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|Jeff attends an accounting class and confirms the rumor about it being easy is true after meeting its teacher, Professor Whitman. His class is less about homework and tests and more about his own philosophy of "seizing the day". In the study room, the group is annoyed at Pierce who cannot properly operate his cell phone. Jeff then arrives excited about the blow off class he just found. He suggests to the group that they sign up too, but Abed declines, explaining that his dad won't allow it. When Britta hears this, she gives Abed the money to pay for a film class he actually wants to take which annoys Jeff. He suggests that they all get back to studying but is subsequently distracted by Troy's funny sneeze.
|The study group-minus Britta and Abed-join Jeff for Professor Whitman's accounting course the following day. After Shirley introduces herself to the class, Whitman encourages her to have an emotional breakthrough regarding her husband. He congratulates her for having seized the day and then commands Annie and the rest of the students to stand on their desks. After one of the students is injured when she falls off, he gives out their homework assignments and dismisses them. He asks that Jeff stay behind and tells him he believes his motivations for taking the class are insincere. If by the end of the week he doesn't try to genuinely live in the moment and seize the day, Whitman will fail him.
|Later, Jeff is complaining to Britta about Whitman's ultimatum. She is uninterested in his problems and more concerned with Abed who approaches the pair while filming them with a video camera. She asks him how his class is going, and he mentions that he is working on a documentary. It is then that Abed's father shows up and confronts Britta. He tells her that he is the one responsible for Abed and doesn't need her help in raising him. The two begin to argue, and when it becomes physical, Jeff steps in to separate the two. Jeff tells Mr. Nadir that Abed is an adult now and can make his own decisions. Fed up with the situation, Abed's father responds that Abed is their responsibility now and leaves the campus.
|The next day in the cafeteria, Britta runs into Jeff who is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and waiting for Whitman to arrive for his morning coffee. She has accepted the role of Abed's provider and is trying to calculate his expenses for the semester. Abed arrives with an expensive new camera bought with Britta's money. He continues to film his documentary, casting Jeff and Britta in the roles of his parents. Distracted by Abed's wasteful spending, Jeff fails to notice Whitman's arrival. The professor disapproves of Jeff's outfit before ordering a birthday cake from the Hot & Brown coffee shop . Meanwhile in the student lounge, Pierce offers to teach Troy how to sneeze strongly and with intent.
|Jeff decides to concoct a more elaborate scheme to get a passing grade from Whitman. He lies in wait for the professor to appear in the campus courtyard and launches his plan. Whitman witnesses the entire charade and gives it a disapproving thumbs down. He tells Jeff to sincerely try to seize the day, or he will not only fail the class but life as well. Overhearing their conversation as she approaches, Britta arrives and gets a flower from Whitman before he leaves. She asks Jeff to talk to Abed about his behavior as she just learned he hasn't been attending the film class she paid for. She pleads with Jeff to talk to Abed since he refuses to talk to her. It is then that they both notice Abed filming them for his documentary.
|Later in the study room, Abed is treating the group to pizza using Britta's money. Britta again urges Jeff to talk to him about his recent behavior. When Jeff confronts Abed about cutting class, he replies that working on his movie project is much more important. When a delivery man arrives with lattes, paid for by Britta's money, she immediately loses her cool. She starts to get hysterical and demands that Abed explain himself. Abed refuses to give her any answers and instead suggests to her that this is the scene where she leaves. After Britta leaves upset, Abed turns to Jeff for his reaction. He calls Abed weird before leaving as well.
|The following day, Jeff tricks both Britta and Abed's father to come to the study room. Abed is there as well, editing his movie on the computer. Jeff gathered them all for meeting to hopefully resolve the situation. However, Jeff's efforts are futile as things become heated again between Britta and Abed's dad. Abed cuts through all the arguing with an announcement that his project is finished. He gets the other three to sit down and watch his film "Six Candles". Britta and Jeff are unsure what they are watching and are surprised to see the movie upsets Abed's father, who is crying. He tells Abed that he never blamed him for what happened to his marriage.
|Abed's father turns to Britta and Jeff and says that if filmmaking is a way for Abed to express himself and be understood, then he will pay for the classes. After he leaves, Britta realizes that Abed planned this all along and tells him it was a poor way to treat his friend but Abed is unapologetic. Meanwhile, Pierce and Troy are walking behind Shirley, and Troy tests his new sneeze, leaving Shirley impressed. Later outside the library, Britta is bothered by the fact that she's now in Jeff's debt. She asks Jeff to kiss her, and he eagerly complies. When the kiss ends, Professor Whitman shouts out his approval of Jeff seizing the day. Britta tells Jeff that they are now even and walks off. Whitman further congratulates Jeff and tells him that the kiss just earned him a passing grade in his class.
- First appearance: Professor Whitman and Abed's father Gubi Nadir make their debut in this episode.
- History lesson: Shirley fills in more details about why she's at Greendale when she reveals she was left by her husband who cheated on her and now wants to get what's hers. Through Abed and Gubi's relationship, Britta's own relationship with her father is hinted at.
- Googly eyes: Jeff and Britta share their first kiss in this episode although Britta explains it was only for Professor Whitman's benefit and to make things even between them.
- School uniform: Troy is still wearing his letterman jacket, and Pierce tells him to lose it because it makes him look like a high school bitch.
- This must be the place: Group Study Room F, library, cafeteria, Hot & Brown and student lounge are all featured prominently in this episode.
- Middle Eastern Magic 8 ball: Annie is inspired by Professor Whitman's philosophy of living in the moment and makes a few significant decisions in the Season One finale "Pascal's Triangle Revisited" based on the idea.
- Discontinuity: The photo of Abed's mom appears to be that of a middle-eastern woman and it is stated several times on the show that his mother is Polish.
- Express tuition aisle: All Eustice Whitman teaches students is to "seize the day". His class is supposed to be accounting.
- Awww!: Annie and Shirley coo when they see that the check Britta made out to Abed for his class is signed with "For dreams".
- Double entendre: Troy gets upset that Jeff says he sneezes like a girl, and he replies, "How about I pound you like a boy?" before quickly realizing how that could be misinterpreted.
- Shout out: Robin Williams
- IMDB: "Dead Poet's Society" is mentioned by Jeff as having heavily influenced Professor Whitman. "Aladdin" is mentioned by Troy who considers Jafar a badass. Jeff describes Abed's short film as not exactly "Citizen Kane".
- Use your allusion: Many references to the movie Dead Poet's Society are alluded to in this episode. The last name Whitman itself is a reference to the poet Walt Whitman that the teacher in the film, John Keating, was a fan of.
- Gubi Nadir tells Jeff to go host the popular TV talent show "American Idol", alluding to Ryan Seacrest who Joel McHale has a real life friendly rivalry with.
- Parody: A key scene from "Dead Poet's Society" is re-enacted when Professor Whitman asks his students to stand on their desks which is what John Keating requested his students do as well in the film. Unfortunately, it had less than desirable results.
- Résumé: Jeff wears rainbow suspenders and says in a drawn out manner "Good morning, Professor Whitman!" to prove to Whitman that he's living in the moment. He then says "Shazbot!" when his attempt fails. These are all references to the actor/comedian Robin Williams's past roles as Mork from the 1970's sitcom "Mork and Mindy" and the deejay from Good Morning, Vietnam. Williams also portrayed the teacher John Keating in the film Dead Poet's Society.
- John Michael Higgins plays Robin William's parody of Dead Poet Society in this episode. The two actors worked together on The Bicentennial Man with Higgins portraying Williams' lawyer.
Jeff, Britta, Abed and Gobi
Jeff, Britta, Professor Whitman and Abed
- “Isn't Abed's dad a hardcore Muslim? They're not as understanding as Christians. You could get your head cut off with a salami sword.”— Shirley
- “Shirley! That's the most racist thing I've ever heard!”— Annie
- “Pierce will beat that in 1 minute.”— Jeff
- “I have to plan, in advance, how to prove that I live in the moment.”— Jeff
- “Our first assignment is a documentary. They're like real movies but with ugly people.”— Abed
- “Raising him means letting him follow his dreams.”— Britta
- “Dreams are for sleeping.”— Abed's Father
- “You don't know that!”— Britta
- “It's clinically proven!”— Abed's Father
- “So's polio!”— Britta
- “Jeff, I think you should play the role of my father.”— Abed
- “I don't want to be your father.”— Jeff
- “Perfect, you already know your lines.”— Abed
|Season One Episodes|
14. "Interpretive Dance"
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five • Season Six|