25th Anniversary Of Infamous ‘Saved By The Bell’ Caffeine Pill Freakout
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the airing of iconic Saved By The Bell episode, “Jessie’s Song” in which Jessie Spano, straight-A student and staunch feminist, gets hooked on caffeine pills, breaks down and utters the now infamous line, “I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO SCARED!”
Jessie’s freakout comes amid mounting pressures both academic (she has her heart set on attending Stanford) and extra-curricular, as friend Zack Morris convinces her and fellow students, Kelly Kapowski and Lisa Turtle, to perform in an all-girl group, “Hot Sundae”. To cope with the stress of juggling the two Jessie resorts to caffeine pills to keep her energized but eventually crumples as she becomes addicted to the “dangerous drug”.
The episode, which aired as part of the family friendly show’s second season, was the closest it ever came to tackling drugs. “It was a stretch for the show,” director of the episode Don Barnhart told Thrillist. “In those days, drug addiction and drug use on shows was very, very rare on a half-hour comedy. They would do drug shows on the one-hour format, but on the half hours, it was nil,” he said.
The moment is fondly remembered for its unintentional hilarity and even actress Elizabeth Berkeley, who played Jessie in the show, has shown a sense of humor for the episode, most notably back in 2013, when she recreated the scene as part of a routine on Dancing With the Stars. She then teased the line as part of a Saved By The Bell reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.