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->''"In just a handful of scenes, we've established the full set of character archetypes to see us through until the series goes off air. 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''

!!'''Zachary "Zack" Morris'''
* BigManOnCampus: Interestingly enough, he was clearly not the big man on campus when the show started, and seemed almost like a guy who was desperately ''trying'' to be popular. Apparently, whatever he did worked. As the series went on, Zack appeared to become popular around school. By senior year, he had truly became the big man on campus. The fact that [[{{TookALevelInBadass}} he went from a scrawny runt during freshman year to a more muscular basketball player and track team runner]] (and his legendary status around school as the {{loveable rogue}}) may have had something to do with it.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Often does this in an episode.
* BreakoutCharacter: He started off as a supporting character in ''Good Morning, Ms. Bliss''.
* BrilliantButLazy: Invoked in the episode where the characters get their SAT scores back and Zack scores extremely high. The other characters realize out loud that although Zack's lazy, he's a lot smarter than he lets on. Zack himself tells them to keep it quiet, since he has "a reputation to look out for."
* ChickMagnet: Is one of the most popular in Bayside. "Date Auction" is a good example of this.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: Him and Kelly get married in Las Vegas in the movie.
* DeadpanSnarker: Occasionally is this.
* DeliveryGuy: Helped deliver Mrs. Belding's baby.
* EasilyForgiven: Zack gets away with a lot of sociopathic behavior.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Not to the level of Screech, but his friends (bar Screech) are often scheming against him behind his back against him and often show abhorrence towards him.
* HandsomeLech: He was popular at Bayside.
* TheHero: He's the central character of the series.
* HighSchoolHustler: Arguably the TropeCodifier to [[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ferris Bueller's]] TropeMaker.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He may be a schemer, but he ultimately does care about his friends and doing the right thing.
* KidAnova: When he wasn't in a relationship.
* LoveableRogue: Despite his scheming, he is a likable guy.
* ManipulativeBastard: He comes across as this more often than not, since he's constantly shown lying, scheming, and manipulating to get what he wants.
* MrViceGuy: Was a nice guy despite his scheming.
* PhysicalGod: He's aware of the fourth wall and can even temporarily stop time (by calling a "time out") to address the audience, escape danger, or carefully analyze his surroundings. It rarely comes into play in most episodes, but it's reminiscent of [[DeadPool another]] practical joker that has fourth wall awareness.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Manly Man to Screech's Sensitive Guy.
* ShipTease: With all the female characters at some point.
* SmarterThanYouLook: As hinted above, Zack was far smarter than he let on.
* TechMarchesOn: In 1989, a teenager having his own cellphone was playing the HighSchoolHustler trope UpToEleven.
* TimeStandsStill: "Time Out!"
* {{Trickster}}: Part of what cements his AlternateCharacterInterpretation as a PhysicalGod is how closely he matches the Trickster archetype.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: At his worst.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: With Kelly for a while.

!!'''Kelly Kapowski'''
* AlliterativeName
* TheCheerleader: Subverted. Despite the stereotypes of cheerleaders, Kelly is one of the kindest and most squeaky clean girls at Bayside High.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: She and Zack get married in Las Vegas in the movie.
* TheChick: She was a cheerleader.
* TheDitz: Played with, she was smart and a good student, but also a bit of an airhead at times.
* DudeMagnet: Was one of the most popular girls at Bayside.
* HelloNurse: How she was seen at Bayside.
* InformedAttractiveness: 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.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Probably the worst offender; 1100 on her SAT and from a cash strapped family yet made it into the same prestigious ([[CaliforniaUniversity if fictional]]) university as Zach (high SAT/upper middle-class family), Screech (Valedictorian), and Slater (sports scholarship).
* MilitaryBrat: Somewhat inverted as even though her father, Frank, worked at a defense plant, she never had to move around, unlike Slater.
* MsFanservice: When the opportunity presented itself.
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: 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.
* NiceGirl: 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).
* PrettyInMink: In a fantasy scene.
* RememberTheNewGuy: Apparently grew up with Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: With Zack for a while.

!!'''Lisa Marie Turtle'''
* BlackBestFriend: For the group.
* BookDumb: See FeigningIntelligence below.
* TheFashionista: 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.
* FashionDesigner: 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.
* FeigningIntelligence: "What is art? Are we art? Is art art?"
* GossipyHens: If there's gossip, expect Lisa to know about it.
* LovableAlphaBitch: Despite being popular and somewhat shallow (and she can be very rude to her AbhorrentAdmirer, Screech), she's a genuinely nice person.
* SassyBlackWoman: Definitely had the best put-downs of the cast.
--> "You want toasted buns? Go sit on a MICROWAVE!!!"
* SpoiledSweet: Had a sweet personality even though her family is well off.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: 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 [[SixStudentClique 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.
* TokenMinority: She's the only black member of the group.

!!'''Samuel "Screech" Powers'''
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Towards Lisa, sometimes verging on {{stalker with a crush}} (played strictly for comedy).
* {{Adorkable}}: Nerdy but was a part of the group.
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: How the group occasionally saw Screech, being TheFriendNobodyLikes.
* BrutalHonesty: Often does this.
* ButtMonkey: Of the group.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Was prone to this in later seasons. The group would usually call him out for this.
* DitzyGenius: He's smart but he usually lacks common sense.
* DoggedNiceGuy: To Lisa.
* ExtravertedNerd: One of the most well known examples.
* {{Flanderization}}: His quirkiness was exaggerated in later seasons to the point where it became blatant stupidity.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: 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).
* GeekPhysiques: He was skinny.
* KiddieKid: 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.
* KarmaHoudini: Surprisingly with a lot of Zack's schemes, he is rarely directly punished for them, despite being Zack's unindicted co-conspirator.
* LovableNerd: Was this initially, before his voice changed. He was such a cute, dorky little kid & far less annoying.
* TheMillstone: He's frequently roped into scams by his best friend, Zack. And, as a {{running gag}}, he often unwittingly sabotages them.
* NoSocialSkills: Usually had trouble dealing with people outside the group.
* OddFriendship: With the other main characters. Five cool, popular students and... Screech.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname:
** 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''.
* PluckyComicRelief: Was this for the group.
* RejectionAffection: Even though Lisa is extremely vocal in her lack of interest in Screech, he obliviously insists they are meant to be.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: Sensitive Guy to Zack's Manly Man.
* TheSmartGuy: Qualifies since he becomes [[spoiler:Valedictorian at Bayside]].
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Was fond of playing chess.
* TeenGenius: He did build his own robot.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Oh did he ever.
* WackyGuy: Due to his Flanderization.

!!'''Albert Clifford "A.C." Slater Sanchez'''
* BelligerentSexualTension: With Jessie
* TheBigGuy: He was the most muscular of the group.
* BigManOnCampus: In the first season, and it was the source of his and Zack's hostility.
* ChickMagnet: Was one of the most popular at Bayside.
* EmbarrassingFirstName / EmbarrassingMiddleName: Albert Clifford. No wonder he prefers to go by "A.C." or [[LastNameBasis Slater]].
* {{Flanderization}}: Into a proud male chauvinist.
* LastNameBasis: Usually referred to by his last name.
* LovableJock: He was rarely a JerkJock.
* MilitaryBrat: His dad was in the Army.
* MrFanservice: The show never missed an opportunity to show off his impressive physique.
* MrViceGuy: Was a good guy despite being a male chauvinist.
* NewTransferStudent: 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.
* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: His interactions with Jessie.
* TheRival: To Zack, at first.
* RomanticFalseLead: Early on in the Zack/Kelly relationship.
* StrawMisogynist: At times, always played for laughs.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: the show took every available chance to get Slater shirtless or in tights. Cue sitcom "Woooooooh~"

!!'''Jessica Myrtle "Jessie" Spano'''
* TheBGrade: Jessie's greatest fear.
* BelligerentSexualTension: With Slater
* ClassRepresentative: If not literally then at least in terms of personality.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Much of her activism is mostly PlayedForLaughs and ends up doing more harm than good. Save for one serious occasion when she and Zack try to stop an oil tycoon from turning Bayside into a disaster zone.
* {{Determinator}}: Was one of her characteristics.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: As noted above, Myrtle.
-->'''Zack:''' "That's what I named my turtle."
* {{Flanderization}}: Her StrawFeminist tendencies.
* GoGetterGirl: Academic overachiever, environmental activist, and class president.
%%** GranolaGirl:
* HugeSchoolgirl: She was the tallest girl in the group. This was one of the things that she was initially insecure about.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: 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).
* PlatonicLifePartners: With Zack, leading to occasional moments of ShipTease.
* RememberTheNewGuy: See Kelly.
* TheSmartGirl: So much so that her dream was to go to Stanford.
* SoapboxSadie: Constantly due to being a feminist.
* StrawFeminist: Her defining trait.

!!'''Principal Richard Belding'''
* ButtMonkey: Usually at the hands of Zack's antics.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?"
* FormerTeenRebel: Was this when he was younger.
* LargeHam: Usually.
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Most people know that Mr. Belding is a very strict but a kindhearted person. However, in one particular episode, "The Yearbook", he was more than willing to restrain Zack while Slater was gonna punch him. [[spoiler: Zack got out of it with his classic Time Out power, and boy did Mr. Belding learn the hard way that he can't be sadistic without consequences.]]
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: 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 [[spoiler: Zack and Kelly's wedding]], Zack finally admits that he appreciates Mr. Belding and says "You made high school challenging."
* WorthyOpponent: Despite his ButtMonkey 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.

!!'''Tori Scott'''
* BikerBabe: She showed up at Bayside riding a motorcycle.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Kelly and Jessie disappear, Tori appears and takes their place for nine episodes, then disappears, Jessie and Kelly reappear and everything carries on as normal as if Tori never existed.
* TheLadette: A tough, rebellious, jacket wearing, motorcycle-riding tomboy.
* NewTransferStudent: Was this in the final season.
* OneOfTheBoys: Eventually became this with the group.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Replaced Kelly as Zack's love interest, though otherwise didn't much resemble her.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Briefly the Tomboy to Lisa's Girly Girl.

!!'''Violet Anne Bickerstaff'''
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Was extremely sweet.
* HollywoodNerd: Was Screech's nerdy girlfriend.
* NerdGlasses: Wore a pair.
* ShrinkingViolet: Was very quiet and submissive.

!!'''Stacey Carosi'''
* BelligerentSexualTension: With Zack.
* BigApplesauce: She was a New Yorker who only goes to California during the summers to work at her father's beach club.
* DefrostingIceQueen: She went from hating Zack to being his girlfriend during the time at her father's beach club.
* ParentalMarriageVeto: Her dad didn't approve of Zack.
* YourCheatingHeart: Zack finds out that Stacey had a boyfriend back at school.

!!'''Mike Rogers'''
* TheBigGuy: Was a former football player.
* EmbarrassingTattoo: We'll let the quote speak for itself:
--> Screech: "Coach has ''Big Bird'' on his butt!"
--> Mike: "Hey, hey, hey! It's Tweety Bird!"
* GloryDays: 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.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He was this for the group at California University.

!!'''Susan [=McMahon=], Dean of Students'''
* CaliforniaUniversity: The college where she works.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: How the group reacted when they were around her.
%%* IronLady
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Was the dean of California University.

'''Minor Characters:'''

!!'''Ollie Creekley'''
* {{Black and Nerdy}}: Was one of the biggest nerds at Bayside.
* HollywoodNerd: Wore nerdy clothes and had a froggy voice.

!!'''Eric, a.k.a. Jessie's wicked stepbrother'''
* BigApplesauce: From New York.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Never seen or heard from again after his appearance.
* HiddenDepths: 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.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Despite initial personality, he ultimately was a good guy.

!!'''Becky Belding'''
* {{Alliterative Name}}
* {{Screaming Birth}}: Gave birth in an elevator.
* {{The Unseen}}: For most of the series. Mr. Belding constantly talked about her, but we never actually met her until an episode during senior year.

!!'''Big Pete'''
%%* HollywoodNerd
%%* CoolLoser
* RenaissanceMan: Is in the glee club, is a science geek, and mentions taking a Spanish cooking class.

* JerkJock: 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.

* BrainlessBeauty: Was beautiful but wasn't smart.
* DumbBlonde: Was a brainless beauty.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: {{Lampshaded}} by Tori as the type of bimbo Zack dates (when he isn't in a steady relationship with Kelly/Stacey/Tori herself).

* HollywoodNerd: Wore nerdy clothes.

!!'''Maxwell Nerdstrom'''
* CasanovaWannabe: Thought he was God's gift to women.
* ControlFreak: He controlled Violet throughout their relationship.
* HollywoodNerd: He was short and was considered the king of the nerd.
* MeaningfulName: He was a nerd.
* JerkAss: Was condescending and controlled Violet.
* SmugSnake: His attitude.