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Jeff convinces Annie and Abed to enroll in a Pottery Class with him, but the plan for an easy A goes off the rails when Jeff becomes intensely envious of the talent of a fellow classmate. Meanwhile Pierce convinces the rest of the study group to join him in a week long sailing course taking place in the school parking lot.

The Community episode "Beginner Pottery" provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Introducing Rich -- a doctor who hasn't lost a patient in ten years and can make working bird fountains effortlessly in pottery class.
  • Always Someone Better: Jeff has some character growth with this realization.
  • An Aesop: Jeff learns he doesn't have to be awesome at everything.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The pottery professor has long since had it with parodies of that scene from Ghost in any permutation.
    • The sailing professor seems to have a similar hot button over the "king of the world" scene from Titanic.
  • Beyond the Impossible

  Troy: Oh my god. Pierce is going to be the only person ever to drown in a parking lot. Twice.

  • Big No: After Pierce gets "lost at sea".
  • Completely Missing the Point: Jeff tells Abed not to do any more voiceovers. Abed seems to think that it's not because it's annoying, but that it's because voiceovers are a lame storytelling technique.
  • Country Matters: Subverted Trope with Pierce telling Shirley, after she leaves him to fend for himself in the sea (parking lot) that now he knows what the C in "Captain" stands for -- crabapple.
  • Determinator: Pierce, since birth. He got his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, both arms, and one ankle. The doctors even stopped delivering him. He's not going to let a little thing like drowning at sea in the middle of Colorado stop him.

 Jeff: Good luck!

Pierce: Don't need it! Never had it!


 Shirley: Damn the storm; we're going after Pierce! Jump the halyard. Starburns, you get down there and you man the iron jenny[1]; there's a man overboard! That's an order!

Pierce: I'm gonna sink!

Britta: I'm about to get the only 'A' I will ever get, and Pierce isn't even dying.

Pierce:{{[[[Genre Savvy]] bailing}}] Save me!

Britta: You don't have to do this.

Shirley: I know, but I'd rather be kind and get stepped on once in a while than be a hardass and turn my back on a friend. Hoist the mains.

They sail across the parking lot.


Instructor: You just steered your boat into a storm. Any last words?

Shirley: The sea may be cold and unforgiving, but I'm not. The ship may go down, but at least she'll go down with honor.

  • Stanford Prison Experiment: The sailing class becomes all too real when Pierce is abandoned to the high seas, while in the middle of the school's parking lot.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: The pottery professor and the sailing instructor hate Ghost and Titanic which they believe mock their respective professions.
  • Too Soon: In-universe example: The pottery teacher in "Basic Pottery" has banned the imitation of a scene from Ghost. He drives the point home by pointing to a poster of Patrick Swayze with an "X" over it. He then quietly tells the shocked students "I had it made before he died so it's not in bad taste."
  • Through the Eyes of Madness
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: The sailing course becomes a parody of a high seas adventure.
  • What Have We Done: Said by Troy when the group abandons Pierce in the parking lot.
  • Worthy Opponent: The sailing teacher says this word for word as Shirley successfully captains the boat.
  1. the truck on which the boat is mounted. There's no reason they would have learned the name of that equipment
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