"Surely, there must be some mistake. I mean, this defies the rules of nature and physics. Besides that, it's disgusting!"

"The Experiment" is the third episode of the first season of Recess, which was broadcast on September 20th, 1997.



After a chilling story of a boy and girl kissing is told by Butch, T.J. and Spinelli are chosen in an experiment to see what happens.

Main Story

The boys of The Recess Gang are telling scary stories (one of which involves Jimmy Cratner being abducted by aliens), until Butch appears suddenly out of the shadows with a white streak in his hair. He explains the origin of it, he was spying on his brother, Joey, when he saw him and Christie, kiss (as the majority of the cast is elementary school kids, they are grossed out). Butch then tells them that his brother liked it, and soon, all of the boys will reject all the playground fun for girls, and they will like it.

This unsettles the whole gang so much that they decide to test this theory. T.J. and Spinelli are randomly chosen, to which they take pretty badly. They kiss with the whole playground watching the next day, and flowers and rainbows appear, implying that they did like it. However, they react with disgust nonetheless, (protecting their reputation), giving great relief to the rest of the students. T.J. and Spinelli walk back to the school together teasing Butch and his stories, when just then, without the knowledge of anyone, Jimmy Cratner appears, apparently having just been given a ride on a spaceship, and runs to the school to avoid tardiness.


  • Animation/consistency error: When Joey and Christie starts to look together after he places his hand on her shoulder, their eyes are bigger than usual.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Joey and Christie are kissing together, Christie's lips are not drawn.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Gretchen and Spinelli say "Ew!" together, Spinelli's teeth are missing.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Spinelli says, "Touch me with that (lipstick) and I will break your arm", the blouse she was wearing over her dress was missing.
  • Animation/continuity error: When T.J. gets hit in the head with a paper airplane, he sees Ashley Q., Ashley T., and Judy laughing across the room, even though Judy is sitting behind him.
  • Animation/continuity error: When T.J. stops the gang on their way home to bring up what Butch said earlier, Gus' watch is missing.
  • Animation/continuity error: In the first shot when the gang are prepared for the experiment, there are no trash cans. However, after a couple shots, the trash cans appear. They later disappear afterwards.
  • Animation/continuity/consistency error: Various kids during T.J. and Spinelli's experiment either replace one of the kids, move from spot to spot, or do both of these options. A student can also appear and/or disappear randomly during these scenes. Here are some examples of this.
    • The marching drummers first appears when T.J. and Spinelli are about to start the experiment. For some reason, one of the marching drummers later moved to one of the spots near the kids. At the beginning and end of the second scene of their kiss, only two marching drummers appear.
    • In the first shot of T.J. and Spinelli trying to kiss before Judy gasps, there are no kids in the background. The kids in the background later appear in the second shot of them in which they stopped and try it again; it is possible if the kids have moved to this space off-screen. At the beginning and end of the second scene of their kiss, all of those kids replaces the gang and marching drummers. On the last shot of them kissing before they stopped, the kids that appeared at first replaces them.
    • In the first shot of the shocking kids watching T.J. and Spinelli's kiss, two girls that are previously seen moves to the right of this spot. When the second shot is shown after T.J. and Spinelli's kiss officially started, the girl with brown hair and a short-sleeved green shirt disappears. In the third shot, this girl appears again, and the boy near the kid with brown hair and a gray hoodie disappears. When the fourth and final shot of this scene is shown (in which the kids are talking), this boy appears again, two tall boys move and gets a bit of personal space together, and the girl with blonde hair and a ponytail disappears.
  • Animation/continuity error: When the scene shows a close-up of T.J. and Spinelli's kiss, the girl in the middle has her mouth changed without it being animated.
  • Animation/continuity error: When some members of the gang gasps about T.J. and Spinelli trying to kiss together as an experiment, Vince's skin color is darker than usual.



  • This episode was adapted into a novelization by Disney Publishing for their Disney Chapters series in 1998.
  • The episode shares the same name as the third episode of Beethoven: The Animated Series, though the episodes have different plots. The show was developed by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, the creators of Recess.
  • On ABC's official Recess website, an audio clip of Spinelli saying, "Touch me with that and I'll break your arm" was included on Spinelli's character page, and a video clip of Gretchen explaining how they are going to do the experiment was included on Gretchen's character page. The video clip was later put on the Toon Disney website, along with a video clip of T.J. saying goodbye to his "happy childhood".
  • A clip of Gretchen in the cafeteria was used for Disney Channel's "Coming Up Next" bumpers for Recess from 2003 to 2006.
  • The first three minutes of this episode were shown in the preview of the inaugural season of Disney's One Saturday Morning. However, this episode would premiere a week after the first episode.
  • In 2020, T.J. and Spinelli's first kiss was ranked #20 on MsMojo's "Top 20 Best First Kisses in Cartoons".


  • This is the first time T.J. wears his formal outfit; he wore it again in "One Stayed Clean".
  • Jimmy Cratner is mentioned for the first time in this episode.
  • This is the first episode where it implies that someone has a crush together, which is T.J. and Spinelli.
  • This is Butch's first appearance in the series.
  • This episode includes the first appearances of Ashley A., Ashley B., and Ashley Q., however they will not be identified until "Jinxed" (They are named in the episode, but it is not pointed out who Gus is referring to when he mentions them). Also, Ashley A. and Ashley B. are not shown wearing their signature outfits.
  • This was Courtland Mead's first episode to voice Gus.
  • This was the first episode to be written by Lesa Kite.
  • This was the first episode of the series to air on Toon Disney, at 7:00 AM on September 1st, 2003
    • This is also the first to air on Disney Channel, at 3:30 PM on September 8th, 2003.

International Information

  • In the German dub, both T.J. and Spinelli's Mr. Monk-Monk are referred to as "their favorite monkey".
  • In the Latin Spanish dub, both T.J and Spinelli's Mr. Monk-Monk are referred to as "El Hijo de King Kong" ("the King Kong's son").
  • This episode was skipped in the Czech dub.
  • In the Portuguese dub for the episode, the title was left unchanged in English, though other episodes of the dub had their names changed.

Foreign Dub Titles

Note - Some foreign dubs leave the title in English

  • French: "L'expérience" ("Experience")
  • German: "Das Experiment" ("The Experiment")
  • Italian: "L'esperimento" ("The Experiment")
  • Japanese: "キスってどんな感じ?" ("What Does a Kiss Feel Like?")
  • Polish: "Eksperyment" ("Experiment")
  • Spanish: "El Experimento" ("The Experiment")
  • Latin Spanish: "El Experimento" ("The Experiment")



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