"King Gus" is the ninth episode of the first season of Recess, which was first broadcast on October 11th, 1997.



After King Bob felt ill, he appoints Gus as substitute king until his return, with disastrous results.

Main Story

King Bob felt ill with Tonsilitis, which results in him not being able to lead. To which he appoints Gus as a substitute King of the Playground during his absence. Under Gus' tenure, he enjoys his role as the King although soon tyrannises the playground as he becomes more forceful for the students and organizes time for students to meet him, including the gang, more so than Bob.

After solving a dispute between two first-grade girls, Gus starts acting more and more like King Bob, even having his hot temper and bossiness. He even institutes a cookie tax and imprisons all students who refuse or are unable to pay it and anyone who criticizes or even tries to reason with him. Because of this, more and more students are imprisoned which they then realize that Gus has turned into a tyrant. The prisoners escape and decide to dethrone him although a battle ensures from the rebels against his guards. It is adruptly cut as Bob has returned, presumably recovered, to regain his rightful place. Subsequently, he regains his royal powers from Gus, leaving him to be a regular student again. The gang quickly forgive him despite his cruel orders to them included among the students of the playground. Then King Bob asks Spinelli to be Lord Emperor of the West Playground, much to her exhilaration.


  • Dialogue error: Spinelli mentions becoming Lord Emperor of the West Playground. As she is a female, the correct title would have been "Empress", though this could be a deliberate mistake.
  • Dialogue/animation error: When Gus asks for apple juice, he is given an orange juice instead.
  • Animation error: Right after Gus becomes king and T.J. tells the gang they should congratulate him, his eye highlights are missing, and Lily's shirt has yellow stripes.



  • Mikey's statement "Uneasy [is] the head that wears [the] crown" is a direct quote from the Shakespeare play Henry IV, Part II.
  • King Bob gets his tonsils out.
  • Bob said Gus would not "think for himself", although in "The New Kid", Gus stood up to Bob for making the other students call him "the new kid".
  • The episode was shown before the 1997 re-release of The Little Mermaid.
  • Along with "Big Brother Chad", the 1985 "Rainbow Disney Castle" logo for Walt Disney Television introduces a variant where the background is dark purple at the end of the credits.


  • This is the first time we see someone other than King Bob rule the playground.
  • This is the third appearance of King Bob.
  • This was the first episode to be written by Peter Gaffney.
  • Peanut Butter Kid makes his first appearance, though he is unnamed.
  • Jordan and Jerome, King Bob's lackeys, make their first appearances in this episode.
  • The boy dressed up as a wizard also makes his first appearance.
    • It is also the only episode where he speaks; in other episodes, he just remains a cameo character.


  • Battleship Potemkin is referenced at the end of the episode with the baby carriage falling down the stairs, and The Bridge on the River Kwai with Mikey saying "Madness".
  • The two girls fighting over one doll is a reference to The Judgement of Solomon, though accidentally, Gus lets the girl who agreed to the idea of cutting the doll in half keep it.


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