Zack Morris not only attended the perfect high school, but, to me, he was also the perfect guy. And the perfect boyfriend. Zack set the bar so high for my teenage romantic expectations, I sometimes wonder even now, so many years later, if anyone will ever be able to live up to them. Yes, he was a schemer, a smart ass, and cocky as hell sometimes. But, man oh man, he was dreamy and had a good heart, so my starry-eyed younger self adored him. That hair! That smile! Those high-top sneakers with the jeans tucked in and the tongues pulled out!
Let’s look at the facts.
1. Zack was willing to do anything for the girl he loved.
When Kelly Kapowski’s father lost his job, Kelly was too embarrassed to tell Zack she couldn’t afford to go to the prom. Once Zack realized the truth behind Kelly backing out on being his date, he showed up at her house and surprised her with a romantic makeshift prom just for the two of them. As someone whose father balked at the price of formal gowns, leading me to borrow a dress from a friend for my own senior prom, I empathize with Kelly and adore Zack for this episode. He didn’t need the limo, the Prom King crown (I mean we all know he totally would have won), or any of the hoopla. He just wanted his girl by his side. SWOON.
2. He was a philanthropic activist.
In one episode, it was discovered that Bayside was sitting on giant deposits of oil. An excavation company was about to offer the school tons of money to allow drilling, which of course would lead to tons of amazingly cool renovations and improvements that Zack initially supported. Then a poor, injured, oil-slicked duck was found as a result of the test drilling and Zack realized there were more important things than money. In a typical Zack Morris grand gesture, he stormed the board meeting concerning approval for the drilling and made everyone see the environmental harm it would cause. What a guy.