Shirley is organizing a Christmas party -- her first since her husband walked out on her -- and is eager to celebrate the season with the study group, her new family. However, her eagerness is sorely compromised by the fact that the religious beliefs of the other members of the group do not mesh with hers. Jeff, meanwhile, finds himself dealing with a local bully, Mike, who eventually gets him so riled that he challenges him to a fight, which causes problems; not only is it Jeff's first fight, but Shirley makes it clear that if he fights on what she considers a special day, he's no longer invited to her party.

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!! The ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Comparative Religion" features examples of:
* AcceptableReligiousTargets: InUniverse. Jeff gets more flak for being an agnostic than Britta does for being atheist.
-->'''Pierce:''' Agnostic! The lazy man's atheist.
* ActorAllusion: Mike (played by Anthony Michael Hall) is described by Pierce as "used to be a [[TheBreakfastClub nerd]], now he's a [[Film/EdwardScissorhands meathead]]."
* ActorSharedBackground: Although many thought they were just assigning Annie a religion arbitrarily, Alison Brie actually is Jewish. And Donald Glover was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
* AnAssKickingChristmas: Specifically, Mike's group get their asses handed to them.
* BigNo: Annie, when she thinks ''Jeff'' has flunked Spanish 101.
* CallBack:
** Chang wears [[Film/HarryPotter Quidditch goggles]] again just like in [[Recap/CommunityS1E07IntroductionToStatistics the Halloween episode]]. The Snitch icon on the side is the give away.
** --> '''Troy:''' This nose smells like "[[Recap/CommunityS1E08HomeEconomics special drink]]."
* CannotTellAJoke: Mike.
-->'''Mike:''' Oh, you're funny. You're a funny man. Wanna hear somethin' funny, funny man? Knock-knock -- My fist up your balls!\\
'''Jeff:''' ... Who's there?
* TheCastShowoff: Yvette Nicole Brown gets to show off her singing voice. Also, Donald Glover displays some pretty nice harmonizing skills in the skit running over the end credits.
* ChristmasEpisode: Even though, as everyone notes, "It's December 10th."
* CombatPragmatist[=/=]TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty: Parodied; Pierce claims to be using this to try and help teach Jeff fighting, but ''actually'' he just wanted an excuse to kick Jeff (and Troy) in the shin without them hitting back.
* DanceBattler - Mike and his crew are apparently dancers.
* DoTheyKnowItsChristmasTime[=/=]YouMeanXmas: Subverted, averted, and played straight all throughout.
** Dean Pelton's announcement managed to avoid using any 'denominational' terms to describe the holidays.
--->'''Dean:''' Ha ha ha! Merry Happy!
** They do refer to Christmas several times.
--->'''Shirley:''' The true meaning of the holidays is Christmas.\\
'''Shirley:''' Joy to the world / The Lord is come / The Lord, the Lord, the Lord!
** After Shirley discovers everyone is of a different religion, she tries to incorporate something from every religion into her planned Christmas party, though (very) reluctantly.
** In the end, Shirley keeps Jeff from saying "Merry Christmas" to say "Merry Holiday" instead. But it turns out Jeff was going to say:
--->Merry Semester and a Happy New One.
* DoubleEntendre[=/=]HehHehYouSaidX: Jeff commends Pierce on not reacting to Shirley commenting on the Dean "shoving his [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad PC-ness]] down my throat." Turns out the only reason was that Pierce didn't get it until Jeff pointed it out.
* DramaticPause: {{Lampshaded}} by Seņor Chang:
-->'''Chang:''' [Everybody passed] Except... pause for dramatic effect...
* EverybodyWasKungFuFighting: The ending.
* FoeYay[=/=]HoYay: Parodied; Britta is utterly ''obsessed'' with the homoerotic tensions in the fight between Jeff and Mike... that only she can see.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Shirley guilting everyone as a way of bullying them into wearing the 'What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets she got them for Christmas is an early indicator of her increasingly unreasonable and obnoxious attitude towards the faiths of others over the course of the episode.
** The excerpt we see of the Spanish 101 final [[spoiler:clearly makes no sense. Of course, [[Recap/CommunityS1E24EnglishAsASecondLanguage considering we later learn]] that Chang doesn't speak Spanish outside of a few phrases & is faking his teaching qualifications, this makes sense.]]
* FullHouseMusic: Starts playing near the end of the episode when Britta delivers a speech to Shirley about her heavy-handed use of her religious guilt on the group. Lampshaded by Yvette-Nicole Brown, Shirley's actor, in the episode's commentary. "Doesn't it make you feel?"
* HollywoodAtheist: Averted. We learn that Britta is an atheist and Jeff's agnostic, but neither is particularly bitter or obnoxious about it. Both go out of their way to politely accommodate Shirley's overtly Christian holiday plans, and Shirley's actually the more obnoxious when it comes to other people's beliefs here.
* HollywoodJehovahsWitness: Averted. Troy is revealed to be a Jehovah's Witness and as such doesn't celebrate Christmas. However, you couldn't tell that he was a Jehovah's Witness if he didn't say so.
-->'''Troy:''' Yeah, but we don't celebrate birthdays or Christmas and we can't drink. But it helps.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Shirley demands that everyone bend over backwards to accommodate her religious beliefs and lifestyle while simultaneously demonstrating dismissive and intolerant attitudes towards everyone else's religious beliefs and lifestyles.
* HypocriticalHumor:
** Following the Dean's "Mr. Winter" announcement, Shirley expresses irritation at the Dean "[[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad jamming his]] [[DoubleEntendre PC-ness]] [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad down my throat]]." Shirley proceeds to spend pretty much the rest of the episode forcing her beliefs on everyone.
** The LastSecondWordSwap example; Jeff's not impressed when Troy can't think of another word to replace 'fight' ("''Idiot.''") but then, when ''he'' tries, can't think of a replacement word either.
** Britta spends the episode insisting that fighting is just a way for men to release their pent-up gayness, before gleefully going after the [[TheSmurfettePrinciple only girl]] [[DesignatedGirlFight in the fight scene.]]
* IdenticalStranger: The security guards who look like middle-aged Troy and Abed.
* InsistentTerminology: Annie takes offense whenever someone says "a Jew" instead of "a Jewish [person]". Of course, anyone saying "Jew" is doing so in a vaguely offensive context...
* IronicEcho: Shirley is frequently rebuked for taking her Christmas party too seriously with everyone reminding her that it's only December 10th. When she finally joins in the fight, one Mike's buddies tries to escape an ass-whopping from her by pleading that it's Christmas. Her response? "It's December 10th!"
* JerkJock: Mike.
-->'''Jeff:''' Are you perpetually on your way to the gym?\\
'''Mike:''' Dude my ''life'' is a gym!
* LastSecondWordSwap: Subverted and lampshaded:
-->'''Shirley:''' What is going on?\\
'''Troy:''' We're trying to get Jeff ready for the fi-iiiiiii.... iiiighhhh... t. ''(whispers)'' I couldn't think of another word.\\
'''Jeff:''' Idiot. He meant we were figh- ...ting. It ''is'' hard to think of another word.
* MotionlessMakeover: Oh Christmas Troy! Oh Christmas Troy!
* PassThePopcorn: Chang when Mike walks into the Spanish final to menace Jeff.
* PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad:
** This can be the only explanation behind the creation of "non-denominational Mr. Winter", who spouts seasonal greetings such as "[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Merry Happy!]]".
** Another example is "Sensitive Night", which is, as its own lyrics state, is a "tolerant rewrite" of "Silent Night".
* PopculturalOsmosisFailure: Both Annie and Shirley show a startling lack of basic knowledge of each other's faiths. Definitely RuleOfFunny taking place here.
** Shirley when presented with a menorah refers to it as a 'Hanukkah Holder'. When Abed brings a Muslim dish to the party, Shirley asks if she's allowed to eat it, since she's a woman and all. Given her notable reluctance to embrace the faiths of the other members of the group in the episode, she's also using this as an excuse not to have to engage with it.
** Annie when handed the baby Jesus and asked to complete the setup of a Nativity Scene, instead places it in a nearby Christmas tree. Although considering that the first thing Shirley did when handed Annie's menorah was insensitively stuff it into the Christmas tree where no one could see it, Annie's possibly doing this deliberately in spite.
* RiteOfPassage: According to Pierce, being punched in the face is one for men.
* RunningGag: "It's December 10th."
* SeriousBusiness: The Christmas party for Shirley, which she treats as if it were actually Christmas day when, as she is frequently reminded by everyone, "it's December 10th."
* ShirtlessScene: Mike's gang in the climax:
-->'''Mike:''' Shirts off, boys!\\
'''Britta:''' I'm being Punk'd, right?
* ShoutOut: The dean saying "Merry Happy" is an example of PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad, but it might also be a shout out to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf4Ea59Uods Kate Nash]], whose song "Merry Happy" was used in near the end of [[Recap/CommunityS1E14InterpretiveDance Interpretive Dance]] later in the season.
* SignificantReferenceDate: December 10th.
* SleevesAreForWimps: Mike.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: Troy and Pierce get the 'PC-ness' DoubleEntendre at the exact same time.
* TakeThat:
** Being agnostic, as opposed to actually having religious beliefs.
** To PaulRudd.
* TeachMeHowToFight
* TeamMom: Deconstructed; Shirley usually fulfills the role in a more benevolent fashion, but here she explicitly does so in a passive-aggressive and emotionally manipulative manner designed to guilt trip and browbeat her friends into doing what she wants to do how she wants to with little consideration for their thoughts on the subject. It's also pointed out that she's not ''actually'' their mother, no matter how much she acts like it, and so has no right to do this sort of thing.
-->'''Jeff:''' Oh, come on, Shirley, don't be mad.\\
'''Shirley:''' I'm not mad, I'm disappointed.\\
'''Jeff:''' That's "mom" for "mad"!
* ToTheTuneOf: "Comparative Religion" ends with the group performing an inclusive, secularized rewrite of "Silent Night". (''Sensible night, appropriate night / Snow on ground, left and right...'')
* TurnTheOtherCheek: Jeff attempts this ("what would Shirley do?"), but it turns out that Shirley would rather Jeff "kick his ass!" Time to have AnAssKickingChristmas!
* TrueMeaningOfChristmas: The study group learns that the true meaning of Christmas is their being together as a surrogate family.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: "I'm gonna put this in the pocket closest to my heart!"
* WhatTheHellHero: The team eventually call Shirley out for her guilt-tripping ("You're a guilt machine!") and her insensitive, obnoxious and hypocritical attitude towards both their religious beliefs and Jeff's fight.
* [[WhatWouldXDo What Would Shirley Do?]]: Jeff eventually asks himself this when confronting Mike. He initially reasons that she'd seek a peaceful resolution. However, when Mike throws this peaceful approach back in his face, he receives confirmation of what Shirley would ''actually'' do from the source herself:
-->'''Shirley:''' Jeffrey, ''kick! his! ass!''
* YaoiFangirl: Britta. She encourages Jeff to work out his issues with Mike without fighting. (Though it's less active encouragement than relentless mockery of both the incident and her perception of [[FoeYay fighting itself as homoerotic.]])
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