“Community’s” popularity surged once again during quarantine. With Netflix holders binge-watching the show or ticking the checkbox in their watchlist, the mid-00s cult fave became one of the streaming site’s top shows to watch. The show is an easy sell: It has Hollywood’s favorite stars, a lighthearted plot and it’s a non-complicated sitcom.
But here lies the big Q: What are the best episodes to start with? That’s a question that only our fave study group can answer.
Based on their Variety interview and their Vulture roundtable, here are the Greendale Seven’s top “Community” episodes. You could finally learn the inside jokes and where that Donald Glover on fire GIF came from.
Danny Pudi’s (Abed Nadir) top pick: “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons”
“Shooting it was one experience, because we were stuck at a table the whole time. It was such tough language, but [it has] such [a] great payoff,” comments Pudi. The episode starts when the study group’s de facto leader, the former lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), starts to worry about Fat Neil’s loner tendencies (don’t ask us, ask Harmon’s problematic humor). Enter Abed with his ingenious idea: a good old fashioned Dungeons and Dragons game. Of course, chaos ensues with Pierce (Chevy Chase) trying to include himself in the game and the crew not exactly understanding D&D.
Gillian Jacobs’ (Britta Perry) top pick: “Remedial Chaos Theory”
“We were shooting scenes from it the week it aired on TV. We continued to pick up shots from it at midnight. That felt like it was going to break our minds, that my mind would crack in half and a bunch of gobbledygook would spill out. But it’s such an amazing episode. I feel such pride about it,” says Jacobs.
Yes, this is the birthplace of that Donald Glover GIF. This episode tackles the concept of multiverse and the wonders of The Butterfly Effect. During Troy and Abed’s (Danny Pudi) housewarming party, Jeff introduces an element of randomness, creating a domino effect of fuckups. If we’re being accurate, he created six alternate realities from one fuckup.
Yvette Nicole Brown’s (Shirley Bennet) top pick: “Paradigms of Human Memory”
“The writers created jokes in every single nanosecond, so if you guys haven’t watched this episode in a long time, go back and watch it because there are jokes on the walls, there are people walking by that are jokes,” explains Brown. “It’s not just what we’re saying. It’s jokes on top of jokes on top of jokes. I love this episode.”
In this episode, we can look at it as a supercut of the study group’s favorite moments together. It’s jokes on jokes on jokes. It also has a lot of easter eggs or shoutouts to previous episodes, like the comeback of Annie’s Boobs (Troy’s monkey) and Señor Chang’s return.
Alison Brie’s (Annie Edison) top pick: “Mixology Certification”
“Troy’s birthday was one of our darkest episodes, but it’s some of our most real moments with the characters. I was so impressed with everyone’s work,” explains Brie. In this episode, one of the group’s babies, Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) celebrates his 21st birthday. This means the gang is about to get lit with Troy for the first time. In true “Community” fashion, all hell breaks loose with petty arguments, drink throwing and more hijinks.
Jim Rash’s (Dean Pelton) top pick: “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”
“Just as a performer that would be my guilty pleasure. Anything that felt like you were doing an action movie was a blast,” says Rash. If you love Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and its dark documentary “Heart of Darkness,” you would love this “Community” episode.
It starts with Dean Pelton wanting to film a new recruitment video for Greendale. Of course, it takes a wild ass turn when Abed decided to make a behind-the-scenes docu about it. We have Jeff embracing his role as Dean Pelton way too much, Annie losing her shit as the dean’s assistant director and of course, Dean Pelton going overboard with his directorial role.
Joel McHale’s (Jeff Winger) top pick: “Studies in Modern Movement”
“When the Dean and I did karaoke and sang ‘Kiss from a Rose,’ I didn’t expect it. When I finally saw the sequence, I was like, ‘Holy s—!’ That was great,” explains McHale.
It’s the episode that gave us our fave trio: Troy, Abed and Annie. They are the study group’s babies and they’re finally moving in together. But when Annie gets frustrated with the duo’s lifestyle, it starts to look like moving in might be a bad idea. On the side, Jeff gets blackmailed by Dean Pelton to spend some quality time with him.
Ken Jeong’s (Señor Chang) top pick: “Bear Down for Midterms”
“I was describing just what Chang has gone through, and it moved me, it moved me to tears, and when the director said ‘Action,’ I just couldn’t stop crying. It literally was the best moment of my acting career,” says Jeong.
Read more: Rejoice Greendale Human Beings, ‘Community’ might actually have a movie
This episode was shot after Glover’s exit in the show. During Vulture’s roundtable, Jeong revealed how there was a deleted scene of Chang eating a pine cone sandwich. We see Chang humbled for the first time in the series. In this episode, he’s not an annoying asshole former professor, but just a guy who is going through a lot right now. Just like the rest of us.
Still from “Community”