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On Abed's birthday, Jeff plans a specially themed surprise birthday for him based on his favorite movie, ''Film/PulpFiction''. But the tables are turned as Abed -- who has apparently undergone a recent and drastic change in personality -- invites an unsuspecting Jeff to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Meanwhile the study group (and Chang) wait for their arrival dressed as ''Film/PulpFiction'' characters at the diner where Britta works. There, Troy struggles to contain his seething jealousy over Abed and Jeff's exclusive dinner while Chang stokes his curiosity over what's inside the suitcase Jeff got Abed as a present.

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!!The ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Critical Film Studies" contains examples of:
* AffectionateParody: To ''Film/PulpFiction'' and [[spoiler:''MyDinnerWithAndre'']]
* BecomingTheMask: Abed tells Jeff he did this by creating a persona, 'Chad', while acting as an extra on ''Series/CougarTown''.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In-universe example; apparently, the 'airplane' version of ''Pulp Fiction'' Shirley has seen had this happen to it in a very, very, ''very'' bad way:
-->'''Pierce:''' Has anyone seen this film we're referencing? Am I the hero or the love interest?\\
'''Shirley:''' ''Pulp Fiction''? Yeah, saw it on an airplane, it's cute. It's a thirty-minute film about a group of friends who like cheeseburgers, dancing and the Bible.
* BringMyBrownPants: Abed mentions having pooped his pants when realizing his role as 'Chad' had come to an end.
* {{Callback}}: Abed's story about creating a fictional version of himself in order to get through a situation he hadn't anticipated, only to suffer a crisis of identity upon realizing that the made-up version of himself had 'lived' more than him, mirrors Annie's experiences in "Mixology Certification". [[spoiler: Granted, unlike Annie's, Abed's crisis of identity involved pooping his pants.]]
** This isn't the first time Abed's love of ''Series/CougarTown'' has been mentioned, also Abed's "cool, cool cool cool" catchphrase is mentioned by Annie.
** When Abed finds out about the [[spoiler: "authentic" Pulp ''Pulp Fiction'' briefcase]], he asks if he bought it from "Willy's 100% Authentic Cinema Treasures" on eBay, and Jeff says yes. Abed explains that "Willy exaggerates" and recalls having bought Indiana Jones' "real whip" from "Willy's", a product Willy puts out seventy of a year. Abed actually mentions buying that whip for the Indiana Jones marathon he ditched to take part in Annie's experiment in "Social Psychology".
* TheCorrupter: Chang to Troy
* CrossOver: Abed actually does show up in ''Series/CougarTown''.
* CurseCutShort:
-->'''Jeff:''' Get it? It's like ''Pulp Fiction''. It's a wallet that says Bad Mother F...\\
'''Waitress:''' Your table is ready, gentlemen.
* DinerBrawl: A brief one breaks out between Chang and Troy after [[spoiler: Troy burns the Pulp Fiction briefcase.]]
* DoYouWantToHaggle: Parodied, as Jeff and Britta's boss haggle over the ruined briefcase.
-->'''Jeff:''' I'll give you $1,200 in damages and Britta gets her job back.\\
'''Barman:''' Make it $800 and she's still fired.\\
'''Jeff:''' Done.
* DrunkWithPower: Parodied in a very minor way:
-->'''Britta:''' I am responsible for this diner when my boss isn't around!\\
'''Troy:''' ''[Sotto voce]'' She will ''not stop bragging about that''.\\
'''Annie:''' I ''know''...
* EpiphanyTherapy: Abed claims to have had this while [[AscendedFanboy being a background extra]] on ''Series/CougarTown''.
* EverybodyKnewAlready: The surprise gift Troy has got for Abed is quite clearly a remote control helicopter. Intriguingly, Abed appears genuinely puzzled as to what it could be when he receives it.
* GeniusBonus / ViewersAreGeniuses: There are certain references that clue you in that the real movie that Abed is homaging is [[spoiler: ''My Dinner With Andre'']] long before he comes out and says so, but you'd need to have seen it in order to pick up on them. And it's fair to say that not many people have. And even if you have, it can still fly over your head.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Jeff gives Abed a copy of Jules' wallet from ''Pulp Fiction'', but gets cut off before he can say what the label is. If you've seen the movie, you know exactly why that is. Though the start of the word makes it rather obvious to anyone who speaks English and doesn't live under a rock.
* InsistentTerminology: Abed doesn't do movie spoofs; he ''homages''.
* LostInCharacter: Parodied.
* MaltShop: "The Greasy Fork", TheFifties themed diner where Britta works and where Abed's surprise party was supposed to take place (as an obvious stand-in for ''Pulp Fiction'''s Jack Rabbit Slim's). Brian, the owner, explains to Annie why it's peak business hours are after eight at night:
-->"After they get frightened by the evening news many seek the comforting foods and soothing music of a pre-racial America."
* MethodActing: Abed actually employed this for his ''walk-on role'' on ''Series/CougarTown'', and became so immersed in imagining his character's whole life that he went into a panic, causing him to collapse and [[spoiler:poop his pants]].
* MexicanStandoff: During the GoodTimesMontage at the end, as part of the ''Pulp Fiction''-themed party.
* {{Narrator}}: Jeff, [[spoiler:a la Wallace Shawn in ''My Dinner With Andre]]''.
* NeverMyFault:
** After Chang has goaded Troy into inadvertantly destroying Jeff's gift.
--->'''Chang:''' I know I'm preaching to the choir, but you're a bad friend.
** Also, this exchange after Britta catches Troy and Chang opening the briefcase:
--->'''Troy:''' Chang made me do it! He seduced me with his dark Chinese powers!\\
'''Chang:''' ''[To Britta]'' Why do you ''leave him alone with me?!''
* NeverTrustATrailer: Promotional material lead people to believe the episode would be a wacky parody of ''Pulp Fiction''.[[spoiler: The episode focuses almost entirely on Jeff bonding with Abed, which is later revealed to have just been a parody to ''Film/MyDinnerWithAndre''. The ''Film/PulpFiction'' homages all happen within the last few seconds of the episode.]]
* OhCrap: The look on Abed's face when Jeff clearly starts getting a bit too much into the whole "real conversation" thing... leading to his story about the Indian girl outfit.
** [[spoiler: And again when Abed realizes his ''My Dinner With Andre'' shtick is making him miss a Pulp Fiction homage.]]
* OldShame: Jeff being made to dress like an Indian girl by his mother on Halloween when he was a kid.
* OnThree: RUN!
* AscendedFanboy: Abed tells Jeff a story where becomes this when he got to visit the set of ''Series/CougarTown'', one of his favorite shows and be an extra. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWfJYJMrYa0 Some parts are true]], some are made up.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The episode ends with Erik Satie's "Gymnopedie No. 1" playing under it.
* ShockinglyExpensiveBill: Used as a gag in TheTag.
-->'''Troy:''' It said "market price"! ''What market are you shopping at?!!''
* ShoutOut:
** Several to ''Series/CougarTown''.
** At one point during his conversation with Jeff, Abed compares himself to [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Data]], [[Film/ShortCircuit Johnny Five]], [[MorkAndMindy Mork]], [[{{Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey}} HAL]], [[KnightRider KITT]], [[Series/DoctorWho K-9]], [[{{Peanuts}} Woodstock and/or Snoopy]], and [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Spock]].
** Early on Jeff asks Abed why he's "dressed like MisterRogers and talking like {{Frasier}}". Of course, Abed is ''actually'' dressed as [[spoiler: Andre from ''MyDinnerWithAndre''.]]
*** Made even better when you consider that ''Frasier'' itself made at least two shout-outs to [[spoiler: ''MyDinnerWithAndre'']], the final episode of the first season being a WholePlotReference.
** And, of course, all the main characters except Abed are dressed as characters from ''Film/PulpFiction''; Jeff is Vincent Vega, Shirley is Jules, Britta is Mia Wallace, Troy is Pumpkin, Annie is Honeybunny, Chang is Butch and Pierce is [[FanDisservice The Gimp]].
* SickSadWorld:
--> '''Jeff:''' The world is a sick place, full of sick, sick people.
* SmugSnake: Chang literally moves like a cobra from behind the counter and tries to tempt Troy to look inside the suitcase Jeff got for Abed.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Troy comes out with two in about as many minutes. What makes them particularly notable is that in the first one no one's even discussing the thing he's 'denying', and in the second one no one's even speaking.
-->'''Annie:''' It's really great of Jeff to put this together.\\
'''Troy:''' I'm not jealous.
* TakeThat: To ''Series/CougarTown''.
-->'''Jeff:''' He watched ''Cougar Town''. It was like he didn't want people to like him.
** Worth noting, ''Cougar Town'' was co-created by Bill Lawrence, friend and former ''{{Scrubs}}'' co-worker of ''Community'' producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan.
* UnusualEuphemism: Troy refers to wine as "no-no juice".
** Possibly a reference to Troy being a Jehovah's Witness and his religions prohibitions on alcohol consumption. Wine is "no-no juice" for him.
* [[WeWantOurJerkBack We Want Our Weirdo Back]]: Jeff is upset that Abed isn't acting his usual weird self. Mainly because it conflicts with the surprise party he had planned.
* WeirderThanUsual: Abed acting not weird.
* WholePlotReference: [[spoiler:To ''Film/MyDinnerWithAndre'', not ''Film/PulpFiction'' as suggested.]]
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