The Brother Who Came to Dinner is episode twenty-three of season eight from the television sitcom on Family Matters. This show was originally aired from ABC on May 2, 1997. It was directed by Richard Correll and written by Reginald VelJohnson.
Carl's estranged brother Frank comes to visit with a devastating secret: He's in trouble with the law. Even worse, Carl is the one who's assigned to bring him into custody. Carl faces a big moral dilemma as he considers loyalty to his job vs. fixing a long-broken relationship with his brother. Meanwhile, after accidentally breaking Laura's laptop computer, Steve and Eddie try to win $3,000 towards getting a new laptop at the carnival, and Steve's latest invention might give Eddie a boost against "Butterball".
The scene begins with Eddie and Steve wrestling for the use of Laura's newly purchased laptop, and both of them end up breaking it. They managed to cover it up from her and Urkel comes up with an idea. To get $3,000 to replace her laptop, they have to go to the Sullivan Family circus and defeat Butterball, a titanic wrestler, using his new force field belt invention to give Eddie an advantage.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Geiss hands Carl the task of arresting his brother for several counts of fraud. During that time, Frank Winslow comes to visit Harriette as a clown. She's happy to see him and invites him to join them for dinner. Even though he's happy to see her, he knows his older brother won't because he's in trouble with the law. When he shows up, Carl isn't too happy to see him and places him under arrest for fraud charges.
At the carnival, the Countdown to Cash match is underway and Steve and Eddie are horrified to see the other contestants before them fail against Butterball in the ring. They both wonder how long would his force field belt would last against him and that they should've reconsidered telling Laura the truth about them breaking her laptop because they were wrestling for it.
At the house, Frank accuses his older brother of arresting him as punishment against him for skipping out on their father's funeral. An angry, Carl shouts at him that he should've been there because their mother was devastated and needed his support. He even mentions that their father's death deeply affected him and their brothers. However, he tells Frank that they were at least there to lend Estelle, their support when she needed their support throughout the hard times. Harriette convinces Carl to hear his brother's side of the story. Frank revealed that his father's death deeply affected him the most and couldn't be there for the funeral. He mentions that he has tried calling him 10 times to tell him why he couldn't be there, but he was convinced that Carl hated him so much and finally gave up. He tells Frank that he would've understood if he just came to him in person to tell him that, instead of trying to call him. He also reveals about what really happened to his last paycheck when he was managing a restaurant, years earlier. Things were going well for Frank until the restaurant lost money and closed, causing his last paycheck to bounce. Before Carl could say anything, Harriette tells him that it happened before with their friends and family. She also mentions that he shouldn't criticize them about it. Carl asked Frank if he was looking for a job to make money to pay off his debts. Frank tells him that he already has one as a clown in a traveling carnival which pays him very well. Carl realizes that his family does come first over his job and decides not to arrest him. Then he loans his brother, the money to pay off all of his debt and rebuild a long forgotten close relationship between them. This decision makes Harriette and Frank real happy with him.
Back to the Sullivan Family Carnival, Eddie is secured in the force field belt that Urkel set up for him and he faces Butterball. For a while, he has the upper hand against him, until the force field belt goes wrong due to overheating(mostly from Eddie's sweat). Butterball regains the upper hand and defeats him. However, Steve refuses to give up and challenges Butterball to face him. The titanic wrestler laughs in his face as Eddie reminds him the belt is broken and he'll kill him. Steve reassures him that he'll be fine because he's good at both outrunning big guys who try to hurt him and outsmarting them with trickery. Urkel learned it from personal experience when bullies try to hurt him. This proves to be true as Butterball has a hard time trying to hurt Steve because he has the upper hand against him in trickery and speed. Urkel quickly follows Butterball around, much to his dismay and easily defeats him by having him ram himself out of the ring in a game of matador and bull. The crowd cheers for Steve and he gets the money, while the host runs to Butterball in embarrassment that he got beaten by a nerd.
Cast and Characters Edit
- Reginald VelJohnson as Carl Winslow
- Jo Marie Payton-Noble as Harriette Winslow
- Darius McCrary as Eddie Winslow
- Kellie Shanygne Williams as Laura Winslow
- Jaleel White as Steve Urkel
- Dick O'Neill as Commissioner Geiss
- Ted Lange as Frank Winslow
- Tony Longo as Butterball
- John Mariano as Ring Announcer
- Brian J. Williams as Man in Tires