There's tension in the study group; their recent exploits have left nothing but awkwardness and hurt feelings, with the result that no one is looking at or speaking to anyone else. To break them out of their funk and get to the bottom of the problems between them, the Dean holds a puppet therapy session, and through the puppets the group recount how their collective realisation that they had collectively fallen into a rut inspired them to shake things up by going on a hot air balloon adventure. In typical fashion, this soon resulted in chaos and a lot of hidden secrets being brought to the fore...
The Community episode "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Annie's reference to letting Professor Cornwallis rub her feet in return for a good grade is a reference to a story Alison Brie told on David Letterman about a stranger who was apparently desperate to rub her feet for "strictly platonic" reasons.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
- Buffy Speak:Troy: Those berries made us real talky but not real listen-y.
- Troy and Abed play study group bingo with squares matching commonly-said phrases.
- Troy and Abed wish to have an Inspector Spacetime adventure.
- Pierce curses his nemesis, Vicki.
- Troy remarks that Professor Duncan, the leader of the group therapy session in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", has been absent for a long time.
- Similar to how snowman Chang lurks in the background of that episode, a puppet Chang (with his own Kevin puppet) approaches the balloon guide when none of the study group was present.
- When Jeff says that he has a solution, Britta immediately asks, "who's holding" drugs.
- Annie let Professor Cornwallis rub her feet for a test answer key.
- Pierce never banged Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom. They only dry-humped in her tour bus.
- The group goes to Skeepers for yard-margs.
- In The Tag, the group once again hums "Daybreak".
- "I had a dream it would end this way."
- Garett runs into the study room to announce that there's a fire in the cafeteria... because Greendale's fire system doesn't work.
- The little tune the Dean sings when he is putting on his Pinocchio hat and nose sounds a bit like the little ditty he used to induct Annie and Shirley in as temporary April Fools security guards
- Cassandra TruthKevin Puppet: He's not what he seems!
- Comically Missing the Point: Troy, twice in quick succession.
- Don't Explain the Joke:Shirley: There you go, treating me like Judas, judging me like Judy. You know, Judge Judy...
- False Reassurance/Exact Words: The study group's opinions of Britta's activism are unchanged by her confession.
- Fascinating Eyebrow: Muppet Jeff does this near-constantly.
- Funny Background Event: The Dean takes advantage of Jeff starting to speak to spoon Jeff's puppet with his puppet.
- Hilarious Outtakes: In place of the usual Tag, as it aired the previous week as a preview.
- Homage: Of The Muppet Show.
- How We Got Here: The episode starts in the aftermath of the balloon ride, with no one looking at or speaking to anyone else. The Dean's puppet therapy works to take the viewer how they reached that point.
- I Never Told You My Name: Played with, with the mountain man.
- Innocently Insensitive: The group believes that Pierce went crazy in the woods, but they actually just abandoned him.
- Medium Blending: Due to puppet therapy.Britta: (to Annie) Your skin is so beautiful and soft - it's like felt...
- Muppet: The whole reason they made the episode in the first place.
- Mushroom Samba/Intoxication Ensues
- Musical Episode: To go with the puppet therapy stand-ins.
- Out of Focus: Pierce only appears as a puppet. Part of the agreement for Chevy Chase leaving the show was that he had to record his puppet dialogue.
- Racist Grandpa: Troy asks the group to avoid mentioning his relationship with Britta if they see his grandpa in Heaven.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: 'To be fair, there's no many things you can get stuck in.'
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Balloon Guide: Who said anything about a runaway balloon?
- The Dean didn't have the puppets on hand, and Jeff is not holding a whip.
- Take That!:
Jeff: I thought my hair looked fake.
- A jab at Jason Alexander's baldness.
- The original tag has "out-takes" of puppet!Chevy missing his cues, much as Chase had a reputation for. He left the show this episode and it sounds like someone else voicing those clips.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:Jeff: I don't like the pressure/Of always being cool!
Pierce: I was gonna sing that/Now I don't have a ryhme!
- Turn Out Like His Father: Jeff fears this because he bailed on a girlfriend when he learned she had a son
- Written-In Absence: Chevy Chase very publicly walked off the set and quit while the episode was still being shot. He only appears in puppet form in flashbacks this entire episode, with Troy mentioning they abandoned him in the woods when he lost his mind.