Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 8: “Day of Detention”


Oh no! They found where Zack Morris hid Jessie’s body! Seems she starved over the last few weeks because she’s been locked in his basement so long! Oh, Zack Morris! Have you no shame?!?!

RIP, Jessie.


After that pointless close-up that only pointlessly serves to set up a plot point later in the episode, the episode proper opens with Lisa running in with big news. Zack Morris is all hoping it’s that Paula Abdul is the new gym teacher. Oh, couldn’t you just see that one?


“Oh, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, you’re just so beautiful and you really have your heart in trying to be a decent show that people will love and remember as much as the original, but, honey, I don’t think you’re cut out for the Saturday morning TNBC line-up. Simon’s so mean to you but you follow your heart honey but I just don’t think you have what it takes but you’ll find your passion! Just don’t bring Dustin Diamond on your show!”

I would totally start a Patreon page just to see that happen.

Anyway, Lisa is actually excited because a DJ named Ken Kelly is broadcasting from The Max and is giving away a trip to Hawaii at some point today to whoever is the tenth caller. Naturally, all the gang want the trip, including Zack Morris, who’s so confident he’ll win he’s already on the phone to some girl inviting her to Hawaii for a nice fuck. It’s swell to see that it only took Zack Morris an episode to break up with Tori off camera. This really is the season of one episode Zack Morris romances.


Mr. Belding comes in as the substitute teacher since, of the substitute teachers this show has introduced us to, one was freaked out by the female students’ obsession with him and the other was Mr. Belding’s incometent brother. As a result, Mr. Belding’s the only person available to substitute. And he’s fucking pissed that Zack Morris is on his cell phone in class. Mr. Belding tells Zack Morris no more phone calls in school and Zack Morris is all, “Blow me!”

Though Mr. Belding seems to hate cell phones, he has no problems with Lisa listening to a Walkman in class. She hears that Ken Kelly will be taking phone calls at 2:00 pm, because radio stations always announce what time their contests will happen. Zack Morris decides he needs to kick into action and find a way to scam that trip.


This apparently involves Screech and horrible costumes since that’s the norm for this show. The plan is for Screech to set it up so he can intersect the phones. Okay, I’ve suspended my disbelief for a lot of bullshit on this show, but this is a tad too far. I don’t believe for a second that Screech can do this, especially from inside The Max. But, you know, the writers of this show also have no clue how phones work so what the hell.

Also, Zack Morris apparently just happened to have lineman jumpsuits with phones monogrammed to them conveniently lying around just in case he ever had need of taking over a radio station.


And meet Ken Kelly himself, DJ at KDRP, the station dedicated to preserving Texas’s music culture! What is up with this show and picking really weird stations’ call signs to represent their fictional stations? Yeah, he’s approached by Zack Morris and Screech…for some odd reason…in order to fix the phones. Why would they come to him and not the manager of The Max?


And, proving my point about Screech’s likely incompetence, he almost immediately sparks a fire. No, no, we can’t burn The Max down until The New Class!


We skip to 2:00, where Screech is cleverly hidden underneath a table with a magical box that intercepts all the incoming call at The Max. You know what, I’m not sure why I’m questioning this, after all, this is the same show where Screech built a sentient robot and was mistaken for a government agent. The calls start coming in, and Screech hangs up on all of them except Zack Morris, who he puts through to Ken Kelly. Ken and his producer don’t seem to think anything’s odd about the long, strange pause between calls either.


Zack Morris talks to Ken Kelly, who tells him he’s their tenth caller and he just needs to be at The Max by 4:00 to answer some trivia questions. Now, Ken says that Zack Morris is number ten but he’s the first caller we see get through. I’m sure they intended to imply that the other nine calls happened off camera but this doesn’t come through very well, especially considering radio contests are usually so hard to get through to because the calls come in so fast.


Mr. Belding catches Zack Morris on his cell phone and sends him to detention for daring to disobey his lukewarm admonition against using cell phones in school. Conflict established.

In detention, which begins immediately, we get a running gag of the episode. Seems Mr. Belding bought a miniature bonsai tree as an anniversary present and has no clue how to maintain it so he just cuts randomly a the branches. Zack Morris asks to use the restroom so he can put a plan into action to get out of detention.

Zack Morris goes in the locker room and meets up with Slater and convinces Slater that, if he can get him out of detention, Zack Morris will take Slater to Hawaii with him so they can finally consummate their love.


Slater puts the plan into action by faking an injury falling down the stairs. The idea is Zack Morris needs to take him to the hospital but Mr. Belding and Zack Morris argue so long over who gets the privilege that they both miss out.


See, Ox comes up and, after insisting that he be allowed to take Slater to the hospital, proceeds to slam Slater’s supposedly hurt leg into a locker. Mr. Belding smells a rat when Ox’s stupidity doesn’t cause major pain to Slater and, after getting the truth out of him, sentences Slater to detention as well.

Zack Morris listens to Lisa’s Walkman that he seems to have stolen from her and realizes he only has an hour to make it to The Max. Once again, I’m confused why Mr. Belding hates cell phones so much but has no issue with Walkmen. Did a student once get made at Mr. Belding for his inconsistent administration style and stick a phone up Mr. Belding’s ass?


Zack Morris sees Lisa and Tori through the door and sends them messages via paper airplane that he’ll take them to Hawaii if they get him out of detention. Number one, this means that Mr. Belding hates cell phones more than both Walkmen and paper airplanes since the messages had to have flown right past him to get to Lisa and Tori. Number two, how the hell is he going to take both of them? Won’t he only have two tickets to Hawaii?


The plan involves Tori calling Zack Morris’s cell phone pretending to be his mother saying she needs him home right away for snuggling and Oprah. Unfortunately, the bell at Bayside likes to ring at random times so, since Tori called on the pay phone right outside the classroom, Mr. Belding realizes something’s up. He sentences Tori and Lisa, since she was in on it as well, to detention with Zack Morris and Slater.


Time is running out and, unfortunately, Zack Morris’s last hope is the biggest idiot of the bunch. He first uses random animal organs that conveniently happen to be lying around the classroom to make Mr. Belding’s stomach queasy.


After Mr. Belding leaves the room to throw up over this bull shit, Zack Morris calls Screech, who’s still hiding under the table…for some reason.


So the latest plan involves Screech doing a horrible impression of Zack Morris in order to win the trip. You know, Ken Kelly has no idea what Zack Morris looks like so WHY THE HELL DO YOU NEED A FUCKING COSTUME?!?!?! God, this is the idiot Zack Morris is entrusting with his final hope?  Oh, well. Unfortunately for Zack Morris, Screech has trouble answering basic questions like, “What’s the first thing you’ll do in Hawaii?” so he runs out of The Max to go back to Bayside.


He finds the rest of the gang in detention and tries to ask Zack Morris what the first thing he’ll do in Hawaii is, but Mr. Belding won’t let Screech talk to Zack Morris unless he’s in detention. So…wouldn’t you know, he immediately insults Mr. Belding in order to be sent to detention. And, since Screech has a lower IQ than the bastard love child of my pet rock and Justin Bieber, he doesn’t realize until Zack Morris tells him that this means he can’t go back to The Max. Oh, and this is the guy Bayside entrusts with its students on a regular basis in the years to come…

So Zack Morris comes up with one last ditch effort when he finds out Screech knows lots about bonsai trees. He has Screech distract Mr. Belding while he dresses Jessie’s skeleton up in the bad wig Screech was wearing earlier along with the Walkman. He gets the rest of the gang to cover for him, though they’re reluctant since Slater says he double crossed them earlier. You got greedy, did something stupid, and got caught. How is that a double cross? It’s not like Zack Morris turned you in to save his own skin!


While Screech proceeds to destroy Mr. Belding’s bonsai tree, Zack Morris sneaks out of class. That bonsai tree is barer than the list of women willing to fuck Screech without payment.


And Screech is such an idiot that, when he returns to his desk, he believes Jessie’s skeleton is really Zack Morris. God, who dropped him on his head as a child?


Zack Morris makes it to The Max just in time and successfully answers the first two questions, one on Peal Harbor being attacked by the Japanese during World War II and the other about Pipeline on Sunset Beach being a surfer’s hangout.

Meanwhile, Mr. Belding finally realizes something’s up with Zack Morris but thinks he’s sleeping.


He goes over to wake Zack Morris up and pulls the head off Jessie’s skeleton. Okay, that scene was actually pretty funny I’ve got to admit. Mr. Belding’s reaction was priceless. But he thinks he knows what’s going on and tells the rest of the gang to stay put while he goes to look for Zack Morris.

Zack Morris has trouble, meanwhile, with the third question about what hobby is practiced in Hawaii involving pruning miniature trees. This is…a weird question. The answer they want is obviously bonsai trees but even Mr. Belding earlier said that pruning bonsai trees is a Japanese art. I’m sure there are people in Hawaii who prune bonsai trees, but is that really a fair question sine I’m sure there are also people in Hawaii who prune Chia Pets?

Zack Morris gets the question wrong and Ken Kelly says the next person who walks through the door of The Max will have an opportunity to win the trip.


And wouldn’t you know that person is Mr. Belding, whose psychic link lead him to search for Zack Morris at The Max? Of course, Mr. Belding gets the question right and wins the trip. For some reason, he assumes that Zack Morris did all this so Mr. Belding could go to Hawaii for his anniversary. After knowing Zack Morris for five years, he should know better. There’s just no excuse. And our episode ends with Mr. Belding dragging Zack Morris back to detention as thanks for his efforts.

9 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 8: “Day of Detention”

  1. This episode taught me what a bonsai tree was.

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      Bonsai Trees! Hasn’t anyone ever watched “The Karate Kid”? It was a classic 80’s movie. (Not the stupid remake with Will Smith Jr and Jackie Chan) Mr Miyagi’s little trees!

      Leave it to Screech to fuck up Mr. Belding’s bonsai. If Mr. Belding didn’t see that coming, he’s dumber than Screech.

  2. lol me too.

    Also, Didn’t California Dreams do something quite similar to this?

    • ILovedKellyKapowski

      Yes, the episode was Schoolhouse Rock, the school’s psycho ex-Marine principal Mrs. McBride locked Jake and Tiffani in detention at the same time they were supposed to audition to be Sting’s opening act.

      Here’s some comparisons, you can decide on the similarities:

      Both Mr. Belding and Mrs. McBride seemed overly eager to hand out detentions.

      Zack Morris and Jake Summers both got detention for trivial shit (Zack Morris used his cell phone in school, Jake laughed when Mrs. McBride bent over and ripped her pants)

      Zack Morris and Jake Summers both had other places to be (Zack Morris needed to get his Hawaii tickets at The Max, Jake had the audition with Sting’s manager)

      When Zack Morris’ friends tried to help him escape detention, they got locked up in detention as well. When Tiffani tried to bail Jake out, she also got detention.

      Zack Morris tries to kiss ass by asking Mr. Belding for help with his biology homework, but it was really ruse to get out of detention. Jake Summers tells Mrs. McBride he wants to sign up for the Marines, but it’s really a distraction so his friends can help him escape.

      Zack Morris and Jake Summers eventually break out of detention, and get to where they need to be, at the very last minute. It doesn’t matter, because they still lose. Zack Morris lost his Hawaii tickets, and California Dreams doesn’t get to be Sting’s opening act.

      Mr. Belding shows up in the end, and drags Zack Morris back to detention. Mrs. McBride shows up after the audition, and marches the whole California Dreams cast to detention.

  3. This episode didn’t seem that bad until you gave it the dissection it deserved really. But you’re totally right.

    Only other comments–it seems Screech likes to dress up as Zack whenever he can. Screech’s obsessiveness with Zack is even worse than Zack’s with Kelly, Second, I think that Hawaii has a relatively large Japanese/Japanese-American community, so maybe that was why the bonsai question tied in.

  4. ILovedKellyKapowski

    Tori is usually the moral authority of the gang, yet in this episode, she doesn’t make any objections to deceiving Mr. Belding, because she is being bribed with a Hawaiian trip and … plot convenience. Cmon writers, how about some character consistency?

    Anyone notice how Screech is the only friend helping Zack Morris, without any expectation of reward? He’s either a really good friend deep down, or his reward is having the opportunity to dress and pretend he’s Zack Morris, which is kinda creepy. Screech also seems even dumber than usual in this episode, and that’s really saying something. Hard to believe how he made valedictorian.

    Mr. Belding also seemed to be more of an asshole than usual.

  5. ILovedKellyKapowski

    I wonder if the 2 Hawaii tickets are First Class. If that’s the case, Zack Morris could trade them in for 4 or 5 Super-Economy Class tickets, and that’s how he can take all his co-conspirators with him to Hawaii.

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