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Top 10 Episodes of Community

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Kurt Hvorup Sometimes you just need a bit of, well, community – but what to watch? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Episodes of Community. For this list, we're taking a look at the episodes from the show's numerous seasons that we found to be the most worth watching and engaging overall. Special thanks to our users D.j. Ariake Smith, Dan Byrne-Szafoni and Ryan Preston for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Kurt Hvorup

Top 10 Episodes of Community


Sometimes you just need a bit of, well, community – but what to watch? Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Episodes of Community. For this list, we're taking a look at the episodes from the show's numerous seasons that we found to be the most worth watching and engaging overall.
Whether they excel in drama, character building, concepts, or comedy, we’ve found their appeal to be undeniable.

#10: “Contemporary American Poultry”

Frustrated by a shortage of chicken fingers in the Greendale cafeteria, the study group decides to fight it, Mafia-style. That’s the premise of this late season 1 episode, setting up a number ofloving nods to classic crime movies like “GoodFellas” and “The Godfather”. Jeff Winger concocts a scheme to get lunch food for his friends that’s actually edible, and eventually that results in each member of the study group being consumed by a vice... with self-aware student Abed Nadir at the center of it all. His conflict with Jeff is as funny as it is ultimately heartwarming. Plus, there’s a monkey with a silly name.

#9: “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design”

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Well regardless, this is a sharply written episode centered around Jeff and Annie Edison’s investigation of Greendale’s night school. The writers have a lot of fun playing with expectations, culminating in a sequence of betrayals that has to be seen to be believed. Meanwhile Troy and Abed’s construction of a campus-wide blanket fort brings some welcome laughs, especially as they slowly realize how mainstream their efforts have become.

#8: “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television”

If this is to be the end, then it’s a glorious way to go. Meta-commentary abounds in this episode, as each member of the study group comes up with their own audacious pitch for a theoretical season – sorry, year seven. However, the real draw of the episode becomes apparent when it comes to Jeff; his doubts about people leaving and things changing make for surprisingly effective drama. And that stinger at the end courtesy of series creator Dan Harmon is a nice touch.

#7: “Paradigms of Human Memory”

Ah, the time-honored tradition of flashback episodes. Acting as a clip show with a mocking twist, this installment has the study group reminiscing about their past year... only, we the audience are shown random never-before-seen adventures, such as an encounter with a cartel and a boating trip gone wrong. From romantic montages to increasingly eccentric speeches from Jeff, the episode delivers a healthy dose of meta-comedy – including one of the show’s most enduring catchphrases.

#6: “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”

Ready your arrows and keep your character sheets in hand – this one’s a keeper. Besides offering gems such as Chang’s accidental blackface and Pierce Hawthorne’s bitter jabs at the study group, “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” is also quietly effective in how it handles Neil, a student teased about his weight to the point of suicidal thoughts. It manages to balance the absurdity of each character’s actions in the ongoing D&D campaign, and the real struggle to help Neil by raising his self-esteem.

#5: “Digital Estate Planning”

8-bit gaming gets its time to shine, amid an interesting setup. Pierce invites the study group to be present for the unveiling of his deceased father’s estate... only one issue: Pierce’s inheritance must be won by playing a custom-built game. The episode delves into every trope of classic gaming possible –from cheat codes, to jumping on enemies’ heads, to eyebrow-raising acts oflooting. Add to that an authentic synthesizer-based soundtrack and retro gaming visuals, and it’s a swell time for all.

#4: “Pillows and Blankets”

A civil war brews in Greendale... over whether pillows or blankets are better. This episode plays out as a documentary not unlike Ken Burns’ film “The Civil War”, complete with dramatic narration by Keith David. The episode has fun treating such a trivial conflict with faux gravity, but at the end of the day this is Troy and Abed’s story; the two friends are at odds, yearning to go back to normal yet caught in an escalating conflict. We weren’t expecting things to get so heart wrenching.

#3: “Epidemiology”

Fear the dead, or in this case the brain-damaged living. Such is the case for “Epidemiology,” a not-so-token Halloween episode about questionable food causing a zombie-like sickness to spread. It comes down to the study group to restore order and save the day – if they can survive long enough, that is. Between some teasing nods to the horror film genre and the reaffirming of Troy and Abed’s friendship, this themed episode remains a classic.

#2: “A Fistful of Paintballs” / “For a Few Paintballs More”

Though the first paintball episode “Modern Warfare” is definitely admirable, we felt this two-part finale from season 2 was more memorable. At first Greendale’s latest campus-wide paintball game seems restrained by their standards... until little by little, hints of a greater plot to take over Greendale come to light. The first part draws heavily from spaghetti westerns while the second aims for a rebels-versus-oppressors homage to “Star Wars”, yet the cast all commits wholeheartedly to the increasingly dramatic odds. And as always, the conflict between characters drives the plot, leading to a quietly powerful final scene.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Basic Lupine Urology”
- “G.I. Jeff”
- “Geothermal Escapism”
- “Beginner Pottery”
- “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”
- “Cooperative Calligraphy”

#1: “Remedial Chaos Theory”

It all began with a roll of the dice. Early in season 3, we were given this innovative episode that explored the question of alternate timelines. Jeff rolls the dice to determine who gets pizza for the study group’s party, and this is part of a simple yet effective setup, allowing the writers to examine each member of the group and how they interact with one another. The resulting seven timelines – each varying based on who is present – are equal parts funny and thoughtful, revealing how amazing Community’s character-driven stories can be. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite episode of Community? For more episodic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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