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"First Name Ashley" is the seventh episode of the first season of Recess, which was first broadcast on October 4th, 1997.



After Randall reveals that Spinelli's first name is actually Ashley, she is forced to join The Ashleys. The Ashleys make her pretty and make her work as their servant.

Main Story

Randall tries to find some dirt on the other students, but all his efforts come to naught as he is caught spying by The Diggers, The Ashleys and Spinelli, who destroys his recording device. Finster gives him one more chance threatening to replace him and he finds Spinelli's permanent record, apparently with some real dirt: her first name. His threat to reveal this actually scares the usually tough-as-nails Spinelli, but Randall loses his influence when he pushes her too far with a list of demands she must meet. In retaliation, he yells her full name to the entire playground: Ashley Spinelli.

As it turns out, Spinelli doesn't dislike her first name out of what it is (she was named for a great-aunt who won the Iditarod) but rather what it represents in the school context; the only other Ashleys she knows are the snotty, prissy and oh-so-girly quartet of them and sharing their name means she'll have to join them. The others find the idea laughable as the Ashleys hate her guts and would never invite her to join under any circumstances........... or so they think. The Ashleys fear that their very name will be ruined if Spinelli is permitted to continue acting the way she does, so they reluctantly invite her to join in order to mould her into one of them. Spinelli naturally refuses, but the law is against her: by the playground constitution, any Ashley invited to join the clique by another must accept, and she gets dragged off by force. Once inside the Ashleys' Clubhouse, which is surprisingly bigger and more glamorous than the exterior would indicate, Spinelli is subjected to a forcible make-over and brainwashing routine as the Ashleys try to make her like them.

The rest of the gang try their hardest to find a loophole, but the only way for a person to get out of a clique is for the other members to vote them out unanimously. This, along with a prescient quote from Mikey, gives T.J. an idea. With the help of Hustler Kid, who supplies them with fake identity cards, every student on the playground changes their name to Ashley and invade the clique's clubhouse, with Spinelli inviting them all to join as they trash the place. A frantic Ashley A. begs them to leave and they agree on one condition: that Spinelli comes with them. Left with no other choice, the Ashleys agree and everyone leaves. Spinelli thanks her friends for helping to free her and quickly demonstrates that her time in the clique didn't change her at all by charging after a terrified Randall for teasing her over wearing a dress. The others watch her, T.J. remarking fondly that Spinelli is one of a kind.



  • Animation/continuity error: While the Ashleys are sitting in front of their lunchboxes at the cafeteria, Ashley T. is initially very close to the table corner. Once perspective changes, she is sitting much closer to the other Ashleys.
  • Animation/consistency error: When Spinelli is waiting to play tetherball, she is facing the last tetherball post. When Randall cuts in line in front of her, another tetherball post can be seen behind him during a short scene. However, while they are talking, there are no posts visible for several scenes. After Spinelli attacks Randall and the perspective changes to an aerial view, there are three tetherball posts on the playground.
  • Animation/continuity error: While the Ashleys are first seen drinking tea, all Ashleys are seen with a tea cup saucer in front of them. During a scene that shows the other Ashleys from Ashley A.'s perspective, her saucer is missing. This saucer eventually reappears after another perspective change.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Ashley A. invites Spinelli to the clubhouse, the other Ashleys are farther outside. After Ashley A. and Spinelli enter the clubhouse, all other Ashleys are already seen inside.
  • Animation/continuity error: While Ashley A. is talking to the other Ashleys about the change, her eyebrows are thicker than usual; the same error happens during the end of the talk, as Ashley B. and Ashley Q. also have thick eyebrows as well.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Spinelli runs and says "You'll never take me alive!", both Ashley B. and Ashley T.'s lips are lighter than usual.
  • Animation/continuity/consistency error: When Ashley A. and Ashley Q. are painting Spinelli's nails while Spinelli says, "No-o! No-o-o!", her eyebrows disappear for many frames.
  • Animation/continuity error: When the Ashleys present Spinelli as Ashley S., Ashley A. is initially very close to Spinelli. After perspective focuses on Spinelli, there is no other Ashley visible.
  • Dialogue/consistency error: After the Ashleys present Spinelli as Ashley S., Randall makes fun of Spinelli for wearing a dress. However, Spinelli is usually wearing a dress in every episode.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Gretchen and T.J. arrive to talk to Upside-Down Girl, Gretchen's drawing outline become thicker once T.J. stops moving.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Spinelli calls each male member of the gang "Ashley", Gus' belt is gray.
  • Coloring/animation error: When Ashley T. says "They're destroying our clubhouse", her lips turn light pink for a few times.
  • Animation/coloring error: In some last scenes of Ashley A., her eyebrows are blonde.
  • Animation/continuity/consistency error: Usually, Ashley T.'s hair length is down to where her head ends. However, when Ashley A. is reading the Constitution of the Playground, Ashley T.'s hair length is a bit longer than usual. Her hair length back to normal afterwards.



  • Spinelli's first name, Ashley, is revealed in this episode. Before the episode aired, Disney was very secretive about it; and left her first name off of their official website and tie-in material.
  • The Ashleys claim that the name "Ashley" is only a girl's name. On the contrary, "Ashley" is technically a unisex name (meaning that it can be used for both boys and girls), and, at least in the United States, "Ashley" was primarily a boy's name until the early 1980s.
    • In the United Kingdom, "Ashley" is still more common as a boy's name than a girl's name, with the alternative female spelling being "Ashleigh".
  • Despite the scene where Spinelli's nails are being painted, the characters' nails are never drawn in other episodes.
  • The video the Ashleys force Spinelli to watch is a spoof of the popular girls' toy line My Little Pony, instead called "My Fuzzy Unicorn". When the episode first aired, the toy line started its second era, or "G2" to collectors.
  • Ashley A.'s lunchbox has Hello Kitty on it.
  • Gretchen's last name is revealed to be Grundler in this episode.
  • Though it is never again explicitly stated, several later episodes hint that the Ashleys still desire to get Spinelli to be part of their clique. The two most prominent ones are "That Stinking Feeling" and "The Beauty Contest". In the former episode, the Ashleys sympathize with Spinelli's crush on a boy, and Ashley A. subsequently offers Spinelli one of the boys on their wall of pictures of acceptable boys. While in the latter episode, Ashley A. congratulates Spinelli on becoming a finalist and remarks to her how she is now just like them.
  • This is the first episode where a character is seen doing a cucumber facial. All four Ashley's are seen taking one.


  • This is one of the only episodes where Spinelli is seen having at least one eyelash; the others being "The Break In", "Swing on Thru to the Other Side", "Mama's Girl", and "Prickly Is Leaving". However, this episode and "Prickly Is Leaving" are the only episodes where it had Spinelli to have two eyelashes on each eye. "Mama's Girl" has Spinelli to have only one eyelash on one of her eyes briefly during her eye zoom (though, this is an animation error), and "The Break In" and "Swing on Thru to the Other Side" have Spinelli to have one eyelash on both of her eyes for brief times.
  • This was the first episode to be written by Holly Huckins.
  • This is the only episode where Spinelli is shown crying to herself.
  • This is the only episode where Ashley T. speaks more than twice.
  • Hustler Kid speaks for the first time in this episode.
  • Spinelli's older brother, Joey, is mentioned for the first time in this episode.
  • Douglas is mentioned in this episode, but he will not physically debut until "Randall's Reform".


  • Randall's line when he finds Spinelli's file, "Why with dirt like this, I could, dare I say it? Rule the playground!", is an allusion to one of Ringo's lines in the 1965 film starring The Beatles, Help! , where he says, "With a ring like that, I could, dare I say it? Rule the world!".
  • Ashley A.'s line about ending up with guys named "Paul" or "Joe" in middle school is an allusion to the series creators, Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere.

International Information

  • In the Latin Spanish dub, the names Ashley A. was talking about are changed to "Juan" and "Pedro" respectively, but those names are not English versions of "Paul" and "Joe".
    • However, in the Castilian Spanish dub, the names are kept.



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