Saved By the Bell wasn't TV's most, well, accurate depiction of high school romance, not even among other '90s teen shows, but it got a few things right. The dinner/movie dates, the thin-lipped kisses, and, perhaps most aptly, the penchant for one-off trysts. Not one-night stands, mind you - this show was much too wholesome for that - but courtships that sizzled brightly before cooling quickly.
Time and again, Zack, Slater, Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech made what seemed like a viable romantic connection at Bayside High School, only for that paramour to disappear entirely by the next episode. It's a curious phenomenon, and one that demands some kind of explanation. And since the show itself never gave us any answers, it's up to us loyal viewers to do it ourselves.
Episode: Season 4, Episode 9: "Fake IDs"
Love interest: Zack woos a USC student named Danielle, who thinks he's in college. To maintain the ruse, Zack tasks Screech with making them fake IDs so they can get into a dance club called The Attic. Zack's mom busts them in the end, but being a hip ex-hippie and all, doesn't blow her boy's cover.
What probably happened: No longer in possession of fake IDs, Zack is forced to admit his age to Danielle, hoping that their initial connection will be enough to justify their age difference. Instead, she buys him a 7-Up and teaches Zack about "statutory rape."
Episode: Season 4, Episode 24-25: "Home for Christmas"
Love interest: Laura, a homeless girl with whom Zack indulges his savior complex. After their meet cute in the mall, Zack falls in love and is almost immediately overwhelmed by how he's supposed to react to her homelessness. In the end, he and his mom invite Laura and her dad to live with them.
What probably happened: 17-year olds who literally just started dating probably weren't meant to live together. Laura and Zack were more than likely at each other's throats by the time her dad got a job and moved 'em outta there.
Episode: Season 3, Episode 6: "Blind Dates"
Love interest: Penny Belding, a vivacious young minx who's set up on a blind date with Zack. Zack, not wanting to miss Kelly's birthday party, slaps a blonde wig on Screech and has him go on the date. Luckily, Penny is smitten with this version of Zack and, at episode's end, takes him home for what sounds a lot like hardcore sex.
What probably happened: Screech's blonde wig fell off just as they were about to seal the deal, thus thoroughly creeping Penny out and sending our curly-headed hero out into the cold night, rumpled clothes covering his privates.
Episode: Season 4, Episode 23: "Cut Day"
Love interest: "PLASTIC FOAM CUPS!" So shrieks Graham, the insufferable granola baby with whom Jessie shares a mutual fury. They spend "cut day" together and, one can only assume, spend all their time talking about wood pulp and polypropylene.
What probably happened: Graham chained himself to a tree in protest and was promptly bulldozed. Jessie went back to Slater, because who wouldn't?