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5X6 Fat Dog dance

     Analysis of Cork-Based Networking  
Director: Tristram ShapeeroWriter: Monica Padrick — Aired: January 30, 2014 — Season: Five — Number: Six
Summary: As Annie prepares the cafeteria for the midterm dance, she and Professor Hickey must deal with the head custodian, the head of I.T. and the head of parking.


Welcome to the labyrinth, kid--only there ain't no puppets or bisexual rock stars down here.
— Buzz Hickey
In Group Study Room F, Annie chairs a "Save Greendale" committee session and introduces the group to its latest member, Ben Chang. She then hands over thick binders to each of them containing various school problems the committee needs to address. Abed likens the groups purpose to the "House of Vagadosh", a band of characters found in "Bloodlines of Conquest", his latest TV show obsession which is based on a series of novels. Buzz is unfamiliar with it and when Abed starts to explain he spoils a plot point for Britta who had just started watching. When he continues revealing spoilers, an angry Britta threatens to read ahead in the novels and ruin the show for him. Annie gets the meeting back under control and assigns the pair to take a student census of the school. She gives Hickey the supposedly easy task of re-hanging a bulletin board in the Cafeteria while she, Shirley, Duncan, Jeff and Chang are on decorating detail for the Mid-Term dance.

5X6 Annie and a bird
Monkeys aren't the only animals hiding in the walls
Later, Britta fails to spoil a "Bloodlines" plot twist she learned to Abed who had taken to wearing headphones in anticipation of her actions. Elsewhere, Buzz finds Jerry and is told in order to hang up a bulletin board he needs a work order from the head janitor. Meanwhile, Britta notices sparks fly between Abed and an attractive deaf female student named Carol. Back in the study room, Buzz reports back to Annie that he was unable to complete his assignment because of the red tape involved. Annie decides to handle the matter herself turning over the mid term dance decorating task to Ian, Jeff, Shirley and Chang. Accompanied by Hickey, Annie goes to the schools basement to ask the janitorial staff for their assistance. She charms Crazy Schmidt into putting in a work order for the bulletin board but the time table on it is three to six months. In order to speed up the process Annie is told she will have to go to a custodian.

5X6 Bottom of the queue
Annie's work request is at the bottom of the queue
Buzz believes she doesn't have it in her to see this all the way through but Annie is confident she can accomplish the goal. They go to see the head custodian Bob Waite who is holding a private party for his staff. After Hickey gets them past deputy custodian Lapari, they meet with Bob who is already aware of their request. He offers to help them if they unblock the custodial departments internet connection to certain online sites. Afterwards, Buzz asks Annie if a bulletin board is worth all of this hassle. Annie earnestly replies it's not just a board but a representation of infinite possibilities which can change the future. Spurred by her idealism, Buzz mentions a contact he has in the schools I.T. department. Meanwhile, Abed flirts with Carol in the hallway using sign language he just learned as the rest of the committee in the cafeteria struggles to come up with a theme for the dance. Chang has an idea called "Bear down for mid-terms" which is rejected by the others. When he starts to cry, they take pity on him and decide to go forward with his suggestion.

5X6 Chief Custodian Bob Waite
Chief Custodian Bob Waite asks for a favor
Over at the I.T. Department, Buzz is surprised when Annie immediately offers the department head Debra Chambers a bribe to lift the custodial staffs web restrictions. Back in the cafeteria, the committee works on the bear decorations and Chang suggests they add a birthday theme into the mix as well. Over at Greendale's parking office, Buzz and Annie meet with its department head named Waldron to fulfill Chambers request of a better parking spot. He offers to help them if they get him put in charge of managing the content put on all school bulletin boards. He intends to eliminate ride share and car pool notices in order to make parking scarce and increase the power of his department. Although Buzz is disgusted by Waldron's ambition Annie tells him they have a deal. Meanwhile, Neil points out Chang's inspiration for the dance theme which is a recent news story about a bear mauling people at a child's birthday party.

5X6 Neil can bear-ly contains his shock
Neil can bear-ly contain his shock
In Dean Pelton's office, Annie presents to the Dean a form for a bulletin board over site department with Waldron in charge. The Dean proposes a toast before signing but Buzz refuses to join in. He tells Annie he had hoped that by seeing the corruption at school she would reject it instead of embracing it. Annie scoffs at his moral superiority noting how his unwillingness to play the game cost him his career as a police officer. Buzz counters that while she achieved her goal she ended up compromising her principles. He adds that he expected better from her and leaves. Pelton admits to not completely understanding the exchange but rips up the proposal feeling it's the right thing to do. Afterwards in the cafeteria, Annie checks in on the committees progress but is confused by theme. To cover their mistake, they had reworked the bear concept into something called "Fat dog". After assuring Annie its a legit concept, the dance goes on as scheduled later that night. Abed invited Carol to go with him but the date goes bad when she signs to him how the "Bloodlines of Conquest" novels ended.

5X6 Spoilers
Britta reveals she orchestrated this having paid Carol to spoil the story for him. She regrets her actions when she sees how saddened Abed is over the deception. As Abed leaves the cafeteria he spots Rachel, the coat check girl he met last year. He apologizes for never calling her back and invites her to dinner which she happily accepts. Meanwhile, Buzz is in his office and after some contemplation takes a bulletin board off the wall and goes to the cafeteria to install it there himself. Dean Pelton arrives with two custodial workers that he orders to remove the board. When Annie physically tries to prevent them, the rest of the Save Greendale committee unites behind her. Dean Pelton reluctantly backs off and Annie silently thanks Buzz. The festivities resume with Chang demonstrating the "Fat Dog" dance with Garrett following along. Garrett accidentally hits the decorations revealing it to be a bear and loudly yells his discovery to everyone.

5X6 It's a bear dance

End tagEdit

Professor Duncan is in his office dealing with paperwork when he runs out of staples. He calls up the Greendale Faculty Office supply line to order some more and listens to an automated voice list off supplies. Duncan is about to select staples when he hears an option called "Marigold". Intrigued, he chooses that instead and is given a second set of color related choices to pick. After choosing one, an automated voice asks him to enter the activation code and he pushes a few random numbers. The sequence he input is accepted and a live voice asks for confirmation of his authority and whether he really wants to activate "it". Duncan changes his mind and asks that they to cancel "it" as the person on the other end questions who Ian is. Duncan then hears what sounds like a fighter jet pass by overhead. With the crisis averted, he notices a small box of staples amidst the clutter on his desk and laughs.

5X6 The Marigold option
Duncan chooses "Marigold"

Recurring themesEdit


  • Familiar Faces: Jerry and Crazy Schmidt return. Nathan Fillion of Castle and Firefly and Paget Brewster of Criminal Minds guest star in this episode.
  • Googly Eyes: Abed hits it off with a deaf student named Carol and then later reconnects with Rachel.
  • History Lesson: Buzz Hickey lost his job as a police officer because of his distaste for the political side of things.
  • Identity Crisis: Annie sees how far she's compromised the goals of the Save Greendale Committee just to get a bulletin board replaced.
  • Previously:
  • Replay: Dean Pelton repeatedly says “Easy peasy lemon squeezy”, a rhyme used by Lukka in Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy.
  • Returning faculty: Professors Duncan and Hickey work on the Committee.
  • Returning students: Fat Neil, Rachel and Garrett attend the dance.
  • School song: Chang invents a "Fat Dog" song and line dance.
  • School supplies: Annie teams up with Professor Hickey to get a bulletin board replaced.
  • That just happened: In the previous episode, Chang admitted that his same-sex celebrity crush was Nathan Fillion, who guest-stars in this episode.

Running gagsEdit

  • NOOOOOO!: Annie insists that IT give the custodians Internet access to "EVERYTHING!"
  • Pansexual imp: Dean Pelton thought that David Bowie looked "macho" in Labyrinth.
  • Raging against the machine: Britta worries about how much paper Annie uses for the Committee meeting.
  • Rhyme time: Dean Pelton uses “Easy peasy lemon squeezy” as a toast.

Pop culture referencesEdit

  • IMDb: ​Both Professor Hickey and Dean Pelton mention Labyrinth.
  • Shout out: Pelton says, “Man, this got Sorkin-y” in reference to Aaron Sorkin.
  • Name that tune: Raphael Lake's Slide Right In plays during the dance, and Roxy Music's "More Than This" plays during the montage at the end of the episode.

Meta referencesEdit

  • Use your allusion:
    • Several Committee members voice their love for the medieval fantasy show "Bloodlines of Conquest", an obvious reference to the HBO series, Game of Thrones. Abed and Britta clash vigorously over avoiding spoilers much like real life fans of Game of Thrones.
    • Abed and Carol discuss what Ewoks sound like as she has watched Return of the Jedi but cannot hear the film.
  • Homage:
    • The Annie/Hickey storyline mimics the compromise and nepotism of an Aaron Sorkin political drama. Sorkin is specifically mentioned on the show by Dean Pelton and on twitter by creator Dan Harmon.
    • Annie's delivery of the line "EVERYTHING!" was a reference to Norman Stansfield from the film Léon: The Professional.
    • Troy's predicament can be seen as an homage to the infamous last episode of the character Colonel Blake from M*A*S*H., in which he was reported to be shot down and killed in the Sea of Japan.
  • Résumé: At the end of the episode, Abed and Rachel are watching Dan Harmon's Cartoon network show, Rick and Morty.


On December 13, Screenslam posted an exclusive behind the scenes video featuring the filming of Community's sixth episode in Season Five.

CommunitySeason 5 Behind the Scenes Episode 50600:59

CommunitySeason 5 Behind the Scenes Episode 506

Production for this episode used the title "Children of a Lesser Hat" on its clapperboard. This follows the the theme of hat-based puns throughout Season Five's production titles.

Episode 506
Another hat based pun

Behind the scenesEdit

Community Between the Takes Episode 6 - Community04:51

Community Between the Takes Episode 6 - Community


  • This was the first episode in which Troy doesn't appear, having left the show in the previous episode. This makes Jeff, Annie, Abed, Britta and Shirley the only characters to appear in every episode so far.
  • A real life Wikipedia page about "Fat Dog" was created the next day after this episode aired in reference to Shirley and Duncan having created a Wikipedia page about the term on the show. The Wikipedia page was eventually removed with a redirect left behind to another article. The original page can be seen HERE.



Sneak Peek Analysis of Cork-Based Networking - Community Promo00:21

Sneak Peek Analysis of Cork-Based Networking - Community Promo

Episode clipEdit

Custodian Bob vs02:19

Custodian Bob vs. The Porn Blocker - Community Highlight

Behind the scenes photosEdit

Promotional photosEdit

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

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six

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