In the school cafeteria, the Dean announces to the students the upcoming week-long school environmental awareness event called Green Week. Afterwards, the study group is in Spanish Class taking an exam when Chang tells them their time is up. He talks them to put down their pencils but Annie is too focused on finishing her answers and continues writing. Chang gets in her face, takes a hold of her desk and drags it along Annie out of the classroom. He shuts the door in her face and assigns the other students a one page essay to be written in Spanish. Pierce then questions why they have to do this and Annie doesn't. This prompts Chang to increase the essay page count to two and then six after Shirley objects. When Britta attempts to compliment Chang he interprets it as sucking up and ultimately assigns twenty pages for the essay due on Monday.
Back in the study room, the group is freaking out over Chang's latest insanity. All of them are busy with other classes and don't need the added pressure of a twenty page essay. Shirley is so worried about a presentation due in her marketing class that she accepts Pierce help in preparing for it. Troy and Abed chime in that they are already behind in a Biology lab project involving rats, one of Troy's phobias. Britta says that someone needs to talk to Chang and try to reason with him. Annie nominates Jeff who argues that he doesn't want to risk his grade by making himself a target of Chang's wrath. After Britta, Annie, and Troy wear him down, he grudgingly agrees to talk to Chang.
"Ignore what she's doing, we are serious".
In Chang's office, Jeff discovers that Chang has separated from his wife, and the resulting emotional void is responsible for the excessive work assigned to the class. To cheer him up, Jeff invites Chang to hang out, and Chang offers to cancel the essay for Jeff but not the rest of the class. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed are training their rat, Fievel, to respond to their singing when it escapes. The next morning, Jeff, hung over after a late night with Chang, tells the study group that he was unable to make any progress with their Spanish class. Pierce tutors Shirley in public speaking, but his generally derogatory and offensive manner discourage her, and she decides to just read her presentation off of note cards.
Fievel goes Hollywood.
During class, Chang adds a quiz for next Monday, but when he thanks Jeff for turning in the essay early, the group realizes Jeff sold them out. Jeff continues to spend time with Chang in his office, but Chang threatens to fail him should he spend time with other teachers. Jeff recognizes that Chang's emotional need is far greater than it first appeared. Chang shows up at the school dance commemorating Green Week at Greendale, curious about why Jeff invited him only to see his wife waiting to dance. As the dance starts, Shirley begins her speech in the marketing classroom but falters when the professor tells her he does not allow cards. With Pierce's coaching from the back of the room, Shirley quickly recovers and finishes her speech to a standing ovation.
The Changs reconcile through dance.
At the same time, Troy overcomes his initial reluctance to help Abed find Fievel and sings their duet which allows them to recapture the rat. Back at the dance, Chang begins passionately making out with his wife on the dance floor. He suddenly stops, jumps on stage, and tells the crowd that he has been a horrible teacher and husband. He calls off the essay homework for everyone but assigns Jeff a short essay to write for betraying his friends. The study group, seeing that Jeff found a way to help all the students, forgives him. In return Jeff tells them to just enjoy the festivities and dance. Pierce stays behind and tells him he discovered the secret behind Jeff charm, his study room chair.
Abed and Troy are preparing for a water gun battle. They mock Pierce when he shows up with a tiny water pistol. They both stop laughing when he shoots them in their eyes with the pepper water that's inside.
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
History lesson: Chang tells Jeff how he met his wife and why they separated.
Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball:
Pierce makes a joke with no response but when Jeff gets a big laugh for making the same joke Pierce asks, "What is it? The chair?" Later in the episode, when Jeff misses a study meeting Pierce sits in the vacant spot and has more success with his quips. Then, in the first episode of Season 3, "Biology 101", Jeff is again separated from the group and blames his resulting erratic behavior on lack of contact from the study table, claiming it has magical powers.
Dean Pelton watches an unsettling video featuring a man wearing a suit with a dalmatian pattern and says, "This better not awaken anything in me." Later in the season, his office features dalmatian decorations ("The Science of Illusion") and he invites dalmatian furries to join him at the Tranny Dance in "Pascal's Triangle Revisited".
School supplies: In Chang's office, there is a picture of his wife with a little speech bubble added that says "enjoy it while it lasts". Behind the picture is a profile card of Jeff that includes info such as his Hometown, Course Focus and that his favorite spot is "Sitting in my Lexus with the air conditioning on".
School uniform: In the end tag, Troy wears a pair of goggles similar to, if not the same as, the ones Abed wears in "Modern Warfare".
Abed and Troy's rat is named Fievel after the main character from An American Tail. The song they sing to Fievel features prominently in the movie. Additionally, the reunion of Troy, Abed, and Fievel is reminiscent of a scene in the film.
Pierce references A Few Good Men by altering the quote to "You can't handle a moist towelette!"
The Shining; at the close of Shirley's presentation, she holds back her hair and says "Heeeere's brownies!"
Name that tune:
Dean Pelton announces that Green Day will perform at Greendale. However, he was mistaken and the band is actually a traditional Celtic group with the homonymic name Greene Daeye.
Several Biology students sing songs to their rats, including Mary Had A Little Lamb and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Abed and Troy sing Somewhere Out There.