Def Poet's Society
Airdate October 22, 1990
Written by John Bowman
Directed by Jeff Melman
Mistaken Identity
Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part 1)

Def Poet's Society is the 7th episode of Season 1 of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

Synopsis Edit

Will discovers a passion for trochaic tetrameter when he meets a pretty girl at the school poetry club.


The family pressures Will to enter an after-school program. Following the girls into a poetry class, he improvises a poem to impress them and claims it was written by a poet named Rafael de la Ghetto who doesn't exist. Impressed, Christina asks to bring him to Poetry Night and after Jazz doesn't come through with an impostor, Will turns to Geoffrey to masquerade. While Geoffrey does a good job convincing the crowd he is de la Ghetto, they chant for an encore as they did in Geoffrey's youth, causing him to recite "Cannons, to the left of them. Cannons, to the right of them. Volleyed and Thundered" while dropping his gruff accent he was using as de la Ghetto.

Christina is angered that Will lied about knowing de la Ghetto but Jazz steps in to help out by claiming to be de la Ghetto and reciting Will's poem from earlier with his barbecue pick-up line at the end. Though Jazz ultimately scores a date with Christina, the family compliments Will for his talent as a poet as his poem was well-received at poetry night and even helped Carlton and Ashley score dates.


Will Smith as Will Smith
James Avery as Philip Banks
Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks
Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks
Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler

Recurring cast

Jeffrey A. Townes as Jazz

Guest starring

Jonathan Emerson as Edward Fellows III
A.J. Johnson as Christina Johnson
Lisa Fuller as Toni
Laurel Moglen as Elizabeth


"Roses are red, Violets are blue, Jazz and I are black, but Carlton, what are you?"


  • Vivian reads Three Modes of History and Culture by Amiri Baraka
  • This is the third time Will speaks directly to the camera
  • Past syndicated airings cut the scene where Will tells Philip and Vivian they can't come to Poetry Night
  • This is the Jazz's second appearance.
  • The glasses Geoffrey wears while reciting the poem are Jazz's glasses.
  • The title is a combination of Def Jam, a hip-hop record label, and the 1989 film Dead Poets Society starring the late Robin Williams. 


  • It's unknown how Geoffrey managed to get a disguise since he was already at the school