Recap / Community S2 E14: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

Abed: In about 13 turns, he will die of exposure. Jeff?
Jeff: I wait 14 turns.

Fearing one of their classmates is suicidally depressed, the study group decides to intervene by engaging in a game of Dungeons & Dragons. The plan goes awry when Pierce, after discovering he wasn't invited, demands to join the game.


  • Aerith and Bob: Abed the Undiagnosable is "not the best at making up names", resulting in characters named Zipadee Doo, Marrrrrrr, Bing-Bong, Hector the Well-Endowed, Lavernica, Brutalitops, and Kyle.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Abed the Undiagnosable's title calls attention to it.
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Sword of Duquesne.
    Pierce the Insensitive: I hump it.
  • The Atoner: Jeff the Liar, who accidentally coined the "Fat Neil" nickname, is trying to make up for that fact.
  • Big Bad: Pierce the Insensitive, in-character. Arguably out of it as well.
  • Biggus Dickus: Hector the Well-Endowed, the character Annie the Dayplanner plays.
    • Although Abed the Undiagnosable originally designed him with Troy the Obtuse in mind
      Shirley the Cloying: Yeah, I bet you did.
  • Black Face: Chang's use of Cosplay makeup will haunt you to your dying day.
  • Bottle Episode: The episode takes place almost exclusively in the study room.
    • Up to Eleven: Unlike the previous one the characters barely leave the table (which makes sense since they're playing D&D).
  • Breaking Speech: Pierce the Insensitive pulls out one on Neil to turn him against Jeff the Liar.
  • Call Back: Fat Neil makes another appearance, and we learn why he's called Fat Neil.
  • Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: The tag sees Troy the Obtuse and Abed the Undiagnosable arguing about which would be better: a tail or giant ears.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Most games of D&D played have a lot more setup and follow through.
  • Condescending Compassion: The study group play Dungeons and Dragons in order to cheer Neil up, but their lack of understanding of (and, at times, barely concealed disdain for) the game and their simplistic intention to let Neil win an easy victory means that, while they undeniably mean well, they inadvertently come off as a bit condescending towards him.
  • Continuity Nod: The name Marrrrrrr is from episode Epidemiology, it's the sound that Jeff makes when he is a zombie.
  • Covert Pervert: Annie the Dayplanner. Sure, we don't hear what she's saying, but we see her miming actions and the other players' reactions.
    • Troy the Obtuse takes notes.
  • Critical Hit/Critical Failure: Pierce the Insensitive is able to decapitate Chang's character.
  • Cross Player: Annie the Dayplanner. Abed the Undiagnosable, too, when he plays the NPC elf-maiden, causing Jeff the Liar to feel uncomfortable when he has to seduce her. Annie the Dayplanner has to seduce her instead.
  • Dark Elf Dies First: Possibly as a punishment for cosplaying in blackface.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: To a very, very small degree between Neil and Pierce the Insensitive.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jeff the Liar is the son of William the Barely Known.
  • Dramatic Wind/Evil Is Deathly Cold: Pierce the Insensitive's arrival is heralded by a whooshing sound and Shirley the Cloying and Annie the Dayplanner hugging themselves for warmth.
  • Embarrassing Nickname/In-Series Nickname: "Fat" Neil. Because calling the other Neils at Greendale "Black Neil" or "Bald Neil" would be unkind.
    • Pierce the Insensitive is known as Pierce the Dickish and Grandpa the Flatulent.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Note to Pierce: when Jeff Winger seems disgusted with your lack of common human decency, you have clearly set some kind of record in dickishness.
  • Fantastic Racism: Britta the Needlessly Defiant is incensed by this in D&D regarding gnomes.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Since Pierce the Insensitive's character is nude for the entire game, the final confrontation is this.
  • Game Within a Game: See What Could Have Been.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Annie the Dayplanner's character, Hector the Well-Endowed, must seduce a comely elf to gain access to a pegasus which the party needs. This leads to Annie the Dayplanner graphically describing how she goes about this seduction. Dramatic music covers up the dialog, but you can clearly read her lips and it is filthy. At one point, the viewer can see Annie saying "I take out my huge member." At another point, she holds up two fingers, then three, then four.
  • A Glass of Chianti: Pierce the Insensitive holds a glass of red wine while sitting on his throne.
  • The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: Abed averts both the light and dark sides of this by maintaining strict objectivity during play. This allows Pierce the Insensitive to derail the adventure by stealing Neil's stuff and running away with it before the other characters can do anything about it.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: The sex scene between Hector the Well-Endowed and the elf maiden that Annie describes. Soothing music plays while she speaks, so we can't actually hear what happens, but Shirley looks horrified, Troy takes notes, and Britta & Jeff look astonished that this is coming from Annie of all people.
  • Ho Yay: Abed names the character meant for Troy 'Hector the well-endowed.'
  • I Am X, Son of Y
    "Jeff the Liar, son of William the Barely Known."
  • Jerk Ass: Pierce the Insensitive. He destroys everything Neil had worked for just For the Evulz.
    • Basically the opposite of what Pierce the Insensitive did in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
    • Jeff gets a minor moment. After Neil protests Jeff using "Fat Neil" to distinguish him from the other Neil who was present by pointing out that the other Neil happens to be both bald and African American, Jeff sanctimoniously informs Neil that "I don't view the world through that lens", with an implied rebuke of Neil doing so. Considering that this is mere moments after it's been revealed that Jeff (inadvertently) coined the cruel and bullying nickname that has almost driven Neil to suicide, he could probably have kept his mouth shut, or at least dialed down the smug self-righteousness a bit.
  • Ignored Aesop: We are told in the ending voiceover that Pierce learned "very little" from the episode. As usual, then.
  • Innocent Bigot: To the others, Chang was in Black Face. For Chang, he was just being a dark elf.
  • Kick the Dog: Everything Pierce does to Neil - Whilst he's merely being a dick to the rest of the Study Group, he actively goes out of his way to cruelly insult Neil.
  • The Magnificent: The narration gives the members of the study group these titles, and most of their characters have them as well:
    Annie the Dayplanner: Hello, I am Hector the Well-Endowed.
  • Metagame: Pierce the Insensitive's whole plan was only possible because he obtained a second copy of the adventure to read and exploit.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    Narrator: And so the group did describe themselves walking. And Abed did confirm that they walked.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Pierce the Insensitive's character starts out with no clothes and no weapons, so in every one of his scenes, Abed the Undiagnosable makes sure to point out that he's naked.
  • Narrator: Played straight, until the end when the Narrator (the cleaner) breaks the Fourth Wall to say good night.
  • Never Say "Die": The word "suicide" is never said, despite Neil being an obvious suicide risk.
  • Nice Job Fixing It Pierce the Insensitive:
    • As aggravating as Pierce the Insensitive's intrusion and subsequent behavior is, it ultimately has positive effects.
    • This actually applies in the context of the D&D game, as Pierce removes the time freeze spell on the party, only to be told it's no longer his turn when he tries to attack immediately afterwards.
  • Off the Rails: Pierce the Insensitive does this at the start because the gang left him out.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted, sort of. Neil only gets the nickname "Fat Neil" because, at the moment it was coined, there was another student named Neil nearby (off-camera) and Jeff had to refer to a specific Neil.
    Neil: So call him "Skinny Neil"!
    Jeff: Well, he's not actually that skinny.
    Neil: He's bald. He's black!
    Jeff: [smugly] Well, I don't see the world through that lens.
  • One-Woman Wail: When Brutalitops dies and Chang hands in his character sheet.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • The entire episode is about the study group giving Neil one of these, and as such most of them try to keep their quirks and jerkasseries in check. Even Chang's customary manchild behavior is somewhat in abeyance.
    • Even after Pierce is a complete dick to him, Neil still invites him to another D&D game at the end.
  • Pierce The Insensitive On His Throne
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Pierce the Insensitive completely defeats the group and temporarily 'wins' the game, but at the cost of becoming completely despised by everyone in the group.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: Britta the Needlessly Defiant tries to tell a Gnome waiter that he's just as good as they are. Abed the Undiagnosable replies that according to the game rules, no, he's not, and the gang are justified in treating him however they want because of this trope.
  • RPG Episode: Conspicuously lacking deep immersion.
    "And so the group did describe themselves walking."
  • Screwed by the Network: Almost, as NBC wanted to cut the episode until Dan Harmon the Creator convinced them not to.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The group didn't invite Pierce the Insensitive so he wouldn't ruin their attempts to make Neil feel better. Pierce, in revenge, starts ruining their attempts to make Neil feel better.
  • Shaped Like Itself
    Troy the Obtuse: I'm Bing Bong The Archer. I'm an archer, and such.
    Jeff the Liar: I take my throwing knife and throw it, knife-style.
  • Ship Tease: Abed the Undiagnosable's character flirting with Jeff the Liar's, and later having a drawn-out sex scene with Annie the Dayplanner's.
  • Shout-Out: A ton in the beginning, specifically Neil's "Outlets of Fantasy" which include:
  • Slouch of Villainy: "So many things, Abed... So many things."
  • Special Edition Title: The opening credits reflect the D&D theme. The drawings on the cootie catcher are fantastical and the theme music epic.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The traffic cones on Pierce the Insensitive's throne.
  • Squishy Wizard: Chang, the magician of the group, is taken out in one critical hit.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Shirley the Cloying can't tell you how long she's waited to take out Pierce the Insensitive. the game.
  • Team Hand-Stack: During the voiceover, when the group decide to play Abed's module designed to reclaim Fat Neil's confidence.
  • The X of Y: Britta the Needlessly Defiant is the AT&T of people.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Neil rolls a 19 in order to disarm Pierce the Insensitive via thrown sword.
  • Time Stands Still: Pierce the Insensitive has Draconis cast Time Stop on the party.
  • Title Drop:
    Pierce the Insensitive: I won Dungeons and Dragons, and it was advanced!
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Pierce the Insensitive has been getting worse and worse, but he really steps it up.
  • Total Party Kill: Pierce the Insensitive almost achieves this.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Chang spends the episode in blackface. When Shirley the Cloying calls him out, he says he's playing a dark elf. invoked
    • Discussed; Jeff defends his decision to refer to Neil as "Fat Neil" because there was another Neil in the corridor and he had to differentiate between the two. Neil, hurt, points out that the other Neil was both bald and black. Immediately after Neil brings up race, Jeff smugly informs Neil that he doesn't "view the world through that lens".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • In the original concept, Pierce the Insensitive turns out to be an expert D&D player due to hanging out with Gary Gygax in the '70s.
    • It was in talks for Pierce the Insensitive's victory/defeat to involve him sealing everyone in a cube, only for them to exclude him from a game of D&D they start up while inside the cube.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The study group is genuinely shocked and appalled with Jeff the Liar when they learn that he was the one who started the "Fat Neil" nickname in the first place.
  • Wine Is Classy: Pierce the Insensitive has a large glass of red wine when Abed finds him on his throne.