"The Challenge" is the ninth episode of the second season of Recess, which was broadcast on October 10th, 1998.


Principal Prickly and his brother (as it is revealed in this episode that Principal Prickly of 3rd Street has an older brother, also a principal of an elementary school) square off on a bet based on a game of 4th grade kickball.


The kids play a wholesome game of kickball, all the while, Principal Prickly is being called by his brother, the other Principal Prickly. This Prickly decides to visit Third Street School to see how our Prickly is doing. Prickly then makes sure that the school is tidied up and ready for his brother's visit. Things are going well, just then, the other Prickly sees the game of dodge ball and challenges our Prickly to a game between their two teams. The kids express delight at a chance of missing school and they wear purple and gold uniforms for the occasion. The other Prickly was fixing the school in a fashion similar to our Prickly just before the gang's arrives.

Gus separates from the group going past the school's own, Upside-Down Girl and Guru Kid. Gus then falls into a hole dug by the school's own diggers, much to their chagrin, and to Gus's fright. He tries to tell the gang, but he fails, and they don't find out about the school being an exact replica of their school, until they meet the other team, their own clones. They play the game, and each team is evenly matched (Even Gus and his clone both stink). This goes on for some time until T.J. negotiates with his clone, C.J., and the kids call it a draw, much to the Prickly brothers' displeasure. And while the kids go play on the clones' playground, the Prickly brothers fight until way past the end of the episode.

98th Street School's similarities


The Recess Gang and their Clones

The other Prickly's school has clones of the characters from Third street school that are only different in some aspect of their appearence, and in some cases gender. The ones that are seen in this episode, and their appearance differences are as follows:

  • C.J. Rotweiler: A clone of T.J., C.J. is a girl instead of a boy with curly ginger hair and a blue baseball cap, as opposed to T.J's red one.
  • Rigalli: A clone of Spinelli. Rigalli is Caucasian, has short blonde hair down, and a beret as opposed to Spinelli's beanie.
  • Vance: A clone of Vince. Vance is Caucasian and has golden hair that is slicked back.
  • Greta Grobler: A clone of Gretchen. Is Indian-American, has brown hair with no pigtails (similar to Rigelli), and square glasses as opposed to Gretchen's round ones.
  • Mickey: A clone of Mikey. He is Asian with black hair but otherwise looks pretty much similar.
  • Rus Rimple: A clone of Gus. He is African-American and has longer black hair in a hairstyle similar to Vince. He has virtually the same glasses, however. In "Gus and Misdemeanors" Gus said he had a friend named Rus.
  • The building is almost the same, but is red as opposed to the Third Street's yellow.
  • There's a clone of Upside Down Girl that is African-American and has a long braid in place of the pigtails.
  • There's a clone of the Guru Kid that is very obese.
  • Gus stumbles upon the clones of the diggers, who are girls with short blond hair that wear similar helmets, green overalls, white shirts, and a purple and pink neckerchief respectively.
  • 98th Street School has a janitor similar to Hank. His name is Harry, but he has no mustache, is somewhat overweight, wears a green shirt and a red cap, and appears to be bald.
  • C.J. mentions that their jungle-gym is named "Old Crusty", similar to Old Rusty.
  • A tired pile club similar to the Ashley club but without the flag with the A, meaning that it might be a boys club.
  • The Megans from the episode Dance Lessons might be clones of the Ashleys from this school.


  • Only the Gang is shown going to 98th Street School, but later, some students from Third Street School are also shown at the stands.
  • When T.J. says "But we are not up right now", the '3 ST' on his jersey is inverted.


  • The scene of the painter painting the ceiling is a parody of Michael Angelo's Sistine Chapel (with Peter Prickly in the role of Adam), while the scene of the construction workers raising Paul Prickly's flagpole is a parody of Iwo Jima.
  • "Mickey", "Rus", and "Vance" were also the names that Mrs. Spinelli called Mikey, Gus, and Vince in "Parents' Night".
  • This episode was included as a bonus on the DVD of Recess: All Growed Down.
  • The other school's name, 98th Street School, may be a refrence to the year the episode was aired, (19)98.
  • Greta, Rigalli, C.J., and the female diggers were the only students from 98th Street School to speak in the episode.
  • The landscaping truck that arrived at Third Street School at the beginning of the episode was called "Joe and Paul's Landscaping", a reference to the creators.
  • This was the final episode written by Jon Greenberg