Director: Joe Russo — Writer: Andrew Guest — Aired: October 15, 2009 —Season: One — Number: Five Summary: Jeff defends Britta at a school tribunal as Abed pranks Troy and Piece writes a new school song
If I'm going to cheat, I'm not going to copy information from a book onto a piece of paper. That's practically learning, for God's sake.
Over the P.A. system, Dean Pelton announces that Greendale is having a dedication ceremony for a new statue in honor of Luis Guzman who is an alumnus of the school. Duncan runs into Jeff in the hallway and asks if he's done pursuing Britta so he can go after her himself. Later in Spanish class, Troy messes with Abed and tells him a bunch of false information about himself. Jeff asks Britta for her actual phone number after finding out she had given him a fake one. Señor Chang then silences the class and confronts his students over a crib sheet he discovered that was used to cheat on the last exam. He issues the ultimatum that if no one comes forward to claim responsibility, he will fail everyone in class.
Chang presents the crib sheet to the Spanish class.
Back in the study room, the group tries to figure out who is the culprit, and various finger pointing ensues. Britta stops the arguing by saying that it's Chang that everyone should really be upset with. Annie says she can't deal with the additional threat of a zero on top of having the stress of heading up the school song committee. She explains she has to come up with a new school song before the Luis Guzman statue dedication ceremony. Pierce volunteers his services as a songwriter saying he once wrote a jingle for Hawthorne Wipes. Abed suggests Troy can help as well since he's the one who invented rap music. Troy explains that all the stuff he told him in Spanish class wasn't true, and he was just messing with him which is what friends do.
"I may be stupid, but I'm not trying to look like I'm not."
The next day in the cafeteria, Annie tells Pierce that the Dean signed off on him writing the new school song. Later in Spanish class, Chang gives the perpetrator ten seconds to reveal their identity, or he'll fail the whole class. After Annie screams when time is up, Britta steps forward and claims responsibility. Chang instructs the students to turn on her, and they pelt Britta with paper balls until she runs out of the classroom. Jeff finds her later inside the student lounge and expresses his shock at her being the culprit. They are interrupted by Dean Pelton who tells Britta she is being brought before a disciplinary tribunal tomorrow in Borchert Hall. Jeff offers to act as her counsel, but Britta questions his real motivations.
Britta is pelted with paper balls by her Spanish 101 classmates.
The following day, Abed finds Troy in the study room and tries to mess with him. Troy explains he isn't that gullible but notices Abed writing something down on a note pad in a weird language before running off and making a strange noise. At Borchert Hall, the tribunal consisting of Chang, the Dean, and Professor Duncan has convened with Jeff, who is representing Britta. Chang is asked to provide testimony and goes on at length and in too much detail about everything that happened. Meanwhile, Pierce is at a piano, struggling to write the school song in the music room. Annie shows up concerned about his progress, but Pierce chases her off, insisting that her presence is stifling his creativity.
The tribunal convenes at the swimming pool.
Back at the tribunal, Chang finishes up his long-winded testimony. Jeff calls Britta to the witness stand and asks her point blank if she was responsible for the crib sheet. When she says no, Jeff makes the claim that she only confessed to the crime because Chang had threatened everyone with a failing grade. He asks that the case be thrown out, and Pelton is about to agree before Britta changes her testimony and admits that she actually was the one who cheated. Jeff's call for a brief recess is granted only after the judges' table gets splashed by one of the divers at the pool. Elsewhere, Troy is confused by Abed's actions when he notices him talking to himself about their interactions.
Troy is unsure of what to make of Abed's behavior.
During the recess, Duncan and Chang continue to bicker while Jeff is trying to come up with a new defense now that Britta has confessed. She gets upset and claims he's only helping her because he wants to sleep with her. Jeff says that he genuinely likes her, and he wouldn't be going through all this trouble just for sex which he could easily get from other women. Britta is apologetic and starts to go on about how much of a screw up she is when Jeff becomes inspired. When they return to the tribunal, he presents his new defense: Britta is insane. Her self-loathing caused her to sabotage herself, and someone like that deserves to be at Greendale. The school is a haven for crazy, pointing out Pelton, Chang, and Duncan's eccentric behaviors.
Gentlemen, my client is insane.
The speech moves the judges, and Duncan declares Britta exonerated as long as she agrees to see him for counseling. Troy comes across Abed in a storage closet, seemingly contacting his home planet. He rushes in and tells Abed to stop it as he saw through the elaborate prank a long time ago. Troy tells him he went too far with the gag, and that from now on, they won't mess with each other. Meanwhile, Pierce still hasn't come up with a new school song. Annie checks in on him, and he admits that he exaggerated his musical abilities. Annie tells Pierce she believes in him and manages to inspire him with a rant about her humiliating time as a cheerleader.
Later, the study group and the rest of the student body attends the dedication ceremony for the Luis Guzman statue. Jeff joins Britta who is still annoyed about the crazy defense he used. Pierce is introduced by the Dean after the statue is unveiled, and he dedicates the new school song to Annie. As he performs it, most of the audience immediately recognizes it as a reworking of the song, "That's Just the Way It Is" from Bruce Hornsby. Abed wonders if they could get sued, and once Jeff hears how similar the refrain is to the original song, he says it's a definite possibility. Pierce seems blissfully unaware, however, and continues to sing the rest of the song happily.
Pierce performs the new school song "Greendale's the Way It Goes."'
Abed is stuffing pencils into a seemingly sleeping Troy's mouth. It's revealed however that Troy is awake and they are seeing who can hold the most pencils in their mouth. When Troy wins with 36 pencils, Abed wants to go best two out of three.
Troy and Abed make a promise never to lie to each other ever again which they keep until the Season Three episode "Contemporary Impressionists" when Troy lies about not being upset with Abed. Abed immediately calls him on breaking the promise referencing this episodes exact air-date as when the deal was made.
Inside Borchert Hall, Jeff delivers his closing arguments to a disciplinary tribunal formed to deal with Britta who had cheated on her Spanish test:
“Gentlemen, I'm sure you suspected that Ms. Perry was pretty odd before the recess but if you could have heard all the stuff she was telling me in the showers you would realize she is all the way out of her entire damn mind. She doesn't want to succeed because she doesn't think she can so she goes out of her way to fail. That's crazy! But, do we really want to make it a crime to be crazy at Greendale? I mean look at us. You two are arguing about status at a college that correspondent schools make fun of. Dean, you want so bad for this place to be Ivy League that you are putting us at risk of electrocution because everyone on this campus is nuts.”— Jeff
Shout out: Luis Guzman, President Obama, Danny Glover, Prince Charles.
TV Guide: Cheers, M*A*S*H, Fawlty Towers, Maryanne, Jackee, Alan Dershowitz.
In the Community The Complete First Season DVD commentaries for this episode, Donald Glover discusses the evolution of his character Troy and how different he is now compared to earlier episodes like this one. He suggests that Troy as he is now would totally fall for Abed's prank.
Frequent background extra Long haired guy makes another of over 65 episode appearances. He's in numerous Spanish 101 class scenes most prominently sitting beside Jeff when Britta confesses to cheating.
“Silencio. Por favor. Star-Burns. That means you.”— Chang
“My name's Alex, dude.”— Star-Burns
“Well maybe you should spend 5 hours sculpting that in your face.”— Chang
“It's a tiny piece of paper. Okay? That's all it is. Tiny piece of paper...containing all the information covered on the test otherwise known as a crib sheet. Who did it? Maryanne...Grandpa...Jackee...Kumar? There's one Asian stereotype that does apply to me: whoever did this insulted my honor, and they've got 24 hours to come forward, or Mr. Miyagi here will wax off everyone's score, and THE WHOLE CLASS GETS A CERO! Except you, Toby.”— Chang
“If I'm going to cheat, I'm not going to copy information from a book onto a piece of paper. That's practically learning, for God's sake.”— Jeff
“It sounds like there are two biases, one on each side, and I go both ways.”— Dean Pelton
“Britta, look at me. Look at me!”— Jeff
“I am.”— Britta
“No, look how handsome my face is.”— Jeff
“Gentlemen, I'm sure you've suspected that Miss Perry was pretty odd before the recess, but if you could have heard all the stuff she told me in the shower, you would realize she is all the way out of her entire damn mind. She doesn't want to succeed because she doesn't think she can. So she goes out of her way to fail. That's crazy. But do we really want to make it a crime to be crazy at Greendale? I mean, look at us. You two are arguing about status at college that correspondent schools make fun of. Dean, you want so bad for this place to be Ivy League that you are putting us at risk of electrocution because everyone at on this campus is nuts.”— Jeff, delivering his patented Winger speech