"Basic Human Anatomy"
Community episode
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 11
Directed byBeth McCarthy-Miller
Written byJim Rash
Production code410
Original air dateApril 25, 2013 (2013-04-25)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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Community (season 4)
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"Basic Human Anatomy" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of the NBC sitcom Community, which originally aired on April 25, 2013.

In this episode, Troy and Abed switch bodies—an homage to Freaky Friday—while the valedictorian race between Annie and Shirley sees the pair team up to take down Leonard who is currently #1 in the class.

The episode was written by Jim Rash, and directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.


The group has to creatively present any moment from history as part of their final history project; Annie proposes a series of banners. Jeff only cares about getting a "passable" grade, but Annie and Shirley are both vying for the valedictorian spot and would rather the group aim for an A on the assignment.

Shirley asks Troy and Britta what they are going to do for the first anniversary of their first date; they both pretend to not have forgotten the date. Troy, however, happily remembers it as being the third anniversary of he and Abed watching the original Freaky Friday for the first time, which he presents to Abed as a DVD. As Abed thanks Troy for the gift, they re-enact the wishing and body switching scene from the Freaky Friday. As the pair spin around and fall to the floor a Greendale technician (Craig Michaelson) flickers the lights, explaining it is a "routine light switch check." Troy and Abed are disappointed the change did not work.

The next morning, Troy (as Abed) wakes up next to Britta, who wishes him a happy anniversary. Troy quickly wakes Abed up and tells him a body switch occurred after all. Troy and Abed try to convince the rest of the study group that they really swapped bodies, and determine that Abed (as Troy) will have to go to with Britta for their anniversary dinner. Troy (as Abed) tells the group the pair will need to recreate the exact scene from yesterday to switch back, but the DVD has gone missing.

Jeff asks Dean Pelton to give a Freaky Friday DVD to Troy and Abed, pretending it's not a new copy Jeff bought instead. When the Dean asks Jeff how Troy and Abed switched bodies, he grabs onto the DVD and convulses while the same technician flickers the lights, again citing a routine light switch check. The Dean starts acting like Jeff.

Annie and Shirley visit the Dean in order to find out why Leonard is ranked #1 in the class. The Dean at first refuses, but then to continue to act like Jeff reveals that Leonard once took a class in 1968 in Rotary Phone Maintenance and has been taking every subsequent class pass/fail in order to maintain a perfect GPA. When they confront Leonard, he runs out of the college, thereby returning Shirley and Annie to #1 and #2 in the class respectively. Annie is attracted to the Dean while he is acting like Jeff but cannot understand why. Shirley's solidarity with Annie dissolves as soon as she gets the #1 ranking and she gloats, which annoys Annie.

Over their dinner, Abed (as Troy) tells Britta that Troy has been talking to Abed about their relationship, and that Troy is concerned and wonders if they both are truly invested in the relationship or simply going through the motions. Back at Greendale, Jeff insists Troy (as Abed) go find the DVD after he rejects the new copy, as it is actually of the 2003 remake. The janitors, who are having a murder mystery night during the day, direct them to the Lost and Found. While looking for the DVD, Troy (as Abed) confesses to Jeff that he doesn't think his relationship with Britta is working and that they should break up. Back at the restaurant Abed (as Troy) is confessing the same thoughts to Britta. Jeff commends Troy for his commitment to the bodyswap with Abed, but tells him that he has to be honest with Britta because "that's what a man does."

Troy arrives for Abed and Britta's dinner, and he and Abed re-enact the bodyswitching scene, as Jeff flickers the lights, to drop the act and return to their normal personalities. Troy finally sits down and breaks up with Britta on his own, saying that though he is not ready to be her boyfriend, he knows he can be a good friend to her and wishes to have at least that. Britta accepts his confession.

When the group returns to the study room, Pierce shocks them by having completed the banners for their history assignment within 25 minutes.

In the end tag, Troy and Abed perform out-takes with the Dean, to the annoyance of Jeff, who demands they stop doing the bit as a week has already passed.



The episode was written by cast member Jim Rash, his first writing credit for the series.[1] It was directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller.

This aired as episode eleven, but was the tenth episode produced.[2]

Cultural references

Troy buys Abed a six-pack of body switching movies which includes Freaky Friday, 13 Going on 30, The Change-Up, 17 Again, 18 Again!, and Vice Versa.


The episode was seen by approximately 2.33 million viewers.[3]

Emily VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated the episode positively with a B+, saying, "[I]t's an episode that takes a potentially insipid and unbelievable premise and finds something strangely heartfelt in it."[4]


  1. ^ Goldman, Eric (2013-04-25). "Community: "Basic Human Anatomy" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
  2. ^ "Community Season 4: Joel McHale & Jim Rash Interview". YouTube. February 4, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  3. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 29, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries', 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 30, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  4. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (April 25, 2013). ""Basic Human Anatomy" S4 / E11". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 29, 2013.