Another week, another quote-worthy Abbott Elementary episode. “Teacher Conference” is, hands down, the show’s best episode thus far. It boasts the highest rating on IMDb. It also sports top-tier comedic performances, solid storylines and a jaw-dropping moment that fulfills the desires of every Granine shipper the world over. Not only that, but it reintroduces a supporting character from earlier in the season, Draemond, and his new plot to morph Abbott into a charter school. This development raises the stakes for the remainder of Season 2 and beyond. Hats off to writer Kate Peterman and director Randall Einhorn for crafting a perfect sitcom episode. 

In “Teacher Conference,” it’s PECSA weekend, and Janine (Quinta Brunson) and Jacob (Chris Perfetti) are excited to attend. Gregory (Tyler James Williams) joins the fun at the last minute after Amber (Naté Jones) breaks up with him. Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph) and Melissa (Lisa Ann Walter) try to unwind despite running into the latter’s sister, Kristin Marie (Lauren Weedman). Ava (Janelle James) advises conference attendees about the dangers of dealing with “problem” teachers like “Janina.” 

It’s a cleverly hilarious outing brimming with the show’s trademark heart and intrinsic sweetness. And that kiss! That’ll hopefully tide us shippers over for a while. 

Below, I’ve compiled a list of quotes (and moments around the quotes) I loved from this week’s episode of Abbott Elementary. Class is in session!

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JANINE: Woo, man, I wish I had a Time-Turner because, like Aerosmith, I don’t wanna miss a thang. Although, I might need to miss this big party later. 

MELISSA: Oh, you’re not missing PECSA-geddon. Who’s gonna watch our purses?

What I appreciate the most about this exchange are the two references to Aerosmith’s 1998 ballad and middle school slow dance staple “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” as heard in the sci-fi disaster flick Armageddon. Melissa’s reply to Janine about not missing the conference dance “PECSA-geddon” is as subtle as it is clever. I appreciate subtlety and cleverness. On another note, I would hold Melissa and Barbara’s purses and take the dance floor by storm with my awkward white girl moves. It’s a moment I would treasure (cue Steven Tyler’s soaring belt). 

Barbara and Melissa sit next to each other at a table in a crowded room while smiling in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 16, "Teacher Conference."

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Teacher Conference” Season 2 Episode 16 – (ABC/Gilles Mingasson) SHERYL LEE RALPH, LISA ANN WALTER

KRISTIN MARIE: Good to see you again, Bilbo. Glad you made it out of The Shire. 

Lauren Weedman is a surefire addition to any comedy series. She puts her unique spin and injects her signature flair into every character she plays. Her role as Kristin Marie is no exception. Side note: I hope we get more scenes with Kristin Marie and Melissa because they’re so damn funny.

Anyway, Kristin Marie says the above to Janine in response to the latter’s greeting, and it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious. Weedman’s infallible delivery is understated, making it even funnier. First, we had that Ava line about Janine being the sun baby from Teletubbies, and now this Bilbo line. Brunson has a good-natured sense of humor about herself. 

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JANINE: It’s like I’m at Disneyland, but there’s no Wild Mr. Toad to avoid, and I had to bring my own churro. Did you know you go to hell on that ride? 

Perhaps this line is only funny to me because I used to go to Disneyland once a month when I had the old Annual Pass, but I cackled when Janine said this. Additionally, it’s very Janine-specific. She would love Disneyland, and she would bring her own churro. She would be terrified of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. To be fair, Mr. Toad and Snow White’s Scary Adventures are the darkest rides in Disneyland, thematically speaking. In the first one, you go to hell; in the second, you get a few jumpscares in the dark. 

Janine and Gregory stand next to each other and chat with Ava in a crowded room in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 16, "Teacher Conference."

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Teacher Conference” Season 2 Episode 16 – (ABC/Gilles Mingasson) QUINTA BRUNSON, TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS, JANELLE JAMES

JANINE: When I hang up with my internet provider after they finish helping me reset my internet, and I say, “Okay, I love you, bye,” do I really love my internet provider? No. ‘Cause their network’s unreliable, and I’m dating Maurice, so…

“Teacher Conference” put Granine shippers through the wringer, but you know what? We’re strong. We exhibit fortitude in the face of colossal shipping pain. The Kiss™ is proof positive that Abbott Elementary boasts one of the best will-they-won’t-theys in sitcom history. I gasped. I cheered.

Of course, I knew Janine and Gregory would backtrack out of fear. Janine’s still with Maurice, and Amber broke up with Gregory. Still, it’s easily a top-three moment in the show’s canon. The above quote is such a perfect follow-up to that moment. The context makes it all the funnier. Who hasn’t told a stranger over the phone that they love them? 

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BARBARA: Last night, as the kids would say, was a film. I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like an accurate description. 

Barbara and Melissa overtake PECSA like the badasses they are, making friends with their math-a-ritas and pool filters. They are, as the kids say, goals. This quote cracked me up. It’s probably something I would say. Drunk/hungover Barb is the best. Does this mean we were introduced to “Sea Barbara”? I’d party with these gals any day of the week. 

Gregory points and grins awkwardly at Janine in the school hallway in Abbott Elementary Season 2 Episode 16, "Teacher Conference."

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY – “Teacher Conference” Season 2 Episode 16 – (ABC/Gilles Mingasson) TYLER JAMES WILLIAMS, QUINTA BRUNSON

AVA: That’s bisexual erasure. I expected better from you. 

While Janine and Gregory squirm under pressure, assuming Ava heard they made out during the PECSA festivities, our fave principal claims Jacob sucked face with a lady. Jacob reminds Ava he’s gay, which she responds with the above. It’s such a knee-jerk, quick response that it made me giggle. Plus, Ava’s poking at Jacob’s active promotion of diversity and inclusivity. Also, the absurdity of Jacob’s gayness erasing bisexuality, as if he can choose who he loves, is hilarious. She never fails on the quote front. 

What are your favorite quotes from “Teacher Conference”? Sound off in the comments below! 

Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on ABC, with next-day streaming on Hulu

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Melody McCune
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