The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air

Season 1 of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired on NBC from September 10, 1990 to May 6, 1991.


In the pilot, Will Smith is revealed as a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia, who is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in a Bel Air mansion. His relatives include Philip Banks, Will's strict and gruff uncle, and Vivian Banks, Will's no-nonsense, forthright, and career-minded aunt. Other members of the Banks family include Carlton Banks, Will's preppy and arrogant cousin, Hilary Banks, Will's attractive but dull-witted, eldest cousin, Ashley Banks, Will's youngest cousin, and Geoffrey, the family's cynical Butler. Will's lifestyle often clashed with that of his relatives there, and frequently got him or other members of the family into trouble as well.


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

DJ Jazzy Jeff as Jazz (7 episodes)

Guest starring

Virginia Capers as Hattie Banks (2 episodes)
Vernee Watson as Viola Smith ("Talking Turkey")
Gilbert Lewis as Joe Banks ("Not with My Pig, You Don't")
Don Cheadle as Ice Tray ("Homeboy, Sweet Homeboy")
John Petlock as Henry Furth (5 episodes)
Michael Weiner as Kellogg Lieberbaum (4 episodes)
Michael Landes as Chadney Hunt (4 episodes)
Keith Bogart as Jonathan Cartwell (4 episodes)
Lisa Fuller as Toni (4 episodes)
Jonathan Emerson as Edward Fellows III (3 episodes)
Helen Page Camp as Margaret Furth (3 episodes)
Dave Florek as Coach Smiley (2 episodes)
Tyler Collins as Cindy (2 episodes)
Paris Vaughan as Melinda (2 episodes)
Bette Ford as Madame Chatchka ("Bang The Drum, Ashely")
Victoria Rowell as Mimi Mumford ("Clubba Hubba")
Richard Roundtree as Dr. Mumford ("Clubba Hubba")
Garon Grisby as Skip Nesbitt ("Clubba Hubba")
John Towey as Country Club Representative ("Clubba Hubba")
Kathy Griffin as Melissa Klein ("Not with My Pig, You Don't")
A.J. Johnson as Christina Johnson ("Def Poet's Society")


  • The theme music for the first season's opening credits consists of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince song performed "Yo Home to Bel-Air"
  • This is the only season that uses the extended theme opening
  • Like the sixth season, Will's mom only appears in one episode. In this season, she only appeared in Talking Turkey. In Season 6, she only appeared in There's The Rub. Interestingly, they're both Thankgiving episodes
  • On the DVD, this season is 24 episodes long because the two-part episode, Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect, is merged into one episode


Season 1/Gallery


The Fresh Prince Project.jpg 1 1 The Fresh Prince Project Debbie Allen Andy Borowitz & Susan Borowitz September 10,
The pilot picks up where it left off after the credits, where Will makes knocks on his Uncle and Aunt's door. Will meets the Banks family and clashes with nearly all of them. He doesn't get along with his uncle Philip, his aunt Vivian defends him, his older cousin Hilary looks down on him, his cousin Carlton wants to bond with him, and his younger cousin, Ashley looks up to him, which Philip is not pleased about when Will teaches Ashley how to rap and she raps at the dinner table.
102.jpg 2 2 Bang the Drum, Ashley Debbie Allen Shannon Gaughan September 17,
After Ashley reveals to Will that she does not enjoy playing the violin, he takes her to a pawn shop in East LA and trades her violin in for a drum set. He tries to ease the blow to Philip and Vivian by also getting them gifts before revealing Ashley's new music teacher, Jazz. But the constant drumming angers everyone.
Clubba Hubba.jpg 3 3 Clubba Hubba Jeff Melman Rob Edwards September 24,
Will tries to impress a girl's father (Richard Roundtree) so that he can date her, so Philip, Carlton and Geoffrey try to teach him how to be a gentleman in a My Fair Lady. While he impresses the girl's father as "Kipp Smithers", Will finds out that Mimi prefers bad boys "from the hood". Will spends the night alternating between his images before realizing being oneself is more important than impressing others.
Ep.4 Not with My Pig You Don't.jpg 4 4 Not with My Pig, You Don't Jeff Melman Lisa Rosenthal October 1,
Philip's parents come to visit for the weekend when he wins a prestigious award who inadvertently reveal his embarrassing country roots. A reporter (Kathy Griffin) comes to the Banks' house to interview Philip about his life, but plans to kill the story because she finds him boring. Will, overhearing, tells her embarrassing stories about Philip's past "barnyard life" he heard from Philip's parents. This goes down well with the newspaper editors and Philip's parents, but Philip seems ashamed until he makes his acceptance speech where he shows renewed pride in his roots.
HomeSweetHomeboy.jpg 5 5 Homeboy, Sweet Homeboy Jeff Melman Samm-Art Williams October 8,
Will gets a visit from an old pal named Ice Tray (Don Cheadle), who, to Vivian's and Philip's dismay, warms up to Hilary. Philip and Vivian try and discourage Hilary from falling in love with him by finding great warmth to the idea until she jokingly says she just married him to gauge their reaction, which is outrage. Will confides to Vivian just how good a friend Ice Tray had been to him when he was the only studious kid from a class of drop-outs in Philadelphia.
106.jpg 6 6 Mistaken Identity Jeff Melman Susan Borowitz and Andy Borowitz October 15,
While Philip and Vivian go on a trip to Palm Springs in Mr. Furth's helicopter, Will and Carlton drive Furth's Mercedes there as well. They get pulled over by a police officer (Hank Azaria) for "stealing" the car. Luckily, Will was able to get Philip's attention by telling a phony confession on TV and he and Carlton are freed. This was the privileged Carlton's first experience with racial profiling. His father and street-wise cousin leave him with much to ponder when they clue him in on the realities of the system. Meanwhile, Hilary babysits Ashley and proves to be an unhealthy influence on the young girl when she gives her too much coffee.
107.jpg 7 7 Def Poet's Society Jeff Melman John Bowman October 22,
The family pressures Will to enter an after school program. Following the girls into a poetry class, he makes up a poem on the spot to impress them and claims it was written by a poet named Raphael de la Ghetto, a name he spontaneously came up with on the spot. 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.
Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect 1.jpg 8 8 Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part 1) Jeff Melman Story by: Bennie Richburg Jr.
Teleplay: Cheryl Gard and Shannon Gaughan
October 29,
The family heads to the mall to pick up costumes for Hilary's Halloween party, while Will and Carlton place a bet to see who can find a date for the party. Philip gets held up at a gadget store. Vivian sings in a Record-A-Song booth. When Hilary forgets to take a hat off Ashley and walks out of the store with it, they get accused of shoplifting.
109group.jpg 9 9 Someday Your Prince Will Be in Effect (Part 2) Jeff Melman Story by: Bennie Richburg Jr.
Teleplay: Cheryl Gard and Shannon Gaughan
October 29,
Will and Carlton both try to win Melinda over by making up stories about themselves. Special Guest Stars: Quincy Jones, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Kadeem Hardison, Bo Jackson, Heavy D. and Al B. Sure!
Kiss My Butler.jpg 10 10 Kiss My Butler Rita Rogers Blye Sandy Frank November 5,
It is Geoffrey's birthday and Will decides to set him up on a blind date with a woman named Helen (Naomi Campbell) as a gift. However, Will winds up thinking she is perfect for him and breaks up the two. Later when Geoffrey comes home, he gives Will Helen's phone number, stating she would be more fit for Will.
Courting Disaster.jpg 11 11 Courting Disaster Jeff Melman Sandy Frank and Lisa Rosenthal November 12,
Will joins the school basketball team which Carlton is already on. Will becomes the star of the team, causing Carlton to become jealous and the two become competitive with another. In the peak of his jealousy, Carlton decides to steal the ball from Will and take the game's winning shot though he misses. Both Will and Carlton learn their lessons back at the house.
Talking Turkey.jpg 12 12 Talking Turkey Jeff Melman Cheryl Gard November 19,
Will's mom, Vy, comes to the Banks' for Thanksgiving. She gets angry that the kids leave all of the work to Geoffrey and criticizes her sister for being too easy on the kids. Vivian then decides to make the kids cook Thanksgiving dinner. Everything goes wrong when Ashley drops the cranberry sauce on the floor, the turkey is still frozen, and a lot more accidents happen. Carlton also invites his English teacher to the dinner.
Knowledge is Power.jpg 13 13 Knowledge is Power Jeff Melman Rob Edwards November 26,
In order to get the family car instead of Will, Hilary tells Phil that Will has been flouting curfew, subcontracting his chores to Ashley and renting out the family car. He is consequently grounded for a month. Will plans revenge; while going to find out where Hilary is shopping, he learns that she dropped out of college three months ago. Will uses this in order to get Hilary to slave for him while he is punished. Hilary tries to get Carlton to go against Will, but he also uses it against her. Carlton and Will both have lists of embarrassing tasks that Hilary must do at the dinner table. Will's are that when Uncle Phil takes a sip of water, she compliments him and when someone says her name, she must bark like a dog. Carlton's list is when he clears his throat, she must hit Will and when he taps his glass, she must insult Will. They both make her do this stuff at the same time causing her to panic and admit that she dropped out.
Day Damn One.jpg 14 14 Day Damn One Jeff Melman Cheryl Gard December 3,
Ashley and her friends ask Will to tell a scary story at their slumber party before they go to sleep. Will tells the tale of his first day at Bel-Air Academy and how he carved his name into a desk that the first students of the Academy carved into.
Deck the Halls.jpg 15 15 Deck the Halls Jeff Melman Shannon Gaughan December 10,
Will realizes that Ashley has never experienced a real Christmas before (since back in Philly, there would be carolers, lights and neat decorations, while in Bel-Air there are only a few decorations, no carolers, and hardly anything in the Christmas spirit) and goes out of his way to let her have one. He decorates the inside of the mansion and also the outside fully with hundreds of lights, decor, and colors, upsetting some of the neighbors.
Lucky Charm.jpg 16 16

Lucky Charm

Jeff Melman Samm-Art Williams January 7,
Due to a couple of coincidences, one of Philip's clients, a very superstitious businessman, thinks Will is his good luck charm. He befriends Will, who is allowed to decide on some of his major decisions in the stock market. Will has to take upon himself to tell him that he is only in Bel-Air Academy and doesn't want this to interfere with his life.
The Ethnic Trip.jpg 17 17 The Ethnic Trip Jeff Melman Benny Medina and Jeff Pollack January 14,
Will proposes a black history class be instituted at Bel-Air Academy, and gets a surprise when Vivian arrives to teach it. Many of the students enjoy her ways of teaching, except Will and Carlton when she gives them extra homework to do (since they are her two black sons). The students create a petition to keep her as a permanent history teacher and need 150 signature's but only have 148 since they though it'd be fun if the two black students (Will and Carlton) would top it off. They are hesitant and Vivian notices and rejects the idea. At home, Vivian explains that she gave the two extra homework because as the only two black students in class she thought they'd get more from the course and tells Will that unless he learns the full history behind the struggle for equal rights then he's trivilizing the subject. The show closes with a Malcolm X quote which reads: "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs for those who prepare for it today."
The Young and the Restless.jpg 18 18 The Young and the Restless Jeff Melman Lisa Roseenthal January 21,
Philip's mother joins the family for the weekend after recovering from a cold. Philip wants her to relax for the weekend but she has other ideas. Will exposes her to some rap music by Heavy D, which she really likes. She and Will then sneak out to a Heavy D concert, which the family tracks them down and aren't too happy about it.
It Had to Be You.jpg 19 19 It Had to Be You Jeff Melman Cheryl Gard February 4,
Jazz asks Will the favor of taking his sister (Vivica A. Fox) out on a date after she moves into town. Will does so reluctantly, until Jazz introduces the two. Will takes her on a date, but learns that she's extremely bossy and has her whole life planned out for the two already. She tells Will what to do, where and how to look, and criticizes Will for every little thing. Jazz recommends that if Will doesn't like her he should introduce her to someone else. He does so to Carlton at a club. When she displays her rudeness, Carlton can't take it anymore and straightens her out, causing her to fall in love with Carlton.
Nice Lady.jpg 20 20 Nice Lady Jeff Melman Sandy Frank February 11,
Geoffrey's old employer Lord Fowler and his daughter come to the Banks' house for the weekend. Will wants to use the car to go to a Ziggy Marley concert in Nevada, but Philip and Viv won't let him, so he promises to take Lady Penelope to the opera, but she winds up not being what Will thought she would be. She steals the car keys and drives to a club and started doing the "3 Card Monte" scam to gangs and dances on the tables all while she refuses go to. Will tells Geoffrey about it and go to get her, so Will doesn't get into trouble. They don't find her in the club and go back home to tell the Lord. She then appears and states how Will drove her to the opera, got a bit bored so he came home in the third act and she sat through it all.
121.jpg 21 21 Love at First Fight Jeff Melman Lisa Rosenthal & Samm-Art Williams February 18,
One of Vivian's students, Kayla Samuels (Jasmine Guy) comes over for dinner and Will tries to impress her but fails. Eventually, Will wins her over and inadvertently starts taking time away from her studies so Vivian tells him to cut back on their relationship so Kayla can have a good future. Vivian winds up lecturing Kayla and revealing things about her own struggles to be successful.
Banks Shot.jpg 22 22 Banks Shot Jeff Melman Bennie Richburg, Jr. February 25,
Vivian goes away to Berkeley for the weekend, leaving Hilary in charge. When Will steals the car keys to go to the pool hall, and winds up losing his money and the car to a hustler, Philip must go down to rescue him. There he acts like he never played pool before and lets the hustlers win. They then plays again with Geoffrey's cue for $100 a ball. He then greatly wins over the hustlers (Which totals to $900) and gets the car back. Hilary acts as a tyrant to Carlton and Ashley when she is left in charge.
72 Hours.jpg 23 23 72 Hours Rea Kraus Rob Edwards March 11,
Will makes a bet that Carlton wouldn't last a weekend in Jazz's neighborhood, Compton because of the way he is. Carlton takes the bet too far by becoming very thug-like and wears, colorful clothing, shades, bandannas (like Will) and Will has to find a way to stop him from going to MacArthur Park at night. He then rats him on the parents where they go to rescue him before going to the park. At the house, Carlton wins the bet and the reason he won is because Will cared about him and didn't want him to possibly die at the park that night.
Just Infatuation.jpg 24 24 Just Infatuation Jeff Melman Jeff Pollack & Benny Medina April 29,
Ashley's birthday is nearing and when the family asks her what she would like for her birthday, she shows them a picture of Little T (Tevin Campbell), the popular teen singer. Hilary knows T's agent so she has him come to Ashley's birthday party to perform a song for her. They hit it off and set up a date for the next day. Will and Carlton disagree with the date, so they decide to follow them on their date. They find out that all the things they heard about him were false and let them continue on with their date. At the house, as Ashley is adjusting her hair, Will thinks back to the time he taught her how to rap and how she is already growing up fast.
Working it Out.jpg 25 25 Working it Out Rita Rogers Blye Shannon Gaughan May 6,
Hilary lands a new job as an assistant to an actress, Marissa Redman (Queen Latifah) who turns out to be completely disrespectful. Will surprises Hilary with Jazz in the office and Marissa takes a liking to Will, wanting to bring him to a restaurant opening and threatens Hilary with being fired in order to set up the date. Will agrees, but only if Hilary goes on a date with Jazz. Marissa gets mad at Hilary for not giving someone champagne when Jazz acts up and gets mad at Marissa for talking to Hilary like that, Hilary kisses him at the home.