The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (season 4)

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season 4
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 26
Broadcast
Original channel NBC
Original run September 20, 1993 (1993-09-20) – May 23, 1994 (1994-05-23)
Home video release
DVD release date August 8, 2006 (2006-08-08)[1]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5

The fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered on September 20, 1993 and aired its season finale on May 23, 1994. This was the first season to feature Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks after Janet Hubert-Whitten's departure. This was also the first season to feature Nicky Banks as a regular character on the show. With 26 episodes, this was the longest season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Episode list[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
74 1 "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Part 1) Shelley Jensen Gary H. Miller September 20, 1993 (1993-09-20) 60031

Will and Carlton begin their first year of college by moving into their own apartment, while Philip and Vivian enjoy their newborn son. Trevor plans to propose marriage to Hilary during an elaborate stunt on his TV news show, but is met with a sudden death.

Notes: This is the first episode starring Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks following the departure of Janet Hubert-Whitten. A reference is made to this by Jazz when he says 'Mrs. Banks, ever since you had that baby, there's something different about you.' This makes Will visibly cringe for the audience.
75 2 "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Part 2) Shelley Jensen Gary H. Miller September 20, 1993 (1993-09-20) 60032
Will accuses Jazz for sending rappers to his party who got him and Carlton kicked out of their rooms by a cranky and careless evil old landlord. Hilary has difficulty dealing with Trevor's death.
76 3 "All Guts, No Glory" Shelley Jensen Maiya Williams September 27, 1993 (1993-09-27) 60033
Will withdraws from a difficult college philosophy class then regrets his decision when he discovers that the professor is the most stimulating teacher he's ever known. He chooses to return to that class even when having to forfeit the credits it should give him.
77 4 "Father of the Year" Shelley Jensen Leslie Ray & David Steven Simon October 4, 1993 (1993-10-04) 60034
When Will tries to impress a beautiful college girl by pretending to be a single father and using his new infant cousin as his son, he's forced to accept the honor of "Campus Father of the Year". He is made to feel ashamed by Jackie (Tyra Banks) and confesses when offered a prize of plane tickets to Hawaii, so hands them over to the other student-father, who then confides to Will that he also is lying.
78 5 "It's Better to Have Loved and Lost It…" Shelley Jensen David Zuckerman October 11, 1993 (1993-10-11) 60036
Carlton meets Jo Ann, a beautiful woman on the college campus. They end up spending the night together and Carlton finally loses his virginity. This also helps give him confidence as he prepares again to apply for Princeton. However, Carlton's shot at greater merriment is short-lived, as Jo Ann turns out to be married (to a man who could help Carlton get into Princeton) and reveals to Carlton that she was actually using him for a one-night stand.
79 6 "Will Goes a Courtin'" Shelley Jensen Bill Boulware October 18, 1993 (1993-10-18) 60037

When Will defies his uncle's orders by having his friends over by the pool after he refuses to pay his rent to Philip unless Philip repairs the air conditioner in Will's guest house, Philip sues, the two stubborn men plead their cases in court before Judge Reynolds. Philip, and Will and Carlton respectively, paint very different pictures before the judge.

Absent: Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks and Tatyana M. Ali as Ashley Banks.
80 7 "Hex and the Single Guy" Shelley Jensen Barry Gurstein & David Pitlik October 25, 1993 (1993-10-25) 60038
When the Banks family attends a seance so Hilary can contact her dead ex-fiancé, Trevor, the spiritualist gets so frustrated with Will's skepticism that he curses the family with a hex that brings them all bad luck: Uncle Phil is put out of business because of assumed evidence that he was taking bribes, Ashley breaks an ankle just before her tennis match, Carlton's hair gets bleached as a result of his Macaulay Culkin Halloween costume, Geoffrey gets deported, and Jazz and Hilary plan to get married. Will must convince the psychic to break the curse.
81 8 "Blood is Thicker Than Mud" Chuck Vinson Devon Shepard November 1, 1993 (1993-11-01) 60039
Will and Carlton are given humiliating tasks as part of their initiation into a college fraternity, but the fraternity president has a personal prejudice against Carlton and his rich family who is shown to equate being black with being working class and from the 'hood.
82 9 "Fresh Prince After Dark" Shelley Jensen Eddie Gorodetsky November 8, 1993 (1993-11-08) 60035
When Hilary is invited to pose for Playboy magazine, Will and Carlton get to meet Hugh Hefner and the beautiful bikini-clad "bunnies" at the Playboy mansion. Philip is furious and retreats to his self-styled hermitage. When he finally sees the publication, he at first seems pleasantly surprised that the pictures are tasteful as promised by Hugh, until he sees the centerfolds that are more revealing.
83 10 "Home is Where the Heart Attack Is" Shelley Jensen Eddie Gorodetsky November 15, 1993 (1993-11-15) 60040
After struggling to lose weight, Philip has a serious heart attack while eating a cheeseburger that he bribes Will to buy for him. The entire family arrives at the hospital to help Philip get through this except for Carlton. Will eventually finds him and tries to get Carlton to come but he refuses to see his father in such a vulnerable position. This prompts Will to tell the story of his dead-beat father and tells Carlton that he's just selfish. Carlton eventually comes to comfort his father and reveals to him that he's just like Superman to him and was afraid to watch his father suffer. Phillip, realizing how selfish he had been acting as well, apologizes for letting him and the family down and pledges to take losing weight more seriously.
84 11 "Take My Cousin – Please" Shelley Jensen David Zuckerman November 22, 1993 (1993-11-22) 60041
When one of Will's college professors gets depressed over his recent divorce, Will hopes to improve his own failing class grade by introducing him to Hilary, but she still hasn't gotten over losing Trevor.
85 12 "You've Got to Be a Football Hero" Shelley Jensen Bill Boulware November 29, 1993 (1993-11-29) 60042

When Will is challenged to a drinking contest by Jackie's boyfriend, a popular college football player, he gets drunk, collapses in a cemetery on the way home, and is trapped in a mausoleum with four philosophical ghosts. He learns how foolish it can be to get so very drunk when he meets the ghost of a child killed by drunk-driving.

Absent: Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks.
86 13 "Twas the Night Before Christening" Shelley Jensen Maiya Williams & Eddie Gorodetsky December 20, 1993 (1993-12-20) 60043
Surprised by the expensive gifts that the Banks family bought for baby Nicky's christening on Christmas Eve, Will foolishly promises to provide a live performance by the R&B music group Boyz II Men. Geoffrey is chosen as the child's godfather. The story is recounted to toddler Nicky in 1998 by Philip as a bedtime story.
87 14 "Sleepless in Bel-Air" Shelley Jensen Maiya Williams January 3, 1994 (1994-01-03) 60054
Will and Carlton try to concentrate on their schoolwork while surrounded by the noisy late-night distractions of the Banks family. Carlton ends up irritating Will by revealing that the assignment he was working on was purely optional whereas Will's test will be mandatory.
88 15 "Who's the Boss" Shelley Jensen Barry Gurstein & David Pitlik January 10, 1994 (1994-01-10) 60044

When Carlton becomes the new manager of the campus restaurant, Will refuses to work as his employee. He attempts to do so, and when it doesn't work out, he gets a job at a sports bar a few blocks away.

Absent: Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks.
89 16 "I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams" Shelley Jensen David Zuckerman January 24, 1994 (1994-01-24) 60045

When Carlton, the mascot of the university's football team, is abducted by the students from a rival college, Will wears Carlton's peacock costume to inspire the team during a championship game. It doesn't work because they are so attached to Carlton already and his inspiring speech puts even more of a damper on their team spirit.

Absent: Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks, and Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey.
90 17 "When You Hit Upon a Star" Shelley Jensen Michael Soccio January 31, 1994 (1994-01-31) 60046
Will's love affair with a superstar singer, Michelle Michaels (Stacy Dash), is threatened when he meets her handsome former lover. Will learns that glamorous flings are not as fulfilling as meaningful relationships.
91 18 "Stop Will! In the Name of Love" Maynard C. Virgil I Gayle Abrams & Jenji Kohan February 14, 1994 (1994-02-14) 60048
Ashley asks Will to chaperone her on a date, thinking that her father would be too overprotective. He turns out to be just as overprotective, and when her date takes off, Ashley rebels, running away from Will. Will's date, who's name he cannot remember, leaves him on account of what she calls his double standards.
92 19 "You'd Better Shop Around" Shelley Jensen Devon Shepard & K. Snyder February 21, 1994 (1994-02-21) 60047
Will withdraws from his university classes to become a successful car salesman by the place's owner (Robert Guillaume). His mother becomes furious when she finds out and comes to LA, and gets him to re-enroll at college by threatening to enroll herself.
93 20 "The Ol' Ball and Chain" Shelley Jensen Rich Hosek & Arnold Rudnick February 28, 1994 (1994-02-28) 60049
On the day of Jazz's wedding, his bride-to-be makes sexual advances towards Will.
94 21 "The Harder They Fall" Shelley Jensen Devon Shepard March 14, 1994 (1994-03-14) 60050
Will finds himself stranded in a mountain forest with his new girlfriend (Cree Summer)'s disagreeable father (John Witherspoon), Augustus after having crash-landed. He escapes from there and leaves him to it because he is somewhat unsettled by his overbearing personality and protectiveness of Lisa.
95 22 "M is for the Many Things She Gave Me" Shelley Jensen Gary H. Miller April 25, 1994 (1994-04-25) 60060
When Philip's former college girlfriend, Janice Robertson (Pam Grier), visits the Banks family, she attempts to seduce an unwilling Will, who is supposed to be getting to know the daughter, Wendy (Elise Neal). Vivian is openly jealous of Janice's presence (made worse by overhearing Phil saying he "settled" for Vivian after Janice showed no interest), but when Philip finds out that Will slept with Janice, he apologizes to her and makes it clear that he values his marriage more than anything Janice tempts him with. She accepts his apology (but still has him sleep on the couch for his flirty behavior).
96 23 "Mother's Day" Madeline Cripe Leslie Ray & David Steven Simon May 2, 1994 (1994-05-02) 60051
When Jazz and his wife, Jewel (Karen Malina White), try unsuccessfully to conceive a child, they ask Will to "father" the baby. Meanwhile, Phillip challenges the kids to put more thought into their Mother's Day gifts for Vivian.
97 24 "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse" Shelley Jensen David Zuckerman & Bill Boulware May 9, 1994 (1994-05-09) 60053
Will is reunited with his father, Lou Smith (Ben Vereen), for the first time in 14 years. But Philip and Vivian won't forgive Lou for abandoning Will and his mother when he was a child. He finally spends some quality time with his father and Lou confesses that the reason why he abandoned his family, saying he was too scared to accept the responsibility. Will forgives him and wants to give him a second chance, but Phillip sees that the real reason why Lou wants to see Will isn't for Will's best interest, but for his own. Will has a hard time believing that and he and Phillip have a heated falling out. When Will gets packed up and ready to travel with his father, Lou lets Will down again and for the final time, therefore Will denounces him as his father (calling him "Lou" instead of "Dad" to signal his cutting him out of his life) and finally seeing Phil as his real father figure.
98 25 "For Sale by Owner" Shelley Jensen Harrison Boyd May 16, 1994 (1994-05-16) 60061

The Banks family is offered a $1 million profit by an unknown wealthy client who wants to buy the family house. Clips are shown of previous memorable occasions. The only person who really doesn't want to move even for the money is Ashley, who shows the most sentimental attachment, a complete opposite to her brother Carlton who'd like to take the money and leave.

Note: This is the second episode containing an earthquake scene (which appeared at the end.)
99 26 "The Philadelphia Story" Shelley Jensen Eddie Gorodetsky & Maiya Williams May 23, 1994 (1994-05-23) 60052
Will and the entire Banks family vacation in Will's hometown, Philadelphia, and learn a surprising secret about Will's reputation in the neighborhood. Will tells Carlton about a dangerous gang leader called Omar, who Will is determined to fight. However, Will learns that Omar has grown up and so should he. Will stays behind with his mother for the season finale (which was intended to be the series finale, before NBC renewed the series again).

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