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Elaine's Big Day is the twenty-fifth episode of the second season of New Girl, the 49th episode overall and season finale. The episode originally aired on May 14, 2013.


Cece’s wedding day finds Jess and Nick making a decision about their relationship. Meanwhile, Schmidt schemes with a typically overenthusiastic Winston to sabotage the nuptials, although a shocking announcement may be bigger than anything he plans.


In the loft, Jess tries to hurry everyone up so they can get to Cece's wedding early. She also wants to take a quick photo of the group before they go and hands her cell phone off to her father to take the picture. After the roommates assemble, Bob directs Nick to move further out of the camera's frame once he sees him and Jess together. He then insults Nick's suit causing him to make a fuss and instigating an argument amongst the group. Everyone but Jess leaves and Bob takes the photo with her alone. At the hotel the wedding is being held in, the group arrives and Jess notices Nick has changed outfits having borrowed a suit from Schmidt. She tells him he shouldn't worry about the negative things that her father's been saying about him. He assures her that he isn't and Jess leaves to talk with Cece.

Nick joins the others as Winston notes the arrival at the hotel of a Wisconsin sports team mascot, Bucky the badger. Meanwhile Schmidt is reminded by Elizabeth to go pee since the ceremony is three hours and she remembered he has a weak bladder. Over in the bride's changing room, Jess is helping Cece cope with her pre-wedding jitters. Schmidt suddenly bursts into the room having mistaken it for the restroom. He is awestruck by Cece's appearance in her traditional Indian wedding sari and the two share a brief look. Jess shoos him out of the room and he quickly joins Nick and Winston at the reception area with some news: Ceec doesn't want to get married. The guys are skeptical after he says she told him with her eyes.

Jess then shows up and Schmidt reiterates what he was "told". Jess asks him to let go of his feelings for Cece but he denies that's what this is about. He says his past intimacy with Cece has given him better insight into what she is thinking than her best friend could ever have. Jess threatens Schmidt not to ruin the wedding day but once she leaves he declares he wants to sabotage the wedding. He tries to enlist the guys help but Nick insists that they do what Jess said and not cause any trouble. Winston however, is easily convinced to join Schmidt as he has a love for pranks. Later, the wedding begins outside the hotel with the arrival of Shivrang to the event on horseback. Although Nick tries to intervene, he is unable to prevent Schmidt from giving Winston the signal to activate an air horn. The loud noise scares Shivrang's horse sending it running off into the street.

Despite the setback, Shivrang is able to make it back to the hotel safely and Jess confronts Schmidt over what he did. As the ceremony continues, Cece and her entourage walk down the aisle only to have the traditional Indian music suddenly replaced with "Cotten Eyed Joe". Nick investigates and finds Winston is the cause. He took control of the music and ducked taped the sound board so no one could stop it. Jess walks in on the situation and assumes not only that Nick was the culprit but that he had always been helping Schmidt. Hurt by her accusations, Nick leaves and finds the two wedding saboteurs agreeing to help them carry out the rest of their plan. Sometime later, a worried Schimdt pulls Jess out of the ceremony and admits he may have gone too far as he actually agreed with an idea Winston had for a prank.

He explains that Winston and Nick are now in the air ducts preparing to drop Bucky the badger onto the priest from the ceiling. After Jess messes up his hair for more details, Schmidt adds that Nick wasn't a part of their antics from the start as she had assumed. She attempts to call Nick but Winston, now in a manic state over the prank, won't allow him to answer. In the ensuing scuffle between the two over Nick's phone, Winston kicks the cage holding Bucky and accidentally frees the badger. The kerfuffle is heard by the attendees of the wedding and Jess decides to go into the vents herself. She finds Nick and tries to apologize for blaming him. He says it ultimately doesn't matter as he is aware a part of her agrees with her father's assessment of him. He also gets her to admit the possibility that their relationship might be a mistake.

Before Jess can say anything more about it, she falls through an opening in the air vent followed by Nick and the badger. They crash into the tent covering right above the altar as Cece, Shivrang and the priest run out of the way. Nick collects himself only to notice Jess's father in the audience shaking his head in disapproval. Bob then suddenly feels something crawling past his legs and runs screaming out of the room. Jess tries to calm everyone down and sends Nick and Schmidt to capture the run away badger. She attempts to get the wedding back on track but Cece finally admits that she can't go through with it. She looks at Schmidt and says she wants to be with someone else. She apologizes to Shivrang but he says he understands as he too is in love with another. He turns to the audience and calls for Elaine declaring his love for her even though it defies his family's traditions.

A tall, white, blonde woman responds to his proclamation declaring her love for him as well. The two run off together leaving the wedding attendees confused. Jess comforts Cece but she admits she's feeling better than she has in a while. Afterwards, Jess is helping to clean up the mess the badger caused when Nick appears. He suggests that although they gave it their best try they should "call it" now and end their relationship. Jess reluctantly agrees and leaves in tears. Outside in the reception area, Elizabeth demands to know why Schmidt tried to stop the wedding. He denies any romantic feelings were involved just as Cece appears next to him. Elizabeth asks her if she was referring to Schmidt to which she says yes and apologizes. The two women then turn to Schmidt with an ultimatum asking that he choose between them. Schmidt is unable to deal with the situation and quickly runs away.

Over at the hotel bar, Nick is about to start drinking when Winston kicks his way out of a nearby air vent. He joins Nick in the adjacent stool and tells him Bucky bit his arm. He then puts aside his own concerns after noticing Nick's mood and learns he just broke up with Jess. He makes Nick aware that he is drinking away his problems exactly as his father did. Winston also adds that while running away is his typical reaction to a messy situation it's not his only option. Nick considers this and Winston gives him one last push and tells him to just go. Nick thanks him and after he leaves Winston asks the bartender to call an ambulance since he is bleeding out. Meanwhile, Nick runs out of the hotel and finds Jess next to her car. She pleads with him to change his mind as she is not ready for it to be over between them. In response Nick rushes forward and passionately kisses her. The two then jump into her car and drive off. Although unsure of their destination or about their future as a couple, they are content at that moment simply being together.



Guest Starring

Featured Music


  • Schmidt: "Bros ever before the ho!"
  • Nick: "Anybody have a jar?"

Recurring themes


  • Climax: The culmination of the season long story arc involving CeCe's wedding as well as Nick and Jess's relationship reach a conclusion in this episode.
  • Returning characters: Bob Day, Shivrang, Elizabeth
  • Previously: Jess's father Bob Day is still staying at the loft as shown in the previous episode "Winston's Birthday". He still hates Nick.
  • Flashbacks: Jess recalls being in Nick's car and him rocking out to the song Cotton Eye Joe.
  • Romantic entanglements: Jess and Nick's relationship as well as a love triangle between Schmidt, CeCe and Elizabeth take center stage in this episode.
  • Vehicle: Jess's car makes an appearance at the end of the episode
  • Nick and Bob Day Similarities: At the end of the episode, Jess asks Nick why he didn't make a left turn, instead Nick says he's going to make 3 right turns. In the episode Bathtub, Jess mentions that her father hated left turns and that he would drive around Portland for hours making right turns.

Running jokes

  • Douchebag Jar: Nick mentions the douche jar after Schmidt makes a douchey comment
  • Animal planet: A runaway horse and a rabid badger appear in this episode
  • Good at pranks: Nick's talent with pulling pranks, shown in the episode Neighbors, is mentioned by Jess when she accuses him of being responsible for Winston sabotaging the music at CeCe's wedding.
  • Bad at pranks: Winston tries again to pull off a few pranks but they quickly get out of hand.
  • Not the hair: Jess messes with Schmidt's hair in retaliation of him trying to ruin CeCe's wedding
  • Clothes make the man: Nick at first wears a very wrinkled and out of fashion old suit to the wedding that is mocked by Bob.
  • More beer: Nick tries to drown his sorrows in alcohol after breaking up with Jess.

Pop culture references

  • TV Guide: Nick compares the original outfit he wore for the wedding as looking like the suits worn on the 1980's show Miami Vice.
  • The titular character of the episode, Elaine, is likely a reference to The Graduate.

Notes & Trivia

  • Taylor Swift makes a special apparence as Elaine but only has a few lines even though the episode's name is a reference for her.
  • Winston says he is 31 years old in this episode.


Season 1 Season 2 Season 3

Re-Launch · Katie · Fluffer · Neighbors · Models · Halloween · Menzies · Parents · Eggs · Bathtub · Santa · Cabin · A Father's Love · Pepperwood · Cooler · Table 34 · Parking Spot · TinFinity · Quick Hardening Caulk · Chicago · First Date · Bachelorette Party · Virgins · Winston's Birthday · Elaine's Big Day