Fan Theories That Will Change How You Remember 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air'

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an iconic sitcom and a '90s staple. Its theme song still inspires impassioned sing-alongs in bars and cars across the world. No one can stop themselves from joining in when they hear "Now this is a story all about how..." As loved as the show is, many viewers aren't aware of all the Fresh Prince fan theories that cast the show in an entirely different light.  

Reddit is rife with crazy Fresh Prince conjecture that suggests that Will passes during the opening credits fight and that the mansion in Bel-Air is heaven. Supposedly, the whole show is actually set in the afterlife, not sunny California. Check out the list below to see all the reasons this reading could be true.  

Photo: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, NBC

  • Will Didn't Actually Survive His 'One Little Fight'

    What if the "one little fight" that Will gets himself into in West Philadelphia - the one that scares his mother so much she sends him to Bel-Air - is so bad that Will doesn't make it out alive? What if he is shot or stabbed instead of being picked up and indelicately spun around?

    This fight then becomes the inciting incident for Will's trip to the afterlife. 

  • The Taxi Driver Is God

    Some fans think the taxi driver that takes Will to Bel-Air in a "rare" cab is God. The cabby escorts the young Philly native to the pearly gates of Uncle Phil's Bel-Air mansion - or heaven.

  • Bel-Air Is Heaven

    What's a better setting for heaven than a huge Bel-Air mansion? Though Will gets shot in one episode (some fans think that this represents Will's coming to terms with his passing), and he and Carlton experience racism from police in another, Will lives in the lap of luxury and he rarely has to deal with anything other than contrived sitcom inconveniences.

    The greatest support for this theory is the house's white aesthetic - it could easily be described as heavenly.

  • This Is Also Why We Rarely See Will's Parents

    Appearances by Will's parents are few and far between throughout the series. Some fans think that because Will is in heaven, the only time his parents show up to the mansion is when they're actually visiting his grave. In the episode "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse," Will's dad Lou shows up after a 14-year absence.

    Perhaps it took Lou so long because word of Will's demise only reached his estranged father when it was time for the funeral.  

  • Maybe DJ Jazzy Jeff Is Thrown Out Of The Mansion For A Reason

    Maybe DJ Jazzy Jeff Is Thrown Out Of The Mansion For A Reason
    Video: YouTube

    DJ Jazzy Jeff is frequently and forcibly removed from the mansion by Uncle Phil for causing mischief and hitting on Hilary Banks. Fans suggest that Jeff can visit Will because the former is in the hospital for terminal injuries, on the verge of the afterlife.

    A doctor always resuscitates him, though, and he is abruptly yanked from heaven and thrown back to the land of the living.

  • There Are Clues In The Lyrics

    Some of the lyrics in the full-length version of the show's theme could be interpreted as supporting this theory. If you assume that Will was hospitalized during his "one little fight," then you can also assume he had to be put in a coma.

    Maybe his mother is coming to terms with pulling the plug. Consider that scenario with these lyrics:  

    I begged and pleaded with her day after day 
    But she packed my suitcase and sent me on my way 
    She gave me a kiss and then she gave me my ticket 
    Put my Walkman on and said I might as well kick it 

    It may be a reach, but one could read that as the mother sending Will to heaven. Now check out the next verse:  

    First class yo this is bad 
    Drinkin' orange juice out of a champagne glass 
    Is this what the people of Bel-Air live like 
    Hmmm this might be all right 
    But wait I hear they're prissy, bourgeois, and all that 
    Is this the type of place that they just send this cool cat? 
    I don't think so I'll see when I get there 
    I hope they're prepared for the prince of Bel-Air 

    These lyrics could definitely be read as Will's internal conflict about whether he's worthy of admittance to heaven. He might not be sure that he'll fit in with all the fancy-pants folks. Regardless, he makes it to the cab.