Recess Wiki

Ashley Spinelli

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Ashley Spinelli
Background information
Feature films Recess: School's Out
Voiced By Pamela Adlon
Performance model
Created By Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere
Inspiration A girl Paul and Joe knew from college
Honors and awards
First Appearance The Break In
Last Appearance Lax
Character information
Full name Ashley Funicello Spinelli
Other names Spinelli
Ashley S.
Girl Who Runs With Fists(by King Bob)
Spin-Ugly (by Ashleys)
Gender Female
Age 9-10
Date of Birth Somewhere between September 24th and October 23rd 1988
Year of Birth 1988
Personality Tough, fun, spoiled, headstrong, boyish, loud, snarky, assertive, gruff, but has a big heart.
Appearance Thin, gray jacket, gold beanie hat, black hair in pig-tails, red short-sleeved dress, red and yellow stockings, gray boots
Occupation Toughest Girl in Third Street School
Home 2 Blocks away from T.J's
Relatives Robert "Bob" Spinelli (Father)
Florence "Flo" Spinelli (Mother)
Joseph "Joey" Spinelli (Older Brother)
Dave (Grandfather)
Angie (Grandmother)
Ashley (Great Aunt)
Vito Spinelli (Cousin)
Nick (Cousin)
Gordy (Cousin)
Carla (Aunt)
Allies Gretchen Grundler, T.J. Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Mikey Blumberg and Gus Griswald
Enemies Miss Finster, Erwin Lawson, Randall Weems, etc.
Likes Being tough, pranks, fun, wrestling, her friends (mainly T.J.), "newies" (anything new).
Dislikes Being in trouble, being outsmarted, Randall, the Ashleys, being called a "girl" having to participate in "girly" activities, her first name.
"Let me introduce you to my good friend Madame Fist!"
Ashley Funicello Spinelli is the tomboyish Italian-American substitute ringleader of the Recess Gang. She is voiced by Pamela Adlon. Spinelli is one of the six main characters on the show Disney's Recess. She dislikes her first name Ashley because she doesn't want to be a member of the Ashleys, therefore she uses her surname as an alias.


She watches wrestling and is known as the toughest kid on the playground. She is stubborn, obstinate and frequently uses violence or threats when something is troubling her. She hates talking about her parents because they embarrass her all the time. Spinelli's parents are infamous for telling her friends about her feelings or showing them her childhood photos. She also is intending to keep up with the latest trend, as revealed in "Schoolworld" when she says she likes the SAL-3000 for being new, and in "Weekend at Muriel's" when Ms. Finster, having turned on the car radio on the way to the latter's house, says that "everyone likes the oldies", and Spinelli says, "Actually, I like the newies." She has a crush on T.J. Detweiler. She is the most aggressive and antagonistic kid in the gang. The other Recess gang members are not exempted from this kind of treatment from Spinelli.

Relationships with the other members of the gang

Mikey Blumberg

Mikey and Spinelli are polar opposites. Mikey is large and peaceful, while Spinelli is small and more violent. Mikey's sincerity and calm demeanor sometimes get in the way with Spinelli's attitude ("Gus's Last Stand", "Rumor Mill") The two share a rare moment of friendship in the episode "Dance Lessons", where Spinelli puts aside her tough attitude for Mikey's sake. She also was ready to defend Mikey when Randall made jokes about him in "Stand Up Randall", which Mikey appreciated but said it wasn't necessary.

Gretchen Grundler

Being the only two girls in the group, Gretchen and Spinelli are very close. Gretchen was Spinelli's first choice to go with her to the museum in "More Like Gretchen". Their friendship goes through a rough patch in the middle of the episode (with a confused Gretchen), but Gretchen helps make things better between Spinelli and her parents. Gretchen also invited Spinelli to go with her in the "Young Adventurer's Fair" ("Bad Hair Day"). Spinelli helped Gretchen in her campaign in "The Candidates" as her assistant. They also shared revenge against T.J. in "My Funny Valentines" when he gave them both fake valentine's cards.

T.J. Detweiler

Main article: T.J. and Spinelli's relationship

Throughout the course of the series, T.J. has been shown to have a crush on Spinelli, and vice versa. Many episodes have moments where he wraps his arms around her shoulders for usually no reason at all, showing his affection. In "More Like Gretchen", he even tells Spinelli, "My heart goes out to you", which semi-confirms his affections. On many occasions, Spinelli has returned these affections. Also on parent/teacher day, her mother even comments that Spinelli told her that T.J. is the boy she has a crush on.

Vince LaSalle

Both Vince and Spinelli are considered T.J.'s Right Hand. They are good friends but don't interact as much as they do with other members of the gang.

Gus Griswald

Spinelli and Gus don't interact often but are shown to care for each other in a number of episodes. Spinelli is shown to bully him of him being weak and a Scaredy cat, like in 'A Genius Among Us", She said "How can I get this Ball into the hands of someone I can smear", handed the ball to Gus, and chased him.


Her immediate family includes her father Robert ("Bob"), her mother Florence ("Flo"), and her big older brother Joseph ("Joey"); who has been mentioned by Spinelli here and there through out the show but has never made an appearance at all. Spinelli also mentioned something about having an uncle named Manfred ("Manny"); and a cousin named Gordon ("Gordo") in two separate episodes, but they were of course never spoken of again nor shown at all in the show. Spinelli's parents were voiced by Katey Sagal and Sam McMurray. They have a tendency to embarrass their daughter in public. It is shown in the episode Parents' Night that her parents are both secret agents. It is a fact unknown to all the other characters. It is revealed in the episode Weekend at Muriel's that Spinelli's grandmother 'Angie' and Miss Finster were good friends "Back in Guam". As a result Muriel is a family friend, and the perfect choice to babysit Spinelli.


Spinelli prototype

Spinelli's appearance in the unaired 1996 pilot

Spinelli is small in size and light in weight; and before Gus’s arrival she was the shortest of the main group; now she‘s the second. She is shown to be tomboyishly beautiful, with a petite slender figure with shoulder length raven black hair and chocolate brown eyes, plus pink full lips and olive colored skin. Her outfit consists of a light orange cotton ski cap upon her head; her hair up in pig-tails on either side each held by a small red hair tie. She wears an unzipped opened black leather biker jacket over a red cotton knee length shirt dress with short sleeves and around neck line, a pair of light orange stockings with thin red stripes on them, and finally a pair of over sized black rubber biker boots with buckles on them that were hand-me-downs from her older brother.
Young Spinelli

A young Spinelli in Recess: All Growed Down.

In the original pilot version of The Break In, Spinelli was smaller and had her hair in mulitiple pigtails, She also wore a pale yellow t-shirt, tan overalls, and dark brown shoes. In her adult years, she will grow up to be 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Foreign Voice Actresses

  • Dutch: Merel Burmeister
  • Finnish: Hanna Savikko
  • French: Ludvine Sagnier
  • German: Anja Stadlober
  • Italian: Domitilla D'Amico
  • Japanese: Chiyako Shibahara
  • Norwegian: Renate Moen
  • Polish: Joanna Krejzler
  • Swedish: Elina Raeder Oloffson
  • Hindi: Pari Telang


  • She is the opposite of Mikey in many ways. While Mikey is kind, good-hearted, sweet, gentle, peaceful and poetic, Spinelli is tough, aggresive, angry, tomboyish and somewhat rebellious.
    • Mikey is interested in poetry, singing, art, philosophy and is more interested in arts and culture, while Spinelli is interested in wrestling, fighting, sports and physical activity. While Mikey's interests are spiritual, Spinelli's interests are more physical and manly. Also Mikey's interests are considered more suitable for females,while Spinelli's interests are considered more suitable for males.
  • While Mikey is sensitive, tolerant and forgiving, Spinelli is rough, less tolerant and less forgiving.
  • She is afraid of heights
  • She seems to search out female role-models other than her own mother throughout the series, finding solace in the advice and confidence of Miss Finster, Miss Grotke and Madame Pavlova, revealing a much more sensitive side.
  • She is an accomplished artist. During the episode Spinelli's Masterpiece she creates an expansive piece of artwork across the blacktop which Gretchen describes as resembling "one of those giant aboriginal petroglyphs that can only be viewed from the sky." Had it survived the incident with the hose, she would have been offered a lucrative grant from Collette Découpage.
  • Spinelli's birthdate is never revealed: but Miss Grotke mentions in the episode 'Mama's Girl' that she is a Libra, meaning that she was born between the month and dates of September 24th and October 23rd. And since she is a at the age of 9 and the show was made in the year year 1997; she must have been born in the year 1988.
  • Throughout the show's run various hints have been dropped that Spinelli has feelings for T.J., and has been fully confirmed in "Parents Night". There are also suggestions that T.J. may well share these feelings.
  • Spinelli and T.J. are the only main characters who commonly wear jackets.
  • Spinelli is the only member of the Recess Gang to be voiced by an adult (though in a few foreign dubs, she's voiced by a kid). Also, like Gretchen and Vince, she is one of the only members of the main six to keep her voice actress for the entire series run, including movies and the Lilo & Stitch crossover.
  • Spinelli was based on a girl who Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere knew from college.
  • In the Fillmore! episode, "Codename: Electric Haircut", Spinelli makes a cameo among the students in the lunchroom, along with fellow Disney character Kim Possible.
  • In the Portuguese dub, Spinelli's first name is changed to Patricia.
  • Spinelli is the only member of the Recess Gang who isn't drawn with nostrils.
  • According to the official website for the series, her favorite colors are black and blue.
  • Spinelli's first name is Ashley, she was named after her Great Aunt Ashley who was the first women to win the Iditarod (In reality the first women to win the Iditarod was Libby Riddles in 1985).
  • One of Spinelli's grandfathers is deaf.
  • Spinelli has a Cousin Nick that goes to 5th street school.
  • Spinelli's paternal grandfather was a navy seal.
  • Miss Grotke & Spinelli are both Libras.
  • Her pee wee pal was Cindy.
  • She is one the members in the recess gang to have black hair. The other one was Vince.
  • She can get angry really easy unlike Mikey.
  • She has a brother named Vito.
  • She gets annoyed easily by the Ashley's.
  • She is the one of the fifth Ashley's. She is also the last one to join.
  • Her first name is Ashley. She admits that she actually those like her first name, but the only reason she doesn't want to be called Ashley is because she doesn't want to be part of The Ashleys. 


  • Spinelli and Ol' Rusty
  • Spinelli wearing bows
  • Spinelli and the gang on their way to 98th Street School
  • Spinelli helping Cornchip Girl draw a cat.
  • Spinelli screaming
  • "Did Spinelli just call Miss Grotke 'mama'?"
  • Spinelli pretending to be the weather girl.
  • Spinelli is ashamed on her crush on Johnny V.
  • Spinelli arm-wrestling Jared
  • Spinelli wants more ice cream
  • "!"
  • Spinelli on her bike
  • Spinelli listening to T.J.'s plan
  • "I'll give YOU a decent sniffle!"
  • Spinelli and the gang watching Dr. Quilty's documentary.
  • King Bob rewarding Spinelli
  • Spinelli with Vince's lucky marble
  • Spinelli trying to get the lucky marble
  • Angry Spinelli
  • Spinelli tries her luck with the lucky marble
  • Spinelli and Johnny V.
  • Spinelli about to play football
  • Spinelli playing "Onion ball" with the gang
  • Spinelli wins the beauty pageant
  • Spinelli yelling at the Peanut Butter Kid
  • Spinelli doesn't want to say goodbye to Speedy
  • Spinelli and the gang get caught on the news
  • Spinelli realizes that they found a different Speedy
  • Spinelli throwing water balloons with T.J. and Vince
  • "Last one on Ol' Rusty has to give Miss Finster a sponge bath!"
  • Spinelli and Mikey dancing
  • Spinelli playing baseball
  • Spinelli explaining to Vince that she lost his marble
  • Spinelli presenting something
  • Spinelli and T.J. looking up
  • Spinelli and Gretchen as Druids in the Holiday pageant
  • Spinelli tackles Johnny V.
  • Spinelli vs. Rigalli
  • Spinelli plays football
  • Spinelli playing with her wrestling figures
  • Spinelli talks about Ol' Rusty
  • Spinelli attacking Willy
  • Spinelli hanging on to the statue of Thaddeus T. Third III
  • Spinelli in her pajamas
  • Spinelli looking frustrated
  • Spinelli gets rated a six by the Ashleys
  • Spinelli's volcano
  • Spinelli in the theme song
  • Spinelli holding Johnny V.'s baby tooth
  • Spinelli's an Ashley?
  • "There's the bell- gotta go!"
  • Spinelli giggling at T.J.
  • Spinelli being complimented by her crush, T.J.
  • Spinelli pretending to be a thirteen-year-old
  • Spinelli decides to go over the swingset bar
  • Spinelli would like to know what the hang is going on
  • Spinelli getting her hair done
  • Spinelli playing marbles
  • Spinelli and the gang stand by the broken statue
  • Pulling a prank
  • Spinooti
  • Spinelli talking to Mikey
  • Spinelli on picture day
  • Spinelli threatens Menlo
  • "Touch me with that, and I'll break your arm"
  • Spinelli threatens Randall
  • "Ewwww!"
  • Spinelli and T.J. KISS "the experiment"
  • Spinelli is shocked
  • Spinelli and the gang are unamused
  • "Thanks! I've been working on it"
  • Spinelli and the gang trying to get Becky to help them save T.J.
  • "Meet your new leader!"
  • Spinelli and the gang on the Walt Disney Pictures logo
  • Ninjas?
  • Spinelli leads the kindergarteners
  • Spinelli and the gang looking sad
  • Spinelli and Gus read Becky's diary
  • Don't mess with Spinelli!
  • Spinelli dances as T.J. watches during the credits
  • Spinelli fighting one of Dr. Bennedict's henchmen
  • Last day of school
  • Spinelli in her usual state
  • "Yep, that should do it. There's enough here for everyone!"
  • Spinelli and the gang looking angry at T.J.
  • They'll listen once I introduce them to my good friend, Madame Fist!

For more images and screenshots of Spinelli, click here.

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