10 Must-Watch Episodes of Community

I loved watching Community back in the day. On its surface, it was a show about a study group at a community college, but it delves into some really zany (and very funny) territory. If you’re familiar with Rick and Morty, it was created by the same guy.

I’ve rewatched Community in syndication, but some of the best episodes are missing. So when I recently realized that it’s on Hulu, I decided to create (and rewatch) my 10 favorite episodes. Here they are in chronological order. If you’ve never seen Community, I would highly recommend watching at least these episodes. It’s 308 minutes of superb television.

I’ll keep my comments brief, as I don’t want to spoil anything. I also cheat a bit by combining linked episodes.

  • Season 1, Episode 21: This is a riff on Goodfellas, but it features cafeteria chicken fingers instead of drugs.
  • Season 1, Episode 23: Jeff takes a nap in his car and wakes up to a wasteland caused by a paintball war. I LOVE it when things go crazy in a very short period of time, a pattern among my favorite episodes.
  • Season 2, Episode 9 and Season 3, Episode 14: I recommend watching these two episodes back-to-back. In the first, a number of scenes take place inside a blanket fort. In the second, they take it to a whole new level.
  • Season 2, Episode 14 and Season 5, Episode 10: The group plays Dungeons & Dragons in spectacular, hilarious ways. There’s a great lovemaking scene in the first episode communicated through pantomime.
  • Season 2, Episode 21: This is the clip show episode I mentioned in my post last week. The important thing to keep in mind while watching this is that none of these clips come from other episodes. Pierce with the flu shots is my favorite part.
  • Season 2, Episodes 23 and 24: Everything goes to hell again as the result of paintball, this time spread over two similar episodes with completely different movie riffs: spaghetti Westerns and Star Wars (which I guess are actually linked in their own way).
  • Season 3, Episode 4 and Season 4, Episode 13: These episodes explore the question, “If you roll a die to make a decision, are you creating several alternate timelines? Are some of them far worse than the others?” Troy’s expression when he returns to the apartment in the first episode is priceless.
  • Season 3, Episode 17: Pulling from Law & Order, A Few Good Men, and The Wire, this episode is the best of all crime and court dramas. And the murder target isn’t what you’d expect.
  • Season 3, Episode 20: Most of this episode takes place inside a retro video game. I think my favorite scene involves Annie trying to help a merchant.
  • Season 5, Episode 8: When the students start to beta test an app that lets you rate other people (like in Black Mirror), things quickly fall apart. The result is a wonderful take on dystopian movies.

Update: I’d also recommend season 2, episode 6 (Halloween) and season 5, episode 5 (hot lava).

I’ve only seen season 6 once, but I don’t remember much about it. What’s your favorite episode in that season? It looks like episode 11 was another paintball episode–I need to rewatch it. Am I missing any episodes you love?


7 Responses to “10 Must-Watch Episodes of Community”

  1. TMac says:

    This post makes me extremely happy! I’ve often thought about going back to watch Community, but my tv time is so limited that running through the entire series seems daunting. Community is unquestionably one of my top 5 TV comedies of all time (I’d love to see your ranked list), possibly vying for #1. This list gives me a concise list of episodes to rewatch for a “best of” refresher…I’m going to follow it!

  2. Charles Dionne says:

    Maybe I should not admit this but I’ve never watched Community. You have me intrigued but I’m curious to see how you rank it compared to other comedies like The Office or Parks and Rec?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      It’s right up there with those two, in my opinion.

      • TMac says:

        I haven’t seen enough Parks and Rec to speak intelligently there, but I’d probably rank Community slightly above The Office for two reasons. (1) Outlandish hilarity – the office includes great comedy, but I appreciate how well Community incorporates truly over-the-top humor and inconceivable situational comedy in a way that just works. (2) Community never tails off, jumps the shark, or relies too heavily on the serious side of their storylines. In my opinion, The Office skewed towards serious in later seasons.

    • Brent Keath says:

      It is definitely worth watching. I agree with Jamey, it is right up there with The Office and Parks and Rec (although those two are my favorites so it’s probably just one notch below IMO).

  3. Brent Keath says:

    This is a great list! I want to go back and watch of these episodes now. My favorite is season 3 episode 4 (although, I think that’s most people’s favorite).

    • TMac says:

      Brent—if you do go back to watch, the paintball episode is Season 1, episode 23, rather than 22. (22 was good anyway though.)

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