troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
YMMV: Community
  • Acceptable Targets: Racism is brought up as a character flaw several times, and in at least one case, as the tail-end of Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick.
  • Acceptable Professional Targets: In the pilot, as soon as everyone learns Jeff's a lawyer, they groan in disgust.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
  • 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: Has a sub-page.
  • 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.
    • It's worth bearing in mind that, in spite of having the only automatic weapon in the game and a paint bomb strap to his chest, he only took out one person that we know of, and got hit doing it. It's a little overblown to call him badass in the first place.
  • Base Breaker: Season four and parts of season three.
    • Inspector Spacetime is, depending on who you ask, either a cute Affectionate Parody or an overused Overly Long Gag that was run into the ground almost immediately after it was introduced.
    • The fanbase seems to be evenly divided in their opinion of Hickey as either a great addition to the group or just ok.
    • The episodes of season 5 after Troy leaves.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: Invoked, like most tropes. "HAT CLUB!"
  • Bizarro Episode: Whilst Community has a number of episodes which would full under this for any other show, it still has those that qualify as a Bizarro Episode even by Community's standards.
  • Broken Base: The biggest split is on the Harmon-less season 4 (which was either pretty good or the worst thing on television, depending on who you ask), but many smaller ones exist among the fandom, ranging from whether or not season 3's second half was too bizarre, if season 1 was the best or worst of the Harmon years, if Harmon's return in season 5 has revitalized the show back to its glory days or if things are simply too little too late, and whether Troy is being utilized well in his final season or if his character is being utterly wasted especially with Donald Glover's departure coming so soon.
  • Crazy Awesome: Digital Estate Planning has Abed deciding to stay with Hilda and finding out he can have children with her, who he can command to do anything. Hilarity Ensues. And then there's the final battle with Pierce's father, which involves shooting Abed's children at a giant rock monster's legs so they can pickaxe it to death, Troy and Abed shooting lava at it out of golden mechs, Shirley piloting a helicopter against it, and Pierce riding an atomic bomb.
  • Critical Dissonance: Somewhat. While critical reviews have all been extremely positive for season 5 thus far, fandom reaction has been slightly more mixed, ranging from season 5 being the best since the the first two seasons to feeling that by this point the show has run out of steam even with Dan Harmon back as showrunner.
  • 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.
    • Pierce, frequently. One example is he's playing 'Pictionary' and draws a swastika to convey a windmill, saying that Rabbi Chang should know what it is.
  • Cult Classic: It's hardly mainstream, but the fanbase is dedicated enough and big enough to campaign for its renewal and succeed.
  • Designated Villain: In "Geographies of Global Conflict", while she steals Annie Edison's idea for a model UN and passes it off as her own and is generally less friendly and more arrogant and snide, Annie Kim's behaviour in general is much better than her main-cast counterpart. This is arguably part of the point, however, since while she might be better behaved than the Annie we know and love, she also lacks the humanizing qualities that enable us to sympathise with Annie despite her faults. In short, being well behaved doesn't by itself make you the good guy.
  • Dork Age: The Harmon-less Season 4, though season 3 may qualify as well (and to be fair, for both it really depends on who you ask).
  • Double Standard: Shirley gets a lot less flak from the group for her racism and judgemental attitude than Pierce. On the other hand, Pierce is general a lot more blatant and extreme and he is prejudiced against a far wider range of groups compared to Shirley, who tends towards being a lot more subtle (to the point where her one-liners and passing comments can easily go unnoticed) and tends towards prejudice towards specific groups while being far more tolerant of others. Pierce is also a lot more stubborn and defensive about being challenged and tends to get confrontational in if someone calls him out, whereas Shirley will generally accept being called out more gracefully and at least attempts to modify her behaviour and correct her prejudices. Ultimately, however, neither are malicious, and it's suggested that their less admirable views stem from limited and sheltered viewpoints (cloistering herself within her religious practices in Shirley's case, the toxic influence of his quite-malicious father in Pierce's) that they're only just beginning to break out of.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The piano refrain from the pilot, "Good ol' Fashioned Nightmare" by Matt and Kim.
    • Donde, estŠ, la biblioteca...
    • The theme song, dear Lord!
    • P-P-Pocket full of Hawthornes!
    • From "Regional Holiday Music", there's Troy and Abed's rap and Annie's song.
    • "Daybreak" by Michael Haggins.
    • A lot of Ludwig Gorranson's regular pieces of incidental music, such as "Greendale Is Where I Belong", fall here. Get them in your head, you'll be humming them for days.
    • "Pierce, Pierce, Pierce... Pierce, you're a B!"
    • "Gettin' Ridda Britta"
    • The gritty rock songs about the Ass Crack Bandit in "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics".
    • The opening credits theme from Joysticks, as used in the fake trailer for Koogler.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Several side characters have become extremely popular among fans, most notably Magnitude ("POP POP!") and Star-Burns (his name is Alex).
    • The Dean, especially after his exaggerated-to-the-point-of-parody Camp Gay nature came to the surface toward the middle of season 1.
    • Drama Professor Sean Garrity, despite only three episode appearances, due to his incredibly over-the-top portrayal.
    • Rachel, the coat check girl from "Herstory of Dance" is widely considered one of the best parts of season 4 & was popular enough to be brought back in season 5.
    • Koogler, the Man Child Frat Bro played by Mitch Hurtwitz in "App Development and Condiments", appears to have been received quite well by the fans.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Evil Annie, from the Darkest Timeline.
  • Fan Myopia: While the show most certainly has a devoted fanbase, it's ratings are ever declining. It doesn't help that a Vocal Minority of the show's fans have a tendency to repeatedly put down competing sitcoms as inferior in their frustration with its poor ratings, which does nothing but make fans of the competing sitcoms less likely to watch Community. The second review on this list shows how some have abandoned the show because of this.
    • This is in large part due to the Law Of Fan Jackassery- the fandom is essentially right at the middle. The show is far too popular for the Vocal Minority to just be kicked out, but doesn't have nearly enough mainstream recognition for them to just be ignored.
  • Fanon: Given his nicer-than-nice attitude concealing an apparently very fucked-up mindset resulting from maternal abuse, a common fan-interpretation is that Rich is secretly some kind of Serial Killer.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Season 4 (the first without Dan Harmon and most of the writers of seasons 1-3) has been declared this by some fans, with some even hoping one of Harmon's first orders of business following his return for season 5 is to erase the season from canon by having Abed walk out of the Dreamatorium shortly after the end of season 3 & reveal it was all just him running simulations. It wasn't, but they have heavily lampshaded its Seasonal Rot throughout the fifth season, poking fun at some of its more questionable plot developments. They even refer to it in-universe as 'the gas leak year.' And then on the extreme side of things there are some fans who only prefer the first season when the show was still somewhat grounded and had yet to go Denser and Wackier, refusing to acknowledge the existence of any season that came after.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, The Doctor himself and The Girl who Waited, are not only fans of Community, but have also expressed interest in appearing in the show.
    • The fandoms of fellow intensely-quotable Cult Classics Arrested Development and to a lesser extent Firefly tend to overlap with Community's.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • 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.
    • Abed cutting himself off from both the Study Group & the outside world, before succumbing to the Darkest Timeline's influence after Troy was forced into the A/C Repair School in "Introduction to Finality" & only returning to normal after Troy's return becomes worse when you realize Donald Glover will only be in 5 episodes of season 5.
    • The Running Gag about Greendale being a Sucky School with a generally inept faculty who repeatedly run completely idiotic classes (such as an analysis of who the titular boss was in Whos The Boss) becomes this after "Repilot" showed the ramifications of attending such a school.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Dan Harmon is quite aware of Community's popularity in the Philippines.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: The end of one episode played with this when they acknowledged that, essentially, nothing was truly off limits and there would always be some degree of tension between unrelated characters. It then went around the table, pairing everyone with everyone else. Sometimes to the characters' interest, sometimes to their surprised interest, sometimes to their disgust and shock.
  • Growing the Beard: The show became a lot less predictable midway through the first season (around Investigative Journalism, which featured Jack Black as Buddy), when they stopped putting so much focus on Jeff trying to seduce Britta and Annie's crush on Troy, and instead started focusing more on meta-humor.
  • 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...
    • It's noted on the commentary track for "Advanced Introduction to Finality" that the final line of the cold open, Troy commenting "One for all, and all for one guy we can leave behind!" was originally just a joke about Pierce's age, but the line took a greater subtext when Chevy Chase quit the show. The joke was originally Hilarious in Hindsight, but became Harsher in Hindsight when Pierce was revealed to have died in "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics".
    • Professor Kane quitting due to the guilt of Starburns' death becomes this when you find out he faked it, meaning Kane had a guilt ridden breakdown over a death that never even happened
  • He's Just Hiding: Pierce. Understandable, considering his fake heart attacks & pretending he was dying to toy with the study group.
  • 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.
    • In "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations" James Brolin turns up as Jeff's long-absent father. Just over a week earlier, he appeared on Castle as Castle's long-absent father.
    • "We're Gonna Finally Be Fine," the opening musical number from "Biology 101" with the Study Group singing about how much better life's going to be without Pierce, became this after Chevy Chase's departure at the end of season 4 & Dan Harmon returning as Show Runner for season 5 following his departure a year earlier.
    • The jokes about Britta smoking pot as well as her hatred of the government makes the fact that in Colorado (the state the show is set in), marijuana is now legal and government regulated.
    • After defeating the Glee Club (an Expy for the one from Glee) in "Modern Warfare", Jeff yells "Write some original songs!" as a parting shot. This was done to criticize Glee's use of licensed songs. The year after "Modern Warfare" aired, it was announced that Glee would be doing an episode with original songs.
    • When Jeff runs into Alan in "Accounting For Lawyers", he tries to explain his presence at Greendale by claiming to be a teacher. He then admits that's worse than the truth and admits he's a student. In "Repilot", Jeff becomes a teacher at Greendale.
    • The Tag in "Basic Sandwich" basically being a huge Take That to NBC. With NBC's subsequent cancellation of the show & Yahoo picking the show up for a sixth season, it means Community essentially left NBC whilst flipping the bird & screaming "Fuck you!".
  • 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.
      • Then there's the episode where Shirley talks about being the only married woman in a group full of googly-eyed teens. Then Jeff and Annie look at each other, then Jeff and Britta, then Troy and Britta, then Troy and Abed.
      • In Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations, Troy snuggles his head into Abed's shoulder for comfort after a particularly unpleasant encounter with Shirley's family.
      • In Heroic Origins, Troy seems to believe that Abed should have been pining for him before they even met: "You were out there somewhere, and you weren't looking for me?!"
    • 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 Fanservice. 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.
    • Pierce's friendly advances on Jeff, right after his each failure to manipulate Britta into a date.
    • The heated pool duel between Jeff and his coach, escalating into nudism and ending with the coach kissing him on the lips with admiration.
    • Jeff running in the rain, ringing into an apartment, making a confession to Rich.
    • Abed persuades Jeff to flirt with a roleplay character elf maid (impersonated by himself). Annie takes over the task. In detail.
    • Dean Spreck of City College, whispering into Dean Pelton's ear.
  • Hype Backlash: The first few episodes of the fourth season, coming after Harmon was fired from the show and the premiere being delayed for 4 months, was criticized fairly harshly by both fans and critics as signalling the downfall of the show. Others pointed out that even with Harmon every season took some time to get into the right rhythm.
  • I Knew It:
    • Jeff returning to Greendale as a teacher in season 5.
    • Pierce suffering from a Bus Crash after Chevy Chase left the show.
    • Troy being given Pierce's fortune and it being his reason for leaving Greendale.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Indyshipping, for Annie/Abed, based on the gift Annie got for Abed in Intro to Psychology.
  • Idiot Plot: The conflict in the apartment plot of In "Studies in Modern Movement" could have been avoided if Annie had properly checked the apartment before moving or had confronted the two much sooner. Troy and Abed also become more idiotic in the episode, to the point of being socially dysfunctional (well, more than Abed already was).
  • Informed Wrongness: Jeff. Rightly asserting that Pierce is a bigoted manchild, whose horrible behavior makes the group exclude him, and anyone else would have kicked him out ages ago? He's wrong because Pierce's insecurities are an excuse to be a prick. Calling out Britta on once again wilfully making a fool of herself in a farcical effort to save face? Discouraging poor decisions is being a bad friend. He wants to spend the odd occasion not cleaning up the groups mistakes? He's a selfish jerk. Despite going out of his way to be a great friend to every single member of the group countless times. The show is however smart enough to occasionally use this to comedic effect.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Played with, in that it overlaps to some degree with They Changed It, Now It Sucks; a sections of critics have emerged arguing that Season 4 spends so much time and effort trying to reassure fans that the show hasn't changed and absolutely nothing is different and that it's the same as it ever was while Dan Harmon was around, calling upon old Running Gags and Call Backs in the process, that the show begins to feel like it's trying to replicate itself rather than allowing the writers room to breathe and get a feel for the show themselves. There's also been a few accusations that the characters seem to have regressed to earlier, broader versions of themselves and Character Development has slipped backwards a bit.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Pierce. While he is unquestionably a jerkass, it's also made quite clear that he's desperately lonely and needy.
    • 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.
  • Jump the Shark: Naturally a contentious entry, but there's been two cited examples of this within the fandom. Dan Harmon's departure in season 4 and Donald Glover leaving the show in the fifth season.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Annie/Abed. Annie/Jeff. Annie/Troy. Annie/Chang. Annie/Britta. Annie/Professor Duncan. Annie/Vaughn. Annie/Rich. Notice anyone all those pairings have in common? It's quite telling that even discounting Romantic Expressionism (see Crack Pairing on the main page), Annie has been shipped IN SHOW with every member of the study group except for Pierce (who has explicitly stated that Annie is his favorite) and Shirley. It's canon that Annie had a crush on Troy in high school and for the first half of the first season, Annie and Jeff kiss in Debate 109 and Pascal's Triangle Revisited, Annie and Abed (as Han Solo) kiss in For a Few Paintballs More, and Annie starts to go in for a kiss with Britta in Early 21st Century Romanticism. And this for a girl they say they try not sexualize too much.
  • Love It or Hate It:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I have the weirdest boner."
    • "Annie's pretty young. We try not to sexualize her."
    • "The Lord is testing me."
    • Whovians were quick to latch onto the Doctor Who Affectionate Parody "Inspector Spacetime" from the third season premiere. There's even a parody Tumblr confessions blog for it now.
    • "Six seasons and a movie!" began as a Take That at The Cape, but has quickly morphed into the rallying cry for fans who don't want the show to get cancelled.
    • Streets ahead.
      • And if you don't know what that means, you're clearly streets behind.
    • Hah! GAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
    • Most stuff Chang says: "Senor Chang is a man who cannot die.", "Magic user, baby, what?!"
    • MY EMOTIONS!
    • After Dan Harmon was fired as the showrunner, the mantra "Dan Harmon is a genius and I will die protecting his vision" sprung up around the place in support, often accompanied with a .gif or image of Annie saying the same thing about the Dean in "Documentary Making Redux". To which a few interesting and (probably) unintentional layers are added when you remember that the clip being used is, in context, the result of Annie experiencing a stress-related nervous breakdown as a result of the Dean's increasingly tyrannical and out-of-control behaviour as his creative baby spirals rapidly out of control; while people have tended to be more inclined to support Harmon than not (particularly in regard to things like his feud with Chevy Chase and his being fired from the show) some reports have suggested — including, it should be acknowledged, those of Harmon himself — that this isn't an entirely unfair summary from how Harmon would conduct himself on set.
    • "POP POP!"
      • "Pop pop, Magnitude."
    • The scene in "Remedial Chaos Theory" where Troy walks into the fire-ridden apartment has been put to popular use at Tumblr. The best usage of it is when someone finds that their particular fandom has gone haywire.
    • You just created [X] new timelines!
      • Sure I/they did, [Insert Name Here].
      • Dammit, [Insert Name Here], there are no other timelines!
    • Abed is Batman.
    • Thanks to Superior Spider-Man using it in the first issue of the series, the Spider-Man fandom adopted "Crazy Town Banana Pants".
    • Fat Dog.
    • Responding to bear jokes with "Too soon."
    • Using the MeowMeow Beenz rating system from "App Development And Condiments".
  • Moe: Annie could give Mikuru a run for her money.
    • Abed most likely wasn't an intentional example, but his generally gentle and adorkable disposition (along with the increasing number of woobie moments he's been getting lately) can evoke this.
  • Nightmare Fuel: There's something deeply unsettling about "Greendale Babies", the Imagine Spot "happy place within a happy place" TV series Abed creates inside his head in season 4. It's all cheery and bright, but it takes place in a confined room, and the premise seems to be that all our beloved characters are stuck in some sort of infinite childhood. Plus, you know, there's a stuffed Human Being plush.
    Abed: Greendale Babies will be right back. Forever!
    • Don't forget about the "Human being" costume. Brrr...
  • 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:
    • 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.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Troy and Britta's relationship at the end of the third season was left very ambiguous to some. What was pretty clear was that Troy was moving into the Dreamatorium, but some people interpreted Britta holding a bag as her moving in as well (despite the fact they weren't even necessarily a couple yet). The beginning of the next season reveals they had started dating at some point.
  • 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. While the seeds were there from the start, however, as the first season went on 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.
    Britta: Do you know sugar is like baby meth? Thatís what my homeopath says.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Willy Winger, Jeff's half-brother from season four. He's presented as overemotional and his actions come off as very grating as we know nothing about him but that.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Season 3 was considered by some fans to be weaker than the previous two. By this point most of the regular writers for the first two seasons had long since departed, the increased darkness wound up dividing the fans on its overall quality, and the show's trademark meta episodes focused entirely on whatever the episode was currently parodying at the cost of flanderizing every single character on the show (such as Jeff's smugness, Shirley's Holier Than Thou tendencies, Troy's diminishing intelligence, Britta's Butt Monkey status, etc.), something the first two seasons had taken steps to avoid. Related to that, the same season also introduced the Inspector Spacetime Running Gag which was fairly controversial, so much that season 4 would later only feature it in one episode and season 5 would drop it entirely. There's also a faction that believes it's the best of all four seasons, leaving a bit of a broken base as far as it's concerned.
      • To make things more complicated, it's generally agreed to have some the best episodes of the show's entire run ("Remedial Chaos Theory", "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", "Pillows and Blankets", "Basic Lupine Urology," and "Curriculum Unavailable") even though many believe it's the weakest season overall.
    • Season 4 plays this straighter, having lost showrunner Dan Harmon & writer Chris McKenna, who wrote some of the most acclaimed episodes of the show; neither the Changnesia plot or the romance between Troy and Britta are handled well; several running gags from earlier seasons are overused or overplayed (notably, the season ends with a Paintball Finale despite this being an acknowledged Overused Running Gag); the characters in general are regressed back to earlier stages of their Character Development; and Chevy Chase, due to his displeasure with Pierce becoming more bigoted than before, outright quit the show towards the end of production & had to be hastily written out of the episodes he was yet to shoot.
    • Season 5 has not been able to escape this. Although the season started off strong, some feel that the episodes after Troy left have been largely hit or miss.
  • 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 hinders 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. With Troy/Britta being sunk & Troy's departure in the fifth season, it makes Jeff/Britta the obvious choice of ship mate pairing.
  • Shipping Bed Death: More than a few fans of Britta/Troy ended up being disappointed when they actually got together because the writers seemed unable to do anything interesting with them.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • The interminable Britta/Troy pairing is sunk without much fanfare toward the end of Season 4.
    • The Annie/Abed pairing was sunk in Season 5, with the revelation that Abed was catfishing Annie so she'd make better breakfasts, followed by Annie invoking Like Brother and Sister with Abed in "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing".
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • Subverted. At first it appears that Pierce is going to have slightly changed Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is", for the new school song (the intro notes are indeed slightly different from the original). Subverted when it turns out the rest of the song is exactly the same.
    Abed: Can they sue us?
    Jeff: Don't know. (Pierce sings the line "Greendale's the way it goes") Yeah, they got us.
    • Played straight during the first Valentine's Episode, where Troy and Pierce dance with Chang to a song very similar to The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow."
  • 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.
  • Tear Jerker: There are a few moments.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The general consensus regarding the Dan Harmon-less Season 4. It should be noted, this was also the cast's reaction to the season, with Joel McHale leading them in getting Harmon rehired as showrunner for the fifth season.
    • The loss of Pierce and Troy in season 5 has elicited this response from some people.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The earlier episodes of the third season seem to hint at/foreshadow Jeff suffering from some sort of mental breakdown or depression, but it really doesn't go anywhere.
    • Britta & Troy's relationship in the fourth season - After the first few episodes of the season, it's barely mentioned before they break-up towards the end of the season, which arguably comes out of nowhere because the writers seemingly forgot they were dating for most of the season.
    • After setting Jeff up as a Greendale teacher in "Repilot", only one episode of season 5 actually focussed on Jeff being a teacher (and that was the episode immediately after "Repilot"), leading some viewers to complain of a missed opportunity to explore Greendale's eccentric teaching staff in the same way that the previous seasons had explored the eccentric student body.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Greendale Human Being seems to be an intentional attempt to invoke this trope.
    • The stop-motion figures in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." Britta's is especially bad. Hilariously, the normally expressionless Abed looked the most human. Possible Fridge Brilliance as we see all the events through Abed's perspective, and he's experiencing a mental breakdown throughout the episode.
    • Annie's werewolf transformation in her scary story from "Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps"
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • 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.
      • 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.
    • The fact that the show treats feeding Abed's delusions as a good thing. This is particularly bad in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and "Geothermal Escapism.
  • 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.
    • 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.
      • Given the facts that they are very judgmental regarding who they socialize with, it ain't that hard to believe.
    • Abed, unusually, appears to subvert this. He's in many ways the show's breakout character, being very popular with viewers — however, of all the study group, he appears to be the one who has the most friends outside the study group, or at least is on reasonably friendly terms with more people. Which is particularly interesting given how a frequent subplot is how he finds it difficult to connect with people.
      • Though it does make sense if you consider Abed's analytical abilities — it's not a stretch to believe that he could use them to determine what other people might respond well to, ŗ la playing Don Draper or Han Solo for Annie.
    • The Dean is popular enough for Jim Rash to be Promoted to Opening Titles in season 3, but in-universe he's clearly not respected by his staff & the Study Group finds him irritating more often than not. It's made explicitly clear in "Introduction to Teaching" when the Save Greendale Committee (Consisting of the Study Group & Buzz Hickey) make their first order of business barring him from their meetings and the entire group are seen celebrating this.
  • What an Idiot: Jeff insults Cornwallis (albeit unaware he was in earshot at the time) at their Christmas party despite knowing that he could change their grade (and in fact began the night HOPING to do so). Naturally, Cornwallis decides to drop their grade.
  • 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.
      • Britta also becomes this in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" after Abed expels her from his Christmas fantasy because she tricked him into a therapy session; she protests that she was genuinely concerned about him and was trying to help him, and is clearly quite hurt by his rebuttal song that she's basically a broken robot with no faith in anything.
    • 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.
    • Professor Kane. He spent 25 years in prison for a crime it's implied he didn't committ, dealt with some horrible students, and quit after a nervous breakdown from the death of Starburns. It gets worse when you find out Starburns faked his death, meaning Kane quit over nothing

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
88519
22