Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Recess The Main Six

Go To

Main Character Index | The Main Six | Other Students | Faculty members | Other Characters

    open/close all folders 

    General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/disney_recess.jpg

The six main protagonists of the show who have an intense love for recess.


Advertisement:

    Theodore Jasper "T.J." Detweiler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_tj.jpg
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 outgoing and fun-loving leader of the main six. He's the one who comes up with plans for the gang to execute if needed.


  • 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.
  • Big Eater: While it isn't shown on-screen, "The Great State Fair" and "Omega Kids" hint that he can be one, and this was also hinted in some print material.
  • Big Good: Outside of King Bob, T.J. is the one most of the other kids look towards for help and to lead them against threats. In the movie, Hustler Kid and Digger Dave both think the kids are doomed without having T.J. around to come up with a plan to stop Benedict.
  • 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. He's actually quite gifted when it comes to money and knowledge of economics as he manages to take over the entire currency system of the school in just a few days. While he loses it all when the currency changed, he was willing to go right back to it albeit with restrictions.
  • 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.
  • Cheerful Child: He's usually in a happy and fun-loving mood.
  • 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.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: In "The Shiner," everyone thinks he got his black eye doing some awesome heroic thing. It turns out to just be the result of a square dancing accident.
  • 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 when it comes to school work, but he always comes up with fool-proof plans when needed on the playground.
  • Going Native: In "The Legend of Big Kid", when he's kidnapped by the kindergartners and adapts to their primitive society.
  • Guile Hero: When it comes to pulling schemes on the playground.
  • 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 heartbroken.
  • Idiot Hero: He's the main hero and 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.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: He is the Feminine Boy to Spinelli's Masculine Girl. TJ is characterized by loyalty and caring while Spinelli is violent and aggressive. The most obvious example is during "The Experiment" when they both say goodbye to their childhood: TJ gives his old cuddly toy a hug while Spinelli uses hers to trash the room.
  • 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: He's Ambiguously Jewish and 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, preschool 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.
  • Patriotic Fervor: In "Recess is Cancelled", Vince asks if T.J. has any ideas to get around the notion of recess being cancelled. T.J. says he has no plans as going up against his own country is something he just will not do, as it is unpatriotic.
  • 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: He was rather introverted 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.
  • Tareme Eyes: In season one, they even had highlights in them.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Evolution: Season one saw him with a high-pitched voice courtesy of Ross Malinger. Then, in the beginning of season two, his voice got a little deeper due to Malinger going through puberty. Only two episodes into season two, and Malinger was replaced by a younger voice actor, Andy Lawrence, who gave TJ the somewhat low (but not too low for a prepubescent kid), slightly scratchy voice we're all familiar with.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Menlo. However, even though they stopped hanging out, they made an agreement that TJ would still go to Menlo's birthday party every year.
  • 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 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_vince_2.jpg
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" LaSalle 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.
  • 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 Ashleys kicking better than him.
  • Broken Ace: His athletic skills are above most of the other students, though he's very insecure about losing and failure.
  • Competition Freak: Vince is highly 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".
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: A few episodes have shown that he has a bit of an inferiority complex, and is extremely insecure about losing.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Vince's superior athletic abilities compared to those of his friends often made him egoistic. However, deep down, he knows how important his friends are to him.
  • Lovable Jock: He's a jock, but he's not antagonistic
  • Meaningful Name: In the Roman Catholic tradition, Jean Baptiste de La Salle is the patron saint of teachers of youth.
  • 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.
  • Out of Focus: While still appearing in every episode, Vince got the least amount of character focus 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.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Not only does he cook, he is also a fan of beauty pageants, and he actively and eagerly shows Spinelli how to participate in one such Beauty Contest.
  • 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 higher in the first episode and part of the first season.
  • Younger Than They Look: Vince might be nine, but he doesn't look any younger than his thirteen-year-old brother, Chad.

    Ashley Spinelli 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_spinelli.jpg
Debut: "The Break In"

Voiced by: Pamela Adlon

Ashley Funicello Spinelli is the tomboyish, aggressive, and ill-tempered Italian-American substitute ringleader of the Gang. She's known to be the toughest kid at Third Street School.


  • Action Girl: She is strong and often tries to use violence to solve her problems.
  • 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: She's pretty, but doesn't play it up because she has no interest in girly things, until "The Beauty Contest" shows she cleans up nicely. As soon as she wins the contest, though, she goes back to her usual tomboy look.
  • 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. She's the quickest to resort to violence to deal with any of her problems.
  • 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".
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: She frequently threatens to punch boys, especially Randall, for making her angry. If she was a boy and Randall a girl, it wouldn't be anywhere near as funny.
  • 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 First Name: She's embarrassed by her real name, so much to the point where being addressed by it is a Berserk Button of hers.
  • 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.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Downplayed, as she only wears a leather jacket, which suits her tough girl personality.
  • Hidden Depths: Spinelli is a very talented artist as seen in "Spinelli's Masterpiece". She also becoems an amazing dancer in "Dance Lessons" and the only one at the dance school who can pair up with Mikey.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Before Mikey has voice lessons, he says that he sings "almost as bad as Spinelli."
  • In-Series Nickname: "Spin".
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Miss Grotke and Miss Finster.
  • 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. She's particularly interested in wrestling and roughhousing activities, and holds a disdain for anything considered feminine.
  • 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.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: She is the Masculine Girl to TJ's Feminine Boy. TJ is characterized by loyalty and caring while Spinelli is violent and aggressive. The most obvious example is during "The Experiment" when they both say goodbye to their childhood: TJ gives his old cuddly toy a hug while Spinelli uses hers to trash the room. She also serves as the Masculine Girl to Mikey's Feminine Boy.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: In the episode "Don't Ask Me," when Spinelli takes over Guru Kid's job of giving kids advice, Spinelli gives Randall advice on how to defend himself. It may not seem like much, since she took over Guru Kid's job, but Spinelli has a huge dislike for Randall and you expect her to refuse to help him, sabotage the advice she gives him or at most grudging help him. Instead, she gives him advice to help him with his problem, which he successfully uses.
  • Perpetual Frowner: She's usually seen with a scowl on her face.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Spinelli is a Lad-ette through and through, who despises her mother forcing her to try and be girly. However, she shows that - when she's entered in a Beauty Contest against her will - she can look very fine in an evening gown when she wants to. She's also the first of the gang to get a crush, and she actually enjoyed the ballet lessons her mother enrolled her in. Plus her standard outfit involves a red dress and pigtails, albeit with a leather jacket and boots to go with it.
  • 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…
  • Tsurime Eyes: And the fact that they're slanted has caused fan debate regarding her ethnicity.
  • 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.
  • Would Rather Suffer: In the Beauty Contest episode, when she finds out that she's been entered in the Little Miss Blush beauty contest, she angrily declares that she'd "rather scarf down a dead bird."
  • 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 Priscilla Grundler 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_gretchen_2.jpg
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, and is one of the smartest kids in Third Street School.


  • Badass Bookworm: Her brains help the gang save the day on a regular basis.
  • Blind Without 'Em: She is completely unable to see without her large glasses.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has reddish-brown hair and is the smartest kid in school.
  • 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.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Being the Smart Girl of the group, she's easily able to construct gadgets and devices if the need for them arises. Even states in the movie that she made a particle accelerator from a hair dryer and toaster.
  • Geek Physiques: Of the really skinny variety.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She has reddish-brown 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.
  • 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".
  • Little Professor Dialog: She has rather sophisticated vocabulary for a fourth grader.
  • Lovable Nerd: She is both Adorkable and really sweet.
  • MacGyvering: Somehow fashioned a particle accelerator from a hair dryer and a four-slice toaster.
  • Meganekko: She wears large circular Nerd Glasses.
  • Nerd: Her default characteristic. She's a straight-A student with advanced vocabulary who practices science experiments.
  • Nerd Glasses: She wears large circular glasses to highlight her nerdiness.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: For Gretchen, college level math is like kickball.
  • Nice Girl: Although not to the levels of T.J. and Mikey, she's very sweet, friendly, and easy-going.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Slightly. She has a more cartoony design to her than the rest of the gang.
  • Noodle People: The thinnest of her friends.
  • 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. Although, "Gretch" is a common nickname for her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: It takes a lot bravery to stand up to someone like Krust the Worst and even more to hold her own in a food fight with her!

    Mikey Blumberg 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_mikey.jpg
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 artistic in the group, and he has a fondness for theater and poetry.


  • 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 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.
  • Camp Straight: He possesses an interest in characteristically feminine hobbies like poetry, dancing, and ballet, but is shown to have a Precocious Crush on his art teacher, Miss Salamone.
  • 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".
  • The Ditz: He's not really stupid, but rather naive and idealistic.
  • Drama Queen: 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".
  • Extreme Doormat: Can sometimes be this, due to his sheer niceness. In "Rumor Mill" he finally gets tired of being pushed around, though, and starts a rumor about himself to make other kids afraid of him.
  • 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.
  • Fat Idiot: Mikey is a naïve Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Gasshole: Sometimes tends to burp loudly after eating, as in the show's opening and at the worst possible time in The Movie.
  • Gentle Giant: He sings, writes poetry, takes ballet lessons (his parents enrolled him because they felt he wasn't graceful, but he really does enjoy dancing too), and is very sensitive and compassionate.
  • The Heart: He believes in notions of peace that are often dismissed by the others.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: At the beginning of "The Voice" he can only sing well in the bathroom; in public, his singing is hopelessly scratchy and out of tune. But with good voice lessons, he soon became the best singer in school.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the "Kindergarten Derby", Mikey bets a huge amount of Winger Dingers just to support Tubby, not caring whether he wins or loses, but in support of his friend...until Gretchen makes him realize exactly how many Winger Dingers he stands to win if Tubby actually wins the race. Then, all of a sudden...
    Mikey: RUN YOU LITTLE WHOMPER!! RUN!!!
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: He's notorious for having artistic leanings like poetry and ballet.
  • 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. He has a very sensitive soul.
  • 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 - to be specific, it sounds like the rich baritone of Robert Goulet.
  • Stout Strength: 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.
  • Vocal Evolution: Mikey's voice became lower in season 3, this is due to his voice actor going through puberty
Advertisement:

    Gus Griswald 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/character_gus.jpg
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 Mc Coolname: 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.
    • In "The Coolest Heatwave" he reveals that he once helped his father thwart an Evil Plan to crash the global economy, which involved them chasing down a dangerous criminal while skiing in the Alps, James Bond style.
  • 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 the latter 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. The intro even features him falling victim to the stickiness of his bubble gum he was blowing, then proceeding to blindly fall on the dodgeball cart.
  • 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.
  • The Chew Toy: He's frequently put on the end of the Amusing Injuries stick.
  • 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.
  • Cute Mute: In "Jinxed" due to being jinxed by the Ashleys.
  • The Cutie: He is one of the cutest members of the main six, courtesy of his shyness and naivety.
  • 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".
  • The Ditz: Quite possibly the most oblivious member of the gang. His social awkwardness and naivety makes him quite a frequent victim of exploitation.
  • 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.
    • Due to his father being an army officer, he's quite talented at military games and at times surprisingly quite quite athletic, as well as once helping his dad thwart a plan to crash the global economy while on a skiing trip. In addition, he often identifies civilian and military vehicles by name and designation on sight.
  • I Was Just Joking: He is prone to delivering these lines, such as "What are we going to do, get the entire playground up here?"
  • 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.
  • Nerd Glasses: He wears glasses to showcase his social awkwardness.
  • New Transfer Student: Introduced in the episode "The New Kid".
  • Nice Guy: Generally good-natured.
  • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: Don't hurt a little kid in front of him, ever.
  • 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.

Top