List of Community characters
Community is an American television sitcom 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
- Donald Glover as Troy Barnes
- Alison Brie as Annie Edison
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett
- Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne
- Jim Rash as Craig Pelton
- Ken Jeong as Ben Chang
The series also features recurring characters, mainly 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.
Jeffrey Tobias "Jeff" Winger (Joel McHale), is a sardonic, quick-witted ex-lawyer attending Greendale Community College. He was born in Denver, Colorado to his parents William Winger and Doreen Winger née Fitzgerald. His father divorced his mother when he was very young and later had another child named Willy Jr. who is Jeff's half-brother. In 1997, around age 19, Jeff submitted an audition tape for MTV's The Real World: Seattle, which would later come back to haunt him during an election for student-body president of Greendale.
Jeff was once a highly successful defense attorney with the law firm Hamish, Hamish, and Hamlin founded by Ted. At work, he was often partnered with another lawyer named Mark and the two were known as "Tango & Cash " respectively. For over six years, he specialized in juvenile and traffic offenses, as well as DUI/DWA/DUID cases. During this period, in 2002 he successfully defended Ian Duncan from a DUI by comparing his accuser to 9/11, and they developed a friendship. After a successful case in which he defended a stripper named Mysti, the Colorado Bar Association began scrutinizing his background. His rival and friend Alan Connor then betrayed him by sending the CBA an incriminating email, revealing that Jeff did not receive 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 strikes a deal with the bar in order to prevent him from being disbarred, on the condition that he graduate from an existing college with an actual degree. While brainstorming the right college to attend, he ate at a frozen-yogurt restaurant and overheard a conversation elucidating the ease of graduation from Greendale Community College. Remembering that Ian Duncan was a professor there, Jeff decided to attend, hoping that Duncan would help him graduate as quickly as possible.
In the pilot, Jeff forms and joins the study group because he is attracted to his classmate Britta, whom he tries (and fails) to seduce. 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, Michelle Slater, and they eventually begin dating. Before this, he shares a number of UST-y 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 "Transfer Dance" in "Pascal's Triangle Revisited." Soon after, he meets Annie outside and they kiss. At the beginning of season two, Britta recants her declaration of love for Jeff, 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-agent 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 dismissive towards his study group, but gradually shows an increasing respect and appreciation 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 a 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 confidence, 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 newspaper, 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 anxious and hateful 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, "Introduction to Finality," 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 seventh grade 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, "Advanced Introduction to Finality," Jeff receives a Bachelor of Education degree and finally graduates from Greendale.
In the fifth season, after Jeff graduates, his law firm has failed. He is approached by Alan, who convinces him to sue Greendale. He returns and eventually turns back on the lawsuit when he finds out how much the school means to people. He becomes a law teacher at the school and forms the Save Greendale Committee. He has trouble getting used to being a teacher at the school and even has a mental breakdown on his fortieth birthday ("G.I. Jeff"). When the school is sold to Subway, Jeff and Britta get engaged, but once they save Greendale, the engagement is broken.
In season six, Jeff continues to be a subpar teacher with alcohol problems (including drinking in the classroom) and has an existential crisis when he realizes that he is the member of the group with the least direction in life, and will likely be the last of them to ever leave Greendale.
Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) is a politically interested and socially empathetic student at Greendale, who in many cases serves as the study group's scapegoat. She was conceived in Riverside, Colorado to George and Deb Perry. Britta has two more seasoned siblings, one of whom works with children with some type of special disorder in a hospital.
She is prone to be vain and hypocritical in her actions. She attempts to appear progressive and cool but often comes off as misinformed and pretentious. Britta adores cats and has had a few including Suzie B who turned out to be sick and passed on whom she later supplanted with Daniel who has just a single eye.
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, was tear-gassed at a World Trade rally, and took an extended vacation in Africa. She at one point formed an activist group, "The An-HER-Chists," but it disbanded when the other members grew tired of activism. This led Britta to realize that she needed to do something with her life. While applying for a job at a frozen yogurt restaurant, Britta began a conversation with an irritable man handing out flyers for Greendale Community College. Upon learning how easy gaining a degree from the school was, Britta resolved to get her G.E.D., and after she did so, enrolled at Greendale. In the Season 3 premiere, "Biology 101," Britta tells the study group that she's decided to major in Psychology and work towards becoming a therapist, a career goal her friends in the study group regard with extreme skepticism.
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 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 "Aerodynamics of Gender" Britta, Shirley, Annie, and Abed cohere in collective mean-girl catty behavior, until Abed teaches them a lesson in civilized comportment. While her friends do not question her place within the group, 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 mother and father figures respectively, 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. Britta and Jeff get engaged in "Basic Story" once Greendale is sold to Subway, but once they save Greendale they break the engagement off.
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, "History 101," it is revealed that Britta and Troy have begun dating, but they break up in "Basic Human Anatomy".
In the fifth season, Britta has left Greendale and has become a bartender, but later re-enrolls in another attempt to become a psychologist. However, she admits in "Basic Story" that she knows she has very little chance of achieving this latter goal.
In the sixth season, Britta confronts her issues with her parents ("Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care"), who are mainly responsible for her insecurities and have been secretly paying everyone else in the group to update them on what she's doing. After reconciling with them, Britta remains on the Save Greendale Committee and ends the series without a clear career path, but with a sense of security and family.
Abed Gubi Nadir (Arabic: عابد القوبي نادر ‘Ābid al-Qūbī Nādir; Danny Pudi) is a young, emotionally reserved, Palestinian-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 Nadir is an alumnus of Greendale Community College. Abed had a troublesome life growing up due to a limited extent to his parents. There was social disunity between them as Abed's dad is a Palestinian from Gaza and his mom is Polish American. Abed likewise has an undiscovered mental condition which makes it hard for him to comprehend individuals. His mom left his family when he was 6 years of age and Abed accepted his dad reprimanded him for it. This made separation amongst them and brought about Abed estranging himself facilitate by submerging himself in American popular culture. His dad enabled him to enlist at Greendale Community College just so he could take classes which would enable Abed one day to assume control over his father's falafel eatery. 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. Though 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 syndrome. Jeff openly tells him "you have Asperger's" during the first study group meeting, which the others find offensive, but Abed responds "What's that?" with confusion, apparently having never heard of the term. Mentions of autism around Abed are considered taboo within the study group. While Abed exhibits many of the classic signs of Asperger's throughout the show, he apparently never submits himself for a formal diagnosis. Abed even comments on this possibility in the episode "Regional Holiday Music," during his rap with Troy, as he raps "On the spectrum? None of your business..." Inwardly, however, Abed might not be as pervasively content as his nonchalant exterior presents. His mother eventually became so fed up with his atypical behavior (due to his undiagnosed neurological condition) that she left the family when he was only six years old. Abed doesn't talk about it much, but his film project in the first season revealed that it deeply affected him. Abed truly cares for his father but frequently clashes with him, though privately Abed blamed himself for his mother leaving, and felt deeply guilty about the pain that her departure caused his father.
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. At the end of the episode "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps," it is revealed that Abed is the only sane member of the study group, according to a set of psychological tests they all took.
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 unfolds 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 neuro divergence. His mother is remarried and has her own family. Abed's father, Gubi 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.
In the fifth season, Abed has left Greendale and attempts to become a filmmaker. He returns so he could learn how to work with real people. When his best friend Troy leaves in "Geothermal Escapism", Abed deals with isolation issues and has troubles with people understanding him throughout the rest of the season. He becomes a film partner with Professor Buzz Hickey, and slowly learns how to work with other people, even though he has a minor breakdown in "Basic Story" when Greendale is normal. He has become a much more humanized character over the course of the season.
In season six, Abed becomes closer with Annie and Britta (the latter of whom moves into the apartment) and works on several film projects, including a documentary of Garrett's wedding, which he claims to do because it "relaxes [him]." At the end of the season he moves to Los Angeles to be a production assistant.
Shirley Bennett, née Edwards (Yvette Nicole Brown), (main cast seasons 1–5, guest season 6) is a 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 also suffers from 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 life took a turn when she took her family to the mall. While eating with her husband, Andre, at a restaurant, she was distracted by her children being accosted by an angered moviegoer telling them not to see Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. While she was gone, Andre met a stripper named Mysti, with whom he eventually had an affair. When she discovered this, her marriage ended in divorce, she fell into a deep depression, and began abusing alcohol. During an outing to a frozen yogurt restaurant, she read an advertisement for Greendale Community College, and decided to turn her life around. She then set out to earn an Associate's Degree in Business, so that she could start her own company.
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 covertly tried to 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" 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 "Epidemiology," Shirley and Chang have sex 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 a message left on Troy's voicemail, it is speculated that Chang is the biological father. Shirley finds the very possibility repellent, 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 denouncing 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 are 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 own Shirley's Sandwich Shop jointly by having Jeff sign the papers, and she achieves her dream of opening her own business.
In the fifth season, it is revealed that Andre has left Shirley again, taking the kids with him, because she has devoted too much time and money into Shirley's Sandwiches. She returns to Greendale to become a true entrepreneur, but leaves in the season six premiere, "Ladders", in order to care for her ailing father.
Annie Edison (Alison Brie), born in December 1990, is a diligent, strait-laced, Type-A, Jewish student who is in her fifth year at Greendale Community College after graduating and then reapplying to major in her dream, forensic science. During high school, Annie was a timid, nerdy student who desperately wanted to succeed, subsequently developed an addiction to Adderall. She was acquaintance of Troy Barnes, who was a popular athlete at the time, and harbored a crush on him. They both attended a party where high school honors were being awarded. When Troy instead of Annie received the award for "Most Likely to Succeed", and when he failed to recognize Annie when she berated him, she suffered a breakdown and ran through a (closed) sliding glass door. Her stress finally induced a full nervous breakdown that culminated in her jumping through a plate-glass window yelling "Everyone's a robot!" Her injuries necessitated six separate reconstructive surgeries. Against the wishes of her mother, she chose to confront the addiction and go to rehab. This led to an estrangement from her family, including any financial support, and she currently survives on her savings from her childhood. In Season 2, the group learns she is living in a horrible neighborhood (in an apartment situated over Dildopolis, an all-night sex shop), and Troy and Abed invite her to move into their new place in Season 3.
While attending rehab, she had an outing to a frozen yogurt restaurant, during which she saw an advertisement for Greendale, and decided to attend the community college. Between her graduation of rehab, and her enrollment in Greendale, she shed her geek appearance, and began to straighten her hair and dress more fashionably.
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 program that the college offers by hosting a Dia de los Muertos (English: Day of the Dead) 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 misuse the term "spoiler alert". She 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 less morally upright 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 in "English as a Second Language."
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 Stephenson, a fellow Greendale student that Jeff had clashed with. Jeff seems jealous but refuses to admit it, however, Rich declines 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 coming to terms with just how exactly she feels about Jeff when Abed manipulates her because of her obvious feelings for him. Annie learns from the experience that the way she's responding to her feelings for Jeff is shallow and immaterial and that any kind of love or feel like this isn't fair to herself or the other person. She also gains a better understanding of Abed as well.
In the fifth season, Annie has become a salesperson for a pharmaceutical company, and returns to Greendale to accomplish better things with her life. She becomes the leader of the Save Greendale Committee. At the end of the sixth season she gets an internship at the FBI.
Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), (seasons 1–5) born December 4, 1989, is a former high school football star and Greendale Community College student. 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. His numerous admirers at school included future Greendale peer Annie Edison. Troy's status at Riverside High prompted him to wear his letter jacket for days after his initial enrollment at Greendale. Jeff quickly inferred that this was a sign of Troy's insecurity. He is also afraid of tarantulas, rats, centipedes, lakes ("Environmental Science") and automatic toilets ("Critical Film Studies"). He injured himself during a "keg flip" (much harder to pull off than a keg stand) 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 rooms in Season One, 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 ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited"). While living with him over the summer, Troy starts up a Twitter account documenting unintentionally funny/horrible things Pierce says at "old-whitemansays," 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 Annie's romantic interest in him, Troy makes a few broad attempts at wooing her but fails ("Romantic Expressionism"). 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 ("Competitive Wine Tasting"). 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 ("Advanced Gay"), 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 all dogs are male and all cats female; 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 goodhearted and responsible young man.
In season five, after Pierce's funeral, Troy was given his remaining shares of Hawthorne Wipes weighing at about $14.3 million, on the condition that he sails around the world. Pierce had the chance to do so but failed and called it his biggest regret; he wants Troy to do it and Troy accepts. Troy then leaves in "Geothermal Escapism". A one-off joke in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking", claims that LeVar Burton, the person he was traveling with and a "non-celebrity" have been abducted by pirates. In "Basic Email Security", Frankie mentions that Troy mysteriously vanished after Pierce Hawthorne masturbated himself to death.
Troy briefly appears, in Spider-Man pajamas, on a background TV screen in the 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (inspired by Troy's pajamas in season 2 episode "Anthropology 101", which inspired Marvel Comics to create the Spider-Man of color seen in the film).
Piercinald Anastasia "Pierce" Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) (Seasons 1–4 main cast, Season 5 guest) is a moist towelette tycoon attending Greendale Community College. His father founded Hawthorne Wipes, the award-winning moist towelette company. He claims to be a world traveller, a toastmaster, magician, keyboardist and self-styled hypnotherapist, and considers himself a "quality-of-life person".
He enrolled in Greendale in 1999 looking for friendship and popularity, but is held back by his clumsiness and his lack of tolerance. Much older than most Greendale students, he is often confused by youth culture while still trying to embrace it. ("Introduction to Statistics "). 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 ("The Art of Discourse"); Abed, whom he suspects being a terrorist because he is Muslim; and Jeff, whom he actively tries to roast 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" ("Anthropology 101"), documenting anything controversial said by Pierce. When he finds out, he is furious at Troy until Troy reveals the number of followers, prompting Pierce to encourage Troy to keep the account going. After his behavior became merciless 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.("Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy") Although he has occasionally made negative comments about Jews, he has also said that Annie Edison (the only Jewish member of the group) is his favorite person in it ("Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"). 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 advice 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 Season 1's "The Science of Illusion," the group tricks 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 the Season 2 episode "The Psychology of Letting Go" and Pierce believes his "Buddhist" teachings that she will be reborn, carrying a canister of what he thinks is his mother's soul around (in actuality a lava lamp). 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 thirty-two "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 severely 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 lack of attention and love his father, also a business tycoon, showed him as a child. His father even went to the extent of hiring another boy to play Pierce in a commercial while scorning and putting down the real Pierce ("Celebrity Pharmacology").
In Season 2, Pierce becomes more agitated 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 ("Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"). He breaks both of his legs in a trampoline accident after revealing a secret trampoline Jeff and Troy were hiding ("Aerodynamics of Gender"). To move around, he buys himself an ineffective wheelchair powered by his breath, for which he claims to have outbid three hospitals. After this, he grows dependent on his painkillers and also becomes increasingly at odds with the study group because of the combination of his heartless 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," 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 all seven of his marriages failed and he had 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 relaxation. Having always sought the approval of his even more bigoted father, Cornelius Hawthorne (Larry Cedar), he becomes more uncooperative after his death ("Advanced Gay"). 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, "Advanced Introduction to Finality," Pierce finally graduates from Greendale. He later appears in a cameo during the Season 5 premiere, "Repilot," as a pre-recorded holographic projection in a courtyard at Greendale. It is revealed that the hologram was donated in compliance with a court order he was "not allowed to discuss" and that he has "no legal right" to be on the Greendale campus as a result of the lawsuit. The recording also reveals that the Greendale College Quad is home to the "Pierce Hawthorne Museum of Gender Sensitivity and Sexual Potency". In the Season 5 episode "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics", Shirley reveals that Pierce has died; in the following episode, "Cooperative Polygraphy," the group is forced to take a lie detector test in compliance with Pierce's will to prove that none of them murdered him. He leaves the group bittersweet parting words and generous gifts. He leaves Troy his remaining shares in his moist towelette company, worth over $14 million. He leaves Shirley his timeshare in Florida. He also leaves each member of the study group a cylinder of his frozen sperm should they like to continue his legacy, the filling of which is revealed to have caused his death.
Dean Craig Isadore Pelton (Jim Rash) (recurring seasons 1–2, starring season 3–6) was an educator at Greendale for ten years, after or during which he earned a Bachelor of Education degree at the fictional Appomattox University, and has been Dean for five years. 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".
Pelton has displayed a number of quirks and eccentricities regarding his sexual orientation. He is described by Vice Dean Laybourne as a "pansexual imp" ("Biology 101"), and when once called a "fruit" by student Leonard ("Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"), Pelton mentioned offhandedly that the term was "barely the whole truth." Pelton has also clearly displayed an obsessive crush on Jeff Winger, treating Jeff with favoritism and often inappropriately touching him (particularly on the chest) when he is nearby, even though Jeff does not reciprocate the sentiment. It is implied that Pelton has also used Greendale's fountain (where students throw coins and make wishes) to make wishes regarding Jeff, and he is shown to have adopted a litter of kittens in one episode, two of which he named "Jeffrey".
Pelton has also displayed various fetishes, the most prominent being his increasing fascination with men dressed in Dalmatian costumes during the first season, after he sees an internet video-clip featuring a man dressed in such a costume.
He has also taken a habit of dressing in elaborate costume, often when going to visit the study-group. These costumes have included Tina Turner, Julius Caesar and other famous figures, in addition to more abstract costumes, such as one that was half-male and half-female.
Despite his ongoing over-the-top behavior, Pelton has on occasion shown some traces of self-doubt and confusion, once even questioning his life choices after realizing that he had gone "too far" with one of his costumes after realizing he was going to have to wear it during a trip to the bank that day, commenting to himself that he needs to "get [his] life together".
In the season six episode "Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing," Dean Pelton is recruited to the schoolboard as a token homosexual, but reveals himself as being "two-sevenths gay" and resumes his job as dean after the charade becomes too much to handle. Thereafter, he is seen more often with the group on their non-Greendale adventures, and in "Basic RV Repair and Palmistry," his friendship with the group is solidified.
Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Chang (Ken Jeong), referred to as Señor Chang in season 1 and widely as Kevin in season 4, was originally the study 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), 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 far 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. In "Competitive Ecology," 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 ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited," "The Psychology of Letting Go"), who potentially foreshadows Chang's lack of teaching qualifications when, in "Advanced Criminal Law," 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 criticizes Señor Chang on his confusing title and behavior. Chang on several occasions has claimed to have eaten his twin sister Connie in utero. 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. Nuñez, 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 Basterds" (described in "Pillows and Blankets" as being "like Inglourious Basterds, but with 'Chang' instead of 'In'").
Both Chang and his "Changlorious Basterds" 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 "Star-Burns" 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 Star-Burns' 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 against Jeff and the study group who have been dubbed "The Greendale Seven", and the study group is expelled.
With the study group gone, Chang takes over Greendale, installing his "Changlorious Basterds" 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 fooled 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 "Advanced Documentary Filmmaking," 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 was always a part 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. Chang decides to turn himself in for his crimes and returns to Greendale under work release as a math professor, living in the school. He exhibits more sociable behavior in season five until the finale, when he sides with those trying to sell Greendale, but then double-crosses them too after the sale is scuppered.
In season six, Chang sees some success as an actor after appearing in a stage adaptation of The Karate Kid and a ham commercial that goes viral. His career abruptly ends, however, when he accidentally insults Steven Spielberg, and he realizes that he truly feels at home at Greendale and that he is his "best self" with the group. During an extended group hug in the season six finale, Chang reveals himself to have been a closeted homosexual throughout the series, tearfully declaring that he is "legit gay."
The series also features several recurring characters who are students and staff members at Greendale.
Dr. Ian Duncan
Dr. Ian Duncan (John Oliver) is a British-born professor of psychology at Greendale. Duncan seems to be a reasonably competent professor and therapist, but isn't above scheming for personal gain like trying to con Jeff out of his Lexus or exploiting Abed's issues to advance his career. Though Jeff once successfully represented him as a lawyer by exploiting the legal system, Dr. Duncan refuses to help him cheat on principle. 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 Dr. 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," Dr. Duncan played a prominent role in guiding Abed through his suppressed feelings about Christmas. It is also implied in that episode that Dr. 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, Dr. Duncan appears to have a drinking problem. Dr. 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. The fourth season makes reference to his unexplained disappearance when Troy asks the group if anyone had seen him lately.
In the Season 5 episode "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics", Dr. Duncan returns, explaining that he had been taking care of his ailing mother, although he stopped because he had "put in [his] time". It is clear that his alcoholism and infatuation with Britta have both returned. He gives up on pursuing Britta after sharing an intimate conversation with her in "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality".
Prof. Michelle Slater
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 begged her to sleep with him during a Halloween party ("Introduction to Statistics"). She and Jeff share a similarly tough sense of humor and cynicism. Later on, she breaks off their relationship. She later reacquires interest in Jeff, consequently developing a rivalry with Britta for his attention ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited"). Jeff later 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 Dr. 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 ("Intro to Political Science") that she is actually missing.
Prof. Eustice Whitman
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 "Debate 109," 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
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". In "Introduction to Teaching", he teaches a two-day course called "Nicolas Cage: Good or Bad?" that Abed finds very difficult.
Prof. June Bauer
Prof. June Bauer (Betty White) is an anthropology professor at Greendale introduced in "Anthropology 101." Though very old, she a surprisingly good fighter ("Anthropology 101"). 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.
Dr. Marshall Kane
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. Unlike his peers, Dr. Kane often tries to veer away from some of the more ridiculous antics that take place at the school. 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. He also has a hard-line policy against accepting bribes, but only Jeff and Pierce know of this.
Prof. Noel Cornwallis
Prof. Noel Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell) is Greendale's stern, 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 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.
Prof. Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks) is a criminology professor and Jeff's officemate in season five. Hickey is a military veteran and former police officer, and his gruff demeanor is a result of his fifteen-year tenure at Greendale. He serves as a mentor to Jeff, helping him to make the transition from student to teacher. Hickey is a member the Save Greendale student-teacher alliance and Annie's criminology teacher. Hickey is also an aspiring artist and writer, and he is currently working on a comic strip entitled "Jim the Duck". He becomes film partners with Abed in "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality". It is revealed that Hickey once had a sexual encounter with Duncan's aunt while stationed in England, and it is implied that he may have fathered Duncan's cousin. He has a strained relationship with his son Hank, resulting in his being excluded from his grandson's life. They tentatively restore their differences in the episode Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Hickey is not seen again after season five, and in the season six episode "Basic E-mail Security" one of the Greendale Lunchlady's hacked e-mails has the subject line "Buzz Hickey Memorial Services," seemingly implying that Hickey died off-screen.
Francesca "Frankie" Dart (Paget Brewster) is a consultant hired to help improve Greendale in "Ladders". The group initially ostracizes her for altering the fabric of the Greendale they know, as well as the dynamic of the group itself, but she is soon integrated into the group as a friend.
Frankie often acts as a stabilizing element for the group, referring to their relationship as "codependent" ("Wedding Videography") and immediately recognizing issues such as the unhealthy "will they/won't they" between Jeff and Annie, the absurd fact that Chang was once the group's teacher, and Jeff's troubles with alcohol.
Beginning with the episode "Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing," the question of Frankie's sexuality becomes something of a running gag and a curiosity among the group, who even place bets on it ("Basic Email Security"), with Jeff guessing "Chapstick lesbian" and Annie apparently making a guess so disgusting that no one will repeat it.
In the end ("Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television"), Frankie's improvements to the school enable Greendale to be officially "saved," and remove the need for the Save Greendale Committee. Frankie remains in her position and in the group, who decide to name themselves the "Nipple Dippers."
Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne
Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne (Dino Stamatopoulos) is a middle-aged student at Greendale known for his star-shaped sideburns as well as other idiosyncrasies, such as wearing a top hat and owning a lizard later in the series. He takes a number of classes with the main characters, including Spanish and Boating. He is 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 events of "Contemporary American Poultry," when the group causes him to be fired for siphoning off chicken fingers—the most edible foodstuff served by the cafeteria—for his friends (afterwards, though, they to do exactly the same thing for themselves). 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, however know who Jeff is. Though he enjoys the attention he receives because of his sideburns, he craves an identity beyond them and begins wearing the aforementioned top hat at the beginning of the second season to draw attention away from them. He is assumed dead when a meth lab that he has been operating out of from the trunk of his car explodes in the episode "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 had been attempting to start a new identity. To this end, he is shown sporting a new haircut, albeit still with star-shaped sideburns. He returns in "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics," when he is found hiding in the stables, where has apparently lived while hiding, eating garbage, and trying to develop a "cat car." He ends up being accused of being the Greendale Ass-Crack Bandit, only for Jeff to find out this was a ruse by the Dean to deflect attention, in exchange for the Dean hiding Star-Burns' meth charges, and allowing him to remain in the stables. In season 6, he briefly appears in the episode "Modern Espionage" as a participant in the underground paintball game. As Frankie removes him from campus, he is flattered that she knows his real name.
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!", which gains him laughter from his peers. It is implied that he is disliked by the faculty staff, particularly Professor Marshall Kane ("Competitive Ecology"). 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 in "Economics of Marine Biology," 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. It was revealed that Magnitude's use of "Pop pop!" as a catchphrase began at the high school party where Annie had her mental breakdown ("Heroic Origins"). In season five ("Geothermal Escapism"), he admits that he is actually British. He briefly appears in the season six episode "Intro to Recycled Cinema" as an extra in Abed's sci-fi film, Raiders of the Galaxy.
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 (for example "Shut up, Leonard. No one knows what you're talking about."; "Shut up, Leonard. I talked to your son on Family Day. I know all about your gambling."). Though noticeably older than the other students at Greendale, he acts in as reckless and laid-back a fashion as many 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 hang out in "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples." 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 "Intro to Political Science" he ran for the student presidency, 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 the closing scene to "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism," where he declares Eugenio'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 likes. While Leonard briefly held valedictorian status in Season 4, Dean Pelton (empowered by a pseudo body-swap 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 ("Basic Human Anatomy").
In the season six episode "Ladders," it is revealed that Leonard has been a student at Greendale since it opened in the 1970s under the name "Greendale Computery College."
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 ("Home Economics"). 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. He was the cause of the bond between Jeff and Shirley in the first season, due to his small nipples, which Shirley finds hilarious. This is also referenced by them in season 3.
Rich Stephenson (Greg Cromer) is a student who is in Jeff's pottery class, of whom Jeff grows jealous for his sculpting skills ("Beginner Pottery"). 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 ("Beginner Pottery"). He spends time with the study group again in "Epidemiology," 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 youth, Jeff begins to admire his ethics and seeks life advice from him, although he wants to abuse the power Rich gets from everyone loving him.
Neil (Charley Koontz) is a student ostracized for being fat. Jeff, who accidentally coined the name "Fat Neil" ("Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"), 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, calling himself "Real Neal." As revealed in "Basic Lupine Urology" he and Vicki have, at some point, begun dating. In season 5, Neil is shown to be friendly with the group, and Jeff expresses pride at the fact that the group saved his life so that he could return to "doing stuff in the background." In the season 6 episode "Basic Email Security," the group force Neil to sit through the performance of a comedian who insults him about his weight, and as a result, Neil decides never to speak to the group again.
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 some of the main cast. 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 saviour plans actually worked or not ("Digital Exploration of Interior Design"). His middle name is revealed as being Xander in the credits for Abed's documentary in the season 4 episode "Advanced Documentary Filmmaking". In the season 6 episode "Wedding Videography," Garrett is married to classmate Stacy (Erin McGathy), who turns out to be his cousin.
Todd Jacobson (David Neher) is a student at Greendale who takes biology with the study group in "Competitive Ecology". Forgiving and good natured, he responds to insults with "None taken". The group picks on him after he is paired with Pierce on a class project, and inadvertently upsets the natural balance of the group. He eventually explodes at the study group, calling their love for each other "weird" and "toxic" and ending with "Offense taken". Todd is a married Iraq War veteran who has a newborn daughter. Todd also states that he needs insulin shots. He also appears in "Basic Lupine Urology," in which he is accused of destroying the study group's biology project. Todd's relationship with the group is more amicable in season 6, wherein he works at Shirley's Sandwiches ("Ladders"), participates in the underground paintball game ("Modern Espionage"), and even officiates Garrett's wedding ("Wedding Videography"), during which he muses that he himself "could be God."
Rachel (Brie Larson) is a cute quirky girl that Abed meets while on a date with two other girls at a school dance ("Herstory of Dance"). The two connect, although Rachel would only return a season later, on "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking," when they go on a date. She makes another appearance when she is Abed's girlfriend in "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing." In the season six premiere "Ladders," Abed, in reference to the fact that Brie Larson's film career keeps her from making frequent appearances on the show, comments that anyone observing the narrative of the study group may have questions such as "What happened to that girl I'm dating?"
Other recurring students
- Eric Wisniewski (Bill Parks) is a football player at Greendale with red hair and beard. He appears in a number of episodes including "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 ("Basic Lupine Urology"). 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, the Greendale Gazette-Journal ("Investigative Journalism") and a cofounder 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 former Community regular 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 fourth-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, for whom Quendra did "assistant work." 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. The study group often refers to her as "Other Annie or "Asian Annie". Intelligent and extremely competitive, she copies Annie's idea of a Greendale Model United Nations Team ("Geography of Global Conflict"), and later appears as a rival to the group in other school events.
- Harry Jefferson (Wil Garret) is an elderly, blind man. He appears in "Digital Exploration of Interior Design" and "Basic Lupine Urology". He has a short monologue in "Pillows and Blankets", where he states "Well, I guess all hugs have to come to an end."
- Dave (Darsan Solomon) is a student in Jeff's Law class. In the season six finale, "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television," he appears in Jeff's vision of what will happen if all of his friends leave Greendale (essentially, Jeff will be left with the supporting cast).
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 instigates a pillow war between Abed and Troy, hoping to divide their friendship and motivate Troy to enroll in the air conditioning repair school. He is later killed by Murray, something which is revealed to the air conditioner repair school by Troy in "Introduction to Finality."
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 ("English as a Second Language"), 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." He has appeared several times since, often in a cranky mood when the study group asks him for help finding or fixing things in the school.
Crazy Schmidt (Eddie Pepitone) is a janitor at Greendale, who is best known for his odd, erratic temperament.
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, briefly becoming the new Vice Dean before being exposed by Troy, who is revealed as the "truest repairman."
Sgt. Nuñez (Mel Rodriguez) is the chief of campus security for Greendale College. All of Nuñez'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. Nuñez 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 Bladt (Jeremy Scott Johnson) and Richie Countee (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 lowered standards for the school and fail to realize when Chang replaces the Dean. They hate the school and later sell it briefly to Subway Sandwiches. Richie also believes that he can read people's minds.
Elroy Patashnik (Keith David) is a failed inventor who decides to enroll at Greendale to reinvent his life in "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care", joining the "Save Greendale Committee" shortly after. He is hired as head of Greendale's IT Department in "Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing". In "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television", Elroy leaves Colorado for California after getting a job at LinkedIn.
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 neutral gray gimp or zentai performer. 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 ("Asian Population Studies"). It ultimately turns out that the baby is Andre's and he remarries Shirley at the middle of the third season. During the fifth-season premiere, "Repilot," Shirley reveals that Andre has once again left her, and has taken the kids with him, as she put too much focus on her sandwich shop at Greendale, inadvertently neglecting her family.
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 in "Accounting for Lawyers," the study group knows that he had sent an email message 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. He appears again in "Repilot" when he tries to convince Jeff to help him launch a major lawsuit against Greendale.
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 more 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 Sean Garrity, referring to him by his given name. He appears in "The Science of Illusion" to investigate a body Britta drops out of the biology labs; in "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design", he teaches 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. Cackowski returns in the season 6 episode "Basic Email Security" to help investigate a hacking attempt on the school, treating the group as old friends and acting surprised that they want to keep a cop they've known for five years "at arm's length."
Dean Steven Spreck (Jordan Black) is the dean of rival 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, and has blueprints for a giant mechanical spider. Spreck's last-ditch effort to harm Greendale occurs in the season 6 episode "Basic Crisis Room Decorum" - although Spreck himself does not appear, City College runs an attack ad that defames Greendale by claiming that it gave a degree to a dog. Jeff and the group foil City College again by releasing their own ad, which instead of attacking Spreck back, provides an honest commentary on how Greendale needs to "get its shit together." Spreck and City College do not appear again in the series.
Gilbert Lawson (Giancarlo Esposito) is Cornelius Hawthorne's personal assistant, executor of estate, and illegitimate son (thus Pierce's half-brother). 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 capuchin 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.
- 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 carved from ivory in order to avoid hair coming from "orientals." He dies of a heart attack after Jeff tells him he's both a lousy father and a dinosaur who knows the entire world (including his son) hates him and has no more use for him. 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 neighboring City 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 is 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 at 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 the Greendale regulation 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 thirty-two ex-stepchildren, who pretends to like him and comes to Family Day since he sends her big sums of money. She and Jeff share a mutual attraction and the two prepare to have sex until Jeff learns how she is exploiting Pierce.
- Nana Barnes (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 "Beginner Pottery") is the pottery professor at Greendale. While his class seems very easy and passable, he has a zero-tolerance policy for students who make joking reference to the pottery scene from the 1990 film Ghost (which he calls "Ghosting") and thus comes into conflict with Jeff. He has a habit of calling the students in his class "my blueberries."
- Admiral Lee Slaughter (Lee Majors in "Beginner 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 the law firm of Hamish, Hamish & Hamlin so that he could have people around him who would not inquire about the weird hole in his right hand. He and Jeff have a good relationship as evidenced by his offering Jeff a consulting position at the firm while Jeff is still a student at Greendale. Alan Connor claims in "Introduction to Finality" 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 reluctantly 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. In "Geothermal Escapism" he accompanies Troy during his voyage around the world, though in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" it is revealed that they were captured by pirates.
- 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 is a lesbian, 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 to 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 after bugging 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 in "Advanced Criminal Law." 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 gang of German exchange students at Greendale who best Jeff at foosball.
- 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 The Doppel Gang, a company that rents out celebrity impersonators, who used to impersonate French Stewart himself. After Abed goes into 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." He reappears in the episode "Advanced Safety Features," this time representing Honda in a guerrilla marketing campaign.
- 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 Juergen's brother who seeks revenge on the study group by repeatedly reserving their study room table before they can.
- Karl (Alex Schemmer in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" and "Alternate History of the German Invasion") is a member of the group of German students. He becomes Abed's friend after it is revealed he has a character named "Dr. Blitz" who saved Abed's character "Spacetimer 8032" in the on-line game Spawncraft. He loves blutwurst.
- Lukas (Alex Klein in "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" and "Alternate History of the German Invasion") is a member of the group of German students. He loves luft balloons.
- William Winger, Sr. (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, Jr. (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 DeCoste (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 Shirley in his "P.E.E." class.
- 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.
- Mark (Joe Lo Truglio in "Heroic Origins" and "Advanced Introduction to Finality") is one of Jeff's former partners from his former law firm, where he went by the nickname "Cash" to Jeff's "Tango." In "Advanced Introduction to Finality", he offers Jeff a partnership at his law firm, claiming that Jeff is still a great lawyer. Jeff later declines Mark's offer, instead opting to search for another firm closer to Greendale so he can remain close to the Study Group.
- Mr. Stone (Walton Goggins in "Cooperative Polygraphy") is a seemingly stoic man hired by Pierce to administer a polygraph test to the study group.
- Bob Waite (Nathan Fillion in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" and "Ladders") is the head custodian at Greendale. Though a slick politician, one of his primary concerns is his difficulty getting access to online pornography on campus.
- Debra Chambers (Paget Brewster in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking") is the head of the IT department at Greendale.
- Waldron (Robert Patrick in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking") is the head of the Parking department at Greendale.
- Carol (Katie Leclerc in "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking") is a deaf student at Greendale. She befriends Abed, but it is later revealed that she had been paid by Britta to befriend Abed and then spoil one of his favorite shows called Bloodlines of Conquest, as revenge for when Abed spoiled the same show for Britta.
- Koogler (Mitchell Hurwitz in "App Development and Condiments") is a middle-aged party animal student at Greendale, whose antics are reminiscent of those in Caddyshack and Animal House. His popularity and lifestyle are incongruous with his age.
- Devon (Vince Gilligan in "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing") is a struggling actor and host of the VCR videogame Pile of Bullets.
- Hank Hickey (David Cross in "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons") is Buzz Hickey's estranged son. He is an experienced Dungeons & Dragons player.
- Ronald Mohammed (Michael McDonald in "Basic Story") is an eccentric insurance appraisal officer, who evaluates the value of Greendale as a property. This leads to the school being sold to Subway Sandwiches.
- Russell Borchert (Chris Elliott in "Basic Sandwich") was the first dean of Greendale and a mad-genius computer professor. He has been secretly living under Greendale with a robot girlfriend for decades. Borchert Hall (the location of Greendale's swimming pool) is presumably named for him.
- Prof. Roger DeSalvo (Matt Berry in "Grifting 101") is a self-styled grifter who teaches a course in grifting at Greendale, which is itself a grift. He is fired by Dean Pelton after attempting to con Greendale out of $50,000 for fake injuries.
- Scrunch (Seth Green in "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television") is an imaginary member of the Activities Committee who appears in Jeff's vision of how difficult his life at Greendale will be if all of his friends leave. Scrunch insists that Jeff's job is to do all the work, while the rest of the group's job is to "party."
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 has many similarities to Doctor Who (both are British science-fiction television programs that have been running for approximately fifty years). With his sidekick (similar to that of a companion in Doctor Who) 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), whose punches have the strength of kicks, is the titular hero in a series of cheesy action movies that Troy and Abed like to ridicule, while still being fans. He is a cybernetically enhanced police officer, reminiscent of Robocop. His first name is David.
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 (implied to be) 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 mimics 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. Park later appears in the sixth season of the show as himself.
Character appearance summary
(Characters sorted by episode count)
- "Community TV - Joel McHale". NBC. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- 06 minutes and 06 seconds into S01E01 - Pilot
- "Greendale Community College". NBC. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Britta Perry". NBC. Retrieved February 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Jackson, Josh (December 5, 2011). "The 20 Best TV Characters of 2011". List of the Day. Paste. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
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. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Annie Edison". NBC. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Troy Barnes". NBC. Retrieved February 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Surette, Tim (January 20, 2012). "What's Your Favorite Community End Tag?". TV.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
- "Donald Glover's Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Cameo Explained". ScreenRant. December 16, 2018. Archived from the original on December 23, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
- "Craig Pelton". Greendale Community College. Retrieved January 2, 2014.[permanent dead link]
- "Community TV - Ken Jeong". NBC. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Investigative Journalism". Community. Season 1. Episode 13. January 14, 2010. NBC.
- Community S02E11 "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
- "Greendale Community College - Michelle Slater". NBC. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Prof. Eustice Whitman". NBC. Retrieved February 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Greendale Community College - Alex Osbourne". NBC. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Intro to Political Science". Community. Season 2. Episode 17. February 24, 2011. NBC.
- "Greendale Community College - Leonard Briggs". NBC. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Vaughn Miller". NBC. Archived from the original on February 3, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Eric Wizniewski". NBC. Retrieved February 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Greendale Community College - Pavel Iwaszkiewicz". NBC. Archived from the original on December 16, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Mark Millot". NBC. Archived from the original on February 8, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Mike Chilada". NBC. Retrieved February 16, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- "Greendale Community College - Buddy Austin". NBC. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Herbert Bogner". NBC. Archived from the original on March 25, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- "Greendale Community College - Marion Holly". NBC. Retrieved March 26, 2010.[permanent dead link]
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