|It's a Mad, Mad, Mad House|
|Season 4, Episode 17|
|Air Date||November 27, 1992|
It's a Mad, Mad Mad House is episode seventeen of season four from the television sitcom on Family Matters. This show was originally aired from ABC on November 27, 1992. It was directed by John Tracy and written by Regina Stewart.
After Eddie pulls a classroom prank, his teacher (Debra Jo Rupp) wants to refer him to the principal. Knowing he could face dismissal from the basketball team for this offense, he relates a sob story about how he comes from a dysfunctional family. The teacher is so upset that she later confides in Urkel, who recommends that she pay a visit to this family, unaware that she is talking about the Winslows. What Miss Connors observes is exactly what Eddie described: she sees a highly chaotic household, thanks in part to Harriette having gone "on strike" after she became frustrated with her family constantly henpecking her. Having ignored Mother Winslow's warning not to push her, they must endure fending for themselves.
Practical jokester Eddie gets caught misbehaving in class for what apparently isn't the first time nor the last time. This time, he puts a picture of a bikini-clad girl on a pull-down chart, which his math teacher, Miss Vivian Connors, fails to notice initially, but Steve does and tells her. However it wasn't until after the bell rings and the students are leaving, that his friend, Waldo opens his mouth, reminding him not to forget about retrieving his poster on the chart that he's in trouble with her for misbehaving again. Eddie's basketball coach had previously threatened to suspend him for the rest of basketball team's season by benching him, should his teachers report him to both his coach and Principal Shimata about him causing trouble in all of his classes by pulling practical jokes on them for the final time. So, to keep his spot on the team, he gives a sob story to Miss Connors he's got problems at home with his family. This upsets Miss Connors, whom (after he leaves the room) pours out her sorrows to Urkel. Steve unaware that the family she's talking about are the Winslows or that Eddie had shared anything, suggests paying this family a visit.
Meanwhile at the Winslow Home, Mother Winslow had previously warned the rest of the family against taking Harriette for granted by refusing to help out around the house, because she had threatened to go "On Strike" if they continued to behave the way they are by leaving the house in a mess. The only one who did help out (or tried to) help her out was Richie by attempting to make a chocolate cake dinner and tried to clean up the mess himself. When Carl, Judy, Laura and Eddie all had refused to heed Estelle's warning by continuing to take advantage of Harriette refusing to help her out clean the house and leaving it in the current state it's in. The end results were clear to the family:
- Harriette had indeed gone through with her threat to go on strike against her family and the house remains a trashy mess due to their neglect.
- The rest of the family are forced to fend for themselves after they refused to stop taking Harriette for granted. Now, they wished they listened to Mother Winslow from the beginning, because she was right in warning them not to take her for granted.
Five Days Later, Harriette's reading a book in a dirty house when Laura comes in with her grandmother, Estelle's dress and complained about the mess. Harriette orders her to clean it up herself because she's still on strike and continues reading. She cleans up some of the mess off the couch and informs her that she has to help Mother Winslow get ready for the annual Charity Bachelor's Auction at the Senior Citizens Home. Harriette asks her if she remembers last year, when her grandmother bought a date with the retired underwear model. Laura remembers that and reveals Estelle immediately demanded her money back when she quickly learned that he used to model ladies underwear, instead of men's underwear. Harriette laughs as Laura leave to help Mother Winslow get ready.
Then, Carl comes down the stairs in his robe and becomes a chauvinist by telling her he doesn't have anything to wear. He adamantly tells her that if she wants to continue playing the strike game with the kids, that's fine with him. However, she crossed the line with the Big Kahuna and he wants some attention from her. He continues demanding her to clean up the mess and his old clothes(ripped jeans and bandana) because he needs them for his undercover drug bust for tonight. Harriette refuses and tells her sexist husband off that she will never wash his clothes as long as she's on strike. She mentions that if Carl needs them for tonight, he'll have to wash his clothes himself and leaves him in the living room.
Later on, Miss Connors decides to take Urkel's advice that she needs to pay this family a visit, unaware it's the Winslow family, and from her limited observations (by entering the home herself and hiding behind a chair), things are exactly as Eddie described:
- The entire house is a complete mess with 3-4 feet of trash in it, due to Harriette's strike against her family for taking her for granted and kept true to her threat.
- Richie and Judy are making ice cream sundaes for dinner while they are dressed in dirty clothes. Both were getting tired of eating candy bars and had to do something about it.
- Laura and Estelle talking about her buying more men when she arrives at the senior citizens home for the annual bachelor's charity auction.
- Carl actually is yelling at Harriette because she didn't have his old clothes ready to go on an undercover drug stakeout/bust. She convinces him that he still looks nice in what he has, but he continues refusing to listen to her. Carl adamantly states he likes to wear old clothing with his ripped jeans "when I buy drugs!".
After observing the latter, Miss Connors is immediately disgusted and horrified by what she saw. She tries to bolt for the door and leave the house. She has intentions of reporting the Winslows to both the police and Child Services. However, Carl catches her and asks what she's doing here. She informs them that she is Eddie's math teacher and confronts the Winslows about their influence on him. Harriette states that they are a loving family, but Miss Connors wasn't convinced given the trashy mess of the house. She claims the Winslows' family structure as a madhouse and also tells them off that she's only relieved that Eddie's just pulling harmless pranks in comparison to their own behavior. Just then, Eddie comes over and his teacher gives him a hug. Then Urkel shows up and confesses to the whole thing, angering his friend. The end result leaves him to do plenty of explaining to do to an extremely embarrassed, Carl and an irate but traumatized Miss Connors. Eddie has plans to beat up Steve for exposing him to his family and his teacher, but Urkel quickly bails out before he even had the chance. Out of loyalty to her family, Harriette offers to explain to Miss Connors about what is really going in the house, while Carl hauls Eddie to the kitchen for an explanation.
In the kitchen, Carl informs Eddie that he's very upset with him since he pulled a harmless, stupid but rude prank and reminds him that he must take his consequences like a man. He tells him that he has all five senses, look and appears normal by walking erect, but he often acts like a complete BONEHEAD. Especially when he's always told people around him that he was one of best students around aside Laura and Judy. He also mentions that his mother is currently in the living room trying to explain to an irate and traumatized, Miss Connors, about his behavior and the house. Eddie finally confesses to Carl that his coach has threatened to suspend him for the rest of the basketball season by benching him if he gets one more bad report from his teachers misbehaving in his classes. However, his father is less convinced and more importantly tells him off that it was plain wrong of him to lie to his teacher that he had a dysfunctional family structure just to make her feel sorry for him. Carl reveals that while he's walking on his beat as a cop, he frequently responds to domestic violence calls to people who truly comes from a dysfunctional family structure where the end results are often very tragic. He reminds Eddie that's the reason why he puts his family on top of the his list was because he knows they deserved to be on top and he's very proud of them. The families who live in abusive situations are not something that he can make jokes out of since they are real people in those situations. Eddie realizes he was wrong in his prank in class, lying to his math teacher and decides to face the consequences like a man. Harriette comes in soon after and she informs him that Miss Connors has understood why Carl was dressed up as a thug and the house was under three feet of trash. However, she was still bewildered about the fact that Estelle buys men at the senior citizens home.
In the end, everyone promises to pitch in and help Harriette around the house, after being threatened by Carl because he was partly responsible for not pitching in. She calls off the strike and tells everyone to clean up. Carl convinces her to just takes everyone out to dinner and he'll stay behind to clean the mess up himself. But not before letting in a cleaning crew to clean up the messy house with him. After Harriette and the others leave, Carl lets the crew in... that's right, another cleaning crew.
Cast and Characters Edit
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton as Harriette Winslow
- Rosetta LeNoire as Estelle Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaimee Foxworth as Judy Winslow
- Bryton McClure as Richie Crawford
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Telma Hopkins as Rachel Crawford
- Shawn Harrison as Waldo Geraldo Faldo
- Debra Jo Rupp as Miss Connors
- Tom Kindle as Himself