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When the biology final exam is unexpectedly postponed, the study group finds themselves with three hours of free time on their hands. While most of the study group go to lunch, Annie convinces Abed to let her spend some time with him in the dreamatorium instead, as a cover for convincing Troy and Britta to go on a date. What starts as an innocent simulation of Inspector Spacetime, however, degenerates into an argument between Annie and Abed, which in turn eventually results in Abed experiencing a minor breakdown when Annie tampers with the Dreamatorium's 'engine'. In order to snap him out of it, Annie must travel through an imaginary hospital populated by Abed's impressions of his friends to find him, which in turn gives her some insight into herself, her friends, and what makes Abed tick.

Tropes appearing in this episode of Community include:

 Abed-as-'Dr. Jeff': It's a sexy, emotional school, where doctors save lives and make love, often simultaneously.

  • Anticlimax: Abed thinks their whole dreamatorium adventure will end in one so Annie comes up with a more exciting "Inspector Spacetime" Final Battle against the Blorgons.
  • Arc Number: In Abed's file, he is listed as "Psychiatric Patient 1373." The number 1373 also appears on the ship at the end of Contemporary Impressionists. The origin of the number is that Dan Harmon was born on 1/3/73.
  • British Accents: Abed and Annie speak in British accents during their "Inspector Spacetime" simulation with Annie doing a particularly bad Cockney one, starting with a hurricane of Stock British Phrases, for her female constable role.

  Bugger the dustpans, Inspector! We're too late!

 "And another thing I hate about Die Hard: two FBI agents named Johnson?"

  • Control Freak: Both Abed and Annie's tendencies towards 'running simulations' in the lives of their friends -- and then meddling to try and make them come about -- are explored over the course of the episode.

 Annie: You don't have a patent on being a Control Freak, Abed.

Abed: Actually, I kind of do.

  • Explosive Instrumentation: The Blorgon attacks deals this type of damage.
  • Flying Saucer
  • Fourth Wall Psych: Done as an in-universe Screen Tap when Annie, caught up in the simulation, runs into the Dreamatorium's actual fourth wall...which is also the "fourth wall" of the screen.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Of course Troy knows nothing about wine... he's a Jehovah's Witness.
    • Also, when Abed originally began making movies of the group he was objective and got everything totally right. However, the versions of Troy and Britta he shows on their date are over-the-top and Flanderized, and his grasp of Annie's motives are incorrect. This is because he's become too emotionally involved with the study group to truly be an objective observer anymore, showing his character development.
  • Genre Savvy: Annie becomes steadily more so after spending more time in the Dreamatorium and learning its rules.
  • Here We Go Again: Annie "breaks" Abed again in The Tag when she redecorates Troy and Abed's blanket room.
  • Heroic BSOD: Abed, when Annie meddles with the Dreamatorium's 'engine.'
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Abed and Troy, really driven home in this episode. For the sake of context: the last time one of Abed's emotional nosedives pulled the show into genre-bending surrealism, the event was triggered by his mother's abandonment. This time, it's Troy spending time with someone else, which puts a pretty intense spin on exactly how dependent Abed is on Troy for even a relatively stable emotional life. Doubles as both Fridge Logic and Tear Jerker.
  • Insistent Terminology: Abed insists on calling things in his Inspector Spacetime simulation by their correct names when Annie bungles them.
  • I Think You Broke Him: Annie says "I broke Abed!" after the above BSOD.
  • Literal Genie:

 Annie: Take me where I want to go.

  • The Matchmaker: Annie sets up Troy and Britta on a lunch date. Abed thinks she did this to clear her way to Jeff. Annie says she did it because she thinks that they would be cute together and that Jeff is just a bonus.
  • Meta Guy: Abed's role as this is lampshaded in this episode.
  • Mind Screw:
    • According to this, not even the writers understood the plot until they started editing. Lampshaded: Abed-as-Pierce pops up in the Dreamatorium at one point specifically to point out that he has no idea what's going on.
    • In universe, the reason Abed-as-Troy (and presumably the real Troy) doesn't get Inception:

 Abed-as-Troy: [Weeping] So many layers!

  • My God, What Have I Done?: Even the Dean thinks he went too far with his half-man half-woman split down the middle "Duali-Dean of Man" costume:

 Dean: I have to go to the bank today! What am I supposed to tell people in line, "I had good news and bad news?!" Come on, Craig. Get your life together.

    • It actually went well.
  • Not-So-Badass Longcoat: Inspector Spacetime!Abed.
  • Not So Different: One of the realizations Annie and Abed have over the episode is that they both spend too much effort trying to force things to go the way they feel they should go rather than just going with the flow.
  • One Head Taller: Jeff and Annie's "2-foot height disparity".
  • Oscar Bait: "Hospital School" brings us tragic heart-wrenching Alzheimer's patient and Emmy contender Pierce Hawthorne:

 Shirley: Mr. Hawthorne, you're out of your bed again.

Pierce: Because I think I'm on a train.

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