Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 5: “House Party”


We open with this shot of an Elvis statue in what turns out to be Screech’s house. Gee, I wonder if this is going to play a role in the plot in a few minutes. But it is an episode of firsts: someone actually constructed a set for one of the kids’ houses outside their bedroom. Not only that, but someone is using the doorbell instead of simply breaking and entering. My god, it’s like we’ve entered The Twilight Zone!vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h42m07s89And it’s even more surprising when we find out who’s on the other side of the door: Zack Morris, who seems to have decided that entering without permission is not the best way. He’s ready to shit his pants because apparently Screech’s parents are going on vacation to Graceland, leaving Screech and Zack Morris to have a slumber party. Seems they’re obsessed with Elvis to the point they’re going to spend their anniversary staying at the Heartbreak Hotel which, believe it or not, is an actual place in Memphis, Tennessee, but doesn’t sound like a very romantic place to spend your anniversary. Hell, Motel 6 sounds like a more romantic place than the Heartbreak Hotel!
vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h42m50s24But yeah, Screech’s insane mother, Roberta, comes in and threatens to give Zack Morris spankings for daring to touch the Elvis statue. Gee, I wonder if this statue is going to play a role in the plot within the next few minutes.

As she’s getting ready to leave, Roberta gives Screech wet sloppy kisses, and the dog, “Hound Dog,” wet sloppy kisses. Yes, they actually named their dog “Hound Dog.”vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h43m48s6She even gives Zack Morris wet sloppy kisses which, judging by the last episode, should warrant a bitch slap from Kelly.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h44m18s132 Finally, she gives the two a few simple house rules.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h44m40s122When Zack Morris is around, this is actually quite smart. After all, if there’s a grey area, he’d be the first to find a way to exploit it.

At school, Slater has invited himself in on the slumber party. The trio is bummed that they can’t have a party or girls over according to the rules. I don’t know what Roberta was scared of. If the girls came over, the most that would happen is some passionate hand holding.

But not to fear! They say they’ll just do “guy things!”

I’m using my imagination at this point to decide what constitutes guy things at a sleepover, and this is what I came up with.

I can really see the three of them breaking into a rendition of this right before they start making out.

vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h45m58s106 And it’s time to meet our latest recurring character, Violet Anne Bickerstaff, who has a lady boner for ‘ole Screech here. She’s played by Tori Spelling (yes, THAT Tori Spelling), and, if memory serves me correctly with my limited exposure to Beverly Hills, 90210, her acting doesn’t ever get much better. It must be nice having a rich and successful father who can get you acting gigs.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h46m18s58But now meet our villain of the episode, Violet’s boyfriend, Maxwell Nerdstrom, who treats her like his property. Maxwell looks much too old to be a student at Bayside and would be more at home in the cast of The Wizard of Oz, but I can’t find any information on the actor’s age, so I don’t know if he was actually much older than he looks.

Now, you may be asking why I’m not more outraged by this. You see, Maxwell may treat Violet like shit, but he’s not doing anything Zack Morris and Slater haven’t done. The difference between Maxwell and our regular characters is that at least he’s up front about believing women to be his property.

Anyway, Maxwell is pissed that Violet has a lady boner for Screech and tells her to get the fuck out of here.
vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h47m11s50Jessie decides to confront Maxwell. “Feminism! Equal rights! Big government out of my vagina!” she tells him. Maxwell’s response: sexually assault Jessie.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h47m56s14Yes, despite Jessie being considerably taller than Maxwell, he is able to forcibly kiss her without any consequences whatsoever. Jessie should punch him or, at the very least, report him to an adult. But sexual assault is a laughing matter in the Saved by the Bell universe so she does nothing. But note the extra in the background who seems to be the only one outraged by what she sees. This is the extra Billy Superstar once referred to as “Short Girl” and she has instantly become one of my favorite characters now that Edgar is gone for the pure and simple fact that she’s the only one with enough god damn sense to know that what she’s witnessing is not ok!vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h48m30s86At The Max, Jessie and Violet walk in and it turns out that Violet has broken up with Maxwell despite the fact he had a strong codependent grip on her one scene ago. The reason is because obviously the plot needed to be moved along. The girls encourage Violet to go after Screech, but she’s delusional as Dustin Diamond in Behind the Bell and believes he would never want to date her when he can have any girl he wants, which gets the usual look of disbelief from Lisa.

The girls decide to sneak into Screech’s house and find out what “guy things” Zack Morris, Screech, and Slater will be doing and…good lord…vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h52m43s70I was just kidding! I swear, I was just kidding about them doing a musical number! Make it stop!

I’m hiding behind the couch right now because of the horror before me of our guys dressed in underwear and dancing to a horrible cover of The Beach Boys’s “Barbara Anne.” If I was less traumatized right now, I would point out this is the first time that a real song rather than muzak was used on the show, but right now I just can’t unsee the horror before me.

And I feel this is a moment I need to inflict on you, my readers.


Yes, the horrors I have seen.

Obviously this is a Risky Business parody and not a very good one. For one, Tom Cruise dances to Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll, which is a song you really can rock out to at home. This is…to a bad Beach Boys cover of a song that was never very danceable to begin with.

Jesus, I’m not even halfway through the episode.
vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h53m33s50The use of doorbells was short lived because, indeed, the girls do break an entering and laugh at the boys to see such sport. For some reason, the girls start dancing and singing “Barbara Anne” really badly and, wouldn’t you know it, Violet knocks over the Elvis statue, breaking it.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h54m29s92Oh what shock and surprise that this is a plot point. vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h55m09s218 After a commercial break, Screech is all depressed and shit about the broken statue and…wait, what the hell? Why is Slater holding the statue if it was just broken? Is this another first: the writers not being able to maintain continuity within the same scene?

Of course, his friends are totally non-supportive about the non-broken Elvis statue, which leads us into a dream sequence.
vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h55m35s253Yes, Roberta has become an angel because she had a close psychic connection with the statue and died literally the minute it hit the floor.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h56m05s38And she’s still giving Screech wet sloppy kisses.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h56m19s185Look, they found something for Mr. Belding to do this episode: he’s a really bad Elvis impersonator. Despite the fact they have wings, because they’re angels, Angel Roberta and Angel Elvis Belding flap their arms as they prepare to go away to the big Elvis concert in the sky. But there is kind of a clever reference to Elvis giving the concert for his mother since Elvis was discovered when he cut a single as a gift to his mother. Not that most of the target demographic would understand said reference.

Boy, that was even more pointless than most of the dream sequences.

Zack Morris declares that they’ll get another statue before Roberta gets home despite the fact that Slater is holding a statue right now. God, take one look at what you’re god damn filming!

vlcsnap-2014-05-24-16h57m52s87 At school, Violet apologizes for breaking the statue as Zack Morris points and laughs at her…for some reason. Screech tells her it wasn’t her fault, which is a god damned lie since it was her mockery of the boys’ bad dancing that caused this whole thing to begin with. Violet is overjoyed that she’s gone from a manipulative, controlling asshole to someone she can manipulate and control.

Lisa has found an Elvis statue but it cost $250. Screech is all, “Where am I going to get $250?” and all I can think of is the fact that Lisa’s family is rich and has a credit card that she can use at will.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h00m14s227Speaking of controlling, manipulative assholes, Maxwell comes up demanding that his property come to him immediately. Violet’s all fuck off and says she wishes someone would teach Maxwell a lesson, which, of course, gives Zack Morris an idea.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h01m28s194Yes, it’s time for poker, because the obvious way to get $250 and teach Maxwell a lesson is through gambling rather than a sexual harassment lawsuit.  Though Maxwell claims he’s never played poker before, he quickly cleans the gang out of most of their money.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h03m22s49Zack Morris has just enough money for one more hand and is convinced it’s good enough to up the ante by betting Hound Dog verses the rest of Maxwell’s money. Yes, Screech’s dog is being used for a bet in poker and Maxwell is okay with this. Why am I even questioning any of this, especially given that Violet seems to be nearly as equally attracted to Hound Dog as to Screech.

Zack Morris lays down four queens and, of course, Maxwell lays down four kings, which is statistically improbable for two players to have four of a kind in the same hand but, hey, since when did Saved by the Bell give a rat’s ass about probability? This means that now Screech has a broken Elvis statue that Slater is holding hostage and the beloved family dog is now owned by Jackie Gleason.

This is apparently Dustin Diamond’s shocked and upset face.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h04m45s113Luckily, Roberta picks just this moment to check in on Screech.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h05m09s91Naturally, Roberta wants to talk to the damned dog on the phone, so Zack Morris does a horrible impersonation of a dog which, since Roberta is bat shit crazy, totally convinces her. She lays a bit of a guilt trip upon Screech about being responsible. Zack Morris is determined that Maxwell will regret the day he crossed Zack Morris.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h06m44s26In the locker room, because we haven’t seen this set for a while, Maxwell is looking at his reflection in a locker mirror and wishing he could fuck himself.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h07m01s201Zack Morris and Slater rush in as Slater attempts to bully Maxwell into giving back the dog. Yeah, the weird Power Rangers communicator on Maxwell’s wrist is apparently a “bully alert” which starts sounding an alarm the minute Slater picks up Maxwell.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h07m22s142Why, tell me why, was Mr. Belding loitering outside the boy’s locker room? Was he about to put on his disgusting half cut shirt and lift weights again? Zack Morris and Slater manage to weasel their way out of an assault charge and, after Mr. Belding leaves, Maxwell tells them he’ll give the dog back if he can have a date with Jessie.

At The Max, the gang is planning on throwing a house party to raise money to buy the Elvis statue by charging a $10 cover, because teenagers always come to random parties that were planned that day which they have to pay to get into. vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h09m32s175Oh and they break the news about Jessie going on a date with Maxwell, which thrills her to no end, but they soon convince her through the power of guilt.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h10m30s222 The party is in full swing and Maxwell comes in with Jessie, who looks like she wants to rip his head off his tiny little body. Maxwell refuses to give the dog back until he’s had some special time with Jessie, which involves dancing from the Rhonda Rubistelli school of dancing.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h11m25s18 Meanwhile they discover they have enough money to buy the statue and send Slater to buy it…when it’s dark outside and it’s obvious the shop is probably closed! Fuck that. Slater’s pocketing the money and going to his house to get the intact statue we saw him with earlier.

After a cut, it’s 10:00 pm so Maxwell has another nerd bring Hound Dog in. Maxwell wants a good night kiss from Jessie, though, so Zack Morris has him close his eyes and puts Hound Dog’s nose up to Maxwell’s mouth. Eeew. Poor Hound Dog.

vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h12m37s226Of course, since everyone in the Saved by the Bell universe are morons, Maxwell doesn’t realize it was the dog and starts on about how Jessie is a better kisser than Violet. Screech walks up and is all, “Bitch, Violet’s my property now and you can’t insult her! Oh and you just kissed the damned dog!” Kissing dogs is Maxwell’s weakness and causes him to immediately make his exit.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h13m24s187Screech formally asks Violet out and they give a nice, sexual pop kiss to one another and, for once, the audience doesn’t lose its shit. The audience must not have smoked enough marijuana this week.vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h14m20s239Roberta comes home early and everyone hides in plain sight. I love the extra in the background whose idea of hiding is putting a book in front of his face. Zack Morris apparently had a “Happy Anniversary” sign rigged in Screech’s house and releases it.
vlcsnap-2014-05-24-17h14m45s209Because Roberta is an idiot, she totally believes a bunch of teenagers she doesn’t know are in her house when they thought she wouldn’t be home to celebrate her anniversary. Slater sneaks in the Elvis statue, and we end with Roberta obsessing over which direction Elvis is facing in the living room.

Thank god that experience is over.

Firsts: Violet Anne Bickerstaff, Maxwell Nerdstrom, a part of  house other than the bedroom, someone uses a doorbell, a real song is used.

5 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 2, Episode 5: “House Party”

  1. If the show had continuity, this episode could lead straight to Jessie’s downspiral to drugs. But it does not. I don’t remember ever seeing Screech’s mother again, but her bat shit crazy says a lot about Screech.

  2. I remember the episode vividly from when I was younger. I never noticed Slater holding the statue in Schreech’s bedroom after it was broke. Also as a kid while watching this I always wondered why the boys were singing a beach boys song, as an adult I realize its because SBTB must exist in the same universe as Full House and we all know how much The Full House loves the beach boys….

  3. Why is Maxwell wearing what appears to be a blazer from a private school’s uniform?

    Holy crap, I’ve seen this episode lots of times, and I never noticed Slater holding the intact statue after it was broken. It’s reasons like this why I look forward to reading this blog.

    I took Short Girl’s reaction as “A NERD is forcibly kissing a girl” instead of “A boy is forcibly kissing a girl.”

  4. Lol funny how the audience didn’t care about Screech’s kiss.

  5. Did anyone else notice that when Maxwell won Hound Dog, he walked out the door and left all of the money he had won on the table? The gang could’ve just taken the money and bought the statue right then.

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