Bel-Air: The Definitive List of ‘Fresh Prince’ Easter Eggs From the First 3 Episodes

These are some can’t-miss references from the exciting new Peacock original series.

Fans of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from the ’90s were probably divided when they heard about 2022’s Bel-Air, a reboot of the classic NBC series. Some were all for it while others felt like greatness should not be tampered with. No matter what end of that thought spectrum you fall on, Bel-Air has arrived.

It’s not your typical reboot, though. It’s darker and more of a dramedy than it is a bubbly sitcom. Now streaming on Peacock, this series stars newcomer Jabari Banks as Will from West Philadelphia. Banks is actually from West Philadelphia, just like the real-life Will Smith. The premise of the reboot is the same, Will gets into a fight and ends up being sent to live with his rich relatives in Los Angeles. 

However, Bel-Air fills in the blanks. Obviously, the fight that Will had to be serious, and anyone who understands the nuances of inner-city life realizes that. But also, a life change like that comes with a lot of baggage. So, in Bel-Air we’re witnessing more details about what those struggles and successes would have been like more realistically, only set in modern times.

​Along for the ride are original characters, Uncle Phil (Adrian Holmes), Aunt Viv (Cassandra Freeman),  Carlton (Olly Sholoton), Ashley Banks (Akira Akbar), and Geoffrey (Jimmy Akingbola), with music soundtracking the series by Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper​.

This isn’t your momma’s Fresh Prince, but there are a lot of moments that people will recognize. It’s rich with homages to West Philly from its bike culture to the use of “bul,” and “jawn,” water ice references, and more, but also things that fans of the original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air can appreciate too. The first three episodes contain a lot of Easter Eggs that we’ve found to help you enjoy this jawn after the Super Bowl LVI.

Beware! This post contains spoilers!

  • Ice Tray Returns

    In  Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will had a friend named Ice Tray (originally played by Don Cheadle). He was portrayed as one of Will’s homies from back in Philly who came to visit him in Bel-Air. Tray helped to keep Will safe on those hometown streets in the NBC series. 

    In episode one of the new Peacock version, he’s just known as Tray, and they continue their BFF status as he stands alongside Jabari Banks’ Will and is played by Stevonte Hart.

  • A Basketball That Led to “One Lil’ Fight”

    For decades, many people wondered aloud just what happened that was so bad that Will’s momma would ship him off to Bel-Air without a moment’s hesitation? In the opening credits of the O.G. series, a basketball thrown at the Philly street hoods was enough to set off “one little fight” that we all came to know about.

    But in Morgan Cooper’s reimagining, this easter egg was a nice nod to the original, while offering full context as to what happened after the ball hit the gangster and why Will’s actions led to him getting flown out to the West Coast tout suite.

  • First Class For A Prince

    After getting into the fight that sends him packing to the West Coast, Will, much like his ’90s counterpart, had to board a plane to get there. Eagle-eyed pop culture fans will notice that the Jabari Banks version of the character has a champagne glass full of orange juice. 

    This directly ties back to when the Grammy Award-winning version rhymes about the act in the full theme song version that airs in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air pilot episode.

  • A Touch of Jazz

    (L-R) Jabari Banks, Jordan L. Jones.

    Jazz makes an appearance, but not as Will’s best friend. In the Peacock version, he’s played by Jordan L. Jones and picks the Fresh Prince up as his cabbie from LAX to Bel-Air. 

    While the reveal of who he is comes later, the car ride is also a throwback to the O.G. series’ opening sequence. The car even comes equipped with dice in the mirror, making this a fun easter egg to kick off the show.

  • Address Me As Geoffrey


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    Jimmy Akingbola.

    The classic version of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air found Will arriving in L.A. like a fish out of water. Geoffrey, played respectively by Joseph Marcell and Jimmy Akingbola, has always been beside Uncle Phil and the Banks family. 

    But in the remixed version of Bel-Air, Akingbola’s effortless cool and gentlemanly persona amends the “Butler” last name with “Thompson,” and replaces the outdated title with “house manager,” making his character a much-needed upgrade that still finds the character as a main player besides Uncle Phil, but in more of a consigliere role in the dramatic telling.

  • Freddie Fred & Robbie Rob

    In “The Fresh Prince Project,” Will (Will Smith) feels like a brother from another planet upon his arrival to Bel-Air, where his jokes and flair for trouble caused havoc at a dinner party at the Banks estate. While there, he assails his Blackness upon Margaret and Henry Furth, the latter being the founder of Furth, Wynn & Meyer, who Will jokingly refers to as “Earth, Wind & Fire.” 

    But in the rebooted version, Will (Jabari Banks), thankful for the help of his Uncle Phil (Holmes), introduces his brand of Philly style to Fred Wilkes and Judge Carl Robertson. If those names sounded familiar, it is because they are the father of Lisa Wilkes (then played by John Amos, now by Joe Holt) and the O.G. series’ Season Three antagonist originally played by Sherman Hemsley.

  • Mom’s Got Scared


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) April Parker Jones, Jabari Banks.

    The look and feel of Bel-Air is massive and beautifully Black, as when Will finally arrives at the estate and meets his (Dark Skinned) Aunt Viv (Freeman). When they finally get a chance to catch up, Viv is happy to have her nephew and his Philly swagger in the house, yet doesn’t understate her concern as well. 

    Upon asking Will how is he doing since the events that led to him being shipped West, he responds using a line from the ’90s theme songs, saying, “I got in one little fight and my mom got scared,” giving another solid nod to the classic series.

  • Lisa Is Back


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) Simone Joy Jones, Olly Sholotan.

    Remember Will’s girlfriend, Lisa, originally played by Nia Long? She was the love of ’90s Will’s life. However, not so fast. The new Lisa (played by Simone Joy Jones) presents a complication for Will that will eventually come out and cause drama for him. But despite that complication, his crush will be persistent.

  • I Ain’t Your Son


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) Jabari Banks, Adrian Holmes.

    Will gets tired of bougie Bel-Air and tries to escape with help from Jazz. He gets caught by Uncle Phil and Geoffrey, and the former has a heart-to-heart with him about what led to Will’s current predicament. 

    In an emotional moment, the new Fresh Prince has a line where he says, “I ain't never had no daddy, I been my own man!” That’s a nod to the episode, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse,” where Will breaks down about his father being a deadbeat and Uncle Phil is right there to pick up the pieces.

  • Prep Boy Fresh


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) Olly Sholotan, Jabari Banks.

    At the beginning of Bel-Air episode two, “Keep Ya Head Up,” Carlton (Olly Sholotan) is still angered by the events of the previous chapter, fuming about how he won’t be able to look good for the school assembly. 

    Despite the beef between the cousins, it is interest to note that initiates the battle of the school uniform by donning the ’90s-era look of Bel-Air Prep Academy blazer and tie.

  • Damn Day One

    In addition to Carlton’s schoolboy outfit, episode two finds Will (Banks) scoffing at his “Hogwarts” wares while leaving a message for his friend, Tray. The notoriously hoity-toity Bel-Air Prep Academy has its strict dress code, which for Will is an annoyance. 

    And like his ’90s TV counterpart who famously donned a tie wrapped around his head in “Damn Day One,” this version of the Fresh Prince adds a bit of Philly-Philly to the mix by rocking a fitted cap cocked to the side for extra flair.

  • The Slam Dunk Prince


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    Jabari Banks.

    Being outside on the court playing basketball after school has always been Will’s thing on the show, especially when it led to his brouhaha that got him sent out to Los Angeles.

    In the Peacock revival, Bel-Air doesn’t shy away from that as Will must find his own groove against Carlton’s antagonistic attacks — and does so by attempting to join the school’s team. 

    Much like the episode “Courting Disaster” from the inaugural series, Jabari Banks flexes his skill much like his elder mentor, Will Smith, and does it from all areas on the court.

  • A Remixed Hilary Banks


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    Coco Jones.

    As the oldest daughter of the Banks family, Hilary, as played by Karyn Parsons was described as impulsive, very dim-witted, still unskilled in menial life tasks, including cooking, and extremely self-centered. Thankfully, Bel-Air retcons those limited traits by having Coco Jones as a confident, self-assured, albeit unemployed, eldest child of Vivian and Phillip Banks. 

    As a cook and social media influencer, Hil is now a homebase for Will and baby sister Ashley (Akira Akbar), who confides in her sassy role model sibling. Look for the fashion moment in this episode where Hilary is wearing a pink plaid blazer with shoulder pads. 

    It’s very retro, very homage to something that classic Hilary, who was known for her chic blazers, would have worn.

  • Uncle Phil’s “Yamacraw” Roots


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) Olly Sholotan, Akira Akbar, Adrian Holmes.

    We find out that the new Uncle Phil is from North Carolina, just like O.G. James Avery’s version . But unlike in the episode, “Not With My Pig, You Don’t,” where he has a civil rights breakthrough involving a whites-only bathroom — Phil’s hometown of Yamacraw is fashioned into a line name the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. call him.

  • The Inside-Out Blazer

    There’s a moment in episode three, “Yamacraw,” at school where Lisa hits Will playfully and causes him to accidentally get mustard on his school blazer. As a result, he turns the blazer inside out and it’s pretty swaggy. 

    This is reminiscent of when Will wanted to stand out in the stuffy halls of Bel-Air Prep Academy and turned his coat inside-out much to Carlton’s chagrin.

  • The Retro Jordans

    Will’s mom ends up shipping him his stuff from Philly at the end of the episode and we learn that Will is a sneakerhead, of course. And the first pair of kicks Will takes out of one of his boxes are a pair of retro Jordan 5s, which became Will’s staple shoes in the original.

  • The Hustler & The Gangster


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    (L-R) Jimmy Akingbola, Adrian Holmes.

    At the 12-minute mark in episode three of Bel-Air, there is a scene that takes place in Phillip’s rec room, where he is conferring with Geoffrey about his upcoming meet-up with his Alpha brothers and playing pool. 

    The two share a back-and-forth on the tables, which quickly brings up “Banks Shot” from the O.G. series, where Uncle Phil (Avery) gets even with pool hustlers who duped his nephew. We wonder if he named his cue “Lucille.”

  • Show Me What You Got


    Jordyn Gelb (NBCUniversal)

    The cast of Morgan Cooper‘s ‘Bel-Air’

    Later on in the episode, Uncle Phillip, Will, and Carlton head to the crawfish boil with the Alphas. The two cousins break out from their uncle to help the frat set up for the rest of the event when Carlton decides to slack off because the college Republican just doesn’t really catch the Black brotherhood vibe being offered to him. 

    This appears to be a flip of Season 4, Episode 8’s “Blood Is Thicker Than Mud,” where everyone finds Will to be cool and acceptable and Carlton is considered “not Black enough.” In Bel-Air’s take, Carlton ignores an important frat member to make an impression on another brother who he thinks can get him into the “Black Minds First” internship.

    Stream new episodes of Bel-Air on Peacock every Thursday.

    Starr Rocque is a Brooklyn, New York-based writer, and author, whose Bloggers Can't Be Trusted is available here.

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