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Recap: Community S2 E01: Anthropology 101

"Welcome Students new and old to another fall semester at Greendale!" - Dean Pelton

School is back in session and the study group is ready for Anthropology 101. Unfortunately for them, the aftermath of the end of the previous semester is still lingering...


The Community episode "Anthropology 101" provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Troy's Spider-Man pajamas and Pierce's Batman comment are references to Glover wanting to try out for the role in the next movie.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The central message of Twilight is apparently that "men are monsters who crave young flesh."
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Annie
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The group quickly forgot about Britta and started talking about Toy Story 3, but it can be construed as wanting to avoid talking about the subject.
  • Ax-Crazy: An anthropology professor who drinks her own urine, drugs one student on the first day and tries to kill another on the second.
  • Berserk Button: Prof. Bauer didn't like it when Jeff interrupted her class for his own reasons.
    Bauer: Last time I let you speak I got what the Maku-Maku called "dirt-roaded".
    Chang: Using it!
  • Betty White: Wonderful as always.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Britta and Jeff subvert this.
  • The Cameo: DC Pierson, shows up while Abed brings the wedding people. He previously worked with Glover on Derrick Comedy.
    • Which is apparently enough to draw attention away from The Cranberries vocalist Dolores O'Riordan as the "Irish Singer" Abed hired to perform a rewritten version of "Linger".
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Annie shows signs of this.
  • Continuity Nod: The anthropology rap at the end.
  • Development Gag: The George Clooney impersonator is a reference to a proposed season one script involving Britta dating a similar impersonator (said plot eventually evolved into "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy").
  • Escalating War: The DVD commentary refers to the conflict between Jeff and Britta as a "staring contest of love."
  • Establishing Character Moment: Prof. Bauer shooting Starburns with a blowgun.
  • Eye Scream: The commentary jokes that Betty White kept going for Star-Burns's eyes with the dart.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt
    Pierce: Troy thinks all dogs are boys and all cats are girls.
    Troy: There's no way to disprove that! Have you ever seen a cat penis?
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Abed attempts to invoke this trope.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus - The chalkboard in Bauer's class lists Dean Pelton as a "knucklewalker".
  • Genre Savvy: Jeff correctly deduces that the task Professor Bauer had set (Identify which of the tools in the box was most important to humanity's survival) is actually a trick question...
    • Wrong Genre Savvy: ...just not that the "trick" isn't a metaphorical answer, but to combine the tools into a combination bow/staff/strangler.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: Chang has an argument with himself "Gollum"-style over whether to either join or destroy the study group at the end of the episode.
  • Heel Realization: Jeff is clearly left feeling rather shaken by Abed's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Whilst hyping up the "Fresh Start" dance & talking about putting the last year behind them and starting anew, Dean Pelton brings up Britta's public confession of love at the end of the prior school year.
    • Starburns, in an attempt to get people to see him as more than his wacky sideburns, has added a top hat to his ensemble.
    • Upon learning that Troy has been posting every stupid thing he says to a Twitter feed, Pierce angrily points out that Troy himself says some pretty stupid things — such as his belief that there are only boy dogs and girl cats. See Female Feline, Male Mutt.
  • IKEA Weaponry: The professor uses the tools for the anthropology assignment to make a crossbow/strangling weapon.
  • Just Friends: Resolution to the kiss in the first season finale.
  • Large Ham: In-universe example. Much to Jeff's annoyance, Britta plays up being the rejected woman in public.
    Jeff: Britta, I know you're excited to finally be popular with women, but don't get too high on your own drama.
    Britta: HIGH on my OWN duh-RAMA?!
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Jeff suggests the believed reaction to Britta's declaration of love in the first season finale is karma for Britta embarrassing him by publically putting him on the spot rather than do it in privately. Britta suggests the same thing in regards to Jeff just walking away, after she's started playing up the wounded woman role.
    • Annie punching Jeff for kissing her after sleeping with Britta. And really, pretty much everything he'd done following Britta's public confession of love to that point.
  • Meta Guy: Discussed by Shirley.
    Shirley: I don't understand. Is this you being "meta"?
  • Never Mess with Granny: Starburns gets a blowdart to the face after making a quip in class. Also, Jeff's "respect" speech almost gets him killed by a combination crossbow/staff/strangler.
  • Oh Crap:
    • Jeff, after he realises that Annie hasn't taken in what they had previously agreed about their kiss being a mistake.
    • Jeff again, right after his speech about how respect is the tool humanity needs the most to survive.
  • The Oner: The first two shots of the episode—the first scrolls right through a long constructed set of the group's individual bedrooms, while the second shows the Greendale campus. The former was actually cheated, though; seven consecutive bedrooms were too long for one stage, so it was split into two and the shots were digitally merged.
  • Opening Shout-Out: In one shot Britta has a cootie-catcher.
  • The Power of Friendship: ...nope. Jeff (wrongly) believes that respect is the strongest weapon man can have, rather than the tools in the box. Professor Bauer cobbles together a weapon made of all nine of them combined and attacks Jeff.
    "I'll use this to attack you and you can use respect to defend yourself."
  • Refuge in Audacity: Professor Bauer, twice.
    • Sedating a student with a blow dart.
    • Later shooting Jeff with a crossbow and trying to strangle him.
  • Right Now Montage: Of the various study group members and their morning routine
  • Sadist Teacher: In the span of three classes, Professor Bauer shoots Starburns with a blowdart & tries to strangle Jeff.
  • Salt and Pepper: Pierce and Troy.
  • Shipping Bed Death: In-universe—Abed seems to be trying to invoke this when he goads Jeff and Britta into getting engaged.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jeff gets one during the opening scene montage.
  • Shout-Out: The end scene where Chang argues with himself in two different personas after hours in the library about the group, la Gollum from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers movie, finishing with evil laughter.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: An odd example. Jeff begins acting this way to Britta so that the school stops hating him. Then they get into a bizarre competition of who can be the most nauseatingly romantic.
  • Subject101: Anthropology 101
  • Take That:
  • This Is Reality: See What the Hell, Hero?.
  • Truth-Telling Session
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Abed's response to Jeff when, after the shitstorm caused by Jeff sleeping with Britta and kissing Annie being revealed, he mocks Abed for not knowing the difference between reality and TV.
    Abed: I can tell life from TV, Jeff. TV makes sense. It has logic, structure, rules. And likable leading men. In life, we have this. We have you.
    • Earlier, Annie also makes her feelings known, but less verbally.
    • And Troy gets one for secretly recording every stupid thing Pierce says to a Twitter feed called "Old White Man Says" (which, although Pierce probably deserves it to some degree, is still something of a dick move).
    • Frankly, that whole scene is nothing but everyone calling everyone else out.
  • Artistic License - Biology: While the song is an Ear Worm there are two minor mistakes when the last 's' is dropped from Primates and Sapiens.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: While Jeff is already demonstrating guilt, Starburns' approval of his actions concerning Annie and Britta really seems to convince him he was in the wrong.

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