To Be or Not to Be (Part 1) is the first episode of the sixth season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, which was aired from ABC on September 23, 1994. It was directed by John Tracy and written by Jim Geoghan.
Harriette asks Carl to go see an eye doctor after he complains about having problems seeing. However, he balks at the idea and takes Eddie's advice by asking Urkel for some help. Urkel, meanwhile, has been perfecting his machine to enable him to be Stefan all the time. Carl asks Stefan to let him step into the transformation chamber to fix his eyesight problems. However, a jealous Myra – wanting to snare herself a certain nerd – tampers with the machine by switching the dial thinking Stefan will use it to change back into Steve. Unbeknownst to her, Carl is really inside and once she learns the truth, she tells Stefan to stop the chamber. Sure enough, the chamber is broken and Myra realizes what she has done when Carl Urkel (instead of Carl Winslow) steps out!
Myra doesn't want Steve to change a thing about himself, while Laura sees Stefan as a perfect 10 in her eyes. Urkel tweaks his chamber to allow himself to be Stefan all the time, much to Myra's chagrin.
Meanwhile, Carl is complaining about his dwindling eye sight since he's getting old. However, he balks at Harriette's recommendation to just go to the optometrist and get his eyes checked for glasses. One night after a mishap at dinner in Chez Josephine's, Mother Winslow admonishes him for nearly destroying her favorite 4 star restaurant and asks him to get glasses. Carl refuses still and Eddie is perceptive in his refusal thinking that if he were to get glasses, he'd be admitting that he's getting old. He suggests that Carl asks Stefan to use the transformation chamber to fix his eye sight. When Carl gets skeptical and asks why, Eddie reveals that Stefan has perfect vision. When he mentions that Steve couldn't see without glasses, this convinces Carl of a 2nd option. He takes Eddie's advice and asks Stefan to let him use his chamber to fix his eye sight, unaware that advice is the one he will forever regret.
However, Myra misses her perfect Steve and decisively tampers with the chamber as revenge against Laura for her misery. Resetting the chamber, she thinks that Stefan will use it to return to Urkel and ensnare him. Unfortunately, she overhears Carl thanking Stefan in using his chamber, which worries her. Once Carl is in the chamber, Myra quickly tells Stefan to stop the machine because she tampered with it. When Stefan asks her why, Myra revealed she rewired the transformation chamber and it was reset to nerd, rather than remain on cool. He tries to stop it and it circuits short fuse. After Stefan opens the door, Myra realizes what she has done when Carl Urkel (instead of Carl Winslow) steps out of the chamber.
Adopting a nerd personality, Carl comes out as in a stereotypical nerd fashion, hitched up underwear, pocket protector, sagging pants and suspenders. Stefan asked Carl if he's still there. Carl Urkel that he hopes so and attempts to pull his pants up, but gives himself a wedgie. He laughs and snorts while Stefan is embarrassed and Myra is horrified by what she did to Carl.
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow and Carl Urkel (debut)
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow (credited as Jo Marie Payton-Noble)
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Bryton James as Richie Crawford (credited as Bryton McClure)
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel and Stefan Urquelle
- Shawn Harrison as Waldo Geraldo Faldo
- Michelle Thomas as Myra Monkhouse
- Lisa Ann Grant as Photographer (credited as Lisa Grant)
- Victor Wilson as Waiter
- This is the first two-part episode of the series.
- This is also the first episode where Myra (Michelle Thomas) is credited in the opening credits.
- This is the first time that the Transformation Chamber was sabotaged. This will be repeated in We're Going to Disney World (Part 1)
- Out of everyone, Myra is the only one who sees Stefan as a joke and prefers Steve as himself. This is because unlike them, she sees Urkel for the man he is inside and doesn't need to change himself.
- When Myra goes into Steve’s basement to try to talk Steve out of transforming into Stefan, she says “Stop In The Name Of Love” a name of a song sung by The Supremes in 1964.
- Carl (Winslow): By the way, thanks for letting me use your chamber, Stefan.
- [Myra overhears this and is fearful]
- Stefan: It's not just a transformation chamber. It's a cool chamber.
- [Carl steps in the chamber and Stefan starts it up]
- Myra: No, Mr. Winslow, don't.
- Stefan: Myra, what is it?
- Myra: I tinkered with your...
- Stefan: Myra, what have you done?
- Myra: Ok. I rewired the chamber. Instead of cool, it was set on nerd.
- [Stefan tries to stop the chamber and the chamber ends up being busted. When the door opens Carl appears dessed up as Steve normally dresses with his glasses]
- Carl (Urkel): Hi diddeley dee, it's me.
- Stefan: Carl, is that you?
- Carl (Urkel): I sure hope so because I'm wearing his underwear.
- [pulls his underwear too high]
- Carl (Urkel): Oops, I gave myself a wedgie.
- [laughs and snorts]