Saved By The Bell Is Actually All A Dream And The Opening Theme Song's Lyrics Prove It
Zachary "Zack" Morris from Saved by the Bell enjoyed a blissful high school existence with no consequences, filled with hare-brained schemes, adoring friends, and fun-filled trips to Hawaii and Vegas. Doesn't that sound like a dream? Like it's too good to be true? Well, what if it was a dream? A popular fan theory posits that all the Saved by the Bell episodes may have been the daydreams of Zack Morris.
That's right - in the words of Nelly, "It was all a dream." How else can you explain Zack's consequence-free scholastic career? His unparalleled intelligence? The characters that disappear without mention? Saved by the Bell never happened! It's actually the dream of a young Zack Morris who is unhappy with his school and home life. Each night, he retreats to an alternative high school where he's perfect. Don't believe it? Check out the evidence below that may change your mind.
Before Saved By The Bell, There Was Good Morning, Miss Bliss
Okay, so establish why Saved by the Bell is all a dream, you need to start at the very beginning. Before Bayside High, there was Good Morning, Miss Bliss - an Indiana-set Disney channel sitcom that aired from 1988 to 1989. The show centered around the titular Miss Bliss, a junior high school teacher who taught an eighth-grade class. But what does this have to do with Saved by the Bell? Well, among her students was one Zack Morris.
Zack's classmates also included his nerdy best friend, Screech, and the victim of Screech's terrifying stalking and persistent romantic advances, Lisa Turtle. The show was cancelled after 13 episodes and NBC bought the rights, tweaking the show's format and retooling it into Saved by the Bell.
The Zack Of Miss Bliss Faces The Consequences Of His Actions, While The Zack Of Saved By The Bell Does Not
The Zack Morris depicted in Saved by the Bell is this dazzling, charming individual who always has a scheme up his sleeve. He never gets called on his sh*t and he gets away with everything. A life like that sounds like an absolute dream.
The Zack Morris of Good Morning, Miss Bliss is frequently caught and called out by Miss Bliss. There's no slacking, scheming, or talking your way out of taking a test you didn't study for in Miss Bliss's class. Zack's friend, Nikki (a character that didn't make it from Good Morning, Miss Bliss to Saved by the Bell) also keeps Zack in check.
The reason Miss Bliss and Nikki failed to show up at Bayside is because these two give Zack a good dressing down on the regular. They bring him back to reality and make sure he faces the consequences of his actions. Zack has created a dream world in Bayside where he never gets called out by his peers or teachers. It's always smooth sailing in the Saved by the Bell dream-verse.
The Zack Of Miss Bliss Is A Child Of Divorce
Zack Morris's life in Good Morning, Miss Bliss is a tad different from the one in Saved by the Bell. In the NBC show, Morris has it easy and enjoys having two happily married parents. However, in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Zack's parents are divorced and Zack has a brother. Saved by the Bell's Zack is an only child.
You could argue that one of the reasons behind Zack's dream world is that he is unable to cope with his parents' divorce and a sibling rivalry. So, to cope with these hardships, he has thrown himself into a fantasy world where his parents are coupled up and he has no brother to fight for parental affection.
The Saved By The Bell Theme Song Is Reality And The Episode Is Zack's FantasyVideo: YouTube
The theme song of Saved by the Bell is actually about Zack's day-to-day life in the sad reality of Good Morning, Miss Bliss. The proof? Just look at the lyrics. The beginning and the end of the song start with a bell. The first words are, "When I wake up in the morning, and the 'larm gives out a warnin'" and the last words are, "Tomorrow, it'll be all right. It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell." What if these two lines at the start and finish of the theme song actually describe the same bell - the bell that lets student out of school?
The opening line of the theme song describes how a bell pulls Zack out of his dream land. Then, according to Cracked, the "middle of the song takes us through the narrator's miserably realistic life at school." And then that last bell at the end? It's actually the same bell that woke up Zack from dozing in class at the beginning of the song, and it's "saving" Zack because he can escape from the harsh reality to escape to his fantasy land of Bayside.
In other words, the bell described at the beginning and end of the theme song is actually the bell at school in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, dismissing students from school. This last bell "frees [Zack] to go home," so he can jump into his fantasy world. This would mean that every Saved by the Bell episode is actually a dream!
A Closer Look At Saved By The Bell's Opening LyricsPhoto: NBC
The rest of Saved by the Bell's theme song doesn't match Zack's life at Bayside, either. In fact, as the lyrics keep going, it looks more and more like a Good Morning, Miss Bliss description: "If the teacher pops a test, I know I'm in a mess, and my dog ate all my homework last night." These lyrics sound like the farthest thing from Zack's day-to-day school life at Bayside. Zack would never take a test if he didn't have to - he'd put Screech in a blonde wig and make him take it for him while he sold fake stocks to students in the hallway outside. As Cracked puts it:
"As a summary of the show, the theme song makes no sense. Zack has never had a bad day at Bayside in his life. He's never in a mess. Everything bounces off of him. If he's unprepared for a test, he doesn't ride low in his chair like some depressed teenager; he gets the teacher to turn the test into a bake-off, and then wins the bake-off by cheating."
Zack Can Stop TimeVideo: YouTube
Perhaps the biggest clue that Saved by the Bell is Zack Morris's lucid dream is perhaps Zack's baffling ability to stop time. Giving a character the superpower of being able to manipulate the space-time continuum is straight up science-fiction, or the stuff that dreams are made of...
Zack is able to stop time by shaping his hands into a T shape and shouting, "Time out!" By invoking his magical phrase, everyone around him is frozen and he can adjust them into whatever position he feels like. He can even break the fourth wall and start talking to the audience.
As the show went on, the use of his time stopping powers decreased. Why, though? Why wouldn't a scheming opportunist like Zack use this power for his own gain? Well, maybe Zack stopped being aware of the fact that he was in a dream world. Maybe he was sucked deeper into the Saved by the Bell narrative and decided to accept it as his new reality.