What Is A Normal Episode of Community?

What Is A Normal Episode of Community?

I was super pumped for the premier of the fifth season of Community. After all, “Repilot” (5×1) marked the return of Dan Harmon and after a ‘weird’ fourth season, I was eager for the series to go back to normal. Or at least back to what I knew and loved, even with knowledge of Donald Glover’s impending departure looming above the otherwise gleeful occasion.

Perhaps that was a silly thought though – normal or status-quo only equate to average TV. And Community has always been one to aim higher. Or aim for a different target although. Yet I distinctly remember thinking around episode three of this season (“Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” (5×3), you know the one with the ‘Ass-Crack Bandit’), that it seemed a bit too soon for a concept episode. The gang had just gotten back together.

I had a similar thought just before watching “G.I. Jeff” (5×11) the other night. I kind of just wanted to see the group hangout at Greendale, of course that’s before I saw the excellent G.I Joe themed and stylized episode. It was then that it finally occurred to me that there probably is no such thing as a ‘normal’ episode of Community.

Five seasons in and it would seem that nothing in pop culture is off-limits. Below are just some of the more creative places Community has gone. And while that list is certainly not comprehensive of all of Community’s homages, parodies, and escapes from reality, they do account for approximately 30% of all aired episodes. So, is it misguided to assume that there is a normal?

What do you consider to be a standard episode of Community? Or is that the beauty of the show, that there is no predictable and formulaic entry in the series?

Abed Documentary Making

A Film Within A Show
“Introduction to Film” (1×3)
“Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples” (2×5)
“Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” (2×16)
“Documentary Filmmaking Redux” (3×8)
“Advanced Documentary Filmmaking” (4×6)


Community Contemporary American Poultry

Mafia Movie Homage
“Contemporary American Poultry” (1×21)


Community Paintball

“Modern Warfare” (1×23)
“A Fistful of Paintballs” (2×23)
“For A Few Paintballs More” (2×24)


Community KFC Spaceship

Apollo 13 / Space Travel Movie Homage
“Basic Rocket Science” (2×4)


Community 2x08 Bottle Episode

Bottle Episode
“Cooperative Calligraphy” (2×8)


Community conspiracy theories

A Conspiracy Theory
“Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” (2×9)


Community D&D

“Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” (2×14)
“Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” (5×10)


Evil Troy & Evil Abed

Alternative Timelines
“Remedial Chaos Theory” (3×4)
“Advanced Introduction to Finality” (4×13)


Abed Pillow Fort

Pillow Forts
“Digital Exploration of Interior Design” (3×13)
“Pillows and Blankets” (3×14)


Community holiday music

“Regional Holiday Music” (3×10)


Community Digital Estate Planning

Video Games
“Digital Estate Planning” (3×20)


Community Claymation

“Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” (2×11)


Community Fake Clip Show

Clip Show
“Paradigms of Human Memory” (2×21)



“Intro to Felt Surrogacy” (4×9)


Community Zombie Episode

“Epidemiology” (2×6)


Community basic lupine urology

Law & Order / Detective Procedural Homage
“Basic Lupine Urology” (3×17)
“Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” (5×3)


Community Floor is Lava

The Floor Is Lava
“Geothermal Escapism” (5×5)


Community MeowMeowBeenz

Parody of Internet & Mobile App Games
“App Development and Condiments” (5×8)


Community GI Joe

G.I. Joe / 80s Cartoon Homage
“G.I. Jeff” (5×11)


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Written by Jamie Paton

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