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Fridge Brilliance [1]

Season 1

  • In Spanish 101 Senor Chang introduces himself by giving a lengthy, insanely defensive speech about how he is a "Spanish genius" and needn't conform to Asian stereotypes. Much later, in "English As A Second Language" we learn that Chang was never credentialed or trained as a Spanish teacher. On learning this, the Dean implies that he didn't ask for Chang's credentials because he didn't want to appear racist. The speech Chang gives to the class is likely the same Insane Troll Logic he used to con the Dean into hiring him without checking his background!
    • Furthermore, when people ask him "why do you teach Spanish?", this later revelation suggests that they're not asking "why do you teach Spanish because you're Asian?" but "why do you teach Spanish when you clearly know little to nothing about it?"
    • Chang's immediate failing of Jeff's and Pierce's project--which Jeff mentions is "surprisingly critical of Israel"--makes a lot of sense when you find out that his brother is a rabbi.
      • It could also explain why Abed (who is half-Palestinian) is the only one who seems to be really into it. Then again, it could just be Abed being Abed.
      • It might be attributed to Abed's enjoyment of it to his love of terrible, terrible movies. That presentation could not possibly have been better/worse than Kickpuncher.
  • In "Introduction to Film" Jeff was all up in Britta's face about not getting involved in each other's personal lives. Jeff eventually did get involved however, which led to solving the conflict between Britta, Abed, and Abed's father. Eventually Britta kissed Jeff then said, "Now we're even," as Jeff's Robin Williams wannabe professor witnessed and exclaimed that he passed because of the kiss. He then said "I know a life changing kiss when I see one." To some this may seem like a one off joke, but it can actually be read as true: Jeff got involved and helped his two new friends, Abed and Britta. This was the first episode that Jeff did something to help without trying to get into Britta's pants. And Britta in turn helped Jeff as a friend, and her action did not result in them getting together like Jeff expected. In layman's terms: this is the first episode that the True Companionship is firmly established.
  • In "Social Psychology", contrary to what Professor Duncan ends up thinking the Duncan Principle works perfectly; unfortunately for Duncan, he thought he was controlling the experiment and ended up being the subject.
  • In "Advanced Criminal Law", the study group are discussing who could be responsible for cheating in the Spanish test. The chain of accusation goes from Jeff, to Annie, to Troy, to Pierce, before ending on Britta. While the others offer a defense of themselves before turning the accusation to someone else, notice how when it gets to Britta rather than continuing the chain, she changes the subject. Britta is the actual cheat.
  • The ninth episode of season 1 is called "Debate 109."
    • In the actual debate, the Greendale team is arguing that people are inherently evil, while the City College team is arguing that people are inherently good. Each side, however, has at least one member who arguably reflects the opposite position; the star debater for the City College team, Simmons, presents himself as an idealistic, sensitive, and thoughtful person, but is actually just a snide, arrogant bully, while Jeff constantly presents himself as an aloof, cynical and above-it-all Jerkass but deep down possesses a genuine heart of gold (as witnessed in the way he stands up for Annie when Simmons is mocking her).
  • The Politics of Human Sexuality: in an earlier episode Troy mentions that Dean Pelton looks like Moby. Annie needs to see the Dean's statue's white dick. What does Shirley say when she sees it?

 Shirley: "Thar she blows!"

  • Who's the villain in the episode Comparative Religion? A former nerd with abandonment issues, especially during the holidays. In other words, a grownup Rusty Griswold. And his father is right there, never speaking a word to him. Dan Harmon, you casting genius.
  • In "Romantic Expressionism," Jeff convinced Britta to help him sabotage Annie's relationship with Vaughn by explaining that Vaughn is a "gateway douchebag" and will make Annie more likely to date other douchebags down the line. Later in that same episode, Starburns sees Jeff from across the classroom and remarks, "See that guy over there? He's a douchebag." Cut to the Season Finale....
  • In "The Science of Illusion," Britta's ill-fated prank, at which Jeff scoffed early on, would have become a more mainstream joke had it been completed. Rather than a benign animal costume "prank," it would likely have created mayhem in the Spanish class at Senor Chang's expense, given the "crippling fear of frogs" that Chang is revealed to have (not to mention his penchant for over-reacting). Either way, Britta's prank would have backfired from her point-of-view.
  • In the pilot it is Abed that invites 4 out of the 7 students to the original study group. In "the art of discourse" we discover that on the top of his "quintessential college experiences" list is "bond with a group of lovable misfits." Since Abed processes reality through television it is very likely that Abed picked these individuals from spanish class because he recognized the roles they would fill in an ensemble cast: good girl (Annie), sassy black single mom (Shirley), lummox (Pierce), and dunce (Troy). He probably already recognized Jeff and Britta as hero and love interest.
  • In the tag of "Interpretive Dance," Troy and Abed do a crossword in which seemingly every answer is a member of the study group. (Water filter? Britta. Helen of? Troy.) They then get to "Bridges brother, four letters," at which point Jeff gets frustrated with how long it takes them to get to the answer - Beau, obviously. This is not just a random tag - it actually make perfect sense that the study group members are the basis of the crossword, since Annie edits the crossword of the school paper as of "Investigative Journalism."
  • In "Communication Studies", Shirley and Annie play a prank on Senor Chang where they claim he's been asked to teach at Princeton. However, he sees right through it and immediately realizes it's a prank. Later, "English As A Second Language" reveals that Senor Chang doesn't actually have any teaching credentials. So, he knows that Princeton wouldn't be asking him to teach there.
    • Rather, he knows for the reason it works in episode: No community college profesor is going to be asked out of the blue to join the staff of Princeton.
  • During the same episode, Senor Chang's brother Rabbi Chang tells him that being called "Senor Chang" sounds ridiculous. This seems like Hypocritical Humor - in fact, Rabbi Chang might be referring to the fact that he knows his brother doesn't speak Spanish.
  • During the tag of "The Science of Illusion," Jeff angrily storms out of his guest spot on "Troy and Abed in the Morning" upon realizing they're not filming. However, the people holding signs in the background stay, and re-appear in future TAITM spots - in other words, there is a large group of Greendale students who show up at 6 AM to hold signs against windows in the study group room despite knowing they're showing them to no one.
  • In "Contemporary American Poultry", Troy acquires a monkey, which he names Annie's Boobs to annoy Annie. He takes every opportunity to use Annie's Boobs' name, to the point where Shirley irritably lampshades what an Overly Long Gag it's become ("Alright, we get it; the monkey's name is Annie's Boobs.") When the monkey reappears in "Paradigms of Human Memory", it appears that Troy has taken this on board (or the scriptwriters have at least) ; in this episode, the monkey is never referred to by name.
    • This is iffy, since he refers to the monkey as "Annie's Boobs" again in the Season 3 Premiere.
      • Which occurs after "Paradigms of Human Memory" -- by which point, the joke hasn't been done for a while, so it's okay to start doing it again.
  • Señor Chang, as a teacher, will often make gender mistakes in Spanish. For example in "Modern Warfare," he says "Buenas días chicos," when it should be "buenos" because "día" is actually a masculine noun. Then in "English As A Second Language" we find out that Chang isn't a licensed teacher and learned Spanish from watching Sesame Street.
  • One of the early scenes in the season 1 pilot is Jeff Winger asking Professor Ian Duncan for help cheating in his classes. One of the early scenes in the last episode of season 1 is Ben Chang asking Professor Ian Duncan for help cheating in his classes. Both occur less than 5 minutes into the episode.

Season 2

  • In the season 2 opening sequence we see Troy hop out of bed wearing Spider-Man pajamas. This is a reference to the summer's internet campaign to have Donald Glover considered for the role of Peter Parker in the Spider-Man movie reboot.
  • In the season 2 opening sequence we see Jeff working out in striped underwear. Later in the season Britta mentions that he is usually seen in stripy "Beetlejuice" underwear.
  • Remember when Abed delivered a baby in the background of "The Psychology of Letting Go"? At the end of the sex education fair episode in season one, right after Abed told everyone not to wear condoms while having sex that night, you can see a guy throwing away a condom while getting cozy with a girl in the background behind Jeff. This is probably not the same couple who got pregnant in season 2, but it's probably a very subtle Brick Joke.
    • The episode was also the second filmed for Season Two, and if it had shown in this order, it would have been screened in September... roughly nine months after "Politics of Human Sexuality".
  • Another from The Psychology of Letting Go. During the Oil Spill plotline Britta is shown as overtly political, but brash and confrontational (to an at-times unnecessary degree -- as one person points out, her overt anger is completely unnecessary if no one is actually disagreeing with her), while Annie is shown as more compassionate, yet naive and overtly sexual. Shirley repeatedly attempts to join in, but is either ignored or forgotten about. In the end, Annie and Britta end up coming to blows over comparatively minor differences, while Shirley becomes bitter and washes her hands of the two of them. Which is, very broadly speaking, a pretty decent analogy/parody of the split between the Second and Third Waves of Feminism:
    • Very basically (so please don't kill me) the split occurred as the Third Wave rejected (and then rebelled against) the Second Wave's confrontational (and often overtly Socialist) style and fixed notions of gender. The Second Wave repeatedly attacked the Third Wave as being "feminism lite" and too concerned with the petty details of everyday life (see: The Spice Girls/Ally Mc Beal/Sex And The City). Meanwhile, Black Feminism grew tired of being ignored in favour of the petty infighting and accused both the Second and Third Waves of being too centered on white, middle class, college educated women, and sort of broke away into the related, but separate, Womanism.
      • Admittedly, that is a fairly esoteric reading, and could possibly just be a coincidence. But the show has demonstrated at least a basic understanding of feminist concepts in the past, usually as a way of highlighting Britta's failings as a feminist. Given their penchant for very buried jokes and meta narratives, dedicating a plot line (or perhaps even whole character traits, depending on how you want to look at it) to a critique of Feminism as a whole doesn't seem all that unlikely.
    • It also works on the level of a satirical critique; to add to this, at the end the lesson that Annie and Britta come to learn is that their bickering just means that the guys, who get to leer over their oil-slick cat-fight, end up winning. To once again simplify things, a frequent critique of this in-fighting between the different waves of feminism is that while feminists are devoting themselves to internal dogmatic battles over relatively petty and minor ideological differences with each other, they're losing the 'war' by letting hard-fought for battles and victories erode away and allowing traditional patriarchy to reassert itself.
  • In "Basic Rocket Science" there is a lot of discussion about Greendale's new school logo. Jeff says "...and I told him it was a butt. He kept not seeing it. It was driving me crazy." Is it possible this is the show's staff being frustrated that nobody saw the obscene joke in the original Greendale logo?
  • In Cooperative Caligraphy, Annie asks Abed if he took her pen. Abed replies he's strictly mechanical pencil these days, and Pierce quips, "More relatable?" thought the joke was just that Abed is mechanical. While on the surface this comments appears to just refer to Abed's mechanical nature, it also works as a call back to the Pilot, the Winger speech makes a point about humans being able to relate to a pencil by simply giving it a name.
  • In Mixology Certification, we discover that Shirley "had a few bad years." It's never stated that this was before she found Jesus, but that would explain her constant attempts to foist her religion on the rest of the group: There is no worshiper more evangelical than the new convert.
    • She also becomes much less overtly Jesusy once she gets back with her husband, which would suggest that both her drinking and her religiousness were attempts to deal with, or at least distract herself from, the problems in her life.
  • At first, it doesn't seem to make sense that everyone can see the events in Abed's imagination in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", let alone play along with them. But when you listen to the dialogues, you'll realize that Abed tells everyone every event that is happening; "I'm on the roof of the train!" and "I'm going to the front car!". In fact, EVERYONE in the episode states what they were doing; Annie tells Abed that she's unhinging the train cars, Duncan tells that he's teleporting, etc.
    • Also Why does Pierce stay to the bitter end with Abed in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"? He's having his first Christmas without his mother too.
    • This episode reveals the reason for some of the strange claims about British culture and language made by Prof. Duncan in the series. Like American 8 is a British 10 and using terms such as "Gravedigger's biscuits" and "Italian fanny" and claiming that "Everything in Britain means 'vagina'". For a British viewer like myself, this just seems like another random joke at Britain's expense, but in the stopmotion Christmas episode's "Cave of forgotten memories" scene we discover that Duncan moved to the US with his grandfather when he was very young, meaning that his experience of British culture is actually very limited.
    • Also related to Professor Duncan - he's definitely not moral, what with exploiting Abed for his own personal gain, but, judging from his reactions to Jeff and Chang asking him to help them cheat (in the Pilot and the S1 finale, respectively), he has a real problem with cheating. It becomes obvious why in the "Cave of Frozen Memories": it's heavily implied that his father cheated on his mother and ran out on them both.
    • Abed goes into Santa's workshop looking for an answer to his questions, and instead finds a DVD of Lost, which he interprets as a metaphor for lack of payoff. He later realizes that the true meaning of Christmas lies in his relationship with the other characters. The general consensus among Lost watchers is that those who were more interested in getting answers were disappointed, while those who were more interested in the characters were satisfied.
    • Abed comments that the other members of the study group "should move around more; not much point in being stop-motion animated if you don't." When they're in the 'real' world, the stop-motion figures of the study group hardly move throughout the entire episode, spending most of the time seated and stationary. Of course, from their point of view they're not stop-motion animated, so there's no reason for them to move about any more.
  • How does Jeff know where Rich lives in " Asian Population Studies"? From stalking and researching him in "Beginner's Pottery", of course!
  • In "Celebrity Pharmacology", we found out that Pierce had issues with his father, which caused him to be a bit unstable. A fan pointed out on Twitter that he resembles another character that had caused Pierce to be unstable.
  • In "Cooperative Calligraphy" Abed says "I'm worried we've gone too far. This is how super-villains are created." while they are cutting the casts off of Pierce's legs. Pierce becomes a clear super-villain during the "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" and "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking" episodes, and even vamps about the events that led to his dark turn.
  • In " Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", Jeff says, "We should grab lunch. I just saw Fat Neil heading to the cafeteria with that look in his eye." Then, in "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons", Jeff is revealed to be the one who first called Neil "Fat Neil".
  • In the season 2 opening sequence we see Annie combing her hair in a very cute girly room. If you look closer you can see that there are bars on the window. Later in the season it is revealed that see lives in a rough neighborhood.
  • In "Celebrity Pharmacology" Ben Chang asks "are you ignoring me because I'm Korean?" Shirley corrects him "You're Chinese." To which he replies "Oh, there's a difference!" Ken Jeong is a Korean actor playing a Chinese character.
  • In "Celebrity Pharmacology" Pierce ruins everything by making drugs look cool... but he is the only one in the show on drugs. Then in "Early 21st Century Romanticism," we see just Pierce passed out on a park bleach alone. The star of the anti-drug play is the one with a drug problem, and he was the one that needed to hear it the most.
    • To add to this, why was Pierce so determined to do this? Because otherwise he would have heard some things about himself and his drug use he didn't want to hear. One of the classic symptoms of drug abuse is denial.
  • In "Early 21st Century Romanticism," Star-Burns shaves his sideburns into heart shapes, thus making him... "Heart-Burns".
  • In "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking", Britta and Jeff are the first ones at the hospital, with the others just coming in. This is because they are both Pierce's emergency contacts, as shown in "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples".
    • Pierce's 'punishments' towards his friends in this episode, while frequently condemned as being over-the-top cruelty, in fact act as a somewhat warped reflection of how he views the recipient's general relationship with and treatment of him:
      • Annie is generally nice to him, or at least is more patient with him than the others; she gets a genuine gift. Also, she is the only one who cared about his drug addiction, since she used to be addicted herself.
      • Abed generally acts as a neutral observer; he receives no gift, but is permitted to record and observe.
      • Troy, Shirley and Britta usually more or less get on with him (although there's spikiness on both sides) -- as such, they get gifts that, while intended maliciously as a Mind Screw, can also be viewed as a kind of warped kindness ( Troy's getting to meet his hero, Shirley's getting validation of the group's regard for her, Britta's getting $10 000 to do with as she pleases.).
      • And Jeff? Pierce clearly wants to be a father figure to Jeff, but Jeff not only repeatedly shoots him down, but is often openly and unrepentantly dismissive and snide towards him, so Jeff not only gets a completely malicious gift, but one which reflects how Jeff's father rejected him just as Jeff rejects Pierce.
  • In "Intro To Political Science", Troy and Abed comment at the election polling is spilt 48%-48% between Jeff and Annie, with a 2% margin of error -- before admitting that they don't even know how to do margins of error and got the polls simply by "talking to two guys at a vending machine". It only sinks in later that Troy and Abed are broadcasting from the vending machines -- the clear implication is that they are the two guys at the vending machines...
  • In "Intro To Political Science", Annie Edison's campaign flyers read "EDISON [drawing of a lightbulb] SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA!" Blindly missing the obvious "bright idea" pun.
    • This is because Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the lightbulb. She wasn't really thinking about the lightbulb when she drew it.
  • Jeff's overtly macho Halloween costumes appear at first to just be another joke, but make perfect sense after we learn in "Critical Film Studies" that he was once forced to wear an Indian princess costume for Halloween, which caused some big psychological scars as he was just happy to be told he was pretty by the end of the night.
    • Not just overtly macho, but in "Introduction to Statistics" he was a cowboy, almost as though he's trying to murder the memory of the little Indian girl.
  • Jeff's insecurity over how nobody would like him if he was fat has probably been around for a long time. But it was probably fueled even more after helping out Neil in "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons", someone who was disliked because he was overweight.
    • Moreso because Jeff was (inadvertently) responsible for coining the cruel, fat-baiting nickname that took such a toll on Neil in the first place.
    • It also explains why Jeff seemed so upset when Abed and Troy were making fun of him about Jeff's egg comment in one of the flashbacks in "Paradigms of Human Memory."
  • "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" has alot. The narrator says this is the game that decides the fate of good and Pierce. This ep was a Moral Event Horizon for Pierce as he Took a Level In Jerkass because of his addiction for drugs taken a firm hold and him od-ing in the next ep. Second, Jeff holds a campaign to cheer up Neil and get Neil's sword back as he was bullied as a kid. Third, he was the one who coined the term "Fat Neil" in the first place, so this is just a bully victim turned bully making up to the victim.
  • "Critical Film Studies" looks like it's setting up an Affectionate Parody spoof of Pulp Fiction, but actually ends up becoming a Whole-Plot Reference to My Dinner With Andre and ignores Pulp Fiction entirely. Or does it? For one of the hallmarks of Pulp Fiction, like most of Tarantino's work, is a series of Seinfeldian Conversations between two people, often in restaurants, which seem to be completely irrelevant to the plot but which end up taking on greater significance once we're aware of the bigger picture. So it could be said that as well as My Dinner With Andre the episode actually was spoofing Tarantino and Pulp Fiction -- just not the bits everyone was expecting it to spoof.
  • In "Critical Film Studies" Abed reveals he chose My Dinner with Andre because "It's about a guy who has an unexpectedly enjoyable evening with a weird friend he's been avoiding lately." Jeff assumes that in this scenario he's the guy who's been doing the avoiding (as he all but admits to at the beginning) and Abed's the 'weird friend'. However, if you think about it the example also works the other way around; in "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy" Troy and Abed admit they've been avoiding Jeff (partly because of the things Britta has told them about him based on their sexual encounter), and Jeff -- while certainly 'normal' compared to Abed, on least on the surface -- is himself ultimately a rather messed-up and 'weird' person, as his story about the Indian girl costume demonstrates. Could be that instead of / in addition to feeling that Jeff had been putting some distance between them, Abed felt guilty about his part in avoiding Jeff and wanted to bridge the gap, but couldn't figure out how without referencing a movie. It also explains Abed's non-committal response when Jeff asks if Abed feels that Jeff's been avoiding him: "We did hang out more last year."
  • Why does Abed's Whos the Boss class in "Competitive Wine Tasting" sound like a Laugh Track when they laugh? Because it is a class based around a multi-camera sitcom.
  • In "Paradigms of Human Memory", the tiny sombrero that they find in the monkey's pile of mementos is the same one worn by Pierce in the "Two Conquistadors" skit from Spanish 101.
  • At the beginning of "Aerodynamics of Gender", Pierce announces his radio-controlled hovering spycam by saying "Hey, remember last week when you were racing those radio-controlled cars and you thought you were cool? Well, turns out you're not!" We never saw the car episode, but during the Dean Pelton costume flashback montage in "Paradigms of Human Memory", one clip shows Jeff sitting with a neat-looking radio-controlled car.
  • In one of the flashbacks in the mock Jeff / Annie montage in "Paradigms of Human Memory", Jeff saves Annie, who has frozen up in fear from a rampaging robot while everyone else is running. Remember that in Annie's backstory, upon becoming hooked on Adderall she had a breakdown in which she started to see people as robots, which explains why she's frozen -- she's not sure whether she's hallucinating again or not.
    • The robot's name is Boob-a-Tron 6000. Troy and Abed created Boob-a-Tron 4000 in season 1 episode "The Art of Discourse." Abed was hoping that when someone spilled bong water on Boob-a-Tron it would come to life.
    • On the robot's chest is the same panel that Chang rewires in season 2 episode "Basic Rocket Science."
    • It appears that the Boob-a-Tron robot may have been after Annie's boobs. Annie's Boobs is also the name of Troy's monkey that re-appeared earlier in the episode.
  • In Paradigms of Human Memory, a series of flashback showed Abed displaying love of the short-lived show The Cape by wearing a cape. In some of the other flashbacks, he can be seen wearing a shirt that says "Save The Cape", probably in response to its cancellation.
  • In Paradigms of Human Memory, there is a flashback to the group in the study room during the events of Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas. All of the characters are wearing the EXACT clothes that their claymation counterparts were wearing in the special.
  • In almost every flashback in Paradigms of Human Memory Shirley can be seen clutching her "comedically oversized purse."
  • Also, Paradigms of Human Memory, where there is a series of memories of everyone fighting to get all the fighting. In The Pilot, what is one of the first things Jeff advises, with bad intentions however, the study group? To air everything out and put it all out in the open because he's been in other groups that were destroyed by unresolved tension.
    • And it works; but not for the reasons they suspect. The members arguing that they should keep arguing commonly cite that it's better to get everything out in the open because "they'll stop fighting (forever)". This, obviously, doesn't happen (and indeed would never happen), which gives them cause to believe that they are merely dysfunctional people incapable of getting along -- but what it actually means that they are in fact very comfortable and open with each other, since they are more willing to confront and challenge each other whenever they feel one (or more) of them has crossed the line, rather than bottling it up to unleash it in a more potentially destructive and irreparable fashion later -- which ultimately helps them resolve the matter they're currently facing quickly and constructively. And the episode reflects this; If we ignore the flashbacks, what's left is the group discovering an issue, arguing about it quite heatedly but then hashing it out and resolving it very quickly (their argument in total probably takes up no more than ten minutes if we take out the flashbacks, and then by the time everyone simmered down they'd realized they were making a big deal over something comparatively little) and making sure they remain friends in the process.
    • Further Fridge Brilliance; Jeff's final speech, of which we only saw a brief excerpt, probably pointed all this out, but we didn't hear it because we actually saw it in action all the other times he'd made a speech to help resolve the issues that had risen amongst them. Show, Don't Tell in action.
  • Paradigms of Human Memory: When you watch all of the flashbacks, you can see that almost all of them link together in some way to give us a sense of what happened in the 'episode' that we didn't see, or which at least suggest a plot which we didn't see. Almost all of them, that is, except for the short scene of Troy and Abed mocking Jeff behind his back by wearing his jacket and playing with his phone, which occurs outside of any context and seems to have no link to any of the other scenes. In fact, it seems very similar in both subject and length to the end-of-episode 'tags' that Troy and Abed star in at the end of every episode -- and if there are entire episodes we didn't see, it stands to reason that there are also episode tags we didn't see...
    • Annie and Britta also get a short 'tag'-like moment (when Britta takes Annie's lip balm without asking, uses it and then uncaringly throws it away), which underscores this point but also adds another one; just because the only people we usually see in the tags are Troy and Abed doesn't mean the others don't get tags we don't see either...
  • Again in "Paradigms of Human Memory", the haunted house segment seems to show Pierce and the gang meeting a ghostly Civil War-era ancestor of Pierce's. Then you notice that Jeff's speech excerpt seems to be about the absence of any real ghosts, and that only Pierce acknowledges the apparition, suggesting that it's one of his pill-induced hallucinations. Moreover, the ghost resembles both Colonel Sanders and Pierce's abusive father.
  • In "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts", when questioned on whether students giving birth in classrooms is a common occurrence, the Dean blurts out that "a lot more are conceived." No doubt, the the STD fair alone saw a lot of students get frisky in the empty classrooms with faulty condoms...
  • In "Competitive Wine Tasting" Troy and Britta kiss, and in the preview for "For a Few Paintballs More", Abed and Annie make out as well. The librarian from "Early 21st Century Romatanticsm" that Abed and Troy "fight" over is what would happen if you combined Annie and Britta into a single person. (There has to be a better way to say that.)
  • Also in "Competitive Wine Tasting," why is Troy's acting name between "Trevor St. McGoodbody or David"? What's the last line in Kickpuncher? "Don't call me Kickpuncher. Call me...David."
  • Also from "Competitive Wine Tasting", Britta develops a thing for Troy after he relays his false story of being molested by his uncle as a child. This could just be Britta's thing for damaged goods expressing itself -- however, according to this among other hints around the place, Britta's own backstory is also implied to contain at least one instance of molestation which could, in Britta's mind, have made them kindred spirits.
  • In "A Fistful Of Paint Balls", it's revealed that Annie is the only hold-out in the vote to remove Pierce from the group. Why? Because unlike the other members of the group, she can most relate to Pierce and why he does the things he does; like Pierce, she has first-hand experience of what it's like to be excluded by people who you want to be accepted by and how painful that can be, like Pierce she has first-hand experience with drug addiction and how that can potentially ruin your life and drastically affect your behaviour and outlook, and like Pierce she has an over-competitive ruthless streak that she struggles (rather more successfully than he does) to keep in check and from destroying her relationships with the people around her. Where the others just look at Pierce and mostly see an insufferable Jerkass, Annie sees both a reflection of how she could end up and someone who, like her, could be redeemed with help from the people around him.
  • At the end of For A Few Paintballs More, Britta suggested that they take Anthro 201 next semester, and Abed said it was too risky because 'sequels are always disappointing'. This can both be a reference to the Star Wars franchise, and the episode itself, which was a Sequel Episode.
  • For A Few Paintballs More was obviously filled with callbacks and references, too many for any one person to be able to catch them all. One such aspect of the episode though that I saw as being rather poignant was Leonard's little arc. Leonard as a character has been portrayed as an old man who acts like a teenage brat, swearing and acting up constantly. In the episode he reveals to Britta that he's been in several real life wars; the reason he acts like a rebellious teenager in his later years is that he spent his actual teenage years fighting in one of the most humourless periods in recent human history.
  • Also in For A Few Paintballs More, the Abed/Annie romance only lasting while Abed is in character. Every Annie/Abed moment so far has happened while one or both of them are in character- Annie's reaction to Draper!Abed, the kiss in Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas while Annie was pretending to be in Abed's hallucination, and the fake sex scene in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons while role-playing.
    • Further brilliance here is that each of these times Abed is pretending to be a particular character type - a charming, suave, emotionally closed off manipulator. Who else fits that description? Jeff. Annie definitely has a type.
  • Yet again for For A Few Paintballs More; during the planning session, the Greendale students are gathered around a picture perfect diorama of the campus that they seem to have just quickly put together. Of course, they'd be good at this by now, seeing as they've made twenty of them for Anthropology class. Guess it came in useful after all...
  • Yet another from For A Few Paintballs More: Shirley's role in the plan is to pull the fire alarm and activate the library's paint-filled sprinklers. She runs out into the hall to pull a fire alarm over there, despite a fire alarm being in very clear view in the study room. Why not just pull that one? Well, as The Tag from Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts demonstrates, not all the fire alarms actually work.
    • I thought the point was more that if she pulled that one in the study room then she wouldn't be able to get out in time and as she says "someone's gotta win this!"
  • There seems to be a pattern in the first and the second season finale; both had Annie making out with someone who then promptly left her, and both had a problem that has two obvious solutions, but ended with a third solution; in For A Few Paintballs More, either the group takes back Pierce and he rejoins the group, or the group kicks him out. The group decides to take him back, but he decided to quit. In Pascal's Triangle Revisited, Jeff wil either end up with Britta or Slater. He made out with Annie at the end. Then, Cliff Hanger...
  • For A Few Paintballs More, it appears Pierce has gone over to the City College team, and as part of this is feeding Dean Spreck information about Jeff -- which turns out to be a whole load of stuff about how gay Jeff is. On one hand, this is Pierce being Pierce and thus deluded / spiteful about Jeff. On the other, it's possible foreshadowing about which way Pierce's loyalties really lie, since he's knowingly feeding Spreck inaccurate, useless information of no worth to distract and hinder him from dealing with the study group.

Season 3

  • The musical number that opens "Biology 101" works on at least two levels; it's a lazy daydream by Jeff (specifically, about how great things will be since Pierce is no longer in the group -- he's the only person not participating and how the lyrics can all be applied to what Jeff feels is Pierce's negative effect on the group) and there's the meta-commentary / spoof of the show's surreal brand of humour and it's effect on potential mainstream appeal.
    • THREE levels. It's also a Take That directed at their hated rival Glee, basically saying "That show is like us without all the bits that make us good."
    • Four levels? Jeff's gone through some really weird situations in the past two years, and is slowly changing as a person. The idle daydream might be his way of wishing that everything would go back to normal... except that he doesn't really have a reference for what "normal" is anymore. So the lyrics claim normalcy, while the presentation obviously does not.
      • Or, it's a daydream kicked off by the question he was asked just beforehand, which is 'What are we gunna do without Pierce in the group this year?'.
    • FIVE. While the sequence means all these things, Jeff clearly isn't thinking about it that much in depth -- he's just having a daydream. The creators, meanwhile, probably only created the sequence with one or two of these levels in mind, while we find so many more.
    • Six. Because as we learn in "Regional Holiday Music" the Study Group filled in for the Glee club before. Jeff is remembering that too.
    • Seven. It also acts as ironic Foreshadowing for the rest of the season, which has in general been one of the most difficult so far for the study group in general and Jeff in particular (who has been subject to an ongoing process of Deconstruction revealing his numerous issues and neuroses). In between such things as Troy and Abed falling out and causing a school-wide pillow war, Shirley and Pierce's sandwich shop dreams gettin stolen and sold to Subway by the school, everyone in general having numerous issues, problems and difficulties and even getting expelled towards the end of the season, this year has been anything but 'finally fine' for the study group.
  • Why does Pierce help Jeff out even though he was the member who was the most antagonistic to him? It's cause Pierce saw Jeff and himself as Not So Different. Up until Annie tells Jeff that they are no longer friends. Even during all of Pierce's antics, Annie always stuck by him. Jeff was basically losing the one positive thing Pierce had last season, so he took pity on the guy. At least that's my interpretation of it.
    • To go even further with this: Pierce's lowest point in the last season was arguably when even Annie got fed up with his antics and turned on him in "A Fistful of Paintballs". They really are Not So Different -- but the group was willing to give Pierce another chance, so Pierce pays it forward with Jeff.
  • How important is the Air-Conditioning Repair Annex to Greendale? It's mentioned in Pierce's school song from season one.

 Pierce: Dancing in your underwear, taking air conditioner repair. So you can get a job ...

    • Not just that, but it is heavily hinted that the air conditioner repair course is the only viable education that Greendale has to offer. Keep in mind that Greendale gets most of its money from alumni donations and that most of those donations go straight to the Air-Conditioning Repair Anex.
  • In " Remedial Chaos Theory", it can be interpreted that what happens in each timeline is a rough summation of what would happen if the group lost the member getting the pizza. To briefly sum up the many interpretations floating around for each member:
    • Losing Annie makes it feel more indie movie. Things are a bit more relaxed -- however, there's also an element of danger without her (the gun is found and brandished around) and the group is lacking a distinct nurturing, healing presence (there's no one to tend Jeff's head injury and she's "a pretty good nurse").
      • Another way to interpret it is that this timeline is probably the least eventful of them all. While nothing particularly bad happens, nothing particularly good happens either. Things become stale and less exciting without Annie's drive and ambition around to propel the group.
    • Losing Shirley makes everyone behave meaner and be a bit more inclined to be selfish. Without her nagging, prodding and Team Momming them, they're inclined to forget their responsibilities and to not do what they should, even if they don't want to (taking her pies out of the oven).
    • Losing Pierce makes everyone happier (temporarily, at least) and leads to ship teases.
      • Alternatively, losing Pierce is the forefront to casting out the more mature people since Shirley, after baking pies, is quickly dismissed by Jeff very condescendingly.
    • Losing Britta loses the sardonic bent and increases the wackiness. However, it also makes the group a bit less warm, inviting and comforting; no one comforts Pierce when he has his meltdown or tries to make things better. While she might not always succeed or do so most effectively, Britta does try and make everyone feel better.
    • Losing Troy leads to chaos, madness and death. Things go to hell quickly. Furthermore, while other timelines may see everyone unhappy and at each other's throats, this one ends up with everyone actively turning 'evil' in some way -- more than anything else, this suggests that Troy is the true heart of the group.
      • The same timeline also suggests something similar about Pierce, oddly enough; when he's around, he acts as both a sufficient target for the group's negative impulses and as a warning for what'll happen if they overstep the line to prevent them from going to far. Take him out permanently, however, and the group are free to become 'evil' and act on their darker impulses.
    • Losing Abed causes the group to become too dramatic and self destruct. Although it seems like everyone is a bit more emotionally open without him, they end up taking it too far; he regulates the emotional pressure of the group.
    • Losing Jeff makes the conflicts go away. Everyone's a lot more relaxed, happy and willing to let their hair down and have fun without him shooting them down before they start.
      • A more favourable interpretation of Jeff is that without him, a lot of the underlying tensions and issues facing the group remain pushed under the surface, where they might fester and do more damage in the long run unless they're exposed. However, it's also worth noting that several of these issues are either directly caused by him (mocking Troy and shooting down Britta), are exacerbated by him (his organized opposition to Shirley's baking only ends up making things worse and leads to her storming out; by cutting Britta off before she can start singing he just drives her to get high) or managed to be resolved both in a much less emotionally turbulent fashion and without his involvement (Annie's living situation). As such, while he might help expose problems that threaten the fabric of the group and help resolve them, he is at least partially responsible for many of them in the first place and his methods of attempting to resolve them may often hurt as much as they help.
        • In this regard its worth noting that in the episode produced/set after this (but aired before) Competitive Ecology Jeff's main contributions are the preferred partner list which made the group's problem worse and to blame Todd for their issues rather than actually addressing them. Jeff may very be doing more harm than good this point.
        • This was also the starting point for the season's Deconstruction of Jeff and his negative impact on the group, ultimately leading to his Heel Realization and the completion of his Heel Face Turn in the final episode.
  • In " Remedial Chaos Theory", one is led to believe that the timeline where Jeff is away is the real timeline. Is it though ?
  • Look again at The Tag for Remedial Chaos Theory, which shows the darkest timeline. All (present) study group members are clad in black.. except Jeff and Troy. Jeff is wearing purple, the colour of royalty and power, to re-estabilish him as the group's most dominant member, alongside black. Troy on the other hand is apparently the only one not fully taken over by darkness - he wears a light blue shirt, representing his position as The Heart (which his timeline in the episode further elaborated on).
    • Furthermore, Annie, in the mental ward, would likely be wearing white hospital robes - representing both her underlying insanity and inherent pureness.
  • You could argue that Pierce died in the darkest timeline because turning Pierce, who was already some sort of inherently evil, into Evil!Pierce would be sort of impossible - or worse, would result in the Anti-Pierce, which is exactly what Evil!Abed would want to prevent. Now theorize exactly what happened that caused Pierce to die and what Evil!Abed's role in it might have been.
  • Also the fact that Abed keeps making Science Fiction references to solve problems like with the U.N competition or the Alternate Timelines this season when he hadn't before is because he started watching Inspector Spacetime.
  • Britta tells us in Remedial Chaos Theory that Jeff keeps his bathroom toiletries locked up in a safe. The most likely time for her to have seen this is sometime in Season 2. And a very strong motivation for Jeff to do this in Season 2 is that during a significant part of the year, Chang was living in Jeff's apartment.
  • In Remedial Chaos Theory, there is a mild example in Timeline 5. When all Hell breaks loose, Jeff tries to put the fire out with a shirt. We see the shirt catch on fire and slowly start crawling up it, closer to Jeff's arm. Suddenly, it becomes a lot clearer how he lost his arm in the fire.
  • In Remedial Chaos Theory the reason Jeff has to roll a dice to determine who gets the pizza is because "Nose Goes" fails when everyone does it at the exact same time. In Aerodynamics of Gender they play "Nose Goes" to determine who has to make sure Pierce doesn't overdose on painkillers. Jeff loses, and asks when they started doing that. Apparently, they do it so often that everyone has become incredibly good at it to the point where they all win.
  • At the end of Remedial Chaos Theory everyone is singing and dancing happily... except Jeff and Pierce.
    • However, while it's a pretty clear Not So Different moment, it also has a few indicators of how Jeff has undergone Character Development which has to some degree distanced him from his implied fate of ending up like Pierce; while Pierce is preoccupied with getting rid of his cruel housewarming gift to Troy so he doesn't get in trouble, Jeff is happily watching his friends enjoy themselves. While he might not yet be ready to take the step of actually joining in, Jeff has still bonded with them sufficiently to take simple pleasure in their happiness however silly he might think it.
  • Annie's story in Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps had her teaching Vampire Jeff how to read, which got them romantically closer to each other, or she thought so, at least. This is exactly how she treated Troy in the beginning of season 1, where she tried getting romantically closer to him by tutoring him.
  • Also in Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps, it was revealed that Abed was the most sane person in the group. This makes sense, because his story is the only one with no wacky or insane situations.
    • Or because of his shamanistic knowledge of human behaviour, he filled out his test so that he would come out as a sane person.
  • In Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps, upon being accused of being a sociopath after not volunteering the information that he filled out his test at random (something which could have saved a lot of bother), Jeff's response is a flippant "I'm no sociopath. I always know what I'm doing is wrong, I'm just a guy who doesn't like taking tests, doing work or getting yelled at. So if you think about it, that makes me the sanest person here." While it would be a stretch to consider him an actual sociopath, in that one statement alone he actually demonstrates several of the common personality traits of both antisocial personality disorder and sociopathy -- narcissism, irresponsibility, lack of remorse or concern for others, egocentricity, selfishness and self-absorption, failure to conform to social norms, callousness, excessive boasting...
  • How did Annie know Britta had put the tests in the wrong way up? She had taken one when she was in rehab for her adderall addiction.
    • She knows because the scores were printed on the bottom of the page, rather than the top, presumably upside-down. Scantron marking sheets are pretty much independent of the questionnaire sheet, so the scantron sanity tests would look just like any scantron test for any other subject.
      • Could this up side down thing mean that the first insanity-result was Abed's?
        • No; "upside down" means that the individual Scantron cards were inserted in the wrong direction, not that the order of cards was changed.
  • In "Competitive Wine Tasting", it was established that Britta has questionable taste in men. This is further supported by her timeline in "Remedial Chaos Theory." Annie even makes a joke about how her romantic tastes after she talks about a guy who got so high he was able to survive a fall. Given the boyfriends she's hooked up with, it would explain why she she's often making insulting remarks about men.
  • With the reveal of the Secret Cabal of Air Conditioning in Advanced Gay, Greendale's ridiculous standards start to make sense. Think about the nature of the AC Repair Annex. They pride themselves on secrecy. What better way to stay hidden then to have a campus's reputation marred by incompetent staff, ridiculous public events (paintball riot, decrepit promotional KFC van press conference), and substandard cirriculum? This explains overall the school's reputation and staffing choices. The more ridiculous Greendale is, the easier the AC Annex is to hide.
  • In the Dean's confession scene in Documentary Filmmaking: Redux, we see him burning his diploma, from Appomattox University. Appomattox is a small town in Virginia that doesn't have a university in it. Were the writers (and/or set designers) just going for something that sounds like a last-tier university? Perhaps. But a re-watch of Basic Rocket Science will find the Dean telling Jeff that "if you don't get back here in time for the launch, City College wins, and Greendale becomes just another school on my résumé that no one can call, because it doesn't exist". Who knows how he actually got that diploma.
  • In Foosball And Nocturnal Vigilantism, we get confirmation that Abed is very powerful. When Troy finds out that Annie has broke Abed's DVD, he has a panic attack, sputtering in a fearful voice, "He knows everything." He realizes, as shown in Remedial Chaos Theory, that if Abed was properly traumatized, he could become a full-blown villainous mastermind.
    • How would he know that since that timeline never happened?
    • He presumably doesn't know the exact details of that timeline but can make a very good educated guess based on the evidence at hand and his personal experience with Abed that if Abed were to completely snap bad things would happen.
  • Throughout the series, almost despite himself Jeff Winger has a thing for challenging bullies. This becomes a lot easier to understand when we learn in Foosball And Nocturnal Vigilantism that he himself was bullied as a child.
  • Why was Britta the last hold-out to be 'converted' to the Glee Club in "Regional Holiday Music?" Because she was the only one Mr. Rad didn't actually want around. Why was she converted anyway, despite having the 'vital' role of a mute tree? Because even Mr. Rad has to accept that with the study group, even when brainwashed you include all of them or have none of them.
  • The best way to get Pierce to join the glee club? Prey on his fears of irrelevance. During their second song Troy and Abed do homages to music from every decade, starting in the 40s and ending in the mid-90s when Pierce (singing as Baby Boomer Santa) jumps in with "You're Welcome!" He jumps in at that moment because that's roughly the point where he'd have been too old to understand the references to any popular music.
    • To add to this, all of the members are suckered in through key aspects of their personality and / or insecurities being exploited: Abed through his desire to have a happy Christmas time with his friends/family, Troy through his codependence with Abed and desire not to get left out from anything Abed's doing, coupled with his desire to celebrate Christmas (and secret agent fantasies), Pierce as discussed above, Annie through her bossy insistence on confronting authority figures when things don't go her way, Jeff through his conflicted feelings towards Annie and Shirley through her religious beliefs and conviction that the religious aspects of the holiday are being marginalized. Britta would seem to be an exception, but this article suggests that she's only going along with things because everyone else is and she doesn't want to be left out or make them unhappy.
    • When Annie is assimilated into the Glee club, Troy appears from behind a door to sing at her, apparently having been hiding there for no reason at all. Except there is a reason -- Troy is celebrating Christmas as an 'undercover Jehovah's Witness', so in his mind he's spying on Abed and Mr. Rad's Christmas plans.
    • The second mention of Jeff's therapy shows up in the episode. During their heart to heart in Contemporary American Poultry, Abed offhandedly suggests to Jeff that there are specialists to help him with his issues. Jeff actually replies that it's a good idea: could this have been when he started seeing his therapist?
      • This is actually the third mention. In Studies In Modern Movement, Dean Pelton finds out that Jeff wanted to be alone during the weekend by reading his email to his therapist. At that point, he's already in therapy.
    • In the number with Abed and Mr. Rad, Abed sings that he'll "understand every scene because they'll sing what they mean instead of making a face". If Abed is face-blind like he implies in Competive Ecology, then he'd have difficulty reading facial expressions.
  • In the episode Regional Holiday Music, there were two very strange moments where it seemed that Word of God broke two of their old time rules. 1. Abed might have broken the 4th wall with his comment on "spinning cameras", and they semi-sexualized Annie in a santa outfit. Yet this makes a lot more sense when you remember that they've been Glee-ified, meaning they're not acting like themselves in show as the writers originally envisioned.
  • Why was Pierce so hostile to the Col. Sanders AI in "Basic Rocket Science"? We find out in "Advanced Gay" that he looks like Pierce's father.
  • It seems a little strange that Chang is so accurate with his Tranquilizer Gun in "Contemporary Impressionists" until you remember that he spent much of Season 1 playing Paintball as a hobby, as mentioned in "Modern Warfare".
  • In Digital Exploration of Interior Design, of course Healthy Food (Subway) hooks up with Filtered Water (Britta).
  • In Pillows And Blankets, The Dean tries so hard for the two forts to come to an agreement so that Greendale can hold the world record for biggest pillow or blanket fort, but failed. The irony is that they could have hold the world record for biggest pillow fight.
  • Also in Pillows And Blankets, The Chang-glourious Basterds, a parody of Inglourious Basterds, were all recruited in a Bar-Mitzvah. The real Inglourious Basterds were all Jewish-Americans.
    • I'm sorry, but I just have to comment... that's brilliant.
  • Another from Pillows And Blankets; why is there a crazed pillow fight raging in the background of every still shot of Jeff texting on his phone? Because he's been going around delivering rabble-rousing speeches to all the armies; each one is a pillow fight he's just incited. It even matches the MO he displays in the one speech we see him deliver, where he's fired up and passionate while giving the speech only to immediately switch to disinterest and start playing with his phone once he's gotten everyone's blood up.
  • "Origins of Vampire Mythology": aside from a subplot where Troy and Abed are trying to watch Blade without interruption, there's not actually much to do with vampires in this episode... until you remember that the classic vampire subtext is of a mysterious man who has a powerful and all-consuming allure to women (usually metaphorically standing in for sex) despite being bad news for them, and who will, if they are allowed to sate their desires with him, ultimately lead them to ruin -- i.e. Blade. And Jeff spends the entire episode trying to figure out where this allure is somehow coming from. Hence origins of a vampire's (Blade's) mythology (sex appeal).
    • Don't forget Britta acting like a vampire/werewolf. It wouldn't be the first time an unwilling vampire with an uncontrollable thirst for blood (or for Blade) has locked themselves in a room, asking their closest friends to never let them out until the hunger (for Blade) is over (when his carnival leaves). She even tries the often used trick of betraying friends trust to get out of the room or get what wants.
    • Troy seems notably disinterested and reluctant to help Britta with her problems throughout the episode and would rather watch Blade, which makes him seem a bit callous and uncaring. Except, it's clearly established that Troy at the very least has a bit of a crush on Britta, Britta's problems in the episode centre around an old boyfriend who she finds irresistible despite herself, and there are few things worse than having to put up with someone you're romantically interested in continually going on about someone else...
  • The upcoming Law and Order episode Basic Lupine Urology has the latin name for wolf in the title. The producer of the Law and Order franchise? Dick Wolf.
    • Urology is also the study of amongst other things part of the male anatomy. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
    • One has to wonder why Star-Burns would build a meth lab in his trunk of all places. Then you remember that he was kicked out of introductory biology at the beginning of the year, and therefore has limited knowledge of how to actually make meth. Which also justifies in how it was so unstable, all it took was a rear end for a drastic explosion.
  • At the end of "Course Listing Unavailable" Troy lifts everyone's spirits when they're depressively musing that this could be 'the worst timeline' by pointing out that despite having been expelled from Greendale "We're all alive and we're all fine!" Compare to the actual worst timeline from "Remedial Chaos Theory", where one of the members was dead, one had gone insane, two of them suffered serious and crippling injuries, one had succumbed to alcoholism and one had... dyed a blue streak into her hair.
    • Adding to that, the worst timeline happened because he wasn't there to prevent the chaos that erupted while getting the pizza. Him being there after the expulsion prevented another chaotic timeline.
    • It also goes to show why exactly the Troy-absent timeline was the darkest one. It wasn't just any tragedy that made it bad. It was the fact that the group was broken apart, by Pierce's death and Annie's absence. But as long as the group stayed together, their happiness would still be salvageable.
  • It's been pointed out that in "Course Listing Unavailable" the group essentially goes through the five stages of grief -- only over their lost Biology 101 credit and it's repercussions, not their lost classmate:
    • Denial: The news that they're going to have to repeat Biology over summer causes Jeff to scream a Big No.
    • Anger: The study group, upon delivering their eulogies, become consumed with anger and each instead delivers a rant about how terrible Greendale is, prompting a riot.
    • Bargaining: The group attempt to get out of trouble for the former by making a deal with the Dean to blame the whole thing on Chang.
    • Depression: After Greendale expels them, everyone glumly sits around the table at Troy, Abed and Annie's apartment, Annie and Shirley look like they're about to start drowning their sorrows, Britta and Jeff acknowledge they're the worst and Britta, when she goes to get the pizzas, looks like she's about to succumb to the charms of the creepy pizza guy.
    • Acceptance: After Troy and Abed deliver a speech about how, while things are bad, they're not nearly as bad as they could be, everyone cheers up a bit and begins eating the pizza companionably.
  • Why was Chang so chummy with the members of the Greendale College Board? In "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", upon viewing the Dean's commercial at least one of them was quite taken with him -- "he pops!"
  • Why did Starburns choose Abed to do his memorial video? Well apart from being Greendale's most well known filmmaker the two must've gotten along well during The Spanish Video Assignment they did together.
  • In the 'Greendale asylum' sections of "Curriculum Unavailable" Annie is pretty much dressed in the 'psychiatric hospital' equivalent of what she is usually seen to wear anyway -- a cardigan and a dress.
    • There are more Call Backs to the first Clip Show than one might think. First off, one clip in the first one show the group in an asylum. Two, Jeff notes that he thinks the universe is making them into a super-group. By "Curriculum Unavailable", they have.
  • In "Digital Estate Planning", Cornelius designed the video game after Pierce suggested that they invest in video games, citing that while moist towelettes are still being sold in stores while "arcade after arcade closes!" At first, this just looks like Cornelius being stubborn and set in his ways in light of video games now being a multi-billion dollar industry -- however, Pierce made his initial suggestion in the early 1980s, right before The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 completely decimated the industry in North America. In this at least Cornelius had a point -- if they'd made the switch then Hawthorne Industries would have probably been completely wiped out in the fallout.
  • Vice-Dean Laybourne has something of a mini-character arc throughout the third season as represented by his hair. At the beginning of the series, he is all-powerful, dominant and arrogant, striding over Greendale like a colossus and effortlessly acquiring what he wants through dominating the Dean -- as represented by his clean-shaven, short-haired appearance. Then, he encounters Troy, who is not only a greater repairman than he will ever be but who rejects his authority and overtures. Cue something of a life crisis as his authority and belief in himself as the greatest repairman is threatened, as represented by numerous attempts to cajole, bully or manipulate Troy into joining the AC Repair School -- and by his growing a beard and an ill-advised ponytail in the middle of the series. Then, once Troy joins the school, Laybourne has what he wants, but realizes that it doesn't matter that he's not the greatest repairman, as he can mentor Troy into embracing his destiny. As represented by the fact that he's cut off the ponytail and shaved away the beard, but has kept a moustache.
  • In Studies In Modern Movement, the hitchhiker sings that he loves marijuana during the Kiss from a rose montage, while Britta and Shirley's facial expressions turns to horror as he claims he likes 'drinking human blood', per his Jesus Delusion it actually isn't as disturbing as one would initially imagine as Transubstantiation ie symbolically eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ is the way one receives salvation.
  • Chang's rise to Big Bad and Star Burns' death were all omens of Evil Abed's appearance, as the timeline grew darker. Why was Star Burns seen alive at the very end of the season finale? Because the timeline had been un-darkened when Jeff's speech defeated Evil Abed.
  • In "Introduction to Finality", Ted dying from a shark attack actually makes sense--swimming with a hole in your hand puts you at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to speed.
    • Troy is prophesied by his air conditioning repair school to be one who will not only repair air conditioners, but also the people around them. And this is exactly what he does with the study group. It is repeatedly demonstrated that without his influence, the group falls apart.
      • And he does the same thing with the air conditioning repair school itself. Discovering the murder of the vice dean, and making them stop being so nutty and actually just call the police and turn it into a normal school.

Fridge Horror

  • In "Community", Troy jumps on Annie's back, saying "I'm Annie's backpack!" But later, in "Romantic expressionism", after Jeff and Britta told him about Annie's crush on him, he tries to seduce her, saying "You should know I have a thing for butt stuff"... Oh my...
    • This is more a reference back his obsession with "butt stuff" in "Social Psychology" - in which "butt stuff" involves his OWN butt.
  • In "Physical Education," Pierce makes the one-off joke that white!Abed is "like Abed, but employable!" Typical Racist Grandpa humor... until you realize that Pierce is a CEO who has probably hired (and not hired) a lot of people. How many Abeds has he turned away due to race?
    • Technically that could be his father talking also, for all we know he never hired anyone.
  • I think the basic fact that in "Remedial Chaos Theory" if Jeff rolled a 1, then Pierce would die, Annie would go insane, Jeff would lose his arm, Troy would lose his larynx, Shirley becomes a drunk, and Britta dyes a streak of her hair blue. If that had been real, the show would have been much darker. It's also shocking to realize that that timeline will continue naturally, meaning the characters will have to live their destroyed lives because of a single dice roll. Also, Abed is going to try to invade the good universe, and who knows what that will mean.
    • While most people assume that Pierce died directly from being shot, it isn't actually outright stated. Britta simply stated that he got shot AND died. Why is this important? Because the apartment was on fire at the time, and Pierce was obviously the least likely person to escape it given his leg wound. Seeing as how the others managed to escape (albeit with injuries), you have to wonder exactly how/where he died.
      • While this is certainly a valid possibility, the link between 'got shot' and 'died' isn't incredibly ambiguous; the most likely interpretation is that Britta is simply clarifying that Pierce got shot, the consequence of which was that he died. Since if he'd died some other way, she could have clarified that instead (as in, "Pierce got shot and then burnt to death").
    • Also, the timeline in which Jeff, the supposed leader of the group and the closest thing to a main character on the show, is absent everyone is happy. Are they setting Jeff up to be the villain this season?
      • Or perhaps setting him up for a Deconstruction; he's the leader in many ways, but that doesn't necessarily make him a good leader.
  • The current glee club's reaction to cease and desist seems like nothing more than an over the top reaction, right? Then we find out how Mr. Rad runs his glee club and what happened to that last bunch of members...
  • Jeff's plan in Epidemology was to leave everyone but him, Abed and Troy in the school. That means that Abed and Troy and the Dean (If he wasn't arrested for endangering the populace) would be the only survivors.
  • Abed has a sex video (likely unknown to him) of Jeff and Britta.In "Paradigms of Human Memory" it was revealed that Britta and Jeff got very frisky in Abed's dorm room on St. Patrick's Day. In "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy" Abed reveals to Britta he had a security camera installed in his dorm room for the purpose of making autobiograghical documentaries. Abed's is going to be in for shock when he goes to edit it.
  • At the end of Contemporary Impressionists, Abed had a conversation with Evil Abed. Of course, that's just his imagination going wild, right? Well, at the end of Remedial Chaos Theory, when Alternate Troy and Abed decided to become evil, Prime Timeline Abed felt a presence, which he promptly ignored. This could suggest that there is some sort of link between the two Abeds. Could the Evil Abed that Abed saw in the Dreamatorium be the real Evil Abed, communicating to him through his mind?
  • Basic Lupine Urology: Starburns' death. He was building a meth-lab in the trunk of his car which exploded and killed him. Bad enough in itself, but it's stated that it exploded when he was rear-ended -- which suggests that there was someone else driving behind him who was also caught in the blast and possibly killed.
  • Just the sheer bits of emotional truths woven between dialogues that really show that the Study Group members are a lot more messed up than they seem to act most of the time. Make you really wonder why these people don't just break down crying already.
    • Jeff's father was an abusive alcoholic who eventually left the family, leaving Jeff with a lot of emotional scars. Additionally, he has seriously deep self-esteem, vanity and body image problems amongst other things.
    • Britta was taken advantage of at a young age, with no one, not even her controlling father standing up for her. Adding to the many insults and put-downs thrown out by the study group, other students, and even a priest.
    • Abed's father is cold, controlling, and distant towards him since his parents' divorce, blaming it on his son. He has a hard time to try and connect with other people, feeling alone and stuck in a metaphorical locker. He is so withdrawn he cannot allow himself to exist in his own ideal universe, and he constantly feels the need to scheme and change himself so that his friends won't abandon him.
    • Shirley used to be a happy, married mother, never thought about going to college and starting a business, until her husband left her, causing her to try and turn her life around while being a single mother and college student for the most of the series. She also used to have what seems to be a drinking problem.
    • Annie was driven by the pressure and stress to succeed that she ended up taking Adderall. Went to rehab against her parent's wishes (but ultimately for the better of her own health), and is currently estranged from her family.
    • Troy's parents overprotected him from the ideas and concepts of the adult world, despite him being out of high school. They left him unprepared, overly innocent, and naive. Furthermore, his parents are divorced and his father has pushed him out of the house because it is uncomfortable to have Troy there with his new girlfriend - who is Troy's age.
    • Pierce has spent his whole life trying to get any hint of appreciation, approval or affection from his prejudiced father, who has constantly emotionally abused him. Even to his dad's grave, he has never once gained any of that.
  • The video game in Digital Estate Planning was designed with the intention of bringing together Pierce and his seven closest friends, and getting them to turn on each other to fight for Pierce's inheritance. Given how clearly inept Pierce is at playing the game, he's very lucky the friends he ended up making and bringing along were as scrupulous and decent as the study group are
  • In Introduction to Finality, if Evil Abed is trying to turn the cast into their dark timeline counterparts, this means that at some point he would have tried to kill Pierce.
    • Even worse, he would have orchestrated it where Annie would be the one to do it and thus go crazy from the guilt.
    • Pretty much all of his efforts to turn them into their evil counterparts counts as this, considering how dark the 'worst timeline' ended up being.

Fridge Logic

  • In the pilot, Troy admits to having been injured doing a "keg-flip", but in "Comparative Religion" he is revealed to be a Jehovah's Witness, and so isn't allowed to drink. While he could of course simply be breaking a tenet of his religion (after all, the character is under 21 and therefore can't legally drink anyways), the way he admits that he can't drink makes him seem pretty serious about it.
    • His line is "We're not allowed to drink. But it helps."
    • Also, in the episode Mixology Certification when he turns 21, Troy doesn't drink the entire night. Plus he admitted in Football, Feminism, and You that his keg-flip accident wasn't an accident, which means he may not have actually been drinking that night!
      • On his birthday, when debating what drink to first try, he says he was going to order a beer, to which Jeff responds "You've had beer before." Debate over.
        • This may simply have been Jeff's assumption. Given how much Troy values Jeff's respect, he's not likely to contradict the assumption.
    • In Critical Film Studies, Troy drinks some of Abed's wine, referring to it as "No-no Juice." This confirms explicitly that a) as a Jehovah's Witness, Troy should not drink alcohol, but b) does anyway.
      • And he doesn't realize it's alcohol.
        • What? When is that implied? See three lines up.
        • Not the OP above, but I'd guess that the implication referred to is presumably in the fact that he calls it "No-No Juice"; the logic being that in not knowing it's called 'wine' (since if he knew what it was he'd call it what it was), he doesn't know what it is and possibly also doesn't know it's alcoholic (since if he knew what it really was he'd also know it was alcoholic). "No-No Juice" suggests he's been told as a child he can't have any but doesn't know what it is or, following this train of logic, why he can't have any, and just hasn't learned since then. It doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't drank it before or that he hasn't drank any alcohol before, but if we follow this logic it does possibly suggest that he doesn't know that wine itself is alcoholic and has drank it previously (or something like it, such as grape juice) without realizing this.
        • Or he knows it's wine and AS A JOKE calls it "no-no juice" as he's not supposed to be drinking it, i-e drinking it is a "no-no" but he still knows what it is. Even people who have never drank usually know the concept of wine.
        • Indeed -- but Troy doesn't seem like he's joking and, let's be fair, isn't the brightest, most well-informed or mature of men; it would sort of fit into his character to have never heard of wine.
        • Considering the amount of things that Troy does through the series that Jehovah's Witnesses don't do, it's probably safe to say that he claims the religion, but doesn't practice. With that in mind, he's likely joking about "no-no juice", and has had alcohol before. Or the inconsistencies could just be blamed on Did Not Do the Research.
        • Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Donald Glover raised as a Jehovah's Witness?
        • In the next episode, Competitive Wine Tasting, Troy knows what a wine cellar is - indicating that he probably at least knows what wine is - and, in a bit of Fridge Horror, refers to his butt as his "no-no"...
    • According to Wikipedia J Ws believe that "Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation."
  • In Community, Abed sat in a chair for twenty-six hours. ...Food? Water? Bathroom?
  • How does Jeff know where Rich lives in "Asian Population Studies"?
  • In "Remedial Chaos Theory", during the prime timeline Shirley is about to retrieve her pies from the oven. But she's stopped and joins in with Britta's singing. Given how easily those pies evidently burn in the Shirley timeline, one has to wonder how long the group would dance before they smelled something burning.
    • Yeah, but this time, Shirley said nothing to the group about taking the pies out, and was present in the room, meaning that there's no one to blame but herself.
    • Actually a bit of Fridge Brilliance - Shirley feels like she is part of the group in that timeline and is having fun with her friends dancing and singing to Roxanne. It was established in the earlier timelines that Shirley is basically excessively baking because she didn't feel like she fit in with the group.
    • Also in that episode, Shirley complained about being the only married woman in the group. Does that mean she and Andre remarried over the summer?
      • She's previously said that "the Bible doesn't recognize divorce", so in her mind, they were married all along.
  • In "Remedial Chaos Theory", how does Annie pay for the pizza if she left her purse behind?
    • Annie's definitely the type of person who would carry around some money separate from her purse in case she's separated from it and she needs some cash in a hurry -- sort of like an emergency fund. She probably has a few bills tucked in her pocket (or elsewhere) and paid from that.
  • In Regional Christmas Music, why do Abed and Troy go into their blanket fort bedroom to sing their song in front of an imaginary audience with imaginary back-up singers when there is a perfectly good Dreamitorium in the apartment for those exact moments?
    • I don't think Troy and Abed's over-active imaginations are bound by the need to be acted out solely in the Dreamatorium; they can probably lose themselves in fantasy anywhere. The blanket fort was just closer than the Dreamatorium (especially since Abed was explicitly trying to brainwash / convince Troy to the Glee club, and probably didn't want to risk losing him in the extra time it would take to get there). In any case, at the risk of overanalysing the Dreamatorium is a clear reference to the holodeck on Star Trek; perhaps they just go there when they're bored or want to have a specific fantasy / dream sequence.
  • As much as this troper enjoyed "Course Listing Unavailable", he cannot help but notice some logic problems with it. For one, why would the teacher resigning force the study group (and presumably the whole class) to get an "Incomplete" for their grade and retake it in the summer? They were almost at risk for this in the first year with Chang, but even then they managed to bring in a replacement.
    • Also, you'd think the school board would be at least a little bit more forgiving of Pierce since he donated $100,000 to Greendale last year.
      • In the former question, it's possible that unlike the earlier example a suitable replacement could not be found in time to salvage the class. Alternatively / in addition, given that Greendale is hardly an example of the most efficiently-run of higher education facilities, it could be something to do with how the school is administrated in this regard; all the study group were quick to blame the Dean for this as if this was his fault. In the latter case, the board have clearly been swayed by Chang to not trust the study group an inch, not to mention that -- $100,000 donation to the school earlier aside -- they did incite what looked like a pretty destructive riot and caused a prominent (and no doubt profitable) commercial deal the school had to be threatened.
      • Actually, this is Fridge Brilliance. It's established in Biology 101 that as a result of the Air Conditioning Repair School Annex's new policies, the school has almost no money for this year. Whereas during Season 1, they had the funds to bring in a teacher at the last minute, they just don't have those kinds of emergency funds available anymore - they've been used to keep the school open. This also explains why the school reacts so much more harshly to the riot than to their previous destructive escapades - Greendale doesn't have the money to clean up after their shenanigans this season, and they put Greendale's relationship with Subway at risk when they might have been looking to the corporation to bail them out.
  • In the Season 3 Finale, Jeff treats the mock trial as a big dilemma between helping his friend or choosing his job. But then you remember that he's trying to help Shirley claim the simple title of ownership, as it's doubtful that even Pierce would kick Shirley out of the business completely. This is rather trivial compared to Jeff losing the chance to work at his past law firm, probably one of the few places left that would accept him given his past (faking his credentials, going to a bad community college to get his bachelor's).
    • It's the principle of the thing; yes, it's a fairly small deal in the scheme of things, but his choices are to either screw a friend over for his own benefit or stand by that friend at personal cost to himself. We can also look at it with regards to how Jeff has come not just as a person but as a lawyer; an Amoral Attorney like Jeff previously was wouldn't hesitate to put himself above his client's best interests, whereas Jeff -- who is clearly becoming a better lawyer as well as a better person -- chooses to put his client first and represent their interests to the best of his abilities at personal cost. Also, while it might be a small deal legally, it's a big deal to Shirley -- this is representative of her lifelong dream to own a business of her own rather than just work for someone else's interests (as she's done throughout her whole life).

Notes

  1. Note: Examples are organized in order of the episode in which they can first be detected.
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