[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/recesskids_5652.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Yup... they're up to ''something''. Counter-clockwise from bottom right: T.J., Mikey, Vince, Gus, Gretchen, and Spinelli.]]

->''"Hey, watch it! I've got a [[BlackBeltInOrigami black belt in origami]]!"''
-->-- '''T.J.''', ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''

Recess was an American animated television series that was created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere (who worked on ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' until the show was originally supposed to end in 1994), and produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. It ran from September 13, 1997 to November 5, 2001 simultaneously on ABC (Saturday mornings) and UPN (Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons, beginning in 1999). Recess focused on six elementary school students and their interaction with other classmates and teachers. In many respects, it serves as an animated knock-off of prisoner-of-war movies such as ''Film/TheGreatEscape''... combined with a generally positive depiction of the elementary school experience.

The [[FiveManBand main characters]] were:
* [[TheLeader T.J.]] [[HighSchoolHustler Detweiler]], the leader of the gang and the one who comes up with the ZanyScheme.
* [[TheLancer Vince]] [[TheAce LaSalle]], the sportsman.
* [[TheSmartGuy Gretchen ]] [[ChildProdigy Grundler]], the group's genius who loves science, yet also kickball.
* [[EmbarrassingFirstName Ashley]] [[TheBigGuy Spinelli]], usually referred to by her last name, who was the "toughest kid in school".[[labelnote:*]]Also, since SheCleansUpNicely, counts as a CuteBruiser.[[/labelnote]]
* [[GentleGiant Mikey Blumberg]], the very tall yet [[TheHeart good-hearted]] poet.
* [[KidAppealCharacter Gus]] [[{{Adorkable}} Griswald]], [[SixthRanger the new kid]] at Third Street.

Many plots would deal with the kids' SeriousBusiness attitude about simple grade school life, mostly, among other aspects, [[TitleDrop recess]]. This includes having a designated 'King', nicknames for each other based on their main 'quality' (Swinger Girl, The Diggers, Pale Kids etc.) and the concept of popular fads quickly taking over playground demographics. The series was also well known for its large PeripheryDemographic, due to every episode having at least one ParentalBonus.

The series was notably the only show to premiere in the initial season of Disney's One Saturday Morning that would last the entirety of the block's run, going on well into the first two years of Creator/{{ABC}} Kids. It was also rerun the most out of all the shows on OneSaturdayMorning, pretty much being on all of Disney Channel's affiliates at one point or another. It was one of the few older shows to air on DisneyXD after ToonDisney shut down. Yes, it was ''that good'' folks.

In 2001, ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' was released in theaters to positive reception. Please put all tropes relating to the movie there. In 2003, the film (and the show itself) was followed up with a DirectToVideo sequel and finale, ''WesternAnimation/RecessTakingTheFifthGrade''.

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!! This animated series provides examples of:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:A-B]]
* AbsenteeActor: Gus wasn't in "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff", though he made his debut a few episodes prior. (He was edited into the picture book adaptation, though.) Although someone with a good eye can see that he's actually drawn in the background in a few shots, likely as an animation goof.
* AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil:
** Not exactly StudentCouncilPresident, but King Bob rules the playground with an iron fist.
** The Board of Education is also absurdly powerful, acting very much like the FBI or the CIA. It's often presented as something akin to SecretPolice.
* AccidentalMisnaming: In "Parents' Night", Spinelli's mom gets the names of the rest of the Recess Gang wrong- "Mickey, Vance, Greta, Rus, and B.J.". Later on, she calls Miss Grotke "Miss Gratke".
* TheAce: Vince.
** T.J. in the early episodes.
** The episode "Here Comes Mr. Perfect" introduces a new student named Jared. He comes up with better plans than T.J., he's stronger than Spinelli, a better poet than Mikey, smarter than Gretchen, has been to more schools than Gus, he's faster than Vince, can burp louder than Tubby so loud it shakes windows, and is a government agent. But it turns out he's a BrokenAce- He eventually explains that he doesn't have any friends, because people think he's a show-off or get jealous.
* AchillesInHisTent: In "Dodgeball City", Gus refuses to take sides in a dodgeball fight, despite being a dodgeball virtuoso at one of his older schools[[labelnote:*]]He was so feared, he got the nickname ''El Diablo''[[/labelnote]]. Upon seeing a younger student (a.k.a. a kindergarten kid who he was keeping an eye on) getting clobbered, however, he enters rage mode and proceeds to wipe out the opposing team single-handedly.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: T.J.; Gus.
* {{Adorkable}}: Gus, Gretchen, Mikey, Miss Grotke, and the Pale Kids. T.J. himself has his moments. And even, out of all characters, Spinelli when she devotes a cult revolving around Swinger Girl.
* AdultsAreUseless: Adults are often the antagonist, although they are mostly a recurring obstacle with some exceptions. When they aren't, they're worthless -- Ms. Finster doesn't seem to be interested in Gus being bullied ''every single day'' despite telling the bully not to do it again. Subverted in TheMovie, where all of the teachers show up to help fight the bad guy and his {{Mooks}}. There were some exceptions to this, notable the single-episode teachers Mr. E and Mr. Dude.
* AdultsDressedAsChildren: The episode "The Spy who Came into the Playground" involved said spy disguising as a 10-year-old to get into the school.
* AnAesop: Mostly in the earlier episodes, and then sometimes after the first season. Season six cranked them UpToEleven.
* AIIsACrapshoot: The SAL 3000 in "Schoolworld"
* AirVentPassageway: Very commonly used by the main six.
* AllInTheManual: Various additional information was given about the characters on the original page for the show on Disney's website (before taken down). Some info includes that:
** T.J.'s favorite food is "everything but the Tomato Surprise they serve in the Cafeteria!";
** MichaelJordan is Vince's idol;
** Spinelli's goal in life was to become an ace fighter pilot;
** Gretchen having a crush on "the whiz kid from ''Series/SmartGuy''";
** According to a few press releases/promotional material, Miss Grotke's first name is Alordayne. This isn't mentioned in the show itself, but it was in a few foreign dubs.
* AlliterativeName: Gus Griswold, Gretchen Grundler, Principal Peter Prickly (also his brother Paul Prickly), Ashley "Ashley A" Armbruster, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Thaddeus T. Third III]].
* AlmightyJanitor: Hank, who turns out to be a mathematics genius. He was once offered high-profile jobs by NASA and the military, but he'd rather be a janitor at the school.
* AlohaHawaii: The gang and Miss Finster are all sent to Hawaii for the ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' crossover.
* AlphaBitch: The Ashleys, with Ashley A. being the [[IncrediblyLamePun Alpha Ashley]].
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: One episode introduces a new kid who's better at everything than everybody else at Third Street. In the end it turns out [[MartyStu he's better at]] ''[[MartyStu literally]]'' [[MartyStu everything than everybody else in the]] ''[[MartyStu country,]]'' [[MartyStu and that the government has him on call.]] Interestingly, the episode deconstructs the concept of a MartyStu by making the perfect kid a nice guy who despises being the best because it inevitably makes everyone else hate him and means he can't aspire to anything.
* AnimationBump: TheMovie has better animation than the cartoon, but then again it had a ''much'' larger budget and didn't have the deadlines as the animated series has. You can spot some Animation Goofs in the series, such as Gus apparently showing up in a crowd before he actually transferred to school, and Gretchen vanishing in mid-air.
** Any episode by Grimsaem also falls into this trope. Out of all five animation studios working on the series [[note]]SunwooEntertainment, Creator/PlusOneAnimation, Creator/ToonCity, Anivision, and Grimsaem (The latter two are currently divisions of Sunwoo)[[/note]], their episodes were noticeably the most fluid and well animated. Most of their notable episodes were made during season one, such as the show's first episode. They also did the title sequence.
* AndTheRest: In "Lawson and his Crew" when King Bob is giving the gang medals and addressing them with nicknames that describe their defining traits, after giving Gretchen her medal and calling her Smart Girl, he gets to Gus and calls him Friend of Smart Girl.
* AnnoyingLaugh: The Ashleys have one that doubles as their EvilLaugh.
* AprilFoolsPlot: "The Big Prank" and its' sequel, "The Madness of King Bob", though they didn't take place on April Fools' Day. "The Big Prank" was about T.J. having to prank King Bob in order to become Prankster Prince, and the second episode was about King Bob trying to prank T.J. for revenge. Both episodes were often aired on ToonDisney on April Fools' Day.
* AreYouPonderingWhatImPondering: In "To Finster, With Love"
-->'''T.J.:''' Hey guys, are you thinking what I'm thinking?
-->'''Mikey:''' I don't know, I was thinking of getting more french fries.
* ArtEvolution:
** Originally, the main six characters were given more realistic designs. When the show premiered, they had a more "cutesy" design.
** In season three onwards, some episodes were made with digital coloring instead of the hand-painted cels. This was odd considering that it would go back and forth between digital and hand-painted, ending with "Bonkey Fever", the final episode to use digital coloring until the movie.
** And T.J. lost the slight puppy-dog sparkle in his eyes after season one. There wasn't much explanation why, but it could've been because he was the only character with it and it looked odd compared to the others. He was also a bit chubbier as well.
** Gus and T.J. are a bit taller in the later episodes, showing that the kids are getting a little older.
** The colors got a lot more vibrant in season two.
** SunwooEntertainment easily fell under this trope regarding the series. Their first episode, "Jinxed" was very off-model (As with the rest of their season one episodes). Their episodes from season three onwards (As they were absent during season two's production due to being busy with ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'') became more consistant, to the point where they were regarded as one of the best animation departments working on the show. Same with their job on ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' also stood out.
* ArtShift: One episode had the kids become part of a government experiment to see if getting rid of recess would improve standardized test scores. As everyone lost time to blow off steam, the color palate of the animation becomes more drab. At the end of the episode, the government [[StatusQuoIsGod allows the school to have recess again]], and everything becomes vibrant as the children play outside in the sun.
* AsHimself / TheCameo: Twice. The late Dick Clark in "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave", and Buzz Aldrin in "Space Cadet".
* AsleepInClass: Gretchen in "This Brain for Hire", after staying up all night doing everyone's homework, and T.J. in "Good Ole T.J.", after staying up all night trying to revise his and Gretchen's project to give her the A grade she deserved.
* AssumedWin: In "Principal For A Day." When the faculty draws a student's name out of a box to be principal for a day Randall stands up thinking he won (because he stuffed the box). The actual winner is TJ though only because the teachers rigged it so he would win.
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: After fearing that he's going to grow up to a giant height, Mikey has a nightmare where he's a giant destroying a city in "Big Ol' Mikey".
* TheBGrade: Gretchen gets her first A- in "The Dude":
-->'''Gretchen:''' A-? My life is flashing before my eyes!
* BackstabbingTheAlphaBitch: "Outcast Ashley"
* BadassAdorable: The main kids, especially in the movie, but mainly Spinelli (For already being a CuteBruiser), Gus (Thanks to his identity as ''El Diablo'' when it comes to dodgeball, and for being one of the cutest kids in the gang) and T.J. (For being the team leader).
* BadassCrew: The main six.
* BadassTeacher: Mr E. He's so awesome, no-one can even know what the E stands for. Also counts as a very SternTeacher. There were rumors going around with the kids that he physically tore down the Berlin Wall, and even made a kid repeat the fifth grade for stammering during a book report.
* BadBadActing: Whenever the kids have to act, it's usually very bad. This is mainly seen in "I Will Kick No More Forever".
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: The two main girls and Cornchip Girl: Gretchen (Brains), Cornchip Girl (Beauty), and Spinelli (Brawn).
* BeautyContest: The Ashleys enter Spinelli in the Little Miss Blush beauty pageant as a joke in "The Beauty Contest". [[spoiler:She wins]].
* BeefBandage: T.J. uses one on his black eye at the beginning of "The Shiner".
* BeYourself: Spinelli in "The Beauty Contest".
** Deconstructed in Randall's Friends, Randall's father tells him it's good that he spends his free time spying and tattling on the other kids rather than helping them, because that is being true to himself,
* BegoneBribe: In one episode, Mikey imagines himself as a bard/minstrel when he's older. He serenades a couple, making the lady swoon and prompting her date to pay him to move on.
* BerserkButton: The six main characters, except Vince, each have one.
** T.J.: Don't mess with recess.
** Spinelli: Never refer to her by her first name.
** Gretchen: Never suggest that she's dumb.
** Mikey: Don't mistake his kindness as a sign of weakness.
** Gus: Don't harm a little kid.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Mikey (the tall, fat kid who's into poetry and art) does have a nasty streak when provoked (as seen in the episode where he fakes a rumor stating that he beat up a boy and shoved him into the girls' bathroom, or the one where Mikey is picked to be a soccer goalie and his friends think he can't do it).
** Gus brutally knocked out an entire fifth grade class with dodgeballs on his own.
* BigBrotherBully: Cornchip Girl has one who isn't seen, but is mentioned in "The Break In", when she says that he calls her "some dumb kid".
** Becky is a mild, female example towards T.J.
* BigEater: Mikey; Kurst.
* BigGuyLittleGuy: Mikey and Gus.
* BigNo: In many episodes, though usually done as "No...no...NO!!!!!!"
** T.J. does one in "The Break In", where [[spoiler: he finally breaks himself out of detention only for the bell to ring less than a minute later]].
** Spinelli and TJ after they finished drawing straws knowing that they'll experiment a "kiss" in "The Experiment".
** Mikey has several, like the one delivered in "Prince Randal" after T.J. comes back as a victim of the "Dodge Ball Wall".
-->'''Mikey:'''NOOOOOOOOO! [[MoodWhiplash ...Hey, who's the really large Kindergartner with the football helmet?"]]
* [[BigDamnMovie Big Whomping Movie]]: The plot of the movie revolves around the kids and faculty uniting to stop a madman from plunging the Earth into an eternal winter and thus eliminating summer vacation. The series, meanwhile, focuses on mostly playground antics.
* BiggerOnTheInside: The Ashleys' Clubhouse.
* BirthdayEpisode: Two of these. "Randall's Friends" (Randall's birthday) and "Bonky Fever" (Mikey's birthday).
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Becky Benson from "A Science Fair to Remember"
* BittersweetEnding: The ending of "To Finster, With Love", Miss Finster and Hank break up, but they get back to all the work they had missed doing when they were together and bring the school back to order.
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The Glamor Puss Museum of Makeup, Wigs, and Pantyhose
* BlackAndNerdy: Vince's brother, much to Vince's surprise when he comes to terms with this.
* BlackBeadEyes: Gus, one of a few characters with this eye style. The only other characters with the eye style are Scribe Kid, Adam Able (One of the background characters), and Becky Benson.
* BlackBestFriend: Vince
* BlackComedyBurst: T.J.'s SanitySlippage in "The Box"; played for laughs.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead: The three main boys in the pilot: Mikey (Blonde), Vince (Brunette), and T.J. (Redhead). In the series proper, T.J. was given brown hair and Gus, a second blonde, was added.
** Also, Ashley A. (Blonde), Ashley B. and Ashley T. (Brunettes), and Ashley Q. (Redhead).
* BookDumb: T.J.. Spinelli can be this sometimes, depending on the episode.
* BookEnds: "Diggers Split Up" opened and ended with a shot of a butterfly flying across the playground.
* {{Bowdlerization}} and EditedForSyndication:
** The scene in "I Will Kick No More Forever" when Ashley Q. kicks the kickball all the way to Communist China was changed so that she kicked it in a nearby Dumpster (which was recycled footage from earlier when Vince kicked the ball all the way to the Dumpster) when it aired in some overseas versions (except for the U.S. and the U.K.).
** In "Parents' Night", when Spinelli's dad (her real father, not the biker she hired to be her dad) is showing the other five kids pictures of her as a baby, he says, "Look at her on the rug with her fanny in the air". The "fanny in the air" part was cut in the U.K. (as "fanny" in the U.K. does '''''NOT''''' mean someone's butt like it does in America) and when ABC reran the episode (but not when Toon Disney aired it) as it got complaints for being too sexually suggestive.
* BreakoutCharacter: Gus, who ended up being the most prominent on certain promotional materials and had the second most episodes centered on him. Mikey and Spinelli also became this overtime, as did the main three teachers (Especially Miss Finster and Principal Prickly).
* BreakTheCutie: Gus on multiple occasions, and T.J. in "Lost Leader"
* BreakTheHaughty: Vince in "I Will Kick No More Forever" and Ashley A. in "Outcast Ashley"
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Spinelli did this often when appearing in ''Recess'' promo spots on DisneyChannel.
* BrickJoke: When Spinelli calls Miss Grotke "Mama" by mistake the gang come up with several crazy schemes to help her out such as playing subliminal messages over the PA system. This is forgotten about until the end of the episode when Gretchen says "I wonder why the subliminal messages didn't work" and it cuts to Prickly and Miss Finster calling each other "Mama" and "Daddy" without thinking.
* BrieferThanTheyThink: The show ran for four years and six seasons (1997-2001), with two DirectToVideo movies in 2003. Because Disney never acknowledged the series ending, and due to them advertising the show after it ended as if it was still making new episodes, many people believed it ran longer.
* BrilliantButLazy: T.J. is an absolute genius when it comes to devising schemes on the playground. Though he's got a lazy side when it comes to schoolwork. Usually T.J.'s content with a C or D grade, though he ''can'' work hard when motivated (as in "Good Old T.J.").
* BrokenBird: Kurst the Worst may or may not fall under this trope: she's considered one of, if not the meanest girl at school, yet seems genuinely unhappy when people call her by her nickname and never seems to take that much pride in her mean acts, unlike most of the other bad kids at 3rd Street.
* BrokenGlassPenalty: At the beginning of "Principal for a Day", T.J. accidentally breaks the window to Principal Prickly's office after kicking a kickball too hard, and thus is sent to the office for punishment.
* BrokenSmile: T.J. wears one for most of "The Box" after going insane from the isolation of said punishment.
* BrokenStreak: Vince's winning streak in kickball is broken by Ashley Q. in "I Will Kick No More Forever".
* BubblePipe: Gus uses one of these in "Bachelor Gus"
* BubblegumPopping: In the opening, Gus blows a bubblegum bubble and it pops in his face. This also occurs in "King Gus". Heck, it's what sets the plot in motion for Mikey in "Bad Hair Day".
* TheBully: Lawson (And his gang), Gelman, and the "bad kids".
* BullyingADragon: Towards the end of "First Name Ashley", Randall starts taunting Spinelli. She quickly goes after him to his horror.
--> '''Randall:''' Hey, Ashley S! Where's your dolly?
-->'''Spinelli:''' I'll give you to the count of ten. One...two...ten! Come back here, you little worm!
* ButtMonkey: Gus
[[/folder]]

[[folder:C-D]]
* CabinFever: The kids get this in "Rainy Days" when they have to stay indoors for recess for a week due to rain.
* {{Calvinball}}: The ''{{Pokemon}}''-esque card game Ajimbo. Just how do you play it, anyway?
-->"''It doesn't make sense! Some of the rules are completely inconsistent!''"
* TheCameo
** PlutoThePup appears in T.J.'s nightmare in "Rainy Days"
** [[Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh Owl]] appears briefly in "Bachelor Gus". What makes it obvious that it's him is from his markings and design.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: In "Me No Know", Vince immediately gets caught by his parents and grounded when he lies to them and goes to see a movie that they forbade him from seeing...because his parents conveniently also decided to go to the movies at the exact moment that he walked out...and walked in on him quoting said movie to everyone in earshot.
* CassandraTruth
* CastOfSnowflakes: Most of the time.
** With the exception of the Diggers (who aren't even related) and a bunch of nameless background characters, all named characters have unique designs.
* CatapultNightmare: T.J. when he wakes up from his nightmare of the entire town flooding during a week of non-stop rain.
* TheCatCameBack: In "The Kid Came Back", the gang meet a younger boy on the playground who seems to cause bad luck to happen to the gang whenever he's around. Every time they try to abandon him, he comes back.
* CatchPhrase: Several.
** TJ has "Ten-der!"
** The Ashleys have a loud "[=SCANDALOUS=]!" said in unison, and their little brothers do the same with "[=NOTORIOUS=]!".
** Randall uses "moist", usually used after having creepily found something out about someone.
** Mr. "The Dude" Dudakoff apparently used to use "Sup-ple!" in much the same way TJ uses "Ten-der!"
** And of course, any variation of "this whomps!" is shared among the main six characters, mostly TJ and Vince since they invented the word.
* CentralTheme: ThePowerOfFriendship can accomplish more than what one can do alone, and to enjoy childhood while it lasts.
* ChainOfDeals: Mikey wanting to be a safety ranger.
* ChainedHeat: Gretchen puts handcuffs on her and Geoffrey, to make him second think about wanting to be "by her side forever", by draging him everywhere she goes, including her science club meetings after school and skipping lunch to perform science experiments.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo"
* ChaseScene: In "Operation Stuart"
* ChekhovsClassroom: Almost every lesson the kids learn in school is important to the rest of the episode.
* ChekhovsGun: Gretchen's voice-changing device first appears in "The Army Navy Game" and is later used twice in TheMovie.
* ChezRestaurant: The episode "Chez Vince", where it's revealed that Vince has a secret talent for cooking.
* ChristmasEpisode: "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave". Then it was released in a CompilationMovie released directly to DVD and video, ''Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street".
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome
** After "The Terrifying Tales of Recess" (the first episode of season six, and the stories in the episodes were non-cannon), Miss Grotke is completely AWOL for the rest of the series.
** There was another teacher's pet to be Randall's rival named Douglas. He only appeared once and was mentioned another time, however.
** The Tylers, the little brothers of the Ashleys, only appear in one episode and never show up in the series again. Same thing for their little sisters the Brittanys.
** Hustler Kid doesn't appear at all in season six.
* CityWithNoName: The name of the town the gang live in is ''never'' revealed.
* ClassTrip: In the episodes "Operation Field Trip" and "The Great State Fair".
* ClipShow:
** The Christmas special released on video. All but one of the episodes featured had nothing to do with Christmas at all, although one admittedly was about Thanksgiving.
** Same with "All Growed Down", except for the last segment, which was most likely an unaired episode.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Mikey and Miss Grotke have their moments. And Dottie who owns the "Yard of no return" everyone was afraid was a psychopath who kidnaps kids. Despite she actually was insane (She has conversations with her lawngnomes) she is completely harmless and very friendly.
* CodeName: The gang almost always use codenames during their schemes.
* CodeOfHonour: The Unwritten Kids' Code of Honour.
* ComedicUnderwearExposure:
** In one episode Mikey rips his pants while bending, and the others try to hide him from Miss Finster, knowing that she will take him into an office to sew his pants back together. They are afraid that the knowledge Miss Finster saw his underwear will cause the rest of the school to mercilessly tease Mikey. [[spoiler:In the end, T.J., Vince, and Gus decide to have their pants ripped as well. All four boys end up in their underwear while Miss Finster sews their pants. King Bob who understands what the other boys did for Mikey recognizes the selfless nature of it, and insists no one mock them for it]].
** T.J. himself is seen in his boxers in a few episodes.
* ComicBookAdaptation: A few comics based on the show appeared in ''DisneyAdventures'' from 1997 to 2001. "Gus's Journal" was later made into a digital comic on ABC's official website for the show, and "The Trouble with Shorts" was included as a digital and optional read-along comic (Narrated by AshleyJohnson, the voice of Gretchen) for the DVD release of ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''. One story, "The Long Hot Recess", from 1999, was loosely adapted into "The Coolest Heatwave Ever" for season five.
* ComicBookTime: Actually ''averted'', as it's been established that while the show aired from 1997 to 2001, the show is taking place over the course of Fall 1997 and Spring/Summer 1998 (with ''Taking the Fifth Grade'' taking place in Fall 1998)
* CompetenceZone: Kindergarteners are portrayed as wild savages, and adults frequently can't comprehend their children's problems.
* CompilationMovie: ''Recess: All Growed Down''. ''Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street'' could count too, but while Disney advertises it as a "movie", most ''Recess'' fans consider it a "special" and not in the movie count, while ''All Growed Down'' is the third movie.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Nicely [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] in "Good Ol' T.J." In the episode, Gretchen becomes frustrated with T.J.'s ability to charm his way out of any kind of punishment from teachers. It only gets worse when they're paired together for an assignment on ancient Mesopotamia. While Gretchen does a huge amount of research, T.J. goofs around and comes up with the idea to build a ziggurat out of sugar cubes and put an army man inside. Gretchen voices her complaints to her friends, and they tell her she's wrong about T.J., and should just relax and let him handle all the work. When the project goes bad, Miss Grotke gives them a "barely passing" grade; T.J.'s fine with it, but Gretchen is devastated. This is when the subversion comes in--T.J. realizes that Gretchen, unlike his other friends, cares a lot about academics, and that he was wrong to not take that into consideration. He stays up all night and puts together a new project, presenting in the next day with Gretchen's help. It's another sign that the main characters weren't just a group of friends--they had individual personalities, and sometimes, they were ''right'' to complain about each other.
* ConcertKiss: The episode "The Experiment" has T.J. and Spinelli kiss, [[TestKiss as an experiment]], in front of all their friends and all the kids in the playground, despite T.J. and Spinelli's request in not wanting to kiss in public in the first place, thanks to their friends inability to keep a secret about it.
* ContestWinnerCameo: Morgan, the kid who only appears in "The Rules", was actually a winner from a contest Disney and McDonalds sponsored in 1998 when the ''Recess'' toys were out, where the winner got to appear in animated form in an episode and also win a trip to Disneyland.
* ContinuityNod: Surprisingly, this happens frequently.
** In "Weekend at Muriel's", when the gang are explaining to Spinelli about how she gets through hard times, Gretchen brings up the time Spinelli called Miss Grotke "mama" in "Mama's Girl".
** In "No Strings Attached", Vince brings up Spinelli winning the beauty pageant in "The Beauty Contest", and then the Ashleys bring up the time they briefly befriended Gretchen in "Outcast Ashley" when she (pretends to) join their group.
* ContrivedCoincidence: All four main Ashleys have little sisters named Brittany and little brothers named Tyler.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: King Bob's version of capital punishment. ''"Let him feel the rubbery thunder of the Dodgeball Wall!"''
* CoolLoser: The Recess Gang subverts this at times. Most of the kids have ''reasons'' to be considered "losers": Gus is shy and somewhat dweeby, Gretchen is nerdy, Mikey can come across as too nice and an ExtremeDoormat, Spinelli is too aggressive to be friends with anyone, and while T.J. is considered the most popular kid in school (unless you're Gordy, who doesn't like him), he's also BookDumb (very much) and chubby, which most kids consider "loser" traits. Vince is the only one who doesn't have any loser-esque qualities. Despite this, they're the most popular kids on the playground.
* CoolTeacher:
** Franklin "The Dude" Dudikoff. Known as a legendary student of Third Street School who was the prankster prince, the king of the playground before he became a sixth grader, and an all around badass wanted to become a teacher because he thinks science is interesting.
** Miss Grotke's a pretty cool teacher herself.
* CourtroomEpisode: "The Trial", "The Story of Whomps", and "The Biggest Trouble Ever"
** Some sources claim that the show was created by Creator/KlaskyCsupo. Yes, the creators did work on ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', but no, it was not created by them.
* CreatorCameo: Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere appear in both "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff" and "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo".
* CreepyMonotone: All the students after being sucked into the Ajimbo craze in "The Game".
* {{Crossover}}: With ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'', where the cast had a somewhat clashing animation style and some different voice actors.
** The gang have also appeared on the OneSaturdayMorning set a few times as well.
** The 2001 opening for OneSaturdayMorning featured characters from the show as well as the characters of ''WesternAnimation/TeachersPet'', ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'', ''WesternAnimation/LloydInSpace'', as well as some live action kids. And being the most highest rated and popular show on the block, the gang appeared the most throughout the opening.
* CrowdChant: The opinion of the student body can sway violently, and at the drop of a hat, so this happens a lot.
** Multiple episodes: "T.J.! T.J.! T.J.!"
** "Jinxed": "FASTER! FASTER!"
*** "CANDY! CANDY! CANDY!"
*** "QUIET BOY! QUIET BOY!"
*** "JINXED BOY! JINXED BOY!"
** "The Pest": "GRETCHEN AND GEOFFREY SITTING IN A TREE, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"
** "The Trial": "SWIRLIE! SWIRLIE! SWIRLIE!"
** "Swing on Thru to the Other Side": "Swing! Swing! Swing!"
** "Operation Field Trip": "FIELD TRIP! FIELD TRIP!"
** "Pharaoh Bob": "No more mud! Pharaoh Bob's a dud!"
*** "No more work! Pharaoh Bob's a jerk!"
** "My Funny Valentines": "GET T.J.! GET T.J.! GET T.J.!"
*** "FLUSH THE BOYS! FLUSH THE BOYS!"
** When Mikey rips his pants, he also gets an earful; Vince, T.J., and Gus endure this when they join him in solidarity.
* CucumberFacial: The Ashleys have one in "First Name Ashley" while Spinelli gives them their sodas.
* {{Cult}}: Parodied in one episode when Spinelli devotes a cult to Swinger Girl after she thinks she swung on through to another dimension.
* CuteBookworm: Gretchen and the Library Kid
* CuteBruiser: Spinelli. And surprisingly, Cornchip Girl.
* DanceOfRomance: Miss Finster and Hank do this in the cafeteria in "To Finster With Love"
* DarkerAndEdgier: Season three and four had three episodes that crossed over into that territory- "The Barnaby Boys", "Prickly is Leaving" and "The Biggest Trouble Ever". ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' also qualifies. Also if you count the Halloween special (Which may be a homage to The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror") One of the three stories involves Mikey's Bike coming to life and stalking him, then all the other vehicles in the city, and no... it does not imply a happy ending.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Many characters get at least one episode centered on them. Let's see...
** The Ashleys: "First Name Ashley", "Jinxed", "Beauty Contest", "Outcast Ashley", "The Ratings Game", and "No Strings Attached";
** Guru Kid: "Don't Ask Me";
** The Diggers: "Diggers Split Up";
** Gordy: "Nobody Doesn't Like T.J.";
** Kurst the Worst: "Kurst the Not So Bad";
** Mundy: "Mundy, Mundy";
** The Kindergarteners: "Legend of The Big Kid", "Wild Child", and "Kindergarten Derby";
** Swinger Girl: "Swing on Thru to the Other Side";
** King Bob: "Pharaoh Bob", "Prince Randall", "The Big Prank", and "The Madness of King Bob";
** The Pale Kids: "Lord of the Nerds";
** Menlo: "Partners in Crime" and "Some Friend";
** Randall: "Randall's Reform", "The Trial", "Stand Up Randall", "Randall's Friends", "Partners in Crime", and "Prince Randall";
** Hustler Kid: "Huslter's Apprentice";
** Miss Finster: "To Finster with Love", "Weekend at Muriel's", and "The Fuss over Finster";
** Miss Grotke: "The Secret Life of Grotke";
** Lawson: "Fort Tender" and "Lawson and His Crew";
** Cornchip Girl: "The Army-Navy Game".
* DeadPetSketch: "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye"
* DeathIsASadThing: In "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye", when the kids have a funeral on the playground for Speedy, the class hamster, when he passed away during the weekend.
* DecidedByOneVote: Gretchen won the election against Vince this way; Vince was the last person to vote for her. Which, considering that it was stated that the class had an equal amount of boys and girls, would actually be winning by two votes.
* {{Delinquents}}: The "bad kids" - Kurst the Worst, Mundy, Skeens, Sue Bob Murphy, and Lazy Kid.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Chucko was only a major character for one episode, then he started to fade into the background until disappearing altogether.
** In ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'', Lawson only appears once to give a thumbs up (after being sprayed with silly string) to someone preparing to save T.J. with the other kids. He's still listed in the credits, however. He was probably going to have a bigger role, and then his scenes were cut. At least he had it better than Cornchip Girl or Swinger Girl, who don't show up ''at all'' in the movie.
** In ''Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade'', Miss Grotke only gets two lines in the entire movie and doesn't show up after that. Justified, as the main kids all moved up to fifth grade and weren't in her class anymore.
* DenserAndWackier: Inverted- season one was more fast-paced and cartoony compared to the rest of the show.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Prickly ranges from FriendlyEnemy to PunchclockVillain with a shade of CloudCuckoolander to (admittedly rarely) straight BigBad depending on the episode. Finster and Randall qualify to a lesser extent.
** Lawson also seems to alternate between FriendlyEnemy, TheRival, and just a straight up Jerkass.
* DerangedAnimation: Any episode by Creator/ToonCity.
* DetailHoggingCover: All of the show's VHS and DVD covers. It is from Creator/{{Disney}}, after all.
* DiggingToChina: The Diggers. Who ''actually do it'' once in "The Break-In".
* DisguisedInDrag: Menlo in "All The Principal's Men", and Gus in "Lost Leader".
* TheDitz: T.J. (especially in later seasons) and Lawson.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Thaddeus T. Third V (the grandson of the man who Third Street is named after) is always mistakenly called "Mr. Fifth", much to his chagrin.
* TheDocumentary: "Kids in the Mist", where a child psychologist films the kids.
* DodgeballIsHell
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In "Economics of Recess", the American Monsticker currency eventually gets overtaken by the [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld Japanese Lick-and-Stick Alien Stamp currency]].
* ADogAteMyHomework: The beginning of "This Brain for Hire", which involves Spinelli saying that her dog ate her homework, T.J. ripping up his homework with his mouth and ''then'' saying his dog ate it (he still had a scrap of paper on his lip, however), and Vince said that his brother ate it.
* DontAsk: About Mikey's [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Uncle]] [[{{Transsexual}} Mary]].
* DoorToDoorEpisode: "The Great Can Drive"
* {{Doppelganger}}: In an episode where the gang goes to a school for a kickball game (due to a bet of their principals as they're also brothers), the rival school is a near copy of the group's school with their opponents being copies of the gang themselves.
* DorkHorseCandidate: In "The Candidates", where Gretchen competes against Vince for fourth grade president. Gretchen wins by one vote. Unlike most other examples, Gretchen and Vince are actually really good friends.
* {{Double Entendre}}: Literally the entire episode of "All The Principle's Men" is one big sex pun. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lxnkKghmAU See for yourself]]. Warning, the puns start from 0:45 onward.
* TheDragon: While there is no real main antagonist to the series (since the role is often shared by Principal Prickly, Lawson, and Ms. Finster), there ''is'' an obvious dragon amongst several of them. TheDragon to Prickly is either Ms. Finster or Menlo, while Ms. Finster's dragon is Randall.
* DreadfulMusician: Spinelli, according to Mikey in "The Voice". Could also be an InformedFlaw, since in the episodes which show the gang singing, she's not really that bad.
* DrowningMySorrows: Vince does this with root beer and donuts in "I Will Kick No More Forever".
* DrunkWithPower: Gus in "King Gus" after becoming temporary king while King Bob is out with tonsilitis.
* DudeNotFunny: In-universe. The gang and Cornchip Girl react this way when Randall starts making mean jokes about Mikey.
* DumbBlonde: Mikey sometimes, though he's more naive than dumb. Gus also has his moments, but it's more out of naivety and gullibility than stupidity. And while T.J., who's a bit ditzy, is a brunette, some early drawings gave him blonde hair.
* DutchAngle: Used once in "The Legend of Big Kid" with the kindergarteners.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:E-F]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: Ashley T. appears briefly in the background at the beginning of "The New Kid" before being formally introduced with the rest of the Ashleys in "Jinxed".
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Season one might fall under this. Both Miss Finster and Principal Prickly were more sadistic, Miss Grotke wasn't as sympathetic, and everyone's voice was higher, as well as T.J. being played by a completely different kid. It was ''much'' more OffModel as well. Not to mention that the main six were more of anti-heroes, Vince was more of a SourSupporter, and the show was a bit more cartoony.
* EatTheCamera: Spinelli in "Mama's Girl", when the camera zooms into her mouth as she's screaming.
* [[EccentricTownsfolk Eccentric Students]]
* EdutainmentShow: Not ''really'', but with some morals given out at the end of some episodes, as well as various science/history facts usually given out by Gretchen, makes some airings give it an E/I (a notice put on free-to-air in the corner of the screen.
* ElaborateUniversityHigh: The playground has elements of this. It inlcludes a jungle gym, a kickball/baseball field, the blacktop, a wooded area, a handball wall, the Ashley's club house, a sandbox, and a basketball court. Larger and more busy than the average elementary school playground.
** There are also ''two'' jungle gyms. There is "Old Rusty" which is a sheltered design and a flat top design that King Bob has his throne on.
* EndingTheme: Usually, it's a shortened version of the theme song, though in "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave", the ending theme was a Jingle Bells re-endition by Mikey.
* [[HighSchoolHustler Elementary School Hustler]]: T.J. definitely has his moments, among them being able to provide a convincing forged prescription for ''chewing gum''. Hustler Kid is also a prime candidate, but mostly he just provides the goods while the main gang does the planning and executing, Although in ''First Name Ashley'' we see him selling phony documents and committing, what is essentially, multiple cases of identity fraud.
* EmbarrassingFirstName:
** ''Ashley'' Spinelli (see the entries for GirlPosse and IAmSpartacus below).
** ''Theodore'' Jasper Detweiler.
** The Hustler Kid's first name is ''Francis''.
** Conrad "Connie" Mundy
** ''Erwin'' Lawson
** ''Alordyne'' Grotke
* EmbarrassingMiddleName:
** Theodore ''Jasper'' Detweiler. No wonder he [[OnlyKnownByInitials goes by his initials]] T.J.
** Don't forget Ashley ''Funicello'' Spinelli.
* EmbarrassingOldPhoto: Spinelli's dad shows the gang some of Spinelli's embarrassing baby photos during parents' night at the school.
* EndangeredSouffle: In "Chez Vince"
* EnsembleCast: The creators wanted to make sure each member of the main six got equal screentime, so they could keep it from turning into "The T.J. Show", "The Gus Show", "The Spinelli Show", etc. Though being the leader of the gang, T.J. got the most episodes focused on him, and was the main protagonist for ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The opening theme tells us all we need to know about the main characters. Everyone looking at TJ, [[FaceNodAction who nods at them before they set off]]. Gus getting gum splattered over his face, tripping, and getting a ball stuck to his head. Vince kicking a ball up into the air. Spinelli threatening Randall for snitching. Gretchen working on an experiment. Mikey eating a whole sandwich in one gulp.
* EtTuBrute: Gretchen has this reaction in the "When Bikes Attack!" segment of "The Terrifying Tales of Recess" when her bike, Red Rocket, turns on her.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: There are some punishments that even Miss Finster thinks go too far, like in "The Biggest Trouble Ever" when the Mayor planned to separate the gang to six different schools.
** In "The Fuss Over Finster" T.J. calls all the kids out for taking advantage of the injured Miss Finster and they all feel bad, including Lawson.
** Randall Weemes was a snitch who rats on his fellow students for Mrs. Finster, however, the one group he isn't willing to snitch on are higher authority figures such as King Bob. This is also shown in the movie, when, after one of Phillium Benedict's followers tried to pin the blame on Benedict for everything and desperately bargaining that he'll "offer evidence for the state trial", Randall remarks in disgust "Jeez, what a squealer."
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Characters such as "Swinger Girl" or "Guru Kid".
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether: Well, ''obviously''. Less apparent, ''All Growed Down'' revealed Gus was at Third Street for a period of kindergarten as well (which was [[RetCon retconned]] in).
* EverythingsBetterWithChocolate: This is Gus's favorite food. Plus, in "Tattletale Heart", Mikey mentions that whenever he's nervous, he thinks of chocolate.
* EverythingsBetterWithPlushies: The main six all got stuffed dolls of them released towards the end of the '90s going into the early 2000s, at The Disney Store and Toys "R" Us. T.J., Gretchen, and Gus were released first, with Vince, Spinelli, and Mikey released later.
** Pamala Adlon, Spinelli's voice actress, mentioned how she couldn't believe that there was a Gus doll before Spinelli.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: The gang's favorite cartoon character, Beanie [=McChimp=]. He even has a video game, live-action series, and tie-in chewing gum, "Beanie [=McGum=]".
* EvilRedhead: Randall, Lawson, Gelman, Ashley Q., and Kurst the Worst.
* EvolvingCredits: A minor example. When the show began it's third season, "Created by Paul and Joe" was added to the bottom of the ''Recess'' logo at the beginning of the intro.
* {{Expy}}: Warner Bros. Animation's ''WesternAnimation/{{Detention}}''.
* FaceYourFears: T.J. is forced to do this to overcome the terror of the Box... which was just a white square drawn on the playground tarmac.
* FailOSuckyname: Lawson tends to do this. He renamed Fort Tender "Fort Fort" and his soccer team the "Winning Guys".
* FallingInLoveMontage: Miss Finster and Hank have one in "To Finster, With Love"
* FanDisservice:
** On the episode where Ms. Finster babysits Spinelli for the weekend, Ms. Finster arranges a luau after overhearing Spinelli talk about how boring Ms. Finster is outside of school, featuring the elderly and hunched Ms. Finster and the under-aged Spinelli in coconut bras and hula skirts. This is even lampshaded:
-->'''T.J.:''' ''(after watching them hula and is apparently grossed out)'' [[LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain ...Guys, we're never going to talk about this again.]]
** "The Big Prank" gives us a scene of chubby, under-aged T.J. in nothing but his boxers.
* FantasyTwist: The gang find a $100 bill and all fantasize about what they'll do with their share of the money. Each of their fantasies end with them owning and flying a jetpack, except even in his own fantasy Gus can't control his.
* FatAndSkinny: Jordan and Jerome, King Bob's lackeys.
** T.J. and Vince are often paired like this, same with Mikey and Gus.
** Also Miss Finster and Miss Grotke
* FelonyMisdemeanor: In "Me No Know", Vince ends up grounded for a week after he goes to see a popular new movie that his parents forbade him from seeing. They forbade him from seeing it because it's (gasp!) a brainless screwball comedy. For effect, the writers invent a fictional movie rating (NK-11, as in "'''N'''o '''K'''id Under '''11'''"), just so Vince is actually too young to see the movie.
* FellOffTheBackOfATruck: "Tofu Crunchy-Creams. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Fell off a truck in Jersey]]."
* FeudEpisode: Subverted in "The Break-up". The members of the gang are mad at T.J., but T.J. isn't mad at them back.
** "The A.V. Kid", between T.J. and Vince.
* FinalSeasonCasting: More like "Epilogue Direct-to-DVD casting". For the 2003 Direct-to-DVD finale, ''Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade'', Myles Jeffery replaced Andy Lawrence (who replaced Ross Malinger earlier on) as the voice of T.J., due to the latter's voice changing.
* FirstKiss: T.J. and Spinelli in "The Experiment", but [[TestKiss as an experiment.]]
* {{Flanderization}}: T.J.'s BookDumb side just got worse as the show went on.
* {{Flashback}}: In a number of episodes:
** "Teachers Lounge" has one to the gang in second grade, when Vince (almost) gets a chance to see inside the teachers lounge.
** "Outcast Ashley" has a flashback to when all the Ashleys met in preschool or kindergarten.
** "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" includes a flashback from "The Voice"
** "Kindergarten Derby": Mikey has a flashback to when he couldn't finish the kindergarten derby when he was a kindergartener.
** "The Big Prank" has a series of flashbacks to when King Bob was in first grade and the school's prankster prince.
* FlashbackCut: "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff" has one when T.J. has a flashback to how the gang first met in kindergarten.
* FluffyCloudHeaven: In "The Lost Ball" during a dream sequence.
* FoodAsBribe: In "Officer Mikey", Spinelli tries to bribe Brittney A. with candy so she can give back Ashley A.'s diary. It doesn't work.
** In "The C Note", after finding out that T.J. found a hundred-dollar bill (Which he was planning to return to the rightful owner), the Ashleys bribe T.J. with candy so he can ditch the Recess Gang and become their friend. It (almost) works.
* FoodFight: In "Tattletale Heart".
* ForbiddenFriendship: Gus and Cornchip Girl once had one.
* ForcedIntoTheirSundayBest: In "One Stayed Clean", the gang resent having to dress formal for picture day. T.J., Vince, Spinelli, and Gretchen in their picture day getup supply the page's image.
* ForcedToWatch: After the Ashleys make Spinelli join their clique after it's revealed that she herself is an Ashley, there's one instance where they tape her eyes open and force her to watch a ''MyLittlePony'' {{Expy}} called ''My Fuzzy Unicorn''.
* ForgedLetter: In "Omega Kids," T.J. and the gang are the only ones attending school for a number of days after the rest of the students fall ill from eating tuna fish tacos, which slowly starts to drive them crazy, to the point that Gus tries to pull a stunt by handing Miss Grotke a note, which T.J. snatches from him and reads for himself.
-->'''T.J.''': (Reading the note) "Dear Miss Grotke, please our son Gus from school, he is so sick he should probably stay home until all the other kids are better. Signed, '' 'My Mom' ''"?\\
Vince: That's pathetic.
* FountainOfYouth: Somewhat, one episode has Principal Prickly mentally regress into a nine year old.
* FourFingeredHands: Averted- everyone has five fingers.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: The main six: T.J. (''"sangoleric"''), Spinelli (choleric), Vince (''"melancholeric"''), Gretchen (melancholic), Gus (leuquine), and Mikey (sanguine).
* FreezeFrameBonus: In "Gus and Misdemeanors", one piece of graffiti on the side of the school says, "Geoffrey and Gretchen", refrencing back to "The Pest".
* FreudianSlip: In one episode, Spinelli accidentally called Ms. Grotke "Mama" when warning her about a mud puddle she was about to walk into, after secretly bonding with her.
* FriendlyEnemy: Randall, Menlo and Lawson can be this sometimes. Miss Finster mentions in one episode that just because she punishes T.J. doesn't mean she doesn't like him.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Averted in "Parents' Night"- Spinelli's parents ([[spoiler:the fake ones]]) ask Miss Grotke for "brews".
* FullNameUltimatum
** "Gustav Patton Griswald!"
** "Theresa Laverne [=LeMaize=]!"
* FunHatingConfiscatingAdult: Subverted when Gus kicks a ball into a yard near the playground where nobody had dared recover a ball from before (complete with a legend about a kid who disappeared after trying to do so). After actually trying, they find out that the owner's a CoolOldLady who lets them take the entire lawn-ful of balls that had built up over the years.
* FunPersonified: T.J.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:G-H]]
* GagHaircut: The entire basis of "Bad Hair Day" centered on T.J. and later Vince giving these to the kids.
* GagWords: "Whomp"
* GangOfBullies: Lawson and his gang consisting of Jocko, Chucko, Buster, Cheay, Koreo, and occasionally Gelman. In the first season Chucko was the leader of the gang before being DemotedToExtra.
** The Bad Kids: Kurst the Worst, Mundy, Skeens, Sue Bob Murphy, and Lazy Kid are also somewhat this, though they usually aren't very aggressive.
* GenkiGirl: Cindy (one of the kindergarteners), Library Kid, and at times, Miss Grotke.
* GenreBusting: Comedy/drama/prison escape/satire
* GenreThrowback: To prison escape movies of the 1960s/1970s.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The Halloween episode which is non-canon, does a parody of both Christine and Maximum Overdrive, adult horror novels. The episode is presented quite well in a very creepy atmosphere, while the ending shows everyone cramming into a bus (In a story where the vehicles come to life and are trying to kill everyone) the driverless bus drives off with everyone trapped inside. And just ends there. It never said what happened next, but it's obviously implied that everyone is going to be killed offscreen. This is a DISNEY cartoon right?
* TheGhost: Spinelli's older brothers, Joey and Vito. T.J.'s sister, Becky, was this until ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' when she finally made a physical appearance.
* GirlinessUpgrade: To an extent, Spinelli in the DisneyChannel promos for the show. The advertisements ''only'' included her, and she spoke like a borderline ValleyGirl. This happened to be around the same time Disney Channel was going through their own girliness upgrade.
* GirlsNeedRoleModels: Gretchen and Spinelli, the "smartest" and "toughest" girl in school, respectively. While they exel in traditionally male fields, such as science and wrestling, this isn't made a big deal of. They are valuable, complex characters in their own right, and neither of them really fit the "chick" role in the [[FiveManBand Six Man Band]].
* GirlsNightOutEpisode: "More Like Gretchen" puts the male members of the Recess Gang to the side and focuses on Gretchen and Spinelli.
* GirlPosse: The Ashleys.
* GoLookAtTheDistraction: In "The Madness of King Bob", T.J. tells Mikey that they're giving out free snacks in one area of the cafeteria, in order for him to get up from the lunch table and activate a prank the gang were going to pull on Randall.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: In the episode "The Box", T.J. is sent to the box (A punishment which is just a square painted on the blacktop), and being isolated, he begins to go insane.
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: The protagonists usually have wider and slightly larger eyes than the antagonists.
* GoodGuyBar: Kelso's is a G-rated version for the main six
* GoodWithNumbers: Hank the janitor, as revealed in "A Genius Among Us".
* GoshDangItToHeck: "What the hang?"
* GrandFinale: ''WesternAnimation/RecessTakingTheFifthGrade''
* GratuitousEnglish: Some of the foreign dubs leave the characters' catchphrases in English (But dubbed with their regular voice actor for the respective dubs)
* GreenRooming: After Menlo's first appearance in "Officer Mikey", he doesn't show up for the rest of the first season (Minus a few unnamed and unspeaking cameos). He doesn't appear again until "The Girl Was Trouble", and then becomes a recurring character for the rest of the show.
* GrowingUpSucks: The fear of growing up is a common one amongst the main six. This is mainly the subject of "The Legend of Big Kid" (With T.J.) and "Bonky Fever" (With Mikey).
* HappyDance: T.J. does this in "The Break In", "The Box", and "Bachelor Gus".
* HardWorkMontage: In "Good Ole T.J." when T.J. is pulling an all-nighter to revise his and Gretchen's project.
* HartmanHips: Flo Spinelli has these.
* {{Headdesk}}: Gus hits his head on a picnic table on the playground in "The New Kid".
* HeatWave: In "The Coolest Heatwave Ever"
* HeldGaze: T.J. and Spinelli have one right after kissing in "The Experiment"...[[{{Kissgusting}} until they realize how gross the kiss was]].
* HelpImStuck: Mikey in "The Terrifying Tales of Recess" when he gets stuck in the trapdoor.
* HereWeGoAgain: At the end of "The Game" and "Copycat Kid".
* [[HesGotAWeapon He's Got a Note!]]
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Split up with the gang:
** T.J. and Vince
** Spinelli and Gretchen
** Mikey and Gus
** Outside the gang, there's Sam and Dave (The Diggers)
* HeWhoMustNotBeSeen: Spinelli's older brothers, Joey and Vito.
* HiddenDepths: Gus, a.k.a. El Diablo.
* HippieParents: Mikey's parents
* HippieTeacher
** Ms. Grotke.
** Also, Prickly and Finster (and all the others) in the 1960s flashback in TheMovie.
* HollywoodHealing: In "Prince Randall", T.J. gets a black eye. The scene after he announces that he has a plan to get King Bob back to his position as king after Randall ursurps his position, his black eye is completely healed. This is a sharp contrast to "The Shiner", which aired almost a year earlier, where T.J. gets a black eye and has it over the course of a few days.
* HollywoodNerd: Gretchen and the Pale Kids (Miss Grotke is one to a certain extent, appearance-wise) are type 1, while Gus is type 2.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Hustler Kid
* HotTeacher
** Mr. Frank Dudikoff A.K.A The Dude. Duh!!
** Mr. E
** Miss Grotke, though she's more "cute" than "sexy".
* HowCanSantaDeliverAllThoseToys
* HuddleShot: In "The Trial" and "Principal for a Day"
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Non-romantic example: Spinelli and Mikey in "Dance Lessons" where they're paired up to dance together.
* HumanLadder: In "The New Kid"
* HyperDestructiveBouncingBall: Glorp (A substance similar to [[TheAbsentMindedProfessor Flubber]]), which Gretchen accidentally invented when she was trying to invent something to replace liquid soap. It could bounce to extremely high amounts, even with the slightest tap to it. In "I Will Kick No More Forever", the gang decide to mold the glorp into a kickball, so it will go high enough when Vince kicks it after losing his confidence. However, [[spoiler:After Vince kicked it (And gaining his confidence back), it was revealed that Gus lost the glorpball, and Vince kicked the ''real'' ball. But right as the gang begin celebrating, they wonder what happened to it. Cut to Miss Finster putting it in the ball shed, it dropping, causing her to get trapped in a ball storm]].
* HypnoFool: In one episode Principal Prickly thinks he's six years old.
* HypocriticalHumor: Used a lot. One example from "Soccer Boy":
-->'''Vince:''' If we lose, Lawson's going to make us look like dummies!\\
'''[[TheDitz T.J.:]]''' Ooh, don't wanna look like no dummies.
** From TheMovie:
** -->'''Randall:''' "Geez, what a squealer."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:I-J]]
* IAmSpartacus: Used twice for Spinelli. In one episode, the Ashleys find out what her first name is and makes her join them. Her friends get everyone to change their name to Ashley, even the boys. (They do forget that Ashley was originally a boy's name.) In another episode, Spinelli gets made fun of for accidentally calling a teacher "Mama". Her friends start calling the teacher "Mama" to take the heat off her.
* IfYouCanReadThis: Some of the graffiti on the side of the school in "Gus and Misdemeanors" reads "Geoffrey and Gretchen", a refrence to "The Pest".
* IHaveThisFriend: Gus says this when asking T.J. for advice after stealing gum for the "bad kids".
* IOweYouMyLife: "Copycat Kid" starts out as this kind of plot when Mikey thinks Vince saved his life, but it soon changes into more of an IJustWantToBeYou scenario.
* IResembleThatRemark: In "The Spy Who Came in from the Playground", after the gang get in trouble again:
-->'''Vince:''' It's all that jerk Randall's fault.
-->'''Spinelli:''' Yeah, he's always snooping around.
-->'''Randall:''' ''(popping out fron a nearby trash can)'' I am not!
* IWillPunishYourFriendForYourFailure: After the rest of the Recess Gang refuse to bow down to Randall during his brief tenure as prince of the playground, he sends T.J. to the dodgeball wall for extra punishement.
* IfIWereARichMan: After T.J. finds a hundred dollar bill on the ground, each member of the gang has a fantasy about what they would do with it. Each one involves a jetpack.
* ImagineSpot: In "Teachers Lounge", Gretchen, Spinelli, and Mikey have one on what the teachers do in the teachers' lounge.
** In "The C Note", each member of the gang has one about what they'd buy with the $100 bill they found, all of them including the character with the imagine spot riding a jetpack.
** In "Big Ol' Mikey", the gang have various imagine spots to see what it'd be like for [[ItMakesSenseInContext Mikey to grow up to giant size.]]
* ImGoingForACloserLook
* InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt: An interesting case. The show was going to always have "Disney's" in front of it's name. However, the creators instead wished for their names to be credited, as they told the executives at Walt Disney Television that Walt Disney didn't create the show (they don't believe in crediting people for work they didn't do). So official merchandise (and the show from season three onwards) has "Created by Paul and Joe" underneath the title logo.
** Though like ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' or ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'', the official copyrighted name is "Disney's Recess", as you can't put a copyright on "Recess".
* InMyLanguageThatSoundsLike: Spinelli literally means "spliffs" in Italian. And ''it wasn't changed'' in the Italian dub. Awkward moments with parents ensued.
* InformedAttribute: In the episode "Spinelli's Masterpiece", Ashley A. tells Ashley B. that Spinelli's drawing brings out the pink in her sweater. Ashley B.'s sweater is yellow.
* InformedObscenity: In one episode, T.J. is brought to court for use of his CatchPhrase "This whomps". The judge decided that "whomps" was not dirty in and of itself, and that only a dirty-minded person would think it was.
* InkSuitActor: This wasn't intended at all, but...saying Andy Lawrence looked like T.J. is like saying fish enjoy water.
** Also, Spinelli looks slightly like a nine-year-old Pamela Adlon.
** Possibly the straightest example would be Ms. Grotke, who looks almost exactly like Allyce Beasley (minus the glasses).
* InstrumentalThemeTune
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Spinelli, who's nine, and Miss Grotke, who's most likely in her early-to-mid 30s. She also has this with Miss Finster later on, who's implied to be in her sixties somewhere.
* {{Interquel}}: Aside from the kindergarten flashback, ''Recess: All Growed Down'' is one, taking place sometime during the series and before ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''.
* IrritationIsTheSincerestFormOfFlattery: Geoffrey to Gretchen.
* ItKindOfLooksLikeAFace: T.J. is granted a corn chip in the shape of Lincoln's head for a perceived act of heroism due to his shiner. He hallucinates that the chip is talking to him and Honest Abe is saying he should tell the truth about how he got his black eye.
* {{Jerkass}}: Randall, despite (or possibly in part due to) what some might see as his personal crowning moment of funny: the Mikey refrigerator spelling joke ("O-I-C-U-R-M-T"). And while he does a IJustWantToBeYou rant on T.J., he [[KickTheDog kicks the dog]] on him as well. Only this can come from Randall.
-->'''Randall:''' You're fat, you're ugly, you wear that stupid jacket, but everyone wants to play with you!
** Spinelli's mom has Jerkass moments; She's constantly trying to make Spinelli "more feminine", forces Spinelli to go to school when she's being bullied in "Mama's Girl" and she's outright mean to her in "More Like Gretchen".
** Dr. Slicer. Holy hell, Dr. Slicer...
* ItsTheOnlyWay: Ashley A.'s reason why she decided that Spinelli has to join the rest of the Ashleys and become like them, in fear that due to sharing the same name as them (And being completely different), she'll tarnish their name up into high school.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Miss Finster, the Ashleys, Menlo, and Randall
* JudgmentOfSolomon: Parodied in "King Gus", when two first graders are fighting over a doll. Gus suggests that they cut the doll in half as a solution. One girl says it's okay, and the other begins crying, saying she'd rather have the doll given to the first girl than see it be cut in half. Gus gave it to the first girl because of this.
* JumpOffABridgeRebuttal: Happens in "Me No Know" when Vince wants to see a movie his parents won't let himn see.
-->'''Vince:''' But every kid at school has seen it!
-->'''Vince's mom:''' If every kid at school jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?
-->'''Vince:''' If it was going to be the only thing they talked about the next day, yes!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:K-L]]
* KarmaHoudini: [[AlphaBitch Ashley A]] and her GirlPosse. They [[ManipulativeBastard exploit]] Gus's HonourBeforeReason approach by tricking him into a "jinx" such that he doesn't talk at all, [[ForTheEvulz just to toy with him for their own amusement]]. When Gus holds back from talking at all, even to the point where the school staff is threatening to take him to the police station over it, '''[[KickTheDog they STILL enjoy causing him to get into this kind of trouble]].''' Eventually it's announced that Gus was jinxed, and the main characters retaliate against the GirlPosse by tricking them into a jinx. However, the episode ends there, and if you just think about the logic of the episode, you will realize there's no way in the world that GirlPosse has the "honor" within them to obey said "jinx."
* KickMePrank: Former student and school legend Frank "The Dude" Dudicoff once stuck a sign on Miss Finster's back which read "Pony rides for $1.00". When he comes back as a student teacher, he does it again when no one's looking, this time reading, "Point at me and whisper!".
* KidsAreCruel: Averted completely with the main six, but sometimes the student body can show shades of this trope, such as in "Mama's Girl".
* KidCom
* KidDetective: Parodied when TJ and Vince become fans of a book series in "The Barnaby Boys" and have the gang go around snooping.
* KidsVersusAdults: In many episodes.
* {{Kissgusting}}: T.J. and Spinelli's reaction to kissing each other in "The Experiment". Though there are slight implications that they did enjoy it.
* KissingInATree: Inevitable, the show is about elementary school students.
** "The Pest" had "Gretchen and Geoffrey sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"
** A different version showed up in "The Principals of Golf" once Vince becomes Principal Prickly's golf partner- "Vince and Prickly standin' in the green, P-U-T-T-I-N-G!"
* KnightOfCerebus: Dr. Slicer from "Prickly is Leaving". As soon as he showed up, the overall mood of the episode shifted to DarkerAndEdgier territory.
* LameComeback: Randall when he tries to come up with a comeback to Spinelli in "Randall's Reform" but just gives up:
-->'''Spinelli:''' Forget it, Randall. We'd rather play with a flat ball instead of a slimeball.
-->'''Randall:''' Ooh, good one, Spinelli! Well, I'd rather play with the good ball than...a dumb...ugh.
* LargeHam:
** Mikey, through and through.
** King Bob
** Butch when he's telling his stories.
* LastDayToLive: The episode "Gus's Fortune"- Gus finds one of those paper fortune tellers, which tells him that he's going to die the next day. So Gus does everything he can to prevent his death.
* LastNameBasis:
** Spinelli, of course.
** And then there's Lawson, Skeens, Gelman, Kurst (the Worst), Mundy, etc.
** The evil Dr. Slicer.
* LateForSchool: Gretchen and T.J. at the beginning of "Good Ole' T.J.". Gretchen was only late for class, as she was busy doing something in the science room, but still recieved a tardy. T.J. was late but ended up [[TheCharmer charming his way out of getting a tardy]].
* LaughingMad: T.J. in "The Box" after going insane from being isolated in the titular punishment.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A few characters have one, notably Butch, the Ashleys, the Diggers, the kindergarteners, Cornchip Girl, Randall, Hustler Kid, and King Bob. T.J. originally had two leitmotifs- one played when he came up with an idea, and another played when once of his plans went into action. By the time the first season ended, only his second leitmotif was used. The rest of the gang had leitmotifs, but most of them didn't show up often, aside from Spinelli's.
* LetsMeetTheMeat: Discussed in "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo":
-->'''Mikey:''' I just don't get it! Why would the chicken want to make us think he tastes good? Doesn't he know what happens to tasty chickens?
-->'''Vince:''' It's just a commercial, Mikey.
-->'''Mikey:''' But it just doesn't make any sense!
* LetThereBeSnow
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: The gang agreed to this after seeing Spinelli and Miss Finster hula dancing.
* LittleProfessorDialog: All the kids in the show talk like 1980's businessmen.
* LimitedAnimation: A lot of the episodes by Creator/PlusOneAnimation were animated stiffly, and most scenes usually only had the characters heads and mouths moving, with the occasional arm raise.
* LimitedWardrobe: Even the fashion-conscious Ashleys rarely change clothes.
* LiveActionAdaptation: Rumors of one started appearing on the internet in 2006, though they were quickly debunked, as a live action adaptation was never planned to be (And isn't in the near future) developed.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: About 105 appeared in the series, and only a few are on the character page.
* LocalHangout: Kelso's starting from season three onwards.
* LockedInAFreezer: "No Strings Attatched" had this happen as the end result. When Spinelli was given tickets to a wrestling match by the bratty Ashley group, she and her friends were naturally suspicious, except for Mikey and Gus. After many attempts to learn what the trick was, Spinelli, T.J, Vince, and Gretchen finally broke into the Ashleys' clubhouse where they discovered that the tickets were genuine. Unfortunately, the clubhouse's security system locked down, resulting in them trapped while Gus and Mikey went to the fight.
* LongRunners: Averted, as the show had a normal run for a Disney cartoon (1997 to 2001 with 65 episodes and three movies), but Disney's refusal to stop rerunning the show (which they did end up doing in July 2010) made it seem like it ran longer.
* LookOnMyWorksYeMightyAndDespair: King Bob attempts to build a pyramid of mud. [[spoiler:It rains.]]
* LoudGulp: T.J. does one in "The Break In" after he has to stay inside for recess.
** Gus does one in "Jinxed" when he's in Principal Prickly's office, and he still can't talk because of the jinx the Ashleys put him under.
* LovableAlphaBitch: The Ashleys can be this at times, such as at the end of "The Great Can Drive" and "League of Randalls".
* LovingBully: Geoffrey towards Gretchen in "The Pest"
* LuminescentBlush: T.J. gets this for a split-second in "Some Friend" during Menlo's birthday party when Menlo's mom kisses him on the cheek.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:M-N]]
* MadnessMantra: In "The Box", T.J. singing ''This Old Man'' when he's in the box and repeatedly saying he'll be a good boy.
* MagicalNegro: In "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave", the black man who helps Mikey find his Christmas spirit is revealed in the ending to be Santa Claus.
* TheMall: The Townsedge Mall, which the gang visit in "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" and appears again in "Gus's Fortune"
* ManChild: Principal Prickly clearly went into the right line of work. He's an absolute kid at heart.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: TJ and Spinelli on occasion. TJ is characterized by loyalty and sensitivity while Spinelli is violent and aggressive. The most obvious example is during 'The Experiment' when they both say goodbye to their childhood: TJ gives his old cuddly toy a hug while Spinelli uses hers to trash the room.
* MedalsForEveryone: Unlike most examples, this happens at the ''beginning'' of an episode. At the start of "Lawson and His Crew", T.J. and the gang are all awarded medals from King Bob after they stop a plan for the school having to issue uniforms.
* {{Meganekko}}: Gretchen and Miss Grotke. Gus is a rare male example.
* TheMerch: T-shirts, coffee mugs, toys, backpacks, and various other pieces of merchandise. Most of it was only sold at The Disney Store.
* MilitaryBrat
** Gus, whose father is in the Army.
** One episode reveals that Theresa "Cornchip Girl" [[MeaningfulName LaMaize's]] father is in the Navy.
* MindRape: Being isolated in Miss Finster's "Box" caused T.J to snap and turn into a whimpering vegetable/obedient slave.
** Also Miss Finster's intentions when the entire school was kept inside during recess from the rain. She intended to turn the entire student body into her mindless zombie slaves through pure boredom. Butch even Lampshades this when the same situation happened before "They were called the Zombie Class of 89' they were mindless, they had no free will" (Miss Finster cuts in) "They were mine!" *Cue evil laugh*
* MisunderstoodLonerWithAHeartOfGold: Done ''quite'' a bit with:
** Principal Prickly.
** Muriel Finster.
** The old woman who lives next to the school.
** The Yo-Yo instructor.
** The Pale kids.
* MoeCouplet: Gus and Cornchip Girl.
* {{Montage}}: In many episodes
* MoralGuardians: Not in real life, but used as a plot point: the UnusualEuphemism described below is taken by some of the adults to be profanity, and things escalate until T.J. is in a courtroom defending himself. A good chunk of the trial goes along without anyone willing to utter the word in question... until T.J. finally does. Upon realizing this whole thing is over the word "whomps", the judge promptly laughs the MoralGuardians out of the courtroom for wasting his time.
** A real-life example: When the show was on the air, some parents complained that the show was portraying teachers as being bad. The creators responded with the fact that the adults are portrayed as antagonists to the point of view of the kids in the show. They're just doing their jobs.
* TheMovie: [[WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut One theatrical movie]] and three direct-to-video episode compilations with linking material, one of which was notably made from unaired episodes.
* TheMovingExperience: The episode "Bachelor Gus" has Gus getting afraid of having to move again after overhearing a conversation with his parents. It turns out they were only moving his bedroom to his dad's map room.
* MultipleDemographicAppeal: Children could identify with the show due to it being about elementary school life, and adults loved the historical and political refrences, as well as humor that not only would the kids laugh at it, the adults would, too.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Pretty much all the time, since recess for the kids is SeriousBusiness.
* MustacheVandalism: One episode has Principal Prickly do this to his own picture while subject to HypnoFool (and thinking he's an 8 year old child). At the end of the episode he gets distracted by it (thinking he looks pretty good with a goatee) and forgets to punish the cast.
* MyLifeFlashedBeforeMyEyes: Gretchen says this after recieving her first A- in "The Dude"
* MyLittlePony: in one episode, the tomboyish Spinelli being forced to watch "My Furry Unicorns".
* MythologyGag: There's a background character that pops up from time to time that slightly resembles T.J. in the unnaired pilot.
* NaiveNewcomer: Gus
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Inverted. "Anyone named Gustav is bound to be trouble."
** Played straight with "El Diablo". A kid notices Gus playing a guitar and tells TJ and the others to get the heck out since Gus was a one-man army in dodgeball in a previous school.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName
** Principal Slicer was a shockingly unsubtle example. There was even one part where Randall says he's going to have the jungle gym torn down and replaced with a guard tower. And that old cannon outside the school? He wants it ''to work.'' His resemblance to Heinrich Himmler doesn't help.
** The Fun Police in the episode "The Rules". In order for the old, previously lost rules of King Mortimer to be enforced, King Bob employed Fun Police, who even had red armbands with "Fun" on them. There were also higher-up ''Secret'' Fun Police.
* NephariousPharaoh: King Bob briefly becomes one of these in one episode, when he changes his title to Pharaoh Bob and makes the other kids work like slaves to build a mud-brick pyramid in his honor.
* NeverSayDie
** Averted twice in "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" when the deaths of St. Nicholas and Elvis are mentioned.
** Averted again in Taking the Fifth Grade in which Prickly saves T.J from falling off his roof and tells him he could have been killed by doing something so reckless.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] / mocked in "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye": The episode is about the death of the class' hamster; the word "death" is tossed around freely by the children, but Ms. Grotke always says it in a hushed whisper because she's afraid the kids couldn't handle the concept.
* NewTransferStudent: Gus again.
* NiceHat: T.J.'s famous red snapback, Spinelli's orange ski hat, and Lawson's blue cap.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Gretchen, for trying to calm an increasingly mysophobic Gus by saying that germs are everywhere (including on his skin).
* NightmareSequence: A few times.
** In "Rainy Days", T.J. has one about the never-ending rain during the week flooding the town.
** In "The Pest", Gretchen has one about being married to Jeffrey in the future.
** In "The Lost Ball", Gus has one about the fact that he accidentally lost one of the school's balls by kicking it over the fence being obstacles in his future.
** Vince has one in "Copycat Kid" about Mikey taking over his life after trying to become exactly like him.
** In "A Career to Remember", Spinelli has one about growing up without a job, and seeing her friends be very sucessful in life while she's homeless.
** Mikey has one in "Big Ol' Mikey", about him growing up to be a giant and destroying a city.
* TheNineties: While the show premiered in the nineties (1997 to be exact) and ended in 2001 (2003 counting the DTV movies), it's been established that the show only takes place from 1997 to 1998, even if the show is continuing into the next century.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Phillium Benedict was most likely named for former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett.
* NoirEpisode: "The Girl was Trouble". In fact, the French title for the episode was, "Black Series for the Girl in Blue". (The "blue" part referring to Gretchen's [[TrueBlueFemininity signature outfit]].)
* NoodleIncident: Twice, in the Christmas episode: "It's the Tooth Fairy incident all over again" and "Get me out of here! I don't want another Arbor Day incident!"
** Also in the episode "King Gus" they refer to an eggnog incident.
* NostalgiaFilter: In-universe example: Vince doesn't (At first) recognize his brother is a stereotypical nerd, only remembering how "cool" he was.
* NotMyLuckyDay: Gus, all the time. And the entire Recess Gang in "The Kid Came Back".
* NotSoDifferent: Mostly involving Principal Prickly, in a good way, though.
* NowWhichOneWasThatVoice: Only the cast for the main six and the three main teachers (most of the time -- the writers can't make up their minds on whether Miss Grotke's a main or supporting character) are credited for which character they played. Everyone else is listed as "additional voices", with only the names of the voice actors/actresses and not their characters. {{Averted}} with the movie.
* {{Novelization}}: "The New Kid", "The Experiment" and ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' all got novels based off of them, and "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff" was made into a picture book. "The Break In" and "The Box" also had novelizations as part of OneSaturdayMorning novelization compilation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:O-P]]
* ObjectCeilingCling: In "The Girl Was Trouble", Gretchen helps Mundy with trying to get paper towels to cling to the ceiling.
* OffModel: As a whole, the show was more inconsistant in season one. The first episodes animated by SunwooEntertainment (Such as "Jinxed" and "To Finster, With Love") and Creator/PlusOneAnimation (Such as "The Break-up" and "Mama's Girl") were very off model, but both of them improved afterwards. ToonCity, who began work on the show in 1999, was easily considered the worst department to work on the show, as all of their episodes were extremely inconsistant and had downright ugly animation. They didn't touch another episode after 2000.
** The animation qualities of each animation studio made it somewhat easy for certain fans to know who did what:
*** Grimsaem (A Sunwoo division; they did most of season one including the TitleSequence) was slick and consistent.
*** SunwooEntertainment (Did other episodes of season one, season three-onwards and ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'') was very off-model when they started out, but eventually became one of the best animation departments for the show (Especially seen in the movie).
*** Creator/PlusOneAnimation (All of season two (Sans "Dance Lessons"), other episodes onwards, and the DirectToVideo movies) had stiffer, more limited animation, and were prone to going off model a lot.
*** Creator/ToonCity (One episode ("Dance Lessons") of season two and other episodes afterward, only from 1999 to 2000) were extremely inconsistent and animated the show in a bouncy, fluid style which made the show look more deranged than usual.
*** Finally, Anivision (Another Sunwoo division) only did one episode ("Recess is Cancelled"), but was pretty consistent for the most part.
* OhTheHumanity: Mikey says this in "Rainy Days". The soundclip was later re-used for the dodgeball game on the ToonDisney website.
* OlderThanTheyLook: From one episode, "The Spy Who Came In From the Playground", James Stone, a boy who befriends the gang but is revealed to be a 42-year-old spy for the Board of Education who is bald and shaves.
* OneOfUs: In-Universe example: One episode has the kids discovering that Principal Prickly is a huge fan of the series' CaptainErsatz Franchise/{{Superman}}, Seņor Fusion.
* OneShotCharacter: There have been a number of kids who have appeared in one episode and no others:
** Johnny "Baby Tooth" V. ("That Stinking Feeling")
** Becky Benson ("A Science Fair to Remember")
** Jared Smith ("Here Comes Mr. Perfect")
** Brock the A.V. Kid and Lance the Pants ("The A.V. Kid")
** Yope Halberson ("Yope from Norway")
* OneSteveLimit: Averted with the Ashleys (and their brothers). (Spinelli shares their name, but doesn't want to be associated with them.)
** There are also two characters named Becky in the show: Becky Benson from "A Science Fair to Remember", and Becky Detweiler, T.J.'s older sister.
* OnionTears: Seen in "The Biggest Trouble Ever" when the gang have to peel onions in the school kitchen during their punishment.
* OnlyChildSyndrome: Mikey, Gus, and Gretchen are all only children. The other three have older siblings.
* OnlyKnownByInitials:
** T.J. (usually); also substitute teacher Mr. E.
** The Ashleys initialize their surnames: Ashley A., Ashley B., Ashley T., etc.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Several characters, to the point where even the teachers don't seem to know their real names.
* OnlyOneName: While most of the characters have first and last names, some characters lack a last name, such as King Bob, Francis (Hustler Kid), Butch, Jordan, Jerome, Sam, Dave, and almost all the kindergarteners (Sans the Brittneys).
* OnPatrolMontage: In "Lawson and his Crew", Lawson and his new crew have one of these.
* OnTheNext: Episodes from 1999 onwards had an "On the next episode of ''Recess''" voiceover playing over the credits, even if the next week's episode was a repeat. Once One Saturday Morning switched to ABC Kids, these voiceovers were dropped.
* OpeningShoutOut: In "Lawson and His Crew".
* OrbitalKiss: In "The Experiment".
* OriginsEpisode: ''Recess: All Growed Down''
* OrphanedPunchline: The ending of "Teachers' Lounge" had Principal Prickly delivering the punchline, "...and so I said, 'That's no kindergartner, that's my wife!'," to great reception among his peers. The second short of the episode, "Randall's Reform", has his opposite number, T.J., delivering the same punchline to his own peers and getting a similar reception. NotSoDifferent indeed.
* OutOfFocus:
** Aside from Gretchen, the other five members of the gang aren't in the spotlight in "The Girl was Trouble".
** "More Like Gretchen" focuses more on Spinelli and Gretchen than the rest of the main six.
** "Weekend at Muriel's" has Spinelli as the major focus, and the rest of the main six only appear in the begining and at the end of the episode.
** "Bad Hair Day" sends the two girls in the team to a science convention, causing them not to appear until the very end of the episode
** "League of Randalls" puts the main six out of focus, then brings them in briefly for their plan, then they're gone for the rest of the episode.
** This would end up happening to Miss Grotke in the later episodes
** While Vince appears in every episode, he has the least amount of focus out of all the main six characters.
* OutOfGenreExperience: "Schoolworld", which took on a sci-fi tone than the regular comedic tone.
* PantyShot: Subverted by Upside-Down Girl, who wears thigh-length leggings under her skirt as she hangs from the monkey bar.
** Played straight with the Library Kid- in her debut self-titled episode, when she's running around the playground, her panties can be briefly seen.
* PaperThinDisguise
* ParentalBonus: Many.
* ParentExMachina
* ParentsKnowTheirChildren: In "The Army-Navy Game", Gus and Cornchip Girl are found together by their dads; their laughter gives them away.
* ParodyEpisode: "Schoolworld", a parody of ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
* ParodySue: Jared in "Here Comes Mr. Perfect".
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: In "The Secret Life of Grotke"
* PasteEater: Discussed and parodied in "Outcast Ashley" when Gus tells the gang that Gretchen and Ashley A. were walking to school together. The rest of the gang don't believe him, and Vince tells him that eating paste is bad for him.
* PeripheryHatedom: In-universe example: Bonky the Dragon.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: "Whomp" (used in the same context as "stinks", "sucks", or "blows" to describe an unfair or unpleasant situation or person).
* PersonalitySwap: Briefly in "Copycat Kid". After Vince is fed up with Mikey acting and dressing exactly like him, he decides to show Mikey how stupid the idea was, by acting and dressing exactly like ''him''.
* PickedLast: Explored at least a couple times. Played with a bit by having the second-to-last pick actually be the worst sports player (e.g. a random kid with a broken leg and crutches, or [[AndZoidberg Gus]]), but the one picked last is being socially snubbed.
** "Partners in Crime" takes this trope to its logical extreme when neither Randall nor Menlo are picked '''at all''' for a game of tag.
* PictureDay: "One Stayed Clean"
* PieInTheFace: Gus gets pied in "The Madness of King Bob" (It was meant for T.J.) and ''not'' just on his face- all over his body, actually. The "Animation Camp" bonus feature on the DVD of ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' has a part where one of the show's artists teaches the audience how to animate a scene of Spinelli getting a pie in the face.
* {{Pilot}}: "The Break-In", which was made in 1996 to get the show on the air. It was re-made into the first episode in 1997, though changing the character designs from the pilot to the ones in the series proper.
* PlanetOfSteves: The four Ashleys ([[spoiler:five actually, Spinelli's first name is Ashley, too]]). And their little brothers are all named Tyler. Especially used in ''First Name Ashley'' where the whole ''playground'' changes its name to Ashley.
** In another episode, there are the Megans, a thinly veiled {{Expy}} of the Ashleys, whose catchphrase is "LUDICROUS!"
** The Ashleys also have little sisters named the Brittanys, who are all Kindergartners.
* PlaygroundSong: Being a show that takes place at an elementary school, expect these to pop up every now and again.
* PlayingSick: Used in "Omega Kids" where Gretchen looks up an illness to keep the gang out of school by drawing green dots on everyone with marker and having them lick blue lollypops so that their tounges looked blue. It worked ''too'' well, as Gretchen mixed up the colors and they ended up looking like they had an even more serious disease.
* PoliticiansKissBabies: Parodied in "The Candidates"- when Gretchen and Vince are running against each other for class president, they have to kiss the pets of the other students, including ''fish''.
* PositiveDiscrimination: Subverted in "The Candidates". Spinelli tries to use girl power to get Gretchen votes, but Gretchen says herself that being a girl is immaterial to being president. In the end, Gretchen wins partly because of the girl vote, but also [[DecidedByOneVote because Vince voted for her]].
* PottyDance: Mikey, after T.J. makes him drink water from a hosepipe.
* PowderKegCrowd: The student body will go crazy over nothing.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Subverted.
** Though it's most often played straight.
* PracticeKiss: "The Experiment"
* PrecociousCrush: The episode "The Voice" when Mikey develops a crush on the middle school's music teacher, Miss Salamone.
* {{Prequel}}: ''Recess: All Growed Down''
* PreviouslyOn: Used in "The Madness of King Bob"
* ProducePelting: Randall is hit with the rest of the student body's lunch contents in "Stand Up Randall" after he tattles on another kid at the beginning.
* ProtestSong: In "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff", the kids (And later their parents and some of the teachers) sing "We Shall Not Be Moved" on Old Rusty to prevent it from being torn down. The song was later included on the audio cassette, ''The Music of OneSaturdayMorning'' along with the show's theme song.
* PunishmentBox: it's just a square drawn on the playground floor. T.J. at first laughs it off, but eventually it breaks him.
* PunnyName: Guy [=McMahon=], the representative of Kiddie Cosmetics.
* PuttingOnTheReich: The anti-germ movement in "Germ Warfare". Seriously, the banners and the speech are almost identical to the Nuremberg rallies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Q-S]]
* TheQuietOne: Ashley T. hardly has any solo speaking lines.
* RashomonStyle: In "The Trial", where the kids hold a trial to see if Spinelli was guilty of throwing a rock at Randall during a dirt clod war. Randall claimed that Spinelli was ruthlessly attacking all the kids in the dirt clod war and then threw a rock at him, and Mikey claimed that Spinelli was looking out for the good of the rest of the kids when Randall hit her during a "time out" when she was making sure someone was okay, causing her to throw a rock at him in anger. After persuasion from T.J., Spinelli tells her story: [[spoiler:She was about to throw a dirt clod at Randall, until she heard a cat from up in a tree and rescued it. It turns out that it was Miss Finster's cat, and Finster complimented her for finding her cat]]. Randall then adds that [[spoiler:he threw the rock at his head all along out of jealousy that Finster complimented Spinelli]].
* ReadingForeignSignsOutLoud: Used on the German version, ''Grosse Pause'' (Big Recess), at least.
* ReadingIsCoolAesop: "The Library Kid."
* RealAfterAll: Santa in the Christmas episode
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Principal Prickly
* RecycledTheSeries: For some reason, in Spanish-speaking countries, the show is called (translated from Spanish): ''[[MarketBasedTitle Recess: The Animated Series]]''. No, really.
* RedHeadedHero: Gretchen. T.J. almost became this, as he had red hair in the pilot, but became a brunette in the series proper.
* RedOniBlueOni: Split into three groups of two with the main characters.
** T.J. and Vince.
** Mikey and Gus.
** Spinelli and Gretchen.
** If we talk teachers, then its Ms. Finster and Ms. Grotke.
** In their fifteen minutes of fame, the diggers were shown to be this, though it never really came up before or since.
** TJ and Lawson as well. They even have the clashing hats.
* ReferenceOverdosed: Very. But mainly on the ParentalBonus scale.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation: Premiered during the last few years of the age.
* RepurposedPopSong: A re-written version of "Respect" was played in a 1997 ABC advertisement for the series, changing the chorus to "R-E-C-E-S-S" and the rest of the lyrics to be about the show.
* {{Retraux}}: To an extent, the show's art style is reminiscent of HannaBarbera cartoons of the '70s and '80s (Specifically, the more action/adventure based ones).
* ReunionShow:
** The ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' crossover. By that point, ''Recess'' had ended its run and the cast had come back to reprise their roles... at least most of them. T.J., Mikey, and Gus were all replaced.
** ''LloydInSpace'', which was made by the same creators, counts in a way. Pretty much every voice actor from ''Recess'' came to do voices on the show, including Ross Malinger, who only played T.J. for season one and two episodes of season two.
* RichBitch: The Ashleys have a dose of this.
* RoboCam: Parodied in "Gus's Last Stand", where Gelman is looking for Gus through this trope.
* RogerRabbitEffect: In the 2001 opening for OneSaturdayMorning, the gang (And characters from other OSM shows) appear in a live action park with some live-action kids.
* RousingSpeech: T.J. has one in almost every episode.
* RunningGag: Gus always needed to go to the bathroom at the absolute worst time.
* SadistTeacher:
** Implied to be Ms. Finster, although she's only seen grading in ''one'' episode; she mostly seems to just be in charge of Recess. The DTV "epilogue", ''Taking The Fifth Grade'', shows her to be the fifth grade teacher, something never hinted at anywhere in the rest of the series.
** [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Dr. Slicer]] is definetly this, put emphasis on the sadist part.
* SameClothesDifferentYear: Usually any flashback of the gang (Not counting kindergarten) will have them wearing their outfit in the series proper.
* SaturdayMorningCartoon: Seasons one to three, and then five, airing on ABC's OneSaturdayMorning. Season four (Produced at the same time as season three) and season six (Which consisted of leftover episodes that hadn't aired yet) aired on weekday afternoons on UPN and in synidication for Disney's One Too.
* SayMyName: "DETWEILER!!!!"
** "MISS FINSTER!!!"
* SchoolPlay: The Holiday pageant in the Christmas special.
* ScienceFair: The premise of "A Science Fair to Remember". It establishes that everyone except Gretchen only does volcano models. However, Gretchen's project ended up being stollen by Becky Benson, resulting in Gretchen being automatically disqualified.
* TheScottishTrope: El Diablo. *Whip cracks*
* ScoutOut: The Woodchuck Scouts
* SecondEpisodeIntroduction: Well, episode one [[TwoShorts part B]]. Gus makes his first appearance in "The New Kid", as well as Miss Grotke. Though for the former, it was his WelcomeEpisode as he had just moved to town.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: The "C Note" episode.
* SelfDeprecation: In "First name Ashley", Ashley A. despairs that she'll probably date guys named [[CreatorCameo Paul and Joe]] in high school.
* SelfParody: The theme song gets this treatment in "Lawson and His Crew" where Lawson's gang takes the place of T.J.'s gang
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: With the four male main characters, each role is shared by two of them.
** Sensitive Guys: Mikey and Gus.
** Manly Men: TJ and Vince. (Though T.J. is the sensitive guy to Vince's manly man)
* SeriesContinuityError:
** Cornchip Girl could be in [[VagueAge either 1st or 2nd grade]], but in "One Stayed Clean" she's nowhere to be seen when those grades are getting their picture taken and she seems to be in kindergarten since she spends most of her screentime with them, even though other episodes have shown that all kindergartners dress and act like savages and she's never been shown in kindergarten before.
** Gus is shown to be a new kid in school in grade 4, yet ''All Growed Down'' shows him in Kindergarten. ''The Great Jungle Gym Standoff'' also apparently takes place before Gus transferred to school yet he appears in a few shots (probably an animation goof -- happens all the time). They explain Gus being the new kid again in fourth grade by the very canon fact he transferred many times over the past four years. The fact that he went to 3rd Street for a few days then transferred out fits his backstory well. Nobody (except Finster) remembered him because everybody who would actually have a reason to remember him was too young to remember. His friends think Gus made the whole thing up mostly because he helps over half of them become who they are today.
** And on a similar note, despite that it was established that Old Rusty had fallen down and replaced with what T.J. christened "New Rusty", the jungle gym is still referred to as "Old Rusty".
** Menlo is revealed to have been T.J's best friend in the past, except for some reason another episode shows him speaking about him like he just heard about him.
** ''The Great Can Drive'' episode shows The Ashleys being in a separate class from Mikey and the gang, yet other episodes show all four being in Ms. Grotke's class.
* SeriesFauxnale: "Lawson and his Crew" was intended to be the final episode to air on TV, and TheMovie was supposed to be the true finale. However, the show was so popular that it was renewed for another season [[note]]which was actually made up of unfinished episodes in between seasons three and five[[/note]]...[[ScrewedByTheNetwork and, thanks to Disney's sixty-five episode limit, didn't last long]]. There were the DTV movies, however [[labelnote:*]] which were ''also'' made from unfinished episodes[[/labelnote]].
* SeriousBusiness: Recess itself is like this, as is everything else -- and who honestly didn't have ''this'' happen when they went to elementary school? The Monstickers and Ajimbo game especially take the cake.
** In "Spinelli's Masterpiece", when Spinelli creates an elaborate work of art with colored chalk on the blacktop, the gang are so impressed with her creation that they do everything they can to prevent anyone else from destroying her creation, bringing all the other kids up to the jungle gym for the best vantage point to see her drawing, even convincing Miss Finster and Principal Prickly that the drawing must be preserved. Subverted at the end when Spinelli scoffs, "It's just a stupid chalk drawing."
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness: Gretchen
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Johnny V. was this for Spinelli in "That Stinking Feeling". Due to him not appearing after the episode, it's pretty much confirmed that he only existed as a temporary love interest.
* ShaggyDogStory: "The Break In". The gang go to drastic measures trying to get T.J. out of detention. As soon as they get all the other kids to help them and their plan is almost a sucess...[[spoiler:T.J. breaks himself out. This is even taken UpToEleven when he breaks out ''at the very end of recess'']].
** "Officer Mikey": The gang go through a huge ChainOfDeals to get Brad to make Mikey a safety ranger...[[spoiler:which he gives up by the end of the episode]].
* SharedUniverse: With ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'', ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'', ''WesternAnimation/TheProudFamily'', and ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''. The universe is known as the Franchise/DisneyChannelAnimatedUniverse, and ''Recess'' is currently the only show from OneSaturdayMorning in the universe.
* ShoutOut:
** Ashley Spinelli's last name is a reference to ''Literature/ManiacMagee'' novelist Jerry Spinelli.
** Mikey's last name, Blumberg, is named after Barry Blumberg, a producer at Disney Television Animation who convinced the company to give the series the greenlight. Not to mention, he also appears to have a [[Literature/TheDarkIsRising Great Uncle Merry]].
** Ever notice that Upside-Down Girl looks and dresses an awful lot like a [[WesternAnimation/HeyArnold certain someone]]? She even has the same voice actress, who plays several characters on the show, but specifically uses her Helga voice for Upside-Down Girl.
** Also, King Bob may be a reference to another character from ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'': Big Bob Pataki, The Beeper King. They have similar appearances: unibrow, dark hair, perpetual scowl, and are both bossy and don't like being distracted from whatever has their attention.
** The "Terrifying Tales of Recess" segment with Mikey's living bike starts out as a parody of Stephen King's ''Literature/{{Christine}}'' and later when the other kids' bikes come to life it turns into a parody of ''Film/MaximumOverdrive''.
** The series is literally littered with shout outs to ''Series/HogansHeroes'', but one episode takes the cake with a senior citizen that TJ is visiting recalling the POW camp he was in during the war to be filled with [[{{Expy}} Expies]] of the cast of ''Hogan's Heroes''. The flashback ends with the Kommandant yelling, "ROOOOOGAN!"
*** Matter of fact, this entire series is pretty much an {{Expy}} of ''Hogan's Heroes'': T.J. and the gang are expies of Hogan and his men; Principal Prickley is an expy of Kommandant Klink; Miss Finster is a more competent expy of Sergeant Schultz; in fact, the Third Street School playground looks almost like a compound of a prison camp.
** One of the Ashleys in particular looks like [[Film/{{Heathers}} Heather Duke]].
** Vince's nightmare about turning into a geek in "Big Brother Chad" is a parody of the opening of ''AGoofyMovie'', with Max's nightmare about turning into {{Goofy}}.
** Principal Prickly's secretary is named Ms. [[HerculePoirot Lemon]].
** The prequel-movie ''All Growed Down'' is named after the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' movie ''All Growed Up'' and, as one may expect from the name, has an inverted premise. All Growed Up was a sort of look-ahead to the future of the ''Rugrats'' characters' lives, while All Growed Down shows us the ''Recess'' gang when they were in kindergarten. The main difference is that ''Rugrats'' turned it into a full spinoff, while ''Recess'' did not. This is also funny when you remember that the creators of ''Recess'' worked on ''Rugrats'' before the show was supposed to end in 1994.
** Ashley A. owns a HelloKitty lunchbox.
** They make several references to ''Series/DiffrentStrokes'', specifically the famous line "What you talkin' bout, Willis?"
** SAL 3000 is, [[StockShoutOut unsurprisingly]], a parody of HAL 9000 and ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
** Hank the AlmightyJanitor, who solves complicated math questions left on the chalkboard, is a shout-out to the film ''GoodWillHunting''.
** Spinelli's {{Amazingly Embarrassing Parents}}, Bob and Flo, might be named after Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, who played the parents on ''{{The Brady Bunch}}''.
** Doubling as GettingCrapPastTheRadar, Mikey mentions that he has a "Great-Uncle Mary" - just like the three main characters in [[TheDarkIsRising over sea under stone]].
** In "The Story of the Whomp", Miss Grotke is seen reading "[[Literature/HarryPotter Hillary Poffer]]" (complete with matching font), though it looks disguised as a romance novel.
* ShownTheirWork: In the episode where Prickly is hypnotized into thinking he's 6 years old, when the kids tell him he's not really a child and has to go back to being a grown-up he gets upset, climbs up Old Rusty and strips down to his underwear for seemingly no reason. It's typical for 6-year-olds to take off their clothes when upset.
* ShowWithinAShow: Beanie [=McChimp=] and Senor Fusion.
* SimilarSquad: The Principal's brother runs a school with characters who are counterparts of the regular gang. There's only one DistaffCounterpart: T.J.'s opposite is a girl named C.J. For the rest of the gang, their counterparts are all [[PaletteSwap race swaps]] (or almost all, depending on [[AmbiguouslyBrown what you consider Spinelli]]).
* SitcomArchNemesis: Lawson, to both TJ and Vince. He is often [[InformedAbility described]] as the arch-rival of TJ, but he doesn't really seem to single him out; however, we frequently see him butting heads specifically with Vince.
* SitcomCharacterArchetypes: With the Recess Gang:
** '''The Wisecraker:''' T.J.
** '''The Bully:''' Spinelli
** '''The Charmer:''' Vince
** '''The Square:''' Gus
** '''The Dork:''' Gretchen
** '''The Goofball:''' Mikey
* SittingOnTheRoof: Spinelli goes on the roof of the school in "Parents Night" after her parents embarass her in front of her friends.
* SixStudentClique
** The Main Character: [[BigManOnCampus TJ]].
** The Muscle: Vince.
** The Quirk: [[ButtMonkey Gus]].
** The Pretty One: Mikey (gender flip).
** The Smart One: Gretchen.
** The Wild One: Spinelli.
* [[FiveTokenBand Six-Token Band]]: The Recess Gang, though not as huge as other examples. We have T.J. (White, chubby, and AmbiguouslyJewish), Vince (Black), Spinelli (Italian), Gretchen (White, wears glasses), Mikey (White, overweight), and Gus (White, wears glasses).
* SixtyFiveEpisodeCartoon: Thanks to Disney's episode limit. Though if counting the three episodes of ''WesternAnimation/RecessTakingTheFifthGrade'' and the origin story in ''Recess: All Growed Down'', the episode total is brought up to 69.
* SkywardScream: In various episodes, at least one or two members of the gang will do this, screaming, "No..no...NO!!!"
** T.J. in "Economics of Recess": "I'm BUSTED!!!"
* SliceOfLife: In some of the episodes, usually when there's no huge scheme to be pulled off.
* SlowNo: T.J. at the beginning of "Bad Hair Day" when Captain Sticky is about to pop Mikey's bubblegum bubble.
* SnowballFight: At the end of "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave"
* SoapboxSadie: Miss Grotke in some of her lessons.
* SomebodyDoesntLoveRaymond: One episode has T.J. trying to get a black kid named Gordon to like him, only to learn by the episode's end that he can't force anybody to like him.
* SophisticatedAsHell: King Bob
* SoUnfunnyItsFunny: Some of the jokes from the joke book Randall tells in "Stand Up Randall" come off as this.
** Almost everything Lawson says
* SpaghettiKiss: Parodied with Mikey and Kurst the Worst in "Kurst the Not So Bad"
* SpeakingLikeTotallyTeen: In "Kids in the Mist", Dr. Quilty tries talking like this to the kids in an effort to "communicate" with them.
* SpecialEditionTitle: In "Lawson and His Crew", when the show returned from the commercial break, a different version of the theme was shown- this time replacing the Recess Gang with Lawson and his crew. The theme song is also shortened for time (Though ABC did briefly use a shortened version of the theme to play when the show returned from a commercial break, which they did for the other shows on the OneSaturdayMorning block as well if running a TwoShorts format).
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Gus's last name is sometimes spelled as "Griswold", in the episodes "The New Kid", "Gus's Last Stand", and "Gus's Fortune". The official spelling is Griswald, as seen on official merchandise.
** T.J.'s last name is spelt "Detweiler", though some sites spell it as "Detwhiler"
** Menlo's name has been spelt as "Menlow" at times.
** Miss Grotke has about five spellings of her last name.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', which the creators worked on before it was cancelled in 1994 (Though it was UnCancelled shortly before ''Recess'' premiered).
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Fillmore}}'' could also be considered one, as it's another Disney show where everything in school is SeriousBusiness and MundaneMadeAwesome. Spinelli even makes a cameo in one episode. Even further, it actually replaced the timeslot for ''Recess'' on ABC Kids, though both shows were in repeats by then.
** Also ''WesternAnimation/LloydInSpace'', which was made by the same creators and features almost all of the same voice actors. Most notably is Lloyd, who shares the same voice as Gus (Courtland Mead).
** The show's been considered one to ''{{Peanuts}}'', ever since it started airing.
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Shows up in "The Challenge"
* SplitScreenReaction: The gang have this in "Lawson and His Crew". This is notably the only time in the series where this trope occurs.
* [[spoiler:SpyCouple]]: [[spoiler:Spinelli's parents]].
* StarCrossedLovers: Gus and Corn Chip Girl.
* StealthPun: From Spinelli when she's suddenly wracked with guilt: "Man, I feel like a [[{{Heel}} bad-guy wrestler]]."
* StockAudioClip: The Ashleys' catchphrase, "Scandalous!", as well as Gus's scream.
* StockSoundEffects: The school bell (Already a stock sound effect on its' own), which is used at the beginning of the theme song and in almost every episode ("The Story of Whomps" uses a different bell sound effect, though).
* StopCopyingMe: Mikey does it to Vince in "Copycat Kid"
* StrongFamilyResemblance: T.J. looks like his mom, Vince looks like his dad, Spinelli doesn't really look like any of her parents but looks a bit more like her mom, Gretchen looks like both of her parents, Mikey looks like his mom (and has the same hair color as his dad), Gus looks like a smaller, less rugged version of his dad (and has his mom's eyes and glasses), the Ashleys all look like their moms, and Hustler Kid looks like his dad.
** Randall looks like a minature version of his father, only with more hair (and no pencil mustache).
* StuffedIntoATrashcan: Gelman does this to Gus in "Gus's Last Stand"
* SwappedRoles: Mikey and Vince in "Copycat Kid". At first it's Mikey copying Vince because he wants to be more like him, while Vince copies Mikey to show him how stupid he's being.
* {{Swirlie}}: Spinelli almost gets one in "The Trial". [[spoiler:Randall gets it in the end]]
* SwivelChairAntics: When T.J. wins the "Principal for a Day" drawing and first sits down in Principal Prickly's chair:
-->'''T.J.:''' Wow, this is one big chair.\\
'''Prickly:''' Yes it is. And it takes a big man to fill it.\\
'''T.J.:''' ''(immediately starts spinning)'' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint WOOHOOOOOO!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:T-U]]
* TakeThat: "The Beauty Contest" to child beauty pageants.
* TheTalk: In "Dance Lessons", we see Miss Grotke finish up a lesson on [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar sex]] (which Gordy asked her about). Granted, we don't hear the actual discussion (thanks to the TV-G rating), but... yeah.
* TeachersOutOfSchool:
** One episode involved Spinelli having to stay over at Ms. Finster's house for the weekend, discovering Finster was a close friend of her grandmother.
** Another episode had the main six follow Ms. Grotke after school and discovered she had a secret double life performing.
** The movie ''Recess: School's Out'' showed that the teachers were just as pleased to have summer vacation as the kids were. Principal Prickly stated his intention to spend summer on a golf course, and at the same time T.J. expressed interest in TPing the exact same golf course.
* The Team
** TJ: TheLeader
** Vince: TheLancer
** Gretchen: [[TheSmartGuy The Smart Girl]]
** Spinelli: [[TheBigGuy The Big Girl]] (While physically the smallest, she is the toughest, strongest and the best fighter).
** Mikey: TheHeart
** Gus: KidAppealCharacter
** In "Lawson and His Crew", Lawson consciously mirrors these roles by gathering Kurst, Menlo, Randall, Skeens and Swinger Girl together under his leadership.
* TeamHandStack: The Ashleys do this right after meeting each other as preschoolers as seen in a flashback in "Outcast Ashley".
* TenMinuteRetirement: T.J. in "[[SeriesFinale Lost Leader]]", giving up his position of team leader...and literaly ten minutes, as it was part B to the TwoShorts format of the episode.
* TertiarySexualCharacteristics: The show subverts the usual cartoony way of giving all the girls eyelashes and none of the boys- neither are drawn with them. Though most of the girls of the show are drawn with fuller lips than the male characters, with the exceptions of Cornchip Girl, and actually, any female character under nine.
** The only characters with eyelashes, actually, are Miss Grotke, Becky, and the main sixs' moms. They probably wear mascara.
* TestKiss: The whole plot of the episode "The Experiment".
* TheTheTitle: About 75% of the episodes are named like this.
* TieInNovel: Tie-in novels of "The New Kid", "The Experiment", and ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut'' were made during the show's run. Novelized versions of "The Break In" and "The Box" were included in OneSaturdayMorning compilation novels, which also included ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn''.
* TitleDrop: In a few episodes:
** "The New Kid"
-->'''King Bob:''' From this day forward, Gus Griswald will only be known as the New Kid! The New Kid and nothing else!
** "Jinxed"
-->'''T.J.:''' Now here this! Gus Griswald has been jinxed!
** "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye"
-->'''T.J.:''' ''(Burying Speedy)'' Speedy, we hardly knew ye.
** "I Will Kick No More Forever"
-->'''Vince:''' As of this day, I'm retiring from kickball! I will kick no more forever!
** "The Box"
-->'''Miss Finster:''' Punishment has a new name, and it's name is- The Box!
** "Mama's Girl" has the student body calling Spinelli the titular name for the entire episode.
** "Operation Field Trip"
-->'''Miss Finster:''' Operation field trip is a go- let's move, move, move!
* ThanksgivingEpisode: "The Great Can Drive"
* ThemeTuneExtended: There's a slightly longer version of the theme song than the one used in the show. It's never been released on an official soundtrack, but it's availiblle as sheet music. It's also played in ''WesternAnimation/RecessSchoolsOut''
* ThirdPersonPerson: The kindergarteners often speak like this
* ThoseTwoGuys: The Diggers (Sam and Dave), as well as King Bob's right hand men, Jerome and Jordan.
* ThoseWackyNazis
-->'''Digger Dave:''' Me, bossy? I'm not bossy! Am I bossy?\\
'''Spinelli:''' [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Jawohl, mein Kommandant]].
* ThrowingOutTheScript: Invoked. Mikey starts overly structuring his life and loses his knack for poetry. So his friends write on his schedule to tear up the horrible bit he had written to be performed (though not in those words). And in his anxiety, he starts winging it, winning the competition.
* TitleThemeDrop: During the climax of the series pilot, "The Break In".
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Spinelli and Gretchen without a doubt. You just got to look at 'em.
* TomboyishName: Subverted.
* ToothStrip: The characters are usually drawn with this trope in effect, the only exceptions being when a character is making a more exaggerated facial expression.
* TotallyRadical
** Miss Grotke is prone to this.
** Sometimes the kids might talk like this, but very rarely, and it depended on the writer.
** One background character in particular is like this. He has blue hair and wears sunglasses 24/7. Any time he speaks, he says something akin to this.
* TrainingMontage: Gretchen learning how to yo-yo
* TrueCompanions: The main six.
* TruthInTelevision: Probably what made the made the humor in the series resonate so well with [[PeripheryDemographic different age groups.]] The "unwritten code" [[note]]Don't be a snitch[[/note]], kids speculating what the teacher's lounge is like, claiming different areas of the playground as clubhouses, having to dress up ridiculously nice for Picture Day, and the SeriousBusiness of kickball? All common things of Elementary School.
* {{Tuckerization}}
** T.J.'s original name, P.J., stood for the first initials of the creators, Paul (Germain) and Joe (Ansolabehere). Before animation was done on the pilot, his name was changed for unknown reasons.
** Mikey's last name, Blumberg, comes from Barry Blumberg, a producer at Walt Disney Television who convinced the executives to give the show the greenlight.
** In a fantasy sequence in "The Lost Ball", Paul Germain's son, Thomas Germain, was mentioned.
** One of the science teachers in the show is named Mr. Germain.
** In "The Challenge", the landscaping crew that came to the school was "Paul & Joe's Landscaping".
** "Paul and Joe" are once referenced as undesirable names.
* TunnelKing: The Diggers
* TwoGirlsToATeam: Gretchen and Spinelli are the only girls in the main six.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The earlier episodes came off as this at times, but for the most part, it was downplayed. The creators didn't want the show to be dated, which is why the kids aren't drawn with "cool" hairstyles or clothes. Though the only real dated aspects are technology refernces.
* UnnamedParent: All the parents of the kids, sans Spinelli's parents (Bob and Flo).
* TheUnsmile: T.J. gets one several times in "The Box"
* UnusualEuphemism:
** "This whomps!"
** As well as "froopin'", but not as often.
** And "What the hang?"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:V-W]]
* VacationEpisode: The ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' crossover, where the gang go to Hawaii.
* ValentinesDayEpisodes: "That Stinking Feeling" and "My Funny Valentines" (Both were paired up together)
* VerbedTitle: "Jinxed"
* VertigoShot: On Gretchen in "The Girl Was Trouble" when she finds out that she needs to talk to Kurst the Worst in order to get her Galileo computer back.
* VerySpecialEpisode: "Bonky Fever", about [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Mikey's addiction to the children's character, Bonky the Dragon]] [[labelnote:*]] he's worried about getting older and he thinks that acting like a little kid will stop him from growing up[[/labelnote]]. It plays out ''very'' much like a drug addiction episode.
** "Gus and Misdemeanors", which centered on Gus having to steal candy from Kelso's store for Mundy and his gang, and is wracked with guilt.
* VignetteEpisode: The Halloween special.
* VillainTeamUp: Lawson, Skeens, Menlo, Randall, and Kurst the Worst in "Lawson and his Crew" (Not counting [[TokenGoodTeammate Swinger Girl]])
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Mundy in "Mundy, Mundy" after he inadvertently saves a kindergartener from getting hit by a ball.
* VocalEvolution: Because the kids in the show are all voiced by real kids, their voices ended up getting lower throught the show's run. Vince's voice broke half-way through the first season, Mikey's voice got a little lower in season five (and then completely broke in the 2003 DTV movies), Gus, Randall, and Digger Dave all had lower voices in the DTV movies, and Digger Sam's voice broke in the DTV movie ''Taking the Fifth Grade'' (due to this, we never hear him speak in ''All Growed Down''). It was lampshaded at the end of the movie:
-->'''Digger Sam:''': My voice! What happened to my voice?
** Gus also had a slight lisp in some of the early episodes, as Courtland Mead had one at the time.
** Averted with T.J., unlike the other male characters. Because the creators wanted his voice to always sound cute and youthful, he was replaced three times.
** Miss Finster was less sinister sounding in the early episodes of season one.
** When T.J.'s mom first appeared in "Parents Night", she had a higher voice (Similar to the one April Winchell uses for [[WesternAnimation/GoofTroop Peg Pete]] or [[WesternAnimation/PepperAnn Lydia Pearson]]). For the rest of the series (And movies), April Winchell used her natural voice for her.
* WackyHomeroom
* WalkThroughTheCamera: Mikey in "The Voice" when he's trying to show the rest of the gang that Miss Salamone, the music teacher he developed a crush on, liked him back. [[spoiler:He comes in as soon as she accepts her fiance's proposal.]]
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: In "The Box", when T.J. is going insane after being sent to the said punishement (a square drawn on the blacktop), he imagines it going underground and having the walls begin to close in on him.
* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: One episode had the kids build a cool fort to hang out in, only to have it promptly stolen from them by bullies. After spending the whole episode trying to win it back, afterwards they realize that it was more fun trying to take back the fort than actually hanging out in it. They promptly call up the bullies to try and take it back from them.
* WelcomeEpisode: "The New Kid", for Gus, and as a rare example, aired as episode 1B (first episode; second story after the commercial break).
* WeUsedToBeFriends: [[spoiler:T.J. and Menlo]]
* WhamEpisode: "The Biggest Trouble Ever", where the gang accidentally breaks a priceless statue and become town scapegoats, to the point where the SmugSnake of a Mayor plans to break them up and send them to six different schools. Sure, you know it'll be resolved and [[StatusQuoIsGod nothing will change]], but it's easily the most dramatic story ''Recess'' ever did.
* WhamLine: From "Parents' Night"
-->'''Flo Spinelli:''' ...And ''you'' must be [[AccidentalMisnaming B.J.]]- [[spoiler:he's the one our little honey-bunny [Spinelli] has [[ShipTease the crush on!]]]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Johnny V. is never seen again after the events of "That Stinking Feeling". Neither is Becky Benson from "A Science Fair to Remember", nor is Lance the Pants from "The A.V. Kid". Most of the one-shot kids usually move away after their debut, but it's unknown what happened to these three.
* WhenItRainsItPours: In "Rainy Days".
* WhipPan: In the theme song, where it whip pans from T.J. playing cards with a few background students to Randall writing something in his notebook.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: Subverted.
* [[WhyAreYouNotMySon Why Are You Not My Daughter?]]: "More Like Gretchen"
* [[WideEyesAndShrunkenIrises Wide Eyes And Shrunken Pupils]]: This is how the characters are usually drawn when they're scared or shocked.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Gus in "King Gus" and "Hustler's Apprentice", and TJ in "Principal For A Day" and "Economics Of Recess". And "Pharaoh Bob" to an extent but he already had great power, he just overdid the ego.
* WolverinePublicity: Being the highest rated and most popular show on OneSaturdayMorning (And Disney's One Too), T.J. and the gang were always front and center and the most prominant on every advertisement, print or on TV, for the blocks. To the point where it continued even after ''Recess'' had aired its' final episode.
** Spinelli and Gus got this type of publicity during ''Recess'' promos on ToonDisney, overshadowing Mikey, Vince, Gretchen, and even T.J.. Though this is somewhat justified as Spinelli and Gus were only second behind T.J. as the most popular and iconic characters of the series (The three were the most prominant on every promotional item released since the 1990s), and it woudld've been too difficult for T.J. to get new dialogue written for the promos due to Andrew Lawrence's voice breaking (And possibly Myles Jeffrey's depending on when they were recorded), and it was easier with Gus and Spinelli because Courtland Mead's voice hadn't had broke yet for Gus, and Pamela Adlon was already an adult when she began voicing Spinelli so her voice would never have broken. Once Courtland Mead's voice broke, Spinelli took front-and-center on almost every promo for the show until ToonDisney's demise in 2009.
* WrenchWench: Spinelli and Gretchen.
* WrongGenreSavvy: "No Strings Attached". Basically, the Ashleys give Spinelli six tickets to a wrestling match. [[AlphaBitch Knowing what the Ashleys are like]], Spinelli and the others become suspicious, and when Mikey and Gus decide that the tickets are real, the rest of the gang dismiss the idea as naīve. By the time they find out that Mikey and Gus were right all along, they end up locked inside the Ashley's clubhouse....
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Y-Z]]
* YesVirginia: The title of the ChristmasEpisode (which sort of gives away the plot twist) is "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave".
* YouAreFat: Randall says this to T.J. in his IJustWantToBeYou (and borderline TheReasonYouSuckSpeech) rant.
* YouAreGrounded: Vince towards the end of "Me No Know" after seeing a movie his parents forbid him from seeing.
* YouAreTooLate: By the time the gang arrived in the cafeteria to break T.J. out of detention in "The Break In", [[spoiler:T.J. broke himself out, and shortly after, recess ended]].
* YouMeddlingKids: In the Barnaby boys episode, the janitor that the gang follows turns out to be a criminal and responds with "I would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids" after Spinelli shows up with the police.
* YouWontLikeHowITaste: "Me taste bad! Yucky poo-poo!"
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Happened in one episode. Turned out Stuart was a Stella.
* ZanyScheme: T.J. and the gang pull one off in almost every episode.
* ZettaiRyouiki: The Ashleys. Not something one would expect elementary school kids to wear, [[RichBitch but then...]]
[[/folder]]

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