The Untold Truth Of Urkel O's

For any kid growing up in the '90s, a must-watch show was Family Matters. The sitcom was an institution from 1989 through its final season in 1998. The TV series was so successful that people today still remember its roster of characters: the Winslow family, and of course, Steve Urkel.

Urkel, a quirky nerd with a high-pitched voice, was initially written for just one episode, but audiences took a liking to the character immediately. The unprecedented popularity of Urkel led to actor Jaleel White becoming part of the regular cast and eventually taking center stage in the sitcom. The frenzy behind Urkel and his classic catchphrase ("Do I do that?") was at an all-time high in the early '90s, pushing cereal company Ralston to capitalize on "Urkel Fever" with a new product.

In 1991, Urkel O's hit the retail market. The cereal consisted of strawberry- and banana-flavored loops (a shape similar to Froot Loops) that were colored red and yellow respectively (via BuzzFeed). Urkel inspired not only the name of the cereal but also all of its branding, packaging, and promotional efforts.

Why you don't see Urkel O's anymore

According to Mr Breakfast, pictures of Urkel were plastered all over the cereal box. In one version, nine different depictions of the familiar character were spread across the front, sides, and back. On YouTube, you can still find clips of commercials for Urkel O's, which show White taking on his Family Matters role for the ad spots.

The most memorable rendition of the Urkel O's box was one in 1992 that offered a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C., as seen in BuzzFeed. The box featured Urkel dressed in red, white, and blue in the style of Uncle Sam, beating a marching band bass drum with the words "Urkel For President" on it. From each box, kids could collect an Urkel campaign button and fill out a contest entry form for the prize trip.

Despite the long run of Family Matters, "Urkel Fever" was short-lived (at least as far as this cereal goes), and Urkel O's were taken off the shelves less than a year after its introduction. The taste of the cereal itself was probably a factor as to why it never took off. Many thought Urkel O's tasted weird and artificial, and just bought it for the box, which heavily featured their beloved TV character (via Bravo TV).

While you can relive the heydays of Family Matters ever since Hulu added all nine seasons, Urkel-Os are unlikely to reappear in the public eye again.