Season 1 Episode 1

The Break In

Aired Saturday 10:30 AM Aug 31, 1997 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
28 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The Break In

The main kids try to get all the other kids to help rescue T.J. when Miss Finster punishes him by making him have no recess.

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  • Good for a pilot.

    Recess's pilot episode is pretty good. In it, TJ breaks into the cafeteria's kitchen to get the good food, but gets caught by Miss Finster. She punishes him with no recess, and the rest of the gang (minus Gus who hasn't been introduced yet) try to get him out.
  • A great start to a wonderful series!

    When this episode first aired, it was the first day of Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC. I was only a year old, so I didn't see this episode premier, but I saw it in a rerun around late 1998-1999. This episode introduces five of the main six. Cute, smart-alecky T.J., atheletic Vince, tough Spinelli, brainy Gretchen, and Mikey the drama king. Gus won't be introdeced until the next episode. Stern playgorund moniter Miss Finster and her teacher's pet, Randall, are also introduced. As for minor characters, we meet the Diggers, the Kindergarteners, Swinger Girl, Upside-Down Girl, Cornchip Girl (unnamed), Guru Kid, and of course, King Bob.

    Some fans may or may not know this, but this was originally the pilot episode for the series. It was made in 1996 to pitch the series to Disney (who had just bought ABC). The pilot had the same audio, but different character designs. In the pilot, T.J. (who didn't look anything like he did in the show) had messy dark brown hair, a different outfit (he didn't even have the baseball hat), green eyes, and he was taller and skinny, Spinelli had a different outfit, had three pigtails, and was shorter (to the point where she looked like a kindergartener), Gretchen had dark brown/black hair, and the blue part of her dress was white (or a very pale yellow), Vince had a different hairstyle, and wore a slightly different outfit, and Mikey didn't change much. For the televised version, everyone was changed to match their final appearance for the show. The voices were also higher, but that's because everyone is done by a real kid, so their voices change after time, and that it was recorded earlier.

    In this episode, when T.J. is trying to find the good school lunch, he gets caught by Miss Finster and has to stay in detention for recess. The other four see how much trouble he's in, and they try to get him out, which eventually leads them to getting every kid on the playground to help them. I found the fact that they were resulting to drastic measures to save him pretty heartwarmin in my opinion, which shows how much they care about him (Spinelli most of all!). In the end, they get to the cafeteria to rescue him, but he already escaped (they find his hat and jacket, but not himself). But by the time he's out, recess is over!

    By far, the funniest part was when the diggers are attempting to dig under the school to find T.J., but they end up in China. They notice that the kids in the Chinese school they end up in are kindergarteners, and like all kindergarteners in this show, they try to attack them.

    A great start, 10/10/moreless
  • ok

    This is the pilot episode of the hit animation show Recess, it is really good pilot, and is quite different to the rest of the show because there's the 6 main characters usually in every episode, but Gus, the final main character doesn't debut until the second episode and it is not really the same without the core 6. However, it does still have most of the great supporting characters, such as swinger girl, the ashleys and guru kid. Ms. Finster punishes TJ by having no recess, a terrible torture, without Recess a kid will go go crazy so its up to the rest of the gang to get him out of there. For most of the episode nobody helps them and TJ is stuck inside trying to find something to do. But eventually after some help the Guru Kid they come up with a plan and get all the Kids on the playground to help them out but right as they put their plan into action TJ breaks out himself and ten seconds later the bell rings. This wasn't the best episodemoreless
  • The first episode of Recess its not the best but its still a great episode.

    The Break In was the very first episode of Recess it aired back in 1997 and didn't have Gus in it. In this episode Ms. Finster is punishing TJ with a horrible torture which is No Recess without Recess a kid will go go crazy so its up to the rest of the gang to get him out of there. For most of the episode nobody helps them and TJ is stuck inside trying to find something to do. But eventually after some help the Guru Kid they come up with a plan and get all the Kids on the playground to help them out but right as they put their plan into action TJ breaks out himself and ten seconds later the bell rings. This wasn't the best episode but its a classic because it was the first episode of Recess.

  • The first episode is always the best, right?

    Well, this particular show does exactly the same. So. Enough of that, the episode is truly the funniest.

    There's a new kid in school, and his name's Gustavus Patton Griswold. And according to king Bob, his name should be "New kid" until there's another new kid. Gus can't take it.

    Great episode

Pamela Adlon

Pamela Adlon

Voice of Ashley Spinelli

Francesca Smith

Francesca Smith

Voices of Ashley Boulet/Swinger Girl/Upside-Down Girl

Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson

Voice of Gretchen Grundler

E. G. Daily

E. G. Daily

Voices of Various Kindergardeners

Ross Malinger

Ross Malinger

Voice of Theodore "T.J." Detweiler [1]

Toran Caudell

Toran Caudell

Voice of King Bob

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: When the diggers first appear, Dave is talking to Vince, Gretchen, Mikey, and Spinelli. However, the animation shows Sam talking. Because the boys are identical (The only ways to tell them apart is by their voices (Dave is voiced by Ryan O'Donohue and Sam by Klee Bragger) and by Sam wearing a red neckerchief and Dave wearing a mouth cover around his neck), this is a common error in the series.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (10)

    • This episode was included as a bonus episode on the 2003 DVD of Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade. It does not appear on the VHS release.

    • In the original recording for the episode, King Bob said, "Hey, where's my Frito Girl?" (Referring to Cornchip Girl). Because Fritos were copyrighted, the character's name was changed to Cornchip Girl (but unnamed in the final cut), and he says instead, "Hey, get that first grader off of my sand!" (Referring to a background character).

    • In the first recording of the episode, Spinelli mentioned breaking T.J. (At the time named P.J.) out of detention by using Pop Rocks and soda. Because Pop Rocks had a copyright on it, the line was deleted, and Spinelli doesn't say anything in the final cut.

    • When this episode was being recorded in 1996, T.J. was originally named P.J., to stand for the first intials of the creators, Paul (Germain) and Joe (Ansolabehere). For unknown reasons, his name was changed to T.J. in the middle of production.

    • This episode and "The New Kid" were pre-viewed in prime time on ABC on August 31, 1997 (Though only on the east coast, as Princess Diana's death was still being covered on the west coast). The show would officially debut on ABC on September 13, 1997 as part of the debut of Disney's One Saturday Morning, along with Pepper Ann, 101 Dalmatians: The Series, and the second season of Disney's Doug.

    • This episode is a re-made version of the unaried pilot episode pitched to Disney in late 1996/early 1997. The reason for it to be re-made was to clean up the animation and re-draw the characters, who looked different in the pilot (mainly T.J., who was a tall, lanky boy in the pilot but is short and chubby in the show itself). Clips of the pilot are shown in an ABC promo on the videotape of 101 Dalmatians (1996 live-action) from March 1997 and on the videotape of Doug's Birthday Blues from July 1997.

    • The clip of the kindergarteners roping onto the roof of the school was re-used in the show's theme song.

    • Cornchip Girl first appears in this episode when she says her brother calls her dumb. Though at this point in the show, she isn't named; and is also voiced by Francesca Smith instead of Aria Noelle Curzon.

    • Lawson does not appear in this season.

    • Gus does not appear in this episode. He makes his first appearance in the next episode.