"Prom Face/Off", alternatively titled "Feral Student", is the sixth episode of Season 1 and the sixth episode of China, IL.
Things go awry at the university's Faculty Prom.
On a news broadcast, Golden notes that 20 years ago was when an experiment led by Leonard to reverse the devolution of hippies took place, and when the experiment failed, Leonard's hopes were abandoned as he set the old schoolhouse building ablaze with hopes to kill the hippies. After this report ends, the Dean proceeds to announce the upcoming faculty-only prom that will be held in the abandoned schoolhouse, and the staff prepare the place for said dance. Frank gloats to Pony and Smith about his date, Donna, then taunts them for being the only ones who will go to the dance alone. Elsewhere in the building, Baby Cakes runs into one of the hippies that Golden reported about and walks with her, giving her the name of Mattie. It becomes apparent that the hippies are still alive, but the staff remain unaware.
In the history office, while Pony and Steve try to find dates, they wind up arguing after Frank jokingly suggests they go together. Meanwhile, Baby Cakes takes Mattie to his house, and Mattie points out the picture of his father, remembering the failed experiment that occurred. Putting this aside, Baby Cakes considers taking her to prom while she eats part of the chicken, and the two hold hands with each other. Later, as the prom starts, Steve bemoans his solitude, claiming he should steal a date, but Pony claims he's unable to and then claims she can steal any man. The two agree on a bet to see whoever can get a date first. Outside, Sammy, her date and Frank make their way to the prom, but an encounter with a hippie causes Sammy to insist they spread word about the hippies' return. Frank refuses, wanting to get together with Donna, and throws Sammy into a tree to prevent her from spreading the word.
At the Cakes residence, Baby Cakes tells his father about the prom and his date, but Leonard begins panicking, feeling the urge to return to the schoolhouse, where Steve's attempt to get a woman fails. Frank enters and sees Donna, who agrees to a dance only because of a blackmail, but she evidently enjoys his moves as a man is captured by a hippie. Nearby, Pony hits on a man but loses him courtesy of Steve, and elsewhere, Leonard locks Mattie in the attic and commands his son to leave her alone. However, another hippie attacks a man Steve has a conversation with, and as Frank enters and sees the attack, Steve insists they warn the crowd. Not wanting Donna to know about the hippies, Frank knocks Steve out.
Outside, Pony is flirting with Falgot, but he rejects her. The two see a trapped Sammy calling for help while Baby Cakes sobs, unable to dance with Mattie. Leonard warns the Dean to evacuate the building, but he does not heed this warning. Mattie escapes, and as she and Baby Cakes prepare to kiss, the entire prom is interrupted by Falgot, who warns the denizens about the hippies running amok, a crippled Sammy on his back as proof. Following white lies from Leonard, Falgot announces that the hippies are still alive, prompting Donna to leave the dance as silhouettes of hippies appear around the building. As the hippies attack everyone in the building, the Dean prepares for action.
While Pony tries to reconcile with Steve in the men's room, the hippies are instructed by Leonard to cease their attacks after various attempts to combat them. When explanation is demanded, Leonard claims the hippies are trying to protect their territory, adding that he fell in love with one of them and that he thinks of the others as his children. Leonard and Haystack, the hippie he fell in love with, are crowned Prom King and Queen, and Steve and Pony apologize to each other as they exit the restroom. While Donna is escorted to an ambulance after being attacked, she admits to Frank that a relationship may work out, but Frank insists they stay friends due to her health condition. In the car Leonard and Haystack win are the hippies; Leonard wants them to start fresh elsewhere. The hippies drive the car into the schoolhouse, causing a fiery explosion.
- Baby Cakes' quote, "Father! Why hath thou forsaken me?" is a Biblical reference to Jesus Christ's crucifixion.
- The names of the hippies are Sunshine, Moonbeam, Fungus, Weave, Streamer, Mudpile, Husk, Lice Bed, Haystack and Mattie.
- Sunshine also happens to be the nickname of a student introduced in Season 3. See here.
- The potential dates Frank and Pony had in mind were Naomi, Merlene, Marjorie, Traci, Maha, Precious, Sarabeth, Queeny, Coolwater, Spider, Jeff, Esmond, Atticus, Cornelious, Cravid, and Ezekiel. Cravid ends up being Crystal's date.
- Over the course of the series, only Cravid and Spider appear out of this list.
- The Futon Critic refers to this episode as "Feral Student". 
- Though Kenny Winker and his bandmates perform at the prom, no females are shown to dislike him. The disdain manifests in "Kenny Winker Rules".
- Additionally, his voice is different.
- Despite not being a staff member of UCI, Baby Cakes gets to attend, though this may be due to his father being a professor.
- This is the last episode in which Golden is shown working for Channel 3 News. Whichever channel he worked for in "Chinese New Year" isn't revealed, and he is shown working for Channel 8 News starting in "The Perfect Lecture".
- At around seven minutes and seven seconds into the episode, one man at the dance has an erection.
- At the end of the episode, the hippies crash into the schoolhouse, leaving their fate for the rest of the series unknown.
- Baby Cakes: [About the old schoolhouse] Dad told me never to come here.
- Baby Cakes: [Hearing a commotion from the attic] That's just a rat.
- [A hippie manifests itself.]
- Baby Cakes: That's the biggest rat I've ever seen!
- Kenny Winker: [Preparing a song] Here's one that sucks in parts, and I hope your dates will do the same.
- The Dean: [Evaluating Cravid and Crystal as candidates for Prom King and Queen] Drunkenness? A four? Come on, you squares!
- Leonard: You imagining girlfriends again? Remember when you thought that tree loved you?
- Baby Cakes: Fuckin' dad.
- [Another hippie attack occurs.]
- Frank: Not this shit again!
- Baby Cakes: Father! Why hath thou forsaken me?
- Baby Cakes: So Mattie is—
- Leonard: Your sister, son.
- Baby Cakes: Aw, man.
- Leonard: That's why I didn't want you together. Believe me, I understand the inertia of star-crossed love—but fucking your sister is just gross.
- [Leonard and Haystack are crowned Prom King and Queen.]
- Falgot: That is beautiful and nasty as hell.
- Leonard: Love is always a little wrong. That's what makes it so exciting.
- Pony: Should those dog people be driving?
- [The hippies crash into the schoolhouse.]
Characters Appearing Edit
- Baby Cakes
- Gang Sang
- Kenny Winker
- Lice Bed
- Mud Pile
- The Dean
- The Dean's Assistant
|Pilots||"China, IL: The Funeral" • Unaired Pilot|
|Season 1||"Rewind, Pause, Pay!" • "Dean vs. Mayor" • "Baby Boom" • "Coming Out of the Casket" • "Secret Society" • "Prom Face/Off" • "Frankensteve" • "Chinese New Year" • "Dream Reamer" • "Dean's List"|
|Season 2||"The Perfect Lecture" • "Is College Worth It?" • "Do You Know Who You Look Like?" • "The Diamond Castle" • "Kenny Winker Rules" • "China-Man Begins" • "Total Validation" • "Surfer God" • "Prank Week" • "Wild Hogs"|
|Season 3||"A Gentleman's Bet" • "Best Face Forward" • "Charlize" • "Crow College" • "Bi-Topping-Ality" • "Parent's Day" • "Displays of Manhood" • "Life Coaches" • "Gummie World" • "Magical Pet"|