Community was a sitcom made up of a series of unique friendships found within a fictional Colorado community college, the core cast is formed of a diverse study group made up of wildly different personality types. Some members would sometimes act more like antagonists, and others more like comic reliefs, depending on the season.
There was no friendship quite as strong, consistent, and beloved than the friendship between two of the youngest members of the study group, Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir. Their shared love for childlike imagination and make-believe inspired some of the series’ greatest moments and episodes. Here’s our ranking of the ten best moments from their friendship.
10 Troy And Abed In A Bubble
We begin, fittingly, with the last of the many catchphrases spouted by the iconic duo. When Donald Glover was written out of the show in the midst of the fifth season, his character, Troy Barnes, was sent off by a campus-wide game of Hot Lava which gets quite predictably out of hand.
When surrounded by opponents on a fortress of tables and chairs, the pair discover that there’s a Zorb at the center of it and use it to escape in their typically exuberant fashion. The line also acts as a kind of book-end to their catchphrases throughout the series, which, like this one, is said in the cadence of the original catchphrase from their fictional morning TV show.
9 Adopting A Baby
During the end credits “tag” scene for the season three episode “Digital Estate Planning," Troy and Abed enter the study room to find it empty except for a baby left on the table. The two instantly decide that they have no choice but to adopt it and begin bickering in the manner of a stereotypical old married couple before a woman emerges from beneath the table, apparently having just bent down to grab something, and exits with her baby.
It’s a sweet, short, funny moment, but it’s also of particular interest to fans for being the moment that arguably broke the entire show. The episode was the last to be shot in season three, and Chevy Chase’s refusal to shoot the original tag scene for that episode resulted in the final straw confrontation between him and showrunner Dan Harmon at a wrap party.
8 They're Just Jealous
One of the strongest aspects of Troy and Abed’s friendship on the show was how actors Donald Glover and Danny Pudi would play the pair as being physically and mentally in sync. This was usually displayed in the show by their unique handshake, but they’d also have moments or speaking in unison.
During an increasingly heated discussion about how members of the group view one another sexually, Shirley attempts to deflect criticism away from herself by bringing up Troy and Abed’s relationship with one another. But the pair simply respond by instantly looking at the other and reassuring them with “they’re just jealous” in perfect unison.
7 When Abed Helped Troy Break Up With Britta
After a relatively brief fling that had been set up throughout the first three seasons, Troy and Britta split up as a romantic couple—but not without some shenanigans first. At the beginning of the episode, it’s established that Troy and Abed will be going through the motions of the ‘body-switching’ genre. Meaning that Abed pretends to be Troy for the day and vice versa.
This initially seems like the kind of thing that Abed would instigate as a coping mechanism, presumably because of the change that Troy and Britta’s relationship poses to him. However, we find out by the end of the episode that Troy was the one who started the game to emotionally avoid his desire to break up with Britta, with Abed jumping right into character for his friend without question or hesitation.
6 Abed Sacrifices Himself For Troy
During a zombie outbreak at Greendale’s Halloween party, the study group barricades themselves into the library and gets picked off one by one in the style of the genre. The last survivors are whittled down to just Jeff, Troy, and Abed in the basement where they spot a high window to climb out of and escape. Jeff, not wanting to dirty his suit, elects to open a door, however, and lets in a group of zombies.
With the zombies fast approaching, Abed sacrifices himself to the horde to give Troy more time to escape. Citing the famous trope of horror movies in general, Abed urges Troy to be “the first black man to make it to the end.”
5 The Original Rap
In the series’ first end credits tag, Troy and Abed sit on the couch in the study room silently working next to one another when Abed suddenly begins to beatbox. Troy instantly picks up on this and starts a freestyle rap of rhyming nonsense phrases in Spanish with Troy describing himself as a “disco spider” and Abed rapping about Cameron Diaz being a goat’s mustache.
The rap was an early showcase of the chemistry between Danny Pudi and Donald Glover which laid the foundation for the friendship between their characters. The rap itself would become a recurring gag in the series, adding new parts and being performed by different characters.
4 Troy And Abed In The Morning
The most common of the recurring gags between the two characters was a fictional morning TV show called “Troy and Abed in the Morning," which the pair would act out for an imaginary camera. The ‘show’ is based around the pair interviewing a guest in the typically sunny style of a generic morning TV show, complete with sign-waving fans in the background, with each guest reacting differently to the game depending on their personality.
The duo also attempted a spinoff called “Troy and Abed in the Morning: Nights," which saw them taking calls in the early hours of the morning like talk radio hosts.
3 Fluffy Town
During a sleepover in Abed’s dorm room, the pair decide to build a blanket fort which quickly expands outside of Abed’s room and across the entire campus. The aptly named Fluffy Town becomes a magical bedtime haven for the school’s residents with only three rules: no smoking, no farting, and no pillow fighting.
When Troy and Abed see that the craze has gone mainstream and spread to other campuses across the country, they take it upon themselves, as the founders of Fluffy Town, to pull the self-destruct mechanism that they built into it, ultimately bringing it to an end until it’s later resurrection in the season three episode “Digital Exploration of Interior Design”.
2 Rap With Betty White
The original rap from the season one episode “Spanish 101” is recreated in the opening episode of season two, but this time the duo are joined by none other than Betty White. White played the study group’s anthropology teacher in the episode and joins them in the anthropologically-themed rap, this time in English and mixed with the beat of Toto’s hit song “Africa”.
Even if you see nothing else from the entire show, it is highly recommended that you, at the very least, treat yourself to the image of Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, and Betty White belting out the chorus of “Africa” in unison. It really is pure joy.
1 The Pillow War
When the idea of Fluffy Town is revisited in season three, Troy and Abed are told that their new effort will soon meet the criteria for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest blanket or pillow fort. This causes a rare schism between the two friends, as Abed is disinterested in the record and Troy’s desire to go for it feels ignored.
The result is a lengthy Pillow Fight Civil War between Troy’s Blanketsburg and Abed’s Pillowtown. Urged on by various parties, the two have their only real falling out in the show and genuinely hurt one another’s feelings. They’re able to overcome it, though. When Jeff helps them to realize the heartwarming truth that they like each other so much, they’d stand there ceaselessly hitting the other with a pillow forever just to stay in one another’s lives.