We open with the girls harassing Nicky about hanging a banner for the homecoming dance. I almost hoped this was a repeat of last season where they’d talk about how much more awesome Ryan was at hanging signs than Nicky, but it’s just a pointless scene that has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the episode other than to piss Nicky the fuck off and then give him a chance to kiss Katie and make up for her being an ass so the audience can lose their shit. I wonder if he regrets dating all three of these girls yet?
Eric, meanwhile, is excited that he stayed up until 3:00 am to talk to his love interest of the episode, Sheryl. Tony’s all, “YOU…CANNOT…STAY…UP…UNTIL…3…A…M…WE….HAVE…A…DANCE…THIS…WEEK…I…AM…ACTING!” Eric’s all, “Your bad acting is not going to make me think I need more than a few hours of sleep a night since it’s a plot point this episode!”
After the boys leave, Katie brags about how good Nicky is in bed, while Maria tries to get Liz to go to the dance with her. Liz knows she has a future career in Contemporary Christian music, though, and can’t get with that lesbian shit, so she tells Maria she already has a date, leaving Maria the only dateless one of the three.
And, in our inevitable Screech and Mr. Belding subplot, Mr. Belding seems nervous that one of his old classmates is coming back to Bayside to be honored by the school board as an outstanding alumnus.
Screech decides to search through Mr. Belding’s old yearbook for clues to who this alumnus is, and it turns out this person called Mr. Belding “Bucket Head” because, well, I guess the ’60s in the Saved by the Bell universe were a strange time when the worst thing you could be bullied for was the shape of your head. And then comes one of those scenes that makes me question why Screech still has a job as he proceeds to demonstrate for any viewers who may never have encountered a bully how bullies operate, including giving Mr. Belding a wedgie. Jesus, why is this man not in a mental ward?
In football practice, Eric sucks because of lack of sleep. He insists that he just needs to study plays, but he also has to write a history paper, pick out some songs he’s going to sing, and masturbate to Sheryl, so he’s got a full plate that’s going to require him to stay up all night again.
Also, Maria and Tony randomly hate each other again because the writers apparently forgot that they resolved that subplot three episodes ago but, you know, whatever the fuck creates a stupid subplot.
Rick, the alumnus, shows up, ready to give Mr. Belding a wedgie, because that’s what the writers think grown-ass men do: act exactly like they did in high school, just older and fatter. Do these writers even live in the real world? In any case, Mr. Belding runs off to hide.
And Maria and Tony argue over Tony popping Maria’s balloons and shit, which leads Nicky, Katie, and Liz to decide the two of them should hook up because they need to get together somehow. So they decide to set the two of them up on a blind date to the homecoming dance.
And Eric’s psyched that he was able to finish all his shit and is now functioning on two hours of sleep. Liz is all, “The plot says you’re going to burn out,” and Eric’s all, “Nuh uh!” as he runs into the lockers. And, as I watch this episode unfold, I can’t help but think these are the most privileged fucks in the history of the world that sleep deprivation and bad writing are the worst problems they’re facing in their world right now.
At a practice for the dance, Eric can’t remember the lyrics for any of the songs and is cranky and shit.
Meanwhile, Katie, Liz, and Nicky move in to set the blind date up, telling Maria and Tony they’ll meet at the dance because they need some payoff for this subplot. Tony is all, “THIS…IS…COOL…ACTING…IS…HARD!”
And, in Mr. Belding’s office, Screech tries to help Mr. Belding with his bully problem through role play which culminates in Screech giving Mr. Belding another wedgie. Jesus Christ, it’s not that kind of role play! Leave Mr. Belding’s underwear alone!
After the game at The Max, Eric sucked so hard that they lost the game so Tony and Nicky let him know how much he sucked. This sends him into another plot contrived rage in which he exposits he got an F on his history paper and is late to pick up Sheryl. Yeah, you have a hard life, Eric. Hard life.
At the dance (oh thank god they only waited four episode for yet another dance!), Rick gives Mr. Belding a wedgie because that’s what grown ass men in this universe do I guess.
And, to Maria and Tony’s consternation, the others reveal that Tony is her blind date. But Eric’s not arrived yet. Where could he be?
Why, he’s driving with sleep deprivation and shit while trying to drive and talk on his cell phone while apparently swerving into oncoming traffic and shit, which should be a sign something is wrong, but we have five more minutes of this show so he can’t learn his lesson yet.
Maria and Tony decide to dance and shit because why the hell not.
And Eric’s picked Sheryl up and is now engaging in road rage because, you know, sleep deprivation and shit.
Back at the dance, Maria and Tony decide they’re enjoying each other’s company and may decide to start liking each other again.
Rick tries to give a bucket to Mr. Belding so Mr. Belding tell him to stop it and Rick is all, “Sorry! Geez!” I guess that’s how easy it is to take care of adult bullies. Someone tell all the bullied kids of the world all they have to do is demand respect from their bullies and everything will be okay.
Nicky tries to sing in Eric’s place but sucks ass, and I’m not sure why Eric not being there is such a big deal. We know that Maria can sing. Why isn’t she substituting for him!
Maria and Tony decide they like each other just as a really bad crash sound effect plays outside.
Everyone rushes out to find Eric’s crashed his car into the school, as you do.
The paramedics come out and treat Eric and Sheryl. Eric says he hit the brakes too late and Sheryl’s all, “I forgive you Eric since we’re never going to see each other again after this episode!” Seriously, this is the only role this actress ever had, so I assume a concussion killed her character. Katie’s all, “Nah nah! Told you so! Sleep deprivation!”, which leads Mr. Belding to spout off a speech about the dangers of sleep deprivation and shit, complete with statistics, because, if there’s one thing you can almost always count on this franchise for, it’s to handle very special episodes as clunky as humanely possible.
Eric’s all, “Sucks for the consequences I’m going to receive,” but I’m willing to bet this little incident is never mentioned again. And our episode ends with the gang gathered around Eric, yet another social problem solved by bad writing from a show that doesn’t even understand how houses are built.