One week from today, Yahoo will stream the season six finale of Community, which as any fan of the immersive sitcom will tell you is truly an astonishing feat. A low-rated series chock-full of obscure pop culture references and arcane callbacks isn’t supposed to live to see a second season, let alone survive to produce over 100 episodes.
Even in the darkest real world timelines of embattled showrunners and cast departures, Community has continued to remain firmly entrenched in the abnormal by continuing to embrace unpredictability while subverting traditional sitcom tropes. The highs may not be as high, and the online water-cooler rhapsodizing of alternate timelines and Dungeons and Dragons may belong to the Greendale fanatics of yore, but it’s 2015 and we’re talking about the sixth season of Community, so that’s pretty damn cool. Cool, cool, cool.
Let’s all celebrate our inner Greendale human being with a look back at a few of Community’s greatest catchphrases.
“Streets ahead” — Pierce Hawthorne
Only the meta-mad scientist known as Dan Harmon could take a social media insult and adeptly weave it into the cultural vernacular. While streets ahead never achieved the zeitgeist-bending levels of notoriety of a “yada yada yada” or “We were on a break,” I like to think there’s an alternate timeline where streets ahead is the new “fetch.”
Stop trying to make streets ahead happen, Pierce!
“Pop pop!” — Magnitude
The physical embodiment of a crazy, sexy, cool ’90s beer commercial, Magnitude (short for “magnetic attitude) is universally beloved due to his pop-popular catchphrase. An integral member of the eccentric ancillary cast of Greendale students, I like to think Magnitude is often off on the other side of campus having study group adventures of his own while forming a makeshift family with fellow peripheries Neil, Todd, Garrett, Leonard, and Vicky.
“Troy and Abed in the morning!” — Abed Nadir and Troy Barnes
Let’s take a moment to pour a few buttered noodles out for our favorite television bromance. Troy and Abed’s catchy jingle would typically precede or follow their untelevised morning talk show. The singsong cadence of “Troy and Abed in the morning” is used throughout the series in different variations like, “Troy and Abed in stop motion” or “Troy and Abed being normal.”
Perhaps one sweet day we’ll hear “Troy and Abed re-u-niiiited.”
“Shut up, Leonard!” — Various
One of Greendale’s favorite pastimes is instructing amateur online food reviewer and professional meddler Leonard Rodriguez to shut up. Card-carrying members of the Leonard fan club will be interested in this hall of fame worthy retort directed towards Annie that, according to former Community scribe Megan Ganz, was cut for time.
“You look like you should be tattooed on a sailor.”
“My name is Alex.” — Alex “Starburns” Osbourne
Sure, Starburns shaved stars into his sideburns, wore a top hat, paraded around with an iguana, attempted to create the world’s first cat-powered automobile, and faked his own death. But what intrigues me most about Greendale’s shiftiest student is his love of Conan O’Brien and the Dave Matthews Band.
“Cool. Cool, cool, cool.” — Abed Nadir
Abed’s robotic seal of approval is the unintentional earworm of the Community catchphrase club. You might inadvertently find yourself mimicking Abed, much like you’d catch yourself singing along to the Britney Spears classic “Hit Me With Your Genie’s Bottle.”
“That’s nice.” — Shirley Bennett
If traditional sitcoms are akin to comfort food than Community is an intricate French souffle, and few understand the hardships of the dessert game more than Shirley Bennett. While Shirley and her catchphrase have left the neon paint-coated walls of Greendale for a life of crime fighting on a bayou with the guy from Wings, I’m sure she’d find Elroy and Frankie’s inclusion into the group to be, well, nice.
“Britta’d” — Various
If personal history has taught me anything, Brita with one t is a type of water filter you change every half decade or so. Using Britta with two t’s and a fun Ashton Kutcher-esque stylized d, however, indicates you’ve made a human d’oh.
“Britta’d” was originally used in a pejorative manner, but if you’re a fan of pizza dances and ’90s pop sensation Sophie B. Hawkins (and if you’re not, go take a long, pensive look in the mirror), it can also mean, “to save the day.”
The Annie gasp — Annie Edison
Can a surprising gasp double as a catchphrase? I believe our next Community quote succinctly answers that very question.
“Duh doy” — Britta Perry
If there were to ever be a pull string talking Britta Perry doll (get your act together, science!), Britta’s favorite nonsensical comeback would be the second quote featured. The first, of course, would be the Britta doll reminding us that she once lived in New York. Britta for the win!
“I see your value now.” — Jeff Winger/Abed Nadir
While admittedly more of a sentimental callback than a traditional catchphrase, “I see your value now” was first uttered in the pilot episode by a scheming Jeff Winger to Abed and then parroted back to Jeff by Abed in the season five opener, “Repilot.” No stranger to the seductive allure of the callback, the writing staff almost employed the nostalgic dialogue during the season four finale — one of Community’s (many) potential series finales — but the line was cut for time.
“Six Seasons and a movie” — Abed Nadir
It’s fitting that the most important line in Community history was introduced via a flashback to previously unseen footage during a parody of a clip show. Abed, referencing NBC’s short-lived superhero series The Cape, inadvertently created a social media battle cry that would embolden a fandom that helped drive the perpetual bubble series to a slew of renewals. Will it happen again? Will fans get a movie or even a seventh season? Hopefully we’ll know soon.