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Home > Top Ten Episodes of ‘Community’

Top Ten Episodes of ‘Community’

Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennet, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison, and Ken Jeong in Community | Sony Pictures

Six Seasons And A Movie

With all the long-running shows that come out, few have stayed relevant in modern pop culture. One of these shows was Community (2009-2015). The series that primarily followed Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), Shirly Bennet (Yvette Nicole Brown), Annie Edison (Allison Brie), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) as they attend Greendale Community College. The series was beloved by so many for its clever writing, iconic performances, and memorable episodes. In honor of the show’s upcoming 15th anniversary and the movie set for production this year, according to Screen Rant, here are the top ten best episodes of Community. Minor Spoilers Ahead! 

10. Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television (Season 6, Episode 13)

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Ken Jeong as Ben Chang, Jim Rash as Craig Pelton, Paget Brewster as Frankie Dart, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Ken Jeong as Ben Chang, Jim Rash as Craig Pelton, Paget Brewster as Frankie Dart, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures

In the series finale, the group reflects on their sixth year at Greendale and ponders what a “season 7” would be. One of Community’s signature traits was its metatextual humor and this episode is chock-full of it. Characters like Shirley come back briefly and everyone wonders if they’ll come back, referencing the cast and crew always uncertain if they’ll get renewed for another season, and what everyone’s “season seven” looks like. There can be a risk for meta humor not always working, something even Community has suffered from, but here it works. The episode is a good reminder of how things eventually end or at least evolve and that it is important to accept that. There is also a good speech at the end of Abed about the importance of TV and how comforting it can be. It’s a great way of showing how much watching shows like this means to people and why it should be handled with care. At the end of the day, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” pleasantly ends the show, while still leaving room for the movie. 

9. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (Season 2, Episode 14)

Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Charley Koontz as Neil, and Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures
Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Charley Koontz as Neil, and Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures

This episode follows the group as they try to cheer up their friend Neil (Charley Koontz) by playing Dungeons & Dragons, DND. Before going further, there is one thing that has to be addressed that led to this episode being removed from all streaming platforms the series is on. In the episode, the character Chang (Ken Jeong) is wearing black makeup on his face. Even though his appearance is short and he was cosplaying as a dark elf, given the history of dark elves in DND and the fact that it is still a person wearing black makeup on their face, it is still something that never should have been included. With all that said, the rest of the episode was very well done. 

The main premise of this episode with the group helping Neil, who was severely depressed, was heartwarming to see. It wasn’t often in the series to see the main characters hang out with any supporting characters and even help them with their problems, so it was nice to see. Another excellent thing here is how they portray the DND campaign. Instead of showing what the characters are imagining, possible through animation like some might expect, it instead just shows it like a regular DND with everyone sitting at a table playing. It makes it feel more like a regular RPG game. Ultimately, while “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” does have an unfortunate part, that does not take away from the meaningfulness of the episode. 

8. Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking (Season 2, Episode 15)

Levar Burton as Himself and Donald Glover as Troy Barnes in Community | Sony Pictures
Levar Burton as Himself and Donald Glover as Troy Barnes in Community | Sony Pictures

What helps make Community stand out from other shows, especially sitcoms, is how it switches things up every episode. This episode in particular does something different by being done in a mockumentary style. It ends up leading to several hilarious moments including Jeff freaking out when Pierce says he found his dad or Troy losing his mind of meeting Levar Burton (Himself).  Another aspect of this episode that works is everything with Pierce. The character has always been a wild card, to say the least, and this season in particular had him more in an antagonistic role with this episode being no exception. Seeing him get inside the other characters’ heads and how it all unfolds was brilliant. That said, there were also some pleasant moments such as Pierce revealing Annie is his favorite and giving her a tiara. It did a good job of showing Pierce’s kinder moments to give him more dimension. All in all, “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” is a fun time with plenty of memorable scenes.  

7. Digital Estate Planning (Season 3, Episode 20) 

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, and Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennet in Community | Sony Pictures
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, and Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennet in Community | Sony Pictures

Community is at its best when it tries to parody another style. In this case, having the characters play a video game and having most of the episodes in the video game world. This episode feels like a love letter to RPG video games from the late 80s to early 90s. From the graphics to the sound and music  to even the NPCs, right down to them having limited dialogue. It replicates those games to near perfection. Of course, there are many funny parts in the episode including Abed building a giant house and army in mere minutes or Annie accidentally burning down a house with Shirley having to cover her tracks. What also makes this episode delightful is the overstory between Pierce, his father, and his father’s assistant Gilbert (Ginacarlo Esposito). It once again shows Pierce’s softer side and sees him form a bond with Gilbert in a rather touching way. In the end, “Digital Estate Planning” is a nice adventure that never gets dull. 

6. Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (Season 2, Episode 10)

Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, John Oliver as Ian Duncan, Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, and Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures
Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, John Oliver as Ian Duncan, Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, and Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures

Like with many other series, holiday episodes were often done in Community. This one is one of the best ones. It follows the gang, along with Professor Ian Duncan (John Oliver), trying to help Abed by pretending to go on a Christmas adventure. The episode is done through stop-motion animation, similar to the Rankin Bass Christmas films, and it is done amazingly here. The overall animation looks incredible and the characters move so fluently. The character models for everyone in the Christmas world are solid and match their characters well. There are some decent jokes, especially with Professor Duncan who almost steals the show. The best part of the episode though is everything with Abed and that’s for two reasons. First is that this story touches upon something the show only brings up once about Abed: his estranged relationship with his mother. Community has touched upon parental relationships with some of the characters, including Jeff, but Abed’s rarely is mentioned so seeing it here was not only refreshing, but also very emotional with how it’s done. The second is, like with Neil’s story, the gang goes out of their way to help Abed and is invested in his fantasy world. It shows how much these characters mean to each other and what they are willing to do to help them out. 

5. Introduction to Finality (Season 3, Episode 22) 

Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, and Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennet in Community | Sony Pictures
Allison Brie as Annie Edison, Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, and Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennet in Community | Sony Pictures

Despite the series ending in season 6, there was a time when many thought the show might end in the third season, including those involved with Community. While it is great that this was not the case, this episode was an excellent season finale and could have worked as a grand finale. It deals with multiple storylines including Shirley and Pierce going to “court” over her sandwich shop and Abed being “controlled” by his evil doppelganger. Despite having so many different storylines, the episode never feels controlled or difficult to follow. Each one gets plenty of focus and interconnects in ways that make sense. The writing here is outstanding. Tons of jokes that land and moments that further develop the characters. It eventually culminates in a way where it could have stopped right there and it would be fine, but still keeping the door open should the show continue. Obviously, it did, although this is arguably a better ending to Community than the actual one. 

4. Modern Warfare (Season 1, Episode 23) 

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger in Community | Sony Pictures

One of the infamous things about Community is the paintball episodes. Always done as a parody of movies, it has the main characters being in a school-wide paintball tournament. Though each of them is fantastic in their own way, the original is still a classic. Dozens of wonderful silly bits in this such as how one of the members gets eliminated from the game or even Chang registered for a class just so he can participate, it’s all wonderful. The action is also impressively done here. The episode was directed by Justin Lin, better known for directing 5 Fast & Furious movies. His style can certainly be felt here, especially with how some of the paintball fights are shot. The episode also brings up Jeff and Britta’s ongoing “will they, won’t they” chemistry in a way that is interesting and different from how most shows would go about it. Overall, “Modern Warfare ” is an enjoyable episode from beginning to end. 

3. Remedial Chaos Theory (Season 3, Episode 4) 

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison | Sony Pictures
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison | Sony Pictures

It wouldn’t be a list of the best Community episodes without mentioning the episode that got nominated for an Emmy for outstanding writing, according to IMDb. It follows the group as Jeff decides to use a die to determine who gets the pizza with the episode exploring every timeline where one of them does it. The premise alone is a reason why this show is beloved by many. It takes a unique idea and takes full advantage of it. Each timeline is different, but still follows similar beats to cleverly show how it plays out in their version. Some of it gets more and more chaotic, leading to several iconic moments. It also makes the first mention of a “dark timeline”, which has since been ingrained in pop culture. This is not only one of the best episodes of the show, it is one of the greatest episodes in television history. 

2. Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design (Season 2, Episode 9) 

Joel McHale as Jeff Winger and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures
Joel McHale as Jeff Winger and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures

Another thing Community did well are mysteries. This episode primarily Jeff and Annie who are trying to uncover the mystery surrounding Jeff’s fake conspiracy class. Everything about this story is wonderful. The amount of layers that are built upon these “conspiracies” is astonishing. Every revelation helps add another piece to the puzzle, each more hilarious than the last, leading to a bizarrely entertaining finale to it. It also brings Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) into the fold, which is always nice whenever he’s a part of an episode. There is also an unrelated story with Troy and Abed making an awesome blanket fort that turns into sort of a utopian society. It is a perfect example that even the side stories in the show are still terrific. Even though some of the main characters don’t have a ton to do here, they still have some decent moments. When all is said and done, “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” is an intriguing mystery that gets better and better. 

1. Basic Lupine Urology (Season 3, Episode 17)

Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures
Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, and Allison Brie as Annie Edison in Community | Sony Pictures

Every episode on this list is enjoyable for one reason or another, but this one takes the cake as the best of them all. It follows the main characters figuring out what happened to their yam project for their biology class in a Law & Order (1990-2010; 2021-Present) style episode. Like with “Digital Real Estate”, the style is emulated here marvelously. The cinematography, the writing, the performances, and even the narrative switching from the “cops” with Tory and Abed to the “lawyers’ with Jeff and Annie were all gratifying to watch. The episode even got Leslie Hendrix, who played medical examiner Elizabeth Rogers on Law & Order, to appear as a yam examiner. What helps sell all of this is how all the characters play it completely straight. They are all fully aware none of them are cops or lawyers, yet still act like them with full commitment, down to how they dress. In the end, “Basic Lupine Urology” is Community at its best. 

Community can be found on Hulu and Netflix. 

Community (2009-2015) Season 1 Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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I am from Michigan. I am a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University majoring in Film Production with a minor in Media Production.

Hi! I am a Dramatic Writing and Performing Arts major at SCAD from Puerto Rico. I have an intense passion for all things film, tv, and music. I believe everyone has a story to tell, and putting it out there is the most important.