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The Study Group (AKA "The Greendale Seven").

The seven original main characters of Community; a diverse group of outcasts who met after forming a study group for their community college Spanish class.


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     As a Whole 
  • Action Girl: All three of the girls have no trouble handling themselves in the show's more action-heavy segments, though how competent they are exactly tends to fluctuate per the Rule of Funny (note that this also applies to the guys in equal measure).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: All the girls have this in spades. It's often played with, however:
    • Shirley is devoted to Andre who, after we meet him, is consistently depicted as an otherwise decent man who made a mistake and is trying his best to make up for it, and it's often suggested that for all her initial bitterness toward him Shirley had her own role to play in the break-up of their marriage;
    • Annie's crush on Jeff is often demonstrated to be unhealthy, or at the very least ill-advised, for both of them and she herself acknowledges that it's largely due to issues she has around loneliness and being a bit of a Control Freak who finds the idea of a man completely changing his identity for her appealing;
    • Britta's thing for jerks and weirdos is often deconstructed as being the result of deep-seated self-esteem issues and self-loathing on her part, prompting her to throw herself into disastrous relationships with damaged goods as a subconscious way of validating her own lack of self-worth.
  • Badass Crew: They have, among other things, survived through hellish days-long paintball tournaments, beat up a school bully gang, started a school riot, and rescued their dean with an elaborate heist.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: All of them have their quirks and attitude, but nonetheless get their job(s) well-done.
  • Daddy Issues: With the exception of Shirley, pretty much all of them have psychological problems that can be stemmed back to their parents.
  • Dwindling Party: Happens towards the last two seasons. In Season 5, Pierce dies and Troy subsequently starts sailing across the world. In the final season, Shirley departs early on to take care of her sick father while the Grand Finale saw Abed and Annie respectively relocating to Los Angeles and Washington D.C. to start their careers.
    "One by one, they all just fade away."
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of them are pretty screwed up in their own ways. Delving into this more as the show went on is a big reason for the Cerebus Syndrome that the later seasons are infamous for.
    • Jeff defines himself by being the best at everything, to the point of repeatedly suffering minor breakdowns when some new development highlights that he's not perfect. He's also got a lot of hang-ups related to being abandoned by his dad at a young age.
    • Britta comes from a Friendless Background that has left her with a crippling lack of self-esteem, which she tries to mask with activism and charity. It's also implied on a couple of occasions that she secretly believes the rest of the study group views her as a killjoy and don't want her around.
    • Abed's problems aren't obvious at first, but later seasons make it clear that his parents' divorce screwed him up pretty badly, manifesting as his use of pop-culture references to try and make sense of a world he just can't comprehend. And that's not even getting into the occasional emotional breakdowns where he retreats completely into fantasy to cope with stress.
    • Shirley is shown to struggle with feelings of inadequacy after her divorce, particularly since Andre left her for a much younger woman. She also angsts over fears of getting older and that her closely-held religious faith isn't respected by the rest of the group.
    • Annie had an epically terrible high-school experience capped off by a stay in rehab to deal with her drug addiction, around the same time as being essentially cut off by her parents. She lives alone in a bad neighborhood with barely enough money to get by, and her Control Freak tendencies are largely an attempt to affect positive change in what little aspects of her screwed-up life she can control.
    • Pierce was treated poorly by his dad as a young kid, and has been stunted socially pretty much his entire life, unable to connect with people around him. He's been married and divorced seven times in an attempt to find somebody to share his life with, and has a number of step-children he just wants to bond with who simply can't stand him in return.
    • Troy is a classical example of a Jaded Washout, initially unable to grow up because he's secretly afraid he'll never improve beyond his high-school football years. The series also makes clear that his very close friendship with Abed is extremely codependent and borderline toxic at times, to the point that both struggle to function without the other.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: A few within the group. Pierce and Abed only have a few notable moments together throughout the series, while Troy and Shirley don't have a side-plot with just the two of them until Season 4. Somewhat justified in the case of Pierce and Abed, who admits that he doesn't find Pierce all that compelling as a character.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The group is reduced to Jeff, Britta, Abed, and Annie by the start of the final season, then with just Jeff and Britta by the Grand Finale.
  • The Generation Gap: A fundamental dynamic of the group, as they're all of different ages. It's most obvious between Pierce (Baby Boomer) and the rest of the group (Generation X and younger), but there are generational conflicts between Shirley, Jeff and Britta (Generation X) on one side and Troy, Abed and Annie (Millennial) on the other as well.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Britta (the crone), Annie (the maiden) and Shirley (the matron/mother).
  • Intergenerational Friendship: The group consists of a Baby Boomer (Pierce), three Generation X ( Jeff, Britta, Shirley), and three Millennials (Abed, Annie, Troy).
  • It's All About Me: Other students often complain that everything seems to revolve around the study group.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jeff is the most obvious example, but all of them could be considered as this.
  • Jerkass Ball: The whole study group has taken this on from time to time.
  • Limited Social Circle: There is barely any activity of the group outside of their established circle.
  • The Notable Numeral: Known in-universe as "The Greendale Seven". (The name usually comes up in unflattering contexts.) Pierce tried to suggest that they should rebrand it to "Pierce Hawthorne and the Greendale Six".
  • Not So Above It All: The entire group seems to look down on Greendale's Crazy antics but tend to cause most of them. Specifically, Jeff, Britta, Shirley, Annie and Pierce often try to seem in control, wise and above-it-all, but often fall to the level of Abed or Troy, who at least tend not to put on airs about how mature and/or cool they think they are.
  • Platonic Life-Partners:
    • Jeff and Shirley, first established in "Social Psychology" and solidified in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" (Shirley has this dynamic with all the guys, but it's most prominent with Jeff). The two trust each other with all of their secrets, and Shirley is the only member of the group Jeff isn't afraid to show the less flattering sides of his personality to.
    • Troy and Annie become this after finally working out their romantic issues in "Romantic Expressionism", particularly after they start living together along with Abed in season 3.
    • Abed and Britta, particularly in the first season and from "Introduction to Finality" onwards. Despite Abed's initial reluctance, they frequently help each other work through their psychological problems and generally seem close with one another.
    • Abed and Annie flirt with this role throughout the series, but it's not until after Troy leaves for his round-the-world journey that their relationship fully develops into this trope.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Their numbers include: a disbarred lawyer with serious Daddy Issues, a socially-isolated pop-culture geek who may or may not have an unidentified mental disorder, a former anarchist struggling to find a new identity, an old and lonely millionaire, a divorced mother of two with anger problems, an ex-drug addict, and a washed-out high school athlete. Despite their individual foibles and flaws, they can (usually) be counted on to come together as a group and makes things right when it counts.
  • Smug Snake: Jeff and Britta can be a bit smug when the mood takes them.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: The three most antagonistic members of the group, Jeff, Britta and Pierce, cover their respective issues and hang-ups with either or both sarcasm and douchebaggery.
  • Teacher's Pet: They are the Dean's favorite students—roles they emphatically did not seek out.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: At their worst.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: Jeff (lord), Troy (hunter), Pierce (prophet).
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Shirley (wife), Britta (seductress), Annie (child).
  • Town Girls: Cheerful, motherly housewife Shirley is the Femme, outspoken, fiery activist Britta is the Butch, and spirited, optimistic go-getter Annie is Neither.
  • True Companions: For all their bickering, they're an almost unbreakable family unit.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Troy, Abed, and Annie, who share an apartment from season 3 onwards. They're also the three youngest members of the group.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shirley and Annie have become more competitive of each other by season 4.
    • All of them could be said to be this with each other to some degree.
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    Jeff Winger 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/community_jeffwinger_4508.jpg
"Why are people trying to teach me things at a school that has an express tuition aisle?"

Played by: Joel McHale

A charming but manipulative and Amoral Attorney who was forced to attend Greendale upon the discovery that his college credentials were forged. He is the de facto leader of the study group, and much of the show focuses on his struggle between wanting to remain self-serving and lazy, but also wanting to help his new friends at Greendale.


  • Abusive Parents: In "Home Economics," Jeff makes a throwaway reference to having a drunken and abusive dad when explaining how TV makes an excellent parent.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • He seems to have to learn and relearn that he either needs to start treating his friends better and/or deal with the fact that he's at Greendale and stop acting so high-and-mighty about everything very frequently. Lampshaded in "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design":
      Jeff: He doesn't like fake courses, well, he's about to get a real lesson on the fact that Jeff Winger never learns.
    • "Biology 101" seems to suggest he has finally learned how much he needs his friends (at least subconsciously) just as they are no longer reliant on him, and "Introduction to Finality" basically confirms that he's abandoned his former self-serving attitude.
  • Age-Gap Romance: He and Annie are sixteen years apart.
  • The Alcoholic: It's not significantly focussed on, but he appears to become a borderline case in Season 5 and especially Season 6. In the first episode of the latter, he quips that drinking alcohol at Greendale gets him through the day, leading Frankie to believe he's confessing to alcoholism, and when she bans alcohol on campus he goes so far as to get everyone to establish a speakeasy just so that he can continue to drink at school. He also apparently spends entire classes doing nothing but drinking.
  • Amoral Attorney: His backstory.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: His speech at the end of the season 3 finale definitely has shades of this.
  • Attention Whore: Played for Drama. He faked appendicitis in seventh grade so that people would worry about him (22 years later he keeps the cards he received under the bed to prove that somebody once cared for him.) Also see It's All About Me below.
  • Apathetic Teacher: After becoming a Greendale teacher in Season Five's "Introduction to Teaching", though he gets better. In season 6 he slides back and forth between Apathetic and Cool Teacher. Students thank him for genuinely good lectures, but he also spends a fair amount of classes doing nothing but drinking.
  • Author Avatar: According to Word of God, Jeff is based on a younger, more self-absorbed version of the show's creator Dan Harmon.
  • Ax-Crazy: In "Biology 101" when he gets kicked out from the group he loses it and uses an actual axe to destroy their table.
  • Batman Gambit: Manages to pull them off on a number of occasions (see "Modern Warfare", "Introduction to Finality", "Digital Estate Planning").
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: A key part of his MO. See the bit about "board-certified Spanish tutor" above.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jeff and everyone. Lampshaded almost word-for-word in "Paradigms of Human Memory". None of that chemistry is going Shirley's way though, at least until "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism".
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't play mind games with Jeff when it comes to his long-lost father.
      Jeff: If you're lying to me, if my father isn't coming, if a car pulls up and anyone other than my father steps out, say an actor or you in a wig, if you pull any Ferris Bueller, Parent Trap, Three's Company, F/X, F/X2: the Deadly Art of Illusion bull-(bleep) I will beat you. And there will be nothing madcap or wacky about it.
    • He later makes good on his promise, chasing down the car Pierce is in, and dragging him out before proceeding to beat him until the other study group members try and pull him off.
    • Jeff has also been known to fake a Berserk Button, just to get out of a difficult conversation by having an excuse to storm off.
    • Picking on Annie (especially if you're outside the study group) also seems to be a Berserk Button for Jeff (although it's inconsistently played).
    • As mentioned below under Bully Hunter, he tends to confront bullies regardless of who they're picking on (although he usually frames it as confronting them for being obnoxious and irritating).
  • Better as Friends: Jeff and Britta's relationship has zigzagged between this and Friends with Benefits; despite some romantic tension in season one, they appeared to have decided that they are Better as Friends—except it was revealed in "Paradigms of Human Memory" that they'd still been hooking up on occasion. The end of that episode, however, saw them apparently decide to call that quits as well, and it seems that they're now just platonic friends. The thought of them as a romantic couple comes up again in the Season 5 finale when they decide to get engaged; it's ultimately extinguished before it can go too far, with Jeff even realizing that he feels more passionately about Annie than he does about Britta in the episode's climax.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The Archie for Britta's Betty and Professor Slater's Veronica in the beginning.
    • The Archie for Britta's Veronica and Annie's Betty.
    • The Veronica to Troy's Betty for Britta's Archie.
  • Big Man on Campus: At least, the fact that he's popular and handsome leads him to think this about himself. Though it's played with, since it's also made pretty clear that he's neither quite as popular as he likes to think nor does the position of "Big Man on Campus" mean all that much when the campus in question is Greendale.
  • Blatant Lies: The other key part of his MO.
  • Break the Haughty: Much of Jeff's character arc basically involves getting him down from his high horse by any means necessary, usually through a combination of humiliation. Deconstruction and good old-fashioned Character Development.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Played with for Jeff; he's clearly quite clever, he's very lazy, but whenever he tries to coast on this, things usually go wrong for him.
    Jeff: Well, the funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without ever having to do any work.
  • Broken Ace: One of his defining traits is his failed attempts to convey himself as The Ace.
  • Bully Hunter: Jeff's a curious example; on the surface, he seems thoroughly reluctant to involve himself in anything outside his own self-involved little bubble, and isn't adverse to letting rip with the odd snide and cutting comment himself, yet he consistently appears unwilling and/or unable to let bullying go unchallenged. Pretty much every time a bully/group of bullies has appeared, even if the victim isn't one of his friends Jeff's more often than not ended up confronting them; he'll usually frame it as confronting them for being a loud, obnoxious and irritating dickhead rather than a bully, but nevertheless. In "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" we learn Jeff himself was a victim of bullying as a child, which might explain this.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: To both his own and Pierce's father.
  • The Casanova: Especially noticeable in the first half of Season 1, somewhat tuned down afterwards.
  • Catchphrase: "But here's the thing." Usually said when he's endeavoring to be the voice of reason, and appears in nearly every one of his trademark "Winger Speeches".
    • In season 1 he also had "That's the Winger Guarantee" as a holdover from his days as a lawyer.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Other people note his resemblance to a) Ryan Seacrest and b) Thoraxis, an Inspector Spacetime villain.
  • Character Development: Just one example of how far he has travelled: the first "Winger Speech" he gives in the pilot episode shows that he is a moral relativist, that there is no such thing as truth. By the end of the third season he has renounced that belief and become a moral absolutist stating that "the truth is helping others is good".
  • The Charmer: Though how charming he is can vary.
  • Chewbacca Defense/Courtroom Antic: What his arsenal of lawyer tricks consists of.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: A very, very reluctant (and occasionally quite petty) version of the trope.
  • Competition Freak: He just has to be the best at everything he participates in. This nearly drives him crazy when he meets Rich at the pottery class.
  • Closet Geek: He's one of the few characters to get every single one of Abed's references and "Home Economics" reveals that he collects (or used to) Spider-Man comics, even arguing with a buyer over the value.
  • Commitment Issues: He admits having these in "Interpretive Dance".
  • Control Freak: For all his cool nonchalance and supposed lack of caring about anything, whenever his control and influence over the group starts slipping he gets very uptight very quickly. He eventually admits to Shirley in "App Development and Condiments" that he loves being in control of everything and everyone around him, and it's only because most of the time he is that he's able to pretend that he doesn't care about anything.
  • Cool Big Bro: He steps into the role for the younger members of the study group. An early example would be during The Tag when he walks in on a krumping session between Troy and Abed and soon joins them.
  • Cool Shades: Which he will usually combine with a leather jacket and a well-timed Glasses Pull for maximum effect.
  • Court-Martialed: Done in-dream in the episode "G.I.Jeff", he dreams that he and the study group members are members of G.I. Joe and gets court-martialed for killing Destro which is against the Joe team's rules for some reason.
  • The Cynic: Jeff is practically the embodiment of an extremely cynical and jaded person.
  • The Dandy: His preoccupation with his clothes and his 'crispy' hair is a Running Gag.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The most sarcastic and quick-witted character on the show.
  • Decoy Protagonist: His role as the lone viewpoint character lasts maybe halfway into the first season and rapidly diminishes from there.
  • Defrosting Ice King: He begins the show firmly in Jerkass territory, but later evolves into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who stands by his friends in their time of need.
  • Depending on the Writer: How much of a prick he can be.
  • Disappeared Dad: Many of Jeff's issues stem from his father abandoning him as a child.
  • Dismotivation: Subverted; Jeff wants to get his degree, get out of Greendale and back into his cushy high-powered lawyer lifestyle, but is incredibly lazy, used to coasting on his wits and charm, and sees doing any more than the bare minimum amount of effort required to get by, be it in getting his degree or doing anything for his friends, as a personal failure. Naturally, he often falls into the trap of doing more to actually avoid doing anything (and consequently bringing on more trouble and strife to himself as a result) than would be necessary if he just sucked it up and put an honest effort in.
  • The Ditherer: Inverted; on the surface, Jeff is confident, charismatic and in-control, which is why everyone treats him as The Leader, but when you look closer it's increasingly clear that while he can talk a good game he's never really committed to anything meaningful in his life before the study group and always takes what he thinks/assumes is the easy option out of a situation because it saves him from having to risk anything or actually take a stand about something.
  • Drink Order: Scotch.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Jeff decides he had a crush on Britta in the very first episode and spends the rest of the season pursuing her until they hook up in the semi-finale.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Tinkle Town", when he was a kid. Some of his nicknames at Greendale (Forehead, Mr. Insecure, Seacrest) aren't particularly flattering either.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Besides the Dean, many men have expressed attraction towards him.
  • Faux Fluency: Pretending to be a "board-certified Spanish tutor" from the very first episode. This is lampshaded by Annie: "What board certifies a tutor?"
  • Fence Painting: Yet another part of his MO, most notable in "Pillows and Blankets".
  • Forehead of Doom: This feature has been brought up several times when insulting him.
    Jeff: (looking at a doll with his likeness) My forehead's not that big!
    [The others make non-committal noises]
    Troy: It's not small.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Accounting for Lawyers", the email Alan sent to the bar association that got Jeff disbarred in the first place reveals his middle name is Tobias.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Jeff drastically changed his image and attitude after a brutal lashing at foosball—a loss so bad that young Jeff actually wet himself—by a bully who turns out to be Shirley when he was 10 years old.
    • His parents' divorce led to him choosing his future line of work because he wanted to be unaffected by emotional vulnerabilities. His problems with commitment most likely stem from the same root.
  • Gentle Giant: When he's not being a Jerkass.
  • Guile Hero: Jeff is all too willing to use trickery to get what he wants.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Inverted; Jeff, a self-centered and emotionally closed-off Jerkass, seems to be good at seducing women when he wants to, but if Britta (the only member of the study group who has actually had sex with him) is to be believed, he's not actually very good in bed.
  • Handsome Lech: A good looking guy unsuccessfully hitting on women.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • Averted (despite his best efforts) and Lampshaded.
      Jeff: The funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without having to do any work.
    • Often falls into the trap of Laborious Laziness despite recognizing and lampshading this tendency of his ("I'm always willing to go the extra mile to avoid doing something").
  • Held Gaze: With Annie, leading to quite a lot of their Shiptease.
  • Hidden Depths: It's frequently made clear that beneath the smooth, confidently amoral charmer, there's basically a wounded and lonely ten-year-old trying to build a shell around himself. To a lesser degree, despite his surface disdain for the geek culture exemplified by Troy and Abed he's very good at spotting Abed's pop culture references and, according to "Home Economics", apparently collected Spider-Man comics, and is shown to both own (in Comparative Religion) and play (in Intro to Political Science) guitar . A lot of his vanity also stems from deep-seated body image issues, and he once admitted that he was afraid of being fat because he believed that if he was fat no one would like him.
  • Hipster: Jeff tends to occupy the 'vain, self-centered and obsessed with being the coolest-yet-most-aloof person in the room' part of the stereotype.
  • Homeless Hero: After losing his condo, Jeff spends most of Season 1 living in his car.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Both his love interests, Britta and Annie, are an entire foot shorter than him.
  • Hypocrite: His aloof sense of smug superiority towards Greendale and almost everyone around him can take on this edge when you remember that he's a failed lawyer who's reduced to having to attend a crummy community college in order to qualify for the degrees he falsified; objectively speaking, he's just as much a loser as everyone around him that he looks down on.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's often suggested that underneath his confidence, charm and superior attitudes to his friends and Greendale in general, Jeff has some very deep-seated self-esteem issues.
  • It's All About Me: Jeff clearly thinks he's the centre of the universe and that everything revolves around him, and can get very touchy when someone suggests otherwise.
  • Jerkass: His default setting. While the study group enables him to gradually develop and display a heart of gold, he originally wasn't very nice at all, and can occasionally regress.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What he really is, once you get past the cynicism and snark.
  • Laborious Laziness: He works surprisingly hard at being lazy.
  • The Leader: A mixture of a Type IV and Type II, though the Type II fades in and out at times.
  • Like Father, Like Son: There are quite a few similarities between Jeff and his father (both are emotionally guarded/stunted, narcissistic, charismatic, and both have run their share of cons).
  • Lives in a Van: After losing his condo, Jeff lives in his car for a while.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Although it's played with, in that it's gradually revealed that as much as he might try to deny or hide it, he's just as loony as the rest of them in many ways.
  • Lust Object: For Dean Pelton, who is never subtle on how he drools over Jeff.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's getting much worse at this over time, due to Character Development. His skills started failing him right around when he came to Greendale.
  • Meaningful Name: His last name is Winger, and he's spent his adult life, well, winging it.
  • Mellow Fellow: He would like you to believe he's this, but he actually deconstructs it; he goes to great lengths to be seen as laid-back, cool and uncaring about things, all of which really just proves how truly uptight and incapable of relaxing he is.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Jeff has kept his father's boxing gloves.
  • Mommy Issues: His mother praised him too much and now he has trouble accepting failure.
  • The Movie Buff: Nowhere near Abed, of course, but he does pick on most of Abed's references and displays a higher than average amount of movie knowledge. Justified in that he was practically raised by TV.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has quite a few Shirtless Scenes. And then there's the pool match ...
    Jeff: I discovered a new back muscle to work out. Ladies, you'll thank me come tank top season.
  • Narcissist: Often discussed in-universe. Thankfully, his experiences at Greendale improve him somewhat.
    Jeff: I'm Jeff Winger, and, if I had my choice, I would rather look at myself naked than the women I sleep with.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: He runs basically the entire spectrum of amorality tropes. Lampshaded by Jeff in "Digital Estate Planning" when Gilbert cheats.
    Jeff: You're cheating! Which I have no problem with, except you're getting caught, and that's not cool!
  • Not So Above It All: He may think of himself as the Only Sane Man, but in reality he's had his share of crazy moments too and will occasionally join in with Troy and Abed's antics.
  • Not So Different:
    • It's often made clear that Jeff and Pierce are not quite so different as Jeff would like to believe, and that Pierce is essentially what a future version of Jeff will look like if he doesn't improve his ways and character.
    • The trope is also a bit in play with him and Abed. When faced with two major life-crises, Jeff respectively imagines an evil version of himself trying to take over his life and hurt his friends and his world to be rendered in the style of a popular animated show, much like it happened to Abed.
  • Older Than They Look: It's revealed in "G.I. Jeff" that he's 40 as of that episode.
  • One Head Taller: At 6'4", he towers over 5'3" Annie and 5'4" Britta. And the rest of the study group (save Pierce).
  • Only Sane Man: Jeff likes to think and act like he's this, and it's initially played more-or-less straight, but it's gradually subverted over the course of the series when it becomes apparent that he's in many ways more messed up than any of his wackier friends.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite being rude and dismissive towards his friends on a regular basis, he's very protective of them whenever things get ugly or dangerous.
  • Perma-Stubble: In season 2 and onward, although he does spend the occasional episode clean-shaven. Season 6 starts to convert the stubble into a full beard, signalling that he has accepted that he will never leave Greendale.
  • Phony Degree: He lost his job as a lawyer because he misrepresented a degree from a university.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: When recounting the ways he was traumatized by his father leaving the family, Jeff recounts an incident when he cut himself with scissors in order to fake appendicitis. (See Attention Whore above.)
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Admits he was raised by TV and forgetting incidents like paintball or Hot Lava where he consistently performs well, in Epidemiology, one of the only instances where the entire group's lives were in actual danger, Jeff handles the situation better than just about anyone else, even managing to take out one of the zombies with a well thrown soccer ball.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: His Lexus.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jeff is the only character to swear (censored, of course) in the two documentary episodes.
    Jeff: What are you doing?
    Abed: Shooting a documentary on Changnesia.
    Jeff: Oh, for fuck's sake!
  • Punny Name: Winger doesn't prepare, he wings it.
  • The Reveal: The person he's constantly texting is nobody.
  • Rousing Speech: Frequently making these is one of his iconic character traits, verging on Once an Episode at times. In "Paradigms of Human Memory", the audience gets a whole montage of them spliced together.
  • Sanity Slippage: Caused by Rich's perfection, getting kicked out of the study group, and hearing Pierce's news about his father visiting him.
  • Secret Relationship: With Prof. Slater in Season 1 and with Britta in Season 2.
  • Secular Hero: He's agnostic, much to the collective derision of the study group.note 
  • Selective Obliviousness: When it comes to his treatment of Pierce. In his arguments with Annie about him, Jeff frequently takes the position that Pierce is just fundamentally a Jerkass, whereas Annie makes the case that it's only because people are always treating him poorly that he acts out. It is perhaps worth noting that out of the study group, Jeff is the most unrepentantly snide, mean-spirited and dismissive of Pierce and treats him poorly more frequently than the others, thus potentially explaining why he might not want to consider the possibility that it's his own treatment of Pierce that has caused most of the problems.
  • Shout-Out: Dan Harmon has said that Winger is named for (and his personality modeled after) John Winger of Stripes.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Learning this is essentially his character arc; Jeff's cynical and self-serving outlook on life has ultimately left him lonely, miserable, riddled with psychological issues and as big a failure as anyone else at Greendale no matter how much he might try to deny it.
  • The Slacker: He has made it his life's goal to get through life while expending as little effort as possible.
  • Slut-Shaming: Gets a lot of flak from the rest of the group for his womanizing tendencies. Although it's partly this, and partly because he has a tendency to be a bit of a sleazy jerk about it.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: For all his strutting and arrogance, it's often made clear that he's more of a big fish in a small pond than he'd like to admit.
  • Smug Snake: Although not strictly a villain (although he's fallen into the role from time to time), Jeff is an incredibly smug and arrogant man who, while certainly intelligent and charming, nevertheless isn't quite the Magnificent Bastard he believes himself to be. While Jeff is a lot cooler and more competent than the people around him, that's generally more due to the incredibly uncool and incompetent nature of Greendale and those around him than Jeff himself.
  • Smug Smiler: One of his default expressions is an incredibly self-satisfied smirk.
  • Sore Loser: He basically storms off in a huff in "A Fistful of Paintballs" when he's the first person to get eliminated in the final battle.
  • Stepford Snarker: Feigns cynicism and indifference in order to hide his feelings.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guy: In general, his rather snide and cooler-than-thou attitude, his efforts to demonstrate aloof and ironic detachment at all times and his tendency to moderate and police the behaviour of his friends to conform with his standards of 'normal' can sometimes mean that he can ruin the fun a bit. Alternatively, his sense of humour is rather cutting and mean, and he can frequently seem to have fun most at the expense of someone else, which can also have the same effect. Seems especially the case in "Remedial Chaos Theory" where the timeline resulting in him going to get the pizza is ultimately the one were everyone ends up having the most fun.
  • Team Dad: Reluctantly. It also adds a level of Electra complex to his flirtation with Annie, which Jeff finds somewhat disturbing.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: His leadership isn't always for the best, and he can be a rather negative force in the group and toward his friends at times.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the four years he's attended Greendale and hung around the study group, it has become increasingly clear that Jeff has come a long way from the almost completely self-absorbed and amoral person he was at the beginning of the series.
  • Unknown Rival: He instantly assumes Rich is just pretending to be nice and drives himself crazy trying to prove it, insisting that he doesn't care the whole time. Then there's the Black Rider, who has no idea why this guy with the big forehead is obsessed with being more handsome than him.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Not a complete jerk, but leans towards the Jerkass side of Deadpan Snarker, and most of his problems are his own fault. Pointed out in "Anthropology 101":
    Abed: I can tell life from TV, Jeff. TV makes sense; it has structure, logic, rules, and likable leading men. In life, we have this. We have you.
  • White Guilt: After Jeff and Troy find out their new friend Joshua was a blatant racist, Jeff offers to buy Troy frozen yogurt as his white guilt was driving him nuts.
  • White Male Lead: Out of two black people, an Arabic guy, an Asian guy, and three women on the cover, the main character ends up being the white guy. Although the series has become a lot more of an ensemble piece over time.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Annie, thanks to years of Ship Tease. The finale doesn't definitively answer it one way or the other. In it, Jeff acknowledges his feelings for Annie but recognizes that her opportunity to leave Greendale for an internship with the FBI is too good to pass up. At her suggestion, they end up sharing a kiss before she leaves. It's left open as to whether or not she will return sometime in the near future.
    Jeff: ...We were just saying goodbye to the room.
    Annie: For Season 6. Season 7, who knows? It's out of our hands. Too many variables.
  • Worthless Foreign Degree: The reason Jeff is in community college is that his Bachelor's degree is one of these. Formerly provided the page quote for this trope.
    Duncan: I thought you had a Bachelor's from Columbia.
    Jeff: Well, now I have to get one from America.

    Abed Nadir 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/5x5_sad_abed.jpg
"I have a profile pic now. Cool. Coolcoolcool."

Played by: Danny Pudi

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


  • Adorkable: Oh so very much. He's actually aware that he comes across as this and that girls are attracted to him because of it.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He is incredibly fascinated with films and television and is a bit obsessed with projecting their tropes onto real life. He also has a strange, somewhat sterile demeanor, doesn't seem to know (or even when corrected, care about) how to go about certain social situations, and is face-blind. He loses his cool whenever there's any kind of unfamiliarity in his life, even if it's something like having the engine of his Dreamatorium being tampered with, and he tends to make loud, repetitive humming noises whenever he's really distressed. The characters seem to be unsure of whether or not Abed is showing symptoms of some kind of mental disorder, or is just really quirky. His parents have attempted treatment, if the syringe clipart in his student film is anything to go by. Lampshaded in "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons," in which his "title" is "Abed the Undiagnosable."
    • In the first season, when they all find out someone has a crush on Abed:
    Annie: This is so romantic! This is just like The Notebook except instead of Alzheimer's, Abed has-
    Shirley: *clears throat loudly to stop Annie from saying "autism"*
    Annie: *changing her sentence* ...someone who likes him."
  • Author Avatar: Word of God again; Dan Harmon has said that he has eventually come to believe that Abed is the character that best represented him. Make what you will of The Reveal of Abed as the Only Sane Man in "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps", which came after Harmon had first publicly said that he felt this way.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's so Genre Savvy that he can predict, word for word, how anyone in the group will respond to a given situation. In "Cooperative Calligraphy", it was revealed that in this fashion he figured out the menstrual cycles of the women in the group.
  • Badass Bookworm: His interests are centered mostly on pop-culture and literature, but he surprisingly has an athleticism that could compete with resident jock Troy.
  • Batman Gambit: A prime example would be him manipulating Jeff and Britta in order to finish a student film, which would then help him patch things up with his father.
  • Bollywood Nerd: Spoofed. One of his nicknames is "Slumdog".
  • Breakout Character: Teased a few times:
    Troy: Do you just constantly have your own little side adventures?
    Abed: Yep.
    Troy: ...Me too.
  • Brutal Honesty: Abed tends to deliver cutting analyses of people without any sort of sugary coat. It becomes a plot point in "Aerodynamics of Gender".
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: He has to announce whenever he's being sarcastic as well as announce when he's finished.
  • Catchphrase: (points) "Cool. (beat) Coolcoolcool."
  • Character Development: His No Social Skills were emphasized along with his Ambiguous Disorder being played up in the early episodes, and he still seemed to not yet entirely grasp the concept of friendship. After several years of being in a tight-knit clique of friends, however, Abed's become slightly more sociable and is now merely the oddball of the group. He also starts to slowly gain more of an understanding of his own neuroses and gains significantly more empathy for his fellow man as the series goes on.
  • Chick Magnet: Abed has no problem attracting girls because he's Adorkable and his aloofness reminds them of their Daddy Issues. Naturally, he's well aware of this.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • The Comically Serious: His underreactions to the drama around him makes for many funny moments.
  • Control Freak: Abed is a self-admitted control freak who will go out of his way to exert power over others, usually in order to try to connect with them or ensure they don't abandon him. Despite not having malicious intentions, his actions can make him appear to be a bit of a Manipulative Bastard.
    Annie: You don't have a patent on being a Control Freak, Abed.
    Abed: Actually, I kind of do.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Jeff or Britta, but he can do this occasionally when he goes into Sarcasm Mode.
  • Declarative Finger
  • Deconstruction: His problems and issues were a central focus in Season 3, along with the difficulties that his condition produced in enabling him to form connections with and empathize with others. By the end of the season, he mentally snaps and admits that he does have problems and needs help.
    • Taken further in Season 5 after Troy's departure. Without his best friend around to indulge his childish behaviors, Abed's forced to interact more with other members of the group who are far less tolerable of his antics, and his reactions to their disapproval go beyond the usual deconstruction of his control freak tendencies into Jerkass territory.
  • Ditzy Genius: There is no one who knows more about pop culture than Abed.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Abed is not only popular with the ladies, but apparently with the men as well.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: At one point he looks directly at the camera and says "This is the movie!" while someone sings "Abed!" in the background.
  • Genre Savvy: His defining characteristic. As he says, talking about people like they're in a TV show is his gimmick and that they "leaned pretty hard on that last week." He then says that he "can lay low for an episode." As mentioned above, this becomes savvy at times (oddly enough it is relatively rare that he is victim to Wrong Genre Savvy). He's even Genre Savvy about having an Ambiguous Disorder—he got out of a conversation with Chang where he was caught in a lie by pretending to glitch in "Asian Population Studies", making Chang go away in frustration.
    Abed: Works every time.
  • Geek Physiques: Skinny.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Self-confessed. Gems include Bing-Bong, Fibrosis, Marrrrrrr (as Jeff observes, "Boy, you weren't kidding") and Hector the Well-Endowed ("I made that one with Troy in mind").
  • Heroic Blue Screen of Death: Ranging from seeing everything in Claymation, mentally shoving himself in a locker, viewing the floor as actual lava, to just freaking out over Daylight Savings Time.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Troy.
  • Hidden Depths: "Virtual Systems Analysis" reveals that he is deeply insecure about his place in the group. To elaborate, Annie tells him that his "simulations" in the Dreamitorium need to take other people's feelings into account (and she messes around with his mock-up "Dreamitorium engine" to reflect this change). This causes him to go into a Heroic BSoD and drag Annie into a "simulation" where other people's feelings are taken into account, from which he is noticeably absent. Annie later finds him jammed into a simulated locker, where he reveals his fear that if he considers how the rest of the group feels, then he'll have to face the possibility that they don't actually want him around.
  • Hyper-Awareness: He predicts the way other characters will act with eerie accuracy, to the point of being able to visualize alternate realities depending on others' choices and sequences of events.
  • Informed Judaism: Abed's religion doesn't really come up, except at Christmas or when Pierce wants to be Pierce. Like the other younger members of the study group, he appears to have been raised in his religion, but is non-practicing as an adult.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Has this as a major character flaw.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Pierce routinely gets his name wrong, calling him "Ay-bed" (as in, "the Ay-rab").
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his occasional Jerkassery and oftentimes semi-willful ignorance of other people's feelings, Abed truly does care about his friends and learns to be more sociable and show more empathy for others as the series goes onward.
  • Lack of Empathy: Suffers from this a lot due to his status as the Meta Guy distancing him from other people. He slowly starts to grow out of this though as the series goes on.
  • The Lancer: During the paintball episodes, particularly in Season 2. In "For a Few Paintballs More", he deliberately calls dibs on the "Han Solo role".
  • Loners Are Freaks: More of a straight example in the earlier episodes likely due to pre-Character Development.
  • Lost in Character: For his walk-on role in Cougartown. Very, very lost.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Annie has a tendency to swoon and show increased interest in Abed whenever he cosplays as Don Draper, Han Solo or Batman.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Discussed in-universe; Troy describes him as "a magical, elf-like man who makes us all more magical by being near us". Also a Deconstruction: his antics can be exhausting and irresponsible, and his odd outlook on life may stem from an Ambiguous Disorder.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Abed" means "worshiper", "adorer", or "devout" in Arabic. The Movie Buff and token Geek of the group, his fandom often borders on reverence.
  • Meta Guy:
    • Abed's Medium Awareness and Genre Savvy Leaning on the Fourth Wall (if not outright breaking it) is justified as him being a Cloudcuckoolander (or at least a Genius Ditz) with some degree of Obfuscating Stupidity or Insanity—Britta worries in an early episode that he doesn't know the difference between real life and television. In fact, he has transcended normal Genre Savvy into the realms of prophesy now that he is taking film classes. Wild Mass Guessing has postulated that he is either a patron of this site or knows that he's fictional. Examples can be found on the Quotes page.
    • Lampshaded in "Anthropology 101": Abed asks Shirley if she would "spin off with him" and she responds, "I don't understand, is this you being meta?"
    • There are a few times when it's arguable he's done so already. He sung a variation of the theme song in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas." It's almost like Abed can see the fourth wall out of the corner of his eye, and the only thing he can't do is look into the camera and address the audience. From the same episode, as they walk through the valley where the plants sing Christmas carols, Pierce asks if it will be "expensive to walk though here," to which Abed answers "No, these songs are all public domain." That joke doesn't even make sense out of the context of them knowing they're in a TV show. Suffice to say, Community plays pretty fast and loose with the fourth wall.
    • In the "Twittersode" before the Season 2 finale, Abed is the only one able to see that every character ends their tweets with a hashtag referencing the show itself.
      AbedsTweets: Why do we keep typing "// #NBCCommunity?"
      JeffWingerAtLaw: @AbedsTweets Nobody knows what you're talking about. AGAIN.=]
    • In "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" he looks at the camera saying "This is the movie."
    • In "Basic Sandwich," he tells Annie that the only way they won't be back next year is if an asteroid wipes out all life on Earth. He then gives an Aside Glance and says, "And that's canon." Annie stares confusedly at the camera in a futile attempt to figure out who exactly Abed was talking to.
  • Missing Mom: Sadly has one.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Palestinian father, Polish mother.
  • Motor Mouth
  • The Movie Buff: And how!
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Despite a clear lack of social skills, he seems to have little difficulty attracting women (he's Adorkable and his aloofness subconsciously reminds them of their fathers). He has also made out with the hottest girl in school.
  • No Social Skills: Until he's forced to branch out after Troy leaves in Season 5.
  • Not So Different: To both Annie and Britta, in that all three are Control Freaks that have countless neuroses and are secretly terrified about their greater inadequacy within the study group.
  • Odd Friendship: Develops one with Buzz Hickey in Season 5.
  • Only Sane Man: He definitely has some issues, but despite his eccentric way of looking at the world, Abed can sometimes come across as being more sensible, calm and down-to-earth than his supposedly more 'normal' friends. Seemingly confirmed in a literal way at the end of "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps," where it's revealed that Britta's only psych test that didn't come up with something absolutely dreadful was his.
    • Season 3 reveals that Abed is quite fragile without the stabilizing presence of Troy, and is aware of the risk of being institutionalized if he loses his grip. After trying to cut off Jeff's arm, it's hard to call him the "Only Sane Man." In fact, he starts becoming a lot more selfish and out of touch with reality as Season 3 goes on. As much as he managed to solve people's problems in the first and second seasons, he started causing a lot more in the third onwards.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Part of his Meta Guy shtick. He goes as far as giving cues to the characters so they know how to proceed cinematically.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With both Annie and Britta (the latter to a lesser extent).
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Any prophecy he makes in this fashion will be accurate. Later episodes seem to be suggesting that Abed is not as accurate as he thinks, however; "Virtual Systems Analysis" suggests that his analysis is ultimately affected by his insecurities and his personal relationships with the group. In that episode, his predictions lead him to conclude that Britta and Troy's lunch date will go poorly; this is a reflection of his underlying concern that he will be gradually excluded, however, and the date in fact goes very well.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass
  • Punny Name: Nadir is a last name, but it also means "the lowest point". The opposite of zenith.
  • Quizzical Tilt: His signature Character Tic: tilting the head when puzzled.
  • The Rain Man:
    • In his own words, "I know you guys all so well I can predict your behavior."
    • There's a throwaway reference to Rain Man in "Physical Education" when Jeff spills a bag of bagels on the floor and Abed glances down at them briefly before saying, "Thirteen."
    • Pierce and Duncan have both referred to him as such.
    • In "Pillows and Blankets", the opening narration describes him as "unable to pay parking tickets or know left from right without mouthing the Pledge of Allegiance."
    • In "Virtual Systems Analysis", Abed has a voiceover, "I am Abed Nadir, and I don't know a lot of things everyone else knows," while an analog clock (confirmed in "Basic Lupine Urology"), a restaurant check, shoes with untied laces, and a pile of papers (possibly tax forms) float around.
    • Abed's Season 3 quirks are symptoms of dyscalculia, most obviously his difficulty with analog clocks and left/right confusion. The disorder is characterized by difficulty with arithmetic, conflicting with the Rain Man reference from Season 1.
    • Lampshaded in "Digital Estate Planning" when he becomes rather fond of an NPC in the game they're playing:
      Britta: Abed, she's a program.
      Abed: People have said similar things about me.
      Pierce: Uh oh, he's playing the Rain Man card. Let's bounce.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Troy's Red.
  • Reference Overdosed: References are basically how he communicates with the world. In "Communication Studies," he gets drunk and is horrified to discover he can't recall any shows or movies to reference. At one point, to keep up appearances, he just says "movie reference".
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Early Season 1. He gets better. He does tend to need to announce to everyone when he's planning to or using sarcasm, however. Lampshaded in "Advanced Criminal Law":
    Abed: Troy invented rap music, and he's related to Danny Glover, and President Obama.
    Troy: Hey man, that stuff I said this morning wasn't true, I was just messing with you.
    Abed: You were lying?
    Troy: Yeah, as a joke. You've never had somebody mess with you before?
    Abed: Yes, just kidding, no. Like that? ... This isn't a table. (Laughs) ... That's funny.
  • The Stoic: Easily the most patient of the group and least likely to get upset. He's even unfazed by sitting through more than twenty-six hours of Duncan's psychology experiment. However, Abed quickly loses his cool when something interferes with the order of his universe (changing his apartment, setting the clocks back, etc.). A danger sign is a continuous, high-pitched wail.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Despite the Geek Physiques, he could give resident jock Troy a run for his money in many athletic activities except American Football.
  • Tagalong Kid: Although Annie and Troy are technically younger than he is. Doubles as the group's Smart Guy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Season 3 saw him become a bit more ill-tempered and insulting to his friends than the first two seasons. And again in Season 5 after Troy leaves.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Buttered noodles is Abed's meal of choice. He particularly likes the microwaveable kind made by "Papa Penne's."
  • TV Genius: Aside for being The Movie Buff, Abed is also knowledgeable in various TV shows.
  • Two Decades Behind: His 1980s references. Abed is aged somewhere between 21 and 27, which makes his constant '80s references 10 to 20 years behind where they should be. Most of his references should be from The '90s and the Turn of the Millennium. Obviously the reason is because Dan Harmon (born January 3, 1973) and his references are taken from the '80s and early '90s when he grew up and are transferred into his writing. The show has lampshaded this oddity; it's often made clear that Abed is a fanatical consumer of pop culture in a way most people aren't and that he goes to way greater lengths than most would in pursuit of it. The weirdest example is his encyclopedic knowledge of Who's the Boss? which (depending on the exact age of Abed) began when Abed wouldn't have been born yet and ended before he had started preschool.
  • Vague Age:
    • He's somewhere in his twenties, but where?
      Jeff: Abed is an adult and a U.S. citizen ... right?
      Abed: Yeah.
    • There's a possibility that he's closer to Jeff and Shirely's ages than he looks; in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" there's a kid who looks like Abed during the flashbacks, and in "GI Jeff," he claims to be thirty-five (within a year of Danny Pudi's real age), before saying he's joking.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: At first his traditionalist father is disappointed that he wants to study film instead of taking over the family falafel restaurant. He later changes his mind after seeing one of his son's films.
  • When He Smiles: His most common expression is a dead pokerface, but on the couple of occasions when he does smile ... it's pretty adorable. Played enormously straight in "Remedial Chaos Theory", though he's obviously forcing it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Occasionally. It's the closest he ever gets to being Genre Blind.

    Britta Perry 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Screen_shot_2011-05-29_at_2_41_02_PM_6765.jpg
"This may shock you, but I come from a long line of wives and mothers."

Played by: Gillian Jacobs

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


  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: One of her defining character flaws is a tendency to take any perceived advantage, no matter how slight, and use it as an excuse to flaunt her ego and hold it over everyone else around her.
  • Adorkable: Gillian Jacobs describes Britta (and herself) with this exact word in one of the Season 3 commentaries.
  • Aesop Amnesia : Britta has to learn at least three different times that her "activism" is almost entirely shallow and self-serving.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She seems to have quite the thing for damaged goods, jerks and weirdos; subject to a process of Deconstruction in that it's made clear that this is due to severe self-esteem issues on her part, and she initiates these relationships as a self-destructive way of validating her own lack of self-worth.
    Troy: What don't you get about this? Britta likes guys who are mean to her. She doesn't like herself.
  • Anticlimactic Parents: Despite her negative opinions about them, her parents are actually very nice people, who are liked by pretty much everyone else than her. Her reasons for disliking them are still quite justified, though.
  • The Bartender: She gets a job working at a bar to make ends meet in the Time Skip between Seasons 4 and 5, though it's not until Season 6 that the audience actually gets to see her at work.
  • Battlecry: "Britta for the win!"
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Jeff originally, lampshaded by the rest of the study group in "Modern Warfare".
  • Berserk Button: Britta likes boys, and she DOESN'T like when they're mean to her, and she DOESN'T like when they stop kissing her and start kissing one of her friends.
    • Later on, she completely loses it when she finds out that her parents are secretly helping to support her. She didn't mind when she thought she was just mooching off her friends, but goes ballistic when she finds out they in turn had been going to her parents.
  • Better as Friends: With Jeff, and later with Troy.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The Betty to Professor Slater's Veronica for Jeff's Archie in the beginning.
    • The Veronica to Annie's Betty also for Jeff's Archie.
    • The Archie for Jeff's Veronica and Troy's Betty.
  • Break the Haughty: Like Jeff, Britta tends to have a rather high opinion of herself. Again like Jeff, many of the plots involving her tend to involve knocking her off her high horse as humiliatingly as possible.
  • Buffy Speak: Moreso in later seasons.
  • Butt-Monkey: If it's not Pierce, it's Britta. Per Troy, she's the AT&T of people.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "BRITTA FOR THE WIN!"
    • "Duh doy!"
    • "I lived in New York!"
  • Character Development: She learns to relax a lot over the course of the series and starts to put less of a huge emphasis into her own neuroses and pet projects, which helps her get more of a handle on avoiding/averting her own hypocrisy. Additionally, she becomes far more effective and insightful as a psychologist and manages to better help her friends on their own terms by using her own imagination and embracing, at least partially, their ways of looking at the world.
  • Characterization Marches On: In her earliest appearances, she was a much more intelligent, snarky woman who often deserved her "high horse" standing because of her moral or intellectual standing (although not always; the character was just as frequently exposed as being something of a Hypocrite at times). By Season 2, though, these aspects of her character were gone without a trace, and she had become the more chilled out (though occasionally a Liberal Strawman) version of her that persisted through the rest of the show. The standing explanation is that Gillian Jacobs greatly prefers to play oddball wacky characters over morally superior characters, and negotiated to make her character more "fun", at the expense of the character's dignity. This also contributed to her eventual status as the series' Butt-Monkey. Amusingly, her regaining more of her own previous intelligence serves as part of her Character Development in Season 5.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Starting Season 2, she gets increasingly awkward, wacky, eccentric and ditzy. Though not as weird as Abed, Pierce or even Troy.
  • Color Motif: Her wardrobe never excludes black, white or/and blue.
  • Commander Contrarian: Her Soapbox Sadie-meets-Pretentious Hipster qualities mean that she frequently seems to object to things purely for the sake of being cool and different rather than out of a sincere contrary belief. As Jeff puts it, she's frequently just "pro-anti" rather than anything else.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Often exaggerated and Played for Laughs. Her D&D moniker was even "Britta the Needlessly Defiant".
  • The Cynic: While not quite on Jeff's levels, she has a rather pessimistic view toward many things.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just as snarky as Jeff, if not more so. Even after her character Took a Level in Dumbass, she still gets a few good zingers in.
  • Determinator: She doesn't give up easily.
  • The Ditherer: Played with, but in a more straightforward fashion than Jeff: like him, on the surface she seems committed to her various causes and has a very forceful, loud personality, but it quickly becomes apparent that she's not nearly as dedicated as she wants other people to believe she is, and most of her loudness is bluster designed to conceal the fact that she can't really manage to get things together and take responsibility for her life. In Season 5, her former anarchist friends call her out on this by pointing out that not only are they able to do more tangible good for the causes they believe in after "selling out" than she is, but the only reason she's able to self-righteously lecture them about this is because she hasn't done anything meaningful or useful with her life, and so consequently has less to lose than they do.
  • Drama Queen: At times, she can be high on her drama.
  • Dumb Blonde: Though she starts off as reasonably intelligent, it fades over time, and she falls significantly into this trope by Season 3, to the point of becoming birds of a feather with Troy.
  • Ethical Slut
  • Former Teen Rebel: Used to be an activist who traveled the world and joined the Peace Corps before deciding to go Back to School, which explains her Soapbox Sadie tendencies.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Friends with Benefits: With Jeff in Season 2.
  • Freudian Excuse: Her constant Soapbox Sadie tendencies and urge to lash out at "the system" are eventually shown to be in part her lashing out against her parents, who were apparently very strict and cloying when she was a child to the point that she felt like she was (ironically) worthless and not even a real person.
  • Genius Ditz: While her knowledge of psychological theory is shown to be quite lacking and her over-eagerness to apply this flawed knowledge makes her the subject of derision, she is often shown to actually be quite insightful about pinpointing people's issues and what they should do to address them. Unfortunately, because her flawed theoretical knowledge makes her sound like an idiot, people (particularly Jeff) are often inclined to dismiss her advice out of hand when perhaps they shouldn't.
  • Giftedly Bad: As a photographer.
  • Granola Girl: She was clearly one before entering the show, but snarkiness has turned her into more of a Straw Feminist.
    Britta: I'm a vegetarian.
    Troy: Wow. Shocker.
  • The Grinch: In "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas", her rather smug and snide dismissals of the trappings of the festive season, such as Christmas songs, see her come off as a bit of a killjoy.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Was once referred to as the girl with "the infinite supply of leather jackets". The thread of Britta's hypocrisy is reflected in her attempt to look like a sexy badass in animal skins while professing proudly not to eat them. Eventually she undergoes a wardrobe makeover sans leather jackets symbolic of her being less hypocritical and perhaps less of a sexy badass as well.
  • Hidden Depths: Has a hidden talent for planning weddings. It upsets her as if that humiliated her as a feminist.
    • She also knows how to knit.
  • Hipster: Like Jeff, much as she might try to deny it Britta is totally a hipster. In particular, she tends to occupy the 'pretentious, smug and poorly informed left-winger' aspect of the stereotype. And she's apparently always been a hipster—for example, she deliberately tracked down VHS bootlegs of Rebop as a child.
  • Hollywood Atheist
  • Hollywood Psych: Despite her passion for her major, it's pretty clear that her knowledge of psychology only ranges to this. This is done on purpose, to showcase how ignorant she is. And to remind viewers, yet again, how atrocious Greendale's classes are.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Although the Soapbox Sadie, Ditz and Granola Girl aspects of her character would be gradually heightened for comedy over time, hypocrisy has been an aspect of Britta's character since the early days of the showthe second episode reveals that her championing of social justice causes is mainly for appearances and credibility points and she doesn't really do anything towards them, and the fifth episode reveals that her trumpeting of honesty as being her big defining feature is a sham when she admits to having cheated on a Spanish test.
    • In the very first episode, Britta conceals her smoking habit from Jeff until he catches her outside with a cigarette while running out to the football field. It's especially funny because Jeff could easily have been the one to be found out in that scene.
    • This is lampshaded in "The Psychology of Letting Go", when Annie, having had to put up with an episode of snide self-righteousness from Britta about her efforts to appeal to guys, angrily points out that despite her posturing Britta obviously also cares about getting attention from men seeing as she wears stripper boots, eats celery and mustard for lunch and gets up "an hour early to ever so slightly curl [her] hair."
    • She proudly and smugly lauds her vegetarian practices over the other members of the study group while simultaneously owning "an infinite supply of leather jackets".
    • In "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality", when she calls out her friends for selling out and abandoning their former principles, they in turn point out that they still manage to do more good for the causes they believe in than she does, and that her supposed activism ultimately benefits no one but herself. They also point out that the only reason she calls for the downfall of the system she supposedly loathes so much is that, unlike them, she hasn't accomplished anything and so has nothing to lose from it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Seeing as there's a bit of a gulf between Britta's beliefs and her actions, she tends to generate this kind of humor.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Often when her obnoxious, Soapbox Sadie façade is broken down, she reveals her vulnerable side, admitting she actually hates herself, even going as far as to compare herself unfavourably to cancer at one point. A lot of the things she does are to gain respect from others, especially the study group. In Season 3, she discovers a new method of trying to gain respect: touting the fact that she's a psych major and (unsuccessfully) showing off her psych skills.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Britta tends towards being rather obnoxious, self-righteous and inept, but her heart is generally in the right place and it's often made clear that she'd jump through fire for her friends.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: And her cats all seem to have an incredible range of illnesses and disabilities.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: She often presents herself as an experienced and enlightened woman-of-the-world, but isn't nearly as well-informed as she believes herself to be or wants others to believe she is.
  • Malaproper: Has a tendency towards this; some examples are "edible complex" (Oedipal Complex) and "rowboat cop" (RoboCop).
  • Meaningful Name: Britta is a rather brittle person, who puts on a tough, confident and self-impressed front but is really a rather unstable stew of neuroses and insecurities when you get past the surface. Pierce accidentally foreshadows this in the pilot by introducing her to Jeff (belatedly) as "Brittles". As Abed notes in "Contempoaray American Poultry", she compulsively filters herself. "Britta" is also originally a Swedish name (and Britta mentions at one point that she's got Swedish ancestry), and Sweden is commonly considered the archetypical "progressive" country.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She has her moments. Defied on Halloween episodes, as she refuses to wear "sexy" Halloween costumes and ends up going so far in the other direction as to sacrifice practicality (for example, dressing in a dinosaur costume that left her unable to use her hands.)
  • No Social Skills: Her reactions to certain situations tend to be inappropriate or just nonsensical. According to Word of God, this is why she plays a "malfunctioning robot" in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas".
  • Not So Above It All: It's suggested a few times that, despite her Straw Feminist-like disdain for traditional women's roles, gender binaries and their trappings (such as marriage) and her tendency to lord it over Shirley and Annie when they display interests that align to this, she's not quite as detached from them as she likes to believe. This most notably turns up in "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts", in which she displays a surprising innate and instinctive talent for floral arrangement and wedding preparation. Furthermore, for someone who tends to display a Straw Feminist disdain towards the male gender, she seems to frequently use her relationship status and the guys she dates as a way of defining herself and tends to get very, very annoyed whenever men demonstrate interest in women who aren't her.
  • Not So Different:
    • With Shirley. Although they often come from different ends of the spectrum when it comes to their religious and political beliefs and often clash because of it, they're more alike than they think. In particular, they both tend to get very self-righteous about their particular standards (often without justification) and will often drive the other members of the group up the wall with their moralizing when they get up on their respective high horses.
    • The first season onwards also makes it pretty clear that as much as she disdains Jeff for his superficial and self-centered nature, she is in many ways just as superficial and self-centered. Both of them are also incredibly smug Hipsters who act with a front of insufferable and often unjustified self-satisfaction in order to mask deeper insecurities, and often try just a little too hard to make sure everyone knows that they're the coolest person in the room at any given moment. In certain episodes (like "Modern Warfare" and "Mixology Certification"), their attempts at verbally one-upping each other just end up annoying the other members of the group immensely and equally.
    • Weirdly enough, to Abed, in that both have strange ways of looking at the world, often suffer from having No Social Skills, and are a lot more insecure than they may first seem.
  • Oblivious to Love: She was unaware of Troy's crush on her for quite sometime.
  • Old Maid: The fact that she's not getting any younger, any less single or any closer to the hot young rebel she used to be is often touched upon, and it's very heavily implied that despite her posturing otherwise she is not happy about this.
  • Person as Verb:
  • Phrase Catcher: "You're the worst!"
  • Punny Name: She's both brittle and bitter: Britta.
  • Purely Aesthetic Glasses: She wears them sometimes when she's trying to feel or look smart. Evil Abed lampshades it in "Introduction to Finality", much to Britta's shame and his amusement.
  • Rape as Backstory: It hasn't been confirmed outside of supplementary material, but it has been implied that she was molested by a man in a dinosaur costume when she was eleven. It's usually been played more as Black Comedy Rape.
  • Really Gets Around: At least, it's frequently implied that she does.
  • Rebellious Princess: She has supportive, loving, rich parents whom she can't stand because of how they treated her individualist tendencies and idiosyncrasies when she was a child.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Troy between Seasons 3 and 4. They eventually decide that they are Better as Friends, though.
  • Secret Relationship: Has casual sex with Jeff in Season 2 and they keep it a secret from the group. She and Troy try to do this with Abed, but he figured it out from the start.
  • Smug Smiler: She can look very, very smug when she gets self-righteous about something. Which is often.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Parodied; she will latch on to any excuse to jump onto her high horse about something, especially if the something in question is something that is no longer as radical or controversial as she thinks it is. This tends to lead to her making a fool of herself.
    Annie: You're anti-wedding now?
    Jeff: No, she's just pro-anti.
    Britta: No to everything you both said!
  • So Unfunny, It's Funny: The kind of humor Britta usually provides.
  • Straw Feminist: It's frequently made clear that her understanding of feminism is flawed and that she mainly tends to use her feminist causes as a way of feeling superior over others.
  • Smug Snake: Thinks being a feminist and a vegetarian is the be all and end all of being an enlightened woman. It isn't.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Towards Jeff.
  • Team Mom: Juggles this with Shirley. Britta tends to be the group's "buzz-kill" and has become more concerned with their mental well-beings since becoming a Psych Major.
  • Tomboy: Has very few stereotypically feminine traits, especially compared to the much more girly Shirley and Annie. She's definitely not One of the Boys, though, largely on account of her Straw Feminist tendencies.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The confrontational and rebellious tomboy to Annie's well-behaved and studious girly girl.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass:
    • Unfortunate, but quite logically sound; Britta was the only member of the study group actively disconnected from mainstream society before the events of the show (she had been traveling to 14 different countries for that time as part of the Peace Corps), and Greendale is not the best place in which to reintegrate into mainstream society. It does start to fade somewhat in Season 5 when she starts to get more Character Development, though.
    • Lampshaded by Jeff in "Course Listing Unavailable":
      Jeff: You seemed smarter than me when I met you.
    • Lampshaded again in "Repilot":
      Jeff: Britta, when we met, you were an eclectic anarchist. How did you become the group's airhead?
      Britta: (confused) Thank you?
  • Totally Radical: More so after she Took a Level in Dumbass.
  • Tsundere: Her actions seems to imply she's a Type B tsundere, especially towards Jeff.
  • Unfortunate Names: "What is she, a water filter?" "Can you imagine living with that?" And she doesn't even realize that.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: With Jeff.
  • Walking the Earth: She's been to fourteen countries as a member of the Peace Corps prior to the events of the series.
  • Weakness Turns Her On: A self-admitted example. She even falls for Troy when he makes up a story about being molested as a child. It's usually played to reflect her own weaknesses, however, since it's suggested she only initiates relationships with deadbeats and losers in order to validate her own lack of self-worth.
  • Womanchild: She acts like she's more mature and enlightened than the others, but in fact she's quite childish, seems to be locked in a permanent state of knee-jerk teenage rebellion, and really can't manage to get her life together.
  • Women Are Wiser: None of the characters is a flawless human being, but she tries to act, invoke and otherwise claim this trope (particularly for herself) more than the others, which tends to lead to Hypocritical Humor when reality or her own character flaws trip her up and prove her wrong—usually in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. She does admit at one point that she doesn't really consider herself to be so deep down, however, and her heart is generally in the right place even if there's a gulf between her opinion of herself and the reality.

    Pierce Hawthorne 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pierce-picture_329x494_8839.jpg
"Streets ahead!"

Played by: Chevy Chase

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


  • Accidental Misnaming: Pierce routinely mispronounces Abed's name as "Ay-bed".
  • Adam Westing: Up until the beginning of 2011 or so, Chevy Chase was absolutely notorious for being difficult to work with. He briefly turned it around, but Pierce's general Jerkassness can be seen as him essentially playing who he thinks he used to be. Alternatively, this could be seen as the producers of the show lampooning Chase, since several behind-the-scenes reports (most notably the feud between Chase and Dan Harmon, although the same reports in that case also suggested that Harmon himself wasn't exactly blameless in the situation either) have suggested that Chase isn't exactly the easiest person to work with or the most popular person on set.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: An in-universe example; the characters themselves go backwards and forwards on whether Pierce is just an irredeemable Jerkass or whether it's the fact that people treat him like a fool that makes him act out that way. Jeff usually takes the former interpretation, Annie the latter.
  • And Starring: And Chevy Chase.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: He considers himself the guy who does or says what everyone else wants, but isn't willing to.
  • Berserk Button: A double subversion occurs in "Accounting for Lawyers" when Pierce fails to guess another man's Berserk Button, but in fact has just mentioned his own—his hair loss.
  • Bondage Is Bad: While he's not evil, he is a Dirty Old Man, and the fact that he has a "secret gym" in his mansion only reinforces this image.
  • Brick Joke: He hires LeVar Burton to meet Troy as an act of revenge in Season 2, knowing that it would cause Troy to freak out and leave him in a catatonic state during the entirety of Burton's visit. During Season 5, Burton returns, this time on a more heartwarming note, hired by Pierce posthumously to help oversee Troy's journey when he leaves Greendale.
  • Bus Crash: He's revealed to have died off-screen in "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics".
  • Butt-Monkey: If it's not Britta, it is Pierce who typically serves this role within the study group, as lampshaded in "The Art of Discourse".
    • Season 2 deconstructs this; His resentment over his status as the group Butt Monkey causes him to lash out and antagonize the rest of the study group to an increasingly disturbing degree.
  • Casanova Wannabe: When he tries to hit on Shirley, he alternates between this and Kavorka Man however.
  • Catchphrase: Tries to force "streets ahead" in "Contemporary American Poultry".
  • Characterization Marches On: The first few episodes had him dressed more suavely with a slight Casanova Wanna Be gig going on. He also showed relatively few Innocent Bigot traits than he would later on. It took only few episodes for him to get into his established persona, however.
  • Church of Happyology: He describes himself as a Neo-Buddhist, but his actual beliefs put him more in this camp.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: By season 3 due to senility.
  • Comically Missing the Point: So very very much.
  • Cosmic Plaything: When Pierce was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, both of his arms, and one of his ankles. The doctors eventually stopped trying to deliver him and just started laughing.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: When he really puts his mind to it, note  Pierce is a devious Manipulative Bastard and a master of the Batman Gambit. The rest of the time, well...
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Doing too much of this is what ultimately kills him in Season 5.
  • Death by Irony: In his will, he left each member of the study group a canister of his frozen sperm. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that filling these canisters caused him to die of dehydration.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Season 4, he's lucky to get five minutes of screentime.
  • Depending on the Writer: He's a relatively harmless bumbling man in some episodes, an unapologetic Jerkass in others.
  • Dirty Old Man: He openly lusts after the female members of the study group (particularly Shirley, at least early on), all of whom are much younger than he is.
    Pierce: So, just to be clear, I don't have a shot with any of you?
    (everybody shudders and walks away)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: A specialty of his.
  • The Ditz: A particularly nasty example.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Pierce hates the thought of anyone pitying him for any reason. Unfortunately, he's also so desperate for attention that rather than accept people's pity, he'll instead lash out in more negative ways to the point that pity ends up being the last thing anyone feels for him, even if he genuinely warrants it.
  • Draft Dodging: Fled to Canada to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War.
  • Driven by Envy: On many occasions, when he feels left out of the group's activities.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: He shows piercing and penetrating insight every once in a while.
  • Evil Is Petty: When pretending to overdose on the pills, he plays mind games.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Piercinald.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Anastasia.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: It's revealed that he often talks to his mother about how he feels Jeff bullies him, and tells her he has a Girlfriend in Canada.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's certainly less evil than Leonard as demonstrated by Pierce worrying about a genuinely senile old man in Season 1 and in Season 3 Biology 101, even Pierce thinks Jeff saying "all black people are in prison", is going too far.
  • Flanderization: Especially in Season 4, into a massive racist. Combined with Out of Focus as shown below and you get a character who does little more than spout racist one-liners before shuffling out of focus again, which was reportedly one of the main reasons Chevy Chase was increasingly frustrated with and dismissive of the show.
  • For the Evulz: Buying Abed and Troy's handshake just so he could ruin it is a good example.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: His necessity is revealed when, in his absence, the study group begins to fight amongst each other for incredibly petty reasons just because they no longer have Pierce to kick around.
  • The Gadfly: Keeps making racist joke on the expense of his group mates.
  • Genius Ditz: He's actually a competent businessman and a skilled orator.
  • Hidden Depths: In the season 2 finale:
    Pierce: You know I've been coming to this school for twelve years? I—I've never been friends with anyone here for more than a semester. Probably for the same reason I've been married seven times. I guess I assume eventually I'll get rejected, so I, you know, test people, push them until they prove me right. It's a sickness, I admit it. But, this place has always accepted me, sickness and all. This place accepted all of you. Sickness and all. It's worth thinking about.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Deconstructed. What Pierce longs most for is affection and popularity, and as a result he gets extremely jealous of other people's friendships, especially Abed and Troy's, since he really wants something similar but finds it hard to establish that kind of connection to another person. Ironically, it is his jealousy that leads him to act out in petty and vicious ways, and this in turn pushes people further away from him.
  • Innocent Bigot: Regularly says things the other characters find offensive. Generational differences play a role.
  • Jerkass: Especially in Season 2.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A very minor example; there are occasionally glimpses of someone more likable, decent and sympathetic within Pierce, but they're buried almost impenetrably deep within a crust and outer core of insufferable Jerkass. In general, if anyone's going to reveal Pierce's nicer side, it's Annie. Season 5 has Pierce's hologram and will put him firmly in this category.
  • Kavorka Man: He's been divorced seven times. This means seven different women agreed to marry him in the first place.
  • The Klutz: He manages to fall out of Jeff's chair just by sitting in it, as well as getting the most laughs at Abed's bad movie night by tripping and knocking over Chang's popcorn.
  • The Load: Whenever the group does a group activity. Subverted in "Basic Human Anatomy", when he does the group's History project by himself after they all left him behind to go have their episode plots.
    • Also subverted in "A Few Paintballs More" when Pierce manages to win the paintball game by faking a heart attack. Twice.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: His backstory in a nutshell. And the only real thing that has changed since then is his age.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Best showed in "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking", where he makes the rest of the group paranoid for ostracizing him.
  • Manchild: Bordering on Psychopathic Man Child.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Despite his obvious lack of sensitivity, there are times when he genuinely doesn't intend to be offensive.
  • Never My Fault: Pierce lives and breathes this trope. His comments and actions aren't offensive, it's everyone else who needs to learn to take a joke. His over-the-top revenge schemes are no less than what others deserve for not giving him the enormous amounts of respect that are clearly his due. He usually gets away with it, too.
  • Not So Different: Despite their obvious disdain for him, Pierce arguably has this going on with all the other members of the study group even if they don't want to acknowledge it:
    • It's most prominent with Jeff, as it's often suggested that Pierce is essentially what an older version of Jeff will look like if Jeff doesn't improve his ways;
    • Like Britta, Pierce often takes over-the-top offence at quasi-imagined slights and has some questionable political views (and understanding);
    • He shares Abed's social ineptness and tendency to say whatever's on his mind regardless of who it might offend;
    • He's intensely over-competitive and determined to win whatever the cost (even if it risks ruining his relationships with the people around him), like Annie. They also share a history of substance abuse;
    • Shirley is often offended by his ignorance, intolerance and bigotry, but she can often be just as ignorant, intolerant and even bigoted;
    • Like Troy, he's immature, a bit egotistical, and not very intelligent.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: Fortunately, it's pretty obvious to the rest of the study group from the beginning. His cameo in the Season 5 opener plays with this, when Jeff encounters what initially appears to be Pierce's sprit telling him, "Looks as if you've lost your way"... but it just turns out to be a hologram directing students to the on-campus "Pierce Hawthorne Museum of Gender Sensitivity and Sexual Potency". Even then, his words about Greendale give Jeff his Heel Realization. The Season 6 opener has Abed invoke Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane, since nobody else has ever seen the hologram or the museum.
  • Odd Friendship: Pierce and... anyone, really.
  • Out of Focus: Receives less and less focus as time goes on.
  • Pet the Dog: As befitting him being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Pierce is in fact capable of true acts of kindness every once in awhile. Standout examples include:
    • "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking": The tiara he gives Annie was not a mind game, but in fact a genuine gift on his part because she's his favorite of the group.
    • "Digital Estate Planning": He thanks the group for helping him beat his father at his own game and later encourages Gilbert to do the same. Pierce then happily embraces Gilbert as the brother he's always wanted.
    • "Herstory of Dance": He arranges for Sophie B. Hawkins to make an appearance at Britta's dance, as he was sick of how Jeff was treating her and admired how she didn't give up, even in the face of absolute failure.
    • "Cooperative Polygraphy": He left genuine gifts and some very kind words for Britta, Shirley, Annie, and Troy, showing that he did in fact care for and respect them. Subverted with Jeff, who received a gift but rather than a compliment only got one last gay accusation, though it can also be interpreted as Pierce instead viewing their relationship as Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Uh oh." Said by a member of the study group whenever Pierce appears to be demonstrating a dangerous level of senility.
  • Punny Name: He easily gets on everyone's nerves, piercing through their patience/tolerance.
  • Put on a Bus: Graduates with Jeff at the end of Season 4. Season 5 reveals that he's banned from Greendale. He dies off-screen that same season.
  • Punny Name: He's prickly.
  • Racist Grandpa: Naturally. Although unlike his father, who is actively malicious in his racism, Pierce just doesn't know better.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!
  • Senior Sleep Cycle: In "Competitive Ecology".
  • Serial Spouse: He's been divorced seven times.
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • Static Character: He's probably one of the few characters that receives very little real Character Development.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He is easily the most antagonistic member of the study group, but there are times when he inadvertently manages to help them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 2, he starts engaging in self-alienating behavior while simultaneously castigating the others for alienating him; this culminates in the events of "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking," "A Fistful of Paintballs," and "For a Few Paintballs More." In Season 3, that level of jerkass seems to have receded, returning him to the sympathetic bumbler of Season 1.
  • Totally Radical: His attempt to coin the phrase "streets ahead".
  • Troubled Sympathetic Bigot: Can come across as this. Pierce's inappropriateness, overzealous creativity, and pathological need to be accepted at all costs are all rooted in frustrations getting attention from his father and his fear that his age is now isolating himself from the rest of the study group.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Especially seasons 2 and 4.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Revealed as one in "Celebrity Pharmacology."
  • Yuri Fan:
    • He thinks Girl-on-Girl Is Hot. And he did have that oddly supportive letter for Britta after she "came out" for "dating a lesbian".
    • Played with, as despite his tendency toward perversion, in "Advanced Gay" he says that he hates lesbians.

    Shirley Bennett 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/community_s2_yvette_nicole_brown_002_7938.jpg
"Oh, that's nice!"

A divorced housewife and mother who started attending business classes at the school following her divorce. A devout Christian, she tends to see herself as the group's moral and spiritual compass and conscience—whether the group wants her to play that role or not. Her sugary-sweet demeanor barely hides thinly-veiled rage issues.


  • The Alcoholic: Started drinking a lot after her divorce, and in the darkest timeline as well.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: All of her attempts toward romance after her divorce fail, including her memorable fling with the sexy dreadlocks guy in "Contemporary American Poultry". Abed proves to her that the only reason he hung around Shirley was because she fed him chicken fingers.
  • The Atoner: It's implied on a few occasions that the strength of her religious faith has something to do with her guilt about her former alcoholism, and it's outright stated that it has a lot to do with her being a bully as a twelve-year-old.
  • Back for the Finale: Returns in the Grand Finale after leaving in the final season premiere.
  • Bad Liar: See Verbal Tic, below.
  • Badass Preacher: Shirley is both the most religious member of the study group and the most prone to violence. She's absolutely terrifying in "Pillows and Blankets". She cosplayed as one of these during the second paintball game.
  • Berserk Button: She is touchy about her age, her weight, and doesn't particularly appreciate jibes about her religious beliefs either.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Shirley appears to have deep-seated rage issues underneath her saccharine-sweet exterior, as noted by Jeff in the pilot:
      Jeff: Shirley has earned our respect. Not as a wife, not as a mother, but as a woman. And don't test her on that, because that thing about the jukebox was way too specific to be improvised.
    • Shirley also threatens Jeff with a pizza slicer at one point.
    • She humiliated foosball competitors as a child.
    • She takes to Video Game Cruelty Potential disconcertingly quickly.
    • She's extremely vicious during the campus-wide pillow fight in "Pillows and Blankets".
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She can come off like this — her sugary-sweet exterior conceals an extremely short and sometimes vicious temper, a self-righteous and judgemental nature and what can be quite a bitchy personality at times.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Oh, that's nice!"
    • Shirley and Annie's dual "Awwwwww!"
  • Character Development: In the second half of season 3, her bigotry and self-righteousness is significantly toned down. Possibly because of her remarriage with Andre. In her first break with Andre she placed the blame entirely on him, despite details slipping that she was at fault too, later the second time it happens, She admits that it was her fault and Andre may have been right.
  • The Conscience: Shirley sees herself as playing this role within the group; it's subverted more often than not.
  • The Cutie: With her sweet motherly tone, especially during her Catch Phrases.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Oh look, Britta brought what she believes in—nothing."
  • Fat Girl: Shirley, followed closely by Jeff, is the study group member most often shown concerned about their weight.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: One of her talents is baking, and she hopes to use her business degree to sell her brownies online.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Did one as a 12-year-old girl, after making 10-year-old Jeff wet his pants.
  • Hidden Depths: For a supposedly clean-cut good Christian woman, Shirley is hinted to have a surprising familiarity with the BDSM community. In "Paranormal Parentage" she recognises immediately what Pierce's "special gym" is and what it's used for, and is also very keen that Troy forget that she knew what it was in the first place ("Forget you saw that, and then forget that I knew what it was."). Much to Abed's surprise, she's also a big fan of the Hellraiser movies, which frequently drew upon BDSM themes and imagery.
  • Hiding Behind Religion: Jeff accuses Shirley of this in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" when he learns that Shirley was his childhood bully. While he's (understandably) overwrought at the time and Shirley is a genuinely religious person, a good case can be made that this isn't actually that far off from the truth; she does tend to use her religious beliefs as a way of feeling superior to others, manipulating them into doing what she wants through guilt and avoiding having to address the less savoury aspects of her personality (such as her volatile temper).
  • Holier Than Thou: Shirley is both the most passionately religious member of the study group and the most insufferably self-righteous and judgmental about it.
  • Hypocrite: She's not nearly as moral and upstanding as she likes to think she is.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Shirley tends to produce this kind of humour, usually by comparing various beliefs/ideas/practices unfavourably to her religious beliefs only to then either engage in the same things herself or by inadvertently suggesting that her particular beliefs are Not So Different to those she condemns in condemning them.
  • Innocent Bigot: What she tries to pull off toward the members of the study group. It doesn't go so well.
    Shirley: (to Annie) I didn't know you were a... Jew?
  • Ironic Echo: "That's not nice..." in "Modern Warfare".note 
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Although she can be a self-righteous ass to people especially in her younger years towards kids like Jeff, she does insist on being kind and is genuinely happy for anyone in the group when something 'nice' happens to them.
  • Large Ham: "Ooh! Troy made God mad!"
  • Manipulative Bitch: Whenever she uses religion, her Team Mom tendencies or, really, any predicament that befalls her as an excuse to get people to do as she wants.
    Jeff: Let me guess. I'm not going to make a pregnant woman storm off?
  • Not So Above It All:
    • When Jeff gets into a fight in "Comparative Religion". At first, she is insistent on considering Jeff 'dead to her' if he goes to his fight, but later on she admits the bullies Jeff was facing deserved a nice whooping and gets into it herself. Along with the entire study group.
      Mike: What would Shirley do?
      Jeff: She would shake your hand and wish you a merry Christmas.
      [Mike slams Jeff down]
      Shirley: Jeffrey! Kick his ass.
    • This comes back brilliantly in the video game episode, where at first she is appalled at Annie killing a (virtual) blacksmith ... but when his pregnant wife comes downstairs, Shirley sets her on fire and smashes her to death and quickly goes on to make sure the whole family is dead and that the house is completely destroyed once they leave.
  • Odd Couple: Being a devoutly religious African-American homemaker and housewife, she tends to generate this kind of dynamic with Britta, who is almost her exact opposite in every way. Less so with Annie, whom she seems closer to, as they're quite similar in many ways.
  • Politeness Judo: Her status as Team Mom gives her this ability. Case in point, the WWBJD bracelets.
  • Put on a Bus: Departs in the final season premiere to take care of her sick father, though she comes Back for the Finale.
  • Religious Bruiser: The Token Religious Teammate of the group and the last to fall down during the Season 2 finale Paintball Episode.
  • Sassy Black Woman:
    • Shirley is largely an aversion of this trope, as Yvette Brown points out in this roundtable interview that she and the show's other female regulars conducted during their last day of shooting for season 3:
      Yvette Nicole Brown: As a black actor, it's refreshing that I'm not playing the 'sassy black woman.' It's something that Dan Harmon was cognizant of from the beginning. It is something that I'm always cognizant of. Every woman on the planet has sass and smart-ass qualities in them, but it seems sometimes only black women are defined by it. Shirley is a fully formed woman that had a sassy moment. Her natural set point, if anything, is rage. That's her natural set point, suppressed rage, which comes out as kindness and trying to keep everything tight."
    • In "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", the Dean asks her to be more "happy/threatening". She responds accordingly.
      Shirley: I believe the word the Dean is looking for is "sassy." (her smile fades) He'd better pray he doesn't find it.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Jeff and Britta, initially.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Usually motherly and sweet, but can go from that to sassy in a second.
  • Stepford Smiler: On the mild side of the trope, but she has 'thinly veiled rage issues' under her cheer.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: In season two, after a brief (and memory-wiped) fling with Chang.
  • Team Chef: She's the one who mostly brings food (specifically brownies) for the group.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: What she wants to be for Jeff, besides Annie and Britta. In fact, she makes no secret of her belief that Jeff is physically attractive.
  • Token Religious Teammate: The member of the group who brings up religion and her strong faith the most.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In the Season 2 finale. She takes out several of the enemy by dousing the school in paint and later almost wins the game, only being outlasted by Pierce.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Concerning her marriage. In season one, almost every reference she made to her husband centred around what a complete and utterly irredeemable bastard he was. Given that when we finally met him he turned out to be a pretty decent guy genuinely contrite about what happened, in addition to it being revealed that Shirley had problems with alcohol in her past, it can be safely assumed that Shirley is exaggerating and may not be as faultless in the original breakdown of her marriage as previously suggested.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • It's quite obvious when Shirley is lying, as she enunciates her lies with very clipped, forced-out syllables, such as when the group is attempting an I Am Spartacus moment after Jeff farted during a mock UN debate.
      Shirley: I far-ted.
    • After Shirley and Annie have "accidentally" murdered the video game Blacksmith and his Wife in "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne" and have rigged their home to burn down, after stealing every last piece of equipment in the building and ensuring there were no other "loose ends".
      Shirley: Hel-lo!
      Annie: Everybody go shopping? (nervously) 'Cause that's all we did! (the blacksmith's house begins burning down in the background)
      Abed: Is that hut on fire? (Hilda begins running around in a panic as her parents' house burns)
      Shirley: (deadpan) Ohhh myyy, what an un-ex-plained tra-ge-dy.
    • She also tends to adopt an exaggeratedly chipper sing-song tone whenever trying to manipulate anyone. Both tics are pointed out by Jeff on one occasion:
      Shirley: Hel-lo!
      Jeff: Are you here to help me with Biology or to get me to help you?
      Shirley: [Singsong] Bi-ol-o-gy.
      Jeff: Are you lying? [Shirley looks cornered] Hard to put the word 'yes' into lilting syllables, huh?
      Shirley: Ye-eh-es?
  • Younger than She Looks: Only two years older than Jeff but her fussiness doesn't help.
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    Annie Edison 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alison-brie-as-annie-in-community_8888.jpg
"I'm Annie Edison, but people call me Psycho because I had a nervous breakdown in high school."

Played by: Alison Brie

An insecure and neurotic overachiever attending Greendale following an addiction to prescription medication which ruined her previously flawless high-school record. Intelligent and driven, she's usually perky and cheerful but tends to get tightly-wound and uptight when things fail to go to plan or when matters of grades or academic achievement arise.


  • Adorkable: A neurotic, compulsive over-achiever whose innocence, cuteness and naivete nevertheless make her adorable.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Vaughn calls her "mountain flower" when they're dating. She and Jeff sometimes call each other "milady" and "milord."
  • Age-Gap Romance: She and Jeff are sixteen years apart.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Her crush on Troy that she's had since high school. When he remains totally oblivious to her, she decides to let him go, although she still has a minor breakdown over it.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: She appears to have been on the receiving end of this trope a lot during high school.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Her only confirmed relationships have been with males, but she also seemed very eager to kiss Britta near the end of Early 21st Romanticism. And then there was her very detailed sex scene with a female elf maid during her stint as "Hector The Well Endowed" in Advanced Dungeons And Dragons.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Played with; Annie does have a tendency to let her ambitions override her morals, but it's never suggested that her ambitions themselves are bad, per se.
  • The B Grade: She's extremely grade-conscious, to the point of her quest for a better grade forming the main thrust of several episodes, particularly "Basic Lupine Urology".
  • Badass Adorable: In both paintball episodes. There are other instances though; in the climatic fight scene in "Comparative Religion," she can be seen viciously whaling on three different opponents and winning.
    • In "Paradigms of Human Memory," she's shown to be a purple belt in jiujitsu.
  • Beautiful All Along:
    • She's an interesting version of this, as rather than being called Hollywood Homely, she's accepted as being 'cute' most of the time, but goes to a more sexy appearance by Letting Her Hair Down.
      Jeff: Annie's pretty young. We try not to sexualize her.
    • In another odd example, Troy is actually unaware that Annie is attractive until Jeff points it out to him. Then again, Troy is not exactly the brains of the operation. And he did say that that his high school memories with her blurred out her current beauty.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Being called "Little Annie Adderall", or taking her pen.
    • Don't kiss her, disappear for the summer without contact and then swear you're just friends. (Note, this was part of a fake confrontation with Jeff, but she admitted that it started getting a little real. So … acting?)
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Britta's Veronica for Jeff's Archie.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • As "The Science of Illusion", "Anthropology 101", "Accounting For Lawyers" and "A Fistful of Paintballs"/"For a Few Paintballs More" demonstrate, irking Annie Edison is not recommended. She can get... aggressive.
    • Annie has no issues taking down a man twice her size with chloroform ... twice. And she seems totally prepared to do it to Jeff, too.
    • She has punched Jeff in the face and slammed his head into a table. Ouch.
  • Bound and Gagged: As part of a classroom renactment of an Indian Princess' kidnapping in the second episode.
  • Brainy Brunette: She has brown hair and is the most studious of the study group.
  • Bridezilla: She's all but building up to be one, judging how she seems to have a huge scrapbook on wedding preparations handy.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: She does this to Jeff at the start of Season 2, but soon grows out of it.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Many instances, but most noticeably during her stint as Hector, the Well Endowed.
    • She also suggests that Jeff change his shirt because "it's not working", but really it's just to sneak a peek of his chest.
    • While the rest of the study group is averting their eyes from Jeff's nakedness during his showdown with the Pool Professor, Annie sneaks a few peeks.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: One could tell if Annie likes someone by her mannerisms. A Season 2 episode has Britta calling her out on this, claiming she's "selling herself out". Annie did not appreciate this.
  • Cry Cute: Her "Disney face".
  • Cute Bookworm: Especially in the first season.
  • Cute and Psycho: A benign variety, but Annie has been shown to be one failing grade, lousy party, or bad round of model United Nations from a complete mental breakdown.
  • The Cutie: Annie is the living, breathing embodiment of this trope.
  • Fanservice Pack: Goes from being a cute and preppy girl with the occasional moments of being Beautiful All Along to the show's resident Ms. Fanservice.
  • The Finicky One: Starts out this way, but becomes more fun-loving and relaxed as time goes on.
  • Formerly Fat: Shown to be Hollywood Pudgy in flashbacks.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
  • Girliness Upgrade: Applied and then semi-inverted. Annie starts off dressing like a normal 18-year-old, then gradually begins wearing flowery dresses and cardigans more often, to the point that they comprise the bulk of her wardrobe. Come Season 5, Annie's wardrobe has undergone a major overhaul to better fit her being more assertive and mature, with her wearing sweaters over blouses and pants.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: She seems to have quite a healthy collection of them.
  • Go-Getter Girl: She's very ambitious and perfectionistic.
  • Held Gaze: With Jeff and any time they gaze into each other's eyes (which is basically their ship's UST M.O by now), expect a Shiptease.
  • Hidden Buxom: Her perky pair are initially downplayed as much as possible by having her carry books and other stuff as well as wearing cardigans.
  • Hidden Depths: She's a lot more mature and observant than she lets on, particularly from the third season on. She recognizes her attraction to Jeff for what it is, and was able to understand and reach Abed on a level that even Troy couldn't.
  • Hollywood Nerd: She was unpopular in high school. Justified with the revelation that in high school Annie was overweight, wore braces and had terrible acne. It was only after she went into rehab for her Adderall addiction (after screaming "Everyone's a robot!" while running through a plate glass door) that she became attractive. That, and she's clearly neurotic. Not that this is necessarily a turn-off. We finally see what Annie looked like during high school in "Heroic Origins" and she looks exactly as she does in the present day but with glasses, braces, and messy hair. Lampshaded in "English as a Second Language", when Jeff scolds her.
    Jeff: You are insecure, because you didn't get hot until after high school.
    Troy: That's true!
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Her reason for trying to be the Cowboy Cop to Shirley's By-the-Book Cop when both become security guards at the school. Shirley seems to think it should be the other way around.
  • Informed Judaism: Like with Abed being a Muslim, the fact that she is Jewish only really comes up in Christmas episodes.
  • The Ingenue: She gives this impression, and it's mostly true (some subversive personal history notwithstanding).
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Annie has light blue eyes that reflect her relative naïveté.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: She used to wear back braces so she sticks her chest out a lot. In the episode "Accounting for Laywers" there is a moment where Troy and Abed are caught looking at her breasts when she is shaking her chest.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Annie can come off as being overly competitive, nagging and judgmental, but it's mostly a front for her own neuroses, and she's a very nice and caring person underneath it all.
  • Jerkass Ball: Hilariously, every episode that includes Todd, poor guy.
  • Jewish and Nerdy: Annie is Jewish and is an Adorkable grade-obsessed perfectionist.
  • Matzo Fever: Jewish and the show's resident Ms. Fanservice.
  • Morality Pet:
    • To Pierce; he openly admits that she's his favourite of the group and generally, if he reveals a nicer, more generous or decent side to his personality, Annie will be involved somehow.
    • She is also this to Jeff which feeds into their Ship Tease.
  • Ms. Fanservice: For a series that tries not to sexualize her, Annie certainly does seem to get wet, dirty, endure Clothing Damage and get undressed quite a bit. Not to mention the fact that she's the program's go-to girl for fetishy costumes.
  • The Ophelia: Especially back in her Adderall days.
  • Parental Abandonment: Annie going to rehab for her Adderall addiction resulted in her being estranged from her family, who would rather have pretended the whole ordeal never happened.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Abed, especially after Troy leaves.
  • Plucky Girl: She doesn't give up easily and is very optimistic.
  • The Pollyanna: This trope could just as easily be called 'The Annie'. Lampshaded by Jeff, who actually calls her "Pollyanna" at one point.
  • Proper Tights With Skirt : More often from Season 2.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: And she knows how to use them, too.
    Jeff: You're becoming dangerous, Annie. It's those doe-eyes. Disappointing you is like choking The Little Mermaid with a bike chain.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Well, she's supposed to be brunette, but her hair is a very dark brown. In "Digital Estate Planning" her game avatar's skin color is a lot paler than everyone else's.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Demonstrated in the "Study Break" shorts.
  • Seriously Scruffy: In one of the documentary episodes, the Dean gets Annie to work as a script supervisor while he directs a commercial. He suffers from a severe case of Sanity Slippage, and after several days of putting up with his increasingly bizarre demands, Annie is completely out of it and ungroomed. She rationalizes the Dean's behaviour because she doesn't want to admit that she's wasted several weeks of her life helping him.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: She wears one in "Regional Holiday Music." Also, the scene in question includes Baby Talk (A la Betty Boop), Brainless Beauty (Pretending that as a Jew she knows nothing about Christmas) and Everyone Is Christian at Christmas (Sarcastically inverted in the lyrics).
  • She's Got Legs: Her wardrobe consists mostly of dresses and skirts, and they all highlight her stems. And yes, this was even before she became the resident Ms. Fanservice.
  • Stepford Smiler: She's really frustrated with how her life turned out.
  • Stocking Filler: She mostly wears these.
  • Sweater Girl: Cardigans appear to make up about half of her wardrobe. Lampshaded by Britta who calls her on using her sexy school girl routine to raise more money for charity: "I'm Annie, ooh, my sweaters just keep shrinking."
  • Sycophantic Servant: Annie tends to gravitate towards whoever's in charge in order to feel helpful/wanted, insinuating herself as their Dragon or helper. She usually resets by the end of the episode.
  • Teacher's Pet: She mentions to Jeff she was the least popular student in highschool because of this trope. And apparently she can't let go of this deep-seeded habit. For instance, in "Physical Education", instead of putting his binder back, Señor Chang drops it on the floor and orders Annie to pick it up.
  • Technical Virgin: Some have speculated that she is one (at least in early Season 1), based on A) being high on Adderall, B) having never seen her boyfriend's (or any man's) penis, and C) her boyfriend crying throughout the act (Britta theorizes he was gay), leading some fans to think sex never actually occurred.
    Shirley: Annie, being a virgin in this day and age is something to be proud of. You're like a unicorn!
  • Teens Are Short: She is 18 at the start of the series and at 5'3" is the second-shortest member of the group. Seasons 5 and 6 play with this, in episodes where she's supposed to be more "adult" and mature have her wearing heels to appear taller, In episodes where she's "younger" and more naive she wears flats.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: For Jeff in "Pascal's Triangle Revisited".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Annie is the second of the group to be eliminated during the paintball game in "Modern Warfare", but by the time Season 2's Western-themed "A Fistful of Paintballs" rolls around she's become a one-woman killing machine, dropping no less than ten opponents single-handedly on-screen, a higher kill total than the rest of the group combined. "Remedial Chaos Theory" reveals that she carries around a gun due to living in a bad neighborhood, which may also explain why Annie became such a crack shot with paintball guns — she's been practicing with real ones.
  • Verbal Tic: Her little half-gasp, half-squeak of indignant horror whenever she's shocked or offended.
  • Vocal Evolution: Her voice gets noticeably less high-pitched and little-girl-ish as the series goes on.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: It's implied at times that a lot of Annie's issues (including her pill addiction) stem from overly demanding, hypercritical parents, her mother especially, whose expectations she could never hope to meet.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She calls herself "Irony-Free Annie" for a very good reason.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Jeff, thanks to years of Shiptease. The finale doesn't definitively answer it one way or the other. In it, Jeff acknowledges his feelings for Annie but recognizes that her opportunity to leave Greendale for an internship with the FBI is too good to pass up. At her suggestion, they end up sharing a kiss before she leaves. It's left open as to whether or not she will return sometime in the near future.
    Jeff: ...We were just saying goodbye to the room.
    Annie: For Season 6. Season 7, who knows? It's out of our hands. Too many variables.

    Troy Barnes 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Donald-Glover-as-Troy-community-15622785-449-600_907.jpg
"Did you know that Gogurt is just yogurt?"

Played by: Donald Glover

A charismatic but not-incredibly-intelligent high-school football star who decided to attend Greendale after he suffered an injury that put a halt to him having a college football career. Despite seeming like a typical jock at first, he quickly starts to show his nerdy side after he becomes best friends with Abed due to their shared love of pop culture and goofy antics.


  • Ambiguously Bi: Due to copious Ho Yay.
    Troy: (to Abed) Let's go film the sex scene.
  • Better as Friends: How his relationship with Britta comes to an end.
  • Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Jeff's Veronica for Britta's Archie.
  • Black and Nerdy: His friendship with Abed brings out his inner geek.
  • Black Best Friend: To Abed (although as a Token Minority himself, it's divorced of its Unfortunate Implications). Pierce invokes this trope by pointing out that his life has meaning now that he has a young African-American friend.
  • Book Dumb: At least in the beginning.
  • Catchphrase: "You just wrinkled my brain" and "He/She is like the (insert terrible thing here) of people".
  • Character Development: The most noticeable example on the series (except for Jeff); starts off as immature and obsessed with popularity, becomes a responsible and kind young man who's able to hold the group together in trying times.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Definitely one of the more wacky and eccentric members of the group, at least around Abed.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Abed, who is definitely the more odd and irresponsible of the two.
  • Dumb Jock: A classic example. God bless him, he is not the brightest bulb in the box.
    Jeff: I want you to clear your mind.
    Troy: (immediately) Done.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
  • Genius Ditz: He's a plumbing and air-conditioning-repair prodigy. Not that he wants to do either of those things. The end of Season 3 ultimately sees him embrace his gift for air-conditioning repair.
  • The Heart: He is easily the sweetest and most morally "pure" member of the group, and often mediates conflict or tries to stop the others from resorting to violence. It's quite notable that on the few occasions it's suggested or looked like he's about to leave, things have fallen apart for everyone very quickly (the biggest example probably being in "Remedial Chaos Theory", where the scenario with him retrieving the pizza is the one that results in the darkest timeline). Though it should be noted that even he has his moments of weakness, as it is Troy who suggests killing Annie after she reveals that she sabotaged the space simulation.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Abed, who he even refers to as his "other half".
  • Hidden Depths: Has a talent for mechanical maintenance and is a phenomenal (interpretive) dancer.
  • Hollywood Jehovah's Witness: Averted. He is one of Jehovah's Witnesses and this is often referenced and demonstrated in that he doesn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays. However, you otherwise couldn't tell that he was a Witness if he didn't say so.
    Troy: Yeah, but we don't celebrate birthdays or Christmas and we can't drink. But it helps.
  • Jerk Jock: He's more Lovable Jock now but apparently in high school, and to a degree in the early episodes of the show, Troy wasn't without his Jerkass side, as demonstrated in "Football, Feminism and You" when a chance to join the Greendale football team ends up with him strutting around in a self-obsessed manner lambasting people at random with his "politically conservative high school's shamefully outdated fight rap(s)."
  • Large Ham: The member of the group most prone to crying or yelling.
  • The Leader: He occasionally supplants Jeff in the role. Unlike Jeff, he's a clear Type II.
  • Lovable Jock: Definitely by mid-Season 1, though he becomes less of a jock as time goes on.
  • Malaproper: Some of his gems include "all tomato" (ultimatum), "escape goat" (scapegoat) and "jugglenaut" (juggernaut).
  • Manchild: Troy's last year of high school he witnesses Annie scream during a party "Everyone's a robot!" as she ran through a window. As a result, it seems Troy remains a man-child out of fear. Shortly after Annie's dramatic departure Troy faked an injury by doing a keg flip. Troy's fake injury guaranteed that he could remain in his comfort zone as a man-child a little while longer. By delaying manhood he could continue to live a fun care-free life and not become an adult weighed down by the responsibilities of life thus becoming a robot. During a wedding Troy and Abed make an agreement not to act "weird". However, "weird" is really code for their childlike behaviors. When Troy sees the the monkey which he named "Annie's Boobs" run into the air ducts, he uses this as an excuse to escape the conformity (robot behaviors) of the adults around him. Abed would have continued with his appropriate adult like behaviors at the wedding had it not been for Troy pulling him back into the comfort of behaving like children together.
  • Meaningful Name: The name "Troy" means "soldier"; Troy is certainly loyal enough, and he almost always joins in on whatever adventure the group embarks on in any given episode. What does Abed cast Troy as in "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"? A toy soldier.
  • Messianic Archetype: He's apparently this for the air-conditioning repair school. Much to his bemusement.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Not to the extent that Jeff is, but Troy does get a few moments here and there. Namely spending all of the Season 2 Halloween Episode shirtless.
  • Nice Guy: His friendship with Abed mellows him out to become one of the friendlier members of the group.
  • Oblivious to Love: He is completely clueless to Annie's obsession with him for years. Ironically, Troy later finds himself in Annie's shoes when Britta is oblivious to his crush.
  • Only Sane Man: A weird example. Troy is often shown to be an enormous Cloud Cuckoo Lander and man child, but only when interacting with Abed. When Abed's not around, Troy is often the most normal member of the group. Also for the other members of the Air Conditioning Repair Annex, who are too caught up in their weird little cult.
  • Put on a Bus: Only appears in the first five episodes of Season 5 before leaving to sail around the world with LeVar Burton. They are captured by Mexican Gulf pirates the next episode as noted in a background newsfeed.
  • Real Men Dont Cry: Averted, he cries often. Then lampshaded by Troy himself in "Mixology Certification" by his reaction to getting a birthday cake with Jehovah's Witness-appropriate language.
    Troy: (reading) "Hello during a random dessert, the month and day of which coincide numerically with your expulsion from a uterus." You guys, I never cry, but ...


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