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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: {{{summary}}}

Study group, come out and pla-a-ay!

–"Disco Stu"

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.


The banter continues

The banter continues...

Britta and Jeff arrive at the study room playfully arguing which annoys the rest of the study group. Abed explains that their sexual tension is putting the rest of the study group on edge, preventing them all from becoming closer friends. Pierce suggests he bang her and be done with it which is met with great disgust. Dean Pelton then arrives and announces that a paintball competition will be held this year with the 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 to his Lexus to take a nap.

MW-Not 28 Days Later more like an hour

I hour later

An hour later, Jeff wakes up and finds the campus courtyard completely trashed and seemingly deserted; he walks to the library which is in a similar state. He encounters Garrett who, like the rest of the building, is a wreck. Garrett explains that everyone turned on each other once the prize to the paintball tournament was announced. Before he can elaborate any further, he is shot by Leonard with a paintball gun. Leonard turns his attention on Jeff and begins to fire. Abed makes a spectacular entrance and rescues Jeff by shooting and eliminating Leonard.

MW Abed Matrix

Abed as Neo

He takes Jeff back to a classroom where he and Troy have set up a base of operations. Troy greets him warmly, and the two explain to Jeff what the prize is. After learning it's Priority Registration Jeff realizes its value. With it, any student has first dibs on the classes for next semester and can make up a schedule to their liking. A chess club member unexpectedly bursts into the room but quickly runs off. Jeff stops Troy and Abed from pursuing him, explaining that it's just a feint. They use another door to exit, avoiding the ambush. Sneaking up behind the chess club, they eliminate them and make their way to the student lounge.

MW Standoff

The Girls VS the Boys

Once there, they find Pierce and Star-Burns looting the vending machines. After Pierce sees them, he decides to betray Star-Burns and shoots him. The three decide to take a bathroom break, leaving Pierce to stand guard. Once inside, Abed notices a strange paintball splotch pattern surrounding the urinals. He figures out that they've walked into a trap and alerts the others. Suddenly, the female members of the study group appear. A standoff between the two groups occurs, but the tension is quickly broken when Jeff and Britta start to argue.

MW Study group united

The Study group reunited

Agreeing to form a temporary alliance, the reunited study group leaves the building and heads out to the courtyard. Troy tries unsuccessfully to get Shirley to form a secret alliance to take out the rest of the members. He is suddenly shot, and the study group quickly takes cover. Abed figures out from the singing that it's the Glee Club that has ambushed them. Annie unfortunately takes the bait and is shot when she breaks cover. Jeff tricks Pierce and gets the Glee Club to give away their position when they shoot him too. The remaining study group members focus their fire on the tree where the Glee Club was hiding, eliminating them all.

The calm before the storm

A brief interlude before the next battle

As night falls, Abed, Jeff, Shirley and Britta make camp inside the cafeteria. Shirley asks what the other study group members intend to do with the priority registration prize if they win it. Jeff wants to make his schedule airtight, so he can possibly graduate early. Britta wants to use it to get easier classes where she doesn't have to take tests or do papers. Shirley says she wants to use it to make a schedule that will allow her to spend more time with her children. Upon hearing this, Britta suggests that the remaining members make a pact to hand the prize over to Shirley if they win. Jeff then begins to argue with her about her fake sincerity.

MW Shirley is eliminated

Shirley's going home

An annoyed Abed and Shirley are about to eliminate them both when they hear someone taunting them. A pack of roller skating paintball players emerge from the shadows of the cafeteria, surrounding the group. A quick gun battle ensues, and although they manage to take out most of them, Shirley is shot. Abed decides to pursue the remaining roller skaters who have fled; he defeats the stragglers but ends up being shot himself in the process. The defeated contestants wish Britta and Jeff good luck before departing. Britta promises Shirley that she will win the prize for her.

Jeff and Britta paintball kiss
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 the few remaining players. 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. What starts out as a joke soon becomes the real thing as they end up passionately kissing each other. After consummating their relationship on the the study table, Britta gets dressed and quietly grabs her paintball gun which she then points at Jeff.

MW Chang as both Scarface and Chow yun fat

Say hello to my little friend

She tries to make it clear that she didn't sleep with him just to win before firing. However, her gun is empty and a smug Jeff taunts her by showing off the ammo he took out of her gun while she was sleeping. He then points his gun at her and is about to shoot 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 his newly signed enrollment papers from the Dean. Admitting Jeff got the drop on her, Britta offers to take out Chang. Kissing him, she takes back her gun along with his. Chang drops his rifle and pulls out a pair of golden paintball guns and engages Britta in a dual pistol battle

Firing at the same time, they manage to eliminate each other. Jeff picks up the discarded rifle as Chang laughingly tells them that there is no prize before revealing a paintball bomb strapped to his chest. Jeff barely escapes before it explodes. Jeff goes to the dean's office and using the paintball rifle, sprays it with paint until he runs out of ammo. 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. Abed, however, senses something significant has occured. Jeff tries to deflects this by handing the prize over to a grateful Shirley. Abed is undeterred, however, and is still trying to figure out what exactly has changed...

End tags

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 themes


  • Climax: This episode is a major turning point in Jeff and Britta's relationship.
  • Returning students: This episode sees 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 striped 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.
  • Discontinuity: Most participants didn't use safety goggles. It's a must for all contestants in paintball to wear the proper safety devices at all times during the competition. No officials are 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:

  • I hate Glee!: The show takes another shot at Glee, mocking the fact that they don't use original songs. Ironically, Glee would later do original songs in the Season 2 episode, er, "Original Song." Sadly, 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.

Meta references:

  • 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 tells Jeff a reworking of the famous quote from "The Terminator"
    • The 70's roller skaters the study group encounters taunt them with the line that's a reference to the movie "The Warriors" in which a similar line was said to the protagonists of that movie.
    • When Jeff reveals that he removed the ammo clip from Britta's gun, he asks her "Looking for this, Hans?" a direct quote from "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 match 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 of his weapon 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" manor similar to "The Matrix."
    • Abed can sense somebody has had sex on the study room table, 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. 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.
  • 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:


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

Original TV spot

Community Promo PAINTBALL is here!00:33

Community Promo PAINTBALL is here!

Photo gallery

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 FiveSeason Six

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