Principal Peter Prickly is the principal at Third Street School and is generally a cold authority figure. However it is shown that he cares about his charges, showing leniency and kindness on occasion. He has an older brother who crops up from time to time, a rival elementary school principal; despite this similarity, his brother is significantly older and nastier. As a child he also attended Third Street, during which time he was referred to as "Petey" or "Pete", a name that is sometimes referenced. In Recess: School's Out, he serves as the deuteragonist.

Personality traits

Even though he is about as strict as Ms. Finster, he is not megalomaniacal, and he is seen in various episodes as actually caring about the students, but that does not mean he is always nice to them. He has a complicated relationship with the Recess Gang, more notably with T.J.. thanks to the boy's almost constant pranks. His dream is to one day rise up to be a middle school principal, as was stated numerous times in the series, though he stays the principal even after getting a position as one since he realized how appreciated he was at Third Street.

Prickly is almost always seen with a pink shirt, a green tie, gray or light brown pants, and a black or dark brown tweed suit jacket with a handkerchief in its pocket. He has balding black hair, a noticeable mustache, wrinkles, and he wears glasses just like many of the teachers at Third Street.

Originally Prickly was hired as a teacher at Third Street but was promoted to principal by accident after he'd informed the district superintendent that his then-best friend and ex-principal Dr. Phillium Benedict was trying to cancel recess in an attempt to stop him. During and after the events of the movie, he was reminded that he'd become a teacher all those years ago to help kids and not for the perks of his job.


  • He is somewhat technologically inept as he can't even operate a VCR, let alone a computer in The Girl Was Trouble.
  • As seen in Recess: School's Out, he was once part of the 60's counterculture movement and seemed to have a sunnier disposition, much like how Ms. Finster was hinted to have a similar attitude in the past.
    • Also, in the film, it was revealed that he had round-frame glasses and brown hair, as opposed to his glasses and black hair seen in the series.
    • The film also reveals that he has a brother named Thurgood who lives in Alaska.
    • The film also reveals that he suffers from stress-induced stomach ulcers (presumably caused by his constantly having to deal with T.J.'s troublemaking nature), as he was seen putting alcacelcer tablets into his glass of water before attempting to read TJ the riot act for his posing as Prickly via a voice changer machine.
      • According to both T.J. and Prickly during the above, Prickly once ended up getting arrested by the FBI due to misinformation about being a Chinese spy thanks to T.J. feeding them false information, with T.J. claiming he did it because Prickly gave an auditorium speech about personal hygiene.
  • In his youth, Prickly resembled singer and songwriter John Lennon.
  • While he was a student, he was known as "Petey".
  • His cold behavior came from Dr. Phillium Benedict.
  • He is a Señor Fusion fan, according to the episode, The First Picture Show.
  • His first appearance was in the episode, The Great Jungle Gym Standoff.
  • As seen in Nobody Doesn't Like T.J., he wears a wig and is actually bald.


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v - e - d
RecessRecess: School's Out/SoundtrackRecess: All Growed DownRecess: Taking the Fifth GradeRecess: Miracle on Third StreetVideography"Lax" (Lilo & Stitch: The Series crossover episode)"Codename: Electric Haircut" (Fillmore! crossover episode)
T.J. DetweilerVince LaSalleAshley SpinelliMikey BlumbergGretchen GrundlerGus GriswaldCaptain BradleyCornchip GirlThe KindergartnersThe DiggersHustler KidGuru KidErwin LawsonMiss GrotkeMuriel FinsterBecky DetweilerDr. Phillium BenedictMenloBrockPeter PricklyKojakMiss SalamoneButchAshley ArmbrusterAshley BouletAshley QuinlanAshley TomassianFenwickBrandon the SingerGelmanKing BobChuckoJockoRandall WeemsKing Freddie IICheaySpencerThe MegansThe BrittanysThe TylersBob and Flo Spinelli
Season One: "The Break In" • "The New Kid" • "The Experiment" • "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff" • "Jinxed" • "Officer Mikey" • "First Name Ashley" • "To Finster with Love" • "King Gus" • "Big Brother Chad" • "My Fair Gretchen" • "Speedy, We Hardly Knew Ye" • "I Will Kick No More Forever" • "The Kid Came Back" • "The Pest" • "The Legend of Big Kid" • "The Box" • "The Trial" • "Teacher's Lounge" • "Randall's Reform" • "Rainy Days" • "The Great Can Drive" • "The Voice" • "Kids in the Mist" • "Parents' Night" • "Swing on Thru to the Other Side"

Season Two: "The Break-up" • "The Hypnotist" • "Mama's Girl" • "Outcast Ashley" • "The Game" • "The Lost Ball" • "Gus' Last Stand" • "Operation Field Trip" • "The Challenge" • "Wild Child" • "The Substitute" • "Gretchen and the Secret of Yo" • "The Girl Was Trouble" • "Copycat Kid" • "Operation Stuart" • "Pharaoh Bob" • "The Story of Whomps" • "Weekend at Muriel's" • "Economics of Recess" • "Omega Kids" • "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" • "Bad Hair Day" • "Dance Lessons" • "Principal for a Day" • "The Beauty Contest"
Season Three: "One Stayed Clean" • "A Genius Among Us" • "The First Picture Show" • "The Big Prank" • "Hustler's Apprentice" • "The Spy Who Came in from the Playground" • "Dodgeball City" • "A Career to Remember" • "Gus' Fortune" • "Rumor Mill" • "Recess is Cancelled" • "Tattletale Heart" • "Kindergarten Derby" • "The Bet" • "The Madness of King Bob" • "Call Me Guy" • "Space Cadet" • "Stand Up Randall" • "Prickly is Leaving" • "Randall's Friends" • "Gus and Misdemeanors" • "A Science Fair to Remember" • "That Stinking Feeling" • "My Funny Valentines" • "Mikey's Pants" • "Here Comes Mr. Perfect" • "Good Luck Charm" • "Diggers Split Up" • "Schoolworld" • "Bachelor Gus" • "The Dude" • "Partners in Crime" • "The Candidates" • "This Brain for Hire" • "The Barnaby Boys" • "Buried Treasure" • "The Library Kid" • "The Ratings Game" • "Spinelli's Masterpiece" • "Nobody Doesn't Like T.J." • "A Great State Fair" • "The A.V. Kid" • "Yope from Norway" • "Bonky Fever" • "Don't Ask Me" • "The Secret Life of Grotke" • "The Fuss Over Finster" • "Soccer Kid" • "Fort Tender" • "Germ Warfare" • "More Like Gretchen" • "Prince Randall" • "Me No Know" • "Good Ole T.J." • "Chez Vince" • "Tucked in Mikey" • "Old Folks Home" • "Some Friend"
Season Four: "The Coolest Heatwave Ever" • "No Strings Attached" • "Beyond a Reasonable Scout" • "The C Note" • "The Army Navy Game" • "Big Ol' Mikey" • "The Principals of Golf" • "All the Principal's Men" • "Lawson and his Crew"
Season Five: "Terrifying Tales of Recess" • "Kurst the Not So Bad" • "League of Randalls" • "Mundy, Mundy" • "Lost Leader"

Third Street SchoolOld RustyFifth and Sixth Grader ClubAshley's ClubhouseKing's Jungle Gym
We Shall Not Be MovedBorn to Be Wild
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