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  • Accidentally Accurate: In "G.I. Jeff", Wingman gets court marshaled for shooting and killing Destro while he's parachuting from his downed aircraft. While this is done due to the Thou Shalt Not Kill aspect of the setting, Wingman actually would likely have gotten court marshaled or at least gotten in serious trouble. Killing an enemy combatant ejecting from his downed aircraft is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.
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  • Acclaimed Flop: The series got rave reviews during its run on NBC, but got very low ratings. It could be the Arrested Development of The New '10s.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • A number of incidental details about actors transfer to their characters. For example, both Abed and Danny Pudi are half-Polish on their mother's side; while Troy, like Donald Glover, was raised a Jehovah's Witness. Annie mentions her birthday as being in late December, which might mean that she shares Alison Brie's birthday (December 29th).
    • Pierce Hawthorne is supposed to have made his fortune with a moist-towelette company called "Hawthorne Wipes." Chevy Chase, in real-life, also has a family fortune derived from a personal sanitation product. His real name is Cornelius Crane Chase, and he is the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, who was heir to the Crane Plumbing company, which manufactures and distributes plumbing fixtures and products (most notably, toilets for home and commercial markets) in North America.
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    • According to Abed, Britta was born on October 19, 1980. In real-life, Gillian Jacobs was born on October 19, 1982.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • A common Alternate Character Interpretation for Leonard was that he's always acting so coarse and wild because he's living the young teen college experience he never got to have. "For A Few Paintballs More" featured Leonard confiding in Britta he has been in several wars.
    • The overwhelming fan response to the semi-accidental Jeff/Annie pairing influenced writers to have Jeff/Annie make out in the Season 1 finale.
    • This video inspired a montage in the same vein, though in the show played for laughs, in the second season of Jeff and Annie. The creator says that Dan Harmon himself shouted out to them on twitter before the episode aired, letting them know he had a surprise for them.
    • They also have a significant moment in the sixth season finale.
  • Bonus Material:
    • The first season DVD set comes with a short Kickpuncher comic written by Troy and illustrated by fellow student Jim Mahfood, DVD Commentary, extended cuts of certain episodes, Hilarious Outtakes, Deleted Scenes, the "Study Break" shorts, and a couple new sketches.
    • The interiors of the DVD cases are designed as yearbooks, Greendale brochures and even Abed's notebook from Cooperative Calligraphy.
    • Among the many tidbits included are (presumably canon) hometowns for the main characters. Strangely, everyone is kinda paired off in this respect: Jeff and Shirley are from Denver, Abed and Britta from Riverside, Annie and Troy from Greendale itself, and Pierce and Chang are from out-of-state (Wyoming and California respectively).
      • Season 3 episode Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism shows shared flashbacks of Shirley and Jeff as children, and while they don't specify that it's Denver it does confirm that they grew up in the same place.
  • Breakup Breakout: Donald Glover seems to have done the best in his post-Community career, with a critically-acclaimed TV show (resulting in multiple Emmy wins), a successful music album (leading to a Grammy win), as well as roles in Star Wars and the Live-Action Adaptation of The Lion King.
  • California Doubling: The college is supposed to be located in suburban Denver, but palm trees and cars with California plates are often visible in exterior shots. According to Dan Harmon on the DVD Commentary, the reason it doesn't snow during the show is because global warming hit Greendale pretty hard.
  • Creative Differences: Chevy Chase was frequently dismissive of the quality of the show, with numerous reports of backstage arguments about the direction of the show and his character and a notable feud with creator Dan Harmon. His decision to quit the show in November 2012 came from Chase's displeasure and Pierce's increased bigotry. He was willing to film a brief cameo appearance in the Season 5 premiere, however, suggesting that the rift between himself and Harmon has been exaggerated to a degree.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Outside of praising the other members of the cast (what with many of them being his friends both on- and off-set), Chevy Chase rarely seemed to have much in the way of praise to say about the show.
    • Dino Stamatopoulos expressed discomfort with playing Star-Burns, citing the amount of hours required to wait on set, his dislike of having to be touched so often so that the make-up for his character could be applied, difficulty with learning his (limited) lines, annoyance with Joel McHale (specifically regarding a conversation about Stamatopoulos' teeth), and feeling like there wasn't really much to the character. He also expressed anger when Dan Harmon was fired from the show following Season 3, and refused to reprise the role until Harmon was eventually brought back on for Season 5.
    • Dan Harmon had a major backlash to Season 4 when he finally watched it after being rehired to the show for the fifth season, to the point where he actually apologized over it.
    • In a very mild example, Joel McHale has complained (notably on the commentary track for "Advanced Introduction to Finality") that the DVDs only feature the episodes as they originally aired, rather than including extended cuts due to the number of scenes that have to be cut to meet an ever shrinking running time.
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: According to a 2014 Reddit AMA, "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" is Dan Harmon's favorite episode.
  • Creator Killer: Season 6's underwhelming reception (coupled with the generally underwhelming reception of the rest of Yahoo Screen's premiere slate and a buggy proprietary media player) led to Yahoo Screen being shut down after less than a year of running.
  • Dawson Casting: As of Season 1, Troy and Annie were (respectively) 19 and 18, being played by a 26-year-old and a 27-year-old. Jeff even comments that Annie is still a little too young to be "sexualized," in spite of the actress's age. It's especially weird in light of the fact that Gillian Jacobs is the same age as Alison Brie, but playing a character her own age. Danny Pudi was 31 at the start of the show while Abed falls under a Vague Age. He was living in the dorms with his father paying for tuition, implying he was also a recent high school grad, but in "Mixology Certification" Troy turned 21 (after mentioning he was held back one year in elementary school) and the group goes to a bar, a deal was made to get Annie a fake ID so she could join them while Abed had no issue and seemed familiar with being in a bar.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Screener DVDs were packaged with cootie catchers based on the opening credits sequence.
    • The video game played in “Digital Estate Planning” was turned into a real video game.
  • Dueling Shows:
    • Originally ran against another Post Modern primetime sitcom about a ragtag Five-Token Band of misfits in school, Glee.
    • Season 2 changes some of the focus to $#*! My Dad Says, with a sub plot about Troy's twitter account, Old White Man Says, collecting the insane rantings of Pierce with Pierce wanting to cash in on it with a sitcom. The series premiere of that show was even the same night as the season 2 premiere (which had that Troy subplot).
    • In part due to the focus on nerdom in general, and later being put up against each other in the same time slot, there is a certain rivalry with 'The Big Bang Theory''. It's probably more apparently between the fandoms rather than anything else.
  • Executive Meddling:
  • Fan Community Nickname: Greendale Human Beings.
  • Friday Night Death Slot: It was announced that Community would in fact return for a fourth 8:30 PM on Fridays. Cue fandom terror. And then the show aired in it's original Thursday time slot after NBC cancelled a number of their new shows before mid-season.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Donald Glover is basically left to his own devices in several scenes.
  • Hostility on the Set:
    • The feud between Chevy Chase and Dan Harmon on the set has been well documented. Creator Harmon was not above making fun of actor Chase (Pierce Hawthorne, Community) publicly, and Chase was increasingly uncomfortable with his on-screen character's bigotry, leading to a hate-filled voice mail to Harmon.
    • Not to say Chase isn't above acting this way to just the creator/writers. In 2018, Donald Glover admitted that the actor had made racist jokes to him, among which he said that "People think you're funnier because you're Black."
  • I Knew It!:
    • Jeff returning to Greendale as a teacher in season 5.
    • Pierce suffering from a Bus Crash after Chevy Chase left the show.
    • Troy being given Pierce's fortune and it being his reason for leaving Greendale.
  • McLeaned: Chevy Chase's departure being as acrimonious as it was, this was perhaps inevitably Pierce's fate.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Despite the critical acclaim and passionate fanbase, Chevy Chase has been very outspoken in his disdain for the show, from calling his decision to join a "mistake", to his run-ins with eventually-ousted Dan Harmon, to criticizing sitcoms as "the lowest form of television." He's stated that the paycheck and his castmates are the only things that keep him showing up.
    • Chase appears to have something of a dislike of working in television in general, not just the show, although he has raised a lot of specific criticisms and complaints of the show specifically, including its perceivedly frequent Tastes Like Diabetes moments. The latter part about working with his castmates being one of the only things bringing him back is also slightly ironic in that his castmates often tend to make fun of him in very public ways (albeit often precisely because he's always dissing the show in public).
  • Mutually Fictional: with Cougar Town. Danny Pudi cameoed in the second-season finale of Cougar Town and it's pretty clear that he's playing Abed. That means Abed lied about lying about being an extra on Cougar Town, although the details are a little different than he described in "Critical Film Studies". In Cougar Town, one character referenced buying the Community box set.
  • No Export for You: The Season 5 DVD set launched a week early in Europe, but without any of the bonus features featured on the release. Even more shockingly, is that the extras were not only advertised, but it took complaints from confused customers for websites like Amazon to alter the product listing on their websites.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: When the fourth Season was delayed, that year's Thanksgiving (Cooperative Escapism In Familial Relations) and Christmas (Intro To Knots) episodes aired in March and April respectively.
  • Out of Order:
    • Unconfirmed, but in Season 1 episode 17 has Jeff say to Leonard "I talked to your son on family day" but family day isn't until the next episode
    • "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts" and "Contemporary Impressionists" were aired in that order, but swapped on the DVD because this is the order in which they are meant to be watched, which explains why in "Contemporary Impressionists" the study group welcome each other back from their break.
    • "Digital Estate Planning" was aired after the study group's expulsion from Greendale, but the end tag had Troy and Abed talking in the study room, and no one acted oddly to their presence. The reason for this discrepancy is that an end tag was written for the episode that did not take place in the study room, but Chevy Chase did not want to film it, therefore a new one was written. However, the episode itself also does not make much sense in the timeline of the show as in the previous episode they learned that Chang had replaced the Dean with the Doppel Deaner, and yet the Study Group decided to have this side adventure instead. Possibly justified as it involved the contents of Cornelius Hawthorne's will, and therefore Pierce's inheritance, which probably could not be delayed.
  • Playing Against Type: Most of Chevy Chase's most well-known characters are generally smooth, suave and the smartest person in the room. Pierce Hawthorne... not so much.
  • Post-Script Season: The fifth season saw the cast end up failing their goals and back in Greendale.
  • Production Posse: With Channel101:
    • Abed is based on Channel101 star Abed Gheith, who Dan Harmon pushed for to get the role.
    • Fellow Channel 101 alumni Sona Panos, Dave Seger and David B. Lyons worked on the series under Harmon.
    • Chevy Chase, John Oliver and Joel McHale all had cameo roles in Episode 9 of Harmon's Channel 101 series Water and Power.
    • The Dean Craig Pelton and Professor Ian Duncan are named after Channel 101 stars Dean Pelton and Ian Duncan.
    • Abed's Britta, Abed's Annie and Abed's Abed are all played by 101ers (Jenny Flack, Kelsy Abbott and Sandeep Parikh, respectively.)
    • The Cast attended the Channel 101 "Channy" awards: Footage here and here.
    • Additionally, the other members and acquaintances of Donald Glover's sketch comedy group Derrick Comedy have a cameo helping Pierce write jokes in "Romantic Expressionism". (D.C. Pierson had previously appeared in "Investigative Journalism".)
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • The firing of Dan Harmon after season 3.
    • Cutting seasons 4 & 5 down to 13 episodes, so the seasons never managed to build any momentum
    • The show's cancellation at the end of season 5 in the face of the long standing fan campaign for 6 seasons.
    • NBC repeatedly cutting the show's budget - with the move to Yahoo Screen with season 6, it's been noted that they've been able to shoot outside for the first timenote  since the show's second season.
    • Then Yahoo ended up deeming the series a financial failure and canceled it after the sixth season, writing it along with two other shows off their assets in a total loss of $42 million.
  • Star-Making Role: For Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, and Jim Rash. Their acting resume started to snowball after appearing in this show.
  • Trope Namer: For Camping a Crapper.
  • Troubled Production: As the show continued on there came a lot of reports of behind-the-scenes trouble.
    • Chevy Chase was rather up front and vocal about his distaste for the show and had a rocky relationship with Dan Harmon. He admitted he didn't have much interest in being on a sitcom, as those tended to have the most grueling schedules. Filming in the study room, covering each cast member around the table, would lead to *sixteen to twenty hour days*.
    • The show had a passionate fanbase but the ratings gradually diminished and the show was frequently over budget, which exacerbated NBC's relationship with the show. There were claims of episodes being filmed with unfinished or rewritten scripts and mismanaged production scheduling (one such claim was that several sets were lit, staffed and staged to facilitate one joke featuring multiple Cutaway Gags). Harmon's insistence on having big, expensive episodes with a cinematic look while also mocking the network in the show itself took Biting-the-Hand Humor a little too literally.
    • In season four Harmon was fired and the show past on to staff writers for a half-season worth of episodes to premiere mid season. Harmon was rehired for season five for another half season of episodes, scrambling to accommodate the events of season four into his plans while also retooling the show beyond the study group. The show was eventually picked up to be a Yahoo exclusive for a sixth season, but by then half the cast had left for various personal reasons.
  • Uncredited Role: Owen Wilson had an uncredited appearance in the episode "Investigative Journalism".
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The statue in the Greendale courtyard was originally supposed to be Mark Hamill, but he declined (and apparently very graciously, according to Harmon).
    • According to Harmon, his first two choices for Pierce were John Cleese and Patrick Stewart. He was also keen to try and get Fred Willard.
    • Greg Cromer, who played Rich, was the runner up for Jeff. Had The IT Crowd gotten picked up, he would have gotten the role since Joel McHale would have been unavailable.
    • Tory and Pierce were originally going to frequently paired together for various adventures, but after his real life actor Donald Glover and fellow actor Danny Pudi started hanging out more, Abed and Troy became a thing.
    • The show was originally supposed to tell a self-contained story spanning four seasons with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Harmon's firing for the fourth season destroyed that, so he ended up having to spend most of the fifth season resetting the status quo in order to resume the story where he left off...As of season 6, he said he's writing the show as if it's going to last 20 seasons.
    • In "Repilot" it is ultimately a hologram of Pierce that gets Jeff to abandon the law suit against Greendale. However, the script used at the table read instead featured the in-universe reveal that Star-Burns was alive, and he would serve the same purpose as the hologram; this was likely the plan if Chevy Chase hadn't agreed to shoot the cameo.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Community Wiki.
  • Word of God: Abed's "quirks" were, according to this link intended to be some form of autism based on Harmon's own Self-Diagnosis on internet tests, although "Competitive Ecology" has him imply that he is also face-blind.
  • Writer Revolt:
    • The NBC mandated "Green Week" was lambasted by having the Dean & Enviromental Club waste materials in an attempt to promote Greendale's own Green Week.
    • In an example of the actors revolting, Joel McHale led the cast in getting Dan Harmon rehired for the fifth season.
  • Write What You Know: According to The Other Wiki, Community is based on Dan Harmon's own community-college days, and Jeff is based on his younger, more self-centered self.
  • Write Who You Know: Dan Harmon modeled Jeff Winger and Britta Perry after himself and an ex-girlfriend, respectively.
  • You Look Familiar: Paget Brewster appears as IT administrator Debra Chambers in season 5 episode "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" before appearing as Season 6 regular Frankie Dart.


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