Steve Urkel (Family Matters) Costume


Steve Urkel costume ideaMention TGIF (or 90s TV in general) and one image that instantly comes to mind is Family Matters‘ Steve Urkel. You know, the nerd that annoyed the Winslow family (especially Carl). The nerd America instantly fell in love with. From his first “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” he had us hook line and sinker. Urkel, with all his quirkiness, endearing loyalty, and catchphrases, makes a standout 90s costume idea that’s both fun and oh so memorable. In fact, site reader Natalie from Phoenix, AZ transformed into Steve Urkel for Halloween. Let’s take a look at her costume and the trademark items key pieces that make up a great Steve Urkel.


  • Shirt: You have a couple different options. Shoot for goofy striped knit shirt or plaid button down in either short or long sleeves. Be sure to tuck it in and button all the buttons!
  • Pants: Whether you opt for jeans or slacks, be sure to hike them up as high as you can. Natalie recommends wearing pants a few sizes too big in order to really pull them up high. Steve’s pants were also high-waters. To achieve this look you can either pin up the pant legs (fold them in and use safety pins) or roll them (great for jeans).
  • Suspenders: Steve always had suspenders on. Pick a fun color to pop against your shirt.
  • Sweater: Steve was often seen wearing a collegiate cardigan which is a great accessory if it happens to be chilly out.
  • Shoes & Socks: Steve’s footwear of choice were saddle oxfords (preferably brown/tan) paired with white crew socks pulled up high.
  • Hair: Natalie found an afro wig and cut it down short to re-create Steve’s coif.
  • Glasses: Find some old-looking large framed specs and don’t forget the safety cord!
  • *BONUS Item*: Accordion. Steve loved his polka music. Just check out the dueling accordion clip featuring Steve and Myra. If you happen to have an accordion laying around the house or if you can find a toy version, it would make a great addition to your outfit.

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To complete your Urkle persona be sure to:

  • Use classic catchphrases:
    • “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
    • “Did I do that?”
    • “Whoa, Mama!”
    • “Look what you did.”
    • “You love me, don’t you?” (directed to Laura Winslow)
  • Speak with a high-pitched, nasally voice.
  • Snort when you laugh.
  • Learn the Steve Urkel dance:

“If you want to do the Steve Urkel dance,
All you have to do is hitch up your pants,
Bend your knees, and stick out your pelvis;
(I’m telling you, baby, it’s better than Elvis!).”

To help you pull together this great 90’s costume, we’ve provided links below to buy any of the key elements that you might be missing.


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