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Headscratchers / The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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  • Why does Will stay friends with Jazz? Most people would've kicked Jazz out of their life long ago with the trouble he causes Will, including throwing a wild party at his (Will's) new apartment and getting him kicked out as a result!
    • It's possible that Jazz does Will also a lot of favors. It seems that in the series we just see his more troublesome antics because of rule of funny, similar to Will and Phil, but like those two they probably have also more good times together off-screen.
    • Conversely, why does Jazz hang out with Will? Jazz's age is never well-defined but, since Will claims that they met when Jazz was performing at a nightclub, it's safe to assume that he is at least a couple of years older. While their personalities do mesh and there are benefits to having a rich friend, how many twenty-somethings spend three seasons hanging out with a highschooler?
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    • As Phil pointed out in episode Jazz has no friends so when Will took a liking to him age didn’t matter.
  • In the finale, why doesn't Will simply move with the rest of the family to the east coast? His argument was that he was supposed to finish school in L.A and he doesn't want quit, but wasn't he sent to Bel Air so his aunt and uncle give him a good upbringing, which they actually achieved? His relatives even suggest that he can finish school in New York instead. Besides, New York is much closer to Philadelphia and thus to his mother.
    • There are a couple reasons to stay in L.A., even college related ones. He could just like living in L.A for starters. As for college, whenever you transfer there is a good chance that your credits won't transfer, that your classes won't transfer, that the requirements for you program won't be the same, or your program might not even be offered at all. Many people will tell you to avoid transferring majors, let alone schools unless absolutely necessary. It could have been that to finish the program he wanted he was better off staying in L.A.
      • A lot of colleges require students to complete a certain amount of credits as a student at their school, so Will would have at least been set back considerably if he transferred. Besides that, the State University systems in California have specific high School transcript requirements which could have limited Will's ability to transfer to a college out of state.
  • Why is Jazz seen playing basketball with Will in Philadelphia if he met him the first time in L.A?
    • His mom is also different in the intro, so the obvious explanation is that the intro shows an alternate reality Will that lived through the same situation.
    • Serious answer: The intro was almost certainly filmed at the same time as the pilot, meaning nothing in the show's lore beyond what we saw in said pilot had been ironed out yet. Since they hadn't yet thought to give DJ Jazzy Jeff his own character (obviously the guy he plays in the intro isn't supposed to be Jazz), they decided to have him cameo in the opening sequence as his way of being involved with the show (he was one-half of the rap duo responsible for the Fresh Prince, after all).
  • Are we really supposed to believe that Will took a taxi cab from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Bel-Air, California? That fare must have been HUGE.
    • He flew. First class, presumably paid for by Uncle Phil.
    • The background of the clip where Will whistled for a cab has the Hollywood Sign and the cab itself had California plates - the most likely conclusion is that he was already in Southern California. A cab from LAX to Bel-Air is a lot more reasonable. This might be more ambiguity on the lyrics since it moves right from "You're movin' in with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air" to "I whistled for a cab..." (Incidentally, as of 2017 such a cab ride would cost about $7300.)
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    • The theme songnote  left out a few lines discussing how he flew, arrived at the airport, and saw a "cop" holding a sign with his name (implied to actually be a limo driver) so he called a cab to take him the rest of the way. considering where he grew up, being wary of police would be reasonable, and recognizing limo drivers would not a skill he'd have.
  • In the episode where a girl tries to get Carlton to be falsely recognized as her baby's father, how could her original plan have worked? Carlton didn't sleep with her, and it's obvious that he knew nothing of the baby until the girl announced it, so why would she expect Carlton to claim credit for it? Wouldn't she expect that Carlton would say they didn't have sex, and there would be no way to falsely prove that the baby is his, so the plan couldn't work? It might work to get Carlton to claim they had sex before he knows that there's a pregnancy, or to talk to him ahead of time if she realized that he might agree to the claims of paternity even though he knows better. But it's just unpredictable dumb luck to suddenly announce a lie, which Carlton knows to be a lie, and still have Carlton go along with taking care of a baby that isn't his.
    • The better question is why Carlton went along with it at all. At one point, he blatantly insists the baby is his, only to later admit he didn't sleep with her. It seemed they were both aiming to get something out of lying.
  • There is an episode where all of Vivian's sisters come to the house and refer to themselves as the "Smith Sisters." Then the episode where Will's father comes back, he introduces himself as "Lou Smith." Seems odd that both of Will's parents would have the same last name.
    • Perhaps that is Will's mother's maiden name, and his dad took his wife's name when they married?
    • "Smith" is the most common surname in the United States and the third most common for black Americans. It wouldn't be all that unusual.
    • I can agree with that. It just seems odd in a world where the writers have the option of making them have 2 different last names. Hahaq
  • In "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse", what exactly was Lou's motivation for reuniting with Will? He made it clear that he had no remorse for abandoning his family after Will was born, and he even had the nerve to leave his son again after promising him a road trip, but at the same time, he did try to spend time with his son. Phil even accuses him of trying to gain something out of spending time with Will, so why was Lou suddenly so concerned with making amends with his son when he clearly didn't care enough to keep his promise?
    • If we're not assuming he might have redeemed himself, maybe he wanted Will to split a big workload with him.
    • My guess is on some level, he does regret abandoning his family and guilt might've been the motivator for trying to make amends with Will (he does admit what he did and his reason was selfish and cowardly). The way I interpreted the end is he's still not ready to be a father. To explain it differently, he's not willing to make any sacrifices (giving up a job opportunity) to be a part of Will's life.
  • How does the family's grocery shopping work? Do Philip and Vivian leave Geoffrey cash or their credit card and just leave him to it?
    • Pretty much. The way it generally works when you have staff is that once or twice a week you have a sitdown with them and go through things like shopping and meal planning, and discuss rough costs, then you give them either funds or a credit/charge card to cover those. Once a month you'll go through the statements and check that against instructions and accounts, and discuss any changes going forward. The staff who does the buying will present a full set of receipts to be passed onto the family accountant for their taxes. Having staff means trusting them, and being in service means being trustworthy. Geoffrey will be accountable for all the spending he does, and that will be reviewed regularly.