|In the Greendale cafeteria, a ribbon cutting ceremony is being held for the reopening of "Shirley's Sandwiches". Shirley introduces her sons who sing a song for the occasion. Elsewhere in the hallways, Garrett struggles to open his locker and drops several folders. He bends down to pick them up only to be assaulted by a hooded figure who drops a quarter down Garrett's exposed derrière . After recovering from the attack, Garrett runs to the cafeteria and proclaims that the "Ass Crack Bandit" is back. The next day Dean Pelton holds a press conference and publicly denies that the campus menace has returned. However, in private Pelton confides to the Save Greendale Committee he received a note from someone claiming to be the bandit.
|Pelton introduces the recently returned Professor Ian Duncan with whom he tasks with creating a psychological profile of the culprit. Later, Annie goes to Jeff's office and theorizes that the bandit is a teacher. She asks for his help but he refuses unconcerned about the current crisis. Back in the study room, Troy notices a teddy bear on the ground. As he stoops down to pick it up, the Ass Crack Bandit strikes again. Afterwards, Buzz Hickey's criminology class inspects the study room for clues. Annie finds a note hidden inside the teddy bear taunting the investigators. When she again suggests the bandit is a teacher, Pelton officially removes her from the investigation. Jeff finds a dejected Annie in the student lounge and finally offers to help.
|Pelton bans coins at school in response to the assaults as others like Leonard and Shirley use the new policy to make a profit. The campus atmosphere vacillates between fear and admiration of the Bandit. Chang volunteers to be bait to catch the perpetrator by wearing a specially designed backwards costume. Meanwhile, Jeff and Annie are doing their own investigation analyzing the content of the bandits note. When Jeff notices several lyrical references to Dave Matthews Band songs Annie researches Facebook to compile a list of eight faculty members who are fans of the group. In the cafeteria, Troy speaks at a students assembly advocating Dean Pelton's latest plan to put cameras in all the bathrooms.
|As the assembly continues, Vicki is assaulted by the bandit who is under the stands. Later, Annie and Jeff meet after each eliminating a teacher from their suspects. They approach the next candidate Professor Bublitz who bolts when they attempt to question him. While pursuing him, they knock over several shelves until they corner him in the back of the lab. However, they discover he was only attempting to escape because he was growing a cannabis sativa plant. Pelton bursts in with news of the latest crackings but stops when he sees the destruction left in the wake of the chase. In his office, Pelton reprimands Jeff and Annie for thier actions and suggests they are just investigating to spend time with each other. As punishment he suspends Annie and makes Jeff the new water polo head coach.
|It's then that Pelton receives a call from the Bandit who taunts him as Jeff and Annie listen in on another phone. When the call ends, they track the extension that was used to the campus stables and discover somebody has been living there. They see a figure emerging from the shadows who flees when he sees the trio. They give chase and find Star-Burns failing to escape in a cart attached to cats. Afterwards another press conference is held where , Pelton announceS Star-Burns confessed to the crimes. He then invites everyone to a dance later to celebrate the capture. Jeff storms out of the media circus with Annie following him. He argues that Star-Burns can't be the bandit since he's not a teacher but Annie is satisfied to just put the whole thing behind her. She also suggests that the Dean may have been right about their relationship and implores him to let both issues drop.
|At the dance, Jeff looks on as Star-Burns is caged in the middle of the cafeteria as students pelt him with coins. Meanwhile, Annie sees Professor Duncan in his office and asks why he isn't at the dance. She is wary when Duncan reveals himself to be a huge Dave Matthews Band fan after the campus radio station plays one of their songs. Back in the cafeteria, Star-Burns hears the song as well but when he doesn't recognize it Jeff realizes he is innocent. He gets Star-Burns to admit that he made a deal with Pelton to confess in exchange for him dropping the meth charges. Back in Duncan's office, Annie becomes alarmed after noticing a roll of quarters on his filing cabinet. When she tries to leave she drops her keys. Without turning her back on Duncan, she awkwardly picks them up with her foot and runs off to find Jeff. At the same time, Jeff discovers a laptop connected to the school's automated switchboard which has a recording of the bandit's phone call to the Dean. Annie then arrives and tells Jeff her suspicions about Duncan. They try to locate him but the smoky and crowded hallways makes this difficult.
|Duncan also enters the hallways but bends over to tie his shoelace and falls prey to the ACB. Hearing that Duncan get "cracked", they spot the bandit fleeing around a corner. As they make the turn they are stopped by Shirley with some startling news: Pierce is dead. Rather than continuing after the bandit, they meet with the rest of the study group to comfort each other. As they exit the Library the next morning, Jeff and Annie muse on the unpredictability of life and rue the missed opportunity to apprehend the bandit. The two share a hug and Annie heads home and as she walks away, Jeff assures her they will have another chance to catch him. Annie jokingly suggests the ACB might be female which makes them both pause. A montage then plays out featuring a few possible suspects: Britta who is writing a paper on the bandit; Abed who is expertly rolling a quarter on his fingers; Shirley who is shown to have profited much from the incident; Professor Hickey who studies a newspaper clipping of a serial killer who was never caught; a suspicious looking cafeteria worker; and Dean Pelton with his assistant Rhonda playing a drinking game with quarters. Jeff and Annie briefly consider each other before waving goodbye.
Star-Burns promotes his cat car idea as an environmentally friendly form of transportation in a crowdfunding promo video.
- The "Ass Crack Bandit" was first mentioned in the Season Two episode "Intro to Political Science". Annie was running for student body president at the time and apprehending the bandit was one of the major campaign promises she made.
- Garrett has a Hawthorne Gaming Technologies sticker on his locker, a reference to the Season Three episode Digital Estate Planning.
- Troy walks by a poster featuring a hot air balloon, similar to the one that initiated the events of the Season Four episode Intro to Felt Surrogacy.
- The Greendale student newspaper, "The Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror", first featured in the Season One episode "Investigative Journalism" has now split into the "Greendale Gazette" and the "Greendale Mirror"
- Dean Pelton institutes "Troy's Law" in this episode which allows cameras in the schools restrooms. Pelton originally thought of this idea in the Season One episode "The Politics of Human Sexuality" to stop pranksters who were stealing toilet seat covers.
- On his radio show, Neil honors the passing of Pierce Hawthorne and mentions the game they played in the Season Two episode "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons".
- Returning students: Star-Burns makes his return in this episode after having faked his death in the Season Three episode "Basic Lupine Urology". Garrett appears and loudly warns the other students about the "Ass Crack Bandit". Vicki makes her first appearance of Season Five. Leonard and Neil also make appearances.
- Googly eyes:
- Dean Pelton and even the Ass Crack Bandit comment on the nature of Jeff and Annie's relationship.
- Professor Duncan makes several advances on Britta.
- Jeff talks about how holding Annie's shoulders is normal, and does it to Leonard to prove his point, in which case Leonard tries to kiss him. Later, Annie confronts Jeff about the Ass Crack Bandit being Duncan, while grabbing Jeff's shoulders. Jeff smiles at this contact. They later hug for a lengthy time, away from the others after finding out about Pierce's death.
- Returning faculty: Ian Duncan returns after a long absence from the show. He was last seen in the Season Two episode "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts".
- School supplies: The Radio flyer red wagon that Star-Burns uses for his cat chariot is the same one used in the Puppy Parade from the Season Two episode end tag of "Cooperative Calligraphy"
- School song: The song "Ass Crack Bandit" is heard early on in the episode and then later at the end. It was written for the episode by Ben Folds, who has a brief part in the episode as Professor Bublitz.
- Butt stuff: Troy is victimized by the "Ass Crack Bandit".
- A dollop of whipped irony:
- Pelton calls Jeff and Annie unprofessional and creepy due to them teaming up only to sublimate romantic urges they have in acceptable ways. He then does something creepy and unprofessional by forcing Jeff to become the new water polo coach with Pelton stating he will be his assistant coach.
- Despite Troy's repeated statements about liking "butt stuff", he is traumatized by actual (and rather innocuous) butt stuff happening to him in this episode.
- It's a mixer, it's a mixer: Dean Pelton suggests, “Abed, you're special. Can't you just stand at the scene of the crime and see what happened?”
- Man crush: Dean Pelton makes Jeff coach of the water polo team with plans to be Jeff's assistant coach.
- TV guide: Abed's DVR shows that he recorded popular shows such as The Bridge and Hannibal.
- Name that tune:
- Shout out: Not being a “real fan” Star-Burns mistakes the epithet "Dave" for David Lee Roth.
- Use your allusion: "Numismatics" is the study or collection of currency including paper money and coins. "Intergluteal" means something inbetween the muscles which make up the buttocks. The episode title , "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics", refers directly to the Ass Crack Bandit's M.O. which is to drop quarters into the space separating the two major muscles of his victims gluteal region.
- Homage: This episode pays homage to numerous genres of film as well as specific movies and TV shows.
- Much of the episode strongly parallels the 2007 film Zodiac, which follows a political cartoonist who becomes obsessed with identifying a serial killer in the San Francisco area.
- The opening credits is a homage to the 2002 adaptation of Red Dragon.
- Several scenes, most notably Troy's cracking, evoke moments from slasher films such as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
- When Annie and Jeff analyze the letters left by the ACB, the radio on Jeff's desk begins playing J. S. Bach's "Air" from Suite No. 3 in D Major. This is a reference to the 1995 film Se7en when Morgan Freeman's character, Det. Somerset, does lengthy research on the seven deadly sins in a library to catch a serial killer, during which the same music is played. Jeff and Annie, however, only play it for a few seconds before finishing their research and turning off the radio.
- Troy's confrontation with Star-Burns at the press conference is similar to a scene in Jaws where the mother of a shark victim slaps Police Chief Brody after learning he didn't close the beaches after an earlier attack.
- Up against a wall: Ian Duncan explains his long absence from the school by saying he had to care for his sick mother.
- Abed repeatedly drapes a blanket around Troy's shoulders and hands him a styrofoam cup before saying, "This is how they comfort victims in movies."
- Professor Duncan's and Britta's analysis of the bandit poke fun at the sometimes scattershot nature of criminal profiling.
- Abed's speech at the scene of the crime mimics many fictitious criminal profilers, such as Will Graham, and is also a critique of formulaic procedural/crime drama TV shows.
According to Zap2it.com, the episode was watched by 3.58 million viewers placing second in its timeslot behind The Big Bang Theory and seventh overall for the night. In the 18-49 age range it garnered a rating/share of 1.4/4.; this is an increase from the Season premiere which received an 18-49 rating/share of 1.3/4. viewers and ratings from the season premiere. The ratings were also an improvement up from the 3.49 million who tuned in the previous week.
Ass Crack bandit quotesEdit
- “I am the Ass Crack Bandit. Humans make better banks than piggies. Whenever I get more change at the store I can't wait to drop it down your butts. I think I will go to the bank and get so much change and take all my dollars and make them into change and drop it all down there.”— ACB letter
- “I hope you enjoyed my work again. You can't stop me because what are you going to do, not have butts?”— ACB Note#1
- “I am the mad hatter, if hats were butts. I am neither left nor right. I am the space between. To me you are all like ants marching to class, freaks on parade.”— ACB Note#2
- “This is the Ass Crack Bandit. I find it funny that you ever thought you could catch me.”— ACB phonecall/recording
- “I've enjoyed our game of cat and mouse. It's funny how close your two little helpers get to catching me. I liked watching them run in circles. Although sometimes I wonder, are they chasing me as an excuse to get near to each other? I mean, get a room already.”— ACB phonecall/recording
- “I am the bringer of change. I am the filler of cracks.”— ACB phonecall/recording
- “This is the biggest PR crisis to hit the school since we held that rally protesting the wrong Korea.”— Dean Pelton
- “I am hereby banning change from this campus.”— Dean Pelton
- “You really think that's an effective...”— Professor Hickey
- “Well guess what. Your two cents is change, and it's banned.”— Dean Pelton
- “The nature of the Ass Crack Bandit's crimes would suggest that he's angry or just fell in love.”— Professor Duncan
- “We know that he hates money or loves it or doesn't care about money and hates butts or loves them.”— Britta
- “Let me be like the fiftieth person at this school to ask, what is this, huh? What is this creepy business?”— Dean Pelton, referring to Jeff and Annie's relationship
- “I think that this is spending too much money on a crime that nets you 25 cents a pop.”— Professor Hickey
- “No, no. This was free.”— Dean Pelton
- “Then I think you just admitted you already owned a fake butt.”— Professor Hickey
Production for this episode used the title "What's in the Hat?" on its clapperboard. This follows the the theme of hat-based puns throughout Season Five's production titles.
Behind the scenes photosEdit
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