It's been almost 20 years since Alfonso Ribeiro played Carlton Banks on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” so when he brought his famous '90s dance moves to "Dancing with the Stars" last week -- complete with a recreated "Fresh Prince" living room set, a preppy sweater, and Carlton's favorite song, Tom Jones’ "It's Not Unusual" -- the internet exploded with happiness overload:
No doubt, Ribeiro and partner Witney Carson deserved all those perfect 10s for the immaculately executed nostalgia factor. But this isn't the first time his dancing has brought viewers sheer joy. Here are Carlton's dance moments ranked from purely goofy to actually heartstring-pulling...
10. Carlton invents twerking?
Episode: S02, E24, "Strip-Tease for Two"
Emotional impact: Is "awkward" an emotion?
Will and Carlton pawn off Vivian Banks' bracelet in a get-rich-quick scheme that doesn't pan out, so they must raise $500 to buy it back. The quickest way to do that? Becoming male strippers! Carlton's debut as an aspiring Chippendale comes to a sudden end when an unexpected guest shows up: His mom. It's a ridiculous scene, not an emotional one, though you have to root for an uptight guy getting out of his shell for once -- or, in this case, his cardigan.
9. Carlton boards the Soul Train
Episode: S05, E08, "Soooooooul Train"
Emotional impact: Just fun
Uncle Phil proposed to Aunt Vivian on the classic TV show, so they return for its 25th anniversary with their family. That's an emotional moment for the characters themselves, but as for Carlton's dancing, it's all about the silliness here.
8. Carlton busts out his moves (and self-delusion) to impress Will
Episode: S01, E18 "Young and the Restless"
Emotional impact: Kinda inspirational, really
In the show's first season, "The Carlton" wasn't known as a worldwide dance phenomenon...yet. In fact, Will Smith outright tells his cousin, "The reason you don't like [my] music is because you can't dance." The overconfidence of Carlton's response is an inspiration to anyone who knows, deep down, they have zero physical grace -- but who's also found the courage to get on the dance floor anyway.
7. Carlton gets caught
Episode: S03, E10 "Asses to Ashes"
Emotional impact: We've all been there
This is one of the most famous examples of "The Carlton," and with good reason: Who among us has never been caught in a moment of acting out our fantasies? We mean rock star fantasies, not...y'know...but same difference. Either way, Carlton's embarrassment at the end of this clip is totally relatable. At least he walks away with his head held high.
6. Carlton meets Oprah Winfrey
Episode: S03 E09 “A Night at the Oprah”
Emotional impact: Depends on how much of an Oprah fan you are
The Banks family gets invited to appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and meeting the legendary TV host backstage sends Carlton swinging with joy. Even if you weren't one of her millions of regular viewers, imagine meeting your favorite celeb (other than the guy who sang the Academy Award-nominated title song from "What's New Pussycat?”) and imagine trying to act any differently in Carlton's shoes.
5. Carlton teaches the next generation
Episode: S06, E06 "Not, I Barbecue"
Emotional impact: Adorbs
Will bets Carlton $50 that he can't go a week without listening to Tom Jones, and Carlton bets Will that he can't go a week without listening to "that god-awful Biggie Smalls." Unfortunately for Carlton, baby brother Nicky asks to hear one of Jones' songs, and Carlton can't resist sharing the gospel of "the King of Swing, the Tower of Power, Mr. Vegas." You've gotta admit, it's pretty darn cute.
4. The dance competition
Episode: S06 E08 "Viva Lost Wages"
Emotional impact: Bromantic
Two episodes later, Carlton fails to learn his lesson about personal finance, and gambles away all his money during a trip to Vegas. He and Will can't afford to get back to Bel-Air, so they enter a (clothes-on) talent contest. If only all cousins had each other's backs like this.
3. Carlton accidentally takes speed at the prom
Episode: S03 E19 "Just Say Yo"
Emotional impact: Very special episode
Carlton gets mixed up with drugs -- specifically, by mixing up Will's amphetamines for harmless vitamins. Carlton's hyperactive dancing at prom is played for laughs, but the scene is put in a serious context when Will takes responsibility and tells Uncle Phil the truth:
This subject matter had the risk of being super corny, like so many "after school specials" before it, but with actors this talented, the show always felt real.
2. Carlton meets his idol
Episode: S03, E18 "The Alma Matter"
Emotional impact: Total exuberance
In a special cameo appearance, Tom Jones appears as Carlton's guardian angel, and their duet appears to be the happiest moment of Carlton's life, even if it's just a vision. From the smile on his face, we're pretty sure it's one of Alfonso Ribeiro's fondest moments as well.
1. Carlton and Will: The last dance
Episode: S06, E24 "I, Done"
Emotional impact: Pass the Kleenex
Goodbyes are always bittersweet, and this scene of Will and Carlton realizing they're not so different after all -- at least, their musical tastes aren't -- helped make for a final perfect episode. Obviously, Will had seen the light and changed his mind on the "you can't dance" line from Season 1. (As he rapped with DJ Jazzy Jeff, "And even if you can't dance, you can't lose!")
Want more Carlton? Tune in for MTV's new #Throwblock every weekday from noon to 2 p.m. for full episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."