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The Study Group

Jeff Winger

 "If I wanted to learn something, I wouldn't have come to community college."
—Played by: Joel McHale

A charming but manipulative and Amoral Attorney who was forced to attend Greendale upon the discovery that his college credentials were forged. Responsible for the formation of the group as the inadvertent result of a plot to seduce Britta, he tends to act as the leader.


  Jeff: He doesn't like fake courses, well, he's about to get a real lesson on the fact that Jeff Winger never learns.

    • Season 3 premiere seems to suggest he has finally learned how much he needs his friends (at least subconsciously) just as they are no longer reliant on him.
  • Amoral Attorney: His Backstory.
  • At Least I Admit It: Opines to Britta that this is the key difference between him and Shirley.
  • Ax Crazy: in "Biology 101" when he gets kicked out from the group he loses it and uses an actual axe to destroy their table.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: A key part of his MO. See the bit about "board certified Spanish tutor" above.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jeff and everyone.
    • Lampshaded almost word-for-word in "Paradigms of Human Memory" They've been reading the trope pages again, haven't they?
      • None of that chemistry is going Shirley's way though.
        • At least until Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism
  • Berserk Button: Don't play mind games with Jeff when it comes to his long-lost father.

 Jeff: If you're lying to me, if my father isn't coming, if a car pulls up and anyone other than my father steps out, say an actor or you in a wig, if you pull any Ferris Bueller, Parent Trap, Three's Company, FX, F/X2: the Deadly Art of Illusion bull--- I will beat you. And there will be nothing madcap or wacky about it.

  • Better as Friends / Friends with Benefits: Jeff and Britta's relationship has zigzagged between the two; despite some romantic tension in season one, they appeared to have decided that they're Better as Friends -- except it was revealed "Paradigms of Human Memory" that they'd still been hooking up on occasion. The end of that episode, however, saw them apparently decide to call that quits as well, and it seems that they're now just platonic friends.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Archie to Annie's Betty and Britta's Veronica.
  • Blatant Lies: The other key part of his MO.
  • Break the Haughty: Much of Jeff's character arc basically involves getting him down from his high horse by any means necessary, usually through a combination of humiliation and good old-fashioned Character Development.
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Played with for Jeff; he's clearly quite clever, he's very lazy, but whenever he tries to coast on this, things usually go wrong for him.

 Jeff: Well, the funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without ever having to do any work.

  • Bully Hunter: Jeff's a curious example; on the surface, he seems thoroughly reluctant to involve himself in anything outside his own self-involved little bubble, and isn't adverse to letting rip with the odd snide and cutting comment himself, yet he consistently appears unwilling and / or unable to let bullying go unchallenged. Pretty much every time a bully / group of bullies has appeared, even if the victim isn't one of his friends Jeff's more often than not ended up confronting them; he'll usually frame it as confronting them for being a loud, obnoxious and irritating dickhead rather than a bully, but nevertheless. In "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" we learn Jeff himself was a victim of bullying as a child, which might explain this.
  • Catch Phrase: "But here's the thing." Usually said when he's endeavoring to be the voice of reason.
  • Characterization Marches On: Was much more openly a Jerkass until the first Christmas Episode.
  • Cool Shades: Which he will usually combine with a leather jacket and a well-timed Glasses Pull for maximum effect.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The degree varied on the episode but other guys getting cozy with Annie and Britta is a good way to earn his ire.
  • Daddy Issues
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Decoy Protagonist: His role as the lone viewpoint character lasts maybe halfway into the first season. It comes back a few times but was never as prominent as it was then.
  • Defrosting Ice King
  • Depending on the Writer: How much of a douche he can be.
  • Dismotivation: Played with; Jeff wants to get his degree, get out of Greendale and back into his cushy high-powered lawyer lifestyle, but is incredibly lazy, used to coasting on his wits and charm, and sees doing any more than the bare minimum amount of effort required to get by, whether it is in getting his degree or doing anything for his friends, as a personal failure. Naturally, he often falls into the trap of doing more to actually avoid doing anything (and consequently bringing on more trouble and strife to himself as a result) than would be necessary if he just sucked it up and put an honest effort in.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Jeff decides he had a crush on Britta in the very first episode and spends the rest of the season pursuing her until they hook up in the semi-finale.
  • Everyone Has Standards: What separates him from Pierce. For all the bad things Jeff does, there are some lines even he won't see crossed.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Rich.
  • Faux Fluency: Pretending to be a "board-certified Spanish tutor" from the very first episode. This is lampshaded: "What board?"
  • Forehead of Doom: This feature has been brought up several times when insulting him.

 Jeff: It's not really that big, is it?

Troy: It's not small.

  • Freudian Excuse: Jeff drastically changed his image and attitude after a brutal lashing at foosball--a loss so bad that young Jeff actually wet himself--by a bully who turns out to be Shirley when he was 10 years old.
  • Gentle Giant: When he's not being a Jerkass.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted (despite his best efforts) and Lampshaded.

 Jeff: The funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without having to do any work.

    • Jeff also often falls into the trap of putting more effort into avoiding having to do something (with usually a greater amount of trouble and strife for him) than would probably result if he just sucked it up and put an honest effort in to doing what he was supposed to be doing.
  • Hipster: Jeff tends to occupy the 'vain, self-centered and obsessed with being the coolest-yet-most-aloof person in the room' part of the stereotype.
  • Hot Guys Are Bastards: He's getting (a bit) better, but he still has a tendency to use his looks as an excuse for being a jerk.
  • Jerkass: His default setting. While the study group has enabled him to gradually develop and display a heart of gold, he originally wasn't very nice at all, and can occasionally regress.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Almost on every episode he is in when he has to rescue the group from their hi-jinx. Lampshaded by Britta in Modern Warfare. In fact, it can be argued that this trope is Reconstructed with Jeff.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Although it's played with, in that it's gradually revealed that as much as he might try to deny or hide it, he's just as loony as the rest of them in many ways.
  • The Protagonist: While the show is usually an ensemble, he's the most likely to pick up this role. It's most keenly felt in Season 6.
  • Manipulative Bastard: His bread and butter. Even with a fake law degree, he argued better than most lawyers. He once convinced an arson victim that the house looked better burnt down.
  • Meaningful Name: His last name is Winger, and he's spent his adult life, well, winging it.
  • Mommy Issues: His mother praised him too much and now he has trouble accepting failure.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has quite a few Shirtless Scenes.
    • And then there's a pool match...
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: He runs basically the entire spectrum of amorality tropes.
  • Not So Above It All: He may think of himself as the Only Sane Man, but in reality he's had his share of crazy moments too.
  • Not So Different: It's often made clear that Jeff and Pierce are not quite so different as Jeff would like to believe, and that Pierce is essentially what a future version of Jeff will look like if he doesn't improve his ways and character.
  • One Head Taller: At 6'4", he towers over Annie and Britta.
  • Only Sane Man: Jeff likes to think and act like he's this, and it's initially played more-or-less straight, but it's gradually subverted over the course of the series when it becomes apparent that he's in many ways more messed up than any of his wackier friends.
  • Stop Having Fun Guy: In general, his rather snide and hipper-than-thou attitude and efforts to demonstrate a cool ironic detachment can sometimes mean that he can ruin the fun a bit (alternatively, he can seem to have it most at the expense of someone else). Seems especially the case in "Remedial Chaos Theory" where the timeline resulting in him going to get the pizza is ultimately the one were everyone ends up having the most fun.
  • Team Dad: Reluctantly.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Jeff's not a complete jerk, but he definitively leans towards the Jerkass side of Deadpan Snarker, and for sure most of his problems are his own fault.
    • Pointed out in the season 2 premiere.

 Abed: I know the difference between TV and reality, Jeff. TV has structure, it makes sense, there are likable leading men. In real life, we have this. We have you.

  • Unknown Rival: Rich is blissfully unaware of how much Jeff hates him.
  • White Male Lead: Out of two black people, an Arabic guy, an Asian guy, and three women on the cover, the main character ends up being the young white male. Although the series has become a lot more of an ensemble piece over time.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: The reason Jeff is in community college is that his Bachelor's degree is one of these. Formerly provided the page quote for this trope.

 Duncan: I thought you had a Bachelor's from Columbia.

Jeff: Well, now I have to get one from America.


Britta Perry

 "Knock, knock. Who's there? Cancer. Oh, good, come on in. I thought it was Britta."
—Played by: Gillian Jacobs

A passionate but inept political activist, feminist, anarchist cat owner and psychology student, who, although generally well meaning, tends to eagerly latch on to particular causes with more enthusiasm (and obnoxious self-righteousness) than ability.

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: The second anything starts going her way.
  • Actor Allusion: Jeff and Chang laughing about Cherry Daiquiri, and then talking to Britta. (Gillian Jacobs played Cherry Daiquiri in the movie version of Choke.)
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She seems to have quite the thing for damaged goods, jerks and weirdos; subject to a process of mild Deconstruction in that it's made clear that this is due to a severe self-esteem issues on her part, and she initiates these relationships as a self-destructive way of validating her own lack of self worth.

 Troy: What don't you get about this? Britta likes guys who are mean to her. She doesn't like herself.

  • Battle Cry: "Britta for the win!"
  • Berserk Button: Britta likes boys, and she DOESN'T like when they're mean to her, and she DOESN'T like when they stop kissing her and start kissing one of her friends.
  • Better as Friends/Friends with Benefits: With Jeff, as mentioned above. Though some episodes suggest that this view mainly applies to her and Jeff might have been more invested in their relationship.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Jeff's Archie and Annie's Betty.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: When the school turned into a '70s sci-fi dystopia, it took her two minutes, once she got everyone to listen to her, to tear the whole system down.
  • Break the Haughty: Like Jeff, Britta tends to have a rather high opinion of herself. Again like Jeff, many of the plots involving her tend to involve knocking her off her high horse as humiliatingly as possible.
  • Butt Monkey: She's the AT&T of people.
    • Although she didn't start out this way. It came up gradually in season two and then began to dominate her character in season three. May be a result of Flanderization.
  • The Cast Showoff: She shows off her dancing skills in Interpretive Dance.
  • Catch Phrase: "BRITTA FOR THE WIN!" and "Duh doy!"
  • The Constant: After everyone else moved elsewhere, or died, Britta was by Jeff's side all the way to the Grand Finale.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's hinted, but never said outright, that she was molested when she was eleven years old by a man in a dinosaur costume.
  • The Ditz
  • Does Not Like Men: A somewhat mild example. She's made it clear how her views about men are not very flattering. That doesn't stop her from being close friends with four men though.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. Despite her hair colour, she isn't any dumber than Annie (the brunette). Though her common sense leaves something to be desired.
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • As much as a buzzkill that she is, and for how much she blunders basic terminology, she's utterly correct whenever she says that the group needs to confront their emotions in times of stress rather than retreat into fantasy worlds or put on a Stepford Smiler mask.
    • In "Contemporary Impressionists" with regards to Jeff's need for anxiety.
    • As Jeff has to concede, "a thought with another thought's hat on" isn't a bad description of an analogy.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Goes from a wavy do in season one to a straighter one in season two. Then back to wavy again in season three.
  • Flanderization: Goes from strong libertarian to Soapbox Sadie. Jeff lampshades this on occasion.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Used to be an activist who traveled the world and joined the Peace Corps before deciding to go Back to School, which explains her Soapbox Sadie tendencies.
  • Friends with Benefits: See Better as Friends.
  • Granola Girl: She was clearly one before entering the show, but snarkiness has turned her into more of a Straw Feminist.

 Britta: I'm a vegetarian.

Troy: Wow. Shocker.

  • The Grinch: In "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", her rather smug and snide dismissals of the trappings of the festive season, such as Christmas songs, see her come off as a bit of a killjoy.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Was once referred to as the girl with "the infinite supply of leather jackets".
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Has a talent for setting up weddings.
    • Is also very good at selling. So much so that Honda legitmately wanted to hire her.
  • Hipster: Like Jeff, much as she might try to deny it Britta is totally a hipster. In particular, she tends to occupy the 'pretentious, smug and rather ill-informed left-winger' aspect of the stereotype. And she's apparently always been a hipster--for example, she deliberately tracked down VHS bootlegs of Rebop as a child.
  • Hollywood Atheist
  • Hypocritical Humor: Seeing as there's a bit of a gulf between Britta's views of what is appropriate and her actions, she tends to generate this kind of humor.
  • In Love with the Mark: When told by Pierce and Shirley to seduce the living embodiment of Subway, she falls madly in love with him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Britta tends towards being rather obnoxious, self-righteous, self-centred and inept, but her heart is generally in the right place and it's often made clear that she'd jump through fire for her friends.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: For how harsh she was to Annie in the Season 2 opener, she was right to say that Annie was essentially just living in her wake and taking Britta's old boyfriends.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: And her cats all seem to have an incredible range of illnesses and disabilities.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Frequently.
  • The Lancer
  • Meaningful Name: Britta is a rather brittle person, who puts on a tough, confident and self-impressed front but is really a rather unstable stew of neuroses and insecurities when you get past the surface.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In the first season.
  • Nice Girl: Despite having her obnoxious tendencies, she and Troy are the remaining people in the study group who have never been cast into a villainous role for an episode. Jeff went batshit in season 3, Annie was villainized by Jeff for ratting out Chang, Shirley acted as Abed's personal Judas, Abed's Evil Abed persona wanted to cut off Jeff's arm, and Pierce.., where to begin with Pierce..
  • Team Mom: Juggles this Shirley. Britta tends to be the group's "Buzzkill" and have become more concerned with their mental well-beings since becoming a Psyche Major.
  • No Social Skills: Her reactions to certain situations tend to be inappropriate or just nonsensical. According to Word of God, this is why she plays a "malfunctioning robot" in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas".
  • Person as Verb: To Britta: To screw up when it should be impossible to.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As Abed likes to point out every now and then, Britta packs a serious punch.
  • Phrase Catcher: "You're the worst!"
  • Really Gets Around: At least, it's frequently implied that she does.
  • Rebellious Princess: Revealed to be one in Season 6 though given the Unreliable Narrator setup of the episode, her parents might not have always as doting when she was young.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Parodied; she will latch on to any excuse to jump onto her high horse about something, especially if the something in question is something that is no longer as radical or controversial as she thinks it is. This tends to lead to her making a fool of herself. Her Dungeons and Dragons name was "Britta the Needlessly Defiant."
    • She's the AT&T of people!

  "You don't have to yell at us! Nobody is on the other side of this issue."


 Jeff: You seemed smarter than me when I met you.

  • Tsundere: Her actions seems to imply she's a Type B tsundere, especially towards Jeff.
  • Unfortunate Names: "What is she, a water filter?" "Can you imagine living with that?"
  • Vocal Evolution: Her voice is much deeper and prone to cracking in Season 6.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: A self-admitted example. She even falls for Troy when he makes up a story of being a molested as a child.
  • Women Are Wiser: None of the characters is a flawless human being, but she tries to act this trope more than the others (who may actually have more claim to it than her). She does admit at one point that she doesn't consider herself to be so, however, and her heart is generally in the right place even if there's a gulf between her opinion of herself and the reality.
  • Yaoi Fan

Pierce Hawthorne

"Before AIDS, sex was like shaking hands."
—Played by: Chevy Chase

The oldest member of the study group; a local curmudgeon and a wealthy but lonely tycoon who attends Greendale primarily to find company and give himself something to do. Not nearly as smart and popular as he thinks, he tends to act inappropriately and thus come across as more-or-less inadvertently racist, sexist and buffoonish.


 Pierce: (to everybody in the group) So, just to be clear, I don't have a shot with any of you?

(everybody shudders and walks away)


 Pierce: You know I've been coming to this school for twelve years? I--I've never been friends with anyone here for more than a semester. Probably for the same reason I've been married seven times. I guess I assume eventually I'll get rejected, so I, you know, test people, push them until they prove me right. It's a sickness, I admit it. But, this place has always accepted me, sickness and all. This place accepted all of you. Sickness and all. It's worth thinking about.

  • Innocent Bigot: Regularly says things the other characters find offensive. Generational differences play a role.
  • Jerkass: more and more.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A very minor example; there are occasionally glimpses of someone more likeable, decent and sympathetic within Pierce, but they're buried almost impenetrably deep within a crust and outer core of insufferable Jerkass. In general, if anyone's going to reveal Pierce's nicer side, it's Annie.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dies in the third episode of Season 5. The next one reveals that he died from dehydration after filling up five containers' worth of sperm.
  • Kavorka Man: He's been divorced seven times. This means seven different women agreed to marry him in the first place.
  • The Klutz: He manages to fall out of Jeff's chair just by sitting in it, as well as getting the most laughs at Abed's bad movie night by tripping and knocking over Chang's popcorn.
  • The Load: Whenever the group does a group activity.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Best showed in "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking", where he makes the rest of the group paranoid for ostracizing him.
  • Man Child: Bordering on Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Despite his obvious lack of sensitivity, there are times when he genuinely doesn't intend to be offensive.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Pierce routinely mispronounces Abed's name as "Ay-bed".
  • Odd Friendship: Pierce and... anyone, really.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: Fortunately, it's pretty obvious to the rest of the study group from the beginning.
  • Playing Against Type: Most of Chevy Chase's more popular characters have tended to be smooth, suave and the smartest (or at least wittiest) guy in the room. Pierce Hawthorne? Not so much.
  • Racist Grandpa: Naturally.
  • Token Evil Teammate: From time to time.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Filling up five containers' worth of semen without letting his body rehydrate.
  • Took a Level In Jerkass: In season 2, he starts engaging in self-alienating behavior while simultaneously castigating the others for alienating him; this culminates in the events of "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking," "A Fistful of Paintballs," and "For a Few Paintballs More." In season 3, that level of jerkass seems to have receded, returning him to the sympathetic bumbler of season 1.
  • Totally Radical: His attempt to coin the phrase "streets ahead".
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Can across as this. Pierce's inappropriateness, overzealous creativity, and pathological need to be accepted at all costs are all rooted in frustrations getting attention from his father and his fear that his age is now isolating himself from the rest of the study group.
  • Undignified Death: Filling up five containers' worth of semen without letting his body rehydrate.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Revealed as one in "Celebrity Pharmacology."
  • Yuri Fan: Or at least he thinks Girl-On-Girl Is Hot.
    • May be a Subversion, as despite his tendency toward perversion, in "Advanced Gay" he says that he hates lesbians.
    • Although he did have that oddly supportive letter for Britta after she "came out" for "dating a lesbian".

Abed Nadir

"Six seasons and a movie!"
—Played by: Danny Pudi

A media-aware and pop-culture obsessed film student who is either suffering from an unspecific personality disorder or is just very eccentric. He tends to view the world around him as if he and his friends were the main characters in a weekly television sitcom about a group of oddball students. As such, he tends to make frequent references, comparisons and ‘homages’ to various TV shows and movies.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: He is incredibly fascinated with films and television and is a bit obsessed with projecting their tropes onto real life. He also has a strange, somewhat sterile demeanor, doesn't seem to know (or even when corrected, care about) how to go about certain social situations, and is face-blind. The characters seem to be unsure of whether or not Abed is showing symptoms of some kind of mental disorder, or is just really quirky. His parents have attempted treatment, if the syringe clipart in his student film is anything to go by. He's referred to as "Abed the Undiagnosable" in the first D&D episode.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: He's so Genre Savvy that he can predict, word for word, how anyone in the group will respond to a given situation.
    • In Cooperative Calligraphy, it was revealed that in this fashion he figured out the menstrual cycles of the women in the group.
    • Prophecies Are Always Right: Any prophecy he makes in this fashion will be accurate.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: He has tags on everyone. They're buried somewhere beneath the skin that no one will ever be able to find.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Spoofed. One of his nicknames is "Slumdog".
  • Breakout Character
    • Teased a few times:

 Troy: Do you just constantly have your own little side adventures?

Abed: Yep.

Troy: ...Me too.

  • Brutal Honesty: Abed tends to deliver cutting analyses of people without any sort of sugary coat. It becomes a plot point in "Aerodynamics of Gender."
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: Abed. He has to announce whenever he's being sarcastic as well as announce when he's finished.
  • Catch Phrase: (points) "Cool." (beat). "Coolcoolcool."
  • Chick Magnet: Abed has no problem attracting girls because he's Adorkable and his aloofness reminds them of their Daddy Issues.
  • Creative Sterility: He knows the ins and outs of media, able to deconstruct and predict anything. But he can't write enjoyable content because he can never bring suspend disbelief long enough for the characters to get the plot moving.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: His encyclopedic command of tropes gives him the full-on power of prophecy. He shot a video where the study group bands together to stop Jeff from living out of his car... the week before it happened to the characters themselves.
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Lampshaded in "Advanced Criminal Law."

 Abed: Troy invented rap music, and he's related to Danny Glover, and President Obama.

Troy: Hey man, that stuff I said this morning wasn't true, I was just messing with you.

Abed: You were lying?

Troy: Yeah, as a joke. You've never had somebody mess with you before?

Abed: Yes, just kidding, no. Like that? ...This isn't a table. (Laughs) ...That's funny.

  • Fake Nationality: Abed and his dad as Palestinians, or as any kind of Arab: Danny Pudi (Abed) is half-Indian and half-Polish (and grew up speaking Polish), while Iqbal Theba (Abed's dad) is Pakistani. The Arabic they speak in "Introduction to Film," however, is real.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: At one point he looks directly at the camera and says "this is the movie!" while someone sings "Abed!" in the background. Became full-on Flanderization in Season 4 where he was shown to be aware that he's in a TV show before Season 5 dialed it down to normal.
  • Genre Savvy: His defining characteristic.
    • As he says, talking about people like they're in a TV show is his gimmick and that they "leaned pretty hard on that last week." He then says that he "can lay low for an episode." As mentioned above, this becomes Dangerously Genre Savvy at times (oddly enough it is relatively rare that he is victim to Wrong Genre Savvy).
    • He's even Genre Savvy about having an Ambiguous Disorder - he got out of a conversation with Chang where he was caught in a lie by pretending to 'glitch' in "Asian Population Studies", making Chang go away in frustration.

 Abed: Works every time.

    • Though this can backfire such as in "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps." In Abed's horror story the characters are so aware of horror cliches that they manage to avoid the Necessary Weasels to actually get the plot moving. His star has a fully charged cell phone which he uses to call the police and stop the killer from ever reaching them.
  • Half-Identifying Hybrid: Generally only acknowledges his Pakistanian heritage.
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Troy.
  • Hyper Awareness: See Awesome By Analysis.
  • Informed Islam: Abed's religion doesn't really come up, except at Christmas or when Pierce wants to be Pierce.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Pierce routinely gets his name wrong, calling him "Ay-bed" (as in, "the Ay-rab").
  • Lost in Character: For his walk-on role in Cougar Town.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Annie shows increase interest when Abed cosplayed as Han Solo or Batman.
  • Meta Guy: Abed's Medium Awareness and Genre Savvy Leaning on the Fourth Wall (if not outright breaking it) is justified as him being a Cloudcuckoolander (or at least a Genius Ditz) with some degree of Obfuscating Stupidity or Insanity - Britta worries in an early episode that he doesn't know the difference between real life and television. In fact, he has transcended normal Genre Savvy into the realms of prophesy now that he is taking film classes. Wild Mass Guessing has postulated that he is either a patron of this site or knows that he's fictional. Examples can be found on the Quotes page.
    • Lampshaded in the first episode of season two. Abed asks Shirley if she would "spin off with him" and she responds with "I don't understand, is this you being meta?".
    • Word of God from this interview with creator Dan Harmon states that Abed will never directly break the Fourth Wall.
    • That being said, there are a few times when it's arguable he's done so already. He sung a variation of the theme song in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." It's almost like Abed can see the fourth wall out of the corner of his eye, and the only thing he can't do is look into the camera and address the audience.
    • From the same episode, as they walk through the valley where the plants sing Christmas carols, Pierce asks if it will be "expensive to walk though here," to which Abed answers "no, these songs are all public domain." That joke doesn't even make sense out of the context of them knowing they're in a TV show. Suffice to say, Community plays pretty fast and loose with the fourth wall.
      • But that's the beauty of Abed - the joke does make sense if you believe Abed is such a Cloudcookoolander that he sometimes believes he's a character in a TV series, and talks in a manner consistent with being one, when he isn't (even though he is). Abed is a TV character who often has delusions that he is a TV character; this is part of his characterisation and it is possible for him to comment on it without breaking the fourth wall.
    • In the "Twittersode" before the Season Two finale, Abed is the only one able to see that every character ends their tweets with a hashtag referencing the show itself.

 AbedsTweets: Why do we keep typing "// #NBCCommunity?"

JeffWingerAtLaw: @AbedsTweets Nobody knows what you’re talking about. AGAIN.=]

  • Missing Mom: She married someone else and left him and his dad.
  • Motor Mouth
  • The Movie Buff: And how!
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Despite a clear lack of social skills, he seems to have little difficulty attracting women (he's Adorkable and his aloofness subconsciously reminds them of their fathers). He has also made out with the hottest girl in school.
  • Never My Fault: Jeff thinks Abed is stealing from him by using his Netflix account. Abed think he's doing Jeff a favour/teaching him a lesson by showing Jeff better content and changing Jeff's reviews to send a message to the actors.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: It's mentioned that he often goes off to have adventures without the rest of the group.
  • One of Us: It's never explicitly stated, but Abed is obviously a troper, even citing tropes by name at certain points.
  • Only Sane Man: Literally. When Britta has the entire group take a psychological test, all of them are revealed to be extremely unstable, except for Abed.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Part of his Meta Guy shtick. He goes as far as giving cues to the players so they know how to proceed cinematically.
  • The Rainman:
    • In his own words, "I know you guys all so well I can predict your behavior."
    • There's a throwaway joke in "Physical Education" when Jeff spills a bag of bagels on the floor and Abed glances down at them briefly before saying, "Thirteen."
    • Pierce and Duncan have both referred to him as such.
    • In "Pillows and Blankets", the opening narration describes him as "unable to pay parking tickets or know left from right without mouthing the Pledge of Allegiance."
    • In "Virtual Systems Analysis", Abed has a voiceover, "I am Abed Nadir, and I don't know a lot of things everyone else knows," while an analog clock (confirmed in "Basic Lupine Urology"), a restaurant check, shoes with untied laces, and a pile of papers (possibly tax forms) float around.
  • Reference Overdosed: References are basically how he communicates with the world.
    • In "Communication Studies," he gets drunk and is horrified to discover he can't recall any shows or movies to reference. At one point, to keep up appearances, he just says "movie reference."
  • Sarcasm Blind: Early Season 1. He gets better.
    • He does tend to need to announce to everyone when he's planning to or using sarcasm, however.
  • Shipper on Deck: Was a clear Jeff/Britta in Season 2 and there a few hints of it pop up now and then.
  • Stat-O-Vision: How Abed sees the world.
  • The Stoic: Easily the most patient of the group and least likely to get upset. He's even unfazed by sitting through twenty-six hours of Duncan's psychology experiment.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Half-Polish, half-Arab.
  • Tagalong Kid: Although Annie and Troy are technically younger than he is.
  • The Un-Smile: Averted. His most common expression is a dead pokerface, but on the couple of occasions when he does smile... it's pretty adorable.
    • Played enormously straight in "Remedial Chaos Theory."
  • Vague Age: He's somewhere in his twenties, but where?

 Jeff: Abed is an adult and a U.S. citizen... right?

Abed: (nods)

  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: At first his traditionalist father is disappointed that he wants to study film instead of taking over the family falafel restaurant. He later changes his mind after seeing one of his son's films.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Occasionally. It's the closest he ever gets to being Genre Blind.

Shirley Bennett

"There were no rules in that first battle. You hit someone, they went down, and you stopped hitting them. We call that common courtesy. But then what if they get up? Maybe keep hitting them till they learn to stay down. We call that common sense."
—Played by: Yvette Nicole Brown

A divorced housewife and mother who started attending business classes at the school following her divorce. A devout Christian, she tends to see herself as the group’s moral and spiritual compass and conscience -- whether the group wants her to or not.

  • Actor Allusion: Subverted by Yvette Nicole Brown in Real Life. On Mother's Day, she tweeted "Thanks for all the sweet Mother's Day wishes - but I'm not a mom, I just play one on television."
  • The Alcoholic: Started drinking a lot after her divorce.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: All of her attempts toward romance after her divorce fail, including her memorable fling with the sexy dreadlocks guy in the chickenfinger-mafia episode. Abed proved to her that the only reason he hung around Shirley was because she fed him chicken fingers.

 Abed: They think I'm a genius, and you're a villain. [beat] You heard me praying.

Shirley: I don't know what you mean.

  • Back for the Finale: Cameos in Abed's and the Dean's pitches for the hypothetical Season 7.
  • Badass Preacher: Shirley is both the most religious member of the study group and the most prone to violence. She's absolutely terrifying in Pillows and Blankets
    • She was literally this during the second paintball game.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She appears to have deep-seated rage issues underneath her saccharine-sweet exterior.
    • Shirley also threatens Jeff with a pizza slicer at one point.
    • She humiliated foosball competitors as a child.
    • She also takes to Video Game Cruelty Potential disconcertingly quickly.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Jeff frequently opines this about her. He at least admits that he's awful.
  • Black Best Friend: Mostly to Annie but sometimes to Britta, and in one episode, to Jeff.
  • Catch Phrase: "Oh, that's nice!"
    • Shirley and Annie's dual "Awwwwww!"
  • The Cast Showoff: Her singing talents have been put to use more than once.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Oh look, Britta brought what she believes in - nothing."
  • Designated Villain: Whenever religion comes up, she tends to fall towards this.

 The group: (names their various beliefs, including judaism, atheism, buddhism and islam)

Shirley: (in a soft voice) The lord is testing me.

  • Feminine Women Can Cook: One of her talents is baking, and she hopes to use her business degree to sell her brownies online.
  • Formerly Fat: She was quite heavy but lost a lot of weight by Season 6.
  • The Fundamentalist
  • Glurge Addict
  • Heel Face Turn: Did one as an 12-year old girl, after making 10-year old Jeff pee his pants.
  • Holier Than Thou: Shirley is both the most passionately religious member of the study group and the most insufferably self-righteous and judgmental about it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Shirley tends to produce this kind of humour, usually by comparing various beliefs / ideas / practices unfavourably to her religious beliefs only to then either engage in the same things herself or by inadvertently suggesting that her particular beliefs are Not So Different to those she condemns in condemning them.
  • Innocent Bigot: What she tries to pull off toward the members of the study group. It doesn't go so well.

 Shirley: (to Annie) I didn't know you were a.. jew?

  • Ironic Echo: "That's not nice.." in the first season paintball episode.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although she can be a self-righteous dick to people especially in her younger years towards kids like Jeff, she does insist on being kind and is genuinely happy for anyone in the group when something "nice" happens to them.
  • Large Ham: "Ooh! Troy made God mad!"
  • Manipulative Bastard: She often uses religion, her Team Mom tendencies or, really, any predicament that befalls her as an excuse to get people to do as she wants.

 Jeff: Let me guess. I'm not going to make a pregnant woman storm off?

  • Not So Above It All: When Jeff gets into a fight. At first, she is insistent on considering Jeff "dead to her" if he goes to his fight, but later on she admits the bullies Jeff was facing deserved a nice whooping and gets into it herself. Along with the entire study group.

 Bully: What would Shirley do?

Jeff: She would shake your hand and wish you a merry Christmas.

(Bully slams Jeff down) Shirley: Jeffrey! Kick his ass.

    • This comes back brilliantly in the video game episode, where at first she is appalled at Annie killing a (virtual) blacksmith...but when his pregnant wife comes down, Shirley sets her on fire and smashes her to death and quickly goes on to make sure the whole family is dead and that the house is completely destroyed once they leave.
  • Politeness Judo: Her status as Team Mom gives her this ability. Case in point, the WWBJD bracelets.
  • Put on a Bus: Sits out Season 6 to be the private chef to a Southern detective.
  • Sassy Black Woman: When she's not being a Glurge Addict.
    • Actually, Shirley is largely an aversion of this trope, as Yvette Nicole Brown points out in this roundtable interview that she and the show's other female regulars conducted during their last day of shooting for season 3:

 "As a black actor, it’s refreshing that I’m not playing the 'sassy black woman.' It’s something that Dan Harmon was cognizant of from the beginning. It is something that I’m always cognizant of. Every woman on the planet has sass and smart-ass qualities in them, but it seems sometimes only black women are defined by it. Shirley is a fully formed woman that had a sassy moment. Her natural set point, if anything, is rage. That’s her natural set point, suppressed rage, which comes out as kindness and trying to keep everything tight."


Annie Edison

"I'm not looking down on this school at all, but I'm only here because of a brief addiction to pills that I was told will help me focus, but they actually made me lose my scholarship and virginity."
—Played by: Alison Brie

An insecure and neurotic ‘over-achiever’ attending Greendale following an addiction to prescription medication which ruined her previously flawless high-school record. Intelligent and driven, she's usually perky and cheerful but tends to get tightly-wound and uptight when things fail to go to plan.


 Word of God: Annie's pretty young. we try not to sexualize her.

    • In another odd example, Troy is actually unaware that Annie is attractive until Jeff points it out to him. Then again Troy is not exactly the brains of the operation. And he did say that that his high school memories with her blurred out her current beauty.
  • Berserk Button: Being called "Little Annie Adderall", or taking her pen.
    • Don't kiss her, disappear for the summer without contact, and then swear you're just friends. (Note, this was part of a fake confrontation with Jeff, but she admitted that it started getting a little real. So... acting?)
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Jeff's Archie and Britta's Veronica.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As "The Science of Illusion", "Anthropology 101", "Accounting For Lawyers" and "A Fistful of Paintballs" / "For a Few Paintballs More" demonstrate, pissing off Annie Edison is not recommended. She can get... aggressive.
    • Annie has no issues taking down a man twice her size with chloroform... twice. And she seems totally prepared to do it to Jeff, too.
    • She has also punched Jeff in the face and slammed his head into a table. Ouch.
  • Brainy Brunette
  • Catch Phrase: Shirley and Annie's dual "Awwwwww!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She does this to Jeff at the start of season 2.
  • Covert Pervert: Many instances, but most noticeably in her stint as Hector, the Well Endowed.
    • She also suggests that Jeff change his shirt because "it's not working", but really it's just to sneak a peek of his chest.
  • Cry Cute: Her "Disney face".
  • Cute and Psycho: A benign variety, but Annie has been shown to be one failing grade, lousy party, or bad round of model United Nations from a complete mental breakdown.
  • The Cutie: Annie is the living, breathing embodiment of this trope.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: She is a veritable machine for this trope. See the main page for many, many examples.
  • Hollywood Nerd and Hollywood Homely: She was unpopular in high school.

 Jeff: You are insecure, because you didn't get hot until after high school.

Troy: That's true!


 Jeff: You're becoming dangerous, Annie. It's those doe-eyes. Disappointing you is like choking The Little Mermaid with a bike chain.

  • Schedule Fanatic: Demonstrated in the "Study Break" shorts.
  • She's Got Legs
  • Sweater Girl: Cardigans appear to make up about half of her wardrobe.
  • Tantrum Throwing: In "Geography of Global Conflict."
  • Teacher's Pet: For instance, in "Physical Education", instead of putting his binder back, Señor Chang drops it on the floor and orders Annie to pick it up.
  • Technical Virgin: Some have speculated she's one, based on A) being high on Adderall, B) having never seen her boyfriend's (or any man's) penis, and C) her boyfriend crying throughout the act (Britta theorizes he was gay), leading some fans to (wishfully) think sex never actually occurred.

 Shirley: Annie, being a virgin in this day and age is something to be proud of. You're like a unicorn!


Troy Barnes

"Whoa, you just wrinkled my brain."
—Played by: Donald Glover

A charismatic but not-incredibly-intelligent high-school football star and jock. Was previously high-school classmates with Annie, and is Abed’s best friend.


 Troy:(to Abed) "Alright, let's do the sex scene."


 Jeff: I want you to clear your mind.

Troy: (immediately) Done.

  • The Gift: He's a plumbing and air conditioner repairing prodigy. Not that he wants to do either of those things.
    • The end of Season 3 ultimately sees him embrace his gift for air-conditioning repair.
  • The Heart: Later seasons have gradually suggested that Troy might be this for the study group; it's quite notable that on the few occasions it's suggested or looked like he's about to leave, things have fallen apart for everyone very quickly.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: With Abed.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Has a talent for mechanical maintenance and is a phenomenal (interpretive) dancer.
    • Considers chemistry to be sexy.
  • Hollywood Jehovah's Witness: Averted. He is a Jehovah's Witness and this is often referenced and demonstrated in that he doesn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays. However, you otherwise couldn't tell that he was a Jehovah's Witness if he didn't say so.

 "Yeah, but we don't celebrate birthdays or Christmas and we can't drink. But it helps."

  • I Want to Be a Real Man
  • Jerk Jock/Dumb Jock: He's more lovable now but apparently in high school, and to a degree in the early episodes of the show, Troy wasn't without his Jerkass side, as demonstrated in "Football, Feminism and You" when a chance to join the Greendale football team ends up with him strutting around in a self-obsessed manner lambasting people at random with his "politically conservative high school's shamefully outdated fight rap(s)."
    • Black and Nerdy: Hanging out with Abed has had an effect on him, in that he's gradually lost interest in his former jock pursuits and has embraced his inner geek more.
  • Lovable Jock: If he didn't start out as this, then he's certainly grown into it.
  • Man Child
  • Nice Guy: As mentioned above, there's a reason he and Britta are the only two members of the study group who haven't taken a villainous role in the group at some point.
  • The Messiah: He's apparently this for the air-conditioning repair school. Much to his bemusement.
  • Put on a Bus: After Pierce dies in Season 5, he leaves his fortune to Troy, on the condition that Troy first sail around the world. As a result, Troy departs in the fifth episode of the season.
  • Real Men Don't Cry: Averted, he cries often.
    • Then lampshaded by Troy himself in "Mixology Certification" by his reaction to getting a birthday cake with Jehovah's Witness-appropriate language.

 Troy: (reading) "Hello during a random dessert, the month and day of which coincide numerically with your expulsion from a uterus." You guys, I never cry, but...


Other students

Benjamin Chang (Ken Jeong)

File:Senor-benjamin-chang 1129.jpg


 "My knowledge will bite her face off!"


In Season 1, the group's sadistic, mean-spirited and inept Spanish teacher. Took up classes at Greendale in Season 2 following the loss of his job when it was revealed he had no Spanish credentials or knowledge whatsoever. Is largely detested by the rest of the group, but often tries to be included by them.

  • Berserk Button: Señor Chang has several, but upon being informed in "Social Psychology" that the experiment was going to start late immediately exploded in a violent, childish temper tantrum, involving throwing furniture and screaming "MOMMY!" Since the purpose of the experiment was to test how long people would put up with being delayed before exploding, Professor Duncan was quite pleased:

 Duncan: Houston, we have an idiot.


 Jeff: It's not even clever! You keep using it as the word 'change'!


Jeff: It makes me so CHANGRY! Oh God, now I'm doing it too.

    • Even the advertising gets in on it.
  • Drunk with Power: Putting Ben Chang in a position of authority (however trivial) is not a good idea, as it tends to lead to this trope. In Season 1, he basically abuses and flaunts his power and authority over his students in bullying, sadistic and at-times creepy ways. In Season 3, after spending the previous season as the Butt Monkey, he's made a campus security guard, which has gradually seen him become, in the words of Jeff, "a psychotic wanna-be warlord."
  • Everything Is Racist: Chang is rather sensitive to racism and tends to see it even if it's not there.
  • Evil Laugh / Laughing Mad
  • Hair-Trigger Temper
  • Hidden Depths: "Modern Warfare" reveals that he enjoys arts and crafts and apparently paints watercolours.
  • I Just Want To Be In Your Study Group
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Antagonist: In season 2. While still an asshat, there are numerous scenes showing him as lonely and pathetic.
  • Insane Troll Logic: When we get to hear his thoughts things go from bizarre to outright surreal.
  • Jerkass
  • Jerkass Has a Point: If Star-Burns doesn't want his nickname, why does he spend hours shaping his sideburns into stars?
  • Karma Houdini: Confessed to his many crimes between Season 4 and 5 and was rehired as a math teacher. This horrifies the group that the school rehired such an unstable individual.
  • Large Ham
  • Last-Name Basis: Pretty much everyone just calls him Chang.
  • Out of Focus: In season 3 big time. Almost to Demoted to Extra levels.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: At least till it turns out the child wasn't his. And in his case, interestingly enough, the issue was not that he was having a child, it was if he would get to be the child's father.
    • Completely subverted when Shirley gives birth, where he becomes rather soothing and very helpful in calming Shirley down.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: There's a reason that, in the third season, Chang's army was made up entirely of twelve-year-old boys.
  • Sadist Teacher: In the episode "Environmental Science", he drags Annie out of his classroom for failing to put her pencil down at the end of a test, assigns an essay to the rest of the class as punishment, extends the length of the essay every time a student says something (eventually coming to "TWENTY PAGES, EN ESPANOL, ON ASS KISSING!"), makes it worth thirty percent of the students' overall grade for the class, sets it due the following Monday (despite the class being an introductory Spanish class), and promises to follow it immediately with "a big ass quiz." He also openly insults nearly every student in the class on a regular basis (see his explanation of "Usted" on the Quotes page). Apparently, the school's been trying to fire him for years, but couldn't because nobody wanted his job. (He was eventually fired when it was discovered that he didn't have any teaching credentials. Or Spanish credentials.)
    • Most of the scenes involving him appearing in a teaching capacity generally tended to involve him abusing, insulting, ranting at or on some occasions even borderline molesting his students.
  • Sanity Slippage: In seasons two and three. Not that he was very sane to begin with.
  • Sixth Ranger
  • The Team Wannabe: Recognized by the group: when making a diorama of themselves making a diorama, the group portrayed Chang as outside the room looking in.
  • Ted Baxter
  • Twofer Token Minority: He's Chinese and considering his brother is a Rabbi he's probably also Jewish.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Lampshaded by Jeff.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Duncan following "The Psychology of Letting Go" has elements of this.

Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne (Dino Stamatopoulos)

  • Actor Allusion: "Seems Greek."
  • Butt Monkey: He's the first person bitten by the zombies in "Epidemiology", gets fired from his job thanks to the study group in "Contemporary American Poultry", gets a poisonous dart in the face from Professor Bauer in "Anthropology 101", just for starters. AND no one calls him by his real name.
    • In "Modern Warfare", he gets shot point-blank by Pierce while they're looting the vending machines.
  • Catch Phrase: "My name is Alex!"
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Star-Burns.
    • Technically averted, since the character gives his name early in the series ("My name is Alex, dude!") but no one's ever called him that. By the end of season 2, he seems to have all but given up on people using his real name.
  • Faking the Dead: He is revealed to be still alive at the end of the season 3 finale.
  • Hidden Depths: Subverted; despite his frustration about people only noticing his surface appearances, he appears to have little actually going on beyond that:

 Annie: Star-Burns doesn't do much. I guess interesting people don't resort to growing shapes on their faces.

  • Hypocritical Humor: It's a source of some frustration to him that no one seems to look under the surface appearance he presents and notice the true person he is underneath. His frequent attempts to solve this problem, however, are equally superficial things like adding a hat or a lizard to his ensemble.
  • Jerkass: He's a self-admitted drug dealer, and it's rare for him to say anything that doesn't immediately earn douchebag points.
  • Kavorka Man: He has inexplicably little trouble attracting female attention. Jeff seems to think bribery has something to do with it:

 Jeff: [Referring to chicken fingers] He gives them away so that people will act like he isn't Starburns.

  • Nice Hat: Starting in season 2, he starts wearing a top hat all the time, to try and stop being known solely for his starburns. It fails magnificently.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Don't call him Star-Burns, his name is Alex. Dude.

 Chang: Well then, maybe you should spend five hours every morning carving that into your face.


Leonard Rodriquez, Briggs (Richard Erdman)

File:Leonard 1 1460.jpg


 "Where the white women at?"



  • Pandering to the Base: Invoked for parody; in "Intro To Political Science" he changed his last name to 'Rodriquez' while running for school president to "court the Hispanic vote." The name change appears to have stuck.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Shut up, Leonard!" Usually followed by "I know about your [seemingly embarrassing secret]!"
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: He claims to have participated in several wars, and this may be an explanation for his current wild and coarse nature.
  • Sitcom Arch Nemesis: Seems to have this relationship going on with Jeff.

Vaughn Miller (Eric Christian Olsen)



  • The Cast Showoff: Performs several songs in a reggae band.
  • Creator Breakdown/Take That: After a breakup, he writes a song called "Getting Rid of Britta".
  • The Ditz
  • Does Not Like Shoes: No shirt, no shoes, no service.
  • Granola Guy
  • New Age Retro Hippie
  • Put on a Bus: Transfers to Delaware for a hackysack scholarship.
  • Rule of Three: Always says hello and good-bye three ways. Lampshaded by the study group, who start to count his greetings on their fingers whenever they see him and respond in kind.
  • The Scrappy
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: To the chagrin of everyone. As Jeff points out, as he never wears a shirt and he never wears shoes, it's a wonder he doesn't die from lack of service. Later in that episode, Vaughn states that it took so long for him to get ice cream because they made him find a shirt.

Dr. Rich Stephenson (Greg Cromer)


 "Doc Pottery-wood". I like it.


Buddy Austen (Jack Black)


 "I know that you're scared that adding a new member might throw everything out of its natural--(opening credits)--rhythm."


Magnitude (Luke Youngblood)

  • Awesome McCoolname: Both the character and the actor.
  • Breakout Character: Parodied. Has his own catchphrase not unlike many breakout characters from 70's sitcoms. Time will tell if "Pop Pop!" will join "Ayy!" and "Dyno-Mite!" in the sitcom Hall of Fame. The working name for his character was even Poochie.
  • Hidden Depths: "He's awake who thinks himself asleep." (Yes, he quoted Keats.)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: It's short for "Magnetic Attitude."
  • Remember the New Guy?: Prior to his first appearance in season 2, Jeff is the only one in Greendale to have never met Magnitude.
  • So Unfunny It's Funny: In the commentary, Donald Glover describes "Pop Pop" as "so not a catchphrase, it becomes a catchphrase again."
  • Teen Genius: Listed as 16 years old.

Neil (Charley Koontz)

Garrett Lambert (Erik Charles Nielsen)


 "I may be stuck in this vent. It is too early to tell".


Vicki (Danielle Kaplowitz)

Quendra (Marcy McCusker)


Annie Kim (Irene Choi)



 "He grew up in a land without sunshine!"

  • The Ghost: Transfer student from Finland. Shirley's friend, who no one else likes.

  Troy: I hope he transfers to hell!


Mike (Anthony Michael Hall)


 "Dude, my life is a gym!"


 (To Annie) "If you were a dude, I'd have my fist up your balls!"


Todd Jacobson (David Neher)


 "We have to find a way to settle this Todd problem."



A friend of Abed's and his freshman year roommate.

Subway (Travis Schuldt [first], Patrick Bobbitt [second])


 "Please don't think of me as any less human than yourselves. I'm here to hang out, take weird classes and party as hardy as my morality clause allows."



Craig Pelton (Jim Rash)

File:Dean-craig-pelton 5419.jpg


 "This is my sister's outfit."


Dean of Greendale Community College.


  Jeff: We were debating how many times a year a man can drop in a study room in a dumb costume with irrelevant news.


  Dean Pelton: Can I be perfectly honest with you guys? I think I went too far with this one. I have to go to the bank today. What am I supposed to tell people in line? (to himself after the others leave) ...Come on, Craig. Get your life together.

    • He's also distressingly similar to Andrew, the actor's character in Reno911.
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: Dean Pelton fits this to a T. There is no school activity/event that he can't get excited about.
    • And wear a ridiculous costume to promote.
  • Furry Fandom: He's got this thing for Dalmatians...
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: A particular specialty of his.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Antagonist: Probably the best way to describe his interaction with Jeff and company.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Has a tendency to slip into this, causing the creation of the "Greendale Human Being" (Jeff: "I think not being racist is the new racism") and the non-denominational Mr. Winter ("Merry Happy!"). This habit of his is also apparently the reason the degreeless Chang got the Spanish teaching position--Pelton was afraid of being called a racist for asking an Asian man for Spanish credentials.
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: For season three.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Quite a few plots are instigated by the Dean wanting to get... closer to Jeff.
  • Stepford Smiler: We see in Documentary Filmmaking Redux that organizing events is the only way that he can make Greendale and himself feel less like a failure.
  • Tempting Fate: He can be summoned when other characters tempt fate.
  • Took a Level In Jerkass: In episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" and also took a level in crazy.

Ian Duncan (John Oliver)

File:307px-Duncan copy 6925.jpg


 "Sorry I'm late, I overslept. The sidewalk is surprisingly comfortable."


Professor of Psychology.

  • The Alcoholic: He likes his booze a little too much.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Certainly as an anthropology teacher, he very visibly cannot give two whole shits about the subject or teaching anything worthwhile about it, to the extent that he spends entire weeks playing YouTube videos, improvises a class of anaesthesiology at one point simply because a pretty student got the room number wrong and sets the final exam as simply an excuse for everyone to drink. It's possible that he improves when he's actually teaching psychology, but considering he once expressed his astonishment at learning what anthropology actually was by exclaiming he'd "thought psychology was a dodge", it's very unlikely.
  • British Accents: Naturally.
  • British Teeth: A go-to insult by others.
  • Dr. Jerk: Well, amoral psychologist.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently plays piano - and plays it well - for the Glee Club.
  • Jerkass: In between his alcoholism, his rather amoral and inept approach to psychiatry and his overall pompous, self-serving nature, Duncan is all in all a bit of a prick, although not entirely with out his woobie or decent sides.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts", he sets the final exam as an excuse for everyone to drink, orders Annie bullied down when she queries the fairness of automatically passing everyone regardless of merit, and gleefully revels in keeping the fact that Anthropology has been a complete dodge of a class all year from the Dean. So, of course, the Dean chooses the exact moment when he's happily toasting this to walk in and completely scuttle his plans.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: An inadvertent example; every time he tries plying his trade on Abed, Abed somehow manages to turn it back on him.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Non-lethal version, but Duncan has been shown to run ethically questionable experiments and lure patients into therapy for ulterior motives (hitting on them and getting publication material for a case.
  • Put on a Bus: Ran off to get the, fictitious, anthropology final in Season 2 and disappeared for the next two seasons.
    • The Bus Came Back: He came back in Season 5, explaining his absence as him taking care of his sick mother. She's still alive, but he put in his time. He disappears in the sixth season once again.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His interaction with Chang following "The Psychology of Letting Go" has elements of this.

Michelle Slater (Lauren Stamile)


 "The secrecy makes the sex 38% more exciting."


Professor of Statistics.

June Bauer (Betty White)


 "I'm going to use this to hurt you and you use respect to defend yourself."


Professor of Anthropology.

Eustice Whitman (John Michael Higgins)


 "Only when we stop stopping our lives can we begin to start starting them."


Professor of Accounting and coach of the Debate Team.

Sean Garrity (Kevin Corrigan)


 "The only thing that matters is our time... in the spotlight."


Professor of Drama.

Cory "Mr. Rad" Radison (Taran Killam)


 "Glee club is what we are. It's all we are."


Professor of Music and Glee Club director.

Marshall Kane (Michael K. Williams)


 "What's happened with Lego's?"


Professor of Biology.

  • The Comically Serious: very serious in all his delivery, and sometimes all the more funny for it.
  • Genius Bruiser: Hinted at; he got his biology Ph.D while serving a 25 year sentence for murder with only one hour's access to the prison library a day.
  • Psychologist Teacher: Played with; Kane doesn't show much active interest in or desire to mentor Jeff, but in "Biology 101" and "Basic Lupine Urology" several of his chance remarks are things that Jeff later comes to take to heart, and he's probably been more successful in helping Jeff get over himself than any of the teachers we've seen thus far, albeit inadvertently.
  • Put on a Bus: Resigns as a result of Starburns' death.
  • Scary Black Man
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules

Robert Laybourne (John Goodman)


 "Our ancestors were slaves. It became our business to make the Pharaohs comfortable. In time we learned to make ourselves comfortable. Now we are the Pharaohs."


Vice Dean of Greendale's AC Repair Annex.

Professor Cligoris (Martin Starr)


 "Ready, set, peace!"


Professor of Political Science and Model United Nations aficionado.


 Jeff: Cli-GORE-is?

Cligoris: Either pronunciation is fine.



Annie's Boobs

Troy's pet monkey.


 Jeff: Why do you have a monkey?

Troy: Uh, it's an animal that looks like a dude. Why don't I have ten of them?


 Annie: Please rename that thing. And this time not with a contest on Twitter.

Troy: It's HIS Twitter account. He can do what he wants.

Annie: They are MY body parts.


Greendale Human Being

Greendale's mascot.

Officer Cackowski (Craig Cackowski)

Steven Spreck

Dean of City College.


 "You don't know how mean this dean can be-en".





 "No double-bounces."


Cornelius Hawthorne


 "We have to talk, boy."


Pierce's father.

  • Abusive Parents: To Pierce and Gilbert Lawson.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis: Deduces Annie, Jeff and Britta's heritages from a glance
  • Big Bad: For "The Journey To The Center Of Hawkthorne" and arguably to Pierce his entire life. Gilbert Lawson, Cornelius' assistant, evidently had a pretty hard time of it as well and that's before he learn that Lawson was Cornelius' unacknowledged son.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hates anyone who isn't pure Anglo-Saxon.
  • Honor Before Reason: Despite the potential profit, he refuses to sell anything to gays or Italians.
  • Jerkass: Ridiculously prejudiced against everyone.
  • Light Is Not Good / Pure Is Not Good: Never wears any other color other than white. Wears an ivory toupee instead of a normal wig because he believes the hair comes from Asians.
  • Southern Gentleman

Evil Study Group

An evil version of the Study Group from an Alternate Timeline.

  • The Alcoholic: Evil Shirley.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Evil Jeff to Evil Abed. Considering Jeff and Abed in the main timeline, this isn't very surprising.
  • Faking the Dead: Evil Pierce. It was to teach the group a lesson but he forgot what it was so he stopped.
  • Kill and Replace: Their main goal.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The show is never clear if they actually exist or are just figments of the characters' imaginations.
  • Obviously Evil: Evil Annie needs to work on her body language.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Evil Troy. Trying to destroy a burning doll by eating it was just the start.
  • Tragic Villain: All of them had their lives ruined by one bad party. Except Britta.

Evil Abed

  • Catch Phrase: "Hot. Hothothot."
    • Also: "Cruel. Cruelcruelcruel."
  • Beard of Evil: Makes himself a fake goatee made of felt in "Remedial Chaos Theory" and a has a real one in "Contemporary Impressionists".
  • The Corrupter: Appears to be that to "Good Abed" when they're alone in the Dreamatorium.
  • Dark Is Evil: Wears a black shirt.
  • Evil Counterpart
  • Evil Plan: To go to the "Prime timeline" and take over that Abed's place. He appears to have somehow found a way to do the first part in "Contemporary Impressionists".
  • Good Is Dumb: Refers to our universe's Abed and Jeff as 'Lame!Abed' and 'Lame!Jeff' respectively.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Engages in some after escaping the Dreamatorium.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Gives one to Britta.
  • Heel Face Turn: Made one. Now he just sits in his apartment watching The Cape (it took off in his world).
  • It's All My Fault: Abed thinks if he had caught the die Jeff rolled to choose who would get the pizza, none of the terrible things that happened to the group in his timeline: Pierce is dead (or so they thought) from a gunshot from Annie's gun, Annie went insane from guilt, Shirley becomes a drunk, Jeff loses his arm in the apartment fire and Troy had to get his layrnx removed after trying to swallow a flaming troll doll, would have occurred (he's right).
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Is one and wants to unleash the evil sides of the others.
  • Start of Darkness: In the end tag of "Remedial Chaos Theory" realizing they are in the "darkest timeline" Abed along with Troy commits to being evil.
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