Why “Community” Season 5 Was So Wonderful, And Smart, And Amazing

Including some of the stuff you might have missed.

1. The fifth season of Community just came to a close and here is why it was so darn wonderful:

ID: 2805005

2. It was not afraid to address its own issues.

The fourth season — without Dan Harmon and some of the writers — was like a dish without its special ingredient. It was good, but you knew something was missing. In the first episode of the fifth season, appropriately titled “Repilot,” this issue is addressed almost immediately when we learn that there was a “gas leak” last year at the school, which helps explain why everything was a little… different.

However, this exchange between Jeff and Annie (in my opinion) is Harmon’s way of accepting some of the guilt, as well.

ID: 2785229

3. And was actually able to turn the story OF Community into storylines FOR Community.

The fifth season starts off with the crew coming back and forming a “Save Greendale Committee” in order to save the school from closing, which is a not-so-subtle nod to Community fans rallying to save the show from cancellation. And quite literally something the cast did, as well…

ID: 2793535
ID: 2804613

5. And it did so in heartfelt ways, like with Chevy Chase…


If you’re unfamiliar with the backstory of Chevy Chase and Community, the quick version is that he was difficult to work with and didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the creative forces behind the show. Chevy’s character, Pierce Hawthorne, was prematurely written out of the show in Season 4, but brought back in the first episode of Season 5 as a holographic version of himself to deliver the following message:

“What I am allowed to discuss is Greendale. And I’ll say this: Don’t turn your back on it. Take it from a man with no legal right to be there. You’re in a special place. A crappy place, sure, but only because it gives crappy people a chance to sort themselves out.” —Holographic Pierce Hawthorne

(He was given an official goodbye in Episode 3 and Episode 4)

ID: 2786893

6. And Donald Glover.

Every single part of me wants this dialogue to actually be Dan Harmon speaking directly to Donald Glover. Before the season began, fans learned that Donald would be leaving the show to pursue his own dreams, and when Pierce gives Troy the opportunity to earn millions by sailing around the world and becoming his own man, I choose to believe it’s actually Dan giving Donald his well wishes.

ID: 2787354

And Pierce’s sailboat being called the “Childish Tycoon” — a nod to Donald Glover’s rap moniker, “Childish Gambino” — was such a nice touch.

ID: 2801415

8. While also giving us some unexpected insight into the characters, like Dean Pelton.

At the end of Episode 2, a French song begins to play accompanied by subtitles, which surprisingly give us a lovely little reveal about Dean Pelton: His thoughts are in French.

ID: 2786681

9. And Abed.

(Pilot episode)

ID: 2783454

(“Geothermal Escapism”)

ID: 2783892

11. Plus, it had some insane callbacks to previous seasons.

ID: 2801376

12. Like Pierce’s gift to Britta:


After Pierce dies, Britta inherits his iPod Nano, which is a callback to Season 1 “The Art of Discourse.”

ID: 2801900

13. And his gift to Annie:


After Pierce dies, Annie is given a tiara and informed that she was Pierce’s favorite, which is a callback to Season 2 when Pierce was in the hospital and said the same thing to Annie, bequeathing her a tiara.

ID: 2802033

14. Heck, even his gift to Jeff was a callback:


After Pierce dies, Jeff gets a fine bottle of scotch, which goes back to their first bonding experience in Episode 2 of Season 1.

ID: 2801933

15. And then there’s the “Ass Crack Bandit”:


In Episode 17 from Season 2, Annie pledges to stop the “Ass-Crack Bandit”… who comes back to terrorize the campus once more in Episode 3 of Season 5.

ID: 2801486

16. The bulletin board:


In Episode 2, the bulletin board in the cafeteria falls down when the students start protesting for “slightly higher grades!”… the same bulletin board Hickey and Annie set out to replace in “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking.”

ID: 2800779

17. The trophy case:


In Episode 6, the work ticket request for number 221 is “Downsize trophy case,” which is a callback to Episode 2 when Jeff returns to Greendale and admires the school’s Debate Team trophy — the only trophy in the case.

ID: 2800605

18. Hickey’s rope:


In “Basic Sandwich” Abed asks if anyone’s got rope, to which Hickey replies, “I’m offended by that question,” which is a callback to “VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing.”

ID: 2806100

19. The Hickey family knuckle knock:


This triple knuckle tap from “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” is a callback to “Geothermal Escapism” and apparently a family tradition.

ID: 2801248

20. Dean Pelton’s wedding ring


In “Basic Story” Jeff finds a wedding ring in Dean Pelton’s office, which is a callback to the pilot episode when the dean can be seen wearing a wedding ring.

ID: 2804940

21. Hector The Well Endowed:


“Hector the Well Endowed” is a callback to the first Dungeons & Dragons episode when Abed says that he specifically created that character with Troy in mind. MY EMOTIONS!!

ID: 2804811

22. Queen Dean:


In Episode 6, Annie is shuffling through her binder and for a quick glance we see “You can call me Queen Dean” which is a callback to Episode 13 from Season 2 when Dean Pelton was dressed as a bee, and also likely a reference to Lorde’s lyrics “you can call me queen bee” from her song “Royals.”

ID: 2800486

23. Chang’s “GAAAY” call:


In episode “Cooperative Polygraphy,” after Jeff is asked “gaymurderersayswhat” and responds with “what?” Chang mouths his signature “gayyyy” call.

ID: 2801851

24. “My lady, my lord”:


This moment from the Season 5 finale is a callback to Season 1.

ID: 2804252

25. The callback to the callback:


(“Repilot” / “Pilot”)

ID: 2805004

26. And, of course, the return of LeVar Burton.


From Season 2’s “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” episode.

ID: 2804834

27. But did you know that “Come Sail Away” by Styx…

ID: 2804819

28. … was also a callback to Season 1 when Troy asks, “Why am I crying? Would l accidentally listen to ‘Come Sail Away’ by Styx again?”

(“Debate 109”)

ID: 2798637

29. Not to mention that this season had some great subtle references.

ID: 2800920

30. Like Chang dressed as Rufio from Hook:


Also, the “locker boys” as the “lost boys” from Hook.

ID: 2801069

31. Starburns dressed as Zed from Zardoz:

ID: 2805924

32. ABC — Always Be Cageing:


A reference to Alec Baldwin’s “Always Be Closing” scene from Glengarry Glen Ross.

ID: 2801053

33. This scene…

ID: 2806338

34. … mimicking Se7en.

ID: 2806347

35. Abed’s sacrificial fall into hot lava…

ID: 2801016

36. … mimicking Ripley’s death in Alien 3.

ID: 2801025

37. This little shoutout to Reddit’s “Cake Day”:

“Your Reddit ‘Cake Day’ is the yearly anniversary of when you signed up on Reddit.
It is typically represented by a little cake icon which appears next to your username on Reddit, and if it’s your cake day, other Redditors tend to be more generous with their upvotes!” —Reddit

ID: 2805870


ID: 2805568

39. … as a reference to this scene from Leon The Professional.

ID: 2799636

40. And this advanced move…

ID: 2804426

41. …is taken from this infamous warrior:

ID: 2798184

42. And let’s not forget that the jokes were fantastic.

ID: 2801731

43. And at times hilariously bittersweet.

ID: 2801632

44. While also being completely honest and personal…

“Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” from Season 2 is widely considered one of the best Community episodes in the entire series. Doing another D&D episode was risky, but this line from Abed sums up why the writers and crew were up to the challenge.

ID: 2791545

45. … even in a not-so-obvious way.


Who is everyone really talking about here?

ID: 2806684

46. Because Community can be anything…

ID: 2802558

47. Like an ’80s cartoon.

ID: 2805521

48. A futuristic fantasy.

ID: 2805903

49. A David Fincher-esque thriller.

ID: 2806181

50. Or an extremely self-aware TV show.

ID: 2803795

51. Why? Because “Greendale is a crazy place where crazy things happen.”

ID: 2793069

52. And if you look hard enough, you’ll find that the crew put little personal touches all over this season.

The “Old Timey Photo Club” is Chang posing with the writers from Season 5.

ID: 2799806

53. Like Dan Harmon’s cartoon Rick and Morty making a very brief appearance.

ID: 2800322

54. Or Dan Harmon himself making a cameo as “Sleep Apnea” from the “GI Jeff” episode.


There’s a minor Tumblr blog dedicated to “Sleepy Harmon”.

ID: 2800882

55. Or the two writers of this episode acting as the guy playing the devil sticks in the talent show and the security guard with a fear of public speaking.


Jordan Blum and Parker Deay.

ID: 2800679

56. But most of all, Season 5 completed what it set out to do.

It saved “Greendale.”

ID: 2802550

57. While still leaving enough questions unanswered, giving room for #SixSeasonsAndAMovie.

From the bottom ticker: “BREAKING NEWS: LeVar Burton and non-celebrity companion captured by pirates in the Gulf of Mexico.”

ID: 2793954

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

  Your Reaction?


    Hot Buzz

    17 Mind-Blowingly Delicious Noodles To Try In NYC


    31 Reasons Potatoes Are The Best Thing At Thanksgiving


    Now Buzzing