!Main Cast

[[folder:Will Smith]]
!!Will Smith (Creator/WillSmith)
[[caption-width-right:350:''"My horoscope says that I'm gonna be a famous rapper with a TV show."'']]

->''"My fault, man! I must have got the wrong crib. I didn't know there were so many brothers living in this neighborhood! We're doing all right, huh?"''

The title character. Once a street-wise youth in Philadelphia, a skirmish with a bully causes Will to be sent to live with his wealthy relatives in Bel-Air, California. The show focuses on Will living and interacting with the upper-class society and residential celebrities. Later on, there's more focus on Will's college life.
* AcademicAthlete: At least in season 1. He is his prep school's star basketball player (and a bit of a general goof off), but is also stated to be an avid student. He once mentioned how, while growing up in west Philadelphia, a friend had to stop bullies from attacking him for carrying around his textbooks. Played with from season 2 onwards, where he's portrayed as a slacker who is not interested in his academic studies but is still BrilliantButLazy and manages to score higher than Carlton on a standardized test, though it's mentioned in season 2 his grades were still good.
* TheAce: Which isn't to say he can't muck up, but he's fast-thinking and fast-talking enough to get out of trouble eventually.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: To Carlton.
* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: When Will poses as Ashley's father for an interview he acts like this
-->'''Will:''' Ashley's mom walked out on us. I had to be both mom and dad. We went from training wheels to training bras. Both came off too soon.
* AsideGlance: Frequently. Heck, his featured picture even shows him engaged in one!
* BadLiar: A surprisingly realistic example. He's a ConsummateLiar when he can think up a lie in advance, but a BadLiar when he has to think up a lie on the spot.
* BerserkButton: Do not compare him to his dad. Ever.
* BigBrotherInstinct: He's very protective of Ashley, although he's more like "Big Cousin Instinct". When Ashley is a teenager in later seasons, she doesn't always appreciate this.
* BigBrotherMentor: To Ashley.
* BigManOnCampus: In one episode Carlton admits he's jealous of Will because Will is "tall, good at basketball, and gets all the babes".
* BlitheSpirit: In early episodes Will's slang, urban background and carefree behavior provides much contrast with the uptight upper-class family of his uncle.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Will does this at least once every three episodes, if not more.
* BrilliantButLazy: When Will honestly puts effort into it, he can actually be just as smart as Carlton.
* ButtMonkey: At times. Notably, he's been knocked and humiliated a few times by more intimidating guys.
* TheCasanova: A true womanizer known for his numerous and infamous pickup lines.
* CasanovaWannabe: Just as often, though, his attempts at seduction fall flat on their faces.
* CharacterDevelopment: Primarily regarding his relationship with Carlton. Early on, Will gives Carlton grief about not being black enough, but eases off once he sees Carlton face discrimination from other blacks for exactly this and realizes how asinine and unfair it is. Will was pretty much sought to retain his free-will "Homeboy" lifestyle when first settling in Bel-Air, but has become more accustomed to it and more open about his knowledge of numerous references. Also towards the final 2 seasons he starts to mature and try to take more responsibility with stuff like trying to make a living for him and Lisa, trying to keep Uncle Phil from seeing the destroyed kitchen to help Uncle Phil not himself, and taking initiative at his job.
* TheCharmer: When he and Carlton are doing interviews for Princeton Admissions, what separates the two is that Will is excellent at making great first impressions.
* ClosetGeek: He definitely has his nerdy side. If he applies himself even a ''little'' he will achieve grades that rival Carlton in school, and don't even get him started on ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: He has his moments.
* CloudcuckoolandersMinder: To Carlton, quite a few of the episodes revolve around Will trying to break him out of his ManChild behavior. Ironically Carlton ''thinks'' he's this to Will. In reality, it's actually the opposite.
* CoolBigBro: To Ashley since the first episode, although this is toned down in later seasons. In the first episode she tells him "You're like the big brother l never had".
* CowardlyLion: He will usually try to weasel his way out of a fight, but he ''will'' fight back if he absolutely has to.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: While normally on the receiving end of fights. He does have his moments where he is victorious, such as beating up Dougie and a guy that was moving in on a female celeb he was dating.
* DeadpanSnarker: Especially around Carlton and Uncle Phil.
* DefinitelyJustACold: Will tries this to get out of a tonsillectomy. It does not work.
--> '''Will:''' ''(singing and dancing weakly)'' I got no more fever, I got no more fever ... Aunt Viv?
--> '''Vivian:''' Yes?
--> '''Will:''' Catch me. ''(faints)''
* DidntThinkThisThrough: While Will often has a lot of ideas that would be good on paper, he often forgets one important detail that screws things up. Examples include:
** Getting Uncle Phil to invest in Chalet Towers without knowing why it was up for sale (turns out the manager was trying to avoid a slumlord conviction)
** When "The Hilary Show" need better guests, he got a dismissed juror from a high profile case Uncle Phil was the judge for to come on the show. While the guest's rant was hilarious, Uncle Phil was not happy about what the man said about him.
* FishOutOfWater: The premise of the show, with Will being an easygoing streetwise kid from West Philadelphia moving to rich, snooty Bel-Air. It's especially noticeable in the early seasons when he a student at Bel-Air Prep. The season 2 premiere also shows him being scared out of his mind by an earthquake while everyone else is able to shake it off since they are more used to them.
* FunPersonified: Very fun-loving and always joking around. Most of the time anyway.
* HandsomeLech: He is shamelessly flirty and obsessed with ladies. His pickup lines are very corny (“Hey baby, you look so good I wish I could plant you and grow a whole field of y'all!”) but he gets away with it because he’s Will Smith.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Jazz (more so in the earlier seasons) and Carlton (more so in the later seasons).
* HiddenDepths:
** His first appearance has Will showing off some skilled piano playing.
** In one episode, he scores higher than Carlton, someone who usually gets very good grades, on a standardized test.
** Will has also shown an adeptness for poetry.
** He won over a Princeton recruiter by solving a Rubik's cube in only a few seconds.
** In the first season, while still being goofy and fun-loving, he was also implied to be secretly serious and studious (and was apparently bullied at school in Philly for actually studying). This trait was removed though and from season 2 onwards he's portrayed as a BrilliantButLazy slacker.
** He has shown on a few occasions to be very insecure about his father not being in his life.
* HighSchoolHustler: Although most of his schemes were done at home with Uncle Phil being the DeanBitterman.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Will often ridicules Carlton for having different interests, all while insisting he should be allowed to be himself. Vivian even calls him out on this in an early episode.
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: He's made a few questionable moves with women. But he will not watch anyone do the same thing to Ashley.
* InsistentTerminology: His collection of dolls -- er, action figures.
* IWasBeatenByAGirl: In one episode everyone mocks Will after he loses a fight against a female boxing trainer. When he decides to arrange a rematch, Hilary is shocked that he WouldHitAGirl.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: An immature slacker and troublemaker, and he frequently makes fun of the Banks (especially Carlton and Philip) but he genuinely cares for everyone in the family. In serious situations he always stands up for his uncle or his cousins.
* LadykillerInLove: With Lisa in season 5.
* LargeHam: Let's face it, a good chunk of the show hinged on Will being this.
* LoopholeAbuse: Will wears his Bel Air Prep blazer inside out.
* LovableJock: He played basketball in high school.
* LovableSexManiac: Quite obsessed with scoring women. One episode shows his list of "college activities" only have ''sororities'' on it. As Will puts it: "From Alpha to Gamma to Bad Mamma Jamma!"
* {{Manchild}}: Especially in the later seasons and particularly when it came to his way with the ladies. Carlton even called him out on this in an episode and called the behavior acceptable in high school, but an embarrassment now that they're in college.
* MotiveDecay: The series starts out with him in Bel-Air so he can get a quality education. He might not be the best student ever, but he eventually graduates from high school and convinces his mother to let him stay so he can go to college. After that transition, though, there's much less emphasis on his education, as Will focuses on work, relationship, and general hijinks. This becomes a plot point in the GrandFinale, as Will realizes he got off track and needs to finish what he came out there to do.
* MrViceGuy: Even through all of his faults and idiosyncrasies, Will is a genuinely decent guy.
* NotSoDifferent:
** He and Uncle Phil are both quick-minded, overprotective, have underprivileged backgrounds, huge fans of Malcolm X, Phil was TheCasanova at Will's age, and have a knack for great put downs. The biggest difference between them is that Uncle Phil is serious and focused on the matter at hand while Will is a free goofy and free-spirited.
** As Carlton points out, to his father. Like his father, he's TheSocialExpert, and tends to try to get by on just his charm. Unlike his father, however, he cares about his family and has a sense of responsibility, however slight.
* TheNicknamer: Has a habit of calling people by shorter versions of their names (Uncle Phil, Aunt Viv, Hil, Ash, "C" for Carlton, "G" for Geoffrey). He also gives Carlton many insulting nicknames related to his short stature.
* OneHeadTaller: Not including the women, he's this from Carlton, Geoffrey ''and'' Jazz. The only recurring character that's taller than him is the 6'5" Uncle Phil.
* ParentNeverCameBackFromTheStore: Will's dad ran off this way when he was five. He didn't come back until years later.
* RagsToRiches: The premise of the show.
* ReallyGetsAround: Before settling with Lisa, Will pretty much had a different girlfriend per episode.
* TheScapegoat: In later seasons, this doesn't go unlampshaded.
-->'''Will:''' What is that the theme of this family? 'When in doubt blame Will.'
* SelfDeprecation: Believe it or not, yes. As highly as he thinks of himself, whenever Will has an ImagineSpot of himself in the future, he envisions himself as [[FutureLoser a sleazy, unkempt and usually overweight (namely with an oversized butt) old man.]]
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Manly Man to Carlton's Sensitive Guy.
* TheSlacker: Usually more interested in his own personal pleasures than his academic studies. Lampshaded by Carlton in season 6.
-->'''Carlton:''' You're a slacker. You say you want things but you're never willing to work for it. You never make the sacrifice. You think you're just gonna charm your way through.
* SmarterThanYouLook: He may act like a total goof-off and slacker, but he's actually quite bright. Princeton University was thinking about accepting him, much to Carlton's [[JawDrop absolute shock]].
* StreetSmart: He's the experienced, streetwise (but not necessarily BookDumb) teenager from West Philadelphia, in contrast to Carlton who is book smart but sheltered.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Like any loyal son of Philly, Will loves his cheesesteaks. He has also shown a huge fondness of sweet potato pie.
* UncleTomfoolery
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Carlton. The 'vitriolic' part gets downplayed over time.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Which leads to a humiliating defeat at the hands of a female boxing trainer.
* YouAreNotMyFather: When Lou comes back into Will's life after having run out on him 14 years ago, Lou then abandons him ''again'' for another trucking job. This is the final exchange Will and Lou share:
-->'''Lou''': It was great seeing you, son.
-->'''Will''': You too... ''Lou''.

[[folder:Philip Banks]]
!!Philip Banks (James Avery)
[[caption-width-right:321:''"'''DO I LOOK LIKE A WHITE GUY NAMED WARD?!'''"'']]

->"''Well speaking as a lawyer, I can only say that your daughter fits the criminal profile to a T, right down to the sloping forehead, and the wide jaws suitable for grains and small rodents!"''

A successful attorney (later appointed Superior Court Judge) who doesn't try to hide his reluctance to Will settling in with the Banks. Spends a good portion of the show dealing with Will's antics and help fix any mess made.
* ActionDad: Has quite a few moments of PapaWolf badassery. In the episode, Mistaken Identity, when a racist police officer arrests his son Carlton and nephew Will, and sees right through an obvious Engineered Public Confession. When said cop refuses to let them out of their cell, Uncle Phil unleashes a verbal ass-whoopin' the likes of which the poor bastard had never seen.
* AngryBlackMan: Uncle Phil's backstory. In his youth he was a radical civil rights activist before he made good. He can still pull it out when he has to, or is pushed to far by some injustice.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Not a leader, per se, but more than a few plots show that he's in charge of the family.
* BaldOfAwesome: Uncle Phil is badass. Go look at the Awesome moments page for examples.
* BerserkButton: Don't take away his Thanksgiving dinner, or he'll give you a legal beatdown.
* BestServedCold: Normally, Philip would yell or threaten Will the instant he does something insanely wrong. But in one case Will did something so bad, that it took three years for Phil to think up the ultimate punishment for Will, apparently involving ''medieval torture''. Will really had it coming, too -- he wanted to sleep with a girl who wouldn't give it up before marriage, so he staged a fake wedding with Jazz playing the preacher, just to get her into bed. He came to his senses at the last second, but ''damn.''
* BigEater: It ends up giving him a heart attack in an episode. This becomes a bit of a HarsherInHindsight as Avery [[http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/01/showbiz/celebrity-news-gossip/james-avery-obit/ passed away]] due to complications from open-heart surgery.
* BumblingDad: Averted. He has his moments of stupidity, but he's portrayed as competent and knowledgeable way more often than other sitcom dads.
* ButtMonkey: Constantly on the receiving end of jokes about his weight, baldness, and grumpy temperament, usually by Will.
* TheCasanova: In his younger years, Aunt Viv does not like to be reminded.
* CategoryTraitor: Several episodes reveal that he secretly fears that he's a sellout for becoming a high powered corporate attorney and leaving his old neighborhood. At first, Will thinks this of him, but he grows out of it as they spend more time together.
* DeadpanSnarker: Not quite to the extent of Geoffrey but he has his moments throughout the series.
* DoomItYourself: Phil is an excellent lawyer and an even better judge, but his skills as a handyman are less than impressive. His attempt at fixing the stove burns Geoffrey's eyebrows off, his attempt at fixing the toaster causes a piece of toast to fly into Geoffrey's eye, his attempt at fixing the static on the phone completely kills the line, and his attempt at fixing the sink causes a leak. At one point, Vivian has to use a LysistrataGambit to stop him from doing any more damage to the house.
* EmbarrassingNickname: "Zeke," by his parents.
* FatComicRelief: One of the many running gags was the jokes about Uncle Phil being overweight. These would usually come from Will, Geoffrey or Jazz, who really make a KarmaHoudini out of themselves, as they're often in no position to snark at them, thanks to his HAHAHANo response.
* FormerlyFit: An episode that flashed back to over a decade previous showed that he was slimmer and more conventionally attractive before he got into the wealthy world of high-powered law.
* GoodParents: Despite his many flaws, Phil is an excellent and loving father to all ''five'' of his children, Will very much included. He's there for them physically, emotionally, and financially whenever they're upset or even just a little stumped by their homework. This is best shown when Will's father returns and Phil's constant presence is contrasted with Lou's perpetual absence.
-->'''Phil''': ''(yelling at Lou)'' Oh bull, ''bull!'' Will is not a coat that you hang in the closet, then pick it up when you're ready to wear it. His life goes on. He's not supposed to be here for you, you're supposed to be here for ''him''!
* HaHaHaNo: He does this quite often, especially to Will and Carlton. If it sounds stupid or outrageous, expect him to laugh along with the kids before ''exploding''.
* HairTriggerTemper: "Uncle Phil is a very big man, with a ''very short fuse.'' Bad combination. ''Very bad combination''."
* HappilyMarried: To Vivian.
* HiddenDepths: He may not seem it, but he was heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement and was a star football player at Princeton. He's also [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome one HELL of a pool player]].
--> "Geoffrey, break out [[ICallItVera Lucille]]."
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: His treatment of Will raises serious questions about if he actually likes his nephew at all. If anyone else mistreats Will, however, nothing can protect you from his wrath.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: As stern and short tempered as he is, he’s also a very loving father and uncle.
* LargeAndInCharge: He’s a very big man, and the patriarch of the family.
* LikeASonToMe: To Will.
* MeanBoss: Phil is a loving parent, but he can be a real {{Jerkass}} to his employees. Geoffrey is so frustrated with the low salary Phil pays him that at one point he quits as butler and refuses to come back until Phil offers him a raise. His [[spoiler:law clerk Edward Haskell]] becomes so fed up with Phil's abuse that he breaks into the Banks' home and robs them blind.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: If he starts laughing after a really bad prank or screwup of Will's, that's usually a good sign to run for your life.
* OmnidisciplinaryLawyer: In the present day, he is a business lawyer mostly doing corporate mergers. However, in his youth he was a very skilled civil rights and anti-poverty lawyer. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the rights of criminal defendants, which he's displayed on multiple occasions.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: The cause of many of his ExiledToTheCouch moments.
-->'''Will:''' Wow, Uncle Phil, I knew you had a king-size appetite, but ''both'' feet?
* OverprotectiveDad: Especially when it comes to Ashley. If somebody says he wants to ground his 14-year-old daughter for ''ten years'', he really is something.
* PapaWolf: Perhaps most evident when Will's father returns and tries to briefly reconcile with his son after abandoning him over ''fourteen'' years ago. Phil's hackles are instantly raised (right along with Vivian's) and it's made very clear that if he could punch or throw Lou out of the house and keep him far away from Will, he would gladly do so without a second thought.
-->'''Phil:''' What is ''he'' doing here, Vivian?
* ParentalSubstitute: Eventually proved to be more of a father to Will than his real father ever was. The last episode effectively spells this out and makes it clear that the two consider their relationship that of father and son rather than uncle and nephew.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He's proven this many times in the series.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gave several over the course of the series but the most memorable would be the one he gave Lou when the latter was planning on leaving Will ''again''.
-->'''Phil:''' Sit down.\\
'''Lou:''' ''(starting to leave)'' Ain't got time for no lecture.\\
'''Phil:''' I said sit down, Lou! (Lou stops and sits down on the couch) You know, Will was doing just fine until you showed up. But now that you're back, you have responsibilities to him.\\
'''Lou:''' [[BlatantLies Look, we still gonna take the trip--]]\\
'''Phil:''' [[BigShutUp OH, BULL! BULL!]] Will is not some coat that you hang up in the closet and you pick it up when you're ready to wear it! His life goes on! He's not supposed to be here for you! You're supposed to be there for him!\\
'''Lou:''' (standing back up) Hey, you get off my back! You think I want this?! It! Just! Happened! Now, Will was a baby and I was scared—\\
'''Phil:''' Cut the crap, alright?! Cut it! Because I've been there. But I didn't walk out on my family. I was there every single day for them, because that is what a man does!
* RetiredBadass: While Phil is by no means ''not'' a badass in the current setting of the series, he was also active in Civil Rights crusades in the 1960s, and it's implied that he and Vivian occasionally were involved in protests that turned violent when reminiscing with their old friend Marge. The fact that they are now working from within the system (with Phil as a lawyer and a judge, and Vivian as a professor) to better the lives of black communities as opposed to breaking the law is a point of contention between the Banks parents and Marge.
* ScaryBlackMan: When he gets angry.
* SelfMadeMan: Was born a country boy and worked himself up in his career to achieve his current wealth. DiscussedTrope in a episode when Will is too proud to ask for money, and Uncle Phil outright tell there's no such thing as the trope, and he only got where he is because others were willing to lend him a hand along the way.
* SternTeacher: This is his general parenting style in dealing with Will and Carlton. He loves his boys very much, although he doesn't hesitate to put the fear of God into them with his ScaryBlackMan routine to keep them on the straight and narrow.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Uncle Phil loves his turkey, with "pillowy mounds of mashed potatoes...butter drenched dressing...tiny onions in an ocean of cream sauce..."
* TranquilFury: Occasionally, when he's really angry, he speaks softly, smiles, and even laughs...then he really [[UnstoppableRage explodes]].
* UglyGuyHotWife: Ugly Guy to Vivian's Hot Wife. Will [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this with disbelief when they announce Vivian is pregnant with another child.
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: Phil didn't think much of his life in Yamacraw, though Will ends up being impressed by some of the stories, such as becoming the first black president of the Young Farmers club and using a white's only restroom when he really had to go. Phil thinks those are trivial items because he wasn't trying to prove some grand point with either of them, but Will says they're things he should be proud of.
* YouAreFat: Basically, all the jokes about him, usually by Will, Geoffrey, and Jazz.

[[folder:Vivian Banks]]
!!Vivian Banks (Janet Hubert-Whitten, 1990-1993; Daphne Maxwell Reid, 1993-1996)
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Oh, honey, we about to get '''very''' busy here."'']]

->''"We used slang when we were kids! Do you remember our first date? You took one look at me and said, "That is a bad dress!" You could've just said it was a good dress."''

The second-oldest of the Smith sisters, and Will's maternal aunt, who's a well-educated professor at the local university. Unlike Phil, Vivian's far more open and patient with Will when he first moves in with the Banks, and understands that transitioning from inner-city Philadelphia to the ultra-wealthy Bel Air will be difficult for him.
* AnnoyingPatient: During the last month of her pregnancy.
* ButNotTooBlack: Janet Hubert-Whitten, who originally played Vivian, was replaced by the lighter-complexioned Daphne Maxwell Reid in the last few seasons. The change in actress was lampshaded on her first appearance but no mention was made of the half-shade difference in color. Even worse, the change in actress (and, with that, skin tone) also corresponded with a change in personality from an assertive outspoken career woman who was every bit her husband's equal to a docile, permissive housewife who appears much less.
* GoodParents: Although she gets less focus than her husband (especially in later seasons), Vivian is always shown as a good and caring mother.
* HappilyMarried: To Philip.
* HiddenDepths: As a young woman, she dropped out of high school to run off with a guy, and cleaned hotel rooms to put herself through night school to earn her degree. She also knows enough about black history to teach the subject at a high school level, and was active in the Civil Rights Movement along with Uncle Phil.
* HotTeacher: In early seasons she was a professor played by the very attractive Janet Hubert-Whitten. Later on, her job is almost never mentioned.
* {{Housewife}}: Even before the actress switch, a throwaway line reveals she quit her job as a professor to spend more time with her family, becoming a homemaker in the end.
* IgnoredExpert: When Ashley secretly transferred out of Bel-Air Prep and enrolled in public school, Phil was outraged when he found out. He intended to make her transfer back and didn't care at all about the merits of the public school. Vivian takes issue with this--saying he didn't bother to consult her despite her history in education.
* LethalChef: She has a bad habit of burning stuff. This is one of the main reasons why Vivian's so desperate to keep Geoffrey in their employment.
* LysistrataGambit: Employs this a LOT. Often overlaps with ExiledToTheCouch.
* MamaBear: Just like Phil, this is most evident when Will's father returns. She's instantly on guard, phones her sister (Will's mother), and watches Lou with open distrust. She's been protective of her children and nephew at other parts in the series, but this episode shows just how vindictive Vivian can be if she feels ''any'' of her kids are threatened with harm, be it physical or emotional.
-->'''Vivian''': ''(to Phillip)'' You're not going to hit him, are you? ''({{Beat}})'' Because I don't want to miss that.
* NotSoAboveItAll: She's usually more reserved and reasonable than Philip, but she can lose it when a matter specifically bothers her. If she starts taking her earrings off, ''[[OhCrap be warned]]''.
* OutOfFocus: After the actress switch she rarely played a major role in an episode and was entirely absent from several.
* RetiredBadass: As mentioned in Phil's section above, Vivian was very active in the Civil Rights Movement, and it's implied that she and Phil occasionally had to defend themselves from systemic violence in the process.
* SassyBlackWoman: She can slip into this when she gets upset, especially in early seasons.
* SternTeacher: During her tenure teaching black history at Bel-Air Prep, she made Will and Carlton miserable with a hefty workload. On the other hand, the other students loved her.
* {{Tsundere}}: Occasionally Type B towards Philip.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Hot Wife to Philip's Ugly Guy. Will [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this with disbelief when they announce Vivian is pregnant with another child.

[[folder:Carlton Banks]]
!!Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro)
[[caption-width-right:307:''"I'm getting ready for ''Soul Train''. I believe there's dancing involved."'']]

->''"For a long time it gave me nightmares, having to witness an injustice like that. It was a constant reminder of how unfair this world can be. I can still hear them taunting him. "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids." ...How come they just couldn't give him some cereal?!"''

The middle child of the Banks family who strives to get into Princeton and be a successful lawyer like his dad. More confident in the law and order in general, Carlton's at odds with Will more than frequently, though by the later half of the series he becomes TheLancer.
* {{Adorkable}}: An annoying yet lovable geeky goofball, often wearing polo shirts and sweater. And he invented the hilariously dorky Carlton Dance.
* AngstComa: When Carlton fails to get into Princeton.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: His short stature and overall behavior aside, Carlton actually managed to knock out Will in more than one occasion, whether it be by one punch, or even a blow from his elbow. He once even let Will take a fall from a treehouse by releasing the ladder after Will had started descending it, this after having taken yet another dig at Carlton's height. And then there's the time that Carlton meets a bunch of Will's old friends, all of them tough guys, and it doesn't take long for Carlton to be acting and talking as tough and badass as them, having earned their respect and a place in their crew, which leaves Will absolutely baffled.
* BlackAndNerdy: He serves as a foil to his much cooler cousin Will.
* BreakTheHaughty: Quite a few times.
* BumblingSidekick: Becomes this to Will in later seasons.
* ButNotTooBlack: Subverted but deconstructed throughout the series with the jokes about him being TheWhitestBlackGuy.
* ButtMonkey: Always on the receiving end of Will’s jokes and insults. In their rivalry, Will usually comes out on top. After the first few seasons he is flanderized into a big loser who is made fun of by nearly everyone.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Carlton was introduced in Season 1 as an incredibly preppy and pompous SmugSnake playing no more than a [[TheRival rival]] or {{Foil}} to Will. Recurring emotional breakdowns and being a ButtMonkey occurred in the next seasons; and eventually became the complete nerdy goof everyone [[EnsembleDarkhorse loves and remembers]].
* ClarkKentOutfit: He may be short, but he could still make a fair amount of men feel pretty inferior about their bodies.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: At times.
* ComedicSociopathy: At times, usually when money's involved. One time he said in Uncle Phil's proximity
-->'''Carlton:''' It's my property, I'm gonna inherit it after the big guy takes his bungee jump
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: While the Carlton Dance is very goofy, he's shown to be a very able dancer in Season 5 episode "Sooooul Train". Counts as an ActorAllusion since Alfonso Ribeiro used to be one of Music/MichaelJackson's backup dancers.
* DitzyGenius: He's very book smart, but also extremely immature and naive, especially in later seasons. For example, in the episode where he loses his virginity, the woman tells him he can kiss her good-bye in the morning and Carlton replies with, "What time should I come back?"
* DumbassTeenageSon: One of the rare cases when a teenage son is this trope without being lazy or BookDumb. But he's still childish and has no common sense, usually acting as a foil for Will and even his father Phil at times, who tells him to "Shut up" every now and then.
* ExtracurricularEnthusiast: In high school. Captain of the debate team, straight A student, leader of the glee club, editor of the yearbook..
* ExtravertedNerd: Not originally, but more so as the series progresses.
* {{Fanboy}}: Of Music/TomJones, Creator/WilliamShatner and [[Film/HomeAlone Macaulay Culkin]].
* {{Flanderization}}: Carlton started off as being un-hip and unathletic, but socially savvy and popular in his own setting. As time goes on, his social awkwardness and naivete dominate his character.
* {{Foil}}: Most of the show is based on the interactions between him and Will, because they are total opposite in every way.
* FriendlyEnemy: To Will, mostly in season 1. Later evolves into VitriolicBestBuds, and then later into HeterosexualLifePartners.
* FriendlyRivalry: There's always a bit of competition between him and Will, even though they become best friends in later seasons.
* TheGamblingAddict: In a couple of episodes.
* HeightAngst: Zig-zagged. He usually doesn’t seem to care about his short height, but in a few episodes he acts annoyed with Will’s endless short jokes about him, or admits he’s jealous because Will is taller and more popular.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Becomes this with Will later on, especially in college where they both rarely spend time with anyone else.
* HollywoodDateless: In contrast to [[TheCasanova Will]], he’s always referred to be as hopeless with girls and as someone who has trouble finding dates. However throughout the show he has more onscreen dates than both his beautiful sisters (justified considering their respective amounts of screen-time), he has been hit on by girls numerous times (although Carlton usually screws up with them anyways), and at least four girls actually picked him over Will.
* HumiliationConga: Gets a particularly bad one in a short amount of time in season six. First he's fired from his job as assistant talent coordinator for ''Hilary'' in favor of Will, then gets rejected from several attempts to pad his résumé, including Bob Dole's campaign headquarters, got passed over for a job he was certain he had in the bag, and ultimately found himself skipping an interview with a Princeton scout to hang out at a local blues bar.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: He eventually gains transfer admission to Princeton. However, it's actually not too unrealistic, considering Carlton is a legacy child (Phil attended Princeton), comes from a wealthy and connected family, and has worked himself to the bone for years to maintain near-perfect grades.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He starts out as a snobbish {{Jerkass}} in the first season, but gradually becomes a close friend to Will and learns to genuinely care about him, even referring to him in one episode as "the brother I've always wanted".
* TheLancer: To Will.
* LargeHam: In later seasons. In fact, both Will Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro comment on each other's tendency to overact in the episode "I, Whoops, There It Is."
* ManChild: When he and Nicky go to see Dougie, they're equally excited. Not to mention ''[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Dressing up as Macaulay freakin' Culkin for Halloween]]''. Goddamnit.
* NoSocialSkills: Downplayed; Carlton isn't ''completely'' devoid of social skills, but he oftentimes seems incapable of interacting with people outside of a country club or private school. He gets better over time, but he's always pretty awkward.
* OvershadowedByAwesome:
** How often he feels about Will.
** In the last season, he finally gets accepted to Princeton. However, he starts getting cold feet when he sees how much Phil accomplished during his time there.
* PointyHairedBoss: During his time as manager of the Peacock Stop, he'll gladly screw over the clientele in order to attempt to raise profits or cut costs. And he treats Will like utter crap when he first gets the job.
* ProfessionalButtKisser: Especially in early seasons. He acts like this even to his father at times. Though he's nothing compared to Phil's protege in "Cased Up" who kisses up twice as much and twice as well as Carlton does.
* RunningGag: His (in)ability to dance. Except to "Billie Jean". His "Billie Jean" dance could be an ActorAllusion as Alfonso Ribeiro once danced alongside Music/MichaelJackson in the latter's famous Pepsi commercials. His dancing abilities become something of a TheCastShowoff during the family's appearance on Soul Train.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: He manages to outscream both of his sisters, older and younger.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Sensitive Guy to Will's Manly Man.
* SmallNameBigEgo: He thinks very highly of himself because he’s rich and well-educated, and especially overestimates his ability to understand social situations leading to many BreakTheHaughty moments.
* SmugSnake: Mostly in the beginning.
* StrawLoser: He wasn’t supposed to be a loser early in the series but he’s gradually flanderized into an immature dork who just can’t compete with Will. In season one he was actually implied to be quite popular in his school but in one of the later episodes Carlton himself says he was always a loner and a “dweeb” in high school. Of course, we didn't actually see much of Carlton's (or Will's) life at school in the early seasons, so we only have Carlton's word to go on regarding how popular he was at that time. Once we *do* start seeing more of school-life, it's apparent that he really isn't very popular; this would lead one to deduce that Carlton's claims to popularity were more a case of UnreliableNarrator.
* TookALevelInBadass: When he started out, most of the time he relied on either Will or Phil to back him up. However during an episode where someone accuses him of "Not being black enough" he drops the goofy nerd persona and proceeds to verbally tear the Jerkass a new one.
* TookALevelInDumbass: He was originally TheComicallySerious. Between season 3 and 4 he starts acting goofy and immature more often to the point of becoming a full-blown ManChild in the last few seasons.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Will.
* WellDoneSonGuy: He always wants to please his father and usually sides with him in arguments.

[[folder:Hilary Banks]]
!!Hilary Banks (Karyn Parsons)
[[caption-width-right:300:''"Daddy, I need $300."'']]

->''"I'm a career woman. I don't have time to dust and push around that... oh, what do you call that big, loud thing that sucks up everything?"''

The spoiled elder child of the Banks family, Hilary's a socialite bent on being looked highly upon by her peers in the upper class. She also leeches off her parents' fortune and is ignorant of how life outside of hers really works.
* BrainlessBeauty: She’s a pretty, rich, spoiled girl who also happens to be an utter airhead and basically incapable of doing ''anything'' except shopping and spending her father's money. She casually asks her father for 300 dollars in the pilot episode, gets loads of various jobs with unexplained luck, and eventually gains her own television show as a talk show host.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Although she's in her twenties.
* BreakTheCutie: Goes through a period of this after [[spoiler: Trevor's death.]]
* CharacterDevelopment: Originally shallow and lacking self-confidence for being a jobless college dropout, she is shown to be more and more jovial for each successful job she takes on from Season 2 onwards; she ends up starring in her own hot talk show and moves to UsefulNotes/{{New York|City}}.
** She also becomes gradually more independent over the course of the series. She starts off living in the Banks' residence, to living in the pool house without rent, to the pool house with $500 rent, to back into the Banks house for about a year to recover from Trevor's death, to moving into her own house, and finally making it on her own (with Ashley living with her) in New York.
* CityMouse: If an activity does not involve shopping, hanging out with celebrities, swimming, going to parties, or any of the activities typically associated with Southern California high society, Hilary is likely going to be allergic to it.
* CoolBigSis: Usually averted because Carlton and Ashley don’t see her as one. But there are a few moments where she’s shown to be a loving and supportive older sister, most notably when she gives Ashley advice about sleeping with her boyfriend, a rare serious and heartwarming moment from Hilary.
* TheDitz: Very obviously. In the episode where Vivian is finally having the baby in the hospital:
-->'''Philip''': (to newborn Nicky) Hello, little Nicholas Andrew Banks.
-->'''Vivian''': I thought we agreed to call him Philip.
-->'''Hilary''': Ew, that's a stupid name.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Hilary had reddish brown curly hair in the first season, then her hair went dark in later seasons before sporting straight hair in the final season. After the show's end, Karyn Parsons has reverted back to her natural hairstyle.
* {{Flanderization}}: When the series began, her ditziness was based more on being clueless about the real world. As the series progressed, she became dumber.
* FriendToAllChildren: As long as they aren't related to her. Hilary loves babies and toddlers, and hit it off with a troop of Girl Scout [[{{Expy}} expies]] (though she needed some advice from Geoffrey, first).
* FullNameUltimatum: "Hilary Violet Banks!"
* ItsAllAboutMe: Sports a ''massive'' ego. When told to make a Mother's Day gift, she compiles a video montage featuring Vivian's "greatest achievement: Hilary Banks".
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: While it doesn't show it very much, she does genuinely care for her family. Especially when Will gets shot. Also when Ashley is contemplating sleeping with her boyfriend, without outright telling what she should or shouldn't do, she's very supportive.
* LethalChef
-->'''Hilary''': I know what I'm doing. Remember, I was a professional caterer.
-->'''Will''': And you still would be if you hadn't poisoned those nuns.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: The dark to Ashley's light.
* LoopholeAbuse: How she ended up in the pool house during season three. In her own words, Philip told her she had to be out of the house, not off of the property.
* LovableAlphaBitch: She's mostly cheerfully oblivious to how badly she treats those beneath her (mainly Geoffrey).
* NoodleIncident: In regards to entertaining men in the jacuzzi.
--> "That's between me, that man and his video camera!"
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: Several times during "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse"
-->'''Hilary:''' Will's dad is a deadbeat who left him and his mother flat
* ProudBeauty: "I'm a beautiful woman trapped in an even more beautiful woman's body."
* ReallyGetsAround: During the first two seasons, at least. Though only one of her dates is actually shown, it's referred to plenty of times.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Due to her rich lifestyle, she’s very spoiled and largely clueless.
-->'''Philip''': You didn't have the common sense to know that?
-->'''Hilary''': I don't have any common sense!
* SpoiledBrat: Her first line ever was "Dad, I need $300!"
* TookALevelInDumbass: She was always the least intelligent family member but initially she was more snobby and shallow than a BrainlessBeauty.
* TheUnfavorite: Fortunately, she's too dim to notice.
-->'''Philip''': Right now, it's hard to love any one of you, but I do. Ashley, I love your sensitivity, your warmth. Carlton, I love your ambition and your persistence. Hilary...Hilary.
-->'''Hilary''': Yes, Daddy?
-->'''Philip''': ...nice earrings.
-->'''Hilary''': Oh, Daddy!
* UpperClassTwit: Worst one in the family. Particularly early on when she frequently championed environmental conservation while invariably demonstrating in the process that she is neither knowledgeable in nor especially devoted to the subject (fittingly, this character trait is dropped altogether by the end of the first season).
* ValleyGirl: Even though she has all the mannerisms down, she's actually from Bel Air and in one episode describes hell as being "like, the Valley".
* WomanChild: Hilary is hopelessly immature and can't be self-sufficient, so her parents tolerate her freeloading.

[[folder:Ashley Banks]]
!!Ashley Banks (Tatyana M. Ali)
[[caption-width-right:300:''"Okay, I'm cute. Can we move on now?"'']]

->''"I'm not as innocent as I look. [{{beat}}] Alright, I am."''

The youngest Banks daughter, she instantly took a liking to Will once he arrived and very much looked up to him. Gradually, she became bent on being less of daddy's little girl and more open and a bit rebellious, even out of Will's control. She is the only one of the Banks children to have, more or less, normal adolescence; having common teenager issues.
* AcquiredSituationalNarcissism: When she became a music sensation, she let the fame go to her head. She returned to normal once it became clear she would be a OneHitWonder, though.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Sometimes, starting in season four.
* CloserToEarth: Than Carlton and Hilary.
* DaddysGirl: She fights this trope for much of the show before eventually accepting and appreciating her father's concern.
* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: The light to Hilary's dark.
* NiceGirl: Especially when she was a little girl. Even as a teenager, despite her occasional BrattyTeenageDaughter moments, she's still sweeter than most of her family.
* OnlySaneWoman: Much more sane and level-headed than most of the family (especially compared to her siblings). Ironically because she’s the youngest.
* RebelliousPrincess: She becomes this also because of Will's influence.
* SheCleansUpNicely: The older she gets, the prettier she gets and the more overprotective Uncle Phil gets. As well as Will and Carlton. Ask [[Series/FamilyMatters Jaleel White]].
* ShesAllGrownUp: Naturally through the seasons, though Uncle Phil is reluctant to accept this.
* SpoiledSweet: In contrast to snobby Hilary and Carlton, Ashley is introduced as a down-to-earth and sweet girl who immediately forms a close bond with her cousin Will. She also has a very close friendship with the family's butler Geoffrey, to the point where, in a late episode, he calls her the only Banks family member he tolerates.
* StraightMan: Being the most normal character, Ashley rarely gets funny lines or moments, and is mostly a foil to the antics of her quirky family members.
* StrawFeminist: During a Thanksgiving two-parter.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Once she became a teenager.

!!Geoffrey Barbara Butler (Joseph Marcell)
[[caption-width-right:300:''"Sarcasm? Whatever do you mean?"'']]

->''"I would prefer an assassin's bullet to this kind of living hell."''

The Banks family butler, an older English man who outside of the witty barbs has a great relationship with the family.
* BattleButler: He once was a sparring partner for Creator/ChuckNorris and even took on a guy bigger than him in a bar fight. He also has Phil's Pool Cue at the ready when Phil shows his skills.
* BrutalHonesty: He has no problem telling the Banks what he thinks about them, and always in a subtle snarky way.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Originally very respectful and gentlemanly (in Season 1), but he becomes more and more a cynical DeadpanSnarker who openly hates his job and the Banks family, to the point that literally everything to come out of his mouth is a sarcastic remark or an outright insult (towards everyone except Vivian, Ashley, and Nicky).
* ChronicVillainy: Geoffrey switches back and forward between plotting against and hating the family and feeling genuine affection for them throughout the series.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: When drunk.
* ComedicSociopathy: He has his moments.
* DeadpanSnarker: Much emphasis on the deadpan part.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: ''Barbara''. "It's a ''family'' name!"
* GentlemanSnarker: Even when making fun of Will and the Banks, he always refers to Will as "Master William” and the Banks children as "Master Carlton", "Miss Hilary", "Miss Ashley", and "Master Nicky", and always speaking in a deadpan, sarcastic tone.
* HyperCompetentSidekick: Geoffrey generally runs every aspect of the house, such as food shopping, meals, and cleaning. While he's been known to slack off at times, "Did the Earth Move for You?" and "Winner Takes Off" show how the family really can't hack his different responsibilities even if they divide the workload.
* TheJeeves: A British butler who is also well-dressed, dutiful, and polite…at least in the first season, before becoming a DeadpanSnarker.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Considering how everyone treats him, his cynical and insulting attitude towards the family is somewhat justified.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Sometimes you have to wonder why Uncle Phil doesn't fire him. However Geoffrey has his kindly moments and still has a (somewhat) good relationship with the family, as seen in the episode where they ask him to become Nicky’s godfather.
* LukeYouAreMyFather: In Season 6, he discovers he has a son he never knew about, named Frederick.
* MeaningfulName: Of the patronym variety, for his last name.
* OnlySaneMan: How he sees himself, but this is hardly true in later seasons.
* SarcasticDevotee: How much he’s actually loyal and devoted to the Banks family varies DependingOnTheWriter. In one episode, he believes he has won a multimillion dollar lottery (it was actually a prank of Will and Carlton) and immediately quits his job after insulting the whole family, although he comes back eventually. It also gets played with a bit in that, when he thought he was rich, he was quite willing to share the wealth with those that treated him kindly (such as promising to buy Ashley a car). One ClipShow dedicates a series of clips to his wisecracks, much to his shock.
--->"Sarcasm? Whatever do you mean?"
* ServileSnarker: Used to be the TropeNamer.
* TooKinkyToTorture: "Sleepless In Bel-Air" had him talking about a wonderful dream where Amazonian women had him tied up and were taunting him with tangelos.

[[folder:Nicky Banks]]
!!Nicky Banks (Ross Bagley)

The youngest of the Banks children, born during the run of the show. But don't let that make you think he didn't have any CharacterDevelopment, he [[{{pun}} grew]] as much as the others did.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: And Santa tells Will to keep Nicky that way for as long as possible.
* CousinOliver: A unique case of being born on screen and then aged up to fill this role.
* DeadpanSnarker:
--> '''Nicky''': *''after coming upon Hilary and Ashley in the family room, pretending to be driving''* What are you doing?
--> '''Hilary''': Driving lessons!
--> '''Nicky''': Lesson number one: use a car.
* DeadPetSketch: Poor Harry.
* OverlyLongName: He starts out as Nicholas Andrew Banks, and the first names of the members of Boyz II Men were added on the day of his christening.
* SoapOperaRapidAgingSyndrome: Lampshaded immediately, with Jazz replying that he's going back to the streets where everything makes more sense.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears:
--> '''Philip''': Nicky, do you remember in Disney/TheLionKing, when Mufasa-- \\
'''Nicky''': Dad, did you sit on Harry?

!!Jazz (DJ Jazzy Jeff/Jeffrey A. Townes)

Will's best friend in L.A. (played by Will Smith's actual rap partner) who met him while performing at a nightclub. Jazz functions as a DropInCharacter, often showing up unannounced (and unwanted) at the Banks house to eat the family's food, scheme with Will, unsuccessfully flirt with Hilary, and generally insult Uncle Phil. Phil's dislike of Jazz quickly evolved into a RunningGag featuring StockFootage of him being thrown from the house while grunting. Despite being dimwitted and occasionally manipulative, Jazz does care for Will (and the rest of the Banks family as well), and goes the extra mile for them on more than one occasion.
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Toward Hilary.
* BrutalHonesty: He just doesn't know when to shut up, especially around Uncle Phil.
* TheCasanova: Well, sometimes.
* ChivalrousPervert: He has quite the reputation as a casanova but he treats these women well as shown by how Jewel said Jazz treats her
** He's very brazen in his attraction to Hillary, but when seeing how her abrasive boss treats her, he defends her in very eloquent terms.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Most of the time.
* CoolShades: He wears sunglasses all the time.
* DropInCharacter: More like "Throw Out Character"...
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Of the family, only Will and Ashley actually enjoy having him around. Philip downright loathes him, Hilary doesn't care for his flirting, and Carlton thinks he's an idiot. Vivian is civil towards him, but otherwise shares her husband's views. Even Will occasionally gets fed up with his {{Jerkass}} and stupid behavior, which usually lands Will in ''real'' trouble.
* GettingTheBoot: The famous RunningGag of Jazz getting thrown out of the Banks' house (usually by Phil, but everyone in the family except Carlton and Ashley did it at least once).
* HeterosexualLifePartners: With Will.
* HopelessSuitor: To Hilary. He has a massive crush on her but she always turns him down.
* {{Jerkass}}: Sometimes. Such as when he advertised a huge party at Will and Carton's apartment and charged money that he kept for himself, leaving Will and Carlton to get kicked out of their apartment the following day.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite his occasional Jerkass moments, he's a good friend to Will and holds genuine care for all of the members (including Phil).
* LimitedWardrobe: Because of his being thrown out of the house is StockFootage, he always wears the same outfit when he's about to get thrown out.
* OneSteveLimit: As Geoffrey the butler is a regular character, DJ Jazzy Jeff's character goes by Jazz at all times.
* OnlyOneName: He's only known as Jazz and has no known last name.
* OutOfFocus: His appearances are less frequent in later seasons due to the fact that DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince disbanded by the fourth season.
* RecurringCharacter: Surprisingly he never has a PromotionToOpeningTitles.
* RunningGag: His tendency to get thrown out of the Bankses' house. Inverted, subverted, and averted a couple of times, such as when he was thrown ''into'' the house, when Jazz [[spoiler:[[CrowningMomentOfFunny threw Uncle Phil out the house]]]], and when Jazz did something so horrible that Will doesn't think he's worth kicking out of the house. Also invoked by Jazz himself to show that he can reach the car from the house without walking.
* ShowStopper: Ironically starting around the time he became OutOfFocus
* TemptingFate: In one of his RunningGag moments, he proudly brags about how he's already outside the house so Uncle Phil can't throw him out. GilliganCut to Jazz getting thrown ''into'' the house instead.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Never too far from a bucket of chicken wings.
* WackyGuy: He serves as Will's dumb, ill mannered friend who is always getting thrown out of the house.

!Other Characters

[[folder:Other Characters]]
!!Viola "Vi" Smith (Vernee Watson-Johnson)
Will's sharp-tongued mother, and the oldest of the Smith sisters. Had a hand in raising her younger siblings; as a result, she often feels as though they don't respect her if they decide to go against her wishes. Despite this, she has nothing but love for her family, especially her son.

* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: She sported long hair in the first four seasons before sporting short hair in the last two seasons.
* InTheBlood: When Vy cracks a joke about Uncle Phil's weight in "'Twas The Night Before Christening" and Phil lampshades this by saying "Okay now I see where Will gets it from"
* RomanticFalseLead: She had one during the second half of Season 2. She ultimately broke up with him because he wanted more out of the relationship than she did.
* SassyBlackWoman: It's in the Smith family blood.
* SlapSlapKiss: [[spoiler:Goes from volleying insults with Fred in one scene to sleeping with him in the next.]]
* WhyWasteAWedding: [[spoiler:Will and Lisa sure took their single parents marrying each other quite well.]]

!!Lou Smith (Ben Vereen)
Will's deadbeat father, who ran out on him and Vi when he was only four years old. He comes back into Will's life nearly 15 years later, with Will finally getting to experience some of the father-son times he'd previously never had... then vanishes again almost as promptly.

* BlatantLies: All he ever does is tell lies or make excuses for why he abandoned Will, and he hasn't changed at all.
* DisappearedDad: Abandoned his family when Will was only four years old.
* HateSink: If his first abandonment of Will didn't seal the deal, the second time he does this firmly cements him as this.
* {{Jerkass}}: He's a deadbeat father played straight who continuously makes excuses whenever Will tries to spend time with him.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: He abandoned his family when Will was only four years old. He then returns to Will fourteen years later to fix their strained relationship. Will openly accepts him and believes that his father has changed. Then, Lou quickly abandons his son again when some "important business" comes up and [[BlatantLies he can't make time for his son.]] This leads to the most [[{{Tearjerker}} heart-wrenching scene]] in the series.
* KnightOfCerebus: Unlike other characters on the show, his actions aren't played for laugh and the episode he appears in is one of, if not the darkest moment in the series. The lone episode he appears in begins lighthearted, but ends with Lou walking out on a heartbroken Will again and Will promising to make it without his father while breaking down crying. A sad and sympathetic Uncle Phil gives Will a CoolDownHug. The studio audience is completely silent during this final scene.
* ParentalAbandonment: He left when he was younger without a word of goodbye to Will. He shows up later during Will's college years and even offers to let him travel with him...only to run off without a word once again much to Will's dismay.
* ThatManIsDead: Will has nothing but contempt for him any time he is brought back up in later seasons. The rest of the family held this attitude before and after his second abandonment of Will. It's also ''not'' a wise idea to [[BerserkButton compare Will to him]], as Carlton learns when he makes this accusation during a rather bitter argument.
* YoureNotMyFather: The last thing Will says to his father before he abandons him for the second and final time, referring to him as ''Lou'' instead of "Dad".

!!Hattie "Granny" Banks (Virginia Capers)
Uncle Phil's dynamic mother, whom Will is particularly fond of. She often tells Will and the Bankses tales of Phil's upbringing on their farm in Yamacraw, North Carolina, often to Phil's embarrassment.

* AmazinglyEmbarrassingParents: To Philip. She ''loves'' to tell stories about his childhood, particularly involving pig-raising.
* CoolOldLady: To the point where Will loves hanging out with her.
* EmbarrassingNickname: She still calls Philip "Zeke", much to his chagrin.
* TookALevelInJerkass: In Season 6 she showed signs of this such as not listening to Hilary's problems and getting mad at Will for saying her food was great in its own way rather than the best in every way.

!!Joe "Grandpa" Banks (Gilbert Lewis)
Uncle Phil's father.

* CoolOldGuy
* KilledOffScreen: He didn't return again after his only appearance in "Not With My Pig, You Don't" and was confirmed to have died in season two.

Hilary's airheaded best friend during season one.

* BlackBestFriend: Inverted. She's the White Best Friend To Hilary.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Only appears in season one.
* DumbBlonde: Dumber even than Hilary.

!!Kellogg [[IncrediblyLamePun "Cornflake"]] Lieberbaum (Michael Weiner)
Will's rather dorky TokenWhite best friend at Bel-Air Academy during seasons one and two. Tends to copy Will's [[PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy urban lingo]].

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Never appears or is mentioned again after season two.
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: Undoubtedly the most awed at Will's coolness at Bel-Air prep.
* TokenWhite

!!Edward "Ned" Fellows III
A professor at Bel-Air Academy during the first season. Also employs the same street vernacular as Will, to a ''painful'' extent.

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: His last appearance is in "Day Damn One."
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: '''Very''' awkwardly so -- he even wrote ''{{Theatre/Hamlet}}'' '''in Black English'''. He justifies it by living in Harlem for three weeks.

!!Kurt Smiley
The basketball coach at Bel-Air Academy during Will and Carlton's sophomore and junior years there.

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Doesn't appear after season two.
* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: Wears one to try to disguise himself when he goes to a rival school's basketball game to size up the competition.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Punishes students by forcing them to run laps, even for infractions in the classroom.
* DoubleStandard: Doesn't hold Will to the same standards as the rest of the basketball team because he's the team's star.
* DumbJock: "All I know is that I went to college on a football scholarship and graduated with honors. So I know a thing or two about cheating!" He also teaches history at Bel-Air Academy, and straight up admits to not knowing a lick of history outside what is covered in the textbook.
* InsistentTerminology: He's to be called "Professor Smiley" whenever they're in the classroom.

!!Tyriq "Ty" Johnson (Perry Moore)
Will's best friend in season two.

* BookDumb: Has been held back in school multiple times. It's also implied that he can't spell "Ohio."
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Disappears after season two.
* TheGenericGuy: He isn't the clever one, or the dumb one, or the quirky one, he is just this guy who feeds lines.

!!Trey "Ice Tray" (Creator/DonCheadle)
One of Will's best friends from Philadelphia, who visits Will and the Banks family in season one. While there, he and Hilary begin a short-lived relationship.

* CoolBigBro: Comes off this way.
* HiddenDepths: At first he seems like sort of a hood with no real interest in school. Will later reveals that without Trey, he never would've made it back in Phillidelphia, as he protected Will from bullies trying to jump him for his books.
* OneShotCharacter: He never appeared again after his only appearance.

!!Trevor Collins/Newsworthy (Brian Stokes Mitchell)

Self-obsessed news anchorman, whom Hilary falls for. Ends up [[spoiler:dying by way of a poorly-executed bungee jump, done as part of a marriage proposal to Hilary on live television,]] in part two of the season four premiere.

* BrainlessBeauty
* [[spoiler:DroppedABridgeOnHim]]
* ItsAllAboutMe: If someone pays a compliment to somebody in his vicinity, he takes it for himself. Additionally, he was more insulted by Jazz not knowing who he was than by Jazz making advances on Hilary.
* KilledOffForReal: And caught on live television, while proposing to Hilary.

!!Helen Smith (Jennifer Lewis)
The second-youngest Smith sister, and Will's aunt. A bit of a loudmouth with snark for everyone she meets.

* DeadpanSnarker
* LovableSexManiac: In season six, as by that point she had been divorced for three years.
* NoIndoorVoice
* SassyBlackWoman

!!Janice Smith Schaeffer (Charlayne Woodard)
The youngest Smith sister, and Will's aunt. She marries Frank Schaeffer, [[TokenWhite a white man]], in season two.

* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: Is the cause of this among her family when she marries a white man.
* GenkiGirl
* PutOnABus: It's mentioned that she's on vacation in a season four episode, but then never appears again.

!!Lester Lewis
Will's uncle, and Aunt Helen's husband. Implied to have a bit of a "wandering eye". Helen ends up divorcing him.

* LovableSexManiac: Though considering Helen divorces him, the "lovable" part is up for debate.
* MistakenForCheating: He was actually seeing a psychiatrist due to impotence from depression.
* PutOnABus: Via divorce.
* TemptingFate: No, he does ''not'' know how to ski.

!!Bobby Lewis
Will's cousin, the son of his Aunt Helen and Uncle Lester. [[{{Understatement}} A bit of a handful.]]

* KidsAreCruel: To the point that Hilary puts him on a ''leash'' when she takes him out.
* PutOnABus: Presumably Lester gets custody of him.

!!Frank Schaeffer (Diedrich Bader, Robert Torti)
The TokenWhite husband of Will's Aunt Janice.

* BlackGalOnWhiteGuyDrama: He's a white guy marrying into a black family.
* OpenMouthInsertFoot: He's not quite used to having a black extended family. Rightfully, nobody's willing to help him out when he gets himself into one of these jams.
* PutOnABus: Went on vacation with Janice and never came back.
* TokenWhite

!!Judge Carl Robertson ([[Series/TheJeffersons Sherman Hemsley]])
Uncle Phil's former mentor, whom Phil ends up running against for Superior Court Judge in season three. Shortly after Robertson wins the election, however, an angry outburst from Will causes him to suffer a fatal heart attack, and Phil takes his place.

* AndThereWasMuchRejoicing: At the judge's funeral, Will admitted his part in Robertson's death; everyone in the room gave him a standing ovation.
* AssholeVictim: Literally no one is sad to see him go. His funeral is filled with people who hate him for one reason or another.
* BewareTheSillyOnes: Is he senile? Yes. Is he still a brutally shrewd politician? Hell yes!
--> '''Robertson''': Oh wake up, knucklehead. You're in the big leagues now. I may be old, I may be senile, and I haven't been able to find my car for the past half hour, but I can beat you in a political campaign any day. You're dead meat, Tiny.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: To the public he's a respectable jurist, complete with a family of paid actors. In reality, he's anything but respectable.
* BrokenPedestal: Uncle Phil is ecstatic to learn that he's running against his former mentor, believing that the campaign will be fair and honest on both sides. Then he ends up on the wrong side of Judge Robertson's smear campaign, forcing Phil to lose all respect for the man.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The implication is that he's senile, but he was odd even when he was younger.
* DirtyOldMan: He's a huge pervert; his campaign headquarters is filled with scantily clad women, and he once even convicted an innocent man because he wanted a date with the prosecutor.
* HangingJudge: If a campaign ad is to be believed, he has sentenced over six thousand people to prison. In at least one case, the man he sentenced was innocent, and in at least one other case, he decided to convict because [[DirtyOldMan the prosecutor was a babe.]]
* HateSink: As this entire entry shows, he has virtually no redeeming qualities to speak of, and went out of his way to defame his own pupil for his own ends.
* {{Jerkass}}: Judge Robertson was apparently idealistic in his younger days, but as of the show's timeline he's become extremely selfish, misogynistic, deceitful, and a classic example of a corrupt politician. He was such an awful human being that at his funeral, everyone was there to ''celebrate'' his death, and they even applaud Will when they learn that he caused it.
* KilledOffForReal: From a very poorly timed heart-attack.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Spends his time at the celebration of his reelection mocking and insulting Uncle Phil, during which Will finally has had enough and chews him out for the louse he is right in front of everybody, causing him to drop dead just seconds later from a heart attack. With nobody else to take his seat, Uncle Phil is promoted to the bench.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Successfully dupes everybody into voting for him after an outrageous smear campaign against Uncle Phil. It is not until his funeral that we see how truly despised he was by those who knew him best.

!!Jacqueline "Jackie" Ames (Creator/TyraBanks)
An old friend of Will's who ends up attending ULA with him for a short handful of episodes in season four.

* AbortedArc: And a sad one because she was shaping up to be an interesting character.
* BelligerentSexualTension: With Will.
* DeadpanSnarker
* DistaffCounterpart: To Will.
* PutOnABus: Goes away for an unspecified reason halfway through season four. After that, Carlton takes over the Peacock Stop and she doesn't return.
* SassyBlackWoman
* {{Tomboy}}
* UnrequitedLoveSwitcheroo: It's implied that Jackie had a lingering crush on Will before he left and that he hadn't quite realized his feelings until he was gone, thus explaining why he never called because he missed her too much and didn't want to come to terms with his feelings. When she comes out to Bel-Air, Will starts to fall for her again, though the situation suffers from AbortedArc and is never resolved.

!!Jewel Robertson (Karen Malina White)
Jazz's wife throughout seasons four and five. A hardened criminal who isn't afraid to speak her mind, no matter how brutal her honesty.

* ActionGirl: Fought off several officers when they tried to arrest her.
* BareYourMidriff
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Jazz claims that she turned into this once they got married and the honeymoon period wore off. The "sheep" part is arguable, though, since she was on parole for grand theft auto.]]
* BrutalHonesty: The prison therapist told her to speak out more often, believing that keeping her feelings bottled up is what led her to the crime she was arrested for.
* EmbarrassingFirstName: [[spoiler:Hortence.]]
* TheGhost: In season five.
* InsatiableNewlyweds: Though, she and Jazz have a reason for it beyond wanting to have sex. Results in plenty of RightThroughTheWall when they're staying in the pool house while their apartment is being repainted.
* OutOfFocus: Only made two appearances to begin with, both in season four. She never directly appears in season five.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Divorces Jazz in the season five finale]].
* ReallyGetsAround: [[spoiler:According to Jazz, she slept with every man in their building.]]
* RunawayBride: Almost. She tried to make advances on Will to get Jazz to call off the wedding rather than actually run away.
* SassyBlackWoman: Though she's arguably more scary than sassy.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler:So, what happened to her pregnancy?]]

!!Lisa Wilkes (Nia Long)
Will's longest-serving girlfriend, and the [[CloserToEarth closest to Earth]] of the two. Their relationship and [[spoiler:engagement]] makes up the majority of season five, which concludes with [[spoiler:her bailing out on the marriage ceremony [[PutOnABus and never being seen or mentioned again.]]]]

* BoyishShortHair
* EmbarrassingFirstName: Beulah, her real first name.
* HiddenDepths: An offhand remark in "It's A Wonderful Lie" implies she has a reputation for being a party animal and player not unlike Will himself
* LethalChef
* LoveInterest: To Will.
* PutOnABus: After season 5.
* {{Yandere}}: She fakes this during their first date as a prank set up by Carlton. [[spoiler:Will gets even though.]]

!!Fred Wilkes (John Amos)
Lisa's blue-collar father. Though he develops a (too) close friendship with Will, he initially sees the Banks family as upper-class snobs before bonding with Uncle Phil. In the season five finale, [[spoiler:he ends up marrying Will's mother Vi.]]

* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: [[spoiler:In a similar situation to that of his daughter, he's nowhere to be seen when Vi shows up in season six despite marrying Vi in the season five finale.]]
** Even worse, Vy had shown interest in ''another guy'' in Season 6.
* DeadpanSnarker: He has his moments.
-->'''Fred:''' Have you ever done an honest day's work?
-->'''Philip:''' I happen to be a judge!
-->'''Fred:''' I'll take that as a no.
* OverprotectiveDad: Prior to Will, Lisa has never had a relationship survive meeting her dad. Will got along with him ''too'' well, however.
* SlapSlapKiss: [[spoiler:Goes from volleying insults with Vi in one scene to sleeping with her in the next.]]
* WhyWasteAWedding: [[spoiler: When Will and Lisa call of their wedding mid-ceremony, Fred decides its a good time to get married to Vi.]]

!!Werner (Jim Meskimen)
The producer of Hilary's self-titled talk show. Only seen in season six.

* BenevolentBoss: To Will, once Will shows some initiative.
* DeadpanSnarker: If you worked with Hilary and Will, you would be, too.
* HatesBeingTouched: By Will, at least.
* OnlySaneMan: When you work with Will and Hilary for a living, you're this by default.