Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 8: “Cream for a Day”

Bayside Homecoming

It’s football homecoming at Bayside High and advertisements are up everywhere for the election of the homecoming queen. What I’m curious about is why we never hear anything about homecoming king? That could create a great subplot but apparently the school doesn’t even give a damn about the king because there’s no mention in any of the banners and advertisements.

Zack Morris monologue hair

Anyway, Zack Morris tells us in his monologue…wait, what the hell is wrong with Zack Morris’s hair? It looks like it’s trying to get away from him! I know big hairstyles were in fashion in this time period but good god man! I’m finding so many distractions in these opening shots that I’m scarred I’ll never get to the episode itself!

Let’s try again. Zack Morris tells us in his monologue that it’s homecoming time. Bayside High is getting ready for their big game against Valley and, apparently, have been completely massacred every year for twenty-three years.

Slater comes down the stairs to a merchandise table being operated by Jessie and Lisa, letting us know by power of exposition that he’s the new star quarterback for Bayside. Slater tells them that he’s going to fuck up those Valley punks royally and they won’t be able to brag anymore. Jessie hopes to sell the rest of their hats with tiger tails attached to them, which I would actually wear if I went to Bayside, But Slater thinks he looks stupid in it and, since Zack Morris’s hair is god awful in this episode, suggests that he wear it instead. I have to admit, it’s an improvement over his hair.

Zack hat

Kelly comes down the stairs in her cheerleader outfit and is super stoked because she wants to be homecoming queen. Wait, she’s a freshman, right? Homecoming king and queen are almost always seniors. I don’t even think my school allowed freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to run. But, whatever, it’s convenient to the plot and the writers don’t give a fuck about what goes on in the actual world anyway.

Kelly’s worried about how she looks because she’s scared someone might not think she’s a living, breathing Barbie doll and she’s paranoid that someone’s going to find out she has actual flaws. She’s most worried someone will find out she wears a retainer, because apparently only ugly people wear retainers, and a group of the typical stereotypical geeks we’ll be seeing throughout the series comes up and asks her to join their “retainer club.” I swear to god I hated these stereotypes. These people do not exist in real life. It’s a caricature of nothing.

Geeks

In Chemistry class, Screech has a pimple and insists that Zack Morris bow down and worship it as his personal idol.

Screech pimple

Screech is convinced that this pimple makes him a man and he’s now ready to go and spread his seed among all the girls who will suddenly accept him and ignore all the other ways he’s dumb and revolting. And Screech has named his zit “Murray.” Wasn’t that the name of one of his rats in Good Morning, Miss Bliss? I think we found out what Mylo did with Murray! He also uses his zit as an excuse to sexually harass Lisa for yet another time.

Mr. Bennett, the chemistry teacher, comes up and tells them to shut the fuck up and get back to work, and it’s nice to see a semi-competent adult in this school. Screech is working on the experiment alone because Zack Morris is a lazy, incompetent bastard who only thinks of himself. Instead of solidifying, though, Screech’s experiment explodes and shoots cream all over his face. Something tells me this won’t be the last time he has cream all over his face.

Screech cream in face

Screech cream in face 2

At The Max, Slater and Zack Morris both want Kelly to drink their milkshakes, and I think that guy in the background is staring at Zack Morris’s ass.

Slater Zack milkshake

Kelly wants to know whether the guys like her hair better up or down, and Jessie and Lisa are visibly exasperated by Kelly’s obsessive-compulsiveness about her appearance.

Suzie Muffin

Kelly’s competition for homecoming queen come in The Max, and Zack Morris and Slater stare lasciviously at Suzie and Muffin. Wait, Muffin? What the fuck kind of name is Muffin? The only things I can think of named Muffin besides the food are porn stars and cats. She has a great future ahead of her, let me tell you. And the fact that Zack Morris and Slater, the two guys she’s been stringing along this entire season, are staring at other girls rather than obsessing over Kelly causes Kelly to feel even more insecure because how dare there be more the one beautiful girl in the world.

Back at school, Screech is disturbed to discover that his pimple hath forsaken him. Zack Morris is like, “Don’t worry. Pimples clear up all the time.” And Screech is like, “Not in two hours, dip shit!” Zack Morris realizes the gunk that got all over Screech’s face in Chemistry must have cleared up his pimple and he quite reasonably gets excited that Screech may have invented a super pimple cream. Of course, he’s only excited because he’s a greedy bastard and plans to pocket all the money for himself. Zack Morris and Screech decide they need to put the cream to the test and they both decide the only candidate is “Crater Face” Cobourn. Because we wouldn’t have believed he truly has an acne problem unless they gave him a name like Crater Face.

Zack Crater Face

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris is applying the cream to Crater Face’s face. And they makes sure to emphasize that Crater Face has the most contrived, annoying laugh on the face of the planet that we’re going to have to hear multiple times during the episode because it and his pimples are apparently his only defining characteristics. Seriously, it’s a laugh that has to be heard to be understood.

And, though he doesn’t look it in his couple of scenes, the actor playing him was apparently around twenty-eight when this was filmed. At least they didn’t have him kiss anyone.

In Kelly’s room, Kelly doesn’t want to come of the bathroom because she has a small, barely noticeable pimple on her nose. Jessie and Lisa tell her to shut the fuck up and get out here before they come in and slap her silly, but she doesn’t listen. They finally get her out by pretending George Michael’s new video is on television and he’s dressed in bikini briefs. Gross.

Kelly nose

So this leads into a fantasy sequence with Kelly in which nobody wants anything to do with her because of her pimple, and it must be Red Nose Day (a reference for my British readers!) because Kelly’s wearing a nose bigger and more glittery than Rudolph’s.

Kelly reveals she wants to be homecoming queen because her mom was and it will get her the attention she’s starved for. Jessie and Lisa tell Kelly to shut the fuck up and come to school because no one will notice. At school, though, Kelly mistakes Screech’s sales pitch for the pimple cream as a stab at her pimple and nearly goes berserk before Jessie and Lisa slap her into submission.

zit off sales

Zack Morris presents the cream, marketed as “Zit Off,” to the student body, who are understandably skeptical, especially Slater. Zack Morris brings out Crater Face, whom nobody believes is him until he does his annoying laugh. And I would believe this sales pitch better if they’d bothered to show us, the audience, what Crater Face looked like before the cream.

Crater Face clear

People rush up to buy the Zit Off but, as Zack Morris is selling it, Mr. Belding comes on the scene and takes Crater Face and him to his office. In the office, Mr. Belding confiscates all the Zit Off but also does not believe that the other kid is Crater Face until…well, how about we just play a guessing game about what Crater Face does to identify himself.

Kelly finds Zack Morris at his locker and asks if he has any more tubes of Zit Off. Zack Morris reveals that he hid some from Mr. Belding and gives Kelly a tube free of charge. As Kelly leaves, Screech comes in and reveals that the Zit Off has caused his skin to break out in a horrible sunburn.

Screech red face

Now, here’s the problem. Zack Morris used his fingers to put this stuff on Crater Face and Screech. Why aren’t his fingers breaking out in this rash as well? But that isn’t convenient to the plot so let’s forget about it.

Screech tiger

After a commercial break, Zack Morris has forced Screech into the Bayside mascot costume so that no one will be repulsed by his ugly face, because students are apparently allowed to use the mascot costume whenever the hell they want. Zack Morris is desperate to find Kelly before she uses the cream. He finds her but she’s already used the cream already but, of course, he doesn’t tell her that he now knows it has side effects because he doesn’t give a fuck about anything but himself.

In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris laments to Screech, still dressed in the mascot outfit because apparently mascot outfits can be checked out like library books, that he’s a dead man when people find out what the cream does. Screech takes the head of the costume off and they discover his face has gone back to normal, which either means the effect of the cream is temporary or the make-up department forgot to reapply make-up between takes.

Zack Kelly laugh

With the knowledge that the red effect is temporary, Zack Morris goes over to Kelly’s house to tell her about the side effect. Zack Morris tells them they’ll laugh about this when they’re in college (we’ll have to wait for The College Years to see if that prophecy is accurate) and finally tells her about the redness. Now, I’m divided on this next part. Kelly is enraged and tells Zack Morris that he’s ruined her entire life by ruining her chances at becoming homecoming queen and Zack Morris gets moralistic with her and tells her that she’s a fucking narcissistic psychopath who only cares about her looks. On one hand, Zack Morris is the last one that needs to lecture someone right now given he was so selfish and greedy he didn’t investigate the side effects of a product before marketing it. On the other hand, Kelly is being so shallow that I want to punch her in the nose so she’ll shut up. I think I’ll just say both these characters are being douches and leave it at that.

And we cut to the homecoming rally which, of course, is being held at The Max because apparently Bayside High just needs to buy the place and get it over with. First Slater talks and he says they’re going to blow Valley. No, I’m not making that up. He actually says that. Then, because it’s all we’re really supposed to care about in this scene, Jessie says they’ve tallied the votes for homecoming queen. Third place is Muffin Sangria. Oh god, her first name is the name of a cat and her last name is the name of a Spanish alcoholic beverage. I want to believe that the writers just randomly picked two names from the dictionary and said, “This will sound exotic!” We can apparently scratch her back and make her purr while we get drunk off her juice. Second place is Suzie, which, of course, leaves only Kelly for first place, probably because of the sympathy vote since she looks like a burn victim.

Queen Kelly

Slater starts beat boxing and we’re treated to a really horrible rap/cheer.

Bayside rap

And, because we’re supposed to learn a lesson about not being vain, Kelly apologizes to Zack Morris for what she said the night before because the episodes is almost over and everything has to go back to normal so we don’t have to worry about continuity. We also get to see that the majority of students, as well as Mr. Belding, now have red faces.

Bayside red faces

Belding red face

And in a postscript complete with old archive footage of football games, Zack Morris tells us that Valley was so disturbed by everyone having red faces that it distracted them. Frankly, I don’t blame them. As far as they knew, that could be some sort of communicable disease. Slater scored the only touchdown and Bayside won 7-0.

First: Kelly’s room.

6 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 8: “Cream for a Day”

  1. As I sadly remember most of The College Years, they don’t remember this incident. Kelly is too busy flirting with her professor who was the gay teacher Elizabeth thought was her rapist on General Hospital and a doctor on Friends.

  2. This was the first episode I ever remember watching. As outlandish and dumb as it was, it was fitting for kids their age. The plots only worsen and get more age inappropriate as they progress in their teenage years. I can’t wait to see you rip those episodes apart.

    • Yeah, a confession, I haven’t watched much Saved by the Bell beyond the first season but I’ve heard about some of the episodes I have to look forward to starting with the second season. And then I go weep silently and wonder why I started this blog.

  3. The crater face character has to be one of the laziest makeup jobs I have ever seen. Somebody with an acne problem serious enough to gain such a nickname would not have fresh clean skin between the craters as seen when Zach and Screech are applying the cream. Even with cream being applied I would not want to lay my fingers on a bunch of a classmates zits. My final gripe is that the bad acne guy is portrayed as some slovenly dolt with an idiotic laugh.

    • Well, judging by Kelly’s reaction to getting a single zit on the end of her nose, acne is apparently the sign of geekiness and unpopularity in the Saved by the Bell universe. Maybe the oil seeps into the brain and turns one into a blithering dolt. This could be the case since Screech is the only other person in the episode with a pimple portrayed as not having it make him completely uncomfortable.

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