[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/community-chaos_theory_4762.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Just so you know, Jeff, you are now creating 6 different timelines.[[note]]Of ''course'' I am, Abed.[[/note]]]]

The study group gets together for a housewarming party for Troy and Abed's new apartment. In particular, they bring attention to a piece of decoration they are very proud of: an Indiana Jones boulder escape scene diorama in the living room. After everyone has shown up, the group starts playing Yahtzee until the pizza arrives and nobody wants to go down to get it. Jeff suggests rolling a six-sided die to decide who gets to go downstairs, and Abed mentions that in doing so he's creating six different timelines. They even come conveniently numbered by the die roll they're associated with.

Just as Abed predicted, the die roll causes the episode to split into six different stories depending on who went down to get the pizza.

Has a [[YMMV/CommunityS3E04RemedialChaosTheory YMMV page]].
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!!The ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" provides examples of:
* AlmostKiss: Jeff and Annie in one timeline.
** Subverted in another, where the two successfully make out, only to stop when Annie mentions Jeff reminding her of her father.
* AlternateTimeline: Six different ones are explored during this episode.
* AmusingInjuries: The darkest timeline version of Troy destroyed his vocal cord trying to eat the troll doll and now has to speak with an electrolarynx, but its okay since this isn't the "real" timeline.
--> '''Evil Troy:''' Clearly, you don't understand anything about defeating trolls.
** In the same scene Jeff's missing arm is represented by one of his expensive suits having a tied-off sleeve.
** We get to see Jeff hit his head on the ceiling fan multiple times.
* BaitAndSwitch: In the first timeline shown, Troy suddenly notices something in Annie's purse after she leaves to get the pizza.
-->'''Troy:''' Uhhh guys, what does a ''pregnancy test'' look like?\\
'''Jeff:''' ''(not looking up from something he's reading)'' It's like a thin piece of plastic with a [[BuffySpeak thing]] on the end of it.\\
'''Troy:''' ''(pulls a revolver from Annie's purse)'' Okay, so this is definitely a ''gun.''
** In the third timeline, after Troy catches Britta smoking a joint, he pulls out a cigarette case, opens it, takes out what looks like a joint and holds it to his mouth. It turned out to be a candy cigarette.
* BeardOfEvil: In the tag, Abed makes fake Evil Spock goatees these for the group since this is the "dark timeline". Only Troy is willing to wear one with Abed.
* BerserkButton:
** Played for laughs; while everyone else more-or-less laughs off the fact that Jeff was manipulating them in order that he wouldn't have to get the pizza and considers making him go down for them a fitting punishment, Pierce seems genuinely offended and outraged by it.
** Abed does not react well to Shirley's suggestion that they should have her (admittedly ''very'' unappetising) home-baked pizzas instead of getting them delivered like had already been arranged.
* BigNo: Troy upon seeing the troll standing amid the chaos of Timeline 5. [[http://youtu.be/2IxURn_63_I The reasons have to be seen to be believed.]]
* BittersweetEnding: One way to interpret the last timeline. The last thing we see is Jeff obliviously smiling, unaware that it is because of his absence that the group got the happiest timeline. All the while hinting that he may become the new [[ButtMonkey Pierce]] for this season.
* BloodyHilarious: Happens to timeline 5 Pierce.
* BottleEpisode: Save for the final scene in the study room the episode takes place entirely in Abed and Troy's apartment. Ironically, though, according to the DVD commentary it was one of the more expensive episodes because it took a long time to shoot.
* BrickJoke: Several, given the 'alternate timelines' nature of the storylines:
** In the first few timelines, everyone who goes to the door to get the pizzas makes a point of noting what a creepy weirdo the pizza delivery guy was. So of course, when it's Britta's turn, she falls madly in love with him at first sight and they get engaged.
** Annie literally finds a brick at the very beginning of the episode, which becomes the catalyst of the different timelines (since the pizza guy can't come straight to the door).
* BrokenRecord: Just so the audience understands that we've left one timeline and gone back to the point where the timelines diverged, we hear the door buzzer and Abed explaining the creation of new timelines ''seven times''. There are also several events that happen in almost the same way immediately after those timelines diverge (especially Jeff stopping Britta from singing and hitting his head on the fan when he gets up).
* CallBack: "Duh-doy!"
* CallItKarma: Annie in the real timeline, when Jeff hits his head on the ceiling fan.
* CassandraTruth: A metaphysical example:
-->'''Abed:''' Just so you know, Jeff, you are now creating six different timelines.\\
'''Jeff:''' [[SarcasmMode Of]] ''[[SarcasmMode course]]'' [[SarcasmMode I am, Abed.]]\\
''[Throws the die; creates a new timeline.]''
* CerebusSyndrome: Timeline 5 as it gets incredibly dark by the end. But this is PlayedForLaughs as it has RefugeInAudacity. Also, since it's an alternate timeline, as far as we can know it never happened.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally, Annie's gun which is shown off in one time line (first act) only to go off in another (third act).
** Another is the Indiana Jones temple replica. In each timeline, Abed catches the boulder before it goes over the table... until the timeline where Troy gets the pizza and the boulder causes DisasterDominoes.
** Becomes more of a ChekhovsArmoury if one considers the boulder, the gun, the high-proof vodka, Britta's [[DrugsAreBad joint]], and the [[ChekhovsGift troll doll]] each as their own ChekhovsGun.
* [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunmen]]: [[spoiler: The Study Group from the Darkest Timeline become recurring antagonists in season 3 and 4.]]
* ContinuityNod: Several.
** In the aftermath of timeline 5, Shirley becomes an alcoholic again and Annie goes to a mental ward after a nervous breakdown, not unlike her addiction to pills back in high school.
** In the tag, Regular!Troy and Abed are watching JustForFun/InspectorSpacetime, introduced in [[Recap/CommunityS3E01Biology101 the season premiere]].
** The flag that the study group designed for Greendale in [[Recap/CommunityS2E04BasicRocketScience Basic Rocket Science]] can be seen in Troy and Abed's apartment.
** The refrigerator resembles [[Recap/CommunityS2E17IntroToPoliticalScience a vending machine with Troy and Abed stuck in it.]]
** Among the apartment's decor is a movie poster for Kickpuncher Detroit.
** Abed's "suggestive eyebrows" make a reappearance.
** Annie is described as a good nurse, a phrase used in "[[Recap/CommunityS2E06Epidemiology Epidemiology]]".
** In the first timeline, we discover that [[Theatre/AnnieGetYourGun Annie keeps a gun]]. We learned in last season's episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", that Annie carries a gun due to her apartment's neighborhood being dangerous.
* CriticalFailure: Abed calls attention to that fact that the dark timeline came about because Jeff rolled a 1.
* DancePartyEnding: In the prime timeline.
* DarkIsEvil: In TheTag everyone is wearing black, reflecting that they are (a) [[TheMourningAfter mourning Pierce's death]], (b) the results of the darkest of the seven timelines and (c) the timeline that Abed suggests should be the EvilTwin-filled MirrorUniverse.
* DevelopmentGag: Abed and Troy's apartment is number 303, the production number of the episode. The episode was difficult to make, and as such, it ended up being the fourth episode aired. The first lines of the episode, dubbed in at the last minutes, are Britta and Annie confirming that the apartment number is 303, not 304.
* DidIJustSayThatOutLoud: Britta in timeline 6. Blame it on the pot.
* DisasterDominoes: Timeline 5.
* EruditeStoner: Britta in timeline 3 is very perceptive of the root cause of turmoil between Troy and Jeff.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: In the tag set in the "dark timeline" where Pierce is dead, Annie went insane, Shirley is drunk, Troy lost his larynx, Jeff lost an arm and Britta...
-->'''Jeff:''' Britta, you put one wash-away blue streak in your hair and I lost an '''arm'''.\\
'''Britta:''' Exactly! Life got '''dark'''!
** Jeff's hair is also notably unkempt (well, more so than usual) and starting to prematurely grey from stress.
* ForWantOfANail: All based on a dice roll.
* FreudianExcuse: In one time line Shirley eventually admits to Britta that the only reason she bakes excessively is because she feels excluded by the rest of the study group, and baking is her way of feeling needed and included. Unfortunately, this means that Jeff's plan to confront her excessive baking by colluding with everyone to refuse to eat what she cooks unwittingly works to validate her fears of being left out.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: In the tag, Regular!Troy and Abed are watching JustForFun/InspectorSpacetime, introduced in [[Recap/CommunityS3E01Biology101 the season premiere]].
** In the true timeline, when everyone is dancing, you can spot Pierce taking the troll doll out of the trash and throwing it out the window instead.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the canon storyline, when everyone is calling Jeff out on his manipulation for not getting the pizza in the other storylines, according to the closed captions, someone in the group called him an "asshole".
* GoodSamaritan: Annie, who we learn had to apply a tourniquet to a stabbing victim outside her apartment.
* HeldGaze: {{Lampshaded}} by Shirley, who calls the group a bunch of horny toads making googly eyes at each other. Like in [[Recap/CommunityS1E15RomanticExpressionism Romantic Expressionism]], another set of glances go around, starting with Jeff/Annie and then going from Troy/Britta and ending with Troy/Abed (who does his eyebrow thing again.). On top of that, several of the alternate timelines have Jeff and Annie staring schmoopily at each other and every time they do so, Shirley excuses herself to check on her pies.
* HighPressureBlood: The fountain of blood coming from Pierce's leg spreads right up into Shirley's face.
* HypocriticalHumor: Discussing Shirley's 'baking problem':
-->'''Jeff:''' I don't like being the bad guy more than anyone.\\
'''Britta:''' ROXA--\\
'''Jeff:''': ''[Brutally]'' '''''No.'''''
** Related to this, Jeff is adamant that Shirley is "not allowed an identity around baking!" Given that we learn in this episode that Jeff keeps his toiletries locked up in a safe, which one way or another suggests incredible vanity, he's probably not the best person to be making decisions about what other people are allowed to base their identities on.
** Britta says Abed asking what she was doing in the bathroom isn't dignified, then immediately does a very goofy song and dance routine when the pizza arrives. Though it turns out it because she just got done smoking some pot.
** Seeing as Britta sneaks off to smoke pot, [[IncrediblyLamePun Shirley isn't the only one with a baking problem]].
* InSpiteOfANail: See "OutOfOrder" on [[Recap/CommunityS3E03CompetitiveEcology "Competitive Ecology"]]. Despite neither event taking place in this episode's true timeline, in seems that at some point Pierce tells his Eartha Kitt story and Shirley catches Britta getting high.
* InstantTurnOff: While Jeff and Annie make out, Jeff is greatly turned off when Annie tells him that his protective instinct reminds her of her father.
* {{Irony}}:
** In Timeline 5, Troy rushes out of the room to get the pizzas in order to ensure he doesn't miss anything. He not only consequently goes on to miss [[DisasterDominoes the most chaotic, action-filled and destructive of all seven times]], but in rushing out the door he accidentally triggers Abed's ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' [[Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk boulder model]], which initiates the entire DisasterDominoes process. He is thus directly responsible for everything he ended up missing directly because of his eagerness not to miss anything.
** In six of the seven timelines, Pierce latches on to any feeble pretext to bring up the story of the time he [[MileHighClub had sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom]], justifying it by claiming a natural opening appeared in the conversation. In the seventh timeline, a natural opening ''does'' actually appear when Troy compares Jeff to an airplane bathroom -- but Pierce is cut off before he can reveal the story and doesn't get another chance.
** Pierce, in one timeline, derides Annie's gun as a "lady's peashooter." Said peashooter kills him in Timeline 5.
* KilledOffForReal: Pierce in Timeline 5 after being shot in the leg.
* KillingYourAlternateSelf: Evil!Abed upon deducing they occupy an evil timeline: go back to the "prime" timeline, kill their counterparts, and [[KillAndReplace assume their normal lives]].
* LamePunReaction: Defied by Jeff:
-->'''Jeff:''' Shirley just had a mental breakdown.\\
'''Pierce:''' More like a mental-\\
'''Jeff:''' [=BAKEdown=], I know, I didn't say it on purpose.
* LibationForTheDead: Evil!Shirley pours one out for Pierce. May he [[GallowsHumor Rest In Pierce.]]
* LoveAtFirstSight: Britta and the pizza man.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: We never find out if the alternate timelines truly exist or if they're just part of Abed's imagination. [[spoiler: [[Recap/CommunityS3E22IntroductionToFinality later]] [[Recap/CommunityS4E13AdvancedIntroductionToFinality episodes]] with the Evil Study Group leave it ambiguous as well, although the latter suggests it's ''Jeff'' imagining them instead of Abed.]]
* MileHighClub: In six of the seven timelines Pierce shoehorns in his story about having airplane bathroom sex with Eartha Kitt.
* MissingTheGoodStuff: In Timeline 5 Troy has to go get the pizza, saying "I'm gonna go as fast as I can so I don't miss anything." He comes back to find Pierce shot, the apartment on fire, etc.
* MoodKiller: Troy & Britta and Jeff & Annie bond because Pierce isn't there trying to be the center of attention.
* MySignificanceSenseIsTingling: In the final scene, Abed in the prime timeline, while watching TV with Troy, somehow senses the birth of "Evil Troy" and "Evil Abed" in the "dark timeline". Abed doesn't know what the feeling is though and dismisses it as "nothing".
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** A downplayed example. Annie removes the brick propping open the apartment door because she reasons that it might allow undesirables to enter the building. Abed points out that it was also what was allowing their guests to enter the building without someone constantly going up and down to the door to let them in. Furthermore, the fact that the brick isn't there to let the pizza man come up kicks off the die roll that creates the seven different timelines.
** Also downplayed: Jeff colludes with the other members of the group to secretly refuse to eat the food that Shirley bakes in order to get her to confront her excessive baking. In the timeline where this is revealed, Shirley storms out angrily. In another timeline, Shirley reveals that the only reason she bakes so much is that she fears that the other members exclude her and baking is her way of feeling included. Jeff's plan unwittingly validated Shirley's insecurities.
** Jeff stopping Britta from singing along to "Roxanne" turns out to be a mood killer for the party.
* NightmareFuel: InUniverse, Pierce's Norwegian troll doll which literally gave Troy nightmares when it was placed outside his bedroom at Pierce's.
** Abed's attempt at a smile, which looks more like barely restrained murderous rage.
* NotImportantToThisEpisodeCamp: This episode features only the study group, and thus neither Ben Chang, nor the recently [[PromotionToOpeningTitles promoted to the opening titles]] Craig Pelton appear.
* OffTheWagon: Shirley in the evil timeline tag.
* OnSecondThought:
-->'''Abed:''' Tonight we offer something far more than boobs and billiards.
-->'''Jeff:''' What?
-->'''Troy:''' One word, two syllables.
-->'''Jeff:''' Don't say "charades."
-->'''Troy and Abed:''' Yahtzee!
-->'''Jeff:''' Is charades off the table?
* OnlyAFleshWound: Averted big time in Timeline 5 when Pierce only gets shot in the leg and '''dies'''.
** It probably didn't help that at the time, the apartment was on fire, and he was obviously the one who'd be least likely to escape it. Crosses into FridgeHorror over how exactly he died.
** Alternate possibility: Pierce appears to be bleeding from his upper leg, so the bullet may have hit his femoral artery which would cause him to bleed out very quickly.
*** [[HighPressureBlood The pressure at which the blood is coming out]] (high enough to hit a standing Shirley in the face) pretty much cements this as what occurred.
* OutOfOrder: With the previously aired episode "[[Recap/CommunityS3E03CompetitiveEcology Competitive Ecology]]", which was [[http://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/11469117959/fine-were-geniuses-but-not-evil-geniuses ordered by Harmon]] due to fears that this episode wouldn't be complete in time.
** The first line of the episode and the apartment number was LeaningOnTheFourthWall / LampshadeHanging about this episode being switched with the previous one.
* PizzaBoySpecialDelivery: Pierce mentions that all the good-looking pizza delivery guys must have gone into porn.
* ThePratfall: Annie pulls off a magnificent one that would have made Pierce proud. That is if she hadn't accidentally shot him while doing it.
* RealityEnsues: TheStinger shows off the grim aftereffects of Timeline 5: Pierce died from his gunshot wound, Annie went mad with guilt, Shirley became a drunk, Troy destroyed his voicebox after trying to eat the troll, Jeff lost an arm in the fire, and Britta [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking put a blue streak in her hair.]]
** CrossesTheLineTwice: Abed then decides that since this is obviously the worst of all possible timelines, they should go full MirrorUniverse and become evil, complete with [[BeardOfEvil goatees he made out of felt.]]
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: The plot demands that Annie's gun goes off after her purse falls down. "Safety on", my dear.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: The episode's creation resulted in a minor RealLife version, [[http://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/11486838757/from-the-room-in-which-remedial-chaos-theory-was apparently]].
* RunningGag: Several, given the nature of the episode, but the most notable is Pierce finding an opportunity in every timeline to mention how he had sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom. And Jeff hitting his head on the ceiling fan.
* SarcasmMode:
-->'''Jeff:''' Of ''course'' I am, Abed.
* SchrodingersGun: A literal interpretation of the trope, the gun only goes off in one timeline.
* ShipTease: Troy and Britta have a heart-to-heart in the bathroom, Jeff/Annie have moments in almost all of the timelines and make out in one, and Jeff/Annie, Jeff/Britta, Britta/Troy and Troy/Abed share googly eyes. The apparent offer for Annie to move in with Abed and Troy also helps the chances of Abed/Annie and Annie/Troy happening in the future. Also, everything to do with Troy and Abed's apartment is awash with {{HoYay}}.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The song "Roxanne" by Music/ThePolice (which plays on an iPod speaker in six of the seven timelines) becomes this in Timeline 5 during the chaos that erupts with Pierce being shot and the apartment catching on fire.
* ShoutOut: Abed has a model of the boulder scene from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''.
** The whole episode was inspired by the German film [[Film/RunLolaRun Run Lola Run]].
* {{Squick}}: Jeff is greatly turned off when Annie tells him that his protective instinct reminds her of her father. [[invoked]]
* StatusQuoIsGod: In the Prime timeline all the conflict, ShipTease and CharacterDevelopment of the other timelines is avoided.
* StealthPun:
** One of the sources of tension throughout the episode is what is described as Shirley's baking problem. In several of the timelines, Britta also has a bit of a problem with [[TheStoner getting baked]].
** Whenever "Roxanne" by the Police comes on the mp3 player, Britta begins to sing along, but is bluntly ordered not to by Jeff. Essentially, he's acting as the behaviour police.
* SuperReflexes: Abed catching the die in midair is much more impressive when you consider that he did it after coming to the conclusion that the group shouldn't fight against the chaos of the universe, and that Jeff was manipulating them so he wouldn't have to get the pizza. And he had roughly 3 seconds to come to these revelations.
* [[TakeAThirdOption Take Another Option]]: In the 'true' timeline, Abed grabs the die before it hits the table, noting that A: too much of their lives is run by fate already and B: Jeff is a [[MagnificentBastard conniving son of a bitch]] for using a method that ensures he'll never have to get the pizza.
* TimeyWimeyBall / AnachronicOrder: [[http://totalmachismo.tumblr.com/post/11456096409/community-304-remedial-chaos-theory-big-spoiler This particular theory]].
** WordOfGod [[http://twitter.com/#!/danharmon/status/124993322119999488 says]] [[http://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/11469117959/fine-were-geniuses-but-not-evil-geniuses no,]] but it's a neat idea nonetheless.
*** Note this comment:
-->'''Dan Harmon: ''' "Is timeline 1 real? Is Evil Abed out there? Those are really, really good questions that I think only a really, really good show would answer. Enjoy."
*** [[VoodooShark But that just raises FURTHER]] [[SelfDeprecation questions!]]
* TooGoodToBeTrue: Jeff fails to notice something off about the club he's received an invite to:
-->'''Jeff:''' Look at this place. It's like it was designed for me.\\
'''Abed:''' It was. I made that in Photoshop and mailed it to you a month ago so you'd keep tonight open on your calendar.\\
'''Jeff:''' There's no such thing as Single-Malt-Platinum-Boobs-And-Billards Club?! ''[Realizes]'' Oh. I guess I never said it out loud.
* TheUnsmile: Abed pulls an [[http://i.imgur.com/pzVo5.jpg absolutely terrifying one]] when he and Troy open the door for Annie and Britta.
* ValuesDissonance: {{Invoked}}; Troy and Abed discuss a handbook they consulted for advice on how to act as hosts for their party. The first piece of advice was "dress to impress". The second was "avoid touchy subjects like 'the Negro problem'". Turns out it was written in the 1940s.
* VaporTrail: Britta causes a fire in timeline 5 this way.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Troy in the darkest timeline, followed by a BigNo.
* WhamLine: Abed tells Annie "You should move here".
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