|Founded:||By T.J., Vince, Spinelli, Mikey and Gretchen in Kindergarten|
|Members:|| T.J. Detweiller|
|Base of Operations:|| Pulling Pranks|
Maintaining Order in the playground
|Occupation:||Fourth (later Fifth) Grade Students at Third Street School|
The Recess Gang is the name given to the group of six Third Street School students who hang around with each other and are led by T.J. Detweiler and the unofficial second-in-commands are Ashley Spinelli and Vince LaSalle. They are the main protagonists of the series.
The group originally only contained five people. However, with the arrival of Gus Griswald in the second episode, The New Kid, it became six. The group is also shown to have some unofficial members who take part in the gang's plans.
The gang are six peerless elementary school students who are all friends and pull pranks, solve problems, etc. around the Third Street School. Although there were originally five members, they became a group of six with the arrival of Gus in "The New Kid".
T.J. Detweiler is the main protagonist of the series. He is the ringleader of the Gang. T.J. is usually a mischievous young boy, and often enjoys playing pranks on Miss Finster, Principal Prickly, and Randall Weems.
Vince's superior athletic abilities compared to those of his friends often made him egoistic. However, deep down, he knows how important his friends are to him. He and Spinelli are considered T.J.'s right hand.
Spinelli is the tomboyish substitute ringleader of the Recess Gang. She is the most aggressive and antagonistic kid in the gang. She watches wrestling and is known as the toughest kid on the playground.
Gretchen is an academically talented and extremely intelligent student. She has a big heart, as seen when she helps tutor her friends and sometimes even those she dislikes such as Randall Weems.
Mikey is the most sensitive and most forgiving in the group. Many think that Mikey is a bully just because of his height, but, as once described by T.J. "he wouldn't hurt a fly".
Gus is newest member of the Recess gang. Gus is a good natured, if occasionally naive, boy, as his recent attendance at Third Street made him aware of the school's traditions such as the kindergarten derby.
The gang in the pilot episode (re-made into The Break In) had the same personalities as they do in the series proper, but not the same appearances. The "beta" gang can be seen on a preview to the series on the 1997 VHS tapes of the live-action 101 Dalmatians and Doug's Birthday Blues, as well as on certain station IDs for ABC during One Saturday Morning (also using clips from 101 Dalmatians: The Series, Disney's Doug, and Pepper Ann), depending on the station's area.
Differences between the gang in the pilot than in the series proper are:
- T.J. Detweiler: In the pilot he is tall and skinny, while in the show, he is short and pudgy. He also has a different outfit (without the baseball hat), red, messy hair, and he has green eyes. He had bigger ears as well.
- Vince LaSalle: In the pilot he has a different hairstyle and outfit. He also looked much older, as if he were in his teens.
- Ashley Spinelli: In the pilot she has a different outfit and hairstyle and looks very young, almost like a kindergartener.
- Gretchen Grundler: In the pilot her hair is black instead of reddish-brown like in the series, and her dress is white with green dots instead of bright blue with white sleeves. She also had red lipstick and a few bracelets. It could be possible that her bracelets and the dots on her dress were removed due to being too difficult to animate properly when she moved.
- Mikey Blumberg: His appearance stays the same, with the exception of him having red sneakers instead of gray.
- Gus Griswald: Gus is the only character who does not appear in the pilot.
In the 20-minute special episode Lawson and his Crew, Lawson organized his own crew after being jealous of T.J. and the gang making things better, getting all the glory and getting rewards from King Bob. His crew was another version of the protagonist gang. Lawson's crew, however, became better than its rival and took care of everything first, so then they ended up getting all the glory, took care of all the problems and made everything better. the latter, though, did not really care about glory; they were just happy being friends, and being friends was the only thing T.J. and his crew had that Lawson and his crew did not. Because Lawson and his crew were only team members and not friends, they did not remain a crew permanently like T.J.'s crew. Eventually Lawson's crew dissolved and Lawson went back to hanging out with his two friends, Jocko and Cheay, as he thought, "Maybe a kid needs friends more then glory".
Members of Lawson's Crew
- Earwin Lawson - The leader of the crew, the one in charge, and the "T.J." of the crew.
- Swinger Girl - The "Spinelli" of the crew who is possible possessor of even greater courage than Spinelli.
- Kurst the Worst - The "Mikey" of the crew. When it comes to shear balanced and eating abilities, she is more than a match for Mikey.
- Greg Skeens - The "Vince" of the crew. He's in charge of thinking up bad stuff before anyone can do it, and when he's chased, he's even faster than Vince.
- Randall J. Weems - The "Gus" of the crew is the eyes and ears of the crew for on the playground and is considered more valuable than Gus.
- Menlo - The "Gretchen" of the crew. While he's no Gretchen in the classroom or in the lab, he matches his single minded organization abilities against anyone else's.