Characters / Saved by the Bell

Zack's a huckster, Slater a jock, Jessie an uptight brain, Kelly a cheerful object of desire, and Screech an intolerable bundle of silly faces. When Lisa appears on crutches, having kicked a television in rage when her favorite nail polish was discontinued, her core personality—likes clothes; doesn't fancy Screech—is also laid out."''
Stuart Millard (discussing the first episode, "Dancing to the Max"), So Excited, So Scared: The Saved by the Bell Retrospective

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Main Characters

    Zachary "Zack" Morris 
Portrayed by: Mark-Paul Gosselaar

    Kelly Kapowski 
Portrayed by: Tiffani Amber Thiessen

  • Academic Athlete: A good student and captain of the volleyball, swim, and softball teams.
  • Alliterative Name: Kelly Kapowski
  • The Cheerleader: Subverted. Despite the stereotypes of cheerleaders, Kelly is one of the kindest and most squeaky clean girls at Bayside High.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: She and Zack get married in Las Vegas in the movie.
  • The Ditz: Played with, she was smart and a good student, but also a bit of an airhead at times.
  • Dude Magnet: Was one of the most popular girls at Bayside.
  • Hello, Nurse!: How she was seen at Bayside.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Kelly was hot, no doubt, but few would argue that Lisa or Jessie were not just as hot. Within canon, however, Kelly was treated like a supermodel parading through the school.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Probably the worst offender; 1100 on her SAT and from a cash strapped family yet made it into the same prestigious (if fictional) university as Zach (high SAT/upper middle-class family), Screech (Valedictorian), and Slater (sports scholarship).
  • Military Brat: Somewhat inverted as even though her father, Frank, worked at a defense plant, she never had to move around, unlike Slater.
  • Ms. Fanservice: When the opportunity presented itself.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played with, regarding her singing ability. In "Miss Bayside," she can't carry a tune. In the very next episode, "Jessie's Song," she (along with Jessie and Lisa) is noted to have excellent singing talent. In "The Glee Club," she's just as helpless as everyone in the glee club not named Violet, yet in "The Last Dance" and "Rockumentary" she's the only member of the gang's band who only sings (doing so angelically) and doesn't play an instrument.
  • Nice Girl: She's head cheerleader and the most popular girl in school but she's also the most sweet natured character in the show (and it isn't because she's spoiled sweet either because she's from a poor family).
  • Pretty in Mink: In a fantasy scene.
  • Remember the New Guy: Apparently grew up with Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Zack for a while.

    Lisa Marie Turtle 
Portrayed by: Lark Voorhies

  • Black Best Friend: For the group.
  • The Fashionista: Throughout the series. Also, she apparently becomes one in the literal sense as an adult, as she gets accepted to a prestigious fashion institute at the end of high school.
  • Fashion Designer: In a final season episode she is applying for an internship at a clothing design studio and as a part of the application process she has to put on her own fashion show with her own designs and models. Kelly and Jessie are the models while Zak and Slater organize the event.
  • Feigning Intelligence: "What is art? Are we art? Is art art?"
  • Gossipy Hens: If there's gossip, expect Lisa to know about it.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Despite being popular and somewhat shallow (and she can be very rude to her Abhorrent Admirer, Screech), she's a genuinely nice person.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Definitely had the best put-downs of the cast.
    "You want toasted buns? Go sit on a MICROWAVE!!!"
  • Spoiled Sweet: Had a sweet personality even though her family is well off.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sort of. After Kelly and Jesse left the show, Lisa got a noticable boost in both popularity and brains so she could step into their shoes as the pretty and smart one to play against Tori's wild one. Lisa was always popular in canon, but after the other two left, it's like she became the only hot girl left at Bayside.
  • Token Minority: She's the only black member of the group.

    Samuel "Screech" Powers 
Portrayed by: Dustin Diamond

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Towards Lisa, sometimes verging on stalker with a crush (played strictly for comedy).
  • Adorkable: A quirky, eccentric, goofy genius. He usually wears extremely loud and mismatched clothes, loves science and is a member of the chess team.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Screech is this for the rest of the gang. According to Dustin Diamond, Screech's actor, this is also the source of a lot of his disdain for the rest of the cast.
  • Brutal Honesty: Often does this.
  • Butt-Monkey: Of the group.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Is prone to this in later seasons. The group would usually call him out for this.
  • Ditzy Genius: He's smart but he usually lacks common sense.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: To Lisa.
  • Dope Slap: As the original series went on, Screech was subjected to this (usually by Zack or Slater). Screech never caught on what was happening, even turning around one time and shouting, "Stop that!"
  • Extraverted Nerd: One of the most well known examples.
  • Flanderization: His quirkiness is exaggerated in later seasons to the point where it became blatant stupidity. The New Class took this even farther.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While Screech is good friends with Zack (and Kelly to a degree), he is merely tolerated by the rest of the group (and outright despised by Lisa).
  • Geek Physiques: He is very skinny.
  • Karma Houdini: Surprisingly with a lot of Zack's schemes, he is rarely directly punished for them, despite being Zack's unindicted co-conspirator.
  • Kiddie Kid: He is the character with the least development, and is the goofiest to boot. It doesn't help that his actor is a few years younger than his costars, yet his character is the same age on the show.
  • Lovable Nerd: Initially, before his voice changes. He was such a cute, dorky little kid and far less annoying.
  • The Millstone: He's frequently roped into scams by his best friend, Zack. And, as a running gag, he often unwittingly sabotages them. He also becomes this to Mr. Belding in The New Class when he takes an assistant job, being a constant source of frustration and embarrassment.
  • No Social Skills: Usually has trouble dealing with people outside the group.
  • Odd Friendship: With the other main characters. Five cool, popular students and... Screech.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Almost always referred as Screech. The one exceptions are his mom and Violet Bickerstaff, as both would always addressed him as "Samuel".
    • Zack and Slater actually forgot Screech's real name in an episode of The College Years.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Is this for the group.
  • Rejection Affection: Even though Lisa is extremely vocal in her lack of interest in Screech, he obliviously insists they are meant to be.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Zack's Manly Man.
  • The Smart Guy: Qualifies since he becomes Valedictorian at Bayside.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Is fond of playing chess.
  • Teen Genius: He did build his own robot.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Oh did he ever.
  • Wacky Guy: Due to his Flanderization.

    Albert Clifford "A.C." Slater Sanchez 
Portrayed by: Mario Lopez

  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Jessie
  • The Big Guy: He was the most muscular of the group.
  • Big Man on Campus: In the first season, and it was the source of his and Zack's hostility.
  • Chick Magnet: Was one of the most popular at Bayside.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Along with Embarrassing Middle Name, he is Albert Clifford. No wonder he prefers to go by "A.C." or Slater.
  • Flanderization: Into a proud male chauvinist.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Eventually gets into this with Zack after Kelly chooses between the two of them.
  • Last Name Basis: Usually referred to by his last name.
  • Lovable Jock: He is a star wrestler and basketball player and, while a bit of a hothead, he's ultimately good natured.
  • Military Brat: His dad was in the Army. Slater says he's been to Bolivia, Italy, Iceland, Berlin, and other places because of this.
  • Missing Mom: Maybe. We see his father a couple times, but his mother never appears onscreen and is only referred to infrequently.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The show never missed an opportunity to show off his impressive physique.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Was a good guy despite being a male chauvinist.
  • New Transfer Student: Technically. He transferred to Bayside at the very beginning of the series, so he's not any newer to the audience than the rest of the characters. However, to the characters on the show, he was "the new guy," and the first season kept emphasizing this.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: His interactions with Jessie.
  • Remember the New Guy: Not him, but the sister that suddenly appeared in one of the Tori episodes.
  • The Rival: To Zack, at first.
  • Romantic False Lead: Early on in the Zack/Kelly relationship.
  • Straw Misogynist: At times, always played for laughs.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: the show took every available chance to get Slater shirtless or in tights. Cue sitcom "Woooooooh~"
  • Worthy Opponent: When he was Zack's rival, he was frequently able to keep up with his schemes and even get the better of him a time or two.

    Jessica "Jessie" Myrtle Spano 
Portrayed by: Elizabeth Berkley

  • Huge Schoolgirl: She was the tallest girl in the group. This was one of the things that she was initially insecure about.
  • Hypocrite: When she rails against oil in general, Slater points out that it has a variety of uses, including the earrings she's currently wearing.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: A literal example, as she is accepted to Columbia upon her graduation (after several of the other Ivy League schools turn her down, presumably due to her low SAT score).
  • Platonic Life Partners: With Zack, leading to occasional moments of Ship Tease.
  • Remember the New Guy: Apparently grew up with Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Kelly.
  • The Smart Girl: So much so that her dream was to go to Stanford.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Constantly due to being a feminist.
  • Straw Feminist: Her defining trait.

    Mr. Richard Belding 
Portrayed by: Dennis Haskins

  • Always Someone Better: "The Fabulous Belding Boys" plays with it. His brother, Rod, is seen as cool and exciting, while Richard looks stiff and boring. However, Rod's carefree approach to life and teaching causes him to bail ahead of a student whitewater rafting trip. Only Zack knows what's really going on, as Mr. Belding covers and agrees to chaperone the kids.
    Mr. Belding: Heck, Rod always was the more exciting Belding.
    Zack: Maybe, but we've got the better Belding.
  • Butt-Monkey: Usually at the hands of Zack's antics.
  • Catchphrase: "Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?"
  • The Chains of Commanding: "The Fabulous Belding Boys" shows that it's easy for his brother to goof around as a substitute teacher; it's hard for the one in charge to keep order and make good on promises.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Was this when he was younger.
  • Large Ham: Usually.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Most people know that Mr. Belding is a very strict but a kindhearted person. However, in one particular episode, "Video Yearbook", he was more than willing to restrain Zack while Slater was gonna punch him. Of course, this was all just part of a group scheme to get back at Zack for his yearbook. This also really backfired on Belding, as Zack used his classic Time Out power to get away and left him to get punched out when time resumed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Even Zack occasionally admits that Mr. Belding is a lot more reasonable than he usually gives him credit for. During the graduation episode, Zack gives Belding a hug. In the Wedding in Vegas movie when Mr. Belding is a guest at Zack and Kelly's wedding, Zack finally admits that he appreciates Mr. Belding and says "You made high school challenging."
  • Worthy Opponent: Despite his Butt-Monkey status, he's one of the few people who can keep up with Zack's schemes and even turn them against him on a regular basis. Zack even admitted that that Mr. Belding made things challenging for him.

Recurring Characters

    Tori Scott 
Portrayed by: Leanna Creel

    Violet Anne Bickerstaff 
Portrayed by: Tori Spelling

    Stacey Carosi 
Portrayed by: Leah Remini

    Mike Rogers 
Portrayed by: Bob Golic

  • The Big Guy: Was a former football player.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: We'll let the quote speak for itself:
    Screech: "Coach has Big Bird on his butt!"
    Mike: "Hey, hey, hey! It's Tweety Bird!"
  • Glory Days: A former NFL player for the San Francisco 49ers, Mike often wistfully reminisces about his days as a football player, and clearly loves the sport. On one occasion, while complaining about a Jerkass from his old team, he admits that he's jealous, and says "He's getting paid millions to play a game that I would have been willing to play for free."
  • Landlord: OK, not actually a landlord, as the characters were living in a college dorm, but he was their Resident Advisor, so Landlord is probably the closest trope that fits.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He was this for the group at California University.

    Susan McMahon 
Portrayed by: Holland Taylor

    Ollie Creekley 

    Eric Tramer 
Portrayed by: Josh Hoffman

  • Big Applesauce: From New York.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Never seen or heard from again after his appearance.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his Jerkass ways, genuinely liked Lisa, enough to be very hurt upon discovering that she only went out with him to help Jessie get back at him and not believe her her sincere claims that she really had come to like him also.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite initial personality, he ultimately is a good guy.

    Becky Belding 

  • Alliterative Name
  • The Ghost: For most of the series. Mr. Belding constantly talked about her, but we never actually met her until an episode during senior year.
  • Screaming Birth: Gave birth in an elevator.

    Big Pete 

  • Renaissance Man: Is in the glee club, is a science geek, and mentions taking a Spanish cooking class.

    Ox 

  • Jerk Jock: Sometimes. By the end though, he, Screech, and Big Pete have a "breakthrough" during Mr. Belding's bizarre group-psychotherapy session in gym class, and Ox ends up swearing off making fun of nerds again.

    Ginger 

    Maxwell Nerdstrom 
Portrayed by: Jeffrey Asch


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/SavedByTheBell