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Recap / Community S1 E09: Debate 109

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Jeff joins Annie on the Debate Team. The study group finds out that Abed has been making films about them, covering events before they even took place. Pierce helps Britta quit smoking.

The Community episode "Debate 109" provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    Professor Whitman: Jeff, I am offering you an opportunity to spend the night drinking from the cup of life, rather than romancing your nether regions in front of the E! channel.
    • When Abed makes a webseries, the actor he casts as the character based on himself is played by Sandeep Parikh, best known for his work with the webshows The Guild and The Legend of Neil. He's also a Channel101er. Other 101ers including Jenny Flack and Kelsy Abbott play other characters in the webseries.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Jeff's head tapping to Annie which helps to keep their UST in check.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Jeff quotes Romans 3:10 in an attempt to prove that man is evil.
    Jeff: Now, I realize that Mr. Simmons's quote was from the great Franz Wickmeyer. Mine was just from a simple desert handyman... named Jesus.
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  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Abed can predict behavior and conversations a week in advance. He uses this to make student films.
  • Batman Gambit: The wheelchair-bound captain of the opponent debate team tearing up his cards and launching himself in the air at Jeff. It's a huge risk, as he could hurt himself badly, but he knows that he will get the crucial proof to his argument as Jeff will instinctively catch him. Needless to say, when asked what this is, Abed tells Shirley:
    Abed: It's a gambit.
  • Brick Joke: The Dean says that the best compliment Greendale's athletic program receives is that its basketball team is really gay. Later in the episode, the basketball team shows up to use the gym - all of them mustachioed, in ripped shirts and short shorts, and speaking with a slightly flamboyant lisp.
  • Call-Back: The Tag references "Donde Esta la Biblioteca" from episode 1.02.
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  • Courtroom Antic: Jeff's go-to strategy fails him when he uses it in Debate and his team loses the first round, 50-8 (and the 8 were to Annie).
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Pierce, even after he stumbles into a set of drums after hurting his leg. "Don't help me!"
  • Freudian Slip:
    Jeff: We should study separately, by ourselves.
    Annie: Yeah, that way we can be more reproductive— productive!
  • Gang of Bullies: The members of the City College debate team consist of one wheelchair-bound lead bully and several mooks who he can order around to do things like kick a trashcan for emphasis during his taunting. That might be all they do, since unlike the Greendale squad nobody ever seems to take a turn at the debate lectern on the City College side apart from their leader...
  • Glasses Pull: The opposition debate team captain at the end of his first speech. "Man is inherently... good".
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The dean tells Jeff that "Gay" is the closest thing Greendale's basketball team has to a compliment.
  • Held Gaze: One Ship Tease-laden gaze happens between Jeff and Annie when Annie is letting her hair down, and Jeff stares at her in surprise. In the Held Gaze that follows after that one, this long gaze also shows a sign of Jeff's Character Development and growing feelings for Annie since he looks at her with the most gentle, tender expression that so far no one else has seen.
  • Humans Are Special / Humans Are Bastards: The opposing debate topics.
  • Hypocrite: Jeremy Simmons, the opposing debate team captain arguing that "Man is inherently... good" is a colossal douche who starts mocking Annie over her pill addiction & resorts to the above mentioned Batman Gambit when he realises he can't win the debate by actually, y'know, debating.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Jeremy "Soulpatch" Simmons isn't shy about using his handicap status to win debate arguments.
  • Jerkass: While a charismatic debater, Jeremy "Soulpatch" Simmons is an arrogant bully. Which is why, despite him being handicapped, it's funny when Jeff ends up dropping him on his face at the climax of the debate.
  • Large Ham: Jeff & Simmons during the Debate. Jeff even says that mechanically reciting her argument is a detriment to Annie, and advises her to ham it up during the Debate to draw people's attention to her words.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Jeff uses this when discussing how in sync he is with Annie.
    Jeff: It's like a great duet or great se- ... Professor Whitman!
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Annie wears her hair tied back most of the time which makes her seem sweet and adorable. When she lets her hair fall down her face in front of Jeff, she goes from being cute to smokin' hot in both his and the viewers' eyes. This might also be because just after she lets her hair down, she shows off some surprising cleavage for the first time.
  • Mythology Gag: Possibly with the actor playing Jeff in Abed's Community College Chronicles. According to The Other Wiki, Community is based on Dan Harmon's own experiences at community college, and Jeff Winger is based on a younger version of himself. Jeff Short (Abed's Film!Jeff) actually physically resembles Harmon.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Jeff had no interest in actually putting any work into preparing for the debate until Simmons picked on Annie.
    Jeff: That's it; dude, we are gonna debate the living crap out of you.
  • Oh, Crap!: Abed, after Britta tells Pierce he's a genius.
  • Orphaned Punchline: The last line of Pierce's joke in the opening scene. Although he is the only one in the room who finds it funny.
    Pierce: The housekeeper says to the guy, "We don't have a pool."
  • Prima Donna Director: In The Tag, Troy is not satisfied with the actors' performance and calls them out for doing a bad job. Then it's reveals they already did 35 takes of the scene.
  • Raging Stiffie: Implied to be the reason Jeff does not return for his phone after he pats Annie on her head.
  • Save Our Team: The dean hopes that bringing Jeff into the debate team will finally win the college an award as he has Workplace-Acquired Abilities. However, in the end it's Annie who saves the day.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Shirley comes in to tell Jeff and Annie about the crazy idea Abed had that they would kiss. This leaves them awkwardly confronting their sexual tension with each other and presumably gives Annie the inspiration to lay one on Jeff during the debate to defeat Simmons' gambit.
  • Serious Business: Debate
  • Ship Tease: Jeff/Annie. Arguably, the first real instance of chemistry between the characters. Certainly not the last.
  • Similar Squad: The cast of Abed's films.
  • Squick: Invoked by Pierce - After realising Britta was merely pretending to be under a trance during their hypnotherapy sessions, he begins "abusing" his power in a deliberate attempt to get Britta to come clean by telling her that she would suddenly find herself attracted to him & willing to have a threesome in his hottub.
  • Stanford Prison Experiment: Referred to by Jeff in his debate speech.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Jeff's confidence about his debating skills proves misplaced, succinctly described in the image caption above.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The above Batman Gambit is thwarted when Annie passionately kisses Jeff, causing him to drop Simmons.
  • You Remind Me of X: Jeff reminds Professor Whitman of himself, but with slightly worse hair.