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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Season 2 Episode 20

Those Were the Days

Aired Monday 8:00 PM Feb 24, 1992 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
57 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Philip and Vivian welcome a '60s radical, who arouses the FBI's interest and influences Will and Carlton to take action over the firing of a nonconformist teacher. What does Philip and Vivian do while they flashback?

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • The best relative based episode

    I hate those relative based episodes and reading about this episode, I didn't want to waste 22 minutes but this particular episode was very interesting with some funny moments and found myself laughing a lot and being drawn into the story. Good episode, great acting and delivery of dialogue- THAT'S WHAT MATTERS
  • An old friend of Phillp and Viv visits

    Another good episode. This was a more serious episode but it has a nice balance of funny and seriousness. We have always knew that Phillp and Viv protesters in the past, but in this episode we see to what extent they did their protests. You see the influence that Marge has over some of the other family members. I like how Will tries to stand up for his teacher. Also on a small note but did the teacher look a little bit like Bernard from Lost? One of the funny parts is when FBI Agent came in and said he "tapped all black people's phone in America." He delivered it in a such a great way. I liked that the episode ended on a serious note. This was a very good episode and maybe one of the top five of season 2.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the fresh prince philp and vivan friend comes by and she wants to stay a few days and then they see the news on the tv about here being wanted by the FBI and they get all worried when a agent comes by the house wanted to talk with them seeing they knew her and they dont know what to do to give her up or risk harverting a futitive and go to jail with her. and will seems to learn alot from her about standing up for what you belive and he thinks they should help her and they do when the agent comes by they prentend to not know were she is . this was a good ep i thoughtmoreless
  • Those Were The Days

    This episode gives some background on Phil and Vivian’s early life with the introduction of their old friend, Marge, who turns out to be a fugitive though it was predictable with the obvious clues before the revelation such as her refusal to have her picture taken or go out of the house.

    Will’s favourite teacher being fired and, with Marge’s inspiration, Will deciding to stand up for the cause was a great subplot especially since only he and Cornflake tied themselves.

    Overall, this is quite a good episode though it could have had a few more jokes but did still have a couple of great laughs.moreless
Peggy Blow

Peggy Blow

Marge Smallwood

Guest Star

Tim Russ

Tim Russ

Agent Marcus Collins

Guest Star

Kenneth Tigar

Kenneth Tigar

Mr. Knotts

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When the photography teacher talks to Carlton, the door at the back of the class is open, however when the camera pans back a second later it is closed. It is once again open on the next shot of the class.

    • Ansel Easton Adams (1902 to 1984) was a photographer who was best known for his black and white photographs of California's Yosemite Valley.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Vivian: Marge, when you tell Will that we chained ourselves together at sit-ins, you're only giving him the romantic part of the struggle. Girlfriends, you are leaving out everything that went before it: the leaflets, the petitions, the years of trying to work through the system.
      Marge: The system doesn't work. You have to blow the door down. Looks to me like you forgot that.
      Philip: You talk as if I wasn't there with you in Birmingham facing dogs and firehoses. This is me, Olfame, the same Olfame that was with you the night Harlem went up in flames. But now I have a family, and I choose not to fight in the streets. I have an office to fight from and I have fought and won cases for fair housing, affirmative action, health care, and I am not ashamed to write a big fat check for something I believe in and that doesn't make me any less committed than you, so don't you dare look down your damn nose at me, Adabola.

    • Phil: Last time I saw you was at the 1971 anti-war rally, you stole my Afro comb.
      Marge: Don't look like you be needing it now!

    • Will: I'ma go with you.
      Marge: Will, you're only 17.
      Will: Yeah but by the time you were 17 you'd already burnt your first bra.
      Marge: Will, you can't do what I did.
      Will: But I could borrow one of Hilary's.

    • Marge: To Will When the court doesn't work, you find me.
      Will: You're something else, Adabola.
      Marge: And you're the future, Hasani.

    • Marge: (to Vivian and Philip) The system doesn't work, you HAVE to blow the door down, it seems you forgot that.

    • Philip: Remember Woodstock?
      Marge: Yes.
      Philip: Twenty of us tried to squeeze into that tent. Vivian and I jumped into that lake naked.
      Vivian: I wasn't at Woodstock.

    • Will: Carlton, this is a photography assignment. Not a Prince video.

    • Agent Collins: We understand that you've been in contact with Margaret Smallwood.
      Philip: Oh? And how is it you know that?
      Agent Collins: We tap every black person's phone in the United States of America.
      (Philip and Vivian stare)
      Agent Collins: Just a little FBI humor.

    • Will: There is no point in trying to reason with the man when the man isn't reasoning with you!
      Cornflakes: Yes! Power to the people! Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud.
      Will: Alright my man Cornflakes got the spirit. He a little confused but he got the spirit.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • In this episode, Carlton mentions Angela Davis. This is an allusion to Angela Yvonne Davis who was an African American communist organizer and philosopher associated with the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and 1970s.

    • In the photography class, Will reads the petition. Supposedly Ricky Ricardo signed it. Will then mentions Lucy. These are allusions to the TV series titled I Love Lucy. It ran from 1951 through 1957 and starred Lucille Ball.

    • The field trip for the photography class was canceled. The class was supposed to visit a Mapplethorpe exhibit. Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 through 1989) was known for his large-scale, highly stylized black and white portraits, photos of flowers, and erotic male nudes.

    • In the scene when Will looks at a photo album, he says, Yaba Daba Doo. This is an allusion to The Flintstones. It was an animated series that ran from 1961 through 1966. It seems appropriate since Mr. and Mrs. Banks were remenicsing about their civil rights efforts in the 1960's.

    • In this episode, Carlton asks if their guest knew Wally and the Beaver. This is an allusion to the TV series titled, Leave It to Beaver . It ran from 1957 to 1963 and was about a middle class white family.

    • Will: Attica! Attica! Attica!

      This famous line is taken from the movie Dog Day Afternoon starring Al Pacino.

    • Those were the days is also the song lyrics to the TV show All in the Family.

    • The episode title make reference to a song made popular by Mary Hopkins titled Those Were The Days.

    • This episode's end credits feature an epilogue scene, rather than bloopers.

      This scene is the one in which Will reads the horoscope.

    • Will: hey Hill look at what my horscope it says you will be become a famous rap star and you will have your own tv show.

      Will obivously is a famous rap star and he is the star of the Fresh Prince of Bel-air.

    • Title: Those Were the Days
      This title is taken from a 1933 movie of the same name.