In the world of TV comedies, Community has always been in a league of its own. Despite being incredibly smart and well-acted, the show never quite had the viewership it hoped for. It did, however, develop a cult following. It’s merciless satirizing of traditional sitcoms added to the boatload of pop culture references made the show a hit with younger audiences.
Community follows a handful of students at a community college who form a study group, and then proceed to get into six seasons worth of shenanigans. But it wasn’t all easy-going this hilarious show. After three seasons, showrunner Dan Harmon (also known for being one of the masterminds behind Rick and Morty) was fired but then rehired for season five. Then NBC canceled the show and Yahoo! picked it up for one final season.
There have been some rumblings about another season or maybe a movie, but no solid updates as of yet. Still, whether there’s going to be more Community or not, it’s always a good time to rewatch some of the best episodes. Every fan has their favorites, but here are our top 10 Community Episodes.
10 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (S2E14)
This is episode is utterly delightful. Jeff (Joel McHale) convinces the study group to play Dungeons & Dragons with another student out of concern for his mental state. Even for viewers who don’t know anything about the fantasy tabletop game, the episode makes the game easy enough to understand since most of the study group hasn’t played it either. Even though the entire episode is just the group of them sitting around a table, it’s fun watching them get way too into the game. Pierce getting jealous that he wasn’t invited and becoming the big bad was also hilarious and on point.
As a bonus, there’s also another D&D episode called, “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” in season five.
9 App Development and Condiments (S5E8)
Remember that one episode of Black Mirror where everyone rated each other and Bryce Dallas Howard was trying really hard to make sure everyone liked her? Well, this episode is that, but far less serious. Some app designers want to test their app called “MeowMeowBeenz” in which students can rate each other by giving each other between 1 and 5 MeowMeowBeenz. In true Community fashion, the beta test goes off the rails as the students create a dystopian society.
Just another day at Greendale Community College.
8 Geothermal Escapism (S5E5)
The exit of Troy (Donald Glover) was a huge loss for the show, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the show was never the same after he left. But the writers made sure that they gave Troy the proper send-off in this episode. Abed (Danny Pudi), not wanting to face his own feelings about his best friend leaving, gets the entire school to play a game of “The Floor Is Lava.” There are some nice Waterworld references in the show, but the main thing that makes this episode great is Troy and Abed. Their friendship is one of the best parts of the Community and it’s nice to see them in action one last time.
7 Cooperative Calligraphy (S2E8)
Community is known for many things, the chief among them, being an incredibly self-aware show. Abed, who is a pop culture fanatic, makes a note early on that the situation is starting to look like the bottle episode, which it totally is. The study group ended up spending the entire time in the study room looking for Annie’s (Alison Brie) pen. It’s definitely not a flashy episode, but it shows just how the writers are able to make something so funny out of such a small storyline.
6 Basic Lupine Urology (S3E17)
Honestly, this episode is perfection. What’s not to love about an entire episode dedicated to parodying Law & Order? The study group’s yam they were to grow for a biology project is smashed, catapulting them to investigate who was responsible. It’s completely absurd but done so well, like many of Community’s episodes. Troy and Abed as the two hard-boiled detectives tracking down leads and interrogating witnesses is probably the highlight of a very funny, very well-done episode.
5 A Fistful of Paintballs/For A Few Paintballs More (S2E23/24)
In the first season, we’re introduced to Greendale’s paintball assassin competition. It was amazing, so of course, the concept was brought back for season two. This two-part western-style episode sees the school once again fall to chaos as students get way too into the game in hopes of winning a $10,000 cash prize. It has all of the tropes one can imagine seeing in a western but set in a community college with paintballs. Oh, and Lost’s Josh Holloway guest stars, because what’s a western without a mysterious, handsome stranger?
4 Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking (S2E16)
This episode is shot in documentary style from Abed’s point of view. He documents what appears to be Pierce’s last days as he sits in a hospital, but it’s revealed fairly early on that Pierce isn’t dying. He’s just pretending to die so that he can exact revenge on the study group for not taking him seriously. It not only satirizes the documentary format perfectly but also shows each of the character's insecurities really well. And LeVar Burton guest stars as himself, which is amazing.
3 Remedial Chaos Theory (S3E3)
For anyone who’s been on the internet at all, they’ve probably heard people refer to “the darkest timeline” or seen that gif of Troy with a pizza and the room on fire. Well, this episode is the origin of both of those. Troy and Abed throw a housewarming party and the study group decides to roll a dice to see who has to go downstairs and get the pizza that has arrived.
This then opens up six separate timelines, each of which has differing outcomes. It’s a concept episode that’s fun, but also reveals a lot about each of the characters--something this show is very good at.
2 Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (S2E11)
The creators of Community decided to really go all out on this Christmas episode. In it, Abed perceives everything as stop-motion, therefore, the entire episode is stop-motion animation. The study group, with the help of psychology professor Dr. Duncan (John Oliver), decide to try and figure out why Abed is having these delusions. This launches them into a Christmas-themed planet that is reminiscent of those old Christmas specials.
The stop-motion is a fun touch, but the episode also touches on issues of mental health and highlights the friendship among the study group. They help out Abed through a tough time, which makes for a fantastically heartwarming Christmas episode.
1 Modern Warfare (S1E23)
The first season of Community started out relatively normal but got increasingly weirder. And then “Modern Warfare” came along to let us know that this isn’t your typical sitcom. The dean announces that there will be a schoolwide paintball assassin competition and the last man standing will get a prize. Jeff takes a nap in his car only to come back to find the entire school has fallen to chaos over the game. The episode touches on a lot of action movie tropes and moments and is just a genuine joy to watch.
And the viewers loved the paintball assassin concept so much, that it came back in season two and also in season six. If there is a seventh season, hopefully, there will be another paintball episode, because they’re pretty much the best.
What are your favorite Community episodes? Let us know in the comments!