Recap: Community S1 E10: Environmental Science
In the aftermath of his wife leaving him, Chang becomes increasingly petty and spiteful towards his students, culminating in a twenty-page essay written entirely in Spanish. The study group persuades Jeff to approach Chang and persuade him to back-off a bit, but he's soon tempted to put personal gain over the good of the majority. On top of this Troy and Abed are having difficulties training their lab rat thanks to Troy's fear of rats, and Shirley is nervous about an upcoming presentation, which leads her in desperation to consult Pierce's advice.
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The Community episode "Enviromental Science" provides examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Question: Played straight in practice when Jeff asks Chang if his wife has left him. Although Chang's immediate emotional breakdown parodies the trope.
- Backhanded Compliment: And Chang doesn't catch it.
Chang: You make no mistake about this, Winger; I pleasured that woman greatly.
Jeff: Yeah. You look like you would have to. I'm not surprised you said that.
- Eek A Rat
- Epic Rocking: Intercut over three different storylines.
- Foreshadowing: Dean watching buff men dressed as dalmatians on the internet. "This better not awaken anything in me"
- Green Aesop: Parodied; the Dean decides to celebrate Green Week and announces that he's changed the name of the college to Envirodale, only to be told the school is already named Greendale. The Dean then orders the 5,000 leaflets he's had printed with "Envirodale" on it destroyed, and another 5,000 printed up with Greendale in them.
- In The Tag of "Environmental Science," Pierce behaves like Michael Corleone in the restaurant scene from The Godfather, shooting Troy and Abed in the face with a water pistol filled with pepper water, then dropping the gun as he leaves.
- Abed and Troy's mouse is named after Fievel Mousekewitz, one of the characters in the movie An American Tail, in which he sings "Somewhere Out There", the song Abed and Troy sing to lure their mouse out.
- Interscene Diegetic : Abed starts one by singing "Somewhere Out There", and it continues through two other scenes.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Jeff takes advantage of Chang's vulnerability and gets himself out of the homework assignment by playing along with Chang's attempts at making friends, betraying his friends in the process. Then. feeling guilty, Jeff arranges for Chang to get back with his wife, prompting Chang to call off the homework assignment ... for everyone except Jeff, having by this point clocked what Jeff was originally up to and not appreciating it.
- Moral Myopia: Jeff is asked to approach Senor Chang on behalf of the group and get him to call off some of the ridiculously harsh amounts of homework he's been setting. Chang, bonding with Jeff over his recent separation from his wife, agrees to call it off — but only for Jeff. Jeff goes along with this, and when the other members of the group learn this and angrily call him out over it Jeff initially acts as if he's the one who's being wronged.
- It Makes Sense in Context: This clip is one of the show's most popular on YouTube, if not the most popular outside the Troy-Abed tag scenes at the end of each episode. In it, the Bro Rape guy and an Indian actor sing "Somewhere Out There" at a mouse in a vent; the naked Chinese mobster from The Hangover does an Irish tango kind of thing, screams, and starts making out with his dance partner as the host of The Soup silently watches; and that woman who worked with Dwight when he was at Staples talks very slowly about "orgasmically delicious" brownies in front of a mesmerized class (and briefly impersonates Jack Nicholson from The Shining), while Chevy Chase waves a sandwich in the air.
- Name's the Same: The Dean plans on booking Green Day to perform, and accidentally ends up with some sort of Celtic folk band called Greene Daeye.
- Orgasmically Delicious: In her public speaking assignment Shirley calls out this trope by name.
- Pierce Has A Point: Pierce actually has some effective public-speaking tips for Shirley.
- Sadist Teacher: Chang is shown to be especially petty and vindictive when dealing with his students. Particularly since he spitefully takes out his personal problems on them.
- Sherlock Scan: Jeff uses one to deduce Chang's wife left him (Chang wore the same shirt twice in a week, said that the Spanish word for "wife" meant "liar" in class, and has a post-it note saying "enjoy it while it lasts" on his office's framed photo of him and his wife). Jeff explains he used to read juries like this as an attorney, to figure out the best angles to use in court.
- Squirrels in My Pants
- Strange Minds Think Alike:
Pierce: You know if Senor Chang gets any more crazy, he's going to win one of those Grammy awards.
Jeff: If that guy goes any more nuts, he's going to win a Grammy.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: While Ken Jeong certainly isn't hideous, Ben Chang's personality is pretty ugly. And, in any event, Andrea de Olivera ("Senora Chang") is far easier on the eyes.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Troy and rats, with Troy even referencing the Trope Namer. Also Chang and frogs, apparently.