Undoubtedly, one of NBC”s smartest moves was purchasing the rights to “Good Morning Miss Bliss” from Disney. The major network proceeded to reform the show and enigmatically move the majority of the cast to sunny Bayside High School in California. From here, viewers followed the cast of “Saved By the Bell” through some tumultuous and rocky times at Bayside High. Viewers smiled together when Zack Morris called his first “time out” in the “Aloha Slater” episode. They cried when Zack and Kelly crumbled because of an older man. Audiences let out a collective groan when Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani-Amber Thiesen) was zipped away for a series of episodes known simply as “The Tori Episodes.”
10. Stevie : 8th Grade Original air date: 03/11/89
This episode was part of the Indiana fiasco. We saw a young debonair Zack Morris pursuing a fictitious starlet named Stevie. Stevie (a former student of Miss Bliss) is in town for an concert she”s performing. She stayed at Miss Bliss” house incognito to avoid being found and forced to sign what had to be legions upon legions of screaming middle-school children”s lockers. Zack ends up kissing the Stevie-in-disguise and doesn”t realize it till she”s long gone, perhaps in a town we can only assume is somewhere in Iowa, making nice with another boy with sandy blonde hair.
9. The Friendship Business: 9th Grade Original air date: 11/04/89
When Mr. Tuttle proposes a business project, the gang launch itself into it full force. Zack”s capitalistic urges take over on this episode, where we get our first glimpse of the shrewd economist beneath the surfer faade. His overwhelmingly powerful leadership eventually polarizes the gang into two factions: Friendship Bracelets and Buddy Bands. The game goes sour when some feelings get hurt, but at the end, the gang reunites peacefully, launching a product that combined both projects with Love Cuffs.
8. Screech”s Spaghetti Sauce: 12th Grade Original air date: 09/19/92
When the gang discovers that Screech”s grandma makes a mean spaghetti sauce, Zack”s capitalist urges resurface. While working on a television show in their communications class, the gang decides to market “Screech”s Secret Sauce.” Putting the Prego on the pasta, however, is the appearance of one time lolita Punky Brewster (Solei Moon Frye) as Screech”s materialistic girlfriend. Robin is no sweetheart, and she proceeds to jerk around the brillo-haired Samuel Powers (Screech, to the fair-weather fans). Eventually, Robin gets hers, and the gang discovers that Screech”s “secret” sauce was simply ripped from a cookbook, but the gang again slides by, just like the bus in the morning, when the “larm let”s out a warning.
“The sauce-a you can have, but the secret, she”s-a mine!”
7. The Fabulous Belding Brothers: 10th Grade Original air date: 12/09/90
When principal Richard Belding allows his rogue younger brother Rod to step in an substitute for the class, the gang takes an immediate liking to the free-wheeling Belding. Rod”s aspirations for the group entail him taking the crew on a class trip. Rod”s youthful desires take precedent over his concern for the kids, leading him away from the “Saved By the Bell” universe and off skirt-chasing after a flight attendant. The elder Belding steps in, covers for his kid brother and promises to take the gang on the trip. Only then do Zack and company realize they have the “better Belding.”
6. Check Your Mate: 11th Grade Original air date: 10/05/91
This episode puts Screech and his beret on the cover of Chessboy magazine. The beret was the gift of Screech”s heartthrob Violet (yes, that”s Tori Spelling). When the beret is stolen by the Master twins, Screech loses his ability to play chess. Russian exchange student Peter Breznev poses a formidable opponent for the feathery Screech, but he overcomes the Breznev block and regains his beret.
5. The Wicked Stepbrother: 11th Grade Original air date
When Jessie”s mother gets married, the hell really begins, in the form of Eric, her East Coast step-sibling. Eric terrorizes the gang, and it appeared that Zack had met his match. However, eventually the gang usurps Eric”s felonious attempt at blackmail, and Eric returns to New York with his tail between his legs.
4. No Hope With Dope: 11th Grade Original air date: 11/30/91
Bayside gets chosen to shoot a real life anti-drug spot with superstar Johnny Dakota, who claims that the stick girl is Kelly, but with “more curves.” It is uncovered through the sleuthing of the gang that Dakota himself uses drugs. In the episode”s climactic former NBC CEO Brandon Tarticoff makes a guest spot.
3. Jessie”s Song: 10th Grade Original air date: 11/03/90
“I”m so excited, I”m so excited. I”m so … scared.”
2. Rockumentary: 11th Grade Original air date: 11/30/91
Part two of the special hour of all-new “Saved By the Bell” episodes features a very special guest star in Casey Kasem. Kasem gives us a pre-VH1″s “Behind the Music” look at Zack”s band the Zack Attack. When Zack nods off, he and the gang are transported into a fantasyland where the Zack Attack have the biggest song in the land in “Friends Forever.” Like all great bands, they break up and go their separate ways, only to reunite at the show”s conclusion. A major highlight of this episode is Screech”s marriage to a cheerleader, which is unveiled as one of the secrets to happiness by the high dork.
1. The Last Dance: 11th Grade Original air date 9/14/91
When Zack and Kelly go to the prom, it isn”t for love. Instead, it is for the show”s loyalists to watch one of the saddest moments in television history. Zack and Kelly slow dance to a painfully somber rendition of “How am I supposed to live without you,” lip-synched by Slater and Jessie. The episode was followed by a series of post-breakup episodes in which we watched a defeated Zack mope and whimper in solitude. We remember seeing the cutout of Kelly drop down in Zack”s room, and we remember their first kiss. From the show”s jump to NBC, we watched Zack fall head over heels for Kelly and eventually make the perfect couple, for the perfect show.