Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 16: “Save That Tiger”

It’s hard to believe, especially since we just did the pilot last week, but it’s time for our first season finale. And, oh, they had to go and start it off with the funky sounding version of the theme song. This doesn’t bode well already…

So it’s the city cheerleading competition and apparently cheerleading is so highly thought of in the Saved by the Bell universe that it inspires a prank war every year between Bayside and Valley. Don’t you just remember those old days when cheerleaders inspired your high school to rumble. Seriously, why wasn’t this in the homecoming episode where it belonged?

vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m22s32Anyway, Zack Morris’s monologue tells us he wants to go down as “Prankster Prince,” which is TV trope he never quite fulfills. I’d say he’s more the jerkass if anything.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h35m30s118Zack Morris is teaming up with Slater and Screech to come up with the ultimate prank to prove that they’re more juvenile than Valley. They’re determined to strike before Valley but, wouldn’t you know it, right at that very minute Edgar and another nerd comes walking in wrapped in toilet paper.

Oh, Edgar, my dear prince! What have they done to you! Valley must be bombed in a take no prisoners style for committing this heinous act against Saved by the Bell‘s most likable recurring character! Valley High School, if you weren’t fictional, I would take you out with my bare hands for laying a finger on this dear soul!

Max cuts the duo free with a sword he just conveniently happens to have up his sleeve and leaves the toilet paper lying all over the floor in front of the entrance. That’s what I want to see when I patronize a restaurant for the first time: toilet paper all over the floor outside the restroom.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h37m17s139Meanwhile, the girls are super worried because that whore Nancy Zeiler came down with the chickenpox and can’t cheer for Bayside in the tournament. That means they’re one cheerleader short. Slater suggests Jessie cheer and Jessie’s all, “Fuck that shit! Feminism! Female empowerment! Equal Rights Amendment!” But she’ll still help the others find a new cheerleader. Oh and she actually mentions that she’s the student body president. My god, something from another episode mattered!
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m04s96But before we leave The Max, it appears that Valley High School must be located right outside The Max, because they have now put a tire around Edgar and the other nerd. You bastards. May Mylo Williams and Tina Paladrino become faculty members and unleash a horrid curse on your building.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h38m28s85So, at the cheerleading tryouts, we need an incompetent prospective cheerleader to laugh at, so who else would they get but Rhonda Robistelli, because she’s way too masculine to be a cheerleader because she’s tall and strong and it’s funny.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h39m00s146The group tries out and Rhonda Robistelli quite literally punches our two unnamed cheerleaders in the face. With no other viable candidates because Rhonda Robistelli is the only other girl they paid this week to actually have lines, Jessie finally agrees to be the new cheerleader.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h40m28s6Just then, the boys walk in and reveal they put super glue on Valley’s track that somehow didn’t dry instantly and released helium in their band room that somehow didn’t dissipate. I think the biggest prank here is on the viewers since we’re not supposed to understand basic Chemistry. But, worst of all, they stole Valley’s banner. Oh, the humanity! They’ll be forced to go to Staples and print up another one before Friday! Jessie tells them they’re hella lame and thieves for stealing the banner but they’re all, “Fuck you! We’re bad boys!”vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h41m00s65In the minute that the boys were in the gym, Valley somehow sneaked into the hallway, toilet papering it very elaborately. They’ve also managed to rig silly string in the boys’ locker in the same amount of time. I’ve finally figured it out! Valley is actually the old name for Hogwarts! I mean, how else do you explain first the fact that Edgar was attacked again right outside The Max seconds after he left and now the defacement of the hallway. They’re wizards! Burn them alive!

Mr. Belding comes in and is all, “This is fucking bullshit. You fucking idiots stop while I go and talk to the principal at Valley!”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m00s77And here we see one of the apparent problems with Valley: low academic performance. How else do you explain two guys obviously in their twenties still being students there. Anyway, these are the Clegg cousins, Stan and Dan, who are behind Valley’s pranks on Bayside, and they’re in Mr. Stingwell’s office, which just happens to look exactly like Mr. Belding’s office except they moved the desk. Mr. Stingwell is fucking pissed at Stan and Dan for not being more juvenile in their prank approach and encourages them to think as childish as possible. And he’s fucking insane throughout the entire episode. I mean, seriously, if Jack Nicholson hadn’t wanted to play the Joker, they could have easily tapped this guy.

Incidentally, the guy playing Mr. Stingwell had a supporting role in Gomer Pyle, USMC but is more known for his voice acting, which prompts me to ask what it is with this show and voice actors. Were they just cheaper to hire than normal actors?
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h44m49s50Mr. Belding comes in and Mr. Stingwell immediately gets him with a joy buzzer and a whoopee cushion that makes the sound of a 1920s era automobile. We get an exposition dump about how this entire prank war has been going on for twenty years and started between the two of them, back when Mr. Stingwell was “Stinky” and Mr. Belding was “Mad Dog.”
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m07s157Mr. Stingwell seems to agree to end the prank war but not before slapping a “Valley Rules” sign on Mr. Belding’s back and sending him on his way so the set director can reset his office.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h47m38s201At The Max, Zack Morris and Slater are dressed as, in the words of Jessie, Rambo and Gumbo, which I think about sums it up. They aren’t sure what they’re going to do yet but they’re certain they’re about to make their move on Valley because they have to keep the plot going.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h48m08s247Oh, and out jumps Screech, dressed as a kamikaze pilot. Oh, casual racism, how I missed you since our last encounter. Way to poke fun at one of the darkest times in Japan’s history simply because you needed a stupid stereotype Screech could make fun of.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h49m33s80At Kelly’s house, Jessie has unveiled her idea for new uniforms, the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman look, which is sure to work because no one wants to be distracted by pesky sex. Jessie also wants to rewrite their cheer and the writers actually seem to be aware of how fucking stupid the Bayside cheer we’ve heard a couple times before is because Kelly actually references how dumb it is. Lisa and Kelly like one of Jessie’s suggestions and reveal that it has a huge role for the mascot, who happens to be Screech.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h50m58s153The next day, Zack Morris and Slater reveal that they stole Valley’s mascot, who happens to be a live bulldog, because all schools keep live animals as their mascot on the school premises at all times. Why, I’m sure there’s a live tiger somewhere at Bayside just waiting to eat Screech!

Jessie is outraged at the dog-knapping but Slater decides they need a picture of the Bayside cheerleaders with the Valley mascot to taunt Valley with. Mr. Belding comes in just as they’re about to take the photo and they convince him to stand in the back of the photo, at the same time sneaking the bulldog into the front without him seeing because one of his four character traits is being completely dense.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h52m15s132In the locker room at Bayside, the Clegg cousins have stolen Bayside jackets and are looking for their missing mascot in the most logical place: the locker room. Screech comes in and just blabs the entire dance plan to the Clegg brothers, not even questioning the presence of potential predators in the locker room just waiting for Screech to hit the shower before pouncing. The Clegg cousins decide to kidnap Screech because kidnapping a person is apparently on par with stealing a dog?

Zack Morris and Slater reveal Screech’s kidnapping to the girls and, of course, only Kelly is genuinely concerned about Screech’s well-being. Everyone else only cares about their own selfish concerns, including Zack Morris, who imagines a “Prank World Championship” awards ceremony in which he’s given the last place medal and mistaken by Mr. Stingwell as Jack Morris.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h54m41s69And he imagines that his prize is being hit in the face by Mr. Stingwell with a pie and sprayed with water.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m39s149 vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h55m53s35The girls convince Zack Morris and Slater that they need to fucking man up and tell Mr. Belding so he can call the FBI or something. They do, but instead of reporting the felony by Mr. Stingwell’s remedial students, Mr. Belding calls Mr. Stingwell, who orders the Clegg cousins to go exchange mascots. The Clegg cousins have other ideas, though, and steal Screech’s suit so they can infiltrate and sabotage the cheer, leaving Screech feeling less than good and me wondering why the police were not involved.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h57m40s82One of the Clegg cousins comes in and gets their bulldog while handing over the other Clegg cousin in the tiger costume. Jessie takes the tiger off for the competition before Screech runs in and reveals the plan, which tells me the Clegg cousins aren’t very good at kidnapping since their victim apparently escape just minutes after they left. But Zack Morris and Slater are determined to make things worse, again, instead of calling the police.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-21h59m09s176We enter the cheer competition, and Valley is first. Of course, their cheer is pretty much about them being stuck up Valley girls and how they’re better than everyone else. And you’ll notice that Rhonda Robistelli is in the background wearing the exact same clothes she wore during the cheerleading tryouts, leading me to conclude that this all happened in a day.

Meanwhile, Zack Morris and Slater dump ants down the tiger costume, causing the Clegg cousin to break out into elaborate gymnastics, because my first reaction when bugs are biting my man parts is to do a cartwheel.  I do have to admit, though, this cheer is much improved over their normal horrible one. Maybe this one will stick.
vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h01m11s139Of course, Bayside wins the coveted “Golden Megaphone,” the Clegg cousins are revealed for their treachery and taken away by Mr. Stingwell for spankings, and we get one big boo yeah for Bayside before the curtain falls on the season.vlcsnap-2014-03-13-22h02m47s82

Firsts: Valley High School, a felony is committed with no police intervention, the writers remembered something from a previous episode.

And yeah, that’s it for season one of Saved by the Bell. This Wednesday I’ll have a recap of the season and on Friday I’ll have a special review. In two weeks, we begin season two, and we’ll see if the writing for Saved by the Bell can manage to get any worse!

14 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 1, Episode 16: “Save That Tiger”

  1. This was one of my favorite episodes when I was younger, all because of the improved Bayside Cheer. I danced when I was younger and loved the gymnastics portion of the routine. I still remember parts of their cheer. We’re the Bayside Tigers and were on the prowl, if we come to your school we will make you howl. See the Bayside Tigers Growl!

  2. As soon as I saw Mr Stingwell I remembered him as Duke from Gomer Pyle USMC. That was a totally unrealistic show about military life, especially for the late 60s. It is fitting he appeared later on another totally unrealistic program. He was also a fur salesman on a color episode of the Andy Griffith Show. It too was shitty (as were most color episodes of the show). Poor guy couldn’t catch a break it seems; one lousy role after another.

    • I’d love to interview an actor like that one day. It has to be one of the most demoralizing things to know you’re only getting the crappiest of jobs.

  3. Once again, I find it sad how well I remember this episode.

  4. Pingback: A Definitive Ranking Of Guest Characters On "Saved By The Bell" | Sharing Interesting Stuff, Updates News & Free Tips

  5. I LOVE this episode!! It’s a favorite of mine, too. Mostly because I was Meg in high school – wanted to be a cheerleader, ended up in color guard. (Had the big round glasses, too!)

  6. Fun fact: the Bayside Tigers logo is actually the 1980s Detroit Tigers logo in a different color.

  7. I want to know the name of the cheerleader in red….

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