Steven Quincy Urkel (born July 25, 1976), generally known as Steve Urkel or just Urkel, is a fictional character on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters. He is portrayed by Jaleel White. Originally slated to have only one appearance on the show, he soon became its most popular character.
Steve was the epitome of a geek/nerd, with large, thick eyeglasses, "high-water" or "flood" pants held up by suspenders, multi-colored cardigan sweaters, and a high-pitched voice. He professed unrequited love for neighbor Laura Winslow, perpetually annoyed her father, Carl, and tried to befriend her brother Eddie (whom Steve calls "Eddo"). Amongst the rest of the family, Harriette, Rachel, Richie and "mother" Estelle Winslow were more accepting and caring of Urkel. Estelle always was delighted whenever he comes to visit.
Throughout the series' run, Steve was central to many of its recurring gags, primarily gratuitous property damage and/or personal injury as a result of his inventions going awry or his outright clumsiness. He became known for several catch phrases uttered after some humorous misfortune occured, including "I've fallen and I can't get up!" after he accidently got drunk in one episode and fell off the edge of a building, "Did I do that?" (previously used by Curly in the 1934 Three Stooges short Punch Drunks), "Whoa Mama!" and "Look what you did" (if rarely someone else caused the damage).
He first appeared in the episode "Laura's First Date." As a boy, Steve was incredibly smart but annoyed everyone around him. Steve never really stayed at his own house because his own parents showed nothing but contempt for him. Which was in fact, just a few steps away from the Winslow's house. He bothered his neighbors a lot. Though at first, he went over there just to see his crush Laura, but after making friendly relationships with everyone else, he decided to see the other members of the family. If Laura breaks Steve's heart, he says something to make her regret saying whatever insulted him.
Once, Steve told Carl Winslow, the father, that he actually wanted him to be his father, because his own father was greatly disappointed with him for not wanting to be a surgeon. Steve has asked Carl to do a lot of things for him. Naming a few: how to swim, how to drive, how to ride a bicycle. Even though Carl yells at Steve a lot, he cares for him.
Steve Urkel has been known to make crazy contraptions that usualy never work, but one did help him a lot: the transformation chamber. He could turn into Elvis, Einstein, or Bruce Lee. Or his other half: Stefan Urquelle. Turning into Bruce Lee helped him escape thugs and bullies. Turning into Elvis made him give up his chances into being able to go to MIT College. Turning into Einstein made him even smarter than he usually was. Finally, turning into Stefan got him chances with girls because Stefan was cool, slick and popular. This unknowingly made his parents love him only because Stefan was everything they had always wanted. But although they were nerds themselves, they were shallow people who preferred his company over Steve.
Steve even made a cloning machine. When he showed it to Carl, Carl got excited and told him that he wanted Steve to clone his paycheck. But, Steve had already cloned himself. And Steve and the clone destroyed the machine to prevent anybody crazy enough to clone a whole army and rule the world. But, the Steve clone was bothering everyone, including his parents (who had moved to Russia). So, Laura told Steve to put the Steve clone into the transformation chamber and make him turn into Stefan Urquelle.
In the fourth season, Steve went on a double date with Laura and her Boyfriend Ted and his cousin Myra. She was madly in love with him. So, a few weeks later. Laura brought Myra over to see Steve. He found out that she loved polka as much as he did. So, they shared a kiss. Myra loved Steve very much for about four years. Beginning in season 9, they grow apart immediately and eventually break up. The reason for the break up was not only because Laura started to like Steve, but also that Myra was against his makeover and wanted him to stay as the sexy nerd she loved. She pretended to break up with him as a ploy to get him to stay with her and when it failed, she not only sued him for alienation of affections, but also resorted to stalking and spying on him (although Laura was dating Stefan Urquelle).
A few months (weeks in episodes) later, Steve proposed to Laura and she had to make a tough decision, but strangely enough, she chose Steve. Stefan seemingly accepted it and moved on with his life, though in the Season 10 episode Death of a Stefan it is revealed that Stefan and Steve are two halves of one being, and his cool and suave nature blends back into Steve's personality, deepening his voice and making him far more mature and self-assured than before, and dressing better. He later in the season becomes the father of Stephanie Laurine Urkel, born in 1999.
If the show continued in its final season, he also would have gotten a high-paying job at an Internet start-up company where the boss reveals that the company would never have gone public without the hiring of minority employees. This disgusted him because it was racist and went to Carl for help. Steve's boss agreed to treat his employees equally and use their knowledge to make the company better after being threatened with arrest. He also, before Stefan's death, would have had a nightmare of becoming the father of unruly children when Laura would mention the idea of starting a family, and babysit Looney's kids in another episode. Steve would finally be able to reconcile with his parents with Carl and Harriette's help when he learns that they were in his shoes at one point, and encouraged him to treat his child with love and care.
He is played by Jaleel White.
Steven Quincy Urkel was born July 25, 1976 to Herb and Diane Urkel, a prominent neurosurgeon and his wife.
Steven Quincy "Steve" Urkel was introduced as The Winslows pesky, annoying next door neighbor. It was revealed that he likes coming over to their house more than his own because he sees Carl and Harriette as the loving parents that he should've had. Steve's own parents, Dr. Herb and Diane Roberta Urkel have nothing but the utmost contempt for him and do their part to avoid him at all times. In season 5's Dr. Urkel and Mr. Cool, while he was Stefan Urquelle, they showered him with love and introduced him to the rest of his relatives. It was also revealed that, although nerds themselves, Dr and Mrs. Urkel are very shallow people and prefer Stefan's company over Steve's any day.
The viewers also sees that out of Steve's relatives, only four of them really care for him. His Uncle Ernie who owns a horse trailer, revealed in both The Big Fix and Requiem for an Urkel. He maintains a good relationship with Aunt Oona(Donna Summer) from "Altoona" and she aside from Estelle Winslow is the closest thing he has to a mother figure. He's very close to his Scouthern Belle cousin, Myrtle Mae Urkel and she treats him like her brother. It was also implied that his uncle, Cecil, also cares for Steve.
It was revealed in season 8's Nightmare at Urkel Oaks, that his other uncle, Big Daddy Urkel, is a peanut farming mogul who did not think Eddie was a good choice for his daughter except when bribed with cash. It was mentioned in Season 2 that Big Daddy and the other relatives (excluding Oona, Cecil, Ernie and Myrtle) pay Steve a lot of money not to visit them. However, they tolerated him after he got a makeover and was less clumsy. Steve has a gangster cousin from Detroit named Cornelius Eugene Urkel (also played by White) who went by the moniker "Original Gangsta Dawg". He tries to avoid him at all costs because every time he visits, he wants money from him. Steve also has another cousin named Julie (who is a friend of Donna Jo "D.J." Tanner, who lives in San Francisco (as a crossover with Full House).
It was revealed in Season 2's Busted that the Urkels are very good at gambling and have a sixth sense which allows them to win at casinos. Eddie's unlicensed driving to impress Jolene left him with an $800 damage to Carl's beloved station wagon and has to secretly fix it before he finds out. He and Steve headed down to Mom's Bakery which secretly hosted an illegal casino. Raking in a win over $32,000 and on their way out, both boys along with the other gamblers are arrested by the police duing a raid. Carl eventually paid their bail and found out about the damage to his car anyway.
- Laura Winslow (Wife)
- Stephanie Laurine Urkel (Daughter)
Though a nerd, Steve has often become suspicious of not so innocent natures. This was prominent with Laura when she dates guys who love to bully Steve, but they would end up being warded off by him when he learns about their attempts to have sex with her. In Stormy Weather, her date, Jimmy, has shown to be not only annoyed, but also possessive and jealous of Steve whom he sees as a potential rival for Laura's love. This lead to Laura quickly ditching him on the dance floor and leaving her friendship with Steve intact.
Despite being poorly conscious of his social outcast status, Urkel has shown excellent demonstrations of good judgment with the law and acute suspicions of law-breaking, mostly prominent in episodes involving Eddie and peer pressure. Though he was someone with no grudges, Steve has a known dislike for Clarence in Jailhouse Blues. When they first met, he saw Clarence for who he is: a loser who is going nowhere with his life with the way he's behaving. Urkel warned Eddie not go in the car because he suspected that Clarence had stolen it from the owner, only for him give in to temptation to be with the girls and ignore Steve. Clarence quickly took advantage by taking Urkel hostage so he can't tell Carl and the others the truth. Though Eddie tried to get him to think positive, Steve's warning against going on the joyride in the Porsche was best heeded and the police quickly put an end to it. It's implied that at the station, Urkel had told the authorities about him being an unwilling participant in Clarence's scheme because he took him against his will. In season 4's Hot Stuff, Steve became suspicious about a stereo system that Eddie bought from Weasel's friend for a good discount and a quick look proved his suspicions when he reveals the serial numbers were scraped off. He reveals to Eddie that he was ripped off by Weasel's friend and the system was stolen. In season 5's Money Out the Window, Urkel refused to go along in a scheme with Eddie when it came to Weasel's betting system. Since he has learned his lesson from last time in Busted, Steve tried in vain to warn Eddie of the consequences again, only to watch his friend lose himself in debt. When he was in trouble with a bookie named Bones, Urkel suggested he went to Carl for help. Eddie refused and sold Carl's prized stamp in order to pay him off in a timely manner, which he later regretted and wished he was simply beaten up Bones. Steve told Carl the truth about Eddie gambling again and quickly buys back his stamp to back up his claims from the Stamp Emporium. This leads him giving Eddie a stern lecture and finally making him promise not to gamble again. And in Season 7's Scammed, when a con artist who owns the bar promised Eddie and Waldo a chance to meet the Chicago Bulls. While both were excited, Steve as usual refused to budge and is quite skeptical of him. He warns his friends not to go in the bar(despite the fact that Eddie was over 21, but Urkel and Waldo were both underage) because he suspects the owner being a con-artist and suggested they go home. Eddie would eventually see that Steve was right the whole time when the owner leaves him with an expensive bill and had to go to Carl for help.
Steve has also shown to have a reluctance to date Myra, despite appreciating the fact she accepts him as a person. This would come into play in both Seasons 5 and 9 when he sees how possessive and jealous she is of his friendship with Laura. This more often than not got Myra in disputes with her and that disgusted Urkel to the point where he had to hide out with Estelle in order to avoid her. However, because Laura wasn't interested in Steve at the time, she was willing to accept a truce and he dated her in season 6 through the first half of 9. By Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Steve finally realizes that Myra hated his makeover and wanted him to return to his quintessential nerdy self that she loved (with suspenders and hitched up pants). When he refused, she broke up with him first, though it turned out to be a ploy to try to get him to dump Laura and stay with her. When Steve refused to do so, Myra began her attack by not only suing him for alienation of affection, but also stalking and spying on him. She would eventually leave him alone or would have if the show went on for another season.
Steve is commonly known and respected by other characters for his kindness to others, his never-ending love and loyalty for those he holds dear, and, alongside with Harriette, his position as a voice of reason and source of wisdom for the often bickering members of the Winslow family, all of which are the redeeming qualities for his generally unwelcome or tolerated presence. He always cares for and means well for other people, but is often the misunderstood victim of the Winslows' anger and rejection, especially of Carl, Eddie and Laura, who all struggle to see through his clumsiness and annoying behavior and to understand and appreciate him for his positive traits. This was shown in season 6's What's Up Doc, when Hattiette finally calls out her family and reminds them that while Steve was annoying, he has also helped them out in times of crisis.
Although he is often portrayed positively for being a kind and virtuous person among other characters who must learn from their mistakes, Steve is not a flawless character. While he is indeed kind and seemingly means well for others, Steve tends to be needy, overbearing, and often demonstrates very poor empathy, understanding, and consideration of other people's feelings, especially when they feel negatively towards him (whether those feelings are justifiable or not). He shows little regard or respect for Laura's choice to not reciprocate Steve's affections. And one example of Steve's lack of consideration for others is when he accidentally caused Carl and Eddie to fall off of their roof, only to demand an apology from Carl for unintentionally landing on top of Steve, and even going so far as to fight back when Carl subsequently banished him from the Winslow house. He would eventually see what life is like as the Winslows in season 5 when he found himself in the same position with Myra stalking him and trying to visit him when she's not wanted. This plus being annoyed with Carl(as Carl Urkel) made him show more consideration other people's privacies, which he does try to respect in the later seasons.
Nonetheless, Steve is kind, bears no hatred for anyone, and is extremely loyal to the Winslow family, whom he is always ready to be there for. He would always be ready to forgive the Winslows when they take advantage of him, behave coldly towards him, harshly reject him and then learn that they hurt his feelings. Steve loves the Winslows like they were his real family, and whether through kindness, persistence or force, he works tirelessly to become as much a part of their lives as a genuine family member. However by season 10, Steve has reconciled with his parents when he hears their story or would have if the show had gone on to it's final season. In the death of Stefan part 2 after Steve realizes that his cloning machine does not make "permanent"clone like he intended. After that Stefan's personality and apperance reintegrate itself back into Steve, giving him a more mature appearance and deeper voice and dressing better and walking better.
Steve was shown to have an obbsessive crush on Laura, but she didn't return those feelings until later (and in one episode, Steve finally stood up to Laura when she was still being mean to him and ordered her to respect him). Despite that, she has shown appreciation for the kind things he's done for her family. Laura has also dated guys who would bully Steve(and have one consider him competition in Stormy Weather), but it would end with him warding them off. He suspects their hidden motives were to take advantage of her and refuses to let that happen(though it'll take Laura until the near end of the episode to learn their motives). Steve sometimes went to her house and tried to flirt with her. At the same time, he does respect Laura's personal space, unlike Myrtle who kept stalking Eddie much to his extreme terror(until Don't Make Me Over). Laura is now Steve's wife, and they live quite comfortably with a daughter named Stephanie.
Steve's friendship with Eddie was a bit one sided. Eddie would see him as nothing more than a nerd, while Urkel hero worships him as a friend. Eventually, this grew into a long lasting friendship. Eddie is now Steve's brother-in-law or would have been if the show gone on for a another season.
Myra was introduced as both Ted Curran's cousin and a potential girlfriend for Steve just so Laura can have some breathing space. He was initally attracted to her because she was sweet and intelligent and didn't care of what others thought of both her and Steve. Urkel was soon repelled, however, by her jealous and possessive nature when she came to the conclusion that Laura was serious competition for his love. This was explored in both seasons 5 and 9 when he saw what life was like in Laura's shoes when she pursued him relentlessly. He and Myra dated during seasons 6-8. In season 9, they grew apart when Steve learned that she hated his makeover and demanded that he goes back to the sexy nerd she loved. He refused and Myra broke up with him first, though it later was learned that she only pretended to do so in order to get Urkel to renounce his love for Laura and stay with her. When Steve refused, she resorted to not only suing him, bur also stalking and spying with illegal subservience gear in her bedroom. She teamed up with Stefan and both set out to win their true loves back. Though initially successful, Laura still wanted to date him and Myra vowed never to rest until Steve is hers. Urkel soon learned that she was spying on him and demanded she renounce her love for him immediately because he loves Laura. Myra refused and got her arrested for stealing her watch. However, Urkel was able to drop the charges and expose her for spying on him with illegal spy gear. The police took everything from Myra's room and pursued criminal charges. In the ending credits of the episode when she had Laura arrested for stealing her watch Laura was rearrested for assualting her. When she learned of his and Laura's engagement, Myra continued to hold the torch even though he didn't love her. It's unknown what happened to her after that. If the show had continued on to it's final season, it was revealed that Stefan stopped Myra from ruining Laura and Steve's wedding. She finally relinquishes her love when meeting Steve's cousin, Cornelius|.
A one time only character whom got along with Steve right away. Laura was instantly jealous of the two when they started dating. However, they broke up when Steve not only introduced her to the president of the chess club, but also admitting that he still loves Laura.
Vonda Mahoney Edit
Vonda was a girl that Eddie dated in season 3. She had crush on Steve in The Love God, after he tutors her in a class she was failing in. Worried that she may sell herself just to have guys date her, he teaches Vonda the dangers of making herself easy and accept herself for who she is. Though she felt better about it, Eddie wanted to beat up Steve for interfering.
One of Laura's best friends whom had little to no patience for Urkel in Season 1. She has shown concern for him once in the episode, In a Jam.
Unlike most of Laura's friends, Maxine's feelings for Steve were much kinder due to their similar situations with neglectful parents.
Another one of Urkel's friends, whom may be dimwitted at time, but Waldo has a key sense of morality and is an excellent chef. He originally started of as a sidekick to resident bully, Willie Fuffner, but grew up later on.
Urkel's relationship with Rodney is a bad one. Rodney had no patience with his antics, while Urkel sees him as a slacker.
Eddie's girlfriend who's feelings for Urkel is like Maxine's own, except she was dealing with a controlling father. She was the one who helped Steve point out Eddie and Laura's pranks as nothing more than immature and childish.
- Main article: Steve Urkel (Gallery)
- Urkel: Did I do that?
- Urkel: I've fallen and I can't get up.
- Urkel: Look what you did.