The Best Episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

There are so many good episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse" the best, or is "Just Say So" your favorite episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are, let's rank every The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode from best to worst.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was an NBC sitcom that aired for 148 episodes over six seasons, from September 10, 1990 to May 20, 1996, and starred Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself. The opening song for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, titled "Yo Home to Bel Air," explains the series' entire premise: Will gets into some trouble on the basketball court in West Philadelphia ("born and raised") and his mother insists that he move to Bel Air to live with his aunt and uncle. In addition to Smith, the main cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also included James Avery, Janet Hubert-Whitten/Daphne Maxwell Reid, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, and Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks.

Vote up your favorite episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

Ranked by
  • Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse

    Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse

    Season 4 Episode 24: Will is reunited with his father (BEN VEREEN), but Philip and Vivian won't forgive him for abandoning Will and his mother 14 years ago.
  • Mistaken Identity

    Mistaken Identity

    Season 1 Episode 6: Will and Carlton are arrested and accused of committing a string of auto thefts.
  • Just Say Yo

    Just Say Yo

    Season 3 Episode 19: During their high school prom, Will accidentally gives Carlton an overdose of an illegal drug.
  • Bullets Over Bel-Air

    Bullets Over Bel-Air

    Season 5 Episode 15: Will is shot by a robber, and Carlton is traumatized, reacting excessively. Will asks Lisa to marry him. (Part 1 of 2)
  • 72 Hours

    72 Hours

    Season 1 Episode 23: Carlton hits the streets of Los Angeles with Will.
  • Will Goes a Courtin'

    Will Goes a Courtin'

    Season 4 Episode 6: When Will refuses to pay his rent to Philip unless Philip repairs the air conditioner in Will's guest house, the two stubborn men plead their cases in court before Judge Reynolds.
  • The Butler Did It

    The Butler Did It

    Season 2 Episode 11: With all of the adults away for the weekend, will and the Banks children rent the house out to a production company shooting a music video.
  • Striptease For Two

    Striptease For Two

    Season 2 Episode 24: Desperate to raise some money, Will and Carlton perform as male strippers at a party, not knowing that Vivian and Hilary are in the audience.
  • I, Stank Horse

    I, Stank Horse

    Season 6 Episode 20: Carlton adopts an aged racehorse. Phil refuses to allow Ashley to appear in a sexy commercial or to move to New York to attend school.
  • Fresh Prince After Dark

    Fresh Prince After Dark

    Season 4 Episode 9: When Hilary is invited to pose for Playboy magazine, Will and Carlton get to meet HUGH HEFNER and the beautiful bikini-clad "bunnies" at the Playboy mansion.
  • Banks Shot

    Banks Shot

    Season 1 Episode 22: Will almost loses the family Mercedes to a pool hustler.
  • Who's The Boss?

    Who's The Boss?

    Season 4 Episode 15: When Carlton becomes the new manager of the campus restaurant, Will refuses to work as his employee.
  • Home Is Where the Heart Attack Is

    Home Is Where the Heart Attack Is

    Season 4 Episode 10: After struggling to lose weight, Philip has a serious heart attack while eating a cheeseburger that he bribes Will to buy for him.
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Season 3 Episode 1: When Will refuses to cut his hair and dress more conservatively, Philip makes him leave the Banks home.
  • Boxing Helena

    Boxing Helena

    Season 6 Episode 12: The whole family joins a health club, and Will gets beaten by a formidable boxer--a woman.
  • Knowledge Is Power

    Knowledge Is Power

    Season 1 Episode 13: Will and Carlton learn that Hilary dropped out of college.
  • Winner Takes Off

    Winner Takes Off

    Season 3 Episode 14: Geoffrey humiliates himself by insulting the Banks family and quitting his job when Will and Carlton trick him into thinking he has won millions of dollars in the lottery.
  • Same Game, Next Season

    Same Game, Next Season

    Season 5 Episode 12: Lisa's father likes Will so much that Lisa is neglected. Carlton, Hilary and Ashley argue over whom Philip loves more.
  • Where There's a Will, There's a Way, Part 2

    Where There's a Will, There's a Way, Part 2

    Season 4 Episode 2: Will and Carlton begin their first year of college by moving into their own apartment, while Philip and Vivian enjoy their newborn son. Hilary learns that Trevor plans to propose marriage to her during an elaborate stunt on his TV news show. (Part 2 of 2)
  • What's Will Got to do With It?

    What's Will Got to do With It?

    Season 5 Episode 2: Will revels in Ashley's music industry success, but both Will and Ashley are about to have a rude surprise. (Part 2 of 2)
  • That's No Lady, That's My Cousin

    That's No Lady, That's My Cousin

    Season 3 Episode 3: Will is furious when Ashley transforms herself from an innocent adolescent to a sexy babe to attract boys at her new school. Hilary looks for her own apartment, and Vivian reveals that she's pregnant!
  • Will Gets a Job

    Will Gets a Job

    Season 2 Episode 3: Feeling that the Bel-Air lifestyle is making him lazy, will gets a job so that he can start paying his own way.
  • Cased Up

    Cased Up

    Season 2 Episode 9: When will is involved in a car accident with Hilary's new boyfriend, Philip is forced to defend his underage and uninsured nephew in court.
  • Boyz In The Woods

    Boyz In The Woods

    Season 3 Episode 8: When Philip takes Carlton and Will on a camping trip, the inexperienced trio gets trapped in a mountain cave during a snowstorm.
  • The Alma Matter

    The Alma Matter

    Season 3 Episode 18: Depressed and suicidal over having ruined his chances of attending Princeton University, Carlton is visited by his Guardian Angel (TOM JONES), who shows him how awful the Banks family would be if he weren't alive.