5x12 Annie, Abed and Dean Pelton

     Basic Story  
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar — Writer: Carol KolbAired: April 10, 2014 — Season: Five — Number: Twelve
Summary: The Save Greendale Committee learns they did their job too well and now the school is up for sale.


"And you shall find that salt is the taste of another man's bread and hard is the way up-and-down another man's stairs"... Dante, let's proceed.
— Ronald Mohammad
While finishing up another meeting, the Save Greendale Committee starts to reflect on how much good they have done for the campus. Abed becomes concerned, worried that their complacency is a sure sign that something horrible is about to happen. Dean Pelton interrupts with an announcement seemingly validating Abed's fears but it turns out to be nothing more than a warm greeting to the campus. Later, school board members Carl Bladt and Richie Countee unexpectedly show up to Pelton's office. The inebriated pair tells him that there is an insurance appraiser coming tomorrow to evaluate the school. Back in the study room, Abed warily watches his fellow committee members play phone games as he waits for something disastrous to occur. Pelton then suddenly arrives and alerts them to the news about the appraiser.

5x12 Carl and Richie
Richie and Carl are back.
Everyone starts to panic except Jeff who tries to assure the Dean that there is nothing to worry about since the committee fixed everything wrong with the school. Abed sees this as an opportunity for wacky hi-jinks and almost gets everyone to go along with him until Jeff steps in. He pulls Abed outside and explains that there is no story for him here; if there were then it would mean Greendale is in actual trouble which could lead to there being no more stories. Abed accepts Jeff's explanation and decides to make sure there is no story. Afterwards, Annie is filing out paperwork in the Administrations office when Jeff shows up to put down some roach motels. Behind some cabinets he finds Dean Pelton's mother's wedding ring and returns it to him. Pelton explains he enjoyed wearing it because he always fantasized about settling down someday.

5x12 There is no story
Jeff tells Abed there is no story.
Jeff scoffs at the idea but Annie point out he has already put down roots since he has a steady job and a place he loves in Greendale. Jeff denies that he cares only to ironically reiterate that he believes the appraisal will go well. Meanwhile, Abed is having a meta-crisis trying to avoid being a part of the story. Later outside of the library, Dean Pelton and the rest of the committee welcome the appraiser Ronald Mohammad. As Ronald drones on about his duties, Shirley warns Jeff not to panic but he refuses to admit he is worried. Shirley cautions him not to deny his true feelings but embrace them as they are a source of strength. Ronald then begins his appraisal while at the same time Abed's meta crisis causes him to start hallucinating. After some time, Ronald eventually reaches the final stage of his appraisal and tests a vending machine to see if it is properly secured.

5x12 Ronald Mohhamad begins his inspection
Ronald Mohamad begins his inspection.
After the machine passes inspection, Carl Bladt and Richie Countee show up. Ronald goes over his findings and informs them that he finds the school to be a valuable property asset. A celebration then breaks out but then quickly comes to a halt after Buzz overhears Carl and Richie talk about selling the school. They explain that since there is proof of value for the real estate they can now sell the school to the private sector for a handsome profit. As they leave to discuss the matter further, Abed arrives informing them about the meta crisis he averted but everyone is too despondent to care. Jeff tries to calm down a hysterical Pelton only for it to sink in that by "saving" Greendale the committee actually destroyed it. Some time later, the school is shown to have been purchased by Subway and is slowly being converted into a Sandwich university.

5x12 Subway takes over
Subway takes over and even the Human Being is replaced by Jared.
Despite the imminent take over of the school by Subway, the Save Greendale Committee has one last meeting in the study room. Annie suggests they launch an online social media campaign to save the school. Her idea is quickly dismissed by Jeff who tells her that there's nothing more to be done. Before Jeff adjourns the meeting, Chang reveals his allegiance to Subway and mocks the committee as he departs. Elsewhere, the Subway rep is given a tour of the campus by Carl and Richie. They arrive at Dean Pelton's office only to find him in his underwear crying. As they leave, Annie and Abed arrive to help Pelton pack up his office. As Annie comforts the Dean, Abed notices a picture of the infamous Greendale computer professor Russell Borchert. He finds a scroll hidden behind the picture and unfurls it. A chalky substance is released from the parchment and inhaled by Abed, Pelton and Annie. They are all are shocked when they read its contents.

5x12 Abed makes a discovery
Abed makes a discovery.
Meanwhile, Jeff is offered a job by the Subway executive to be their new Sandwich law professor. He heads back to the study room and finds Britta alone at the table listening to her iPod. They start talking about the future unwilling to admit how much they will miss Greendale. After reminiscing about how this all started with Jeff trying to sleep with her, he is inspired to propose to Britta. Although uncertain, she accepts and they decide to consummate the agreement on the new study table. Before they can secure the doors, Dean Pelton, Annie and Abed burst into the room. They seem to be under the influence of a narcotic and mention the need for another committee meeting. They've found a clue about a treasure which could possibly save Greendale. As the trio babble on about this, outside the study room Chang is eavesdropping and learns of their plans.

5x12 Tomato
Chang laughs manically after overhearing their plans and writing it down as "tomato".

End TagEdit

Buzz Hickey and Ian Duncan discover that they might share some history together from Hickey's time in the Army in England.

Recurring themesEdit


  • Middle Eastern magic 8 ball: Abed foresees a calm before the storm when the Save Greendale Committee is too content.
  • Previously:
    • Jeff and Britta reminisce about their first year at Greendale when he formed the group to sleep with her.
    • Dean Pelton mentions having lost his mother's ring during his first week at Greendale, referring to the Pilot episode where he was wearing it, which means he started working at Greendale at the same time when the The Study Group was formed. While it introduces a continuity error (see "Discontinuity" below) it does explain why Pierce didn't recognize the dean in "Football, Feminism and You", despite having been at Greendale for over a decade.
  • Familiar faces:
  • First appearance: Russell Borchert played by Chris Elliot makes a brief appearance in the form of a portrait hanging on Dean Pelton's wall.
  • History lesson: Russell Borchert's scandalous history is touched on; he was a computer professor at school as well a genius millionaire who had sex with a computer. Legend had it that he contracted the first computer virus from this and died. A limerick was written about this incident which is known by most Greendale students and faculty (See Running gags subcategory "Rhyme time" below).
  • Returning faculty:
  • Returning students: Alex "Starburns" Osborne and Leonard.
  • School uniform:
  • School song: The Dave Mathews Band song "Ants Marching" is played again; it was previously heard in the episode "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics".
  • School supplies:
  • Replay:
  • Googly eyes:
    • Dean Pelton mentions wanting to settle down when asked about his wedding band and glances at Jeff. Annie also ogles Jeff more forwardly.
    • Jeff proposes to Britta and they are about to have sex until Dean Pelton, Abed and Annie interrupt them.
  • Discontinuity: Dean Pelton's mention of having lost his ring during his first week at Greendale, which is around the time when The Study Group was formed, contradicts the flashback from "Heroic Origins" where he is distributing flyers with Chang (whom, according to "English as a Second Language", he hired himself) long before the study group enrolled.

Running gagsEdit

  • Attention students:
    • At the beginning of the episode, Dean Pelton accidentally clicks on the Public address system and warmly greets the campus.
    • Some time later after Subway purchases the school he again addresses the campus.
  • That's you: Abed impersonates Shirley imitating her two different voices.
  • Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?: When Dean Pelton alerts the committee to the arrival of an insurance appraiser for the school, Abed points at everyone and asks twice "Call to adventure?".
  • Rhyme time: Annie, Abed and Pelton recite the rhyme associated with Russell Borchert:
Borchert, Borchert, loves computers, more than woman's butts or hooters!
  • WWBJD: Shirley says there is only one man qualified to appraise insurance and he died two thousand years ago on a cross.
  • NOOOOOO!: Abed screams this after he finds himself still in a story.
  • Pansexual imp: When Jeff finds the Dean's wedding ring, Annie asks "Who's the lucky..." and doesn't know how to finish the question.
  • Take that, inspector!: Something in the gym apparently needed the intervention of a demonologist.

Pop culture referencesEdit

  • Product placement:
    • The businesses T.J.Maxx, Ben & Jerry's, and Marshall's are mentioned.
    • The Subway franchise buys Greendale.

Meta referencesEdit

  • Background check: The dry eraser board behind Shirley and Annie reads:

Next to a blank section is written :

Add your joke or comment HERE
  • Up against the wall: Abed comes close to breaking the fourth wall several times in this episode...
    • He times how long the committee is playing their phone apps and says usually a lot more than that happens in thirty minutes referencing the running time of a usual broadcast for an episode of Community.
    • After trying to avoid being in a story, Abed turns around and looks straight into the camera as if reacting to having seen it.


A clear poster of Greendale's campus radio station is seen in the hallway when Abed is trying to find a story. Call sign KQZY 98.6 FM. It appears "Albert" runs the station. Similiar flyers have been visible in other episodes, for example, behind Leonard when he is sitting on a bench talking about why he is in the Greendale commercial in Documentary Filmmaking: Redux.

KQZY-Greendale Campus Radio 98.6

Greendale Campus Radio KQZY 98.6 FM.


Behind the scenesEdit

Community - Between the Takes Episode 12 (Digital Exclusive)04:25

Community - Between the Takes Episode 12 (Digital Exclusive)

Production photosEdit

Set photosEdit

Writer and executive producer Tim Saccardo posted photos of the Subway makeover of the set on his twitter account:


Episode clipEdit

Community - R.I.P03:23

Community - R.I.P. Greendale (Episode Highlight)

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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