This Lisa-centric episode is the first to feature a couple of themes that will be recurring throughout the series…Lisa’s obsession with shopping and Zack pulling off (or, attempting to pull off) a scheme.
Much like the first episode, we start at the Max, where Zack announces that they just got report cards. Jessie’s parents bought her flowers for getting A’s, Kelly’s parents bought her ice cream for getting B’s, and Zack was trying to figure out what to get his parents after seeing his grades.
Lisa’s father gave her his credit card to buy something nice as a reward for her good grades, which starts the main plot of the episode. Lisa goes overboard, and charges nearly $400 on clothing. She doesn’t seem very concerned about her overspending, because she’s “daddy’s little girl”, but the gang persuades her to return most of what she bought. Panic sets in though when the store won’t take any of it back, and Lisa contemplates running away from home. It’s strange, because in the last scene, she’s not concerned at all about getting in trouble, and only returns the clothes after her friends insist. Now, she’s suddenly worried enough about getting in trouble that she wants to run away from home.
Kelly and Jessie try to persuade Lisa to just tell her father the truth, but she’s too afraid of how he’ll react. She imagines that she told her father that she spent too much money on his credit card. He responds angrily telling her that she’s a father’s worst nightmare, and punk rock type attire magically appears on her. Kelly gives her the idea to try to earn money to pay her father back, but she’s horrified at the suggestion of a rich girl like her actually doing work. Zack declares that it’s a job for “Zackman”, and tears away his button down shirt to reveal a t-shirt with a giant “Z” on it. I really hope that Zack wore this t-shirt under his clothes every day for years just waiting for the perfect opportunity to finally show it.
In the next scene, we get our first look at a classic Zack Morris scheme. On the positive side, he’s at least scheming to help a friend. On the negative side, this is the most ridiculous scheme ever. They’re in science class, I guess, with a teacher who is way too excited to be teaching about reproduction in the animal kingdom, and Zack is having students buy tickets to kiss Lisa. She’s horrified when she gets kissed, so Zack clearly did this without her knowledge. She ends up making $36 though, so I guess that it was worth it for a couple pecks on the cheek. She unfortunately has to deal with Screech chasing her around during an earthquake drill too.
Part two of Zack’s scheme happens in the hall where he starts selling Lisa’s clothes. Zack somehow manages to get her clothes displayed in every locker, and Screech somehow manages to rig all of the lockers to open at once. The most awkward item for sale is Lisa’s lingerie, which Screech creepily buys, saying that he’ll lie next to it every night in bed. The awkwardness continues when Kelly randomly models Lisa’s beach collection. Zack nearly passes out from seeing her in a bathing suit, and ends up buying the collection himself.
As a last resort to earn money, Lisa decides to “degrade” herself by getting a job as a waitress at the Max. This is where I started really questioning what type of place Max is running here. First, Lisa has dropped so many trays that Max started putting Velcro on her orders…including the food. Next, Lisa isn’t making very much money in tips because of her poor service, so Slater tells her that the trick is to wait on more people. Everyone helps her out by taking the food away from each customer as soon as it’s placed on the table. The best part is that Max is literally right there watching the entire thing. Good thing online reviews didn’t exist back then. I also have no idea how this would help her earn more money, but somehow she ends up making $37 in tips.
The fun comes to an end when Zack tells Lisa that he had to give away all of her clothes. During the clothing sale, Slater tried to distract Mr. Belding by telling him that he was having an identity crisis. Mr. Belding tried to mentor him, but ended up just rambling on about how much of a loser he was when he was younger. It wastes a lot of time, but eventually Mr. Belding caught Zack and Screech. He was actually happy, because he thought that they were helping Lisa donate her clothes to the clothing drive. She ended up only making $53, which leaves her far from having enough money to pay her father back. With Zack’s news, she decides that it’s best to tell her father the truth.
When she tells her dad how much she spent on his credit card, he has absolutely no reaction. He pretty much says “oh well”, and then offers to take her to the Sizzler. She’s upset over his lack of concern, and tells him about the craziness that she had to go through to try to earn the money back. She gives him the $153 that she made, and he tells her to keep her job as a waitress until she’s able to pay him back the full amount. It’s a good lesson, but it would have never happened without Lisa insisting that she gets treated like a normal girl.
The episode ends with Zack and Jessie showing up to give Lisa $83 that everyone chipped in. She refuses to take the money saying that she has to earn it back herself. Zack pulls out a “Lisa” card, saying to never leave home with it.
Things We Learn
- Mr. Belding was in the army.
- Lisa had a Tina Turner phase.
- Having students buy tickets to kiss Lisa.
- Selling Lisa’s clothes to the Bayside students.
- Lisa dreaming that she told her father that she spent too much money on his credit card. He responds angrily telling her that she’s a father’s worst nightmare, and punk rock type attire magically appears on her.
- This is the first appearance of a family member, as Lisa’s father shows up both in a dream sequence and at the end of the episode.
- Zack (or, should I say “Zackman”) wearing a t-shirt with a giant “Z” on it.
Real Life Questions
- When they were selling Lisa’s clothes, how was Screech able to rig all of the lockers to open at once with the push of a button? That’s quite impressive!
Slater – “Why don’t you just find another chick?”
Jessie – “Whoa, may I remind you both that we are girls…we are not foxes, not chicks, or any other cute animal you guys like. Do you understand?”
Slater – “Sure, Kitten.”
Lisa – “I couldn’t help myself…I caught such great sales. All my clothes were half off.”
Screech – “Half off? I can’t take this tension!”
Zack – “Are you sure I have nothing to worry about?”
Screech – “Well, you might lose your hair when you’re older.”
Zack – I mean now! How about now, you yo-yo?”
Screech – You’re too young to lose it now, Dipstick!”
Kid – “Waitress, could I have a glass of water?”
Lisa – “Get it yourself!”
Kid – “Waitress, this isn’t what I ordered…you were supposed to toast my buns.”
Lisa – “You want toasted buns? Go sit on a microwave!”
This was another episode where the gang really shows their closeness as friends, as they all band together to try to help Lisa with her situation. Even though both episodes had some lighthearted jabbing, it was really nice to see that the first two episodes focused more on friendship than rivalries. It was also great to see Zack creating a scheme that would benefit one of his friends. Many of Zack’s schemes (especially in the early seasons) are solely for the benefit of himself, and even come at the expense of his friends at times. This episode also dives deeply into Screech’s love for Lisa, and Lisa absolutely not having any of it. We saw some of this in the Dancing to the Max episode with his desire to be her dance partner, but this is really the first time that we see how obsessed he is. This would become a common theme that lasts the entire series.
Overall, I think that it’s a good episode with a plot that really resonates with the target audience (younger kids and teens). I mean, how often have kids had a time where they did something wrong, but didn’t want to admit it to their parents for fear of getting in trouble? It’s an episode with a good lesson as well. Even though Lisa tries to scheme her way out of the situation, she realizes that it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and that telling the truth is the correct decision to make. Along the way, she learns a lot about responsibility.
How would you rate this episode?
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