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Recap / Community S2 E22: Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts

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Professor Duncan is celebrating exam day by drinking with the class and giving everybody "A"s, Dean Pelton stops by with a reporter for an unscheduled class observation. These plans are also upset when Shirley goes into labor. No ambulances are available due to a "race kerfuffle" happening in the parking lot. Abed guides Shirley through delivery, working from his earlier experience in childbirth. Shirley, however, is uncomfortable with him looking at her "nethers", so Britta must step up.


The Community episode "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts" provides examples of:

  • All Issues Are Political Issues:
    Dean: (on the World Food Festival) There are lunch trucks with 18 different nationalities of food. You know what? Not different, equal. Equal to whites. You know what? Better than whites.
  • Alliterative Name / Repetitive Name: Ben Bennett, Shirley's newborn child.
  • Apathetic Students: While Shirley's giving birth at the front of the room, most of the non-study group students just to seem to hang around watching.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: After selling out their handshake to Pierce & realising they've ruined it by doing so, Troy & Abed get past their guilt over it after they do the handshake following Ben's birth, realising it's cool (To them) again after they did for something meaningful.
  • Advertisement:
  • Blatant Lies:
    Dean: Not to worry, this happens all the time.
    Reporter: Are a lot of babies born in classrooms?
    Dean: Well, a lot more are conceived. No, Paul, that's Off the Record. And not true. Sort of.
  • Bottle Episode / Real Time: Set entirely in the anthropology classroom, likely because of the super-expensive episodes on either side of it.
  • Captain Obvious: In "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts", when Shirley's water breaks and she goes into labor:
    Dean Pelton: Okay, give me your attention. This student is having a baby. What am I talking about? You already know.
  • Collective Groan: The whole class when the journalist insists on staying with them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • To Abed delivering a child in "The Psychology of Letting Go". When Troy asks where he was during all this, Abed tells him he was off in the background somewhere - referencing the fact that Abed's side-adventure happened entirely in the background of the earlier episode.
    • As well as "Paradigms of Human Memory", with Neil mentioning the Saint Patrick's day boating trip, which was shown sporadically in that episode.
    • Britta saying 'No problo, Rob Lowe' is a call back to "Cooperative Calligraphy" where she was the only one who couldn't keep up with the rhyming of sentence and name.
    • Jeff happily declares Anthropology the ultimate blow-off class, in reference to his quest in season 1 to find the class which would give him the most reward for the least work.
  • Crash Course Landing: Abed has to walk Britta through delivering Shirley's baby owing to a "conflict of genitals".
  • Curtain Camouflage: Duncan tries to hide behind the flag but is found out by the Dean immediately.
  • Cutting Corners: Troy and Abed attempt to pull a fire alarm as a prank in the tag, only to discover that it isn't actually connected to anything.
  • Deal with the Devil: Abed and Troy sell their special celebratory handshake to Pierce for a thousand dollars and find it no longer feels the same afterward because they were forced to do it after things that weren't really awesome. There was also the fact that they were trying to slap together hands that were busy holding cash.
  • Delivery Guy: Abed and Britta working together.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Troy giving Pierce the handshake plays out like the act of Sexual Extortion.
    Pierce: Make your money, whore!
  • Foreshadowing: Pierce's Shipping Goggles for Neil and Vicky accurately predicts their eventual relationship.
  • For the Evulz: Pierce buys into Troy and Abed's special handshake and ruins it for them basically because he doesn't like it.
    Troy: But you don't even like our handshake!
    Pierce: No. In fact, I hate it. And now it's gone.
  • Granola Girl: Shirley is less-than-impressed by Britta's enthusiastic promotion of holistic medicine and natural childbirth — particularly since, as Jeff points out, Shirley's already had two kids and Britta hasn't had any.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works
    Abed: Don't tell any doctors I said this, but at this point the bus pretty much drives itself.
  • Hero of Another Story: Vicky, Neil and Starburns point out that all but one class had some focus on the study group.
  • I am a Humanitarian: Chang talks about how Chang babies are premature because they eat on their mother to gain the nutrients they need.
  • I Regret Nothing: Said by Jeff to Britta regarding "decid[ing] to grow a wang."
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Chang tries to invoke it by saying he's "conceding" the baby to Andre, despite having already stated that it's clearly not his.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Discussed for laughs; together, Britta's one-eyed cats can do anything.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Water!: Shirley gives birth minutes after her water breaks. Perhaps justified in that it's her third child and she's been having contractions all day.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Vicki says to Fat Neil - "We came so close to having one class that wasn't all about them". The entire program is about them.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: After Chang helps Shirley through her child delivery, she decides to name her baby after him. Then she realizes how unfortunate "Ben Bennett" sounds, but sticks with it anyways.
  • The Magazine Rule: Parodied with "Dean Magazine" - we later see a copy of "Magazine Monthly" that announces that Dean Magazine has been shut down after two issues.
  • Noodle Implements: In the commentary, Gillian Jacobs and Donald Glover keep barging into the sound booth and asking for things like cement and scissors. It has something to do with Gillian and Donald having sex.
  • Noodle Incident: "Nothing stops Chang babies from being born. Not the Communists, not the Feds, not the Girl Scouts"...
  • Not So Above It All: After Shirley's baby is born, Jeff and Britta spend several moments happily cooing and sighing over how amazing the miracle of childbirth is... before remembering that they're supposed to be aloof and ironically dismissive of how amazing the miracle of childbirth is.
  • One Drink Will Kill the Baby: Shirley believes so, but Chang tries to convince her otherwise.
  • Pair the Spares: Vicki and Neil.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure
    Troy: (about the secret handshake) We just kind of do it when one of us says something awesome.
    Pierce: Alright. Betty Grable.
    Troy: (sobbing) Who's Betty Grable?
  • Refuge in Audacity: Duncan smashing his glass to the ground in order when he thinks that his drinking on duty has been found out.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Duncan runs to "get the exam", we don't see him again until Season 5.
  • Serious Business: Lampshaded. Troy & Abed run to Jeff distraught over their sullying their handshake by selling it to Pierce, and he turns around & asks if they're really coming to him upset over their handshake whilst Shirley's in the middle of giving birth in the classroom.
  • Shipping Goggles: In-Universe example. Pierce interpretation of Neil and Vicki interacting.
    Pierce: You two gonna fall in love or what?
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy: When Abed says that the bus pretty much drives itself, Shirley is concerned about who is the bus in this metaphor; implying that she thought Abed meant her.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Soapbox Sadie: Despite having no experience whatsoever with birthing children, Britta is quick to lecture mother-of-two Shirley on the benefits of holistic medical practices for pregnancy over western practices.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lampshaded by Recurring Extras, Starburns, Neil and Vicki who snark about almost making it through one class without it all being about the study group.
  • Spinning Newspaper: At the very end, immediately after the Dean celebrates being told he's going to get a cover story for the magazine Dean Magazine ("I am a good Dean!"), Magazine Monthly spins into view. Announcing that Dean Magazine has been shut down.
    Worst idea for a magazine ever.
  • Straw Feminist: Britta, among things, says that 'women have a connection to their bodies men can't understand' (and quickly proves herself wrong) and says that Jeff can't enter a discussion on pregnancy because he forsook the right to do so the day he 'decided to grow a wang'. Which makes it all the more satisfying when she keeps on making a total fool of herself with Shirley.
  • Stress Vomit: Britta after seeing the baby.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: The baby looks quite oversized for a newborn.
  • Too Much Information: When Britta wants to explore on the topic of natural childbirth, Shirley tells her to stop.
  • Truth in Television: Shirley's labour probably went as quickly as it did because it's her third child. Realism in the birthing field was, however, undermined by Shirley's Three-Month-Old Newborn.
  • Unusual Euphemism/Last-Second Word Swap: "Race kerfuffle."
  • "YEAH!" Shot: The last scene freezes when the Dean jumps in the air.
  • You Can See That, Right?: Troy's "Did that just happen?" after the baby is born.


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