Characters / Recess

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The Main Six

     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)

The leader of the main six.
  • 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
  • All-Loving Hero: He's generally kind and cares for the well-being of his fellow students.
  • 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. While Becky finds T.J. an annoyance, deep down, she cares about him
  • 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: Short, chubby, wide-eyed, sweet, and adorable. He's also the leader of the gang, who's responsible for all of their awesome moments.
  • Berserk Button:
  • 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: In "Good Ol' T.J.", his talent for charming his way out of any situation is revealed.
  • 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. He's especially sassy to authority figures.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Fun Personified: He takes having fun very seriously.
  • 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.
  • Iconic Item: 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.
  • 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: He frequently saves the playground through personality alone and is adored even by his enemies.
  • 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. Prankster Prince is an actual title and TJ campaigns to win it by pulling a prank on King Bob (a former Prankster Prince himself). Bob comes out of retirement to try and prank TJ back.
  • 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.
  • Rousing Speech: T.J. is renowned for his many public speeches, and is great at persuading others to join whatever his cause of the week is.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: With Spinelli. It is implied they have a crush on each other.
  • 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 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.
  • 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: He has 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)

Vincent Pierre "Vince" La Salle is African-American, part French and is one of the main characters of Recess. Out of the six members of the Recess Gang, he is known to be the most athletic.
  • The Ace: When it comes to sports or games, Vince is the best.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: In "The Bet", when he becomes even more of a competition freak and more egotistical than usual.
  • Balloon Belly: In "I Will Kick no More Forever", after being showed up in kickball and goes into a depression, which included bunging out on root beer and donuts.
  • Black Best Friend: To T.J. (And the rest of the gang, though he's more "buddy-buddy" with T.J.).
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Me No Know", he uses T.J.'s catchphrase "Tender" when he realizes that he can quote Nitwitz 3 with the rest of the kids the next day at school.
  • Break the Haughty: In "I Will Kick no More Forever'' he actually has a Despair Event Horizon over one of the Ashley's kicking better than him.
  • Broken Ace: His athletic skills are above most of the other students, though he's very insecure about losing and failing.
  • Competition Freak: Vince is extremely egotistical about winning any game he takes part in. The others become irritated by this and dare him to last a day without winning once, at which point he becomes drunk on losing at every game he plays.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Big Brother Chad", "I Will Kick No More Forever", "Copycat Kid", "Bad Hair Day", "The Bet", "The Barnaby Boys", "Good Luck Charm", "The Candidates", "The A.V. Kid", "Chez Vince", and "The Principals of Golf".
  • Lovable Jock: He's not an antagonist despite technically being a jock.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: He can have a huge ego at times, but he'll always stand up for his friends, as well as any other kid being picked on, and will always do the right thing.
  • Opposites Attract: Slightly hinted at with Gretchen.
  • Out of Focus: While still appearing in every episode, Vince got the least amount of character focus than the rest of the gang.
  • Pride: Mainly from being the best at pretty much anything athletic.
  • Real Men Cook: He becomes the new school cook when the other kids try his cooking.
  • Supreme Chef: He is such a great cook that he fed the entire school (Student and staff alike) with his dishes. He was even invited to study abroad in a cooking school in France but stayed behind.
  • Tuckerization: He was named after the creators' friend in college.
  • Verbal Tic: Probably the only kid in the show that has one, man.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice was lower in the first episode, this is because the audio was from the original version of this episode made as a pilot
  • Younger Than They Look: Vince might be nine, but he doesn't look any younger than his thirteen-year-old brother, Chad.

    Ashley Spinelli
Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Pamela Adlon

Ashley Funicello Spinelli is the tomboyish Italian-American substitute ringleader of the Gang.
  • Action Girl: She is strong and often tries to use violence to solve her problems.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Harming her friends will set her off
  • Book Dumb: Moreso earlier on in the series. Though she was never as book dumb as T.J.
  • Boots of Toughness: Spinelli wears extremely stompy boots, and is one of the toughest kids on the playground.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: She brings the hurt, but ceases when her heartstrings are pulled.
  • Brutal Honesty: She never hides her disdainful thoughts about the situation at hand.
  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: "She's gonna blow!" or some variant.
  • Cute Bruiser: A young tomboyish girl and the toughest kid on the playground.
  • 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: She can be very sarcastic and snarky.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Hates being called "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.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Inverted, as when it comes to "girlish", she's anything but. They're more like Tomboyish Pigtails.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Still one of the heroes but the most aggressive and antagonistic kid in the gang.
  • Grumpy Bear: She's pretty grouchy most of the time, and this is a fairly upbeat cartoon.
  • Hair Decorations: She wears two red bands (sometimes bows for special occasions) in her hair to keep her pigtails up.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It takes little to set her off.
  • Hidden Depths: Spinelli is a very talented artist as seen in "Spinelli's Masterpiece".
  • Hot-Blooded: Can be very aggressive.
  • 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: A small nine-year-old girl with her hair in Pigtails, yet she's the toughest kid in school.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She's the snarkiest out of the group, and she's a nine year old girl.
  • Lonely Doll Girl: Surprisingly, she used to be one in kindergarten.
  • Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": "Let me introduce you to my good friend Madame Fist!"
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Much stronger than she looks.
  • 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: Almost, though one of her best friends is a girl.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Her short stature seems to be complimented by her fiery temper and strength, which makes one wonder if she has a Napoleon complex.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: As seen in "The Beauty Contest" and "Dancing Lessons".
  • 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.
  • Tomboy: She's a big wrestling fan and the "toughest kid in school", and strongly despises almost everything feminine.
  • Tomboyish Voice: She speaks with a fairly raspy voice and is the toughest kid on the playground.
  • Tsundere: She is (usually) dere-dere towards the other five main kids, but tsun-tsun to everyone else. Also, she's the most dere-dere with T.J., whom it's hinted she has a crush on…
  • Unwillingly Girly Tomboy: This happens a couple of times to Spinelli. The first of which was done as blackmail by the Ashleys when it was learned that Spinelli's first name was Ashley as well, the other in which Spinelli is entered in a Beauty Contest as a bet to win out over any of the Ashleys.
  • Vocal Evolution: As the series went on, her voice became slightly more scratchy.
  • 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: Spinelli was taught by her older brother how to work on cars and helped fix a broken down bus in one episode. "Regular, or ratchet?"
  • 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))

Gretchen Grundler is the intelligent member of the main six.
  • Adorkable: An intelligent, cute, nerdy Nice Girl, with red hair in Girlish Pigtails, freckles, buck teeth, and Nerd Glasses.
  • Alliterative Name: The first letters of her first and last name both begin with a "G".
  • The B Grade: She didn't take to kindly to her A- in "The Dude".
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never suggest that she's dumb. You may not be able to live to regret it.
    • Teasing her about her PDA. Kristen Kurst learns this the hard way.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: There are times where she has shown a dark side, "The Girl Was Trouble" and the film are good examples of this.
  • Badass Bookworm: Her brains help the gang save the day on a regular basis.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has reddish-brown hair and is the smartest kid in school.
  • Catchphrase: "Egad!"
  • Character Tics: Adjusting her glasses.
  • The Chick: To an extent. She was more of The Smart Guy, but was also the Team Mom and the most feminine of the gang. And like most examples, most of the merchandise she was featured on alone were pink.
  • Child Prodigy: In a few episodes, it's shown that she's smarter than almost everyone else in town, as shown in "A Genius Among Us", where it's established that she's smarter than most of the teachers.
  • Class Representative: She once did everyone's homework expecting that they were going to use it to help themselves learn the material. Another time she ran for class president on her academic ideals.
  • Cute Bookworm: The most studious girl of the group.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: At times. She's very unathletic, as shown in "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo".
  • A Day in the Limelight: "My Fair Gretchen", "The Pest", "Outcast Ashley", "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo", "The Girl Was Trouble", "A Genius Among Us", "Space Cadet", "A Science Fair to Remember", "The Candidates", "This Brain for Hire", "More Like Gretchen", and "Good Ole T.J."
  • Fiery Redhead: Subverted; she's pretty calm, but if you push her enough, she's this.
  • Geek Physiques: Of the really skinny variety.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She has red hair in pigtails.
  • Hair Decorations: She wears two pink baubles in her hair to keep her pigtails up.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: She's one of the tallest kids in school
  • I Choose to Stay: When given the opportunity to leave Third Street School and attend Oppenheimer Elementary, a school for genius students, she decides to stay at Third Street because she didn't want to leave her friends.
  • Innocent Prodigy: Although she is very smart, she can also be bit naive. At times, she can easily fall for most of the crazy stories told on the playground, such as the outcomes of the Stinky Peterson fortune teller in "Gus's Fortune".
  • In-Series Nickname: "Gretch".
  • Lovable Nerd: She is both Adorkable and really sweet.
  • Meganekko: She wears large circular Nerd Glasses.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: For Gretchen, college level mathematics are like kickball.
  • Nice Girl: Although not to the levels of T.J. and Mikey, she's very sweet, friendly, and easy-going.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Slightly. She has a more cartoony design to her than the rest of the gang.
  • Noodle People: The thinnest of her friends. Strangely one episode had a fifth grade Alpha Bitch tell her that she had baby fat.
  • Odd Name Out: She's the only member of the main six who uses her full first name instead of any kind of nickname (Or last name in Spinelli's case) most of the time.

    Mikey Blumberg
Debut: "The Break In"

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

Michael "Mikey" Blumberg is one of the six main characters and a member of the Recess gang. He is the most sensitive and most forgiving in the group. He is also the best poet in fourth grade, coming up with poems at any times.
  • Acrofatic: He is a talented ballet dancer.
  • Adorkable: When the plot calls for it. His naivety mixed with his Large Ham tendencies make him adorably dorky.
  • All-Loving Hero: Lampshaded in the episode "Nobody Likes T.J.," in which Mikey points out that there are people out there who don't like him because he's too nice.
  • Badass Pacifist: He always prefers a peaceful solution to conflicts.
  • Berserk Button: Believe it or not, Mikey has one — don't ever mistake his kindness for weakness (as seen in the episode in which he becomes a goalie for Lawson and his soccer team).
  • Beware of the Nice Ones: There have been times where Mikey is revealed to have a dark side.
  • Big Eater: In the opening credits, he eats a Dagwood sandwich in one bite.
  • Big Fun: Fat, lovable, and friendly.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The big to Gus' little.
  • Birthday Hater: In "Bonky Fever", due to his fear of getting older.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mikey's poems are enough evidence that his mind isn't operating on the same level as everyone elses..
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Officer Mikey", "The Voice", "Copycat Kid", "Operation Stuart", "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave", "Dance Lessons", "Kindergarten Derby", "Rumor Mill", "Mikey's Pants", "Bonky Fever", "Soccer Boy", "Germ Warfare", "Tucked in Mikey", "Old Folks Home", "Beyond a Reasonable Scout", "Big Ol' Mikey", and "Kurst the Not So Bad".
  • Drama Queen / Large Ham: Fittingly enough for an art lover like himself, he has a rather theatrical way of reacting to misfortunes.
  • Dumb Blonde: At times, though it's more "naive" than "dumb"
  • Fat Best Friend: Type C, though he's more naive and a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander than stupid.
  • Fat Comic Relief: The fattest kid in the bunch, and he is definitely a comic relief character, many jokes revolving around him overeating—including one in the show's opening where he belches.
  • Gentle Giant: Shown in "Dance Lessons" when it's revealed that he takes ballet lessons (because his parents felt that he wasn't graceful). He also sings and is very sensitive.
  • The Heart: He believes in notions of peace that are often dismissed by the others.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The Huge Guy to Spinelli's Tiny Girl in "Dance Lessons" (Non-romantic)
  • Jerkass Ball:
    • Oddly holds it in "The Lost Ball" after Gus accidentally kicks the school's new kickball over the fence.
    • In "Germ Warfare" he actually threatens Gus when the latter hurts his germ "pets".
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: An All-Loving Hero and the Cloudcuckoolander of the series.
  • Nice Guy: The sweetest of the main cast.
  • No Sell: Was the only one unaffected when Pharaoh Bob's men doused the rest of the kids with a high powered hose.
  • Precocious Crush: On Miss Salamone, his music teacher in "The Voice".
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: His singing voice sounds absolutely nothing like his speaking voice.
  • Stout Strength: And how! Once he lifted the monkey bars off the ground with one hand and in another episode two muscular sixth graders were unable to restrain him.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Briefly had a one-sided crush on the middle school's music teacher, Miss Salamone.
  • Vocal Evolution: Mikey's voice became lower in season 3, this is due to his voice actor going through puberty

    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))

Gustav Patton "Gus" Griswald is one of the six main characters and was originally the newest member of the Recess gang.
  • 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: A timid, naive, insecure yet good natured boy.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Safety Man" by his kindergartner friend, Hector.
  • Alliterative Name: Gus Griswald
  • 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 McCool Name: His full name is Gustav Patton Griswald.
  • Badass Adorable: Thanks to his identity as El Diablo when it comes to dodgeball, and for being one of the cutest kids in the gang.
  • Beady-Eyed Loser: The shy Lovable Coward who just moved to town. He's the only member of the regular cast with Black Bead Eyes.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The dodgeball incident; there's a reason why he's called El Diablo.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Hector. When Hector is hit in the face by a dodgeball accidentally (similar to how Gus accidentally hit a young kid in the face with a dodgeball) Gus becomes very angry.
  • 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: He is apparently blind without his glasses. He even says "I'm blind!" when he accidentally steps on and breaks them. What's ridiculous is that when he finds that he's considered cool without them, he ditches them, sacrificing sight for popularity. The viewer is given a scene or two from his point of view: the images are blurred, but not even close to the severity of the blur of people with glasses in real life. It's only a slight blur, and the "lines" between objects are still distinguishable.
  • Breakout Character: He ended up being the most prominent on certain promotional materials and had the second most episodes centered on him.
  • Butt Monkey: He suffers comical mishaps whenever the plot calls 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 also often says, "All my life, [insert something here]"
  • Cat Smile: This is Gus's default smile.
  • Cowardly Lion: Despite being cowardly, he'll often stand up to anybody troubling him, which was shown when he was in kindergarten.
  • 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.
  • The Cutie: He is one of the cutest members of the main six.
  • 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".
  • Dumb Blonde: He's not really "dumb", just very gullible.
  • 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.
  • I Was Just Joking: He is prone to delivering these lines: "What are we going to do, get the entire playground up here?" "What are we going to do, give everyone negative fives?
  • In-Series Nickname: "El Diablo" and "Safety Man".
  • Keet: In kindergarten. He was more outgoing and excited as opposed to his personality years later.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The explanations he gets are a survival guide to elementary school.
  • The Klutz: He has his clumsy moments.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: When his Berserk Button is pushed too far.
  • The Load: To a few fans. 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: He gets frightened easily.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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

Randall J. Weems is the snitch of Third Street Elementary School.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to him tattling on everyone no matter what they did, Randall isn't very well liked on the playground.
  • 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.
  • Blackmail: He sometimes uses the threat of snitching to coerce others into getting what he wants.
  • Butt Monkey: Due to almost everyone disliking him.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Moist."
  • Consummate Liar: While Randall loves to share unpleasant truths about other kids, he is not above occasional dishonesty. For example:
    • He once tried to hide his responsibility for starting a food fight.
    • He wrote a fake report that got T.J. in trouble for something he didn't do.
    • He also fooled his dad into believing that he was friends with T.J. and his crew (while inventing false facts about them).
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Randall's Reform", "Stand Up Randall", "Randall's Friends", "Prince Randall", and "League of Randalls".
  • The Dragon: He is Miss Finster's right-hand boy.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: He had a lisp as a kindergartener.
  • Even Evil 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.
  • Generation Xerox: Randall inherited his appearance and learned his personality from his father, who was also a big snitch when he was a kid (and he still is one).
  • 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.
    Randall: "You're fat, you're ugly, you wear that stupid jacket, but everyone wants to play with you!"
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: In the episodes "Randall's Reform" and "Randall's Friends", he reveals a desire to befriend T.J.'s gang. But of course, he remains their adversary in the end.
  • Insult Comic: In "Stand-Up Randall", he decides to do a stand-up comedy routine by making fat jokes at Mikey's expense.
    Randall: "How does Mikey spell 'refrigerator'? O-I-C-U-R-M-T!"
  • It's All About Me:
  • Jerkass: He tends to snitch on others more out of self-benefit, than caring about enforcing the rules. Not to mention his smug obnoxiousness while doing it.
  • Jerkass Realization: He's forced to take blame when the Tylers, brothers of each member of the The Ashleys after he trained them in the act of snitching.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A lot of times, he was shown as a Friendly Enemy of the Recess Gang, genuinely wanted to be friends with them, and especially T.J. 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 a jerk and a snitch, but he is not that bad deep down.
    • Even though that the Randall's plan to spring T.J. out of his undeserved punishment had fallen flat on its' face as Mr. Weems snitched on his son to Ms. Finster, it's this action of Randall's that proves his selflessness and can own up to his mistakes. Fortunately for Randall, he didn't get severely punished as 1) it was Randall's birthday that day, 2) this is the first time that Randall had ever tried to undermine Ms. Finster's authority, and 3) it could also have to do with that the two are very close.
  • Not Me This Time: In both "The Spy Who Came in From the Playground" and "League of Randalls".

    Guru Kid 
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)

Debut: "The Break In"

Jimmy "Guru Kid" is a Third Street student who dispenses advice to the children of Third Street.

    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)

The Diggers are referred to as Diggers Dave and Sam who are seen always digging during Recess at Third Street School.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: When they have a huge fight in "The Diggers Split Up," they won't even speak to each other, but when the gang tell Sam that Dave got caught in a cave-in, he immediately runs to his aid shouting, "Sam! Sam, hang in there, I will find you!" When Sam sees this, they make up almost straight away.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Diggers Split Up".
  • Digging to China: Their main goal. And in the pilot (which was remade into the first episode), they actually do it.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: For most of the show, the boys were pretty much the same characters. In their focus episode "Diggers Split Up", Dave's been shown to be bossy and controlling, while Sam is more easygoing.
  • '80s Hair: They both had mullets at one point. By "Diggers Split Up", they were gone.

    Swinger Girl
Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Francesca Smith

Swinger Girl is always seen swinging as it is her favorite and only hobby. Her ultimate goal is to swing so high that she loops the swing set bar.

    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

A group of wild, ill-mannered kindergarteners.
  • Acrofatic: Tubby, who managed to win a foot race against the other kindergartners (albeit with some dumb luck).
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: They're kindergarteners after all. Especially seen in "Kindergarten Derby", when they get to the "Valley of Distraction", which is part of the field filled with shiny candy wrappers and toys.
  • Expy: In-universe, Captain Sticky is the kindergartener's expy of King Bob.
    • Tubby is one to Mikey. They even have the same voice actor!
  • Fan of Underdog: Hector looks up to Gus like a big brother, even calling him "Safety Man".
  • Friendly Enemy: Captain Sticky, Spencer, Emma, Zedd, Jake, Tubby, Hector, and Cindy are all on good terms with the other kids (for a good 75% of the time)
  • Hollywood Natives: They behave like a savage tribe.

    King Bob
Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Toran Caudell

Robert "King Bob" is the unibrowed king of the Third Street School playground.
  • 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.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Pharaoh Bob", "The Big Prank", "The Madness of King Bob", and "Prince Randall".
  • Everyone 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.
  • 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.
  • Nice Hat: His most notable piece of clothing is his yellow crown shaped hockey or football helmet with a brown B on its front.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He especially does this is "Pharaoh Bob" until he and Gretchen have a meeting.
  • 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

Cornchip Girl (real name Teresa Laverne LeMaize) is a sweet, nice and loving Swiss-American girl who attends Third Street School.
  • The Cutie: Being so cute, kind, sweet, and innocent, she more than qualifies for this trope
  • Cute Bruiser: As seen in a few episodes, much to everyone's surprise. For example, after Spinelli taught her to stand up to Sue Bob Murphy.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Army-Navy Games", and also in "The Terrifying Tales of Recess" (during the first segment, "Children of the Cornchip").
  • Dull Surprise: Sometimes it's used for comedy, other times it makes her kinda creepy. "Look, clean people."
  • Nice Girl: A sweet girl.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: She has a slightly different character design than the other kids, giving her an appearance that wouldn't look out of place on Phineas and Ferb.
  • Ship Tease: Strongly implied with Gus.
  • Sixth Ranger: She's considered an unofficial member of the main six in the later episodes.
  • Vague Age: Cornchip Girl could either be in first or second grade, and in "One Stayed Clean", she's shown with the kindergarteners briefly (Though earlier on, she was running away from them, meaning that the scene she had with them could've been an animation error). Most fans place her around seven.

    Upside-Down Girl 

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

Voiced by: Francesca Smith

The Upside-Down Girl is a fourth grader who is always seen hanging upside down.
  • No Name Given: Her real name has never been revealed
    • Lampshaded in "The Break Up", in which Ms. Grotke points out that it was nice of Gretchen to bond with her, but "best friends often do have first names."

    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.)

The Ashleys are a clique of four beautiful, fashionable, snobby and spoiled girls, and are always uttering the phrase "scandalous."
  • 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.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Jinxed", "First Name Ashley", "Outcast Ashley", "The Beauty Contest", "The Ratings Game", "No Strings Attached", and "League of Randalls".
  • 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 Evil Has Standards: 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.
  • For the Evulz: The girls are at their absolute worst in "Jinxed".
  • 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 occasions.
  • 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ashley A. on her good days.
  • 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").
  • 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 Bitch / Spoiled Brat: They are all typical upper-class snobs.
  • Satellite Character: Every member of the clique besides Ashley A.
  • 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

Francis "The Hustler Kid" is a student of Third Street School who acts as a hustler during recess.
  • High School Hustler: An elementary school version. He is able to offer the students of the school a wide range of products such as trivial toys and food, often discreetly.

Debut: "The Experiement"

Voiced by: Kath Soucie

Butch is the bearer of bad news and the one who usually tells the scary stories from his older brother's school days, oftentimes as a warning against something the gang would be trying to do at the time.

Debut: "Officer Mikey"

Voiced by: Blake Ewing

Menlo is Miss Lemon's assistant, or 'aid' as he likes to say.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Partners in Crime", "Tucked in Mikey", "Some Friend", and "All the Principal's Men"
  • 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: Wears a pair of big square lenses.
  • Schedule Fanatic: He's obsessed with perfect punctuality.
  • Super OCD: As well as keeping all his paperwork neatly organized.
  • Teacher's Pet: Much like Randall he's loyal to the faculty, though he's not as obnoxious about it.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With T.J. However, even though they stopped hanging out, they still made an agreement that T.J. would come to Menlo's birthday party every year.
  • 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 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)

King Bob's servants.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: The two tend to become Jerkasses whenever King Bob issues them with even a little more power.
  • 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

  • The Chew Toy: Is often bullied by both Lawson and Gelman. Let's not forget the time where he swallowed the bee and couldn't sing for a week.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Every bit of dialogue he has is sung. Loudly.
    • People find it very annoying, too. In "The Voice", he accidentally swallows a bee whilst singing and everyone cheers.

Debut: Gus's Last Stand

Voiced by: Justin Shenkarow

  • The Bully: He's feared and hated around the school for this. He targets one victim at a time; when his last victim moved away, he started picking on Gus.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: With Gus on a few occasions.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Gus' Last Stand" and "The Great State Fair"
  • Fat Bastard: He looks like he weighs about 200 or so pounds.
  • Freudian Excuse: Implied in "The Great State Fair"; he continuously refuses to do the activities Finster provides by saying, "My old man don't believe in [x]." When Gus asks him why he's not at the fair, Gelman claims his old man "don't believe in fairs."
  • Heel–Face Turn: In "A Great State Fair", he is no longer Gus' enemy.
  • Jerkass: Especially in his first appearance.
  • Last Name Basis: What's his first name anyways?
  • Status Quo Is God: Even after befriending Gus in "The Great State Fair", he goes back to being a bully for the remainder of the series.

    Sue Bob Murphy
Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

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

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is the one who gives Gretchen back her hand-held computer, although after Gretchen's done telling her the story of how she tried to get it back.
    • She, Greg, Mundy and Lazy Kid also steal some huckleberry cobbler from the school cafeteria to try and win back Kurst after the latter starts hanging out with Mikey.

    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)

  • A Day in the Limelight: "Gus and Misdemeanors"
  • Friendly Enemy: He's dismissive towards Gretchen when she wants to find Galileo, but happy to help after she teaches him a new word to write on the wall.

    Conrad Mundy
Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Warren Sroka

  • Vague Age: Similar to Cornchip Girl. In the episode "Dodgeball City" we briefly see him standing on Lawson's side right before the game starts (implying that he's a 5th grader), however we later see him standing with the out 4th graders after Hector gets hit with a dodgeball.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: After the gang broke the statue, he walks over to them and congratulates them, and even goes over to help them with their punishment. Naturally they don't take this as a compliment.
    • Inverted when he later feels ashamed for his new reputation as a "good" guy around school.

    Kristen Kurst (Kurst The Worst)
Debut: "The Girl Was Trouble"

Voiced by: Mayim Bialik

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As seen in "Kurst the Not So Bad".
    • Also, in the Valentine's Day episode, she angrily asks Vince, Mikey and Gus where TJ is after sending her a card. When they say they don't know, she says happily, "...he's such a dear!"
  • Last Name Basis: Paired with the modifier "The Worst."
  • Tsundere: Type A. She loosens up a bit around Mikey.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Implied with Sue Bob.

    Erwin Lawson
Debut: "The Story of Whomps"

Voiced by: Erik von Detten

  • Annoying Laugh: He tends to punctuate his taunts with obnoxious laughter.
  • The Bully: He loves throwing around insults and taunts.
  • Characterization Marches On: When Lawson made his first two appearances in season two (His debut episode "The Story of Whomps" and "Principal for a Day"), he was more competent and more of a threat, to the point where he almost beats up T.J. for saying he "whomped" (Before knowing what the word meant). Starting with season three, he became more of a ditz and resorted to calling the gang names and taunting them.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Soccer Boy" and "Lawson and His Crew".
  • Demoted to Extra: In The Movie, he only has a brief cameo and doesn't speak (however, he's still credited, hinting that he was going to have a speaking role, but his scene was cut)
  • Depending on the Writer: While he usually is a bully, the actual degree of his level of bullying changes depending on the episode. Sometimes he is merely the gang's sports rival, other times he torments them in non-violent ways such as taking their fort, spraying TJ with cheese on picture day, or not letting them play tetherball. Sometimes he is even shown to get violent with other kids such as TJ, Randall, or Brandon.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Lawson ALWAYS explains his bad jokes when taunting somebody.
  • Evil Counterpart / The Rival: Lawson is Vince's arch-opponent when it comes to sports. He also desires to lead his own clique much like T.J., so he forms his own gang of counterparts to T.J.'s friends in "Lawson and His Crew".
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: Briefly in the Season 5 Finale.
  • Friendly Enemy: While he often bullies the main six, he stated once that he doesn't hate T.J. and considers him an OK guy.
  • Gang of Bullies: He has one in the form of Jocko, Buster, Cheay, Chucko, Koreo, and occasionally Gelman.
  • Insultof Endearment: Dishes these out frequently, such as "LaStupid", "Dettwhiner", "Shrimpnelli", etc. He grudgingly calls TJ "Dettwinner" after he and the gang successfully steal their base back in "Fort Tender".
  • I Want My Mommy: Cries out for his mother when running away in fear towards the end of Taking the Fifth Grade.
  • Jerk Ass / Jerk Jock: Most of the time.
  • Nice Hat: Like TJ, he's barely ever out of it.
  • The Psycho Rangers: In the episode "Lawson and his Crew" (the last episode before the movie was released), he forms his own gang similar to the main six.
    • In fact, he pretty much contrasts T.J. in appearence and personality. Unlike T.J., Lawson is tall, lanky, wears his baseball hat with the visor in the front, and is mean.

    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)

  • 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")

  • 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".


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.


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

  • Badass Teacher: She helps save the day in School's Out.
  • Big Bad: Often plays this role in the series. Subverted in that she does have a nice side, and isn't even "evil" anyway (Well, with the exceptions of some instances in season one).
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She was the redhead to Prickley's brunet and Benedict's blond.
  • Boxing Battler: In Recess: School's Out, she's shown training on a heavy bag in her living room. She later puts these skills to good use leading the teachers to attack Benedict's operation, punching out The Dragon herself.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "To Finster, With Love", "Weekend at Muriel's", and "The Fuss Over Finster"
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: In some of the later episodes and in season two's "Weekend at Muriel's".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Finster doesn't have much of a problem coming with harsh but fair punishments, but she thought Phillip Fitzhugh's decision of separating the Main Six permanently in other schools was taking too far. She also was upset with Benedict in the film for wanting to banned recess. It was revealed in the film, she once had a relationship Benedict but broke up with him for wanting to banned recess.
  • Evil Old Folks: Not really "evil" (unless season one counts), but still the main antagonist for the series.
  • Fiery Redhead: She was a redhead when she was younger, but still very fiery.
  • Skintone Sclerae: The only character with this trope in effect.
  • Spit Take: In "My Fair Gretchen", after Gretchen tells her that she's finished her test in under five minutes.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Mainly after the first season.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: She went to school and worked with Prickley and Benedict who, at the time, were best friends. It all fell apart when Benedict was fired and Prickley became the new principal.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the end of "The Box" when he freaks out over T.J. not being broken by her punishment.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Miss Grotke.
    • The Movie reveals that she and Prickley were pretty close as well.
  • Vocal Evolution: She didn't sound as sinister in the first few episodes.

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

Voiced by: Dabney Coleman

  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be harsh on students, especially the Main Six, but he ended his friendship with Phillium Benedict for wanting to ban recess and joins in the fight to stop him.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: He may be rather strict when it comes to rules and regulations, but he's willing to listen to the kids, and has even pulled a few EnemyMines with them.

    Miss Grotke 

Debut: "The New Kid"

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

  • Catchphrase: "Bummer..."
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After "The Terrifying Tales of Recess" (the first episode of season six and the stories featured in the episode weren't canon, anyway), she's gone for the rest of the series until Taking the Fifth Grade two years later.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: While she is closer to Earth than the other teachers at times, she has a few moments where she goes off into Cloudcuckooland.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Mama's Girl" and "The Secret Life of Grotke"
  • Deadpan Snarker: "This Brain for Hire" shows that when she needs to be, she's probably the snarkiest character in the entire series.
  • Demoted to Extra: She only appears two times in Recess: School's Out and only has seven lines (and two of them are just her screaming), though this is justified as it was summer vacation. Though her parts in the battle scene were pretty memorable.
    • In Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade, she only has a few speaking lines and that's it. Justified, however, as the main kids weren't in her class anymore.
  • Parental Bonus: Responsible for several. She reads Beowulf in class (specifically the part where he rips Grendel's head off ) and, well...
  • Spit Take: In "The Dude", when Miss Finster comes up from behind her and bad-mouths Mr. Dudicoff.
  • Totally Radical: She like, totally speaks this way sometimes, cuz you know, it's way cool and far out!

    Miss Lemon 

Debut: "My Fair Gretchen"

Voiced By: Tress MacNeille

  • The Rival: Some episodes paint her as one for Miss Finster.

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

    Chad LaSalle 

Debut: "Big Brother Chad"

Voiced by: Kenny Blank

  • Expy: Of Steve Urkel.
  • Extraverted Nerd: Seems to be very proud of this trope.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Type 1.
  • Nerves of Steel: He may look like a skinny dork, but he still stands up for Vince and his pals when a bigger kid threatens them.
  • Nice Guy: While younger students remember Chad as being a charming, ultra cool guy, in truth or just so happens he is a geek who was very nice to younger students and it left an impression on their young minds.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: When Vince finally realizes that Chad is indeed a nerd, it's a Broken Pedestal situation for him at first. By the end of the episode, though, he learns that being a nerd doesn't mean Chad is a pushover.

    Mayor Phillip Fitzhugh 

Debut: "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye"

Voiced by: Ronnie Schell

  • 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.

    Miss Salamone 

Debut: "The Voice

Voiced by: Glenne Headly

  • Teacher/Student Romance: Mikey had a one-sided crush on her when she became his vocal coach in "The Voice".
  • Tuckerization: She was named after Lisa Salamone, a production manager at Walt Disney Television.

    Aaron Kelso 

Debut: "Economics of Recess"

Voiced by: Paul Willson

  • 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

  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see him after "That Stinking Feeling", and unlike other one-shot students, he doesn't move away at the end or anything like that.

    Dr. Slicer 

Debut: "Prickly is Leaving"

Voiced by: Tim Curry

    Becky Benson 

Debut: "A Science Fair to Remember"

Voiced by: Tara Strong

  • Full-Name Basis: Not in the show, but among the fanbase; only to avoid confusion with Becky Detweiler.

    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.

    Yope Halberson 

Debut: "Yope From Norway"

Voiced by: Pamela Hayden


Debut: "The A.V. Kid"

Voiced by: Scott McAfee

  • Put on a Bus: The main reason why he needed to find another A.V Kid, because he was moving to Portugal.
  • Remember the New Guy: Almost. He first appears in season four's "The A.V. Kid" with all the kids already knowing him, but it's also revealed that he doesn't go out for recess and is very solitary, giving the reason why he was never seen before.
  • Younger Than He Looks: He looks much older than eleven—he looks almost sixteen.

    Lance the Pants 

Debut: "The A.V. Kid"

Voiced by: Pamela Hayden

  • Dark Horse Victory: He eventually becomes the next A.V. Kid, because unlike T.J. and Vince, he works better on his own than with others.
  • Remember the New Guy: He only appears in season four's "The A.V. Kid", yet the gang act as if they've known him prior to the episode.

    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.
  • 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."
  • 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

  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: He was the blond to Muriel's redhead and Prickley's brunet.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After his henchmen raid the military base with stun rays, he asks if any of the personnel were killed. His lackey says no, and he responds that he doesn't like violence.
  • Evil Plan: Getting rid of recess and summer vacation in order to raise test scores.
  • Hippie Teacher: He was one of these in the 1960s, but he admitted that he joined the subculture just to "pick up chicks".
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Made especially unsettling as he's the only character in the franchise to be drawn with an eye color (not counting T.J. in the pilot).
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He was likely named after former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: After being away for so long, he's still very much in love with Muriel. Unfortunately for him, she no longer feels anything for him.
  • Stupid Evil: He labors under the delusion that Summer Vacation is directly connected to the season itself, when in reality, it has more to do with the school curriculum. Even if his attempts to cause a permanent winter had succeeded, it would have likely led to an extended Winter Break, not to mention the numerous Snow Days that would likely occur, thus causing schools to be closed more often. T.J. even points this out, but Benedict decides to go through with his plan anyway.