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Tips for a Better Life is episode sixteen of the seventh season in this television sitcom on Family Matters, that originally aired from ABC on February 9, 1996. It was directed by Joel Zwick and written both by David W. Duclon and Gary Menteer.

Plot Edit

Eddie battles the bottle when he begins coming home drunk from a frat party. He soon learns that his drinking is jeopardizing his family, friends and neighbors. Meanwhile in the subplot, in order for Urkel, the clumsy nerd to pay off Carl, after he wrecked his and Harriette's bedroom floor with his latest invention by accident, Urkel takes a second job at Cafe Java without letting Carl or Harriette notifying, transforming into his alter-ego Stefan Urquelle, and playing smooth jazz.

Synopsis Edit

In the beginning scene, Urkel's new invention involving the Winslow's TV set by adjusting it's height for additional viewing takes an adverse effect when (thanks to his clumsiness) it damages the floor of the Winslow's master bedroom. Steve opens the door and he said that no one got hurt. Carl tells Urkel not yet and gets out of bed in his pajamas. Then, he begins to chases (being Urkel's only punishment) Steve around the Winslow house and yells to Urkel that he is going to pay Carl for it.

Eddie's problems with alcohol and so learns how it has a negative effect on his family, friends and neighbors takes center stage in the whole episode. He has come home from a frat party and is recovering from his hangover. However, even the slightest sound that Richie makes by dribbling his basketball, annoys him. Carl tells him to leave so he can talk to his son alone. He's very upset with Eddie for drinking for the first time and tells him to quit while he's ahead since he's underage. Because the next time he's drunk again he'll be kicked out of this house. Eddie accuses him of not letting him have his fun and his father interjects that he's not against having fun. Carl tells him about roads and that drinking will take him to a road that leads to a dead end.

Meanwhile in the subplot, Carl has strictly orders Urkel, the clumsy nerd to pay him off and as well apologize Carl for made "Big Guy" chases, punish and yells at him, after he learned Urkel inadvertently (thanks to his clumsiness) accidentally wrecking his and Harriette's master bedroom floor by his latest invention the TV adjuster, Steve decide to auditions for a second job at Cafe Java without even letting Carl or Harriette notify in order to pay off and apologize to Carl for made him to chases the pesky nerd around the Winslows residence. However, the manager hates his choice of music and turns him away. Undaunted, Urkel uses the transformation chamber and transforms into his alter ego. He gets the job as Stefan, playing smooth jazz on the piano and giving out tips for a better life. The ladies are impressed and crowd around him which allows him to gives his neighbors the Winslows a few nights of being bugless by Urkel.

Two weeks later, it turns out Eddie has ignored his father's warning to stay off alcohol, by coming home drunk again from another frat party, singing while slurring his words. Waldo tries to shut him up because his parents are sleeping, but he refuses and calls him an old lady. Then, a furious Carl heads downstairs and busts him in the act. He's upset to learn that Eddie's been drinking again, against his wishes and came home at 4 in the morning. Then he asks if Waldo was drinking too. He says no because he swore off alcohol and explains that he was the designated driver. He mentions that Eddie was a lot worse before he threw up in his designated car and Eddie knows he's took the road to dead end. Eddie is upset at Waldo and insults him by telling him he'd win the gold medal in the Stupid Olympics. Carl is fed up with his drunken nature that he sends him to bed. After sobering up, he imediately kicks Eddie out of the house and gives him an ultimatum to find another place to live within the weekend.

For Stefan's final night at Cafe Java, he grants Laura's request by performing a song that professes her love for him. She sings it on the microphone, while he plays the piano. No matter how much of the costs she has to pay for, she'll still be saving all her love for Stefan.

The next day, Eddie is packed up and tried to convince Waldo to let him live in his house because he's homeless. However, he refuses to offer and immediately sets him straight for hurting his feeling by insulting him while he was drunk. Waldo mentions that anyone who drinks at a party and insults their friends are no friends of his. He leaves and Eddie tells Carl that he's forced to consider living with his frat brothers in a house with six bedrooms and one bathroom. As he leaves, he immediately apologizes for ignoring his father's warning to quit drinking while he was ahead. He realized how much drinking was a dead end road for him (losing his best friend in Waldo and being kicked out of his house). Carl admits that he didn't realize how much the negative effects of drinking does to him until it's too late. Eddie resolves to never drink again even if his frat brothers give him alcohol and his father gives him a second chance living in the Winslow house.

Cast and Characters Edit

Main Edit

Guest Edit

  • Tangie Ambrose as Girl #1
  • Greg Proops as Cafe Manager
  • Lasondra Zarif as Girl #2 (credited as La Sondra Zarif)

Trivia Edit

  • This is one of the few times in the series when Waldo appears to be much smarter than he looks and shows that he has more dignity and self-respect than he lets on, as he stands up to Eddie and puts him in his place regarding how he acts when he drinks, putting his foot down and refusing to let Eddie live with him, stating that people that get drunk and insult him under the influence are no friends of his.
  • This is only time where Steve had to be at Cafe Java as Stefan Urquelle for almost the entire episode in order for the clumsy nerd to pay off Carl after Steve (thanks to his clumsiness) accidentally wrecked his master bedroom floor with his latest invention..

Quotes Edit

[Urkel's latest invention ruins the upstairs floor of the Winslows master bedroom. He runs upstairs in his dinosaur slippers]
Steve: At least no one got hurt.
Carl: Not yet.
Harriette: Carl. Carl.
[He climbs out of bed and chases Urkel around the house, being his only punishment.]

[Two Weeks Later, Eddie has ignored Carl's warning and is drunk again.]
Eddie:[singing while drunk] Let me love you, baby. Let me love you baby. Till you feel my love for you is real.
[Waldo tries to get Eddie to be quiet as Carl walks down the stairs]
Eddie: Waldo, you always acting like an old lady. You even walk like one.
Carl:[Turning on the lights] EDWARD!
Eddie:[Busted] Uh-Oh!
Carl: You know, it's 4'o Clock in the morning.
Eddie: Really, my watch must be slow.
Carl: Edward, you've been drinking again!
Eddie: Ok, maybe a couple. [snickers while drunk] I'm hammered!
[Carl walks over to Waldo.]
Carl: Were you drinking too?
Waldo: No, I swore off. Booze gives me a British accent. I'm the designated driver and may I say in Eddie's defense: he was a lot more dunk before he threw up in my designated car.
Eddie:[offended] Thanks a lot, Waldo. You know you could win the gold medal in the Stupid Olympics!
[Carl is offended when Eddie insults Waldo and walks back to him.]
Carl: All right, Edward. It's time to go to bed.
Edward:[as Carl is walking back upstairs] Whatever you say, Funk Master.
Carl:[stopping in the middle and faces Eddie with a pained but firm look] And after you've slept it off. You can pack your things.
Eddie:[quickly sobers up] P--pack my stuff?!
Carl:[goes back downstairs] That's right. I've warned you Edward that the very next time I caught you drinking again, you would have to move out.
Eddie: But dad....
Carl:[firm] No buts, Edward. Now you have until the weekend to find you another place to live.
Family Matters Season 7
Little Big GuyThe Naked and the NerdyBuggedTeacher's PetWalking My Baby Back HomeShe's BackHot Rods to HeckTalk's CheapStruck by LightningBest Years of Our LivesFa La La La Laagghh!Friendship CyclesSouth of the BorderLife in the Fast LaneRandom Acts of ScienceTips for a Better LifeSwine LakeMy Big BrotherEau de LoveTwinkle Toes FaldoScammedDream DateA Ham is BornSend in the Clone

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