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Recap: Community S 3 E 09 Foosball And Nocturnal Vigilantism

Jeff enlists Shirley to help him beat three obnoxious German students at foosball. While the experience initially helps bring them closer together, it ends up stirring up a history between them neither anticipated. Annie accidentally breaks Abed's autographed DVD of The Dark Knight with exclusive special features, and her efforts to conceal what she's done quickly result in chaos.


The Community episode "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" contains examples of:

  • Art Shift: To animesque during Jeff and Shirley's foosball match.
  • The Atoner: Shirley both gave up foosball and began a complete shift in her personality out of guilt when she realized what a cruel bully she was turning into.
  • Broken Treasure: Both Discussed and played with in the Annie/Abed plot.
    Troy: Annie, do you know how many sitcoms have done the 'secretly replace a broken priceless item' thing? 'Cause Abed does. Abed knows everything.
  • Buffy Speak: After Abed decides that the landlord must have "robbed" the apartment and declares that "something has to be done" in a tone that suggests hijinks are afoot:
    Troy: Let's not leap to thing-doing, right Annie?
  • Call Back:
    • The foosball table is noted by Dean Pelton as one of the main selling points of Greendale in "Basic Rocket Science".
    • Britta's one-eyed cat.
    • Troy is humming the Muzak from Abed's halloween story in "Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps".
    • Abed is, once again, Batman. With Christian Bale's approval.
    • Jeff refers to gossiping about Vaughn's tiny nipples as one of the times Shirley and he bonded.
    • Jeff's "art films and well-engineered cars" insult calls to mind his 'complisult' to the nurse in "Intermediate Documentary Making".
    • The officer references his last appearance teaching Annie a lesson about fake gun usage.
    • The Mexican restaurant Jeff and Shirley eat in is identical to the one that Jeff and Dean Pelton ate in "Studies in Modern Movement".
    • There's an Inspector Spacetime poster on the wall in Troy and Abed's apartment.
    • How many times has Shirley objected that she's not much older than Jeff? This is the episode that finally proves her right — she's not more than a year or two Jeff's senior.
    • In the episode tag, the song that plays at the end of Leonard's YouTube video is the same song that Dean Pelton can't shut off in the pilot episode just before giving his less-than empowering speech.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Abed to Troy, briefly.
    Britta: I'm volunteering at the animal hospital.
    Troy: (excited) Animal hospital?
    Abed: The animals are the patients.
    Troy: (sad) Oh, that makes sense.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Most of what happens at the foosball table. The German foosball jock pretends to be unfamiliar with the redirect term "Schadenfreude."
  • Cooking Duel: Foosball style.
  • Creepy Souvenir: Discussed. When Annie is uncomfortable that they have to live in the same building with a guy who is into footwear. The police officer tells her she should be happy he's not into heads.
  • The Dark Side: Foosball corrupts those who play it, according to Shirley. And oh how right she is.
  • Death Glare: Annie shoots Troy one of these to make him go along after telling Abed the apartment was robbed.
  • Disappeared Dad: Young!Shirley incorporates this into her trash talk. It seems like a lucky guess.
  • Eagleland: Shirley invokes Flavor 2 when she tries to convince Jeff to ignore the German foosballers.
  • El Spanish O: Jeff says they're gonna "kick das Butt" when he tries to threaten the German students.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Jeff's childhood nickname "Tinkle Town," which Young!Jeff is credited as.
  • Exploding Closet: The landlord's closet full of women's shoes.
  • Faking and Entering: Annie's over-the-top solution to the Broken Treasure dilemma. It takes Batman!Abed about three seconds to work out it was an inside job, which he blames on the landlord.
  • Fast Roping / Stairs Are Faster: Batman!Abed attaching his grappling hook to the fire escape.
  • Fetish: Abed, Annie and Troy's landlord seems to have one for women's shoes and has been stealing them from his tenants and keeping them in his closet.
  • Felony Misdemeanor:
    • Officer Cackowski and Abed appear to have different views on exactly how heinous The Case Of The Missing Dark Knight DVD is.
      Officer Cackowski: Sorry we couldn't get a car over here until now; our captain was killed on duty last night.
      Annie: My God, I'm so sorry!
      Officer Cackowski: Yeah, good man. Leaves behind two kids and a pregnant wife. So, you're missing a Batman DVD?
      Abed: [Very seriously] My Dark Knight extended-extended cut. It wasn't insured.
    • Thanks to her experiences with it in the past, Shirley is convinced that foosball is an inherently evil game which brings out the worst in people.
  • Flash Back: To when Shirley and Jeff were kids, 12 and 10 years old, respectively.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Big Cheddar and Tinkletown.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Wall of Text at the end of Leonard's frozen pizza YouTube review in The Tag. This is widely thought to be a Shout-Out to the wordy vanity cards of Chuck Lorre, who produces both Two and a Half Men and Community's time slot rival.
    First off, would somebody please explain to me why in the age of digital streaming, I have to pay late fees for the movies I rent. I'm a responsible person. I pay my taxes. Seriously, I'm not trying to be a dick about this. I really want to know. It seems to me the only competitive advantage over the internet is face-to-face customer service. So why are you working so hard to make me not want to talk to you. Just because I kept Dan in Real Life a couple extra days. There were a lot of special features, and I didn't ask my daughter for a blu-ray player not to see them all. Oh and by the way? What happened to the days when these rental jockeys would actually WATCH the movies they have, so they could give you recommendations instead of standing there like "Duh doy, I guess there's some nudity in Dan in Real Life." Well guess what Chelsea, THERE ISN'T. That Juliette Binoche though, Va-va-Va-va-VOOM. That's one frozen pizza that gets MY oven going at 350 degrees. Anyway hit me up on the comment side, unless you're a hater. Or catch me at @leonard_GCC and remember: see something, say something. Watch the throne!
  • Funny Foreigners: The German foosballers.
  • Genre Savvy: Troy has lived with Abed long enough to be savvy about Abed being too Genre Savvy to fall for any of the standard Broken Treasure schemes.
  • Heel Realization: After she humiliated Jeff when they were children, Shirley realized that she turned into a bully when playing foosball.
  • Hidden Depths: Shirley's previously unrevealed skills at foosball.
    Shirley: You don't know me.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Nearly every insult that Jeff and the Germans trade back and forth is some sort of pun on a German word or phrase.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Shirley verbally and physically abused Jeff at foosball when they were children.
  • Medium Blending: Jeff and Shirley's angry foosball game suddenly turns into an Animesque style segment.
  • Metaphorgotten: Something of a trademark of Batman!Abed.
    Batman!Abed: Men like Rick operate above the law. But there's something else above the law... bats. And me.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: A rather angry game of Foosball between two people is represented as an anime-style shouting match.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Jeff reminds Shirley of the disturbing something she once did to Pierce's hoagie.
    • Annie and Abed also reference an unseen disagreement they appear to have had following Annie's disposal of some buttered noodles Abed apparently wasn't quite finished with. So, an actual noodle incident.
  • Not So Above It All: Troy, of all people, acts as the Only Sane Man in this episode, but still can't help but get excited when he seen Abed use the grappling hook Troy got him for Christmas. And when Annie and Troy see him menacing their landlord:
    Annie: Stop it!
    Troy: GET HIM! I mean, stop it.
  • Oh, Crap: After Shirley tells him why she stopped playing foosball, Jeff's expression is one of absolute horror.
  • Only Sane Man: Troy takes this role for once, complete with increasingly panicked and exasperated Lampshade Hanging that this is supposed to be Annie's job. Being Troy, he sprinkles this with appreciation of his grappling hook gift being used and encouragement of Abed interrogating the landlord.
    Troy: (exasperated) Your moving in was supposed to tone us down!
  • Overly Preprepared Gag: The German's soccerball. Lampshaded by Jeff.
    Jeff: Were you guys walking around with a soccer ball just so you could do that?! [The Germans strut out; to Shirley] They left the ball and everything! I think they were literally walking around with it like a prop to use. It's like a twenty-five dollar bit, it's not even that good!
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    Troy: Abed! Where have you been?
    Annie: Troy, really?
  • Plot-Induced Stupidity: Why would you leave your newly purchased $299 DVD case on the floor? To kick off the Broken Treasure plot and live out a sitcom staple?
  • Police Are Useless: To the point that larceny is shrugged off as "you're a renter." Of course, this is only natural for a plot about the Dark Knight.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: As soon as Abed and Troy gush about their extremely valuable and unique DVD, viewers might suspect is's going to be destroyed. Annie steps on it when she accidentally shoves it off a shelf while she's dusting their TV set.
  • Pun: Deutschbags; Power-Krauts; Das Butt.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The explanation that at the end tag, the viewer has been treated to "Leonard's! FOOD! REVIEW!!"
  • Purple Prose: Annie once again shows her penchant for detail, by creating an unnecessary back story for her nonexistent stolen jewelry.
    "My nana gave it to me. She was a Rockette. She married a Count. He was blind. He married her for her mind."
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Abed deduces that the landlord must have been stealing valuables from the tenants since he had both means and opportunity. He is only incorrect about his motive because of the lie fed by Annie who was unknowingly Framing the Guilty Party. He had in fact been stealing women's shoes in the exact manner suggested by Abed.
  • Sarcasm Failure: In her panic over the broken DVD, Annie fails to realize that Troy's suggestion of recording a fake exclusive commentary track by Christian Bale over a replacement disk is neither a serious suggestion nor, in fact, an option in this case.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Annie/Abed. Although technically, once again it's more Annie/A Character Abed's Playing (in this case Batman).
    • And for once, Jeff and Shirley.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Britta's phone is a genuine Totorola. It comes in packs of six!note 
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slouch of Villainy: The landlord, Rick.
  • Split-Screen Reaction: Happens during the foosball match with Jeff, Shirley, and (for no explainable reason) a cat.
  • Superhero Episode
  • Volleying Insults: Jeff spends more time trading these back and forth with the Germans than actually playing foosball.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Annie hides the shard of broken DVD before planting it in the landlord's closet.
  • Women Are Wiser: Hilariously averted. Troy was hoping that Annie would be this and rein his and Abed's antics in. It turns out that she made things worse.

Documentary Filmmaking: ReduxRecap/CommunityRegional Holiday Music

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