[[caption-width-right:344:Your love is ''weird''!! Offense taken!]]
Professor Kane assigns the Biology class a terrarium project. When the study group ends up with lab partners from outside the gang, they beg Prof. Kane to let them partner up among themselves, which he grants with some exasperation. However, the partnerships of Troy and Abed, Britta and Shirley, Jeff and Annie, and Pierce and [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg outsider Todd]] have quickly noticeable compatibility problems and the study group decides to shuffle pairs, which quickly gets [[SeriousBusiness way too serious]].

Meanwhile, Chang's desire to be a police detective expresses itself as an idiotically mundane FilmNoir, which eventually leads to him inadvertently starting a fire and his illegal living situation coming to light.

!!The ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Competitive Ecology" provides examples of:
* AlphaBitch: Arguably the study group as a whole. They have all the qualifications of being the ''GirlPosse'', and are even called [[LampshadeHanging "the mean clique"]].
* TheBGrade: Annie faints when informed that they failed the assignment.
* BrutalHonesty: Kane tells Magnitude that he believes everyone has been laughing ''at'' him.
-->'''Kane''': At least that's my theory.
* ButtMonkey: Todd, Todd, Todd. Before the end of the episode, they even insult his ''newborn child''.
-->'''Troy''': He wouldn't stop talking about his ''dumb baby''!
* CargoShip: Chang x Mannequin Leg. [[invoked]]
-->'''Janitor''': [[LoveTriangle Homewrecker...]]
* CatchPhrase: "Am I crazy?" and "I had to think fast" in Chang's internal monologue.
** "None taken!" for Todd, who even starts to say it without someone else saying "No offense."
* TheChewToy: Todd, if you haven't caught that by now.
* ContinuityLockout: In-universe with Kane. He's a new teacher with no idea what the hell's been going on. The class gives a CollectiveGroan at the mention of dioramas, because most of them have been doing it all previous year.
-->"You guys have weird reactions to stuff."
** Then, when the study group asks him to change lab partners, they mention all the stuff they've been through together.
-->"What is happening at this school? I have so many conversations that make no sense..."
* ContinuityNod: The group's study table still has axe-marks from Jeff's attack on it in [[Recap/CommunityS3E01Biology101 the first episode]].
* EvilLaugh: Chang's crazy evil laugh when he is promoted to head of security. ''Inside his head.''
* FilmNoir: Chang sees several tropes of the genre that arenít really there, like a FemmeFatale, or [[CargoShip Veronica]] getting StuffedIntoTheFridge.
* FiremenAreHot: The Dean certainly thinks so.
** Then again, he DOES ask if they had [[RunningGag a dalmatian]] [[CallBack with them...]]
* ForeheadOfDoom: Todd.
* FreudianSlip: Britta in TheTag:
-->'''Britta''': Haha! Gotcha! This was also a test, and you all penised. ...''Passed.''
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Britta shooting her fingers down with her FingerGun because she's blatantly trying to [[FlippingTheBird Flip the Bird]] at Annie, but she keeps screwing it up.
* GoingByTheMatchbook: Chang tries to force this trope with disastrous results.
* GoodOldWays: Kane's monologue on how Legos have changed while he was inside.
* HiddenDepths: Todd has a wife, a baby girl, a promise to his dead father to graduate from college, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick diabetes]], and had fought in Iraq.
* HypocriticalHumour:
-->'''Jeff''': We don't even know him! He's a stranger!\\
'''Pierce''': Jeez Jeff, it has ''feelings''.
* IgnoredEpiphany: The group seems to be veering in the direction of learning the Aesop of this episode. But the minute Jeff blames it on Todd, they all blame him as well (even though their troubles started before anyone but Pierce had even talked to him), failing to see how their own immaturity and instability caused all of their problems.
* ImStandingRightHere: Everyone talks about Todd with disdain right in front of him. He never takes any offense, though, [[spoiler:until he finally gets up and leaves after giving the study group a verbal lashing]].
* InsaneTrollLogic: Chang's 'investigation' quickly becomes this as he is making deductions and connections that make no sense whatsoever.
* InsultBackfire: Although it apparently doesn't backfire hard enough.
-->'''Jeff''': When did you even have time to ''do'' that?! You're pathological.\\
'''Annie''': It's too late for flattery.
* ItsNotYouItsMe: The study group breaking up with their lab partners. Everyone except Pierce, who gives poor Todd TheReasonYouSuckSpeech.
* KickedUpstairs: [[spoiler:Chang, who gets the security chief gig after Sgt. Nunez quits in disgust.]]
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: Chang's HardWorkMontage wherein he tries to in vain crack the (non-existent) case is accompanied by bluesy saxophone music. One of the montage cuts shows Chang playing the saxophone.
* LimitedSocialCircle: Lampshaded.
-->'''Annie''': [''To Jeff''] And who the hell are you always texting?! Everyone you know is here!
* {{Malaproper}}: When Britta tells Shirley that her homeopath said that sugar is like "baby meth," Shirley says Britta's "gay friend needs to keep his opinions to himself."
** Later, Chang says this about the Arizona Matchbook Company:
-->'''Chang''': [''V.O.''] Arizona backwards is still Arizona! It's a palomino!
* MarriedToTheJob: Chang, according to his conversation with the Dean.
* MeaningfulEcho: Chang's "Maybe I will" in response to head security guard telling him to detect on his own time is immediately echoed in his InnerMonologue.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Chang does this frequently during his {{Private Eye Monologue}}s.
* MirrorMonologue: Chang has one to convince himself to continue following the clues.
* NiceGuy: Todd. [[spoiler:But [[BewareTheNiceOnes don't push him too far]]...]]
* OnlySaneMan: Todd is able to keep cool all night while the group squabbles and gets more and more insane. [[spoiler:He finally snaps and tells them exactly what he thinks of them before leaving.]] Given his backstory, he is probably the stablest, sanest character on the show so far.
** Also the Head Security Officer, pointing out that Chang is probably mentally ill (and "it's not even funny"), the Dean is enabling him and [[GenreSavvy that this]] ''[[GenreSavvy cannot]]'' [[GenreSavvy possibly end well]].
* OutOfOrder: Shirley recognizing Britta's marijuana lighter and Pierce revealing he had sex with Creator/EarthaKitt both refer to events in alternative timelines of the next episode to air, "[[Recap/CommunityS3E04RemedialChaosTheory Remedial Chaos Theory]]". This introduces a little FridgeLogic when you remember that the events that allowed both of these things to happen never happened in the 'real' timeline of the previous episode, but both can be easily explained as having happened differently at some point between episodes anyway. Or, if you prefer more of a MindScrew, the WordOfGod-debunked [[EpilepticTrees but still popular]] theory that what we think is the 'real' timeline isn't the ''real'' timeline...
** To be fair, everyone knows or has assumed by now that Britta smokes marijuana, so Shirley could have just been making an assumption. Similarly, given Pierce's eagerness to latch on to any flimsy excuse to bring up his Eartha Kitt story, it's not hard to imagine that he just told everyone at a different opportunity.
** The DVD release changed the episode order back to the originally planned one.
* PhraseCatcher: Todd. "No offense!" [[CatchPhrase "None taken!"]]
* PrivateEyeMonologue: Done by Chang throughout, although heavy on the MixedMetaphor and {{Metaphorgotten}}. The Dean joins in toward the end, but they monologue simultaneously and drown each other out.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Todd delivers a surprisingly awesome one.
* SeriousBusiness: The group took until the next day to pick lab partners.
* ShapedLikeItself:
-->'''Chang''': My own words rang inside my head, like a bell inside a head.
* ShesGotLegs: Parodied. Chang, in his HardboiledDetective InnerMonologue:
-->'''Chang''': [''Inner monologue''] ''She was all dame. Legs that went to the bottom of her torso. The kind of arms that had elbows.''\\
'''Vicki''': Did you just call me in here to stare at me?
* ShipTease: Britta/Troy. And Jeff/Annie as well, considering that they initially gravitate towards each other as lab partners. And let's not forget the "tight sweater" exchange between them either...
* SingleTear: Poor Todd.
* StrangeMindsThinkAlike: Chang and Dean Pelton, almost disturbingly.
* StringTheory: Chang creates one but it is completely unnecessary, there are only five items in it.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Troy's reasoning for wanting to be [[ShipTease partnered up with Britta]]:
-->"There's only one way to decide this fairly. We go, boy-girl, boy-girl. But everyone has to have a different hair color, and be from a different high school, ''and'' be a different race. *{{Beat}}.* I guess I'd be with Britta. [[BlatantLies I guess my hands are tied.]]"
* TookALevelInJerkass: The study group as a whole in this episode as it's shown once again how easily they end up fighting each other. Just that this time, they bring a bystander into the mix.
* {{Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist}}s: The whole study group takes up this mantle in this episode while becoming "the mean clique."
* WhatTheHellHero: Todd to the whole group on their poisonous "friendship".
** Kane as well when he calls them "the mean clique".