'A Different World': 12 Things We Learned

It's been 20 years since The Cosby Show spinoff dispensed life lessons while making us laugh.

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Kadeem Hardison (YouTube); Jasmine Guy (YouTube); Darryl M. Bell (YouTube)

(The Root) -- It's been 20 years since we graduated from Hillman College on A Different World, which went off the air in the summer of 1993. The show, which began as a spinoff of The Cosby Show, was supposed to follow the exploits of Denise Huxtable (Lisa Bonet). But when Bonet dropped out after the first season, the show turned its focus to nerdy Dwayne Wayne (Kadeem Hardison) and prissy Southern belle Whitley Gilbert (Jasmine Guy) and went on to last for six seasons.

We loved watching the ever-changing relationship between Dwayne and Whitley, hanging out with the gang at The Pit and getting sound advice from Mr. Gaines (Lou Myers) and Col. Taylor (Glynn Turman). Of course, college is a great place to get valuable life lessons. Take a look at some of our favorites from our beloved -- albeit fictional -- HBCU.

1. A summer apart can do wonders for a man's intrigue.

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Screenshots of A Different World (YouTube)

Subtract the flip-up sunglasses. Add a fancy suit. Whitley's attraction level for Dwayne seemed to rise a bit higher in the show's third season. When they ran into each other on the plane after summer vacation, Whitley finally started to give Dwayne a second look.

2. Diahann Carroll and Patti Labelle make perfect on-screen mothers.

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Diahann Carroll (Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images); Patti LaBelle (Ian Dickson/RedFerns/Getty Images)

You probably don't want to try her famous prune cobbler, but Mrs. Wayne (LaBelle) loved her "Chipmunk" (Dwayne) -- and eventually came around to love Whitley, too. As for Ms. Gilbert? She took a while to come around in accepting Dwayne, as well. Her classic line in the wedding episode? "Die. Just die!"

3. Stepping is serious business on HBCU campuses.

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Screenshot of A Different World (YouTube)
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