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Central characters of Community who are not original members of the Study Group.


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    Benjamin Franklin Chang 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/senor-benjamin-chang_1129.JPG
"Consider yourself Chang'd!"

Played by: Ken Jeong

A mean-spirited, unstable (to the point of being borderline insane) and scheming rival and antagonist to the Study Group. In the first season he's the school's bullying Spanish teacher, but his life becomes increasingly chaotic and erratic as the show progresses (which also makes him a bit of a season indicator). He's largely detested by the rest of the group, but often tries to be included by them.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Has this vibe with the entire study group, but mainly Jeff and Shirley.
  • Aborted Arc: During the second season when seen talking to himself he was supposed to be talking to his twin sister Connie, he ate in utero. Eventually she was supposed to show up in the "flesh" and they were to kiss. However, the creator and writers thought it maybe going too far.
  • And Starring: With Ken Jeong.
  • Apathetic Teacher: When he's not being a Sadist Teacher.
  • Becoming the Mask: In season four "Kevin" started off as just a way to let Chang infiltrate Greendale to help City College crush them and allow Chang to gain revenge for being rejected. However, in "Heroic Origins" Abed convinces him that, no matter what his motives, "Kevin" is a legitimately better person now and both Greendale and the study group are giving him a second chance to turn his life around and be included.
  • Berserk Button: Señor Chang has several, but upon being informed in "Social Psychology" that the experiment was going to start late he 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.
  • Big Bad: In Season 3.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: As it turns out he does not actually know Spanish. At one point, he was teaching them Klingon.
  • Breakout Character
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is an outright Sadist Teacher but even with all the complaints about his conduct they can't fire him because as mentioned in "Environmental Science" he is the only Spanish teacher around.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not so much in Season 1, but in Season 2 almost nothing ever seems to go right for him. Not that he doesn't often bring it on himself.
  • Catchphrase/Smurfing
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Anytime the Study Group show the remotest sign of trust in him, expect him to betray them before too long. To the point where at the end of Season 5, Chang betraying the rest of the group is apparently on the "Save Greendale" committee's To-Do list.
    • In "A Fistful of Paintballs", he kept switching sides.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In season 3 he uses a squad of youth to take over Greendale, where he enforces ludicrous policies upon the school as de facto commander with his fake dean acting as a powerless figurehead.
  • 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 Head of Security when all the other guards quit. And that led to Chang becoming, in the words of Jeff, "a psychotic wanna-be warlord."
  • Epic Rocking: Performs key-tar solos that typically last nine minutes, and does so regularly enough that Abed knows how long one can be expected to last.
  • Everything Is Racist: Chang is rather sensitive to racism and tends to see it even if it's not there. However, this only applies when the perceived racism is towards him; he has no problem making racist comments towards Shirley, Troy, Annie and Abed.
  • Evil Laugh/Laughing Mad: Has a very evil laugh and a tendency to employ it when going completely insane.
  • Fake Nationality: Chang is Chinese ("In Español, my nickname is 'El tigre Chino'!"); Ken Jeong is Korean.
    • Lampshaded in one episode when Chang reads something in Korean and has to be reminded he's Chinese.
  • Flanderization: Started out as a dick with some quirks. In later seasons, he became outright antagonistic, and even further down the road, his quirkiness has evolved into full-on Cloud Cuckoolander tendencies.
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    Craig Pelton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dean-craig-pelton_5419.JPG
"Dean-a-ling-a-ling!"

Played by: Jim Rash

Dean of Greendale Community College. He's intensely determined to raise the reputation and profile of the school to make it seem more like a 'proper' university but, unfortunately, is usually neither clever or competent enough to do so. Has a tendency to latch on to any excuse to both dress up in an unusual and often gender-crossing costume (particularly to deliver news) and to try and get close to Jeff.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Jeff, though not so much in appearance (he's actually pretty attractive when not crossdressing or wearing his unflattering day-job outfit) but for the facts that A) Jeff is straight, and B) the Dean is rather willfully ignorant of how unwanted his advances are.
  • Camp Pansexual: His sexuality is so complex that when the school board asks him to pretend that he is "just" gay for publicity issues, it causes him angst and pent-up stress.
  • Catchphrase/Smurfing: Uses "Dean" in nearly every word he can make a (sometimes barely) passable pun out of. At times it borders on being a Verbal Tic.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Rather lovably quirky with his hobbies and fetishes.
  • Costume Porn: To the point he has a whole closet full of costumes in his office.
  • Creepy Crossdresser or Wholesome Crossdresser: Especially from Season 2 onwards.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He can be seen this way. His conduct towards Jeff is definitely inappropriate, but Jeff clearly considers him more or less harmless and he's a pretty likable and sympathetic character in many ways.
  • Drop-In Character:
    Jeff: We were debating how many times a year a man can drop in a study room in a dumb costume with irrelevant news.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Most of the time he is referred to as Dean Pelton, or just Dean.
    • Though Jeff tends to call him by his first name whenever he is being deadly serious about something.
  • 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.
  • Fake Guest Star: In the first two seasons, Jim Rash is credited as a guest star despite appearing in nearly every episode and often driving the plot.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: While the study group don't exactly dislike him, they only barely seem to tolerate him more often than not, and when they form the Save Greendale Committee, their first order of business is to bar the Dean from attending their meetings.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • Furry Fandom: He's got this thing for Dalmatians…
  • A God Am I: He becomes all about this after buying, and becoming addicted to using, an extremely lame virtual reality rig, in which the act of opening an ordinary file suddenly becomes an epic demonstration of his godliness.
  • Inadvertent Entrance Cue: A particular specialty of his.
    • May not be so inadvertent after all, if "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations"; is to be believed. He listens in on the study group's conversations with a cup to the wall.
  • Large Ham
  • Lethally Stupid: The Zombie Apocalypse in "Epidemiology" happened because the Dean thought hazardous experimental material from a military surplus store was taco meat with a goofy label. Not to mention hiring people like Chang.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Played with in "Epidemiology"; the Dean's actions are what helped prevent an Apocalypse How.
  • Manipulative Bastard: For somebody normally so incompetent, he's very good at using blackmail and bribes to get the student body in general (and particularly Jeff and Annie) to do what he wants.
  • 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: Starting in Season 3.
  • Pungeon Master: He loves finding new ways to work the word "Dean" into his sentences.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: He becomes more contemptuous of Britta as the seasons progressed.
  • 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.
  • Teacher's Pet: Inverted; the study group don't spend a lot of time sucking up to him and actually downright resent the very idea of being considered his favourite students, but they're his most beloved attendees in the entire college and he utterly adores them. Particularly Jeff.
  • Tempting Fate: He can be summoned when other characters tempt fate.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Bordering on Too Dumb to Live in Season 5 and 6.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", and also took a level in crazy.
  • Transparent Closet: Really, really transparent, but he never explicitly acknowledges his sexuality until Season 6, where he states that he's not openly gay because he's "not openly anything."
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: As a Running Gag, his office is stocked with a seemingly boundless array of costumes that he'll take any opportunity to wear, no matter how slight.

    Ian Duncan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/professor_duncan1_1784.jpg
"Why don't we open that question to the floor since I don't know and the book for this class is expensive?"

Played by: John Oliver

The school's psychology professor and counselor. An old friend and client of Jeff's, he is rather weak-willed and morally flexible.

  • 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 doesn't even buy the textbook since it's too expensive, spends entire weeks playing YouTube videos, improvises a class of anesthesiology 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 Teeth: A go-to insult by others.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Quietly disappears after season 2. This is duly lampshaded in season 4's "Intro to Felt Surrogacy":
    Troy: Has anyone else noticed Professor Duncan hasn't been around for a long time?
  • Demoted to Extra: The character was initially featured in early promotional material as the main professor character in the show, but after a handful of episodes he disappeared, with Señor Chang (Ken Jeong) essentially taking his place. Oliver returned in the first-season finale and was the professor for their anthropology class as a Recurring Character in season two. This was the result of Oliver's decision to not become a regular cast member because he didn't want to leave The Daily Show (the two programs are filmed on opposite sides of the country) and Ken Jeong's breakout role in The Hangover in the interim between pilot and broadcast.
  • Dr. Jerk: Well, amoral psychologist.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Melancholic.
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently plays piano—and plays it well—for the Glee Club.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His attempt to establish "The Duncan Principle"note  ends with him becoming the victim of said principle when Abed sits there for twenty-six hours waiting for the meeting he's been told to expect.
  • 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.
    • The fact that Abed tends to turn his psychoanalysis back on him can be considered this, since his profession tends to bring out his dickish side.
  • 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: Nonlethal 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).
  • Son of a Whore: By his own admission. This caused an awkward moment between him and Hickey when it's revealed that Hickey could possibly be his father. He's not, but it's very likely that Hickey is the father of Duncan's cousin.
  • The Bus Came Back: For season five.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: When he returns in Season 5 he's a lot nicer and more sympathetic than many of his previous appearances. This is particularly displayed in "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality", where he decides not to take advantage of Britta while she's in a vulnerable state, instead driving her home and giving her a pep talk to demonstrate that her life does have meaning. Additionally, the preexisting friendship established between him and Jeff in the Pilot episode is explored and developed more there than it was in either of the first two seasons.
  • Two First Names: Both the actor and the character.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His interaction with Chang following "The Psychology of Letting Go" has elements of this.

    Buzz Hickey 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/professor_hickey_810.jpg
"Now, you listen to me, young man; I've punched about a thousand hearts in my time and I never, EVER miss."

Played by: Jonathan Banks

The gruff, ill-tempered and cynical criminology professor at Greendale who joins the "Save Greendale" committee. Introduced in season 5, he is Annie's teacher, and shares an office with Jeff.

  • Actor Allusion: Given the massive popularity of Breaking Bad, at least a few to Banks' character Mike were inevitable:
    Hickey: (concerning Annie) She needs to be taken out.
    Jeff gives an incredulous look.
    Hickey: Of your class.
  • Apathetic Teacher
  • The B Grade: Tells Jeff that minus grades were invented by teachers just to spite students they don't like.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Although Season 5 of Community isn't a sequel (although given that it had a 'repilot' which was intended to relaunch the show following the turbulent Season 4, this can be argued), where he isn't a Suspiciously Similar Substitute Buzz Hickey is largely this for Pierce Hawthorne in every other respect:
    • Where Pierce was clueless and bumbling, Hickey is competent and intelligent.
    • Pierce was a deluded Small Name, Big Ego convinced he was the most popular guy in the study group, while Hickey is less pretentious and concerned with popularity.
    • Pierce was a sheltered and pampered rich guy, while Hickey is a jaded and cynical former police investigator.
    • Pierce was often at odds with and disrespected by the other members of the study group, who nevertheless regarded him as an integral member of their family. Hickey, on the other hand, seems to receive a lot more respect from the other members of the group, but is less close to them.
  • Cool Old Guy: Troy certainly thinks so:
    Troy: Are you the coolest person in the world?
    Hickey: I doubt it.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He's a bit of a survivalist, is building a fallout shelter and carries rope around with him everywhere he goes. At one point he also apparently thinks of a completely different plan to the one his friends are enacting just in case the person he's being interrogated by happens to be telepathic.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Not much has been revealed, but he's apparently a former cop, was involved in the investigation of the "Black River Ripper," has "seen human heads used for things other than heads", and "watched (his) third wife die".
  • Foil: In many ways, he's essentially a much older Jeff who never went through the Character Development the latter got thanks to his friendship with the study group. His first appearance in "Introduction to Teaching" highlights this several times.
  • Grumpy Old Man: The times throughout his appearances where he's not bad-tempered about something can be counted on one hand.
  • Hidden Depths: He draws duck-based cartoons in his free time. Apparently several publishers are interested.
    • Despite being a typically gruff man's man type he apparently has a much better relationship with his openly gay son than he does with his straight son. He even paid for his gay son's wedding. His straight son is a pretty big nerd who plays D&D, so perhaps his gay son is Manly Gay and therefore has more in common with him.
  • Jerkass: He can be pretty mean and bad-tempered to those around him.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He does ultimately see the error of his ways. Furthermore, in "Geothermal Escapism", despite his ruthlessness to win the game he takes pity on Britta and invites her to join him because he takes exception to Troy and Abed abandoning her for 'dead'.
    • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His treatment of Leonard, while cruel, seems to be exclusive to Leonard (who, being a bit of a Jerkass himself, arguably deserves some comeuppance).
  • Killed Offscreen: A Freeze-Frame Bonus in Season 6 confirms this. Banks reprising his Breaking Bad character Mike on the spin-off show Better Call Saul probably has something to do with it.
  • Retired Badass: Despite being at least 20 years his senior, shorter and not being in as good a shape as Jeff, he has no problem hog-tying him in no-time flat.
  • Running Gag: He doesn't know how to fist bump, and will respond to people setting him up for one by doing things such as shaking Annie's hand or triple knocking on Britta's fist. As his son does the same thing in Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, this is apparently a Shared Family Quirk.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Makes his first appearance in the second episode of Season 5.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's an older guy, who doesn't care for politeness and sits next to Troy at the study table. Remind you of anyone?
    • Lampshaded by Duncan, who actually mistakes Hickey for Pierce. He thought that Pierce had been wearing a Dodgy Toupee the entire time and congratulated him for finally mustering up the courage to go without it.
    • Also played with, since age and gruffness aside he's quite noticeably different from Pierce in many ways; he lacks Pierce's delusions of cool and obsessive need to be the centre of attention, is a lot more grounded and competent, and is less spiteful and vindictive.

     Francesca "Frankie" Dart 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/f70aa76ac0be9209ac62fb149282e73a.png
"If I had a magic wand, I would use it to make sure Greendale never had to grow up. I would also probably use it to cut the magic wand class that I noticed is actually offered here."

Played by: Paget Brewster

Greendale's new administrator, introduced in Season 6.


  • Adorkable: She's comically awkward when flustered and has a remarkable tendency to put her foot in her mouth for somebody so composed. There's also her attempts at playing the steel drums in "Advanced Safety Features", which have to be seen to be believed.
  • Ambiguously Gay: A comment about not letting her sexual orientation define her personality has caused the rest of the group to start up a betting pool. Jeff has $300 down on "chapstick lesbian", and Annie, who picked last, was apparently stuck with a rather disgusting option. It is later revealed that Jeff's main reason for believing that Frankie is lesbian is the fact that she hasn't hit on him.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To the Dean, and occasionally to Abed.
  • The Comically Serious: For the Save Greendale committee, and apparently her actual family.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Given that she doesn't own a TV, you can forgive her on this. This is a zig-zagged trope however given that she holds up well when dealing with the group's crazy antics and constant lampshading of the sitcom tropes they play into. This is also shown through her strange bond with Abed and playing along with his "life is a TV show gimmick" and knowing that good TV shows change, despite not being familiar with the conventions.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Hinted at in bits and pieces to have relatives who are "literally insane".
  • Fish out of Water: In both Greendale and normal society.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Frankie.
  • The Generic Guy:
    • Frankie seems to be a Community-style take on the trope. Compared to the other main characters she doesn't possess any outstanding personality quirks or flaws, but she herself is fine with this and quite proud to be the boring character since her job is financially sustaining Greendale and not being a character on Abed's TV show. Immediately lampshaded by Abed.
      Abed: I can't determine if you have any specific flaw, quirk or point of view that makes you a creative addition to the group.
      Frankie: I don't know what that means, but I'm writing it down.
    • As she puts herself "quirks are not her strong suit." Her genericness and overall balanced personality is what makes her a good financial consultant for Greendale and to keep it open. The trope is zig-zagged, given that she has unique qualities as having a Dysfunctional Family and the above-mentioned status as being Ambiguously Gay.
      Frankie: This is the first I've heard that I'm a character on a TV show, I'm excited to be one, but I agree I'll be a boring one. Quirks are not my strong suit: results are. I love quirky people, I come from a big family of people who are literally insane. I moved out here to take care of one of them, but I myself am exceptionally boring and I am quite proud to be that way because it allows me to help the less boring people to turn quirks into results.
      (beat)
      Abed: That's the most interesting take on not being interesting I've ever heard.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: One time went to sleepover where the girls threw stones at her. And her family is apparently a whole other story.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Compared to the Dean, Frankie is far more intelligent, sensible and equipped to fix Greendale's financial troubles than he is. This isn't really saying much since the Dean has impulsively bought a VR machine and a whole range of Honda vehicles with the school's money.
  • Only Sane Man: She's not without her own issues (witness her absurd attempt to secure a new job using the same speech she used to convince the Save Greendale committee to allow her to take charge) but despite this she nevertheless clearly displays far more common sense, maturity and normality than most of the people at Greendale, in her initial appearance at least. To take one example, banning alcohol on campus in order to secure favourable insurance premiums is clearly a far more sensible and reasonable option than letting alcohol consumption go unrestricted at the expense of securing any insurance whatsoever, as the study group end up doing.
  • Pragmatic Hero: She's just as devious as Jeff when it comes to saving Greendale, though she doesn't voice her cynical opinions as often and she tries to downplay ruthlessness.
  • Straight Man: She plays the confused everyman to her zanier friends on the Save Greendale committee. Frankie tries to break out of this role on occasion (see her tantrum when she finds the school's secret speakeasy) but fails more often than not with amusing results.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Subverted, each character tends to see her as one, but don't really agree on whom she replaces.
    • The Dean introduced her as "New Shirley."
    • Abed fears she's "not distinct enough from Annie, both in terms of physicality and purpose".
    • Jeff calls her "the new Abed".
    • Annie compares her worldview to Jeff's. She lampshades this:
      Frankie: Jeff said I sound like Abed. I wonder if Britta thinks I sound like Chang. I assume Chang thinks I sound like distant explosions and crying babies — you know he's unstable, right?

     Elroy Patashnik 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elroy.jpg
"I have a brain the size of Jupiter, I'm nobody's fourth Ghostbuster!"

Played by: Keith David

Introduced in Season 6, an inventor of a virtual reality system in the 1990s who becomes the newest member of the Greendale faculty and the "Save Greendale" committee.


  • Covert Pervert: Was caught making anatomically correct virtual models of Britta, Annie and Frankie, although he insists that they were for a video game with female protagonists
  • Hidden Depths: Is a fan of Britta's favourite hipster band, Natalie is Freezing. He even used to date the singer.
  • Jaded Washout: Of the 90's Virtual Reality craze.
  • Magical Negro: In "Wedding Videography", he reveals that he has a bit of a problem with this...
    Elroy: My name is Elroy Patashnik, and between 2006 and 2009, I was addicted to encouraging white people.
  • Outdated Outfit: His outfits are mix of garish sweaters, vests, and evening wear several decades out of date. Mocked in the group's emails.
  • Put on a Bus: In the series finale, Elroy abruptly leaves Greendale for California to take a job with LinkedIn (helping them to figure out why so few people use LinkedIn) and to reconnect with a woman from his past. When the others ask if he'll ever return, Elroy responds noncomittally before wishing them all a great summer.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • "Basic Crisis Room Decorum" makes it clear that he's this for Pierce, albeit a much more self-aware and savvy one. He even goes off on a Pierce-esque tangent about the prices of candy bars when he was young.
    • In Advanced Safety Features, Chang proposes that Elroy is uncomfortable in the group because he doesn't know what his role is yet.
      Chang: Is he black Pierce? Old Troy? Or Shirley without a giant purse?
  • Token Minority: Is very conscious about avoiding becoming this for the group.
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