If you’re anything like me, Saved by the Bell was an intricate part of your childhood. While episodes still air today, there was nothing like watching new episodes every Saturday morning. As difficult as it is to choose the best episodes, since all of them are so fantastic in their own way, here are the 30 greatest episodes of Saved by the Bell of all time.
30. From Nurse to Worse S02E15
Zack finally gets Kelly to go steady with him only to ruin it all when he tries to hook up with the school nurse. It’s hilarious to see the number of guest characters that we never see again who appear in important jobs at the school. Is the turnaround on high school nurses really that quick?
29. The Wicked Stepbrother S03E13-14
Jesse’s newly discovered stepbrother, Eric, comes to visit and starts blackmailing and scamming everyone he comes in contact with while trying to get Lisa to date him. This is the first and last time we get to see Jesse throw a punch so extra points for that.
28. Student Teacher Week S04E02
In one of the most bizarre episodes, the entire faculty takes the week off and lets the students run the school. Zack takes over as principal but things quickly escalate as the students uprise against him and end up breaking down his door. For some reason Mr. Belding is hanging out in a jean jacket. Is that what he wears when he’s not working?
27. Blind Dates S02E06
When Mr. Belding’s niece comes to visit, he forces Zack to take her on a date, which I believe is illegal in most states. Zack gets Screech to pose as him and take her on a date, but of course, everything goes all to hell.
26. “Fatal Distraction” S01E04
In Saved by the Bell’s version of Watergate, Zack puts a recording device in Kelly’s room to try and get info on her during a sleepover so he can seduce her? The girls find the recording device and trick Zack into thinking Kelly is insane. The lengths these students went for pranks is astounding and beautiful.
25. Save the Max S02E03
Slater’s speech at the end of the episode as he tries to motivate radio listeners to donate money to The Max is simply fantastic. Coaches should play that speech before a big game to get the players pumped up. I’m running in place just thinking about it.
24. Drinking and Driving S04E10
In one of the more serious episodes, Zack has a few drinks and crashes Lisa’s mom’s car. They learn the ultimate consequence of driving while drunk; disappointed parents. Oh, also there’s dying or killing innocent people, but also your parents being disappointed.
23. Screech’s Woman S01E05
If you ever questioned Zack’s friendship commitment to Screech, look no further than this episode. Zack posed as Bambi, making himself into a truly horrendous looking girl, and going on a date with Screech. Nice friend, bizarre idea.
22. Glee Club S02E18
This was one of the episodes that featured Screech’s girlfriend Violet. Turns out the entire gang participated in glee club, much to our surprise. The best moment is when Zack tries to cheat using a recording of another glee club, but the tape starts speeding up and slowing down. He explains that it was just their impression of a glee club tuning up. If they could actually sing like that it would be the greatest accomplishment in human history.
21. Zack’s War S02E02
Zack joins the cadets to avoid Saturday detention and drags the whole gang into it as well. There’s a weird subplot about Screech trying to steal this jock’s girlfriend, which happens at the end after Screech wins an obstacle course race. You know how the ladies love obstacle course race winners.
20. The Game S03E04
During the gang’s time at the Malibu Sands Beach Resort, Zack bets Mr. Carosi that he can win the big volleyball game against their rivals, with Mr. Carosi’s car up as a prize. This is the only time we meet Gary, an absurdly tall volleyball player who had nothing better to do than play on Zack’s team. Gary ends up dating Kelly at the end of the episode, which was thankfully never expounded upon.
19. Rent-a-Pop S02E07
In one of the classic misdirection episodes, Zack tries to stay out of trouble by hiring an actor to play Mr. Belding when meeting with Zack’s father, then the same actor to play Zack’s father when meeting with Mr. Belding. Mark Blankfield plays the actor and is actually very funny throughout the entire ordeal.
18. Miss Bayside S02E08
Screech and Slater end up joining the Miss Bayside competition, which may be the only time I’ve ever heard of a school doing a beauty contest. There may not be a better highlight in the episode than watching AC Slater rock out on a drum set while his curly, wet mullet flies in the wind.
17. Driver’s Education S02E04
Here’s another instance of Kelly tricking Zack into thinking she’s insane. This time it’s after Zack sabotaged the driver’s ed car to make Slater fail his driving test. One quick question; how does driving a golf cart prepare you for operating an actual car?
16. The Lisa Card S01E02
Lisa loves some shopping, doesn’t she? In this early episode she goes nuts on her parent’s credit card and has to sell the clothes to pay off her debt. Zack’s greatest accomplishment may have come when he put all of her clothes inside lockers and, with the single press of a button, rigged them all to fly open, displaying the clothes inside. You’re an artist, Zack.
15. Snow White and the Seven Dorks S04E20
Not only does the gang put on a production of Snow White, they rap a production of Snow White. After a series of miscommunications and betrayals, all is fixed when the guys change their raps to apologies to their girls. Can you imagine how confused the audience was during this?
14. Graduation S04E26
In one last bit of drama, Zack finds out he doesn’t have enough credits to graduate. As silly and fun as the show was, this was a great finale that focused on the evolution of the characters. Did I really just say that about Saved by the Bell?
13. The Zack Tapes S01E14
For some reason the students learn about subliminal advertising and Zack immediately exploits it for his own gain. His power of persuasion is so strong that it turns all of his victims into brainless zombies that obey his every demand. His ploy is revealed and the entire school decides to put education on hold to pull a prank on him and get revenge. Who is the superintendent around here?
12. The Last Dance S03E01
“The Last Dance” aka “Go Kill Yourself, Jeff” featured Kelly dumping Zack for her manager at The Max, Jeff. It was painful to watch. I met Patrick Muldoon, who played Jeff, and he said people still come up to him and say mean things because he broke up Zack and Kelly. Does he not realize how many dreams he crushed?
11. Masquerade Ball S04E07
This was definitely the episode with the most moving parts and the only episode on the list that featured Tori. Zack and Slater both play to kiss Tori at the dance, but she finds out their plan and turns the whole thing on them. Like anyone wouldn’t want to kiss Zack or Slater. Get out of here, Tori.
10. Pipe Dreams S03E11
Bayside strikes oil, but the whole program is shut down because Zack was in love with a duck named Becky. Do you think that oil is still there? If so, Zack should have mined it ages ago. Do you know how many George Michael tickets you could buy with that?
9. All in the Mall S03E16
Before Ticketmaster and Stubhub, you had to actually go stand in line and buy concert tickets. For some reason the gang wants to buy tickets to a U2 concert. Don’t ask me why. They discover a bag of cash, which leads them to believe the mob is after them. One of my favorite moments is when Zack tries to cut in front of an old lady in line and she says, “No way Blondie, I never miss a U2 concert!”
8. Mystery Weekend S03E26
If the cast of Saved by the Bell were featured on Clue, it would be this episode. It’s totally over the top and ridiculous, but it’s such a different idea for the show that you can’t help but love it.
7. “Dancing to the Max” S01E01
This was actually the first episode of Saved by the Bell, after the name had been changed from Good Morning Miss Bliss. We get some classic moments including Slater in a body hugging unitard and Casey Kasem introducing the world to “The Sprain” after Lisa sprains her ankle but still enters the contest.
6. The Prom S02E01
This is classic Zack and Kelly. After Kelly’s father loses his job, Kelly can’t afford to go to prom so Zack sets up a picnic for her outside of the school so she can still have her special night. I would have preferred this to any of my proms. No expensive tuxedo or limo rental? Count me in.
5. Jessie’s Song S02E09
This is the most infamous episode without a doubt. Jesse gets stressed out studying for her test and ends up taking caffeine pills, which apparently have the same effect on your body as crystal meth. We seem to forget that this episode also introduced us to Kelly, Lisa, and Jesse’s pop group, Hot Sundae.
4. No Hope With Dope S03E21
Johnny Dakota comes to town, but it appears his anti-drug message is nothing but a façade. He tries to get Zack and Kelly to smoke a little weed, but they’re not having it. Instead, the head of NBC who just happens to be a friend of Mr. Belding (Sure.) comes in and shoots an anti-drug PSA with the gang that has the tagline “There’s no hope with dope.” I never touched drugs again, after that.
3. Rockumentary S03E22
Zack has a dream that his band, which we had never heard about, nor will ever hear about again, becomes the biggest group in the world. The Zack Attack has their ups and downs, including a Grammy win, but learn that, in the end, friendship is what matters most. Zack has some incredible hair in the episode, by the way.
2. The Friendship Business S01E11
The class is given the task to create small businesses and, of course, it’s friendship bracelets. Corporate mergers and inside trading cause them all to clash, but all of these details are nothing compared to the incredible student commercials they make for each product. I would kill to have my own Buddy Band.
1. Fake I.D.’s S03E09
This may come as a surprise, but there is no greater moment in Saved by the Bell than when Zack catches Jeff at The Attic, a hot, new club, cheating on Kelly. This was the moment we knew that Zack and Kelly would end up together forever. Not only that, but Screech has a few great scenes posing as Donnie to avoid a biker lady who wants to hook up with him. It’s a fantastic episode from top to bottom.