Director: Anthony Russo — Writer: Chris Kula — Aired: December 1, 2011 —Season: Three — Number: Nine Summary: Shirley trains Jeff for a Foosball game; Annie accidently breaks Abed's new special edition DVD.
Annie, do you know how many times a sitcom has done a secretly replace a priceless item thing? Because Abed does, Abed knows everything. I know you think you can think your way out of this with your thinkingness but don't think too much.
Annie joins the rest of the study group in the student lounge and asks them about their weekend plans. As they are talking, Garrett and three students are loudly playing a game of foosball in the corner. Abed mentions that he and Troy will be spending Saturday repeatedly watching his newly arrived special edition DVD of "The Dark Knight". Meanwhile, the three students beat Garrett and loudly celebrate their victory. Ignoring Shirley's pleas, Jeff goes to confront them and gets challenged to a game. They agree to never use the foosball table again if he is able to score once. Jeff feigns disinterest and pretends to leave but then quickly attempts to score a point. After he fails and is mocked by the foreign students, Britta tries to snap a photo of his humiliating defeat with her knock-off brand cell phone.
Jeff confronts the obnoxious foosball enthusiasts.
Later at Troy and Abed's apartment, Annie is doing some light house cleaning when she accidentally steps on and destroys Abed's new "Dark Knight" DVD which had been lying on the ground. Troy emerges from his blanket fort room and after noticing Annie's mood displays a similar mortified reaction when shown the remains of the DVD. He insists that Annie just tell Abed what happened since there's no way they hide this from him. Back at school, Jeff has stayed overnight in the student lounge practicing his game at the foosball table. Shirley approaches him concerned he's getting too obsessed with beating the Germans. Jeff then reveals that as a kid he used to love the game but had to give it up because of bullies like the exchange students. He tells her she wouldn't understand as it's a guy thing he needs to resolve. Shirley then shows off her skill at the game which leaves Jeff awestruck.
The Dark Knight meets his match: Annie's foot.
Elsewhere, Troy and Abed arrive home with snacks for their "Dark Knight" marathon but enter and see that the apartment has apparently been ransacked. Annie rushes towards them claiming they had been robbed and Troy reluctantly goes along with her fictitious account. Meanwhile at Greendale, Jeff catches up with Shirley and begs her to teach him how to play foosball as well as she does. She refuses saying that it's an evil game that brings out the worst in people. Jeff angrily ridicules her piousness but quickly regrets his words and apologizes. He turns to go when Shirley stops him and resignedly agrees to help train him. They meet the next morning, and Shirley reveals to Jeff that an all-or-nothing kill-or-be-killed attitude is the most important skill needed to dominate the game. She illustrates this by aggressively taunting and berating him as they play the game until he finally gets angry enough to score a point against her.
Shirley finds Jeff's killer instinct.
Over at Troy and Abed's apartment, Officer Cackowski is going over the details of the crime with the roommates. Annie further embellishes her story insisting it was a break in and theft as not only the DVD was stolen but also some of her jewelry. Before Cackowski leaves he tells them he'll be in touch but in circumstances like this the stolen goods are never recovered. Abed tells Annie and Troy his suspicions that it was an inside job since there were no signs of forced entry and concludes that it was the landlord, Rick. Back at Greendale, Jeff and Shirley are still training when they are interrupted by the Germans. A heated exchange occurs and another challenge is issued. Both sides agree to play each other on Monday with the stipulation that the losing team never use the foosball table again.
"Oh, you are so on that things have become very much like Donkey Kong!"
Meanwhile at casa de Trobed, Abed exits The Dreamatorium dressed in his Batman outfit. Assuming the Batman persona he tells his roommates he will see justice done. He begins to leave the apartment via the fire escape and Annie finally confesses everything. Abed doesn't believe her because if she was guilty she would have come forward earlier. He then uses a grappling hook Troy gave him last Christmas to rapel down to the landlord's apartment, with his roommates following close behind. At the same time, Shirley and Jeff are enjoying a meal over at Señor Kevin's and he asks her how she came to be so good at foosball. Shirley reveals that she played the game as a kid as it gave her an outlet for all the anger she had at the time. She then recalls an incident which had a profound affect on her.
The Dork Knight rises...and then falls.
At a YMCA she beat a boy at the game and jabbed the kid with a foosball rod which caused him to pee his pants. She further humiliated by naming him "Tinkletown". A horrified Jeff calls Shirley by her childhood nickname "Big Cheddar" which makes her realize he was that boy she bullied years ago. Jeff calls her a fraud and angrily leaves the restaurant. Meanwhile back at Trobed's apartment complex, Abed manages to make it to the fire escape of his landlord's apartment in one piece. Still channelling Batman, he interrogates Rick only to find out that his only crime is his collection of stolen women shoes. Officer Cackowski later arrives on the scene and warns Abed to stay out of Rick's apartment. Annie confesses what she did and Abed forgives her.
Flashback to Shirley's time as a foosball bully.
The following Monday, Jeff and Shirley go up against the two Germans. Jeff and Shirley juggle the ball between one another before leaving it in the center, which causes infighting between the two German players. Jeff and Shirley then decide to quit and walk out hand in hand in front of the other members of the study group, with Pierce wondering when the two became close. The two are then seen walking away as little kids, thus showing a truce between Big Cheddar and Tinkletown.
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
In the Season One episode "Communication Studies", Britta is knitting an eyepatch for her new handicapped cat she got to replace the one that had just died, Suzie B. In this episode the cat's name is revealed to be Daniel and it just had eye surgery.
After her divorce, [[[Shirley]] once had a drinking problem which was revealed in the Season Two episode "Mixology Certification". She has seemingly gotten her addiction under control since then as she is shown drinking a margarita at Señor Kevin's.
Parody: During Jeff and Shirley's intense over the top foosball showdown, the scene shifts to an anime inspired cartoon which is known for not only having many such confrontations but also overly dramatizing them which this scene is also doing.