Carlton Banks
Birthday 4 August 1974
Age 16—22
Square Headed Cousin
From Bel Air
Occupation Bel-Air Academy Student (formerly)
Manager at Peacock Stop (formerly)
Princeton University Student (currently)

Philip Banks
Vivian Banks
Hilary Banks
Ashley Banks
Nicky Banks
Viola Smith
(maternal aunt)
Helen Smith
(maternal aunt)
Janice Smith
(maternal aunt)
Will Smith
(maternal cousin/surrogate brother)
Eli Smith
(maternal grandfather)
Frank Schaffer, Sr.
(maternal uncle)
Bobby Lewis
(maternal cousin)
Frank Schaffer, Jr.
(maternal cousin)
Romances Jo Ann Morgan
Jackie Ames
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro
First seen The Fresh Prince Project
Last seen I, Done (Part 2)

Carlton Banks is a principal character on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. He is portrayed by Alfonso Ribeiro.


Carlton was born on August 4, 1974 to Vivian Banks and Uncle Phil. He has an older sister, Hilary Banks, a younger sister, Ashley Banks, and a younger brother, Nicholas "Nicky" Banks. Carlton attends Bel-Air Academy and ULA until he transfers to Princeton after two years at ULA in 1996.

Carlton is highly rational, caring, accountable, respectful, level-headed, trusting, optimistic, nice, bold, altruistic, noble, kind-hearted and sensitive, but sometimes annoying, naive, and cocky. He's a conservative Republican and is often at odds with his cousin, Will Smith. He is Will Smith's best friend and brother figure. He dresses in a preppy style, his favorite singer is Tom Jones, and his idol is Macaulay Culkin.

He almost always sides with his father in arguments. At first this seems like sucking up. But he usually tries to point it out to Will that his Father is often right in the long run. On almost every occasion that presents itself, Carlton takes the side or approaches the outcome which will solely benefit him or improve his image, importance or ego - while Hilary behaves like a snobby girl in terms of being pretty and popular, Carlton behaves like a flat-out sycophant because, in the best of times, he only cares about himself. A common occasion for humor on the show is his short stature, in which Will often pokes fun at.

Series arc

In season 5 episode 15, Will gets shot. This takes an emotional toll on Carlton. He realizes that if it weren't for him, Will would've been fine. When the whole family is visiting Will in the hospital room, Carlton storms out. Philip follows him to see what is wrong. Carlton confronts his father about how they will never catch the suspect. Philip tries to reassure his son, but fails. Carlton comes back the next day with a newly bought revolver. But Will manages to dissuade Carlton from using it.

Carlton has been very unlucky when it comes to women. They often find him unimpressive, arrogant, nerdy and obnoxious. At times when Carlton does indeed think he's found love, It's always revealed he's actually being used in one way or another.

His siblings tend to get along better with Will than with him as because they usually find their brother awkward and annoying. Carlton constantly prefers to think about himself, and shamelessly disregards Will and his friends in favour of something that will make him look good, and he reacts with a total lack of compassion the first time he sees Ashley dumped by a boy in school, preferring to chase after a girl he found attractive. Despite that, they still love their brother dearly.

Carlton's life of supreme social standing has led to him having a blatant superiority complex - he is insulted, and even given a headache by the concept that money isn't everything. Also, a very common catchphrase of his is to say 'I'm rich' as an excuse for him not having to endure certain hardships - for example, after he insults and disregard's Will as an employee of his, and Will leaves (soon leading to massive unpopularity for Carlton), Carlton tries to get Will back, but when Will asks him to beg Carlton says 'I don't know how to beg! I'm rich!'. Furthermore, there are an array of occasions where Carlton talks down to Will, stating that Will is a ghetto kid in a big city. Despite this, Carlton loves Will and one major example of this is him thanking Will publicly during his graduation.


"Why so glum, chum?"
―Carlton to Will[src]

"If only dad would fix the air conditioner in the pool house. How could he be so cruel house?"

"Would you make me a sandwich?"

"'Not available'? Perhaps you should let George kNOw that, as Carlton, I'm in a position to scratch his bush if he'll scratch mine, capisce? HellO?"

"Yeah, Carlton Banks. That's 'B-E-A-E-N-K-E-S'. No 'E'."

"Okay, I think you know who you're talking to. I'm Carlton. Carlton Banks you're talking to. Carlton. It's Carlton Carlton Carlton Carlton Carlton"


  • The character is based on real-life person, Corey Chambliss
  • Carlton has a great relationship with his father Philip, who is his hero
  • His other heroes are Bryant Gumble and Tom Jones
  • Carlton is famous for his dance to Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" which was inspired by Courtney Cox's appearance in the Bruce Springsteen music video for 'Dancing in the Dark' released in 1984 and a stand-up routine performed by Eddie Murphy in 1987.
  • He is similar to Alex P Keaton
  • He suffers from a compulsive gambling addiction[1][2] as seen in the episodes, "You Bet Your Life" and "Viva Lost Wages."
  • Carlton is a fan of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He reacts hysterically when he meets Donald Trump. He likes Vanilla Ice and Barry Manilow.


Carlton Banks/Photos

Notes and references

  1. You Bet Your Life
  2. Viva Lost Wages
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