As Britta (Gillian Jacobs) helps Jeff (Joel McHale) spend Thanksgiving with his estranged father (James Brolin) and the half-brother (Adam DeVine) he’s never met, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) invites the rest of the Study Group to have Thanksgiving dinner with her family. Trapped in a situation that makes their own family dinners look inviting by comparison, Abed (Danny Pudi) narrates his friends’ plan to survive the ideal and escape in a way designed not to hurt Shirley’s feelings.
After discovering Shirley is the most miserable member of the group surrounded by her husband’s obnoxious family, Abed, Annie (Alison Brie), and Troy (Donald Glover) stop their plans to escape and decide to help out their friend by taking some of the heat off of Shirley. Although Jeff’s dinner with his father starts out well, the pair fight when William takes credit for Jeff’s independence by floating the possibility that abandoning him a child was the best thing for him.
The episode ends with the Study Group returning after the holiday to have Thanksgiving together for a nice final moment in an otherwise unimpressive episode which doesn’t take nearly enough chances or cash-in on the situations it presents for our characters. Both Jeff’s father and brother are far too one-note, the craziness at Shirley’s party is never really all that crazy (at least not on-camera), and although mildly amusing Abed’s Shawshank Redemption-style narration doesn’t lead anywhere.