Bottle Episode

I learned the phrase ‘bottle episode’ from Abed in Community, the episode Cooperative Calligraphy. He says: ‘I hate bottle episodes. They’re wall-to-wall facial expressions and emotional nuance. I might as well sit in the corner with a bucket on my head’. TV Tropes explains that when tv shows have used up all their budget on other major episodes, they contrive a situation where the main characters are kept in a single location to keep costs down.

In the case of this community episode, Annie believes someone stole her pen and she keeps the study group locked together while she questions everyone incessantly, as tensions and hilarity rise. Abed delivers this sweet reprieve:

If I could just take this time to share a few words of sarcasm with whoever took this pen. I want to say thank you for doing this to me. For awhile I thought I would have to suffer through a puppy parade but I much prefer being entombed alive in a mausoleum of feelings that I can neither understand nor reciprocate.