The cast of NBC's Community get animated, literally, in the new Christmas-themed teaser for the show's upcoming fifth season, which premieres with an hourlong episode on January 2nd, 2014.
The clip, appropriately titled "A Miracle on Jeff's Street," clocks in just under two minutes, but it packs a surreal punch. With Christmas right around the corner, Jeff (Joel McHale) is back to work as a lawyer after graduation. Returning home to his apartment, he checks his answering machine (which is, admittedly, used purely as an expository device) and finds a warm holiday greeting from his old study group buddy Abed (Danny Pudi).
Just as Jeff starts to reminisce about his old friends, though, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Chang (Ken Jeong) crash through his window, dressed as Santa and a reindeer, respectively. "Jeffrey, you've been a very good boy this year," says the Dean after chastising Chang for his poor sled-pulling. "At least what I can tell from stalking you online."
To lift Jeff's sunken Christmas spirits, Dean Pelton pulls out the rest of the study group from his Santa sack – including Abed, Annie (Alison Brie), Britta (Gillian Jacobs), Troy (Donald Glover) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown). The only problem: Chang forgot to cut them all air holes. "I thought you said 'bear holes,' which I also didn't do," he says.
Then the clip takes an even wackier turn. Just as Troy prepares to "say something about the importance of family," he beings vomiting presents. As the boxes gradually engulf the Dean, he wakes up from the nightmare in his bed; Chang, sleeping by his side, also wakes up from the dream in a cold sweat of horror. When asked why he's invaded his privacy, Chang simply notes that "the door's unlocked."
Besides all the spirited weirdness, the clip does offer some helpful reminders about the show's upcoming fifth season. The hourlong double episode premiere will run on January 2nd on NBC, followed by four weeks of single episodes on Thursday nights, followed by three weeks of Olympic interruptions. The season will then finish as normal, allowing the study group to be a happy family once more.