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"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 to one another. Vince tells of Jimmy Cratner being abducted by aliens, Gus tells about a guy who only ate carrots and woke up orange, Mikey tells of a kid who got braces and started picking up radio waves, and T.J. tells of a kid who was stuck under a moving train, and all that was left of him were 'three fingers and a very flat piece of gum. The boys argue over who has the scariest tale until Butch appears suddenly out of the shadows with a white streak in his hair. The boys ask him what happened and why his hair is like that. He explains the origin of it--- he was spying on his brother, Joey. Joey and a female friend of his, Christie, are watching tv when Butch tells the boys he saw his brother get a nervous look, then put his arm around the girl. Butch watches in horror as the two older kids kiss, then screams in horror at the sight (as the majority of the cast is elementary school kids, they are grossed out). The boys deny that happened and there is no way Joey could have liked it. Butch then tells them that his brother liked it, telling him himself. The boys say that will never happen to them. Butch says that one day, they will become too old for the playground, and their life will only become girls--- boys kissing girls, girls kissing boys, and that they will all like it.

The boys tell this to Gretchen and Spinelli, who are grossed out by the thought. They try to get their minds off it, but find the very thought worries and sickens them.

This unsettles the whole gang so much that they decide to test this theory. Gretchen suggests they get a willing boy and girl, observe their kiss, and record their reactions. When the gang wonders who would be willing to do so, Gretchen brings up it should be two from their gang, as they know they'd be honest with each other. T.J. says the only way to solve this is using 'straws'. Vince then has two different piles of straws, two for the girls, four for the boys. The straws are drawn, and T.J. and Spinelli are randomly chosen, to which they take pretty badly. Mikey, Gus and Vince get T.J. ready in the bathroom the next day, while Gretchen gets Spinelli ready, both participants begging their friends to get them out of the situation. The two are prepare to kiss on the playground before school when they hear noises around them. It turns out many kids have heard from the rest of the gang about the kiss, and word got around. T.J. and Spinelli refuse to kiss in front of the other kids, but Gretchen reminds them it is for science- they are not the only ones who want to find out. The gang tries to plan to move the kiss to after school in the park, only for Randall to announce this to the kids. They decide to just get it over with and they kiss. 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. The boys say this means they will not like the girls, and the girls say they will not like the boys either. 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 wears over her dress is 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 gasp 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 3 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 in 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 TV 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.

Production Information

  • Kath Soucie recorded her lines for Butch on Friday of the final week of March 1997.[1]
    • This is the possibility that all of the lines for the episode were recorded in Spring 1997.

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")



  1. Animation World Magazine: And I Get Paid!?!: The Life of a Voice Actor (March 1998)


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