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We Need To Talk About That "Saved By The Bell" Episode Where Jessie Takes Caffeine Pills

"I'm so excited! I'm so excited..."

The year is 1990. You're sitting at the kitchen table, eating a bowl of Dino Pebbles, when you realize it's time for your favorite sitcom: Saved by the Bell.

Everett Collection

But this isn't just any old Saved by the Bell episode. No, no, this is a very special episode™️. This is the one where Jessie *whispers* takes caffeine pills.

Slater holding caffeine pills: "'Keep alert?' What are these for?"

Remember? The episode is called "Jessie's Song." Jessie overworks herself trying to balance studying and singing, so she turns to caffeine pills to help her stay awake.

Jessie on the verge of falling asleep, trying to study at her desk

For reference, the average caffeine pill contains about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine, which is roughly equivalent to a grande iced coffee from Starbucks.

CVS caffeine tablets 200 mg of caffeine vs Starbucks iced Grande coffee 165 mg of caffeine
CVS / Starbucks

So like, unless Jessie was taking a ridiculous amount, she was basically just...drinking coffee.

If you watched Saved by the Bell though, you'd think caffeine pills are literally the most dangerous substance in the WORLD. When Slater finds the pills in her bag, he looks at her like he's just stumbled upon a meth lab in her locker.

Slater holds pills: "what are these doing here?"


The most infamous scene of the episode is when Zack finds Jessie sleeping when she's supposed to be getting ready to perform for her big show. When Jessie wakes up, she freaks out and reaches for the caffeine pills. Zack tries to stop her and we're all on the GODDAMN EDGE OF OUR SEATS.

Zack: "Pills? You really ARE taking drugs?"

And then Jessie, being the icon that she is, just starts singing.


But then she breaks down into Zack's arms and cries. Poor Jessie!


Here's 12-year-old me watching this and vowing to never take caffeine pills:

surprised Pikachu meme
The Pokémon Company International

Here's the full scene:

View this video on YouTube

While the episode seems pretty funny in retrospect, it turns out the original premise was way darker. Jessie was actually supposed to take speed!

speed pills
Getty Images

Which, in retrospect, makes much more sense when you watch the episode. According to Tom Tenowich, who was a writer and producer on the show, in the original script, Jessie is hooked on speed. But NBC thought it was too serious of a subject matter. So they swapped it with, uh...caffeine pills.

caffeine pills
Getty Images

The best thing ever, though? The reboot trailer re-created the infamous caffeine pills scene, and it's fucking awesome.

View this video on YouTube
  1. In conclusion, I guess I'm still hung up on this. Did this episode mess you up as a kid too?

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In conclusion, I guess I'm still hung up on this. Did this episode mess you up as a kid too?
    vote votes
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    Uh, no? Get over it.
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    I've never seen this episode.

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