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Top 10 Funniest Community Running Gags

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
Community is a funny and often underrated show, and of course we all want new episodes of Community or a new season of Community, but for now you'll have to settle for the show's best running gags. From ripping on Britta to telling Leonard to shut up, these are the jokes that keep coming back throughout the show's run, and never fail to get a laugh. So join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the best running gags from Community. Written by Laura Keating

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Goooooood morning, Greendale. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Community Running Gags.

For this list, we’ve taking a look at our favorite recurring jokes from the cult hit “Community.” We will be excluding Easter eggs, or behind the scene gags, as clever as they may have been.

#10: Pop, Pop!

There seems to be one at every school: the guy with the catchphrase. No one is quite sure what it’s supposed to reference, but they love it and feel it works just the same. Such is the case with side character Magnitude, who is best known for his signature slogan “Pop pop!” As one of the on-campus party dudes, he apparently first coined the slogan when Annie ran through a window and two balloons popped in succession. Odd genesis aside, the phrase and his little “raise the roof” gesture that accompanies it are consistent throughout the show - and consistently get laughs.

#9: Shut Up, Leonard!

Leonard is one of the older students of Greendale, and like all people of advanced age he is widely respected for his insight and acumen. Just kidding. Like some elderly folks, he gives his thoughts and opinions very freely, with little prompting, and the members of the study group and beyond are pretty quick to dismiss him with a rousing declaration of “Shut Up, Leonard!” - followed by some sort of call out to deflate him. Leonard never takes the not so subtle hint and is sure to start running his mouth again soon thereafter, but he never seems to take offence either - resulting in a hilarious vicious cycle.

#8: Changuage & Deanotation

Changuage and Deanotation are two mostly nonsense words to describe the way Dean Craig Pelton and Señor Ben Chang talk. One of the signature habits of the eccentric faculty members is to insert their own name or title into a word or sentence. These puns crop up frequently (especially the Dean’s greetings), and with increasingly loose relation to whatever words either “Chang” or “Dean” are replacing. It is just one of the many little idiosyncrasies that makes Greendale Community College such a bizarre and magical place – on TV, that is. In real life, you’d probably lose your mind after a semester.

#7: Britta's the Worst

Oh Britta. Set up in the first episode to be the love-interest/cool girl, she quickly gets on everyone’s nerves with everything from her scattered politics and her cringeworthy attempts to be sensitive on all matters, to her pronunciation of the word “bagel”. It has all earned her the reputation for being… for lack of a better term: the worst. It’s all done in good fun, but you’d think it would grate on a girl’s confidence. When Troy leaves, he tells her she's the best, wrapping the long-running joke nicely.

#6: Rhyming Names

The great thing about this one is its casual nature. The study group picks up a habit of beginning a phrase and then rhyming it with a name (Well, well, well, Harvey Keitel). It’s the sort of silly things that friends do in real life, casually competing to see who can come up with the sickest burn, or in this case… the most unique or clever rhyme. It is never really called out directly – except once, when Annie may or may not have just made up a name on the spot to finish her rhyme (yeah… that one seems too convenient). Sometimes they don’t quite rhyme, but are instead puns. But hey, this game is all about good fun, so we’ll give it a pass.

#5: Jeff's Speeches

Many shows (from family sitcoms to South Park) use one character as the moral center of a group to voice the message or lesson at the end of each episode. Like South Park, Community uses this trope as a joke – because if anyone can take the moral high-ground … it’s not Jeff Winger. His speeches usually come in a moment when the group is fracturing and need a pep talk to rally them back together, summarizing what the conflict is and what they have done or will do to overcome it. The apex of this running joke, is this ultimate speech that shows just how formulaic they are, and how hilarious.

#4: Annie's Boobs

Not her actual boobs. After Abed gifts Troy a pet monkey, he takes to Twitter to poll what its name should be. The results land on Annie's Boobs (BoatyMcBoatface could’ve told you that this is what happens when you poll the internet). Annie is understandably annoyed with the name, but it sticks nonetheless. But when the pet is released, and escapes into the air ducts, we are then treated to several seasons with the occasional mention of the antics of Annie’s Boobs; turns out it’s a kleptomaniac. Who would have thought that inappropriate naming could have such excellent results?

#3: Dean Pelton's Outfits

So... Dean Pelton is odd. This was established early on in the series. Between his Deanotations, hare-brained ideas, and not-so-subtle infatuation with Jeff Winger, he is eccentric to say the least. This is punctuated by occasional and then increasingly frequent costume changes. Although they are topical in the beginning, relating to either a holiday or a theme running through the episode, eventually they are just, well, just because. The man just loves to dress up! Way to live your life, Dean Pelton, way to live your life!

#2: Daybreak

This one is so subtle you’d be excused if you missed it. Daybreak is a jazz song by Michael Haggins. During a horror story that Abed was telling, the song became featured and Abed stopped his narration to hum a little riff of it. The catchy tune has since been hummed by other characters or been softly played in the background - a subtle nod towards its enduring infectious melody. As it is Abed’s favorite song, a cameo was reportedly discussed for musician Michael Haggins, but sadly, this little meta-extra did not come to fruition.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:


Butt Stuff

LeVar Burton

#1: Troy and Abed in the Morning!

Troy and Abed are the epitome of friendship goals. Of the many fun and crazy stunts they pull, the most memorable is Troy and Abed in the Morning! thanks in large part to its super catchy jingle. They begin this little morning news segment, sometimes with an audience, guest interviewee, or just by themselves. They’re not actually broadcasting anything, just fooling around, playing off each other while having fun. They even create a logo and customized coffee cups for themselves. The jingle is not exclusive to their “news” segment, but is applied several times to things they do together, just goofing off. It’s pure silly pop culture fun, which is what Community was always about.


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