Community: Greendale's Finest

Community S03E17: "Basic Lupine Urology"

Note: I wrote this review off a press screener, and this particular screener omitted whatever happened at the very end of the episode because apparently it was a big spoiler and Sony TV didn't want us blabbering about it to everyone else before it aired. So, I honestly don't know what happened. All I know is Kane picked up the phone and got bad news. But I have theories: The yam people burst from the Earth and swore vengeance on the slaughter of their babies, Starburns' car-trunk meth lab exploded and killed him, or Vicki suffocated Neil while re-enacting page 72 of the Kama Sutra. I'll add my thoughts on whatever actually happened as soon as I see it. And whenever I get around to writing about it. Which could be a few minutes from now... or a year... but will probably be somewhere in between. Update! I've added a few more thoughts below.


Some old dude who's probably dead now once said, "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery." The words stuck, and now that notion is considered truth and a great way for no-talent copycats to justify their rip-offs. Law & Order should be feeling awfully flattered right about now, but Community's imitation should not in any way be considered talent-less copy-and-pasting.

As a two-time reigning Cynicism Champion, I'm still waiting for Community's "homage episodes" to get boring, and they simply refuse to do so. Tonight's "Basic Lupine Urology" had been hyped for weeks; not only did it live up to expectations, it outlived them to become an essential Community episode (which makes, like, 20 now?). The danger of doing a Law & Order episode is that it's relatively easy to do, especially compared to a masterpiece like "Pillows & Blankets," and things that are easy to do are often surprisingly easy to mess up. That did not happen in "Basic Lupine Urology," which merged the worlds of Community and Law & Order so seamlessly that a new mega-world was formed.

I'm no Law & Order-holic, but I've seen enough episodes to know that "Basic Lupine Urology" nailed all the important parts of the legendary procedural. Special shout-out to director Rob Schrab for capturing the look and feel of Law & Order perfectly, and extra big hug to writer Megan Ganz for transposing Community onto Law & Order's framework so well. What really stood out to me was how involved in the case I was, and that's what made this episode so great. Rewinds and pauses were mandatory as the sound of my own laughing drowned out important details in the case of the Yam Bam Thank You Ma'am Killer.

The breakdown of Annie and Jeff as the "Law" and Troy and Abed as the "Order" was about as perfect as it could be. I wish there'd been more of my beloved Britta, but I think she got the biggest laugh as the "computer whiz" archetype, especially when she poked at the keyboard and Instagrammed photo evidence. But what particularly surprised me was Michael Kenneth Williams' performance as Professor Kane. He was actually really funny this time! Also great: The episode's excellent incorporation of several of Greendale's secondary characters...even if Garrett was just the mandatory Law & Order hot dog vendor on a busy New York street with construction signs and steamy manholes. Hee hee, steamy manholes.

I don't know how long Community can keep up its fantastic track record of homage episodes and make them seem fresh. At some point Community is going to announce a Grey's Anatomy send-up or an I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry tribute, and we'll all be like, "Oh boy, this again." Or maybe, just maybe, the show will just keep doing these types of episodes right, like it did with "Basic Lupine Urology," and we'll all be like, "Oh boy! This again!"


[UPDATE] Okay, I SWEAR I didn't know what happened at the end there when I wrote that stuff in the "note" at the beginning of this article. PROMISE. Here's a screenshot of the version I saw as semi-proof:

But WOW! The Yam was not the Community character the "someone on Community's gonna die" news from a few months ago was referring to. Now, the victim in question was the beloved "enhancement" dealer Starburns, who got rear-ended, blowing up the meth lab in his trunk. Normally I don't like to pat myself on the back but I guess I called it? Though how can I really take any credit for it because how would you know I'm telling the truth or not? I guess we have to work on our trust issues.

Still, wow! Starburns. He was one of the characters we suspected would be offed when we listed potential candidates in February, and he was a favorite pick among you guys as well. I don't know how this is going to affect the series going forward, but I hope he gets a great tribute next week. I hope he comes back as a ghost. In the meantime, let's remember our favorite Starburns moments. Mine is that time he was high.



Study Group Notes

– "Keep the change, Garrett. [pause] You know, keep the hot dog."

– "What's a matter, Todd? Cut yourself on an extremely sharp Oscar Wilde play?"

– "Sorry about my partner, he's been on edge ever since we switched."

– Did you all notice Chang's face in the last courtroom scene?

– Fact: Britta looks really hot in glasses.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Great episode!



R.I.P. Starburn



We will always remember you as a man, who for all we know, is a Holocoust denying 9/11 pedophile



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I could totally see Starburns haunting the campus whispering, "My name is Alex!" RIP Starburns.
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ok, this has nothing to do with the episode, but it has something to do with community... I found Trobed! Yes, I found the human form of the Troy & Abed fusion... I was watching the french version of The Voice and this contestant called Stephan Rizon just looks like an even mix of both, it's uncanny... Please, Tim, google him, but mostly watch a video of him on youtube, it's more impressive on video... that's gotta deserve a FTW nod, right?
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favorite moments that were not mentioned:

1) arresting Todd: ' you have the right to do whatever you want, nothing you say or do can be used against you by anyone but we'd really like it if you came with us, please and thank you'



2)"you may proceed ms Edison but do so with cation, need i remind you this is NOT a courtroom"



3)"... she offered to give me her only possession, a wooden chair, but i refused, i was only doing my duty ... and we had plenty of chairs at the base"



4)"is that why you hit your wife? Withdrawn!

is that why you drink and pop pills? Withdrawn!

are you a virgin? Withdrawn!"



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Or

"Objection! Because I hate all of you!"
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RIP Starburns
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'Gonna quote the extremely weird man who sing to Troy and Abed before they go to sleep: "AWESOME!"



- Britta looks hot with glasses... and Annie looks mighty damn fine in a lawyer suit (kinda shocked Jeff didn't ravished her the minute he saw her!) If Shirley as the 'top cop' was super cute... so wins all around here!



- That was Chang is SLEEP MODE... freakin' hilarious.



- Starburns will be miss by some... but not by me. I always saw him as a minor type of villains, like one of the henchmen in the "Batman" TV-show, but without a super-villain to boss him around. So I don't see him being gone as a big lost - seriously, how hard will it be for such a talented writing crew to come up with a new hilarious drug-dealer for their show?



All and all... probably the best episode of the season. Laughed from beginning to end.
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Magnificent episode! It reminded me of Law and Order in its peak. I loved the way suddenly Abed and Troy appeared dressed New York style, and Annie really looked like a lawyer.
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I thought that, with the death, community was going to pull an AD and just make the huge death some old lady. But then i realized it was actually serious... RIP starburns
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As usual an awesome episode of Community. RIP Starburns :(
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The line that got me was Professor Kane's, "Holy crap - we are DEFINITELY dissecting pine cones next year!"



Also, nice touch with the shout out to Starburns in the intro.
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Starburns: "Quick, let me kiss you! I'll explain later!"

Girl: "No!"

Starburns: "Please, I'll explain later!"

Girl: "The explanation isn't the issue!"



LOL
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Quendra, with a Q-U!
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This episode was simply amazing! Six seasons and a movie!
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As someone who watched "Law & Order" from beginning to end, they nailed EVERYTHING. In case you didn't know, the woman who played the Yam Medical Examiner played the Medical Examiner on real "Law & Order" for a number of years, so there's that. And even getting Shirley to sit in for S. Epatha Merkerson, shorter but in command we spot on. Every scene was texbook "Law & Order" to even the time spent on each part in the episode, and even the phone call at the end was set up EXACTLY like the big moment at the end of season 5 where one lawyer resigned because his witness was murdered. Troy and Abed both trying to be Jerry Orbach getting in the zinger to Jeff's Jack McCoy. Props all around.



-Perfect way to do a classic "Law & Order" moment and make it Greendale.

-This one didn't hit me as well.

-Got some fun SVU flashbacks on this one.

-I did.

-I do not deny that.
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Oh my god, when ME Rodgers in the form of Leslie Hendrix showed up for the cameo, I nearly lost my mind with joy and surprise.
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Will this be the season Community wins best comedy?
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Community is so brilliant, the word 'brilliant' is not enough to describe its brilliance!
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starburns would like us to refer him as Alex at his funeral, but how can we? he was starburns.
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I don't think I've ever seen a full episode of Law & Order, but I loved this episode. That's how good this episode was.
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Really enjoyed this parody. They absolutely nailed the style of Law and Order from the very first scene to the trial scenes.



Things I especially loved: 1)the good cop/bad cop interview 2) Why do they always run? 3) Everything Britta especially how she gets cutoff by the music when she tires to offer her help in profiling the perp 4) Shirley heading up the investigation and putting Abed and Troy on the case. That is especially funny because of her stated love of crime tv. A great throwback to the Pillows and Blankets episode where she asks her hubby to tape Forensic Files because she'll be home late. Oh Community-
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Community at its finest.
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Britta: "I can also help! As a psych major I could pr --"

DUN DUN.
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Simply hilarious!!
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I loved this episode, I've been watching Law & Order since its premiere when I was just a kid, and apparently so has Community's producing and writing team because they got everything note-perfect, and not just a copy of the most recent L&O or the only L&O remaining on TV, SVU, but tons of classic L&O stuff like Logan's jacket, Kincaid's car wreck, Van Buren's everything... even Fat Neil (sorry man, we love ya but that's your tv name) got the awesome desk clerk banter down perfectly! Actually, nearly all the banter was bang on, all the little nuances. There also was great use of locations, they got so creative with this episode; they nailed every font, every sound, everything. But the star IMO is the camera work, it was especially amazing, I wouldn't be surprised to learn they brought in actual DPs from Law & Order, it was so perfect. And Chang, I have to applaud Team Community for keeping him as the background cop not doing anything wacky, just being the guy doing stuff at the crime scene as the camera moves by, then as the balif - that took courage to give a star of the show such a specific role, and I loved it. I was also impressed that they successfully did an entire Law & Order homage in just 22 minutes with every single awesome cliche.



My single heartbreak with this episode is my DVR crapped out and didn't record it correctly, catching only the last minute, so I can't re-watch it until it airs again. I think this single episode is going to get me to buy the DVDs.
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Britta: "I can also help! As a psych major I could pr --"

DUN DUN.



Amidst the MANY great lines and scenes in this episode, this probably gave me my biggest laugh.



I'm not actually sure if it had any effect, but as someone who at one point was a big Law & Order fan, I found this episode to be incredible. Season three has been relatively hit or miss, but there have been 3 or 4 episodes now, including this one, that have really been awesome.
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Sorry, Tim, but I'm still not forgiving you for downvoting last week's all-time classic episode.



If this show gets renewed, though, what will be left to parody? I guess they haven't done "Adventure Time" yet. Shirley will make a great Lumpy Space Princess.
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Everything about this episode was perfect, from the intro these (nailed it!) to the way Abed imitated Lenny Bricoe's mannerisms to a "T", even getting the eye movements and random glances at certain words he said!

I was so impressed with this episode and being an extreme L&O buff, I must say THIS is the best parody (if you can even call it that) I have ever seen done.

Good job guys! ::claps:: Keep up the good work and don't get boring!



Six Seasons and a Movie!
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It took me a while to realize I wasn't watching law & Order! Jk.
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This show went from a favorite, to basically unwatchable. Why so many tiresome, boring parodies? The first season is still the best.
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Awesome Episode!!! Totally captured the Law and Order feel. Hilarious as well!!
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Ridiculously great episode. I did not notice Chang's face. I try to find him but he wasn't in the biology classroom.
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I'm calling it. Star Burns might be dead, but a twin brother named Triangle Burns or something like that will show up to take over his dead brother's drug trade.
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Or maybe his greek brother, Beta Burns...
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Haha! That would be awesome. What about Rhombus Burns?
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I can't believe that at the age of 70, I am as passionate about this show as I am.

When I heard the Community theme song ala L&O, I knew I was in for the best episode ever.

Every line was gold. Does that *ever* happen on any other show? "Hey, knock much???"
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This was THE BEST episode of Community... although I say that about nearly every episode. I'm glad (and kind of surprised) Shirley got a decent sized role especially since normally it is Shirley and Pierce that are left out.



If Community gets a season 4, I hope they do another Law & Order episode or maybe a CSI episode. I want more! That was so good!



RIP Starburns.
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10/10 for me



One of those episodes where everybody rocked. Troy and Abed were brilliant as always, Annie was once again on a roll, Jeff was himself again, I really enjoyed Shirley in this episode and Pierce and Britta only had small roles but they were totally in their element.



Also good that biology is back, that must have been atleast 10 episodes ago. And nice to see some of the familiar extras again. But the best thing about this episode were all the great jokes in between, simply too many to count!



R.I.P. Staburns



#sixseasonsandamovie make it so!
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Omar Little: "Man's gotta have a code"



Awesome indeed Dean Pelton. Great episode, never really watched Law and Order but didn't seem to matter very much.
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I absolutely cannot believe that this show is even remotly associated with the word cancellation when there are shows like "2 and a half men" and "Rules of Engagement" getting renewed season after season. I just can't wrap my brain around it!!



This show is breaking new comedy ground and giving us an entire new definition of the word "funny". It challenges us to think before we laugh instead of serving it to us in tiny neat packages.



This is a show where you can see the thought and effort put into each scene of every episode. Nothing is done routinely, and it never feels old, like we've seen it before. And yes, sometimes it's a miss (not often, but a few times) but when it hits (like it did last night) it's pure comedy gold!!



I really hope (and pray) that this show gets renewed and the opportunity to keep surprising us with episodes that never feel routine.



PS. I'm sorry if my rambling didn't make any sense. English isn't my first language so I just tried to express myself the best I can
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I think the biggest issue is that there is no laugh track, so that the mindless sheep can know when they are supposed to laugh and when something is funny (it probably isn't). Power of suggestion is very strong.



And just to clarify, I dislike the laugh track immensely.
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It does baffle the mind how certain mindless shows have so many viewers, while the smartest comedy on television is struggling to survive.



P.S. It depresses me when English isn't someone's first language, yet they write better than me.
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I agree with you completely. This is such a smart comedy, and it's a shame that cancelation is a possibility. There are episodes which are weaker than others, though I'd honestly say that the weakest episode of the series is only really weak by the standards that the show has set up for itself. Most other comedy shows (with a few obvious exceptions) would be proud to have even the weakest episode as part of their show. Hopefully the show will at least be able to continue for one more season.
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I wonder how many first timers to Community thought that this show is actually some kind of Adult Swim procedural...
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I admit, part of me thought Pierce might bite it. He's been getting less-and-less screen time, to the point he's hardly ever on any more. Add that to his little argument with the show creator and I thought perhaps he was getting ready to walk off.

Then, I completely forgot about the death.

Honestly, I only remembered the fore-told death when I read this review.

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I cannot believe you didn't mention Troy's tie. It was hilarious!



Awesome episode.
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I loved Troy and Abed's interaction:

Both: "Why do they always r- "

*Look at one another*

Both: "Why do they alway- "

Troy: *Sighing* "You go ahead."

Abed: "Why do they always run?"

AND THEY'RE OFF.
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I take it that was the medical examiner from (one of) the actual Law & Order shows?



A great homage, even down to the camera work, especially the beginning where they find the "victim" Shirley as Van Buren was pretty solid and Troy had a few solid scenes during the interview.



Heck, even the big "reveal" phone call at the end was something out of the L&O playbook. A last-minute phonecall saying someone died happened a lot on that show.
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'A man's got to have a code.' Yes, he does. Mine is that I will keep watching Community until it stops being amazing, and I'm fine on that front. This was a great episode with so many highlights; Troy and Abed's good-cop bad-cop, Britta's mad photo skillz, Annie's amazing cross-examine! etc. Just another episode to add to the growing list of unmissable Community episodes.
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Community's gonna premiere here in Germany tomorrow. Definitely gonna watch it after all the buzz it's been getting from you guys. So excited!
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Absolutely magnificent episode. All of it! Alison Brie was on fire. Her reaction after she got that-guy-who's-name-I've-just-forgotten to confess was fantastic. I'm not usually as big a fan of the episodes with less Britta but her small contibution was great - and yes, she's hot in glasses. Also, the look on chang's face in the class/court-room scene was hilarious. I've never watched any of the Law & Order episodes (except the pilot for the UK version - wasn't a fan) so I thought I'd miss out on some inside jokes and not enjoy the episode as much but, although I probably did miss a tonne of inside jokes, I loved it.



How can NBC not renew this? How can no one else pick it up if they DO cancel it?
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Having watched all 1,029 of Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (including the one yesterday), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, Conviction, Law & Order: LA and Law & Order: UK, plus Exiled (plus I plan to watch Law & Order: Cape Town when it starts later this year - how awesome will that be!) this episode rocked! It's the funniest episode of the year and up with the best Community episodes. A pity that Jeff didn't get more lawyering, and when you think about it it's pretty crazy that Rogers confused a parboiled sweet potato with a stomped on one isn't it? Of course neither of these things detracted from the episode. Britta was absolutely hilarious in her small role, Shirley was just as great as channeling S. Epatha as she was Oprah, Omar was great and everyone had great parts except for I guess Pierce who didn't do much. The show nailed the small details, things like the first guy having a New York accent and Jeff walking away from the camera after his 'do whatever it takes' bit. Now it's up to NBC to take a leaf out of Fox's book and renew, renew!.
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All of them? Wow.
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That was one crazy weekend.
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Annies cross examine was the best, especially the 3 "Withdrawn" shots at Todd.
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LOL I laughed super hard during that part
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OMAR! OMAR! OMAR!

" A man's gotta have a code"- That was a classic Wire reference! Awesome!

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As always community never stop providing entertainment. kudos to community and please stay alive for sake of fans like us.
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I figured it'd be one of the 2nd tier group of main people that died.. wasn't really shocked but didn't really expect it I guess. the episode was pretty eh to me, it wasn't bad or anything but I'm not a fan of the Law & Order type shows so for me, that made me get less into this episode
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SHOCKED!!! that Starburns is dead!



Britta's scenes at the computer station were PRICELESS. tapping the keys like Fred Flintstone and changing the pic "instagram" style. HUH-LARRY-US!!! And when the editing cut her off as she was about to suggest herself as a psychologist to diagnose the perp ... i was laughing so hard. way to make the most of 90 seconds of screen time Gillian Jacobs. NAILED IT!



Amazing episode.



#bestseasonever
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HILARIOUS!



This has really been the best day. First I learn Fringe has been renewed for a fifth season, and then I get to watch one of my favorite episodes of Community EVER! It was so painful criticizing last week's episode. It was like my first fight with Community. And you know what they say about make-up-TV? I don't think I've ever been more in love with this show.



I must warn you, this comment may seem like over-indulgence run amok. One might ask themselves, what's with all the quotations? Is this guy practicing turning a TV show he watched into a script? We get it, you can write things you heard, why does it matter?!



This was the Mona Lisa of Law & Order spoofs. Perfection. Absolute perfection. Every one of these quotes literally made me laugh out loud. I honestly can't remember laughing so much in any other episode of Community. I can't remember laughing so much in any other episode of anything, for that matter.



Here are my favorite moments: (There were A LOT!)



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Troy: "Looks like it's gonna be a late night. How'd we manage to pull the short straw?"

Abed: "It's not a short straw, it's a hot potato."

Troy: "Yeah, well, it looks pretty cold, to me."

Abed: "Cold, or dead."

Troy: "Survey says ..."

Abed: "We can't both do the zinger."

Troy: "Sorry."



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Starburns: "Dead yam, big deal. Order some ketchup."

Troy: "That doesn't make sense, you don't order ketchup, it's a condiment!" (Punches cabinet.)



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Troy: "We have to tell professor Kane."

Abed: "There's nothing here that connects to Starburns. He'd have to confess."

Troy: "Oh yeah, sure, and maybe if we ask him nice he'll write us a love letter, too."

Botanist Coroner: "Whoever did do this owes you guys a letter, an A. This yam was about to bloom."

Troy (sadly whispering): "Pam."

Abed: "We named the yam Pam. It rhymed."



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Troy and Abed: "Why do they always r ..."

Troy and Abed: " Why do they always ..."

Troy: "You go ahead."

Abed: "Why do they always run?"

Troy: "There you go."



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Todd: "What's this about?"

Abed: "It's about the killing of our biology yam. Will you please come with us?"

Todd: "But I'm in the middle of making a handle."

Abed: "He wants it the hard way. Tell him what Shirley said."

Troy: "Todd Jacobson, you have the right to do whatever you want. Nothing you say or do can be used against you by anyone, but we'd really like it if you came with us, please and thank you."



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Annie: "A hero doesn't call himself a hero. He gets a called a hero because of what he does. And with your impressive record, not even I could deny you the title."

Lieutenant Colonel Archer: "Objection. She's clearly ramping up to something."

Jeff: "Objection, that's not a real objection."

Professor Kane: "Objection, I hate the both of you. You may proceed Ms. Edison but do so with caution, need I remind you this is not a court room!"



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Jeff: "It's not worth getting an A if an innocent man might get an F."



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Jeff: "Why was it so hard for all of us to grow a yam? It's just a stupid yam in a stupid jar. We're all fully grown adults failing a kindergarten project."

Professor Kane: "Can I object?"

Annie: "I'll allow it."

Jeff: "Sustained."



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Professor Kane: "Holy crap! We are definitely dissecting pine cones next year."



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Other things I loved:



- Abed's Inspector Spacetime badge and Troy's Spiderman tie.

- Shirley so easily/amazingly stepping into the role of Police Captain. "It's been a long fifteen-years."

- Dean Pelton hula-hooping in his office.

- The hilarious medieval picture the Sketch Artist was drawing.

- Professor Kane using the stapler as a gavel.
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Crap.... Fringe was renewed.... j/k Congrats to all you Fringe Fans
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I want more of these episodes. i miss season 1 and 2.. this episode was great!! i loved the NY setting/noises outside and the interrogation room with the veery transparent/empty fish tank. It was great when they cut britta off and that was her last appearance on the episode (i think?). Oh, and I cannot forget the opening credits! Those were gooooood.
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