“Oh give me a school, with a big swimming pool, and LI-brary crammed full of books”
The gang is at the Max, discussing their senior class gift. Since last year’s class got the school one VCR, Zack, Tori, Lisa, Slater, and Screech are really thinking hard, because it will take nothing short of a miracle to top that gift. Everyone is also giving Zack a hard time about being such a prankster, and this actually hurts his feelings. Poor Zack.
Now everyone is either in music class or glee club practice. At Bayside, not only did the Glee Club actually exist (and they still referred to it as Glee Club instead of Choir), it was the cool thing to do, as Slater, Zack, Lisa, AND Tori were members. So, this song is being sung, and someone makes the observation that this song is totally old-fashioned. So old fashioned, in fact, that the senior gift should be a new school song.
At the senior gift committee meeting in Mr. B’s office, the idea of a new song is brought up, and everyone loves it. Everyone, including Mr. Belding, files out of the principal’s office, leaving Zack in there. No one seems to be concerned that Zack is left alone in Mr. B’s office, but whatever.
Because the SBTB gang is talented in every way, they are somehow put in charge of working on the song. They are jamming on the piano to Slater and Lisa’s song snippets, until Zack casts a spell over everyone, allowing him to feed them words to wreck the practice. Slater is ticked off at Lisa, who is ticked off at Slater. Tori can’t stand the working conditions. Screech also is angered, leaving Zack alone to write the song all by himself—all part of his master plan to be remembered as Zack Morris, all around great guy.
Later on, in the hallway, no one is at class. People are just milling around, and various seniors are practicing their renditions of the new Bayside High song. Screech is pecking out “Home on the Range” on his glockenspiel. Lisa is playing her guitar, singing the letters that spell out Bayside. Louise, the quintessential 50’s nerd girl, is playing the accordion. Random nerd (possibly Sylvester) comes through as a one man band, complete with cymbals on his knees. Mr. Belding comes out of his office to see what the ruckus is, and gives us his trademark “Hey, hey, hey, hey, WHAT is going on here???”
Zack proposes a solution to the problem of all of these possible songs—a contest. Everyone seems pleased with that idea. Tori and Slater sing their song over the PA, but because Zack has sabotaged the piano, they suck and quit halfway through their song. Screech plays his song “Home at our School”. We see some random jocks grooving to this song. Then Zack wows us all with his electrifying “Cool School”!! Rockin’! When the votes are tallied, Zack and Screech have tied. Zack decides to really buckle down with a master plan in order to not be remembered as a master planner of pranks and sabotages—date Louise, the quintessential 50’s nerd girl, in order to swing the nerd vote. At the very least, Zack's foray into the Bayside intellectual community might get him some fashion pointers from the nerd we see dressed in a 1991 neon green Guess sweatshirt tucked into dress pants held up by suspenders!!
Zack meets Louise at the Max. They wine, dine, and kiss. Well, they press their lips together for a really long time, but neither one of them moves or shows any signs of life during this extended liplock. When Slater, Tori, and Lisa see this, they automatically assume Zack is planning to ruin the contest, and that he probably screwed them over too—drama!! They decide to get him back, somehow, some way. Zack, although repulsed by the though of kissing Louise, is still flattered when she tells him his lips are lethal weapons.
Each of the finalist songs have to be performed at the assembly with the ultra cool Glee Club. Screech is trying to teach his song to the club, but Lisa, Slater, and Tori convince him that he should change his song. He obliges. Later on at the assembly, part two of Lisa, Slater, and Tori’s plan unfolds. They slip PURE LEMON EXTRACT into Zack’s punch, rendering him unable to pronounce words. First of all, is there a difference between PURE LEMON EXTRACT and LEMON JUICE?? I wouldn’t think so. Second of all, I have actually heard from frequent public speakers that lemons and lemon juice actually ENHANCE ones speaking ability. Nonetheless, this pure extract makes it impossible for Zack to sing the right words, or even any words at all. The Glee Club is forced to back him up with such phrases as "cunny fi foo" and "boo bippy boo.” Zack, utterly humiliated, goes backstage to confront his friends. He is unable to speak properly until he takes a sip of regular punch. They make up, all is forgiven, and the whole gang takes the stage to sing the masterpiece that is Slater, Lisa, and Tori’s song.
Quote of the Episode “This is your school you’re singing about, not a smelly sweat sock. Show a little feeling now, HMMMMMMMM!!!!”—Screech, trying to elicit some quality singing from the Glee Club
Grade Bri: B+. Even though the final song just assumes that everyone goes on double dates, has lots of boy/girlfriends, studies until 3 in the morning for high school midterms, and Tori is there, this episode is still quality. Zack’s ‘Cool School’ and Screech’s ‘Home at our School’ are great songs, and this episode is full of those wacky Screech facial contortions.
Clare: B+. This is the best of the Tori episodes (obviously, since it's the only one we've bothered to write about), which is probably due to the fact that Tori herself had almost nothing to do with the plot. Plus, I seem to remember the "school song" being sung once during a football game by the founding members of the SBTBP/AS...