The top 8 Saved By the Bell Episodes of All Time
I've purposefully left out the episode where Jesse gets addicted to caffeine pills and the episode where Kelly breaks up with Zack. Both are great, but everyone's already familiar with them.
1. "No Hope With Dope"
In this episode, Bayside is chosen as the location for an anti-drug infomercial, and when teen heartthrob Johnny Dakota comes in to help, all the girls go crazy. But in a creepy twist, Johnny Dakota takes a liking to 17 year old Kelly Kapowski, and he even delivers a great and cheezy Hollywood pick up line:
Johnny: This is the storyboard.
Johnny: Yeah, here's you... although I'd say you have a few more curves!
Kelly: Johnny... you're embarrassing me!
Can you feel the tension? Johnny Dakota, being ever so suave, doesn't wanna step on anyone's toes, so to get in good with the gang, he invites everyone to a "Hollywood" party at his house where he proceeds to offer sweet innocent Kelly a joint. Oh the hypocricy!
When the anti-drug commercial is about to begin filming, Johnny Dakota is exposed as a hypocrite, and in comes NBC Executive Brandon Tartakoff to take part in what, oddly enough, becomes a real anti-drug commercial. The big wigs at NBC must have found that the most effective PSA's are the one's that rhyme. How else can you explain, "There's no hope with dope!", and Zack exclaiming point blank to the camera, "In one word, would I do dope? Nope."
Lastly, the show did a great job with the name 'Johnny Dakota." It's as much a hollywood name as it is a douchebag name. And you can tell he's a legit douchebag because, as you'll see below, he calls his friend "guy".
2. "The Friendship Business"
As part of a class project, the kids at Bayside are assigned to come up with a new business idea. Thanks to Lisa, the group comes up with "friendship bracelets", and it's a hit. But the success goes to Zack's head and he declares himself company president in a cout'de tat. He even has a memorable daydream about the future where he's incredibly wealthy and where Screech does a spoof on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous -- "milkshake wishes and cheeseburger dreams!"
The rest of the group, sans Lisa and Screech, revolts and ditch Zack to form a new business that sells "Buddy Bands", which are headbands. They even make a great 1980's style commercial for them that contains one of the greatest advertising slogans in history, "Buddy Bands. Hey. They Work." Hey, I'm convinced.
As the plot unfolds, Zack eventually drives Lisa and Screech away, setting up "Buddy Bands" to be the premiere high shcool fashion accessory. But Zack, the master saboteur, has a trick up his sleeve and slyly gives a buddy band to Mr. Belding, instantly rendering them uncool. Both companies fail, but the gang learns a little bit about business, and a lot about themselves in the process.
3. "The Fabulous Belding Boys"
This is a great episode that tends to get overlooked for some reason. In this episode, the students have to ace a history exam so they can go on a class trip. Prior to the exam, their maniacal teacher has a nervous breakdown, and in comes Mr. Beldings cooler and younger brother Rod as a substitute teacher. We know that Rod is cool because he has long flowing blonde locks of hair. I like how in shows like Saved By the Bell, all they have to do to show that someone is hip and cool is give him long hair.
Rod Belding proceeds to show just how cool he is by having the students rip up their own exams and decide what grades they think they deserve. Obviously, everyone does well and they're all set to go on their class trip. But their excitement soon turns to disappointment when they find out that Mr. Belding has decided that their class trip will be camping in Yosemite National Park. The students protest and agree that they'd all have more fun going white water rafting with Rod instead of camping with Mr. Belding. This sets up one of the biggest burns in Saved by the Bell History.
Belding: Maybe Rod should worry more about his job as a teacher, and a little less about being popular.
Zack: Maybe you're just jealous of your own brother!
Ouch! At the end of the episode, as the students are about to embark on the rafting trip, Rod tells Mr. Belding that he can't make it because he has a hot date with a stewardess named Inga. He even exclaims, "She's a 10!" This then sets up one of the major disses in Saved By the Bell History.
Mr. Belding: "Get out of my School Rod!"
I, for one, have the chills. In the end, the students go on the trip with Mr. Belding.
Notable quote: "Two Belding's in one building, one of whom is balding!"
4. "Dancing to the Max"
Casey Kasem is in the house and is hosting a dance contest at the Max. Everyone is all paired up and ready to go, but when Lisa sprains her ankle, no one wants to be her dance partner. Screech then steps up to the plate and agrees to dance with her. In the process, they create a new dance phenomenon known as "The Sprain." What are the steps, you ask? Well, if you've ever hopped around on one foot, you can do it.
5. "The Fight"
This episode is up here because it has Zack and Slater duking it out in one of the worst choreographed fight scenes of all time. In this episode, Slater and Zack are both interested in the same girl and engage in a series of antics and pranks in order to ruin the others chances with the girl. But when Zack ruins Slaters date at the movies by having Screech dress up as an usher, the stage is set for one of the lamest and most hilarious trash talking scenes in television history.
Slater: Hey, Zack, last night at the movies you went too far!
Zack: (jokingly) I was just helping a mother get together with her son, what's so wrong about that?
Slater: Wrecking my date with Joanna wasn't funny.
Zack: Like it was funny wrecking my study date the night before?
Slater: Hey, you started it, man, making me look like a jerk at the Max!
Zack: Well that's what you are.
Slater: What did you say?
Zack: You heard me. Get out of my face.
Slater: And what if I don't, punk?
Zack: Then I'll just have to make you, punk!
I like how in Saved by the Bell land, being called a 'jerk' is about the worst thing you can say to someone. Anyways, Zack and Slater proceed to have a fake looking fight that is broken up by Mr. Belding. Their feud rages on, and later on at the max, Zack and Slater pour fruit punch down each others shirt and pants as their rivalry continues. But when Mr. Belding tries to keep the peace, his wig (did I mention he was wearing a wig in this episode?) falls off. Everyone shares a hearty laugh and forgets why they were even fighting in the first place, and all is well at Bayside.
An all-time classic that stands the test of time. Disagree? Well maybe you're forgetting that this episode stars Casey Kasem. Yeah, that's what I thought. Casey Kasem stars in this episode which tells the tale of how the band "Zack Attack" rose to stardom. Talk about being a visionary, this episode aired years before Behind the Music. This episode also spawned one of the most well recognized sitcom songs for people under the age of 30, "Friends Forever". Per usual, Zack lets fame get to his head, thereby ruining the band in the process, but making up with everyone in the end. "Friends forever, it's a nice idea."
7. "House Party"
Screech's parents (screech had parents?) leave to go to Graceland, leaving him all alone and in charge. When Zack finds out, he plans a party. Screech's mom, however, explicitly warned Screech that he wasn't allowed to have any parties while she was away. So instead, the boys decide to have a guys night where instead of drinking beer, they dance and sing in neon pastel colored shorts and tanktops. Hmmmm.
Later on, the girls come by and see the guys singing and dancing and laugh at them. Eventually, the girls join in on the dancing fun, and in the process, Screech's mom's precious bust of Elvis falls and breaks. Screech panics and faints. Oh no!
When they find out that it's gonna cost 250 bucks to replace it, Zack attempts to swindle the resident nerd (aptly named "Nerdstrom") in a poker game. Zack should have known better than to butt heads with a nerd because Nerdstrom takes Zack to the cleaners for all his money, and even wins Screech's dog. In true nerd fashion, however, Nerdstrom offers to return the dog for a date with one Jessica Spano. And this was pre-Showgirls. Did Nerdstrom know something we didn't? Anyways, Jesse eventually agrees to go on the date. Point Nerdstrom.
Meanwhile, Zack decides to throw a party at Screech's house and charge 10 bucks per person so that they replace the statue, and at the end of the night, they've accumulated enough money to do just that. But there's a hitch - the dog. Nerdstrom agrees to give back the dog, but first insists on a goodnight kiss from Jesse. Ever the thinking man, Zack tells Nerdstrom to close his eyes and pucker up, and has the dog kiss him instead of Jesse. But the fun is just getting started. Screech's parents come home early and his mother is furious that Screeche threw a party. But Zack concocts a lie and says that the party was really an anniversay party thrown in their honor. Brilliant! Screech's mom buys it, but just as Slater comes back in the house with the new statute, he trips and sends the statue flying. Zack then makes a running dive and catch and puts the new statue back up where the old one used to be, just in the nick of time!
And in a final twist, Screech's mom says "There's something wrong with this statue?" "There is?", asks Zack. "Elvis likes to face the kitchen, so he can watch me cook!" Wow, close call!
8. Glee Club
Bayside has a contest to see who can write the best school song, and in an effort to be remembered for something positive, and not as a prankster, Zack ironically decides to sabotage everyone else's efforts so that he can win the competition. In the end though, all the contestants work together and come up with this timeless gem.
"It seems like only yesterday we started, but soon we'll put away our books and pens.
We'll all go on with our lives once we've parted, But how can we say farewell to all our friends?
The double dates, the parties, and the dances, Crammin' for a midterm until 3.
The football games, the Max, and the romances, soon Bayside will be just a memory.
Our 4 years here have all become unraveled, and so our high school story finally ends (it finally eeendds!). But years from now, no matter where we've traveled, we'll all look back and think about our friends."
- Screech's Spaghetti Sauce
Screech invents a new kind of spaghetti sauce that turns out to be a Betty Crocker rip off. "The sauce-a-you can have, but the secret, she's a mine!"
- Check Your Mate
"Spassky Bishop Block!"- Valley and Bayside are competing in a chess tournament. When Valley brings in a ringer, Zack and co. naturally decide to kidnap Valley's russian chess player and tie him up. Zack natrually dresses up as the russian so that he can then throw the upcoming chess match against screech. "Just veen the game?"
- Cream for a Day
Kelly gets a zit and Zach's pimple cram causes her whole face to turn maroon. Put here in honor of Craterface Kobart.
- Pipe Dreams
They find oil at Bayside and Zack becomes creepily attached to a goose.