that.
- Carl: Harriette, there is a car in the living room!
- Harriette: Carl, don't overreact.
- Carl: Overreact? Harriette, THERE IS A CAR IN THE LIVING ROOM!
- Rachel: (to Harriette) Well at least we know where it is.
- Carl: EDWARD!
- Eddie: Yes, dad.
- Carl: Edward, go to your room. Lock the doors and windows.
- Harriette: Oh Carl, he's not gonna get out.
- Carl: That's so I can't get IN!