With shows like Arrested Development and Community, TV viewers have become accustomed to characters breaking the fourth wall, acknowledging their own existence in a TV show. But before all that came The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Though it was usually a standard three-camera sitcom, there have been a couple times when the Fresh Prince broke the reality of the show for the sake of a joke. Here are five of them, in order from least to most insane.
1. Will Smith Recites the Show's Theme Song to a JudgeFrom "Will Goes a Courtin" (Season 4)
The mildest example on the list. The reality of the show remains intact, but the joke only works if you're aware of the show's theme song.
2. Jazz Is the Only One Who Notices the Aunt Vivian Looks DifferentFrom "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" (Season 4)
In Season 4, a new actress was brought on to play the role of Aunt Vivian, something the characters in the show seem to be vaguely aware of, even if they won't explicitly say it.
3. Will References the Opening Credits BullyFrom "The Philadelphia Story" (Season 4)
The cracks in reality start to form as Will mentions "the opening credits" and everyone knows exactly what he's talking about.
4. The Banks' Can't Afford No CeilingFrom "Same Game, Next Season" (Season 5)
Not only does this joke break the fourth wall, it also breaks the ceiling.
5. Carlton Runs Around the Set, In and Out of Rooms, Spilling into the AudienceFrom "Will's Misery" (Season 5)
And finally, all semblance of reality is broken.