"Weekend at Muriel's" is the nineteenth episode of the second season of Recess, which was first broadcast on November 21st, 1998.


Spinelli is forced to spend a weekend with Ms. Finster while her parents are away for the weekend.


Thursday night, Spinelli's parents made her go to the supermarket with them when suddenly, Spinelli bumped into Ms. Finster shopping there. There is a baby-sitters' convention in town the following weekend and Mr. and Mrs. Spinelli can’t find anyone to watch their daughter. Ms. Finster, having known Spinelli's maternal grandmother Aggie as a family friend, volunteers to help.

One Friday morning, Spinelli doesn't even want to discuss it with her friends, but after she does, her friends remind her of the time she called Miss Grotke "mama". This gains Spinelli's confidence. After school, Ms. Finster interrogatively threatens the Cornchip Girl with detention for the rest of her life for yawning without covering her mouth. As she brings Spinelli to her house, she turns on the radio with a song from "The Men from over There" and sings along after telling Spinelli that she'll learn (to like the oldies like "everyone", though actually, Spinelli likes the "newies", those more recent).

Now at Ms. Finster's pad (apartment), Spinelli notices a cat door for strays (and Ms. Finster tells her she's kind of a stray herself this weekend, but doesn't stuff her through it because "[she'd] upset the saucer of milk on the other side"). When Ms. Finster gets dinner started, Spinelli says she is so hungry she can eat a horse. For this, Finster tells her that they're having horse liver with Brussels sprouts and Lima beans, much to Spinelli's dismay. They do not get dessert. Next, they watch McManus the Vet Detective, much to Spinelli's dismay, as she wanted to watch some wrestling. In the bathroom, much to her disgust, Spinelli is asked to put Finster's fake teeth back in the jar. Looking at a picture with two women, one of whom she thinks is Madonna, Spinelli learns that it was really Ms. Finster and Aggie (Spinelli's grandmother) in Guam back in 1952. Spinelli is unable to sleep because of Finster's snoring.

At 5 AM on Saturday, Ms. Finster lifts a barbell 20 times, and then won't let her watch cartoons for it being "kid stuff". They run errands, and Finster skips the shower due to not having any time for it. First, they are in a beauty salon, and then Ms. Finster, after introducing Spinelli to her old friends in a podiatrist's office, gets a bunion scrape (causing the doctor to smell her stench after she removed one of her shoes because "someone didn't shower this morning"), and then they bring home groceries.

Ms. Finster decides to prepare another horse-liver dinner, but Spinelli asks to use the bathroom. Ms. Finster then intends to offer her a choice between creamed asparagus or creamed beets, and so, she begins to check on her. While Spinelli is staying in the bathroom on the phone talking to T.J., she (unaware that Ms. Finster is overhearing her) says she knew that Finster was mean, but had no idea she was so boring. This hurts Ms. Finster's feelings, and asks herself in the picture of herself and Aggie if she had gotten boring. Later, when she offers to help, Ms. Finster declines and has her go watch some television. So, she watches Commander Blaine. Later, as the show is ending, Ms. Finster turns off the TV and tells her it is dinner time. They are having a luau and doing the hula, like Finster and Spinelli's grandmother used to do it back in Guam. She turns on the record player and shakes her grass skirt, Spinelli joins in. T.J. and his friends are watching, but due to embarrassment, they promise never to talk about it.

Monday, as Ms. Finster is driving Spinelli back to school (late), talking about an unforgettable Sunday consisting of batting practice, a mini golf tournament and eating chili dogs in the park, the former reminds the latter that the latter herself will be the student again and the former will be the teacher again. Because of this, when Spinelli gets out of the car, Ms. Finster yells at her for being late. As Spinelli attempts to explain the reason, Finster denies any excuses and sends her into the school building.


  • After "Mama's Girl"


  • This is April Winchell's (Miss Finster) personal favorite episode of the series.
  • This episode was part of Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street.
  • It is possible that Ms. Finster takes care of stray cats, as her door has a cat door, and in the kitchen, before she goes to ask Spinelli if she'd like creamed asparagus or creamed beets, there is a bag of cat food on the floor.
  • Gretchen references "Mama's Girl" in this episode.
  • It is possible that the title is a play on the film Weekend at Bernie's.
  • When the narrator of McMannus: Vigilante Veternarian is reading the title card of "Hare's Looking at You, Punk", he reads "Punks" instead of "Punk" like it says on the screen. This was corrected in 2001 for Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street, and all reruns of the episode after that used the edit, except in other English-speaking areas outside the US.
  • Friday night at bedtime, Spinelli assumes the blonde lady to be Madonna. The real Madonna would not be born for about six years after the picture was taken.
  • On the DVD of Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street, this episode is titled "Muriel's Secret" in the scene selection.