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File:Community-s2e6-Epidemiology-13-550x366 9289.jpg


There's a Halloween party going on in the Greendale "Liscary" and all of the study group are there: Jeff is dressed as David Beckham (complete with stubble and a soccer ball); Britta is dressed as dragon-turtle ("I'M A T-REX!"); Annie is dressed as Red Riding Hood; Pierce is dressed as Captain Kirk; Shirley is not dressed as Miss Piggy; and Troy and Abed are dressed as Ripley in the Power Loader and the Alien Queen respectively.

Pierce eats some of the "taco meat" that Dean Pelton bought at an army surplus store and exhibits some strange symptoms, including fever and slurred speech. Soon, he bites Starburns and the infection spreads - resulting in a full blown Zombie Apocalypse. And to make matters worse, the Dean locks them in the library to wait six hours for the army to arrive.

The Community episode "Epidemiology" provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: In 1976, Chevy Chase appeared as Mr. Spock in a Star Trek-themed sketch on Saturday Night Live. One might say that he is in command now.
  • And Then Troy Was A Zombie
  • Apocalypse How: According to Rich, Type 3A within a year and a half. However, seeing as everyone is cured by turning the thermostat down to 58 degrees, one suspects this virus might have a little trouble making it out of Colorado.
  • Art Major Biology: The physician agreeing with Annie's plan to lower the temperature in order to "break the fever and kill the virus". Breaking a fever is all well and good for preventing brain damage, but the fever is the body's defensive response against the virus which was spread among people with presumably normal 98.6 degree temperatures. Bringing them back down to those temperatures they had when the virus was spread in the first place would do nothing against the virus itself, whatever brain damage lowering the temperatures was preventing notwithstanding. The thermostat needs to go at least below 50 F to affect the environment of the virus, by causing hypothermia in its host (it could possibly show up in Pierce and Lenard a bit earlier). And these low temperatures would just be expected to (very slightly) slow the spreading of the virus in the body, not "kill" it (it's pretty hard to kill something that isn't especially alive in the first place). The average virus would still be active, much less capable of reactivation, long, long after the human has died of hypothermia. There is a reason fevers and sterilization techniques use high temperatures, not low ones.
  • The Army Is Useless: They make a point out of showing up six hours after the first news of infection. Also, they apparently didn't think of a cure that a doctor in a banana suit casually hypothesized. Not to mention that they seem prepared to eliminate a school full of people because they have a virus that can't survive sub-60 degree temperatures.
  • Battle Royale With Cheese
  • Big-Budget Beef-Up: This is by far one of the series' most impressive and expensive episodes. The ABBA songs alone ate up the entire season's music budget.
  • Big Damn Hero: Troy, cooling everyone down until the military arrived.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Inverted -- Troy ultimately is turned into a zombie last and manages to save everyone.

 Abed: Troy, make me proud. Be the first black man to make it to the end.


 Chang: Ya bit? YA BIT?!?

    • In Introduction to Statistics, Shirley's Halloween costume is repeatedly mistaken for Urkel due to her race - she's actually Harry Potter. One of the people who makes that mistake is Chang. This episode, Chang dresses as ice skater Peggy Fleming, and is repeatedly mistaken for Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan due to his race. In his case, it's on purpose - he's the racist prover. Shirley is one of the only people who is able to tell who he's supposed to be.
      • Annie also references the fact that Shirley's worn an unintentionally ambiguous costume for the second year in a row - she's Glinda the Good Witch, not Miss Piggy. Chang is the only person to realize this - which leads to their hooking up.
  • Cat Scare: Parodied to the point of becoming the page quote.

 (Screeching cat flies past camera.)

Jeff: Jesus! Haha, it was just a cat. Let’s keep moving.

(Screeching cat flies in opposite direction.)

Troy: Holy crap!


Jeff: What is up with that cat?!


Abed: Keep moving!

(And again.)

Jeff: Let’s not keep moving, because there is an insane cat down here!

Troy: What about the zombies?

Jeff: Back burner, Troy! This cat has to be dealt with.


 Dean Felton: Six hours, on the dot!

MIB: We've had a lot of practice.

  • Continuity Nod: Rich from "Beginning Pottery" shows up again (and Jeff still hates him).
    • He also ends up infecting the study group after hiding his zombie bite. He thought he might be special - despite the fact that we know from "Beginning Pottery" that his mother repeatedly told him he wasn't.
    • In a later episode, Troy shows attention to the fact that Shirley ovulates on Halloween. (It Makes Sense in Context) So this episode might actually influence future episodes.
    • In "Introduction to Statistics," Shirley's Halloween costume is repeatedly mistaken for Urkel due to her race - she's actually Harry Potter. One of the people who makes that mistake is Chang. In "Epidemiology," Chang dresses as ice skater Peggy Fleming, and is repeatedly mistaken for Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan due to his race. In his case, it's on purpose - he's the racist prover. Shirley is one of the only people who is able to tell who he's supposed to be.
      • Annie also references the fact that Shirley's worn an 'unintentionally ambiguous costume' for the second year in a row - she's Glinda the Good Witch, not Miss Piggy. Chang is the only person to realize this - a fact which leads to their hooking up.
  • Crack Pairing: Shirley/Chang.
  • Creepy Basement: Jeff, Troy, and Abed make their way here when escaping from the zombies.

 Jeff: Oh great. A dark basement. I was just thinking we should be doing this in a dark basement.

  • Discontinuity Nod: In-universe. Afterwards, Troy and Abed are going to watch a movie, at first considering a horror film, but decide that they are "over zombies" and watch Marmaduke instead.
  • Everything Is Racist: Senor Chang deliberately dressed as Peggy Fleming so he could prove everybody is a racist (for example, Britta guesses Kristi Yamaguchi). Because he's the racist prover. Shirley, though, figures out who he is on the first guess (and likewise, Chang figures out that Shirley is Glinda the Good Witch on the first guess).
  • Famous Last Words: Before they turned to zombies.
    • "Jeez, why don't you two just get a room?" Starburns
    • "Special? You're not special! I'M special! I was bitten ten minutes ago and I'm fine!" Britta
    • "What the hell?!" Annie
    • "You're stretching it! Stretching it!!!!!" Jeff
    • "Shirley and I totally did it!" Chang
    • "Make it fast." Abed
    • "Jeff: still cool as a zombie." Troy
  • Genre Blindness: As fitting for a zombie parody.

 Rich: I thought I was special!.

Britta: I was bitten 10 minutes ago and I'm FINE....

  • Genre Savvy: Troy and Abed immediately label the infected as "zombies"; Chang throws a skate at them, declaring they must destroy the brain.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Rich's prediction about the progress of the zombie apocalypse - they'll be dead in a year.
    • Why does Troy get the message that Shirley slept with Chang? Because Troy's last name is the first alphabetically in the group. Chang would probably have him first in his contacts.
    • In the Politics of Human Sexuality, Chang is shown grabbing tons of (defective) condoms. This could explain the less than fortunate outcome of his hookup with Shirley. Of course, Chang was around when it they were revealed as defective, but then again, it is Chang.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Pierce raises the lower part of Rich's banana costume while he was flirting with Annie.
  • Halloween Episode
  • Homage: There are several shot-for-shot recreations of Zombie Apocalypse media.
    • Annie is wrestled out a window by a zombie horde in a recreation of a shot from Shaun of the Dead, which is itself a recreation of a similar shot from Day of the Dead.
    • Troy and Abed climbing atop the storage shelves in the basement is a reference to the video game Dead Rising, and Jeff's threatening them with a raised soccer ball (using ImprovisedWeapons, including soccer balls, are a gameplay mechanic) might be as well. The Army's six hour delay matches the play time of the main storyline.
    • The Army makes the Dean quarantine the Halloween party just like it quarantined the apartment complex in REC.
    • The explanation of the 'zombies' as infected by rabies pokes fun at both 28 Days Later and the American remake of REC, Quarantine.
    • Jeff's taken in by zombies like Barbara near the end of the original Night of the Living Dead.
    • Troy and Abed repeating the famous "I love you."/"I know." scene from The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Abed is eventually crushed against the wall in a fenced-in storage area by a wall of zombies in a repeat of the shot from I Am Legend.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Abed
  • I Am Not Shazam: Troy says he's dressed as a "sexy Dracula," and doesn't get why Abed insists he means "sexy vampire."

 Troy: I don't need to know which Dracula I am to know I'm a Dracula. Nerd.


 George Takei: And so, Troy and Abed went back to the dormitory for a viewing of Marmaduke. I'm George Takei, and if your name is Kevin, here's a little freebie for your cell phone. Hi, Kevin can't come to the phone. He's on a spaceship with me, George Takei. Please leave a message. You're welcome, Kevins. Happy Halloween.

  • Nice job getting Annie infected: Chang.
  • Now or Never Kiss Anguished Declaration of Love: Troy does this to Abed, although whether to take it seriously is another matter.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: At the end of the episode, Troy receives a hint that more happened than just being roofied for no reason in the form of a voice mail sent during the night by Chang, claiming he and Shirley did it in the bathroom.
    • Troy doesn't understand the relevance only wondering why Chang would tell him about it despite the sounds of the zombies attacking at the end.
    • There are repercussions in Chang and Shirley's tryst, as can been seen in the following Bottle Episode.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Type P.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: While it may be attributed to the high stress of the situation, you have to wonder why the self-righteous Shirley who has a rather negative opinion of Chang would sleep with him.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience
  • Panty Shot: Chang throws his skate, breaks the window, zombies grab Annie, pick her up and carry her out of the room, allowing the viewer a glimpse of Allison Brie's naughty bits under her Red Riding Hood skirt. It's so brief it's almost subliminal but noticeable enough to make you go "wait, was that...?".
    • According to the commentary, that was the shot with the least amount of visible panties.
  • The Power of Imagination: Thoroughly subverted. "That's right. Prepare to meet the power of imagination." "Why did I think this would work!"
  • Reality Ensues: Troy decides to use "The Power of Imagination" and put on his power loader costume to fight the zombies. He immediately gets held down thanks to it and the costume is torn apart.
  • Reset Button: The end when the military comes in and wipes everyone's memories. Partially subverted, since the Chang/Shirley hookup became a major plot point later on.
  • Ship Tease: Abed/Troy (see Homage section); Annie/Rich; Chang/Shirley (the most overt)... Shirley/Leonard?
  • Shirtless Scene: Troy decides to change costumes to be a "sexy Dracula," which mainly consists of him without a shirt and wearing a toilet seat cover around his neck that says "Dracula." For most of the episode.
  • Shout-Out: Many, many. Too many to remember. In particular, several glib references are made about everyone's costumes.
  • Skewed Priorities: Used three times. First, right before zombies swarm the study room, Jeff asks if anyone managed to turn off the Dean's ABBA playlist. The second time is with the Cat Scare, where they abandon their plans of escape to resolve the cat issue. Then, when Jeff is about to be zombified, all he's scared of is Rich stretching his suit jacket.
    • A situation he only ended up in because he wouldn't climb over the dusty fence in his suit.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The Dean's ABBA playlist plays throughout the entire episode. And it is awesome.
  • Special Edition Title: The opening credits have been Halloweenified! Featuring some interesting in-jokes (if you listen to the commentaries on the first season DVDs).
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm is heard when Troy re-enters the zombified party in the Power Loader.
  • Take That: The show deals another Take That to William Shatner by having Pierce dress up as Captain Kirk.

 Jeff: Whoa, if you get any more sweaty and puffy, your costume's going to take on new levels of authenticity.


 Annie: We need to co-ordinate an orderly evacuation without causing unnecessary panic.

[Zombie!Leonard bites someone]


  • They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste: Let's be honest. No one expected this to be more than a one-off joke, especially when everyone ended the episode without their memories. Then Shirley and Chang's hook-up becomes a major plot point, as well as the fact that they don't remember it adding drama to the overall story.
  • Token Minority Couple: Shirley/Chang.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Quite predictably, the Dean plays into this. He finds a DANGER Biohazard cover on a package he got from the army surplus store and thinks it's a "goofy label."
    • Later, when the Army finally arrives, they ask the Dean if he's the only witness while cocking their guns and he quite happily states that he is.
  • Victory-Guided Amnesia
  • The Virus
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Troy's "Sexy Dracula" costume.
  • We've Got Company: Invoked by name.

 Abed: I hate to be the 'We've Got Company' guy, but...


 Troy "You punched a lady bee!"

Troy: "Hey Annie what nice fists you have....IN YOUR FACE!" *punch*"

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