by Julia Hays | Thu., Nov. 19, 2015 4:00 AM
Now, this is a story all about how our lives got flipped-turned upside down by heartrending sitcom episodes.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a hilarious TV series, but let us not forget how many times that show made us feel things, learn things, and yes, cry. Like a lot.
People were in the hospital. People were driving drunk. Fresh Prince could get real as hell.
If you ask us to explain the plot line of the episode where Will's dad abandons him (again), we need a tissue within 20 seconds. Guaranteed.
So we'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, we'll tell you how we became emotionally developed humans thanks to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
These are the top moments when the show got real...
1. Will's Dad Leaves Again
Perhaps the most emotional episode ever of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse" (Season 4, Episode 24), is when Will's dad shows up after 14 years out of the picture. The two have a great time together, all while Uncle Phil thinks this will just end in disappointment again for Will. Phil is totally right when Will's dad flakes on a trip the two were supposed to take together. Will keeps insisting he's fine, until getting worked up, and ultimately breaking down to his uncle: "How come he don't want me, man?" If you ever need to test if someone's a human or a robot, make them watch the ending monologue from this episode. If they're not sobbing on the floor by the end, you'll know.
2. Will & Uncle Phil Both Have Something to Learn
The end of the show's pilot episode (Season 1, Episode 1) is an argument between Will and Uncle Phil. Will has arrived in Bel-Air and turned things upside-down with his "shenanigans." Uncle Phils lays into him for his antics at a family dinner party. When Will alleges that his uncle is out-of-touch, Uncle Phil talks to Will about his experiences with bigotry and hearing Malcom X speak, earning a new-found respect from Will. Uncle Phil then catches Will playing piano by himself. It sets up that the two have an awful lot to learn about one another.
3. Uncle Phil Confronts the Police
In "Mistaken Identity" (Season 1, Episode 6), Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv storm down to the police station to retrieve Carlton and Will. The two were arrested after getting pulled over while driving a really nice car that belonged to Uncle Phil's white colleague. The entire episode features a lot of telling moments about how young black men are treated differently by the police, with Carlton refusing to believe it's racism through much of the episode, until he asks his dad about it in the episode's final moments.
4. Carlton Can't Deal with His Dad's Health Scare
Carlton deals with denial in "Home Is Where the Heart Attack Is" (Season 4, Episode 10). As his dad recovers from a major health scare in the hospital, Carlton is at home, maniacally cleaning. As Carlton tries to distract himself, Will confronts him for not visiting Phil. "Look, I don't want to see my father with tubes up his nose," yells Carlton. Will reminds him that he's lucky to still have a father and that he's being selfish by avoiding him.
5. Carlton Is Hospitalized After Taking Uppers
A hilarious scene of Carlton dancing at prom gets serious when he passes out after accidentally taking amphetamines he found in Will's locker in "Just Say Yo" (Season 3, Episode 19). Will delivers a heartbreaking apology to Uncle Phil and the family for what happened. "Somebody real close to me, that I love a whole lot, could be dead right now, and it would be all my fault," cries Will, as the family embraces him in a hug.
6. Hilary Talks to Ashley About S-E-X
The ladies of the show could have their teachable moments too. In "Not with My Cousin You Don't" (Season 6, Episode 7), Ashley, who grew up on the show, sits down to have a sex talk with big sister Hilary. She wants advice, since she's thinking about losing her virginity to her boyfriend. Hilary shares her own story, and assures her little sis: "For as long as I can remember you have been independent, responsible and smart. I know you're aware of all the issues and whatever decision you do make I'm always here for you." Yes, Hilary could get serious on the show, too!
7. Will Drives Drunk
In "You've Got to Be a Football Hero" (Season 4, Episode 12), Will gets drunk and acts like a fool while trying to impress Jackie in front of her new guy. Carlton attempts to take his keys, but Will tries to drive himself home after delivering a drunk speech at a party. He subsequently wakes up in a cemetery and gets schooled by ghosts, including a kid who was killed by a drunk driver. How's that for getting real?
8. Will Gets Shot, Carlton Buys a Gun
Will takes a bullet for Carlton during a scary ATM robbery in "Bullets Over Bel-Air" (Season 5, Episode 15). During a hospital visit with Will, Carlton reveals that he's bought a gun so it will never happen again. Will emotionally insists Carlton give him the gun: "I saved your life. You owe me!" Carlton leaves the gun, and Will cries as he removes the bullets from the chamber.
9. Carlton Gets Dissed by a Frat
When Will gets accepted into a fraternity, but Carlton doesn't, he wants to get his cousin out of there without knowing the truth. In "Blood Is Thicker Than Mud" (Season 4, Episode 8), the preppy Carlton tells the frat rep that they shouldn't judge him because of his Bel-Air background. "Being black isn't what I'm trying to be, it's what I am. I'm running the same race and jumping the same hurdles you are, so why are you tripping me up?" Asks Carlton. "You said we need to stick together, but you don't even know what that means."
10. The Family Says Goodbye
The Banks family sells their home and prepares to move on, while Will decides to stay behind in California to finish school in "I, Done: Part 2" (Season 6, Episode 24). There are so many hugs, which make us cry so many tears. Seeing the house empty as Will looks on lets us know it's the end of an era. It's a quiet finale to a dynamic show.
Now here's a video of the show's theme song if you need a little pick-me-up. Rap along; we know you want to.
Plus, tune into E! News at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. for more on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—including some flashback moments with the cast!
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