It is possible the two most commonly used mood measures in research on pediatric bipolar disorder(BD) are currently being misinterpreted: the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the Children’s Depression Rating Scale – Revised (CDRS-R) (Young et al., 1978; Poznanki et al., 1984). Interpretation of a measure depends on its administration method (i.e., filtered versus unfiltered). Previous studies have demonstrated the YMRS and CDRS-R are able to discriminate their respective mood states from other disorders or no disorder when they are administered in a filtered way (Poznanzki et al., 1984; Fristad, Weller, & Weller, 1992; Fristad, Weller, & Weller, 1995; Frazier et al., 2007). When administered in an unfiltered way, items on the YMRS and CDRS-R could be capturing information about symptoms and behaviors not specific to mood episodes. The current study examined unfiltered administration of the YMRS and CDRS-R and had three aims: 1) test the diagnostic performance of the YMRS and CDRS-R with ROC analyses and likelihood ratios; 2) analyze group differences on total scores of the YMRS and CDRS-R with ANOVA; and 3) examine items on the YMRS and CDRS-R between groups with t-tests and logistic regression. Results show the YMRS and CDRS-R have good diagnostic performance when administered in an unfiltered way, with AUCs ranging from .705-.879. Participants with BD and depressive disorders (DD) consistently had higher scores than comparison groups on the YMRS and CDRS-R, respectively. Item analysis was exploratory in nature and highlighted potential clinical characteristic distinctions between diagnostic groups. Higher ratings on elevated mood and irritability increased the odds of a BD diagnosis across all comparison groups. Higher ratings on depressed affect increased the odds of a DD diagnosis across all comparisons. Although results need to be replicated in an independent sample, initial results provide support for good diagnostic efficiency of unfiltered administration of the YMRS and CDRS-R.