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Recess Wiki

"The Break-Up" is the first episode of the second season of Recess, which was first 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.

Main Story

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 T.J., as each member expects he will write about them.

Recess begins, and Randall begins to follow T.J. and admits he chose T.J. for the "dumb essay" since he has nobody else to write about, despite the two not getting along. T.J. dismisses him and keeps walking, with Randall trying to bribe him. Mikey and Gretchen begin to share details about their best friend (T.J.), when Spinelli interrupts them. The five friends begin to argue over who is T.J.'s best friend. Vince decides to just ask T.J.. 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 T.J. to "Stay out of it, shorty!". T.J. tries to calm the situation, but things go bad and the gang splits up, declaring the others not their friend.

T.J. 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, T.J. 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. T.J. once again dismisses him until Randall has him follow to where his friends are.

T.J. 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. Spinelli'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 T.J., she notices she does not have a paper to hand back. T.J. 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":

T.J. 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, injuring his nose in the process.


  • Coloring/consistency error: There is one point in the episode where everything in the scene colored red becomes black. This was possibly due to the ink & paint department running out of red acrylic paint and had to use another color.
    • Note: These colors were changed in reruns, as well as Disney+. This change, however, did not improve correctly since T.J.'s cap and shoes were still darker than usual, and Randall's hair color is a different type of color.
  • Animation/audio/consistency error: When Sam is talking to Gus, it is animated as Dave talking.
  • Animation/continuity error: As soon as the gang enter the playground, Randall asks T.J. to be his friend for the assignment. However, Randall is not in class with the gang, so he would not have gotten it. There could have been a possibility that Randall's class assigned it as well.
  • Animation/continuity/consistency error: 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 for Gus and Spinelli, it would be hard since Gus wore a full digger uniform, and Spinelli donned body paint, a headdress, and an outfit similar to what the kindergartners are known for (looking a bit primitive).
  • Continuity/animation error: After the gang asks T.J. who is his best friend, there is a basketball backboard behind T.J. with its hoop right in the center of the rectangle. The hoop was supposed to be at the bottom part of the rectangle. During a previous scene, the hoop did appear at a lower position.



  • The gang was upset when T.J. 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.


  • 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. However, he would continue to be drawn with them on certain merchandise.
  • This is the second non-speaking appearance of King Bob.
  • This is the fourth time Miss Finster does not appear.

International Information

  • Oddly, "The Break-Up" ("Le Cassie-Pied") was the name of "The Pest" in the French dub.