Saved by the Bell (1989-1993) was a long-running NBC Saturday-morning sitcom, which spawned several spin-offs and TV movies. It began as Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1988-1989), based on a 1987 NBC pilot but co-produced as a series with the Disney Channel. It starred Hayley Mills as junior high teacher Miss Bliss, and centered on her various students (who included Zack Morris, Screech Powers, and Lisa Turtle).

The latter three, and Principal Belding, were retained when the show was revamped as a high school series, Saved by the Bell, which led to both spin-offs and imitators, eventually replacing NBC's entire Saturday morning line-up. Spin-offs included the prime-time Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1993-1994), with most of the original cast in college, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993-2000; same setting, different students).

Muppet Mentions

Over the years, the various series made multiple verbal references to Sesame Street or The Muppet Show.

  • In the Good Morning, Miss Bliss episode, "Leaping to Conclusions," Nikki refuses to do the science class's frog dissection and comes up with a sign petition to stop frog dissecting. When her friends questioned about her petition, Nikki asked, "You don't think frogs have feelings?" Screech asked, "What about Kermit?" and Nikki replied, "You toad. You're talking puppets. I'm talking mother nature."
  • In the season 1 Saved by the Bell episode "The Gift," Jessie Spano tells Zack that she has had straight A's since she started watching Sesame Street. Zack then calls Jessie a Big Bird brain.
  • In the season 1 episode "The Friendship Business," Zack and his friends form a company selling friendship bracelets for a business class project. Zack decides to appoint himself president over Jessie because he thinks Jessie is too sensitive. When Jessie doesn't agree, Zack tells Jessie that she cried when Kermit and Miss Piggy broke up.
  • In the season 2 episode "Miss Bayside," Kelly gets mad at Jessie for entering the Miss Bayside Beauty Pageant (even though she'd been talked out of entering by Jessie). Jessie replies that Kelly wouldn't understand because her view of politics is limited to who won the elections on Sesame Street.
  • In the season 3 episode "Fourth of July," Stacy hears from Screech that Kelly and Zack had gone out together and were getting back together. When Stacy tells Kelly about it, Kelly responds with "Screech also said that Elvis has a day-care center for the Muppet Babies."
  • In the Saved by the Bell: The College Years episode, "The Homecoming," Alex Tabor becomes the California University's mascot, Freddy the Falcon. When she goes out with A.C. Slater dressed as the mascot at the homecoming banquet, A.C. Slater tells her that he feels ashamed, like he is on a date with Big Bird.
  • In the College Years episode "Teacher's Pet," Professor Jeremiah Lasky thanks Kelly for getting him cologne and Kelly replies it is better than getting him a Bert and Ernie bath kit.
  • In the College Years episode "A Question of Ethics," Screech sings the Sesame Street Theme as he is emptying out the trash at his workplace, The Falcon Nest.
  • In the College Years episode "Bedside Manner," Mike Rogers reveals to Screech and the Sigma Alpha members that he had a real tattoo in college. After Mike shows his tattoo to the members and Screech in the boy's bathroom, Screech tells Leslie that Mike has a tattoo of Big Bird on his butt. Mike corrects Screech that it is actually Tweety Bird, but Screech replies it is a "Big" Bird.
  • In the New Class episode "Belding's Baby," Scott Erickson finds Barton "Weasel" Wyzell hiding in a trash can from Mr. Belding. When Scott asks Weasel why he is hiding, Weasel replies "Would you believe I'm visiting Oscar the Grouch?"
  • In the New Class episode "Swap Meet," Scott tries to get two tickets to the Janet Jackson Concert by selling a Defender Dog comic book worth $600 with a misprint on it. When the comic gets ruined and Scott still doesn't have any tickets, Weasel offers his tickets to Sesame Street on Ice.
  • In the New Class episode "Belding's Prank," the new superintendent to Bayside is covered in slime and chicken feathers from the pranks between the main characters. When Mr. Belding asks his assistant Screech where the superintendent is, and the superintendent arrives covered in chicken feathers, Screech replies, "Sir, that's not Big Bird."
  • In the New Class episode "Casino ID's," Tommy finishes his book report on Moby Dick. His friend, Lindsay Warner, finds it hard to believe and says that Tommy had trouble finishing the book Big Bird Goes to Paris.
  • In the New Class episode "Trash TV," Eric Little asks Screech and Mr. Belding if they saw the commercial for Yukon Yogurt and the reality show which portrays him and the gang as selfish and irresponsible people. Screech replies that they got home late and that Mr. Belding had recorded "Muppets on Ice" instead of the show.


  • Marv Albert appeared as himself in the College Years episode "A Thanksgiving Story"
  • Ruth Buzzi played Roberta Powers in "House Party"
  • Casey Kasem appeared as himself in "Dancing to the Max" and "Rockumentary"
  • Mario Lopez played A. C. Slater
  • Denise Richards played Cynthia in "The Last Weekend"
  • Avery Schreiber played Dr. Mertz in "Beauty and the Screech"
  • Fred Willard played Mr. Huffington in the New Class episode "Stealing Screech."
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