Physical Education (Community)

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"Physical Education"
Community episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 17
Directed by Anthony Russo
Written by Jessie Miller
Production code 118
Original air date March 4, 2010 (2010-03-04)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Communication Studies"
Next →
"Basic Genealogy"
List of Community episodes

"Physical Education" is the 17th episode of the first season of the American comedy television series Community. It aired in the United States on NBC on March 4, 2010.


Jeff (Joel McHale) enters the study room, wearing a leather jacket in an attempt to look cool for his first day of billiards class. While the group spends some time mocking Britta's pronunciation of the word 'bagel', Troy (Donald Glover) soon finds a romantically-styled portrait drawn into his used Spanish book which closely resembles Abed (Danny Pudi). The group concludes that the previous owner of the book must be a girl who has a crush on Abed. The group goes to Señor Chang (Ken Jeong) with the book, who reveals that the previous owner's name is Jenny Adams (Carrie Wiita), which was written on the front of the book. However Abed doesn't seem excited to meet her, and though Jeff encourages them to leave Abed be, the rest of the group encourages him to go talk to her.

Inside the College Gym, Jeff is playing pool in his leather jacket, impressing his fellow students and the pool teacher Coach Bogner (Blake Clark) with his technique. However, Bogner tells the class that they must wear gym shorts because pool is seen as a phys ed class, frustrating Jeff. Meanwhile, the rest of the group are in the cafeteria, where Annie (Alison Brie) points out Jenny Adams. They tell Abed to go over to her, but he refuses, saying it's not something that he would do. Annie asks whether a different version of himself might go over and engage with her, and Abed in response creates a version of himself which resembles a hissing vampire. The rest of the group conclude that Abed can't be himself in front of her.

Jeff enters the gym wearing tiny gym shorts and his leather jacket, looking visibly uncomfortable. After a moment of trying to look cool in the required gym shorts, he changes his clothes and confronts Coach Bogner. Bogner accuses Jeff of being a 'hipster' because he cares more about what he looks like than the game. Jeff challenges him to a game of pool, but Bogner tells him he will only play Jeff in shorts; Jeff refuses and leaves the class.

The rest of the group are trying to get Abed to be a different person for Jenny. Troy suggests he try a practice run on Annie and seduces her with his impersonation of Mad Men's Don Draper (Which Alison Brie also acts in). The group suggests Abed impersonate different characters from various TV shows, when Jeff enters and vents his frustration that they're trying to make Abed someone else. Abed then starts impersonating Jeff, which really impresses the group who tell him that he should act like that when he approaches Jenny. Abed goes up to Jenny and begins seducing her, which she appears to enjoy, until suddenly her boyfriend (also played by Pudi, but with extensive makeup) appears, who looks exactly like Abed except for his white skin and brown hair.

In the study room, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) taunts Jeff over the intercom about leaving the pool class. The group predicts that Abed will be upset about the failure of his engagement with Jenny, but when he enters the room he seems unaffected by what happened. When questioned by the group, he tells them that he went after Jenny because he knew how important it was for them. He allays their fears by telling them that he gets lots of attention from girls, and that he's more used to girls approaching him; however, he explains that knowing what he likes about himself makes changing for others not such a big deal. This inspires Jeff to forget about his ego and face Bogner in a game of pool.

Jeff then enters the common room in shorts challenging Bogner to a game of pool, and a crowd gathers to watch their intense match. In between shots, Bogner tells Jeff that he hasn't learned anything and that he still thinks that looking cool is more important. Jeff drops his gym shorts in front of everybody, saying that he doesn't care about being cool and accuses Bogner of projecting his obsession with clothing onto others. Jeff strips down to his underwear, claiming he doesn't care how he looks, and Bogner follows suit. Bogner gets to the last ball, and tells Jeff that people will remember that one of them loved clothes, and the other loved the game. Both men then rip off their underwear while screaming. Bogner misses his shot, which Jeff sinks, earning himself the victory and the respect of Bogner. The group cautiously surround Jeff in a celebratory group hug. One of Jeff's classmates (Jill Latiano) asks Jeff if he can introduce her to Abed, to which Jeff suggests that it would be better if she introduced herself instead.

In an ending tag scene, Troy and Abed mimic Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, when suddenly Troy remembers that it's the day of his cousin's funeral.


This episode was director Anthony Russo's sixth episode and writer Jessie Miller's first of the series.


In its original American broadcast on March 4, 2010, the episode was viewed by 5.06 million viewers.[1]

IGN gave it an 8.5/10.[2] Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated it A- arguing that the show takes its strength from a strong ensemble and that it has a "philosophical bent".[3]


  1. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 5, 2010). "TV Ratings: Fox Wins The Night; But Office, Marriage Ref Win Their Hours In Adults 18-49". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ Krakow, Jonah (March 5, 2010). "Community: "Physical Education" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (March 4, 2010). "Physical Education". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 

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