In situation you didn’t currently realize that The new Prince the Bel-Air to be a TV show, it spent a great amount the time playfully reminding you of that fact. Will certainly Smith’s at an early stage ’90s sitcom had a doctor in break the 4th wall, constantly cracked jokes around in-universe inconsistencies, making recommendations to its cast members’ real life affairs, and also engaging its characters in direct conversation through the audience. Heck, fresh Prince wasn’t even confined to the parameters that its very own set. (Remember when Carlton ran screaming v the audience?)

Although it remained in the fashion for household sitcom heroes to speak openly through viewers at residence — saved by the Bell is a well-known example — new Prince distinguished itself through a wry attitude embracing Will’s occasional asides. It was, in ~ times, not unlike The Office"s Jim Halpert and also his now-infamous camera side-eyes and bemused expressions.

You are watching: If we so rich why can’t we afford no ceiling

Did new Prince nail the “breaking the 4th wall” gambit? execute we remember step re-dos, the Banks’ ceiling-less house, and jokes about tiny Nicky’s Jack-like rate of aging fondly? and also which of the joke were more memorable to us contrasted to the plenty of others?

Maybe a quick look earlier at the hoax will assist us decide. Even if that doesn"t, well, a small trip under memory lane never ever hurt anyone.

Glances & Asides


The collection was riddled with punch lines spoken (or sneered) directly at the camera, v Will communicating with the city hall audience together if we were a personality on the show ourselves. These nonverbal looks were frequent, yes, yet that just provided us a broad range of moment from supposed to hilarious.

The new Aunt Viv

The display made a variety of references come the truth that they changed Janet Hubert-Whitten v Daphne Maxwell Reid the beloved Aunt Viv, generally by making use of Jazz as the comedic halfway allude between the key cast and also the audience. Somehow, comes from Jazz, the change in actresses ended up being a hilarious one-liner instead of a cause for confusion and upset.

“Yeah, and I have actually a Grammy.”


Every once in a while, the fresh Prince writers would certainly make funny reference to will certainly Smith’s music career, having his, or someone else’s, personality speak sarcastically around his talent or familiarity v the music industry. At one point, will sarcastically said, “Yeah, and also I have actually a Grammy,” while an additional memorable gag had Carlton belittling Will and Jazz by asking, “What carry out you two know around the music business?”

The opening Theme

Multiple jokes were made about the series’ catchy opening design template song. One gag had actually Will spouting its text to a court judge, while another had him making use of the same lyrics to tell Carlton around his childhood in Philadelphia. That"s just to it is in expected when the theme song acts together musical backstory for the main character.

Quick Fix

Remember the “Will desires to stay in Philadelphia” cliffhanger? In this notorious instance of 4th wall-breaking, the collection simply rotate what was set up together a weighty ordeal right into a one-off gag. NBC producers tossed him into a van and also drove him earlier to Bel-Air in maintaining with the show’s title — thank goodness.


In a similar moment (though ~ above a smaller sized scale), an episode as soon as wrapped up its lesson around studying by having Carlton suggest he and also Will “redo” the last scene to play increase the worth of hard work and demonize cheating. Hey, every comedy needs to have actually a ethical to that is story.


But fresh Prince was never satisfied with just breaking the 4th one. Once, they damaged a 5th one. After ~ listening to his cousins celebrate exactly how rich they were, will turns right to the audience and also directs the camera as much as where the set’s ceiling would certainly be — if they were rich enough to have actually one.

Just like on TV


Along the very same vein as the an enig of the disappearing ceiling, there to be Uncle Phil’s noodles act courtesy that Will’s far control. Surprisingly, though the gag precedes Adam Sandler"s Click, I"m pretty certain Sandler didn"t cut Smith a inspect for the brilliance.

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Carlton’s Cross-Set Sprint

A favourite entry, offered to close out a particularly high-concept episode, had Carlton running well past the confines of his residential set, sprinting out onto the stage and into the studio audience in mock panic. No, the didn’t make a lick that sense, yet it to be the many hilarious gag of lock all.