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Recap / Community S 6 E 07 Advanced Safety Features

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Britta's old flame, Rick, formerly known as Subway, returns to Greendale to guerrilla market for Honda. Meanwhile, Annie, Abed, and Chang try to integrate Elroy into the group.

The Community episode Advanced Safety Features provides examples of:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Troy has it, and Frankie wants it, too.
  • At Least I Admit It: Chang openly and repeatedly admits he’s cheating constantly, and Annie, Abed, and Elroy are perfectly fine with it.
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  • Baby Talk: When the Dean goes on a rant about buying Honda stuff, Frankie takes out her phone and says she's going to put the school's assets on "a little freezy-weezy."
  • Brick Joke: Invoked by Jeff, who lies to Frankie when she wonders what was so special about Troy, and tells her he was an amazing steel drum player, promising the group that it’ll pay off later. When Abed and Annie come to tell him they invited Elroy for game night, he asks if it ‘paid off yet’ before they get to tell him. At the end of the episode, Frankie is playing the steel drum with Natalie Is Freezing at the party the group was arranging for the school alumni.
    • Natalie Is Freezing is a brick joke in and of itself, having been set up by stray references earlier in the season.
  • Convenient Replacement Character: Discussed when Chang wonders whether Elroy is supposed to be "black Pierce", "old Troy", or "Shirley without a purse".
  • Defrosting Ice King: Elroy, by the end of the episode.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Annie is shocked by ‘guerrilla marketing’, which advertises to people without them even noticing they are being advertised to, and calls it ‘mind-Windexing’.
    • The entire episode may be this on a meta level, what with all the clearly visible Honda products and characters talking about their specs in great detail, all done in the usual over-the-top Community style of course, but still guilty of doing the exact same thing it's making fun of.
  • I Am Not Shazam: In-universe. The lead singer of Natalie Is Freezing is named Julie, and is frustrated that people assume her name is Natalie. She wouldn't name the band after herself because she's an artist.
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  • Insistent Terminology: Some Greendale alumni—presumably the ones in jail, though with Greendale you never know—are touchy about the difference between 'jail', which generally holds people awaiting trial or convicted of minor offenses with short sentences, and 'prison', which holds convicts serving longer sentences.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Rick's marketing techniques are initially presented as underhanded but his boss makes a very good argument that they are simply good salesmen. They help people discover a need and then provide a quality product that fulfills that need. No one gets hurt and everyone is happy. However, this is soon subverted when we are shown the darker side to Rick's job. He is always "on the job" and you cannot be sure if he is friendly because he likes you or because he simply wants to sell you something. Then we are shown what effect Rick's marketing techniques have had on the Dean who has almost no willpower and is thus incapable of making rational buying decisions. The Dean clearly does not need all those Honda products but Rick cannot stop himself from exploiting the Dean just to make more sales.
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  • Manly Tears: From Rick at the end, with a Single Tear dropping onto the Honda logo on his steering wheel.
  • Not So Different: Rick’s boss points out that Britta used marketing techniques similar to those they use when she got him to change his order for a simple soda to expensive scotch, and points out that there’s no harm in it—clearly, he’s not suffering from the change.
  • One Last Job: Rick is prepared to give up his career in marketing so he and Britta can be together but he then hears that the Dean is about to buy a whole fleet of new cars. Rick cannot resist the temptation to make one final big sale and walks straight into a trap set by Frankie. He is banned from campus and a heartbroken Britta declines to go with him.
  • Product Placement: As in Rick's previous appearance when he worked for Subway, the entire point of his existence is to shill products for Honda.
  • The Scottish Trope: Rick's former employer, Subway, is treated like this throughout the episode. Characters who attempt to mention the sandwich company's name are promptly shushed.
  • Ship Tease: The newspaper clipping about Jeff and Annie's debate win hangs prominently in Jeff's office; more prominently than his diploma, in fact. It seems to be the only real personal item in his office.
  • Slave to PR: Rick’s job demands it. He writes off Britta's dismissal of Avatar in front of her parents as a joke, because they are apparently "always on the job", Avatar is extremely popular, and no-one wants to buy a car from 'a monster'.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Rick's boss from Honda attempts a stealth exit twice in front of Britta but is always spotted hiding by her.
  • Stylistic Suck: Chang's Power Point presentation, which is all about his lack of experience with Power Point.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Frankie gives one to the Dean while desperately trying to avoid giving one to the Dean. She can't help but keep mentioning how stupid she thinks he is.
    Frankie: I'm sorry, I am so sorry. But you're so stupid. You have no idea. And you're the only one who has no idea, because guess why? Don't answer that, you'll get it wrong. So dumb. You're just a dumb little man who tries to destroy this school every minute. I am sorry. I'm so sorry.
  • Weak-Willed: The Dean is ridiculously susceptible to Rick’s sales pitches and buys pretty much everything he sells, even if there he has absolutely no need for it. Apparently, this is called "Level 7 Susceptible" in the industry. Near the end of the episode, when Rick goes to make one last huge sale for the Dean, Britta wistfully remarks that she must be a "Level 7 Susceptible" when it comes to Rick.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: According to Elroy, the lyrics to Natalie Is Freezing's "Pillar of Garbage" are either about him, or about heroin. It's hard to tell.
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