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Recap: Community S1 E19: Beginner Pottery
Jeff convinces Annie and Abed to enroll in a Pottery Class with him, but the plan for an easy A goes off the rails when Jeff becomes intensely envious of the talent of a fellow classmate. Meanwhile Pierce convinces the rest of the study group to join him in a week long sailing course taking place in the school parking lot.


The Community episode "Beginner Pottery" provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Introducing Rich — a doctor who hasn't lost a patient in five years and can make working bird fountains effortlessly in pottery class.
  • An Aesop: Jeff learns he doesn't have to be awesome at everything.
  • Always Someone Better: Jeff has some character growth with this realization.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The pottery professor has long since had it with parodies of that scene from Ghost in any permutation, and anyone singing the theme from the movie whilst in the class.
    • The sailing professor seems to have a similar hot button over the "king of the world" scene from Titanic.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Pierce's rowboat takes on water in a parking lot.
  • Big "NO!": After Pierce gets "lost at sea".
  • Broken Ace: Rich is hinted to be this with his flashbacks on the end.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Jeff tells Abed not to do any more voiceovers. Abed seems to think that it's not because it's annoying, but that it's because voiceovers are a lame storytelling technique.
    • Also, Troy. "Look at Pierce christening that boat. If it were me, I'd have broken that bottle."
  • Country Matters: Averted with Pierce telling Shirley, after she leaves him to fend for himself in the sea (parking lot) that now he knows what the C in "Captain" stands for — crabapple.
  • Determinator: Pierce, since birth. He got his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, both arms, and one ankle. The doctors even stopped delivering him. He's not going to let a little thing like drowning at sea in the middle of Colorado stop him.
    Jeff: Good luck!
    Pierce: Don't need it! Never had it!
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Invoked when Shirley becomes one of these when she captains her ship into a "storm" in order to save Pierce, stating she would rather be nice than strong. Her reward: becoming an admiral in the eyes of the professor.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-Universe, the defaced Patrick Swayze photo which was put there before he died so its not in bad taste.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
  • Heh Heh, You Said X: The mark of a true seaman is not giggling at the word "seaman."
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Professor Slaughter is the Six Million Dollar Fall Guy.
  • Hilarious In Retrospect: Pierce being clueless at sailing is even funnier when he admits later that he was supposed to sail around the world to earn his fortune, but instead cheated and stayed at the same island the whole time. Meaning that he never really did much sailing to begin with.
  • Mommy Issues: Jeff. Rich takes them Up to Eleven.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The sailing course becomes a parody of a high seas adventure.
  • Nautical Knockout: This happens to Pierce in a boating class. Only since the college is nowhere near water, the boat is in the middle of the parking lot, yet the instructor insists that they act as if they were at sea, and Pierce is essentially left to die.
  • Never Heard That One Before: The pottery teacher has seen so many lame Ghost reenactments that his single rule is no Ghost reenactments on penalty of failure. It later turns out that the Boating teacher has the same problem with "I'm king of the world!"
  • The Other Wiki: When Jeff pulls up insane statistics on Santa Fe, Annie wonders if he did his research on Wikipedia.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Shirley decides to save Pierce at the expense of her grade.
    Shirley: Damn the storm; we're going after Pierce! Jump the halyard. Starburns, you get down there and you man the iron jennynote ; there's a man overboard! That's an order!
    Pierce: I'm gonna sink!
    Britta: I'm about to get the only A I will ever get, and Pierce isn't even dying.
    Pierce: [bailing] Save me!
    Britta: You don't have to do this.
    Shirley: I know, but I'd rather be kind and get stepped on once in a while than be a hardass and turn my back on a friend. Hoist the mains.
    They sail across the parking lot.
    later
    Instructor: You just steered your boat into a storm. Any last words?
    Shirley: The sea may be cold and unforgiving, but I'm not. The ship may go down, but at least she'll go down with honor.
  • Stanford Prison Experiment: The sailing class becomes all too real when Pierce is abandoned to the high seas, while in the middle of the school's parking lot.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: The pottery professor and the sailing instructor hate Ghost and Titanic which they believe mock their respective professions.
  • Take That:
    • Abed points out that Jeff is "Goldblum"-ing; cue Joel McHale doing an impressive rendition of Goldblum's neurotic over-acting.
    • Abed refers to voice-over as "kind of a crutch", shortly after Arrested Development actor Tony Hale is introduced.
  • Too Soon: In-universe example: The pottery teacher in "Basic Pottery" has banned the imitation of a scene from Ghost. He drives the point home by pointing to a poster of Patrick Swayze with an "X" over it. He then quietly tells the shocked students "I had it made before he died so it's not in bad taste."
  • Through the Eyes of Madness
  • Troll: After getting kicked out of class, Jeff responds by singing the theme from Ghost, which had already been established as a Berserk Button of the teacher.
  • What Have We Done: Said by Troy when the group abandons Pierce in the parking lot.
  • Worthy Opponent: The sailing teacher says this word for word as Shirley successfully captains the boat.

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