Jeff-in-the-box is Abed's re-imagining of what Jeff would be like as a stop action animated Christmas character. He goes on a journey in Abed's mind to try and discover the true meaning of Christmas. He makes his first and only appearance is in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas". He is voiced by Joel McHale.
After Abed has what appears to be an emotional breakdown of some kind, Britta and Jeff stage an intervention for him headed up by Professor Ian Duncan and attended by the rest of the study group. Duncan convinces Abed to undergo hypnosis in order to get to the root of his problem. While he is under, he imagines that everyone has been transported to another world called "Planet Abed". There they are all transformed into Christmas cartoon versions of themselves. In Abed's mind, Jeff has become "Jeff-in-the-box". Abed wants to take the group on a journey to the North Pole to find the true meaning of Christmas.
"The Christmas Wizard", Duncan convinces him to take a shortcut through "The Cave of Frozen Memories". After Shirley is ejected from the therapy session by Duncan, Abed notices a swarm of "Humbugs" heading towards the group. Abed warns the group that the humbugs are attracted to sarcasm, but Jeff doesn't listen and instead becomes increasingly more and more sarcastic. The humbugs zero in on him and eat him alive, leaving only his bones and hair behind. Ballerannie volunteers to sing him out with this song:
Bitter, shallow hipster, sweater matching socks...Christmas needs more presents than a haircut in a box.
Christmas humbugs start eating Jeff-in-the-box.
Guess I'll have to go get laid!
Abed eventually makes it to the North Pole along with the last study group member to survive the journey, Teddy Pierce. When they enter Santa's workshop they find it abandoned. Teddy Pierce helps Abed find a Christmas present that was left behind. Contained within the box are more boxes until Abed finally reaches the final one. Inside is a DVD of the TV show "Lost" and Abed correctly assumes that it's a metaphor for his quest; all build up with little pay-off at the end. The Christmas Wizard then arrives and forces Abed to confront the real reason behind his actions.
After searching his dorm room, Professor Duncan found a card from Abed's mother telling him she won't be seeing him this Christmas breaking their yearly tradition of watching cartoons together at this time of year. Abed goes into a catatonic state when confronted with this and literally freezes in his imagined animated world . Teddy Pierce then chastises Duncan for putting Abed into this state and Jeff-in-the-box along with the rest of the study group suddenly reappears. They denounce Duncan's assertion that Christmas is at fault for Abed's condition along with his idea that the holiday has caused others to feel similar despair because of unhealthy expectations from it.
The delusion you are trying to cure is Christmas, Duncan.
The study group replies that Christmas is the time of the year for hope, and they can make that belief a reality by supporting each other. Duncan scoffs at this notion and the study group decide to make their point more clear by attacking him with "Christmas weapons" while they sing a song. Jeff-in-the-box fires candy from small gingerbread pistols. Abed starts to thaw as this is happening responding to his friends fighting for him. Ballerannie finishes off The Christmas Wizard by using the Christmas Pterodactyl against him. Abed and the group then "return" to the study room and they decide to uphold his yearly tradition with his mom and watch Christmas cartoons together in Abed's dorm room.
Jeff-in-the-box firing candy at the Christmas Warlock.
A series of figurines was officially based on the animated characters featured in this episode. The alternate forms of most of the study group members made up the assortment along with The Christmas Wizard. The figurines initially sold for $12.95 at the NBCUniversal Store. They have since been discontinued and are no longer available on the site.