Heroic Origins

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"Heroic Origins"
Community episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 12
Directed by Victor Nelli, Jr.
Written by Steve Basilone
Annie Mebane
Maggie Bandur
Production code 412
Original air date May 2, 2013 (2013-05-02)
Episode chronology
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"Basic Human Anatomy"
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"Advanced Introduction to Finality"
List of Community episodes

"Heroic Origins" is the twelfth episode of the fourth season of the NBC sitcom Community, which originally aired on May 2, 2013.

In this episode, Abed pieces together the past timelines of the group to show their lives have always been intertwined.

The episode was written by Steve Basilone, Annie Mebane, and Maggie Bandur, and directed by Victor Nelli, Jr.

The episode received positive reviews from fans and critics. Alison Brie received praise.[citation needed]


As the group studies for their history final, Abed reveals he is actually studying the group’s history. Abed believes the group was destined to meet, and had crossed paths before meeting at Greendale. Abed explains in 2008, the group had several coincidental meetings between its members. Annie and Troy had attended the same high school; Annie had a crush on Troy, but he didn’t even seem to notice. Troy reveals he actually did notice, as it was her words that made Troy fake an injury so he wouldn’t have to deal with the pressures of being recruited for college football. At a party, Troy was deemed “most likely to succeed,” enraging Annie. She screamed at Troy that he wouldn’t amount to anything, then charged through a glass door; Annie was also addicted to prescription drugs at the time (the broken glass popped two balloons, inspiring Magnitude's catch phrase).

Abed and Shirley had both been at the mall one day. Shirley was buying lingerie for a romantic date with her husband, Andre, while Abed had been standing outside a movie theater to warn moviegoers to not see Star Wars Episode I. Abed accosts two little boys who attempt to go see the movie (who happen to be Shirley’s children), causing Abed to get a restraining order from the theater and attend therapy sessions. As Abed is heading to meet the therapist, he spots Annie stealing the doctor’s prescription pad, and warns the doctor and presumably leads to Annie getting caught. Shirley is forced to leave her husband on a date to pick up her kids, the same restaurant where Jeff and his client, a stripper, are also eating. Jeff had successfully defended her in a case, where Britta had been staging a rally to support the case. The stripper tells Jeff she was talking to a married man, implied to be Andre. Having just received news that he is to be disbarred due to a lack of a college degree, Jeff encourages her to pursue him.

In the present, Abed believes himself to be the villain of the group, as he had caused Shirley to leave the restaurant to get her kids and get Annie in trouble for drugs. Jeff, however, believes he is responsible after encouraging the stripper to have an affair with Andre. The group then disbands, feeling awkward about their past meetings. Later, the group all independently meets up at the same place for frozen yogurt. Jeff realizes that perhaps it was fate they all met, and the group then realizes they all decided in this very place that they would attend Greendale. Chang had been passing out fliers for Greendale that day, and the group had also observed an old man (implied to be Pierce) break a frozen yogurt machine and then fake a heart attack.

Meanwhile, Chang, who is still faking his amnesia and secretly working with the dean of City College, offers to mail Dean Pelton’s envelope containing the lease renewal for the college. Chang initially plans to steal the envelope, but Abed meets with him later, telling him he is the reason the group had all attended Greendale and deserves to be one of them. Chang is touched, and decides to join the group and mails the envelope. He later calls the dean of City College, telling him he is out, but the dean decides to switch to “Plan B” and laughs maniacally while viewing a blueprint of a giant robot spider.


During the flashback of the group independently being at the mall for frozen yogurt, the song "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds can be heard in the background. Although, this really has nothing to do with continuity, this song was featured in the pilot episode of the series which was dedicated to John Hughes, the director of the film The Breakfast Club, for which the song was the main anthem.

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