Parodies and psychology, meta humor and monkeys, laughs and tears
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"Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" (Season 2, episode 11)
Another bleak, emotional story, but one with a vastly different feeling from the one that aired the week before, thanks to the decision to visualize Abed's holiday despair by shooting the entire episode as a stop-motion animated holiday special akin to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Abed's belief in a magical land of Christmas provided the opportunity for many great visual gags (Britta as a robot, Shirley as a baby), and yet the gimmick didn't get in the way when the episode needed to get serious. Far from the funniest installment of the Harmon era, but one I return to again and again to marvel at.