"The Break-Up"[1] is the first episode of the second season of Recess, which was broadcast on September 12th, 1998.


The Recess Gang breaks-up when a report to write about their best friend prompts division as all five of the others write about T.J., prompting T.J. to realize that he has five best friends, not just one best friend.


Miss. Grotke provides a writing assignment for her class: "My Best Friend" and tells the class they must write a report about their one best friend and what makes them special. Everyone in the gang knows who they are writing about and look over to TJ, as each member expects he will write about them.

Recess begins and Randall begins to follow TJ and admits he chose TJ for the "dumb essay" since he has nobody else to write about, despite the two not getting along. TJ dismisses him and keeps walking, with Randall trying to bribe him. Mikey and Gretchen begin to share details about their best friend (TJ), when Spinelli interrupts them. The five friends begin to argue over who is TJ's best friend. Vince decides to just ask TJ. Before he can explain, each member tries to guilt him by reminding him when they have helped him do something,such as give him a boost, tutoring, etc. The five friends turn on one another by calling each other names such as geek and fatso, even Mikey telling TJ to "Stay out of it, shorty!". TJ tries to calm the situation, by things go bad and the gang splits up, declaring the others not their friend.

Tj gets on the bus home looking to sit by one of his friends, with each one blocking the seat next to them. Randall offers him a seat before laughing maniacally.

The next day at recess, TJ goes to look for his gang, who are nowhere to be seen. Randall comes up to him and tells him they all have split up and found new best friend(s), and tells him how much he despises friends, calling all friends "jerks", as he has had bad experiences with people he thought were friends, but treated him horribly. TJ once again dismisses him until Randall has him follow to where his friends are.

TJ realizes he needs to pick either one best friend or none at all, and goes home to write his assignment. The next day, Miss Grotke is handing back the essays, She tells Gretchen that it is nice she bonded with 'Upside Down Girl', but best friends usually know each other's real names. Spielli's paper was said to be inspiring, yet primitive. Grotke hands Gus his paper, which was nice, but hard to read with the dirt and dust. When she gets to TJ, she notices she doesn't have a paper to hand back. TJ admits he did not turn it in, but has it with him and wants to read it aloud. She gives him the okay as he reads. He admits in his paper he has no best friend, but has some "pretty great friends"

  • A kid who is the most athletic and popular kid who could hang out with anybody, but chooses to hang out with TJ (Vince)
  • A kid who is so smart, she could possibly build an atom bomb- but uses her brain to help him when he's down (Gretchen)
  • A kid who is so tough, she could take down someone twice her size, but uses her abilities to help out kids who cannot defend themselves (Spinelli)
  • A kid who may look big and scary, but would not hurt a fly and has a heart of gold (Mikey)
  • And a new kid who some say is a scaredy cat, but TJ knows is a hero just by seeing him face his fears and do what's right (Gus)

TJ ends his paper by saying he does not have a best friend, he instead had five. The room applauds. The next scene shows the whole gang is once again back together and they promise to never fight again and apologize for being so mean to one another. The episode ends with Randall playing tether ball by himself until he hits himself in the face.


  • Coloring error: There's one point in the episode where everything in the scene colored red becomes black. This was due to the ink & paint department running out of red ink and had to use another color.
  • Animation/lip-synching error: When Sam is talking to Gus, it's animated as Dave talking.
  • Continuity error: As soon as the gang enter the playground, Randall asks T.J. to be his friend for the assignment. However, Randall isn't in class with the gang, so he wouldn't have gotten it. There could've been a possibility that Randall's class assigned it as well.
    • Also in the episode, the gang is seen in their new outfits, but once school ends they are all dressed normally. For Mikey, Gretchen, and Vince it would be easy since their outfits did not change much. But Gus was in full digger uniform and Spinelli donned body paint, a headress, and an outfit similar to what the Kindergartners are known for (looking a bit primitive)


  • This is the first episode to be animated by Plus One Animation.
  • Tubby makes his first appearance in this episode.
  • Starting with this episode, T.J. is no longer regularly drawn with eye highlights in the show. He would continue to be drawn with them on certain merchandise, however.
  • Oddly enough, "The Break-up" ("Le Cassie-Pied") was the name of "The Pest" in the French dub.
  • This is the second non-speaking appearance of King Bob.
  • This is the fourth time Miss Finster does not appear.
  • The gang was upset when TJ would not choose a singular best friend. However, some of them appear to be hypocritical when seen with their new "best friend"
    • Vince is not exactly clear if King Bob is his best friend or a fellow guard- or all the guards
    • Gus is seen with both Digger Boys- he would be writing about both of them as he never explicitly says which one is his best friend
    • Spinelli is seen with a horde of Kindergartners- never making it clear if just one is her best friend.


  • T.J. Detweiler - Ross Malinger
  • Vince LaSalle - Rickey D'Shon Collins
  • Ashley Spinelli - Pamela Segall-Adlon
  • Gretchen Grundler - Ashley Johnson
  • Mikey Blumberg/Tubby - Jason Davis
  • Gus Griswald - Courtland Mead
  • Miss Grotke - Allyce Beasley
  • Randall Weems/Kid #1 - Ryan O'Donohue
  • Sam/Guru Kid/Phil - Klee Bragger
  • King Bob's Guard - Justin Shenkarow
  • Zedd/various kindergarteners - E.G. Daily
  • Kid #2 - Francesca Smith