Abbott Elementary’s Tyler James Williams Talks Filming Gregory’s Awkward Bar Scene In The Latest Episode, And I’m Still Cringing Just Thinking About It

Chris Perfetti, Tyler James Williams, Lana Condor, and Karan Soni in Abbott Elementary.
(Image credit: Disney/Gilles Mingasson)

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Abbott Elementary Season 3, Episode 11, “Double Date.”

The latest episode of Abbott Elementary definitely brought some awkwardness, but it was mostly for Tyler James Williams’ Gregory Eddie. It’s no secret that he has had a thing for Janine Teagues since they first met, and Janine and Gregory's relationship has been complicated throughout the first three seasons. Things only got more complicated in Season 3, Episode 11, “Double Date,” when Gregory went on a date with a paramedic played by Lana Condor, and they saw Janine at the same bar. Now, Williams is opening up about filming that uncomfortable moment, and I’m cringing just thinking about it all over again.

While Gregory and Lana Condor’s Olivia were on a double date with Chris Perfetti’s Jacob and his boyfriend, Olivia’s coworker Avi (Karan Soni), Gregory couldn’t help but constantly look over at Janine. She was all dressed up and seemingly on a date with former district colleague Manny (Josh Segarra). It didn’t help that, at one point, Gregory got the attention of everyone at the bar. Tyler James Williams explained the awkwardness while chatting with TV Insider and, while filming, even he could feel how the audience would eventually experience:

Gregory has such an intimate relationship with the audience because of the looks that he can throw [to the camera]. This was one of the first times I think the audience could feel this palpable awkwardness with him.

If the actor's goal was to make the scene as awkward as ever, he definitely succeeded. From ignoring Olivia to making a scene at the bar, it all made for a hard watch. Add on to the fact that Janine wasn’t even on a date with Manny, as she was just tying up some loose ends with her former colleague at the district. Gregory was freaking out for nothing, which made the situation even more embarrassing when he went over to their table. That was what the Everybody Hates Chris icon wanted to happen, though, and I must say, it was so bad that it was good. He went on to say:

And it was about letting the words escape my mouth and then that feeling after the fact. So that was something we had definitely talked about. This should be a moment where everyone watches this scene unfold and they’re perpetually saying, ‘Oh no. Oh, please God, no.’ I was just trying to make it worse every single time.

Due to Gregory’s outburst and habit of ignoring his date the entire time, Olivia ducked out of before the quartet went to dinner, having no interest in seeing Eddie again. If this happens on all of Gregory’s future dates, who knows what his love life will look like. Interestingly, Tyler James Williams thinks Gregory and Janine shouldn't be endgame. That being said, it’s possible that he just needs some more time with his feelings. And who knows how Janine being back at Abbott will impact that.

Aside from that, Gregory may want to watch himself, because it’s starting to look like more and more the series could very well be setting up Manny to be Janine’s next love interest. Quinta Brunson had a cryptic answer when asked if Manny would be Janine’s love interest. At the time, she noted that it was up to the audience, seemingly indicating that it could be a possibility. Now that Janine no longer works at the district, perhaps Manny will really try to make a play for her. I still think we have a true love triangle in the works here and, if that comes to be, Gregory's bar moment could just be the tip of the iceberg of awkwardness.

Abbott Elementary airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC as part of the 2024 TV schedule. You can also stream episodes using a Hulu subscription.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.