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"My Funny Valentines" is the twelfth episode of the third season of Recess, which was first broadcast on November 13th, 1999.



After showing his disdain for Valentine's Day, T.J. creates "funny" Valentines for each and everyone of the Fourth Grade girls at Third Street School. However, complications ensue after he gives them out.

Main Story

On the day before Valentine's Day, the kids in Miss Grotke's class are decorating their Valentine bags for the next day. Unlike the other kids, T.J. drew a realistic human heart on his bag. Miss Grotke tells him that the other kids might be too scared of his bag to put Valentines in it, but T.J. admits that he does not care whether or not he actually gets any cards, admitting that he does not like Valentine's Day, finding it to be a dumb holiday.

At the end of the day, the gang walks out of school with Spinelli complimenting T.J. on how it took guts to say what he said in class about Valentine's Day. Mikey on the other hand does not agree with anything T.J. said, saying that he thinks it is the most beautiful day of the year. Gretchen adds that the traditional aspect appeals to her, and Gus states that he likes the candy. T.J. shrugs it off, and leads the gang to Kelso's.

Once the gang gets to Kelso's, Mikey points out that they are selling Valentines, leading Vince, Gretchen, and Gus over to the display: there are sports-themed cards, space-themed cards and Beany McChimp-themed cards. T.J. and Spinelli get annoyed with their friends getting excited about the cards, however, Spinelli goes over to join them when Gus announces that there are also wrestling-themed cards. Upset, T.J. goes over to the counter where Mr. Kelso greets him, ordering a strawberry frappe with extra syrup. Knowing that he only orders that when he's upset, T.J. explains to Mr. Kelso that he is annoyed that everyone's so excited about Valentine's Day cards. Mr. Kelso explains that when he was a kid, he and his schoolmates had to make all the cards by hand instead of simply buying them - this gives T.J. an idea.

That night, T.J. is sitting in his room, making Valentines. However, he decides to make them into prank Valentines, turning usual Valentine messages into jokes. The next day, Hank lets T.J. into the classroom early, "since it's for a good cause." T.J. then proceeds to put the joke cards into each of the girls' bags.

During recess, the students are looking at their Valentines with enjoyment. Vince congratulates T.J. for boycotting Valentine's Day, but T.J. tells him that at that moment, each girl at their school was opening up a handmade Valentine from him. Although Vince comments T.J. on being a "softy," T.J. explains that all the Valentines had jokes written on them, by showing one of them to Vince, and adds that he hopes the Valentines will show the girls how dumb the holiday is. Then, a girl walks up to T.J. and thanks him for the card, commenting on how sweet he is. Though T.J. is surprised, she explains that no-one expected him to give any Valentines out after what he said the previous day, but she was happy that he made a special exception for her, and that she was flattered, much to T.J.'s disbelief. Judy comes up to him next with her card, he tells her there's no hard feelings, but she tells him that she loved the card, and asks him when he is going to "compare [her] to that summer's day" - part of the joke he wrote on the card. T.J. tells her he will do that next week, and she walks off happily. T.J. feels as if he is in trouble, and Vince tells him to come up with one of his famous plans. T.J. explains that this was one of his famous plans. 

Meanwhile, in the Ashleys' Clubhouse, Ashley A. is going through her Valentines, calling each one stupid until she gets to T.J.'s Valentine. The rest of the Ashleys walk in, commenting on how bad their Valentines are. Ashley A. tells them that they've been a little to hard on T.J., and Ashley B. tells her she is been thinking the same thing. Ashley Q. also agrees with them. Ashley A. decides to put his picture on their wall of acceptable boys, but Ashley B. is not sure if any of them have his picture.

On the playground, Kurst the Worst asks the Diggers if they have seen T.J., with Dave telling her he has not. Kurst explains that when they do, she wants to talk to T.J. about the Valentine he gave her, and she calls him a "dear". T.J. and Vince come up out of the Diggers' hole after she walks off, and T.J. thanks them for letting them hide in it. Dave comments on that they need to get out before second recess as he and Sam walk off. T.J. tells Vince that he is upset about how each girl thought the Valentine he gave each of them was special, and that he did not want them to find out that other girls got Valentines from him, too. Vince tells him that he needs to tell the girls to keep the Valentines "between them". T.J. is confused about how Vince knows about this, and he adds that it's because his parents just got cable.

At the same time, the Ashleys have put all the other pictures of "acceptable boys" together to make a picture of T.J.. Ashley A. tells them that she found him acceptable due to the Valentine he gave her. However, the other Ashleys noted that he made one for each of them, too. Ashley B., Ashley Q., and Ashley T. get into an argument over who got the better Valentine, until Ashley A. explains that T.J.'s in trouble for giving each of them a special Valentine. 

Over by the swingset, T.J. tells Swinger Girl that he's glad she liked his Valentine, but he wants it to be between him and her, as well as Vince. Suddenly, Ashley A. calls all the girls of the playground over to their clubhouse, and  Swinger Girl leaves. T.J. compliments Vince on his plan.

After all the girls gathered to the clubhouse, Ashley A. tells all the girls that T.J. gave each of them a "special" Valentine, much to their dismay. The first girl was upset because T.J. said she was "special", and Swinger Girl was upset because he told her to keep it between them. Ashley A. decides that they should all give T.J. a makeover as his punishment, and they all agree with her. Over by the swing set, T.J. wonders what all the girls are talking about, until he hears them chanting, "Get T.J.!". Vince yells at T.J. to run, which they do as the girls chase after them.

In order to get away from the girls, T.J. and Vince run behind one of the ball walls. Right as T.J. is explaining his escape plan, Spinelli finds him and thanks him for the Valentine, noting how special he made it by dotting the "i"s in her name with little skulls. As he tells her to keep it between them, Gretchen arrives and thanks him for her Valentine. Spinelli is disappointed with T.J., thinking that all this time, she was the first string on his team. He reassures her that she is, until Gretchen wonders about her place, with him saying both of them are first string. T.J. tries to get Vince to help him, but he tells him that he "knows nothing." Over by the monkey bars, the girls wonder where T.J. is, with Spinelli pointing out his hiding place to them. They proceed to chase after him, with T.J. and Vince heading to the boys' bathroom to hide.

After running into the boys' room, Gus and Mikey walk out of their separate stalls at the same time, apparently playing some sort of game. When Mikey asks them what game they've been playing, T.J. says it is, "Hide from girls." Gus asks if he and Mikey can play, but Vince explains T.J.'s situation with the cards. Afraid of the girls trapping them inside, Gus and Mikey begin to leave, until they notice that it's too late where their trapped by girls. On the other side of the door, it is shown that Gretchen and Spinelli leads the girls there. Vince tells the other boys that his brother, Chad, told him that girls can stay mad for up to seven years, which puts T.J. in a panic. Mikey suggests that T.J. should simply apologize for what he has done, which he does.

As the girls bang on the door, Vince holds out the white flag and comes out, saying that he comes in peace. Ashley A. asks for T.J., and he explains that he will be out in a minute, but the girls have to hear him out before doing anything else. T.J. then walks out and apologizes for what he did. After hearing his apology, the girls at first forgive T.J., but when T.J. reveals that the cards he made for all the girls are actually joke cards, the girls stop and realize that T.J. did not actually mean any of the stuff he said. Spinelli orders them to go after him, and they begin chasing him again. Vince thinks that next year, T.J. should buy his cards like a normal kid, with Gus adding that T.J. will never be a normal kid.


  • Coloring/continuity error: When T.J. walks into the empty classroom with the help of Hank, the "Happy Valentines" text on T.J.'s bag flashes in a much brighter color for a frame.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Ashley A. first reads the letter from T.J., it is heart-shaped. Later, during the argument about whose card is better, her card's shape changes to rectangle.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Ashley A. tells the other Ashleys about the card, Ashley T.'s hair turns red.



  • This episode and "That Stinking Feeling" are considered the Valentine's Day episodes of the series, however, the episodes did not air anywhere near the holiday. 
  • The first girl who talks to T.J. about her valentine is voiced by E.G. Daily when she first speaks,. However, later in the episode, she is voiced by Mayim Bialik.
  • The heart design on Ashley B.'s valentine bag resembles the heart background shown at the end of every episode of "The Powerpuff Girls".


  • This is the first episode in which the Ashleys (and a few other girls) crush on T.J, as no other girls, other than Spinelli, have crushed on him before.


  • The episode's title is a reference to the movie, My Funny Valentine.

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