“Saved by the Bell” has been a cornerstone of pop culture for years. So many of us grew up on it and will treasure it forever. Those who are too young or old to have enjoyed it probably will have no idea why anyone watches it, it’s just one of those shows that fit perfectly with the time period. It was simple and fun and nothing like it will ever come around again.
So it’s only fitting to do a countdown ranking every episode of Saved by the Bell that’s ever aired. Excluding “The College Year” of course, because that was garbage and doesn’t count.
88) Every Good Morning Miss Bliss Episode Except For “Stevie”
No one likes Mikey and I’m 99% sure Milo was a child murderer. I can’t prove it, but we all sensed it. This was the “Saved by the Bell” low point.
The only reason this one stands above the other “Good Morning Miss Bliss” episodes is because the idea of Miss Bliss being related to one of the biggest pop stars in the world and not once mentioning it to her students is hilarious.
86) The Last Dance
Screw Jeff, screw The Max, and screw everything about this episode that ruined love for me as a pre-teen. If you can watch this episode and not immediately watch the one about The Attic, then there’s someone wrong with your heart.
85) Screech’s Woman
Zack dresses up like a woman to sort of seduce Screech so he’ll keep doing his homework. I think I’d rather just do my own homework to be honest.
84) The Time Capsule
Not only is this a clip show, it’s supposed to be a clip show in the future, but they’re still using VCRs. What horrible apocalyptic future are we witnessing here?
83) Isn’t It Romantic
Oh great another clip show. This one is about past relationships so basically everyone talks about the time they all almost hooked up with Kelly.
82) Best Summer of My Life
This is when the clip shows were really getting out of hand. It was basically a recap of the last 5 episodes. We get it, Zack loves the beach.
81) Screech’s Spaghetti Sauce
What a bizarre one. Zack turns Screech’s recipe into a small business while Punky Brewster starts hanging out with him because of his spaghetti sauce empire.
80) Running Zack
Zack finds out he’s Indian for an episode so he can give himself a semi-racist nickname. There’s no way “Running Zack” is going to catch on. Also that is the most heavy-handed nickname ever written.
79) Blind Dates
Belding forces Zack to take his daughter on a date like he’s one of the Albanians on the movie Taken. Stop peddling out your children, Richard.
78) Model Students
Here’s what the local headline would be if they covered the Bayside story: “Local school raises large sum of funds by selling swimsuit photos of children.” Also why was Zack so mean to the nerds that ran the store? It’s not like you don’t have everything else, Zack. Just let them have this one thing.
77) The Zack Tapes
Miss Wentworth decides the best way to fill the time at school is by teaching kids about subliminal advertising. How about you show us your teaching credentials or learn how to stick to the syllabus? Does no one teach math at this school?
76) Date Auction
There are so many cringe-worthy moments, as Zack attempts to date a plus sized girl. At the end he basically says, “Wow, I can’t believe someone so fat could be so nice.”
75) Fatal Distraction
No one else finds it incredibly creepy that Zack creeped into Jessie’s room and put spying devices all over it? What kind of messed up voyeur shenanigans are you into, Preppie?
Zack can claim the love triangle between Kelly, her sister, and himself was an accident, but I think I know when someone is trying to feel out a new relationship. Looks like Zack is trading in last year’s model for the newest one.
73) King of the Hill
Slater shows up to Bayside for the first time and as soon as Kelly gets a single glace of his illustrious pube fro, she’s smitten. Zack can’t have this. He didn’t frost his tips for nothing.
72) Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind
Hey remember when Screech wore an alien mask, then took it off revealing his actual face, THEN PEELED THAT ONE OFF AS WELL? Is Screech some sort of demon life form???
71) House Party
We find out Screech’s mom is even more annoying than he is and that, if given the chance, Slater will do the splits at a moment’s notice.
70) Zack’s War
This was exactly like “Ender’s Game”, except a few people actually enjoyed this episode.
69) The Bayside Triangle
As terrible as it was when Zack decides to go after the one girl his terrible best friend loves, it was worth it to see Screech rip Zack’s shirt and reveal a single nipple.
68) Love Machine
Can we talk about the amazing piece of equipment Kelly and Screech built that can actually detect the compatibility of two people? This could change the way we look at dating and relationships forever.
67) Wrestling with the Future
How many times did we need storylines about Slater’s dad not supporting his wrestling? My biggest problem with it is that they never brought in Jimmy Hart or Miss Elizabeth from the WWF to manage him for a match.
66) The New Girl
Kelly and Jessie are nowhere to be seen and for some reason no one seems to mind. You don’t have a cardboard cutout of someone under your bed and then let it completely slide when they vanish from the earth.
65) Aloha Slater
The best thing to come out of this episode is the little clip of Slater sitting in a wicker chair that’s used in the opening credits of the show.
64) School Song
The face that Screech makes after performing his version of the school’s song will haunt and torment me for the rest of my days on the earth.
63) Boss Lady
Did you notice we never saw Mr. Tuttle and Leon Carosi in the same room? I’m sorry but I don’t believe in coincidences.
62) The Substitute
Do Zack and Slater not realize that, even if the girls had a crush on Tony Crane, it would be against the law for them to even have a hint of a relationship? Maybe spend less time with Screech and more time studying the state laws of California.
61/60) Palm Springs Weekend Parts ½
Jessie freaks out on her dad because he’s basically living out the lyrics to Kanye West’s Golddigger.
59) Zack’s Birthday
Somehow every member of the group gets a summer job at the same resort. I know Lisa is a member, but how much pull does Dr. Turtle have around there? Can you imagine how many extra curricular activities and clubs are on Zack’s resume? I bet it looks like a Walgreens receipt.
58) Cut Day
Jessie finds out she gets along well with Graham and Slater catches feeling for Kelly, but in the end they basically sing that Eminem and Rihanna “Love the Way You Lie” song and get back together.
57) Breaking Up is Hard to Undo
Is it normal for principals to come over to a student house and discuss his marital problems? It feels like a few lines were crossed in this episode.
56) The Gift
Zack exploits Screech’s newfound psychic abilities through the stock market. No wait, he bet on sports. Hmm, what did he do? Oh that’s right, he used it to win Slater’s jacket. Smart move!
55) The Will
A former student leaves a whopping $10,000 to Bayside. Maybe they should use that money to have more than one working classroom. Seems like that would help their educational capabilities.
54) Class Rings
What sort of school gives a student all their money to buy class rings? “Hey Zack since you’ve proven yourself so trustworthy and honest in the past, here’s the school’s credit card with no spending limit. Be responsible!”
53) Slater’s Sister
Do you think Slater’s sister and Jessie’s stepbrother live in a cottage together in the mountains? I like to imagine they’ve gone on to a better place.
52) Screech’s Birthday
Screech got mad no one remembered his birthday. Why should they, Screech? You ruin everything in their lives.
51) The Babysitters
Is it more negligent that Kelly carried a live infant around all day or that the school didn’t notice when a baby was being paraded across their campus?
50/49) The Wicked Stepbrother Parts ½
It’s weird how Eric moved to town for maybe a week and then vanished from Jessie’s life forever. You knew he was going to be a rule breaker right away when he walked in wearing a leather jacket. No one but true rebels can pull off that look.
48) The Lisa Card
I’m not as interested in Lisa’s spending habits as I am in figuring out how Zack programmed every locker in the school to open with the press of a button. That’s some next level hacking.
47) Glee Club
“That was our impression of a glee club tuning up.” There’s no way the crowd would have bought this. I can believe that Screech is capable of creating advanced artificial intelligence, but I can’t accept the audience thinking this was real.
46) Save the Max
How is it possible for The Max to be in financial trouble? That place is always packed. I wonder if Zack realized that by saving The Max, he inadvertently created the platform for Jeff and Kelly to meet?
45) The Teacher’s Strike
This is Mr. Tuttle at his finest. Just once I wanted him to come into work drunk and take a wild swing at Mr. Belding before being arrested.
44) Cream for a Day
Nothing defines our pre-9/11 priorities more than an episode about Kelly winning a beauty pageant but freaking out because she has a zit. Oh for simpler times once again.
43) My Boyfriend’s Back
Stacey’s boyfriend Craig shows up and for some reason we hate him even though we know Zack is just going to dump her by the end of the next episode. Go find happiness, Stacey.
42) The Aftermath
You want the ultimate revenge on someone who cheated on you and broke your heart? Go to the place of employment and share a milkshake with a date. She will lose her mind.
41) Drinking and Driving
Zack gets drunk and crashes Dr. Turtle’s car. According to Wikipedia “Zack and Company learn the worst thing about DUI: having to face the music from their enraged parents.“ You know I think I’m going to have to go with jail time as the worth thing about it. The time you serve in prison, that’s the worst.
40) Pinned to the Mat
Slater thinks about quitting wrestling, so they get the only obvious replacement; Screech. I want to know what happened to Niedick. Did he go on to be a businessman? What are his children like? I hope he’s happy.
39) Check Your Mate
Zack’s Russian accent should have been more valuable to Screech than a lucky beret. If you close your eyes you’d swear you were watching Rocky IV.
38) Hold Me Tight
Zack starts dating a female wrestler named Kristy who has one of the most devastating arm bars since Dusty Rhodes. What happens to these girls that Zack dates for a single episode and then disappears? Is he murdering them?
37) The Mamas and the Papas
The couples get paired up to live like married couples for a week and Slater tells Jessie she belongs in the kitchen approximately 700 times.
36/35) Home For Christmas Parts ½
Zack dates a homeless girl and convinces his mom to let his new homeless girlfriend and her sweaty dad stay at their house. I’m sure Zack’s dad was thrilled about it when he got home from work.
34) Day of Detention
Zack desperately tries to win a trip to Hawaii. Leave some crumbs for the rest of us, Preppie. You’re literally the star of everything.
33) Driver’s Education
Instead of being a better boyfriend to Kelly, Zack figures the best way to keep her from dating Slater is to sabotage his life and make him fail his driver’s test. Ah, young love.
32) From Nurse to Worse
As soon as Zack lands Kelly he gives it up to try and hook up with the new school nurse. You realize you’re a minor, right Zack? Legally this can’t happen.
31) The Video Yearbook
Zack turns the video yearbook into what appears to be an escort service. Seriously, I think he’s on the verge of human trafficking in this episode.
30) The Fabulous Belding Boys
Did anyone else notice the Belding boys are named Richard aka Dick and his brother Rod? Real subtle, guys. Did they have a sister named Vaginal Belding?
29) The Last Weekend
Slater gets to hook up with Denise Richards for a day while Zack gets one last romp with the King of Queens. She has to be disappointed to go from Franklin or Bash to Paul Blart. That’s just tragic.
28) Hawaiian Style
Kelly just casually mentions she has an uncle who owns a resort in Hawaii. How have they not been hitting up his spot every summer for the last 5 years? Is that where she went when she and Jessie disappeared for half a season?
The moment when Slater jumps out of his chair during the wheelchair basketball game and Zack has to explain to him that crippled people can’t jump is one of the greatest moments of my life.
26) The Game
Why on earth did they even pretend that Kelly would be interested in Gary, the giant volleyball player? Does he even have a job?
25) Beauty and the Screech
I don’t know which is better; the fact that Screech and Kelly almost hook up, or that Kelly keeps declaring her love for George Michael through the entire episode. Both should be obvious terrible ideas.
24) Fourth of July
Zack has to be a judge in a beauty contest that features his ex-girlfriend, his best friend, and his current girlfriend. That seems like a great idea.
23) Operation Zack
Zack somehow became the star of the basketball team despite never practicing or ever mentioning it before. He sprains his knee and requires surgery, but for some reason thinks he’s going to die during the procedure. Grow up, Preppie.
22) Miss Bayside
Bayside has a swimsuit pageant for underage girls hosted by the school’s principal. If Screech didn’t win, we all lose.
21) Save That Tiger
Did you know by dumping ants down someone’s back they gain the ability to do the most advanced gymnastic moves you’ve ever seen?
It turns out Zack is technically smarter than Jessie, which takes away the one thing she had left in life. Why don’t you just start dating Slater too, while you’re at it, Zack?
19) The Senior Prom
Slater and Jessie miss the entire prom, except for the last song, because they’re locked in the boiler room. Slater, how did you not turn that into an R. Kelly video down there? That should’ve been a baby making boiler room.
Right before graduation, Zack dies in a motorcycle accident. No wait, he realized he doesn’t have enough credits to graduate. Everything works out in the end, but when this episode first aired I was genuinely concerned for the educational future of Zack Morris.
17) The Fight
We had been waiting for this moment for years! Zack and Slater’s competitive natures finally reach a breaking point, and it leads to one of the most hilarious fights in the history of fights. I would watch an episode that’s nothing but the two of them grappling for 30 minutes.
16) Slater’s Friend
I love how we go from dealing with drinking and driving to the struggles of Slater after his pet chameleon dies. The funeral song about a great chameleon banquet in the sky would make a beautiful ringtone.
How was this the only time anyone ever mentioned the school’s elevator? Also why is there an elevator for a school that only seems to have two floors?
14) Student Teacher Week
Remember when the angry mob breaks down Belding’s door because they’re so angry with Zack? Then a few minutes later Belding pops up in the crowd in a denim jacket, gives Zack a thumbs up, and leaves. Did Belding help break down the door?
13) Mystery Weekend
Everyone goes to a mysterious mansion for the weekend and respond way too casually when seeing people get murdered.
The multiple moving pieces of Zack trying to convince Mr. Belding his dad is an actor while convincing his dad that Mr. Belding is the actor feels like a Christopher Nolan movie. Ok that’s not true, but it’s one of the most clever episodes to hit the small screen.
11) Masquerade Ball
You may not have liked Tori, but you have to respect the setup she put together to get back at Zack and Slater. That Gumby/astronaut kiss was a magical moment.
The gang reaches superstardom success as a rock band, only to see Zack turn into Vanilla Ice. Don’t worry, just like Biggie said, it was all a dream.
9) The Friendship Business
Buddy Bands were the greatest invention of the 20th century and that commercial deserves an Academy Award.
8) Pipe Dreams
For some reason Zack becomes emotionally attached to a duck to the point where he shuts down an oil company that would generate millions for the city, all because they killed his pseudo-pet duck.
7) Dancing to the Max
Slater in spandex and Casey Kasem introducing the world to Lisa Turtle’s ankle-busting dance The Sprain? What more could you ask for?
6) Snow White and the Seven Dorks
After a series of near breakups, the gang completely ruins a school play by performing raps asking for forgiveness from their boyfriend or girlfriend. I’m sure the audience was baffled by The Prince declaring his love to the wicked queen.
5) All in the Mall
The gang finds $10,000 at the mall and decides to use the cash to scalp U2 tickets. I’m still trying to figure out why they cast a sassy black woman for the line, “No way blondie, I never miss a U2 concert!” Is that really their target demographic?
4) No Hope With Dope
The biggest action star in the world that doesn’t mind wandering around the halls of a high school by himself decides to shoot a PSA at Bayside. The best part is when Johnny Dakota throws a big time Hollywood party at his house and there’s maybe 5 people there who aren’t from Bayside.
3) The Prom
This is the pinnacle of Zack and Kelly. Zack’s makeshift prom in the parking lot of the school was so sweet, it made Kelly forget about how poor her family was now that her dad lost his job.
2) Jessie’s Song
Nothing else in the entire episode matters except when Jessie responds to taking caffeine pills, which equates to a Monster Energy Drink, like she’s addicted to crystal meth. We’re all so excited, Jessie.
1) Fake I.D.’s
Not only do we get to see Kelly finally dump Jeff at a very exclusive 18+ dance club (lol) this episode also has one of the best lines in the history of the show:
MR. BELDING: Notice the use of shadow and light!
ZACK: (waking up) Yes! Shamu has an overbite.
SLATER: She’s a whale of a woman, sir.
Rob is a writer and comedian based in Louisville, KY. Follow @robfee on Twitter.