Did you ever notice how, despite how wildly different Will and Carlton were as characters on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air , they both had similarly terrible luck when it came to women? Looking back through all six seasons, there are so many instances where Carlton liked someone Will was dating, or Will liked someone Carlton was dating, or Will kissed Carlton’s girlfriend, or Carlton mistook Will’s girlfriend for his own? An entire research paper could probably be written on the psychology of that continued storyline, I’m sure, but all of that love drama resulted in one thing: A very bad string of romantic relationships for the two cousins, but especially Carlton. Given to flights of adorable enthusiasm, and some pretty ridiculous sincerity, Carlton was such a great character. Women should have loved him. But, somehow, sadly, the only thing Carlton could score over all six seasons was some terrible luck with women.
So it’s kind of challenging to rank the love interests (and keep in mind that I am using that term as loosely as possible) that he did have on the show. Both because there were so few of them, and because there were all kind of terrible to him. But rank them I did. Because there was at least a little hope in some of Carlton’s romantic prospects. A shred, really. A sliver?
See for yourself.
This was a doozy of a storyline: Cindy showed up one day with a kid in tow named Carlton Jr. She claimed that Carlton was the father, and he totally took responsibility for the child, no questions asked. Later, he confessed to Will that they had never even had sex, which made the fact that she left him at the altar of their shotgun wedding just that much more sad.
5. Jo Ann
Jo Ann was the woman Carlton lost his virginity to. Finally. Except then it turned out she was married. Ouch. So, um, not the best relationship moment for him, for sure.
4. Unnamed Girlfriend #1
Remember when Jazz first came to town and started taking advantage of the Banks’ hospitality? Yeah, he slept with Carlton’s supposed girlfriend, who remained unnamed, in the pool house. My heart is really going out to Carlton right about now.
Carlton finally scored one when Will convinced him to come on a double date with him. Valerie was Will’s date, but Carlton’s date was so terrible that he ended up bonding with Valerie, and making out with her when Will wasn’t looking. Let’s just call this payback.
2. The Mail Woman
While waiting for acceptance letters from Princeton, Carlton struck up a conversation with the woman delivering his mail. She asked him out on a date, and the rest is history. Hey, at least she didn’t leave him for Will or make out with one of his friends, right?
Jackie was Will’s friend from Philly who definitely was crushing on Will more than she was on Carlton. Before that, Carlton was totally taken by her. Even though Jackie made it clear she liked Will as soon as she saw him again, she shared an undeniable connection with Carlton, probably because of his sweet and sincere adoration. When Will rebuffed her for a drinking game at a college party, Carlton drove Jackie home, and she was never heard from again.
So, there it is. Carlton’s very thin, very sad dating history. I just like to believe that, once he went off to Princeton, he found a girl who would appreciate the sharp edges of his squareness. That and his dancing.
Image: Giphy (2); Warner Bros. Television (3)