Community (2009–2015)
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Debate 109 

Jeff reluctantly agrees to be Annie's debate partner, Britta humors Pierce by letting him try hypnotherapy on her to get her to stop smoking, and the gang begins to think that Abed's films may predict their future.


Joe Russo


Dan Harmon (created by), Tim Hobert | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McHale ... Jeff Winger
Gillian Jacobs ... Britta Perry
Danny Pudi ... Abed Nadir
Yvette Nicole Brown ... Shirley Bennett
Alison Brie ... Annie Edison
Donald Glover ... Troy Barnes
Ken Jeong ... Ben Chang (credit only)
Chevy Chase ... Pierce Hawthorne
John Michael Higgins ... Professor Whitman
Jim Rash ... Dean Pelton
Aaron Himelstein ... Jeremy Simmons
Candace Brown ... Jean Wilson
Danny Seckel Danny Seckel ... Richard
Jason Rogel ... Samoan
Jennifer Flack ... Abed's Britta


Professor Whitman and Dean Pelton convince Jeff to join the debate team after Annie's partner drops out right before the championship debate versus City College. Jeff naturally assumes he has the win in the bag but an obnoxious debater from the opposing team proves him wrong. Meanwhile, Shirley freaks out when Abed's films seem to predict the future and Pierce uses hypnotherapy to help Britta give up smoking. Written by NBC Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The debate scenes were shot at a local high school gym. During filming, the school was put under lock down for a possible active shooter situation and the crew and cast were held in the gym for several hours. See more »


When Pierce is talking to Britta before their hypnotherapy session, a camera and operator can be spotted in the reflection on the tuba behind Pierce. See more »


Jeff Winger: Britta, I'm saying this because I care about you and I'm your friend. You need to start smoking again.
See more »


References L.A. Law (1986) See more »


La Biblioteca
Written by Donald Glover and Danny Pudi
Performed by LeJon and Sandeep Parikh
See more »

User Reviews

In honor of "Community"- a review of every episode. (S1;E09- "Debate 109")

(This is the ninth part in an ongoing series, in which I am writing brief reviews of each and every episode of Dan Harmon's beloved cult- comedy "Community." Originally conceived as a response to the initial cancellation of the series, the show has since been saved by Yahoo! via their streaming service. However, as I had already started my reviews before it was "un-canceled", I will continue them.)

Is man good? Is man evil?

An interesting question to ponder. And one that is the centerpiece of the Season One episode "Debate 109." Certainly a subject that one could dwell on, even incessantly, for months if not years. And perhaps bring about some troubling revelations.

... ... ...but who has time to think about that question when we're laughing so hard at a great episode of TV?

An incredibly funny example of "Community", this episode has a lot going for it. While it may not reach for particularly dramatic heights, it's still a fantastic episode with some wonderful humor and a few really cool moments of character development and potential foreshadowing of where future episodes may go.

Jeff (Joel McHale) reluctantly agrees to join Annie (Alison Brie) on the Greendale debate team, but their partnership slowly unveils a potential attraction between the two as they work together (hoping to win over City College, who has a ringer in the form of a disabled team member who easily earns sympathy points due to his eloquence and wheelchair-bound state, despite a nasty attitude), causing some minor tensions.

At the same time, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) humors Pierce (Chevy Chase), by allowing him to attempt (rather poorly performed) hypnotherapy sessions on her to assist her quite smoking. And all the while, the other members of the study group become confused and even concerned when Abed (Danny Pudi) begins making student-films based on the group that are so accurate, they almost seem to be able to predict future situations they will find themselves in.

The beating heart of the episode revolves around the potential growing attraction between Jeff and Annie. And this is one of the first episodes to show that sort-of potential dynamic between the two characters. (And also show just how gorgeous Brie can become, and how deep Annie can be as a character when she both literally and metaphorically "lets down her hair") But fans can thankfully be assured that because this is Dan Harmon's "Community", it isn't going to exactly follow the same, basic, bland "romance formula" that other sitcoms almost exclusively stick to. Here, without spoiling anything, I will say there are some great amusing moments and subversions of the idea.

The humor here is a wonderful mixture of silly, broad, "belly-laugh" gags and wonderful (and quite meta) chuckles for harder-core fans of the series who take note of the little things and the "Easter Eggs." Which is something I always admired about the series as a whole- the ability to be both broad and specific all at once. It's one of the reasons the series is so ripe for repeated viewings and analyzing.

I give "Debate 109" a near-perfect 9 out of 10. It's a great episode and has a lot of appeal. And it makes the way for the next episode, "Environmental Science"... which some will be surprised to know is my favorite episode of the entire series. (More to come on that in a later review!)

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Release Date:

12 November 2009 (USA) See more »

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1.78 : 1
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