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.
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 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.
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 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!