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Recap: Community S 4 E 04 Alternative History Of The German Invasion
Guten Tag Frauen.
The study group begins their non-ice cream history class taught by Professor Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell), but the annoying German trio—now led by Juergen's brother, Reinhold (Chris Diamantopoulos)—is also taking the class. Chang returns to Greendale.


The Community episode "Alternative History of the German Invasion" provides examples of:

  • All Germans Are Nazis: Played straight for awhile ("That's called appeasement, and everyone knows if you give the Germans something small like the study room or Austria, they end up wanting something big, like Earth."), but subverted by the end of the episode when the study group realizes they've acted more like Nazis than the actual Germans.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Dean is upset about a lack of moisturizer during his imprisonment.
  • The Atoner: The study group tries to make up for their past bad behaviour after their Heel Realization by renovating the other study rooms so that they are, if not as good as the study room we know and love, then are at least more pleasant (and safe) to be in.
  • Audible Sharpness: When Reinhold grabs the kitchen knife to cut the cake.
  • Call Back:
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Abed to Troy, regarding The Real World.
  • Continuity Nod: That table's still got axe marks in it.
  • Designated Villain: Invoked in the episode. Although they were no doubt being dickish, the Germans never actually broke the rules when it came to claiming the study room. It was actually the Study Group who refused to share it when offered.
  • Easily Forgiven: All it seems to take for the study group to be forgiven for three years of crappy behavior towards their fellow students is for them to fix up the other study rooms. Perhaps justified, in that most of the complaints against them in this episode centered around their use of the study room anyway.
  • Evil Laugh: Reinhold, as he plots his revenge.
  • Funny Background Event: Lukas motorboats two of the balloons.
  • Godwin's Law: The study group are labeled as Nazis by the other students for the crime of... selfishly over-extending their use of the study room without consideration for other people who might want to use it.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: The other students are unaware that the study group played Dungeons and Dragons in order to prevent Neil from killing himself.
    • Stranger yet, Neil is among the angry mob.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Malcolm McDowell guest stars as Professor Cornwallis, a history teacher, formerly of Oxford University.
  • Hurricane of Puns
  • Hypocritical Humor: The Dean criticizes Chang's habit of replacing words with his name ("No, he's always Dean that.") and his craziness (immediately before a new costume is delivered).
  • Insistent Terminology: Abed's four-pronged trident.
  • Insult Backfire: After the study group has been compared to the Nazis, Britta suggests that Jeff is the group's Hitler. Pierce interrupts and demands to know why he isn't considered Hitler.
  • It's All About Us: When Professor Cornwallis confronts them in the cafeteria, the group believes that he turned the entire school against them so that they could learn about different perspectives of history. They're wrong, and it leads Cornwallis to wonder if he can still alter his contract.
    Prof. Cornwallis: Are you actually suggesting that a professor at Greendale would set up an elaborate ruse just to teach seven students a lesson?
    Everyone nods and agrees as if it makes sense.
    Troy: That's a Wednesday.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Germans act like jerks but they signed out the study room fair and square and the study group has been ignoring the signup sheet for years. While the Germans follow the rules, the study group needs underhanded tactics to win.
  • Jumping Out of a Cake: Troy is designated to do this, but the Germans see through the plot... but it's all part of the plan.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Jeff's clever ruse involves the Germans seeing through their person-in-the-cake and then making it up to them, making it look like they're celebrating Oktoberfest.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Jeff sees the Germans.
    Jeff: "I know The History of Ice Cream would've been fun but, not only will this class be far less likely to give us type II diabetes, we might actually learn som..." [cue the Germans] "...mnnn of a bitch!"
  • Lethal Chef: As revealed during The Tag, Shirley's Sandwiches serves delicacies like a fried chicken skin wrap and a triple-fried Monte Cristo...
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: The Study Group fix up the rest of the study rooms after realising that the rest of the students hate them for hogging Study Room F for the past 3 years, when it's the only one of the study rooms that's actually in a usable state. The trope comes into play because it's been 3 years, and no-one else at the school had bothered to do anything until this point in time.
  • Market-Based Title: Apparently the German dub of Hogan's Heroes was called Hogan's Villains. For a quick clear up, the German title in reality was infacted Ein Käfig Voller Helden meaning a A Cage Full Of Heros.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Professor Cornwallis, after speaking to the study group.
    • The study group themselves, after realising that they've been hogging the study room unfairly for the past three years.
  • No OSHA Compliance: All the other study rooms in the school are grossly unsafe.
  • Noodle Incident - Jeff dressed up as an ice skater to prove a point.
  • Not So Different: The the study group spends entire episode trying to kick the Germans out unfairly for hogging their study room, only to realise they've been doing the exact same thing for the past three years and preventing other students with booked times from using it.
  • Oktoberfest
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Chang trying to take responsibility for his past actions is what convinces the Dean that Chang is really suffering from amnesia. The regular Chang would never do so even as part of a scheme.
  • Out of Order: The episode was intended to air second, but was shuffled to fourth; in this episode, the group are only just starting their history class and Vicki, who invited them to her Halloween party in "Paranormal Parentage" (the episode moved to second), is here leading the protest movement against them.
  • Perspective Flip
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: You can celebrate different cultures on campus, as long as it's not your own. The study group uses this as part of their scheme. To make it even crazier, the Dean enforces this by keeping a detailed list of the racial background of every student "To make sure nothing racist happens."
  • Power Walk: The group on their way to the study room.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Deconstructed. While the study group works through their issues and experiences Character Development, they fail to realize that their actions have negative effects on others. As the feud with the Germans escalates, the audience cheers on the struggling protagonists but fails to realize that the Germans are following rules and not doing anything morally wrong. When the study group pulls of their Kansas City Shuffle it is easy to overlook that it is is an underhanded trick and the Germans have done nothing really wrong. Then the study group is called out on their bad behaviour and the Heel Realization strikes.
  • Recurring Extra: Averted in the history class, as everyone the audience knows is taking The History of Ice Cream.
  • Serious Business: The study room, for both the study group and the other students.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soap Box Sadie: Britta eagerly asks, "What are we protesting?"
  • The Students Who Don't Do Anything: Distracted by the protest, the study group miss their exam.
  • Take That: When a security guard asks for sign-in papers, Jeff tells him "This is America, not Arizona."
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The study group is forced to acknowledge that they were the "Nazis" all along.
  • Too Soon: Jeff refers to this trope by name. He says that Hogan's Heroes was produced before people had the concept of Too Soon.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Invoked by Annie who as a Jew does not like the fact that the other students call her a Nazi.
  • Unfortunate Names: It's pointed out that a business called "Shirley's Sandwiches" should not put their initials on their uniforms.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vicki, Leonard and Todd call the group out for extending their time in the study room for petty reasons ("They've lost a pen" "We're playing Dungeons and Dragons"). Some of their complaints are justified but others are taken out of context probably because no one outside the group knows what really happened.
  • Written By The Victors
  • Zany Scheme: The fake Oktoberfest. Everyone insistently calls it a ruse.
Conventions of Space and TimeRecap/CommunityCooperative Escapism in Familial Relations

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