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Recap / Community S2 E12: Asian Population Studies

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"It's a new semester of Anthropology, and I'm here to get what I'm promised."
Ben Chang

The study group is back from winter break but there are several faces both old and new vying for their attention. Senor Chang wants into the study group, while Annie has a new infatuation whom she spent time with over the break. And Shirley's ex-husband is back in the picture.

To solve the dilemma the study group holds a mixer to meet potential additions.

The Community episode "Asian Population Studies" provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: The "Jeff asking Rich for help" subplot never comes up again.
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle:
    Jeff: When he talks, he over- and under-emphasizes words, seemingly at random!
  • The Ace: Rich reprises this role from Pottery Class.
  • Actor Allusion: Malcolm-Jamal Warner, who plays Shirley's husband, was also Theo Huxtable and is wearing a very distinctive sweater.
    Jeff: Nice sweater.
    Andre Bennett: My dad gave it to me.
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  • The Atoner: Andre at the end, reveals that this time, no matter what, he just wants to do it right.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Jeff's declaration of love to ... Rich.
  • Behind the Black: Chang apparently spends a good chunk of a scene leering at the study group from atop a bookcase, and none of them notice until he announces himself. They are naturally creeped out by this.
  • Better the Devil You Know: This serves as the entire crux of Jeff's argument for letting Chang into the study group.
  • Blatant Lies: When Shirley's ex-husband, Andre, shows up. Crosses into Suspiciously Specific Denial, and is blatant enough that Britta elbows him.
    Troy: We haven't heard a lot about you or what you've done or with who.
  • Continuity Nod: This isn't the first time some of the people mentioned in the cold open have been mentioned. Special attention goes to Fat Neil.
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  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?:
    Troy: Why do I have to say everything I’m thinking?
  • The Ditz: Troy and Pierce have dueling ditzes over the subject of Shirley and Chang sleeping together.
  • Easily Forgiven: Discussed in the episode. While Shirley forgives her ex-husband after his apology, the rest of the group are not so inclined to do so, especially Britta. But after he commits to Shirley after finding out that her baby might be Chang's, the rest of the group and the audience can see why Shirley would've forgiven him.
  • Enemy Mine: Jeff is willing to allow the unbearable Chang into the study group just to stop Rich from getting in.
  • Exact Words: Attempted by Pierce.
    Troy: Chang left me a message that night saying that they did it. But you can't tell anybody!
    Pierce: You have my word as your roommate, and that is a bond I will never violate. [picks up his phone]
    Troy: [grabs Pierce's phone] You can't tweet it either!
    Pierce: We never discussed new media!
  • Going Cold Turkey: Prof. Duncan.
  • Got Me Doing It: Jeff says that Chang using his name as a pun makes him so "changry".
    Jeff: Oh, God, it's happening to me.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Highlights the later scenes after things have gone south.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Jeff taking offence to Annie's crush on Rich and asking how old he is, considering their relationship.
  • In-Series Nickname/The Nicknamer:
    Abed: We should really start learning the names of people.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: Quendra leaves sputtering, "$50?! What a pig!", implying that she left because Pierce mistook her for a cheap whore and not just a whore.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: After Troy argues that they shouldn't tell Shirley that she slept with Chang as her not being able to remember it is a gift, Pierce points out that not telling Shirley that Chang might be the father of her unborn baby is far worse. It's taken Up to Eleven when Pierce ultimately does tell Shirley out of spite, as he's not exactly wrong for telling her, but rather how he tells her.
  • Lame Pun Reaction:
    Jeff: It's not even clever. You keep using it as the word "change"!
    Jeff: “That was before he started using his name as a pun. It makes me so Changry. God, it's happening to me!"
  • Mistaken for Servant: Andre puts Pierce in his place for doing this.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Troy tries to find out if Andre is the father of Shirley's baby, and if they had sex during or after Halloween. He does so by asking Andre about which time of the autumn he finds most exciting, the part were there are dead leaves and pumpkin lanterns everywhere, or the part where the pumpkin starts to rot and the children take off their outfits because they have been given candy.
    Andre: (Suspicious and a bit disgusted) I'm gonna go to talk to some other people, alright?
  • Never My Fault: Pierce blames Jeff for Andre storming out after finding out Shirley may be pregnant with Chang's baby, not his, despite being the one revealed it in the first place out of spite over not getting his way.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted.
    Annie: (accosting Jeff in the men's room) There you are! Can you please explain to me what the hell you've been doing?!
    Jeff: Well, Annie, when a man loves food and beverages very much, and they pass through his system, they make—
  • Obfuscating Disability/Obfuscating Insanity: Abed dials his weirdness Up to Eleven to get rid of Chang by pretending to be broken.
    Chang: What is this? What's going on?
    Abed: It's a mixer.
    Chang: Then why is everyone from Anthro class here? Are you guys picking a new study group member? And you didn't invite me?!
    Abed: We didn't know how to reach you.
    Chang: What are you talking about? I'm everywhere.
    Abed: We didn't know how to reach you.
    Chang: That's not true, that's a lie.
    Abed: [begins turning his head back and forth like a broken robot] It's a mixer. We didn't know how to reach you. It's a mixer. It's a mixer. It's a mixer. It's a mixer. It's a mixer.
    [Chang backs away]
    Abed: [beat] Works every time.
  • Oh, Crap!: Troy & Pierce when they realize that Shirley being 8 weeks along in her pregnancy means it's very possible Chang is the father.
  • On Second Thought: When Jeff asks if they could talk about anything other than Annie's love life, Shirley offers to talk about hers. After a Dramatic Pause Jeff decides to go back and talk about Annie's.
  • Operation: Jealousy: Annie asking out Rich is strongly implied to be this.
  • Power of Love: Discussed.
  • Psmith Psyndrome:
    Quendra: My name is Kendra, and I spell it with a Q-U.
    Quendra: I spell kettle corn with a Q-U.
    Jeff: Well, don't.
  • Race for Your Love: Subverted, in a Bait-and-Switch, no less. When Abed tells Jeff that Annie asked Rich out, but was turned down since Rich thought she was too young, Jeff runs out in the rain with music clearly invoking such a moment, then delivers a heartfelt apology to Rich and begs to be taught how to pretend to be a good person.
  • Real Men Cook: Rich. His kettle corn is delicious and he bakes.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Horribly misused by Chang.
    Jeff: You can't talk and then do a slow clap.
    Chang: You don't know that!
  • Sex for Services: Britta flashes her boobs for concert tickets.
  • Ship Tease: For Jeff and Annie, since Jeff spends the majority of the episode wildly jealous over Rich and Annie. Annie even confronts him in the men's room about things, but Jeff (possibly scared of his own feelings for her) can't give her a clear answer, and you can tell it causes him pain.
  • Through His Stomach: Rich inadvertently does this to Pierce with kettle corn. Also Jeff is taken in by the smell of baked muffin tops.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Pierce & Annie call Jeff out for getting Chang in the group at the expense of Rich. Pierce is just doing it for kettle corn, but Annie may actually like Rich or may be trying to make Jeff jealous.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Shirley might be carrying Chang's baby, but it is uncertain exactly who the father is.
  • Yawn and Reach: Pierce tries this move on Britta, but she is not having it.


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