Stinky Peterson is a male student who used to attend Third Street School sometime before the series began. His eventual fate, and activities during his time at the school, have become urban legends.
The Recess Gang usually uses Stinky as an urban legend to warn people against doing things that Stinky has said to have done which either caused him to disappear, have bad luck or to leave the school indefinitely. Stinky is a boy who gets terrible luck, supposedly because he usually meddles with unknown powers which result in people to "never see Stinky Peterson again...".
In the episode "My Fair Gretchen," it is revealed that he went to Oppenheimer Elementary School after scoring exceedingly well at the "Arkansas Standard Achievement Test". In the episode "Gus' Fortune," little is revealed to the viewer regarding Stinky. Nevertheless, he is spotted within school premises after this, in the episode "Kindergarten Derby" and "The Fuss Over Finster".
His eventual demise has been told in two episodes, "My Fair Gretchen" and "Gus' Fortune."
- In "My Fair Gretchen," T.J. tells the story of how Stinky, a smart kid who - along with Gretchen - burned through his test so fast that everyone was sure he would ace it; two days after the test he was dragged out of class by Miss Lemon who took him to Principal Prickly's office and he was never seen again. Gretchen says that some kids say that Stinky did so poorly on the test that he was sent all the way back to Kindergarten. (In reality, he was transferred to a special school for aceing the test.)
- In "Gus' Fortune," Butch tells the story of how Stinky found a fortune-teller at Townsedge Mall; the fortune-teller itself came floating down the mall's main plaza, much that of the gang's one in the episode. Stinky tried the fortune-teller, only to receive an unknown, unfavourable fortune (presumed to be the same as Gus'.) Butch stated that "they never saw [Stinky] again."
- Stinky has the same name as Hey Arnold! character Stinky Peterson.