Magnetic resonance (MR) images of 28 normal temporomandibular joints were obtained and correlated with respective arthrograms. There was a spectrum in the configuration and thickness of normal articular menisci. The anterior band varied from thin with a flat inferior margin to thick with a bulbous, convex inferior margin. The anatomic configuration of the meniscus as seen with MR correlated directly with normal variations of the anterior recess seen with arthrography. Concavity of the superior aspect of the anterior recess as seen on arthrography was caused by a thick, bulbous anterior band of the meniscus, whereas a flat anterior recess resulted from a thin anterior band without a convex inferior margin. This study emphasizes that the appearance of a concave anterior recess on static arthrograms is not necessarily due to a displaced meniscus.