The carnival is in town and that means bad news for Britta: someone she used to date works at the carnival and his name is Blade. As the study group laughs at that, Britta explains that Blade only needs to text her and she'll come running. So she gives up her phone to Annie and asks her to keep her addiction in check... by letting her stay at the apartment and making sure she never goes to Blade.
Meanwhile, Jeff is curious over just how exactly Blade does it, so he and Shirley go to check out the carnival and the duck shooting booth that Blade runs. They run into Pierce and Chang, who have decided to try being best friends.
And in a further subplot, Vice Dean Layborne tries to make the Dean persuade Troy to enroll in the AC Repair School.
Tropes within the Community episode "Origins of Vampire Mythology":
- Aesop Amnesia: Annie had the best of intentions, and giving back the phone with a covertly switched-out number was actually a good plan to prove trust. But actually attempting to impersonate Blade, without an endgame in mind, shows she didn't learn any lessons from the broken DVD incident.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys:
- Deconstructed with Britta and Blade:
- The reason why Britta wants Blade is explored throughout the episode, and shown to be unhealthy on her part.
- Blade himself is something of a variation on the standard bad boy type, in that he's quite affable, pleasant and laid back - his unpleasantness is at best an Informed Attribute. It's also revealed that Blade has brain damage that means he can never feel shame - he simply doesn't care about how others view him.
- Parodied with Annie, who clearly experiences this to a much lesser degree than Britta (even if, given her obvious interest in Jeff, she's not entirely free from it) — she just cannot figure out that the meaner the texts from 'Blade' get, the more turned on by them Britta is.
- Deconstructed with Britta and Blade:
- Anti-Climax: The Dean's plot to get Troy to join Laybourne's school ends rather abruptly when Troy flatly tells him no. Although considering the Dean's 'plot' appears to have basically been show up at Troy's apartment in pyjamas, hang around for a while and then at some point ask him outright to join Laybourne's school, this is only to be expected.
- Bastard Boyfriend: Blade (according to Britta), and Britta makes a crack which gets a reaction that Annie wishes Jeff were this.
- Bigger Is Better: Pierce assumes this to be the reason why Britta fell for Blade.
- Jeff and Shirley are shown to still be good friends, continuing from "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism."
- The Dean's train set is decorated with dalmatians.
- Troy is ultimately the one to send a nice text to Britta, furthering the subplot of their UST.
- Troy's awareness of Britta's 'damaged bad boy' issues also stems from "Competitive Wine Tasting".
- "YOU ARE THE OPPOSITE OF BATMAN!"
- You don't know what that means!
- A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example; the peeved expression Jeff has after Pierce points out that Britta has "the King Arthur of bad taste in men" is because he hooked up with Britta in "Modern Warfare" and then, as revealed in "Paradigms of Human Memory", spent most of season two in a Friends with Benefits relationship with her.
- Googly eyes.
- Covert Pervert: Yes, Annie, the only reason you wanted Jeff to change his shirt is because it "wasn't working." Riiiight.
- Crappy Carnival: Where Blade works.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Britta's lust for Blade is treated as something between a heroin addiction and a vampire's lust for blood. Including Going Cold Turkey.
- Don't Explain the Joke: Annie feels the need to inform Troy that her very obvious mimicry of him spilling the beans on where Britta's phone was ("There's phones in the refridgerator!") actually was an impression of him.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Annie during Jeff's Shirtless Scene.
- Embarrassing First Name: Britta's ex-boyfriend is actually named Blade. Subverted in that he's not actually embarrassed by it (or anything else).
- Finish Dialogue in Unison: Gag version. Pierce and Chang both suggest things to do at the carnival at the same time. Pierce suggests cotton candy. Chang suggests Russian roulette.
- Friendship Moment: Britta tries to invoke one of these to prevent her friends laughing at her past with her ex-boyfriend. It fails the moment she mentions that his name is "Blade".Jeff: She invoked friendship to undercut the laugh and we're still laughing — that's how funny it is!
- Fruit of the Loon: As a decoy for Britta's phone, Annie has written 'You are a lying junkie' on a banana. There is absolutely no reason for her to have used a banana for this purpose.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Jeff wins a bunch of stuffed animals and gives them to Shirley. Subverted, however, in that Shirley just wants to move on from the duck shooting booth, but Jeff won't give up until he knows Blade's secret.
- Godwin's Law: Britta invokes this whilst being forcefully locked in Annie's room.Britta: Let me see if he called! I have a right to know! You're monsters! You're Hitlers! You're racist pedophiles! YOU'RE THE OPPOSITES OF BATMAN!
Troy: You don't know what that means!
- Going Cold Turkey: What Britta wants to do in regards to Blade. She even gets locked in Annie's room.
- Good-Times Montage: Between Pierce and Chang. After Chang leaves, Pierce remembers it in black and white.
- Held Gaze: Jeff and Annie share another one at the end of the episode. This time, Annie is the one looking over at Jeff first, initiating it, and Jeff returns it, giving her a schmoopy smile as he does so.
- Hypocritical Humor:
Britta: I need to be reminded he is the worst man on earth, because if he comes through town and calls me I will be there in five minutes.
- This exchange between Britta and Shirley:
Shirley: I don't understand...
Britta: Oh, Andre much?
Shirley: [Humbled] Okay, I understand.
- Pierce also gets a certain amount of group-mileage by calling Britta up on making a snide comment about Troy and Abed's being nerds, pointing out that someone who once willingly dated a man called "Blade" is hardly in a position to be lording it over others:Britta: Well, "nerd" alert.
Pierce: Well, "ex-boyfriend named 'Blade'" alert.
Shirley: Ha-ha! [High-fives Pierce] Her love life makes Pierce seem with-it.
- As Annie's enjoying an eyeful of Jeff's bare chest:Woman offscreen: I'll have what she's having.
Annie: Hey, grow up, lady!
- Ignored Epiphany: Played with; after Annie's rant about Britta's rejection of the 'loser' text being a reflection of how messed up she is, Britta realizes ... that the text wasn't sent by Blade, and that therefore Blade isn't a loser. Once again overcome by lust, she makes to run straight to him, and Annie, sickened, is ready to wash her hands of the whole affair... when Jeff arrives, having learnt Blade's secret, and basically tells her in no uncertain terms that Blade is damaged, he's not going to change, and that the general idea of people needing to be in relationships to fix themselves is ridiculous.
- And given her expression when she figures who really sent the text message, she might be prepared to move on to a better romantic partner.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: The Dean after being threatened by the Vice Dean.
- Informed Flaw: Blade is apparently a humongous douche if you're in a relationship with him, but in what little we see of him at the carnival he comes off as quite affable, laid-back and pleasant. This is lampshaded by Shirley, who points out that his laid-back attitude and ability to let things slide without getting riled about them is probably what attracts people to him in the first place. Also played with when we learn that he's brain damaged and has no ability to feel shame, which likely causes his engagingly laid-back surface demeanor.
- It should be noted that most of what we hear about Blade's flaws comes from Britta herself.
- Insistent Terminology: "It's a fantastic kickboxing vampire movie."
- Laugh with Me!: Non-villainous example — when Jeff wonders how many women he's affected in the same way that Blade has affected Britta, Britta laughs derisively. Jeff and Annie join in, but Jeff's is clearly forced in a way that reads "Yeah, sure, I was just joking there,", while Annie's forced laugh clearly suggests that she's trying (and failing) to casually convey an attitude of "No, Jeff's never affected me that way, no siree bob."
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Britta, much to the amusement of the rest of the study group. She has "the King Arthur of bad taste in boyfriends."
- Meaningful Echo: Played with for laughs; Shirley, taken with Blade's cool and laidback nature, almost instantly adopts his phrase "That won't change how mustard tastes," to try and persuade Jeff to drop his insistent quest to discover where Blade's cool comes from. Jeff, however, isn't impressed:
- Ms. Fanservice: Annie isn't a slouch this episode with that low cut shirt.
- Narrating the Obvious: The Dean."What's wrong, Annie? You came out of the bedroom smiling, and then your smile faded as you leaned against the door.
- No Matter How Much I Beg: The Britta/Annie storyline is a variation on this plot.
- Older Than They Think: Invoked. After Britta notes that Blade was called that before the Wesley Snipes film was released, Abed interjects that the film was adapted from a Marvel Comics property of the same name that was first published in 1973.
- Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Britta for Blade.
- Running Gag
- "Dean, why are you here?" "Okay, ouch!"
- Now that this is the third episode after Asian Population Studies ("He has albums and a landline") and Intro To Political Science ("I live with that dude. He has night terrors and a rotary phone."), I think it's safe to say that describing someone's age by phone technology has become a running gag in the show when Troy says, "She was born in the 80s. She still uses her phone as a phone."
- Sassy Secretary: Natalie will not be making you a scotch and soda.
- Saying Too Much: Troy spilling the beans about Britta's phone being in the fridge.
- Serious Business: Jeff quickly becomes obsessed with learning what makes Blade so compelling to people. It makes him spend more than $300 at the "shoot the ducks" booth.
- Ship Sinking: Jeff/Britta receives another nail in the coffin, with Jeff upon being confronted explicitly denying that he's in love with Britta and jealous of Blade because of her continued attraction to him. He is, in fact, jealous of Blade's ability to somehow make people not give a crap about the fact that he's a self-centred douchebag. Additionally, Britta laughs when Jeff wonders how many girls he's affected in a manner similar to Blade, displaying a negative response to their previous relationship.
- Ship Tease:
- Troy / Britta. We don't see what's on Troy's text message from 'Blade', but it's very nice, very complimentary and clearly heartfelt; he's deeply hurt when Britta rejects it as a sign that Blade is a 'loser', and Annie is obviously moved by it when she reads it. Then at the end, Britta's obviously touched when she learns Troy actually sent it as well.
- In keeping with the ongoing Jeff and Annie of it all, Jeff and Annie share rather meaningful glances at each other at the end of the episode. And, of course, Annie takes the opportunity to enjoy the view of Jeff without a shirt on, before her forced laugh at the idea of Jeff having the same effect on anyone that Blade does on Britta.
- Shirtless Scene: The scene where Jeff changes his shirt, probably a Lampshade Hanging.Random girl: I'll have what she's having.Annie: Hey, grow up, lady!Britta: Annie!Annie: His shirt wasn't working!
- During Jeff's shirtless scene, a woman calls out "I'll have what she's having."
- Britta unexpectedly pulls a banana out of nowhere, in a season where a significant Running Gag has been a spoof of Doctor Who. Bananas have been something of a Running Gag on Doctor Who, and the Doctor has displayed a tendency to produce them from out of nowhere at times.
- Britta asks Annie to tie her to the radiator like a werewolf.
- Skewed Priorities: Troy and Abed seem far more disturbed by having their viewing of Blade interrupted than by the whole Britta/Blade mess.
- Possibly justified. Considering Troy's feelings for Britta, he probably doesn't want to spend the night listening to how much Britta likes another guy. Abed also seems to share several significant looks with Troy. Because they're so close, and due to the events of Competitive Wine Tasting Abed probably knows about Troy's feelings, and would want to try to keep Troy's mind off the current situation with Britta and Blade.
- Stand-Up Comedy: In The Tag Abed does this in the study room dressed like Jerry Seinfeld in front of a fake brick wall to Jeff, Troy and Dean Pelton. His jokes are specific only about his and Troy's living habits and their apartment so only Troy laughs.
- Stock Scream: Just before Annie grabs Britta's phone to see what Troy texted, a Wilhelm Scream can be heard coming from the movie they are watching.
- Take Our Word for It: We see Troy write, send and delete the message, and we see other characters' touched reactions to it, but we never find out precisely what it was he said.
- Take That!: Some have interpreted Pierce's "I need a friend" storyline as being a take that at Chevy Chase's real life issues with his character not getting enough stories.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Shirley leaves Jeff at the shooting gallery and isn't seen for the rest of the episode.
- What the Hell, Hero?: We don't learn what was on Troy's text message to Britta, but he is clearly hurt when Britta, believing it to be from Blade, dismisses it as a sign that Blade is a 'loser'. When Annie finally reads the message, she's obviously deeply moved and, although she doesn't mention Troy, angrily lays into Britta for her priorities concerning men and how fucked-up this suggests she is.
- Who Names Their Kid "Blade"?