14 'Fresh Prince' Characters Who Are Way Too Underrated

by Amy Roberts

As a show with so many major characters at the forefront, it's sometimes easy to forget about the more underrated Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air characters. Just think about the gigantic personalities like Will, Carlton, and Hilary in the Banks household, and you'll understand why people tend to overlook the many minor Fresh Prince characters. But whether they show up in just one episode or many, these individuals are deserving of some extra love.

In fact, some of these characters are so amazing that they definitely should've been a bigger part of the show. So much so, that it's no exaggeration to say that there are even a couple who are worthy of their own spin-offs. Others, however, simply deserve some extra recognition for the comedy they bring to whatever episodes they happen to appear in.

It's also worth noting that the appeal of quite a few of these characters lies in who they're played by. A few of the best guest appearances on Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air are actually some of the best minor characters on the show, too. And though their time on Fresh Prince might have been limited, they are just as worthy of appreciation as the bigger characters.


Grandma Hattie Banks

Grandma Hattie embodies everything you love about your own granny. She's sweet and kind. Plus, she loves to take over the kitchen and cook up gigantic feasts. But it's her progressive sense of self that makes her supremely cool and compelling to watch.


Janice Robertson

If anyone's going to play a '90s version of Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate, then it has to be Pam Grier. As one of Uncle Phil's exes who has her seductions set on Will, Grier is perfect in the role, and the character is total dynamite.



OK, so maybe Jazz isn't exactly underrated, so much as he was maybe underused in the show. But we all could have done with way more Jazz throughout Fresh Prince's six seasons.


Lisa Wilkes

Look, Lisa is way more than just the main love of Will's life. She's also full of inspiring self-worth, a master of pranks, and happy to stand up against sexism. This makes her an absolute rockstar.


Jackie Ames

Just like Lisa, Jackie (played by national treasure Tyra Banks) is way more than just one of Will's love interests. Her comebacks to Will's goofy one-liners are always legendary, and she knows exactly how to put him — and men everywhere — in their place. She rules.



Sure, for the majority of his episodes, Trevor is little more than just romantic background noise as Hilary's boyfriend. But his dull character arc builds up to one of the most ridiculous and hilarious death scenes of any sitcom ever when Trevor dies on live TV... while proposing to Hilary... during a bungee jump. It's still so good.


Dee Dee

Queen Latifah is an absolute goddess, and her comedy prowess is in top form in Fresh Prince as Dee Dee. And you know full well that she deserved way more than just a cameo role in one single episode. Dee Dee should've been recurring, folks.


Vy Smith

Will's Mom is just as witty, dance-happy, and outspoken as her precocious son, and it makes her an absolute delight to watch.


Aunt Helen

Aunt Helen is such a sparkling force of dry one-liners and confident wit that she totally deserves her own show.


Aunt Janice

Janice is probably the most optimistic and chill of the four sisters, and her unapologetic exuberance for life is basically life-affirming stuff. She makes you want to scream, "Divas," at your screen TV screen the second she shows up.


Tom Jones

OK, so the Welsh crooner isn't exactly a minor character in any true sense, but he does appear as Carlton's guardian angel on the show. His song, "It's Not Unusual," helps to provide the backing for several of Carlton's most memorable moments, meaning that he's always kind of there in spirit, too.



Naomi Campbell as a British nanny, ladies and gentlemen. Just one more character to add the growing list of characters who deserve their own spin-off show.


Judge Carl Robinson

Played by the beloved late character actor Sherman Hemsley, Robinson is Uncle Phil's nemesis for several episodes of the show. The character takes great delight in taunting his opponent, which lead to some hilarious scenes of tension between the two.



Though Janet (played by Vivica A. Fox) only shows up in the one episode, her high-maintenance, no-nonsense personality is memorable. Will's struggle to impress her, or even make sense of her, is also memorable.

Seriously, if someone could get started on a spin-off show about Aunt Helen, Dee Dee, and Jackie Ames living it up in Bel-Air sometime soon, that'd be great.