Saved By The Bell is now 25 years old. If you’re anything like me (hopefully you’re not), you love(d) Saved By The Bell. It’s been a long time since the kids have hung out at Bayside. Reruns are always on so it’s fun to imagine where these kids would be today. Let’s explore some realistic outcomes for our favorite highschoolers.
First, some things to keep in mind. For historical context, you must understand that our friends graduated from High School in 1993 and would have finished up college 4-5 years later. Most of them would be nearing 40 right about now. So, let’s check in on everyone:
Jessie Spano: Jessie was obsessed with getting into Stanford. That didn’t happen. In The College Years she is attending Columbia in NYC, which wouldn’t be surprising. But Jessie has some serious character flaws that may have gotten in her way. Despite that she could easily find her way into a mid-tier law school but not likely an elite one, unless her relentless need to prove something to the world kept pushing her. But the first time she tried pot in college she probably chilled out. Her love for feminism and the environment would likely take her to DC where she’ll spend her career strolling through the revolving door. She’s fine with that as her parents are both remarried and she feels little connection with either family back west.
Lisa Turtle: After high school Lisa moves east to go to college. Being the daughter of a doctor and interested in fashion, this wouldn’t be surprising. Officially she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, a real school. She would stand a decent chance of working in the fashion industry. Either in NYC or back in LA, she probably doesn’t keep in touch with her friends from Bayside.
The last four characters all attended a fictional version of UC Berkeley in The College Years. Though possible, I won’t consider this canon.
AC Slater: Only would have gotten in Berkeley on a football or wrestling scholarship. He’s too short to be a legitimate Division 1 quarterback and Cal doesn’t have wrestling. More than likely he would have gone to a smaller California college and wrestled or played football. The free education would lead to a sports or exercise degree. Best case scenario for him is today he’s a physical therapist working somewhere off of US Highway 99 cutting through the center of California and coaching a high school team. Or if he’s lucky he owns a chain of CrossFit gyms. The perm is no more.
Screech Powers: As a nerd and valedictorian, getting into Cal would have been a possibility. Wanting to stay closer to home, Screech would have attended Cal Tech, if he was smart enough, with Cal Poly as a safety school. At either he would discover like-minded individuals and succeed socially. Graduating from college in 1997, he’d have a choice of getting into the tech bubble (not known as a bubble yet), or getting a PhD, all depending on what he majored in. These days he’s likely working as an engineer at Google or somewhere else in Silicon Valley. His best bet at striking out on his own is developing a stupid app the teens love, but wastes a beautiful mind that could have done so much more.
Kelly Kapowski: No chance Kelly makes it into Berkeley. Other than Homecoming Queen she didn’t accomplish much. If she’d made it out of high school without getting knocked up, she’s the most likely to stay local to LA given how tight she is with her family. She might have ended up as a teacher or nurse, but more than likely she’d work in a career that somehow caters to celebrities after majoring in hospitality. Maybe assistant interior designer or high end luxury car sales. She’ll marry an actor whose career peaked in a supporting role of a Lifetime movie in the early 2000s.
Zach Morris: Zach Morris. Constantly getting bad grades and detention in high school. Destined to fall short in life and disappoint his parents, right? Wrong. His dad was in technology sales in the early 90s and was seemingly quite successful. Zach’s scheming in high school looks unstructured now, but wait until he hits college. His high SAT score could have helped him get into Berkeley, but Southern Cal or UCLA are much more likely. From there he’d work in the technology bubble during the late 1990s at some company that ends up failing. But the experience combined with his own entrepreneurial spirit will land him in Business School at Harvard or Stanford. Make no mistake, this guy is motivated and driven. These days he’s near 40 but sits on the board of a half-dozen startups you’ve never heard of and funding more thanks to over $100 million in paydays of the sale of companies he’s started and funded.
These are obviously somewhat rosy views of the future, however we liked these people after all and there was no indication that any of these people were headed down bad paths.
Some other things to note:
- Zach and Kelly never end up together. Zach would have been a catch in college, grad school, and in the tech sector. He can do much better than Kelly.
- Zach and Jessie are the only ones that stay in touch, despite the fact that Zach and Screech work in the same industry.
- The actor that plays Screech is disgruntled and quite insane, don’t confuse his future with Screech’s.
- Mr. Belding was way too involved with his students. These days he’d get accused of inappropriate behavior, sadly.