Director: Joe Russo — Writer: Andrew Guest — Aired: February 4, 2010 —Season: One — Number: Fifteen Summary: Britta and Jeff try to break up Annie and Vaughn; Pierce is unfunny at Abed's movie night party.
Maybe we are not a family. Maybe it's more complicated because unlike a real family there's nothing to stop anyone of us from looking at any of the others as a sexual prospect.
— Jeff to the Study Group
While walking to class, Jeff and Britta spot Annie flirting with Vaughn Miller. Jeff is still bothered by Britta's ex-boyfriend but Britta claims she is over him. Over in the study room, Abed invites Shirley and Pierce to join him and Troy for movie night in his dorm room. Outside the room, Annie meets up with Britta before the study group meeting and asks for her permission to date Vaughn. Annie explains that she has given up on Troy who seems more interested in Abed than her. Although Britta gives her blessing to Annie, she later finds Jeff in the cafeteria and alerts him to the situation. As she expected, Jeff strongly disapproves referring to Vaughn as a "gateway douchebag" and warning her that soon other similar douchebags will want to date Annie.
Annie's newest crush is Vaughn Miller.
Meanwhile at Abed's dorm room, Troy, Shirley, Pierce, and Chang gather to watch and ridicule a movie called "Kickpuncher". They all take turns mocking the film, but Pierce's lame attempts fail to amuse anyone. Afterwards, Abed invites Pierce for another movie night tomorrow oblivious to the others objections. On the campus quad, Jeff and Britta resolve to end Annie's new relationship with Vaughn after seeing them canoodling. They decide to manipulate her former crush Troy into helping them by convincing him Annie is in love with him. meanwhile, Pierce recruits the Greendale sketch comedy troupe to help him write a few good jokes before the next screening.
I have the weirdest boner.
Over in the student lounge, Troy finds Annie and tries to flirt with her. Annie rejects his advances just as Vaughn walks in. He assumes the worst when Troy blurts out that Annie is in love with him. Annie denies this but Vaughn doesn't believe her and immediately breaks up with Annie. She then learns from Troy that Jeff and Britta were responsible for what just happened. She goes to the study room and angrily tells them off for meddling in her love life. Later that night, Pierce attends Abed's movie screening but the others become suspicious when he immediately starts delivering rapid fire jokes. He confesses to coming prepared after failing to deflect their criticisms. Leaving in a huff, he trips and falls making a huge mess but is ecstatic when everyone laughs.
Biggest laugh of the night!
Jeff and Britta arrive for the study group meeting the next day looking to apologize to Annie. She refuses, saying they need to treat her as an adult and not interfere in her love life. Britta lashes out and tells her if she wants to be treated as an adult she needs to stop dating her ex-boyfriend. Jeff realizes she lied about her reasons for wanting to break Annie and Vaughn and was jealous. Britta in turn questions Jeff's motivations, hinting at his own feelings for Annie. The conversation becomes heated as the other study group members join in. Jeff tries to put an end to the arguing by conceding that although this group is as close as a family, everyone could become a romantic prospect since they aren't actually related; this assessment causes the group to reflect and consider the possibilities.
Abed's up for anything.
Annie stops the group's musings, feeling that they are getting off topic. She states that she genuinely likes Vaughn. The group then hears music playing, and they leave the study room to investigate. Outside, they find Vaughn, and he begins to serenade Annie with an original song he wrote. When he finishes singing he manages to win over the study group with the songs honesty and sincerity. Annie runs over and embraces Vaughn and after a brief chat goes back to the group. She asks if it's okay with them if she goes with Vaughn and both Jeff and Britta give Annie her their blessing. Pierce then grosses everyone out by asking if he has a shot with anyone in the study group.
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
History lesson: Troy elaborates on Annie's past Adderall addiction saying he didn't recognize her when he first saw her in Greendale because she was heavier back in high school. This would be retained in the Season Four episode "Heroic Origins" when it's revealed Troy knew exactly who she was all along.
Climax: Annie's longtime crush on Troy is dealt with.
Discontinuity: Jeff says that the reason Annie shouldn't date Vaughn is because she is 18. If Annie is 18, then she must have been 17 when she first enrolled in Greendale since it is known that her birthday is in December; paradoxically, Annie was known to be 18 when she enrolled.
Résumé: When Pierce falls over, it is a reference to Chevy Chase's trademark gag during his time on Saturday Night Live in which he would take a tumble for comedic effect. The episode as a whole is also a reference to the fact that the writers use the character of Pierce for more physical comedy when compared to the rest of the group.
Dan Harmon's "story embryo" can be seen on the chalkboard behind Pierce as he's workshopping Kick Puncher jokes. The "story embryo" is used by the writers to outline every episode of Community. Harmon even uses it for the throwaway jokes. The embryo consists of eight steps: 1) A character is in a zone of comfort, 2) but they want something. 3) They enter an unfamiliar situation. 4) Adapt to it. 5) Get what they wanted. 6) Pay a heavy price for it. 7) Then return to their familiar situation, 8) having changed.
A famous stock sound effect called the Wilhelm scream is heard during Kickpuncher. This sound effect is used regularly in later episodes, as well.
“He never wears a shirt. He never wears shoes. Why hasn't he died from lack of service?”— Jeff
“I'm younger than the three of you put together.”— Pierce
“Troy? The other day after Spanish I thought he was trying to hold my hand but he had just mistaken me for Abed.”— Annie
“Some things are more connected than others, like tarantulas and me peeing my pants.”— Troy
“Fine, I cared. I'm a girly-girl. I like boys and I don't like it when they're mean to me and I don't like it when they stop kissing me and start kissing my friends. I'm not that cool. I'm not Juno, okay, homeslice!”— Britta
“Why are we even talking about this?”— Annie
“'Cause you started having sex with Britta's ex-boyfriend.”— Jeff
“We haven't even kissed yet!”— Annie
“That doesn't mean you're not having sex.”— Pierce