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Recess Wiki

"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.

Main Story

During a kickball game, Vince kicks the ball into a dumpster, causing him and Lawson to have a dispute over whether it is 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 rule books 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, with the apple splashing on Lawson's shirt, leading to Vince's win. 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. T.J. also concludes that King Morty's rules, while relevant in the 1930s, make no sense more than six decades later, when there are plenty of balls to go around.

In the end, with T.J.'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.


  • Animation/consistency/coloring error: While Jordan and Jerome are browsing for rulebooks, there are initially only three brown books in vertical position. Once the perspective changes to show the books from behind, there are several brown books. In the next scene, Jerome collects four books from where were supposed to be only three.
  • Animation/consistency/continuity error: While the gang is playing with a cabbage, there are fun police officers behind them. Once perspective changes to show the pile of grass on the ground, there are no officers.
  • Animation/consistency/continuity error: While Morgan and another kid are playing with a pile of grass, they are on top of a grass field. Once the perspective changes to show the gang, the pile of grass is on top of concrete floor.
  • Animation/consistency error: After Jerome orders Slappy and Eric Foster to go and apprehend T.J., they move towards him. But in the next moment, Slappy is still seen to be in the exact same place.



  • 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.


  • 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.

International Information

  • Oddly, "The Rules" ("Le Regole") was the name for "Tattletale Heart" in the Italian dub.