"We're not Glory hounds, nor Glory Seekers. Our actions were recognized, but we never took those actions for glory. We pull pranks because we're goofy monkey children and we did good deeds because we like to help."
Mikey in Lawson and his Crew
The Recess Gang
Team Information
Founded: By T.J., Vince, Spinelli, Mikey and Gretchen in Kindergarten
Leader: T.J. Detweiller
Members: T.J. Detweiller
Vince LaSalle
Ashley Spinelli
Mikey Blumberg
Gretchen Grundler
Gus Griswald
Base of Operations: Pulling Pranks
Maintaining Order in the playground
Helping Kids
Occupation: Fourth (later Fifth) Grade Students at Third Street School

The Recess Gang is the name given to the group of six Third Street School students who hang around with each other and are led by T.J. Detweiler and the unofficial second-in-commands are Ashley Spinelli and Vince LaSalle. They are the main protagonists of the series.

The group originally only contained five people. However, with the arrival of Gus Griswald in the second episode, The New Kid, it became six. The group is also shown to have some unofficial members who take part in the gang's plans.

Recess Gang's Orgin

The Recess Gang's Origin


The gang are six peerless elementary school students who are all friends and pull pranks, solve problems, etc. around the Third Street School. Although there were originally five members, they became a group of six with the arrival of Gus in "The New Kid".


T.J. Detweiller

T.J. Detweiler is the main protagonist of the series. He is the ringleader of the Gang. T.J. is usually a mischievous young boy, and often enjoys playing pranks on Miss FinsterPrincipal Prickly, and Randall Weems.

Vince LaSalle

Vince's superior athletic abilities compared to those of his friends often made him egoistic. However, deep down, he knows how important his friends are to him. He and Spinelli are considered T.J.'s right hand.

Ashley Spinelli

Spinelli is the tomboyish substitute ringleader of the Recess Gang. She is the most aggressive and antagonistic kid in the gang. She watches wrestling and is known as the toughest kid on the playground.

Gretchen Grundler


The Gang after the trial in the episode "The Biggest Trouble Ever."

Gretchen is an academically talented and extremely intelligent student. She has a big heart, as seen when she helps tutor her friends and sometimes even those she dislikes such as Randall Weems.

Mikey Blumberg

Mikey is the most sensitive and most forgiving in the group. Many think that Mikey is a bully just because of his height, but, as once described by T.J. "he wouldn't hurt a fly".

Gus Griswald

Gus is the newest member of the Recess gang. Gus is a good natured, if occasionally naive, boy, as his recent attendance at Third Street made him aware of the school's traditions such as the kindergarten derby.

Pilot Version

Prototype TJ better quality

T.J.'s prototype appearance in the pilot.

Prototype gang

Beta gang (Minus T.J.) in the pilot.

The gang in the pilot episode (re-made into The Break In) had the same personalities as they do in the series proper, but not the same appearances. The "beta" gang can be seen on a preview to the series on the 1997 VHS tapes of the live-action 101 Dalmatians and Doug's Birthday Blues, as well as on certain station IDs for ABC during One Saturday Morning (also using clips from 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Disney's Doug, and Pepper Ann), depending on the station's area.

Differences between the gang in the pilot than in the series proper are:

  • T.J. Detweiler: In the pilot he is tall and skinny, while in the show, he is short and pudgy. He also has a different outfit (without the baseball hat), red, messy hair, and he has green eyes. He had bigger ears as well.
  • Vince LaSalle: In the pilot he has a different hairstyle and outfit. He also looked much older, as if he were in his teens.
  • Ashley Spinelli: In the pilot she has a different outfit and hairstyle and looks very young, almost like a kindergartener.
  • Gretchen Grundler: In the pilot her hair is black instead of reddish-brown like in the series, and her dress is white with green dots instead of bright blue with white sleeves. She also had red lipstick and a few bracelets. It could be possible that her bracelets and the dots on her dress were removed due to being too difficult to animate properly when she moved.
  • Mikey Blumberg: His appearance stays the same, with the exception of him having red sneakers instead of gray.
  • Gus Griswald: Gus is the only character who does not appear in the pilot.

Unofficial Members

Cornchip Girl- In a few episodes, it's shown that Cornchip Girl will run over to the gang to alert them of any mishaps going on on the playground.

The Pale Kids- After TJ befriends the Pale Kids in Lord Of The Nerds, they have helped the gang out on different occasions, such as 'Spinelli's Masterpiece'- where they were able to take a satellite image of Spinelli's chalk drawing

The Kindergartners- The Kindergartners, mainly King Sticky, Hector, and Tubby, sometimes look up to the gang and will assist them in some of their schemes.

Randall-Although he's one of their primary enemies, Randall has turned to the gang for help on occasions and vice versa, usually to benefit only one side and they return to their rivalry by the end

Menlo-Menlo is another kid of the school the gang is not fond of, and he shares the same feelings towards them. However, there have been a few occasions where one side has turned to the other for help. It's revealed in one episode he and TJ were best friends in preschool, but drifted apart. TJ made a promise to him that no matter what, he would attend his birthday party every year. Menlo is usually treated as the "guy on the inside"


The Recess Gang with Lilo Pelekai on Lilo and Stitch: The Series

Lawson's Version

In the 20-minute special episode Lawson and his Crew, Lawson organized his own crew after being jealous of T.J. and the gang making things better, getting all the glory and getting rewards from King Bob. His crew was another version of the protagonist gang. Lawson's crew, however, became better than its rival and took care of everything first, so then they ended up getting all the glory, took care of all the problems and made everything better. the latter, though, did not really care about glory; they were just happy being friends, and being friends was the only thing T.J. and his crew had that Lawson and his crew did not. Because Lawson and his crew were only team members and not friends, they did not remain a crew permanently like T.J.'s crew. Eventually Lawson's crew dissolved and Lawson went back to hanging out with his two friends, Jocko and Cheay, as he thought, "Maybe a kid needs friends more than glory".

Members of Lawson's Crew

Lawson's Crew-0
  • Erwin Lawson - The leader of the crew, the one in charge, and the "T.J." of the crew.
  • Swinger Girl - The "Spinelli" of the crew who is possible possessor of even greater courage than Spinelli.
  • Kurst the Worst - The "Mikey" of the crew. When it comes to shear balanced and eating abilities, she is more than a match for Mikey.
  • Greg Skeens - The "Vince" of the crew. He's in charge of thinking up bad stuff before anyone can do it, and when he's chased, he's even faster than Vince.
  • Randall J. Weems - The "Gus" of the crew is the eyes and ears of the crew for on the playground and is considered more valuable than Gus.
  • Menlo - The "Gretchen" of the crew. While he's no Gretchen in the classroom or in the lab, he matches his single minded organization abilities against anyone else's.


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