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Dean Pelton announces that as part of a national tour of community colleges, Vice President Joe Biden will be visiting Greendale Community College, and will be greeted by the dean and the president of the student council. One problem; Greendale has no student council.

Not to be undone, the dean announces that over the next seven hours Greendale will be holding elections for student president. Naturally, Annie announces her candidacy in a flurry of idealistic over-eagerness; annoyed, Jeff too decides to run, and his style-over-substance campaign ensures that heads will be butted before long.

Meanwhile, Troy and Abed cover the proceedings for the school television channel -- and Abed finds himself drawn to Special Agent Vohlers of the Secret Service.


The Community episode "Intro to Political Science" provides examples of:

  • All Elections Are Serious Business: Both Annie and Jeff suffer this.
    • Annie believes she is entitled to win and is willing to destroy a friendship if it means she doesn't lose.
    • Jeff is unwilling to help Annie because he would rather be proven right about his cynical political views than pitch in to help a friend.
    • Though somewhat subverted as even though Annie and Jeff take the election deathly serious, the rest of the school doesn't give a shit about it. The election ends up getting 11 votes total and South Park (yes, the cartoon) ends up winning with 7 of those votes, causing Dean Pelton to remember that this was why they abolished student government in the first place and to do so again.
  • Batman Gambit: Jeff is running for president to show that the political game is a joke.
  • Birds of a Feather: Abed and Special Agent Vohlers.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Special Agent Vohlers:

  Vohlers: You smell like nice soap. I have to go. I'm sorry you weren't a more obvious potential threat to the country.

 Abed: The Vice President is coming? That explains the people I've noticed covertly surveilling the campus this week. Must be Secret Service.

Jeff: [Patronising] Oh, Abed. Will your reality ever come out on Blu-Ray so we can enjoy it?

Undercover Secret Service Agent: [Unnoticed outside the room, sotto voice] We've been made.

  • Casting Gag: Agent Robin Vohlers shares the same last name as Unit Production Manager John Vohlers.
  • Continuity Nod: This episode, like 2.07 before it, contains a couple Freeze-Frame Bonus hints at future plots, such as the western theme of the next paintball episodes.
    • Annie punctuates her speeches with the same stilted hand gestures she used during the debate championships.
    • Jeff chooses not to hide in the men's room as he knows that doesn't work. Instead, he lies in a closet behind a "weather forecast" greenboard from one Troy and Abed in the Morning segment.
    • The Air Vent Monster in the news crawl for Troy and Abed in the Morning is Troy's monkey Annie's Boobs.
    • A bit of a stretch, but Annie wants to make Greendale the best community college in the western 3/4 of the county. In "Basic Rocket Science", when we see the graphic of City College's expanding parking lot, Greendale is indeed to the west of City College, acknowledging their rival.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the news ticker during Abed and Troy's political commentary, Professor Slater is noted as "still missing."
  • Crawl: Troy and Abed's election coverage has a cable news style ticker on the bottom of the screen with items like "Human being mascot: Offensive to animals?" and "No paintball this spring claims Dean."
  • Creepy Crossdresser: The Dean is a little too insistent that he has no choice but to wear his 'sister's' (rather unflattering) Uncle Sam costume.

 Dean Pelton: It's tailored for ladies, but what else could I do on such short notice?

Jeff: Well, you could not dress up as Uncle Sam. Or admit you don't have a sister.

  • Dark Horse Victory: Out of 8 potential candidates, a write-in vote, South Park, ended up winning in the end.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Pierce joins the student council election solely to bully and torment Vicki, a fellow candidate -- who refused to lend him a pencil. This backfires on him when she eventually does 'lend' him one -- through his cheek.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Pierce's musings on conflict:

 Pierce: When we seek to destroy others, we often hurt ourself. Because it is the self that wants to be destroyed.

Jeff: Pierce, you're not usually so poignant.

Pierce: Yeah, well, Vicki finally lent me her pencil. [Turns to reveal a pencil stabbed through his cheek].

  • Eighties Hair: More like 1993 hair, but there it is.
  • Funny Background Event: But only after you rewind; the agent that says "we've been made" after Abed makes his comment about the campus being watched was there at least since the dean walked in, wiping the same pane of glass over and over and over.
    • During one of Jeff and Annie's conversations behind the podiums, whenever the camera faces Jeff we can see Magnitude dancing ridiculously for no reason, because that's just how he rolls.
  • Get a Room: Troy says this to the Birds of a Feather.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Dr. Denise Mahoney is Abed's Stalker with a Crush.
  • Invisible President: Almost: the back of Vice President Biden's head [1] is seen and voice is heard ("I had a dream that I was a regular president.") but that's it.
  • I Regret Nothing: Used as Jeff's quote in his political profile.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: Pierce's attempt to psych out Vicki is unwittingly caught by the microphone, which is switched on. Pierce is not at all bothered by this.
  • Kill It with Fire

 Annie: I have so many ideas for improving the school.

Jeff: Improving Greendale take more than ideas, Annie. It takes time, gasoline, matches ...

 "Can I have an apple juice, please? Freshly squeezed this time or so help me God, Maurice!"

 Abed: For GCTV this is Abed Nadir saying: Did you know you can make napalm out of common dish soap and cat food?

  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Greendale's mascot may be offensive to animals.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Parodied with Vicki, the only student entering the election who we've never seen or heard from before this episode. We learn absolutely nothing about her except for the fact that she's wearing a yellow shirt and once refused to lend Pierce a pencil.
  • Saying Too Much: Starburns retires from his political career because he believes it would "shine a negative light on" his drug dealing.
  • Scandalgate: The title of Troy and Abed's show is Decision Gate: The Journey To Election Road.
  • Screw You: Used as Pierce's quote in his political profile.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Abed acquires one. She's a Secret Service agent. Not that he minds.
  • Stock Scream: The Wilhelm scream shows up in the cheezy movie Abed takes the Secret Service agent to on their date.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Along with five other people, both Troy and Abed vote for South Park as School Council President.
  • Take That:

 Secret Service Agent: [After searching Abed's bag] He's clean. Although I could issue a warning for this bootleg of The Last Airbender.

Abed: Where were you a week ago?

  • Technicolor Eyes: Magnitude (POP POP!) purportedly has ultraviolet eyes.
  • Thing-O-Meter: When selecting candidates for the presidential elections, the Dean elects to act as a human 'applause-o-meter' to let how much applause each candidate receives decide whether they make it through to the debate process. Since every candidate receives a smattering of polite applause, he ends up letting them all in -- and then begins to wonder why so many people seem to be getting nominated. Then, Britta takes the stage with her anarchist views on the situation:

 Britta: I believe humankind need not be governed!

[No applause whatsoever]

Britta: [petulantly] I don't care.

Dean: Well, it's good to know there's a floor on this thing...

Notes

  1. Well, the back of an impersonator's head, but you know what we mean.
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