The episode starts with everyone playing at recess. All the playing equipment is packed. There are too many people at the cheese corner, too many people doing jump ropes. There are even tons of people on the seesaw! There are also kids on the roundabout.
Gus and Gretchen are in the line to play tetherball, but the line is long. Gus points out how many kids there are in line. Gretchen tells him that there are 27 kids ahead of them. But when another pushes them out of their way and cuts them, well, make that 28.
Out of all of them, the jungle gym looks the most crowded. There are kids piling on to it from top to bottom. Mikey tries to get them to let him in, so he jumps in, only to get trapped in.
T.J., Spinelli, and Vince are playing baseball. T.J. gets ready to throw the ball, but there are incoming kids that prevent him from doing so. When T.J. throws the ball, Vince catches it with the glove, but only to be tackled by a bunch of football players shortly after.
Then the bell rings, and everyone goes inside. The hallways are packed with students. Vince points out that the school is getting more crowded every day. Gretchen tells him that overcrowdedness is a real trend of the public school system, their school is no exception. T.J. is looking forward to lunch, but the gang and other kids find out that the lunch room is packed with a line, much to the gang's dismay. Vince notices that they're having Tuna Fish Tacos for lunch.
The gang gets excited because there's one more kid until them. But, the lunchlady announces that they're all out of Tuna Fish Tacos. Much to the gang's dismay. But Gretchen tells the gang that they're probably cooking up a batch of Tuna Fish Tacos as they speak, but the lunchlady instead gives them cream liver and eggplant, much, much more to the gang's dismay.
As the gang go home from school, they complain about what a lousy day it was, and they wish they could have the whole school to themselves, but then, they tell themselves and each other, that at their school, there's no room for dreaming.
The next day, as the bell rings, the gang run to school, thinking that they're late. When they see that both the entrance and the hallways are downright DESERTED, Gretchen tells them that she has the time for the Colorado region, and that it's only 30 seconds after 8:00 AM. The kids rush to Miss Grotke's classroom, to see only Miss Grotke there. Miss Grotke tells the gang that the kids who ate the Tuna Fish Tacos are home sick, to which Gretchen asks that they 're all alone. Gus asks Miss Grotke if she ate the tuna fish tacos, but Miss Grotke tells Gus that the faculty eat slightly different than the kids eat.
Miss Grotke tells them about the Faculty Lunch Room, where Principal Prickly tells the waiters what he and Miss Grotke would want to eat. Miss Grotke says that since the rest of the kids are out, they're going to spend the day exercising the creative side of their brains. Vince tells Spinelli, in other words, to which Spinelli says, pretty day. And T.J. says his catchphrase, "Tender."
After the gang plays around in the classroom, they go outside at 10 o'clock for recess. The playground is all theirs, with Miss Finster checking on all the sick kids. Mikey does a Tarzan yell on top of Old Rusty, Vince plays tetherball with Spinelli and Gretchen, T.J. acts like King Bob, and Gus plays with his toy plane.
The fun gets better during lunch, when the gang learns that they're having pizza! Each of the kids gets as many slices as they want from Lunchlady Irma, and each kid gets their own table. After that, they have a food fight. By the end of the day, Spinelli is actually looking forward to the next day.
However, the next day starts to get boring as Miss Grotke makes all the gang sit in the front, and the leftover pizza is so stale it shatters on the plate. Soon, they're given a lot of homework to give to all the sick kids.
The next day, the school is still deserted. Desperate, Gus pulls out... a note! Everyone reacts to Gus' plan like he's about to commit suicide! Heck, when Vince and Spinelli take the note from him, Gus even sobs, "I could have got out! I really could have!"
T.J. reads the note:
"Dear Miss Grotke,
Please excuse our son Gus from school, he is so sick he should probably stay home until all the other kids are better.
Signed... My Mom?"
This gives T.J. an idea. When Spinelli asks if it involves sick notes, T.J. replies that that would be too obvious. Instead, they'll give the school nurse the idea that they're sick.
They start by sending Gus to the school nurse, having him pretend he's sick while Gretchen gets a book on childhood diseases. As soon as she finds a good one, T.J. gives the signal, and Gus suddenly "gets better."
Later, Gretchen colors dots on the others' faces with green markers while having them eat blue candies. The result: the nurse is shocked to see that the whole gang has green spots and blue tongues. When Gretchen and T.J. tell her to check the medical text, the nurse cries out "Good Sweet Mike!" for she is led to believe that the children are seriously ill. T.J. asks if they can go home, but the nurse says that it's much worse than that. Shortly after T.J. asks what she means by worse, the CDC comes to quarantine the gang!
Spinelli sarcastically calls Gretchen "Einstein," while Gretchen apologizes, saying that she thought that the disease's symptoms were green spots and blue tongues instead of blue spots and green tongues. T.J. is optimistic that the CDC can't keep them in forever. But a CDC man tells them that they'll all pull through before walking away, crying. The episode ends as Gus, Vince, and T.J. wish they were outside with all the other kids.
- During lunch, when T.J. asks Vince for another pepperoni, Vince instead gives him his entire pizza.
- This is the first episode where T.J. uses his catchphrase, "Tender".
- This was the first episode written by Steve Bannos.
- In reality, the school would have been shut down while all the students were recovering from poisoning, or simply canceled class.
- The CDC should have very easily been able to tell that the kids were faking.
- T.J. Detweiler - Andrew Lawrence
- Vince LaSalle - Rickey D'Shon Collins
- Ashley Spinelli - Pamela Segall-Adlon
- Gretchen Grundler - Ashley Johnson
- Mikey Blumberg - Jason Davis
- Gus Griswald - Courtland Mead
- Miss Finster - April Winchell
- Miss Grotke - Allyce Beasley
- Principal Prickly - Dabney Coleman
- Lunchlady Irma/Nurse Kramer - Andrea Martin
- Man - Sam McMurray
- Kid - Ryan O'Donohue