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  • Acceptable Professional Targets: In the pilot, as soon as everyone learns Jeff's a lawyer, they groan in disgust.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Why is old guy Leonard always acting so coarse and wild? He's living the young teen college experience he never got to have (being in a POW camp and all).
    • This may have just become a Sure Why Not as of For A Few Paintballs More. Leonard confides in Britta he has been in several wars.
    • The characters themselves go back-and-forth over whether Pierce is an inherent, fundamental and completely irredeemable Jerkass or whether he's just a lonely but socially inept old man who just wants to make friends but has no clue how, and merely ends up lashing out whenever his overtures are rejected.
    • Abed; Lovable Nerd Woobie with numerous psychological and emotional problems who uses pop culture as a way of trying to connect to people, or Manipulative Bastard who enjoys pulling strings to get people into trouble that resembles his favourite movies and TV shows?
  • Award Snub:
    • After Glee and Community had each run for a single season, Community wasn't nominated for a single award at the 2010 Emmys. Glee was nominated for nineteen (although it only won four).
    • No nominations whatsoever despite critical and commercial acclaim. McHale lampshaded this on episodes of The Soup when the Emmys rolled around, citing The Soup as the cause of Community's snubbing.
  • Awesome Music: Dan Harmon believes that many an episode has only truly come together after Ludwig finished scoring the music.
  • Badass Decay: In the first paintball episode, Chang is The Dragon and brings his own weapons. In the second, he's an incompetent moron who continually betrays the groups he latches on to. Of course, the entire second season was largely dedicated to giving Chang a near-constant Humiliation Conga, so this is perhaps understandable.
    • Also, he was unarmed the entire time, and spent most of that time (that we see) tied up and blindfolded.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Invoked, like most tropes. "HAT CLUB!"
  • Complete Monster:
    • Pierce was borderline becoming one during most of Season 2, with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons being a prime example of how far he was willing to go in ruining the Study Group's lives, even harassing "Fat" Neil.
    • Chang becomes one in season three with his plot to take over the school and turn it into a dictatorship with him as the head. That would be bad enough but his methods include kidnapping the Dean, expelling the study group, trying to get them think they are insane and then planning on burning down the school, killing everyone to cover up his scam (though that was because he thought fire couldn't pass through doors).
  • Creator's Pet: Rich, to Jeff.
    • The study group will always stand up for Jeff no matter what a jerk he is. Then again, the study group will ultimately stand up for any of their members no matter how big jerks they can be (they're kind of True Companions that way).
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • An excerpt from "Environmental Science" that was used standalone to promote the show. It's too long to present in its entirety here: see the Quotes page.
    • When Pierce is playing 'Pictionary' and draws a swastika to convey a windmill, saying that Rabbi Chang should know what it is.

  "This isn't going to stop until Pictionary bans the word 'Windmill.'"

    • Pierce in "Geography of Global Conflict":

 Pierce: You be careful. They are ruthless.

  • study group gasps*

Pierce: What? Not Asians. Women!

      • And again later.

 Pierce: Sneak attack! That's just like-

  • study group stares at him*

Pierce: Not women, Asians.

  • Cult Classic: It's hardly mainstream, but the fanbase is dedicated enough and big enough to campaign for its renewal and succeed.
  • Double Standard: Shirley gets a lot less flak from the group for her rascism and judgemental attitude than Pierce
    • To be fair though, Pierce is more extreme about it, and his racism is also really, really blatant compared to Shirley's one-liners or passing comments that even some fans don't realize until after the fact. Shirley is also a lot more willing to accept blame and fault and make amends if she's confronted or crosses the line more than Pierce.
    • Pierce is also prejudiced against almost everybody, his father is even worse (to the point there doesn't seem to be anyone he isn't prejudiced specifically towards), he is quite accepting of people if there is even a vague reason that it is in his self interest, and Pierce rarely shows any actual hostility specifically based on prejudice. Shirley targets specific groups and can be very confrontational towards them.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The piano refrain from the pilot, "Good ol' Fashioned Nightmare" by Matt and Kim.
    • Donde, está, la biblioteca...
    • Troy and Abed in the mooooooorning!
    • The theme song, dear Lord!
    • P-P-Pocket full of Hawthorne's!
    • From "Regional Holiday Music", there's Troy and Abed's rap and Annie's song.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Jeff and Annie.
    • How much do some fans prefer this couple you may ask? Enough to vote them TV's Top Couples 2011 despite the fact they are not a canon couple.
    • Abed and Annie also have a vocal fandom that seems to be growing. It helps that the character's actors, Alison Brie and Danny Pudi, ship it themselves.
  • Foe Yay: Between the deans of Greendale and City. Laid on pretty thick in "Basic Rocket Science".
    • And again in "For A Few Paintballs More".
  • Friendly Fandoms: Lets just say that Inspector Spacetime was very well received by both Community fans and Doctor Who fans.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: Fans found Abed's freakout over Cougar Town being benched in the third season premiere a LOT less funny once NBC's Spring 2012 lineup was revealed.
    • Also, Jeff saying "This is the year we all die" in "Biology 101." By the time "Basic Lupine Urology" rolls around, Starburns has died.
      • That same line is also a bit more bitter with the announcement that Dan Harmon will not return to be showrunner for season four and the fandom's subsequent collective meltdown, as that season is the end of Harmon's run on the show.
  • Growing the Beard: The show became a lot less predictable midway through the first season, when they stopped putting so much focus on Jeff trying to seduce Britta, and Annie's crush on Troy.
    • Britta herself started out as a fairly typical Straight Man Love Interest for Jeff, with the result that she often wasn't considered as funny or interesting as the other, rather more idiosyncratic, characters. While the seeds were there from the start, however, around about the same time as the above the writers and actress started playing her more as being So Unfunny It's Funny and Adorkable, with fans starting to find her a lot more likeable as a result.
    • Also starting in "Remedial Chaos Theory" shows her capable of physical comedy and in general being pathetically funny.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the episode Paradigms of Human Memory, there is a flashback to Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas, however it is seen through the eyes of the other characters. Puts a much darker light on the former (with the other characters lampshading that it wasn't as fun as Jeff and Britta seemed to be remembering), and really makes you think about snowman Chang's bottom button...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the Season 1 Finale, Abed is using a banana to do impressions: (Banana on forehead- Banana Rhino. Banana over top lip- Banana Sam Elliot. Banana over eyes- Banana Levar Burton.) What makes it perfect is Troy being the only person who laughs at the last one.
    • Not that it wasn't funny to begin with, but pretty much everything Dean Pelton does/has ever done, now that his actor (Jim Rash) is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Especially with how a season 3 episode has him writing and directing a tv advert for the college. Trying to keep in mind he's won an award in real life while seeing how bad and crazy things get can be a bit difficult.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Troy and Abed.

 Annie: Troy... the other day, after Spanish, I thought he was trying to hold my hand, but... he'd just mistaken me for Abed.

      • In one episode Abed described Troy as his other half.
      • Then there were the famous lines from Star Wars in Epidemiology.

 Troy: I love you!

Abed: I know.

      • And the episode when Abed and Troy were competing in sport. Troy blamed losing basketball on not being able to guard Abed because his eyes were too gentle and mysterious.
      • Abed and Troy's hoyay overflows seamlessly into the actors' relationship. They obviously do it on purpose.
    • The Dean and everybody, but especially Jeff.
    • And then in another episode Abed seems to have seduced Shirley's dread-lock guy away from her.
    • Annie and Britta have slowly been getting more of this, mostly in the form of Fan Service. Watch the video clip under Crack Pairing above and note how Annie smiles...
      • Annie moving to kiss Britta when they've been mistaken for lesbians at the Valentine's Day dance.
    • At least one of the Human beings is female, and enjoys sniffing the underwear of cheerleaders...
    • From "The Science Of Illusion".

 Pierce: (crying) Troy, do you want a bite of my wand?

Troy: (also crying) I do.

      • And in the background, Abed is feeding Jeff popcorn.
    • In "A Fist Full Of Paint Balls", Jeff's obsessive jealousy with how the Black Rider isn't more good looking than him begins to take on these tones.
    • Not to forget virtually every girl at Greendale forming a fanclub for Britta and asking for her autograph, after she confessed to Jeff at the end of the last episode and he walked out on her.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Indyshipping, for Annie/Abed, based on the gift Annie got for Abed in Intro to Psychology.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Pierce, lately. While he is unquestionably a jerkass, it's also made quite clear that he's desperately lonely and needy; it is possible to feel sorry for him at times. The study group does.
    • Chang, in season two. See The Woobie below.
    • The eldery gang of hooligans, the Hipsters, from "Messanic Myths and Filmaking". After the car stealing incident, no one's family was willing to bail them out of holding. Simply put, No one wants to be near them because they're assholes but they're assholes because no one wants to be around them.
    • Season 3 seems to be casting Jeff in this role.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Annie/Abed. Annie/Jeff. Annie/Troy. Annie/Señor Chang. Annie/Britta. Annie/Professor Duncan. Notice anything all those pairings have in common?
  • Love It or Hate It: "Virtual Systems Analysis" seems to have about evenly split the Community audience (or the fandom at least) into two camps; one of which thinks it's possibly the best thing ever, and the other which hates it with the fiery intensity of a supernova.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Nightmare Fuel: Surprisingly, there's quite a bit.
  • No Yay: The episode "Physical Education" has a scene where Jeff has a pool match with his aging, overweight new billiards instructor. It features both of them getting naked and the instructor walking up to Jeff while both are still naked and then kissing him on the lips.
  • One of Us:
    • Abed has to be a troper.
    • Dan Harmon, the creator of the show, apparently reads a lot online about the show and adjusts it based on feedback. Abed's Meta Guy status and the lampshade hanging on it in season two includes references to the paintball episode that suggests he's read the Crowning Pages.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: "Trobed" for Troy/Abed seems to be catching up after "Remedial Chaos Theory," though it's used just as much for shipping them as it is for referring to them in a friendship kind of way.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: In the first few episodes Britta seemed to be the typical Manic Pixie Dream Girl-slash-Women Are Wiser love interest, which came off pretty bland and cliched compared to the rest of the cast. This was fixed by revealing her to be a total dork who puts up a front of being cool, and also that she was nowhere near as closer-to-Earth as her initial, rather self-righteous character would suggest.

  Britta: Do you know sugar is like baby meth? That’s what my homeopath says.

  • Ruined FOREVER: Twelve hours after the announcement of Dan Harmon's firing, the majority of the fandom had already given this treatment to the still-theoretical forth season.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Community fans get along well generally, but there is some Britta vs. Annie sparring when it comes to who will end up with Jeff. If you root for Jeff/Britta as your OTP, Jeff/Annie shippers will have a field day ranting about how unlikable Britta is or how the duo lacks romantic chemistry. If you openly advocate Jeff/Annie, the BP&J shippers will declare their disgust with the age gap and claim that their massive differences could never be reconcilable in a relationship. Shippers of all other pairings seem to be much more civil.
    • Many Troy/Britta shippers are at least a little bitter that their ship is getting the stereotype of being a side-dish that people only ship because they want to clear the way for Jeff/Annie.
  • Ship Mates: Fans of Jeff/Annie will often ship Troy/Britta, who in Season 1 were romantically linked to Annie and Jeff respectively in canon. On the flip-side, Jeff/Britta shippers will often ship Troy/Annie (and increasingly commonly, Annie/Abed), in order to keep Annie away from Jeff.
    • Annie/Abed fans have a slight problem doing this in a way that helps their ship. If they ship Troy/Britta it leaves the Jeff/Annie ship open. If they ship Jeff/Britta it leaves the earlier Annie/Troy ship open.
  • Squick: Jeff and Annie's relationship has become very big brother\little sister, but now that she's getting older it's getting creepy.

 Jeff: But now you're becoming this mature, self possessed, intelligent young woman, and I can't keep patting you on the head or talking down to you.

Annie: But I like how close we are; I don't wanna grow up if it means losing what we have.

Jeff: Well, tough, Annie. You have to grow up because the world needs more women like you. Can't keep doin' this forever, kiddo.

[He takes her gently by the chin.]

Annie: Can't we?

[[[Beat]]]

Jeff: Nope. I can't. No. No.

Annie: [simultaneously] No, that's gross. I feel gross.

    • The Squick of their relationship is hard to take seriously for some people since the age difference is very limited, Allison Brie isn't type cast for Dawson Casting (so people potentially have seen her playing much older characters), and Joel Mc Hale looks younger then his age.
  • Tear Jerker: There are a few moments.
  • Too Good to Last: Subverted? Ratings for the show, weren't that great begin with, tanked in the third season, and NBC put it on hiatus for several months. However, since it just got its fourth season, perhaps this is now subverted?
    • Maybe double-plus unsubverted, since season 4 will be only 13 episodes long, run in the Friday Night Death Slot, and be without Dan Harmon at the helm. More than one commenter has opined that the Darkest Timeline has indeed come to pass.
  • Uncanny Valley: The stop-motion figures in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." Britta's is especially bad. Hilariously, the normally expressionless Abed looked the most human.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • In "English as a Second Language", people are convincing Troy to be a plumber instead of staying in school. Played for laughs as usual.
    • In-universe, almost everything Pierce says and does. He (probably) didn't even realize how much that windmill looked like a swastika...
    • However, if at least part of his faux Buddhist religion is accurate, the swastika would be perfectly fine for him. It wouldn't carry the same sort of meaning for him; it would be a sun symbol.
      • Buddhist troper here to say that no part of Pierce's religion has been even vaguely accurate. And we tend not to use the swastika in the west. It's really, really, really not worth it. That symbol has been Ruined FOREVER.
      • Though Pierce uses the term Buddha, the religion is really more of a parody of Scientology. Considering the amount of flak said religion can rain down, it's perhaps understandable that the show tried to cover it up with something so absurdly inaccurate that most people would know it's wrong.
    • The portrayal of the homosexual community in "Advanced Gay" has been met with some criticism. Dan Harmon admitted that a few of the concerns were actually pretty valid and apologized, promising to be more aware of the issue in the future.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Pierce and Chang. Both are often barely tolerated by the rest of the group, but they're popular characters with the fans.
    • Also Britta. Although not exactly disliked by the other characters, they frequently call her a killjoy. Evidently her colleagues at work don't like her much either. And she's apparently not too popular with the rest of the Greendale student body either:

 Vicki: You're the worst.

Britta: She's just saying that to fit in!

    • Annie was apparently so unpopular in high school that a crossing guard tried to lure her into traffic.
    • The study group in general appears to be this to some degree; they're very close-knit with each other and are, of course, very popular with the fans of the show, but there's some evidence to suggest that they're not that well liked among the student body at large in Greendale.
  • The Woobie:
    • Oddly enough, Chang in season 2. All he wants is to join the group and he just gets shot down. Although he did spend most of the first season tormenting them, so it makes sense.
    • According to Word of God, Britta was designed to become this over the course of the series, especially in the Season 1 finale. Her self-esteem issues are certainly often referred to.
    • Abed also becomes this, particularly in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas".
      • Then the second half of Season 3 hits, exploring more of Abed we never knew. Virtual Systems Analysis has major insight to his issues.
    • All of the main characters, and more than a few of the minor ones, have had their moment of Woobie-dom; no matter how big a Jerkass they might be at times it's also quite clear that they're all broken and vulnerable people to some extent.
    • Todd in the third episode of season 3.
    • The Dean can become like this, at times.
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