This month marks the 25th anniversary of Saved by the Bell, which we know better as the show that shaped and inspired us all. And while it wasn’t necessarily realistic, or good, or edgy, or anything Jared Leto would star in, it was still two other very important things: cool as hell and… oddly musical.
You read correctly, my sons: Saved by the Bell based a freakish amount of narratives around bands, dancing,
lip-syncing singing, and spandex. And I mean a lot. Like, this isn’t even a “7 really poignant musical moments!” list. I’m saying I had to cut this sucker down, and I was still left with 15 because this shit is real.
Slater uses the art of dance to seduce Kelly
See? I told you. So much dancing already! While Slater needed no excuse to get down and dirty for the love of a woman, this time, he targeted Kelly Kapowski — a kind and patient woman — whom he thought would be impressed by his willingness to bust a move among paying customers just trying to eat fries and drink shakes.
But he was right! Slater and Kelly spawn “The Spandex Twins”
Who have always been my favourite X-Men.
But step aside, Spandex: when Lisa Turtle sprained her ankle, it was Screech “Nice Guy” Powers to the rescue, who paired up with his
victim crush to perform “The Sprain,” a dance that speaks for itself, and also explains why she couldn’t flee and escape him.
Slater in a leotard again
And, look, since we’re talking so much about spandex, let’s just go ahead and complete the rule of three. I hope to God that’s how he got hired for Extra.
The school band brings it . . . in secret
But the show wasn’t all impromptu choreography and Slater fronting. In the show’s earlier years, the Bayside school band proved their ability not just to master everything from the cello and saxophone, but also their ability to break a teacher’s mind and spirit. Oh! And Jesse dances because of course she does.
The School Song, by Screech Powers
It seems like only yesterday we started / but soon we’ll put away our books and pens / we’ll go on with our lives once we have parted / but how can we say farewell to our friends? (Dustin Diamond still doesn’t begin his day until he sings this song in its entirety.)
Buddy Bands: the commercial/experience
But friendship was unsurprisingly a huge Saved by the Bell theme. This explains why resident opportunist/future Wolf of Wall Street protege (I’m sure) Zack Morris re-branded friendship bracelets and made them a commodity. And no commodity is complete without a commercial that claims Buddy Bands will convince women to dance in the streets with you.
Zack Attack performs “Friends Forever”
Meanwhile, for one very special episode, reality was suspended (past Zack’s ability to stop time and break the fourth wall) to walk us through what could’ve happened if the band Zack Attack had gotten famous. They probably would’ve stuck together if they’d just worn their Buddy Bands.
Zack and Kelly break up
And speaking of sticking together: thanks a lot Jeff (the 45-year-old server who Kelly dumped Zack for). So not only did we have to watch our favourite fictional couple part ways, we had to watch said parting while listening to “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.” Sung by Slater and Jesse, two terrible people wearing… Antony and Cleopatra costumes? God DAMN it, Jeff. You’re 63! I hate you!
Zack uses music to show off his psychopathy
And I mean, yeah: of course Zack was hurt, but dancing to A-12 with another girl? Uncalled for. Then again, so was Kelly even mentioning Jeff’s name, but we’ll look past it because Jeff passed away of old age shortly after this scene was filmed.
But let’s move onto happier things. Enter: the episode in which Tori Spelling ends up breaking Screech’s parents’ Elvis bust while dancing to”Barbara Ann” — which the boys originally performed in the spirit of Risky Business. You do you, fellas. What would Donna Martin say.
The Five Aces perform “Come Go With Me”
Bayside is the ultimate Glee prequel. Zack is the weird teacher.
The Hot Sundaes
But let’s cut to the chase: we all know the most important musical moment of the Saved by the Bell revolved around a pill addiction, a then-top 40 song, and Jesse Spano’s grey sweatshirt. That said, that episode had to start somewhere, and that was with the success of The Hot Sundaes, the three-piece group Zack managed amidst Jesse’s downward spiral. The spandex returns.
“I’m So Excited”: Part I
Shut those books! Sing those troubles away! This is just like Mary Poppins if Mary Poppins had ignored the children’s cries for help and made them perform in front of the bank. So… I guess this is just a very realistic depiction of life in the music industry.
“I’m So Excited”: Part II
Actually maybe this is a very realistic depiction of life in the music industry. Never forget.