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Recap / Community S3 E01: Biology 101

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This year will be more normal than the previous two, as explained by the opening musical number.

We're gonna have more fun
And be less weird
Than the first two years combined!

Pierce tries to rejoin the group, only to be edged out by Jeff when he claims that their friendship has evolved beyond needing to be in the same class. In reality, though, he only wants Pierce gone, and when he gets kicked out of the biology class it sends him panicking.

Chang's been trying to live in the air ducts, though Troy has convinced Dean Pelton that it's just Annie's Boobs the monkey, causing him to get the ducts gassed.

The Dean, meanwhile, wants no more of the National Lampoonery that's been going on the past two years and tries to take a more active administrative role, starting by chastising the Dean of Greendale's Air Conditioning Repair Annex for purchasing a new coffee machine. However, his efforts to crack down reveal that not only does the Annex have a higher rate of graduate employment, 80% of Greendale's funds come from it. The Vice-Dean subsequently gets the Annex split off, leaving Greendale virtually bankrupt. The security guards quit and Chang becomes their replacement, working for room and board.


In a third, smaller subplot, Britta tries to help Abed cope with Cougar Town's premiere getting bumped to January by hooking him on British shows. Her successful efforts lead her to decide to major in psychology and become a therapist.

The Community episode "Biology 101" provides examples of:

  • Badass Boast:
    Vice-Dean Robert Laybourne: You could have lived the rest of your life in ignorance and died a happy pansexual imp. But you wanted to feel power this year. Well, now you are going to feel my power, as it surges downward from me straight through you from nostril to rectum now until the end of time. And that's "wassup".
    Dean Pelton: [Panicking] ...I forgot everything you said before 'rectum'!
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  • Bathos: Prof. Kane's "blade of grass" story is continuously interrupted by Jeff's phone ringing.
  • Brand X: Campus security fumigates the ventilation system with a monkey knockout gas called "Chimpan-ZZZs".
  • British Brevity: Discussed and parodied with Cougarton Abbey, a fictional Transatlantic Equivalent of Cougar Town that Britta introduces to Abed. The series ran for only six episodes and ends with a mass suicide, much to Abed's horror.
  • Call-Back:
  • The Cameo: John Goodman as Vice Dean Laybourne.
  • Captain Ersatz: Inspector Spacetime is a transparent riff off of Doctor Who.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The second season ended with Pierce declaring he was done with the study group and walking out on them, leaving audiences to wonder what this would mean in the next season. The resolution is... Pierce walking into the study room, explaining he'd changed his mind, and asking them to take him back. Probably deliberate, since it was never likely that Pierce would be gone from the group for good.
    • It could also be a subtle inversion of the previous season's opener — there, a lot of angst and complicated feelings unravelled as a result of the events of the season 1 finale. In this case, everyone spends the first few minutes of the episode fretting about the possible problems and lingering implications of the previous season finale ... and it's all more-or-less sorted out in five minutes.
  • Crowd Song: The opening.
  • Curse Cut Short: Jeff's Precision F-Strike doesn't quiiite make it out.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Jeff's frantic attempts to explain his various rationales for the Mistaken for Racist example and why that doesn't make him a racist only serve to make him look more racist.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Dean, trying to be a better dean, inquires why Vice-Dean Laybourne didn't consult him on the Air Conditioning Repair School Annex' purchase of a new espresso machine. Laybourne, in response, reveals that the repair school makes 80% of Greendale's budget, and that they will now separate from the rest of Greendale leaving them broke, and hires a barber to shave the Dean's goatee off.
  • Downer Ending: Cougarton Abbey. Doubles as Black Comedy.
  • Dream Intro: The opening song is revealed to be an Imagine Spot by Jeff.
  • Dream Sequence: Jeff's kicks off the episode.
    • And then he gets another one after being knocked out by the monkey knockout gas.
  • Dresses the Same: Shirley and the Dean wear the same sequined gown in the opening number, much to Shirley's dismay.
  • Drunk with Power: As part of his drive to eliminate the "National Lampoonery", the Dean starts throwing his weight around. Unfortunately, this antagonizes the Vice-Dean of the Air Conditioning Repair Annex... who, as it turns out, is considerably more powerful.
  • Dueling Showsinvoked: Fictional example, Doctor Who vs. Inspector Spacetime. Word Of God is that Doctor Who is a ripoff of Inspector Spacetime.
    • Given that Inspector Spacetime supposedly started the year before Doctor Who did, this is apparently true.
  • Easily Forgiven: Part of the Cliffhanger Copout. Pierce is automatically forgiven by everyone (except Jeff) for all of his evil actions last season. Pierce also forgives the study group rather easily for alienating him.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Leonard is quick to call out Jeff on this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Pierce seems to think that Jeff implying that "all black people are in prison" is going too far.
  • Flowery Insults:
    Troy: You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world's mouth. You are the opposite of Batman.
  • Genius Bruiser: Professor Kane got his PhD from 6,205 hours of reading books from a library... in prison. One hour per day.
    • For the record, that's 17 years.
  • Get Out!: Prof. Kane evicts Jeff from his class.
  • Heroic BSoD: Abed nearly has one when he discovers Cougar Town's been moved to midseason and has a full one when Cougarton Abbey ends at six episodes with a mass suicide.
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: Prof. Kane discusses how seeing a single blade of grass growing out of a crack in his cell got him through his sentence.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Jeff, having just attacked the study room table with an axe screaming about how he's going to kill it because it controls their lives, on Dean Pelton:
    Jeff: What is with that guy? [does 'crazy' motion with his finger]
    • A meta-example; the show essentially announces that it's going to dial back the zany weirdness a bit from the previous years... by having the characters launch into a big, flashy song-and-dance musical number about how they're going to dial back the zany weirdness a bit.
    • Pierce getting shocked when Jeff appears to be racist.
    • Starburns telling Jeff to learn to blend in.
  • Imagine Spot: Jeff gets one. It's a musical number. About how much less zany this year will be.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When throwing his weight around to Vice-Dean Laybourne, the Dean demands to know 'wassup'. Later, upon being confronted with the true power of the Air-Conditioning Repair Annex, the Dean is informed in no uncertain terms by Laybourne precisely 'wassup', and he's a lot more intimidating.
    • Having spent the previous season being one of the primary movers behind excluding Pierce / trying to get him kicked out of the group, Jeff ends up spending most of the episode being excluded / threatened with being kicked out of the group in much the same way as Pierce was.
  • Irony: Jeff's dream shows just how much he wants everything to be more "calm and normal". But in this episode, it's mainly him disrupting the calm and bringing the crazy.
  • "I Want" Song: We're gonna get more calm and normal! We're gonna fix our state of mind!
  • Large Ham: Chang is seen carrying an actual large ham, for no apparent reason other than to lampshade that he is one.
    • John Goodman's Vice-Dean is absolutely glorious.
  • Malaproper:
    Annie: How was your summer?
    Pierce: Enlightful, Annie.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Turns out, Greendale's Air-Conditioning Repair Annex is where practically Greendale's entire budget comes from, and Vice-Dean Robert Laybourne has far more power and clout than Dean Pelton. As Dean Pelton unfortunately discovers.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Annie's "we have evolved" to Jeff.
    • As Pierce is asking to rejoin the study group at the beginning of the episode, his right hand brushes the table, moving in towards the center of the table. A few scenes later, Jeff leaves the study room after Annie's reminder of their evolution, and his right hand makes the opposite motion to Pierce's: brushing towards the outside of the table. Then, of course, Jeff later attacks the table with an axe.
  • Metaphorgotten: The Dean has put a lot of thought into what he'd do if he was running a monkey hotel.
  • Mirror Character: Jeff and Pierce. Jeff's breakdown over the episode is a mini-version of the character arc Pierce underwent over the previous season, and he begins to be ostracised from the group for the same reasons they ostracised Pierce. Also referenced in the 2001: A Space Odyssey vision Jeff is having, where he and Pierce are interchanging.
  • Mistaken for Racist: The study group thinks Jeff thinks all black people look alike after he sees a picture of Pierce and Sugar Cube in Kane's office and assuming that it depicts Kane. He saw it from a distance! He saw the prison jumpsuit!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Abed was in a funk to begin after learning Cougar Town wouldn't premier until midseason, but he was still functioning. Britta's intervention puts him into a complete catatonic state.
  • Pet the Dog: Pierce's lie about bribing the teacher to kick Jeff out of class. May border on a Heroic Sacrifice, considering that Pierce sacrificed his rarely-achieved moral high ground in order to redeem Jeff in the group's eyes.
    • Made even more heroic when you consider that of all the members of the study group, Jeff was the most antagonistic against him, especially in this episode.
  • Phlegmings: Jeff is practically foaming at the mouth when he bursts in on the study group after being doused with monkey knockout gas.
  • Precision F-Strike: Averted. A furious Jeff cuts himself off right before he tells Pierce to "shut the ____ up".
  • Pretender Diss: Vice Dean Laybourne contemptuously tells Dean Pelton that the goatee he grew in hopes of looking competent instead makes him look like a "white Lou Gossett Jr".
  • Promoted to Opening Credits: Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) is added to the opening credits starting with this episode.
  • Racial Face Blindness: When Jeff finds a photograph of Pierce with a black man on his black professor Kane's desk, he assumes getting kicked out of class was a scheme by Pierce and Kane...only to realize that it was a different black man.
    Troy (also black): Uh...I assume they share one important feature in your eyes.
  • Rainbow Motif: The last scene of the episode provides a blink and you'll miss example. Each member of the study group is wearing a particular color motif, that clockwise around the table goes increases up the specturm. The specific colors involved are grey (Jeff), violet (Annie), blue (Shirley), green (Pierce), yellow (Troy), orange (Abed), and red (Britta).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Britta gets one from Troy when she sends Abed into his Heroic BSoD: "You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world's mouth. You are the opposite of Batman."
    • Prof. Kane gives one to Jeff when they meet in his office.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Jeff gets a monkey knock-out gas-fueled dream where he rapidly ages into Pierce, reaching for the study-room table like a Monolith.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: As Jeff says, Professor Kane never took a bribe in his life.
  • Serious Business: The fact that Cougar Town is delayed to mid-season nearly provokes a mental breakdown in Abed. The fact that its British counterpart only lasted six episodes sends him into a catatonic state.
  • Ship Tease: The biggest one would be Jeff/Annie, but Abed/Annie, and Abed/Britta are also hinted at.
    • Abed/Troy also gets a pretty big spotlight (see the invokedHo Yay entry).
    • Britta/Troy: A subtle one during the joke where it sounds like Troy and Abed are coming out. One might expect Britta to be overjoyed to have gay friends, but she looks directly at Troy with an expression of confusion, fear and hurt. When it turns out they're just gonna be roommates, she seems relieved.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Staggered Zoom: When Jeff sees the photograph of Prof. Kane and Pierce. The three-step zoom carefully omits the face of the black character.
  • Status Quo Is God: Lampshaded, Jeff and Dean Pelton both think things are going to change a lot this year, only to be proven quite wrong.
  • Stern Teacher: Prof. Kane is presented as one.
  • Stylistic Suck: Inspector Spacetime somehow manages to look even cheaper than Doctor Who ever could even on its lowest budgets.
  • Subject 101: Biology 101.
  • Suicide as Comedy: The ending of Cougarton Abbey is a mass suicide, which breaks Abed.
  • Tempting Fate: Saying out loud that Pierce would never be coming back.
  • There Will Be Toilet Paper: Dean Pelton sports several bits on his face after his goatee is forcibly shaved.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    Dean: How do you like me now, bitches?
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Pretty much the study group's reaction to Chang becoming a security guard.
  • Took A Level In Jerk Ass: Jeff towards Pierce.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After spending much of the previous season as a borderline villain, Pierce enters this episode having adopted a more "bumbling but well-meaning" personality.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Cougar Town and Cougarton Abbey.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Opening Shot.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Jeff, who takes over Pierce's normal role as the group 'villain' upon losing his place in the biology class, ends up attacking the study room table with a fireaxe. Pierce even lampshades it when he lies to the group to enable Jeff to be redeemed at his expense:
    Pierce: I lied. But you seemed to have a worse time being the bad guy than me.
  • Visual Pun: Prof. Kane tells a story about being in prison and being inspired by seeing a blade of grass growing out of a crack in his cell, then compares Jeff's cell phone and "too-cool-for-school attitude" to a concrete block. Later, we see that Jeff sends him a cellphone with a plant sprouting out of the keyboard on his desk.


Video Example(s):


Cougarton Abbey Finale

Abed freaks out when his new favorite show ends with a mass suicide after six episodes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / EverybodyDiesEnding

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