It's time to list some of my personal favourite episodes of Community. I would have done a Top 10 but that just wouldn't have done enough justice for the amount of great episodes on this list. You should be aware that you might disagree with my list because these are my own opinions.
Episode Number: 1.1
Premise: Jeff Winger is a debarred lawyer who is forced to attend community college to get his license back. He tries to exploit his friendship with one of the faculty members for easy credits, but fails, and is forced to join a Spanish study group.
Why is it so good: What a great way to start off Community! Solid writing that gave us a great introduction to some of the characters we would see on the show. This episode was merely a tease to the gold mine that was to come.
24. Introduction To Film
Episode Number: 1.3
Premise: Britta enlists Abed in a Film course so he can express his freedom but finds him flunking the course and to pass a seemingly simple course, Jeff must learn how to cease the day.
Why is it so good: The first Abed centric episode, we got a great insight into how this character is like. For the whole episode, Abed comes off as an awful person but the reason he was doing all those things is truly heartbreaking and great way of looking at his character. Also ironic to see Jeff trying so hard for something he was doing for the lack of effort.
23. Physical Education
Episode number: 1.17
Premise: The gang tries to hunt down Abed's secret lover and Jeff gets into conflict with the college's Billiards Professor when the teacher enforces an unorthodox uniform regime.
Why is it so good: While it is hilarious to see how Abed approaches women along with his caucasian counterpart, the climax is all too funny with the imagery of Jeff screaming in glory as he rips the underpants from his own pelvis. Well played Jeff.
22. Basic Lupine Urology
Episode number: 3.17
Premise: When the study group's Biology assignment is sabotaged, they must go into Law & Order mode to prove that the incident was foul play.
Why is it so good: With a formula that is so popularly satirized, it's about time for Community to take a swing at it. The episode felt so seamless in its writing. The contrast of the drama in most crime shows and the humour that is found in Community is so brilliantly well done.
21. Curriculum Unavailable
Episode number: 3.19
Premise: After the study group is suspended from Greendale Community College due to starting a riot at Starburn's eulogy, they are forced to take a session with a psychiatrist who reveals that the college is actually an insane asylum.
Why is it so good: The fake twist hilariously makes sense in this neat build-up to the showdown with Chang. This is one of the few episodes not featuring Greendale so it's a nice chang-up. See what I did there?
20. The First Chang Dynasty
Episode number: 3.21
Premise: The study group plot a mission to save the Dean and take down Chang who has become the leader of the college. The stakes are high.
Why is it so good: What a great way to bring Chang's villainy to an end. A satire on classic heist films like Ocean's Eleven, we got to see the cast bang their heads together and create an epic, well woven story.
19. Critical Film Studies
Episode number: 2.19
Premise: Jeff sets up a surprise Pulp Fiction party for Abed who has been becoming more troublesome after the Christmas special. Things go awry when Abed invites Jeff to a restaurant to discuss his new view on life.
Why is it so good: Danny Pudi's performance as Abed has never been better in this seemingly out of place episode. The ending is quite the pay-off when we find out what Abed has secretly been up to. Having the briefcase in this episode was quite a smart move.
18. Heroic Origins
Episode number: 4.12
Premise: Abed explains to the study group how each of their previous lives are scarily connected. When their pasts are uncovered, they find themselves despising each other.
Why is it so good: Spoiler alert, this is only episode from beyond Season Three to appear on this list. From first glance, this episode comes off as an arbitrary story of how the main cast are all connected but after some analysis, I have come to the conclusion this is one of the smartest episodes of Community. There are a few small nods to the Star Wars prequels throughout the episode that suggest that this episode is actually a satire on the infamous retcons that most popular franchises face. Hats off to you Community!
17. Aerodynamics Of Gender
Episode number: 2.7
Premise: The female members of the study group hire Abed to bad mouth some women who were rude to them in Women's Studies for their entertainment while Jeff and Troy stumble upon a magic trampoline which gets Pierce jealous.
Why is it so good: Abed going all Robocop on Greendale's "b*tches" was hilarious, especially when his protocols became breached and started harassing everyone. This was one of the first episodes to show a very dark side to Pierce so we could both hate him and feel sorry for him.
16. Celebrity Pharmacology 212
Episode number: 2.13
Premise: Annie runs a play for drug awareness in front of children but everything falls apart when Pierce starts bribing her while Jeff has an awkward encounter with Britta's nephew.
Why is it so good: I honestly didn't care much for the Jeff subplot. This was a great episode that satired all of those silly plays we had to watch when we were kids to learn the dos and don'ts of life. Pierce's performance as Drugs was superb and it was great to see a nice side to Chang who gets beaten up by an angry mob of little kids.
Premise: The students at Greendale Community College become zombies after eating tainted taco meat. The survivors must fight through the infected and cure them.
Why is it so good: One thing that I thought when watching this episode was "well that escalated quickly". Community took the opportunity to satire the zombie genre with cleverly written humour and being the only zombie flick where the black guy survives at the end. I don't know about you, but having ABBA as the soundtrack is just genius.
14. Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas
Episode number: 2.11
Premise: At Christmas time, Abed hallucinates that everyone is stop-motion animated and goes on a journey to find the meaning of Christmas while the Psychology Professor, Ian Duncan tries to stop him.
Why is it so good: What Christmas special would be without stop motion animation, magical themes and singing? While this episode was full of humour, we got a little insight into Abed's tragic relationship with his mother and were further reminded that he too is a human being. Aspies for the win! Plus, Teddy Pierce is hilarious.
13. Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design
Episode number: 2.9
Premise: Jeff has been taking a fake class but becomes shocked when a Professor claims to be teaching his class and Annie chooses to investigate it while Troy and Abed builds a blanket fort that grows to epic proportions.
Why is it so good: Professor Professorson, you conniving b*stard. Truly a great satire on the mystery genre with a brilliantly written climax. The Troy and Abed subplot strangely fits in with ease.
12. A Fist Full Of Paintballs
Episode number: 2.23-24
Premise: The Dean hosts a second paintball competition that turns out to be crazier than the last one. Alliances are formed, friendships are broken and everyone gets soaked in paint with another paintball special.
Why is it so good: Community does its best to top its last Paintball special with something that goes from satirizing the western genre and then full on doing a Star Wars parody. Abed does a great Han Solo and Pierce goes through an awesome redemption.
11. Digital Estate Planning
Episode number: 3.20
Premise: To gain his father's inheritance, Pierce must participate in a custom made video game. The study group helps Pierce on this epic 16-bit quest.
Why is it so good: For starters, you have Gustavo Fring playing a villain in a video game, that's pretty damn cool. Abed's love subplot is quite humorous and the graphics in this episode are superb. This episode also teaches us the true power of friendship.
10. Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps
Episode number: 3.5
Premise: After a psyche test determines one of people in the study group has homicidal tendencies, Britta gets everyone to tell a scary story to determine who has the potential to be a serial killer.
Why is it so good: We've reached the final ten. While the scary stories served their own purpose to Britta, they showed us a hilarious look into the cast's minds. I won't get into it too much but they're some pretty funny stories.
9. Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking
Episode number: 2.16
Premise: After suffering an overdose, Pierce tricks the study group into thinking that he is dying to exact revenge on them for neglecting him and asks Abed to document it all.
Why is it so good: A great satire on shows like the Office and Parks and Recreation, this episode gave us an insight into some of the cast's greatest weaknesses. Donald Glover is at his best when he portrays Troy as a shocked fanboy who can do nothing but stare, cry and scream. Had quite a chuckle when Jeff beat up Pierce and Pierce having the delusion that he had become Jeff's father figure.
8. Paradigms Of A Human Memory
Episode number: 2.21
Premise: While Annie finishes the diorama of the study group for Anthropology, the group strolls down memory lane as they ponder the crazy year they've had.
Why is it so good: This is a brilliant satire on those flashback episodes that we often saw in the old sitcoms. The humour was even further amplified when all the flashback footage is completely new. Perhaps the funniest moment on the show is when Pierce injected himself with several flu shots and screamed "I'll be a living god!"
7. Virtual Systems Analysis
Episode number: 3.16
Premise: Abed reluctantly takes Annie with him on a trip into the Dreamatorium after Troy goes on a date with Britta. Annie messes with the Dreamatorium for Abed to empathise with people more but ends up breaking his mind.
Why is it so good: This episode turned out to be an awesome Annie episode which explored her feelings through Abed's impressions of the study group. We saw her desire and her pain in its rawest form along with Abed's. It was a very emotional episode that will be lingering on my mind for a very long time to come.
6. Pillows and Blankets
Episode number: 3.14
Premise: Greendale Community College has a Civil War when Abed's dream for a pillow fort clashes with Troy's desire to win the World's Biggest Blanket Fort record. This turns into the most devastating pillow fight in history.
Why is it so good: A genius parody on war documentaries, Pillows and Blankets is spot on with its satire humour. Community always knows how to go over-the-top with some pretty silly concepts. Pierce becoming half-man/half-pillow is absolutely hysterical.
5. Documentary Filmmaking: Redux
Episode number: 3.8
Premise: Dean Pelton is given the task of creating a new commercial for Greendale Community College. The project starts getting to him and the pressure of directing drives him insane and he forces the actors to film for two weeks straight.
Why is it good: There is something about mockumentaries that Community seems to do so well. It's hilarious just how insane everything is in this episode. Jeff becomes convinced he is bald, Annie develops hysterical devotion to Dean, Troy and Britta can't look at each other after hugging some 50 times and Pierce locks himself inside a trailer so that he can have a trailer. All of these subplots are so well integrated into the plot and make for a brilliant climax.
4. Cooperative Calligraphy
Episode number: 2.8
Premise: A trip to the Puppy Parade is cancelled after Annie locks the library down when she finds several of her pens stolen and will stop at nothing to find the culprit.
Why is it so good: This is the crowning sitcom satire episode, taking a comedic twist on the bottle episodes often found in sitcoms. There is something very meta about this episode, it just kept shoving the fact they were doing the dreadful bottle episode in our faces and it worked!
3. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Episode number: 2.14
Premise: To raise Fat Neil's spirits, Jeff and the study group organise a game of Dungeons & Dragons. After feeling excluded, Pierce abuses the game and seeks to destroy Neil's soul.
Why is it so good: Season 2 truly was the high point of Community. Community hits the bullseye in this parody of fantasy films like Lord Of The Rings. Pierce makes an excellent villain, that shot of him sitting on a throne and sipping wine is both intimidating and hilarious and the study group's victory feels that much more satisfying.
2. Modern Warfare
Episode number: 1.23
Premise: Jeff wakes up to find himself in the midst of the most chaotic match of paintball in history. The entire student body is at each other's throat for the prize that seems to be too good to be true.
Why is it so good: This episode came out of nowhere, up until this point, the episodes were fairly tame. This is what got Community on the map! This is a parody of classic actions films and has a few parallels with Die Hard. The episode was an insane amount of fun and proved that Community has the potential to stand against the test of time. This is it! Number one!
1. Remedial Chaos Theory
Episode number: 3.3
Premise: Troy and Abed have a house warming party and invite the study group. They order pizza and to decide who I will retrieve it, Jeff rolls a die and we look into several different timelines that show what would happen when each of them were chosen.
Why is this so good: If there were only two episodes of Community you could watch, it would have to be Modern Warfare and Remedial Chaos Theory. This episode is brilliantly written, fitting in seven different stories that play out like Groundhog Day. The episode doesn't feel crowded or unfunny, every scene has a purpose. The Darkest Timeline will always be highlight of the show. That image of the Norwegian Troll Doll smiling by the fire will always make me laugh.
Took me all day but there we go, 25 episodes, one list. Tell me your favourite episodes down below!