Characters: Recess

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Theodore Jasper "T.J." Detweiler

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Ross Malinger (Season one and first two episodes of season two), Andrew Lawrence (Season two to the end of the series), Myles Jeffrey (Direct-to-video movies), Axel Alba (Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover), Randy Crenshaw (Singing (Credits of movie only), Kouki Uchiyama (Japanese dub, though Wasabi Mizuta voiced him in the first few episodes)

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Just about everyone on the playground (except Gordy) loves him.
  • Accidental Hero: In the episode "The Shiner", T.J. gets a black eye and everyone thinks he did a heroic act to get it. However, he told everyone at the end of the episode why he got it, and that he was too embarrassed to tell: His parents put him in a youth group, and they had a square-dancing class, and during that, a girl accidentally punched him in the eye
  • The Ace: In the early season one episodes
  • Acrofatic: He's a more subtle example. While he's not "huge", he's definitely chubby, yet can pull off some awesome stunts.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Which is why he's adored in Japan.
  • Adorkable: While not as much as Gretchen or Gus, his optimistic nature mixed with his ditzy moments and sweetness comes out as this. And in kindergarten, he was a Shrinking Violet.
  • The All-American Boy
  • All-Loving Hero
  • Ambiguously Jewish: TJ has a nebbish father and an overprotective mother, and once played "Harvey Hanukkah" in the school holiday pageant.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: In Becky's eyes.
  • Art Evolution: In season one, he was a lot chubbier (and more so in the more Off Model episodes of the season) and had highlights in his eyes, which were gone by season two for unknown reasons (either because he was the only character that had them and it looked weird, or because the artists forgot to draw them 50% of the time anyway so they were removed)
    • In later episodes, he looks a bit different. He's taller, not as chubby, and his eyes are bigger.
  • Badass Adorable
  • Badbutt
  • Badass Normal
  • Berserk Button: Four words: Don't. Mess. With. Recess.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Gus (Despite being the same age)
  • Big Eater: While it isn't shown on-screen, "The Great State Fair" and "Omega Kids" hints that he can be one, and this was also hinted in some print material.
  • Big Fun: He's not "huge", but he's a bit plump. As for "fun", you'd best believe it
  • Big Man on Campus: Oh, yes. He's cool, street-smart, somewhat athletic, and rather cute.
  • Book Dumb: He got a C- on a book report because he used the book's cover blurb, thinks "spy" is spelled S-P-I, gets a 10.1% on a test, however, on the playground, he can pull of elaborate schemes (literally) under his hat.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens after seeing one of his plans go wrong, hurting Gus in the process in "Lost Leader"
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: While he is somewhat ditzy, ignorant, and lazy, he's a genius when it comes to pulling schemes on the playground.
  • The Cassandra: In the movie. He tries to tell his friends something weird is happening at their school, but they just think he missed them.
  • Cat Smile: In "Bad Hair Day" after giving Mikey a haircut.
  • Catchphrase: "Ten-der!", as well as any use of the word "whomp" (meaning, "to be unfair" [used in the context of ""This stinks" or "This sucks"])
  • The Charmer
  • Cheerful Child
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Break In", "The Experiment", "The Legend of Big Kid", "The Box", "The Break-up", "The Substitute", "Economics of Recess", "The Story of Whomps", "Bad Hair Day", "Principal for a Day", "Space Cadet", "The Shiner", "Lord of the Nerds", "My Funny Valentines", "The Barnaby Boys", "The First Picture Show", "The Big Prank", "The Madness of King Bob", "Nobody Doesn't Like T.J.", "The A.V. Kid", "Good Ole T.J.", and "Lost Leader".
  • Deadpan Snarker: At times. This is more evident in the earlier episodes.
  • Determinator: When he wants to do something, he's going to make sure he does it, especially if it's for the benefit of his friends. "A Great State Fair" is one example.
  • The Ditz: A subtle example at times in some of the later episodes. He gets a 10.1% on a test (out of 100%), and says that it's one of his better grades.
  • Do Not Call Me Paul: While the first name doesn't sound embarrassing when one thinks about one tough leader with that name, he prefers to be called T.J., even the school administration does this.
  • Dub Name Change: His first name is changed to "Tobias" in the Swedish dub.
    • His named is shortened to "Jay" in the Greek dub.
  • Dumb Blonde: Almost. Some early drawings of him gave him blonde hair.
  • Dumb Is Good: Though he's really only "dumb" in the classroom.
  • Embarrassing First Name: His first name is Theodore.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: His middle name is Jasper. No wonder he goes by his initials "T.J."
  • The Face
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In "The Shiner".
  • Fat Best Friend: Type A (to the rest of the gang).
  • Fat Idiot: He's pudgy, though his dumb side comes out of laziness instead of actual stupidity. He's very street smart, just not book smart.
  • First Kiss: With Spinelli, but as an experiment.
  • Flanderization: At least his Book Dumb side. He starts off being a "C" student in school, but drops down to a "D" and even "F" student later on. "The Secret Life of Grotke" was an offender of this.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Foolish to Becky's Responsible.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: The Realist, with shades of the Optimist (Shared with Mikey)
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine and a bit choleric.
  • Fun Personified
  • Genius Ditz: He's not too bright, but can come up with fool-proof plans when needed.
  • Going Native: In "The Legend of Big Kid", when he's kidnapped by the kindergartners and adapts to their primitive society.
  • Green Eyes: In the pilot.
  • Guile Hero
  • Hates Being Alone: As soon as he finds out that his friends are going to be at camp for the whole summer in Recess: School's Out, he's instantly heartbroken.
  • Heroic BSOD: In "Lost Leader" (the final episode aired before the DTV movies).
  • High School Hustler: An elementary variety.
  • Iconic Item / Iconic Outfit: His hat.
  • Idiot Hero: Though again, his idiocy comes out of laziness instead of actual stupidity
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Subverted, as it wasn't intended, but he does look a lot like his second voice actor, Andy Lawrence. Ashley Johnson lampshades this in the bonus features on the DVD of The Movie.
    • TJ also quite strongly resembles his original voice actor, Ross Malinger, in his younger years (for visual reference, he played the kid in Sleepless In Seattle).
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: He has bright baby-blue eyes according to Word of God.
  • In-Series Nickname: Aside from T.J. (Of course), he also goes by "Teej".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Developed one with Frank Dudikoff (The "original" T.J. back in the `80s), who's in his early twenties, and eventually develops one with fifty-year-old Principal Prickly.
  • Keet: He has some shades of this.
  • Kid Hero: In the movie.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: He may be a bit ditzy, but he's got a huge heart
  • The Leader: Lampshaded by Gus' Dad in the episode where he runs away: "Well son, let's just say you've got one heck of a platoon leader."
  • Magnetic Hero
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Feminine Boy to Spinelli's Masculine Girl
  • Moe Stare: He's able to give this to Gretchen to urge her to help him with his plan in "A Great State Fair".
  • My Greatest Failure: When his plan at the beginning of "Lost Leader" went wrong and ended up injuring Gus.
  • Naughty Is Good: He's very mischivious and rebellious, though he's also a good kid nontheless and a total sweetheart.
  • Never Bareheaded: He's always seen wearing his red baseball hat and very rarely takes it off (Making him take it off is his Berserk Button, though he did take it off when Dr. Slicer ordered him to, out of fear). The only occasions where he doesn't wear it is for formal occasions or when he's sleeping.
  • Nice Hat: His famous red baseball cap
  • Nice Jewish Boy: While slightly ambiguous given the events of the Christmas Episode, he's a sweetie.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Only in the pilot, as he was the only character drawn with irises.
  • Odd Friendship: One episode reveals that pre-series, kindergarten specifically, he was actually best friends with Menlo. While they are now enemies at school, he still attends every one of Menlo's birthday parties and is fawned over by Menlo's mother when she sees him each year.
  • Off Model: During the first season, in many scenes T.J. is missing his eye highlights. This could possibly be the reason why they were removed in the first season.
  • Only Known by Initials: Mainly because he doesn't care for his first and middle names.
  • Prince of Pranksters: Trope Namer.
  • Properly Paranoid: In Recess: School's Out, he's the only one who believes that there's suspicious activity going on inside the school during summer vacation (Until he gets the gang to see what's going on)
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Arguably his default set of eyes in season one.
  • Red Is Heroic: His hat is red.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Vince's blue.
  • Rousing Speech
  • Sanity Slippage: After being placed in "The Box", Miss Finster's new punishment for the kids- a square drawn on the blacktop. At first, he laughs at it like everyone else, but then he ends up being the first attendent in the box. After ten minutes, he's found sitting in the fetal position singing "This Old Man" and laughing to himself. After being taken out, he continuously speaks in the third person and promises to be a good boy.
  • School Idol: To an extent.
  • Ship Tease: With Spinelli.
  • Shirtless Scene: In "The Big Prank", after almost becoming King Bob's fanner boy.
  • Shrinking Violet: When he was in kindergarten (until Gus came).
  • The Slacker
  • Snooping Little Kid: In The Movie.
  • The Strategist: He comes up with brilliant plans for the main six. Of course, this is only on the playground.
  • Sweet Tooth: He loves anything sweet.
  • Tareme Eyes
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: In season one, he was pretty average. In season two, he became more Book Dumb. In the middle of season three, he became The Ditz.
  • Undying Loyalty: In spades. He may be a pain for teachers but will go incredible levels for anyone he cares about, often risking to himself in the process.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After becoming the principal for a day (In the episode of the same name), he gets power over the whole school...but easily becomes corrupted and power-mad.
    • And again when they invented schoolyard currency. At the same time he financially toke over the school, he got incessantly more insane. This is cemented when he only offered one mark for his own hat. Which was his goal in first place.
  • Your Size May Vary: Sometimes he and Spinelli are the same height, but sometimes he's taller. He's noticeably taller in the later episodes.
  • Youthful Freckles

Vince LaSalle

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Rickey D'Shon Collins, Miyu Irino (In the Japanese dub; The Other Darrin for Taya Hayabusa)

Ashley Spinelli

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Pamela Segall-Adlon

  • Action Girl
  • Adorkable: In "Swing On Thru to the Other Side".
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Her parents almost always embarrass her, especially seen in their debut, "Parents' Night". This includes saying embarrassing stuff about her in public, getting her friends' names wrong right in front of them, and revealing the fact that Spinelli has a crush on T.J.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Spinelli's ethnic background has been called into question. Since she has almond-shaped eyes found on Asian girls in cartoons and light brown skin, many viewers have assumed that Spinelli was originally from somewhere in South Asia and was adopted by Caucasian parents. On the other hand, Spinelli's skin tone is also found on Southern Italians (Silicians, specifically) and That Other Wiki has established that Spinelli's family (possibly her father's side, as he has really dark hair and almost the same skin tone as his daughter, and her mother looks like she could be white European) is Italian (right down to Spinelli's penchant for fighting, which comes from the stereotype of the hot-blooded Italian) so either Spinelli's mom isn't really her mom, Spinelli's mom being a redhead is an Actor Allusion to Katey Sagal [who played Peggy Bundy — a redheaded housewife who wore tacky 1960s housewife clothes and has a big bouffant, like Spinelli's mom does — on Married... with Children], Spinelli's mom dyes her hair, or Spinelli takes after her father more than her mother (which further reinforces Spinelli's aversion to all things she thinks are for girly-girls).
    • But Not Too Foreign: On the episode in which Randall discovers Spinelli's embarrassing first name (Ashley), Spinelli reveals she was named after her great-aunt who was from Alaska and ran in the Iditarod, meaning that Spinelli could be Inuit (Alaskan Native) on her mom's side and Italian on her father's side.
  • Anti Heroine: Type III
  • Badass Adorable: One of the biggest examples in the series, as she's the most physical out of all the kids...and is downright adorable as well.
  • Badass Normal
  • Bare Your Midriff: Briefly in "The Break-up" when she becomes "Spinooti", queen of the kindergartners.
  • Beautiful All Along: Subverted. She's pretty, but doesn't play it up because she has no interest in girly things. Though "The Beauty Contest" shows she cleans up nicely.
  • Berserk Button: She has a few.
    • Don't EVER refer to her by her first name.
    • Harming her friends will set her off
    • Messing with her hat. Prickly was lucky that Gretchen was able to talk Spinelli out of it.
  • The Big Girl: In terms of character, not her size.
  • Book Dumb: Moreso earlier on in the series. Though she was never as book dumb as T.J.
  • Breakout Character
  • Brown Eyes: According to Word of God.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: She brings the hurt, but ceases when her heartstrings are pulled.
  • Brutal Honesty
  • Catchphrase: "She's gonna blow!" or some variant.
  • Cute Bruiser
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Experiment", "First Name Ashley", "The Trial", "Parents Night", "Swing on Thru to the Other Side", "Mama's Girl", "Weekend at Muriel's", "Dance Lessons", "The Beauty Contest", "A Career to Remember", "That Stinking Feeling", "Good Luck Charm", "Spinelli's Masterpiece", "Don't Ask Me", "More Like Gretchen", and "No Strings Attached".
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Do Not Call Me Ashley
  • Dub Name Change: Her first name is changed to "Patricia" in the Portuguese dub, to fit with the other Ashleys who were also called thisnote . Her last name remains the same.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Ashley Funicello Spinelli.
  • First Kiss: With T.J., as an experiment.
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: The Cynic (Shared with Vince).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Subverted, as when it comes to "girlish", she's anything but. They're more like Tomboyish Pigtails.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • Grumpy Bear
  • Hair Decorations: She wears two red bands (sometimes bows for special occasions) in her hair to keep her pigtails up.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper
  • Hidden Depths: Spinelli is a very talented artist as seen in "Spinelli's Masterpiece".
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: According to the other kids.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Tiny Girl to Mikey's Huge Guy in "Dance Lessons" (Non-romantic)
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spin".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Miss Grotke and Miss Finster.
  • Irony: Spinelli has been hinted at being the youngest of the gang (Month-wise. Her birthday's towards the end of September, and birthdays later than that would cause complications with school cut-off dates, hinting that the rest of the gang had their birthdays earlier), however, her voice actress is the oldest of the main six cast members.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite being quick tempered and violent, she's always rooting for the underdog and protecting her friends.
  • The Lad-ette: As close as a nine-year-old girl can get.
  • Last Name Basis: Justified in that her first name carries a stigma on the playground.
  • Let Me at Him!: Her usual reaction to anyone mistreating her friends or just making her mad in general.
  • Little Miss Badass
  • Little Miss Snarker
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Surprisingly, she used to be one in kindergarten.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to T.J.'s Feminine Boy.
  • Meet My Good Friend, Madame Fist!
  • Muscles Are Meaningless
  • Never Bareheaded: Like T.J., she's hardly ever shown out of her hat. The only occasions where she doesn't wear it are when she's sleeping or for formal occasions.
  • Nice Hat: Her orange ski cap.
  • Older Than They Look: In the pilot, as she looked like she never left kindergarten.
  • One of the Boys
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse
  • Plucky Girl
  • Red Is Heroic: Her signature color.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Gretchen's blue.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: As seen in "The Beauty Contest".
  • Ship Tease: With T.J., and it's been confirmed on her side.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: She has a crush on T.J.
  • Stronger Than They Look
  • Tomboy
  • True Blue Femininity: Her beauty pageant dress is blue.
  • Tsundere
  • Tsurime Eyes
  • Vocal Evolution: As the series went on, her voice became slightly more scratchy.
  • Waif-Fu
  • When She Smiles: Spinelli's already adorable, but when she's in a good mood and isn't threatening or attacking someone, expect that to be taken Up to Eleven.
  • Wrench Wench
  • Your Size May Vary: While she's the second shortest of the gang, how short she is will vary. Sometimes she's a little taller than Gus, sometimes she and Gus are the same height, and in the later episodes, she's the same height as T.J., possibly due to a growth spurt.

Gretchen Grundler

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Ashley Johnson, Anndi McAfee (Singing (Credits of movie only))

Mikey Blumberg

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Jason Davis (Speaking), Robert Goulet (Singing), Zack Ewing (Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover)

Gus Griswald

Debut: "The New Kid

Voiced by: Ryan O'Donohue (First recording of "The New Kid"), Courtland Mead, Zach Shada (Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover), Blake Ewing (Singing (Credits of movie only))

  • Adorably Precocious Child: His broken base aside, Gus is probably one of the most adorable characters in the show. Doesn't hurt that his voice actor, Courtland Mead was one.
  • Adorkable
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Safety Man" by his kindergartner friend, Hector.
  • Alliterative Name
  • Audience Surrogate: Being new to town, Gus is always confused about certian school rituals and legends, just like the viewer who's first hearing about them. This leads to the gang explaining the situation to him- and the audience.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: His full name is Gustav Patton Griswald.
  • Badass Adorable: Especially as El Diablo.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser
  • Berserk Button: Don't hurt a little kid in front of him, ever.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Dodgeball incident. There's a reason why he's called El Diablo.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Hector
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The little to Mikey's big.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Probably the only character in the show with this eye style.
    • (With the exception of Becky Benson, Gretchen's rival in Science Fair).
  • Blind Without 'Em
  • Breakout Character
  • Break the Cutie: On a few occasions.
  • Butt Monkey: When the plot called for it.
  • Catchphrase: In the early episodes (and in a Toon Disney advertisement), he would often say "Sounds good to me", but this was later dropped.
    • He often says, "All my life, [insert something here]"
  • Cat Smile
  • The Chew Toy
  • Cowardly Lion
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's a one-kid army at dodgeball.
  • Cute but Cacophonic: He's very cute, but his whining is considered to be pretty annoying, especially in "Germ Warfare", where he was almost screaming for the whole episode.
  • Cute Mute: In "Jinxed".
  • The Cutie
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The New Kid", "Jinxed", "King Gus", "The Lost Ball", "Gus's Last Stand", "One Stayed Clean", "Dodgeball City", "Hustler's Apprentice", "Gus's Fortune", "Tattletale Heart", "Call Me Guy", "Gus and Misdemeanors", "Bachelor Gus", "A Great State Fair", "Yope From Norway", "Germ Warfare", "Beyond a Reasonable Scout", and "The Army-Navy Game".
  • Disguised in Drag: In "Lost Leader".
  • The Drag-Along
  • Dumb Blonde: He's not really "dumb", just very gullible.
  • The Eeyore: During the early episodes
  • Four Philosophy Ensemble: The Conflicted
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Friendless Background: Having moved from town to town all the time (since he's the child of a military officer, meaning that whenever his dad gets stationed somewhere, he has to move with him), not to mention being shy and somewhat dweeby, poor Gus hardly had any friends before moving to town, and meeting the main five.
  • He's Back: After witnessing Lawson nail his kindergartner friend Hector with a dodgeball thinking he was a fourth grader, Gus decided it was time to bring back the deadliest dodgeball player in all the playground: El Diablo.
  • Hidden Depths: He's exceptional at dodgeball—to the point that a kid seeing him play guitar freaked him out and warned T.J. and the others to flee.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Type B.
  • I Was Just Joking: He's prone to this.
  • In-Series Nickname: "El Diablo" and "Safety Man."
  • Keet: In kindergarten.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The explanations he gets are a survival guide to elementary school.
  • The Klutz
  • Let's Get Dangerous: When his Berserk Button is pushed too far.
  • The Load: To a few fans.
    • To be fair he isn't as crafty as TJ, athletic as Vince, smart as Gretchen, gentle as Mikey or tough-as-nails as Spinelli. However, he does has his moments.
  • Lovable Coward
  • Military Brat: His dad was in the Army and they moved around a lot because of it (Gus was in at least six schools before he moved to Third Street). Subverted in that he's actually a nice kid, unlike most military brats, who are depicted as being bullies.
  • My Greatest Failure: Before he came to Third Street, he was known as El Diablo, the greatest and deadliest dodgeball player in all the playground. However, that all changed the day he accidentally hit a little kid during a game. The kid was so traumatized that he never set foot on the playground again and Gus was so guilt-ridden that he hasn't picked up a ball ever since that event.
    Gus: Poor little kid was so shook up, he could never go near the playground again. Studied during lunch. I did that to him. Sorry, but I just can't play.
  • Naïve Newcomer: When he arrives at Third Street School in the beginning of the series.
  • Nerd Glasses
  • New Transfer Student
  • Nice Guy
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Unlike the rest of the Recess Gang, Gus is drawn with Black Bead Eyes as oppossed to white eyes with black pupils. Only a very small number of minor characters are drawn this way as well.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Mikey's red.
  • Second Episode Introduction
  • Shrinking Violet
  • Sixth Ranger: A rare example of one appearing during the second part of the first episode in the series (Gus first appeared in episode 1B, the other five debuted in episode 1A)
  • Specs of Awesome
  • Spell My Name with an "S": His last name is spelled "Griswald" in official merchandise, most episodes, and in print material, however, it was spelt as "Griswold" in two episodes: "The New Kid" and "Gus's Fortune".
  • Sweet Tooth: Especially with chocolate
  • Temporarily a Villain: In "King Gus"
  • Temporary Bulk Change: In Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade, Gus eats too much at the fifth and sixth grader club, and gains weight as a result. He remains this way until the next segement of the movie starts.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When he's leading the other kids to save T.J. in Recess: School's Out
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate
  • Unlucky Everydude
  • Vocal Evolution: He had a slight lisp in the earliest episodes, but it went away. Justified, as his voice actor had one at the time.
  • The Watson: He's usually the most confused about a certain school tradition (being a new student), which causes T.J. and the others to explain what's going on to him (and the audience)
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When he becomes temporary king of the playground in "King Gus". He gets a lot of power, but it makes him get extremely power mad.

    Other Students 

Randall Weems

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Ryan O'Donohue

  • 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to him tattling on everyone no matter what they did, Randall isn't very well liked on the playground.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Randall's Reform", "Stand Up Randall", "Randall's Friends", "Prince Randall", and "League of Randalls".
  • Animal Motifs: Depending on who you ask, his appearance looks similar to that of weasel or a lizard, neither of which tend to be associated with anything good and tend to be less liked, fitting if you consider his personality and what he does.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Sometimes.
  • Bratty Half-Pint
  • Butt Monkey
  • Catchphrase: "Moist"
  • The Dragon: To Miss Finster.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: As a kindergartener
  • Evil Laugh
  • Even Randall Has Standards: Randall is hated by the students for being a snitch, but there are some kids who have a high authority level, like King Bob, he would never snitch on because he believes that's naughty. In the film, he calls out on one of Benedict's followers for ratting him out.
  • Friendly Enemy: When the plot calls for it
  • Gonk: He pretty much resembles a human/lizard hybrid
  • I Just Want to Be You: In "Randall's Reform", Randall admits to T.J. that despite his flaws, he wants to be just like him due to his popularity.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In the episode "Randall's Reform"
  • Insult Comic: In "Stand-Up Randall"
  • It's All About Me
  • Jerkass
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A lot of times, he was shown as Friendly Enemy of Reccess Gang, genuinly wanted to be friends with them and especially TJ in "Randall's Reform" and in "Randall's friends" where he performed a plan that the likes of T.J. would, just to spring him out of a level four detention because of a phony note accusing T.J. of throwing flip-flops on the roof, which Randall had forged, and genuinely respected Ms. Finster and looked up to her and had some Even Evil Has Standards moments. While he may be jerk and snitch, but deep down he is not that bad.
  • Not Me This Time: In both "The Spy Who Came in From the Playground" and "League of Randalls".
  • Red Headed Bully: Though not in the normal way, as he has authority figures do his bullying work for him as he's too weak to do it himself.
  • Smug Snake
  • The Stool Pigeon: He's even called this in one episode.
  • Teacher's Pet: Finster listens to him more than the other kids.

Guru Kid

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Klee Bragger (Up until "Tattletale Heart"), Justin Jon Ross ("Don't Ask Me" to the end of the series), Ryan O'Donohue (Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade)

The Diggers (Sam and Dave)

Dave on the left, Sam on the right.
Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Klee Bragger (Sam) and Ryan O'Donohue (Dave)

Swinger Girl

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Francesca Smith

The Kindergarteners

Debut: "The Break In" (Most of them), "The Break-up" (Tubby)

Voiced by: E.G. Daily (Captain Sticky, Spencer, and Hector (In "Dodgeball City" and "Call Me Guy")), Kath Soucie (Hector ("Wild Child" and direct-to-video movies, Cindy, and Gilbert), Jason Davis (Tubby), Francesca Smith (Emma), Pamela Segall-Adlon, and Christine Cavanaugh

King Bob

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Toran Caudell

  • A Day in the Limelight: "Pharaoh Bob", "The Big Prank", "The Madness of King Bob", and "Prince Randall".
  • Big Good: He has his bad moments, but looks after the good of the entire student body. In episodes where someone either too inexperienced (Gus) or devious (Randall) become King of the Playground, it goes to hell very quickly.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow
  • Chewing the Scenery: Oftentimes his dialogue is this.
  • The Comically Serious
  • King Bob Has Standards: While he maybe a Jerkass ruler, but at time he also has ordered others to stop harassing other students, especially the Main Six.
    • In “Telltale Heart”, near the end just Gus was about to be punished by the students for tattling, he orders it to stop because Finster got everyone else to do so, with the exception of Gus and the rest of the Main Six. It was thanks to Guru Kid, who was the only one that was told that it was started by Randall.
    • In “Mikey’s Pants”, at the end, King Bob orders the playground to stop mocking Mikey for having ripped pants after Vince, TJ, and Gus did the same thing, since he does respect those who are willing to spare others from public embarrassment.
    • He's also known for updating the rules of the playground whenever it deems needed, like just making kids use a coin to decide on who has to retrieve a lost item.
  • Hidden Depths: In one episode, it is shown he feels that people only like him because he's king and in another he's worried that no one at Third Street will remember him once he graduates.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Iconic Item: His crown and hockey stick.
  • King Bob the Nth
  • Large Ham: Oh, yes.
  • Lonely at the Top: In "Officer Mikey", he tells the gang that he wishes he had friends who liked him for who he is and not just because he's king of the playground.
  • Not So Different: He and TJ, especially prominent in "The Madness of King Bob", such as when Bob is planning an elaborate prank to play on TJ, only to dismiss it as stupid. It then cuts to TJ's house where he's planning what's apparently the same thing.
  • Put on a Bus: In Taking the Fifth Grade, he leaves for middle school. Though he makes one more appearance to set the new king straight in one scene.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Sophisticated as Hell: He doesn't swear, but he does mix a lot of slang and formal vocabulary.
  • Stage Magician: Pretends to be one in "The Madness of King Bob" in order to prank T.J., under the aliases of Yahoozi, a Dutch foreign exchange student.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He especially does this is " Pharaoh Bob" until he and Gretchen have a meeting.
  • Too Important to Walk: Most of the time, he'll have his guards carry him around the playground on a chair attatched to two wooden poles.
  • Younger Than They Look: He looks like a high school student, yet he's only eleven.

Cornchip Girl

Debut: "The Break In" (Unnamed), "Stand Up Randall"

Voiced by: Francesca Smith (First few appearances), Ashley Johnson ("Weekend at Muriel's"), Aria Noelle Curzon

Upside-Down Girl

Debut: "The Break In" (Unspeaking), "Big Brother Chad"

Voiced by: Francesca Smith

The Ashleys

From left: Ashley Q., Ashley B., Ashley A., and Ashley T.
Debut: "The New Kid" (Ashley T.; unnamed and not speaking), "The Experiment" (Ashleys A., B., and Q.)

Voiced by: Anndi McAfee (Ashley A.), Francesca Smith (Ashley B.), Rachel Crane (Ashley Q. and Ashley T. (First few episodes)), and Ashley Johnson (Ashley T.)

  • A Day in the Limelight: "Jinxed", "First Name Ashley", "Outcast Ashley", "The Beauty Contest", "The Ratings Game", "No Strings Attatched", and "League of Randalls"
  • Alliterative Name: Ashley Armbruster.
  • Alpha Bitch
    • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Ashley A. shows hints of this sometimes, and on occasion they all can be this (like "The Great Can Drive" and "League of Randalls").
  • Annoying Laugh / Evil Laugh: And usually finished off with their catchprase.
  • Awesome Mccoolname: Ashley A's last name is "Armbruster," which means "crossbow" in German.
  • Beta Bitch: Ashley B.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Ashley A.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Ashley A. (blonde), Ashley B. and Ashley T. (brunettes), and Ashley Q. (redhead)
  • Break the Haughty: Ashley A. in "Outcast Ashley" when the other Ashleys kick her out of the group for forgetting to wear purple on "Purple Day"—the anniversary of the day they first met.
  • Catchphrase: "SCANDALOUS!"
  • The Cheerleader: Not at school, but the girls go to a cheerleading camp in the first movie.
  • Chubby Chaser: Slightly implied with Ashley Q. in Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade- after Gus puts on weight after eating too much, he says that she thinks the extra pounds make him look "distinguished".
  • Closet Geek: Ashley T., if "Chez Vince" is any indication.
  • Colour Coded Characters: Ashley A. (Pink), Ashley B. (Yellow), Ashley Q. (Blue), and Ashley T. (Green)
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Ashey Q. is surprisingly really good at kickball.
  • Deadpan Snarkers
  • Dub Name Change: Their first names are changed to Patricia in the Portuguese dub, but their last names remain the same.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Ashley T. was a nameless background character in "The New Kid" before being formally introduced in "Jinxed" (Or "The Experiment"- the Ashleys made their first appearance, but their final personalities weren't given yet, and the only time their name was mentioned was when they were offscreen. Presumably, "Jinxed" was produced before (but aired after) "The Experiment")
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: They're all named Ashley.
  • Even The Ashleys Has Limits: While they may be alpha bitches, even for another Ashley, they were disgusted when each of their brother named Tyler became to snitch on everyone including King Bob.
  • Fiery Redhead: Ashley Q.
  • Four Girl Band: All of them are Chicks.
  • For the Evulz: The girls are at their absolute worst in "Jinxed".
  • Four Girl Ensemble
  • Generation Xerox: The girls moms look and act exactly like them.
  • Giggling Jerks
  • Girl Posse
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Despite being enemies with them, both Ashley A. and Ashley Q. have been shown playing kickball with the gang on a few occassions.
  • Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Purple day.
  • Gratuitous French: They speak this way at times.
  • Hair Decorations: Ashley A. wears a pink headband and Ashley B. wears two yellow barrets.
  • Hidden Depths: Ashley Q. is very good at kickball.
    • Ashley T. likes Senior Fusion—she gives TJ one of her comics to bribe him into giving them a good table in "Chez Vince".
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: In "Outcast Ashley", Ashley B. rips off Ashley A.'s headband, the teddy bear head off her backpack, and her "A" necklace and stomps on it.
  • It's All About Me: Ashley A.'s general attitude, to the point she's shocked to hear that the earth revolves around the sun, instead apparently taking her Daddy's remark that "the universe revolves around me!" seriously.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much all of them, but Ashley Q. is arguably the meanest of the Ashleys.
  • Off Model: In some episodes, Ashley B's outfit switches from yellow to red, and then back again.
  • One Steve Limit: Completely averted (and Spinelli's also named Ashley, but she wants no association with them), as well as each one having a younger brother named Tyler and a younger sister named Britney.
    • King Bob even made a law, that inverts this trope completely: All children named Ashley must accept membership of the Ashleys if an Ashley invites them.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Ashley A.'s signature color is pink, and their entire clubhouse has pink wallpaper.
  • Pretty in Mink: Ashley A.'s "formal" outfit has fur trimming
  • The Quiet One: Ashley T. hardly gets any speaking lines on her own.
  • Rich Bitches
  • Satellite Character: Every member of the clique besides Ashley A.
  • Smug Smilers
  • Spoiled Brats
  • Token Good Teammate: Ashley T. Maybe not exactly "good," but she's arguably the least mean of the Ashleys.
  • True Blue Femininity: Ashley Q.'s signature color is blue.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Ashley Q.
  • Valley Girl: More like Valley Girls, Ashley A speaks acts more of this

Hustler Kid

Debut: "The New Kid" (Unnamed and unspeaking), "First Name Ashley"

Voiced by: Michael Shulman


Debut: "The Experiement"

Voiced by: Kath Soucie


Debut: "Officer Mikey"

Voiced by: Blake Ewing

  • Absentee Actor: In Recess: School's Out
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Partners in Crime", "Tucked in Mikey", "Some Friend", and "All the Principal's Men"
  • Adorkable: On a good day.
  • Control Freak
  • Disguised in Drag: In "All the Principal's Men".
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: He has a crush on Ashley A.
  • Friendly Enemy: At times.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a prude, but is usually well-meaning and wants to do the right thing for the school. In addition, he has helped the main six on numerous occasions.
  • Last Name Basis: At least in the Spanish dub, where he's given the first name "Taylor". In most versions of the show, including the original English version, it has never been stated if "Menlo" is his first or last name (Though suggested more towards the latter).
  • Nerd Glasses
  • Schedule Fanatic
  • Super OCD
  • Teacher's Pet
  • We Used to Be Friends: With T.J. However, even though they stopped being friends, they still made an agreement that T.J would come to Menlo's birthday party every year.
  • (Former) Wild Child: Yes, you read that right. It's revealed in "Principal for a day" that shortly before the events of the series, he was so out of control that Principal Prickly himself had to intervene. After being Principal for a day, Menlo became the guy he is now.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice is lower is lower in the final two Direct to Video Movies.

Jordan and Jerome

Debut: "King Gus"

Voiced by: Patrick Renna (Jerome), Justin Shenkarow (Jordan), Erik Von Detten (Both in certain episodes)

  • Fat and Skinny
  • Those Two Guys
  • Yes-Man: To King Bob. When Gus temporarily replaces him in "King Gus", they actively try to have the playground run the way they think it should. It backfires.

Brandon the Singer Kid

Debut: "The Voice"

Voiced by: Michael Shulman


Debut: Gus's Last Stand

Voiced by: Justin Shenkarow

Sue Bob Murphy

Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Christine Cavanaugh ("The Girl was Trouble"), Kath Soucie (Remainder of series)

Lazy Kid

Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Warren Sroka

Greg Skeens

Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Matthew Bartilson ("The Girl was Trouble" and "The Ratings Game"), Danny Cooksey (Remainder of series)

Conrad Mundy

Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Warren Sroka

Kristen Kurst (Kurst The Worst)

Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Mayim Bialik

Erwin Lawson

Debut: "The Story of Whomps"

Voiced by: Erik von Detten

The Pale Kids

From left: Carl, Rodney, Frank, Steve
Debut: "Lord of the Nerds"

Voiced by: Eddie Deezen (Knarf), Pamela Hayden (Steve), Kenny Blank (Rodney), and Kath Soucie (Carl)

Chucko Kowalski

Debut: "Big Brother Chad"

Voiced by: Ross Malinger ("Big Brother Chad"), Ryan O'Donohue ("The Kid Came Back")
  • The Bully: Only in season one, really
  • Demoted to Extra: Was set up to be a major bully in the first season, however, he only really starred in one episode and then became a background character, sometimes showing up as a member of Lawson's gang.

Crier Kid

Debut: "Teachers Lounge"

Voiced by: Micheal Shulman ("Teachers Lounge"), Justin Jon Ross (Other episodes)

  • Crocodile Tears: It's what he does.
  • Demoted to Extra: It seems like he should be another playground staple like Swinger Girl, Hustler Kid, Swinger Girl, etc, but he's only a background character after Season One.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Because "Teachers' Lounge" was produced very early in the show's run, Crier Kid was going to be the original Hustler Kid, as seen in his first appearance.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In "Teacher's Lounge", his name is revealed as Bradley.


Debut: "The New Kid" (Unnamed), "Wild Child" (As Freddy), "Schoolworld" (As Gordy)
Voiced by: Malachi Pearson ("The New Kid"), Erik von Detten ("I Will Kick No More Forever"), Klee Bragger ("Bad Hair Day"), Sam Gifaldi (Most episodes)


Debut: "The New Kid" (Unspeaking), "Kids in the Mist"
Voiced by: Klee Bragger (All episodes san season four), Justin Jon Ross ("Kids in the Mist", season four and Recess: School's Out (Uncredited in the movie))


Debut: "The New Kid"

Voiced by: Erik von Detten ("The New Kid", "I Will Kick No More Forever" and "Copycat Kid"), Ryan O'Donohue ("Schoolworld" and "Bachelor Gus")

  • Bit Character
  • Jerkass: Implied in "Mama's Girl", where he's the first one to make fun of T.J. for calling Miss Grotke "Mama" (To take heat off Spinelli who accidentally called her that earlier in the episode).
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite that, he and the gang are often hang out together, and was even a member of Vince's soccer team in "Soccer Boy".
  • Those Two Guys: With Gordy


Debut: "The New Kid"

Voiced by: Pamela Adlon ("The New Kid"), Kath Soucie ("Call Me Guy"), Anndi McAfee ("The Candidates"), Danielle Judovits (Recess: School's Out)

Tracey Logan

Debut: "The New Kid" (Unnamed and unspeaking), "Jinxed" (Speaking), "The Challenge" (Named)
Voiced by: Justin Shenkarow ("Jinxed"), Anndi McAfee ("My Fair Gretchen" and "Dance Lessons"), Klee Bragger ("The Trial"), Ryan O'Donohue ("Stand Up Randall"), Kath Soucie ("The Shiner"), E.G. Daily ("Call Me Guy")

  • Ambiguous Gender: Often switches from male to female throughout episodes. To hit it home, he/she is named Tracey- which is gender neutral.
  • Bit Character
  • Gender Flip: In pretty much every other episode.


Debut: "First Name Ashley" (Mentioned), "Randall's Reform"

Voiced by: Blake Ewing

  • Demoted to Extra: It was hinted in "First Name Ashley" and confirmed in "Randall's Reform" that he was Randall's rival, but after those two episodes, he became a background character with no lines.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Apparently, he was the original Menlo (Menlo did appear before Douglas, though "Randall's Reform" was produced before Menlo's debut in "Officer Mikey")

    Faculty members 

Miss Muriel P. Finster

Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: April Winchell

Principal Peter Prickly

Debut: "The Break In" (Mentioned), "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff"

Voiced by: Dabney Coleman

Miss Grotke

Debut: "The New Kid"

Voiced by: Allyce Beasley, Tress MacNeille (Briefly in "Teachers' Lounge")

Miss Lemon

Debut: "My Fair Gretchen"

Voiced By: Tress MacNeille

    Other Characters (Characters who aren't students, one-shot characters, etc.) 

Chad LaSalle

Debut: "Big Brother Chad"

Voiced by: Kenny Blank

Mayor Phillip Fitzhugh

Debut: "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye"

Voiced by: Ronnie Schell

  • Child Hater
  • Corrupt Politician: Mild example. He only cares about his reputation and being re-elected and cares a little about townspeople. Not to mention what he was attempting to do in "The Biggest Trouble Ever".
  • Jerk Ass: Between dressing up as Santa Claus to get re-elected, trying to send small, defenseless children into six seperate schools for accidently breaking the statue of school's namesake, despite fact that they were sorry for it, and that he himself intetionally tried to break the same statue back when he was a kid and generally being nasty to everyone, Mayor Fitzhugh is second biggest example of this trope in the show, after Dr. Slicer
  • Knight of Cerebus: The episode "The Biggest Trouble Ever" was already very dramatic, but it got really intense when he showed up and took active role.
  • Smug Snake

Miss Salamone

Debut: "The Voice

Voiced by: Glenne Headly

Aaron Kelso

Debut: "Economics of Recess"

Voiced by: Paul Willson

  • Cool Old Guy
  • Henpecked Husband: In the episode "This Brain For Hire", his wife gets onto him for convincing Gretchen to do the right thing and return the money she was going to spend on a new bike to the kids she "tutored". He responds with a very meek, "Yes, dear. I know, dear."
  • The Mentor: Can be this to the kids in various episodes.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Is rather understanding when Gus admits he shoplifted bubblegum from him when he was trying to impress some older kids.

Johnny "Baby Tooth" V.

Debut: "That Stinking Feeling"

Voiced by: Erik Von Detten

Dr. Slicer

Debut: "Prickly is Leaving"

Voiced by: Tim Curry

Becky Benson

Debut: "A Science Fair to Remember"

Voiced by: Tara Strong

Franklin "The Dude" Dudikoff

Debut: "The Dude"

Voiced by: Joey Lawrence

  • Cool Teacher: At first he plays this trope too hard, before realizing that he's more concerned about the kids liking him than teaching them anything. By episode's end he finds a balance between the two extremes.
  • Expy: He was the "original" T.J. at Third Street School back in the `80s
  • Hot Teacher

Yope Halberson

Debut: "Yope From Norway"

Voiced by: Pamela Hayden


Debut: "The A.V. Kid"

Voiced by: Scott McAfee

Lance the Pants

Debut: "The A.V. Kid"

Voiced by: Pamela Hayden

Becky Detweiler

Debut: "Prince Randall" (Mentioned), Recess: School's Out

Voiced by: Melissa Joan Hart (Recess: School's Out), Tara Strong (Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade)

  • Age Lift: She's twenty in the Italian dub, while she's sixteen/seventeen (possibly eighteen) in the show.
  • Big Sister Bully: Can be this way to T.J. sometimes—but to be fair, he doesn't make things easy for her.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter
  • Burger Fool: Works at Floppy Burger. Though she's really enthusiastic about her job.
  • The Cheerleader: Hinted at—she has a pair of pom-poms on her dresser, hinting that she is (or at least ''was') a cheerleader
  • Cool Big Sis: When she helps the kids rescue T.J.. Also, T.J. considered her one when he was younger, "back when she was nice."
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dub Name Change: In the Italian dub, her name is Maggie.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to T.J.'s Foolish.
  • The Ghost: Until Recess: School's Out.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Remember the New Guy: Just averted. When the movie was in production, some of the later episodes before the movie was finished had T.J. mention her a few times, avoiding having her introduced without anyone mentioning her before.
  • Retcon: Becky was originally T.J.'s (unnamed and unseen) older brother, according to "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff" (Which, as an early episode of the first season, was filled with Early Installment Weirdness).
  • Status Quo Is God: Despite mending her bond with T.J. at the end of Recess: School's Out, she goes back to being a jerk in Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade.

Dr. Phillium Benedict

Voiced by: James Woods