The study group is eating lunch in the cafeteria, discussing what they'll be doing over the holiday break. Abed invites everyone over to watch the Inspector Spacetime Holiday Special, but everyone already has plans. The Greendale Glee Club shows up and starts performing "remix" versions of Christmas carols. They are stopped by Chang who hands them a cease and desist order from ASCAP. Jeff reveals he tipped the organization off to the illegal use of copyrighted material, preventing the club from performing any of those songs. Upon hearing this news, the Glee Club members begin to have a very loud and disturbing nervous breakdown. During the spectacle, the study group quietly sneaks away.
A "cease and desist" order from ASCAP ends the Glee club's performance.
In the study room, Dean Pelton informs the study group that all the members of the Glee Club are currently hospitalized and under psychiatric care. He introduces the Glee Club director Mr. Radison. He asks the group if they can fill in for the Glee Club like they did before. The group refuses, and Jeff privately warns them all to watch out for "Mr. Rad" who may try to change their minds. Abed ignores Jeff's warning and decides to talk to Mr. Rad. The two commiserate over their holiday problems before Mr. Rad breaks into song ("Glee"). Abed is swept up in the moment and sings along with him. Afterwards, Abed resolves to get the rest of the study group to help in the Christmas Pageant. He decides to go back to his apartment and start with Troy.
"Glee! It's a feeling you get when your brain finally lets your heart get in its pants."
Abed brings up the Christmas Pageant to Troy says he would like to help, but he can't really take part in anything related to the holiday as he is a Jehovah's Witness. Abed comes up with a possible loophole: what if Troy were just pretending to like Christmas, so he could destroy it from within? They then rap the song ("Christmas Infiltration") which ends up convincing Troy. Annie interrupts their song and becomes suspicious when they invite her to rap with them. The next day at school, Annie shares her concerns with the other study group members as they head to the study room. When they arrive, they see the room has been rearranged and now has a large piano along with a player sitting in the corner.
Jehovah's most secret witness.
Troy and Abed appear and try to appeal to the others to join them in song. They start to sing "Baby Boomer Santa" to the study group. Pierce succumbs and joins in, accepting the praise heaped upon his generation in the flattery laced song. The rest of the study group slowly backs out of the room, horrified by what they just witnessed. Abed goes to the music room to update Mr. Radison on how his recruitment is going so far. Mr. Rad is already planning out the direction of the show using a diorama. Abed questions Britta's role, and Radison suddenly snaps, telling him that she's just playing a tree. Annie walks in, demanding them to explain themselves. Troy suddenly appears behind her and closes the door to the room and the three of them ominously corner Annie.
Meanwhile, Jeff, Shirley, and Britta are in the student lounge worrying about what's going on. Annie arrives and asks Jeff to join her as she has an idea of what Mr. Rad will do next. Leading him to a changing room, she dons a provocative outfit and proceeds to put on a private show for Jeff. She seductively sings to him a song ("Teach Me How To Understand Christmas"). Jeff is unable to stop watching as he is both turned on and disturbed by the performance. Back in the commons area, Pierce approaches Britta and Shirley and presents to them a children's choir. They sing a sad song about how the world tries to ignore the holiday's ties to Christianity, and in particular, Jesus. Unable to control herself, Shirley joins in the song, turning it into an upbeat melody ("Happy Birthday Jesus!").
Britta runs away and bumps into Jeff in the hallway. Jeff begins to sing as Britta starts to scream. A few days later, it's the night of the Christmas Pageant in the Greendale cafeteria with all the study group members as enthusiastic participants. Before putting on the first musical number "Planet Christmas," Radison thanks Abed for his help. In a disturbingly manic tone, he corrects Abed's assumption that tonight's performance is just a one time deal. He has plans for the study group beyond even regionals. Realizing that he has been duped, Abed sets out to correct his mistake. He pulls Britta aside and tells her she has to replace him in his part of the pageant. Britta steps in for him and begins to sing badly in front of the entire audience, prompting an angry Mr. Radison to storm the stage and yell at her.
Dean Pelton steps in to calm the situation down, suggesting that Britta continue her awkward song to which the audience cheerfully agrees. Incensed, Mr. Radison launches into an angry tirade which ends with a confession: it turns out that he was responsible for last year's bus accident which killed the previous Glee Club. When he realizes what he has said, Mr. Radison runs offstage. Abed apologizes to the study group for what happened and leaves as well. Back in his apartment, Abed is watching the Inspector Spacetime Holiday Special when he hears carolers outside his door. He finds the study group standing there singing, and they all enter. Everyone joins Abed in the living room to watch the rest of the Inspector Spacetime special.
The end tag has Leonard, Magnitude, and Star-Burns joining Dean Pelton and Chang to close out the show in another musical number. They are all seen reflected on Christmas tree ornaments performing a rendition of "Carol Of The Bells" with each speaking a signature word, phrase or sound. During the performance, a cat's paw is seen swatting at the decorations. The cat knocks down Chang's ornament much to the horror of the other performers.
"Baby Boomer Santa" includes many references including: Coca Cola, Doris Day, The Beatles, Woodstock, "Staying Alive," Steven Spielberg, Gremlins, MTV and Twin Peaks.
Jeff refers to Mr. Radison as "equal parts Hanson and Manson."
Use your allusion:
"Christmas Infiltration" has Abed singing the line: 'If years were seasons, this December would be the December of our December." In a Tweet, Dan Harmon explains this line: "If years, which contain 4 seasons, were seasons in a 4 season story, winter of season 3 would be the coldest and darkest." This is not only a reference to the overall story arc of the show but also to the fact that this episode is the last one shown before NBC put Community on an extended mid-season hiatus.
Donald Glover used to be a practicing Jehovah's Witness which is referenced in the rap his character Troy does with Abed.
Jeff saying "Not liking Glee doesn't make us bullies" is a reference to Glee creator Ryan Murphy's comments about musicians and bands who refused to have their music featured on his show. This is referenced again when Mr. Rad shouts "Look, Kings Of Leon!", which is the name of one of those bands.
The entire episode is a parody/satire of the popular Fox show Glee with a few scenes done in the same style, along with many overt references to the show such as the harmonizing vocals heard in the background of certain scenes.
Along with Glee, the episode also parodies Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in particular, the 1978 version, starring Donald Sutherland. The parody is centered around the theme of people who you are close to being subsumed by an outside force, to the extreme that they're not the same person anymore. The most direct reference to Body Snatchers is when Jeff turns Britta, holding his hand out and singing, mirroring Donald Sutherland's behavior in the film .
The song "Baby Boomer Santa" has Troy and Abed mimicking certain singing styles including Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. They also do dances similar to John Travolta in "Staying Alive" and Courtney Cox from Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" video.
The song Annie sings "Teach Me How to Understand Christmas" is a satire of similar holiday classics with lyrics that reflect the criticisms of those type of songs. In this interview, the writer of the episode Megan Ganz explained: "That song too was supposed to be a satire of the way that those "Santa Baby" songs infantilize women’s sexuality. Of course, it’s Alison Brie doing it, so it’s going to be sexy."
The Inspector Spacetime Holiday Special is a parody of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired only once in 1978. While intended for rebroadcast, the universal negative reviews canceled any further distribution. Included in the special are several holograms of bands such as the one seen in Inspector Spacetime.
Résumé: Years ago, Alison Brie did an online skit singing "Santa Baby," wearing a similar outfit and performing the song just as provocatively as she did in "Teach Me How To Understand Christmas."
“You're not taking both of them?”— Troy (thinking she means her breasts).
“Well one's dead.”— Annie
“You smarty, me dumb help "pwetty" have fun boopy doopy doop boop, sex.”— Annie
“There's a magic in the air around us. We all have the sudden urge to bake. It feels like a very special birthday, but whose name should be written on the cake? We asked our public school to give the answer, but they could only teach us not to pray.”— Childrens Choir
“That's what they do. That's what they do.”— Shirley
“The constitution says the state can't tell us was anyone important born today?”— Childrens Choir