Mike, I'm not gonna fight you. I have a friend that believes this is the time of year where you put aside your differences and make peace. Me? I don't believe in any of that but I do believe in friendship. And as much as I hate you and the cast of "Breakin", I have to ask myself 'What would Shirley do?'.
It's almost winter break as the students at Greendale prepare for their final exams of the semester. In the cafeteria, Shirley hands out presents to the rest of study group. She made them all bracelets with the letters WWBJD which she explains is short for "What would baby Jesus do?". Over at the Hot & Brown cafe, Abed grabs free cookies for the group when he is accosted by a student named Mike for taking the last of the winter doodles. When Mike shoves Abed, Jeff steps in to defend him but his snarky attitude does little to defuse the situation. The arrival of the Dean dressed as "Mister Winter" puts an end to the confrontation temporarily, but the student warns Jeff that this isn't over. Later in the study room, Abed excitedly tells everyone how Jeff stood up for him.
Pierce wonders why Jeff didn't fight the guy while Shirley says she's proud of Jeff for turning the other cheek. Pierce and Britta argue about the motivations behind a man's need to fight which annoys Jeff. He attempts to get everyone back to studying for the finals as he is going to fail unless he passes the last exam. Shirley then asks when everyone is coming to her Christmas party only to discover that each of them have different faiths. Annie is Jewish, Abed is Muslim, Troy is a Jehovah's Witness, Britta's an atheist, Jeff is agnostic, and Pierce is a born again Buddhist. Despite her initial concerns, she decides to open the party to all faiths. Later at the Spanish finals, Mike bursts into the classroom and harasses Jeff who's had enough and challenges Mike to fight.
Afterwards in the cafeteria, Jeff discusses the pending confrontation with the guys and reveals he has never been in a fight. Jeff isn't worried until Mike shows up and demonstrates how crazy he is. He then accepts his friends offer to help train him for the upcoming fight. Meanwhile, Shirley is putting the finishing touches on the decorations in the study room for her holiday party. Annie shows up and tells her the others are coming after Jeff's fight. Shirley tracks them down and interrupts Jeff's training session. She pleads with Jeff not to fight as it's almost a sacred holiday and states he can't attend her Christmas party if he fights Mike.
Shirley interrupts boxing training.
At Shirley's party, she tries to welcome everyone but has difficulty concealing her discomfort with the others' beliefs. As tempers begin to flare Shirley proclaims that she wants her new family, the study group, to be together because her old family is falling apart due to her husband's unfaithfulness. Britta points out that Shirley needs to accept everyone, faults and all, if she wants to grow close. With that, everyone leaves to watch Jeff's fight. In the quad, Jeff approaches Mike but realizes that Shirley's friendship is more important than his own pride and refuses to fight. Shirley watches as Jeff stands down only to be sucker punched by Mike.
Jesus is a friend of mine!
She quickly joins the fray with the rest of the study group. Later, the party is continued and Shirley sings modified and non-denominational lyrics to Silent Night as we see everyone bloodied and bandaged from the fight. Señor Chang walks in announcing everyone passed the exam and Jeff toasts everyone to the upcoming semester.
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
Attention students!: Dean Pelton makes an announcement about winter break, the Winter Wonderland display in the quad which has catalogs for next semester's classes, and the appearance of "Mr. Winter" later in the student lounge.
Double entendre: Shirley says she is tired of the Dean shoving his P.C.ness (political correctness) down her throat. Troy and Pierce eventually notice that P.C. sounds like penis but miss the more obvious fellatio parallel.
Fivehead: Mike Chilada calls Jeff "Forehead" multiple times.
Gasp: Annie gasps when Jeff says he needs a 65 to pass Spanish.
Gay, he's so gay!: Britta teases Jeff about the homosexual undertones in the fight he has with Mike.
Nice outfit: The first of Dean Pelton's outfits as "Mr. Winter", the non-denominational representation of Christmas.
NOOOOOO!: Annie screams this when she thinks Chang is about to tell Jeff that he failed Spanish 101.
OK we get it, you're young!: After Pierce mentions Billy Joel, Troy mouths "Who's that?" to Annie who mouths back "I don't know".
Thrown together: Jeff gets a paper ball thrown at him when he says he is agnostic.
WWBJD?: Shirley hands out bracelets inscribed with the acronym and is upset when she finds out that the study group follow different faiths from hers. She also pleads with Jeff not to fight Mike and instead turn the other cheek in keeping with her beliefs.
You're a huge nerd: During the tag, Jeff joins Abed in decorating Troy like a Christmas tree.
Shirley's bracelets are an allusion to the popular 1990's phrase "What would Jesus do?" that was used to promote Christian values. The phrase was merchandised and sold in various forms, particularly bracelets.
The "Oh, Christmas Troy" sequence in the end tag to this episode was probably inspired by the 1988 Holiday comedy "Scrooged". It starred actor/comedian Bill Murray and featured a scene where a family was decorating one of the kids as a Christmas tree.
*Joel McHale discussed an incident that happened during filming of "Comparative Religion" in a 2014 interview he had with Aisha Tyler on her podcast "Girl on Guy". In the scene where his character Jeff was being trained by Pierce, Chevy Chase egged Joel to not pretend to throw a punch and actually hit the training mitt he was wearing. Although Joel refused to at first, eventually he claimed to have done just that which resulted in Chevy getting injured.
*After Mike bursts into Spanish class, Jeff Winger asks Ben Chang to stop him but he simply responds with "I'll allow it." A shot of this exchange has become a popular meme format.
“You're a funny man. Wanna hear something funny, funny man? Knock-knock. My fist up your balls.”— Mike