Saved by the Bell: The New Class is a Spin-Off of Saved by the Bell that aired on NBC from 1993 to 2000. Focusing on a new group of students, Mr. Belding is still the principal, while former student Samuel "Screech" Powers works as his assistant.
Launched at the same time as The College Years, The New Class might be classified as more of a spin-off than a continuation; with one exception, the entire old main cast has left and are replaced with new students. Unlike the original show, The New Class regularly changed its core cast over the seven seasons. It was also the longest lasting incarnation of the series.
All seven seasons of the series are available to watch on the NBC website.
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This series contains examples of:
- Academic Athlete:
- Katie is a swimmer, but also likes poetry and is an editor of the school newspaper.
- Eric is a football player and a good student. Being also a charming musician, he can qualify as The Ace.
- Liz seems to be one as well, as she is also athletic and implied to be book-smart.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: Eric gets prideful in the Season 4 episode "Little Hero" after he helps to win a football match and becomes much more popular. It backfires on him when he makes a blunder in the next match that causes the school to lose the game, resulting in him losing all the newfound popularity.
- Adaptational Dumbass: Watching this show, it's hard to believe that Screech was originally supposed to be The Smart Guy. He still has enough intelligence in him to build a robot in the Season 4 episode "Science Fair", though.
- Adaptational Intelligence: In the original series, Mr. Belding was a bit of a doofus and acted as a foil for Zack Morris. Here, he is a respected mentor to Screech and the students.
- Affectionate Nickname: Screech's nickname for Mr. Belding is "(the) Chief".
- Agony of the Feet: Poor Mr. Belding suffers from this, once during the Season 4 episode "The Wrong Stuff", and again at the end of the Season 7 episode "Show Me the Money". In both cases, this happens by accident, and Hurt Foot Hop ensues.
- All Love Is Unrequited: While unrequited love was a constant theme throughout the series Season 1 was particularly strong with those trope with Scott in an unrequited crush Lindsay, Vicki in an unrequited crush on Scott and Weasel in an unrequited crush on Megan. The long-term (if tempestuous) relationship between Lindsay and Tommy D was the only proper coupling.
- Alone Among the Couples: Katie spends the early part of the Season 4 episode "The Fifth Wheel" feeling left out when Eric is away inside the simulation space shuttle while everyone else is paired up. She ends up asking Gordon, the guy for the episode, out for a meteor shower picnic together despite having no romantic feelings for him, just so she wouldn't feel alone.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
Ryan: This guy [Nicky] is moving into my room, my friends, and now Rachel.*Nicky sits on the trash can*Eric: Don't look now, but he's sitting on your trash can.Ryan: That does it!
- In the Season 4 pilot episode "Oh, Brother", what prompts Ryan to plot revenge of humiliation on Nicky while Nicky briefly gains the Big Man on Campus status with the girls:
Rachel: I have good grades, great social skills, and perfect teeth.
- The Season 4 episode "Campaign Fever" begins with Rachel inside Mr. Belding's office regarding her college application prospect. Rachel believes that she should be able to enroll in any college of her choosing because:
Maria: I'm talking dinners, jewelry, a BMW.
- Late in another Season 4 episode "The Kiss", Maria suggests that Rachel should get back together with Ryan after he kissed Mary-Beth, but not before making him pay:
- Assurance Backfire: When Mr. Belding asks Ryan to plan Screech's surprise birthday party in the Season 4 episode "Balancing Act", he asks Ryan to keep him in the dark about the details of the party so that Screech can't get anything out of him and prematurely spoil the surprise:Mr. Belding: Can you do all the planning and leave me in the dark?Ryan: Hiding something from you? That's easy. *leaves*Mr. Belding: Oh, good. Uh, Ryan? Ryan?
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In the Season 2 episode "A Matter of Trust", Lindsay eagerly enters herself and her boyfriend Tommy, who's far less enthused, in a competition where the winners get to be in a hot-air balloon ride. Lindsay and Tommy end up the winners of the competition despite Tommy's best attempts at sabotaging himself and Lindsay's chance. The episode ends with them in said balloon ride... which Tommy enjoys whereas Lindsay doesn't:Tommy: This is fun!Lindsay: *weakly* I don't feel so good, Tommy...
- Big "NO!": Played for Laughs when it takes place while the cast is at space camp in the Season 4 episode "The Fifth Wheel". Eric is supposed to be in a simulation space shuttle with a girl he has a crush on, but, on the day said simulation is set to take place, she becomes ill and can't attend, so Screech and Mr. Belding go in her place. Eric is unaware of the changes until Screech and Mr. Belding walk into the simulation shuttle.Eric: *off-screen* Screech?! Mr. Belding?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Rachel (blonde), Maria (brunette), and Katie (redhead). Liz would later take Rachel's place as the blonde.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: Played straight at first by Katie telling Nicky that she doesn't want them to stay together in the episode "The Bell Tolls" in order to get Nicky steeled in his resolve to pursuit his study at the New York University, and then subverted when Liz manages to help salvage the relationship by informing Nicky of Katie's motive for wanting to break up, with the result that Nicky and Katie talk things over and retain their relationship while Katie convinces Nicky to pursuit his study at the NYU.
- Characterization Marches On: Tommy De Luca. As an Expy of A.C. Slater in Season 1, he's not above threatening violence on whoever did him wrong. Then he Took a Level in Kindness in Season 2, where his tendency for violent retribution is all but gone. In Season 3 he Took a Level in Dumbass before he's Put on a Bus for the rest of the series' run (Season 4 onward).
- Cheaters Never Prosper: When cheating takes place, expect the whole scheme to become undone before the end of the episode. Below are some examples:
- In the Season 2 episode "Tommy the Tenor", Brian decides to join the Glee Club after seeing Rachel getting accepted into it. Unfortunately for Brian, he's Hollywood Tone-Deaf, so he gets help from Tommy, who shows no desire of entering it, by lip-synching his piece during his audition, while Tommy, hiding in the nearby hallway, sings for real, resulting in Brian not only being accepted into the Glee Club but getting a solo part as well. When the school board director comes to hear the Glee Club rehearsing, Brian enlists Tommy's help once again, but this time the plan fails because Mr. Belding and the school board director encounter Tommy in the hallway on the way to said rehearsal and, assuming Tommy is there for moral support, drag him into the Glee Club classroom, forcing Brian to do his solo part, well, solo. It goes as well as one would expect.
- In the Season 3 episode "Driving School", Maria is failing her Driver's Ed class as she's getting her car for her 16th birthday, so she gets Screech to tamper with her Driver's Ed test score to get her passed. Later on, she hits Mr. Belding's car while driving her own with the other students, and Mr. Belding finds out at the end despite the best efforts from Screech and the students to cover it up.
- In the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper", Ryan and Eric learn of a movie trivia contest where the winning prize is a jet ski. Ryan can't enter due to being an employee of the sponsoring franchise that's behind the contest, so he gets Eric to enter in his stead, training him via having Eric watch many movies to get him prepared. When that fails to work, Ryan resorts to cheating by having Eric wear a concealed ear piece while Ryan, hiding out of sight, whispers answers on a coordinated device for Eric to repeat to Nicky, who serves as the contest host. Too bad for them Screech spots Ryan in the act on his mall security guard shift as the scheme is ongoing, prompting Screech to stage an Engineered Public Confession using the same means Ryan uses for cheating, before he proceeds to bust Ryan and Eric on the spot, which gets Eric disqualified.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Scott, Weasel, and Vicki disappear after Season 1 and are forgotten by the remaining characters; same for Brian, Bobby, and Megan after Season 2. Starting in Season 4, the writers tried to address what became of departing characters making them Put on a Bus rather than this, though that didn't stop them from forgetting about R.J.
- Citizenship Marriage: A German woman who's introduced to Screech in the Season 3 episode "Green Card" tries to do this with Screech.
- Clip Show: The show has so many of these that most of them are made up of clips from episodes that are only a couple of weeks old. For example, Season 5 has not one but two clip shows that consist of nothing but Season 5 clips. An exception was one of the earliest clip shows from Season 2 which showed several clips from Season 1 including one with a very prominent shot of Weasel, a character otherwise never referenced again after vanishing between seasons. Generally though the show went out of its way to avoid showing clips with departed cast members, which may account for the practice of sticking to single season clips.
- Compliment Backfire: Screech is shown in this exchange when he introduces Mr. Belding to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar late in the Season 6 episode "Maria's Revenge":Screech: This is Mr. Belding, the man who made me what I am today!Abdul-Jabbar: (turning to Mr. Belding) Mr. Belding, we need to talk.
- Compressed Vice: Any tobacco or drug addiction any student from The New Class series gets would likely end up as this.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: When Screech tries desperately to keep both his jobs as both a mall security guard and Mr. Belding's assistant in the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper", one of his methods for his "balancing act" is to send students found in their wrongdoing to watch 3-D movies without glasses ("Think of the headaches", Screech states). At the end of the episode, Ryan and Eric are subjected to it (see Cheaters Never Prosper above for details).
- Cool Loser: Liz in early season 5 is likely a deliberate example. In "Football & Physics", she has trouble fitting in with the other girls, just because she has different interests. Also, despite being as conventionally pretty as the other girls, she has never been on a date (at least before Ryan) and the others are surprised when two boys are fighting over someone like her. She grows out of it in season 6, as she's no longer a Naïve Newcomer.
- Mary Beth and Amy from fellow TNBC show Hang Time appear in The New Class episode "The Kiss".
- A crossover of sorts when The New Class gang visited the school from USA High in the episode "Foreign Behavior". None of the characters from USA High actually appeared in the episode, however.
- In Season 1 Scott dates a girl from Pacific Coast High, the high school attended by the cast of California Dreams and both shows use the same 'folding chairs' cinema set. While there is no direct character crossover between the shows they are also indirectly linked via the character of Stringray from California Dreams who also turned up on Saved By the Bell: The College Years.
- Crossover Couple: In "The Kiss", Ryan and Hang Time character Mary Beth Pepperton are immediately attracted to each other when they meet at Space Camp. They kiss after they are stranded alone on a country road. This causes complications in Ryan and Mary Beth's respective relationships with Rachel Meyers and Vince D'Amata but they are both eventually forgiven: Ryan in that very episode and Mary Beth in the Hang Time episode "Team Captain". Also in "The Kiss", Amy Wright, another Hang Time character, develops a crush on Screech Powers as she is attracted to the way that his mind works.
- Darker and Edgier: For the most part the series was no darker than the original but in stark contrast to the original series "No Hope With Dope" (where Zack and the rest of the gang are completely appalled at even the idea of smoking pot and even the school bully is aghast at the suggestion he smokes) the 'New Class' episode "Highs and Lows" has Maria explicitly get stoned. Pot is still depicted negatively and by the end of the episode Maria has vowed never to do it again, but the fact that one of the main characters willingly took it up briefly, even if they regretted it, is a big shift from the original series.
- Decomposite Character: In Season 1, Megan and Vicki are both partial Expys of Jessie Spano, with Megan getting Jessie's brains and academic standing and Vicki her Soapbox Sadie tendencies.
- Dogged Nice Guy:
- Weasel's (mostly) unrequited crush on Megan in Season 1. Bobby takes over this role in Season 2.
- Brian's crush on Rachel in Season 2, to the point that impressing Rachel in the hope of getting her to fall in love with him is the ulterior motive behind many of his schemes.
- Drives Like Crazy:
- Played for Laughs during the Season 5 episode "Goodbye Paris". When Mr. Belding and Screech decide to see sights, Screech, desperate to cram as many sights and as quickly as he can, takes over the steering wheel of the cab he and Mr. Belding are taking at one point, resulting in Mr. Belding and the cab driver holding each other's hands in the backseat in sheer terror.
- Played for Drama late in the Season 6 episode "The Young and the Sleepless", where Eric, driving while sleep-deprived, nods off behind the wheel at least once, nearly colliding with a truck from the opposite direction, and is moody when awake. The episode ends with him crashing his car into the wall at Bayside.
- Expy: From Season 1 we have:
- Scott, the schemer, is one for Zack. In the later seasons, a blonde Kid-anova and sort of schemer named Ryan Parker could be as well.
- Tommy D, the jock, is one for Slater.
- Weasel, the nerd with a silly nickname and an unrequited crush, is one for Screech.
- Lindsay, the popular girl, is one for Kelly Kapowski.
- Megan, is one for both Jessie, the Go-Getter Girl, and Lisa Turtle, the target of the nerd's unrequited love.
- Vicki, a dippy blonde with a host of allergies or at least fear of them and an unrequited crush on Scott, is the only character with no real original series equivalent, though her health-based neuroses have something in common with Jessie.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Season 1 is quite distinct from the later seasons, even allowing for the frequent cast changes that ran throughout the show's run. Screech is entirely absent as he was still on The College Years meaning that Mr. Belding's role was much closer to that he had in the original series than the comic duo he was with Screech for most of this series. All the episodes were fixed at Bayside as against subsequent seasons where up to half the episodes could be focused on the mall or other out of school locations like a ski lodge or cruise ship. Scott is much more obviously the protagonist in a Zack Morris sense as against the more ensemble feel later on and like Zack he would regularly address the audience, a device later abandoned. Also Mr. Belding's office is the same as in the original series while from Season 2 on it is completely different.
- Ensemble Cast: Once the show dropped Zack expy Scott, it became an ensemble with every character taking turns in the spotlight. Zack-like schemes and lessons-of-the-week would now be passed around from character to character rather than relegating them to supporting cast for one star schemer.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: In the Season 5 episode "Foreign Affairs", Liz, suspecting (wrongly) of Ryan cheating on her with a girl they encounter in Paris, spies on him disguised as a street-performing mime (with Maria and Katie in tow in the same getup), earning derisive comments from Ryan, who doesn't realize yet who the mimes really are. Once Liz comes clean to Ryan about spying on him near the end of the episode, Ryan reacts with near horror upon realizing what her method of spying involves.Ryan: Oh, no! Not the mimes!
- Expanded Universe: Beth Cruise (who also wrote novels for the original series) wrote ten short novel based on the show. The first five books focused on the first season cast while the last five focused on the second season cast.
- The Fashionista: Rachel, to the point of being a blonde Expy of Lisa.
- Flat Character: A lot of the protagonists come off as this. Among many examples, there's Nicky who lasted four seasons but is a Generic Guy who is only defined by the girl he's dating (or the girl he's interested in) at the moment.
- Gag Echo: From the Season 5 episode "Private Peterson": "I was born on a cold October day." Mr. Belding says this sentence earlier in the episode when Nicky expresses interest in becoming a school principal, leading to a Nap-Inducing Speak (see the entry below for more details) for Nicky. Near the end of the episode, Liz asks him how he became a principal, and Mr. Belding utters the sentence again while escorting Liz into his office, presumably to give her the same speech that he delivered to Nicky earlier.
- Gender Flip: Plots from the original series are recycled with the gender roles reversed.
- Gone Horribly Right: Some of the episode plots end up being this. Below are some examples:
Mr. Belding: I've created a monster.
- In the Season 2 episode "Squash It". When Screech and Mr. Belding make the announcement for the annual school carnival, in which the winners, being the ones to sell the most tickets for their respective section of said carnival, get to share a fancy dinner and tickets to see Whitney Houston, Brian tricks the students in charge of the dunk tank into bailing out so that he and Rachel take over, with Brian being the target, with the intention on Brian's part being that he intends to win the prizes in order to impress Rachel with said dinner and tickets. When he and Rachel realize that they won't get many sales due to Brian being too nice, Brian adapts a jerkass act that helps to increase the ticket sales, eventually guaranteeing that he and Rachel win the prizes. The problem? Brian's facade works so well that the entire student population sans the other main characters turns against him, resulting in him getting dunked so many times that he develops a fever by the end of the carnival and must stay home to recover, while Rachel shares the prizes with her boyfriend from college instead.
- In "Tommy the Tenor", another Season 2 episode, Megan, Rachel, and Lindsay join the Glee Club after Mr. Belding introduces the handsome new music teacher. When the girls realize that they all harbor a crush on said teacher, each of them secretly and separately buys a gag product from a peddler selling them and uses them later on the other girls before and during a Glee Club rehearsal. It wouldn't have been too disastrous, except for the facts that A) Mr. Belding and the school board director are also present during said rehearsal, and B) one of the gag products gets unwittingly passed around and used by most other Glee Club members as well, so that the Glee Club performance ends up much worse for it. Mr. Belding calls the girls out on it after the fact.
- In the Season 6 episode "Mind Games", Mr. Belding, fed up with Screech's wonky organizational skills, has him attend an efficiency seminar. It works and Screech becomes more organized in his role... until he becomes obsessed with efficiency, prompting Mr. Belding to get Screech to dial back.
- Grand Finale: The episode "The Bell Tolls", in which the students are graduating and moving on, while Mr. Belding accepts a job offer at University of Tennessee in Chattanooga.
- High School Hustler:
- Scott in Season 1.
- Seasons 3 to 5 has Ryan. It's even mentioned In-Universe early in season 3 by Maria, due to her having been with him longer as fellow classmates and, therefore, more privy to his tendency to scheme for what he wants. That said, most of his schemes end up failing, for one reason or another.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- Screech suffers from this in the Season 4 episode "Balancing Act". To recap: Mr. Belding is planning to give a surprise birthday party to Screech, but Screech keeps nosing in for any trace of a birthday celebration. When he gets prematurely close to finding out, the students organizing the birthday party tell him that said party is for Mr. Belding instead, prompting an outraged Screech to volunteer to "help" — when, in truth, he's out for revenge for Mr. Belding's neglect for his birthday celebration (or so he thinks) — by ordering a cake from "Mr. Pie in the Face". When Screech learns the truth near the end of the episode, he's happy about it — except he forgets to cancel his order from Mr. Pie in the Face amidst all the joy. The episode ends when the birthday cake delivery guy shows up and asks for the birthday boy and Screech claims himself as such... *splat*
- Late in the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper", when Ryan decides to resort to cheating in order to win the prize for a contest he has Eric enter in his stead since he himself can't enter, he has Eric wear a concealed ear piece while he himself whisper the correct answers on a coordinated device so Eric can hear the answers and then repeat back in the contest proper. Screech spots Ryan in the act while the contest is ongoing and stages an Engineered Public Confession via the same means Ryan uses to cheat, before he proceeds to bust Ryan and Eric on the spot, resulting in Eric getting disqualified.
- Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
Bobby: Not bad...Brian: Really?Bobby: You stink.
- Brian in Season 2. Here's the dialogue following his demonstration about his singing skill in "Tommy the Tenor":
- Rachel, based on her performance in the Season 4 episode "Vote Screech". Oddly, her singing skill is more decent in the Season 2 episode "Tommy the Tenor".
- Nicky, in the Season 6 episode "The Young and the Sleepless". Similar to Rachel, his performance is better in the Season 4 episode "Renaissance Faire".
- Humiliation Conga: Ryan and Eric both suffer from this at the end of the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper". First Ryan's cheating scheme that involves Eric gets busted while it's still ongoing, resulting in it being undone (using the same means involved in said cheating scheme, no less), which is even more humiliating as the scheme comes undone in the form of an Engineered Public Confession. Then Screech takes Ryan and Eric away for a Cool and Unusual Punishment.Screech: Come on, boys. We're going to watch 3-D movies... without glasses!
- Hypno Fool: When the main cast visits Screech's old alma mater in the Season 3 episode "Big Screech on Campus", Tommy, Lindsay, and Ryan volunteer to become subjects in a hypnosis experiment, with the last part of said experiment being that the sound of fingers snapping would cause the subject to fall in love with the first person he/she sees while the next finger-snapping sound would bring said subject back to normal. Lindsay and Ryan fall in love with R.J. and Rachel, respectively, and they're brought back to normal when the hypnosis instructor snaps his fingers the second time, but, unbeknownst to anyone, Tommy falls under the effect of the suggestion without being instructed to do so, and, therefore, is not cured of the hypnosis effect for the rest of the entire episode, unlike Lindsay and Ryan. As the result, Tommy falls in love, however briefly, with several people he sees under the hypnosis effect: Mr. Belding, a cafeteria lunch lady, a college guy he happens to be arm-wrestling against, and, finally, a Frat Bro.
- Hypocritical Humor: From the Season 3 episode "The Love Bugs":
Lindsay: Really? Well, with Tommy, what you see is what you get. He's always just himself. He'd never do anything sneaky.*hard cut to Tommy listening in on the girls' conversation through the bug*
- Lindsay's opinion of Tommy after Maria gives her own perspective on Ryan:
Screech: And if I might butt in, Tommy, you should have told Lindsay what you did a long time ago.Mr. Belding: *through the bugging radio equipment* That's good advice, Screech. You should have taken it yourself.note
- At the end of the episode, after Lindsay gives Tommy and Ryan a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for placing bugs in her bedroom and announces her decision to take Maria to the concert instead of either Tommy or Ryan at the moment that Screech is holding a sale at the gym in a desperate attempt to raise enough money to pay for the equipment Tommy used to eavesdrop on the girls before it got broken, all while trying to keep it hidden from Mr. Belding because Screech fails to tell him what happened to the equipment:
- I Resemble That Remark!: In "The Love Bugs":
Maria: Yeah, I know Ryan has a great smile, but, trust me, I went to Valley with him, and he's always up to something.Ryan: How can she say that?! I need more volume. *increases volume to hear better*
- Lindsay is faced with both Ryan and Tommy competing for her favor and decides to talk it over at the slumber party with Rachel and Maria. Ryan and Tommy, separately and without the other knowing, planted a bug each at Lindsay's bedroom to overhear the girls' conversation. When the focus is on Ryan during the conversation, Lindsay starts to gush over him a bit, leading to the dialogue below:
Rachel: I always thought that Tommy and you made such a cute couple.Lindsay: Yeah, but we never agreed on anything.Tommy: I don't agree with that.
- Also this one:
- I Take Offense to That Last One!: During the Season 4 episode "Campaign Fever", Rachel decides to run for student body president to pat her extracurricular activities for college application, and Ryan volunteers as her campaign manager. Her election campaign struggles at one point, leading to the following exchange:Rachel: All right, Mr. Campaign Manager, now what? For my extracurricular activities, I'm not writing down "a big, fat loser".Ryan: Come on, Rachel, think positive.Rachel: OK. (beat) I'm not fat. I'm just a big loser.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Several of the best known characters from the series appeared after Season 1 with Maria and Ryan appearing in Season 3 and Nicky, Eric and Katie not arriving until Season 4. This trope is technically averted with Rachel who appeared as a main character from Season 2 on but had actually guest starred in a Season 1 episode.
- I'll Kill You!:
Maria: I can't believe they set us up. I'm gonna kill them.Tony: Get in line.
- More than once, Mr. Belding says to Screech as he feels fed up with Screech's antics ("Foreign Affairs" in Season 5 and "Show Me the Money" in Season 7).
- In the Season 6 episode "The Young and the Sleepless", Maria and Tony have this reaction upon realizing too late that Liz, Nicky, and Katie had set them up to be each other's blind date.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: In the Season 4 episode "The Fifth Wheel", Ryan buys Rachel a jacket with trinkets in the shapes of the moon and stars that glow in the dark attached to it. After Maria makes a Backhanded Compliment about the jacket, Nicky buys one for her. Neither of the girls likes the jackets, and, after confessing to the boys at the end of the episode (which the guys take well), they ditch the jackets.Maria: Nicky, if you ever buy me clothes again, just follow this simple rule: Nothing that glows in the dark.
- Ironic Echo: Early in the Season 4 episode "To Tell the Truth", Nicky expresses confidence that the Home Ec class he, Ryan, and Eric are taking will be easy to pass, claiming that all they have to do is show up and eat. Cue the Home Ec class teacher showing up to inform the boys that they'll have to bake a pie to pass the class and concludes her announcement with a question before walking away: "Did you think all you had to do was show up and eat?"Rachel: What was that about an easy A?Ryan: Holy Betty Crocker, we've got a lot of studying to do, Batman.
- It's Been Done: During the Season 4 episode "Science Fair", one student came up with a writing utensil that uses black carbon mineral contained within wood and can be erased after writing:Screech: So, you've invented a pencil. Next!
- Last-Second Word Swap:
Mr. Belding: Anybody approved?Other Students Who Are Present: Aye.Ryan: Nay.Rachel: Ryan.Ryan: Na... sal congestion. *sniffle*
- During the Season 4 episode "The Last to Know", Eric wears a wig to pass himself as a girl in a girls' gym class for the school radio program. To keep the masquerade going, Rachel introduces Eric to her gym teacher as "Eric...a. Erica!" The gym teacher lets him in without question.
- While brainstorming for ideas for a Renaissance Faire fundraiser during the Season 4 episode "Renaissance Faire", Rachel and the guy for the episode come up with one that appeals to Mr. Belding enough to not only approve of it but suggest that they be featured in itnote . This trope gets overlapped with Verbal Backspace in the following conversation:
- Left Hanging:
- Lethal Chef: Ryan, Nicky, and Eric are this in the Season 4 episode "To Tell the Truth" when Screech has them bake cake samples for Mr. Belding, resulting in Mr. Belding dashing to the toilet after tasting said cake samples. To be fair, the boys slack off in their Home Ec class and resort to cheating to pass their Home Ec midterm with Screech being none the wiser. That said, they do make amends at the end of the episode by baking a cake for Mr. Belding that proves to be actually palatable.
- Line-of-Sight Alias: In the third-season episode "Maria's Movie Star", Maria encounters an actor at the mall, who is attending a movie session and requests her to keep his identity a secret. When the other students meet them and ask her who he is, Maria looks around and notices a promotional sign with "tempura" written on it, and so she introduces him as "Tim Pura".
- Loads and Loads of Characters: In seven seasons, a total of nineteen different main characters appeared in the opening credits, though not all at the same time obviously.
- Long-Distance Relationship:
- When a character in an Official Couple of a season gets Put on a Bus in the next and the relationship is still ongoing, expect this trope to take place right before the character that's still around receives the breakup announcement because the one who's Put on a Bus is now seeing someone else.
- As the Grand Finale draws close to the end, this is the relationship status for Nicky and Katie.
- Meaningful Echo: During the Season 4 pilot episode "Oh, Brother", when Ryan notices Nicky wearing a sweater that belongs to Ryan (something Ryan doesn't approve of) and points it out, Nicky responds with: "Looks good, doesn't it?" At the end of the selfsame episode, when Ryan and Nicky work out their issues and Nicky agrees to Ryan's suggestion to stay:Ryan: Good, because that's my shirt you're wearing.Nicky: Looks good, doesn't it?
- Mythology Gag: Eric, the school's star quarterback, gets Jim Harbaugh, who was the then-quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, to speak to his class for a report because he is Screech's cousin. The show's first incarnation, Good Morning, Miss Bliss is set in Indianapolis.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Maria Lopez is named after Mario Lopez, the actor who played Slater in the original show.
- Nap-Inducing Speak: When Nicky expresses interest in becoming a school principal during the Season 5 episode "Private Peterson", Mr. Belding escorts Nicky into his office to tell him about how he became one. One Gilligan Cut later, Mr. Belding finishes his speech by loudly closing a book, waking Nicky up, unaware that Nicky had fallen asleep during his spiel. Nicky notes to himself that the speech lasted for 3 hours and 27 minutes. Near the end of the episode, Liz asks Mr. Belding how he became a principal, and the scene ends with Mr. Belding leading her into his office, heavily implying that she'll go through what befell Nicky earlier.
- No Fourth Wall: Scott does this in every episode.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The two part Season 4 finale 'Fire at the Max' sees the iconic Max diner destroyed by fire. The same episode sees the last canon appearance in the franchise by one of the original cast other than Screech or Mr. Belding with a cameo by Slater. In hindsight it also serves as the last episode of Rachel Meyers, the only 'New Class' student character to have remained from the first couple of seasons.
- Not-So-Innocent Whistle: At the start of Season 4 pilot episode "Oh, Brother", a teacher reports to Mr. Belding that she bumped into his car while trying to park at her own spot. Once she leaves, Mr. Belding demands to know who assigned her spot next to his. He's speaking to no one in particular, but Screech, upon hearing Mr. Belding's demand, whistles to himself while looking sheepishly away, which, due to his close proximity to Mr. Belding, serves only to tip himself off.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: In 'Tommy A' Megan gets a crush on a boy who dislikes smart girls. She pretends to be a Brainless Beauty complete with the accent and fashion sense of a valley girl and claiming she only 'knows' the answers in class because Vicki whispers them to her. Eventually she realizes that acting stupid to impress a guy is, well stupid and dumps the condescending jerk.
- One-Line Anxiety: In the episode "Highs and Lows", Liz obsessively frets about getting her one line in the stage production right, to the point that she rambles on to Ryan for hours about how best to do it (including the idea of trying out with various accents), until Ryan shows that he has had enough by snapping at her with: "It's only one line. Eight words. Just do it!" While Liz is initially affronted at Ryan's expression, she nevertheless takes it to heart by dropping any attempt to "polish" her line, and her performance ends up better as a result.
- One Steve Limit: Downplayed.
- There's Brian in Season 2, Ryan in Seasons 3-5, and a one-shot character Bryan in the Season 6 premier episode "Maria's Revenge".
- In the Season 5 episode "Liz's Choices", Eric informs Maria and Katie that two guys are interested in them because they tell him that they're taking Maria and Katie to the school formal dance. What Eric doesn't know — and Maria and Katie don't find out until a day before the dance — is that the "Maria" and "Katie" the 2 guys are taking are NOT the girls Eric talks to, making this incident an example of Poor Communication Kills as well.
- Only Known by Initials: R.J. Collins is addressed as "R.J.", and he prefers it that way.note
- Only Known by Their Nickname:
- Barton Wyzell is almost universally addressed by his nickname 'Weasel', with only teachers and his lifelong friend Lindsay using his real name.
- It's revealed in "Guess Who's Running the Max" that Eric is just a nickname. He has an Embarrassing First Name (Cornelius) which he would rather keep to himself out of the knowledge of others.
- Pet the Dog: In 'Love is on the Air' Scott is asked out on a date by Vicki. While he likes her perfectly fine as a friend and even commented in the first episode that she was beautiful, he has no romantic interest in her, mostly because Vicki's neuroses drive him crazy. Seeing how crushed she is by his obvious reluctance he agrees to the date. It is particularly striking because Scott (who otherwise has an ulterior scheme behind everything) goes out with Vicki solely to not hurt her feelings. In the later episode 'Homecoming King' Scott offers Vicki dance, much to her amazement and joy.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Lindsay and Weasel have a similar lifelong bond of Zack and Jessie in Season 1.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Screech, who is even more of a Wacky Guy than in the later seasons of the original show.
- Promotion to Opening Titles: After guest starring as Scott's love interest in Season 1 of The New Class, Sarah Lancaster's character Rachel was promoted to regular in Season 2 when she was brought back to replace Vicki. Ironically Scott, the only main character she'd had significant interaction with in her Season 1 appearance had suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome between the seasons.
- Remember the New Guy?:
- Bobby (Season 2), Katie and Eric (both in Season 4) were apparently always there. They were the only new characters who were introduced in this fashion rather than being new students or transfers.
- Katie's older sister Robin (Marnette Patterson) was apparently the object of Screech's affection when they were in high school together, he even refers to her as "the one that got away". Robin was never mentioned or shown in the original series.
- In the first season, only Scott is said to be new to Bayside, having transferred from Valley, implying that the rest of the first season cast were underclassmen running around Bayside during the Zack Morris days.
- Repeat After Me: Near the end of the Season 5 episode "Her Brother's Keeper", when Ryan decides to resort to cheating in order to win the contest prize, he has Eric wear a concealed ear piece while he himself whisper the correct answers on a coordinated device so Eric can hear the answers and then repeat back in the contest proper. This ends up backfiring on them when Screech, on his mall security guard shift, spots Ryan at the scheme while the contest is still ongoing, gets Eric to confess to everyone at the contest via the same means used in cheating before busting Ryan and Eric on the spot, getting Eric disqualified as the result.Screech: *speaking to the device* I'm a phony and I've been cheating.
- Revolving Door Casting:
- Season 1 began with Mr. Belding, Megan, Weasel, Vicki, Scott, Lindsay and Tommy D.
- For Season 2, Weasel, Vicki, and Scott were dropped and replaced with Screech, Brian, Bobby, and Rachel. This was due to the six students in Season 1 merely being Expys of the original cast, and The College Years getting cancelled led to Dustin Diamond returning.
- For Season 3, Megan, Brian, and Bobby left, and R.J., Ryan and Maria arrived.
- For Season 4, Tommy D, Lindsay, and R.J. were dropped and Eric, Nicky, and Katie arrived.
- For Season 5, Rachel was replaced by Liz.
- For Season 6, Ryan was replaced by Tony. Seasons 6 and 7 were filmed concurrently so there were no further cast changes on the show. Only Mr. Belding was on the show from beginning to end.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: A Jerk Jock who was Mr. Belding's classmate in their respective high school years and is now visiting Bayside as an alumnus in the episode "The Young and the Sleepless". He antagonized Mr. Belding when he was playing in the high school football team and Mr. Belding served as the team water boy, and, when meeting Screech upon his visit, he gleefully expresses desire to do the things he used to do on Mr. Belding "for old times' sake". He backs down late in the episode only after Mr. Belding, who had been fed up by that point, Grew a Spine and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech that ends with an ultimatum that he either behave himself within the school ground or leave.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Some of the episode plots end this way. Here are some examples:
Teacher: *to Mr. Belding* I'll be parking next to you all year!Mr. Belding: *forced laugh, before turning to Screech* SCREECH!!!
- The Season 4 pilot episode "Oh, Brother" has Screech desperately trying to unload his extra balloons and reassign the parking spot of a teacher, whose spot is next to Mr. Belding's and who has a tendency to rear-end Mr. Belding's parked car while trying to park her own. The episode ends with Screech holding a raffle that expends all of his extra balloons, with the promise that the winner would be guaranteed the parking spot next to Mr. Belding's for an entire year. The winner turns out to be... the very same teacher who rear-ended Mr. Belding's parked car earlier.
Liz: We killed ourselves for nothing.Maria: Let's hit the whirlpool...Liz: ...and then grab ourselves a big, fat cheesecake.Maria: Yeah.
- In another Season 4 episode "Fall Formal", Ryan spends the whole episode trying to get Eric to sing in the school dance after learning that a record producer will be a chaperone there, and he does manage to get Eric to perform in the school dance late in the episode, intending to get Eric discovered with Ryan himself as Eric's manager. When Eric shows signs of stage fright upon realizing a record producer will be present, Ryan tricks Eric into believing said record producer won't be there after all, which succeeds in relieving Eric of his stage fright, and, determined to make sure Eric doesn't lapse into his stage fright again, asks Screech to help keep the record producer hidden out of Eric's sight while Eric performs. The problem? Screech spends the same whole episode looking for someone to fix the broken air conditioner in Mr. Belding's office, and he sends the record producer into Mr. Belding's office for the repair once he finds out that said record producer knows how to do it, the result being that the record producer ends up repairing the air conditioner, injuring his hand in the process, throughout Eric's entire performances, meaning that, while Screech DOES manage to keep the record producer out of Eric's sight while Eric sings, it also means that said record producer never gets to hear Eric's performances at all, much to Ryan's immense dismay.
- Maria and Liz spend the entire time in the Season 6 episode "The Lyin' King" vying for the attention of an aerobics instructor, going so far as to join his aerobics class sessions, only to find out at the end that he has a personal standard against being romantically involved with any of his students, past or present.
- Ship Tease: Scott/Megan in "Home Shopping" and "Running the Max" and Rachel/Tommy at the end of Season 3. Neither ship stood a chance thanks to constant cast changes.
- Sickening Sweethearts:
Rachel: *next to Ryan* Why go on a shuttle mission when I can be dancing with my Ry-Ry?Maria: *next to Nicky* And I can be with my Nicky-Wicky.Katie: *annoyed at feeling left alone* And I'm going to pukey-oocky.
- Nicky and Katie behaves this way occasionally, especially after they get back together in later seasons.
- The following dialogue early on in the Season 4 episode "The Fifth Wheel", when everyone but Eric decides to sit out the space shuttle simulation:
- Sleep Aesop: Played for Drama in the episode "The Young and the Sleepless", appropriately enough: Eric spends the whole episode trying to do multiple tasks (finishing his History class essay, learning the newest football tactic, selecting songs out of thousands in his own collection to perform for the Homecoming dance, and talking to his girlfriend at the time, whom he'd take to said dance) while getting by with barely enough sleep (if that) for days. In the end, he gets an F from his essay, fails to stay focused for the game, resulting in the team losing the game, and, worst of all, Drives Like Crazy when picking up his girlfriend (falling asleep behind the wheel at one point, barely avoiding collision with a vehicle from the opposing direction as a result) and crashes his car to the wall at the school ground when he fails to brake soon enough due to exhaustion, which, combined with the fact that he's already late for the dance to begin with, means that he won't be able to perform at the dance, though no one suffers from serious injuries or worse. Mr. Belding mentions at the end of the episode that thousands of teenagers die per year in car accidents due to sleep deprivation.
- Spicy Latina: Maria is attractive, outspoken, and has the attitude.
- Stealth Insult: When Ryan gives Rachel a jacket with trinkets in the shapes of the moon and stars that glow in the dark attached to it in the Season 4 episode "The Fifth Wheel", Maria says to Rachel: "You'll be glowing", much to Rachel's chagrin. This ends up backfiring on Maria because Nicky, after hearing Maria's comment, buys her one such jacket, resulting in Rachel firing one right back at her.Rachel: It looks like I won't be glowing alone.
- Straight Man: Mr. Belding is often there to counterbalance Screech's antics.
- Subverted Catch Phrase: Mr. Belding has a self-enforced version, which starts with him saying ""Hey, hey, hey —" before immediately ending with his high-pitched "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!".
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Scott, the original main character from Season 1 and Ryan from Seasons 3 through 5 are both High School Hustler types in the style of Zack from the original series and therefore obviously have much in common. However even beyond that Ryan seems very closely based on Scott in particular: Scott was a Valley student who transferred to Bayside, wooed Lindsay, dated Rachel and had a frenemy relationship with Tommy D, all of which would later be true of Ryan.
- Take a Third Option:
Maria: Yes! Yes! Yes! *to Ryan and Tommy* Thanks, guys.
- When Lindsay wins two tickets for a concert in the Season 3 episode "The Love Bugs", Ryan and Tommy, both of whom show interest in Lindsay and the concert, plant a bug separately in Lindsay's bedroom to eavesdrop on her while she, Maria, and Rachel talk over the decision in their slumber party. At the end of the episode, Lindsay, having found out what Ryan and Tommy had done, gives each of them a "The Reason You Suck" Speech before declaring that she'd take Maria, who also expressed interest in the concert earlier in the episode, to the concert instead.
- In the Season 5 episode "Private Peterson", Nicky tries out for many different occupations in the Career Week, but none pans out. Drawing from his experiences, he decides to set his sights on becoming a career counselor at the end of the episode.
- Talking with Signs: Eric briefly does this when he suffers stage fright in the Season 4 episode "Fall Formal". Ryan tricks him out of it.
- Tempting Fate:
Eric: When will I stop listening to you?Ryan: When will I stop listening to me?
- Early in the Season 4 episode "To Tell the Truth", Nicky expresses confidence that the Home Ec class he, Ryan, and Eric are taking will be easy to pass, claiming that all they have to do is show up and eat. Cue the Home Ec class teacher showing up to inform the boys that they'll have to bake a pie to pass the class and concludes her announcement with a question before walking away: "Did you think all you had to do was show up and eat?" Cue the boys scrambling to cram for the test.
- In another Season 4 episode "Karate Kids", Screech decides to fortify Mr. Belding's office for security purposes. Ryan talks Eric into volunteering alongside him as Screech's assistants, claiming that they would have no responsibilities to handle. After they volunteer, Screech tells them that they will have a lot of work to do.
- Token Minority Couple: With the exception of the one-off episodes where Megan hooks up with Tommy D, which were never mentioned again, the black leads in the original series and in The New Class would never get paired up with any of the white leads. They would usually get their own boy or Girl of the Week with most of them also being black. The New Class had three black male leads and Eric, the longest running black male lead in the franchise, was the only one who was romantically linked with one of the female leads and it wasn't until the final episodes of the final season. Even then, it was with Maria, the only other minority on the show.
- Town Girls:
- In Season 4, athletic Katie is the Butch, fashionista Rachel is the Femme, and Spicy Latina Maria is the Neither.
- In Season 5-7, Liz is the Butch, Maria is the Femme, and Katie is the Neither. Liz is even more of a Passionate Sports Girl than Katie, and in "Football & Physics" she is mocked by Katie and Maria for being the opposite of Rachel and her lack of girly interests.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Mr. Belding loves his cake.
Mr. Belding: Now, can I have my cake back?
- Early in the Season 4 episode "To Tell the Truth", he refuses to let Screech throw a party in the gym — until Screech tells him that there will be cake in the party.
- In the Season 6 episode "Mind Games", when Screech gets obsessed with efficiency, the first thing he does that upsets Mr. Belding involves taking his lunch — cake included — away when he takes longer for lunch than Screech would allow. After Mr. Belding gets Screech to tone down on his efficiency obsession:
- Tuckerization: Maria Lopez is named after Saved by the Bell star Mario Lopez.
- Two-Timer Date:
- In the Season 5 premier episode "Suddenly Ryan", after Rachel moves away and then breaks up with Ryan, he asks out three different girls "to make up for lost time". This backfires on him when all three of them show up simultaneously at the Max and find out the truth, resulting in them making a public announcement humiliating Ryan before storming off.
- The Season 5 episode "Liz's Choices" has a mutually-agreed-upon version of this trope. Maria and Katie drag Eric into being their date after Maria and Katie are dateless for the formal dance due to Eric misleading them by accident. Eric goes to the formal with Katie, while Maria is with "Derrick" — Eric with a dread-lock wig and a different outfit. This fails when Mr. Belding announces for a special dance for the members of the dance committee, which Maria and Katie both are, with their respective dates. Katie and Maria start to fight over Eric/Derrick, and Eric's wig falls off (he's still in his "Derrick" outfit at the moment) in the ensuing struggle as the result, much to the embarrassment of all three of them.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Some of the plot developments get hit by this. Here are some examples:
- In "Tommy the Tenor", each of the girls, upon realizing that they all harbor a crush on the Glee Club teacher, secretly and separately buys a gag product from a peddler selling them and uses them later on the other girls before and during a Glee Club rehearsal. Unfortunately, one of the products gets passed around to and used by the other members prior to said rehearsal as well, causing the overall performance to be much worse for it. Mr. Belding calls the girls out on it after the fact.
- In "Karate Kids", when Nicky feels that his manhood is threatened because Maria, as his girlfriend, appears tougher than he is, Ryan and Eric seek help from Screech for a scheme to restore Nicky's ego, which involves Ryan disguising himself as a burglar and Eric getting Nicky to the rescue, with Screech himself as a victim. Too bad Maria happens to be passing by at the moment the scheme is ongoing and, not knowing the "burglary" is all just a scheme, beats Ryan up before Nicky can act. Screech blurting out the whole thing to Maria, completely forgetting that Nicky is right there as well, only helps cause the whole scheme to fall apart.
- Maria and Katie drag Eric to the formal dance in a a mutually-agreed-upon version of a Two-Timer Date (see above) in the episode "Liz's Choices" to make themselves look better. It fails when Mr. Belding announces for a special dance for the members of the dance committee, which Maria and Katie both are, with their respective dates.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Mr. Belding and Screech. Belding finds his assistant Screech annoying, but ultimately cares about him.
- Woman Scorned: Maria spends the whole Season 6 premier episode "Maria's Revenge" being this. First she acts cold towards Tony upon their initial encounter at Bayside because he stood her up in their own junior prom years ago, causing her to be the only girl without a date, and then she exacts revenge on Tony by spreading rumors on him after he promises to talk to her at the Max but fails to show up. It's only near the end of the episode, after Katie convinces her to hear him out, that Maria mellows out and warms up to him, especially after Tony finally gets to explain to her what happened.note
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The show ran for seven seasons and while none of the student characters lasted the whole run there was overlap; Lindsay, Tommy D and Rachel who were all veterans of Season 1 were still on the show when Maria joined the show at the start of Season 3 and Maria lasted until the end of the show's run at the end of Season 7. It is possible Maria was meant to be a freshmen in her debut Season but nothing indicates she or the other characters who joined with her (Ryan and R.J.) were meant to be younger, with numerous classroom scenes and activities suggesting all the student characters were intended to be in the same grade.
- You Are in Command Now: Screech is put in charge of Bayside in the Season 7 episode "Show Me the Money" when Mr. Belding falls ill, though he keeps deferring to Mr. Belding for decision-making until Mr. Belding tells him to step up.