As high school comedies for young viewers go, Saved by the Bell is as light as they come, yet there is something unusually addictive about it. No doubt that's because the series, set at Bayside High School in Pacific Palisades, California, balances fluffy stories with evolving relationships. The show concerns teenager Zack Morris (Mark Paul Gosselaar) and his eclectic group of friends. Zack himself is a complicated fellow: he's a vain hound for the girls and a screw-up who sets attendance records for detention. But as the series progresses, he also demonstrates that he's a thoughtful kid, underneath it all, with insight and loyalty to others. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen plays Kelly Kapowski, a cheerleader and mall rat who gains seriousness of purpose and dignity over time, and who ends a rivalry between Zack and good-natured sexist jock A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) by choosing the former--after he cleans up his act a bit. Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) may be the most interesting character: smart and given to alternative-lifestyle values, an unabashed feminist yet self-conscious about her height. (She towers over most boys interested in her). Samuel "Screech" Powers (Dustin Diamond) is the show's token nerd, but he defies the stereotype in many ways: In "Dancing to the Max," Kelly develops a crush on Screech after he tutors her in science, while in other episodes he wins a beauty contest and comes to the heroic aid of a chum more than once. What's nice about Saved by the Bell is the way these sundry friends all get to know and accept each other, creating unexpected bonds and encouraging honest support when the chips are down. Highlights include "The Election," in which Zack, typically, runs for class president against Jessie on a lark, then has to face real responsibility when he wins. In "The Prom," Kelly gives up her dream of attending the school prom after her dad loses his job; she's rewarded with Zack's own sacrifice to make sure she's not alone.
Zack and Slater both try to obtain Kelly as a dance partner before the big dance contest at The Max. However, Zack goes with Jessie instead. Lisa also has a date for the dance, but when she sprains her ankle, he backs out. Screech agrees to dance with her in the contest despite her injury. In the end Screech and Lisa win with their dance move, coined by Casey Kasem as "The Sprain".
Lisa's father lets her use his credit card as a reward for doing well at school. However, she goes overboard with the spending, and her friends help her think of ways to make some money to pay it off. She sold kisses, her clothes, and got a job. In the end she confessed and her father didn't care.
Screech is hit by lightning and afterwards has the ability to see into the future, which Zack and Slater use to their advantage. Zack uses his power to place bets with Slater. It finally came when Zack made a bet that he would get an A on the history exam, but Screech's power wore off and he failed letting down Lisa, Jesse and Kelly.
Zack decides that Screech is in desperate need of a girlfriend and sets about finding him one. However, when there isn't anyone willing, he dresses up as a girl and goes on a date with Screech, and has to act fast when Screech takes a liking to him.
When Ms. Simpson injures her back, a substitute teacher named Tony Crane takes over her class at Bayside. However, when all the girls, including Lisa, Jessie, and Kelly, fall for Mr. Crane, Zack and Slater become jealous.
Zack bets against a Valley wrestler named Marvin Niedick that Slater will win his wrestling match against Niedick. However, things go wrong when Slater decides to quit wrestling. Screech stands in for him, but he is not as built for wrestling as Slater is and does not do so well.
In order for Kelly to go to a George Michael concert, she has to pass her science test. Zack persuades Screech to tutor Kelly, a ploy which is more for his benefit than for Kelly's. When Kelly and Screech become closer, though, Zack gets jealous and regrets his set-up.
Zack and his friends form a "company" selling friendship bracelets for a business class project. He names himself as "boss," but Kelly, Jessie, and Slater feel he is treating them poorly, leading them to break away and form a rival company selling a similar product.
Zack and Jessie are both running for class president, but Zack only wants to run because he found out that the winner gets a trip to Washington, D.C. When the trip is canceled, Zack has to prove he was not running just because of the trip.
During class, Zack learns about subliminal advertising and realizes that it could be used to trick Kelly into going to the dance with him. However, Kelly catches on to his scheme and the girls decide to teach Zack a lesson, which leaves him humiliated.
Zack starts high school hoping to finally win his longtime crush, Kelly Kapowski, the prettiest cheerleader in school. However, the new transfer student, A.C. Slater, makes a play for her, resulting Zack and Slater fighting over Kelly. Note: This is the pilot episode of the series. To explain why the episode was being shown out of order, a voice-over of Zack explaining "I'll never forget the day Slater showed up" was added to the beginning of episode to give viewers the impression that the episode was a flashback.
Zack and Slater are involved in the annual prank war against Valley, which takes place the same time as the big cheerleading competition between the schools. Screech is the Bayside mascot and has an important part in Bayside's routine. However, after Zack and Slater kidnap Valley's mascot, two students from Valley kidnap Screech. Fortunately, their plan is ruined when the fake mascot ends up winning the competition for Bayside.