|Family|| Philip Banks (father)|
Vivian Banks (mother)
Hilary Banks (older sister)
Carlton Banks (older brother)
Nicky Banks (younger brother)
Hattie Banks (paternal grandmother)
Vy Smith (maternal aunt)
Lou Smith (maternal uncle)
Will Smith (maternal cousin)
Helen Smith (maternal aunt)
Lester (maternal uncle)
Bobby (maternal cousin)
Janice Smith (maternal aunt)
Frank (maternal uncle)
|First Appearance||The Fresh Prince Project|
|Last Appearance||I, Done (Part 2)|
Ashley Banks is Will's younger cousin, born on October 26, 1979. Ashley was Vivian's baby girl, and always loved being with her mom. Phillip was always trying to control Ashley's life so she did not become anything like regular teenage girls. Will's devil-may-care approach to life proved to be an exciting alternative, which makes her generally more sympathetic and understanding towards him than other members of the Banks family; with that being, Ashley looked up to Will as a big brother and spent much time following him in her younger days. In fact, Will states in the episode "Will Gets A Job" that if he had a choice to be any of Phillip's kids it would be Ashley.
Possibly because of Will's influence towards Ashley, she often acts rebelliously as she gets older, for which her father becomes very angry at Will. One of these moments is in the episode Father Knows Best, which reveals that she dropped out of her private school and enrolled in secret at a public high school and was planning to hide this from her parents as long as possible; though after a failed plot in which Will posed as Ashley's father when she is asked to attend a parent-teacher conference, Will eventually convinces Ashley to come clean. She also spends less time with Will and sometimes gets upset with him when he becomes overprotective like Philip to the point of showing a great deal of annoyance and contempt. She believed that she was old enough to make her own decisions when it comes to boys which neither Will nor Uncle Phil enjoyed hearing or believed. Phillip never enjoyed having Ashley grow up.
Ashley's age is inconsistent in the first season. She is said to be nine in a few early episodes of the season. In the episode "Deck the Halls," Will says that she is 10. But in the episode "Just Infatuation," Ashley celebrates her 12th birthday. Starting with the second season, she is 13, she turns 14 in the middle of the third season, 15 at the end of the fourth season, she is 16 by the end of season five and 17 by the end of season six.
Ashley matures very much in the series; she becomes a one-hit wonder with a hit song called "Make Up Your Mind" in the season five premiere "What's Will Got to Do With It?"/"The Client", however her career quickly fizzles out when her album doesn't sell because as the agent Philip hired to replace Will mentioned "kids got sick of her [song]", when it gets too much exposure. Beginning in the episode "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", she also strives to become a fashion model after being discovered by the president of a modeling agency at her job at a mall food court corn dog stand.
In the series finale, Ashley decides to attend a performing arts school in New York City. As Hilary is also moving to New York when it is announced that her talk show is relocating there, the two sisters decide to live together; they become extremely excited about the whole idea, much to the annoyance of Phillip, who does not want to lose his daughters. In the episode "The Baby Comes Out", where her brother Nicky is born, Ashley mentions she knew how to drive since she was 12 years old. She is very musically talented as shown that she plays violin and the drums, and she can sing. Ashley appeared in 144 episodes of the series.