Trivia / Saved by the Bell

The following are trivial facts relating to Saved by the Bell.
  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Lisa Turtle was written as a Jewish American Princess with the auditions calling for white females only. Lark Voorhees (African American) got the part based on the strength of her audition.
    • Sort of with Slater. He was originally envisioned as a white John Travolta type. When they couldn't find the right actor, producers opened casting to black, Latino and Asian actors too - and Mario Lopez won the part.
  • Absentee Actor: Elizabeth Berkley did not appear in the "Rockumentary" or "All in the Mall" episodes due to a knee injury she suffered and the episodes' respective plots wouldn't be able to be written around her injury. This also explains why she is seen with a bandage on her knee in a few of the Malibu Sands club episodes.
  • Actor Allusion: The first episode of Good Morning, Miss Bliss has a character ask if she's speaking with Miss Bliss, or her evil twin. This is a reference to Hayley Mills' appearance in The Parent Trap.
  • Big Name Fan: Jimmy Fallon.
  • The Cast Showoff: Slater's dancing and drums skills. Prior to Saved by the Bell, Mario Lopez was a dancer and "drummer" during the first three seasons of Kids Incorporated, something Jimmy Kimmel had a little fun with during Lopez' Dancing with the Stars appearance.
  • Channel Hop: Zigzagged in a way. The original Good Morning, Miss Bliss pilot aired on NBC in 1987, before the network passed on it. Eventually, it was picked up by Disney Channel, which would air the series for one year in 1988-89, before cancelling it. The show then made its way back to NBC, where it was retooled as Saved by the Bell, and the rest is history.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Averted. Most of the actors were fifteen when they were cast and it was actually the other way around with Dustin Diamond, who was only twelve. Peter Engel apparently didn't realize he was so young at first.
    • Elizabeth Berkley ("Jessie") was somewhat of a borderline case, as she was 17 when her character was introduced, pushing her to around 20-21 by the time the series wrapped (playing a high school senior).
    • This was also averted in the spin-off. All the teen characters were played by actual teens although a couple did push into the twenties towards the end and only Lindsey McKeon graduated the same year as her character.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a natural brunet but bleached his hair to play Zack. He had to have touch-ups every two weeks to hide his dark roots.
  • Edited for Syndication: Good Morning, Miss Bliss has only ever aired in syndication as Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years. The changes include replacing the original opening and closing credits with those from Saved by the Bell (only subbing in the different actors for the opening), adding in a cold open to each episode with Zack as narrator (to bridge the two effectively separate continuities) and switching out the incidental music with the more familiar synth stings (which is jarring as the show has a more laid-back and subdued atmosphere).
  • Fake Mixed Race: Zack's out of nowhere Indian heritage is the focal point of "Running Zack". Afterwards, it never brought up again. Ironically, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is mixed race, just not part-Native American.note 
  • Follow the Leader: Saved by the Bell was the leader, and spawned multiple clones (including California Dreams), leading NBC to cancel all its cartoons, give half of Saturday Morning to a new version of the Today show, and the other half to the Saved by the Bell clones.
  • I Am Not Spock: All of the actors have gone through this at some point. Dustin Diamond, Lark Voorhies, and Dennis Haskins in particular never escaped their most famous role. Of the three, Diamond is the only one who hasn't embraced this. Showgirls tainted Elizabeth Berkley's career and has been Spocked as Nomi Malone instead. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, and Tiffani Thiessen, on the other hands, found success after the show ended.
  • The Other Darrin: Zack's dad was re-cast in the retooled series.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • Zack and Slater were going to be bitter rivals for Kelly's affections, as seen in initial episodes. However, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez were good friends on set, and their natural chemistry led to the writers turning the two of them into best friends. Slater's eventual romance with Jessie likely stemmed from this.
    • The infamous Tori episodes in Season 4. The network ordered an additional set of episodes after they had wrapped, but Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen had other commitments. Thus Leanna Creel was cast as a replacement character called Tori.
  • Recycled Set: The hallway/locker area set, originally built for the show's first incarnation as Good Morning, Miss Bliss, never got destroyed, and has been reused in many high school based shows. It was last used as the school set for iCarly and Victorious after That's So Raven used it before.
  • Romance on the Set: Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Lark Voorhies were a couple for three years.
  • Sleeper Hit: The show became enormously popular almost overnight. When it had been on the air for only four weeks, a survey revealed that 50% of teenage girls in America were watching it. In its heyday it frequently attracted more viewers than The Cosby Show - the number one rated primetime show at the time.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: As it started in 1989 and ended in 1993, it is chronologically the latest example of an identifiably '80s program.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • As noted in Ability over Appearance, Lisa was originally going to be a Jewish American Princess. Before Lark Voorhies was cast, Lisa's backstory was going to be that her parents had moved to California from Long Island.
    • Elizabeth Berkley auditioned for Kelly, as Jessie Spano did not yet exist when the show was being created. Although they cast Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly, they liked Berkley's audition so much they created Jessie to give her a role on the show. After Thiessen and Berkley, the third actress in the running for Kelly was Jennie Garth.
    • Zack and Lisa were supposed to become an item after "The Bayside Triangle", but after receiving complaints from parents of viewers, the storyline was ultimately aborted.
    • Producers were keen on Saved by the Bell as a title, but weren't sure that it was already copyrighted. Until it could be verified, the working title was As the Bell Rings.
  • You Look Familiar: Minor characters Scud and Ox were played by the same actor (Troy Fromin).
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