"The Secret Life of Grotke" is the thirty second episode of the fourth season of Recess, which was first broadcast on February 21st, 2000.



The Recess Gang believe that Miss Grotke is a spy - but is she a spy or unpatriotic?

Main Story

During one of her classes, Miss Grotke receives a call on her mobile phone. She is heard taking with someone regarding "the black hat." Before she had the chance to conclude the lesson, the bell rang to signify the end of the school day. The Recess Gang, note that Miss Grotke leaving - along with several other strange happenings - collect to form an aberration. They come to the conclusion that her mind must not be occupied with the their class; she comes back to class to collect a pair of handcuffs and a handkerchief, to which they remark on the strangeness of having such items.

They decide to follow her to the facility parking lot where they discover the state of her belongings in the trunk of her car; they soon deliberate an explanation for her behavior (rotatably, a secondary occupation as a cop). They agree that the best course of action following this would be to meet-up early again the next day to "uncover the secret life of Grotke." Upon arrival the next day, they stale-out her classroom from foliage outside; Miss Grotke could only be seen having seemingly normal patterns of behavior, however, some time later she leaves the classroom and enters the parking lot where only her car could be seen amongst the facility's. Another car soon enters the lot, after which, a man - who refers to Miss Grotke as "G" - hands her over a wooden box with a golden star on the front.

Once the man drives departs from Miss Grotke, his car can be seen to have the letters "M" and "O" on a sticker on the bumper of the car. Gretchen immediately identifies this as the international abbreviation for the country of Moldovakia (a totally fictional country; quite possibly a reference to the Republic of Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic), to which they associate with several commodities, including espionage. This, along with the man, the box, and the phone call draws them to one conclusion: Miss Grotke is a spy. Gus - possibly coming from his military background - drew fact to the dilemma of which side Miss Grotke was on, "theirs or "ours." From then on the gang tested Miss Grotke in class to determine whether or not she was on America's side, including questions on spectating preferences.

After failing an attempt to open the aforementioned wooden box in Grotke's absent, she is heard and walks into the classroom, but not before the gang can find their seats. When asked why they weren't outside during a recess period Vince replied by saying that they "felt like reading," much to Spinelli's annoyance. Before they and Miss Grotke could start reading their social science textbooks, Menlo came with a message asking Miss Grotke to meet at a certain time and at a certain place after school. After which, she excused herself and took the box. T.J. told the rest of the gang that the only way they were going to solve the mystery is that "all of [them were] going to be at [the address specified]."

Arriving at the neighborhood a few minutes before Miss Grotke is supposed to arrive, they maneuver to the address where they find a used bookstore. They soon see Miss Grotke and hide from plain sight; she enters the establishment and the Recess Gang soon tries to follow suit, until that is they need a password to get past the bouncer. They develop a cup-and-string system to hear a client answer with the generic password: swordfish. They use the password and enter; they are lead into the seating area. Almost immediately, the lighting is dimmed and the stage's lights and the spotlight are turned on. Spinelli believes that this is a ploy to extract information from them about Miss Grotke.

The announcer introduces Miss Grotke as a magic act, The Mysterious Grotke. She is seen in full costume and cape using a magic wand and getting a rabbit and a replica of the Statue of Liberty out of the wooden box. After the show, Miss Grotke is given the knowledge that the Gang is there; she walks over to them. The gang offer her their congratulations; she says that she didn't try out or tell others at Third Street about this as she would always felt that her act was not good enough.


  • Animation/continuity error: When the gang follows Miss Grotke to her car for the first time, they are all wearing backpacks. After Mikey comments that Grotke is "such a sweet, kind and gentle soul" and Gretchen agrees, Gretchen's backpack is missing. Her backpack reappears afterwards.
  • Coloring error: When Vince asks Miss Grotke if she supports the U.S. in the Free Will Games, Spinelli's hair ties are transparent.
  • Animation error: When T.J. and Gus are spying on Miss Grotke with the rest of the gang, T.J.'s freckles are flipped upside-down.
  • Animation error: While the gang is eavesdropping to hear the password, Gretchen has no freckles.


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