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Recap: Community S2 E22: Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts

Professor Duncan is celebrating exam day by drinking with the class and giving everybody "A"s, Dean Pelton stops by with a reporter for an unscheduled class observation. These plans are also upset when Shirley goes into labor. No ambulances are available due to a "race kerfuffle" happening in the parking lot. Abed guides Shirley through delivery, working from his earlier experience in childbirth. Shirley, however, is uncomfortable with him looking at her "nethers", so Britta must step up.


The Community episode "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts" provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Chang delivering a baby reflects Ken Jeong's real-life medical degree.
  • All Issues Are Political Issues
    Dean: (on the World Food Festival) There are lunch trucks with 18 different nationalities of food. You know what? Not different, equal. Equal to whites. You know what? Better than whites.
  • Alliterative Name: Ben Bennett, Shirley's newborn child.
  • Apathetic Students: While Shirley's giving birth at the front of the room, most of the non-study group students just to seem to hang around watching.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: After selling out their handshake to Pierce & realising they've ruined it by doing so, Troy & Abed get past their guilt over it after they do the handshake following Ben's birth, realising it's cool (To them) again after they did for something meaningful.
  • Blatant Lies
    Dean: Not to worry, this happens all the time.
    Reporter: Are a lot of babies born in classrooms?
    Dean: Well, a lot more are conceived. No, Paul, that's Off the Record. And not true. Sort of.
  • Bottle Episode / Real Time: Set entirely in the anthropology classroom, likely because of the super-expensive episodes on either side of it.
  • Call Back:
    • Abed says he's delivered a baby before, referring to a Funny Background Event that happened near the beginning of the second season.
    • Britta saying 'No problo, Rob Lowe' is a call back to "Cooperative Calligraphy" where she was the only one who couldn't keep up with the rhyming of sentence and name.
    • Jeff happily declares Anthropology the ultimate blow-off class, in reference to his quest in season 1 to find the class which would give him the most reward for the least work.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • To Abed delivering a child in "The Psychology of Letting Go". When Troy asks where he was during all this, Abed tells him he was off in the background somewhere - referencing the fact that Abed's side-adventure happened entirely in the background of the earlier episode.
    • As well as "Paradigms of Human Memory", with Neil mentioning the Saint Patrick's day boating trip, which was shown sporadically in that episode.
  • Crash Course Landing: Abed has to walk Britta through delivering Shirley's baby owing to a "conflict of genitals".
  • Deal with the Devil: Abed and Troy sell their special celebratory handshake to Pierce for a thousand dollars and find it no longer feels the same afterward because they were forced to do it after things that weren't really awesome. There was also the fact that they were trying to slap together hands that were busy holding cash.
  • Delivery Guy: Abed and Britta working together.
  • Dissimile:
    Dean: The kids look to me like a father figure for my out of the box thinking like, what's that movie? Children of the Corn.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Troy giving Pierce the handshake.
    Pierce: Earn your money, whore!
  • For the Evulz: Pierce buys into Troy and Abed's special handshake and ruins it for them basically because he doesn't like it.
  • Granola Girl: Shirley is less-than-impressed by Britta's enthusiastic promotion of holistic medicine and natural childbirth — particularly since, as Jeff points out, Shirley's already had two kids and Britta hasn't had any.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works
    Abed: Don't tell any doctors I said this, but at this point the bus pretty much drives itself.
  • Hero of Another Story: Vicky, Neil and Starburns point out that all but one class had some focus on the study group.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Chang talks about how Chang babies are premature because they eat on their mother to gain the nutrients they need.
  • I Regret Nothing: Said by Jeff to Britta regarding "decid[ing] to grow a wang."
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Chang tries to invoke it by saying he's "conceding" the baby to Andre, despite having already stated that it's clearly not his.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Discussed for laughs; together, Britta's one-eyed cats can do anything.
  • Instant Birth, Just Add Water: Shirley gives birth minutes after her water breaks. Perhaps justified in that it's her third child and she's been having contractions all day.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Vicki says to Fat Neil - "We came so close to having one class that wasn't all about them". The entire program is about them.
  • Last Minute Baby Naming: After Chang helps Shirley through her child delivery, she decides to name her baby after him. Then she realizes how unfortunate "Ben Bennett" sounds, but sticks with it anyways.
  • The Magazine Rule: Parodied with "Dean Magazine" - we later see a copy of "Magazine Monthly" that announces that Dean Magazine has been shut down after two issues.
  • Noodle Implements: In the commentary, Gillian Jacobs and Donald Glover keep barging into the sound booth and asking for things like cement and scissors. It has something to do with Gillian and Donald having sex.
  • Noodle Incident: "Nothing stops Chang babies from being born. Not the Communists, not the Feds, not the Girl Scouts"...
  • Not so Above It All: After Shirley's baby is born, Jeff and Britta spend several moments happily cooing and sighing over how amazing the miracle of childbirth is... before remembering that they're supposed to be aloof and ironically dismissive of how amazing the miracle of childbirth is.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Shirley believes so, but Chang tries to convince her otherwise.
  • Pairing The Spares: Vicki and Neil.
  • Panicky Expectant Father (And Possible Father): Subverted; Chang is surprisingly calm and, towards the end at least, helpful. When he shows up, Andre is also quite calm. The Dean, however, despite having no connection to Shirley whatsoever, runs around like a headless chicken for most of the episode.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure
    Troy: (about the secret handshake) We just kind of do it when one of us says something awesome.
    Pierce: Alright. Betty Grable.
    ...
    Troy: (sobbing) Who's Betty Grable?
  • Screaming Birth
  • Serious Business: Lampshaded. Troy & Abed run to Jeff distraught over their sullying their handshake by selling it to Pierce, and he turns around & asks if they're really coming to him upset over their handshake whilst Shirley's in the middle of giving birth in the classroom.
  • Shipping Goggles: In-universe example. Pierce interpretation of Neil and Vicki interacting.
    Pierce: You two gonna fall in love or what?
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: When Abed says that the bus pretty much drives itself, Shirley is concerned about who is the bus in this metaphor; implying that she thought Abed meant her.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soapbox Sadie: Despite having no experience whatsoever with birthing children, Britta is quick to lecture mother-of-two Shirley on the benefits of holistic medical practices for pregnancy over western practices.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lampshaded by Recurring Extras, Starburns, Neil and Vicki who snark about almost making it through one class without it all being about the study group.
  • Spinning Newspaper: At the very end, immediately after the Dean celebrates being told he's going to get a cover story for the magazine Dean Magazine ("I am a good Dean!"), Magazine Monthly spins into view. Announcing that Dean Magazine has been shut down.
    Worst idea for a magazine ever.
  • Straw Feminist: Britta, among things, says that 'women have a connection to their bodies men can't understand' (and quickly proves herself wrong) and says that Jeff can't enter a discussion on pregnancy because he forsook the right to do so the day he 'decided to grow a wang'. Which makes it all the more satisfying when she keeps on making a total fool of herself with Shirley.
  • They Just Didn't Care: In-universe. Duncan just doesn't give a damn. It's the final exam and everyone's drinking and celebrating that the class is fake.
    Duncan: Question #2: How awesome is it that this is a fake class?
    • It unfortunately backfires on everyone when the Dean brings a reporter around for an unexpected class observation.
    • The Tag shows that the Dean has been cutting some corners in the school's budget. Namely, the fire alarms aren't actually connected to anything, which is kind of a massive safety violation.
  • Truth in Television: Shirley's labour probably went as quickly as it did because it's her third child. Realism in the birthing field was, however, undermined by Shirley's baby being one of the most oversized of all ridiculously oversized 'newborns' on TV. Seriously, take a look as Shirley takes the baby into her arms - it's most of the length of her torso. The 'Look at how teeny his hands are' line should have been cut.
  • Unusual Euphemism/Last-Second Word Swap: "Race kerfuffle."
  • "YEAH!" Shot
  • You Can See That, Right?: Troy's "Did that just happen?" after the baby is born.

Paradigms of Human MemoryRecap/CommunityA Fistful of Paintballs

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