|In Group Study Room F, Annie chairs a Save Greendale Committee session and introduces the group to its latest member, Ben Chang. She then hands over thick packets to each of them containing various school problems the committee needs to address. Abed likens the group's purpose to the "House of Vagadosh," a band of characters found in "Bloodlines of Conquest," his latest TV show obsession which is based on a series of novels. Buzz is unfamiliar with it, and when Abed starts to explain, he spoils a plot point for Britta who had just started watching. When he continues revealing spoilers, an angry Britta threatens to read ahead in the novels and ruin the show for him. Annie gets the meeting back under control and assigns the pair to take a student census of the school. She gives Hickey the supposedly easy task of re-hanging a bulletin board in the Cafeteria while she, Shirley, Duncan, Jeff, and Chang are on decorating detail for the midterm dance.
|Later, Britta fails to spoil a "Bloodlines" plot twist she learned to Abed, who has taken to wearing headphones in anticipation of her actions. Elsewhere, Buzz finds Jerry and is told in order to hang up a bulletin board he needs a work order from the head janitor. Meanwhile, Britta notices sparks fly between Abed and an attractive deaf female student named Carol. Back in the study room, Buzz reports back to Annie that he was unable to complete his assignment because of the red tape involved. Annie decides to handle the matter herself, turning over the midterm dance decorating task to Duncan, Jeff, Shirley, and Chang. Accompanied by Hickey, Annie goes to the school's basement to ask the janitorial staff for their assistance. She charms Crazy Schmidt into putting in a work order for the bulletin board, but the timetable on it is three to six business months. In order to speed up the process Annie is told she will have to go to a custodian.
|Buzz believes she doesn't have it in her to see this all the way through but Annie is confident she can accomplish the goal. They go to see the head custodian Bob Waite, who is holding a private party for his staff. After Hickey gets them past deputy custodian Lapari, they meet with Bob, who is already aware of their request. He offers to help them if they unblock the custodial department's internet connection to certain online sites. Afterwards, Buzz asks Annie if a bulletin board is worth all of this hassle. Annie earnestly replies it's not just a board but a representation of infinite possibilities which can change the future. Spurred by her idealism, Buzz mentions a contact he has in the school's I.T. department. Meanwhile, Abed flirts with Carol in the hallway using sign language he just learned as the rest of the committee in the cafeteria struggles to come up with a theme for the dance. Chang has an idea called "Bear down for midterms" which is rejected by the others. When he starts to cry, they take pity on him and decide to go forward with his suggestion.
|Over at the I.T. Department, Buzz is surprised when Annie immediately offers the department head Debra Chambers a bribe to lift the custodial staff's web restrictions. Back in the cafeteria, the committee works on the bear decorations and Chang suggests they add a birthday theme into the mix as well. Over at Greendale's parking office, Buzz and Annie meet with its department head named Waldron to fulfill Chambers's request of a better parking spot. He offers to help them if they get him put in charge of managing the content put on all school bulletin boards. He intends to eliminate rideshare and carpool notices in order to make parking scarce and increase the power of his department. Although Buzz is disgusted by Waldron's ambition, Annie tells him they have a deal. Meanwhile, Neil points out Chang's inspiration for the dance theme is a recent news story about a bear mauling people at a child's birthday party.
|In Dean Pelton's office, Annie presents to the Dean a form for a bulletin board oversight department with Waldron in charge. The Dean proposes a toast before signing but Buzz refuses to join in. He tells Annie he hoped that by seeing the corruption at school she would reject it instead of embracing it. Annie scoffs at his moral superiority, noting how his unwillingness to play the game cost him his career as a police officer. Buzz counters that while she achieved her goal, she ended up compromising her principles. He adds that he expected better from her and leaves. Pelton admits to not completely understanding the exchange but rips up the proposal feeling it's the right thing to do. Afterwards in the cafeteria, Annie checks in on the committee's progress but is confused by theme. To cover their mistake, they had reworked the bear concept into something called "Fat dog." After assuring Annie it's a legit concept, the dance goes on as scheduled later that night. Abed invited Carol to go with him, but the date goes bad when she signs to him how the "Bloodlines of Conquest" novels end.
|Britta reveals she orchestrated this by paying Carol to spoil the story for him. She regrets her actions when she sees how saddened Abed is over the deception. As Abed leaves the cafeteria he spots Rachel, the coat check girl he met last year. He apologizes for never calling her back and invites her to dinner which she happily accepts. Meanwhile, Buzz is in his office, and after some contemplation, takes a bulletin board off the wall and goes to the cafeteria to install it there himself. Dean Pelton arrives with two custodial workers and orders them to remove the board. When Annie physically tries to prevent them, the rest of the Save Greendale Committee unites behind her. Dean Pelton reluctantly backs off and Annie silently thanks Buzz. The festivities resume with Chang demonstrating the "Fat Dog" dance with Garrett following along. Garrett accidentally hits a decoration, revealing it to be a bear, and loudly yells his discovery to everyone.
|Professor Duncan is in his office dealing with paperwork when he runs out of staples. He calls up the Greendale Faculty Office supply line to order some more and listens to an automated voice list off supplies. Duncan is about to select staples when he hears an option called "Marigold." Intrigued, he chooses that instead and is given a second set of color-related choices to pick. After choosing "Arcadia", an automated voice asks him to enter the activation code and he pushes a few random numbers. The sequence he input is accepted and a live voice asks for his clearance level to which he replies "top". The voice asks if he really wants to activate "it." Duncan changes his mind and asks that they cancel "it" as the person on the other end questions who Duncan is. Duncan then hears what sounds like a fighter jet pass by overhead. With the crisis averted, he notices a small box of staples amidst the clutter on his desk and laughs.
- Familiar faces: Jerry and Crazy Schmidt return. Nathan Fillion of Castle and Firefly and Paget Brewster of Criminal Minds guest star in this episode.
- Returning faculty: Professors Duncan and Hickey work on the Committee.
- Returning students: Fat Neil, Rachel, and Garrett attend the dance.
- This must be the place: Group Study Room F, the lounge, Shirley's Sandwiches, the Campus courtyard, and the cafeteria are all seen in this episode.
- Googly eyes: Abed hits it off with a deaf student named Carol and then later reconnects with Rachel.
- History lesson: Buzz Hickey lost his job as a police officer because of his distaste for the political side of things.
- Identity crisis: Annie sees how far she's compromised the goals of the Save Greendale Committee just to get a bulletin board replaced.
- Abed and Rachel first met at a dance in the Season Four episode "Herstory of Dance."
- A news ticker on Hickey's TV updates us on Troy's progress: "BREAKING NEWS: LeVar Burton and non-celebrity companion captured by pirates in the Gulf of Mexico."
- Annie states Chang's last idea was murder. In Intro to Knots, Chang asks the group if he should kill Professor Cornwallis.
- The bulletin board Annie and Professor Hickey are trying to replace fell down during the "A Minus" riot in the Season Five episode, "Introduction to Teaching."
- Replay: Dean Pelton repeatedly says “Easy peasy lemon squeezy,” a rhyme used by Lukka in "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy."
- School song: Chang invents a "Fat Dog" song and line dance.
- School supplies: Annie teams up with Professor Hickey to get a bulletin board replaced.
- That just happened: In the previous episode, Chang admitted that his same-sex celebrity crush was Nathan Fillion, who guest stars in this episode.
- NOOOOOO!: Annie insists that I.T. give the custodians Internet access to "EVERYTHING!", in a similar way that Chang did in Cooperative Polygraphy
- Pansexual imp: Dean Pelton thought that David Bowie looked "macho" in Labyrinth.
- Raging against the machine: Britta worries about how much paper Annie uses for the Committee meeting.
- Rhyme time: Dean Pelton uses “Easy peasy lemon squeezy” as a toast.
- Take that, inspector!:
- Annie accidentally pushes her hand through a wall in the study room, and a bird flies out of it.
- Also, according to the notes she gives out to the members of the Save Greendale Committee, there are potatoes growing in the gym.
- IMDb: Both Professor Hickey and Dean Pelton mention "Labyrinth."
- Name that tune: Raphael Lake's "Slide Right In" plays during the dance, and Roxy Music's "More Than This" plays during the montage at the end of the episode.
- Shout out: Pelton says, “Man, this got Sorkin-y” in reference to Aaron Sorkin.
- Use your allusion:
- Several Committee members voice their love for the medieval fantasy show "Bloodlines of Conquest," an obvious reference to the HBO series, "Game of Thrones." Abed and Britta clash vigorously over avoiding spoilers much like real life fans of "Game of Thrones."
- Abed and Carol discuss what Ewoks sound like, as she has watched "Return of the Jedi" but cannot hear the film.
- The Annie/Hickey storyline mimics the compromise and nepotism of an Aaron Sorkin political drama. Sorkin is specifically mentioned on the show by Dean Pelton and on Twitter by creator Dan Harmon.
- Annie's delivery of the line "EVERYTHING!" was a reference to Norman Stansfield from the film "Léon: The Professional."
- Troy's predicament can be seen as an homage to the infamous last episode of the character Colonel Blake from "M*A*S*H.," in which he was reported to be shot down and killed in the Sea of Japan.
- Résumé: At the end of the episode, Abed and Rachel are watching Dan Harmon's Adult Swim show, Rick and Morty.
|On December 13, Screenslam posted an exclusive behind the scenes video featuring the filming of Community's sixth episode in Season Five.
|Production for this episode used the title "Children of a Lesser Hat" on its clapperboard. This follows the the theme of hat-based puns throughout Season Five's production titles.
- This was the first episode in which Troy doesn't appear, having left the show in the previous episode. This makes Jeff, Annie and Britta the only characters to appear in every episode. Up to this point in the series, Shirley and Abed are also included on this list, but that changes after Season Six. Those streaks were ended after actress Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) left the show, making only two brief cameos, and actor Danny Pudi (Abed) did not appear in one episode, providing only voice over work.
- A real life Wikipedia page about "Fat Dog" was created the next day after this episode aired in reference to Shirley and Duncan having created a Wikipedia page about the term on the show. The Wikipedia page was eventually removed with a redirect left behind to another article. The original page can be seen here.
- “Too soon for this! After this morning in Wisconsin! Bear breaks loose at a kid's birthday party, mauls a whole bunch of people? Why am I explaining this when this is obviously a ghoulish reference to it? The news has been covering it all morning!”— Neil
- “That where I got the idea. You know how sometimes you hear something and forget you heard it, but you think you came up with Oh, man. This is bad.”— Chang
|Season Five Episodes|
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five • Season Six|
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