Will was born on July 3, 1973 in West Philadelphia. When he was five, he was abandoned by his father Lou, leaving his mother Viola to raise him in poverty. At 17, a local bully named Omar assaulted Will after he accidentally bounced a basketball on him. Because of the many dangers of living in a ghetto, Viola placed her son in the hands of his aunt and uncle Vivian and Philip Banks in the wealthy surburb of Bel-Air , California.
Moving to PhiladelphiaEdit
- ''''Vivian: How was the flight, honey?'
- 'Will': Yo the plane ride was stupid. I was up in the first class...
- 'Philip': Excuse me?
- 'Will': No, I'm saying the plane ride was dope...
- 'Philip': EXCUSE ME?!
- 'Will: No... Stupid, dope, it's not what you think. How would I say this... [in Bryant Gumbel like voice] the flight was really neat. "'
- Will's impression to his uncle Philip upon arrival.
At arrival in the Bel-Air mansion, his rude attitude and slang shocks his uncle, while his aunt tries to stay neutral. Uncle Philip doesn't appreciate his influence over his sheltered daughter Ashley. Nonetheless, the whole family soon becomes fond of Will. Carlton (Smith's cousin) is introduced, whom gets made fun of all the time by Will because of his short size and preppy nature. They compete over many things, like impressing women in "Someday Your Prince Will Be In Effect" or basketball. Their relations together are at first tight, especially during a flashback of Will's first day at school, where his cousin attempts to get him fired because of his jealousy over Will. Later, Will gets homesick so to cheer him up, his aunt Vivian invite a friend over, Ice Tray. The street-smart teenager still has trouble to adopt the family's traditions, such as their strange way of celebrating Christmas. Also, Smith has trouble bonding with the Banks, except for Ashley. In "Knowledge is Power", Will blackmails his cousin Hilary after hearing she dropped out of school without telling her parents. Will becomes friends with Jazz, whom he met in "Bang the Drum, Ashley". Will apparently spends most of his time hanging out with him and his other friends from Compton. The season ends with Hilary getting fond of Jazz (who has a crush on Hilary) after he defends her from mean insults.
"Carlton: Will, everybody knows why you're in training. No fats, no chocolate, and no women.
Will: Then I should probably cancel my date with that fat chocolate woman... "
Season 2 begins with Will revealing to the Banks that he plans on marrying his girlfriends Catherine. However, after an earthquake jams the basement door they were in, Will finds out in horror that his girlfriend used fake nails, a wig and other accessories to look nice. Smith is disgusted and they decide to break up. Later, Ashley confides to Will that a girl keeps bullying her at school. After that, when Will asks for $200 for the homecoming party, Philip says that he'll accept despite the large sum, because he thinks of Will as his own son. Will thinks about what his uncle said and realizes that he's turning soft, becoming more and more like Carlton, so he gets a job as a waiter to earn the money like a man. The competition between Carlton and his cousin doesn't stop, especially after Will shows great intelligence after beating Carlton in his PSAT scores. This season shows Will's gambling skills, as he rakes in $1000 in a charity casino, but also his greed, when he wants to keep the money after being told that he was supposed to donate it for charity. At the season's end, Carlton bonds more with Will when they both get into trouble for pawning Vivian's bracelet for money. Having lost all $400, they decide to attend a job as stripteasers, but get caught by Vivian.
At the start of the show, Will is depicted as a "ghetto thug" because of being born and raised in tough West Philadelphia . At the beginning of the show, he tries to stay away from his uncle and cousins because he fins them snobbish and superficial. He often teases his cousin Carlton because he doesn't consider him "black". He heavily influences Ashley , such as trying to teach her playing drums instead of violin and instructing her how to rap. His uncle Philip considers him a "lost hope", but sees talent in his laziness when he fondles with the piano.
Will is most of the times shown as immature, selfish and self-centered. He's a incorrigible womanizer who seems more interested in his own personal pleasures than his academic studies. However, Will is kind, sometimes emotional and never tries to hurt people. His negative actions are because of his immaturity and lack of prevision. He's very close to his little cousin Ashley , who understands her more than any Banks.
While he sometimes perceives Philip as being overprotective of Ashley , he himself also can be. When she asked Will about sex he freaked out and said she needed a license. Also, when he accidentally eavesdrops on his cousin and her friends about losing her virginity, he becomes mad and warns her, so she gets furious, saying it's her life.
Also Will is depicted as proud and manly, he shows great care about his relatives, and cries when his feelings are hurt. He often bursts into tears and gets out of his mind when someone insults his mother, and when his cousins blame Will on someone's death, he whimpers and falls to the ground.
Family and relatives Edit
Will's father is called Lou. Having abandoned a five-year-old Will and Vi, he reappears in "Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse". Will first sees his father after 14 years in The Peacock Shop, Lou freaking Will out with his staring (before recognizing him as his father, Will discretely calls Carlton and tells him he thinks Lou's a cop). Lou explains to Will that he works as a trucker now and has been in touch with Vy, who told him where Will was. At first, Will is reluctant of giving Lou a chance; however, after an afternoon hanging out on a carnival, and after Lou explains to Will that he wasn't prepared to be a father, Will gives in to his joy of having his father around. The two of them discuss going on a roadtrip to Maine; however, Lou is given an assignment and ditches Will again, for the last time. This causes an angry and hurt Will to denounce Lou as his father and to rant at Phillip, eventually asking to Phillip "How come he don't want me, man?" and bursting into tears, which causes an emotional Phil to comfort him with a hug.
Lou seemed surprised and a little hurt when Will rejected him as his father.
Viola "Vy" Smith is Will's loving mother. She is quite rude to everyone else, especially when her sister Janice decided to marry a white man. She works as a supervisor at the post office.
Carlton Banks is Will's short, highly intelligent, arrogant and obnoxious cousin. Will often makes fun of Carlton's size (less than 170 cm) calling him "Stumpy" or "Midgetboy", his unusual activities and his snobbishness. His favorite singer is Tom Jones , and is a huge fan of William Shatner .
Hilary Banks is the spoiled, pretty and dumb cousin of Will. She is known for her dependance of the family's butler Geoffrey, her poor housing skills (she doesn't know how to toast bread) and her passion for shopping. Although she's very self-centered, she gets more along with Will than Carlton.
Ashley Banks is Will's little cousin . She has great admiration for Will, calling him "the brother she never had" (she makes fun of Carlton's girly habits). Over the years, she loses her interest over her cousin, especially when he starts getting overprotective. She has many talents, such as a formidable singing voice and dazzling beauty.
'Nicky Banks is' the Banks family's youngest member. Will refers to him as "little man". He shares the same interest as Will, basketball and seems to like Will more than any other members of the family.
Philip Banks is Will's overweight and short-fused uncle by marriage. He thinks of Will a "desperate" and refers to him to others as his "nephew by marriage". Will often gets Philip in trouble. Despite Philip being ashamed of Will's attitude, he considers him as one of his own. This is made clear in "Papa's Got A Brand New Excuse", when Phillip tries to warn Will against trusting Lou again, and when Phillip is shown being clearly hurt after Will yells at him that Phil's not his father and, therefore, cannot keep him from going on a summer roadtrip with Lou. However, after Lou abandons Will again, Will began to see Philip as his true father figure.
Vivian Banks is will's aunt she is shown to care about him alot
Likes and interests Edit
Although decent in all sports, Will plays best basketball. Will played basketball since he was very little. In "Papa's got a brand new excuse", Will states that he learned basketball alone without any help. In a two against two game against Carlton , he defeated him 21 to 18, with the fact that Carlton was given an 18 points head start.
In "Courting Disaster ", Will wants to find a spot to play basketball, so goes with Jazz at school to play in the gymnasium. Coach Smiley watches Will as he dunks a basketball, amazing the hopeless school team. He offers Will to participate, to which he initially declines, but accepts later. In Will's first game, he singlehandedly destroys the opposing team 64 to 21, making Carlton jealous of his success.
In "My brother's keeper " he plays a game against Malibu, with their star player Marcus. Seeing that Marcus has a son to feed, Will lets past a lay-up from him and Malibu wins the game 91 to 90. Marcus later asks why Will let his team win, and he explains that he's got to make a living to raise his son. Marcus tells Will that basketball isn't going to feed his family, but school studies will. They become friends at the end of the episode.
Will listens mostly to rap and hip-hop, shown right from the first episode. He's also depicted as a good rapper himself, when he improvised with Ashley. He's been shown listening to Biggie Smalls, Heavy D and many more.
- Lisa Wilks