Community was a show that struggled to find a strong audience when it was on-air but managed to gain a very passionate following among its fans. The crazy exploits of a community college study group featured fun pop culture references, inventive episodes and, of course, likable characters. However, one of the characters who was sometimes harder to root for was Pierce Hawthorne.
Played by Chevy Chase, Pierce was occasionally kind-hearted, but more often he was offensive, selfish and childish. The unlikability of the character could have something to do with how Chase seemed to clash with everyone behind the scenes. But these characteristics only helped to make Pierce a memorable character with many of the show’s funniest moments. Here are the very best Pierce Hawthorne quotes from Community.
10 First-Hand Experience
"Oh no, you're not letting some slumlord take your hard earned money. I'll fix it. I used to do that kind of thing all the time when I was a slumlord."
Somehow, despite being incompetent in most aspects of his life, Pierce is a very wealthy man. The show has a lot of fun with this fact and why someone like him would even want to be at community college. While he tries desperately to relate to his fellow students, his first-class lifestyle clearly separates him from ordinary people.
Even as Pierce tries to help out his friends, he can’t help but prove that he lives a different life. He doesn’t understand the struggles of everyday people, and in many cases, has actively been responsible for people’s struggles in the past.
9 Forgive And Forget
"I was never one to hold a grudge, Jeffrey. My father held grudges. I'll always hate him for that."
Most of what is wrong with Pierce can be explained by his relationship with his father. Even at a relatively old age, Pierce is a massive disappointment to his old man. His father is focused on wealth and stature, and throughout the years he has filled Pierce’s head with his own racist and bigoted beliefs.
Though he is still controlled by his father, Pierce clearly hates the man. Here, we see him acknowledge just one of the many things wrong with his father, while being completely oblivious to the fact that he’s taken after him.
8 The Dynamic Duo
"We’re like Batman and Shaft."
There is nothing Pierce wants more than to have a best friend. Unfortunately, he ruins virtually ever chance of achieving this whenever he opens his mouth.
Out of all the members of the study group, Pierce seems to connect with Troy the most. Their shared juvenile way of thinking makes them an odd duo that seem to get along at times. There was even a period where Troy lived with Pierce and actually enjoyed it. But Pierce being Pierce, he has to ruin the moment by one of his unintentionally racist comments.
7 Tightly Wound
"Tell me how to get this laidback or I’ll kill your families!"
Part of what makes Pierce such a funny and frustrating character is how desperate he is. He is desperate for attention, desperate for love and desperate for happiness. Whenever he sees someone who has something he doesn’t have, he’ll throw a childish tantrum until he gets what he wants.
When Jeff and Troy seem to be happy and relaxed, he can’t help but feel he’s missing out on something and immediately lashes out. It’s one of the many Pierce moments in which he seems completely unaware of the irony of his statement.
6 Topical Reference
"How long was I out? Is Napster still a thing?"
The running gag with Pierce is how, despite his best efforts, is totally out of touch. His references are dated, he is clueless about what’s popular and seems to be about a decade behind everyone. What makes this even funnier is that he seems to think he’s convincing everyone that he’s cool.
While it certainly is sad that Pierce thinks Napster is what’s popular with the kids these days, the fact that he even knows that exists is sort of surprising.
5 Worthy Accomplishment
"Sounds like this is a game changing day for all of us. I almost sat on my balls, but at the last minute, I adjusted."
It’s hard to know where to even begin with this quote. For starters, the fact that such an accident seems like a regular occurrence for him leads a lot of questions.
Secondly, that he would think this is news to be shared with everyone is alarming – let alone the fact that he is bragging about this “accomplishment”. And yet, it does seem to be business as usual when it comes to Pierce.
4 Fatherly Advice
"I’ll give you the same advice my father gave me the night I lost my virginity: just pick one, they all cost the same."
Here is another example of just how much Pierce’s relationship with his father has screwed him up. Pierce is obsessed with finding the next love of his life and yet seems totally unable to connect with women in any way. That seems perfectly reasonable given the implication of this disturbing father-son activity. Sadly, Pierce doesn’t recognize just how disgusting of an experience this truly is. No wonder he’s been married seven times.
"That’s inappropriate. I’m assuming on the mouth."
Pierce Hawthorne’s mind works in a way completely different than other human beings. He can hear the same conversation as everyone else, but he will interpret in the most incorrect and inappropriate way possible.
When the study group finds out that Annie and Jeff kissed, the group is shocked. They demand to know where this happened and Pierce interjects with this vulgar assumption. Even when he thinks he’s being the mature one, he ends up being the grossest person in the room.
2 Level Up
"You gain levels, and at a certain point you actually CAN eat a ghost."
One of the best running gags in the early seasons was Pierce’s membership in a religious group that seemed to be a branch of Buddhism but was most definitely a cult. But no matter how insane the cult practices sound to everyone else, Pierce remains a firm believer.
When attempting to explain the benefits of being a member, Troy mentions how the process makes it seem like a video game. Pierce, in fact, agrees and further explains the process in a way that sounds suspiciously like Pac Man.
1 A Real Tool
"I’ll show you the tool that’s most important to our survival. But fair warning – it’s my penis."
Subtlety is not one of Pierce’s strong suits – if he has any strong suits. It’s not so much that is a straight-shooter, but more so that he doesn’t seem to know how innuendo works at all.
When the study group is tasked with an assignment to decide the most important tool for humanity’s survival. Pierce doesn’t waste the opportunity to chime and toot his own horn, for lack of a better phrase. Though piggish, the fact that he skips right to the punchline is an efficient approach to joke-telling.