A caveat: This ranking only includes students, so don’t expect to see any Finster or Grotke. And there are a few background players who have been left out. Sorry, guys.
32. Randall Weems
Yes, there are a few episodes out there where Randall displays some redeeming characteristics — for example, “Randall’s Reform.” BUT that doesn’t do enough to make up for his otherwise constant negativity and plain old jerk-ishness. His snitching for Finster and always getting in the way of the main gang are just too much to get past. You wouldn’t be able to trust him if you hung out together, so obviously it would be a terrible time.
31. The Kindergarteners
I don’t care if they’re too young to know any better, these kids are pure savages. Sure, there are a few of them who are kind of cool — Tubby, for instance — but when taken together, they’re impossible to spend time with. They would literally tie you to a tree if you tried to hang out with them. No thanks,
30. Cryer Kid
This kid was one shady motherfucker. He could cry on command and totally took advantage of his talents to help other kids get out of things, but he charged them a ton of money to do it. Plus, actually hanging out with him would mean enduring his crying all day long. That’s just too much crying to handle during one recess period.
29. Mundy, Kurst the Worst, Graffiti Kid, Lazy Kid, Sue Bob Murphy
Some of the worst kids in school, these hooligans usually just hang out together behind the school during recess. Some of them got more screen time than others (like Kurst and Mundy, who each had entire episodes dedicated to them), but they are all terrible by association. These kids have stolen, vandalized property, and more. GET THEM AWAY FROM MY BASKETBALL COURT.
28. Becky Benson
As Regina George writes in the Burn Book near the end of Mean Girls, “Do not trust her.” Becky seems all sweet and kind at first, and it’s really cute how much she looks up to Gretchen. But then this CONNIVING LITTLE MEANY steals Gretchen’s entire science fair project as part of some sick, twisted scheme to out-smart her. If she’s willing to do that to Gretchen, imagine how badly she would screw you over. Damn you, Becky.
27. Clyde Philmore
He’s a pretty generic bully, so…eh. Next.
A prototypical bully, Gelman seems like he would basically be the worst. But then he softens a bit when he and Gus are both left behind from the state fair field trip. So, like…yeah, he kind of sucks, but at least he has the ability to be kind?
As a person, Lawson has very few, if any, redeeming characteristics. BUT, as an athlete, he’s second only to Vince. So at least you’d be able to play ball during recess, even if he spends the whole time being a jerk to you.
24. Library Kid
Library Kid’s greatest fault is how much she is misunderstood. Unlike the other kids, she spends her recesses perusing the stacks in the school library. That lack of social interaction has made her super socially awkward, which would be a big bummer if you two were to hang out. And even though she learns to love being outside, she takes it WAY too far and decides that the indoors is best for her. So that’s really no fun.
23. Singer Kid
Singer Kid (real name Brandon) doesn’t seem like such a bad guy. He’s talented, seems like he could be fun, and knows what he’s about. But imagine spending all recess listening to him sing. It would get super annoying. NOPE.
22. Johnny V.
AKA Baby Tooth. Spinelli had a crush on him that one time when they were playing football. So basically, he’s a dreamboat, although maybe a little too friendly with Lawson and his gang.
Gordy is just a typical playground kid who spends most of his time in the background. He’s not too athletic, so you won’t feel bad about your abilities, and he seems like he’d be nice enough. But he’s docked points for being the only kid who doesn’t like TJ. Who doesn’t like TJ???
20. The Diggers
Digger Dave and Digger Sam could be fun to hang out with, but you would get immensely dirty chilling with them down in their holes. Dirty = not fun, so their otherwise high ranking has to be knocked down a bit.
19. Hustler Kid
The best part of being friends with Hustler Kid? You could probably get a lot of free swag. The worst part? It would be kind of sad watching him hustle other kids. He does have a moral code when it comes to what he’ll sell, though, which helps redeem him. Plus, he’s such a smooth talker that he would probably be pretty good at carrying on conversations.
18. Upside-Down Girl
She seems perfectly nice, but, like…hanging upside-down all day would suck.
17. Jerome and Jordan
They’re not the greatest, but the perks you’d get from being so close to King Bob would be pretty awesome.
16. The Pale Kids
These guys seem like they’re just misunderstood by most of the recess-goers at Third Street. They may not be into basketball, or kickball, or the jungle gym, or…really anything outdoors, but they do have a passion and like to have fun together. They would probably welcome you in and make you feel like an important part of their friend group. The main issue is that they say their own names backwards, and that’s pretty annoying.
15. King Bob
There are definitely awesome perks that would go along with being friends with King Bob. But it’s not as if he’s without his faults. All that power goes to his head every once in a while, and makes him tough to be around.
Yes, Menlo can be a stickler for the rules. And yes, he’s a little uptight. But there’s something refreshing about an elementary school student who seeks to display a certain level of maturity like Menlo does. He seems like a cranky grandfather figure with a heart of gold.
13. Guru Kid
OK, yeah, Guru Kid’s wisdom is kind of bullshit most of the time. But hanging out with him would be pretty zen and relaxing, so that’s always nice.
Another generic playground kid. He’d be fun to hang out with, but nothing special.
11. The Ashleys
You might think it a bit…scandalous…that the Ashleys are ranked as high as they are. And while they are super annoying and petty, they also have a fucking incredible clubhouse. So, yeah, hanging out with them at recess would be worth dealing with their stuck-up silliness so you could go swimming in their candy pool.
10. Yope Halberson
Yes, Yope was a one-and-done kind of character. But even though his time on the show was short lived, he had a sparkling enthusiasm for life that makes him a solid candidate for friendship.
9. Cornchip Girl
She would give you corn chips. Enough said.
8. Gus Griswald
Gus is a mixed-bag — while he occasionally has a tendency to be a downer, he is also an incredibly sweet and thoughtful person. Plus, you know you want to play a game of dodgeball with El Diablo on your team.
Butch is cool and mysterious, the kind of kid you’d always want to be friends with but never think you’d be cool enough to actually get them to like you. The best part of being friends with Butch is that he knows all the backstories to Third Street and could keep you entertained all recess period long. And, honestly, I feel like he deserves to have someone try to get to know him better as a person instead of just using him to explain stuff.
With a tough exterior, Spinelli seems like she might be hard to get along with at recess. But as the gang has proved time and time again, when push comes to shove, she’s actually got a heart of gold. Having her around would be great because she could use her intimidating personality to keep all the annoying kids away, but then would be super nice to you when you’re by yourselves.
5. Swinger Girl
Swinger Girl would be awesome to hang out with mainly because swings are awesome and basically the best playground equipment ever. She could teach you all kinds of tips and techniques to improve you swinging, and who wouldn’t want that?
4. Vince LaSalle
Vince was the cream of the crop — the cool, athletic, friendly guy who everyone wanted to be friends with. He could back you up on the field and give you the most incredible pep talk about whatever problems you’re having in your life. The only drawback is that Vince might be too talented, which could make you feel a little bad about yourself.
3. Mikey Blumberg
Mikey is probably the sweetest student in the entire school. He’s extremely in touch with his emotions, making him the perfect friend to talk to any time you are feeling down, and his love for eating means you’ll get to have tons of great food together. Oh, AND he’s a super talented singer. God, Mikey is really a terrific guy.
2. T.J. Detweiler
The leader of the pack, T.J. is a smooth talker with a knack for making people happy. Hanging out with him would mean you’d have access to all of the coolest happenings every recess, and you know he would always have your back if any of his crazy plans went haywire. The only thing keeping T.J. from the top spot is his tendency to get over-confident, like that time he was sure that the Ashleys had gifted Spinelli fake wrestling tickets and ended up causing most of the gang to miss the show. Still, even with his occasional faults, T.J. is one of the best kids to hang out with at recess.
1. Gretchen Grundler
The ultimate recess companion. While T.J. is all flash, Gretchen remains the quiet brains behind the entire operation. She is smart, capable, and always willing to put her skills to use to make recess a better time for her friends. Plus, she’s adorably awkward, meaning that you’ll be on an equal footing as her in terms of social skills, which helps make sure no one feels unimportant in your friendship.
GRETCHEN IS THE BEST. GRETCHEN FOREVER.