Friendship can be a tricky road to navigate. Sometimes you can find yourself desperately wanting to buddy up with someone you share tons in common with, only to find you can barely hold a conversation with them; and sometimes you can find yourself with no common ground between you, but vibing like villains. The latter is definitely the case for Will and Carlton's friendship in The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air, who, regardless of sitting at complete opposite ends of a spectrum to each other, were actually pretty tight. But they were French fries and caviar, hip hop and bebop, basketball and basket case; it could never work, right? Except it genuinely did, Carlton and Will were absolute BFFs.
Of course, their friendship was also based on a back-and-forth dynamic of jokes, insults and cheap pops at each other, but that can also sometimes be a fun way to balance out the inequity of your shared interests and to solidify a deep bond (or at least, that's what my BFF always told me). The point is, Will and Carlton went through a lot together, and they always had each others backs. Here are 11 vital lessons we can learn about a solid friendship from Will and Carlton.
1. Pranks Are A Definite Sign That You're Friends For Life
It's super annoying, and maybe even a little juvenile, but someone who can expend that much effort on pranking you clearly realizes that your friendship is so tight that you won't just stop talking to them straight afterwards.
2. A BFF Is Someone You Would Literally Take A Bullet For
I still can't believe that Will achieved this heroic feat in The Fresh Prince in order to save Carlton's life. And I also cannot watch this episode without bawling like a baby.
3. But That Level Of Self-Sacrifice Goes Both Ways
It's no fun being in a one-way friendship where you're the one making all the effort. It has to be equal in order to thrive. Will and Carlton prove this when they get stuck up the top of a dangerous, snowy mountain and Carlton, being just as much of a hero as Will, offers to ski down it in order to get help for them (and his skiing face is something else).
4. You Can Be Totally Real With Them
Neither Will nor Carlton spare each others feelings when talk needs to get real, and neither should you. BFFs are happy to share some painful home truths with each other every now and then.
5. You Can Finish Each Other's Sentences
Even if those sentences don't end how they sounded in your head.
6. Trying To Force Some Shared Interests Hardly Ever Works Out Well
Let that sad little basketball fleeing Carlton's eager hands and flying miles past and below the hoop act as a metaphor for all the times people try to politely encourage their bestie to like what they like, even if they officially hate it.
7. Bad Situations Can Be Magically Reversed Into Fun Ones
When Will and Carlton gamble themselves into a disturbing sum of debt in Vegas, they enter a dance competition to try and pay their way out of it. Bad situation? Definitely. Fun outcome? Hell yes.
8. Sometimes A Bad Influence Is The Right Influence
Though his input into Carlton's life choices could at times seem a little crude and distracting, Will was basically always on point in recommending that his cousin go out and have fun. And that's what best friends do — they usually understand what's best for you, even if you and everything else think it's wrong.
9. You Can Make Mistakes Together And Support Each Other Through It
Seriously, sometimes best friends can make the worst decisions together. But you always see it through together too.
10. You Can Figure Out The Cutest Ways To Say "Sorry"
Speaking of which, making a mistake on your own? Harsh. Making a mistake with your best friend? So much easier. So make like Will and Carlton, utilize the power of your friendship and get creative with your apologies.
11. You Never Forget The Things That Brought You Together In The First Place
Oh, damn, I'm gonna cry again.
I honestly feel like I never appreciated Will and Carlton's friendship back when I used to watch The Fresh Prince as a kid, but, now that I'm a little older, wiser, and apparently way more emotional, I think it might be time to give my own best friend a call and remind her of those basics that bonded us.
Images: Warner Bros. Television