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.
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 after he'd informed the district superintendent that his then best friend and ex-principal Dr. Phillium Benedict was trying to cancel recess. After being reminded of this during the events of the movie he was reminded that he'd became 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.
- 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 Big 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.