You're right about me not having a moral code. You're right about me needing help with my learning... issues.
— TJ to Buffy
Thelonious Jagger "TJ" Kippen is a recurring character on Andi Mack. He was the secondary antagonist of the second season. He is the captain of the boys' basketball team at Jefferson Middle School. He is portrayed by Luke Mullen.
TJ is a sarcastic and competitive star athlete. He starts off as the mean and cold captain of the basketball team and top player in the school. He and Marty had classes together and TJ didn't even know his name. He takes a disliking to Buffy when he sees her doing well during tryouts and begins to act dismissively and rude towards her, making it clear he doesn't want her on the team. Buffy calls him out for his behavior, telling him that he should act better since he's the captain. TJ is very stubborn, as seen with the way he refuses to listen to Buffy. He also can be quite manipulative when he's trying to get what he wants.
TJ comes across as confident and intimidating, but there are insecurities and self-destructive tendencies lying beneath the surface. He either lashes out or closes himself off when he feels threatened. Cyrus is the first person to get past TJ's walls. TJ believes his own value lies in his athletic ability and nothing more; if his talent is replaceable, if he isn't the best, if he doesn't get to play - then what is his purpose? TJ thinks of himself as stupid because of his inability to do math, which is revealed to be a result of dyscalculia. TJ is very worried about his potential learning disability until Cyrus assures him there's nothing wrong with having one, and he decides to get help for it.
As time goes by, TJ becomes more caring, especially as he starts to spend time with Cyrus, the first person we see TJ show a kind side towards despite his rivalry with Buffy. He is very fond of Cyrus, and starts to allow himself to be vulnerable and open, especially with Cyrus, when he would've bottled up his feelings before. TJ also gets help for Jonah Beck when he finds him having a panic attack and is revealed to be good with children. Even before he officially apologizes, he makes a few attempts at making peace with Buffy. Once he realizes the consequences of his actions towards Buffy, TJ genuinely feels guilty about what he's done and wants to become better. Getting help for his dyscalculia is also a pivot in TJ's story as he starts to get better in math and believe more in his own intelligence. It is implied that he is good at history.
At the end of Season 2, TJ apologizes to Buffy and is even interested in being friends now. It is clear that by Season 3, even with his sarcastic persona (although, it's now in a more teasing way than in an unpleasant way), TJ is a good person with good intentions who is much more friendly, sweet, and open than he used to be. Between Cyrus' influence, managing his learning disability and realizing it's nothing to be ashamed of, and dropping the toxic friends in his life, he acknowledges his past behavior as wrong and continues to strive to be better. He doesn't always go about it in the best way, though - see that time he stole a golf cart to help an injured Buffy get around. He still has a slight rebellious streak, but with good intentions. He still has a competitive, insecure side, which leads to him being taken advantage of by Kira. TJ eventually stands up to Kira as he gets upset with her for making fun of others. Although he is still nervous, TJ gains the confidence to confront his feelings for a boy and start a relationship with Cyrus.
TJ has green eyes and dirty blonde hair that he wears in a quiff. He is very tall for his age. He mostly wears hoodies, t-shirts, and athletic wear.
TJ is introduced as the intimidating captain of the basketball team who has a few classes with Marty but doesn't even know his name. TJ begins by watching the tryouts from the sidelines. As it becomes clear that Buffy is the best player there, TJ takes a disliking of her. He knocks Buffy over when he joins in on the tryouts without bothering to help her up and says a few belittling remarks to her. Buffy asks him if that's how he treats his teammates, and he tells her that she will never find out because she will never make the team.
Buffy complains to her friends that she's already lost her chance because the team captain hates her. Cyrus says he hates TJ for hating Buffy. Luckily, the coach is the one who makes the selections, and Buffy makes the team.
Afterwards, Buffy tries to officially introduce herself to the team captain but TJ makes no effort to be welcoming to her, calling her the "new benchwarmer." He tells Marty not to worry about not making the team because Buffy won't be on it for long.
During Buffy's first game, TJ refuses to pass the ball to Buffy, makes his teammates do the same, and steals the ball from her, preventing her from being able to do anything.
Later, Buffy and Cyrus spot TJ browsing through items at Red Rooster Vinyl, Books & Comics. Buffy wants to yell at TJ, but Cyrus advises her to try a softer, nicer way of confronting TJ to make him see reason. Buffy politely asks TJ to give her a chance to show what she can do for the team and asks what she can do to make things right between the two of them, but TJ tells her to quit and find a girls team (even though there is no girls team). The conversation escalates into yelling anyway, and Buffy gives up and walks away.
The Good Hair Crew and Jonah are waiting in line at the cafeteria, and Cyrus is hoping to get a chocolate-chocolate chip muffin. However, TJ and his friends cut the line and take all the muffins. One drops on the floor in front of Cyrus, and TJ steps on it as he leaves.
TJ has been failing algebra. Mr. Coleman asks Buffy to tutor TJ because so far, no tutor has worked for him. Both TJ and Buffy protest this idea because they can't stand each other. Mr. Coleman threatens that if TJ doesn't bring his grades up, he will be suspended from the basketball team, but Buffy doesn't care.
TJ doesn't want to be suspended so he approaches Buffy and Cyrus in line at the cafeteria again to tell Buffy she has to tutor him. When Buffy still refuses, he makes a deal that if she tutors him, he will pass her the ball during games. Buffy agrees to the deal if TJ gets Cyrus the last muffin. TJ is surprisingly sweet to Cyrus and teaches him to get the muffin himself by going up and taking it without letting anyone stand in his way. When the other students protest Cyrus taking the muffin, TJ stands up for him, saying he's with him.
TJ is late to Buffy's tutoring session because he couldn't find the room (presumably due to confusing the room numbers). TJ is reluctant to do the session and really struggles with the problems. Buffy realizes TJ's issues with math may run deeper than anyone thought when she learns that he can barely do the multiplication table. TJ calls himself stupid and storms out, leading Buffy to research what this may be a sign of.
TJ stumbles across Cyrus at the swing-set and formally introduces himself. TJ asks if Cyrus goes to the swings a lot, and Cyrus tells him he does so when he's stressed to calm himself down. TJ is curious if it will help him too, so he starts swinging next to Cyrus. Turns out, it does work, and the two open up to each other about having personal issues. When Cyrus reveals that one of his issues is being afraid to swing high, TJ gets off his swing to help Cyrus overcome his fear by pushing him. They have a good time together, and TJ, for perhaps the first time, seems happy. Buffy finds the two of them, which prompts TJ to leave. Cyrus stops him and lets him know Buffy is cool. TJ thanks Cyrus for reminding him about swinging and that he actually does feel better. Cyrus tells TJ he knows where to find him before leaving him with Buffy.
Buffy tells TJ that after some online research, she believes TJ might have a learning disability called dyscalculia, which is like dyslexia, but with numbers instead of letters. She asks TJ to get tested to know for sure so that he can get the right help he needs. This information worries TJ even more and tells Buffy off for "diagnosing" his issues and warns her not to tell anyone he has a learning disability before storming off.
TJ goes up to Buffy at school who asks if he's told Mr. Coleman about his possible learning disability yet. TJ says he hasn't but that he will; the catch is that he wants Buffy to do his math homework in the meantime so he can keep playing basketball, but Buffy refuses, accusing him of not having a moral code, and leaves.
Cyrus calls TJ over to invite him to his bar mitzvah and TJ happily accepts the invitation. He then asks Cyrus how to get Buffy to do something for him. TJ wonders if saying "I'm sorry" would work, but Cyrus lets him know Buffy hates those words and advises him to say Buffy's favorite words.
TJ sits by Buffy at the library to persuade her into doing his homework, saying what Cyrus told him to: "You're right." TJ tells her he wants to play one more game before going to Mr. Coleman about his learning disability to garner her sympathy. Buffy is hesitant as he's never been nice to her, so he tells her she's right again.
At the next game, Buffy reminds TJ of the deal, but he still won't pass Buffy the ball, saying it's because he doesn't need to. Buffy gets angry and calls timeout. She confronts TJ about it, who handwaves it by saying he'll pass it to her in the next game, but she doesn't believe him. He drops another "you're right." Another teammate tells him to just pass her the ball, so he finally does, only for her to drop it when her mother returns home from being overseas.
At Cyrus' bar mitzvah, TJ bumps into Buffy, who asks why he's there, and he says he was invited. TJ greets Buffy nicely and congratulates her on her mother's return home. He goes to make nice with her and says he knows Buffy hates him, and that he would too, but Buffy clarifies that she doesn't hate him. As far as she's concerned, TJ doesn't even exist.
TJ goes to the fortune teller and writes on his card asking whether he has a learning disability. Without seeing the card, the fortune teller says "yes" and tells TJ to let his friend help him. So, he goes to Buffy about it, saying he has an important question and asking her if she thinks the fortune teller is legitimate. Buffy says she doesn't know and hopes not. TJ explains how the fortune teller told him his fortune without even reading the card. This gets Buffy worried about her own situation, and when TJ asks what Buffy's question was and if she thinks the fortunes are true, Buffy repeats that she doesn't know and leaves without giving TJ the chance to ask the question.
Toward the end of the episode, TJ finds Jonah having a panic attack. Jonah urges TJ to stay with him, but TJ leaves to get help.
(See the Trivia section on the Cyrus and TJ page about TJ's deleted scene from this episode in which TJ helps Cyrus open a bottle of sparkling cider.)
TJ is finally benched from playing due to poor performance in math. During the game, Cyrus notices TJ standing on the sidelines and, despite his friends' confusion, goes to check on him. TJ seems unwilling to open up and wants Cyrus to leave him alone, but Cyrus stands his ground. TJ grows more jealous and irritable as everyone cheers Buffy on and the team is doing well without him, so he storms out. Cyrus follows him out to try to cheer him up.
TJ feels insecure about the team winning without him. Cyrus asks why he's been benched. TJ confides in Cyrus about his potential dyscalculia and that he doesn't want to be known for having a learning disability. Cyrus calms him down and explains to him that there is nothing wrong with having a learning disability and that his teacher can't fail him for having it. TJ realizes Buffy was right, that he could've been playing if he hadn't procrastinated coming clean to Mr. Coleman. TJ promises Cyrus that Buffy won't find out that Cyrus told him to tell her she's right. He lets Cyrus know that he was the one who really helped him before offering him a cheese puff, and the two spend the rest of the game together.
After the game, TJ is back in gear. He lets Buffy know he can play again because he finally came clean to Mr. Coleman about possibly having dyscalculia. The catch is he also came clean about Buffy doing his homework. TJ expresses that he hopes she can still play and congratulates her on a good game. Buffy doesn't trust TJ's words. TJ admits that old habits die hard but insists he's genuinely trying to change himself for the better. However, he lets a "you're right" slip, and even though he means it this time, Buffy finally notices that he says that a lot. She works out that Cyrus must've told him to say that to get favors out of her, thus breaking TJ's promise to Cyrus. TJ seems to feel guilty when he realizes what he's caused.
The situation results in Buffy and TJ getting temporarily suspended from the team, but Buffy is moving before she would be able to re-join, so she gives Cyrus an ultimatum between her and TJ.
TJ is the reason Buffy is avoiding Cyrus. Cyrus admits that he can't promise he won't be friendly with TJ after Buffy leaves.
When the two make up, Cyrus tells Buffy how he and TJ became close, and that it's TJ who wants to be friends with him for some reason. Buffy responds by saying she knows why and gives Cyrus permission to be friends with whoever he wants.
Jonah convinces TJ to sign a team jersey and a basketball for Buffy's time capsule. This surprises The Good Hair Crew but Bex is not surprised, saying that TJ is Buffy's Faith (referring to the character of Faith the vampire slayer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 3; Faith goes from an enemy to an ally).
TJ passes by Andi and Cyrus sitting with a time capsule at the The Spoon on his way to work and asks about the time capsule, which Andi reveals to be Buffy's stand-in. TJ asks to join their table, which Cyrus wants to allow, but Andi isn't so sure because of how he treated Buffy, regardless of whether Buffy is actually there or not. Acknowledging that he should've done this in person, TJ apologizes to time capsule Buffy for having been such a jerk to her, saying she didn't deserve that. Andi accepts the apology for now and lets him sit. TJ asks what the two were talking about, but TJ picks up that Cyrus is avoiding the subject and calls him out on it. Cyrus finally reveals that he can't do a somersault and sends TJ a list of things he can't do. TJ offers to help him.
While Andi is trying to confront Jonah, TJ and Cyrus stay at the table to chat.
As things get awkward between Andi, Jonah, and Natalie, TJ says he has to go to work and invites Cyrus to come with him, which Cyrus gratefully accepts, hurrying out with him. As Cyrus and TJ walk, Cyrus gets worried about going to a gym, but TJ insists he will like this one. It is revealed that TJ works at Jackson Street Gym, a children's gym. He spends an afternoon helping Cyrus learn to do a somersault and getting the kids he works with to cheer Cyrus on. TJ is thrilled when Cyrus finally succeeds, giving him a chest bump.
Cyrus assumes the reason Buffy doesn't want to rejoin the basketball team when she returns is because of TJ. Cyrus insists that TJ is not the same jerk he used to be, mentioning that he recently got a C on a math test and was elated by it, showing that he's improving in that regard as well. Buffy is still unconvinced.
Cyrus sets up a plan to get Buffy back on the basketball team; have TJ and Buffy play each other to prove they can play together and get along. He recruits TJ into the plan, and they sort of fail to ambush Buffy into a match, but she accepts the challenge anyway. TJ reveals at this point that he was temporarily suspended from the basketball team as well for convincing Buffy to do his homework. TJ and Buffy have a close but good game as Cyrus keeps score, and Buffy beats TJ; this is the first time TJ has ever lost a one-on-one. Cyrus' experiment to get them to play worked, however, Buffy still doesn't want to rejoin the boys' basketball team because she's starting a girls' team. TJ is delightfully surprised and compliments her for coming up with such a great idea.
Cyrus hopes they can all be friends now, and TJ agrees. Buffy, on the other hand, can recognize that TJ isn't the same jerk he once was, but she is unsure if she could ever fully forgive and be friends with TJ unless he came up with the "best apology ever." With some encouragement from Cyrus, this prompts TJ to apologize to Buffy through a thoughtful rap, specifically avoiding the words "I'm sorry" as he had learned she hates those words. Buffy and Cyrus are impressed, and Buffy accepts his apology. TJ and Buffy agree that they're "good" now. Buffy and Cyrus watch as TJ walks away. TJ looks back and smiles.
TJ and Cyrus form a bet: TJ thinks he can get Buffy to admit she's nervous about girls basketball tryouts and Cyrus thinks otherwise; the loser owes the winner a muffin of his choice. Buffy admits she's nervous, so TJ wins and picks a blueberry macadamia muffin. Cyrus and TJ sit on the bleachers to support Buffy during the tryouts. Buffy grows frustrated as the girls are not very good. During timeout, TJ tells Buffy the girls aren't that bad, they just aren't as good as her, and Cyrus chimes in that the girls are just starting off and are trying their best. TJ advises Buffy to encourage the girls and maintain a positive attitude. Buffy is surprised by this advice given what a jerk of a captain TJ used to be, and TJ agrees with this sentiment, warning her not to treat her teammates poorly like he used to.
TJ finds Buffy in the hallway when no one has signed up for round 2, and TJ wonders if word got around about the captain. Buffy is jealous that the boys' team has so many players, but TJ tells Buffy she has enough. TJ feels slightly vindicated as Buffy complains about how hard it is to be a team captain, but he lets her know that she can't give up if she wants to be a good leader. Buffy then has an idea on how to boost team spirit and asks TJ for favor, which he is happy to do as he still owes her.
TJ links Buffy up with his jersey guy to get uniforms for the girls and remarks on how they look like a team now. Buffy thanks him for the help, and he offers to get them sneakers as well.
TJ waits for Cyrus at school to invite him to hangout with him and his friends on Saturday. When Cyrus asks if TJ's friends even know he exists, TJ admits he talks about Cyrus to his friends, which Cyrus is flattered by. TJ is extremely happy when Cyrus agrees to hang out.
When Cyrus arrives, TJ and his friends are riding dirt bikes. TJ is happy that Cyrus made it and introduces him to his friends, Reed and Lester. TJ encourages Cyrus to give dirt biking a try, and Reed convinces him to do it, offering him his gear. TJ teaches Cyrus how to ride the dirt bike. While Cyrus is riding, TJ cheers him on and takes photos of him. When Reed starts laughing, TJ tells him to knock it off. Cyrus makes it over the hill, and TJ and Reed congratulate him, and TJ shows him the photos.
Cyrus is shocked to find that Reed brought a gun so that they can shoot watermelons for sport. Cyrus asks TJ if he knows what's happening, and TJ says he does. Cyrus, worried for his own and TJ's safety, goes to leave and suggests that TJ come with him. TJ looks torn and disappointed, avoiding eye contact with Cyrus and turning to look at him when he leaves, having given up on trying to make TJ go with him.
Cyrus goes to report the gun to the Principal, even though he's worried that TJ will hate him for it, but he concludes saving his life is more crucial. It turns out both the principal and the local police are already aware and that TJ is safe.
After the gun incident, TJ tries reaching out to Cyrus to explain himself but Buffy and Andi prevent Cyrus from communicating with TJ. They're worried TJ would put Cyrus in danger despite Cyrus insisting that TJ probably feels bad about what happened and deserves to be heard out. They force Cyrus to block TJ's phone number. Unable to reach Cyrus or talk to anyone else about this now that he's lost his friends over the incident, TJ sits alone in the cafeteria. TJ looks hopeful when he spots Cyrus, and Cyrus wants to check on him, but Buffy and Andi pull him away.
TJ stops by the swings on a regular basis in the hopes of catching Cyrus alone.
Eventually, he gets lucky and finds Cyrus alone at the swing set. Cyrus goes to leave, but TJ asks to apologize for putting Cyrus in danger first, saying that he didn't know Reed was going to bring the gun and he wouldn't have gone or brought Cyrus if he did. TJ worries that Cyrus hates him now and complains that he ruins anything good in his life. Cyrus then calls out TJ for not actually apologizing. This leads to an intense exchange which ends in TJ admitting that Cyrus is the only person he can talk to like this. TJ asks if he can stay at the swings and the two start swinging.
Later, TJ and Cyrus sit by lake to discuss what happened. TJ mentions how Reed and his dad are being punished. Cyrus mentions that he didn't report the gun, and TJ admits that he reported the gun; he did the right thing. Cyrus is delighted to hear this and the two fall into a comfortable silence.
TJ, much to Jonah's dismay, arrives at Cyrus' house to find Cyrus beating Jonah at ping-pong in the basement. TJ congratulates Cyrus on his win and offers to play the winner. Jonah abruptly decides to go, and Cyrus and TJ tease him because they think he is upset Cyrus won. Jonah says it's because TJ is there. Cyrus assumes Jonah is upset about the gun situation and clarifies that he and TJ worked that out, but Jonah doesn't care about that and leaves without explanation. Cyrus asks what TJ did, but TJ has no idea.
Jonah later complains to Cyrus about TJ's presence. Cyrus mentions that TJ is "between friends" at the moment and could do with some new ones, but Jonah says he'll never be friends with TJ and reveals that his grudge goes back to Little League when TJ took Jonah's jersey with Roberto Clemente's number, "21." When Jonah called him out on it, TJ insisted the jersey was his. Jonah threatened to tell on him, but TJ mocked him because the coach was Jonah's dad and for getting so angry over a jersey. Jonah shoved TJ for this and TJ shoved him back. The fight was broken up by Coach Beck, and Jonah had to watch TJ wear his jersey, causing him to quit baseball the following year. TJ grew into a star athlete who excels in multiple sports while Jonah pursued ultimate frisbee instead. Jonah admits the grudge is stupid, but Cyrus disagrees. Jonah thinks TJ is and has always been mean, but Cyrus knows that's no longer the case.
Cyrus brings Jonah and TJ back to his house to talk things out. TJ insists he never took Jonah's jersey and doesn't want Jonah to think he did, and the two start bickering over what really happened. Cyrus settles the dispute by pulling up a photo of their Little League team, revealing that TJ did take Jonah's jersey, but that it was an accident; he thought the jersey said "12" due to his at the time undiagnosed dyscalculia. TJ explains this to Jonah, opening up about his learning disability and offering an apology. Jonah offers an apology back for holding onto this grudge and thanks him for helping him at Cyrus' bar mitzvah, opening up about the fact that he gets panic attacks. The two bond over their respective issues, thus ending their conflict.
TJ visits Cyrus while he sits shiva for his Bubbe Rose and brings challah bread. Andi points him out when TJ arrives. Cyrus is delightfully surprised that he came, to which TJ responds "Of course I came" and the two share a moment.
TJ still doesn't know who Marty is when the Good Hair Crew bring him up.
Kira introduces herself to TJ on the basketball court and asks him to let her try out for the boys' basketball team. TJ recognizes her from having attended Monarchs games and informs her there's a girls' team, but Buffy kicked her off. Cyrus then arrives, TJ and Cyrus having plans to hang out, and TJ introduces him to Kira, who remarks that he is Buffy's friend. Kira takes notice of something going on between TJ and Cyrus as they walk away with TJ's arm around Cyrus' shoulders.
As they stroll through the park, TJ asks Cyrus to do a duo costume with him for Costume Day, where he dresses up as summer and Cyrus dresses up as salt, a call-back to Buffy in a Bottle in which TJ helped Cyrus learn how to do a somersault. Cyrus happily agrees to TJ's costume idea.
At the basketball court again, Kira once again goes up to TJ and this time asks him to do a duo costume with her. He declines twice, saying he's set on doing the somersault costume with Cyrus as it's their inside joke, which Kira doesn't get and mocks. Kira then says, "So you'd rather do a costume with Cyrus [a boy] than me [a girl]; okay, have fun with that." This clearly strikes a nerve within TJ as his expression falls and he suddenly looks concerned.
TJ shows up on Costume Day in a "double dribble" costume with Kira. He appears devastated to have let Cyrus down and uncomfortable in Kira's presence as he tries to explain to Cyrus that it was a last minute decision, saying "I'm sorry" twice before Kira drags him away from a heartbroken Cyrus to show off their costumes to his teammates.
TJ and Kira play basketball together as Buffy and Cyrus watch from a distance. Buffy asks if they're together, and Cyrus admits he doesn't know because he and TJ haven't been hanging out as much now that TJ spends most of his time with Kira. Buffy assures Cyrus it won't last because TJ will realize Kira is not a nice person.
TJ manages to escape Kira and approaches Cyrus to ask if he's been avoiding him, as that's how it feels. Cyrus says he hasn't, TJ has just been "otherwise occupied." TJ insists he hasn't been spending that much time with Kira. Cyrus says they're clearly hitting it off and that he's happy for TJ, but TJ clarifies he and Kira are not a couple; they just bond over basketball and their shared competitive nature. He only gave her a piggyback ride earlier because she dared him to. TJ invites Cyrus to hang out with him and Kira, but Cyrus is hesitant since Buffy and Kira dislike each other. Kira interrupts them and glares at Cyrus while reluctantly agreeing that he can hang out, but Cyrus leaves. TJ is sad and watches as he leaves before Kira snaps him out of it.
Cyrus wants to give TJ a shirt from the Mint Chip giveaway and texts TJ for approval, who sends him a thumbs up. Cyrus invites him to come pick it up; TJ tells him he's at the park. Kira asks TJ who he's texting and he brushes it off. TJ suggests they feed the ducks, but Kira wants to swing. TJ is reluctant, but Kira makes a bet that he can't swing higher, prompting him to get on the swing to prove her wrong. TJ doesn't notice that Cyrus sees them swinging and doesn't catch him before he leaves.
When TJ notices Buffy struggling to cross a football field because of her injured foot, he offers to drive her to class in a golf cart. Buffy tells the Good Hair Crew and Jonah how helpful TJ has been and how although he used to be the worst, he is now the best, and Cyrus takes credit for seeing the good in him first.
Unfortunately, TJ's helpfulness gets him in trouble because the golf cart is school property he stole from Mr. Bag. TJ is sent to student court. When Cyrus hears about it, he makes himself TJ's lawyer during the case. Cyrus spends a countless amount of time defending TJ, also serving as his character witness. TJ wants him to stop but he is on a roll. They break for Buffy's basketball game, both showing up in support. As Buffy's team wins, TJ and Cyrus rush back to the court for TJ's verdict. TJ is found guilty, much to Cyrus' disappointment. TJ tells Cyrus to stop fighting as he has to accept his punishment. Luckily, student court actually does not have much power and the worst punishment they can give TJ turns out to be a lunchtime detention.
Later on, TJ steals the golf cart again. He drives past Cyrus, who comments that he clearly has learned nothing, and offers to take him on a ride. The two share a flirty exchange. TJ says he lives on the edge. When Cyrus' reply is that he lives in the middle, TJ says "Cool. I'll drive you there." TJ reminds Cyrus that they know what the punishment is, and Cyrus finally agrees, deciding he can miss a lunch. The two laugh and have fun as they drive off and around school grounds.
TJ walks into Andi's party and chats with some kids as Buffy and Cyrus watch from a distance. When Buffy calls TJ's name he waves excitedly at her and Cyrus, prompting Cyrus to wave back. He abruptly stops when Kira walks in. Buffy and Cyrus talk about TJ and Kira's relationship, where Buffy tells Cyrus that he doesn't like Kira. TJ and Kira walk off into the party together with TJ's arm around Kira.
Later, Kira asks TJ to dance, but he turns down her offer. She notices Cyrus dancing in the crowd and starts laughing at him, but TJ tells her off, saying that she can't "laugh at someone for the way they dance." When Kira accuses him of also laughing, he denies this and said that he thought Cyrus dancing was "fun," and not "funny." Kira tells TJ that if she made him choose between Cyrus and herself, he would choose Cyrus. TJ doesn't deny the accusation, but instead asks her "Why do you do that? Make me pick? Cyrus never made me pick." This upsets Kira and she walks off into the party, leaving TJ alone.
TJ is spotted with the Good Hair Crew, Jonah, Amber, Marty, and Bex later after Cece takes off her inflatable dinosaur costume. In the next scene, he opens up Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" on the piano. Cyrus starts singing the lyrics and is shortly joined by Amber and the rest of their friends. TJ and Cyrus are featured on stage singing the lyrics "In the religion of the insecure, I must be myself, respect my youth," perhaps an allusion to Cyrus's coming out storyline and TJ's storyline with Kira. He sings the chorus of the song along with the rest of the main and recurring characters.
As the party is coming to an end, TJ sits on a bench as Cyrus walks out of the party and joins him. When Cyrus asks what happened to Kira, TJ response is that he "poured water on her and she melted," implying that she is witchlike. They talk about how Kira isn't a nice person, and Cyrus reminds TJ that people used to say the same about him. This opens up a conversation where Cyrus tells him that he never knew that he played the piano. TJ reveals that his mom is a piano teacher and that he is not a mysterious person. He tells Cyrus, "ask me anything," but when Cyrus asks TJ what his real name is, TJ tries to shut him down. He tells him only 5 people in the world know it, all of which have the last name Kippen. Cyrus encourages TJ to tell him. He makes Cyrus swear that he will never use it or tell anyone else. He reveals that TJ stands for two of his parents' favourite music artists. His full name is "Thelonious Jagger," most likely after Thelonious Monk and Mick Jagger. He is noticeably embarrassed, but Cyrus reassures him, telling him that he thinks his name is great. TJ asks Cyrus if there is anything else he wants to know about him, and slowly starts to move his hand towards his on the bench. Cyrus asks if there's anything he wants to tell him, which TJ says yes to. Then TJ asks if there's anything Cyrus wants to tell him. Cyrus says yes, giving TJ the confidence to reach for his hand. TJ and Cyrus grab each other's hands and smile at each other. TJ exhales.
Main Article: Cyrus and TJ
- Cyrus meets TJ through Buffy, and even though TJ and Buffy can't stand each other, the two are able to create a friendly relationship. They both can relate and find comfort in each other as they both have "stuff" that they are having difficulties with, without explicitly stating what their "stuff" entails. T.J. has a crush on Cyrus based on a look back at the end of Season 2 and Buffy and Andi noticing that TJ likes him over text. In Unloading Zone, Cyrus' crush on TJ is confirmed with a look back of his own.
|Buffy||:||That was a foul!|
|TJ||:||This is a drill. There aren't any fouls in a drill.|
|Buffy||:||Is this how you treat your teammates?|
|TJ||:||You'll never know!|
|— TJ vs Buffy, Friends Like These|
|TJ (about swinging)||:||Wow, this does make me kind of feel better!|
|Cyrus||:||What do you need to feel better about? You're the captain of the basketball team.|
|TJ||:||You don't know me. I've got stuff.|
|— TJ and Cyrus, Miniature Gulf|
|TJ||:||If you're looking for a captain her name's Buffy Driscoll, gonna start a girl's team and make that ish official. Steal your ball so fast that you'll wanna bring police in. Tell them it got taken like she's Liam Neeson. The slickest, sickest, quickest, the most wicked in the world. Used to hate her, instigate her, told her good job for a girl. I didn't want to hear it but she taught me all the same. If you want to change the world, then you gotta change the game.|
|Cyrus||:||Was that the best apology ever?|
|Buffy||:||I think maybe it was.|
|TJ||:||So we're good?|
|Buffy||:||Yeah, I think we are.|
|— TJ's rap, The Cake That Takes the Cake|
|TJ:||:||She isn't a nice person.|
|Cyrus:||:||You know people used to say that about you.|
|TJ:||:||Well, sometimes there's a nice person inside trying to get out.|
|— TJ and Cyrus about Kira, "We Were Here"|
- Friends Like These
- The Snorpion
- There's a Mack in the Shack
- Miniature Gulf
- We Were Never
- Cyrus' Bash-Mitzvah!
- A Walker to Remember
- Crime Scene: AndiShack! (mentioned)
- For the Last Time (mentioned)
- Buffy in a Bottle
- Keep a Lid on It (mentioned)
- The Cake That Takes the Cake
- Hole in the Wall
- Cookie Monster
- The New Girls
- I Got Your Number
- One in a Minyan
- Mount Rushmore or Less
- Unloading Zone
- Something to Talk A-Boot
- We Were Here
- The character's original name was "Ricky Taylor".
- TJ's basketball jersey is #34.
- TJ has dyscalculia.
- He works at Jackson Street Gym, a gym for children.
- A young version of TJ was played by Avi Angel in a flashback in I Got Your Number.
- TJ is the second LGBT+ character in Andi Mack and the first LGBT+ recurring character on Disney Channel.
- Luke Mullen confirmed in a post-finale interview with Shine On Media that TJ is gay and that Terri told him before filming his second ever episode.
- Cyrus is the only person outside of his family who knows his full name. 5 family members already knew - his mother, father, grandma, grandpa, and TJ himself.
- TJ knows how to play the piano. His mother is a piano teacher.
- He was named after his parents' favorite artists - likely Thelonious Monk and Mick Jagger.
- Out of universe, Luke Mullen got to choose TJ's name and likely chose Thelonious as a nod to a character from Shrek as that is Mullen's favorite movie.
- He has gone by TJ since he was 3 days old and was nicknamed by his grandparents.
- TJ is familiar with the Wizard of Oz, since he makes a joke about Kira melting after pouring water on her. He is implying that Kira is a witch.
| To view the TJ Kippen gallery, click here.