Cooperative Calligraphy

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"Cooperative Calligraphy"
Community episode
Community S02E08 - Cooperative Calligraphy.jpg
The girls are questioning Abed in the study room.
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 8
Directed byJoe Russo
Written byMegan Ganz
Production code208
Original air dateNovember 11, 2010 (2010-11-11)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Aerodynamics of Gender"
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"Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"
Community (season 2)
List of Community episodes

"Cooperative Calligraphy" is the eighth episode of the second season of the American comedy television series Community, and the 33rd episode of the series overall. It aired in the United States on NBC on November 11, 2010.


The study group is working on a project for Professor Duncan in the library when Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) enters, inviting them all to the "puppy parade" being held outside. Except for Jeff (Joel McHale) who claims to have a date, the group decides to go, but when Annie (Alison Brie) cannot find her pen, she demands that the group stay to find it. As they search the room, Abed (Danny Pudi) notes that things are starting to look like a bottle episode.

Unsuccessful in finding the pen, the group starts to leave, but Annie demands that Britta (Gillian Jacobs) allow them to search her bag. The pen is not found, and Britta demands that since her bag was searched, everyone else's should be. Annie tries to get Jeff to take control of the situation, but when Jeff's advice to the group is taken as an admission of guilt, he institutes a lockdown, forcing everyone to stay in the room until the pen is found.

As they work through the bags, they discover somewhat disconcerting secrets about each member of the study group. Jeff points out Britta kept a large pack of condoms on her. Abed's journal is discovered to have been tracking the three women's menstrual cycles so that he knows the best days to talk to them. They discover a pregnancy test in Shirley's bag; she claims that she rekindled her relationship with her ex-husband over Labor Day weekend, but Abed points out that his charts show that she was last ovulating during Halloween. Shirley and Britta get into a heated argument about religion and sex before Jeff snaps and tears apart the room looking for the pen. The group proposes strip-searching each other to prove no one has taken it, dividing the room by gender to search themselves. Having still not found the pen, they decide Pierce must have stuck it down one of his leg casts. They cut the casts open, but the pen is not there.

The group sits around in regret and Jeff points out the bonds between them were so strong, it was impossible for anyone to have taken the pen and still not have confessed. Such an act was so unlikely, saying that a ghost took the pen would be more reasonable. Satisfied with this, the group leaves the destroyed study room, too late to join the puppy parade. Once they're gone, the monkey Annie's Boobs (from the episode "Contemporary American Poultry") appears from a vent, snatching a spoon and taking it back to its cache of stolen objects, which includes Annie's pen. (The monkey can actually be seen taking the pen 40 seconds into the episode. At one point the person operating Pierce's wheelchair can also be seen.)


In its original broadcast, "Cooperative Calligraphy" reached approximately 5.635 million households with a 2.0 rating/6% share in the 18-49 demographic.[1]

The episode received positive reviews from critics, with Michelle St. James of Daemon's TV writing, "From Annie’s primal scream to almost every single Troy line ('Do they find thoughts in our butts? I knew I should have read that book.'), “Cooperative Calligraphy” is packed with hilarity, character development, and puppies."[2]

Cory Barker of TVsurveillance wrote, "'Cooperative Calligraphy' is both the culmination of the last 15 episodes and the catalyst for a number of surely-awesome plots and episodes to come. It’s a reminder that Community can be just as hilarious when telling intensely personal and small-scale stories as it is when riffing on pop culture’s biggest genres and formats. And that’s why it is television’s best comedy."[3]


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