|Professor Kane tells his biology students that their lab partners for their new terrarium project and for the rest of the semester will be the people sitting across from them. The members of the group realize that the people they sit across from are unknown to them. The group enters Professor Kane's office and requests that they be able to partner up with each other. Professor Kane grants their appeal, and the group goes to tell their partners why they can’t be with them. Afterwards, the group tries to figure out how they’re going to divide each other up. Pierce, of course, is left out, partnering with an easygoing student named Todd. Meanwhile, Chang meets with Sgt. Nunez and tells him that he’s ready to be a real detective.
|Sgt. Nunez tells Chang that he has only been there a month and has barely done anything. After this conversation, Chang briefly stares at a suspicious girl before delving into a hysterical film noir-like montage in which he resolves to solve any crime at Greendale. Over in the cafeteria, Annie is annoyed that Jeff isn't listening to her ideas for the Biology assignment. Elsewhere, Troy and Abed are initially excited to be lab partners but start to recognize the fact that they may be spending too much time together. Meanwhile, Shirley is getting on Britta’s nerves by showing her numerous pictures of her children. In an attempt to get away from their respective partners, Troy and Britta find each other outside and realize that they want to partner up; the rest of the group finds out that they’re thinking of changing partners as well.
|They meet in the study room to decide on a fair way to split up but are unable to come up with a definitive way to decide how to go about it. Jeff proposes that they make a list of names with a preferred order of who they would like to work with. Back in Chang’s place in the cafeteria boiler room, he finds a matchbook in the bathroom and tries to figure out who might have left it there. He attempts to solve the mystery by putting together a crude evidence board to help him solve his case. A ball of yarn he was using for his board rolls towards the boiler and accidentally catches fire. The Hot & Brown coffee shop is burned down because of this. Afterwards, Sgt. Nunez tells Pelton that the firemen explained someone had been squatting in the utility closet causing the fire.
|The Dean ends up backing Chang’s conspiracy theory story to avoid police involvement. Upset with the Dean's actions, Sgt. Nunez quits his position. The Dean then promotes Chang as the new Head of Security. In the study room, Abed used an algorithm to put the least popular and most popular members together to determine the lab partners. Due to this, the group quickly figures out how their rank among their friends leading them to argue and refusing Abed's selections. Todd tries to leave, citing his newborn as an excuse, but Jeff won’t let him until they’ve decided something. When Britta uses her lighter to try and destroy Abed's list, she almost kills Todd’s turtle in the process. Todd finally loses it, angrily berating the group for their dysfunctional dynamic and storms out.
|The next day, the group shows up to class without their terrariums as a result of not being able to resolve their issues (Annie does actually complete hers, causing Jeff to label her as pathological.) Troy says that their ideas didn’t work out, and Jeff concludes that they just have to work with their original lab partners. Professor Kane calls them “the mean clique,” saying that Todd called him crying about the way he was treated, and makes the study group become a lab group of 7 to avoid letting them partner up with the rest of the class. This seems to sober the group up enough to realize their mistakes. However, they later blame Todd for all their problems and make fun of him, not realizing that he is listening from an adjacent table.
|The study group fills out personality tests for Britta’s psychology class but when she looks at their answer sheets of penciled-in bubbles she only sees male reproductive organs.
Later, the study group apparently fills out her forms for real as she returns with a different interpretation in the episode Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps.
|List of Running gags|
|Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
|List of Pop culture references|
|References to popular culture in this episode:
|List of Meta references|
|Meta references in this episode:
- In the Community The Complete Third Season DVD commentaries, Gillian Jacobs points out that she is wearing a large band-aid on her left forearm for this episode. This was due to a malfunctioning squib that burned her arm while she on the set of indie film Let Go.
- The popularity ranking was
- 1. Annie
- 2/3. Abed/Troy
- 4. Todd
- 5. Jeff
- 6/7. Britta/Pierce
- 8. Shirley
- “I've been walking my beat a long time, sir. A long time. I've kept my head down, paid my dues and, well, I think I'm ready to make detective.”— Chang
- “You've only been here a month, you really haven't done much of anything and there's no such thing as security-guard detective.”— Sgt. Nunez
- “If loving worms is stupid I don't wanna be smart.”— Britta
- “It is, and you can't be!”— Annie
- “What is wrong with you people?! Huh?! I thought you were supposed to be friends! I thought you were supposed to love each other! Your love is weird! And toxic! And it destroys everything it touches!”— Todd
- “I think you knee-d it.”— Chang
- “Ha, ha. Gotcha. This was also a test and you all penised.”— Britta
|Season Three Episodes|
1. "Biology 101"
12. "Contemporary Impressionists"
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