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Okay, alright but if we're going to do this, we're going to do this clean and safe. We're going to move these to my restaurant and we're going to sit on these until they're cold. Then we're going to price them through a third party and unload them in one big score. None of that nickel and dime crap, I don't want to leave a trail.
— Shirley
In the study room, Annie presides over another meeting of the Save Greendale Committee. She gets Jeff, Shirley, and Hickey to clean the East Hall storage room. Abed arrives with his new girlfriend Rachel and proudly shows off a one month anniversary gift she gave him: an interactive old west themed VCR game from the '90s called "Pile of Bullets." He asks Annie if Rachel can come to their apartment to play the game tonight. Despite Annie telling him she has dinner plans with her brother Anthony, Abed invites himself and Rachel. Dean Pelton then shows up wearing a peanut bar costume. It's part of an apology to Hickey and Jeff about the school's payroll being late. He performs a freestyle rap but gets carried away.

Payday apology
Droppin' a beat, spittin' rhymes, and preachin' truth.
At Abed and Annie's apartment, Anthony is helping his sister prepare dinner. After Abed asks for assistance opening the broken refrigerator door, Anthony quickly fixes it for them. Annie pulls Abed aside and suggests that Anthony move in since they are having trouble making rent with just the two of them. When Abed proposes that Rachel be their new roommate instead, Annie rejects the idea and tables the discussion for later. In the storage room, Jeff, Shirley and Hickey are struggling with their task. Noticing that one of the air conditioning vents is blocked, Jeff opens it up and discovers several stacks of brand new chemistry textbooks. Hickey estimates that the books are worth $200 each and are probably stolen. Jeff suggests they find a way to sell them and keep the money. Shirley initially objects but is won over after considering how the money could help her family and business.

Jeff discovers the textbooks
Jeff finds a hidden treasure in the air vents.
Back at the apartment, the dinner becomes awkward as Anne and Abed both campaign to each other for their respective candidate. The hosts excuse themselves to try and resolve their disagreement privately. They then decide the victor of a game of "Pile of Bullets" will decide who becomes their new roommate. When Rachel and Anthony decline to play, Abed and Annie make it clear that is not an option. Meanwhile, Jeff, Shirley, and Hickey meet with Britta, who knows a buyer for the stolen textbooks. They begin to argue about Britta's share of the profit when Chang walks in on the discussion. Sensing something shady is going down, he tries to leave but Jeff ties him up. They force him to record a video confessing that he stole the textbooks. Jeff has second thoughts, believing they've gone too far, and tries to walk away. Hickey then tackles him and ties him up as well.

Anthony and Rachel
Annie and Abed ask Anthony and Rachel to join them in a game of "Pile of Bullets."
Meanwhile, Anthony, Annie, Abed, and Rachel play "Pile of Bullets" but find it incredibly confusing. After some trial and error, Annie and Abed eventually figure out the gameplay. They play with an intensity matched only by Rachel and Anthony's indifference. After no winner is reached, the hosts restart the game much to the dismay of their guests. Abed then reveals to Rachel and Anthony the real reason he and Annie are determined to win. Both are angered no one actually bothered to ask them if they wanted to move in and Rachel storms out. Back at school, Britta tells the others that her contact wants to meet with her to set a price and prepare for the exchange. Trying to divide the group, Jeff and Chang question whether or not Britta can be trusted to make the deal alone. The ruse works too well when Shirley also ties up Britta and Hickey, leaving her to make the deal by herself.

5X9 After dinner game
Trying to make sense out of "Pile of Bullets."
The next day, Annie finds Anthony packing his things up to leave earlier than expected. He explains that there are too many unresolved issues for him to stay. Annie confesses that she wanted him to move in partly because it would validate her decisions amid the family chaos following her pill addiction. Anthony responds that he was talking about the void left in the apartment by the black guy he sees in the photographs all over the walls. Back at Greendale, Abed approaches Rachel to apologize. He tells her that he had been trying to accelerate their relationship because he was worried that he was going to mess it up and Annie would help him avoid making mistakes. Rachel replies that if he doesn't manipulate or lie then she'll keep trying to make their relationship work.

5X9 Third act apology gone wrong
A third act apology casualty.
Shirley meets with Britta's buyer but he tells her that the books are worthless because they are misprints: none of the pages are numbered. She returns to the storage room to untie the others. In the study room, Annie and Abed acknowledge that Troy helped keep things peaceful around their apartment and they need to find a way to deal with that. They wonder if they could find some kind of live-in therapist just as Britta enters the room. They decide to try Craigslist instead. When Hickey, Shirley, and Jeff arrive, Annie notices that they haven't changed clothes since yesterday. Hickey just says that they've “been through some stuff” and don't want to discuss it. Outside in the library, Pelton tries to write some rap lyrics but is unable to recapture his rhythmic flow.

Pelton rap master
Pelton attempts to compose another rap masterpiece.

End tag[]

In a flashback to 1993, the actor from "Pile of Bullets" receives a call in his apartment offering him the part in the old west game. He is less than enthused about it but his wife convinces him to give up his job at Apple Computer to take the part because she believes VCR games are the next big thing.

5X9 Devon's story
Devon's story.

Recurring themes[]


  • Previously:
    • Abed tells Jeff that Rachel knows Jeff's Netflix password. Troy and Abed admitted to using Jeff's account in "Cooperative Polygraphy."
    • Numerous photographs are seen in the apartment referencing Troy and Abed's past adventures.
    • Abed doesn't want to flip a coin to choose a roommate because "coins create parallel timelines," a reference to the Season Three episode "Remedial Chaos Theory."
  • Replay: Britta tries to deliver her "Everybody!" line like how Annie said "Everything" in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" but she Brittas it.
  • Familiar faces:
    • "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan makes his onscreen debut as an actor in this episode as "Devon," the cowboy host of "Pile of Bullets."
    • Singer/song writer and actor Paul Williams makes a cameo as the buyer interested in the textbooks.
    • Actress Gina Gershon cameos on the episode end tag as the wife of Devon.
    • Dan Harmon's personal assistant Spencer Crittenden, who is well known to fans of Harmon's podcast "Harmontown," appears in this episode as Annie's brother Anthony Edison.
  • History lesson: Annie mentions that she is still hurt by her mother turning her back on her when she decided to go to rehab. She also mentions how she somewhat held a grudge against Anthony for taking their mother's side in the disagreement (even though he was only 13).
  • Returning students:
  • Googly eyes: Abed is currently in a relationship with Rachel.
  • School supplies:
    • A pair of "Chimpan-Zzz's" canisters can clearly be seen in the background of the storage room the Committee is cleaning. The gas containers were last seen in the Season Three episode "Biology 101."
    • Abed and Annie cook buttered noodles for Rachel and Anthony (See article "Buttered noodles").
  • A nice gesture: Annie and Abed's secret handshake reappears in this episode; it was last seen in the Season One episode "Pascal's Triangle Revisited."
  • Mad skillz: Dean Pelton demonstrates some untapped rapping skills (See article "Payday Apology Rap").
  • This must be the place: Group Study Room F, Annie and Abed's apartment, and the East Hall storage room appear in this episode.
  • Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: When Annie and Abed talk about finding a new roommate, Britta walks in. They briefly consider her, before agreeing on finding someone else on Craigslist. Britta will end up moving in with them next year in "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care."

Running gags[]

  • Awww!: Annie and Shirley coo repeatedly about Rachel and Abed, whom Jeff refers to as the Awww Couple.
  • Changuage: When the Committee argues about how to divide the profits, Chang enters the room singing a song with lyrics that includes his last name.
  • Like an evil genie: Just as Annie and Abed ponder that they need to live with a therapist or at least someone crazier than them, Britta walks in and sits down, prompting them to reconsider what they just said.
  • Nice outfit: Dean Pelton dresses up like a Payday candy bar to deliver a rap apology.
  • NOOOOOO!: Britta yells out "Everybody."
  • Take that, inspector!: Women's bathrooms are equipped with urinals.

Pop culture references[]

  • Product placement: Online classified advertisement website Craigslist is mentioned by Annie and Abed.
  • Shout out:
  • Use your allusion:

Meta references[]

  • Background check: A riddle is written on the dry erase board behind Annie and Shirley in the study room.

If 7/a + 14/l + 21/e + 28/d = Sumtotal 34/S
What word am I?
If You Guessed "Fourteen"
You'r Wrong. Play again -
Ask Your friends with Words to Help
Clue: No fractions were used
Clue 2: pop pop

  • IRL:
    • According to DVD commentaries for this episode, Jonathan Banks's ("Buzz Hickey") son Claudio portrayed Craig Pelton's assistant, who played the keyboard backing track for the Dean's rap.
    • Hickey corrects Jeff's use of the word "who" to "whom". This is likely a reference to Jonathan Banks wanting Mike, his character on Breaking Bad, to use "whom" so that he could have proper grammar. He talks about it in this interview:
  • Résumé: Vince Gilligan, who plays the wild west character in "Pile of Bullets," is the creator of Breaking Bad. Three other "Breaking Bad" actors have appeared on "Community" including Matt Jones (as Stoner Friend/Coffee Delivery Guy) who played Badger, Jonathan Banks (as Professor Buzz Hickey) who played ex-cop turned hitman "Mike Ehrmantraut" and Giancarlo Esposito (as Gilbert Lawson) who played "Gustavo Fring." Additionally, Mel Rodriguez appears in "Community" (as Sergeant Nunzez) and plays Marco in the Breaking Bad prequel "Better Call Saul".


Jim Rash joked at the 2019 Community reunion that he performed the Payday Apology Rap in only one take: according to Reddit user Rebecca Coleman, who visited the set on the day the sequence was filmed, the scene actually took multiple takes because no one could keep a straight face. Gillian Jacobs recalls being the worst offender because she could not stop laughing and looking at the camera. Even in the finished episode, Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs can be seen angling their faces away from the camera to hide their reactions, with Jacobs visibly trying to hide the view of her mouth with her hand: when they turn back to the camera Jacobs is clearly smiling. Dan Harmon remarked there was debate over keeping the take because of this, but ultimately they decided it made sense for Britta to find the situation funny.

Behind the scenes video[]


I ain't living with your month-long girlfriend, brah.Annie
Well, I ain't living with your wack-ass, don't-know-whether-to-keep-cutting-carrots or ask-if-he-can-take-a-poop brother. Can we discuss this later? Rachel's on her way, and I'd like to practice my smile.Abed
What do you think happens after you die?Anthony Edison
I don't know.Rachel
You're lucky.Anthony
Season Five Episodes

1. "Repilot"
2. "Introduction to Teaching"
3. "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics"
4. "Cooperative Polygraphy"
5. "Geothermal Escapism"
6. "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking"
7. "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality"

8. "App Development and Condiments"
9. "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"
10. "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
11. "G.I. Jeff"
12. "Basic Story"
13. "Basic Sandwich"

Community The Complete Fifth Season

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