"The Rules" is the fourteenth episode of the fourth season of Recess, which was first broadcast on November 7th, 1999.


King Bob reinstates Old King Morty's rules after Vince and Lawson have a disagreement regarding who should retrieve a kickball when it lands in a dumpster. However, this soon leads to disarray on the playground.


During a kickball game, Vince kicks the ball into a dumpster, causing him and Lawson to have a dispute over whether it's a home run or a strike out. After discussing this with King Bob (who is dictating his life story), King Bob orders Jordan and Jerome to seek out the rulebooks in the library.

While in the library, Jordan and Jerome find Old King Morty's rulebook from 1935. King Bob is so impressed he reinstates the laws of King Morty. At first, they seem fun, as one of the first games played by the Code of King Morty involves Vince and Lawson tossing around an old apple core at each other (Vince wins, by the way). But soon, the kids have to play "basketball" involving rags and buckets of water, "four square" involving a huge tree stump (which it seems only Gelman can carry with ease), and even "tetherball" involving a log.

In time, Gretchen concludes that King Morty, reigning in 1935-36, during the Great Depression, instituted those laws so poor kids could have fun without having to waste precious balls. TJ also concludes that King Morty's rules, while relevant in the 1930's, make no sense more than six decades later, when there are plenty of balls to go around.

In the end, with TJ's clever thinking and reasoning with King Bob, King Morty's rules are put back on the shelf, and King Bob institutes a new law as far as kicking a ball in the dumpster is concerned: flip a coin.


  • Oddly, "The Rules" ("Le Regole") was the name for "Tattletale Heart" in the Italian dub.
  • This episode is one of only two that credits Etan Cohen as a writer; the other being the episode "The Candidates." However, on both of these episodes he did co-write.
  • Morgan, who only appeared in this episode, was based on the winner of the Be on Recess sweepstakes, sponsored by Disney and McDonald's during the time the Recess Happy Meal Toys were out.


  • Jerome orders Slappy and Eric Foster to go and apprehend T.J., and try to do so. But in the next moment, Slappy is seen to be in the exact same place.