List of Community characters
Community is an American television situation comedy created by Dan Harmon. The show, set at the fictional Greendale Community College, depicts the on-campus exploits of students brought together when they form a study group. The show stars:
- Joel McHale as Jeff Winger
- Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry
- Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett
- Alison Brie as Annie Edison
- Donald Glover as Troy Barnes
- Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne
- Jim Rash as Craig Pelton (dean of the college)
- Ken Jeong as teacher-turned student "Señor" Ben Chang
The series also features recurring characters, typically fellow students or teachers at Greendale.
The show revolves around the on- and off-campus exploits of seven students who are connected through their study group at Greendale Community College.
Jeff was a lawyer until the Colorado Bar Association found out that he did not get a bachelor's degree from Columbia University but, in fact, got one that was "less than legitimate" and "better than real" from the country of Colombia. He returns to college by attending Greendale Community College as a deal with the bar in order to prevent him from being disbarred. He consequently hopes to graduate as quickly as possible.
In the pilot, Jeff forms and joins the study group because he is attracted to fellow student Britta whom he hits on, despite her rejection of his advances. However, by the end of the pilot episode, he is kicked out of the group before being asked to join back in.
After Britta definitively rejects his advances, Jeff begins flirting with his Statistics professor, Professor Slater, and they eventually begin dating. Before this, he shares a number of awkward moments with another study group member, Annie, after she kisses him to win a championship debate. After Professor Slater breaks up with him, he sleeps with Britta in the study room after a paintball fight in "Modern Warfare." At the end of season one, Britta and a newly interested Professor Slater compete for his affections, culminating in Britta professing her love for him at the school's Tranny Dance. Soon after, he meets Annie outside and they kiss. At the beginning of season two, Britta recants her "I love you," saying she was caught up in the spirit of competition, and he comes to an uneasy understanding with both Britta and Annie. Later in the season, the study group finds out that Britta and Jeff had been hooking up in secret throughout the year, and both of them then realize they have no interest in continuing to hook up. Jeff and Annie both wrestle with their romantic impulses towards each other for much of Season 3.
Jeff is continually sarcastic, suffers occasional bouts of rational-actor sociopathy, and often displays much less enthusiasm for Greendale activities than other members in his Spanish study group. Initially, Jeff tends to be manipulative and self-centered towards his study group, but gradually shows an increasing respect or fondness for the other group members, and treats them as friends. Jeff enjoys being in positions of authority and command, and acts as the effective leader of the group. It becomes apparent that several members of the group rely on him playing this patriarchal role, though Pierce Hawthorne, as an elder male and the most sociopathic member of the group, naturally resists and tends to insult Jeff whenever he can, despite Pierce's lack of wit. Yet in episode "Spanish 101," Jeff develops an unstable detente with Pierce. The other members have also bristled at the way Jeff is the "obvious" person to be their group leader but regularly mocks or disregards such responsibilities, leading to times when they have been receptive to leadership from other members (particularly Troy). By the end of Season 3, Jeff has reconciled his roles as suspended lawyer and head of the study group: he ignores his sleazy former law colleague's promise/threat to either get Jeff back into the firm or ruin his career based on whether he throws Shirley's sandwich-shop case, wins the proceeding for her, and accepts Shirley and Pierce's joint offer to have him serve as managing counsel for their new joint shop venture.
Because of his background experience as a lawyer and his charisma, many people, including Dean Pelton and Señor Chang, seek help from Jeff. Jeff's adventures include stints as a member of the debate team and substitute glee club, and editor of the school paper, as well as efforts to improve Chang's professional and love lives. Due to his competitive nature and air of superiority, Jeff has a difficult relationship with his accounting, billiards, and pottery professors, and he ends up doing poorly in their classes. One of his remarkable traits is his perfectly unkempt hair, and the mystery of how he maintains its bed-headed perfection, which Dean Pelton describes as "crispy" to the touch.
As the show progresses Jeff starts dealing with his insecurity and resentful feelings towards his father, who abandoned him. "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking" presents his issues with the latter. By the end of the episode, Jeff has realized that he has many things to say to his father, many of which came out towards Pierce when Jeff attacked him in a fit of rage. In addition, in one of the timelines of "Remedial Chaos Theory," Pierce brings up the subject of Jeff's father, which Jeff immediately evades. Also, while attempting to come up with a toast for Shirley's wedding, Jeff drunkenly reveals that his jaded views on marriage are a result of the failure of his parents' marriage and his father subsequently leaving them. The season 3 finale shows Jeff finally making an attempt to contact his father. He also admits that he thinks of himself as "broken".
In the Season 4 episode Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations, Jeff finally meets his father, William Winger Sr., as well as a half-brother, William Jr. Jeff eventually reveals that after his father left, he told his classmates in 7th grade school that he had to get an appendectomy, in order to have someone "worry about [him]." When one of them asked to see the scar, Jeff intentionally gave himself a scar with his mother's scissors on his abdomen in order to keep up the charade. He still possesses all of the get-well cards he received from his classmates in a box under his bed, because "it proves that someone, at some point, cared about me." It is implied that by meeting his father in person, and telling him how much he was hurt, that Jeff has faced and began to deal with many of his insecurities stemming from the abandonment. It is also shown at the end of the episode that he and his half-brother are on good terms.
In the season four finale, Jeff receives an Associate of Education degree.
Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), born in October 1980 and of Swedish descent, is a politically interested and socially empathetic student at Greendale, who in many cases serves as the study group's scapegoat.
Britta experienced an unexplained trauma in her childhood during a birthday party, involving a man in a dinosaur costume. She decided to drop out of high school because she thought it would impress Radiohead. After dropping out of school, she started vandalizing billboards around the area where she grew up. During the vandalizing she became friends with other people who liked to vandalize. The friends created a small group of "anarchist billboard vandals". When the group grew larger she was kicked out, via a democratic voting system. Soon after her departure, the group developed into a high-end advertising firm. After her fallout Britta joined the Peace Corps, did some foot modeling, got teargassed at a World Trade rally, and took an extended vacation in Africa. Realizing she needed to do something with her life, Britta got her G.E.D. and enrolled at Greendale. In the Season 3 premiere, Britta tells the study group that she's decided to major in Psychology and work towards becoming a therapist, a career goal the study group is extremely skeptical about.
Britta is a college-girl bête noire on Community, and like all the older-student characters, she is reliably portrayed by the show as essentially flawed (due to excessive history), for which she is reliably lampooned. Britta is often the voice of reason within the group, but is mocked by fellow members for her pronounced Goy-progressive sensibilities and moral code, as well as her inadequate "triple-threat" performance skills. In Season 1, Britta's unconventional culture prevents her from being a typical female lead. She is not always adept with everyday female bonding, and this creates a bit of distance between her and the other females in the group, though they generally bond. In one episode Britta, Shirley, Annie, and Abed cohere in collective mean-girl catty behavior, until Abed teaches them a lesson in civilized comportment. While the group doesn't question her place within it, they often denigrate Britta as a "buzzkill" and the group's least "fun" member, something Britta generally takes in stride, though she occasionally reacts in exasperation. The group even mocks Britta for pronouncing the word "bagel" with a Minnesota accent and for being a vegetarian.
The Community study group continues to insist that "Britta" is a verb for failure, and her character often performs poorly, such as in glee club, in class, and in her haplessly lone expressions of politics. In Season 2, it is revealed that Britta's adult-student poverty is severe, and that she has begun working as a waitress at a diner, where the manager hates her, she earns no tips, and she eventually gets fired. There have been indications that Britta actually has marketable talents. To Shirley's surprise, Britta's wedding planning for her and Andre's ceremony was outstanding, but Britta's faults stem from behavior that the show posits as unnaturally political and that prevent Britta from following a path, such as wedding planning, that would be more female-normative. The show's meta, young-male voice and conscience, television-aficionado Abed Nadir, sums up the impatient, disapproving narrative perspective on Britta's character, portraying her as a robot and observing that people "can be put off by her vacuous, mannequin face and her Jodie Foster severity". The character Britta tends less toward severity, however, and more toward court fool, frequently engaging in slapstick physical comedy.
Although she has unceasingly exhibited a lack of romantic interest in Jeff, Britta has acted on sexual feelings for him. She eventually sleeps with Jeff during a prolonged paintball match, and later embarrasses herself by publicly professing her "love" for him, which she claims, in the end, was merely the result of her compulsive competition with alpha-female rival Professor Slater. Surprisingly, Britta's embarrassing profession of love makes her popular with campus women at the beginning of her second year by giving her a reputation for fearlessness.
Britta and Jeff like to think of themselves, and in fact tend to serve as, the group's dystopic mom and dad, and they often assume they know what is best for their friends; this dynamic of their relationship is explored in several episodes, culminating in Troy's realization on his 21st birthday that they are just as dumb as he. It is later revealed by Abed (in "Paradigms of Human Memory") that Britta and Jeff had a secret affair throughout Season 2 that began in Season 1 ("Modern Warfare"), and the fact that their fling is no longer secret ruins any subversive interest they had in continuing it.
In Season 3, an attraction begins to emerge between Britta and Troy. In "Origins of Vampire Mythology", it is a disguised Troy who texts "something nice" to Britta in an attempt to end her interest in an old flame of hers. She is shown smiling when she discovers that it was Troy who sent the text. In the following episode, "Virtual Systems Analysis", Annie plays matchmaker with them, and the two go on what appears to be an unofficial date. In the Season 4 premiere, it is revealed that Britta and Troy have begun dating. However they break up in "Basic Human Anatomy".
Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) is a young, emotionally reserved, Palestinian/Polish-American pop-culture enthusiast who aspires to become a director and is currently taking film directing classes at Greendale. Paste ranked him first in their list of the 20 Best Characters of 2011, describing him as "the show's emotional center" and saying "his pop-culture obsessions and antics with his buddy Troy have made for some of the show's finest moments."
Abed's original plan at Greendale was to take business classes to eventually help run his father's falafel stand, but this became his backup plan when Britta inspired him to pursue his true passion. While like Spock, Abed has emotion and sympathy for his friends, he is very analytical and speaks with a rather detached and emotionless tone. He also has a distinct straightforwardness and often contextualizes situations via pop cultural tropes and references, which leads many people to suspect he has Asperger's.
Abed usually serves as a self-aware bridge between the world of "Community" and the world of the viewer, and this frequently permits "Community" to play with television motifs and conventions. However, although this is a defining character trait it is not his only one. Despite his straightforwardness and self-awareness he also has an underlying happy, innocent, and sweet nature. Because of this, Abed is generally loved by all, and especially so by his best friend Troy. Abed also possesses many stealth talents, such as being surprisingly athletic and coordinated. He also is competent at attracting both women and men.
Abed gleans insights on characters and story lines using comparisons to various television shows and films. This talent translates into him usually meta referencing their lives in relation to the show, by commenting on the dynamic of the characters together, and their story lines. He can sometimes predict exactly what they will do at a given time. This meta gift, occasionally combined with his ability to personify other characters, allows him to induce his friends to play out their mental baggage. While it is left ambiguous, some of Abed's comments imply he might be aware that he is a character in a television show, most notably in "Cooperative Calligraphy" when he describes the event that unfold in the study hall as a bottle episode; the episode itself is a bottle episode. However, he has also described his love of television shows as stemming from their predictable nature - they have rules that govern what can and cannot happen and when, and so uses television as a guide to understanding how he should behave in a given situation. By pointing out the similarities to a bottle episode, he may simply be looking for a reference point to understand how his friends are behaving and why.
Abed and Troy share a uniquely close friendship. The closing credit sequence is usually the pair in a charming short skit or pulling a prank together. Abed initially hurt Troy's feelings at the end of Season One by making it clear he did not want them to become dormitory roommates, but he later explained that he did not want to ruin their close friendship through the extreme and constant proximity of them living together. During "Epidemiology" when the college is overrun by zombies, Abed sacrifices himself to save Troy, prompting Troy to proclaim his love to his best friend before Abed succumbs to the zombies. By Season Three, Abed and Troy have become roommates with Annie in Apartment 303.
Abed's family situation over the years has been quite complicated. His parents divorced when he was very young, and for a long time Abed blamed this on himself and his neuroatypicality. His mother is remarried and has her own family. Abed's dad, Gobi Nadir (played by Iqbal Theba), lives in close proximity to Greendale, and until Abed moved into Apartment 303 during his junior year at Greendale, Abed lived with his dad during the summer. According to Abed and his dad's accounts, most of his extended family either lives in the Middle East or in Poland.
Shirley Bennett, née Edwards (Yvette Nicole Brown), is a recently divorced mother of three who attends Greendale Community College. At Greendale, Shirley is taking classes which will allow her to market her baked goods, specifically her famous brownies. She is proud to be an African American and a woman but appreciates not being defined by those characteristics. Shirley is a devout Christian and has very sweet, feminine and motherly mannerisms; but she also has thinly veiled rage issues—her husband cheated on her and she has an alcoholic past—as well as religious-tolerance issues. She is very friendly to everyone, but sometimes has problems minding her own business or keeping secrets, and she gossips compulsively.
Shirley's intolerant religiosity rounds out Jeff's rational-actor individualism, Britta's left-ish politicizing tendencies, and Pierce's rude and antiquated racism and sexism, as these older-character traits serve as cornerstones of the sit-com's implicit critique of community-undermining behavior in the aging, lost-innocence quarters of America.[original research?]
Shirley feels uncomfortable about being a much more devout Christian than anyone at Greendale. An ongoing plot device is Shirley's difficulty tolerating the faiths of the multiple non-Christian members of the study group. For example, Shirley tried to covertly baptize Annie, who is Jewish and did not appreciate the attempt. While the religious divide between Shirley and everyone else in the group remains, she has come to usually set aside that difference and relate to the other members as people she simply likes being friends with.
Shirley bonds principally with the women in the study group. Shirley just barely tolerates Pierce, given his racist statements. It was revealed in 'Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism', Season Three, that Shirley and Jeff met when they were 12 and 10, respectively. Shirley humiliated Jeff by beating him so badly in a Foosball game that he urinated all over his pants; they did not realize this for years because they'd never said what their nicknames were.
In the Halloween episode of season two, Shirley and Chang hook up after bonding over how their costumes are misunderstood (she being Glinda the Good Witch and not Miss Piggy and he being Peggy Fleming and not Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan). Shirley was divorced at that time, and she reconnects with her ex-husband before learning that she is pregnant. During the episode 'Cooperative Calligraphy' it is revealed Shirley has a home pregnancy test in her bag. In 'Asian Population Studies', Shirley's pregnancy is confirmed, and thanks to Troy's voice mail, it is speculated that Chang is the biological father. This possibility Shirley abhors, due to Chang's deviance and slightly malevolent insanity. Beyond the evidence of the voice mail that Chang sent to Troy during the Halloween episode, however, no one remembers this incident due to the Army wiping their memory and blaming it on roofies after a zombie incident. The baby is born in 'Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts' in an anthropology classroom, and Shirley is relieved to find that it is her husband's baby. Graciously, she decides to name the baby Ben after Chang, as he helped her during the delivery.
During Season 3 in "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts", Andre asks Shirley to remarry him, and bring their family back together. During their wedding rehearsal, they have a small argument over whether Shirley would stay at home so Andre could work on his stereo business or continue pursuing her dream of being an entrepreneur. Andre accepts her change in lifestyle and promises to be by her side during her struggles with school. After they "unofficially" exchange vows during their apology to each other, the preacher simply announces them married. Shirley's "Miss Piggy" voice is actually used when she is attempting to be sexy. Andre finds it a turn on.
After the board of Hawthorne Wipes fires Pierce, he tries to open up a sandwich shop on campus with Shirley. Instead, the space for the sandwich shop is rented out to Subway, so Pierce and Shirley work together to sabotage the Subway restaurant. In "Curriculum Unavailable" Shirley delivers a speech against the Subway restaurant, and it is destroyed in the ensuing riot. In, "Introduction to Finality" Dean Pelton then offers the space to Shirley and Pierce, but because there is only one signature space, Pierce and Shirley file suit for the rights to the sandwich shop. After an inspirational Winger speech, Pierce and Shirley agree to jointly own Shirley's Sandwich Shop by having Jeff sign the papers.
Annie Edison (Alison Brie), born in December 1990, is a diligent, straight-laced, Type-A, Jewish twenty-one year-old who is in her third year at Greendale Community College. She lost her college scholarship and dropped out of high school due to an addiction to Adderall, which induced a nervous breakdown that culminated in her jumping through a plate glass window yelling "Everyone's a robot!"[episode needed] Against the wishes of her mother, she chose to confront the addiction and go to rehab, and is currently estranged from her family. In Season 2, the group learns she is living in a horrible neighborhood (in an apartment situated over an all-night sex shop), and Troy and Abed invite her to move into their new place in Season 3.
Though the youngest of the group, Annie is also by far the most studious and serious. She is, for example, the only student of Greendale to have ever made use of the extra credit programme that the college offers by hosting a Dia de los Muertos party. During an episode where she is forced to leave the group due to her sabotaging their Spanish finals, the group learns that she is the only person who actually knows how to study. She also takes audio notes of every class and transcribes them, prompting Pierce to exclaim and misemploy the term "spoiler alert". She is a keener, and is very intensely focused on grades, school activities, and group cohesion. A noticeably cheerful girl, she is enthusiastic when it comes to helping out the school, both writing for the school paper and participating on the debate team, along with organizing school events. Annie's youthful innocence often, but not always, means that she is less involved with the group's more immoral practices, though she genuinely enjoys spending time with them. She attempts to motivate and manipulate the other study group members with guilt, using her "Disney face". She takes the cohesion of the study group more seriously than the other members and, in trying to get the group to retake Spanish 102 together, gets Señor Chang fired for his fake degree.
Annie has been shown to occasionally choose her own interests over keeping the group intact, first by dating Britta's estranged ex-boyfriend Vaughn and (temporarily) choosing to leave Greendale and the group to follow Vaughn to another college, and later by deciding to exclude Jeff from the group and her friendship during his Third Season premiere nervous breakdown when he attacked the table with an axe after accidentally inhaling monkey-gas. Her somewhat-illicit cradle sexuality is used to lure Jeff into Glee Club. Nonetheless, the self-interest cases serve only for within-episode plot tension, and the study group remains intact. Annie used to pine after Troy, on whom she had a crush since his high school football quarterback days, but that stops when she begins dating Vaughn. At the end of the first season, it appears as if Annie has developed a romantic dynamic with Jeff, whom she kissed both to win a debate competition and at the end of the season. While she is still interested in Jeff at the beginning of the second season, he is more standoffish, and after the study group learns he'd had sex with Britta during the paintball episode, Annie says she thinks of Jeff as "gross". Later in the episode "Asian Population Studies" Annie develops a crush on Dr. Rich, a fellow Greendale student that Jeff had clashed with, Jeff seems jealous but refuses to admit it. However Dr. Rich turns down Annie's advances due to their age difference. There have been indications that Annie may still harbor feelings for Jeff, and it has been suggested that he may feel similarly. However it is revealed in "Virtual Systems Analysis" that Annie is actually upset that Jeff used her by kissing her at the end of the first season, so she is now trying to teach Jeff to respect other ladies instead of using them. She practices this in the episode "Digital Exploration of Interior Design" By convincing Jeff to apologize to a student named Kim for supposedly also using her. It is revealed that Kim, much to Annie's dismay, is actually a male student that is upset Jeff kept forgetting his name and in the end Jeff learns nothing.
Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), born December 4, 1989, is a former high school football star who now attends Greendale Community College. Born and raised in Greendale, Colorado, and raised a Jehovah's Witness, Troy spent two years in fifth grade, but believed it was normal after his mother told him that everyone is "ten for two years". He later made a name for himself as the varsity quarterback of his high school football team, and was also prom king. Troy is afraid of tarantulas, rats, centipedes, lakes ("Environmental Science") and automatic toilets ("Critical Film Studies"). He injured himself during a "keg flip" in high school that cost him a football scholarship, an injury he later revealed to be intentional because he could not take the pressure of a talent scout at a big game. He now plays quarterback for the nonathletic Greendale Human Beings, saying he would rather play football for fun.
While he starts off hanging out with Pierce at Greendale and rooms with Pierce in Season Two, Troy immediately becomes best friends with Abed, who feeds and shares Troy's quirky and infectious sense of humor. The two spend most of their time at Greendale together, and many episodes are capped with one of their comedic antics. As the two hang out over the course of the first two seasons, Troy increasingly abandons his identity as a jock and embraces the notion of being a nerd. In doing this, he saves the whole school in season two's Halloween episode. Troy's fondness for Abed is so strong that he dumps an attractive librarian immediately after she calls Abed weird; and he lurks and fidgets jealously, fearing Jeff and Abed will become best friends when Jeff throws Abed a Pulp Fiction-themed birthday party and buys him a replica briefcase from the actual film. While their bond was nearly destroyed during the pillow-blanket fort campus "war" of 2012 in "Pillows and Blankets", quick thinking from Jeff Winger and imaginary "friendship hats" ultimately saved the day, though it also became plain that there are serious and deep differences between Troy and his best friend.
Instead of being Abed's roommate for their sophomore year, Troy decides to live in Pierce's mansion.[episode needed] While living with him over the summer, Troy starts up a Twitter account documenting unintentionally funny/horrible things Pierce says at "oldwhitemansays," which Pierce was originally angry about, but embraced after learning the account had 600,000 followers. Because Pierce has old-school, homogenizing racism issues, Troy initially needs to assert that Shirley is not his mother, but later asserts that Shirley isn't his cousin.
Long oblivious to the crush that Annie had on him, Troy makes a few broad attempts at wooing her but fails.[episode needed] In the second season, it is hinted that Troy has feelings for Britta, and Troy lies about having his uncle molest him to take advantage of Britta's attraction to men with pain.[episode needed] Troy kisses Britta, but comes clean about his lie, and is disappointed when she claims kissing him was a mistake.
Though he repeatedly tries to deny it, Troy is skilled at plumbing and air conditioner repair, expertise recognized by the Greendale plumbing underground as well as Greendale's air conditioning technical school powerhouse cabal,[episode needed] who have launched a serious campaign to convince him to leave the regular school and join their ranks. Troy also plays down the serious interest he shares with Britta in interpretive dance, which conflicts with his fading image as a football player. His lifetime idol is actor LeVar Burton, but he is so terrified to meet Burton in person, that when he does so, he goes catatonic. A reliable source of boyish faux-dumb wit, Troy has a number of unique opinions and beliefs, such as that there are only boy dogs and girl cats; he is also distracted by shiny objects and tends to cry over minor emotional setbacks. Troy has evolved from the start of the series as a cocky, selfish, image-obsessed boy to a goofy and emotional yet good-hearted and responsible young man.
In the season four premiere, it is revealed that Britta and Troy have begun dating. They break up in "Basic Human Anatomy".
Piercinald Anastasia "Pierce" Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) is a moist towelette tycoon attending Greendale Community College. His father created Hawthorne Wipes, the award-winning moist towelette company. He claims to be a world traveler, a toastmaster, magician, keyboardist and self-styled hypnotherapist, and considers himself a "quality of life person".
He enrolled in Greendale in 1999 looking for companionship and popularity, but is held back by his clumsiness and his lack of tact. Much older than most Greendale students, he is sometimes disoriented by youth culture while still trying to embrace it.[episode needed] He also unknowingly buys into many sexist and racist stereotypes which often lead him to make offensive statements, the nature of which he's completely unaware. Much of this is directed at Shirley, whom he sometimes mistakes for other black women;[episode needed] Abed, whom he suspects being a terrorist because he is Muslim; and Jeff, whom he actively tries to insult in an attempt to be cool, despite his inability to do so with wit. This leads Troy to start up a Twitter account with 600,000 followers called "oldwhitemansays", documenting anything outrageous said by Pierce. When he finds out, he becomes infuriated at Troy until Troy reveals the number of followers, prompting Pierce to encourage Troy to keep the account going. After his behavior became untenable in Season 2, the study group put Pierce on a "diet" with a strict limit on when and how often he can say offensive things.[episode needed] Although he has occasionally made rude comments about Jews, he has also said[episode needed] that Annie Edison (the only Jewish member of the group) is his favorite person in it. It is also suspected that he has subdued feelings for the second youngest female in the group, Britta Perry. Given his age and his eccentricity, Pierce occasionally surprises his friends with wise insight and support when they truly need it.
Though he considers himself to be a "Reformed Neo-Buddhist," he is actually a member of an obscure religious cult. In the first season episode "The Science of Illusion", the group pranks him into dressing as the Cookie Crisp wizard in order to achieve a level of ascension in his cult. His religion also plays an important role when his mother dies in season two and Pierce believes his "Buddhist" teachings that she will be reborn, carrying a canister of what he thinks is his mother's soul around. When, along with Jeff and Troy, he listens to a CD made by his mother telling him she's gone and encouraging him to let her go and live his life, Pierce simply shrugs it off as her losing her mind. At the same time, Jeff decides he's better off with that rationale and lets him continue with his belief.
Pierce has been married seven times and has 32 "ex-stepchildren" he tries to be close with, though most of them either avoid him or take advantage of him for his wealth. He is the author of Greendale's unusual school song and was for a brief time a member of Vaughn's band. He is also incredibly claustrophobic. Because of his moist towelette business, Pierce is very wealthy and owns a mansion, where Troy also lives over the summer and during the second year. It has been shown that Pierce may often act out due to the utter lack of attention and care his father, also a business tycoon, showed him as a child. His father even went to the extent of hiring another child to play Pierce in a commercial while berating and insulting the real Pierce.
In Season 2, Pierce becomes more and more annoyed at the study group for leaving him out of their activities. He temporarily joins an elderly group of students who act like teenagers called the Hipsters, to feel accepted. He breaks both of his legs in a trampoline accident after revealing a secret trampoline Jeff and Troy were hiding. To move around, he buys himself an ineffective wheelchair powered by his breath, which he claims to have outbid three hospitals for. After this, he grows dependent on his painkillers and also becomes increasingly at-odds with the study group because of the combination of his nasty behavior and their tendency to exclude him from their activities. He begins to play the role of the study group's villain but both trends seem to subside when he comes to terms with the group after overdosing on his painkillers. These underlying tensions come to a head in "A Fistful of Paintballs", however, when it's revealed that the other members of the group secretly took a vote about whether they'd include him in the group next year, with only Annie voting to keep him in; by the end of "For A Few Paintballs More", while the other group members have reconsidered and are willing to let him back in the group, Pierce says he's not interested in staying with "whatever this is". He also tells the group that he assumes all of his relationships will end, which is why he constantly tests and provokes people, and why he's had seven divorces and never kept a group of friends at Greendale for longer than a semester (until he joined the study group).
However, at the start of Season 3, he promptly returns and rejoins the study group, having regained an overall center of calm. Having always sought the approval of his racist, homophobic father, Cornelius Hawthorne, he becomes more defiant after his death.[episode needed] After the board of Hawthorne Wipes subsequently fires him, he tries to open up a sandwich shop on campus with Shirley. The space for the sandwich shop is rented out instead to Subway and together, Pierce and Shirley work together to sabotage the Subway restaurant. In "Curriculum Unavailable" Shirley delivers a speech against the Subway restaurant and it is destroyed in the ensuing riot. In, "Introduction to Finality" Dean Pelton then offers the space to Shirley and Pierce but because there is only one signature space, Pierce and Shirley file suit for the rights to the sandwich shop. After an inspirational Winger speech, Pierce fires his lawyer, Alan Connor (Rob Corddry), and he and Shirley agree to have joint ownership of Shirley's Sandwich Shop by having Jeff sign the papers.
In the Season 4 finale, Pierce finally graduates from Greendale.
Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash) (recurring seasons 1-2, starring season 3-present) was an educator at Greendale for 10 years after or during which he earned a Bachelor of Education degree at the fictional Appomattox University, and has been Dean for four years.[episode needed] He wants his school to be more like a "real" university, and is often asking favors of the students. He is described as politically correct, made evident when he changed the college mascot from the Greendale Grizzlies to the Greendale Human Beings in Football, Feminism and You; Pelton's politically-incorrect explanation for the change was that "most of these people have been called animals their entire lives". He manages Greendale's budget rather poorly, approving the purchase of a $6,000 judge's table for Greendale's Olympic-size swimming pool.[episode needed] He seemingly has an infatuation with Jeff, and uses him to improve the school's fledgling extra-curricular programs, pressuring him to join the debate team, edit the school's newspaper, and convince Troy to play quarterback for the football team. Dean Pelton has a fetish for people in dalmatian costumes,[episode needed] which he believes he has pursued in secrecy, but seems to be common enough knowledge to the students and faculty. Pelton also has an affinity for excessively extravagant costumes, which include cross-dressing; In "Course Listing Unavailable", it is shown that he has a large storage closet located in his office that houses a numerous female costumes and wigs. Later in the same episode he is replaced by a doppelganger put in power by Chang to take over the school. Abed realizes this and after the group goes to therapy, it is revealed that the psychologist is a fake and the Dean is being held in the basement of Greendale. In the episode' "The First Chang Dynasty" the group rescues the Dean and he is restored to his position at the head of Greendale.
He is currently writing a novel called Time Desk, focused on the adventures of a character called "Dean Dangerous".[episode needed]
Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Chang (Ken Jeong), referred to as Señor Chang in season 1, was originally the group's unhinged Spanish teacher. In the first season, he is the only main character who is not a member of the Spanish study group. At the end of the first season, however, it is revealed that he does not actually have any teaching qualifications and that, like Jeff, he will have to attend Greendale as a student in order to get a degree.
He can be quite theatrical at times (once even faking his own death to get a rise out of his students),[episode needed] and also has a huge ego. His anger management issues are constantly evident, and he acts in mean spirited ways with very little stimulus; during his classes, he frequently picked on Annie for apparently no reason other than her desk was closest to where he stood while addressing his students. It is made clear in multiple episodes that he initially takes certain situations way too seriously: In "Modern Warfare", he tries to eliminate Jeff and Britta by shooting at them with an automatic paintball gun, and later activates a bomb of paint hidden in his jacket to try to eliminate Jeff. Also, in season 3, he claims to be a "detective" of the school after being on the Security team for a month, and starts hunting for clues to solve a "case" after meeting a distressed student (which in reality was just a coincidence) and later burns down a section of the school while doing so. These over-the-top personality traits veil deep issues of being left by his wife, with whom he was later reunited, although this did not hinder his rash behavior towards his students afterward.
Chang has an antagonistic relationship with almost every student and faculty member at Greendale. He is on especially bad terms with Professor Duncan,[episode needed] who potentially foreshadows Chang's lack of teaching qualifications early in the series when he notes Chang demands to be called "Señor" because he is not a real professor. In the first season finale, Chang and Duncan come to blows when Chang becomes a student and Duncan is suspended from teaching, resulting in a physical battle at the end of the year dance. Though Duncan gets a restraining order against him, Chang in turn nullifies this by getting a restraining order against Duncan, thus allowing him to take his anthropology class. They seem to have formed a grudging respect for each other since.
His brother is Rabbi Chang, who ironically criticizes Señor Chang on his confusing title and behavior. He enjoys jetting around on a scooter, plays the keytar as an instrument, and has a history of having his clothes stolen from the local YMCA. According to Chang in "Modern Warfare", he plays paintball three times a week, and he uses his skill in the sport against Jeff and Britta. As a student, he seeks a degree in music theory so that he can use his keytar skills professionally. In the Halloween episode of season two, he and Shirley have a sexual interlude after they bond over how their costumes are misunderstood (she being Glinda the Good Witch and not Miss Piggy, and he being Peggy Fleming and not Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan). Beyond the evidence of a voicemail that Chang sent to Troy, however, no one remembers this incident due to a government coverup of the entire Halloween party.
His self-proclaimed nickname is "El Tigre Chino" (Spanish: "The Chinese Tiger") and he owns a black jacket which has on the back that moniker and the image of a Bengal tiger. His office features a portrait of him as a matador with "El Tigre" at the bottom and a statue of a tiger.
In the second season, he is in the same anthropology class as the study group. In the episode "Anthropology 101", after he asks the study group to let him join them, he is then seen in the study room secretly plotting his revenge on them for getting him fired, switching between evil and good sides in a manner similar to the character Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. He eventually joins the study group in the episode "Asian Population Studies" after being voted in over Rich. He proves his worth in the next episode helping Annie and the group save their drug awareness play from Pierce's antics. Chang wants to get to know Shirley after he finds out that he may have impregnated her on Halloween, a night which no one at Greendale can remember. His rescue of Annie initially seems to win over Shirley, however she is visibly disturbed to see his extremely unbalanced behavior. He later moves in with Jeff after his wife throws him out again (after he confesses about his fling with Shirley) but Jeff grows sick of his stupid, unbalanced behavior and finally orders him out. However, his behavior in helping Shirley when she goes into labor during a riot at Greendale wins her over to the point that after the baby (whose father is Shirley's former husband Andre) is born, she decides to name her newborn son Ben after him.
In the third season premiere, Chang is still homeless, and has taken to living in the air ducts on the Greendale campus. When Dean Pelton discovers this (by Chang being driven into his office during the pest-control operation), he offers Chang room and board in exchange for working as a security guard. When the rest of the security staff soon quits, including Sgt. Nunez, he becomes head of campus security. He is not good at his job and the school cannot afford more manpower (an offer of a random credit for student volunteers produces no results) but at an off-campus bar mitzvah, Chang strikes up a friendship with a gaggle of pre-teens and somehow recruits them into his ranks as the "Changlorious Bastards".
Both Chang and his "Changlorious Bastards" take part in the massive pillow fight at Greendale that is the result of Abed and Troy's conflict over a world record. Later, after the death of Alex "Starburns" Osborne, Chang requests increased privileges as head of Greendale security from the dean, who initially refuses his request. However, after a riot, caused by the study group, breaks out at Starburns' wake, Chang and his security team (now dressed in riot gear and equipped with batons and pepper spray) subdue the student body and restore order to Greendale, with Chang self-titling himself as General and calling the study group his "prisoners" for inciting the event.
Dean Pelton, in the wake of the riot, decides to fire Ben and pin the blame for causing the damage to the school on him. However, Chang instead replaces the dean with a doppelgänger, tranquilizing the real dean and keeping him prisoner within Greendale. The fake dean, under the orders of Chang, supports the school board at the trial for the "Greendale Seven", and the study group is expelled.
With the study group gone, Chang takes over Greendale, installing his "Changlorious Bastards" as school-wide security officers and keeping the real Dean under heavy security.
At a group therapy session, originally meant for Abed only, the study group are told by the therapist that Greendale does not exist and the past three years of their life have been delusions while they have lived in a mental hospital. The study group originally believes the therapist, but quickly realize his lies when he is found trying to escape out a window and pointing out that they have backpacks and photos from the school. It is exposed that Chang hired the therapist to dissuade them from ever trying to return, and with this knowledge, the Greendale Seven vow to get their school back.
After gaining intel on the inner workings of Chang's rule over Greendale, the study group plan an "elaborate heist", attempting to rescue the real dean and expose Chang to the school board. While it originally looks as if the heist has failed, Chang realizes the study group has pulled a fast one on him, and the failed plan was merely part of a larger plan that succeeds. However, Chang realizes the true plan in time, and stops the study group from leaving. He explains his goal, which is to burn down the Greendale records and thereby erase any evidence of his wrongdoing, but fails to see that this could potentially burn down the entire school and kill everyone. With help from the Greendale Air-Conditioning Repair School, Troy and the group manage to escape Chang's imprisonment and prevent the fire from ever starting.
In a final showdown with the study group, both Jeff and Chang equip electric taser batons with which they intend to duel, however this is quickly cut short by the school board arriving, demanding explanations for both the real and fake deans fighting each other and Chang's actions in running Greendale. He vows to explain, but quickly runs out the door.
In the season three finale montage, it is shown that Chang has taken to living in air ducts again, however this time he resides in the ducts at City College, foreshadowing a possible alliance between the two in season four. However, he returns to Greendale in season four with no apparent memory of his identity or previous actions, referring to his condition as "Changnesia". However in the end of the episode entitled Advanced Documentary Film Making, it is revealed he is in fact faking Changnesia. In Heroic Origins after Abed realizes that it was because of Chang that the Study group all went to Greendale and tells him he as always be apart of the Group and hints that he knows that "Kevin" was faking "Changnesia". He then calls Dean Stephen Spreck, Dean of City College that he is out of the plan to destroy Greendale.
The series also features several recurring characters who are students and staff members at Greendale.
Dr. Ian Duncan (John Oliver) is a British-born professor of psychology at Greendale. Though Jeff once successfully represented him as a lawyer by exploiting the legal system, Duncan refuses to help him cheat. He provides free therapy to several students including Britta and, at one point, hopes to write about Abed's issues for a book deal. He also has a rivalry with Señor Chang and cheerfully antagonizes Chang over being fired and subsequently becoming a student at Greendale. At the end of the first season, he is suspended by Dean Pelton for his drunken behavior at a school function, prompting Chang to punch Duncan in the face. Because of this, he gets a restraining order against Chang, while chasing him around and preventing him from getting to places. After Greendale suspended Professor Bauer, he took over her anthropology class, despite his complete lack of knowledge about the subject. In "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," Duncan played a prominent role in guiding Abed through his suppressed feelings about Christmas. It is also implied in that episode that Duncan had an unhappy childhood growing up in a dysfunctional family in Islington. As is alluded to several times over the course of his appearances, Duncan appears to have a drinking problem. Duncan did not appear in the third season, although Britta is now enrolled in his Intro to Psychology class, and his name is seen on the cover of her textbook as the author. In the fourth season, his unexplained disappearance is referenced when Troy asks the group if anyone had seen him lately.
Prof. Michelle Slater (Lauren Stamile) is a statistics professor at Greendale. She had a strict policy against dating students, but became romantically involved with Jeff, after he begs her to sleep with him during a Halloween party.[episode needed] She and Jeff share a similarly tough sense of humor and cynicism. Later on, she broke off their relationship. She later reacquires interest in Jeff, consequently developing a rivalry with Britta for his attention. Jeff later[episode needed] states that if he did pursue a relationship with her, it would evolve him, while a relationship with Britta would help him know more about who he really is. In addition to Jeff, she draws interest from other members of the faculty such as Señor Chang and Professor Duncan, who have made comically bad attempts to seduce her. It is later noted by Troy and Abed's closed-circuit television show of the student body elections that she is actually missing.
Prof. Eustice Whitman (John Michael Higgins) is an accounting professor at Greendale Community College, the college's debate coach, and a strong believer in carpe diem. Despite believing that Whitman would be an easy teacher, Jeff had trouble passing his accounting class in "Introduction to Film" since Whitman grades his students not on their academics but on how well they "seize the day". In later incidents, he instructs Jeff as coach of the debate team and offers him unsolicited advice on how to lead his life fully in different circumstances.
Prof. Sean Garrity (Kevin Corrigan) is the theatrical drama instructor at Greendale. He gets involved in a conspiracy intrigue with Jeff, Annie and Dean Pelton, when he mysteriously poses as Jeff's fake Conspiracy Theories night school class teacher, "Professor Professorson" in the episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design". He later teaches Troy and Britta in an elective acting class and directs Troy in an all-black cast stage production of Fiddler on the Roof, entitled, "Fiddla Please".
Prof. June Bauer (Betty White) is an anthropology professor at Greendale introduced in "Anthropology 101." Though very old, she a surprisingly good fighter.[episode needed] Bauer has engaged in many worldly yet strange pursuits, such as hunting monkeys with a blow gun in the Amazon and drinking her own urine for its health benefits. She is also not afraid of attacking her students, shooting a disrespectful Star-Burns with a blow gun and nearly killing Jeff with her weapon of nine weapons, after which she gets suspended from teaching. She then leaves Greendale to go to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Vice Dean Robert Laybourne (John Goodman) is head of Greendale's air conditioner repair annex and the true power behind Greendale, as revealed in "Biology 101." When Dean Pelton decides to confront Laybourne over the annex purchasing an espresso machine, Laybourne shows him that the air conditioning annex is the main source of Greendale's funding and that he thus holds complete power over the dean's office. Later, upon learning Troy's plumbing abilities, Laybourne tries to recruit him to the air conditioner annex. He is later killed by Murray, something which is revealed to the air conditioner repair school by Troy in "Introduction to Finality."
Dr. Marshall Kane (Michael K. Williams) is the biology teacher at Greendale, noticeably more serious and intense than other professors. He just came off of a twenty-year prison sentence and is baffled by some of the ways in which the world has since changed. After some hesitation, he lets Jeff join his class after Star-Burns approaches him about starting a drug operation and is consequently kicked out. He resigns his job after the events of "Basic Lupine Urology," making the study group's Biology credits invalid.
Prof. Noel Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell) is Greendale's gruff, manipulative history professor who teaches the group in the fourth season after having been fired from his long-term post at Oxford University because of a "slip-up with a co-ed". The stern Englishman is baffled by the school's eccentricities and dislikes the study group. It is revealed off-screen in "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" that he gave Annie the answers to a test in exchange for letting him rub her feet. He plays a very prominent role in "Intro to Knots" when he is tied up by Chang and the study group at a party at Jeff's apartment for supposedly giving them a failing grade on a group assignment. He narrowly misses out when his efforts to get the study group to turn on each other for a few better grades fails to break them, then admits he wasn't really tied up and simply stayed put because being "held hostage" was more enjoyable than his usual friendless and boring holidays, and decides to give the entire group mediocre passing grades.
Murray the AC Repairman (Dan Bakkedahl) is, as his name implies, a member of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair Annex. He kills Vice Dean Laybourne, becoming the new Vice Dean, before being exposed by Troy.
Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne
Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne (Dino Stamatopoulos) is a middle-aged student at Greendale known for his facial hair and sideburns shaped like stars. He takes a number of classes with the main characters, including Spanish and Boating. He is a member of the campus' "cool study group", and a music lover. Though Star Burns is habitually laid back and sloppily dressed, he has a son who, in stark contrast to him, is incredibly businesslike. In "Intro to Political Science", he admits that he is a drug dealer. He worked in the school cafeteria until the group got him fired for siphoning off chicken fingers for his friends. For the most part, however, he is disconnected from the group and he sometimes seems confused as to who the individual members in the group actually are. He does know who Jeff is, and acts as the impromptu campus spokesman after Britta and Professor Slater both declare their love for him by saying everyone's waiting for Jeff's response to what happened. Though he enjoys the attention he receives with his sideburns, he craves an identity beyond them and begins wearing a top hat at the beginning of the second season to draw attention away from them. He is allegedly killed when the meth lab in the trunk of his car explodes in "Basic Lupine Urology". As per his wishes, his body was cremated. In the third season finale it is revealed that he faked his death and is now attempting to start a new identity; to this end he is shown sporting a new haircut, albeit still with star-shaped sideburns.
Leonard Rodriguez (formerly Leonard Briggs, played by Richard Erdman) is an elderly man who is studying business at Greendale Community College. He and Jeff have a comically antagonistic relationship resulting in Jeff and other members of the study group to only say "Shut up Leonard..." followed by a comment (Shut up Leonard, no one knows what you're talking about; Shut up Leonard, I know about your crooked wang; Shut up Leonard, I met your son at family day, I know about your gambling problem). Though noticeably older than the other students at Greendale, he acts in as reckless and laid-back a fashion as most young adults, often using slang and engaging in such activities as playing pranks and bass guitar and encountering "pregnancy scares". He leads a rowdy, disobedient band of elderly Greendale students called the "Hipsters" (because they all apparently have hip replacements), which Pierce temporarily joins.[episode needed] He has children, though they are never seen on camera. In the season two finale he claims to have been one of the Little Rascals, to have been in "a few real wars" that were less scary than the all-out paintball battle raging on campus, and to have been banned from the Denny's near the fifteen exit. During the student election episode from Season Two, he ran for office, using the surname "Rodriguez" in an attempt to court the Latino vote. It is revealed in multiple episodes from Season Three that Leonard still has the last name Rodriguez in a title card. Leonard has a series of videos on YouTube in which he reviews food products. One such video is shown in a closing scene, where he declares Euginio's Four Cheese Pizza to be "a buy." He does this again in the episode "Introduction to Finality" with a bag of potato chips he also approves of. While Leonard briefly held valedictorian status in Season 4, Dean Pelton (empowered by a pseudo body-sway where he was acting and talking like Jeff Winger) learned that after earning an A in a brainless course he took in 1968, Leonard simply made all of his subsequent classes Pass/Fail, taking him out of the running for a title now coming down to a showdown between Annie and Shirley.
Vaughn Miller (Eric Christian Olsen) is a usually shirtless, earth-friendly, mellow "neo-hippie" student who is the lead singer of a light-reggae band at Greendale Community College. A frequent hacky sack and Ultimate Frisbee player, he has had several notable interactions with the show's main characters, as he initially dated Britta and was in a band with Pierce. Though he at first seems very laid back and peaceful, he started writing popular hate songs about Britta and Pierce after his relationships with them turned sour.[episode needed] However, he and Annie began a relationship, much to the bemusement of Jeff, Britta, and Troy and later, Shirley. At the end of the first season, he transfers to a community college in Delaware because of their strong hacky sack athletic program, and Annie initially decided to join him there before changing her mind.
Rich Stephenson (Greg Cromer) is a student who is in Jeff's pottery class, of whom Jeff grows jealous for his sculpting skills.[episode needed] A doctor who is friendly and well-liked by everyone, he stands in stark contrast to Jeff who tries to catch him as a ringer. Nicknamed "Doc Potterywood" by Jeff, it is implied that Jeff may actually have been right and Rich had secretly taken previous pottery classes at different colleges. It is hinted at the end of "Beginner Pottery" that his relationship with his mother is extremely strained. Rich had a brother who died in a roller-coaster accident.[episode needed] He spends time with the study group again in the season two Halloween episode, when he attempts to treat the infected students while dressed as a banana and causes Jeff to openly admit his hatred for him. After spending winter break volunteering with Annie, he joins Duncan's anthropology class and unsuccessfully competes against Chang for a spot in the study group. When he turns down a date with Annie due to her young age, Jeff begins to admire his ethics and seeks life-advice from him although it is to abuse the power Rich gets from everyone loving him.
Fat Neil (Charley Koontz) is a student ostracized for being fat. Jeff, who accidentally coined the name "Fat Neil",[episode needed] attempts to make it up to him after he thinks Neil is considering suicide. Jeff organizes a Dungeons & Dragons game with the study group (without Pierce) where Neil, a huge D&D fan, will save the day. Though Pierce attempts to sabotage the event and mocks Neil, Neil still regains his confidence after winning the game. It is implied in "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts" that he and Vicki have feelings for each other. Though his fate after the D&D game seemed unsure, Neil later emerged in Pillows and Blankets as the DJ for Greendale's campus radio station, and appeared to be very happy behind the mic. As revealed in Basic Lupine Urology he and Vikki have, at some point, begun dating.
Magnitude (Luke Youngblood), short for "Magnetic Attitude", is a student at Greendale who is described as a "One man party." His catchphrase is "Pop pop!" a phrase that gains him laughter from his peers. It is implied that he is disliked by the faculty staff, particularly Professor Marshall Kane.[episode needed] In the episode "Intro to Political Science" Magnitude runs for the office of Student Body President. He is one of the final two candidates, opposing Leonard in "the political debate of the century" which consists of Magnitude repeating his "Pop pop!" catchphrase, while Leonard blows raspberries as a retort. When Dean Pelton and Annie take the "Pop pop!" phrase away from him to give to a lazy potential student with rich parents, he is left broken and speechless, and they're so horrified that they tell the student he cannot have Magnitude's catchphrase (though to everyone's surprise, that ends up leading him to enroll at Greendale, because he's tired of having his ass kissed and never getting any better at anything) and Magnitude happily declares "POP POP!" Magnitude attended high school with Annie and Troy.
Garrett Lambert (Erik Charles Nielsen) is a nerdy and out-of-shape student at Greendale with a frighteningly screechy and anxious-sounding way of speaking. He takes several classes with the main cast, including Professor Duncan's anthropology class. There have been several student-led movements to "save" Garrett, despite the fact that he has no apparent illnesses, and Jeff and Annie have been left wondering if those savior plans actually worked or not.[episode needed]
Todd Jacobson (David Neher) is a student at Greendale who takes biology with the study group in "Competitive Ecology". They all pick on him after he is paired with Pierce on a class project, and inadvertently upsets the natural balance of the group. He eventually leaves the study group, calling their love for each other "weird" and "toxic." Todd is a married Iraq War veteran who has a newborn son. He also appears in "Basic Lupine Urology", in which he is accused of destroying the study group's biology project.
Other recurring students
- Eric Wisniewski (Bill Parks) is a football player at Greendale. He appears in "For a Few Paintballs More" before getting shot down by city college paintball soldiers.
- Pavel Iwaszkiewicz (Dominik Musiol) is a Polish exchange student, and a hallmate of Abed, serving - among other things - as his directing assistant.
- Vicki Jenkins (Danielle Kaplowitz) is a Dance Major at Greendale who is continually ignored by her peers. In season 2 it is implied she and "Fat Neil" have feelings for each other; they start dating in season 3[episode needed]. Pierce has a continued hatred for her ever since she refused to lend him a pencil.
- Mark Millot (DC Pierson) is a journalist for the student newspaper as a co-founder of the college sketch group the Greendale Goofaws, which also include Linda Greene (Meggie McFadden), Buzz Foster (Dominic Dierkes) and Derrick Bideos (Dan Eckman). In real life, actors Pierson, McFadden, Dierkes, and Eckman form the comedy group Derrick Comedy, with Donald Glover as the fifth member.
- Quendra (Marcy McCusker) is a student at Greendale whom Jeff brings to a mixer in order to keep Rich from being voted into the study group in "Asian Population Studies". Her personality is that of a flirty, air-headed blonde who has a penchant for spelling words with "Qu" where a "K" sound would normally be, which explains her name. She also appears in "For a Few Paintballs More". In "Basic Lupine Urology", Star-Burns attempts to use her as a "make-out decoy". She is mentioned in the 4th season episode "Intro to Knots" when Annie tells the group that she'd learned from Quendra that they were receiving a failing grade from Professor Cornwallis, who Quendra did "assistant work" for. Upon hearing of Quendra's connection to Cornwallis, Shirley replies sarcastically alluding to Cornwallis' history with co-eds.
- Annie Kim (Irene Choi) is Annie's chief academic rival at Greendale. Intelligent and extremely competitive, she copies Annie's idea of a Greendale Model UN Team,[episode needed] and later appears as a rival to the group in other school events.
The Greendale Human Being
The Greendale Human Being is the "ethnically neutral" school mascot created and designed by Pierce and Dean Pelton in "Football, Feminism and You". Though intended to embody a spirit of inclusiveness and to avoid derogatory stereotypes, its featureless appearance is distinctly uncanny, like a white gimp. It appears in a number of different events and initiatives sponsored by the Dean as the school's mascot, and fumes from the magic marker used on its costume have been known to make it unusually aggressive. It has been seen with both female and child versions of itself. Items have been added to the costume, such as angel wings for Valentine's Day and icicles in "Regional Holiday Music", which the students say only make it look creepier. In an episode of Dean Pelton's Office Hours, a series of mini episodes featuring the Dean, it's revealed that at least one of the mascots is played by a woman.
Andre Bennett (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) is Shirley's ex-husband, and a store manager. Though he had cheated on her, he becomes her boyfriend again after learning of her pregnancy; he remains loyal to her even after discovering that Chang could be the father.[episode needed] It ultimately turns out that the baby is Andre's and he remarries Shirley at the middle of the third season.
Alan Connor (Rob Corddry) is a lawyer and former colleague of Jeff's who attends Narcotics Anonymous sessions at Greendale, where he had once met Annie. Though he does not admit it to Jeff after they meet again, the study group knows that he had sent an email to his law firm exposing Jeff's credentials, which got him fired. Alan returns in "Introduction to Finality" working as Pierce's lawyer in a court case between Pierce and Shirley for ownership of a sandwich shop in the cafeteria. Alan reveals that he now heads the law firm that Jeff worked at and threatens Jeff to drop the case or not come back to work at the law firm. After an inspirational Winger speech, Pierce fires Alan, and Alan reveals that he did send the e-mail that got Jeff disbarred for which Jeff thanks him.
Gobi Nadir (Iqbal Theba) is Abed's father, with whom Abed has a rather difficult relationship. While Mr. Nadir wants Abed to take over the family's falafel restaurant, Abed plans to become a film director. Abed also thinks Gobi blames him for his mother leaving them. Gobi is a very protective yet argumentative father, but he learns to accept the fact that his son needs filmmaking to express himself. Gobi appears on Family Day and disapproves of the lenient way in which Shirley raises her boys. He is equally controlling of his niece Abra.
Officer Cackowski (Craig Cackowski) is a local police officer, repeatedly visiting Greendale in the line of duty. He originally appeared as a member of campus security before inexplicably becoming a police officer. He seems to be friends with Professor Garity, referring to him as Sean. He appears in "The Science of Illusion" to investigate a body Britta drops out of the biology labs, in "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design" to teach Jeff and Annie the dangers of fake gun shootouts. He later returns in season 3 to investigate Troy and Abed's landlord in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism", and in "Curriculum Unavailable" to assign Abed to a psychologist for sneaking onto Greendale Campus to investigate the Dean's Doppelganger Chang has in control.
Dean Steven Spreck (Jordan Black) is the dean of rivaling City College, who makes several subversive efforts to shut Greendale down, including the instigation of an all-out paintball war on Greendale's campus. Like Dean Pelton, he seems to have an ambiguous sexuality. He appears briefly during a montage at the end of season three, apparently forming another plot. In the Season 4 episode "Heroic Origins", it is revealed that he is working with Chang to sabotage Greendale.
Jerry (Jerry Minor) is the head janitor at Greendale. After he witnesses Troy's supreme innate plumbing abilities, he makes several attempts to convince him to become a plumber, which he regards as a noble profession. While attempting to recruit him, he later warns him against becoming an air-conditioning repair man, calling the air-conditioning men "elitists."
Gilbert Lawson (Giancarlo Esposito) is Cornelius Hawthorne's personal assistant, executor of estate, and illegitimate son. According to Cornelius' will, he has Pierce and the study group play "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne" to claim his inheritance. After learning that Cornelius refused to accept Gilbert when he was alive, the group agrees to allow Gilbert to claim the inheritance in the episode "Digital Estate Planning". He later becomes Pierce's roommate in his mansion.
Annie's Boobs (Crystal) is Troy's pet monkey. Annie's Boobs was reportedly named by a competition held via the monkey's personal Twitter account. Troy maintains that the account belongs to Annie's Boobs and thus Troy cannot legitimately change the monkey's name. Since he was set free by Abed, he has spent his time collecting items owned by the study group and storing them in a nearby air vent.
Sgt. Nunez (Mel Rodriguez) is the chief of campus security for Greendale College. All of Nunez's officers quit when Dean Pelton informs them that the college no longer has funds to pay them, and they can only be reimbursed in class credits. Nunez stays because he needs SCUBA certification, and Chang becomes his new underling. He eventually quits after Dean Pelton sides with Chang.
Carl and Richie
Carl (Jeremy Scott Johnson) and Richie (Brady Novak) are two inept, often drunk members of Greendale's board of directors. Though they are generally laid back and friendly, they have repeatedly low standards for the school and fail to realize when Chang replaces the Dean.
- Nurse Jackie (Patton Oswalt in "Home Economics" and "The Psychology of Letting Go") is the school nurse at Greendale. He considers himself the Hawkeye of Greendale.
- Cornelius Hawthorne (Larry Cedar in "Advanced Gay" and "Digital Estate Planning") is Pierce's overbearing father. Both a racist and a homophobe, Cornelius wears a toupee made out of ivory in order to avoid hair coming from "orientals". He dies of a heart attack after Jeff yells at him about his continued dominance over Pierce's life. Cornelius is seen as embarrassed by his son Pierce even from a young age.
- Jeremy Simmons (Aaron Himelstein in "Debate 109") is a student at a neighboring community college, who is the primary rival of Greendale's debate team.
- Doreen (Sharon Lawrence in "The Politics of Human Sexuality") is an escort that Pierce meets in his marketing class and later gets into a relationship with. After she dumps him during a Greendale school dance, he borrows money to pay for her company.
- Mike Chilada (Anthony Michael Hall in "Comparative Religion") is a bully at Greendale who gets into a big brawl with the study group before Christmas. He reappears briefly at the beginning of "A Fistful of Paintballs" chasing Fat Neil.
- Buddy Austin (Jack Black in "Investigative Journalism") is a student at Greendale, who, while no one ever noticed him, was a member of the study group's Spanish class taught by Señor Chang. He desperately wants to join the study-group, and despite his irritating behavior was eventually accepted. However he joins a cooler study group that includes Star-Burns and is led by Owen Wilson in a cameo when he finds out they voted him in.
- Madame LeClair (Twink Caplan in "Interpretive Dance") is the ballet professor of Greendale.
- Coach Herbert Bogner (Blake Clark in "Physical Education") is a physical education coach who teaches billiards at Greendale. He comes into conflict with Jeff, who refuses to wear gym shorts when playing pool, and the two face off in a billiards match which ends in the nude.
- Rabbi Chang (Tom Yi in "Basic Genealogy") is Señor Chang's older and critical brother with lots of unresolved history between them. Rabbi Chang is blind to the surface incongruity of his being a Rabbi, but chides Señor Chang to drop his Spanish act. As much as these two brothers might seem to be at odds, Señor Chang does leap to his brother's aid and fights in his honor when Pierce obliviously harasses Rabbi Chang during a game of Pictionary.
- Amber (Katharine McPhee in "Basic Genealogy") is one of Pierce's 32 ex-stepchildren, who pretends to like him and comes to Family Day since he sends her big sums of money. She is attracted to Jeff and the two have sex until Jeff learns how she is exploiting Pierce.
- Nana (Fran Bennett in "Basic Genealogy") is Troy's grandmother, whom he fears and avoids. Britta argues that the elderly should be cherished and respected, but Nana is incensed by being called old and insists on spanking Britta with a switch.
- Abra (Emily Ghamrawi in "Basic Genealogy") is Abed's cousin who wears a concealing burqa. Against her uncle Gobi's demands, she sneaks away to take off her burqa and have fun on family day at Greendale but Shirley helps her sneak back unnoticed.
- Prof. Marion Holly (Tony Hale in "Beginners Pottery") is the pottery professor at Greendale. While his class seems very easy and passable, he has a zero-tolerance policy for students who jokingly reference the pottery scene from the film Ghost (1990) (which he calls "Ghosting") and thus comes into conflict with Jeff. He has a habit of calling the students in his class "blueberries".
- Admiral Lee Slaughter (Lee Majors in "Beginners Pottery") is the gruff teacher of boating at Greendale who runs his classes on a sailboat in the school's parking lot.
- Ted (Drew Carey in "Accounting for Lawyers") is Jeff's former boss. He started up a law firm so that he could have people around him who would not inquire about the weird hole in his hand. He and Jeff have a good relationship as evidenced by his offering Jeff a consulting position at the firm. Alan Connor claims in "Introduction to Finality" that that Ted has died (having been literally eaten by sharks) and that Alan is now the head of the firm, but this is not confirmed.
- Meghan (Hilary Duff in "Aerodynamics of Gender") is the leader of a group of "mean girls" at Greendale, who come into conflict with Britta, Annie, Shirley and Abed.
- Joshua (Matt Walsh in "Aerodynamics of Gender") is a groundskeeper at Greendale who secretly has a giant trampoline on campus that gives people a spiritual calm when they jump on it. Though he lets Jeff and Troy know about it and jump on it, he is fired when Pierce tells the rest of the school after breaking his legs. It turns out that he is staunchly racist.
- LeVar Burton appears as himself in "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking" when Pierce hires him to meet Troy, who, despite looking up to Burton as a role model, had hoped to never meet him in person for fear of disappointing him. LeVar also helps Britta realize that she is a good friend, but very bad with money.
- Paige (Brit Marling in "Early 21st Century Romanticism") is a student at Greendale befriended by Britta. Britta believes that Paige is a lesbian, and uses her friendship with Paige to show her open-mindedness. Annie learns from Paige's friend that Paige is heterosexual, and interested in Britta for largely the same reasons Britta is interested in her. Britta and Paige eventually realize that neither of them are lesbians, and have a falling out.
- Special Agent Robin Vohlers (Eliza Coupe in "Intro to Political Science") is an emotionless Secret Service agent, who scouts out Greendale in preparation for Vice President Joe Biden's arrival. She meets and is intrigued by Abed with whom she has several similarities. The two seem to develop feelings for each other enough for Vohlers to try and make him a threat to national security so she can spend more time around him, while Abed claims he can make napalm out of dish soap and catfood on television so she can observe him. They end up having a "date" watching Kickpuncher with Vohlers watching through binoculars from her van in the parking lot. She also bugged Abed's room.
- Prof. Peter Sheffield (Stephen Tobolowsky in "Competitive Wine Tasting") is a professor at Greendale who ignites an academic rivalry with Abed. He is the author of Who Indeed? and What Was Happening?, critical analyses of the television series Who's the Boss? and What's Happening!!. Like Professor Duncan, his academic theories and pride are eventually shattered by Abed's exceptional abilities.
- The Black Rider (Josh Holloway in "A Fistful of Paintballs") is a mysterious professional paintball assassin hired by City College to win the paintball contest at the end of season two. He takes an online course at Greendale and draws the ire of Jeff, who feels insecure around him because of his good looks. After getting the drop on the study group in paintball, he is fooled into lowering his guard by Pierce's fake heart attack and eliminated from the game.
- Professor Cligoris (Martin Starr in "Geography of Global Conflict") is a history teacher at Greendale who helps Annie found the school's chapter of Model UN. He is obsessed with the history of the Model United Nations.
- Luis Guzmán is the most famous alumnus of Greendale, and appears as himself in the episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" to help film the college's new TV ad. Previously, the Dean had commissioned a statue of him for Greendale's campus. Like the study group, Guzmán acknowledges the inferiority of Greendale Community College but holds it dear because of the good times had there (His good times there related to him getting "Laid like crazy").
- Juergen (Nick Kroll in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism") is the leader of a German foosball gang at Greendale.
- Prof. Cory Radison (Taran Killam in "Regional Holiday Music") is the seemingly cheery, yet deceptively intense glee club instructor at Greendale. When the current glee club suffers a nervous breakdown, he recruits the study group to replace them for the holiday pageant. They ultimately agree, but he leaves the school once it is revealed that he caused the bus crash that killed the previous club. In keeping with the Glee parody, he often goes by "Mr. Rad".
- Vinnie (French Stewart in "Celebrity Impressionists") is the manager of a company that rents out celebrity impersonators who used to impersonate French Stuart himself. After Abed goes in debt after using the service too much, Vinnie makes the group work for him at a bar mitzvah.
- Subway (Travis Schuldt in "Digital Exploration of Interior Design" (Part 1)) is a man hired by Subway to attend Greendale so that they could open a branch there. Having legally changed his name from Rick, he breaks company rules when he falls in love with Britta and he is consequently replaced by the company. He is also symbolic of Britta's theory that modern corporations are "taking human form."
- Blade (Kirk Fox in "Origins of Vampire Mythology") Britta's nonchalant ex-boyfriend who works at a carnival. Jeff grows jealous of his inexplicable magnetism.
- Alter-Pierce is a sitcom version of Pierce played by actor Fred Willard in Abed's four-camera fantasies in "History 101".
- Toby Weeks (Matt Lucas in "Conventions of Space and Time") is the world's biggest Inspector Spacetime fan. He tries to kidnap Abed at a convention before being stopped by Troy.
- Reinhold (Chris Diamantopoulos in "Alternate History of the German Invasion") is Jeurgen's brother who seeks revenge on the study group by repeatedly reserving their table before they can.
- William Winger, Senior (James Brolin in "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations") is Jeff's estranged father, who abandoned his mother and him when he was still a child. William's departure is responsible for many of Jeff's emotional problems and, for much of the series, Jeff has struggled about whether or not he should contact him. They ultimately spend Thanksgiving together during the fourth season, when it is revealed that William is a brash, emotionally distant reflection of Jeff from earlier in the series. After some hesitancy, Jeff ultimately confronts William about how his departure hurt him.
- William Winger, Junior (Adam DeVine in "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations") is Jeff's half-brother, whom he did not know existed until the fourth season. A juvenile, emotional man caught in a state of arrested development, he was raised alone by his unloving father after his mother died and continues to live at home.
- Archie (Zack Pearlman in "Economics of Marine Biology") is a spoiled stoner from a wealthy family that the Dean tries to lure to Greendale as a "whale".
- Coach Jason Chapman (Ian Roberts in "Economics of Marine Biology") is a self-serious PE instructor at Greendale who teaches Troy and Shirlie in his "P.E.E." class.
- Rachel (Brie Larson in "Herstory of Dance") is a cute quirky girl that Abed meets while on a date with two other girls at a school dance. The two connect and start to date.
- Mountain Man (Jason Alexander in "Intro to Felt Surrogacy") is a friendly yet mysterious Greendale alumnus who lives in the woods. The study group runs into him when they crash a hot air balloon into the wilderness.
Fictional characters within Community
Inspector Spacetime (Travis Richey) is the protagonist in a British science fiction television program called "Inspector Spacetime" that has been on the air for fifty years and is very similar to Doctor Who. With his sidekick Constable Reggie, he travels through space and time while fighting creatures such as "Blorgons". Starting in the third season, Troy and Abed become major fans and often impersonate Reggie and the Inspector.
Constable Reggie (Derwin Reggie) is the secondary character in "Inspector Spacetime", who acts as the Inspector's sidekick. Unlike the Inspector, who is an alien, Reggie is human.
Kickpuncher (Derek Mears) is the titular hero in a series of cheesy action movies that Troy and Abed like to make fun of, while still being fans. He is a cybernetically enhanced police officer, reminiscent of Robocop.
The Helicopter Pilot
The Helicopter Pilot (Andy Dick) is a tiny man that Pierce hallucinates when he takes his painkillers after breaking his legs on the trampoline in the second season. He often gives Pierce bad advice.
Evil Abed (Danny Pudi) is a figment of Abed's imagination who torments Abed as his nemesis. Identical to Abed except for an evil-looking felt beard, he is originally from the darkest timeline in the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" and makes a return appearance in the episode "Contemporary Impressionists". He returns to seek revenge against Abed and the study group in the season 3 finale "Introduction to Finality". His beard parodies that worn by "Mirror Spock" in the classic Star Trek episode "Mirror Mirror."
- Dr. Pat Isakson (Dan Harmon in "The Five A's of Greendale") is Greendale's awkward, short-tempered dean of admissions and professor of women's studies. The mustachioed man stars in a series of Greendale admissions videos.
- Brody Leitz (Randall Park in "The Five A's of Greendale") is Greendale's student body president.
- "Community TV - Joel McHale". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Jeff Winger". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- 06 minutes and 06 seconds into S01E01 - Pilot
- "Greendale Community College". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Britta Perry". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "The 20 Best TV Characters of 2011". List of the Day. Paste. December 5, 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-29. "It quickly became apparent, though, that he was actually the show’s emotional center—that everyone around him was a little disturbed, and he would be the one holding it all together. And when he reached that point of emotional overload in Season Two, the result was 'Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas,' Community's best episode that didn’t involve paintball. His pop-culture obsessions and antics with his buddy Troy have made for some of the show’s finest moments, particularly the closing segments like the absurdist Troy and Abed in the Morning."
- "Greendale Community College - Shirley Bennett". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Annie Edison". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Troy Barnes". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Community TV - Ken Jeong". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- Community S02E11 "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
- "Greendale Community College - Michelle Slater". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Prof. Eustice Whitman". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Alex Osbourne". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Leonard Briggs". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Vaughn Miller". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Intro to Political Science". Community. Season 2. Episode 17. 2011-02-24. NBC.
- "Greendale Community College - Garrett Lambert". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Eric Wizniewski". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Pavel Iwaszkiewicz". NBC. Retrieved 2010-11-19.
- "Greendale Community College - Mark Millot". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Mike Chilada". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Buddy Austin". NBC. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Greendale Community College - Herbert Bogner". NBC. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- "Greendale Community College - Marion Holly". NBC. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
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