LOLSlater and Danger Guerrero’s Top Five Saved By The Bell Moments:
#4 - Zack and Slater Fighting
DG: My favorite part of this scene is that, in a series filled with ludicrous plot devices (“WE STRUCK OIL!”; “WE’RE ROCK STARS NOW!”; “SCREECH HAS A SENTIENT ROBOT AND NO ONE MAKES A BIG DEAL ABOUT EVEN THOUGH HE’S LIKE 17 AND THAT WOULD BE A MAJOR SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH EVEN TODAY!”), this one is actually grounded in reality. Meatheaded high school guys fight over girls all the time. And given their history with Kelly, and general reputation as swordsmen, it’s kind of shocking Zack and Slater didn’t fight more often. There had to be tons of overlap in their love lives, which, for teenage dudes with enough testosterone coursing through their veins to power a city, would lead to almost constant conflict. The two of them should have been bashing their heads together like male rams every other episode. (Between Zack’s gratuitously gelled hair and Slater’s iron tight curls, enterprising young Bayside bookies would have had a hell of a time setting the line in that one.)
The other thing I love about the scene is the trash talk, especially when Slater says “Hey, you started it man, making me look like a jerk at The Max,” and Zack replies “Well, that’s what you are.” I’d love to mock this for being horrible dialogue, but it’s more accurate than you’d think. Again, meathead high school bros are not exactly known for their verbal acuity. I once saw a fight break out in my high school where the entire lead-up consisted of one guy calling someone a dickhead and smacking books out his hands, and that guy ripping his shirt of and yelling “THAT’S IT. LET’S GO.” And, sure enough, they went.
So, yeah. Compared to the lunacy of the rest of the show, this scene was like “The Wire.”
LS: I had a hard time deciding which clip from “The Fight” episode I should post for two reasons:
Both of the scenes where Zack and Slater fight are just terrific.
I knew this was the most important decision I was going to have to make today because I’m a really good grown up.
Anyway, the scene Danger is talking about can be seen here. In my opinion, it might have been the best acted scene in the entire series. I’m serious. Like DG said, the dialogue was actually pretty accurate, the fight actually looks kinda legit, and the only complaint I can lodge is that Slater didn’t rip his shirt off before the fight began because it would have been awesome to hear the audience do that “WOOOOOOOOOO!!” thing right before Zack punched him in the face. There would have been so many emotions for the studio audience.
I figured since DG covered the first fight scene, I’d talk about the second, and final, fight scene. As I watch it again, for probably the millionth time in my life, I think this probably should be higher than 4th on this list, mostly because it contains a wonderful array of awkward interactions between characters and some earnest attempts at acting out a scene that really stood no chance of being well acted.
First, Zack and Slater are fighting over punch, which is…perfect. Second, after Zack pours said punch down Slater’s back, Slater does this weird shimmy/dance move that will always and forever make me laugh. Third, any fight that involves shoving a ladle down the front of someone’s pants is probably the best fight you’ll ever witness. Whoever wrote that is a genius. Fourth, Belding’s wig acts as some sort of deus ex machina that saves the friendship. I’m 100% certain this is the only time a wig has served this purpose on film, or real life probably. Fifth, this exchange between Zack and Slater is just the best. THE BEST!
Slater: LOOK PREPPY, YOU’RE ALL WET!!
Zack: YEAH, YOU TOO!!
[Everyone realizes they are the worst. Scene]
This whole episode is fantastic and I am not being sarcastic. It really is a gift to humanity. Thanks NBC.