Among the many important lessons imparted to teens by their 1990s fever dream Saved By The Bell is that taking caffeine pills will send you into a state of manic-depressive dementia from which you might never recover, let alone in time to perform with the pop group you’re suddenly in that week. (The other lesson: Oil kills ducks.) Like Elizabeth Berkeley’s Jessie in the episode that even people who never watched Saved By The Bell can reference, we were all lucky just to survive our terrifying brush with alertness, and get out alive and into Stanford. Aside from a few thousand memes, we’ve long since put it behind us. But now someone is willingly unearthing our dark collective past to aerobics-dance with the Caffeine Devil himself.
Yes, like a man in the grips of a crippling caffeine flashback, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is set to relive that experience for Family Guy, where all our most traumatic and easily recognized pop culture memories are resurrected. As TV Line reports, the upcoming 15th season of the show will have a moment that finds “Stewie in the Elizabeth Berkeley role” and—thanks to the producers meeting Gosselaar’s strict demands of asking him—Gosselaar himself will be there to reprise his role as Zack Morris, as he’s done for Jimmy Fallon and, we’re just guessing, his wife.
Will knowing that it’s actually Mark Paul-Gosselaar spouting some kind of variation on “Pills?!!” before Stewie sings, “I’m So Excited” contribute significantly to your enjoyment of this now-telegraphed scene? Maybe, maybe not. But however you feel about it, know that doing so comes at a great cost for Gosselaar, who’s been forced to live every single day since with those painful words echoing in his ears as he walks the streets.
People are still shouting, “I’m so excited!” at Mark-Paul Gosselaar in the street, right? I just want to make sure we’re all still doing that like we agreed.