|The Lost Ball|
|Season 02, Episode 02|
|Air Date||October 3rd, 1998|
|Next||Gus's Last Stand|
|Written By||Holly Huckins|
|Directed By||Chuck Sheetz|
Gus has to go to the Yard of No Return when he kicks a good kickball over the fence.
After Miss Grotke is given a package from Hank that due to bureaucratic incompetence was ordered in the 70's, only to arrive now; she opens a package of otherwise mundane items, until she discovers the last item; a Bicentennial play ball which she gives to her students who become eager to play a game of kickball with it. However, as none of them can decide who to give the first kick to, they utilize a lottery practice to draw pieces of paper from a hat with the kid drawing the one with the red dot on it earning the right to have the first kick. (It is unknown how they would haves decided who would get the second kick, but could be assumed that they would decide between themselves as normal.)
The kids are disappointed when they find out Gus drew the red dot earning him the first kick with the rest of the kids deeming it a waste. However they honour the decision and allow Gus despite the fact he is a terrible kicker. Gus gives the ball it's first kick but kicks it too hard resulting in it going over the school yard fence. Once there the other kids urge him to retrieve it before being deterred by Butch telling them that beyond the fence is the 'Yard of No Return'. Before Gus had the chance to go over the fence the bell rings and the other kids begin taunting him for losing the ball, including Mikey.
Gus dreams about how losing the ball could affect his future, after being booed at his graduation, rejected employment and even being kicked out of Heaven. After waking up from this nightmare, Gus decides he has no choice but to go over the fence.
The other kids dress Gus in some safety equipment and give him a rope to retrieve him if any of the 'horrors' that apparently lurk over the fence exist. Gus hesitantly climbs over the fence after trying to run away. He looks around the place he is in seeing many strange statues before finding the ball. When he picks it up he sees something resembling a monster. He screams over his Walkie-Talkie before his transmission is lost. The kids try to retrieve him with the rope but discover that it had been cut and believe he has been abducted. T.J. immediately picks up the rope and decides to go in after Gus believing that they shouldn't have all pressured Gus to go over the fence. He is stopped and the kids decide to leave school and go to the place where Gus was abducted. They find a front door which opens to find the monster that took Gus. However when the monster takes off its helmet we see that it is actually an old woman named Dot. Gus is found immediately after the discovery eating cookies and holding the ball. Dot gives the rest of the children cookies and takes them to her shed where she gives them all of the balls that had been kicked over her fence. As it turns out the balls were never lost, it's just that no kid has ever been thought to come and ask for them back.
- Menlo is accidentally shown as a fourth grader in a flashback to 1994, when at the time, he would've been in first grade.
- We find out that the Recess gang would've graduated in 2006.
- When Gus is dreaming about graduating, one of the kids coming up to receive his diploma is named Thomas Germain, who in real life, is the son of co-creator Paul Germain. When the show was being made, he attended Third Street Elementary School, which gave the school in the show its name.
- In this episode, Tress MacNeille plays an old lady named Dot. Tress MacNeille was also the voice of Dot Warner on the 1993 cartoon, Animaniacs.
- This is the first time God is referred to on the show, first when Hank says, "God rest her soul", and when Gus is having a nightmare. The only other Disney animated series to refrence God was in 101 Dalmatians: The Series.
- This is the first episode where Paul Dooley voices Hank.
- Gus' ball rescue scene is an element from a movie called "The Sandlot".
- When T.J. says "What' cha talking bout Dottie?" it's a reference to Arnold Jackson's (one of the main characters) catchphrase from a show called "Diff'rent Strokes".
- T.J. Detweiler - Andrew Lawrence
- Vince LaSalle - Ricky D'Shon Collins
- Ashley Spinelli - Pamela Segall-Adlon
- Gretchen Grundler - Ashley Johnson
- Mikey Blumberg - Jason Davis
- Gus Griswald - Courtland Mead
- Miss Grotke - Allyce Beasley
- Morris P. Hingle - Ryan O'Donohue
- Butch/High school principal - Kath Soucie
- Ashley Armbruster - Anndi McAfee
- Dottie Deidger - Tress MacNeille
- Hank/Employer - Paul Dooley
- St. Peter - Tony Jay