Pillows and Blankets (2012)
"Between two groups of people
"who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force."
Oliver Wendell Holmes.
There was a point where all I saw were feathers.
Then I started swinging.
And then I hit something and heard someone fall.
Could've been somebody from my side.
In 2012, Greendale Community College was the site of the largest and longest pillow fight in community college history.
It shaped and scarred the landscape of their campus and forever changed the lives of those involved.
A health-care administration student who turned a storage room into a sanctuary for soldiers with broken glasses and lightly grazed testicles.
A high school dropout and amateur photographer whose borrowed camera captured some of the war's blurriest, most poorly framed moments.
A disgraced former lawyer whose words would inspire tens of students to take up pillows and fight, most likely to avoid an upcoming test.
A loving wife and mother who would prove to be as skilled at kicking asses as she was at wiping them.
The dried-up heir to a moist towelette empire who would prove to be the dried-up heir to a moist towelette empire.
The sensitive high school quarterback who became commander-in-chief of his own army.
He would later say of the war, "It was awesome, but also, it wasn't."
And his socially dysfunctional best friend turned bitter rival, an uncompromising tactical mastermind feared by all, yet unable to pay parking tickets or know left from right without mouthing the Pledge of Allegiance.
The rift in their friendship would carry the school into conflict lasting days, costing hundreds of dollars and resulting in over 12 transfers.
There are people who say, "I don't get it. So it was a pillow fight."
To which I say: "You weren't there."
Jeffrey, you have to come mediate Troy and Abed.
They look up to you.
What's with the film crew? Don't worry.
If there's one thing I've learned at this place, it's that a film crew means disaster.
They are here to document Greendale's Guinness Record, which you are gonna make sure we get by talking to Troy and Abed.
This is your fault. No.
Your fault. Your fault.
Okay, I've got good news for you.
Neither of you has to apologize, what you're doing is ridiculous.
So here's the solution I'm pitching:
I'm giving you two imaginary friendship hats that automatically make you friends again. Are we done?
Jeff, this matter's a little more serious than that.
No, it's not. You're children acting like grown-ups.
Fine. Don't pretend it's anything but that.
Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir, friends so close, they once graced the cover of Friends Weekly, a pretend magazine of their own design.
Earlier that day, they begin construction on a fort made of pillows.
Its name: New Fluffytown.
Its goal: to be a newer, fluffier town than Fluffytown, their blanket fort from the previous year.
New Fluffytown didn't care who you were.
You were surrounded by softness.
It's just like crawling through a hug.
Well, I guess all hugs have to come to an end.
When an opportunity arises for a world record, it creates a rift.
Troy wants to go for the record, using blankets for rapid expansion.
Abed insists on pillows, declaring world records to be dumb.
Troy declares the declaration lame, stating that thinking records are dumb is stupid.
He secedes from New Fluffytown and begins constructing Blanketsburg on the other side of campus.
Abed renames his fort Pillowtown for the sake of conceptual symmetry.
Both forts expand until both are in each other's way.
Study Room F, 3 p.m., things reach their boiling point.
You stand back.
Watch it, Star-Burns. My name is Alex!
A softly lobbed, hypoallergenic Sealy Select in a floral print case collides with a load-bearing broomstick, collapsing a queen-sized section of blanket fort.
You saw that? They knocked it down.
Star-Burns, go. Excuse me, please.
Hold. Hold. Jeffrey. Jeffrey, find me.
Get back. Jeffrey!
It was later named the Study Room Kerfuffle.
Jeffrey. You're not mediating.
Dean, what do you want me to say, huh?
Some conflicts are so pointless, they have to play themselves out.
Fine. The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg says Pillowtown has until midnight to surrender its territory.
The United Forts of Pillowtown declines the request.
It's not a request.
I'm giving you an "all tomato." You give me the whole tomato or else. Or else what?
See you at midnight.
Oh, my God.
Do people go to classes?
The deadline divides friendships, families, even study groups.
Pierce Hawthorne takes Troy's side, citing that Abed is weirder and more foreign.
Shirley Bennett decides her allegiance in a text message to her husband.
Troy appoints Shirley Bennett as his second-in-command, at which point Pierce switches to Abed's side.
There were those who thought midnight might come and go.
Nothing would happen. Heh. Well, I was in Korea.
And I knew the sound of crap about to hit the fan.
You know what it sounded like?
That's right, Jackson.
Midnight comes, and a campus holds its breath.
There's a lot of blanket stackers and pillow packers thinking it's gonna go down.
But there's a lot of us folks from the scene in between saying:
"Hey, we're looking to chill out, and lay down with someone special."
This is Real Neil with pipes of steel, signing off with the smooth sounds of "Daybreak."
I gotta get this on film.
I'm straight trouncing Spaz in Go Fish.
What are you doing? Don't record this.
Hey, come on. Wait, did you hear that?
Oh, my God. What the hell is that?
12:07 a.m., Blanketsburg soldiers charge a pillow fort in the library.
The Pillowtonians move quickly to defend.
There were no rules in that first battle.
You hit someone, and if they went down, you stop hitting them.
Call that common courtesy. Then what if they get up?
Do you maybe keep hitting them till they learn to stay down?
We call that common sense.
The battle lasts six minutes.
No territory changes hands.
Blanketsburg has drawn first blood.
Pillowtown will draw First Blood, Part II.
Citizens of Blanketsburg, I ask you now to prepare for war.
And I ask Garrett to please fix the microphone on my laptop.
It's doing that thing again.
The United Forts of Pillowtown and the Legit Republic of Blanketsburg are at war.
Each side attempting to kick down and replace the other.
The unmoving line between them is a campus-wide, fleece-laden strip of pillow-to-pillow combat.
Britta Perry attempts to capture the war's sublime indignities on film.
Unfortunately for Britta and photographers like her, just because something is in black and white doesn't mean it's good.
Rules are agreed upon, but casualties are inevitable.
Outside the science lab, at the Battle of Big Bulletin Board, Pierce Hawthorne suffers broken glasses, a hurt finger and erectile dysfunction.
Which, in his words, had never happened ever before that battle.
Pillows, but no sleep Feathers, but no birds Pajamas without children Violence without purpose I saw Mommy kissing Exxon Mobil Amanda Johnson. Poet by choice, lesbian by birth.
Even Jeff Winger, who, before the war, lacked interest, has now found a leading role.
Soldiers of Blanketsburg, we fight not because we want war.
We fight that we might gain peace.
Yeah! Winger's critics suggest he merely improvised hot-button patriotic dogma in a Ferris Buellerian attempt to delay schoolwork.
Winger decries the accusation as, quote:
"A slanderous betrayal akin to 9/11," unquote.
Later, after the war, he would refer to the theory as essentially accurate.
Annie Edison provides humanitarian relief for both sides.
Her text conversations with Jeff Winger give us a glimpse beneath the cushions of war to the lost pennies and grody Q-tips of war's emotional toll.
Jeff, heard from one of Troy's soldiers about a speech you gave to troops at the fort.
Wish this war could be over, but proud of you for taking a stance.
Text message, Annie Edison.
Thank you, Annie. I'm proud of you too, and of us all.
Also wish the nightmare would end, using what I'm given to give what I can.
Jeff Winger. Jeff, just heard from one of Abed's soldiers that you gave an identical speech to troops at Pillowtown.
W-T-F? Sad face. Special icon of a downward thumb.
Annie, okay, you caught me. I prefer war to homework.
How do you do that little thumb icon?
I can't find it on my phone. Jeff Winger.
Piece of sushi, birthday cake, stop sign, snowman, umbrella. Annie Edison.
Pierce Hawthorne, humiliated in the Battle of Big Bulletin Board, wants a chance to redeem himself.
I've been working on something. Look at this.
You can build this?
If you'd just give me the pillows.
I hope to God we'll never have to use it.
Oh, me too.
Rumors of Hawthorne's weapon find their way to Troy.
Troy Barnes will take no chances. He turns to Ben Chang, Greendale's chief of security, rumored to be literally psychotic, and who has been kept on the sidelines until this moment.
Chang has recruited an army of preteen security interns while moonlighting at a local bar mitzvah.
They were later nicknamed The Changlourious Basterds, like Inglourious Basterds, but with Chang instead of "In."
I don't get it either.
Most of the soldiers in this war hadn't fought with a pillow in years.
These little bastards, pillow fighting was a way of life for them.
One of the injured said they were making necklaces out of mattress tags.
Things get as ugly as they can get while still being a pillow fight.
Crazy war, huh?
I heard Chang's kids are really ducking stuff up.
Hey, check it out. I downloaded that thing.
Birthday cake, birthday cake, unicorn, woman's shoe.
How's the nurse thing going? No response.
You like pillows? How do you like these pillows?
The Changlourious Basterds have turned the war into a chaotic sea of high-thread-count terror.
Under advice from his top general, Abed sees no choice but to unleash his doomsday device.
You're gonna die, you little bastards!
What the heck is that?
He is part-man, part-pillow, all carnage.
Pierce Hawthorne has transformed himself into an unstoppably plush juggernaut.
Guys, guys, just retreat. Go, go!
The war won't stop with First Blood, Part II.
It will escalate to Rambo III.
Which should be called Rambo II: First Blood, Part III.
But the Rambo titles never made sense.
And neither does war.
Abed Nadir, Facebook status update.
Leonard likes this post.
Why are you ignoring me? What's the point?
Words don't mean anything.
They're things you say to get what you want.
Well, that's what conversation is, Annie.
People saying things to get stuff.
Then maybe you should just shut up.
Do you ever just write stuff down in a journal, Jeff?
One you don't show people or use to get anything with?
A place that's just for you to sort out the truth?
If I write stuff down in a Hello Kitty book, will you like me again?
I'm taking that as yes.
The war brings out the worst in people.
Worse yet, Troy's forces intercept an e-mail written by Abed to his commanders, outlining Troy's weaknesses.
He gets distracted by loud noises, the color red, smooth jazz, shiny things, food smells, music boxes, bell-bottoms, boobs, dogs, anyone saying, "Look."
His greatest vulnerability is his emotional frailty.
It's incredibly easy to make him cry, and he's ashamed of that.
Get away! Unfortunately, the only photographer there to capture the scene is Britta Perry.
There's a good one.
Pictured here lying down, Troy's does not take Abed's e-mail lying down.
Hey, dick, read your dumb e-mail. Really enjoyed it.
Guess what. You may have been my best friend, but we both know I was your first friend.
What you don't know because you have mental issues is that you're never going to have another friend, because, all caps, nobody else will ever have my patience with you.
Troy Barnes. Four-part text message.
These two were hurting each other's feelings.
And I thought about what Annie said, and then I thought about what I might do to make things right.
At 8 p.m. of the second night, both sides are honoring a cease-fire so that the infantry can watch the hit TV show Ski, Shoot, Sing, a combination biathlon singing competition, no fun to watch time-shifted, because you'd be the last to know who won.
During the cease-fire, Jeff summons Troy and Abed to a secret summit meeting. This has to stop.
Tell him. What about your e-mail?
You weren't supposed to think those things.
Guys, look at yourselves. You didn't used to be like this.
You were Troy and Abed.
Things used to be easy. He's right.
Our friendship is dead. What?
We should agree that whoever wins this war can stay in the apartment.
Loser has to find a new place. Agreed.
Uh, I wanted that to go different.
The North Cafeteria, named after Admiral William North, is located in the western portion of East Hall, gateway to the western half of North Hall, named not after William North, but for its position above the south wall.
It is the most contested and confusing battlefield on Greendale's campus, next to English Memorial Spanish Center, named after English Memorial, a Portuguese sailor that discovered Greendale while looking for a fountain that cured syphilis.
In a fit of hurt feelings, Troy redirects most of his infantry to the cafeteria.
They arrive at the same time as a hundred Pillowtown troops.
Just after dawn, the end of the war begins.
Here we go!
Ha! Okay, I'm out.
Okay, okay. I'm dead. I'm dead. Hey! Come on, get up.
I'm gonna eat you, you little...
Get off me, you...
I can't get mixed up!
I can't get mixed up!
Well, that's it.
I just heard from the Guinness rep. He's not coming.
He's been fired, in what he described as the world's biggest mistake.
I doubt that will make the next edition.
Anyway, it's over.
What a colossal waste of two and a half days.
The war has no more reason to continue, and yet it does between the two that began it.
They just kept fighting.
Like, for hours.
Come on, let's wrap this up. I don't wanna.
Me neither. Why not?
This is the last thing we ever do together.
We can't stop. Doesn't that kind of solve your problem, the realization you like each other so much, you'd hit each other with pillows forever?
Knowing that doesn't feel like enough anymore.
Yeah. We're grown-ups now. We have grown-up problems.
That's very clear.
Unless you use those magical friendship hats that I got for you.
We're not stupid, Jeffrey.
We know you made those sarcastically.
Yes, yes. And I will roll my eyes at both of you when I put them on your heads, because that's the way I am.
But that's not the way you have to be.
We might be interested. Okay, then.
Here's your magical friendship hat, and...
You left the magical friendship hats at the dean's office.
Right. Of course. I'll go get them.
So Jeff went out and stayed out long enough to make them believe he had gone to the office.
That was a nice touch. Heh.
Here you go.
Lucky no one grabbed them, huh?
Britta Perry is there to immortalize the moment on film accidentally, while trying to get a picture of the light hitting a stack of nearby waffles.
Pierce, take that off. I can't hear you.
Your cheeks are in the way. First entry in my journal.
Today I had to run and get two imaginary friendship hats from an office.
I could've walked around and come back, but for some reason I actually went all the way back to where they were.
One was crumpled up. That was Troy's.
The other was a little dusty. That was Abed's.
I fixed them up, even though I was the only one watching, because I settled on a truth today that's always going to be true.
I would do anything for my friends, which I think is how everyone in the world feels, which finally makes me understand war.
Guys, I wasn't gonna show this to anyone, but, uh, it's pretty profound.
I kind of nailed it. If you want, I can read it in the documentary.
That is, unless you get Tom Hanks.
We tried to get Tom Hanks, but he's too expensive.
We used the people involved for their own voiceover.
Yeah, and I nailed that too.
Why are you here, same time as me?
Tight schedule. Were you in The Cape?
I've got goose bumps. Me too. A great story.
I was on the edge of my seat.
Wanna know what struck me while I was watching?
You can't get quality programming anywhere but right here. Was thinking that same thing.
You can't get Troy and Abed: Pillows and Blankets.
Or these great specials like Craig Pelton: A Year in Paris.
From Labs to Riches: The Annie's Boobs Story.
Or That's Enter-Chang-ment.
We know you hate these constant pledge drives.
We know you hate them.
We don't like doing them either. I'd rather be at home.
Taking a warm bath, with my wife.
Oh, brother, not this one again.
Heh, heh. But if you wanna help Greendale Campus Television stay on the air, keep the lights on, we are literally this close to losing our fund...