Director: Anthony Russo — Writer: Jessie Miller — Aired: March 4, 2010 —Season: One — Number: Seventeen Summary: Jeff refuses to wear gym shorts for billiards class; The study group gets Abed to romance a girl.
Good grief, clear the chickens off the runway. I'll be the bad guy. Yes, Abed. You need to be someone else, someone who eventually gets a girlfriend because I can't think of anything more frightening than a half Polish/half Arab virgin in his thirties. One way or the other, that story ends with an explosion!
Jeff arrives at the study room wearing a special outfit he picked out for his first day of Billiards class. As the rest of the group settles in, Britta mispronounces the word bagel causing the study group to mock her. When the study session starts, Troy finds a drawing in his textbook which resembles Abed. Drawn alongside various romantic symbols, the group assumes that the textbook's previous owner was a girl with a crush on Abed. Later in Spanish class, they confer with Chang and discover the girl's name is Jenny Adams. Abed is uninterested, but the group insists on making a love connection despite Jeff's protests. Afterwards, Jeff goes to billiards class and shows off his skill at the game and impresses the other students.
White Abed or Brown Joey?
The teacher, Coach Bogner, arrives and informs the class that they are required to wear the school's athletic uniform which includes a pair of tight fitting gym shorts. Jeff awkwardly tries to maintain a cool exterior but quickly becomes extremely self-conscious. He get into an argument with the coach when he refuses to wear the uniform resulting in him being kicked out of class. Meanwhile, the study group is in the cafeteria after tracking down Jenny Adams for Abed. They convince him to talk to her but after seeing Abed in action, however, they decide he's not ready yet. They take it upon themselves to teach him how to pick up girls. The group believe he needs to approach her using a different persona and start arguing about which one would be the most effective.
Jeff is uncomfortable wearing the gym uniform.
Jeff shows up and criticizes the group for forcing Abed to be something he's not. Impressed by the speech but ignoring his admonishment, the study group members all agree that Abed should imitate Jeff. Abed takes their advice and tries a second time to woo Jenny. The study group looks on as he finds her in the student lounge and successfully flirts with her. However, his success is short lived when her boyfriend Joey Elkins shows up. He bore a striking resemblance to Abed and the group quickly realizes they made a mistake. They step in and stop an angry Joey from fighting Abed. The next day, the group apologizes to Abed for what happened. He admits the only reason he did any of it was because he knew how much it meant for them to help him. Abed states he doesn't really need help with women as they usually flock to him.
Abed hits on Jenny.
He didn't mind changing for them because he already knows who he is. This inspires Jeff to overcome his embarrassment and confront Bogner while wearing the gym shorts. He goes to the student lounge and challenges Coach to a game of pool. The match starts as a crowd gathers including the rest of the study group, Ben Chang and Dean Pelton. Jeff manages to get the upper hand and taunts Bogner while strutting around in his gym shorts. Bogner mocks Jeff believing that Jeff still hasn't learned his lesson about vanity. Jeff tries to prove him wrong by stripping to his underwear. Bogner follows suit and the game continues. As the game reaches its climax, Bogner tells Jeff it's the game itself that matters, not what they wear. Taking his hint, Both Jeff and Bogner strip completely naked at the same time.
Jeff celebrates his victory over Coach Bogner.
Jeff then takes his last shot and sinks the 8 ball winning the game. Bogner accepts his defeat and tells Jeff he is free to wear whatever he wants to class. Jeff says he chooses shorts earning him a kiss from Bogner as well as his respect. Afterwards, Jeff is basking in his victory with the study group when he is approached by an attractive female classmate from his billiards class. She congratulates him for his win and then shyly asks if he could introduce her to Abed. Jeff considers this for a second and then tells her that Abed prefers the direct approach. She goes over to the pool table where Abed and Troy are playing a game and chats him up as the study group looks on. They are all joined by Joey Elkins who observes the scene and laments why he can't have Abed's way with the ladies.
Troy and Abed are role playing as Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street until Troy remembers that he has to attend a funeral for his cousin. In the Community The Complete First Season DVD commentaries, Donald Glover mentions that this bit was Yvette Nicole Brown's idea.
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
Attention students!: The Dean makes an announcement teasing Jeff.
Bag-ul: Britta mispronounces the word bagel. She would later mispronounce other words throughout the series.
Bon appetit!: Pierce again implies that Britta is a lesbian.
Fan service: Jeff strips down to his underwear while playing pool, then goes full monty when he takes his final shot.
I'm Batman!: Abed continues his trend of portraying other personalities. In this episode, it's Don Draper from "Mad Men".
It's a mixer, it's a mixer!: Jeff spills a bag of bagels on the floor and Abed immediately counts that there are thirteen of them.
Man crush: Dean Pelton takes pictures of Jeff when he's naked and feels up his bare stomach.
Shut up, Leonard!: Jeff again tells Leonard to shut up because Leonard says that Jeff will look like an ass in gym shorts. Jeff says he knows about Leonard's gambling problem to which Leonard replies "Touché".
You're the worst!: Britta is called "the worst" by Señor Chang. She would be called this many times by other characters in future episodes.
Shout out: Abed does an impersonation of Jeff which he describes as a combination of Dick Van Dyke, Sam Malone, Zach Braff from Scrubs and Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry. Jeff is only offended by being compared to Zach Braff.
Abed chooses to portray Mad Men character Don Draper. Shirley advises Abed to not be Don Draper and instead be Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch. Britta suggests Jo from The Facts Of Life, and Troy proposes he be Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.
After Abed hits on Jenny, her boyfriend Joey shows up and challenges Abed to a fight saying, "Let's go, Slumdog," a reference to Slumdog Millionaire which had come out the year before.
Troy and Abed role play as Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie.
Use your allusion:
Jeff knocks a bag of bagels off the study table. Abed looks down at the mess and says, "Thirteen." This is a reference to the movie Rain Man starring Dustin Hoffman.
In the Community The Complete First Season DVD commentaries, Danny Pudi mentions that the make-up required to transform him into Joey Elkins took hours and included three different fittings for coloured contact lens.
“Nobody here is "Can't Buy Me Love"-ing or "Love Don't Cost A Thing"-ing anyone because we've all seen enough after school specials [off Shirley and Troy's confused looks] and Fat Albert [Shirley and Troy nod in understanding] to know that Abed only needs to be himself.”— Jeff
“The truth is lots of girls like me because let's face it: I'm pretty adorable. And my aloofness unconsciously reminds them of their father, so I'm more used to them approaching me.”— Abed
“So we didn't damage your self esteem or anything?”— Britta
“Britta, I've got self esteem flowing out of my butt. That's why I was willing to change for you guys because when you really know who you are and what you like about yourself, changing for other people isn't such a big deal."”— Abed