The Party is the sixteenth episode of the first season from the television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on February 2, 1990. It was directed by Richard Correll and written by Ken Kuta.
Carl tells Eddie "No Friends Allowed" while the adults are out. However, after dinner is ruined, Rodney comes over and brings pizza. Eventually, he invites some friends, which piled up into a huge party. Meanwhile, Carl cannot figure out directions to Darryl's house for his 40th birthday party.
Carl tells a bunch of jokes he's planning for his eldest brother, Darryl, at his 40th birthday party. Harriette and Mother Winslow doesn't find them funny at all. They both point out the flatness of Carl's own jokes on his cue card. Estelle reminds him of the time he did that at Darryl's wedding rehearsal. Carl reminds her that Darryl made a couple of jokes about him once during his and Harriette's wedding. Mother Winslow mentioned that unlike his own jokes, at least Darryl's was funny. Carl goes into the kitchen to find Eddie cooking meatloaf for himself, Laura and Judy for dinner. He is unsure of leaving their son in charge of the house and his sisters while the adults go on an overnight trip to his brother(and the children's uncle), Darryl's house to celebrate his 40th birthday party. After some convincing from Harriette, Carl reluctantly leaves Eddie in charge of the household while they're gone. There's one major rule that he must follow while they're gone: "No Friends Allowed in the house!" and that includes Rodney. Still unsure that he can trust Eddie to follow the rules, Carl also mentions that Laura is to help him enforce the rules while they're gone. Rachel hauls an overnight bag that has Richie's belongings to the babysitter's house. When Carl goes over to carry it, the suitcase is heavy with all of her son's things. Harriette points out to Rachel that it's too much stuff she's packed for Richie and they're going to be out of town for one night. She mentions her sister could've packed lightly by just putting the necessities that Richie needs like diapers, baby shampoos and conditioners, clothes, bottles and a few toys. Harriette also mentions that she shouldn't pack for him that could last him a couple of months. Rachel is insistent that she had to pack extra just in case of emergencies at the babysitter's home because this is the first night she'll be without Richie. Before leaving, Carl reminds Eddie once again the rules forbidding friends from coming over to the house while they're gone. He also reminds Laura to help him out in following the rules.
After Carl, Harriette, Mother Winslow and Rachel leaves, Eddie obeys at first. However, soon dinner is ruined due to him not checking on the meatloaf and it got burned. Rodney comes over to deliver pizza and saves them from eating burned meatloaf. After this, he mentions that whomever he brings pizza to the house will host a party there due to a deal he has with the kids at the pizzeria. Eddie refuses and tells Rodney that he's the only that's leaving because he promised Carl and Harriette to uphold the "No Friends Allowed" rule while they're gone. Then two pretty girls show up, causing him to lose focus. Then things quickly spiral into a huge house party that Eddie quickly loses control over. Rival football players even play football with Urkel(who just came over to see Laura) and damages an antique gravy boat that has been in Harriette's family for years. Eddie and Laura tries to stop the kids from making damages to the house. However, none of the teens and including Penny(Laura's friend) are taking the two seriously due to them being the same age. Judy takes advantage by taking pictures as evidence to show Carl and the other adults when they get home.
Meanwhile, Carl cannot figure out directions to his brother, Darryl's 40th birthday party and his car breaks down. He gets a citation by a sheriff for going the wrong way. This quickly embarrasses the women knowing he was being ignorant and should've asked for directions. However, the sheriff is willing to let him off with a warning and help get his car fixed if he never goes on the Interstate 130 again during the closing months.
Only when Carl, Harriette, Estelle and Rachel(whose carrying Richie in her arms) arrive home early to bust Eddie, everything calms down. The kids realize they're busted by the parents and are worried they will be in trouble. The moment they hear glass breaking in the kitchen, Mother Winslow and Harriette immediately heads over there and ordering a few kids out of the way. Carl proves to be more effective in chasing the rambunctious kids out including Rodney, Penny and the football players by telling them the party's over. He demands that everyone leaves the Winslow home at once or he will call their parents on them. Everyone complies to his demands due to his status as an adult and file out of the house. As they were leaving, Eddie attempts to sneak out of the house with Rodney hoping he wouldn't be busted. However, Carl busts him by grabbing his shirt and demands he stays inside.
While cleaning up, Carl finds half of a broken gravy boat in the backyard. He demanded to know why some of the kids had been disrespectful enough to toss the gravy boat that had been in Harriette's family for years. Eddie explained that some of the kids that were at the party are football players from both his school and from a rival school playing football with it. Harriette is angered by this and tells him off that the gravy boat was antique and had been in her family for years. She wants to kill Eddie knowing that he had disrespected his ancestors on his mother's side of the family by allowing the damages to be done to the gravy boat. However, Carl and Rachel restrain her from doing so. Laura fears of being grounded by their parents for her culpability in the party by not helping Eddie enforce the "No Friends Allowed!" rule. Hoping to try to avoid it, she tries to pin the blame on the party and the other damages to the house on him. Despite her best efforts, Judy gets Laura into trouble by telling on her to Carl and Harriette for not helping enforce the "No Friends Allowed!" rule with pictures as evidence and including green Jell-O in the bathtub. She is angry at her sister for exposing her part in the party. However, Rachel defends Judy and thanks her for doing the right thing to tell the adults what her older siblings had done. She takes the young girl to her bedroom for bed as she doesn't want the girl to hear this. Once both she and Rachel are away to their rooms, Carl and Harriette confronts both their older children. They give Eddie and Laura a piece of their minds in how angry they are with the two for breaking the rules and allowing friends over when they specifically told them not to while the adults were gone. Eddie tries to explain that he never intended to have a party in the house and only let Rodney in with some pizza to save him and his sisters from eating the ruined meatloaf. Unconvinced, Harriette admonishes him for betraying her trust after she convinced Carl to allow him to be in charge of the house. She also confronts Laura and tells her off that she's not getting out of her punishment either. Harriette also admonishes her for not helping stopped this party when she should have and having to learn the truth from Judy. Carl points out to Eddie and Laura that they didn't make those rules for a benefit of their health. There was a reason that he didn't want anybody over at the house while the adults were gone. When Eddie and Laura broke their promise to both Carl and Harriette by doing just that, the two found out the hard way the consequences of their actions in allowing their friends to come over and of which culminated to a huge party. The two apologizes for their behavior and asks how long they will be grounded for. The furious Harriette decides that she wants ground Eddie and Laura right away for a month for betraying their trust in the two. However, Carl decides against it and calms her down. He mentions that they are too furious with Eddie and Laura right now to deal with it. Carl tells the two that they will discuss a proper punishment in the morning. He sends Eddie and Laura off to bed, while Harriette tells him that she'll look in the back if she can find the other half of her family's antique gravy boat.
Everything remains quiet that is, until Carl hears humming from under the couch. He gets up and pulls the cushion to find Steve under inside the sofa. Carl soon sends him home to his folks in the Urkel home.
- 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
- Joseph and Julius Wright as Richie Crawford
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- Shawn Harrison as Waldo Faldo (credited as Guy in Towel)
- Bruno Alexander as Officer
- Bentley Kyle Evans as Lamar (credited as Bentley Evans)
- Kendra Booth as Robin
- Curtis Baldwin as Football Player
- First appearance of Shawn Harrison; credited as "Guy in Towel" for this episode, though in subsequent episodes he assumes the name Waldo Faldo.
- [Harriette and Mother Winslow run in the kitchen as Carl addresses the other kids in the living room.]
- Carl: All right, this party is OVER! Everybody out! Come on, Let's go! Let's Go!
- [The kids from Eddie's high school and from Laura's middle school leave the house knowing Carl is an adult and is serious. Eddie tries to sneak away with Rodney, but Carl busts him and grabs his shirt]
- Carl: You stay!
- Rachel: Come on, Judy, you don't need to be here for this.
- [Judy follows Rachel upstairs while Carl and Harriette confront Eddie and Laura(whom is also in trouble)]