Community (2009–2015): Season 4, Episode 5 - Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations - full transcript

While Jeff and Britta spend Thanksgiving with Jeff's newly-discovered father and brother, the rest of the Study Group tries to escape from Shirley's dysfunctional family Thanksgiving celebration.

Well, see you after the break.
What you doing for Thanksgiving?

I'm having Andre's family over.

Though he'll be stuck
working for Black Friday.

Oh, sure, you get to say that,
but we're stuck calling it Jew Friday.

Ugh. I'll be with my family,
fielding the same old questions.

"How's community college?"
"What's your major?"

"Are those real?"
My aunt's boyfriend.

"Aw. My family's a normal religion.
I have to talk to them for five minutes

before I get a casserole
that's all marshmallow."

That's you.
SHIRLEY: Brainstorm.

Why don't you all come
to my house?

I'll have plenty of food.

Sounds good.
Was gonna microwave noodles.

This sounds promising. I'm in.

Goody. You're all welcome, of course.
I'm in.

Or, you know, Jeff or whoever.
Can't. Plans.

If you change your mind, can't think
of anyone who'd enjoy you more.

How-dean, pilgrims?

Is that--?
John Wayne. Yes.

Oh, good, you got it.

Anyhoo, I just thought
I'd mosey on over here,

invite you all to Greendale's
annual thanks-living potluck dinner,

where we remember
all we have to be thankful for.

There may be a link
to enrollment at Greendale

and holiday suicide.

Just a shoelace and belt-free night
full of fun.

You should all drop by.

Or Jeff, or whoever.
He can't. He has plans.

Right, you are spending
Thanksgiving with your father.

I thought I told you
to stop reading my e-mail.

Yeah, well, I thought I told you
to stop keeping secrets.

How am to keep track
of what you tell me in confidence

and what I hear through your walls
with a glass to my ear?

Fine. Close your mouths.

I'm having Thanksgiving
with my estranged father. Move on.

Makes sense.
Jeff's at a point in his life

where he needs a strong
father figure to come out to.

Jeff, this is huge news.

Huger news. Was this decision made
after our Halloween conversation?

Yes, after, not because of.

I'll take it.

You had that teed up?

When I say "thera", you say "pist"

BRITTA: Thera--

Thanks for the support.

Oh, the support has just begun.

What do you want me to bring to Papa
Winger's house? Vegan pumpkin pie?

Britta, you're not coming.

Fine, regular pumpkin pie.

You're gonna need me
when things get messy and emotional.

The thing that will get emotional
is Troy

when he realizes there are yams
under those marshmallows.

I knew it was too good to be true.

Jeff, speaking not just as your friend
but as an avid daytime-TV watcher,

these parent-child reunions
can get intense.

Chairs might be thrown,
weaves might be pulled.

Or I could just go in there,
show him how awesome I am,

no thanks to him,
meet my half-brother

and then, boom, closure.

Your dad has another son?

Yeah. So clearly, he's moved on.
Why can't I?

Close your mouths.
Look, I appreciate your concern.

But the most helpful thing you can do
is stay out of my business.

Oh. Can you say that last part again?

These walls are entirely too thick.

Give me some rope
Tie me to a dream

Give me the hope
To run out of steam

Somebody said
It can be here

We could be roped up, tied up
Dead in a year

I can't count the reasons
I should stay

One by one
They all just fade away

Oh! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
ABED: Hey.

Let's carve that jive turkey.

Got that out of your system?

I'm happy to welcome you
to my home.

©hu iflhmk yam,

Come in. Take your coats off.
Make yourself comfortable.

Browse the available literature about
Jesus as your personal savior, or not.

No agenda.
Heh, heh, heh.

Are you gonna pass
some apps soon

or do I have to die of starvation
to prove a point?

This is Mr. Bennett, my father-in-law.

Dad, these are my friends
from college.

Oh, yeah. That's Andre's people.
They're a bunch of characters.

That's a good one, Dad.

I brought something.


Oh, Abed,
why is this seven-layer dip so puffy?

Been in the fridge for two years.
Saving it for a special occasion.

So thoughtful.
I'm gonna put this on a nice platter

with crackers in the trash.
Where's Britta?

Hey, Jeff. What's up?

What's up is closure.

I met my dad,
we talked things out as men.

I think I'm ready to move on.
Really, in 20 minutes'?


Look, I couldn't do it.

I was at the front door, in control,
and then I started thinking

about all that stuff you said
about messiness.

Threw me off my game.

The irony is after all your pestering
that I deal with my daddy issues,

you're the reason
I'm not meeting my father.

Or maybe I'm the reason
you'll come here after all.

Britta, I-- Wait.

What do you mean by here?

Your dad's house,
where I kind of, sort of, am.

Yeah, thanks, Sharon.
I never thought about it that way.

Batman is sort of gay.
Be right back.

What is going on?

Why is Thanksgiving so terrible?
ANNIE: I know.

The tension, the backbiting,
the judgmental comments.

This makes Thanksgiving
with my family look--

Eh. Still pretty bad.
I said Batman was gay.

Huh. Sheesh.

You ask one lady
if she's Tyler Perry in drag

and suddenly, you're the bad guy.
It's a reference. That's my humor.

Abed gets it.
Oh, you're all hiding out in here.

Yeah. You know us, hide away.

Well, be careful.
You might be giving the impression

that you prefer the cold garage
to the warm hearth of my hospitality.

What? As if.


Okay. Well, hurry back soon.

This is the Jonestown of dinners.
Feel like I'm in jail.

You know what happens
to guys like me in jail.

They get really into push-ups. I am
fine with my upper body the way it is.

It did feel like a prison,

and that meant only one thing
made sense conceptually.

We had to break out.

And someone with the gravitas
of Morgan Freeman had to narrate it.

We need to do a prison break.

Happy Thanksgiving?
You really "you'd" this one, huh?

Okay, yes,
I meddled against your wishes

and I got this address
from the dean.

But, hey, you had a moment of doubt,
and here I am to help you through it.

Psychology tells us
there are no accidents.

Oh, really? What about car accidents?
Tara Reid, or the Hindenburg?

Here goes nothing.

Hello, William.

So, uh, how about we make
a couple of ground rules?

Actually, that sounds good. No hugs.
Wouldn't want one.

No apologies.
Wouldn't accept one.

No calling you "dad."

No expectations.
No BS.

Drink? Eighteen?
Scotch. Neat.

I just want to acknowledge there are
a lot of emotions flowing right now.

You two are probably feeling
a strong impulse

to sleep with each other,

and hey, that's normal.

Wow. I'll get the drinks.

So how about that?
No muss, no fuss.

Jeff, I urge you not to run
from the muss and fuss.


Hi. You must be my half-brother.

Your hands are so much bigger
than mine.

Your nail beds are perfect.

I can't do it. I can't. Oh, God.

Ugh. Oh, it's coming up.

When I get upset, I vomit.

Oh, I see you've met Willy, Jr.

You said
he wasn't gonna replace me.

He's the Schwarzenegger.
I'm the DeVito.

I get it.

Okay, fellas, let's get right into it.

I think the big question
on everyone's mind...

is why don't I go help
Willy, Jr.? Hm?

ABED: One thing was clear
to me and the crew.

Bennett lockup
was not where we belonged.

We belonged in the sun,
with the wind in our hair.

Maybe at a Bennigan's,
enjoying a Turkey O'Toole.

We should tunnel out.

Abed, Shirley is our friend,
and we're guests in her home.

We need a plan that won't hurt
her feelings or damage her property.

Definitely don't look
behind that poster, then.

I could pretend to have a stroke.
Do a gibberish foreign language.

What if I did a gibberish
foreign language like Star Wars?

You'd like that, I bet. Dick.

Look, I'm sure we'll figure out
a way out of here.

What's important right now
is that we stick together.

Oh, there you are.

Who wants a pre-dinner snack?

Oh, pumpkin, what's wrong?

It's too embarrassing to talk about
in front of the guys.

Know what I mean, girlfriend?
Oh, sweetie.

Do you have your monthly shame?

Do you wanna lie down
in Elijah's room?

Oh, I don't think that's gonna cut it.

I probably need to go home,
call Dr. Collins. It's that bad.

Oh, my sister-in-law's a gynecologist.
She's right in the other room.

There's no need to bother
your doctor on a holiday.

Go ahead. Mm-hm.

ABED: I'd like to tell you Annie avoided
Shirley's doctor sister-in-law,

but this ain't no fairy tale.

This is Thanksgiving.

Let's see, what else?

You've got some diabetes

on my mother's side.
JEFF: Good to know.

I like your hair.
The presence of it, I mean.

So I have a question.

It's been weighing on me
pretty heavily.

At your age, in the bedroom...

Oh, yeah. It's all good.

Real good.

Look at them.


Probably laughing
because I can't grow a beard.

I have an idea.

Why don't we use these dinner rolls
to do some role play?

I see what I did there.

This roll, this is me.

He's crying.

Good. That's really good.

So, what do you do?
I'm a lawyer

who faked a bachelor's degree
and practiced law

for seven years before I got caught.
Ha, ha.

Like your hustle.

Reminds me of the summer I was
Ralph Lauren in Saint-Tropez, '83.

I'm on a boat with--

Damn it, Willy.

I'm expressing.
Knock it off.

Why can't you just swallow it
like any normal person?

Oh, heh, heh. Oh!

Right, like your new son. Like
mister-- Mr. I've-Got-My-Shirt--

I don't know personal details
about you.

Well, my name's Jeff.
Don't help me, Mr. Helper-Guy.

First Mom dies, now this?

Hey, she died 20 years ago, Willy.
He keeps singing the same old song.

Oh. She died on you.

Here I thought you'd become Father
of the Year, but you just got stuck.

Yeah, well, look, I don't have to tell
you, I'm not a natural caretaker,

but with Willy, you know,
I checked all the boxes

and he still turned out softer
than wet cheese.

I don't get it.

He keeps saying he's gonna
move out next week since '03.

Oh, man, I couldn't wait to get out.

I got my own place when I was 18.
I was the same way.

So who's ready to eat?

Jeff, you care to carve the turkey?
I knew it!

You love him more than me.

I'll show you. I'll run away.

Oh, please. Hey, be my guest.

You run away, and I'm gonna sleep
like a baby tonight.

Oh, now,
I'm sorry you guys had to see that,

but maybe you could shrink his head,

since you're here, for some reason.
Yes. I can do this.

Show me on the dinner roll
where you're hurt!

ABED: That's how it
went for the afternoon.

This tag- team turkey day
became our routine.

We endured the indignities
as best we could.

Cousins fighting,
complaints about the food,

listening to a nephew do Borat
for a full hour.

We figured out ways
to steal away from time to time,

saying we had to pee,
had to get ice,

had to do a Jewish thing
in the other room.

I became known as the guy
who could get you things.

Piece of gum,

Playing cards,

some novelty glasses
I found in a box marked "crap."

In those brief, tranquil moments,
we felt human. We felt free.

But sooner or la ter,
our warden would come knocking.

Mostly, we just waited for our time
to be served,

but some didn't take kindly
to waiting.

Some didn't have much time left.

Amateur hour is over.

I'm going in there,
pretend to break a hip,

and we'll be sipping sambuca
at Skeeper's in no time.

Whoa. He tripped on the rug.
Wait, now he's getting up.

He's walking around dazed
like he's got a head injury.

Groin into the corner of the table.
This might actually work.

Wait, wait,
why are people laughing?

Let's see, I need a broom or a rake
or two rakes.

Pierce, you were supposed to pretend
to injure yourself so we could leave.


This is my Showtime at the Apollo.

I'm killing out there.

ABED: Pierce was our last
hope, or so we thought.

It seemed Troy Barnes had a plan.

What if we got sick?
No. No more faking illnesses.

Not fake sick.

Real sick.

And that's when I told
my old firm to shove it.

I've always been more of a free agent.
Yeah, I can see that about you.

You seem like a self-made man.

Well, I kind of had to be.

Look, if it's okay with you,
I'd like to break a rule.

I know we said no mushy stuff,
but for what it's worth,

I'm proud of you.



Makes you think, huh?

Wait, what do you mean?

Well, look, I mean,
you've seen how Willy turned out.

I mean,
I haven't done that kid any favors.

And so I look at you,
so self-reliant and well-adjusted,

and I think
maybe I did something right.

You did something right?

Well, let me say that different.


Universe is a constantly expanding--

I get the impulse. Not gonna work.

No, I just mean that we are defined
by what happens to us,

and me leaving seems
to have made you independent,

made you strong.

With all due respect, which is none,

go to hell.

So tunneling out is off the table?

Who's hungry for turkey?

Shirley, we were just--
About to--

Eat garbage dip.

Why did I have to go third?

Look, I get it.
You wanna leave.

Shirley, we're sorry.
No, I'm sorry.

To be honest,
I invited you as a bit of a buffer.

With Andre's family,
I'm the butt of the joke.

With Andre gone this year, I thought
I could tip the scales in my favor

by having a few friends around.

That was wrong of me.

See you Monday.

I can't believe none of us noticed
she was having such a hard time.

We can't leave.
ABED: Funny thing about prison.

Sometimes the person you thought
was your warden

turns out to be a prisoner,

which doesn't line up
with the Shawshank thing.

But maybe we've always been doing
more of a Prison Break, the show.

Gah! What are you doing in my car?

Take me with you.

Teach me what you know.

What in the cat's cradle
is happening?

Dad hates me.

What do you care what that guy thinks?
He's a dick.

See? That's what I need to learn.

How to be all dead inside
with muscles on top,

not all emotional and flabby.

Yeah, but you are emotional.
If you pretend you're not,

you're letting him off the hook
for being terrible,

which he is and always has been.

I mean, he meant the world to you,
and you meant nothing to him,

and if you run away now,
he'll never know.

He should know.

Britta's the worst.

Ow! Jeez!

Oh. I thought you guys left.

We started as your buffer,
but we're busting you out of here now.

I drew a map of your house
on my stomach.

Uh, I know what my house looks like.
That's what I said.

If we act fast, we can
get through this plan

to put you in the trash can,
take you out like trash.

But we gotta dress you
like a baby.

Thank you for doing this,
but I'm not going.

Those people up there,
they may be rude, pushy.

They may have come to wrongheaded
conclusions about Batman and Robin.

Oh. Thank you.
But they're my family.

Family means putting up
with each other even when it's hard.

You guys can go. I'll be fine.


we're gonna stay.

Yeah. Family sticks it out.

That's ni--

Okay, full disclosure.

We're hiding out
from that crazy white guy.

You came back.

I'm sorry. You should take some
credit for who I've become.


So let me tell you how I turned out

just so you're crystal clear
on your impact.

I am not well-adjusted.

More often than not,
I am barely keeping it together.

I'm constantly texting,
and there's no one at the other end.

I'm just a grown man
who can't even look his own friends

in the eye for too long
because I'm afraid

that they'll see that I am broken.

So you get credit for that.

Oh, come on, now--
One time,

when I was in seventh grade,
I told everybody at school

that I had appendicitis.

I wanted someone
to worry about me.

But when Beth Brannon
asked to see the scar,

I didn't wanna get found out,

so I took Mom's scissors,
and I made one.

It hurt like hell, but it was worth it,

because I got 17 cards.

And I still keep them in a box
underneath my bed 22 years later

because it proves that someone,
at some point, cared about me.

You wanna see the scar?

So you get credit for that too.

This is me.

Look, Jeff, I, uh...

Are you faking a heart attack?

Kind of a Hail Mary.

Happy Thanksgiving, Dad.

Look, you're probably feeling
a very strong urge

to sleep with me right now,
and that is normal.



thank you.

You were right.

You're not gonna get
all Jock Jams on me, are you?

No, of course not.

I left my boom box at school.


You gotta stop doing that.
Thank you.

Come here, brother.
Come here, brother.

JEFF: Wow. Why don't you save
some for Christmas, buddy?

SHIRLEY: And then Pierce did
whiteface over blackface.

No one was amused.
It's meta. Abed gets it.

So, Troy, how was your first
real Thanksgiving?

No offense to Shirley,
but I don't see what the fuss is about.

Thanksgivings the war--


I heard your Thanksgiving
wasn't much better than mine.

So I thought we could take some time
and be grateful for our real family.

The one we chose.

JEFF: Sit, sit, sit.

SHIRLEY: Jeffrey.
JEFF: Sit, sit, sit.

ABED: We never got to
do a Shawshank homage.

Not the way I wanted to.

Maybe the hardest prisons
to break out of

are the ones without locks.

Wait, that doesn't make any sense.

After that day,
Jeff seemed like a man unburdened.

He told me about seeing his father,
about how leaving there

felt like breaking free
of an emotional prison he'd been in.

Something about shackles
on his heart.

To be honest, I stopped listening.
I was thinking about Christmas.

I hope we do Die Hard.
I hope it's in a restaurant.

I hope it lays out as cleanly
as it does in my dreams.

I hope it's cool.

Cool, cool, cool.

JEFF: Cheers.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone,
including you, dean.



Oh I my'

I'll have to remember this
for next year. Heh, heh.