The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Season 4 Episode 16

I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Jan 24, 1994 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Will and Jazz steal a statue from a rival school, whose team retaliates by kidnapping ULA's lucky charm Carlton, the strutting peacock mascot.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • A Football Game

    This episode had many flaws. First of all the timing of the episode. Since this was college homecoming games don't happen in January. My only defense might be that the producers thought this would be shown in October or November. But then again NBC should have realized it. The football coach was your stereotypical coach. Also the girl that Carlton was with when he was captured was mean. What did Carlton see in her? Also where was Viv?

    There were some good moments. The security system story was funny. My favorite part is when Phillp tried to call the security company only to trip Hilary and hit the laser. The pranks between the schools were also funny. I liked that Jazz tried to help out. Also how Will got out his debt was entertaining.

    While this episode had some bad moments, and might have been better, it's still worth seeing.moreless
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams

    Both the war between schools and the alarm system are hilarious plots, especially when the Banks get trapped and Carlton gets stolen. Of course the end was brilliant, with Amanda coming back to gloat and Will asking for the $500 Carlton owed him.

    The funniest aspect of the episode is the fact that the football team couldn’t survive without their peacock mascot and lost their confidence just because Carlton was mascot-napped.

    Will dressed as a peacock is even more amusing than Carlton because it is so out of character and overall, this episode is one worth watching, especially for the moments with Jazz and the dogs.moreless
Jeff Doucette

Jeff Doucette

Coach Kelly

Guest Star

Rana Kirkland

Rana Kirkland


Guest Star

Jack Tate

Jack Tate


Guest Star

Jeff Townes

Jeff Townes


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Coach: Without Carlton, those boys won't believe they can win. And if they don't have it here, (points to his head) they're not gonna have it here (points to his heart).
      Jazz: And if they don't have it here, (points to his heart) you're gonna get it there (points to Will's face).

    • Will: We can steal that old Mustang statue!
      Jazz: Now, why would I steal something I can't sell?
      Will: The Jazz I knew didn't need reasoning before he did something stupid.

    • Phil: This is a dangerous world we live in but turning our home into a bunker isn't going to solve anything.
      Hilary: You're right, let's just get guns.

    • Carlton: I'll wait for you.
      Amanda: And I'll cut back on dating.

    • Carlton: In high school, I was sort of a...
      Amanda: Dweeb?
      Carlton: I was gonna say loner, but that too.

    • Coach: Has there been any sign of Carlton?
      Will: (Looking at flier with picture of Carlton in a cage on it) Well actually, there's been a sign.

    • Carlton: Will, I'm desperate. Take off your pants!
      Will: Uh, I think you're taking this jail thing a bit too far!

    • Coach: What happened to Carlton?
      Will: I think my aunt Helen dropped him on his head when he was a baby.

    • Carlton: None of the team even leave the locker room before they rub me for luck!
      Will: Are you sure they don't just rub you for fun?

    • Amanda: Carlton, you're a peacock. I'm a mustang. Can you imagine what our children would be like?
      Will: Powerful hind legs and a colorful tail?

    • Will (looking at the map): Hey, I know this place. This is the rumpus room of the Alpha Kappa Psi sorority! Let's go!
      Jazz: I can't.
      Will: Why not?
      Jazz: Restraining order. Long story.

    • Jazz: Man, this victory party is weak!
      Will: That's because we lost, Jazz.

  • NOTES (3)


    • Announcer: Does this spell doom for the Fighting Peacock football team? Stay tuned, same Fresh Prince time, same Fresh Prince channel.
      (A voice hums a tune while the Fresh Prince of Bel Air logo zooms in spinning.)
      The end of the scene with Carlton inside the cage right before the commercial break is an allusion to the end of an episode of the television show, Batman. The announcer always ends the show with Tune in next week. Same bat time, same bat channel.

    • Title: I Know Why the Caged Bird Screams
      The title is a play on I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which is an autobiography of Maya Angelou's childhood.