Since their original airings, the four episodes from season six have never been shown as a rerun since.
Although, Gus' first appearance was in season one, episode two, "The New Kid", he was not seen in season one, episode four, "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff". This has sparked speculation that this episode took place before "The New Kid".
The geography of the school consistently changes throughout the series, where sometimes, the cafeteria and the gym will switch sides of the building, or Principal Prickly's office will appear in the second floor rather than the first.
Spinelli's first name is Ashley. She was once inducted into the "Ashleys" as "Ashley S". But her overall disdain for the snobbish Ashleys enforced her desire to only be called "Spinelli".
Third Street School, the setting where the majority of the show takes place, was named after the elementary school co-Creator Paul Germain attended.
It is evident that there was a change in the style of animation between the first season and the second, this was mainly due to the fact that the first season was illustrated by hand and with real ink while from the second season the series becomes digitally animated causing the change in the color palette of some characters.
It was implied that the rickety playground, "Old Rusty", has been on Earth since the beginning of time, especially since around the dinosaur age.
The Upside-Down Girl has many physical similarities with Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold! (1994). Her voice actress is Francesca Smith, who also played Helga Pataki on that Nickelodeon series. The two characters have similar clothes and hairstyles, and one could also argue a violent disposition.
Finster's last name comes from the German word "sinister". But also, "Finster" means "spinster".
King Bob was initially inspired by a children's version of the character Glen Lantz (Johnny Depp) from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), which is one of Paul Germain's favorite movies.
Joe Ansolabehere and Paul Germain originally wrote this series as a show reflecting the daily life of the late 80s and 90s being taken to the classroom. However, both decided to give the plot a twist turning the students of the school in an American micro-society, with leaders (King Bob), political division (classrooms), authorities (teachers), stereotypes of the socian society and social class problems. The topic of xenophobia was even treated as Gus being a student from another school and respecting different cultures with the kindergardeners.
In season one, episode eleven, "My Fair Gretchen", it was revealed that Third Street School was located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Throughout this show, writers had left several clues that Spinelli feels something for T.J., and had been fully confirmed in season one, episode three, "Parent's Night" when Flo refers to T.J. as the boy Spinelli is "in love with." There are also references that T.J. can share these feelings.
Paul Germain said that Disney Channel wanted to produce more episodes of this show, they tried to broadcast the first seasons in 2001 and 2006, but did not have good results at finding an audience. Again it was relaunched in 2008 to 2011, but when it yielded the same results, it was definitively removed from the programming of the channel.
In season four, episode twenty-two, "Bachelor Gus", Owl from Winnie the Pooh's media makes a cameo when Gus is alone in the playground at night.
Although the series ended in episode 127, there were four movies that continued with the history of the series as Recess: School's Out (2001) and Recess Christmas: Miracle on Third Street (2001), Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade (2003), and Recess: All Growed Down (2003). This last movie was the true end of the series.
In the original drafts of the program, T.J.'s name was to be "P.J.", to represent the first initials of the creators of the program (Paul and Joe). After the first recording of season one, episode one, "The Break In", his name was changed for unknown reasons.
In 2006, a crossover between this show and Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003) was issued where, where T.J.'s gang and Miss Finster visit Kaua'i so that Gretchen can use a telescope to examine what he thinks is a new planet, but ends up joining forces with Lilo and Stitch to stop an experiment designed to make people lazy.
To publicize this show and promote it in the children's audience, it was decided to include the pilot episode of the series in the VHS of 101 Dalmatians (1996).
The titles of many episodes are based on songs such as "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye" inspired by the Irish song against the war, "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye" or "Swing on Thru to the Other Side" inspired by the Doors song "Break on Through (to the Other Side)".
Spinelli and Mikey were designed to be counterparts of each other in many ways. While Mikey is kind, kind-hearted, sweet, gentle, peaceful, tall, and poetic, Spinelli is tough, aggressive, angry, tomboy, short, and somewhat rebellious. Mikey is interested in poetry, singing, art, philosophy, and is more interested in the arts and culture, while Spinelli is interested in wrestling, sports, and physical activity. While Mikey's interests are spiritual, Spinelli's interests are more physical and manly. In addition, Mikey's interests are considered more suitable for women, while Spinelli's interests are considered more suitable for men. While Mikey is sensitive, tolerant, and forgiving, Spinelli is rude, less tolerant, and less forgiving.
The show was created by Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, who also created the animated series, Beethoven (1994).
During T.J.'s nightmare about the endless rain that causes a flood in season one, episode twenty-one, "Rainy Days", Mickey Mouse's dog Pluto makes a cameo.
Season one, episode eighteen, "The Trial", was based on the style of the movie Rashomon (1950), and different views of the same event.
In the episode "My Fair Gretchen" 2 teachers she speaks with, towards the end of the episode, one based on Albert Einstein, the other Sigmund Freud (who also appears in the episode Jinxed)
This show and Pepper Ann (1997) were rival series from Disney with similar plots and competing in the morning, Pepper Ann was generating much more revenue for Disney both in audience and in official merchandise sales, so Disney decided not to make more episodes of this show.
In Fillmore! (2002) season three, episode two, "Codename: Electric Haircut", there is a Spinelli cameo amongst the students in the dining room, along with a character from Kim Possible (2002).
Both Pamela Adlon and Katey Sagal, who voice daughter and mother in the series, would later respectively play the mother of Hailee Steinfeld in the Pitch Perfect series and Bumblebee.
Season two, episode two, "The Hypnotist", was inspired by Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996) season two, episode thirteen, "Little Big Kraft".
When Butch makes an appearance, the soundtrack of Vertigo (1958) was used as background music, this was in order to make it more mysterious.
Mikey's name was a reference to the former Mayor of New York City: Michael Bloomberg.
The first episodes of this show were adapted to a novilization by Disney Publishing for its Disney Chapters series in 1998.
In season one, episode five, "First Name Ashley", the video that the Ashleys force Spinelli to watch is a parody of the popular line of toys for girls, My Little Pony, called "My Fuzzy Unicorn". When the episode was first broadcast, the toy line began its second era, or "G2" for collectors.
In season four, episode thirty-two, "Bonky Fever", the plot focused on how Mikey must deal with accepting that he is no longer a small child, and that he is ten-years-old. For this, he must overcome his favorite show "Bonky the Green Dragon", which was a reference and parody of Barney & Friends (1992).
T.J's favorite superhero is Señor Fusion, but in the Italian dub, he idolizes Darkwing Duck, another Disney star from earlier in the 90's.