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"Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Recess, which was first broadcast on October 18th, 1997.



Speedy, the class hamster, passes away, much to the depression of the students except Spinelli. They decide to throw a funeral for him out of honor.

Main Story

The funeral is continually interrupted as previous students of Third Street School come to Speedy's funeral. Spinelli even ends up getting emotional over the hamster's death. As the funeral proceeds more and more students, past and present, show up for the ceremony, some going as far back as forty years. Each new narrative that is told of Speedy's storied life is different and contains myriad variations of Speedy's appearance (to King Bob, Speedy had a stripe down his back; to Vic Vermicelli and the high school football team, he had little white paws like running shoes; to Mayor Fitzhugh, he (or she) was brown from head to toe; the Speedy being buried had a little spot under his chin). Gretchen examines Mayor Fitzhugh's school picture even further and discovers that the Speedy in the picture and the Speedy she knew are not the same hamster, shocking everyone. Miss Grotke eventually confesses that there have been numerous hamsters called Speedy from the day Third Street Elementary was built, and every time one had died, it would secretly be replaced before the children could notice. Despite learning of this deception, the students of Third Street, past and present, still decide to throw the funeral and each of them reminisce of a Speedy from their generation. 



  • Dialogue/continuity/accuracy error: According to Miss Grotke, every fourth-grade class from the foundation of Third Street School onward has had a hamster named Speedy. However, she might be mistaken, since Third Street School was built in the 1920s, and hamsters were not successfully domesticated until 1939.
  • Animation/continuity error: During the scene where Spinelli tells everyone about her memories of Speedy, eyelashes often appear on her eyes when they are entirely closed. When she blinks before she starts to claim that she actually loved everything about Speedy, her lash lines are also darker than usual.



  • The class does not seem to own a Speedy for the rest of the series. However, in Recess: School's Out, Gus mentions the class having a pet gerbil.
  • Since it is mentioned that he attended fourth grade in the year 1956, Mayor Fitzhugh is about fifty years old as of 1997.
  • This episode was mentioned in the movie, Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street, even though it did not air as a part of the movie.
  • Clips of this episode were included in a 2001 Disney's One Saturday Morning promo..
  • It is unknown what the Speedy Bertha knew looked like, since she did not mention it.
  • This is the first episode where a character let alone an animal dies. Another time an animal dies was in the episode Gus and Misdemeanors where a frog jumps in a polluted creek.



  • T.J. mentions a teacher named Mr. Germain, which is a reference to the show's co-creator, Paul Germain.
  • The episode's title is a reference to the Irish anti-war song, "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye".
  • King Bob declares the grave of Speedy, "The Tomb of the Unknown Speedy". This is a reference to "The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier", which is located at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.