Recess TV Poster Image




Engaging cartoon celebrates playground time.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most, but not all, characters are white. Still, a great demonstration of inclusion of all types of people. The show can be funny even for adults, as the kids often sound wise beyond their years.

Violence & scariness

One main character is a toughie who talks of getting into fights.

Sexy stuff

None shown, but a love affair between the playground monitor and custodian was featured.


Kids sometimes utter a made-up expletive.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is very little to worry about in this show. Although sometimes minor rules get broken and the characters are a slightly idealized group, overall the series is thoughtful, funny, and insightful.

What's the story?

RECESS abounds with clever insights into a child's perspective. Whether facing a school bully, a math test, or a forgotten permission slip, the kids band together to solve problems creatively and thoughtfully. Each kid is different, and yet they love and rely on each other's differences. The biggest guy isn't tough at all, but instead a poet and a ballet dancer. A petite girl is the toughest of the bunch and watches professional wrestling. Another girl is a genius but loves kickball, and the one African American main character is a tremendous athlete. The rest of the kids on the playground are given labels, such as Guru Kid, Upside-Down Girl, and the Diggers (twin brothers who dig holes all around the playground), and yet rather than represent generic types, they celebrate children's unique preferences and peculiarities.

Is it any good?


The kids' mistakes create the show's most humorous situations, and viewers laugh because they understand the daily ups and downs these cartoon kids go through. The main characters may represent an ideal group of friends rather than a group that might actually be found on a typical playground. But Recess delights in presenting the obsessions of childhood, which kids sadly outgrow as self-consciousness kicks in, as perfectly normal.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different kinds of people that make up their kids' school. Is it better to try to be all the same, like "The Ashleys," or all different, like the main characters? Which of the main characters does your child admire most? Another potential discussion topic is school rules and the ramifications of breaking them.

TV details

Premiere date:August 31, 1997
Cast:Andrew Lawrence, Rickey D'Shon Collins, Ross Malinger
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

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Teen, 16 years old Written byQueenOfNowhere34 April 9, 2008

Recess Rules

RECESS RULES!!!!!!!!!!! It's a great cartoon for anyone!
Adult Written bycsmith April 9, 2008

A Show to Watch Together!

This is one of the few animated shows that everyone in my family enjoys. My children (ages 5 & 7) think it is hilarious. My wife and I find the ideas behind the stories quite effective as discussion starters or reference points for issues my kids deal with from time to time. I am even using some clips to illustrate points in a religion class I teach.
Teen, 13 years old Written byNatasha2 April 9, 2008


This show is okay. I only watch it a little