Once a year a student is randomly selected to be principal for day of third street school. Finster and Principle Prickley get the bright idea to convert TJ to their disciplinarian ways by making him the unlikely victor.
Ashley A. is thrown out of the Ashley's for committing a major social faux pas. No longer repressing her interest in astronomy, she starts to hang out with Gretchen and gives her fashion advice while they both await the arrival of an upcoming total solar eclipse.
T.J. comes to school with a black eye and refuses to say how he got it; leading all the kids to believe he got it doing something heroic, and T.J. revels in the perks of being a hero, until the story grows too much.
When TJ breaks his collar bone he is forced to miss recess for five weeks. Finster banishes him to room 51; home of the infamous pale kids. The pale kids are a group of rejects who stay inside during recess to do absurdly nerdy things.
T.J. is vehemently opposed to Valentine's Day. So much so, that when he makes a collection of grotesque and vile anti-Valentine cards for all female pupils at 3rd Street School, they interpret them as unique love notes individually for them... until they realize he sent them to everybody, and vow to make him pay!
Gus sneaks his father's extremely rare WWII toy plane out of the house to play with at recess and destroys it. After making a deal with Hustler Kid for a new one he becomes a hustler in training. Gus begins to enjoy his new profession.