A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The importance of family, friendship, and doing the right thing are always major themes in the show.
Positive Role Models
In this loving family, character is more important than looks or style. Some needling among family members/siblings (and between Carl and Urkel, of course), but it's all mild and played for laughs. Characters learn and demonstrate compassion and gratitude.
Violence & Scariness
The dad is a cop, so police work is discussed; also, a couple of episodes cover the dangers of guns.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some smooching, innuendos too subtle for young kids, and teens talking about sexiness -- but the overall message is self respect and respect for others. Urkel has a long-standing, innocent crush on Laura; his alter-ego is much suaver with the ladies.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
When substance use is mentioned, it's portrayed as "messed up" behavior.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Family Matters' message is to treat yourself and others with respect. Some episodes tackle racism, sexism, family dysfunction, school bullying, and gun violence, but these issues are never glorified; instead, characters find healthy ways to deal with the problems of modern life. As the kids on the series mature, so do plots about teen dating. Teens kiss and talk about sexiness, and two women characters comically "throw themselves" at men (who find it unattractive). But on the whole, this show is both fun and healthy.
Is It Any Good?
Full of funny moments and life lessons about the value of family, friends, and friends who become family, this is still a terrific show for families to watch together. Urkel is one of TV's most iconic comedic characters. Bespectacled, high-voiced, and sporting high-water pants, suspenders, and saddle shoes, he's profoundly (and dangerously) clumsy, so smart it's a problem, and generally out of touch with most social norms. Most episodes start with Urkel making an unannounced visit to the Winslow home at precisely the wrong moment, full of good intentions that always backfire (White is a talented physical comedian) and generally wreaking havoc on the Winslows.
As the series progresses, Urkel invents more and more technologically improbable gadgets, including a transformation chamber that he uses to change himself into cool, sexy Stefan Urquelle. Laura falls for Stefan, and yet Steve turns himself back into the nerdy guy Laura and the Winslows find so annoying. Why? Because, he says simply, he likes himself. And that might just be the heart of Family Matters: Despite how often he gets on their nerves, the Winslows always come to appreciate Urkel's good intentions, his company, and his inner strength. They always come around to taking his side, and he takes theirs from the get-go.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.