The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Good-natured sitcom that the family can enjoy together.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 91 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Fairly standard "everything ends well" sitcom messages: The preteen and teenage characters get themselves into sticky situations but correct their mistakes in the end. The importance of family is stressed. Themes include compassion and humility.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Positive overall, even though some behavior is exaggerated for comic effect. Some of the boys' jokes verge on offensive and sexist, but, when taken in context, aren't too bad.


Occasional high school fights.


Two of the characters are teenage boys who begin dating, so there's some talk of kissing and hitting on girls.


Mild: "damn," "jackass," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that two of the main characters of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are teenage boys and that some of their jokes can border on offensive and sexist. But taken in context and with a grain of salt, they're nothing worse than what kids hear at school or on the playground.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMino M. September 28, 2019


This show is quite confusing. Even though there are no explicit sex scenes, there's a ton of sexual innuendo and characters talk about sex all the time. I... Continue reading
Adult Written byAdamNY March 20, 2016

Great show but some topics can be quite crude

Swearing tends to be in the minium. This is a great show, much like "Seinfeld," but beware, some immorality is played off for laughs (like one episode... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byogeyoaky January 6, 2021

Really Funny and Entertaining Show!

There is a LOT of adult humor. The show is really fun to watch and is absolutely hilarious!
Teen, 13 years old Written byHey1233 December 28, 2020

Really good

This is a tv show where it is low on offensive language but it does have sex jokes but it is a good tv show to watch at any age i watched this when i was 9.

What's the story?

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR is a feel-good sitcom about a streetwise teenager from Philadelphia who throws the serene life of his well-off relatives for a loop when he goes to live with them in Bel-Air. Will Smith -- back in the days when he was half of DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince rather than a blockbusting action hero -- plays Will, an outspoken inner-city Philly teen whose mother sends him to live with his Aunt Vivian (first played Janet Hubert-Whitten and later by Daphne Maxwell Reid) and Uncle Philip Banks (James Avery) and their three spoiled kids: Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro), Hilary (Karyn Parsons), and Ashley (Tatyana Ali). As Will assimilates into his new surroundings, he learns about the good life and adapts to the Banks' carefree lifestyle -- and also teaches his rich relatives that life isn't all about how much money you have in the bank.

Is it any good?

Parents can feel good about letting older tweens and young teens tune in to this sitcom. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air originally ran on NBC for six seasons in the mid-'90s and is now available on DVD and in syndication.  Although there's some bawdy humor -- in the episode in which Will and Carlton start high school, for example, it's evident that their hormones have gone into overdrive, and they're not afraid to hit on every girl who walks by -- each episode leaves viewers with a powerful lesson on how to live life with dignity and grace. What's more, the Banks family is intact and portrayed positively. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to handle situations you're not used to. How does Will deal with being a fish out of water in his new environment in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

  • Questions about coping with high school are also relevant. What kind of peer pressure can teens expect to encounter? What should they expect when they start dating?

  • How do the characters in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air demonstrate compassion and humility? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love TV families

Character Strengths

Find more TV shows that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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