Community Wiki
Community Wiki


What is community college? Well, you've heard all kinds of things. You've heard it's 'loser college' for remedial teens, twenty-something drop-outs, middle-aged divorcees, and old people keeping their minds active as they circle the drain of eternity. That's what you heard;, however... I wish you luck!
Dean Pelton
It's the first week of classes for Greendale Community College's 2009 fall semester. On the campus quad, Dean Craig Pelton fails at giving an inspirational speech to the new arrivals. Watching from afar is thirty-something former attorney turned student named Jeff Winger joined by his Spanish 101 classmate Abed Nadir. Jeff stops Abed rambling about his life story to ask about a female student. Abed reveals her name is Britta Perry and rattles off detailed information from a conversation he had with her. Impressed, Jeff thanks Abed before going off to meet a friend, Professor Ian Duncan.

1x1 Pelton giving speech
Dean Pelton gives an inspirational speech.
At Duncan's office, Jeff tells Ian the bar association learned he faked a degree. To become a lawyer again, he needs to earn a legitimate one at Greendale. He asks Duncan to get him the answers for all his class exams. He also reminds him of a 2002 D.U.I. charge he saved Duncan from. Later in the cafeteria, Jeff is in the lunch line when he spots Britta. He skips the queue to chat her up and lies about being a board-certified Spanish tutor. Once he convinces her of his credentials, Jeff invites Britta to join a study group he is forming in the library. She leaves without giving an answer just as Cafeteria Lady appears, demanding Jeff pay for his food.

1x1 Jeff introduces himself to Britta
Jeff introduces himself to Britta.
Afterwards, in the study room, Britta does show up for Jeff's fake study group. However, his efforts to woo her are hampered by the arrival of Abed, whom Britta had invited. Jeff receives a text message from Duncan and goes to meet him at the football field. Ian says his request might be possible but questions Jeff's sense of right and wrong. Jeff is unconcerned, believing such concepts are subjective, particularly when he is talented enough to convincingly argue for either side. Exasperated by Jeff's arrogance, Ian agrees to get the exam answers. Jeff returns to the library, only to find that Britta is missing and four more students are now seated at the study table.

1X! Abed in da house
Abed arrives and spoils the mood.
Jeff learns they had all been invited by Abed and attempts to sneak away.Upon leaving the building he finds Britta outside taking a cigarette break. She suggests they go back inside to join the study group and hints they can go have dinner if the other students are untutorable. When they return, the oldest of the new arrivals, Pierce, attempts to introduce everyone. When he gets their names wrong Troy, Annie, and Shirley correct him. Jeff subtly manipulates everyone until they are arguing amongst themselves. He then gets another call from Duncan, who wants to meet up with him again, this time in the parking lot.

1X1 The rest of the study group arrives
The rest of the study group arrives.
He finds Duncan waiting in his tiny smart car which he wants to trade for Jeff's luxury sedan in return for the test answers. After some agonizing, Jeff reluctantly agrees to Ian’s terms and gets a packet of test answers. Upon returning to the study room Britta is waiting for him and pleads to Jeff to calm down the still-arguing study group. It is only after she agrees to go out with him that Jeff goes inside the study room to deliver a stirring speech to the group. In it, he praises each of their strengths and explains that by coming together, they are no longer a study group but a Community. Once they are pacified, he announces that he is leaving to have dinner with Britta.

1X1 First Winger speech
Jeff tries to calm down the study group.
Britta reveals she lied to get Jeff to fix his mess and tells him to get out so the study session can resume. Jeff takes back what he said and boasts that he doesn't need them, as he now has the test answers. Leaving the library, he opens the packet Duncan gave him but finds that it's full of blank paper. After storming Duncan's office to retrieve his car keys from he passes by the library where Pierce calls out to him from the front steps. While they talk, the rest of the study group comes outside and admits to Jeff that studying is boring without him. The group convinces Britta to invite him to study with them again, and they return to the library. Jeff briefly hesitates but decides to follow them back inside.

1x01-Study Group Steps
"Can you guys hear me? Am I deaf?"

Recurring themes[]


Continuity lists
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
  • Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: The basic outline of the show is laid out with Jeff learning to be a better person through his interaction with the study group. The first major story arc is also introduced in the form of the possible budding romance between Jeff and Britta.
  • History lesson: We get a brief synopsis of all the main characters' pasts before they came to Greendale and why they are there now:
    • While talking with Jeff, Abed goes into great detail about his life, including hints that he may suffer from a mental disorder. He further hints at being a lonely person, positively replying to Jeff's dismissive remark about "seeing his value now" and rejoicing when he receives a text message for the first time.
    • Jeff tells Professor Duncan that his law credentials were falsified, he was disbarred and now needs to earn a legitimate degree at Greendale.
    • Britta's biography is recounted by Abed, who informs Jeff that she has brothers, is 28, and her birthday is in October. She herself tells more of her life story to Jeff when they meet in the study room later on.
    • Troy calls Annie "Little Annie Adderall", referencing her Adderall-induced breakdown at Riverside High School.
    • Annie mentions how Troy injured himself in a keg incident that cost him his football scholarship.
    • Pierce introduces himself as moist towelette tycoon and C.E.O. of Hawthorne Wipes.
    • Shirley is shown reacting to Dean Pelton's speech when he mentions the cliché of "middle-age divorcees" attending the school, hinting that she is one of those.
  • Mad skillz: Jeff's ability to talk his way into and out of situations is demonstrated.
  • Winger speech: Jeff gives the first of his many Winger speeches to the group.
  • Catchphrase: Several of the study group's signature catchphrases are introduced in this episode:
    • "Cool. Cool, cool, cool."Abed
    • "That's nice."Shirley
    • "You just wrinkled my brain."Troy
  • Discontinuity:
    • In this episode, it is stated that Jeff has to replace his Bachelor's degree to practice law again. However, in the Season Four finale "Advanced Introduction to Finality", he graduates with an Associate's degree in education instead.
    • In this episode, the Study Room is shown to be upstairs, as Jeff is seen going up a staircase to reach it. For the rest of the series onwards, it is ground level. 
    • Annie mentions that Troy dislocated both his shoulders during a keg-flip injury, with Troy revealing in "Football, Feminism and You" that he had intentionally injured himself. However, a flashback to the incident is shown in the Season Four episode "Heroic Origins," where Troy is seen faking his injury rather than suffering a real one, as well as it being a knee injury as opposed to his shoulders.
    • Abed is the first one to point out that Britta looks like actress Elisabeth Shue. In later episodes, he states he is face-blind and is unable to recognize specific features.
  • Screw you guys!: Jeff is kicked out of the study group but is later asked to rejoin.
Recurring or debuting characters in this episode:
  • First appearance: The main characters and a few recurring ones are introduced.
    • Jeff Winger: Disbarred attorney going to Greendale to earn a 4-year degree and return to being a lawyer.
    • Britta Perry: Former activist trying to find some direction in her life by going to Greendale.
    • Abed Nadir: Pop-culture obsessed student who has a possible psychological disorder.
    • Troy Barnes: Former high-school BMOC and football star.
    • Annie Edison: Recovering Adderall addict who went to the same high school as Troy.
    • Shirley Bennett: Recent divorcée taking business courses at school.
    • Dean Pelton: Dean of Greendale.
    • Professor Duncan: Psychology professor at Greendale.
Recurring or debuting places in this episode:
  • This must be the place:

Debuts of

Recurring or debuting items in this episode:
  • A sweet ride:
  • School supplies:
    • Troy's letterman jacket makes its debut.
    • Jeff names a pencil "Steve" and then breaks it to prove a point during his first "Winger speech." A pencil is later seen in the opening credits for several seasons. In the Season Five opening credits, a broken pencil that is taped together, possibly referring to "Steve," is shown.

Running gags[]

List of Running gags
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
  • A dollop of whipped irony: When Shirley tells Pierce he has been sexually harassing her, Pierce replies he wouldn't do that to someone that turns him on and Troy points out the irony of his statement.
  • Attention Students!: The series begins with Dean Pelton welcoming all the new students to Greendale over a portable Public address system.
  • Board certified tutor:
    • Jeff pretends to be a board certified Spanish tutor.
    • Pierce butchers the group introductions despite claiming to be a Toastmaster.
  • Disney face: Annie uses her sad eyes to help convince Britta to let Jeff study with them.
  • It's a mixer, it's a mixer!: Abed recounts, word for word, everything Britta said when they met first met.
  • You're a huge nerd: Jeff picks up on all of Abed's movie references. In the DVD version of the episode, both of them also notice Britta's resemblance to Elisabeth Shue.

Pop culture references[]

List of Pop culture references
References to popular culture in this episode:

Meta references[]

List of Meta references
Meta references in this episode:


  • The original script for the pilot had a number of differences from the broadcast version, including dialogue, extended scenes and, most notably, a different last name for Jeff: "Crocker". Also, the cafeteria lady made recurring appearances throughout the episode, but all the scenes, with the exception of her meeting Jeff, were cut. The original script can be read here.
  • When giving the "Look Left" speech, Jeff says that instead of giving you the salt you asked for, Abed would give you soup, because soup is better. Joel McHale, who plays Jeff, is the host of The Soup.
  • Troy calls Jeff "Seacrest". It is a running gag of Joel McHale's on The Soup to make fun of Ryan Seacrest.
  • Britta claims to have been a Peace Corps volunteer after dropping out of high school. This would not be possible, as Peace Corps generally requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree for acceptance into its volunteer program; Britta does not have the background for its non-degree positions.
  • This episode was in memoriam of director John Hughes, who directed the film The Breakfast Club which is referenced multiple times in the episode.
  • The following scenes are absent from the version available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, due to being from the syndication cut and thus reducing the episode's length from 24:28 to 21:48:
    • The very beginning of the episode, when Dean Pelton tries and fails to switch his boombox from "tape" to "mic" is missing. Instead, the episode begins with his speech.
    • Jeff's comment on the size of Professor Duncan's office. Duncan and Jeff reflecting on the time Jeff helped Duncan with his DUI by bringing up 9/11 in court.
      • The chalupas incident is nevertheless mentioned later on, now stripped of its context, and instead of saying he does love America, Duncan simply ponders silenty for a couple of seconds, then agrees to help Jeff.
    • Jeff's conversation with the cafeteria lady.
    • Britta recounting her past to Jeff. Here, she immediately answers "what's your deal?" with "Honesty".
    • Abed and later Jeff bringing up Britta's resemblance to Elisabeth Shue.
    • Jeff commenting on the age of the people running around the football field.
    • Annie reminding Troy she sat behind him in class. Here, he recognizes her on his own when she brings up his letter jacket.
    • The shot of Jeff looking for Duncan and reacting with disgust when he sees his car.
    • Troy asking Jeff whether he should keep wearing his letter jacket.


I still cannot figure out how you got a jury to connect September the 11th with my DUI.Ian
The state bar has suspended my license. They found out my college degree was less than legitimate.Jeff
I thought you had a bachelor's from Columbia?Ian
And now I have to get one from America.Jeff
Jeff, are you familiar with the adage 'cheaters never prosper'?Ian
No, and if I had wanted to learn something, I wouldn't have come to community college.Jeff
You already know Brittles.Pierce
Abed. Abed the Arab. Is that inappropriate?Pierce
Roy. Roy the wonder boy.Pierce
Little princess Elizabeth.Pierce
And finally, this beautiful creature is named Shirley.Pierce
Is that even close?Jeff
[Shirley nods]
You have been sexually harassing me since the very first day of class.Shirley
'Sexually harassing'? What? That makes no sense to me. Why would I harass someone who turns me on?Pierce
Saying she turns you on is the harassment, dude.Troy
You know what I got for Christmas? It was a banner year at the Bender family. I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and he said, "Heeeey, smoke up Johnny!" No dad, what about you!Abed
Well, that actually was from the Breakfast Club.Jeff
Nobody puts Baby in the corner.Abed
Dirty Dancing.Jeff
You know what makes humans different from other animals?Jeff
No, no, come on. Bears have feet.Pierce
We can sympathize with a pencil. We can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an Academy Award for screenwriting.Jeff
Big mistake.Pierce
You've just stopped being a study group. You've become something unstoppable. I hereby pronounce you a community.Jeff
I like you, Jeffrey. You remind me of myself at your age.Pierce
I deserve that.Jeff
Jeff, before you say anything, you might wanna think about the gift you've given.Duncan
An excuse to punch a hippy?Jeff
No, no. Not that. An important lesson. You see, the tools you acquired to survive out there will not help you here at Greendale. What you have my friend, is a second chance at a honest life.Duncan
Why are people trying to teach me everything at a school that has an express tuition aisle? Give me my keys.Jeff
No, I have to keep your car for a lesson.Duncan
(Jeff scaring Duncan)
Please, please don't hit me (Gives Jeff his key back)Duncan
Are we cool, are we cool? We coolDuncan
Well, the funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without ever having to do any work.Jeff
Season One Episodes

1. "Pilot"
2. "Spanish 101"
3. "Introduction to Film"
4. "Social Psychology"
5. "Advanced Criminal Law"
6. "Football, Feminism and You"
7. "Introduction to Statistics"
8. "Home Economics"
9. "Debate 109"
10. "Environmental Science"
11. "The Politics of Human Sexuality"
12. "Comparative Religion"
13. "Investigative Journalism"

14. "Interpretive Dance"
15. "Romantic Expressionism"
16. "Communication Studies"
17. "Physical Education"
18. "Basic Genealogy"
19. "Beginner Pottery"
20. "The Science of Illusion"
21. "Contemporary American Poultry"
22. "The Art of Discourse"
23. "Modern Warfare"
24. "English as a Second Language"
25. "Pascal's Triangle Revisited"


Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six