Community Parody Episodes – 10 That You Need to Watch

by Hayley Taylor

Community, the NBC show about a college study group, is anything but conventional. The series spends many episodes parodying other movie and television genres. It flips the show’s format on its head, while still feeling authentic to the characters and premise. Here are ten incredibly clever parody episodes of Community that you need to watch:

1. A Fist Full of Paintballs

No one does paintball tournaments quite like Greendale. In this specific paintball episode of Community, the entire campus becomes like a town in the Wild West. Paintball guns become pistols and bounties hang on the walls. There’s even a standoff at the end that’s just as intense as the ones between gunslingers in Western movies. But in this case, the results are less deadly. 

2. Remedial Chaos Theory

Many shows explore what-if scenarios, but Community takes it to the next level. When Jeff rolls a die to decide who has to get the pizza from downstairs, six alternate timelines are created. “The darkest timeline” is especially different, resulting in a fire and loss of an arm. This masterfully written episode gives us six different realities that are just as entertaining as the last. 

3. Pillows and Blankets

Troy and Abed turn Greendale into a Civil-War zone when they disagree on building a fort made out of pillows or blankets. Because of this, students wear blanket capes or hats made out of cushions to show their allegiance. This episode is a parody of Kevin Burns’ documentaries, including voice-over narration during the battle scenes. We’re glad a pillow fight this intense and silly got proper documentation.

4. Basic Intergluteal Numismatics

When an unknown bandit returns to Greendale, the episode turns into a parody of serial killer thrillers like the Zodiac. There’s dramatic mood lighting, chase scenes, and plot twists that are more humorous than scary. Jeff and Annie also use this “cutesy caper” as an excuse to team up and hold hands in the dark. We still don’t know the identity of the bandit, but whoever it is, they must have a lot of change in their wallet. 

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"This means trace the call, Rhonda!" #Community

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5. Digital Estate Planning

Pierce has to win a video game to receive his father’s inheritance after his death. Because of this, the study group gets turned into 8-bit avatars. This episode is nostalgic for those who enjoy old video games. We loved watching the study group learn the importance of friendship on their journey to the center of Hawthorne.

6. Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design

Community starts to feel like a bizarre conspiracy film in this episode. Jeff and Annie are stunned when they discover the professor Jeff made up to get free college credits turns out to be real. Because of this, the two of them go on a wild goose chase around campus to discover who “Professor Professorson” really is. This Greendale conspiracy goes all the way to the top! Or, as Jeff says, it goes all the way to slightly below the middle.

7. Basic Lupine Urology

When the study group’s yam gets destroyed, the biology classroom turns into a crime scene. Shirley, Troy, and Abed investigate while taking turns saying cheesy zingers. Britta becomes the tech wiz, but can only change the filter of the crime photos. Additionally, Jeff and Annie act as two lawyers who approach their job differently. What makes this episode even better is that the Law and Order theme takes over the Community intro, and the DUN-DUN sound effect can be heard between scenes. 

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"We can't both do the zinger." #Community

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8. Cooperative Calligraphy

Community is known for breaking the fourth wall, and this episode is no exception. Abed claims that they’re doing a “bottle episode,” which is when characters are stuck in a single space the entire time. These characters find themselves in a similar situation when Annie loses her pen. They all refuse to leave until they find it, causing them to destroy the study room. Abed says that bottle episodes are boring, but this episode for sure wasn’t.

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9. Geothermal Escapism

Abed plans a campus-wide game of “the floor is lava” as a way to say goodbye to Troy. As a result, Greendale turns into a post-apocalyptic world that resembles the film series Mad Max. This is poetic, as a world without Troy seems post-apocalyptic to Abed. Our hearts were as warm as lava by the end of the episode.

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Troy and Abed in a buubbble. #Community

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10. Basic Rocket Science

If you like fried chicken and space, you’re in luck! In this episode, the gang gets stuck inside an old KFC themed space flight simulator. Because of this, the plot of the episode starts to resemble those of space adventure films like Apollo 13. Their mission is to create the most delicious galaxy and launch their space simulation program before City College launches theirs. 

We hope that “six seasons and a movie” happens sometime soon. But for now, you can watch Community on Netflix or Hulu!

Honorable Mentions: App Development and Condiments, Paradigms of Human Memory, and Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking.

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1 comment

Julie July 3, 2020 - 3:24 pm

Amazing!! Another great article!!

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