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Recap / Community S1 E22: The Art of Discourse

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While hanging out in the cafeteria Jeff and Britta become targets of ridicule for a trio of elitist high school students attending Greendale for early college credit. They try to get revenge but find the results are less than satisfying. Meanwhile the study group is torn apart when Pierce goes too far and humiliates Shirley and fails to apologize, resulting in an ultimatum. On the lighter side, Abed has a Quintessential College Experience List and Troy is helping him complete it.


The Community episode "The Art of Discourse" provides examples of:

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: The high school kids, Mark, Kelly, and Scott, who never pass up the opportunity to mock Jeff, Britta, and just about anyone attending Greendale with them as they study for early college credits.
  • Affectionate Parody: Abed goes down a list to fulfill every college movie trope he can with Troy.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: When a joke by Britta falls flat, the goatnote  gets a reaction shot.
  • Appeal to Wealth: Britta thinks knitting is hip because Winona Ryder is doing it.
  • Artsy Beret: Pierce dons a beret when showing off his guitar skills, highlighting his usual overinflated opinion of his own artisticness.
  • Call-Back: While dealing with the aftermath of Pierce's prank, Shirley is shown coming out of the women's bathroom, accompanied by Britta.
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  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Abed and Troy pantsing each other at the beginning. Pierce attempts this on Shirley, but the result is not taken well. At the end of the episode, Pierce and Shirley humiliate two of the annoying teenagers by pantsing them.
  • Cringe Comedy: Jeff and Britta's entire subplot with the high school kids.
  • Extreme Omni-Goat: One of the Hilarious Outtakes shows the goat trying to eat Troy's notes.
  • Food Fight: One breaks out right after Abed points out that "classic college experiences never happen organically".
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Pierce is kicked out and brought back for this reason; by having someone around that they all hate, the group is able to get along better.
  • Funny Background Event: After Pierce refuses to apologise to Shirley, she goes back into the woman's bathroom and Annie goes with her, while Britta looks at Pierce disapprovingly. Abed tries to follow, only for Troy to pull him back just in time.
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  • Gilligan Cut: Pierce proclaims to Shirley that she just dug her own grave. Cut to ... Pierce being expelled from the group.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: After pantsing Troy, Abed comments that it'd be funnier if this trope was enacted, only for it to be invoked when Troy does the same thing to him & Abed reveals he was wearing them specifically for this reason.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Shirley talks about how much she hates it when Britta and Annie treat her like a mom, right before talking about how Annie shouldn't be dating Vaughn.
  • I Banged Your Mom: ...just so he can have the satisfaction of telling him about it.
  • Idea Ding: Britta figures out how to take down the high school students.
  • Innocently Insensitive: The conflict starts off when Pierce tries to replicate Abed and Troy's pantsing with Shirley.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Conversed:
    Abed: Boob-a-tron's great. And once someone spills bongwater on his circuitry and he comes to life, he's gonna make us the coolest guys on campus and help us get babes.
  • Irony: It's implied that Mark, the leader of the high schoolers, will meet the same fate as Jeff. His medical license will be revoked and he will disappear possibly to a community college to earn an actual medical degree.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Pierce to Shirley: "The pot calls the kettle...a kettle."
  • Magical Negro: Troy offers to help Abed finish all the entries on his Quintessential College Experience List.
    Troy: I'll be your Morgan Freeman.
  • Mistaken Declaration of Love: Not love but apology. Pierce mistakes some black lady for Shirley because he didn't wear his contacts. Hilarity Ensues.
  • NameTron: Boob-a-tron
  • Noodle Incident: Abed had already kissed the hottest girl on campus and it was neither Annie nor Britta.
  • NOT!: Britta. Even The Goat Is Ashamed.
  • Not So Above It All: Shirley advocates that Pierce's racism is one of the reasons that he should be kicked out of the group. But as Annie later points out, she's the most bigoted out of all of them after Pierce.
  • Not So Different:
    • Jeff tries to tell Britta that she shouldn't be concerned about some asshole teenagers asking them what mistakes they made to end up where they are in life, but interrupts himself by blowing up at Pierce and asking him what mistakes he made to end up where he is in life.
    • Pierce & Shirley realize this is the case with the two of them, as they share most of the same complaints about the rest of the Study Group leaving them out of things. It's this realization that prompts her to forgive him for the pantsing incident.
    • It's heavily implied that Mark, the leader of the teenagers, will meet the same fate as Jeff; his medical license revoked, and possibly back at Greendale in his 30's.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: Troy and Abed are discussing Porn Names when porn-esque bass music starts playing and a studly pizza delivery guy enters asking in a suggestive manner who ordered the pizza with "extra sausage" he has. After Troy and Abed flee the room, the music stops and the camera cuts to Leonard with a bass saying he ordered the pizza.
  • Porn Names Troy and Abed attempted to create these for themselves in The Tag. However, their formula for creating them (the name of their grade school plus their favorite soft drink) leaves much to be desired.
    Troy: "George Washington Lemon Fresca"? That's a horrible porn name.
    Abed: I don't make the rules.
    Troy: What's yours?
    Abed: "Henry David Thoreau Diet Squirt".
    Troy: Aw, that's good.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Abed smashes Pierce's acoustic guitar.
  • Take That!:
    • Abed explains how the absence of Pierce has left the status of group Butt-Monkey up for grabs:
    Abed: We've lost our Cliff Clavin, our George Costanza, our Turtle... or Johnny Drama... or E. Man, that show is sloppy.
    • One of the items on Abed's college movie bucket list is to experience a ridiculous situation that descends into heavy-handed drama for the illusion of story.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The highschool students attending campus for a program to earn college credits won't stop MERCILESSLY hounding the cast for going to a community college, when they'll be one day going to universities.
  • Totally Radical: "Pwn" had pretty much run its course by 2008. The teenagers were infuriating enough without using that word with one of the kids' mothers.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The utterly impenetrable obscurity of "schmitty!" just makes it all the more infuriating.
  • Volleying Insults: Jeff and Britta attempt to make clever comebacks towards the teenagers, only to realize that the teenagers will simply repeat anything they say in a mocking tone. Later, the study group members sink to their level, and eventually the members of the two groups just end up incessantly saying "duh" back and forth to each other.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: After Pierce gets kicked out of the group for pantsing Shirley, they quickly realize that they need him back, because his vital role as the biggest Jerkass there allows the rest of them to get along better with each other by diverting all their vitriol toward him.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In keeping with the Animal House influence of Abed's subplot.
    Jeff Winger: Banged Mark's mom. Twice.
    The Jerkass high school kids all end up realizing their academic potential as adults, though Mark apparently meets a similar fate as Jeff when he has his medical license revoked.
    Pierce and Shirley "never marry."
    Britta finally gets to own an iPod Nano. In 2014.
    Abed and Troy will be back in "College Cut-Ups 2: Panty Raid Academy".

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