Saved by the Bell is an American sitcom that originally aired between 1989 and 1993. The series is a retooled version of the 1988 series Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which later retconned into the history of Saved by the Bell. The series follows the exploits of several students at Bayside High School, along with their principal.
The show stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies, and Dennis Haskins, who appeared in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, as well as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez, who joined the cast for Saved by the Bell. The show brought fame to the cast members and launched most of their careers.
The show often incorporated dramatic elements into episodes by dealing with real teen social issues, such as drug use, drinking and driving, homelessness, financial issues, divorce, graduating, college, sibling rivalry, taking responsibilities for one's actions, being bullied, death, and environmental issues. Most importantly, it showed the great values of friendship. This made it a precursor (with other teen sitcoms of the time like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) for networks of more recent shows such as The O.C. and Dawson's Creek to introduce young target audiences to critical moral matters. Notably, sexual relationships were alluded to but not actually dealt with (see Very special episode).
The show's popularity allowed for two spin-off series: Saved by the Bell: The College Years, which followed several of the original characters' college experiences, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which followed a new group of students at Bayside High School. The series also spawned two TV movies and a short-lived comic book series.
The series is also available in French: Sauvés par le gong, Spanish: Salvados por la campana, and Italian: Bayside School.
Good Morning, Miss Bliss
Saved by the Bell
originated in an NBC pilot
entitled Good Morning, Miss Bliss
, which was inspired by then NBC president Brandon Tartikoff
's teachers from his past. The show was set in Indianapolis, Indiana
. NBC decided not to pick up the pilot, but Disney Channel
did, and aired the series for one season. Unlike the series that followed, the intention was to focus on the life of the teacher, played by Hayley Mills
, as the main character. The characters of Zack Morris
, Samuel "Screech" Powers, Lisa Turtle, and Mr. Richard Belding all originated on the series; other main characters, including Milo the maintenance man T. K. Carter
, were discontinued when the show changed direction. Jaleel White
, Brian Austin Green
, and Jonathan Brandis
all had roles in the pilot episode.
The show was canceled after 13 episodes, and the rights were acquired by NBC, which had reconsidered the matter. Seeing that it had merit, they decided to revamp and recreate the series. Executive Producer Peter Engel wanted the show to be called When the Bell Rings, but Tartikoff convinced him to go with the title Saved by the Bell.
NBC rebirth - Saved by the Bell
Three of the teens from the original cast, Gosselaar, Diamond, and Voorhies, remained on the show, as the same characters with only minor changes to things like their backstories. Haskins also remained as Mr. Belding. However, the setting was changed from Indianapolis, Indiana, to the fictional Bayside High School in fictional Palisades, California. The two students dropped from the original series were replaced by three new additions. Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) and Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) were introduced as longtime friends of the original three characters, and new transfer student A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) rounded out the group. Max (Ed Alonzo), the proprietor of the local restaurant hangout ("The Max") was also a cast member in early episodes.
The focus of the show was shifted towards the exploits of the students themselves, and Zack Morris became the show's lead character. Several teachers recurred over the course of the series, but Mr. Belding was the only school authority figure to ever be in the main cast.
The show performed well for NBC and, despite being panned by critics, easily became the number one show on Saturday Mornings. At the end of the show's first season, NBC boldly sold the series off into syndication with the Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes included to pad out the syndication package, despite the continuity problems and production changes (Mark-Paul Gosselaar would do in-character commentaries addressed to viewers before each of the earlier episodes). At the height of its popularity, the show did many road tours to different malls and places for the cast to make appearances and sign autographs. The Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes were edited to include openings to match the Saved by the Bell episodes, as well as introductions by Zack explaining that the episodes occurred in junior high (these episodes are sometimes billed as Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years).
The show's popularity on Saturday morning is what led NBC to shift from airing cartoons to live action teen-oriented shows (California Dreams, Hang Time, etc.) under the TNBC banner. Each season of the series essentially represented a year of high school for the students, culminating in their graduation. In the show's final season, NBC doubled the number of episodes ordered, despite the fact that they would have to resign the entire cast to new contracts in order to film them. Thiessen and Berkley refused to sign a new contract for these new episodes, resulting in a block of episodes that feature a new character, Tori Scott (Leanna Creel) in their place.
The final episode of the series aired in prime time on May 22, 1993. The episode, in which the cast graduated from high school, was filmed before Thiessen and Berkley left the show. No mention is made as to what happened to Tori Scott. The series finale was followed by a special airing of the Saved by the Bell: The College Years pilot episode, to set up the next phase of the characters' lives.
As of winter 2007 in the U.S., Saved by the Bell is being shown in syndication on Nickelodeon's sister station The N and weekday mornings on TBS, along with weekend morning airings on local affiliates of FOX, MyNetworkTV, and The CW.
Zachary "Zack" Morris
Played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar
, Zack is a charming schemer in the mold of Ferris Bueller
. The series features Zack engaging in Bueller-esque, direct-to-camera addresses to the audience as well as occasionally freezing everyone around him, offering plot exposition and amusing side-commentary. Unlike Bueller however, Zack's schemes often backfire and result with worse outcomes. Slater refers to him as preppie
Zack's best friends since grade school have been Lisa Turtle and next-door neighbor Jessie Spano; Samuel "Screech" Powers has also been tagging along with Zack since they were little. Zack was also constantly pining for Kelly, coming up with new ways to try to win her over in many episodes, often battling for her affections with his on-again off-again best friend A.C. Slater. This rivalry ended as the show decided that Zack and Slater were better suited as good friends, not least because of the close friendship between the actors who played them. Zack's father is a hot-shot computer salesman (with whom his relationship was, for a time, rather distant) who has been played by two different actors. His mother is a kind, but overly permissive homemaker. Upon graduation, Zack was stated to go to Yale University, having scored 1502 on the SAT, the highest of the gang (despite his slacker reputation) but he ultimately attended Cal U with Slater, Screech, and Kelly.
Played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen
(now known as Tiffani Thiessen), Kelly is a cheerleader
and has been described by creator Peter Engel as the quintessential "All-American Girl." She served as a love interest for both Zack and Slater in the first season, but it was Zack who would eventually win her heart, and actually end up marrying her. Indeed, much of the show's storylines concerned their on-and-off relationship. Considered the most popular girl in school, Kelly was also known as one of its nicest and most squeaky clean. She was introduced as an outsider to the show's core clique
At times, Kelly and Jessie had arguments due to their differences. Jessie believed that cheerleading was demeaning to women although she was a cheerleader in several episodes. Zack had been obsessively in love with Kelly for years, as evidenced by a cardboard cutout of her in his bedroom. His pursuit of Kelly led to her eventually joining the gang. She is on the volleyball, cheerleading, and swim teams, and is also a trained lifeguard. Upon graduation, she did not have enough money for college so she attended community college, but later transferred to Cal U with Zack, Slater, and Screech. Both Elizabeth Berkley and Thiessen (as well as Jennie Garth) auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski. Thiessen and Garth would later work together on Beverly Hills, 90210 as unfriendly rivals Valerie Malone and Kelly Taylor, respectively (the actresses became best friends in real life).
Kelly comes from a big working-class family (one of seven children) that often had financial difficulties. This figured into the plots of several episodes.
Lisa Marie Turtle
Played by Lark Voorhies
, Lisa is trendy and talkative. She is the clique's fashion
expert and the gossip
queen of Bayside High. She comes from a wealthy family; her father and mother are shown to be surgeons
. Originally, her character was written to be Caucasian and Jewish, however, Lark aced the audition and they awarded her the role. Because of her upbringing, Lisa always has access to the latest fashions and knows when something is in and when it's not. Like Jessie and Screech, Lisa has been Zack's best friend since grade school, and some episodes hinted that she harbored a small crush on him. Lisa's goal is to become a world famous fashion designer
(Voorhies would later play fashion desinger Jasmine Malone on The Bold and the Beautiful
). For the majority of the gang's years at Bayside, one of the running gags was Screech's fruitless attempts to woo Lisa. While his romantic feelings for her were never returned, and often rejected with insults and jokes, eventually she realized she had developed a soft spot for Screech and even attended the Bayside Senior Prom with him. Upon graduation, she receives acceptance into the Fashion Institute of Technology
after a successful fashion show.
Samuel "Screech" Powers
Played by Dustin Diamond
, Screech (whose given name is Samuel Powers) is the school nerd
. Screech has been tagging along with Zack since they were in elementary school and is extremely loyal to him. In exchange for doing Zack's homework and being roped into Zack's various stunts, Screech receives protection from school bullies and a general boost in his confidence; but Zack's affection for Screech is evident in spite of this. He is very comfortable with his geekiness and fancies himself a ladies' man. The rest of the gang simultaneously picks on and humors Screech for his eccentricities (e.g. hiding in his locker
, wearing extremely loud and mismatched clothes, and obsessing over science
A recurring storyline in the series is his unrequited love for Lisa Turtle. During the show, Screech had one girlfriend named Violet (played by Tori Spelling); it was never made clear why the two broke up. In several early episodes of the series, Screech has an anthropomorphized robot named Kevin, which he programmed. Screech was class valedictorian, but gave that title to Jessie as he knew how much it meant to her. However Jessie learned what Screech had done for her and returned the honor on graduation day. He received acceptance to Duke University; Emerson College; Clemson University; University of California, Berkeley; the California Institute of Technology; Emory University; University of Southern California; Washington & Jefferson College; and Princeton University. He is rejected from an all-women school that was his number one choice. He chose to go to the fictional Cal U after graduation, and shared a dormitory suite with Zack, Slater, and Kelly.
He also was the only cast member to star in every incarnation of Saved by the Bell, as he joined the cast of The New Class as an aide to Mr. Belding. Diamond was three years younger than most of the cast though his character was the same age as them. This is mentioned on a DVD commentary section where Mark-Paul Gosselaar was told by a producer that Diamond was acting immaturely, and Gosselaar noted that Diamond was a lot younger than the producer thought he was.
Albert Clifford "A.C." Slater
Played by Mario Lopez
, Slater is the token "jock
" of the group. An army brat
, he was an outsider, having transferred to Bayside in the first filmed episode (which aired later as a flashback). A. C. mentions that he has been to Bolivia, Italy, Iceland, and Berlin among other places. He becomes the school's star athlete, excelling as a wrestler and the quarterback of the football team. He is on the basketball team in one episode, even though the basketball season coincides with the wrestling season. Slater was originally written as Zack's rival for Kelly's affection before becoming Zack's best friend in the show's second season and developing an attraction to strong-willed feminist
He refers to Zack as "Preppie", and when he starts dating Jessie, calls her "Mama". López is a drummer and dancer, and some episodes include Slater showcasing these "hidden talents." His father (a Major) appears in two episodes, but his mother, though mentioned throughout the series, never appears. He also has a younger sister named JB whom Zack briefly began dating, much to his chagrin. In the season 4 episode "Love Machine," his ex-girlfriend from Berlin visits and calls him by his real name, "Albert Clifford". Much like Voorhies, Lopez was able to captivate the show's producers into casting him into a role that was originally written to be Caucasian. This issue of Slater's ethnicity is addressed in an episode from The College Years, where it is revealed that 25 years earlier A.C.'s father changed his last name from Sanchez to Slater so he could get into the military academy. A.C. receives a wrestling scholarship to the University of Iowa, but ends up going to Cal U. During an episode in which Zack was dealing with Gem Diamond to purchase class rings, the AC was stated as meaning "abnormally cruel."
Jessica Myrtle "Jessie" Spano
Played by Elizabeth Berkley
, Jessica Myrtle ("Jessie") Spano is the show's resident know-it-all crusader. She's often seen pursuing a variety of environmental and generally liberal causes while keeping up her position as Class President
and one of the smartest students in her class. Like Lisa and Screech, Jessie is Zack's childhood friend (despite discontinuity with Good Morning, Miss Bliss
), and he routinely climbs into her room via a tree outside her window. From the second season onwards, her main love interest is Slater, who disagrees with her feminist views. Jessie's parents are divorced and both are remarried during Season 3. Her mother's remarriage introduces a conniving stepbrother named Eric from New York in a 2-part episode, although neither her mother nor stepfather are featured. In another 2-part episode, her father marries a much younger aerobics instructor named Leslie, whom Jessie initially disfavors. Jessie also struggled with drug addiction at one point on the series, taking caffeine pills in order to stay awake for longer study hours. Jessie fully expected to be crowned valedictorian
, but finished a fraction of a point behind Screech, and reluctantly settled for salutatorian
status. Upon graduation, Jessie attends Columbia University
, although she had been hoping to get into Stansbury (fictional) in one episode, and had applied to Harvard and Yale and Princeton as well (she had also expressed a desire to attend Stanford
in a few episodes).
Played by Dennis Haskins
, Mr. (Richard) Belding is the principal of Bayside High School and the show's resident authority figure
. He's known for his catch phrase
"Hey, hey, hey, what
is going on here?" as well as his high-pitched laugh. Belding has frequent run-ins with Zack and his friends as either a foe to be outwitted or a friend to turn to for help. Despite being a responsible authority figure, Mr. Belding is unique as he genuinely seems to care about what his students, particularly Zack, think of him. He is married to Rebecca "Becky" Belding (née Flugelman). Belding remained the principal at Bayside (along with Screech as his assistant) until he left to become dean of students at Tennesee-Chattanooga in the final episode of Saved By The Bell: The New Class
. It is also alluded to in one episode that he is a Vietnam War
Veteran. He is also known for his love of The Beach Boys
classic "California Girls
Other main characters
- Max, played by magician/comedian Ed Alonzo, is the owner of The Max, the favorite hangout of the gang. He acted as a sort of liaison between the adult and kid worlds -- serving as both a guide and a friend to the gang. Max is known for his quirky sense of humor and his array of magic tricks. He starred in the first season, and recurred in the second, and then stopped appearing without explanation. The Max continued to be featured without him. His diner, The Max, burned down in the New Class episode Fire at The Max.
- Violet Anne Bickerstaff, played by Tori Spelling had a recurring role as Screech's girlfriend, during Seasons 2 & 3. She played Violet for only three episodes on the show. Two of the episodes were during season 2. Her first episode on the show was episode #21 "House Party" where screech's parents leave for Graceland and the gang accidentally breaks his mother's Elvis statue. The second episode was episode #34 "Glee Club" and her last episode being episode #41 "Check Your Mate". After episode #41 she her character never apeared on the show.
- Tori Scott, played by Leanna Creel, was introduced near the end of the series as the new girl at Bayside High. She is initially portrayed as a "tough girl" and is seldom seen without her leather jacket and rides a motorcycle to school. She at first is an antagonist to Zack, often getting the better of him, but eventually becomes a love interest of Zack. Tori only appears in approximately half the episodes of the final season.
- Stacey Carosi, played by Leah Remini, was introduced in the Malibu Sands Beach Club episodes where the gang took jobs over the summer (the exception being Lisa who was a member at the Resort). Stacey attends school on the East Coast and the owner of the club is her father, Leon Carosi, played by Ernie Sabella. Stacey is initially disgusted by Zack and refers to him sarcastically as "Dude" and often remarks that his being "Californian" is quite annoying, yet later becomes Zack's love interest. They must hide their affair from Leon, as Zack and Leon are at odds from the very beginning of the summer. Their romance ends when Stacey must go back to New York for school and in the final summer episode, even Leon, who finds out about the romance, grows to like Zack.
The Fourth Wall
One notable aspect of the show at the time was how often it broke the fourth wall
. Unusual for a children's show, the main character, Zack, would routinely break the fourth wall and address the audience. Functionally, this was similar to the approach taken in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off
, as Zack would generally use this instance to offer exposition or side-commentary on events which were taking place on-screen. Stylistically, Zack's instances of breaking the fourth wall generally involved him freezing the action at will by saying "Time out" as he turned to address the camera. Zack would generally resume the action by saying "Time in." However, in at least one instance, Zack used the frozen action of the scene to escape from someone who was about to punch him, thus breaking the fourth wall even further, by allowing the fictional nature of the show to impact the action of the plot.
The only other character to interact with Zack during a "Time-Out" was Screech in the episode entitled, "The Glee Club." However, it is unclear whether Screech was unfrozen because Zack was addressing him or simply because Screech was not present in the main scene (i.e. Zack calls for time-out on-stage while Screech is standing backstage).
The Tori Paradox
As mentioned above
, the character of Tori Scott (Leanna Creel
) was added in later episodes as an initial sparring partner and later girlfriend for Zack. Originally, the final season consisted of thirteen episodes featuring the original cast, and the cast members' contracts with the show expired after those episodes were completed with the final graduation episode. However, NBC ordered more episodes of the show and Thiessen and Berkley refused to sign new contracts. Rather than producing new episodes with only four cast members, a new character, Tori Scott, was added to serve as a replacement for Kelly and Jessie.
Oddly enough, the promos for the final season of the show featured Kelly, Jessie, and Tori together, despite the fact that the actresses never actually appear in an episode together. Rather, the network alternated between "Kelly and Jessie" and "Tori" episodes each week.
During the "Tori" episodes, it was never explained why Jessie and Kelly were not present, and likewise for the "Kelly and Jessie" episodes, no mention was made of Tori. When the season aired in the UK, the episodes tended to be reordered so that the Tori episodes and the Jessie and Kelly episodes were shown together. This was scarcely less confusing, since no mention was ever made of Tori's sudden disappearance and Kelly and Jessie's equally sudden reappearance partway through the season.
Also, during the Tori episodes the school hallway had a different color scheme and Lisa had a different hair style.
The show was popular enough to warrant two spin-offs
, both of which premiered in 1993.
Saved by the Bell: The College Years
Saved by the Bell: The College Years
continued with several of the characters dealing with college life. It aired in the season following the original series' last, and was also set in the following school year. The series sported a continuity problem in that the characters who ended up at the fictional California University were set to go off to different universities at the end of the original Saved By The Bell
Due to low ratings, Saved by the Bell: The College Years only lasted one season. Unlike the original series which aired on Saturday mornings with only one exception in 1993, The College Years was shown in prime time. The series aired from September 14, 1993 (though the original pilot aired on May 22, 1993) to February 8, 1994.
Saved by the Bell: The New Class
Saved by the Bell: The New Class
was created to continue the story of Bayside High School in the Saturday morning timeslot after the original cast graduated. The series featured a new set of students anchored by Dennis Haskins, and later Dustin Diamond, whose character Screech became Principal Belding's administrative assistant on a work-study program from California University (a reference to Screech's college in "The College Years"). While Saved by the Bell: The New Class
ran for seven seasons, it suffered numerous cast changes (including a second season cast purge that only left Haskins and three other cast members) and never gained the popularity of the original series. The New Class
aired from September 11
to July 28
. Many of the New Class
episodes were actually "recycled" plots from the original Saved by the Bell
. Slater, Lisa, and Zack had a cameo in one episode in Season 2 while trying to keep Bayside from being bought and destroyed. The Max remained as the hangout for the Bayside High students, although a fire burned it down in one episode and it was given a new look. The New Class
is the only Saved by the Bell
incarnation not to be currently syndicated
, although all seven seasons have made it to DVD.
Several future-celebrities had appearances as Bayside students:
- Scott Wolf, of Party of Five, appeared as a member of the glee club in one episode and as a waiter at the Max in two others.
- Tori Spelling, of Beverly Hills, 90210, had a recurring role as Screech's girlfriend, Violet, during Seasons 2 & 3. Coincidentally, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen would later join the 90210 cast in 1994.
- Bridgette Wilson (Billy Madison) played Zack's ditzy girlfriend Ginger in a few episodes during Season 5.
- Soleil Moon Frye starred in one episode as Screech's girlfriend, Robin. The episode centered around a spaghetti sauce recipe. Frye's character was only interested in Screech because of his money, which the gang later used against her when it was found out that the recipe came from a famous cookbook.
John Moschitta, Jr., of Micro Machines fame, had a recurring role as 'Terrible Testaverde', a History teacher who spoke so fast no one could keep up.
Also appearing in one of the beach episodes was future Grey's Anatomy regular Eric Dane. Popular radio DJ and personality Casey Kasem made two separate guest appearances on the show ("Dancing to the Max" and "Rockumentary"). Patrick Muldoon (Melrose Place) played one of the show's most hated characters, Jeff, a college guy who steals Kelly from Zack and later cheats on her with another girl.
Two future movie stars also had roles on Saved by the Bell: Casper Van Dien, who was an extra in two episodes, and Denise Richards, who played a girl rescued by Slater in a Malibu Sands episode. As noted before, Leah Remini was in the summer episodes as Stacy Carosi, Zack's love interest while working at the Malibu Sands Beach Club, who coincidentally is the boss' daughter. Remini stayed on for eight summer episodes. She became famous years later for her role as Carrie Heffernan in the long-running CBS sitcom The King of Queens.
Kirsten Kemp, the host of TLC's Property Ladder, had a small role in three episodes of Saved by the Bell. She played the part of Rhonda Robinstelli, a large, aggressive tomboy who was interested in Zack.
Saved by the Bell
is syndicated in what appears to be two syndication packages:
- The original series, with the repackaged Good Morning, Miss Bliss episodes, and the Hawaiian Style TV movie, broken down into four standard-length episodes.
- The College Years and the Wedding in Las Vegas TV movie (broken down into four standard-length episodes).
Produced by NBC Productions (now operating as Universal Media Studios), Saved by the Bell's United States distribution rights are currently handled by their distribution arm, NBC Universal Television Distribution. Until recently, it was syndicated via Rysher Entertainment (CBS Television Distribution would take over distribution after 2929 Entertainment purchased Rysher, although the Rysher logo was retained on most episodes). The series is syndicated on individual television stations around the U.S. (depending on the market) and is shown for two hours daily starting at 7:00 a.m. ET/PT on TBS with the College Years episodes airing on Fridays in the same time slot.
The show premiered on The N with a 6 hour marathon on January 14, 2008 starting at 6pm EST. It then settled into its regular 7pm and 11pm EST time slots with two episodes airing nightly back to back in both slots.
In the United Kingdom, the series was broadcast during its first run on broadcast channel Channel 4 on Saturday and Sunday mornings (also throughout school holidays). It was later in the late 1990s shown on cable television network Nickelodeon UK; however, the show was discontinued from its run around 2006 and was removed from the Nickelodeon UK website; however, the program made a return to the channel in September 2007, being shown every week day.
On April 9, 2006, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim announced that Saved by the Bell would air at midnight as a two week special starting April 17. On April 19, 2006, Adult Swim also posted on their website that Saved by the Bell was back in production due to "[t]he popularity of the show thanks to the fans of Adult Swim". A week later, the announcement was exposed as a joke.
In the United States, Region 1, Saved by the Bell
was released on DVD by Lions Gate Entertainment
. Seasons 1 and 2 were released on September 2
. Seasons 3 and 4 were released on April 27
, and Season 5 (with the 'Tori episodes') was released on July 19
. Several episodes from the first two seasons are the syndicated versions, and not the original broadcast versions.
Lions Gate Entertainment released the two feature-length TV movies on DVD, in Region 1, on August 7, 2007.
A three-disc DVD boxset is available on Region 2 with the two feature-length TV movies, as well as the episodes 'Dancing At The Max,' 'Graduation Day,' and 'The College Years: Wedding Plans.' Each disc is also available to buy separately.
To date, there has been no DVD or home video release of Good Morning, Miss Bliss.
A CD and cassette tape soundtrack was released on April 11 1995. It contained songs used throughout the series. The tracklisting is as follows:
- "Saved by the Bell"
- "Don't Leave With Your Love"
- "Go for It!"
- "Love Me Now"
- "Make My Day"
- "Friends Forever"
- "Did We Ever Have a Chance?"
- "Deep Within My Heart"
- "Surfer Dude"
- "Gone Hawaiian"
- "School Song"
- "Saved By The Bell" With Michael Damian
- The episode "Jessie's Song" was parodied in an episode of the NBC sketch comedy The Rerun Show (being introduced by Dustin Diamond in hospital scrubs). "Miss Bayside" was also parodied on the series in a Star Wars-themed sketch. Dennis Haskins returned to his role as Mr. Belding in the latter sketch.
- In his 2004 collection of essays on popular culture, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto, writer Chuck Klosterman devoted a chapter to Saved by the Bell entitled, "Being Zack Morris." He wrote that the show "is like this little generational secret that's hyperfamiliar to people born between 1970 and 1977, yet generally unremarkable to anyone born after (and completely alien to all those born before.)"
- Popular freeform hardcore producer and trance DJ AC Slater took their names from the Saved by the Bell character of the same name.
- Bayside High is the same school that Raven, Eddie, and Chelsea go to in the Disney Channel series That's So Raven, though that Bayside High is located in San Francisco, California.
- On December 1, 2002, the E! network used the show's history as a segment for its E! True Hollywood Story. The special revealed facts and contained interviews with the cast and crew.
- Details magazine reunited Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen for a special-edition photoshoot in the August 2006 issue.
- Saturday Night Live also parodied Screech in a satire of Inside the Actors Studio. James Lipton (played by Will Ferrell) interviews Screech, played by Tobey Maguire.
- In The Simpsons episode "The President Wore Pearls," Martin Prince organizes a casino night, claiming he got the idea from an episode of Saved by the Bell (which Principal Skinner for some reason says "was always on too late for me", which makes no sense unless he's referring to the TBS reruns that aired in the late afternoons). The night is a disaster. Martin says the same thing happened in Saved by the Bell. The show never had an episode with a casino night fundraiser, but did have several carnivals or other amusing fundraising activities that always ended badly for the principal characters (especially Zack) and that's probably what Martin's dialogue refers to.
- A common term for large cellphones in the 1980s and early 1990s is the Zack Morris Phone, evidence of the show's immense popularity and cultural significance.
- On a 2001 episode of Smackdown! Kurt Angle said to Spike Dudley "Stay away from my girl? What is this, Saved by the Bell?" after Spike told him to stay away from Molly Holly.
- In an episode of the British television show Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Gaz (played by Will Mellor) is complaining about his brother, Munch, and finishes by saying "Is he standing behind me? If this was Saved by the Bell he would be." He then turns round to see Munch standing behind him.
- In the Gilmore Girls episode "The Deer Hunters", Rory said that she was humiliated about receiving a D on her report card, to which her mother replied, "Aw, honey. You once told me you loved Saved by the Bell. What could be more humiliating than that?"
- On an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, Valerie Malone escapes from an argument when her front doorbell rings and she quips, "Saved by the bell". Valerie was played by Tiffani Amber-Thiessen.
- In the episode "Psyco Dad (Part 1)" of Married… with Children, Bud mentions "Saved by the Bell: The Prison Years".
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Carlton said he doesn't want to miss Saved by the Bell when he was told to do a favor he doesn't want to. Also, in another episode an actress tells Ashley that she better make it home before Saved by the Bell comes on.
- On Will & Grace, Jack tries to convince Grace to seduce Matt Damon's character and says "Yeah, Jack...that'll work. If I was Screech on Saved by the Bell!"
- In 2008, Saved by the Bell was parodied in the Robot Chicken episode "Boo Cocky" with Kelly Kapowski voiced by Chad Morgan while the other characters are reprised by their rightful actors (Jessie Spano has no lines). In a segment that parodies this show in the style of Saw, Zack, A.C, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa are chained in a room and Jigsaw tells them they will be freed if they push a button that would tear Screech to pieces. The others were reluctant to push the button until Jigsaw appears on the screen again saying that they will win free Corvettes if they press the button. They repeatedly push the button but nothing happens. Jigsaw is revealed to be Principal Belding who mentions that this was part of a trust exercise to help them learn how to depend upon each other. A.C. and the others break their chains and assault Screech. This causes them to end up in detention where Principal Belding mentions that they won't really be getting Corvettes. Screech is shown heavily bandaged as he tells the others that he hates them.
- The Bayside Tigers school logo was actually a knockoff of the Detroit Tigers logo from the 1980s (it was colored maroon and said "Bayside" instead of "Detroit").
- Two classroom sets were used; each set was rearranged based on the subject of the class.
- The exterior of Bayside High School is seldom seen. It was shown in a hand-drawn form in the opening credits and the whole exterior is shown in "Wedding In Las Vegas," immediately before the gang leaves for Las Vegas. At this point, it is known that the physical set is shot at Palisades Charter High School, California. The parking lot of Bayside is seen in the two-part episode "Wicked Stepbrother" when Mr. Belding buys a new car for his wife and asks Zack and Slater to install a CD player for him.
- The episode "Day of Destruction" was the last to be filmed for the original series.
- The three video games at The Max are Mr. Do! (1982), Time Pilot '84 (1984), and Pulsar (1981). The location of the games against the wall changes throughout the episodes.
- From 1992-1993, Harvey Comics published two specials and a short-lived comic book based on the series.
- The exterior of The Beach Club where Jessie, Alfrod Clifford, Zach, and Screech Powers worked was also the exterior of the Beach Club they used in Beverly Hills, 90210 when Brandon Walsh got a job at the Beverly Hills Beach Club for the summer.
- The following are the SAT scores for the gang:
- Zack - 1502 (750 in math; 752 in verbal)
- Screech - 1220 (689 in math; 531 in verbal)
- Jessie - 1205
- Lisa - 1140
- Kelly - 1100
- Slater - 1050
Although SATs have been scored in intervals of ten for some time now, this has not always been the case. It was certainly possible to receive a score of 1502 or 1205 in the past -- though this practice was obsolete by the time Zack and Jessie would have taken their tests.
- The following are the locker numbers for the gang:
- Zack - 156 (was originally 259 in early seasons)
- Slater - 140
- Kelly - 141
- Screech - 149 (was 142 in early seasons)
- Jessie - 143
- Lisa - 144
- Tori - 145
The following schools are where the gang decides to go to college.
- Zack - Yale
- Slater - University of Iowa (on a wrestling scholarship)
- Screech - University of Cal Berkeley
- Jessie - Columbia
- Lisa - FIT Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC
- Kelly - An unnamed California community college. In one promotional photograph, she is seen wearing a CSUN sweater (i.e., Cal State Northridge)
- Tori - Never specified on the show, but in the above-mentioned promotional photograph, she is seen wearing a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sweater.
However, Zack, A.C., Screech, and Kelly end up at fictional "California University" in Saved by the Bell: The College Years.