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Series / Saved by the Bell: The College Years

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Saved by the Bell: The College Years was a 19-episode sitcom continuation of the classic Saturday morning television series Saved by the Bell.

The series focuses on Zack, Slater and Screech (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez and Dustin Diamond, respectively) all attending the fictional college California University (Cal U) where they meet their dorm advisor, a former San Francisco 49ers player Mike Rogers (Bob Golic) as well as three fellow students, the aspiring actress Alex Tabor (Kiersten Warren), the wealthy socialite Leslie Burke (Anne Tremko) and Sassy Black Woman Danielle Marks (Essence Atkins).

By the second episode, however, Danielle has transferred out of the dorm and familiar face Kelly (Tiffani Thiessen) transfers to the college and to the dorm, much to Zack's shock due to him pursuing Leslie and he soon realizing that he still has feelings for her. You pretty much know where it goes from here.

Unlike its predecessor, the series was aired in primetime on Tuesday nights. It ultimately ran from May 22, 1993 to February 8, 1994 and was canceled due to low ratings. The Series Finale movie, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas premiered later the same year in the Fall of 1994 culminating in (what else) Zack and Kelly's wedding day, whilst Screech returned to Bayside High as part of a work-study program during the second season of Saved by the Bell: The New Class.

These Tropes are standing at the edge of!

  • Accidental Misnaming: Zack has an Imagine Spot where Kelly goes on a school trip cruise, dates another guy and forgets his name, calling him "Zeke" instead.
  • Back for the Finale:
    • Lisa returns for the final episode of the series, as well as the Wedding in Las Vegas movie.
    • Jesse shows up at the last minute to partake in the ceremony in Wedding in Las Vegas.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Leslie, Kelly and Alex, just by chance.
  • Cassandra Truth: Leslie gets Screech to pose as her boyfriend to meet her parents to annoy them. When Zack asks if she'll be his date for that event...
    Leslie: Sorry, Zack, I'm going with Screech.
    Zack: Leslie, if you don't want to go with me, fine. At least come up with a believable excuse.
    Leslie: Fine. I'm washing my hair.
    Zack: See, that's a believable excuse.
  • Cheerful Child: Abby, Professor Lasky's young daughter by his ex-wife. She easily gets along with Kelly, in spite of him saying that she's particular about who sits for her.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Screech of course. Alex also has her moments.
  • Covered in Gunge: Zack, Slater and Screech end up being slimed as a part of their initiation into their fraternity.
  • Dean Bitterman: Dean McMann, natch. Even when she isn't on Zack's case, she's still tough as nails to everyone.
  • Demoted to Extra: Mike and Alex appear briefly in the Wedding in Las Vegas movie; Leslie is nowhere to be seen.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Shockingly, Zack ends up on the receiving end of this three times:
    • When he first came to the school, he was pursuing Leslie, in spite of her having no interest in him, even though this became moot after Kelly transferred to Cal U.
    • Another time had him interested in a professional tennis player and liked Screech more than him.
    • Lastly, he initially lost Kelly to Professor Lasky. They eventually broke up, though.
  • El Spanish "-o": In "A Question Of Ethics", when Kelly gets frustrated with the complicated Spanish-themed restaurant's over-the-top attire and other decorations (namely in wearing an oversized Sombrero) and complains to assistant manager Screech, he replies, Hey, no Sombrero, no job-o".
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: In an effort to discourage Screech from getting a tattoo just to fit in at his fraternity, Mike shows him and the other brothers an old tattoo of Tweety Bird that he got on his butt. He also came with an important lesson for them to take away with them:
    Mike: If you're going to get a tattoo, make sure you lay off the Mrs. Field's cookies.
  • Every Episode Ending: Save for the first episode, every episode's ending has either a blooper, an outtake or some other funny moment.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Screech once again. He had many animals as pets in the original series and he even teaches Professor Lasky's chimpanzee how to sign-language.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The episode where a well-liked professor died had this: not only did Screech, who has no black clothing to speak of, had to wear Alex's heels and a costume vampire cape to the service, but the dean not only was there for appearances and still using her cell phone, she then dropped it inside of the open casket and tried to play off being overcome by grief while looking for it. And then in the middle of the eulogy, it began to ring.
  • Hash House Lingo: Screech tries using this while working in the food service area. Unfortunately, his word choice is " A naked chick with hot buns". The cook points out that what he says constitutes sexual harassment. Luckily Mike, who the cook has a thing for saves Screech by pointing out he didn't realize what he was saying.
  • Intoxication Ensues:
    • In the episode with the rave, Screech's fraternity brothers order him to get them some nitric oxide to get high on. Having his doubts and being nervous, he accidentally grabs some helium instead, with predictable results.
    • Also in the episode with the cruise, Screech puts on multiple anti-seasick patches instead of the recommended single patch, causing him to hallucinate.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Kelly, of course. According to Zack, when she walked past the morgue in the student center, three guys sat up and splashed on some Old Spice.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: "The Poker Game" had one of players repeatedly and openly complain about the girls "invading" their game. When he later boasted as he left that no women have ever been in his dorm room, Alex immediately quips back, "Or ever will be!"
  • Hospital Hottie: Kelly, when she became head orderly at the student medical center.
  • Jerk Jock: Slater often became this.
  • Large Ham: Alex, quite often. Justified as she is an aspiring actress.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: When Zack, Slater and Screech all went skydiving, after jumping, at one point Screech is impressed about the fact he threw up on a flock of geese.
  • Nice Character, Mean Actor: Zack was thrilled about Mike's former teammate Johnny Walters, a popular football player, attending the college's homecoming dance and the latter soon takes a shining to him. While Mike tried to warn him that he's not what he appears, Zack writes him off as jealous...only to learn that he was an egotistical lech who made a pass at Kelly then deserted her when she turned him down.
  • Noodle Incident: Who else but Screech?:
    • One time he somehow managed to get his head stuck between the steering wheel of his car and The Club.
    • Another time had him apparently bomb so badly for his job interview with McDonalds, that he wasn't even allowed to eat there anymore.
  • Oh, Crap!: Zack and Slater's reaction to Screech announcing that he was going to make balloon animals at a party for the fraternity that they were trying to get into.
    Slater: I didn't know I could have a stroke at 19.
  • Opposites Attract: One again with Slater, the calm, manly Lovable Jock, who falls for and dates Alex, a Cloud Cuckoo Lander Genki Girl wannabe actress.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Slater plays with this; in the beginning of one episode, the gang is watching Love Story. While some are moved by the story, he instead is lifting weights to pass the time.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Mike. Even when he became more of a friend to the group, he still had a good head on his shoulders.
    • Dean McMann. As much of a hardass she is, she still runs the school competently and both demands and receives the respect she's earned.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kelly delivers a great one to Professor Lasky. After realizing the hoops that Zack is willing to jump through to be with her (including drinking barium), she calls him out for being ashamed of their relationship and for taking advantage of her generosity.
  • Rich Bitch: Averted for the most part with Leslie, who in spite of her family's wealth, is pretty down-to-earth. Played straight with her parents, however, who can't understand her "simple" interests, especially regarding her choice in friends.
  • Sequel Hook: The series ends with Zach suggesting that he & Kelly get married in Las Vegas, setting up the TV movie.
  • Silly Walk: In "Rush Week", when Zack and Slater are trying to teach Screech to walk cool, he screws it up and delivers a weird, robotic walk instead.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Dean Susan McMann is this to Zack.
  • Student/Teacher Romance: Kelly eventually forms a relationship with Professor Lasky.
  • Suddenly Ethnicity: Subverted with Slater: he's obviously Latino, but it's not really discussed until "Slater's War" when he meets a fellow Latino girl who encourages him to join their student group.
  • Taped-Over Turmoil: When the guys are trying to motivate Mike into training for a football team tryout by angering him, he's eventually inspired to do so by the fact that Screech taped over his only collection of football achievements with Ren & Stimpy.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The series does this for Screech: he not only ended up in a fraternity, but he even had a Love Interest in a beautiful and successful tennis star (and she even chose him over Zack). Also the fact that he had a close friendship with their dorm advisor Mike in spite of him being a jock and unlike his friends, he was always at ease with the coursework of his classes.
  • Training Montage: One episode has Zack, Slater and Screech helping Mike to train for a tryout on a football team which he wore all three of them, even Slater, out. In spite of being an athlete with a Heroic Build and having the skills of a player, he came to realize that he was past his prime and knew it would take all of his strength just to keep with with his younger teammates and opponents.
  • Unperson: Screech, who was said to do so horribly at a job interview at McDonalds that he was forbidden from setting foot in any of their establishments.
  • Very Special Episode: A very poorly done episode where Slater discovers his father is Mexican but changed his name to get into the Army. Zack apparently has to learn An Aesop about respecting Slater's heritage after Slater spends the episode being overly sensitive and accusing Zack of being racist.
  • Weight Woe: Slater at one point decides to bulk up to go into a specific weight class for wrestling, only for him to be recommended for a smaller division, meaning all the weight he (reportedly) gained throughout the episode he has to lose in hours to qualify.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Zack, Slater, Alex and Leslie undergo this in "A Question of Ethics" when faced with a difficult exam given by a tough professor. After rooting around in a dumpster for hours looking for a copy of the exam, they finally break down, admit to what they did to the professor and hand over the test. Even with his hard approach and obvious disappointment in what they did, he was still proud of their honesty and actually said that this was the ultimate test. And he had done this to every single person in the classroom.