Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 18: “Video Yearbook”

There’s two things I hate about this season: the number of clip show episodes and the number of out of season episodes. The producers apparently had five out of season episodes just lying around and decided to randomly throw them out with no context despite how much that would confuse viewers during an already confusing season. We’ve seen one out of season episode already with “Love Machine” a few weeks ago. This episode starts a string of three of the other four, starting with “Video Yearbook,” an out of season episode from the second season. Yeah, as if you’re not already confused enough by the Tori paradox, now Zack Morris and Kelly and Slater and Jessie are dating again. Geez, they must really have rekindled their romance at the senior prom!

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We open at The Max where Screech is busy reading the classifieds hoping to find a psychic to tell him his future life won’t suck.

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Zack Morris informs us via monologue there’s only two things in life he truly needs: sex with Kelly and a car, and he’s working on the second one. Unfortunately, he’s given the task of looking for a car to Screech, who’s busy searching for $185,000 Ferraris that Zack Morris will only be able to afford once he’s on Franklin and Bash.

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Jessie’s on the war path because she hasn’t been able to come with a theme for this year’s yearbook and, apparently, last year’s was awful to the point people wouldn’t buy it. Continuing the tradition in Saved by the Bell not understanding that teenagers do certain things in high school not out of quality but out of tradition and obligation, like buy yearbooks, the producers seem to miss the point that this plot setup already makes no sense.

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But, never fear, Zack Morris is on the Yearbook Committee, which means there will be some bull shit answer given to the whole situation. It’s a good thing, too, because the Yearbook Committee seems to actually be a group of people all trying their best to be more idiotic than Screech. Also, Mr. Belding says Zack Morris has to participate if he wants credit for this committee. Why the hell would you get credit for a committee? Do they require extra curricular activities to graduate?

Zack Morris comes up with the idea of doing a video yearbook, which sounds dumb to me but everyone thinks it’s genius. They don’t want to miss class because all teenagers are at school for the sole purpose of academics, though, so Zack Morris offers to shoot the whole yearbook himself because he’s, unfortunately, the closest thing to a realistic teen in this episode and doesn’t want to go to class. Plus it will give the writers a great opportunity to have some wild Zack Morris hijinks.

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It’s time to shoot the video yearbook with Screech as cameraman and first up is Slater, who’s suddenly camera shy despite the fact he’s never shown a propensity towards this sort of nervousness before but, hey, it’s perfect for an unfunny gag that it sounds like even the audience was struggling to laugh at.

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Kelly is her usual bubbly, perky self and even tells the camera she loves it, mistaking it for Zack Morris.

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And Lisa is her usual shallow, one dimensional fashion-boy crazy stereotype that the producers bring out when they have no clue what else to do with her. Oh, Lisa, this is why you can’t get a boyfriend that lasts longer than an episode!

In the midst, Zack Morris wants to have a date with Kelly but her car is unavailable so Zack Morris’s parents would have to drive them. Zack Morris doesn’t quite fancy double dating with his parents so he gets the idea to use the interviews from the video yearbook to create a dating video to sell to every lonely guy in L.A. because nothing could possibly go wrong with this idea!

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In Zack Morris’s room, Zack Morris and Screech watch the results of the interviews, including this girl who must know Punky Brewster because she wants boys to buy her lots of expensive stuff since she’s shallow that way.

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And this girl who wants to be a rock star and might be interested in BDSM. You’re delightfully frightful. I think I’ll call you “Scary Spice.”

Zack Morris tells Screech to use the best looking girls, add some music, and plaster their phone numbers at the bottom of the screen. Nothing could go wrong with allowing Screech to be in charge of this project!

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So the two sell the videos to Bayside students. Either that or they opened up a sleazy strip bar. In any case, they plan on selling the tape at more high schools until they have enough money to buy the car, including “Uni High School,” because, in the Saved by the Bell universe there’s apparently a University High School. Oh, wacky adopting of random words.

The next day at Bayside, Scary Spice talks about how she smashed her phone after so many boys called her because that’s a reasonable response. You’re going to grow up to be Lorena Bobbitt, aren’t you?

And now it’s time for the unexpected return of our favorite game here at Saved by the Bell Reviewed: “Where’s Scott Wolf?” Yes, I thought we were done seeing ‘ole Scott after the third season, but he decided to grace us with his presence once more! So let’s see if you can spot him in this next scene at The Max!

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Oh, there he is, in the background behind Slater and Jessie! Oh, Scott, it’s so great to see your smiling face taking orders again! Let’s hope there will be a next episode of this great and immortal game!

In any case, Slater and Jessie fight over Jessie getting so many calls the night before. She says guys were calling her all night looking for dates and they  argue over whether she’s become a slut or not.

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Zack Morris and Screech come in to video scenes of The Max for the yearbook, but Zack Morris is horrified to find out that, not only has Screech included Jessie in the dating tape, but he’s also included Kelly and Lisa. Zack Morris dodges questions about the yearbook to drag Screech out by his ear and kill him for being an idiot.

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Zack Morris tells Screech he must be the dumbest human being on Earth, probably the truest statement ever uttered on this show. Screech asks what that makes Zack Morris since he hired him, also true. After all, why would you trust Screech with anything that could potentially get you in trouble, much less not even watch the results before you sell it to horny teenagers of L.A. For all he knew, Screech might have just put his sex tape on there. In any case, they watch the video.

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They see this profile from Jessie which, no doubt, was intended to be the opening scene for Showgirls. Screech basically took the interviews, dubbed himself talking over the girls to make it sound like they were being sexual and shit, and put their phone numbers over it. You know, if the guys of L.A. are dumb enough (or horny enough) to believe Screech’s voice is the girls’ voices, we might have a bigger dumbassery problem than just Screech.

Zack Morris turns off the tape just as the rest of the gang comes in wanting to see the yearbook. He knocks the two tapes off mixing them up and hands them a tape, not really taking much time or notice that both tapes are unlabeled and that there’s a 50/50 chance he handed them the wrong tape. Plus, he conveniently takes Screech to go figure out a way to fix this idiocy. In the hallway, they meet Mr. Belding who also wants a preview. He sends Mr. Belding the gang’s way. Geez, I wonder what’s about to happen…

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Why, the rest of the gang and Mr. Belding discover Zack Morris’s plot! How surprising! Slater wants to kill him while Mr. Belding expels him, but Kelly has a different idea: let’s, once again, employ the entire student body and disrupt the school day just to get revenge on Zack Morris! Great idea!

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The plot starts in the locker room with Slater pissed off over so many guys looking at Jessie and says that, if he catches who made the tape, he’ll turn them into a reasonable facsimile of a losing boxer’s face. He proceeds to rip a locker door off its hinges and storms out as Screech is convinced he’s going to die. PLEASE! PLEASE! KILL HIM!

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In the hallway, Jessie and Lisa jump in the scheme. Lisa says her father took her phone away while Jessie says she and Slater broke up and he’s punching any guy who even looks at Jessie.

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At that moment, Moose and Ollie come around with injuries supposedly inflicted by Zack Morris. Every other guy in school also suddenly has Slater injuries because the entire student body suddenly wants revenge on Zack Morris.

In Mr. Belding’s office, Mr. Belding even has injuries because assault of a school employee wouldn’t be grounds for, I don’t know, ARREST! He says Slater’s out of control!

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Kelly comes in with her new boyfriend, Vince Montana, because Saved by the Bell loves naming sleazy guys after states in ways that make them sound like Miami Vice snitches. Right, Johnny Dakota?

Kelly says she’s breaking up with Zack Morris for Vince Montana and that she’s suddenly went all bad girl and shit. Since she’s now wearing a bra in place of a shirt. Slater comes in, ready to punch Zack Morris for supposedly looking at Jessie.

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With things spiraling out of control, Zack Morris warps the laws of time and space and gets the hell out of there, meaning Slater unintentionally punches Mr. Belding for real. So…he was really going to punch Zack Morris? Also, did no one notice that Zack Morris just mysteriously disappeared? There’s only one explanation: Zack Morris is a witch!

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So Zack Morris invites everyone to view a tape he gave Screech. He says he’s figured out that everyone knows about the dating video. He tells everyone he’s sorry for hurting them. Kelly was right to dump him because he doesn’t deserve to have her as his girlfriend, but Vince doesn’t either. He apologizes to Jessie and Mr. Belding for betraying their trust on the yearbook and tells them he finished it. He also says he’s using sales from the dating video to buy a video yearbook for everyone in school. And he’s going away to military school so they never have to see him again. Also, Zack Morris several times directly addresses Screech during the yearbook, meaning he either really is psychic or Screech is just that idiotically predictable.

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In the midst of it all, Zack Morris comes in dressed in drag to watch everyone’s reactions to his apologies. Why, I don’t know, because there was absolutely no reason for drag in this episode since there were a thousand other ways Zack Morris could have spied on the meeting, and it contributes nothing. I guess Mark-Paul just likes dressing in women’s clothing. Unlike in “Screech’s Woman,” the drag fools no one since they all took their smart pills today and everyone instantly recognizes the really ugly woman as Zack Morris. They don’t let on, though, and when the tape announces Zack Morris is leaving, they all start jumping for joy, although they should really only jump for joy if it was Screech leaving.

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This reaction upsets Zack Morris. He jumps up and rips off the wig, revealing himself and asking what they want out of him more than his apologies. After his rant, they all yell, “Gotcha!” and our episode ends with everything going back to normal because I guess Zack Morris has learned his lesson for good this time and will never be involved with another bull shit scheme again.

12 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 18: “Video Yearbook”

  1. I thought this was a season 3 episode? Either way, I know it’s off-season. Also Kelly looks like Kelly Bundy five screencaps up, lol

    • Late season two according to every source I’ve found but I’m correctable if you find something to contradict this. I tend to believe the information on season two is correct since Scott Wolf’s there. All of Wolf’s gigs on Saved by the Bell were season two episodes. Quite a few were out of season episodes but they were season two production wise.

      • It’s definitely season 2. Here’s the production order:

        6331 – Blind Dates
        6332 – The Prom (these first two need to be swapped to make sense)
        6333 – From Nurse to Worse
        6334 – Save the Max
        6335 – 1-900-Crushed
        6336 – Driver’s Education
        6337 – Rent-a-Pop
        6338 – Miss Bayside
        6339 – Zack’s War
        6340 – Model Students
        6341 – Running Zack
        6342 – House Party
        6343 – Jessie’s Song
        6344 – The Fabulous Belding Boys
        6345 – Glee Club
        6346 – Breaking Up is Hard to Undo
        6347 – The Video Yearbook
        6348 – Snow White and the Seven Dorks
        6349 – The Last Dance
        6350 – The Aftermath

      • My mistake. I remember in “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo” Kelly gives back Zack the friendship ring he gave her. In “Video Yearbook” He returns it to her, via screech. I thought the former episode was from season 3.

        • “Breaking Up is Hard to Undo” is season 2, episode 17. Kudos on picking up on that small detail about the ring I completely missed because of how horribly out of order these episodes are!

  2. There used to be a University of San Diego High School, so it isn’t that rediculous.

  3. No change from being totally ludicrous and unbelievable plot lines and no logic being applied to anything but I actually quite enjoyed this episode-one of the few where screech was quite funny. I liked his voice overs I’m sure one of them said something like “they call her legs and you can too!” about Jessie.

  4. Its actually kind of funny that this is an out of order episode. Because in Season 2, they wouldn’t have been seniors and since when are lower class men in charge of the yearbook? Maybe that’s why it was aired later, because it makes more sense to the story line? But then again, that giving the writers waaaayyyy too much credit.

  5. This show acted like there was one class until the senior year (real senior year). Jessie is student body president for all 4 years? Slater is star quarterback, Kelly head cheerleader–for all 4 years? Freshmen (or other classmen only became important during that one senior year episode…oh and doesn’t Slater say “goodbye” to the graduating class in this episode?).

    I like this episode for some reason. But it is as ridiculous as you stated. Someone posted somewhere about how the SBTB universe was all in Zack’s head, and actually this would be a good episode to point to because not only does he know what Screech is thinking when everyone is watching his tape, he knows what everyone else is saying and doing too. And seriously, the lesson so didn’t fit the crime with this one. He should have at least been suspended and knocked out by Slater. Kelly just wasn’t ready to lose her boyfriend yet I guess so she needed to figure out a way to keep him around.

  6. For some reason I kind of like this episode. Even though Zack’s behavior is actually unforgivable here. He gave out all the phone numbers of the girls without their consent, basically to pimp them out. Any of the female students could have attracted a serious stalker from this. If Screech hadn’t accidentally included Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa, I don’t think Zack would have ever even been remorseful.

    Every time I see this episode, I hope that he’s expelled and not forgiven even though I know it’s a futile hope.

    But still, this one entertains me.

  7. What is the actors name who plays Vince Montana? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find any info… Anyone know??

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