|Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
- And we're back: This episode marks the return of Community for a sixth season on Yahoo Screen after it was cancelled by NBC.
- That just happened:
- Sometime between "Basic Sandwich" and "Ladders" Shirley is revealed to have moved to Atlanta to take care of her father. She got a job as chef to a brilliant but troubled southern detective (see Meta references).
- Britta is shown to have become homeless and is living in the campus quad in a tent. She is also running "Shirley's Sandwiches" while Shirley is away.
- History lesson: Leonard remembers the time in 1974 when Greendale was still a tech university and he threw his frisbee on the roof of the cafeteria.
- School song: The song "I'm As High As Hell And You About To Get Shot" is played in this episode. It was last heard in the Season One "Pilot" and "Introduction to Finality".
- Theoretical Phys-Ed: Among the classes Frankie wants to cut are a class on magic wands, "Ladders", "VCR Repair" and "When is it OK to shake a baby?". The "Ladders" class appears later during the episode.
- Mad Skillz: Vicki's singing talents are showcased for the first time in the speakeasy.
|Recurring or debuting characters in this episode:
|Recurring or debuting places in this episode:
|Recurring or debuting items in this episode:
- A sweet ride: Jeff's Lexus is briefly shown at the start of the episode.
- School supplies: Frisbees are introduced in this episode and later appear in "Intro to Recycled Cinema".
- Sweet spread: A bag of original Let's potato chips is shown when Abed and Frankie have a talk. A rack of Let's is seen as Abed goes behind the counter of Shirley's Sandwiches. Abed later pulls out a bag of Let's pretzels to snack on.
- Discontinuity: It's not explained what happened to the the diamond teeth Chang got at the end of "Basic Sandwich". Community writer and Executive story editor Alex Rubens suggested they either fell out or were repossessed when asked about it on his Twitter account.
|List of Running gags
|Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
- A dollop of whipped irony:
- Annie sweetly condescendingly asks Abed if Frankie was sweetly condescending to him. Abed says she wasn't and can tell the difference now.
- While working the counter at Shirley's Sandwiches, Britta tells Annie that she has better experience at customer relations. She then yells at a customer who tries to return a sandwich she burned.
- Attention students!: The Dean welcomes everyone back to Greendale with an announcement.
- Like an evil genie:
- When Chang shows concern that the study group is becoming increasingly white since Troy and Shirley left, Jeff tells him there's no cause for alarm. Cue the dean, accompanied by a white woman whom he introduces as "new Shirley".
- After the interviewer suggests Frankie should start looking for places run by insane people, Jeff and Abed barge in and cause a scene.
- Nice outfit:
- Jeff and Abed wear 1920's style suits.
- Britta is dressed in a bartenders uniform.
- Annie is dressed in 1920's Flapper's dress.
- Shut up, Leonard!: Said by Britta who then claims to have mistaken 6 people at a pharmacy for Leonard. Frankie then tries to deliver a "Shut up, Leonard!" insult and fails.
- Take that, inspector!:
- According to Jeff, the roof of the North Cafeteria that collapsed under the weight of forty years of frisbees was mostly made of styrofoam.
- Annie mentions to Frankie that she has some ideas about de-electrifying the pool. Frankie then browses a list of problems she had the time to solve: apparently, under her watch, something was "deloused, appraised, defused, rebuilt, de-peanut buttered, debunked, spayed, neutered, re-sanctified, plunged, deported and exhumed".
- You're the worst:
- Shirley leaves her sandwich shop to Britta, who struggles to make an edible sandwich.
- Britta tries to show off her bartending skills with predictable results.
|List of Pop culture references
|Pop culture references in this episode:
- Shout out:
- Musician Fat Boy Slim is mentioned by Dean Pelton as his DJ school had closed allowing Greendale to be ranked fifth alphabetically in Colorado's listing of Community colleges.
- Musicians Trent Reznor and Johnny Cash are mentioned by Jeff.
- Name that tune:
- The song Sweet Emotion by American rock band Aerosmith plays during Leonard's flashback.
- The song My How You've Grown by the band 10,000 Maniacs plays out over a montage of Jeff and Abed apologizing to Frankie.
- The song "Secret Lullabies" by Daniel Holter & Matt Smith plays out over a montage of Abed doing odd jobs and a second time over a montage of Abed sending e-mails to Diane.
- IMDb: Jeff greets Abed at the speakeasy with the line "What's the rumpus" which Abed immediately identified it as being from the 1990 film "Miller's Crossing".
- Use your allusion:
- When his frisbee disintegrates in his hands, Leonard says "Like tears in rain". This is a quote from the character Roy Batty in the 1982 movie "Bladerunner"
- Abed mentions that if the Pierce hologram was actually a ghost he'd like a head start at "busting it" referencing the movie "Ghostbusters".
- Frankie says everyone is a "Living fart from the butt of a lesser God" possibly referencing the movie Children of a Lesser God.
|List of Meta references
|Meta references in this episode:
- Actress Yvette Nicole Brown left the show after five seasons to have time to take care of her ailing father. Having to look after a relative was also used as the reason the characters of Shirley and Frankie moved to different states.
- When the cafeteria set was rebuilt in CBS Studio Center Stage 14 the design had to be altered to accommodate columns on that stage. This episode explains the redesign with the roof collapsing.
- Satire: The episode end tag is a possible critique of NBC's network lineup after cancelling "Community" which has fewer situation comedies and more dramas.
- Parody: The cliche of montage editing is parodied several times in this episode with Abed trying to make his tasks on the committee montage worthy, Abed and his friends having a drunk montage and Jeff and Abed giving an apology montage to Frankie.
- Everyone's a critic:
- Abed's monologue to Frankie about her becoming a part of the group addresses several concerns the critics, fans and the creators themselves have about the show such how the characters make money and if they'll ever get their diplomas.
- Abed criticises Frankie as a character and questions whether she will be an asset to the show
- Background check: A picture of Community creator Dan Harmon as the character Patrick Isakson is shown hanging on the mirror behind the bar of the speakeasy. On the picture is written the words "Do not serve this man".
According to Community writer Alex Rubens "Ladders" had the production code #602 and was shot after "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care" but aired first (source)..
- The opening Paper fortune teller credit sequence has been altered again with new images. This includes a dragon dunking a basketball on a castle wall, a flamingo wearing cowboy boots and two anthropomorphic bananas drinking alcohol. On the desk, the broken pencil (a reference to the Pilot episode) has now been replaced with a purple mechanical pencil and the coffee cup is now a glass of ice.
- A picture of Shirley can be seen in the speakeasy bar.
- Among the drink specials shown on the speakeasy blackboard are "Britta's Bomb", "Jeff Sour Hi Ball", "Annie's Root Beer Float", "Tuxedo #6" and "Topsey Turvey".
|New "Created by" title card.
- “My umbrella concern is that you as a character represent the end of what I used to call 'Our Show' which was once an unlikely family of misfit students and is now a pretty loose knit group of students and teachers none of whom are taking a class together in a school which, as of your arrival, is becoming increasingly grounded asking questions like "How do any of us get our money?", "When will any of us get our degrees?" and "What happened to the girl I was dating?" as opposed to questions I consider more important like "What is real?", "What is sanity?", "Is there a God?", "Where's that Pierce hologram?". Jeff said last year he saw a Pierce hologram, none of the rest of us have ever seen it so if there's a Pierce ghost on campus I'd like to get a head start on busting it.”— Abed