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Recap / Community S 3 E 07 Studies In Modern Movement

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A day at the mall with Craig.

Everyone in the study group except Jeff helps Annie move from her old apartment to Troy and Abed's. Jeff lies to get out of it and runs into the Dean who blackmails him into having lunch and singing karaoke with him. Annie is upset to find that Abed and Troy don't have a second bedroom for her, but made a blanket fort instead. Britta picks up a hitchhiker to prove a point to Shirley. Pierce's attempts to repair a broken electrical outlet at Annie's apartment goes awry.


The Community episode "Studies In Modern Movement" provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: In Troy, Abed and Annie's stick puppet show, King Blorgon's only weakness is his butt.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Awful Truth: Annie would rather believe Britta is lying to her than acknowledge she might get sick of Troy's and Abed's antics.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: With actual blackmail no less.
    Dean Pelton: Call me Craig. And call blackmail "a day at the mall with Craig."
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: Britta steals Shirley's "That's nice!" when "Jesus" corroborates her opinion on marijuana.
  • Brake Angrily: The hitchhiker's racism is the last straw for both Britta and Shirley.
    Hitchhiker: Now, with your permission, I'd like to sing a little song about race-mixing. This one's called "Don't You Do It".
    [Britta slams on the brakes, which squeal]
    Shirley & Britta: GET OUT!
  • Advertisement:
  • Buffy Speak: "You broke my pluggy-thing!"
  • Catchphrase: Annie uses Vaughn's "No worries"
  • Chewbacca Defense: The Dean's attempt to invoke the Patriot Act in his defense of reading student mails.
  • Chroma Key: Used in-universe when Jeff and the Dean sing karaoke.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Troy in the Dreamatorium after Annie storms out. Subverted, as it's a candy cigarette.
    Troy: I picked the wrong week to quit.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Twice.
    • Shirley doesn't see how persecuting atheists can be religious persecution, because atheism's not a religion.
    • Jeff apparently completely fails to notice the hot girl at his clothing store coming on to him.
  • Contempt Crossfire: Shirley and Britta don't think much of each other's morals, but they can at least agree that the the hitchhiker's racism is unacceptable.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Contrived by the Dean that is. He "coincidentally" bumped into Jeff at the Gap, but actually he'd been reading Jeff's email and sent an email luring Jeff to the Gap in the first place.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Dean Pelton is dressed exactly the same as Jeff when they have their day at the mall. Down to matching watches.
  • Deconstruction/Reconstruction:
    • Of Troy and Abed. The point of the episode is to show that while Troy and Abed's Manchild antics are funny and charming in small doses (such as the twenty-odd minutes they appear on television a week), if you had to live with them they could very easily start coming off as selfish and insufferable very quickly. The Reconstruction comes at the end when they acknowledge that they're not the easiest people to deal with and make amends with Annie for the difficulties they've put her through by giving up their room for her.
    • Also of the Loony Friends Improve Your Personality trope; in her rant, (comparatively) strait-laced Annie angrily points out that she's always the one who has to adapt to Troy and Abed, and it's not fair that they seem to make no effort to meet her halfway and adapt to her.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Pierce tries this on Annie after she finds him in her old apartment, having been exposed to paint fumes all day.
    Pierce: "I have brain damage! Nothing I do counts!"
  • Disaster Dominoes: A limited version, but Pierce's attempts to fix Annie's apartment fit the pattern.
  • Distant Duet: Pierce, in a hallucination in Annie's apartment, plays the piano for Jeff and the Dean's duet.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Dean coercing Jeff to spend an afternoon at the mall being his best bud. This comment when they're about to sing karaoke in particular:
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Troy being taped to the door.
  • Duet Bonding: After singing "Kiss From a Rose" with the Dean, Jeff admits that it was kind of fun.
  • Get Out!: After vilifying each other's beliefs, Britta and Shirley come to this understanding about the hitchhiker for his song against race-mixing.
  • Interscene Diegetic: Jeff and the Dean's karaoke song "Kiss From a Rose" carries over to scenes with Pierce at Annie's place, Annie at Troy and Abed's place and Britta/Shirley in their car.
  • Jesus Delusion: The hitchhiker thinks he's Jesus.
  • Karma Houdini: Apart from a physical beating from Jeff, the Dean seems to avoid any legal punishment for making a HUGE violation of student privacy and then using it to blackmail/manipulate the student. And then tweets about it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jeff pretends to be sick to avoid helping Annie move when actually he's out shopping for clothes. Immediately after, he bumps into Dean Pelton, who uses this to blackmail him into spending the day with him. Eventually subverted/justified; the Dean had been reading his emails.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Deconstructed; during her angry rant about the Dreamatorium, Annie points out that she's always worried about being an uptight, fun-ruining buzzkill compared to the loony, wacky Troy and Abed and that she worries that she doesn't fit in with them, but it's not fair that she should always be the one to adapt and change as a response to their immaturity without them making any effort to accomodate her in return.
    • Also inverted at the end, when Troy and Abed admit that one of the reasons they want Annie to move in is as a counterbalance to their looniness.
  • Manchild: Troy and Abed, even more than usual.
  • The Man in the Moon: The Dean in the Moon.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Kiss From A Rose".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Pierce tries to fix a broken electrical outlet so Annie does not lose her security deposit. He ends up doing serious damage to the apartment and possibly sustains brain damage.
  • The Noisy Straw: The Dean does this extra loud sucking on his milk shake when blackmailing Jeff.
  • Not So Above It All: Whilst Britta is humoring Troy, Abed & Annie as they put on a a puppet show in The Tag, Jeff is reduced to tears over the death of Horse-Bot 3000.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Shirley and Britta, when the hitchhiker mentions drinking human blood in his song.
  • On Second Thought: Britta calls out Shirley on her judgmental tendencies right before they head off to Troy and Abed's place while Pierce is busy trying to fix Annie's broken plug outlet:
    Shirley: Well somebody's got to be this group's moral compass.
    Britta: And that somebody has to be you, right? Because by "moral compass," you mean "Shirley's religion." Want a ride?
    Shirley: Well if this is a forecast of our conversation, I will ride with somebody else.
    (Britta leaves.)
    Pierce: Don't worry, Shirley. Keep me company while I fix this and I'll give you a ride over there.
    (Shirley runs out of the room after Britta yelling her name.)
  • "Pan Up to the Sky" Ending: The night sky with the Dean In The Moon.
  • Parental Substitute: The whole "Jeff and Britta are the parents of the group" thing gets a reference in the tag; Troy, Abed, and Annie putting on a puppet show for them comes off like kids putting on a puppet show for their parents.
    Britta: Five more minutes, then we put a stop to this.
  • Playing Sick: Jeff. He even ropes one of the clothes-store employees into pretending to be a nurse and making a "hospital" announcement over the loudspeaker so that Britta can hear it over the phone.
  • Puppet Shows:
    • Troy and Abed perform a shadow puppet play for Annie to make her feel better about her room being a blanket fort.
    • There's another one in the Tag which makes Jeff cry.
  • Read the Fine Print: Troy and Abed made some additions to the lease in crayon that Annie wasn't expecting.
  • Recursive Reality: Troy, trying to explain his and Abed's tendency to get lost in their own imagination. "Sometimes we get stuck in our own little world. And then in that world, we make even littler worlds. And sometimes there are tunnels between those worlds. Or a subway. One time a snake..."
  • Sarcastic Confession: Jeff makes a long and detailed one towards Britta while Playing Sick.
  • Saying Too Much: The Dean accidentally revealing to have been reading Jeff's emails.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Troy and Abed's Dreamatorium is a shout out to Star Trek: The Next Generation's Holodeck.
    • Shirley: I've seen enough episodes of Friends to know that cohabitation among friends leads to sex, drugs, and something Parade magazine calls "Schwimmer Fatigue."
    • When he "runs into" Jeff at the mall, Dean Pelton says, "This is just like that Lake House movie... I can only assume, even I have limits."
  • Skyward Scream: "HE TWEETED IT!"
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Jeff beats up Dean Pelton to the tune of "Sailing".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Dean Pelton, towards Jeff.
  • Take That!
    Shirley: I've seen enough episodes of Friends to know that cohabitation among friends leads to sex, drugs, and something Parade magazine calls "Schwimmer Fatigue."
  • Taking A Third Option: Annie does not want to live in a blanket fort if there is an empty bedroom available but Troy and Abed don't want to give up their "dreamatorium". They solve this by giving Annie their bedroom and moving into the blanket fort themselves.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Pierce attempts to fix an electrical outlet without first turning the power off. He follows this up by trying to paint a poorly ventilated room with paint that emits toxic fumes.
  • Waxing Lyrical: "Oh, hey Jeff, did you know that when it snows, my eyes become large and the light that you shine can be seen?"
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Annie gives one to Troy and Abed for making her move-in so difficult and how inconsiderate they were being.
    • Britta also calls Shirley out on her frequent interpretation of being the group's 'moral compass' as 'getting everyone to abide by her religious beliefs'.
      • She also points out how accusing Britta of being amoral because she's an atheist is religious persecution. Shirley wonders how it could be religious persecution when she doesn't have a religion.
  • Wink "Ding!": Sound effect when the Dean in the Moon winks.


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