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Jeff enlists Shirley to help him beat three obnoxious German students at foosball. While the experience initially helps bring them closer together, it ends up stirring up a history between them neither anticipated. Annie accidentally breaks Abed's autographed DVD of The Dark Knight with exclusive special features, and her efforts to conceal what she's done quickly result in chaos.
The Community episode "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" contains examples of:
- Art Shift: To anime during Jeff and Shirley's foosball match.
- The Atoner: Shirley both gave up foosball and began a complete shift in her personality out of guilt when she realized what a cruel bully she was turning into.
- Broken Treasure: Both Discussed Trope and played with in the Annie/Abed plot.
- Buffy-Speak: After Abed decides that the landlord must have "robbed" the apartment:
Troy: Let's not leap to thing-doing, right Annie?
- Call Back:
- The foosball table is noted by Dean Pelton as one of the main selling points of Greendale in "Basic Rocket Science".
- Britta's one-eyed cat.
- Troy is humming the Muzak from Abed's halloween story in "Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps".
- Abed is, once again, Batman. With Christian Bale's approval.
- Jeff refers to gossiping about Vaughn's tiny nipples as one of the times Shirley and he bonded.
- Jeff's "art films and well-engineered cars" insult calls to mind his 'complisult' to the nurse in "Intermediate Documentary Making".
- The officer references his last appearance teaching Annie a lesson about fake gun usage.
- The Mexican restaurant Jeff and Shirley eat in is identical to the one that Jeff and Dean Pelton ate in "Studies in Modern Movement".
- There's an Inspector Spacetime poster on the wall in Troy and Abed's apartment.
- In the episode tag, the song that plays at the end of Leonard's youtube video is the same song that Dean Pelton can't shut off in the pilot episode just before giving his less-than empowering speech.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Abed to Troy, briefly.
Britta: I'm volunteering at the animal hospital.
Troy: (excited) Animal hospital?
Abed: The animals are the patients.
Troy: (sad) Oh, that makes sense.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Most of what happens at the foosball table. The German foosball jock pretends to be unfamiliar with the redirect term "Schadenfreude."
- Cooking Duel: Foosball style.
- Death Glare: Annie shoots Troy one of these to make him go along after telling Abed the apartment was robbed.
- Disappeared Dad: Young!Shirley incorporates this into her trash talk. It seems like a lucky guess.
- Eagle Land: Shirley invokes Flavor 2 when she tries to convince Jeff to ignore the German foosballers.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Jeff's childhood nickname "Tinkle Town," which Young!Jeff is credited as.
- Exploding Closet: The landlord's closet full of women's shoes.
- Faking and Entering: Annie's over-the-top solution to the Broken Treasure dilemma. It takes Batman!Abed about three seconds to work out it was an inside job, which he blames on the landlord.
- Fast Roping/Stairs Are Faster: Batman!Abed attaching his grappling hook to the fire escape.
- Fetish: Abed, Annie and Troy's landlord seems to have one for women's shoes and has been stealing them from his tenants and keeping them in his closet.
- Flash Back: To when Shirley and Jeff were kids, 12 and 10 years old, respectively.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Big Cheddar and Tinkletown.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Wall of Text at the end of Leonard's frozen pizza YouTube review in The Tag:
First off, would somebody please explain to me why in the age of digital streaming, I have to pay late fees for the movies I rent. I'm a responsible person. I pay my taxes. Seriously, I'm not trying to be a dick about this. I really want to know. It seems to me the only competitive advantage over the internet is face-to-face customer service. So why are you working so hard to make me not want to talk to you. Just because I kept Dan in Real Life a couple extra days. There were a lot of special features, and I didn't ask my daughter for a blu-ray player not to see them all. Oh and by the way? What happened to the days when these rental jockeys would actually WATCH the movies they have, so they could give you recommendations instead of standing there like "Duh doy, I guess there's some nudity in Dan in Real Life." Well guess what Chelsea, THERE ISN'T. That Juliette Binoche though, Va-va-Va-va-VOOM. That's one frozen pizza that gets MY oven going at 350 degrees. Anyway hit me up on the comment side, unless you're a hater. Or catch me at @leonard_GCC and remember: see something, say something. Watch the thing!
- Funny Foreigners: The German foosballers.
- Genre Savvy: Troy has lived with Abed long enough to be savvy about Abed being too Genre Savvy to fall for any of the standard Broken Treasure schemes.
- Heel Realization: After she humiliated Jeff when they were children, Shirley realized that she turned into a bully when playing foosball.
- Kids Are Cruel: Shirley verbally and physically abused Jeff at foosball when they were children.
- Medium Blending: Jeff and Shirley's angry foosball game suddenly turns into an animated "Dragonball Z"-style segment.
- Metaphorgotten: Something of a trademark of Batman!Abed.
Batman!Abed: Men like Rick operate above the law. But there's something else above the law... bats. And me.
- Noodle Incident:
- Jeff reminds Shirley of the disturbing something she once did to Pierce's hoagie.
- Annie and Abed also reference an unseen disagreement they appear to have had following Annie's disposal of some buttered noodles Abed apparently wasn't quite finished with. So, an actual noodle incident.
- Only Sane Man: Troy takes this role for once, complete with increasingly panicked and exasperated Lampshade Hanging that this is supposed to be Annie's job. Being Troy, he sprinkles this with appreciation of his grappling hook gift being used and encouragement of Abed interrogating the landlord.
- Overly Pre-Prepared Gag: The German's scaled up foosball. Lampshaded by Jeff.
- Paper-Thin Disguise:
Troy: Abed! Where have you been?
Annie: Troy, really?
- Plot Induced Stupidity: Why would you leave your newly purchased $299 DVD case on the floor?
- Police Are Useless: To the point that larceny is shrugged off as "you're a renter." Of course, this is only natural for a plot about the Dark Knight.
- Pun: Deutschbags; Power-Krauts; Das Butt.
- Purple Prose: Annie once again shows her penchant for detail, by creating an unnecessary back story for her nonexistent stolen jewelry.
- Sarcasm Failure: In her panic over the broken DVD, Annie fails to realize that Troy's suggestion of recording a fake exclusive commentary track by Christian Bale over a replacement disk is neither a serious suggestion nor, in fact, an option in this case.
- Ship Tease:
- Annie/Abed. Although technically, once again it's more Annie/A Character Abed's Playing (in this case Batman).
- And for once, Jeff and Shirley.
- Shoddy Knockoff Product: Britta's phone is a genuine Totorola. It comes in packs of six!
- Dragon Ball - the animated sequence, triggered by Jeff and Shirley screaming.
- Once again, we see Abed rocking his Dark Knight Batman costume.
- Before being confronted by Batman!Abed, the landlord appears to be watching a Quantum Leap-themed porn parody ("Sam, Ziggy says there's an 80% chance you can't leave Woodstock until you bone these hippies!").
- Leonard's video in The Tag has a vanity card similar to the ones that Chuck Lorre's shows (including Community's timeslot rival The Big Bang Theory) use.
- "See something, say something" is the awareness and crime-prevention slogan of New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
- Dan Harmon mentioned in an article that The Wire would a pretty big influence on the third season. A major plot point of the show was that the dealers started using prepaid cellphones or "burners". Funny that Britta's phone goes up in smoke.
- Dr. Zizmor is a heavily-advertised dermatologist, not a veterinary ophthalmologist.
- Cats wearing "pretentious" monocles are a minor Internet meme, such as Twisp and Catsby.
- Slouch of Villainy: The landlord, Rick.
- Split-Screen Reaction: Happens during the foosball match with Jeff, Shirley, and (for no explainable reason) a cat.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Annie hides the shard of broken DVD before planting it in the landlord's closet.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: A rather angry game of Foosball between two people is represented as an anime-style shouting match.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?:
- Officer Cackowski and Abed appear to have different views on exactly how heinous The Case Of The Missing Dark Knight DVD is.
Officer Cackowski: Sorry we couldn't get a car over here until now; our captain was killed on duty last night.
Annie: My God, I'm so sorry!
Officer Cackowski: Yeah, good man. Leaves behind two kids and a pregnant wife. So, you're missing a Batman DVD?
Abed: [Very seriously] My Dark Knight extended-extended cut. It wasn't insured.
- Thanks to her experiences with it in the past, Shirley is convinced that foosball is an inherently evil game which brings out the worst in people.
- Women Are Wiser: Hilariously averted. Troy was hoping that Annie would be this and rein his and Abed's antics in. It turns out that she made things worse.
- ↑ Which is good, because it seems to be prone to bursting into flames.