Community (season 3)

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Season 3
DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes22
Original networkNBC
Original releaseSeptember 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) –
May 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of episodes

The third season of the television comedy series Community premiered on September 22, 2011, and concluded on May 17, 2012, on NBC. The season consists of 22 episodes and aired on Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET as part of the network's "Comedy Night Done Right" programming block.[1]




Guest stars[edit]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
501"Biology 101"Anthony RussoGarrett Donovan & Neil GoldmanSeptember 22, 2011 (2011-09-22)3013.93[2]
The study group decides to take a biology class together, but Pierce who has rejoined the group faces problems when only six seats are available in the class. Jeff quickly makes enemies with their professor (Michael K. Williams) and is removed from the class. Pierce takes his place and Jeff realizes what it is like to be excluded. Dean Pelton, meanwhile, finds a new rival in Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman), the dean of the renowned Air Conditioning Repair Annex in the process of transforming Greendale’s management.
512"Geography of Global Conflict"Joe RussoAndy BobrowSeptember 29, 2011 (2011-09-29)3023.98[3]
A Model UN competition introduces Annie to a new frenemy Annie Kim; Jeff and the rest of the group try to help her win and Annie has a big tantrum in the process. Britta goes head to head with Campus Security Officer Chang, as they both try to fulfill their own fantasies through foolish conflict. While Chang wants his job to be taken more seriously, Britta wants to be tough again.
523"Competitive Ecology"Anthony RussoMaggie BandurOctober 6, 2011 (2011-10-06)[a]3043.35[5]
While the gang pairs off to build a terrarium, the seven group members have to include an outsider in order to make even pairs and the friendships are tested. Chang relishes his imaginary role as a noir detective and ends up causing a lot of damage.
534"Remedial Chaos Theory"Jeff MelmanChris McKennaOctober 13, 2011 (2011-10-13)3033.78[6]
Troy and Abed's housewarming party turns into a surreal, post-modern world with parallel realities; each reality showing the effect on the study group of one character's absence from it (e.g. without Troy the group descend into chaos; without Jeff the group has fun). Nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and the Hugo Award for Best Short Form Dramatic Presentation.
545"Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps"Tristram ShapeeroDan HarmonOctober 27, 2011 (2011-10-27)3053.42[7]
In order to determine the odd man out of the group (who, in this case, is apparently a sociopath), Britta conducts a search by having the gang tell scary stories.
556"Advanced Gay"Joe RussoMatt MurrayNovember 3, 2011 (2011-11-03)3063.84[8]
Pierce is excited about a party he's throwing to celebrate his business success, but the affair becomes very different when his elderly father arrives.
567"Studies in Modern Movement"Tristram ShapeeroAdam CounteeNovember 10, 2011 (2011-11-10)3073.49[9]
The group tries to help Annie move in with Troy and Abed but things go awry when she becomes frustrated by their lifestyle; Dean Pelton blackmails Jeff into spending the afternoon with him.
578"Documentary Filmmaking: Redux"Joe RussoMegan GanzNovember 17, 2011 (2011-11-17)3083.62[10]
Dean Pelton is asked by the school board to film a new commercial for Greendale; Abed films all the activities for a documentary.
589"Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism"Anthony RussoChris KulaDecember 1, 2011 (2011-12-01)3093.74[11]
Jeff and Shirley spend time together playing foosball. After Annie breaks Abed's special edition DVD of The Dark Knight, she covers it up by staging a robbery.
5910"Regional Holiday Music"Tristram ShapeeroSteve Basilone & Annie MebaneDecember 8, 2011 (2011-12-08)3113.60[12]
Greendale's choir director (Taran Killam) asks the study group to fill in at the holiday pageant after the glee club is unable to attend.
6011"Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts"Kyle NewacheckVera SantamariaMarch 15, 2012 (2012-03-15)3124.75[13]
Andre re-proposes to Shirley. Britta and Annie quickly begin making arrangements for the wedding. Jeff must write a speech, and Troy and Abed attempt to become "normal" for the wedding. Pierce and Shirley try to get a sandwich shop installed in the cafeteria.
6112"Contemporary Impressionists"Kyle NewacheckAlex CooleyMarch 22, 2012 (2012-03-22)3103.87[14]
Jeff begins experiencing extreme narcissism. The group helps Abed get rid of debt by impersonating various celebrities at a bar mitzvah.
6213"Digital Exploration of Interior Design"Dan EckmanChris McKennaMarch 29, 2012 (2012-03-29)3133.48[15]
A new Subway shop opens in the cafeteria and Shirley, Pierce, and Britta attempt to shut it down. Vice Dean Laybourne returns to try to win Troy over. Troy and Abed build competing blanket/pillow forts.
6314"Pillows and Blankets"Tristram ShapeeroAndy BobrowApril 5, 2012 (2012-04-05)3143.00[16]
Presented in the style of Ken Burns' documentary, The Civil War: What starts as a casual disagreement over pillows and blankets soon blossoms into all-out war on the Greendale campus. While insults are hurled and the study group choose loyalties, Jeff tries to negotiate a truce, but with neither Abed nor Troy budging on their principles or real estate, the future looks grim for the duo's friendship.
6415"Origins of Vampire Mythology"Steven TsuchidaDan HarmonApril 12, 2012 (2012-04-12)3153.09[17]
The carnival comes into town and Britta enlists the help of the study group to keep her away from her ex. Vice Dean Laybourne and Dean Pelton band together to try to woo Troy to the Air Conditioning Repair Annex.
6516"Virtual Systems Analysis"Tristram ShapeeroMatt MurrayApril 19, 2012 (2012-04-19)3162.77[18]
When a final exam is postponed, Annie talks Abed into letting her spend some time in the dreamatorium, where an innocent simulation turns into an examination of the study group.
6617"Basic Lupine Urology"Rob SchrabMegan GanzApril 26, 2012 (2012-04-26)3173.21[19]
In a homage to Law & Order, the study group investigate a crime when someone sabotages their biology experiment. When they discover the perp, Annie plans on prosecuting them to the fullest extent of Greendale's Code of Conduct.
6718"Course Listing Unavailable"Tristram ShapeeroTim SaccardoMay 3, 2012 (2012-05-03)3183.20[20]
Starburns suddenly dies and Britta insists on counseling the group using her skills from psychology class, despite nobody grieving him. This predictably fails and when the group finds out their biology credit is invalid, their attendance of their fallen classmate's wake quickly goes awry. Meanwhile Chang takes over campus and has the study group expelled.
6819"Curriculum Unavailable"Adam DavidsonAdam CounteeMay 10, 2012 (2012-05-10)3192.99[21]
When Abed becomes convinced that Dean Pelton has been replaced by an impostor, he is required to see a therapist (John Hodgman), who attempts to convince the group that they have been experiencing a shared psychosis and Greendale is actually a mental institution. This leads to the group to recall the stranger activities and events that took place at Greendale through a series of flashbacks.
6920"Digital Estate Planning"Adam DavidsonMatt WarburtonMay 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)3222.97[22]
Pierce is summoned to Hawthorne Enterprises to discuss his inheritance with his deceased father's former right-hand man, Gilbert Lawson (Giancarlo Esposito). The study group goes with him for moral support and must all pitch in to play the video game of their life on Pierce's behalf – or risk losing his inheritance. Most of the episode is animated like a pixel-art video game.
7021"The First Chang Dynasty"Jay ChandrasekharMatt Fusfeld & Alex CuthbertsonMay 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)3202.61[22]
When Chang gains control of Greendale's campus, the study group forms a plot to take back the school. Troy seeks help at the Air Conditioning Repair Annex.
7122"Introduction to Finality"Tristram ShapeeroSteve Basilone & Annie MebaneMay 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)3212.48[22]
Jeff and Alan (Rob Corddry) battle in court as opposing counsel in Pierce and Shirley's sandwich shop case. Vice Dean Laybourne continues to win over Troy to the Air Conditioning Repair School.


The series was renewed for a third season on March 17, 2011.[23] Filming for the season began on July 25, 2011.[24] Jim Rash, who portrays Dean Pelton, was promoted to a series regular after having a recurring role throughout the first two seasons.[25] Michael K. Williams was cast as the study group's new biology professor, who is described as a deeply intense character.[26] John Goodman appears in a multi-episode arc as Vice Dean Laybourne, the head of Greendale's air conditioning repair school, and is a foe for Dean Pelton.[27] Martin Starr guest starred in the second episode of the season as a political science professor and project advisor when the study group take a Model UN class; with Starr possibly returning later in the season.[28] Larry Cedar appeared in the sixth episode as Cornelius Hawthorne, the patriarch of the Hawthorne family and Pierce's father.[29] In the same episode, Jerry Minor returned as the Greendale custodian who previously appeared in "English as a Second Language" and "For a Few Paintballs More".[29] The season's Christmas-themed episode is a musical featuring all original music, with the storyline being the study group having to fill in for the school's glee club. The episode also features a guest appearance by Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam.[30] Giancarlo Esposito appeared in "Digital Estate Planning" as Gilbert, a man who Pierce is surprised to learn was a longtime employee for his late, very racist father, and the study group needs to work with Gilbert and Pierce on an issue regarding Cornelius' Hawthorne's last will and testament.[31] The character of Star-Burns is killed off in episode 17 of the season, as portrayer of the character Dino Stamatopoulos simply asked for it to happen. Stamatopoulos also serves as a consulting producer and writer for the series, so he wanted to focus on his main job, as he explained "I'm not an actor". Series creator Dan Harmon explained Star-Burns' death is "not just thrown away", but "triggers the rest of the entire season.[32] Filming of the season concluded in mid-February 2012.[33]

Dan Harmon planned on making the third season more cohesive than the previous, with more connectivity between the storylines of the episodes, as well as to make the show more grounded, with somewhat fewer themed episodes. Harmon also planned out the characters' storylines for the entire season.[34] Explaining the theme of the third season, and Jeff's journey for the season, Harmon says, "Season 3 is about the price that you pay when you figure out that you love a group of people. That's it in a nutshell. It's about the high cost of valuing people other than yourself, and that's the path that Jeff has been on. The third chapter for him is going to be the toughest of all. When you love people, their pain is your pain. Nobody likes having to deal with hassles more than Jeff Winger, and nobody's going to have to deal with more this year."[34]

On November 14, 2011, NBC announced that they were removing Community from their mid-season schedule to make room for 30 Rock, which returned to Thursday nights.[35] On February 21, 2012, it was announced that the series would return on March 15, 2012.[36]


On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 92% with an average score of 8.3 out of 10 based on 24 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Greendale study group take some of their boldest swings – though not all connect – in this freewheeling third season that nevertheless continues Community's streak as the gold standard for fiendishly clever television."[37]

Home media[edit]

The third season was released on DVD in region 1 on August 14, 2012,[38] in region 2 on September 2, 2013,[39] and in region 4 on September 21, 2012.[40]


  1. ^ The episode listing is the broadcast order. Episodes 3 and 4, and 11 and 12 were switched around in their original broadcast, but appear in production and chronological order on all home media releases.[4]


  1. ^ Rice, Lynette (July 6, 2011). "NBC announces fall premiere dates". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Seidman, Robert (September 23, 2011). "Thursday Finals: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation' and 'Whitney' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  3. ^ Gorman, Bill (September 30, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Office' & 'The Secret Circle,' 'Mentalist' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  4. ^ Lacey, Gord (August 14, 2012). "Community – The Complete 3rd Season Review". Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  5. ^ Seidman, Robert (October 6, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'The Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'The Office,' 'Person of Interest,' 'Parks & Rec' Adjusted Up; 'Private Practice' Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 14, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Office,' 'Person Of Interest,' 'X Factor' Adjusted Up, 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 17, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
  7. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 28, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: World Series Game 6 Finals + 'Big Bang,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Office,' 'Person,' Adjusted Up; 'Rules,' 'Secret Circle,' 'Whitney,' 'Prime Suspect' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on October 29, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 4, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'The X Factor,' 'Parks & Recreation,' 'The Office,' 'Vampire Diaries,' 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 6, 2011. Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 11, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Grey's,' 'Prime Suspect' Adjusted Up; 'Bones,' 'Rules,' 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 13, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011.
  10. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 19, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Private Practice' Adjusted Up; 'Bones' Adjusted Down; 'Beneath The Blue' Evaporates". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Seidman, Robert (December 2, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: No Adjustment for 'Community,' 'Bones' or Any Thursday Original". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
  12. ^ Gorman, Bill (December 9, 2011). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Parks & Rec' Adjusted Up; 'Big Bang,' 'Rules,' 'Person Of Interest,' 'Mentalist,' 'X Factor,' 'Bones' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 16, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'The Office', 'Missing' Adjusted Up, 'Private Practice' Adjusted Down + NCAA Game Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Seidman, Robert (March 23, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol,' 'Touch,' '30 Rock,' 'Up All Night' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
  15. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 30, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'The Big Bang Theory', 'Missing' and 'Vampire Diaries' Adjusted Up, 'Rules' and 'Touch' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 1, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  16. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 6, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol', 'Person of Interest', 'Missing', 'Up All Night' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 8, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  17. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 13, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Office' and 'American Idol' Up; 'Scandal' Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2012.
  18. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 20, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Awake' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' & 'Parks and Recreation' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
  19. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 27, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Idol', 'Big Bang Theory', 'Grey's', 'The Vampire Diaries', 'Mentalist' & 'Missing' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  20. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 4, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol', 'Vampire Diaries', 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up; 'Secret Circle', 'The Mentalist', 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 7, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  21. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 11, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory', 'Idol', 'Vampire Diaries', 'Office', 'Secret Circle', 'Grey's' Adjusted Up; 'Touch', 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
  22. ^ a b c Bibel, Sara (May 18, 2012). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy', '30 Rock' Adjusted Up; 'Touch', 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  23. ^ Ausiello, Michael (March 17, 2011). "Breaking: NBC Renews The Office, Community and Parks and Recreation". TVLine. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  24. ^ Goldberg, Matt (July 25, 2011). "Filming on Season 3 of Community Begins Today with a Nice Welcome for the Cast and Crew". Collider. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
  25. ^ Adalian, Josef (July 22, 2011). "Community Creator Dan Harmon on What's in Store for Next Season". NY Mag. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  26. ^ Bryant, Adam (July 23, 2011). "Community Taps The Wire's Michael K. Williams to Teach Biology". TV Guide. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  27. ^ Abrams, Natalie (July 25, 2011). "John Goodman Signs on As Dean of Community". TV Guide. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  28. ^ Masters, Megan (July 28, 2011). "Community Exclusive: Party Down Fan Fave Schools the Greendale Study Group". TVLine. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  29. ^ a b Masters, Megan (September 9, 2011). "Exclusive: Community Casts Deadwood Actor 12 Years Chevy Chase's Junior as Pierce's Dad". TV Line. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
  30. ^ Masters, Megan (October 20, 2011). "Exclusive: Community Staging Christmas-Themed Musical Episode!". TV Line. Retrieved October 21, 2011.
  31. ^ Kronke, David (February 17, 2012). "Exclusive: Giancarlo Esposito Talks About His Community Guest Shot". TV Guide. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  32. ^ Snierson, Dan (April 27, 2012). "'Community' mourns the death of a character". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
  33. ^ Radish, Christina (March 14, 2012). "Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs Talk COMMUNITY Season 3, the Hiatus, Possibility of Season 4 and More". Collider. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  34. ^ a b Bryant, Adam (July 22, 2011). "Community Season 3 Spoilers: Annie's Rival, Jeff's Father and Chang's... Rise to Power?". TV Guide. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  35. ^ Goldberg, Lesley; Ng, Philiana (November 14, 2011). "'Prime Suspect' Future Uncertain, 'Community' Will Be Back on NBC". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  36. ^ Hibberd, James (February 21, 2012). "'Community' gets return date! Here's NBC's comedy plan". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  37. ^ "Community: Season 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  38. ^ Lambert, David (June 25, 2012). "Community – Sony's Formal Press Release, Finalized Package Art for 'The Complete 3rd Season'". Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  39. ^ "Community – Season 3 [DVD]". Retrieved May 10, 2013.
  40. ^ "Community – The Complete 3rd Season". Archived from the original on November 29, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.

External links[edit]