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File:The battle of greendale 7977.jpg

In 2012, a film-crew went to Greendale Community College to record an attempt to make the world's largest blanket fort. Instead, they recorded something very different; a bitter breakdown in relations between two best friends that would spill out into open hostility and which would divide the campus into two teams of violent enemies, resulting in the largest and longest pillow-fight ever seen at a community college -- the conflict between the pillow fortress of Pillowtown, led by Abed Nadir, and the blanket fort of Blanketsburg, led by Troy Barnes. It was a battle that would change the lives of those who fought it while still being just a pillow fight.

The resulting documentary, "Pillows and Blankets", uses the witness testimony, status updates and text messages of those who were there to reconstruct both the conflict, devastation and increasingly hurt feelings on both sides and the difficulties of those split down the middle between the two, from the ministrations of battlefield nurse Annie Edison, to the blurry war photography of Britta Perry, from the divide in loyalties of Pierce Hawthorne and Shirley Bennett to the diplomatic efforts of Jeff Winger, who must decide between helping to patch up the broken friendship between his two friends or seizing an opportunity to avoid having to go to classes.

Tropes appearing in this episode of Community include:

 Narrator: Unfortunately for Britta and millions of photographers like her, just because something is in black and white doesn't mean it's good.

  • Diary: Annie keeps one and Jeff starts writing in one.
  • Distressed Damsel: The Dean takes on this role in the Study Room Kerfuffle, screaming for Jeff to "Find me!" as the battle rages around him. Cut to Jeff... disinterestedly ignoring him and playing with his phone.
  • Doomsday Device: The "unstoppable" pluff juggernaut, mentioned by name.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: The narrator explains the name behind the Changlorious Basterds. Not even he gets the joke.
  • Dual-Wielding: Shirley. With pillows.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Parodied with a picture of Troy and Abed which has been torn in half.
  • Fence Painting: Jeff's social engineering to keep the war going to his benefit.
  • Four-Star Badass: Shirley becomes the commanding general of Troy's army while also being one of the top fighters.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Apparently Leonard fought in the Korean War... on the side of the North Koreans.
    • Pierce's schematics have amusing comments highlighted by The Ken Burns Effect, and the others are funny too.
    • Next to the Human Being poster of legal and illegal places to hit with a pillow, there's a flyer advertising April 19th-23rd as Dean Appreciation Week.
      • There's also a flyer for someone's "Birthday Bash" on [unseen month] 11/12.
    • Pierce's medical report references his broken legs from "Aerodynamics of Gender", as well as his full name, Piercenald Cornelius Hawthorne (though his middle name was Anastasia in "Advanced Gay").
    • Blooper: When Chang is standing next to the bulletin board, there is a "Fall 2010 Schedule of Classes" posted using the E Pluribus Anus logo which wasn't invented until after Fall 2010 classes had already started.
  • Friendship Moment:
    • Jeff going back to get the imaginary friendship hats from the Dean's office, despite the fact that no one is around to see him.
    • Also, an earlier, more subtle one; throughout the episode Jeff is dismissive and uninterested in the conflict, regarding it as infantile the first time he tries to mediate peace between Troy and Abed and using it only as an excuse not to go to class. Once he learns that Troy and Abed's relationship has deteriorated to the point where they're actively starting to hurt each other's feelings, however, he immediately begins taking it more seriously and genuinely working to try and resolve the conflict.
  • General Ripper: Leonard is Abed's top general and advises him to unleash Pierce's Doomsday Device on the Changlourious Basterds.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Apparently, the spellcheck on Jeff's phone changed the spelling of his message so that it read that he heard Chang's crew were really 'ducking' things up.
  • Genre Savvy: Jeff has learnt from previous examples that whenever a documentary crew is following these characters around, chaos tends to result.
  • Giftedly Bad: Britta as combat photographer.
  • Guinness Episode
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Troy, in The Tag.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Invoked. 12:07am The Pillowtownians are playing Go Fish when Blanketsburg attack, howling/screaming. "Did you hear that?" "What the hell is that?"
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Invoked.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Keith David narrates the episode in the style of the works he's narrated for historical documentarian Ken Burns.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Discussed.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Shirley claims there were no rules and then describe "common courtesy" rules.

  Shirley: There were no rules in that first battle. You hit someone and they went down and ... you stop hitting them. Call that "common courtesy." But then when they get up, you maybe keep hitting them till they learn to stay down. You call that "common sense."

 Troy: We're grown-ups now. We have grown-up problems.

Jeff: [Watching Troy and Abed repeatedly hit each other with pillows] That's very clear.

 Troy: I'm giving you an all-tomato. Meaning that you give me the whole tomato, or else.

Abed: Blanketsburg has drawn First Blood; Pillowtown will draw First Blood Part II.

Narrator: [Annie's] text messages with Jeff Winger give us a glimpse beneath the cushions of war to the lost pennies and grody q-tips of war's emotional toll.

  • Mockumentary: The entire episode is done in the style of a Ken Burns war documentary like The Civil War or The War.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Shirley is clearly experiencing some regrets post-battle, and admits to camera at one point that she suspects she ended up beating down members of her own team in the chaos.
    • Jeff is also noticeably uncomfortable when he discusses learning that Abed and Troy's relationship has broken down to the point where they're genuinely hurting each other's feelings; although it's never mentioned, given his role in extending the war so he could avoid schoolwork and his subsequent efforts to mend their friendship it's not hard to imagine this trope was in effect.
  • Name Face Mismatch Poster: The start of the episode has still images of the main cast along with billing. Most of them are mismatched.
  • New Neo City: New Fluffytown
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Jeff's first attempt at a serious summit between Troy and Abed just ends with the two deciding their friendship is done and that once everything's over the loser will have to move out of their apartment before storming off. Jeff is rather nonplussed:

 Jeff: Uhhh... I wanted that to go different.

  • Non-Indicative Name: Several buildings on campus have cardinal directions in their names, but the actual basis of these names make little to no sense--for example, being named for people named North or for their relative locations to other buildings as opposed to campus as a whole. Then there's the English Memorial Spanish Center, named for English Memorial, a Portuguese explorer.

  Narrator: The North Cafeteria, named after Admiral William North, is located in the western portion of East Hall, gateway to the western half of North Hall, which is named, not after William North, but for its position above the South Wall. It is the most contested and confusing battlefield on Greendale's campus, next to the English Memorial's Spanish Center, named after English Memorial, a Portuguese sailor that discovered Greendale ...

  Abed's Facebook status update: The war won't stop with First Blood Part II; it will escalate to Rambo 3. Which should really be called Rambo 2/First Blood Part 3. But the Rambo titles never made sense. And neither does war.

  • Only Sane Man: Jeff seems to be the only one who realizes that for all the drama flying around, the entire situation was a silly pillow fight. He only gets invested into the war in order to ditch class. He eventually gives up this mantle in order to save Troy and Abed's friendship by playing along with their imaginary friendship hats. He even goes so far as to go to Dean's office, picking them up and cleaning them off, despite the fact that nobody was watching.
  • Painting the Fourth Wall: The ending shows us Jeff writing the final monologue he'll deliver about war as he's writing it, before turning around and handing it to the documentary makers -- who reveal that they just got everyone involved in the events of the documentary to voice their own bits, as it would be too expensive to get actors to do it instead. Jeff then reveals he's in the recording booth at the same time as the narrator (who apparently actually is Keith David) to cut costs.
  • Playing Both Sides: Once he gives up on trying to mediate the conflict, Jeff starts giving RousingSpeeches to both sides in order to encourage them to keep on fighting. While the conflict is going on classes are suspended and he does not have to do any school work.
  • The Rainman: The opening narration describes Abed as "unable to pay parking tickets or know left from right without mouthing the Pledge of Allegiance."
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni ...but reversed as far as the actual color-coding goes. Abed, the calmer, more rational of the pair leads the red side, while Troy, the more emotional and excitable heads up the blue forces.
  • Rousing Speech: Jeff gives them to both sides just to keep the war going so he can delay class, much to Annie's disgust.
  • Sarcasm Mode:
    • Lampshaded and subverted; Troy and Abed reveal they're both aware Jeff's suggestion of 'friendship hats' which would make their problems disappear was intended sarcastically. Jeff turns it around by pointing out that just because he's a sarcastic person doesn't mean that they have to take it in the same spirit.
    • Even the narrator eventually can't restrain his contempt for Britta's inept photography, although he intones it in the same dramatic tone of voice he uses for the entire documentary ("Yeah, gee, there's a good one.")
  • Screaming Warrior: Just about everyone in the Final Battle, especially Shirley.
  • Serious Business: Both the participants in the conflict and the documentarians recording it treat the conflict between Blanketsburg and Pillowtown as if it was an undiscovered chapter of the American Civil War. Lampshaded by Annie:

  The injured said they were making necklaces out of mattress tags. This is when things get as ugly as they can get... [Sheepish] while still being a pillow fight.

 Annie: Jeff. Heard from one of Troy's soldiers about a speech you gave to troops at the blanket fort. Wish this war could be over, but proud of you for taking a stance. Text message: Annie Edison

Jeff: Thank you Annie. Proud of you too, and us all. Also wish the nightmare would end, but using what I'm given to give what I can. Jeff Winger.

Annie: Jeff, just heard from one of Abed's soldiers that you gave an identical speech to troops at Pillowtown. W-T-F, sad face, special icon of a downward thumb.

Jeff: Okay, you caught me. I prefer war to homework. How do you do that little thumb icon? I can't find it on my phone. Jeff Winger.

Annie: Jeff, you're disgusting! Troy and Abed's friendship is at stake. You can buy special icons in packages at the app store. Piece of sushi, birthday cake, stop sign, snowman, umbrella.

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