Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 23: “Cut Day”

We open at a student council meeting where the nerds are advocating for a national day of mourning in honor of the anniversary of the cancellation of Gilligan’s Island. Wow. Things were so much more innocent and simple before 9/11, weren’t they?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h16m58s109

Meet Graham, who is intimately concerned about the plight of Styrofoam cups, or, as Graham calls them, “plastic foam cups.” Jesus Christ, Saved by the Bell writers, could you pick an environmental threat and stick with it rather than sticking two random things together and hoping no one notices. Graham wants these “plastic foam cups” them banned from Bayside, and his talk of environmentalism gives Jessie a lady boner. Graham wants the students to hold a protest against the Styrofoam devil tomorrow, but Zack Morris reminds him that tomorrow is the never before mentioned “cut day,” which means no one comes to school or gives a shit.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h18m02s242

Mr. Belding comes in randomly and says he knows it’s cut day tomorrow but he can’t do anything to stop them. Uh, yes you can dip shit. You’re the principal. Get the whole lot of them for truancy! But since we’re going with the story that principals can’t do anything about truant students, Mr. Belding says anyone who skips will receive an unexcused absence. Since Zack Morris currently has nine unexcused absences, one more will mean suspension, and, every breath Zack Morris takes, Mr. Belding will be watching him. Uh, didn’t we do this plot already?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h18m45s166

In the hallway, Screech is a dumb ass like usual and I really wish Lisa would punch him in the face. Meanwhile, Jessie breaks the news to Slater that she wants to fight the evil plastic foam cups tomorrow rather than skip, so it looks like Slater will be with Kelly all day instead.

Jessie catches Slater up on the Zack Morris subplot, and Zack Morris bets Slater $100 that he’ll find a way to skip class tomorrow without Mr. Belding knowing because Bayside doesn’t care about students randomly deciding not to go to school.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h20m37s2

At school the next day, the only students are Jessie, Graham, and Zack Morris. Clueless teacher here keeps calling row, oblivious to the world for the whisky she’s drinking to get through this damned episode. Graham spouts some quasi-feminist bullshit about female presidents that gives Jessie a lady boner. Mr. Belding comes in to check on Zack Morris, and, shortly after he leaves, a nerd comes in to get Zack Morris to go to the library and pay his damned library fine.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h22m25s60

Um, is encouraging truancy a smart business move for The Max. i mean I know they do some pretty stupid things, but this may take the cake. I think I find the dance off at The Max more believable at this point.

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Screech and Lisa whack moles while the writers suddenly remember that Slater used to want to date Kelly. Yes, they’re getting close as they play whatever the hell this game is. I admit it: I don’t know much about billard-like games.

Zack Morris comes in and gloats that he wants his money so he can get back to class. Turns out Zack Morris paid off the nerd to get him out of class. Slater tells him that it’s cut day, though, not cut class, and, since there’s thirteen more minutes in the episode, he’ll have to get out of every class if he wants to win the bet. Otherwise, an otherwise boring episode will be lethargic to watch.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h24m22s202

Back at Bayside, Mr. Belding waits enthusiastically hoping that Zack Morris is cutting study hall. He runs in at the last moment, though, dashing Mr. Belding’s hopes of getting rid of Zack Morris for a day.

Jessie and Graham decide to paint signs for the rally, giving Zack Morris a great idea.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h26m15s56

He asks to go to the restroom and takes a thing of red paint with him. When Mr. Belding comes to check on Zack Morris again, a voice on the intercom says that Mr. Belding’s car is being towed because it’s in a red zone. Uh, that’s not the way it works, guys. What did Zack Morris do: call a brain dead traffic cop?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h26m23s137 It’s enough to give Zack Morris an opportunity to get out of class, though ,and he ends up at the movies, where Slater and Kelly continue to get close over a scary movie. Slater’s all stoked that Kelly’s not a stuffy quasi-feminist spinster like Jessie so maybe he might get laid for a change.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h28m59s164

Back at Bayside, Mr. Belding really seems to be targeting Zack Morris. He assumes Zack Morris is cutting because he’s in the hallway, despite the fact that Jessie and Graham are also in the hallway and Mr. Belding doesn’t seem to give a shit about them. Oh, hypocrisy, thy name is Belding! Zack Morris says he’s in the hallway because he’s protesting with Jessie and Graham, which is apparently excuse enough to get out of trouble.

Mr. Belding tells them he has no control over the plastic foam cups and that they need to talk to whatever idiot writer thought that was a real product. He also tells them to get the hell out of the hallway before he realizes how stupid he’s being and punishes all three of them.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h30m24s244 Jessie and Graham commiserate over how much it sucks they have to protest a fake product. They give a sexy hug in Zack Morris’s sight as he goes off for the next cut scene.vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h30m42s132

At the beach, it’s dancing Charlie Brown style! Yes, that’s right, all your favorite extras are dancing as if they are poorly animated comic strip characters who only know one move! Also, why is there bad muzak at a beach?vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h31m26s94

Slater sexily puts sun block on Kelly’s shoulders while Lisa agrees to bury and hopefully suffocate Screech so The New Class will never happen.

Zack Morris shows and Screech gives him a box of chocolate covered grasshoppers. Yes, this will actually play into the next scene. While Slater goes to get them all drinks, Zack Morris asks Kelly about getting sexy with Slater. She’s all, “The plot wants me to be oblivious to what’s going on, so I’m being oblivious!”vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h34m07s162

Meet Mrs. Culpepper, the latest in a long line of bat shit crazy teachers at Bayside. vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h34m38s212

Yes, she believes this is Africa, and that Nigeria is next to Las Vegas. I…don’t even know what to think. I’m pretty sure at this point Bayside hires all their faculty from mental institutions.

Mr. Belding comes in and tells Mrs. Culpepper that she’s received a telegram and that she’s won the lottery. What the hell is it with this show and telegrams? I lived through the early ’90s and I’ve never seen a telegram in my life! Was this written by my grandfather in the middle of a fit of dementia?

Mrs. Culpepper is all, “Screw this episode!” and leaves. Mr. Belding does the logical thing and dismisses all the students for the day except Zack Morris. Yeah…I’m totally sure that allowable. Now you’re just being a dick, Mr. Belding.
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After Slater calls and reveals that he sent the telegram using a Delorean to go back to 1885, Zack Morris offers Mr. Belding one of the chocolate covered grasshoppers. When Zack Morris tells Mr. Belding what’s in it, Mr. Belding naturally runs off to throw up because he has a weaker stomach than my cat hacking up fur balls.

In the hallway, Zack Morris sees Jessie and Graham about to head to The Max. Zack Morris suddenly decides it’s time to save Slater and Jessie’s relationship and he needs to keep Jessie and Graham away from The Max. He can’t stop them, though, and Mr. Belding comes out to stop him so Jessie and Graham can have a head start. Zack Morris pulls the exact same trick on Mr. Belding again and he rushes off to The Max.

Zack Morris barely loses the bet and rushes in just ahead of Jessie and Graham because…plot. vlcsnap-2015-01-30-11h39m14s158Jessie sits Slater down and says she’s finally found her quasi-feminist equal and she thinks she and Slater should see other people. Jessie loses it, though, when Slater says he had fun with Kelly, which Jessie assumes means hot fucking. They fight and then realize how boring and stupid this whole episode has been. They tell the rest of the gang they’ve decided to see other people, but Slater assures them that it’s okay because he’s sure they’ll still date when it’s convenient to the plot.

Man, this is one of the more boring episodes of the season. I can’t even really be pissed at it. It’s just…bland and uninspired and a stupid excuse to break Slater and Jessie up.

Firsts: Slater and Jessie break up.

7 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 3, Episode 23: “Cut Day”

  1. This was one of my faves growing up.

  2. Wait, Slater & Jessie broke up before-during that whole Football vs. Ballet thing, right?

    Anyway, for some reason, the Cut Day thing seems to be a real thing as I remember. But only for seniors. Maybe it was a 90s thing in high school, but I remember there being a day like that for us and the schools around us. A day where a lot (not the whole school, or even the whole class) would cut and it was just a “given”. I don’t know why, and I don’t even know if that’s an accurate memory, but I swear it seemed like a “thing”.

    As a “good girl” in school, I do remember that I used to cut and no one would care because I had good grades. There were times when I actually would cut and go to the principal’s office and do some admin type work–they got free labor and I didn’t have to sit through science class. I mention that b/c I do think, for TV at least, it is a bit reasonable that Zack, the bain of B’s existence at the time, would be the one he really wanted to get into trouble. But, it would have been easier for him not to give Zack the warning and let him get suspended. (Off topic, I am supposed to believe that suspension for Zack was a big deal? He would have gotten it before for many different reasons had the show not been so cheesy. And he would have seen it as a few days off from school, so what.)

    Finally, I’ve said it before, and it’s unpopular I know, but though I liked Slater and Jessie, I always did think Slater and Kelly had more chemistry than Zack and Kelly. I wish Slater and Kelly had dated awhile after this episode.

  3. I always liked this episode for some reason too, despite hating “Graham’s” face. The actor also played the guy who robbed Brenda at the Peach Pit on BH, 90210, maybe that’s why I hate him.

    Plastic foam is actually the real name of the product…NYC just banned the usage. Maybe they saw Jessie and Graham’s heartfelt pleas abd decided to do something 20+ years later…

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Plastic-Foam-Ban-to-Be-Announced-Report-287890801.html

    • I’ve never heard them called plastic foam cups before. I grew up in the midwest and we just said styrofoam. Huh, who would have thought I’d learn something from watching Saved by the Bell.

    • Graduated HS in 1998, we did have a Senior skip day, but we all just stayed home. This episode led myself to believe it would’ve been more eventful.

  4. I watched the almost exclusively for the pleasure of when Kelly wore sexy outfits, and on that score alone, I would put this episode in the upper 10% of the entire series.

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      I think Kelly would look even hotter today in sexy outfits, especially since her boobs and ass got way bigger right after she moved to Beverly Hills 90210.

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