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Modern Warfare

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MW Paintball bomb

     Modern Warfare  
Director: Justin LinWriter: Emily Cutler — Aired: May 6, 2010 — Season: One — Number: Twenty-Three
Summary: Greendale Community College becomes a war zone when a paintball competition spirals out of control. Meanwhile, the sexual tension flares up between Jeff and Britta.


Study group, come out and pla-a-ay!
— "Disco Stu"
Jeff and Britta arrive together at the study room annoying everyone with thier flirtatious arguing. Abed explains that their sexual tension is putting everyone on edge and affecting the group dynamic. Pierce suggest they just sleep together and move on as Dean Pelton arrives with some news. He was announces a Paintball Assassin competition that will start soon with a prize to be announced later. After he leaves, Annie tries to steer the conversation back to Jeff and Britta. However, Jeff is unwilling to discuss it any further and decides to go take a nap in his Lexus. An hour later, Jeff wakes up and finds the campus quad completely trashed and seemingly deserted. He walks to the library which is in a similar state and finds Garrett covered in paint.

The banter continues
The banter continues...
Garrett explains that everyone turned on each other once "the prize" was announced. Before he can elaborate any further, he is shot by Leonard with a paintball gun. He then attacks Jeff when Abed appears and eliminates Leonard in spectacular fashion. He takes Jeff back to the Spanish classroom where Troy and Abed have set up a base. The two explain the reason for all the chaos is the contests prize: Priority Registration . With this document any student has first dibs on classes for the next semester and can make up a schedule to their liking. They are interrupted when a chess club member burst into the room and quickly ran off. The trio avoids the obvious ambush and eliminate the chess club members who were lying in wait.

MW Abed Matrix
Abed as Neo
They make their way to the student lounge and find Pierce and Star-Burns looting the vending machines. After reuniting with his friends Pierce betrays Star-Burns and join them. The trio use the facilities to take a bathroom break only for Abed to realize they've stumbled into a trap. Britta, Shirkey and Annie emerge from their hiding places in the restroom getting the drop on them with their paintball weapons. A standoff between the two groups occurs but the tension is quickly broken when Jeff and Britta argue. The reunited study group agree to form a temporary alliance and leaves the building to the quad. Troy attempts to get Shirley to form a secret partnership but is suddenly shot.

MW Study group united
The Study group reunited

The study group takes cover and Abed figures out from the singing that it's the Glee Club. When Annie gets eliminated after breaking cover, Jeff tricks Pierce to do so as well in order to give away the clubs hiding place when they shoot him too. The remaining group focus their fire on the Glee Club's sniping position in a tree eliminating them all. Abed, Jeff, Shirley and Britta make camp inside the cafeteria and settle in for the night. Shirley asks what the other study group members intend to do with the priority registration prize if they win it. Jeff hopes to make a packed schedule which could help him graduate early while Britta hopes to enroll in easier classes. Shirley says she wants it so she can make a schedule that will allow her to spend more time with her children.

Britta is touched and suggests that they all make a pact to hand the prize over to Shirley if they win. Jeff then begins to argue with her about her fake sincerity which annoys Abed and Shirley. They are ll interrupted are when they hear someone taunting them. A pack of roller skating paintball players emerge from the shadows surrounding the group. A quick gun battle ensues, and although they manage to take out most of them, Shirley is shot.

MW Shirley is eliminated
Shirley's going home
Abed pursues and eliminates the remaining roller skaters who have fled but ends up being shot in the process too. The defeated contestants wish Jeff and Britta good luck before departing. In Dean Pelton's office, the Dean and Chang are discussing how out of control the competition has become. Chang tells him that he is an accomplished paintball player and can put an end to it by taking out whoevers left. He convinces the Dean to enroll him as a student, so he can participate. Meanwhile, back in the study room, Britta is tending to a minor wound Jeff suffered during the last gunfight. They note how cliche it would be if they hooked up now and pretend to make out with each other. This leads to them kissing each other for real and consummating their relationship on the the study table.

Jeff and Britta paintball kiss
Jeff and Britta end the sexual tension
Later, Britta gets dressed and quietly grabs her paintball gun which she then points at Jeff. She makes it clear that she didn't sleep with him just to win before firing. However, her gun is empty and Jeff reveals he took out the ammo while she was sleeping. He then points his gun at her when the dramatic arrival of Chang makes them both pause. Armed with an automatic paintball rifle, he starts spraying the room, forcing Jeff and Britta to take cover. When Jeff questions his eligibility to compete, Chang shows off signed enrollment papers from the Dean. Admitting Jeff got the drop on her, Britta offers to take out Chang. She kisses him before grabbing back her gun along with his. Chang drops his rifle and pulls out a pair of golden paintball guns.

Dual wielding Chang
Chang activates his dual wielding capabilities
and brings out a pair of golden paintball guns
They fire at the same time and in the process manage to eliminate each other. Jeff picks up the discarded rifle and narrowly avoids a suicide paintball bomb activated by Chang. He goes to the dean's office and sprays it with paint until the ammo ran out. He then shoots the Dean with a hidden paintball gun and demands the prize. The next day, Jeff runs into Britta on the way to the study room and they agree to keep what happened between them a secret. Once they arrive Abed senses something significant has occurred but Jeff deflects this by handing his his priority registration prize over to Shirley. Britta compliments Jeff on the gesture while Abed continues to try and figure out what exactly has changed.

MW Paintball explosion
Jeff outruns a paintball explosion

End tagsEdit

Troy is trying to record the perfect message on his phone to send to Abed. Jeff gets annoyed at seeing Troy struggle, so he angrily records one for him but is regretful when it comes off as too mean.

Recurring themesEdit


  • Climax: This episode featured a major turning point in Jeff and Britta's relationship.
  • Returning students: This episode had the return of Garrett, Leonard, and Star-Burns.
  • Returning faculty: Dean Pelton appears in this episode.
  • A sweet ride: Jeff's Lexus appears briefly in this episode.
  • School uniform: Jeff's underwear last seen in "Physical Education" makes another appearance.
  • School supplies:
    • The school provided all the students with the necessary paintball paraphernalia to compete including paintball guns and ammo.
    • The study table provides a surface for Jeff and Britta to end their sexual tension.
    • Changs paintball gun is introduced in this episode.
  • This must be the place: Group Study Room F, The campus quad, Student lounge, North Cafeteria and Dean Pelton's office are locations that make an appearance.
  • Discontinuity:
    • When entering the study room in the opening scene, Jeff and Britta set their books down on the table. However, there are no books when the reaction shot to their bickering from the study group is shown.
    • Most of the paintball participants didn't use safety goggles. It's necessary for all contestants to wear proper safety devices as paintball can cause injuries, particularly to the eyes.
    • There are no officials seen observing the competition, so it's unclear how eliminations are being recorded.
    • After the contest is over, the school is basically back to normal the very next day despite having been trashed so thoroughly the day before. Group Study Room F in particular shows no sign at all of having had a large paintball explosion go off inside it.

Running gags:Edit

  • I hate Glee!: The show takes another shot at Glee, mocking the fact that they don't use original songs. Coincidentally, Glee would later do original songs in the Season 2 episode, "Original Song." Glee didn't reference Community when they did.
  • Awwww!: Annie says this when Shirley is mentioning her sons bringing breakfast to her in bed.  Shirley later says this when comparing Jeff and Britta's bickering to Sam and Diane from Cheers.
  • A dollop of whipped irony: Jeff says he's all for winning but doesn't like resorting to cheap ploys. He then takes off his shirt and revealing a tight fitting wifebeater which he wears for the rest of the competition.
  • Annie's Boobs: Annie is shot in the right breast by the Glee Club.

Meta references:Edit

  • Homage: The episode is an homage to various action/adventure type films, notably referencing Die Hard, Rambo, The Warriors as well as a few other movies in this genre. Examples include:
    • When Jeff wakes up and walks across a deserted campus, it's filmed in the same way as a scene in "28 days later".
    • When Abed saves Jeff from Leonard, he runs up the wall in slow motion, reminiscent of scenes in "The Matrix" The music is also similar to that used in the film.
    • When Abed saves Jeff from Leonard, he tells Jeff a reworking of the famous quote from the "The Terminator" franchise"
    • When The 70s roller skaters encounters the study group, the line "Come Out to Play!" they taunt them with is a reference to the movie "The Warriors". The roller skaters themselves may be a reference to the many bizarre and colorful gangs featured in The Warriors, which included both 70s themed gangs and a roller skating gang.
    • Shirley recites a passage from the bible while shooting down the roller skaters, simliar to the sniper character from "Saving Private Ryan".
    • When Jeff reveals that he removed the ammo clip from Britta's gun, he asks her "No paintballs, Hans?" a reworking of a quote from the movie "Die Hard". 
    • Jeff's wifebeater attire is essentially the same outfit worn by John McClane in "Die Hard". 
    • "Rambo: First Blood Part II" is referenced when Jeff goes into the dean's office and shoots it up, mimicking a similar scene when Rambo confronts Murdock.
    • "Die Hard" is referenced again when Jeff shoots the Dean with a paintball pistol that was taped to his back, which is an homage to John McClane doing the same thing to Hans Gruber.
    • Chang's entrance as well as his outfit and toothpick in his mouth are a nod to Chow Yun Fat and director John Woo' 's Hong Kong cinema action films, specifically Hard Boiled. Chang's "firing with one arm" move can also be seen as an homage to final scene "Scarface".
    • Chang's suicide bomb and his laugh at the end of the paintball fight is an homage to the final scene in "Predator"
    • Britta and Chang's is filmed in a "bullet time" manner similar to The Matrix."
    • Britta and Chang's fight at the end is very similar to the style used in 1996's Romeo + Juliet, in particular Chang's stylized guns and the pacing.
    • Abed can sense somebody has had sex on the study room table [false], like Jeff Goldblums character in Vibes
  • Everyone's a critic: Abed's criticism of Jeff and Britta's relationship and their lack of chemistry is a pointed reference to fans and critics with similar complaints about the pairing. He also responds to the critic saying that "it keeps us from being Friends".
  • Use your allusion: Jeff mentions that back in Pierce's day, putting hydrogen in blimps was a good idea referencing the 1937 Hindenburg disaster.

Pop culture references:Edit


Community Promo PAINTBALL is here!00:33

Community Promo PAINTBALL is here!


Let's get back to Britta and Jeff. Annie
There's no Britta and Jeff! Jeff
He said fully erect.Pierce
The-the paintball game was-was-was starting and then the Dean-the Dean announced the prize...THE PRIZE...we-we turned on each other like ANIMALS!Garrett
What was the prize?Jeff
Come with me if you don't want paint on your clothesAbed
Tell the drama club their tears will be real today!Jeff
I'm going home, Britta.Shirley
I know, Shirley. I know.Britta
No, seriously, I'm going home. Can you help me up?Shirley
Jeff, you help people more than I do and you don't even want to. You're not a jerk. You're fine. Especially now that I've repaired your overworked torso with my trembling feminine fingers.Britta

Season One Episodes

1. "Pilot"
2. "Spanish 101"
3. "Introduction to Film"
4. "Social Psychology"
5. "Advanced Criminal Law"
6. "Football, Feminism and You"
7. "Introduction to Statistics"
8. "Home Economics"
9. "Debate 109"
10. "Environmental Science"
11. "The Politics of Human Sexuality"
12. "Comparative Religion"
13. "Investigative Journalism"

14. "Interpretive Dance"
15. "Romantic Expressionism"
16. "Communication Studies"
17. "Physical Education"
18. "Basic Genealogy"
19. "Beginner Pottery"
20. "The Science of Illusion"
21. "Contemporary American Poultry"
22. "The Art of Discourse"
23. "Modern Warfare"
24. "English as a Second Language"
25. "Pascal's Triangle Revisited"


Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five

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