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.
Big Name Fan: Jimmy Fallon is a hugeSaved by the Bell fanboy and has used his clout as a late night comedy show host to invite Mark-Paul Gosselaar onto Late Night with Jimmy Fallonin character as Zack Morris, complete with blonde hair, high-top sneakers, acid-washed jeans, a 1990s-style shirt, and of course, Zack's classic "brick" cell phone (Zack even managed to plug Gosselaar's then-new show Raising the Bar). Fallon then arranged for a Saved by the Bell reunion, which took place in the form of a photo shoot. Fallon would later get Gosselaar, Thiessen, Lopez, Berkley, and Haskins' help to recreate the series (complete with the Bayside set and the actors made up to look like their former '90s selves) in a sketch that featured Fallon playing a never-before-seen member of the gang.
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.
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 He is part-Indonesian on his mother's side.
Follow the Leader: Saved by the Bell was the leader, and spawned multiple clones (including California Dreams and USA High), 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.
No Export for You: The complete TV series and two movies are available as a box set in Canada. The movies are sold separately in the U.S.
Old Shame: Mark-Paul Gosselaar originally considered "Running Zack" to be his personal favorite episode of the series. However, in November 2016, he changed his opinion of it. He apologized, stating that the episode was insensitive to Native Americans.
There were two Latin-American Spanish dubs, which shared almost the whole cast. The only exception was Zach, whose VA went from Raúl Aldana to Irwin DaayŠn for the second dub.
Post-Script Season: The show had finished taping its finale (which centered around the characters' high school graduation) when NBC ordered more episodes. Which shouldn't have been a problem, as the finale hadn't aired yet, and they could simply air the new episodes prior to the finale—except that the actors' contracts had expired, and everyone but Tiffani Amber-Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley decided to sign new ones. As a result, Kelly and Jessie were replaced with a new character named Tori Scott. No explanation was given for Kelly and Jessie's absence in the new episodes, and since the finale was already in the can, no explanation could be given for Tori's absence at graduation.
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. He also dated, at separate times, Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley. He also met his first wife, Lisa, when she played an extra on an episode of The College 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.
Jessie Spano didn't exist when the series was first created. Elizabeth Berkley was actually auditioning for Kelly and they liked her audition so much, they created Jessie to have her on the show. Apparently, Jennie Garth and a then-unknown Angelina Jolie were considered for Kelly too.
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.
Working Title: 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. A five minute Disney Channel series would later use that title.
You Look Familiar: Minor characters Scud and Ox were played by the same actor (Troy Fromin).