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Recess Wiki
Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade
Recess Taking the Fifth Grade.jpg
Format Comedy
Network Disney
Run N/A (DVD)
Broadcast Infomation
Seasons N/A (DVD)
Episode # 03
Status Out of print, and considerably in the "Disney Vault".
Previously on Netflix
Now on Disney+
Related Recess
Recess: School's Out
Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street
Recess: All Growed Down

Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade is a direct-to-video animated film released on December 9th, 2003. The film is based on the Disney television series Recess. It was released simultaneously with another direct-to-video film, Recess: All Growed Down. It is considered the series finale to the show, as noted by the back cover description.

Summary (from DVD)

Only here can you see the final chapter of the Recess series. Everyone's favorite fourth graders have graduated! It's an all-new school year for the kids - and the gang hits the fifth grade running! But they're stopped in their tracks when they discover some unwelcome changes - no pizza, no lockers! And to make things worse, their teacher turns out to be the cantakerous Miss Finster! It's all too much for T.J., who is determined to find a way to stand up for what the gang believes in and improve the school they love!

The fifth grade brings out the best in everyone...even Miss Finster and Principal Prickly! Full of excitement, surprises, and loads of laughs - you'll discover Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade to learn about friendship, cooperation, and most of all, fun!


  1. "No More School"
  2. "The Fifth and Sixth Graders' Club"
  3. "A Recess Halloween"


The film cuts later to another day of school where T.J. and the gang play a calm game of kicking the ball to each other during recess until the bell rings. As T.J. and his friends, along with Miss Finster and the other children, go inside the school to their classes, T.J. narrates that even though things change as they grow up, sticking to what they believe and staying true to themselves will make everything okay.

And as Miss Finster is about to close the doors, T.J. waves to the audience saying he got a feeling that it will be the best school year yet, and that he really means it. Miss Finster then sighs, and as T.J. moves to his class, Miss Finster gently shuts the doors, thus ending the film and the series.

DVD Bonus Episodes

  1. "The Break In"
  2. "The New Kid"


While the film is no longer available in stores, the movie is available for purchase and rental on iTunes. The film was also available for streaming via Netflix from 2013 to November 12th, 2019. The film is now available on Disney+ in various countries.


  • Crediting/grammar error: Aria Noelle Curzon was incorrectly credited as Ria Noelle Curzon.
  • Coloring/continuity error: After T.J. walks out of Principal Prickly's office, Vince's wristbands turn green.
  • Animation/consistency error: When the kindergartners appear, they are the same ones from last year.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When T.J. is asking Miss Finster what she is being for Halloween, the sleeves on Gretchen's dress are blue.
  • Coloring/animation error: When Miss Finster turns the light back on when the gang and the teachers are in the old Gordon place, the face paint T.J. had on for his Halloween costume is missing.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Gretchen is telling Hector and Tubby that they need to act like proper first graders, her freckles are missing.
  • Animation/continuity error: When the B.O.E. members get out of their car and walk up to Principal Prickly, Gordy disappears for a frame.
  • Coloring/animation error: When Hector is asking politely for his ball back, Tubby's ear turns orange for a frame.
  • Coloring/consistency error: When Koreo went into the club, he was colored to look like Gelman.
  • Animation/continuity error: Throughout the film, Jordan & Jerome were seen multiple times.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Flo is shown using the camera, her headband matches her hair color.



  • As no new projects have been announced for the series as of 2022, this is the true series finale to Recess.
  • Due to adolescence, Mikey, Gus, and Randall all sound noticeably different, despite being voiced by their original actors.
  • Certain stores sold this movie and Recess: All Growed Down as a two-pack set. There was no fancy packaging; the two DVDs were both shrink-wrapped together instead.
  • When the movie was released on DVD, the series premiere episodes "The Break In" and "The New Kid" were added as bonus episodes. They were not available on the video release.
  • Despite the fact that she only appears in the movie twice and has four lines of dialogue, Miss Grotke (Allyce Beasley) is still listed among the main character credits.
  • In this movie, one of the scenes reveals that Spinelli does not like to sing very much since she answered to Miss Finster's question that she thanks for the suggestion, but she does not want to sing for the Halloween tradition. This is presumably because she thinks she is not a good singer and is better known to physical and manly interests than anything else.


Production Information

  • The original working title for the movie was Recess: Grade 5.
  • The original name of episode one was "T.J. Detweiler vs. the Board of Education". The name was based on the Supreme Court case, "Brown v. Board of Education".
  • The three segments in the film were initially planned as being part of another season of the show or a follow-up series ABC wanted to air for the 2002-03 television season. For unknown reasons, it was cancelled and made into the movie instead.


  • The ending of the movie is an allusion to the end of the intro.



Media: Recess (Episode List) | Recess: School's Out | Recess: All Growed Down | Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade | Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street

Characters: T.J. Detweiler | Vince LaSalle | Ashley Spinelli | Mikey Blumberg | Gretchen Grundler | Gus Griswald | Captain Bradley | Cornchip Girl | The Diggers | Hustler Kid | Erwin Lawson | Miss Grotke | Muriel Finster | Becky Detweiler | Dr. Phillium Benedict | Menlo | Brock | Peter Prickly | Bald Guy | Butch | Ashley Armbruster | Ashley Boulet | Ashley Quinlan | Ashley Tomassian | Fenwick | Brandon the Singer | Gelman | King Bob | Chucko | Jocko | Randall Weems | King Freddy II | Chewy | Spencer | Swinger Girl | Upside-Down Girl | Gordy | Hector | Miss Lemon | Lunchlady Irma | Tubby | Jordan & Jerome | Flo Spinelli | Bob Spinelli | Guru Kid

Songs: Recess Theme Song | "We Shall Not Be Moved" | "Jingle Bells" (Recess Version) | "The Otter Dance" | Bonky Theme Song