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Recap / Community S1 E11: The Politics of Human Sexuality

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Greendale is hosting an STD Awareness Fair ("Catch knowledge!") which Annie is organising. This comes back to bite her when the Dean announces that Annie will be responsible for a demonstration of how to correctly apply a condom, using an anatomically correct penis model as the demonstration; unfortunately, Annie has never actually seen one before, requiring Britta and Shirley's help to correct this oversight.


Pierce has managed to land a date for the Awareness Fair, prompting insecurity on Jeff's part as he comes to term with the dry-patch his recent dating life has been; as the evening progresses, however, both men's interaction with their eventual dates will prompt some long looks at themselves. Abed, meanwhile, is demonstrating unexpected proficiency at sports, prompting insecurity on Troy's part.

The Community episode "The Politics of Human Sexuality" provides examples of:

  • Always Someone Better: Abed turns out to be this for Troy. Parodied, in that Abed is clearly not interested in athletics where Troy is immediately driven into a fit of paranoid insecurity by the fact that Abed manages to throw a piece of trash into a garbage can when Troy misses, and it just gets worse from there:
    Troy: You think you're better than me?
    Abed: No.
    Troy: You stick to quoting movie lines. I'll stick to sports.
    Abed: I'm trying to reduce my pop cultural referencing.
    Troy: Well, you're not moving into sports! You and I? Are playing real basketball. Right now.
    Abed: Sounds fun.
    Troy: No it doesn't! And it won't be!
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  • Blatant Lies: After Troy 'wins' his race with Abed:
    Troy: [Breathless and exhausted] How'd you like... those apples?
    Abed: [Clearly not breathless or exhausted] I don't like those apples. I'm so upset. It was clearly a fluke that I won those other games.
  • Black Is Bigger in Bed: Implied when Britta and Shirley disagree on the penis size at the office being standard size.
  • Buffy Speak: The dean's assistant Sabrina, who objects to the term secretary - she helps the Dean do 'office-y things.' Later, when told Jeff is a student, not a professor, she responds 'Yikers!'
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: Dean Pelton is apparently unaware that alcohol loosens inhibitions, hence his ill-advised decision to serve it at an STD fair.
    Dean Pelton: I had no idea alcohol would make people horny. It makes me sleepy!
  • Code Emergency: Parodied; when the security officer informs Dean Pelton that there's a 'five-nine-seven' currently occurring in his office:
    Dean Pelton: There's a dog-fighting ring in my office?!
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  • Comforting Comforter: Abed to Troy in The Tag
  • Comically Missing the Point: When it's revealed that the free condoms provided by the sex fair are faulty, Dean Pelton panics at the thought of a rash of STDs and pregnancies resulting from this, and orders Abed to run to his office and make an announcement to prevent this. The announcement Abed chooses to make:
    Abed: Everyone, don't use the condoms! If you're going to have sex tonight, don't use condoms!
  • Condescending Compassion: The school counsellor, on learning of Annie's issues around sexuality, treats her with smarmy condescension and thinly-veiled superiority in the guise of trying to help her overcome them, which eventually results in her basically trying to passive-aggressively bully Annie into saying the word 'penis'.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Britta is on point this episode.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Pierce demonstrates unexpected maturity, wisdom and humility in both discussing Jeff's and his own experiences with women at the end.
    Jeff: Oh, I'm sorry. I was waiting for that to become inappropriate or racist.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Pierce's girlfriend Doreen is an escort. Curiously (considering this is Pierce we're discussing), he doesn't have to pay for a date with her. At least initially.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Doreen seems to be a very pleasant, likable and wise woman who offers Jeff some valuable advice. She does dump Pierce and then make him pay to continue the date they'd arranged, but considering this is Pierce we're talking about that's hardly unjustifiable. Even then she gives him a fairly good discount.
  • Hypocritical Humor: From Annie, of all people:
    "The Dean needs to know he can trust me - we have to break into his office."
  • Kid Has a Point: When the Greendale counsellor reacts about Annie's obvious hang-ups concerning sex and sexuality in a rather condescending fashion and practically tries to passive-aggressively bully her into saying the word 'penis' in front of everyone, Annie angrily makes the point that if a few more people in modern society were a bit more repressed and wary of embracing their sexuality like her, they might not need to have an STD fair in the first place. Annie is a bit older than the standard 'kid' of the trope, but she is notably girlish, naive and sheltered.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Pierce when talking about his date.
    Pierce: She is super-smart, if you know what I mean.
    Jeff: Unfortunately, I always know what you mean.
  • Megaphone Gag: Dean Pelton discovers that the condoms from the STD fair are faulty, so he tells Abed to rush to the office and tell everyone through the PA speaker. When Abed gets there, though, all he tells the students is to not use condoms for sex.
  • Of Course I'm Not a Virgin: In the run-up to the safe sex fair, Annie panics because she's never seen a penis before. Britta and Shirley, naturally assumes this means she's a virgin. We're treated to a brief lull in the action as Annie explains that her first boyfriend would only ever have sex in the dark. He turned out to be gay.
    • Later in that episode, the girls attempt to sneak into Dean Pelton's office to see the mannequin's anatomically correct penis.
    Annie: Now that I got a good look at one, I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's a giant thumb in a turtleneck. Whoop-dee-doo!
  • Platonic Prostitution:
    • Inverted; Pierce is in a non-business relationship with Doreen. Initially.
    • Doreen also describes how, contrary to opinion, this sort of thing is actually what she spends most of her 'dates' doing, her clientele generally being of an age where they want to be with a woman they can converse with as well as find sexually attractive.
  • Shout-Out: The arm wrestling scene is a reenactment of the climax from Over the Top.
  • Spoof Aesop: Being sexually repressed is A-ok!
    Annie: You know what? I don't want to express myself! I don't want to sit in a room full of people and say... the p-word. I like being repressed! I am totally comfortable being uncomfortable with my sexuality! And maybe — just maybe — if everyone were a little bit more like me, we wouldn't have to have an STD fair!
    Britta: You go, girl!
    Shirley: That's my pumpkin!
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Both Dean Pelton and the security officer characterise Annie, Shirley and Britta's plan as a "reverse-Porky's".
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Troy takes his time admitting that Abed is the better athlete of them both while the dean is impatiently waiting for one of them to run to his office and make an announcement about the broken condoms. The dean promptly cuts the moment short.
    For the love of God, run!