Sometimes the memory of a favorite series is quite different from the experience of watching it once again. While Saved By The Bell is still popular — it even has a reboot premiering this month — it’s true that not everything about it holds up really well.
With famous guest stars and jokes that have incredibly cheesy punchlines, it’s hard not to look back on Saved By The Bell with at least some nostalgia. Unfortunately, fans can find problems with a lot of things on the show, and these storylines and character actions make it difficult to love it… to the max.
10 Zack And Slater Are Too Macho
Slater and Zack have a confusing bond and it’s fair to say that these characters are too macho.
Their personalities and actions haven’t aged well and wouldn’t be considered so hilarious if the show was on the air today. Instead of competing with one another and acting like the coolest students around, they should pay attention in class. It’s tiresome to watch these guys as they’ve got really old-fashioned attitudes about dating and masculinity.
9 Zack’s Treatment Of Girls Is Problematic
It seems like Zack and monogamy don’t mix, as even when he gets his dream girl Kelly, he would rather date a few girls at once.
Back in the day, the main character on Saved By The Bell was considered a handsome and charming ladies’ man who was boyfriend material, but that’s not the case now. His treatment of girls is problematic as he’s constantly distracted by new people he meets and he flirts too much.
8 Zack Would Probably Get Expelled Now
The reboot will reference the original show, which is great news in some ways, but Zack has hopefully grown up and matured now that he’s in a position of political power.
When Zack was a high school student, he was probably the worst ever. If this show aired now, Zack would most likely get expelled. His bad behavior hasn’t aged well, as there’s no way that any principal would let him cause so much trouble at school and give him so many chances.
7 The Hairstyles And Clothes Are Super Awkward
Some characters are coming back for the reboot but it’s safe to say that they will be dressed very differently than they were when the original show was on the air.
While a product of its time, Saved By The Bell offered up pretty horrible hairstyles and clothing. The female characters’ hair was often huge and they wore too many patterns at once. If fans rewatch old episodes, the fashion is definitely distracting.
6 There’s A Lack Of Diversity
Besides Lisa Turtle, there’s no diversity on the original Saved By The Bell.
The characters all look the same and there didn’t seem to be an attempt at casting people from different backgrounds. This is true of several shows from this time period but it’s still something worth noting. This is something that the reboot will hopefully address, although fans have mixed feelings about the need for a reboot of this classic TV show.
5 Kelly, Jessie, And Lisa Pretend Kelly Is “Crazy”
Kelly has her problems but she’s generally considered a beloved character on the show. In the season 1 episode “Fatal Distraction,” she makes a really silly decision to pretend to be “crazy.” Her girlfriends get in on it, too.
Today, this would be considered offensive to those living with mental health conditions, as being called “crazy” isn’t funny, fair, or compassionate. It seems like Jessie should especially know better since she’s meant to be the more intelligent and sensitive of the characters.
4 Zack Treats Screech Poorly And Even Pretends To Be A Girl
In the first season episode “Screech’s Woman,” Zack pretends to be a girl and puts on a dress so he can go out with Screech.
This is a pretty ridiculous thing to do and also a problematic storyline. Zack should stop worrying about Screech’s dating life (or lack of one) and become a nicer human being. This is just such an odd thing for him to do. Wouldn’t it make more sense to set Screech up with someone?
3 Zack Even Hits On A Homeless Girl
In the season 3 two-part episode “Home For Christmas,” Zack meets a girl named Laura whose family is homeless.
Forgetting about how corny this holiday-themed storyline is, it proves that Zack is so problematic that he will even hit on someone who is going through a terrible time. He shouldn’t think that every girl he meets is a potential date, and these episodes really make light of the problem of homelessness, as the family is turned into a spectacle.
2 Screech’s Nerdy Personality Wouldn’t Be Poked Fun At Now
The characters could be much nicer to Screech, who is supposedly part of their friend group at school.
One thing that hasn’t aged well about Saved By The Bell is the fact that the show makes fun of Screech for being a nerd. Today, he would be considered cool and unique, and his differences would be celebrated. It’s pretty lame that the characters can’t handle someone who doesn’t act exactly like them. Screech’s quirky personality makes the show more entertaining (although sometimes, his storylines are silly).
1 Slater’s Quotes Are Terrible
A.C. Slater is supposed to love Jessie Spano, as they’re a major couple on this show, and yet it’s tough to believe that based on the lines of dialogue that he says to her.
In one episode, he asks, “Hey mama, want a burger with a real man?” and another time, she says they should “share the household chores” and he responds, “Sure, you cook and I’ll eat.” Slater also calls Zack “preppy,” which comes off as rude and insulting. While Saved By The Bell is a highly nostalgic series, there is so much about it that hasn’t aged well, including almost everything that comes out of Slater’s mouth.