The 90s are now over twenty years in the past (for fellow elderly millennial types…this hurts a lot). But the 90s still have a visceral hold on the collective imagination.
Is it the fashions? Unfortunately, yes. The music? Thankfully, not as much. The movie and TV shows? Absolutely. That’s why we launched this blog series– 90s TV characters as plants!
Whether or not you are from West Philly (or Bel-Air, for that matter), Fresh Prince holds a special place in the hearts of those who grew up/came of age in the 90s.
- WILL! What can I say about Will Smith that has not already been said? He’s an icon to icons. He. Is. Just. Awesome. I think he is a Prince of Orange, not just because of the name, but because of the vibrant hue of the leaves – they say HEY I AM HERE, just like Will.
Favorite quote: Will – “So you’re saying the only reason I loved her is cause she’s rich and let me sponge off of her? Uncle Phil – “Yes.” Will – “Then, I love you too, Uncle Phil.”
- Uncle Phil: Everyone’s favorite TV dad/uncle (I remember when my own dad told me he met the actor who played Uncle Phil and I LOST IT because the meeting had happened a month before my father deigned to inform me. I love Uncle Phil). The patriarch of a large family, Uncle Phil is a perfect Philodendron Birkin, a plant that relies on a regular watering and lighting schedule, just like Phil himself.
Favorite quote: “You find Geoffrey and you bring him back or they’ll never find your bodies. I’m a judge, I can make it happen.”
- Aunt Viv: She’s the OG auntie, Vivian Banks. She loves fiercely, speaks wisely, and dances like a professional! Aunt Viv has gone through a lot and emerged stronger and better than before, making her the steely snake plant!
Favorite quote: “You can read that book, you can wear the t-shirt, you can put up the posters, and you can shout the slogans but unless you know all the history behind it, you’re trivializing the entire struggle.”
- Carlton: Where to start with Carlton? Is it the dad jokes, the nonstop ridiculous sweaters, or that mustache? Carlton is the perfect tiny storm cloud that threatens rain that helps balance the sunshine that is Will. Naturally, he is a heart-leaf philodendron – sturdy and dependable, with just enough zest to make him interesting!
Favorite quote: “Dad, don’t do anything stupid! You haven’t updated your will yet!” tied with, naturally, the famous Carlton Dance.
- Hilary: I always loved Hilary’s dizziness, but respected her growth over the course of the show. She goes from a vain, selfish teen to a vain, less selfish woman. She’s a split-leaf monstera – super trendy, gorgeous, and absolutely fantastic.
Favorite quote: “"I'm a career woman. I don't have time to dust and push around that...Oh, what do you call that big loud thing that sucks up everything?"
- Ashley: She’s intelligent and knows her own mind, what’s not to love?! Ashley is a natural Bird of Paradise – she is strong, tenacious, and definitely knows what she wants.
Favorite quote: “I need money, not boys.”
- Geoffrey: With a ramrod straight spine and the driest wit on the show, Geoffrey steals all the scenes with his presence. While he may make fun of the Banks family for having a butler, he is clearly devoted to both the family and his job. I see Geoffrey as a Calathea Orbifolia – sensitive and dynamic!
Favorite quote: “Quite right, sir. You threw him on the lawn, he ROLLED into the street.”
- Jazz: Oh Jazz, sweet, silly Jazz. Always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, but still managing to be darn lovable. Jazz is a cotton candy fern, mainly because I think he would adore the name AND because he is able to be at ease in any situation, just like a fern!
Favorite quote: *Any time Jazz gets thrown out of the Banks' home*
I am headed over to HBOMax tonight to watch Fresh Prince and reconnect with my childhood and watch Will Smith mouth other people’s lines in the early episodes. You can also catch it on VH1, which is still a channel somehow.