Bayside is back — and we’re “so excited.”
The “Saved by the Bell” reboot premiered on Peacock this week, and fans found out what the gang is up to three decades later.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar reprises his role as Zack Morris, who’s now the governor of California (his calling to politics involved a scheme to get out of a $75 parking ticket). He and wife Kelly Kapowski have a teenage son, Mac (Mitchell Hoog), who attends Bayside High, where A.C. Slater works as athletics director and Jessie Spano is the school counselor. When Zack faces criticism for closing underfunded high schools, he signs off on a plan to send the affected students to well-funded schools, such as Bayside High.
Much of the new series focuses on Bayside’s current students, including Haskiri Velazquez as Daisy and Josie Totah as Lexi. But, of course, there are plenty of playful callbacks to the original series, which aired on NBC from 1989 to 1993. Here are all the references we spotted.
1. A photo of the old gang hangs on the wall of Zack’s office. "School should be an awesome experience," he explains, looking proudly at a framed photo of his Bayside pals next to his diploma. “A time for kids to evade math homework and torment their principal with no consequences. That’s what I had, and what I’m fighting for for every student in California.”
2. The Bayside High hallway looks the same. From the red lockers to the “Go Tigers” sign to the presence of twins (who often appeared uncredited as background characters in the original), not much has changed. Mac even slides down the staircase’s bannister in true Zack Morris fashion.
3. Cheerleader Lexi calls Zack’s son “preppie,” just as Slater once called Zack.
4. Principal Toddman is exasperated at Mac's antics, giving us major Belding vibes. “Mac Morris, did you flood the gym again? The volleyball team floated away,” he exclaims when we first see him. Later, he enters his office to find Mac sitting in his chair. “Mr. Morris, get your feet off my desk,” he tells Mac.
5. The new theme song is a remix of the original, performed by rapper Lil Yachty.
6. Jessie is still “so excited.” When she's introduced at a PTA meeting, Principal Toddman tells parents, “In addition to her work at Bayside, she’s written over a dozen bestsellers, including her parenting how-to, 'I’m So Excited, I’m So Scared … of Becoming a Parent.'"
7. Slater still calls Jessie “Mama.” “Hey, nice job up there, Mama,” he tells her following her talk at the PTA meeting. “Sorry, I know we had the HR meeting about this,” he adds. “Dr. Mama.”
8. Timeout! Daisy frequently invokes Zack’s catchphrase to break the fourth wall.
9. The Max is still Bayside’s go-to eatery. Mac tells Daisy, “This is the Max, where we like to hang out after school. Also, before and during.” She responds, “Wait, so you guys go to a sit-down restaurant every day? Isn’t that expensive?” They sit at the old gang’s regular booth, and Max himself (Ed Alonzo) even appears to serve them burgers.
10. Athletic gear is still sported outside the gym. Aisha tells Jessie’s son, Jamie, “I didn’t know you played football.” Daisy responds, “Really? Because he’s literally been holding a football all day.” Fans will remember Slater wearing his wrestling singlet both on and off the mat.
11. Slater’s signature sitting style hasn’t changed. When he approaches Devante to offer a “vaguely inspirational speech,” the new student comments, “Did you just sit backwards in a chair? Wow, I’ve never seen anyone do that in real life.”
12. Remember when Zack ran against Jessie for student council president just so he could leave school for a trip to Washington, D.C.? Mac launches a similarly corrupt campaign to get a better parking space.
13. Daisy has a brick phone resembling Zack’s old one.
14. Principal Toddman is living at Bayside after his wife kicked him out of the house. This happened to Belding in the episode “Breaking Up Is Hard to Undo.”
15. Mr. Dewey is still a teacher!
16. When Mac and Jamie want to ask out the same girl, their rivalry is reminiscent of Zack and Slater’s in “The Fight.” Slater also recalls when he and Zack competed for Kelly’s affection, telling them, “When I was in high school, I constantly used to fight with my best friend over a hot girl. It was actually your dad. Over your mom!” He adds, to Jamie, “Then I just found another girl that I really liked and I started hooking up with her instead. Wait, that was your mom!”
17. When Daisy is overwhelmed with schoolwork and other obligations, Mac offers her caffeine pills — which are quickly snatched away by Jessie, who famously became addicted to them in the 1990 episode “Jessie’s Song.”
18. In the episode “Rent-a-Mom,” Daisy hires an actor to play her mother in order to intercept a call from guidance counselor Dr. Spano to her real mom. Zack concocted a similar scheme in the 1990 episode “Rent-a-Pop.”
19. Principal Toddman acknowledges that Devante’s shirt is no longer cool since he’s been seen wearing it. The joke reminded us of the 1989 episode “The Friendship Business,” in which Zack gives Belding a Buddy Band — the competitor to his friendship bracelet business — so it’ll be deemed unpopular.
20. When Jamie makes a sweet comment to Aisha over a meal at the Max, members of Bayside’s a capella group at a neighboring table respond with an “ooh” reminiscent of the audience reactions to romantic moments in the original.
21. Slater’s still got the moves. When he encounters a dance battle at Jamie’s house party, he re-creates his routine from the 1989 episode “Dancing to the Max.”
22. Also in the episode “House Party,” Slater leads the kids in re-creating the scene from the 1990 episode of the same name in which Zack, Slater and Screech lip-sync to the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann,” complete with the same neon surf gear and broom guitar.
23. Zack and Kelly join Jessie and Slater at the Max and reminisce about the events that took place there three decades ago. “This was where I was crowned homecoming queen,” Kelly recalls. Jessie adds, “And where Casey Kasem kept hosting those nationally televised dance contests, for some reason.” Also at the Max, Slater asks, “Remember when we dressed Screech up as an alien?” referring to the 1990 episode “Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind.”
24. Jessie, Slater, Kelly and Zack unearth the time capsule they buried before their 1993 Bayside graduation, and find caffeine pills (what else?), a “Swan Lake” costume from the performance Zack needed to graduate, and a lei from “Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style.”
25. They perform the Zack Attack hit “Friends Forever” from the 1991 episode “Rockumentary” to make amends with Principal Toddman after not remembering him as their Bayside classmate.
26. Hey, hey, hey, hey, what is going on here? Toddman runs into a pal from “Principal Con 2010,” and they do the “principal shake,” which involves Belding’s old catchphrase.
27. Finally, a Tori mention! During a family dinner, Zack says the Douglas students deserve to go to Bayside, because “new kids keep things fresh.” “Remember Tori?” he adds, referring to the tough girl who replaced Kelly and Jessie for 10 episodes in the original show’s final season. “Who?” Kelly asks.
28. Slater apologizes to Jessie for not supporting her activism in high school. “We all made fun of you, but you were the only one who knew what was really going on. Styrofoam is bad. Drilling for oil on a football field is bad. A school-sponsored bikini contest is bad.” He also makes a reference to Jessie’s protesting pal, “that floppy-haired loser Graham,” from the 1991 episode “Cut Day.”
29. Zack tells Mac, “When I was your age, I did a PSA with the president of NBC that solved drugs,” referring to the 1991 episode “No Hope with Dope.”
30. When Mac asks his mom rhetorically, “Do I know my father?” Kelly responds, “Of course! It’s Zack. Why are you asking? You’re not Jeff’s,” referring to the manager of the Max who dated Kelly after she broke up with Zack. In the same conversation, Kelly tells Mac that his dad doesn’t always do the right thing. For example, “back in high school when he sold poison face cream, or the time he made that calendar of us in our bathing suits and didn’t get our permission, or that time he almost had Screech dissected by the government.”
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