‘Saved By the Bell’ Series Finale Plothole Has Fans Confused Till This Day

Saved By the Bell stands as one of the iconic TV shows of the 1990s. It looked into the lives of six close friends in the fictional Bayside High School still stands as one of the teen series that has helped inspire countless similar pop culture explorations of the high school years.

It also sparked multiple spinoffs of its own and is now set to get the reboot treatment as some cast members are reuniting to bring the series back for a whole new generation. As fans use this chance to look back on the beloved series, many of them can’t help but remember that the Saved By the Bell finale had a pretty big plot hole. 

‘Saved By the Bell’ premiered in 1989

Saved by the Bell
(l-r) Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Ed Alonzo as Max, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary ‘Zack’ Morris, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Richard Belding, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica ‘Jessie’ Myrtle Spano, Dustin Diamond as Samuel ‘Screech’ Powers, Mario López as Albert Clifford ‘A.C.’ Slater | NBCU Photo Bank

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Saved By the Bell premiered in 1989 on NBC after starting out as a series called Good Morning, Miss Bliss on the Disney Channel. The series, which featured several of the same characters from the original aged up and added new kids to the mix, followed the lives of six high school friends. Saved By the Bell ran for four seasons — corresponding with the characters’ time in high school. 

Through the years, fans got to see the characters fall in and out of love — and, for two fan favorites, get married. The show was primarily comedic, featuring plenty of antics (and loud 90s fashion) from the goofier characters.

The iconic high school archetypes were all represented, and fans liked getting to see the mix of personalities collide. Occasionally, the show ventured into more serious territory.

While some of these attempts at being relevant and important fell flat, others resonated, creating a show that had heart, as well as laughs. 

Two characters vanished in the final season

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Those who watched the show’s entire run probably remember that something odd happened in the final season.

Kelly (Tiffany Thiessen) and Jessie (played by Elizabeth Berkley) vanished from the show. Up to this point, these two girls had been a part of the primary crew, but in the last season, they were simply gone without any real explanation.

It turns out that NBC had made a change to its episode plan, and they had to renegotiate contracts with the entire cast as a result. Thiessen and Berkley didn’t sign the new deal, so NBC was left with a hole in their primary lineup. 

They attempted to fill this hole — in particular a love interest for character Zack — by introducing a new character named Tori Scott.

Tori was a new student portrayed by Leanna Creel who was shown to be tough and interesting. She was inserted into the crew as if she just belonged to this tight cast of close-knit friends, and fans were expected to just accept the changes without too much questioning of how it all worked out.

To make matters even more confusing, Kelly and Jessie both returned for graduation day. Conveniently, Tori doesn’t appear.

The move was called both ‘desperate’ and ‘realistic’

Chuck Klosterman, who is a pop culture critic, took a close look at NBC’s decision to simply erase major characters and introduce a new one in the final season of a hit show. He admits that, on paper, the move looks “desperate” and “idiotic,” going so far as to call it “borderline insulting” to fans. Are viewers really just supposed to forget about characters that have been a central part of the show for years? 

However, Klosterman went on to dub this phenomenon the “Tori Paradox” and say that it is actually one of the most realistic parts of the show. Upon examining his own memories from high school and childhood, Klosterman realized that he, too, remembers time spent with friends as if it were a constant, continuous event. However, closer examination reveals that wasn’t the case.

Klosterman explained: “I inevitably uncover long stretches where somebody who (retrospectively) seemed among my closest companions simply wasn’t around.” Sometimes friendships ebb and flow, and Kelly and Jessie could simply have been living their lives elsewhere, away from the main action of the show.