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Abbott Elementary and The Sitcom Romance Formula: An Episode 6 Recap

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead! 

Abbott Elementary’s latest episode, the “Teacher Conference” had an unexpected surprise –– a Janine and Gregory kiss! Many fans are excited to see this finally happen, however, did the kiss happen too fast? Maybe, considering Gregory was recently dumped by Amber. 

The budding relationship between Janine and Gregory could have gone The Office’s Jim and Pam’s route and waited a grueling four seasons for something, anything, to happen between the pair. Though the slow-burn/will-they-won’t-they of the relationship almost seems synonymous with New Girl’s Nick and Jess where the soon-to-be couple kisses in season 2. Jess, like Janine, is still in a relationship whereas Nick, also recently broken up with like Gregory, kiss one another. 

The episode follows our beloved elementary teachers at a PESCA teacher conference. While Gregory had no plans to go to the conference, because of an already planned vacation weekend to the Poconos with his girlfriend Amber. They soon fall apart when Amber tells Gregory they need to talk after he informs her of their snowshoeing, coal jewelry workshop, “tree-ventures,” and fire-harvesting forum, filled schedule. 

Janine, who is already at the PESCA conference, finds a sullen Gregory at the help desk, where he reveals he’s been dumped. To cheer Gregory up throughout his break-up and take his mind off Amber, she takes him to different presentations in PESCA. Later, there’s a party for all the teachers at the conference and a drunk Gregory and Janine ensue. From a deep conversation to pep talks and a photobooth scene in their drunken state, the pair look for the “Living Classroom,” a whole classroom made of flowers. The pair eventually find the room they were searching for and while Janine is amazed by the artistry, Gregory can only seem to look at her when in a lavishly flowered filled room. The kiss happens when Janine accidentally breaks a part of the exhibit and suddenly ducks down, taking Gregory down with her when she thinks she hears something. Gregory pauses staring at Janine before he initiates the kiss. He pulls away first, but Janine pulls him back in with his lanyard for a second kiss. By the next day, Janine and Gregory have both decided to “throw it out” and think of the kiss as nothing. 

The kiss might seem too early, but when looking at other great sitcom couples like Leslie and Ben from Parks and Recreation. The pair start dating in season 3 when Ben has only begun appearing at the end of season 2. Quinta Brunson, the creator of Abbott Elementary, probably has much more in store for her audience when it comes to Janine and Gregory. ‘The Sitcom Romance Formula’ for our soon-to-be couple may involve a “Ceilings” by Lizzy Mcalpine -esque moment of Gregory running down the halls of Abbott Elementary to declare his feelings for Janine. Or even an “Eleanor Shellstrop” from The Good Place where Janine will be the one to take the plunge and confess her feelings first. 

Despite what might happen or might not happen, Janine and Gregory seem to keep audiences on their toes. The long-awaited kiss seems to only be a treat for viewers, considering the pair have both voted to “throw it out” and let’s not factor out Janine’s boyfriend Maurice. Will Janine break up with Maurice or will more happen between the two? There might be more roadblocks to this couple finally coming together than we realize. However, the “Sitcom Romance Formula” lies within the writing itself and what makes these characters so memorable to be a great romance. Everyone knows the characters Jim and Pam even if some haven’t even watched The Office. Janine and Gregory may come together in the next episode or the next few episodes, or maybe they won’t come together for another season. Whatever happens, Janine and Gregory will surely be another sitcom couple for the ages.

Madisyn Treviño (she/her) is a Rhetoric and Writing major and is serving her first year at Her Campus at Texas. She is passionate about writing, women's rights, Taylor Swift, rom-coms, discussing intersectionality, and 90s fashion. You can find more of her work on the student-run radio station, KVRX, website. IG: @0hmadi