Retro Review: Ranking Saved by the Bell 12 staff, 22 students & 25 guests

A cult classic with nostalgia oozing out of every scene, Saved by the Bell was our babysitter and our comfort after a long day at school. Nothing felt better than plopping down in front of the t.v. to watch the latest scheme Zack would have the gang involved in. Whether it was the staff, students or numerous one-off guest stars not mentioned outside of the one or two episodes they were in, the show hit on all cylinders and was cast to perfection! So, without further ado, we rank those cast members in three separate categories: 12 staff members, 22 students, and 25 guest stars.

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Saved by the Bell Staff

12. Mr. Dickerson

Sorry Mr. Dickerson, but pass someone once in awhile and maybe you’ll be higher on the next ranking

11. Miss Wentworth

This is a subliminal message to not join a giant prank against Zack. Your relationship with Chief Henry is the only reason you aren’t #12!

10. Mr. Testaverde

Slow down Mr. Testaverde! Smoke is coming off of Jessie’s pencil and your students don’t know what to study. The fact you helped figure out Zack’s scheme and came dressed as a plumber helps your case at #11.

9. Tony Crane

You’re too handsome for your own good! As Screech said, “You’re stealing our women, but just stay away from our mothers!”

8. Lt. Chet Adams

Lt. Chet Adams drives a hard bargain and pushes Zack over his limit! He redeems himself and shows Zack that the corps doesn’t like a quitter.

7. Coach Sonski

Whether you’re in the gym or the body shop, you’re a man’s man Coach Sonski! Maybe a tad too sexist and on the brink of being fired, but the comic relief saves your hide!

6. Ms. Culpepper

If only you could see! You seem like an enthusiastic and fun teacher, but you can’t properly locate things on a map and quit your stinking job when you think you’ve won the lottery. Maybe you could have told it was a fake if you could see! Thicker glasses at once!

5. Miss Simpson

If only you could hear dear old Miss Simpson! So passionate about Shakespeare’s work and ready to impart that knowledge, but not being able to hear your students seems like it would result in her being put out to pasture.

4. Mr. Tuttle

Pushy, pushy… move your tushy! Oh how you’ve always been my favorite Mr. Tuttle. Your sarcastic wit, telling it like it is and challenging the head honcho in Mr. Belding was always endearing to me! R.I.P. Jack Angeles

3. Rod Belding

A student’s best friend until he let’s them down! How is Inga, who’s only in town for the weekend, more important than the 30 kids you promised to take white water rafting? Oh well, your willingness to break free of societal norms, break your promises to selfishly live your best life, somehow survive as a substitute teacher to have your summers off to follow your dreams reminds me a lot of myself! You do you, Rod!

2. Mr. Dewey

Mr. Dewey, you’re that teacher who never let anything get to him and was so relaxed and hilarious. Karate classes, your dry sense of humor and just your lack of giving a damn was so refreshing and always left us laughing!

1. Mr. Belding

A trusted friend, held students accountable, and some great comic relief. If you can’t trust your Principal, who can you trust? Mr. Belding cares deeply about his students, had his own group ‘Belding’s Boys’ with Zack, Slater and Screech and could always deliver whether it was a laugh, a slap on the wrist or a touching moment. It was also great to see the maniacal pleasure he took in catching Zack in one of schemes so he could put him in detention or even suspend him!

Saved by the Bell Students

22. Violet Bickerstaff

The worst day of Screech’s life and the best day of Maxwell Nerdstrom’s life was when you left Maxwell to be with Screech. Tori Spelling is a terrible actress and her portrayal of this nerdy girl Violet Bickerstaff fell flat and was annoying. Boooo! Hisssss!

21. Tori Scott

Tori, you didn’t belong and the only way Zack would ever date you is if the writer’s wrote it in and made it happen. Your dream and our nightmare came true as that’s exactly what happened.

20. Louise

The lucky apple of Moose’s eye! Louise is something straight out of the Wonder Years t.v. show and we’re all for it! A clumsy, nerdy and soft spoken girl with a quiet confidence as she seems to be the queen of the nerd girl population at Bayside High.

19. Rhonda Robustelli

18. Ginger

Oh Ginger, do the words blonde bimbo mean anything to you? Probably not, but as you smile and giggle pretending to know what that means, we are mesmerized.

17. Charlie “Crater Face” Coburn

As a character maybe he should be lower on our list, but he is so memorable as is the episode. Chuckle for us Charlie, heh heh heh heh heh!

16. Herbert Hotus

Herbert you are shy and unsure of yourself, but at least you understand the ways of the world and how this life goes for you. He was bought at the date auction for $0.15 and didn’t even expect that.

15. Sylvester “Sly” Solomon

His love buuuurrrrrrns for Louise and he even takes Zack’s cell phone after Slater isn’t able to play in the big game. Why didn’t Zack say no or just beat up or threaten Sylvester? Maybe Sly is tougher than we give him credit for.

14. Ollie Creakley

We all know the voice and his bad luck when he didn’t win the “Algebra raffle”, but hey, at least he still has his good looks!

13. Alan Fairbanks

Zack: Company, HALT! *Alan crashes into Zack* Alan, I said HALT! Alan: I thought you said malt and I’m thirsty from all this moving about! Hey Alan, have you been dancing? No, I’ve been icing! Oh Alan, we share your love of the sweets and good jokes!

12. Franklin Finkley


11. Moose/Stan Clegg

10. Maxwell Nerdstrom

Let’s uh rock-uh ’til we drop-uh! Violet Ann Bickerstaff *snap* you’re my squaw! Oh Maxwell, your confidence which comes from being the richest nerd at Bayside pleases us as you assert your power even over the coolest kids and put them in their place!

9. “Big” Pete Stonebreaker

Nerd myth, nerd myth. Deep down, we like to party! Suck up, suck up! Please spare my insignificant life! OWW, I’m telling!!! “Big” Pete Stonebreaker (the best name in Saved by the Bell history) is a mix of wimp and fun loving misunderstood nerd.

8. Ox/Scud

7. Eric Tramer

6. Jessie Spano

5. Lisa Turtle

4. Screech Powers

3. Kelly Kapowski

2. A.C. Slater

1. Zack Morris

Saved by the Bell Guests

25. Robin

Robin, you are just a user and gold digger, but the gang got you in the end so hopefully you have changed. We won’t hold our breath though.

24. Dan Clegg

Dan Clegg helped lead the prank war between Valley and Bayside and had a nice little routine that won them the cheerleading championship!

23. Kristy Barnes

She changed how Bayside is run as she broke the barrier and now girls can wrestle if they can beat Rodriguez! Just don’t ask Jessie’s boyfriend Slater to hold you tighter in a full nelson and all should go well for you!

22. Craig Strand

Craig Strand she’s not your girl forever and she hopes you sit on your frat pin on the airplane on your way back home. You did drive a mean ATV though and we’re still wondering why Stacey went to go celebrate with you. What happened that night? Maybe we shouldn’t ask.

21. Penny Belding

Slater trying to cause trouble by having Screech bring Penny to Kelly’s birthday was just low. Penny telling Kelly she’s taking “Zack”, Screech in a wig, back to her parents house, we thought Kelly was going to blow her top. However, when Kelly learned of Zack’s scheme she thought it was sweet, sorry Slater, nice try though!

20. Steven Jameson

Mystery Weekend was an amazing episode moving sets to a fabulous and spooky mansion. The host Steven Jameson who guides us through this house of murder and mystery had to make our list. The twists, turns, and disguises kept us on our toes and made this episode perhaps the stand-out non Bayside episode of the series.

19. Marvin Nedick

Marvin Nedick, the toughest competition Valley has to offer on the mat. Zack is betting dirt bikes and Marvin’s only chance is a Screech stand-in as Slater is off checking on his quiche.

18. Graham

Go home plastic foam! Drink now, die later! It’s time to wake up, drink from a paper cup! Graham and Jessie went so well together as they are both radicals who are out to change the world, one person CAN make a difference!

17. Brandon Tartikoff

Brandon Tartikoff, the President of NBC at the time, had a new hit for the fall season, don’t do drugs! Apparently he wanted to be a High School Principal and Mr. Belding wanted to be the President of a major network, but life is funny that way. Also, they were both after Becky and Mr. Belding won, but Brandon made it seem like he’s doing just fine as he sarcastically said he had to settle for NBC.

16. Peter Breschnev

IT’S CALLED I WANT MY PANTS BACK!!! Valley’s russian foreign exchange student, Peter Breschnev, nephew of Joseph Spaski who invented the Spaski Bishop Block, has come to take Screech’s chess champion title! Peter is very confident in his skills as he’s learned from the best, but even he is no match for Screech and his lucky beret.

15. Brian Fate

The Beach Buddies aren’t buddies anymore! People, people, this studio costs mucho dinero, MONEY!!! Brian Fate the record producer on a job hearing this garage band, The Zack Attack, immediately gets them into the studio to start recording. Obviously, he had made his career on the Beach Buddies and was in a desperate search to try and find another hit and he just may have it in The Zack Attack, unless it’s all somehow a dream.

14. Wendy Parks

Zack Morris you are promised to Wendy Parks for $100! Wendy: “ALRIGHT!” By the way, where do these kids get their allowance, right Mr. Belding? Zack was awful to Wendy faking a back injury, but Wendy is hip to Zack’s game. She doesn’t want a pity date and knows she doesn’t look like Kelly, but she thought Zack was different and they could just have a fun night. Zack feels guilty and finally dances with Wendy at the end, but I still have a sneaking suspicion he only did it to clear his conscience.

13. Ken Kelley

“Rappin” Ken Kelly was waiting on call call caller ten to see who would wi wi wi win! Zack cheats to become the contestant along with Screech’s help, Ken Kelly show…no *hangs up phone* However, Zack can’t remember what that stupid tree Belding was pruning in detention was called. The next person to walk in and answer that question would get the trip to Hawaii. In walks Belding, “that’s easy, it’s Bonzai!”

12. Adam Trask

The photographer who has chosen Kelly to go shoot in Paris, but Zack can’t handle it. He teaches Zack a lesson about being a true friend and not being selfish. Zack is scared of losing Kelly to some french guy and so he’s going to lengths to steal this opportunity from her, “Boy, she’s lucky to have a friend like you.”

11. Dan Grayson

Cal-Star oil tycoon, Dan Grayson, has come to Bayside in hopes of making it a bigger and better school for everyone! Yeah, they’re taking a lot out of the ground, but they’re putting a lot more back in! Oh, and what will it cost the taxpayers? It will cost them, nothing! They’re also sorry about the oil spill and killing all the animals in the pond, but that was an accident. In the end, Mr. Belding and the kids decided they already had a better Bayside, they just didn’t know it, ’til now!

10. Nurse Jennifer

Nurse Jennifer who was coming in to replace Nurse “blind as a bat” Butcher and she immediately caught Zack’s eye. Why? We are unsure of that as he was dating Kelly at the time and completely pushed her to the side. This makes no sense because he had Kelly and some random older nurse was unattainable which would leave him with nobody. No worries though, as they would teach Zack a lesson he would never forget.

9. Lt. Thompson

Seriously one of my favorite characters in this show’s history! He is somehow a Lt. but the biggest clumsy, gullible, buffoon this side of Screech Powers! He is on the hunt for an alien at Bayside and while Screech is pretending to be one for a large reward, Lt. Thompson is the strangest thing in the halls of Bayside!

8. Frank Benton

These two part Christmas episodes in the mall were amazing and Frank Benton was a big part of that. He was a homeless man who fainted and ended up in the hospital. The Morris’ took him and his daughter, Laura, in and showed the true Christmas spirit in helping their fellow man. He sings a rousing rendition of Silent Night as well.

7. Gem Diamond

The slickest of salesmen selling rings out of his briefcase to high school kids. Zack thinks he’s getting a deal until everyone’s fingers turn green and they want his head on a stick! Of course, Zack has a scheme to get the rings done the right way and this time he teaches Gem, a lesson he will NEVER forget! MA!!!! START THE CAR!!!!

6. Principal Stingwell

The hilarious Valley Principal Stingwell couldn’t be serious for one second and we absolutely loved it. He was all in on the prank war and clearly hadn’t grown up since his time in high school. Mr. Belding sat on a whoopie cushion in his office and opened a book that shot out confetti, “you haven’t changed Stinky!”

5. James “the actor”

Well, Mr. Stanley Alan Taylor (S.A.T.) how should we challenge Zack? Give him Noooooooooo homework! Allow his mind, to think, freely. Whether James was pretending to be from the S.A.T. board, Stansbury, or even Mr. Belding and Mr. Morris, it always hit home for me. Especially when his beard in the picture above was falling off and Mark-Paul broke character.

4. Chief Henry

Chief Henry helped Zack with his project looking into his ancestors for Miss Wentworth’s class. He also coined Zack’s track nickname, Running Zack. He taught Zack to be proud of his heritage, but knew how to hang ten and was a rabid Dodgers fan! Chief Henry was a special guest on the show and his passing in the episode left everyone shocked and saddened.

3. Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem, synonymous with music from hosting the American Top 40 from 1970 to his dying days. He brought credibility and class to the show early on when they were dancing to the Max and especially in the Rockumentary episode. Casey’s smooth delivery and iconic voice guide you throughout the Zack Attack’s journey and nobody else could have done the job better!

2. Jeff Hunter

The frat boy babe stealer that we all loved to hate, Jeff Hunter. A UCLA student, managing the gang’s hangout at the Max, woo’s Kelly for his own amusement. He doesn’t care about her as evidenced later on when he’s caught red-handed at the Attic dancing with another girl. Zack finding out and listening to Kelly break his heart may be the most memorable and toughest thing to watch in this entire series.

1. Johnny Dakota

Johnny Dakota, the movie star, comes to Bayside looking to film an anti-drug commercial and has everyone eating out the palm of his Hollywood hand. Zack becomes his good friend, Kelly is getting close with him, Lisa wants to marry him, and Slater just wants to come along for the glamorous ride. Johnny breaks all their trust by doing drugs at his Hollywood party and let all of us down, but it teaches us a lesson. Your heroes on the big screen may not always be all that you’ve built them up to be in your head. Zack and the gang quit the commercial and finish it with Brandon Tartikoff, there’s no hope with dope!

Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below

  • Who did we leave off our list that you feel should be on?
  • Which cast member is ranked too low or too high?
  • Could we have done other categories, if so, what would they have been?
  • Did we get some of our choices and rankings correct that you agree with?

Thank you for reading!

Avatar of Noah Gronniger
Noah, a sports fan since 1992, began his journey into sports media in 2012. He is co-founder of the Great American Sports Network as well as a podcast host, filmmaker and freelance writer.

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