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I've been making a conscious effort to get away from filtering everything through TV. I figured it's time I showed some growth. It's been 3 1/2 what the old me would have said.
— Abed
In the study room, Pierce is praising the American version of Inspector Spacetime to the rest of the study group much to Abed's annoyance. A costumed Dean Pelton then arrives and announces an upcoming Sadie Hawkins dance. Believing the dance to be anti-feminist, Britta decides to throw a competing one named after a woman's rights role model: Sophie B. Hawkins. The study group are amused at her error, and Annie points out she meant to say Susan B. Anthony. However, due to Jeff's mocking her, she decides to go ahead with her plans. Later in the hallway, Jeff unsuccessfully tries to get Britta to cancel her dance warning her that the students will expect Sophie B. Hawkins to actually show up. Elsewhere, Annie and Shirley enter into a competition to set up Abed with a date for the upcoming dances.

Dean-a Reed
The Dean's latest outfit, "Dean-a Reed".
In the library, Pierce goes to check his e-mails on a specific computer only to find a distraught Britta using it. She admits to him that she made a mistake and now she has to secure an appearance by Sophie B. Hawkins. Pierce encourages her to not give up hope and adds she shouldn't give Jeff the satisfaction of being right. In the study room, Troy tries to get Abed to join him in some shenanigans, but the latter is insistent that he not fall back on bad habits. Annie shows up with her candidate for Abed to go to the dance with, a quirky girl named Kat. He accepts her invitation to the dance, but after the women leave, Shirley shows up. Before he can tell her he already has a date, Shirley mentions that she has someone from her church eager to go out with him. Abed agrees and once she leaves Troy questions his motivations. Abed admits to him that he couldn't pass up the opportunity to live out a classic trope where he has two dates to a dance.

4x08-Abed Kat quirky
So quirky!
In the cafeteria on the night of the dances, Abed first meets Jessica, the date Shirley set him up with. He excuses himself to go to the coat check room, so he change outfits for his other date with Kat. Inside, he meets a coat check girl named Rachel. Over at Britta's side of the dance, Jeff taunts her, mentioning the fact that someone put out an ad on Craigslist an hour ago asking for Sophie B. Hawkins or an impersonator to do a gig at a community college. Meanwhile, Abed continues to juggle both dates while carefully steering Annie and Shirley away from discovering his deception. When he returns to the coat check room to change outfits again, Rachel lets him know she is aware he is doing the classic "two dates to a dance" trope. Abed is impressed she figured it out and asks for her assistance to help keep the charade going to which she happily agrees.

4x08-Rachel Abed
She's game for Abed's games.
Back at the dance, Dean Pelton confronts Britta and warns her that Sophie B. Hawkins is a popular singer to many of the students on campus who lived during the 90's, and if she doesn't show up, the crowd could get ugly. At the same time, Abed and Rachel are enjoying themselves as they keep his two dates distracted. Elsewhere, a stressed out Britta finds Pierce and asks him for more advice. He is unable to offer anything useful, and she realizes she "Britta'd" it again. Over at the dividing line separating the two dances, Annie and Shirley start passive-aggressively praising themselves to the other for supposedly winning the bet, only to quickly figure out after a beat that Abed is on two dates. Back in the coat check room, Rachel and Abed return having successfully kept the gag going. The two then share an intimate moment but Abed is unaware of the significance of it. He leaves a disappointed Rachel behind to choose one of his dates to continue the night with.

4x08-Britta Pelton dances
Greendale students love Sophie B. Hawkins.
However, he is intercepted by Shirley and Annie who angrily admonish him for playing with Jessica and Kat's feelings so callously. Abed returns to the coat check room to update Rachel on the situation but finds she is gone. Another coat check girl tells him that she left her post early and seemed to be upset. He goes back to the dance and apologizes to Shirley and Annie having realized how badly he messed up. Britta takes the stage to admit to the crowd that Sophie B. Hawkins isn't going to play at the dance. As the crowd begins to revolt, Sophie B. Hawkins and backup musicians unexpectedly enter and take the stage to everyone's surprise. Britta reveals to Jeff that the only possible way she could have miraculously booked the singer was desperately willing it to happen.

4x08-Shirley Annie not amused
They are not amused.
Abed interrupts the performance and goes on stage to make a public declaration pleading with Rachel to return and admitting that he enjoyed the time they spent together. As he leaves the stage, Rachel appears. After she asks Abed out on a date, they both join the crowd in watching Sophie perform. Meanwhile, Dean Pelton and Jeff are wondering how Britta pulled this off, and Pierce reveals he was the one responsible since he knew Sophie B. Hawkins from the time Hawthorne Wipes sponsored Lilith Fair. Pierce admonishes Jeff for how badly he's been treating Britta especially in light of how she helped him deal with his father issues. Feeling ashamed, Jeff uses his cell phone to send Britta an apologetic text while also praising her for organizing a successful dance.

4x08-Pelton Pierce Jeff Britta Shirley dance
Britta'ing it.

End tag[]

In the original broadcast version, a preview for Intro to Felt Surrogacy is shown. In it, the study group as puppets are seen sitting at the study room table humming the song Daybreak.

In other online streaming sites (such as Hulu and on as well as on the official DVD release and in syndication, the original end tag was shown featuring Sophie B. Hawkins and Troy and Abed. In this tag, they each ask Sophie to perform the first line of "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" but with the lyrics switched out: "Damn I Wish I Had Some Icecream" (Troy) and "Damn I Wish Abed Was Batman" (Abed). Dean Pelton arrives and tells the pair to stop bothering Sophie. When they leave, Pelton demands she sings a version he has rewritten as "Dean I Wish I Was Your Lover." Sophie scans the lyrics and asks who "Jeff Winger" is. "Just sing the damn song," is his reply.

Recurring themes[]


  • Previously:
    • Jeff mentions a cat named Suzie B. that Britta used to own and was first mentioned in the Season One episode "Contemporary American Poultry."
    • Rachel mentions that she "...used to run the frozen yogurt machine until that old guy broke it." This is a reference to the end tag of the Season Three episode "Contemporary Impressionists" where Pierce breaks a frozen yogurt machine in the cafeteria, causing it to endlessly dispense frozen yogurt.
    • Abed mentions to Rachel that he has trouble understanding facial expressions, a fact he sang about in the song "Glee" from the Season Three episode "Regional Holiday Music."
  • That just happened:
    • Pierce relates to the study group the season finale of the American version of "Inspector Spacetime," a show he had a hand in making due to the notes he provided the focus group testers back in "Conventions of Space and Time."
    • Pierce mentions to Jeff how Britta helped him deal with his Daddy issues on Thanksgiving.
    • Chang continues to tell everyone he has "Changnesia."
  • Familiar faces:
  • School supplies:
    • Jeff's cell phone is featured as he looks up a Craigslist ad Britta put up for Sophie B. Hawkins and later sends her an encouraging text.
    • The moustache Troy used for his disguise as a plumber in the Season Three episode "First Chang Dynasty" is seen again.
    • A poster of Jeff featured in "Football, Feminism and You" is on the bulletin board when Jeff and Britta argue in the hallway.
  • Sweet spread: Troy is seen with bags of original and BBQ Let's Potato Chips.
  • Coined and minted: "Brittastrophe": To mess up spectacularly.
  • This must be the place: Group Study Room F, the Library, and the cafeteria are all seen in this episode.

Running gags[]

  • Awww!: Shirley and Annie both coo when Abed mentions he regrets he ruined a chance with Rachel.
  • Britta'd it: Britta attempts to take back the phrase and rid it of its derogatory aspect.
  • Deanotation: Dean Pelton arrives in the study room saying, "Honey, I'm Dean!" He refers to himself as "Dean-a Reed." Jeff then notices the "coince-Dean" that the announcement he just made about the Sadie Hawkins Dance coincides with the day the CDC is confiscating the school's drinking fountains.
  • Greendale bylaws: When Britta seemingly manages to bring Sophie B. Hawkins to the dance on her own, Dean Pelton mentions a "dean law", according to which he now must give her his amulet. He is relieved when Pierce mentions he helped her.
  • It's a mixer, it's a mixer!: Abed remembers that Shirley wore a purple sweater the previous week and kept it in her locker next to her sweater, and that she didn't wear it home, meaning it must still be there.
  • Mad or hungry?: Abed asks Rachel whether her face is happy or judgmental.
  • Man crush:
    • Dean Pelton tells Jeff he was looking forward to seeing him at the dance, much to Jeff's disgust.
    • Dean Pelton attempts to touch Jeff while they are watching Sophie B. Hawkins perform, but Jeff swats his hand away.
  • Nice outfit: Dean Pelton dresses up as Donna Reed in order to announce a 1950s sock hop themed Sadie Hawkins dance he is throwing.
  • Rhyme time: Kat says to Abed "Super Duper Mr. Cooper!"
  • Sexy voice: Shirley's voice drops an octave after she thinks she's won the "competition" between her and Annie to find Abed a date.
  • WWBJD: Shirley moralizes to Abed about taking advantage of the date she picked for him.

Pop culture references[]

  • IMDb: Abed mentions "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace."
  • Name that tune:
    • Sophie B. Hawkins's song "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" is mentioned and subsequently performed by the artist in this episode.
    • Sophie B. Hawkins's song "As I Lay Me Down" is also mentioned. Abed considers it the superior of her two most famous songs and most of the study group agrees.
    • Sarah McLachlan's song I Will Remember You is mentioned by Britta who mistakes it for a Sophie B. Hawkins song.
  • Shout out:
    • Cheryl Teigs is mentioned by Pierce as a guest star in the American version of "Inspector Spacetime."
    • Susan B. Anthony is mentioned as the person Britta meant to reference instead of the singer Sophie B. Hawkins.
    • Sarah McLachlan is mentioned by Jeff when correcting Britta about a song reference.
    • Colin Farrell is mentioned by Troy when describing Chang as someone who continually gets second chances.
    • Pierce mentions Bernie Madoff, a former stockbroker, investment adviser, and financier turned white collar criminal who swindled billions of dollars from his investors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
  • TV Guide: Troy mentions the short lived NBC TV show Awake about a man who lives in two different realities.
  • Use your allusion:

Meta references[]

  • Everyone's a critic: Abed refers to the American version of Inspector Spacetime as "broad, obvious, sexist, and the timing is..." This is possibly a reference to early criticisms of how the current season would be.
  • Up against the wall:
    • Abed mentions that he needs to stop filtering everything through TV and pop culture references as "It's been three and a half seasons."
    • Abed and Rachel start discussing specific tropes dealing with the plot of the episode. Abed later uses one of those tropes to win back Rachel's affections.


You're really doing this? Look, as someone who faked being a lawyer for seven years, I appreciate your commitment to the bit, but just admit you were wrong.Jeff
So you can say I Britta'd it?Britta
Yes, of course. That goes without saying. But come on, it was a small mistake. Call this off before it becomes a full-scale "Brittastrophe." I coined that.Jeff
Season Four Episodes

1. "History 101"
2. "Paranormal Parentage"
3. "Conventions of Space and Time"
4. "Alternative History of the German Invasion"
5. "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations"
6. "Advanced Documentary Filmmaking"
7. "Economics of Marine Biology"

8. "Herstory of Dance"
9. "Intro to Felt Surrogacy"
10. "Intro to Knots"
11. "Basic Human Anatomy"
12. "Heroic Origins"
13. "Advanced Introduction to Finality"

Season 4 DVD xover

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six