Director: Joe Russo — Writer: Hilary Winston — Aired: October 22, 2009 —Season: One — Number: Six Summary: Jeff is blackmailed by Dean Pelton to recruit Troy to Greendale's football team upsetting Annie in the process, Pierce helps the Dean make a new school mascot and Britta tries to become Shirley's bathroom buddy.
The important thing is that you are the only one there for him. And you don't really care what he wants, just as long as you don't have to share him with the rest of the world because really, you are just as selfish as I am. You're just not as good at it yet.
— Jeff to Annie about her feelings for Troy
In the study room, Annie helps Troy study for his Astronomy class as the other study group members arrive for their daily study session. Dean Pelton makes an appearance and introduces himself to the study group. He awkwardly segues into football and pretends he just noticed Troy, who he happens to know was a star quarterback at Riverside High School. The Dean asks Troy to join the school's football team, the Human Beings. He explains that Greendale recently changed the team name and is having trouble creating a mascot. Pierce offers to help with the mascot design but Troy decides not to join the football team because he was the best and, even though an injury ended his high school career, he finished on top. Disappointed, the Dean leaves but says that the offer still stands. Shirley gets up to go to the bathroom but is offended when Britta declines an invitation to join her. Britta promises to try again later in an attempt "to try some more mainstream feminine stuff."
What a crazy random happenstance!
During Professor Baker's Chemistry class Britta invites Shirley to the bathroom, much to Shirley's delight. Britta then fails to sympathize with Shirley's story about an inconsiderate driver and launches into a tirade about gender inequality, upsetting Shirley with her behavior. Jeff interrupts Dean Pelton's mascot brainstorming session with Pierce to protest the use of his face on a Greendale poster. The Dean offers to remove Jeff from all of Greendale's promotional materials if he convinces Troy to play football for Greendale. Britta sees Shirley walk to the bathroom and then confronts her when she exits. Shirley says that Britta must learn to be softer with her friends while in the bathroom. Britta reveals that other girls have always hated her and she doesn't want to pee alone anymore.
You'll have to speak up.
Jeff finds Troy and interrupts his study session with Annie to talk about football. Troy is unimpressed by the unfinished football field and players that include a midget and a pregnant woman. However, Jeff wins him over by appealing to Troy's ego, saying Troy will be popular and loved if he plays football again. Troy returns to Annie but she is incensed by his return to his arrogant jock ways. Jeff returns to the Dean's office and announces that Troy has agreed to play QB for the team. Dean Pelton and Pierce are making progress on the mascot, charting racial and gender characteristics in order to avoid using anything that could be recognized and, thus, offend.
Annie ambushes Jeff and accuses him of ruining Troy's life for selfish gain and threatens to tell Troy about Jeff's ulterior motives. Jeff counters that Annie is taking advantage of Troy's need for academic help to monopolize his time because she is in love with him. Deeply hurt, Annie scurries to the bathroom asking Shirley to join her. Britta follows Annie instead and manages to cheer her up. Shirley, who had apparently been eavesdropping, jumps in to celebrate Britta's success.
Who's the selfish one now?
Jeff seeks out Troy at the pep rally to admit that he lied about how great playing football for Greendale would be. However, Troy reveals that he purposely injured himself because he was afraid that he might fail and there won't be any pressure playing for Greendale. He continues that Greendale is there because something went wrong in their life and encourages Jeff to accept where he is. Outside, Jeff apologizes to Annie, admitting that they were both wrong and he's trying to make peace with his situation in life. Pierce and Dean Pelton approach with the new mascot for the human beings, a person in a head-to-toe silver lycra suit. They all head in to the pep rally.
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
Previously: Abed is reprimanded by Jeff for treating the others like sitcom characters. Abed agrees to lay low for the episode, admitting that he relied heavily on the gimmick last week (it is unclear whether "last week" refers to production date, air date or neither). He scarcely appears for the rest of the episode.
Mad skillz: Though previously mentioned, the full extent of Troy's football talent is revealed.
At the end of the episode Troy suggest that Jeff take a pottery class which happened in "Beginner Pottery."
History Lesson: We learn more about Troy's life at Riverside High School.
Catchphrase: Shirley says, "That's nice" when Britta invites her to the bathroom.
The Human Beings mascot had previously appeared in posters for the swim team in the preceding episode Advanced Criminal Law, visible behind Britta when she testifies. Which makes sense only in terms of the production order of the episodes but not with how they were ultimately aired on television.
Troy reveals that he injured himself on purpose back in high school, with Annie mentioned in "Pilot" that he dislocated both shoulders. However, in the season 4 episode "Heroic Origins" the flashback shows Troy faking an injury rather than self-inflicting himself with an actual injury; additionally, he claims to have a knee injury, rather than dislocating both shoulders.
Pierce did not recognize the dean when he first arrived in the study room to ask Troy to join the football team. This does not make sense as Pierce has been attending the school for more than a decade, and he does not appear to have any known memory-related disorders.
Replay: In the end tag Troy and Abed introduce themselves over the school's PA as "Abed and the Disco Spider". This is a callback to the end tag from Spanish 101 where Troy raps, in Spanish, "My name is T-Bone, the disco spider".
Use your allusion: Riverside's outdated fight rap refers to the 2004 US presidential elections but the actual rapping style is even older, similar to one of the very first rap records, The Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" (1979).
IRL: Troy calls a student Poindexter, coincidentally Childish Gambino's (Donald Glover) second rap mixtape is titled "Poindexter".
I wrote this!: The DVD commentary mentions that the episode writer Hilary Winston is the woman combing her hair in the bathroom the first time Shirley and Britta enter it in the episode. In addition, Hilary's writing credit is shown beside her on screen.
Signs seen at the pep rally indicate that the Greendale football team's next opponent will be "the Dentists".
This is the episode where the Dean walks into the study room with the group.
When Troy and Jeff are out on the football field palm trees can be seen in the far background. Colorado does not have any naturally growing palm trees as they cannot handle the intensely dry and cold climate.
“Well, look at this group having some kind of meeting and being so diverse. There is just, boy, there is just one of every kind of you, isn't there?”— Dean Pelton
“Goodness. Look what we have stumbled onto. An opportunity to help each other out. I suppose I wouldn't need this promotional campaign if I could announce to the press that Troy Barnes is playing football here.”— Dean Pelton to Jeff Winger
“I miss knowing what to think.”— Troy
“You still know what to think, Troy.”— Jeff
“Oh, good.”— Troy
“I'm saying you're a football player! It's in your blood!”— Jeff
“That's racist.”— Troy
“I think not being racist is the new racism.”— Jeff
“The important thing is that you are the only one there for him. And you don't really care what he wants, just as long as you don't have to share him with the rest of the world because really, you are just as selfish as I am. You're just not as good at it yet.”— Jeff to Annie about her feelings for Troy
“The Dean has pictures of me, okay. Horrible pictures of me, attending his school.”— Jeff
“A life of disillusionment and depression begins on the other side of that door.”— Jeff
“Hey, man. Is this your first pep rally or something?”— Eric