TV

Ranking The Best Burns From ‘Community’


While their affection for one another was (usually) clear, the Study Group on Community also had a penchant for withering one-liners. While they usually adopted the sibling mentality of “just because I can insult this person doesn’t mean that outsiders can,” that didn’t stop them from roasting the ever loving hell out of each other. Yes, it’s mean, but when the insults are so well-crafted, who are we to stand in the way of verbal annihilation?

While Community was one of those shows that had an insane ratio of jokes per minute, a few choice burns manage to stick out in a sea of quips. Stroll through the halls of Greendale once again as you relieve the sting.

10. “I can hear her armpit hair growing from here.” — Jeff

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) has plenty of issues with women, but even the male gaze can be manipulated for laughs. It’s easy to forgive Jeff’s unneeded commentary on a woman’s bodily autonomy when directed at Tiny Nipples Vaughan (Eric Christian Olsen) and his constant throng of adoring women. When you’re that oblivious and douche-adjacent, you deserve whatever cracks are thrown your way.

9. “Do you mind that your face make up doesn’t match your neck? When I squint you look like a circus clown.” — Abed

In his heart of hearts, Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) is a gentle soul. He just wants to be left alone with his movies and pop culture references. However, when he discovers that he has a real gift for very specific cattiness, he temporarily turns into a one man burn unit. While he ultimately shuts down that part of his personality for the sake of humanity, one can’t help but wonder what kind of damage Abed could do if he really let loose.

8. “Shut up, Leonard. I know about your crooked wang.” — Britta

Want to really damage a man? Make fun of his dick. Britta (Gillian Jacobs) may Britta the situation more often than not and she may be more used to being on the recieving end of sick burns, but at least she landed this hot one on Leonard (Richard Erdman).

7. “He’s like God spilled a person.” — Troy

Good comedy is all about punching up, so it almost feels unfair to pick on the tragically uncool Garrett (Erik Charles Nielsen). However, the accuracy of the comment cannot be denied. Garrett will always be a hopeless nerd, and his unpleasant personality makes him a fairly easy target. As long as Garrett is around to bumble his way through the next paintball war, someone will be taking the piss out of him.

6. “You’re just a good grade in a tight sweater.” — Jeff

Jeff has a gift for eloquent cruelty, and while he usually leaves Annie (Alison Brie) free from his most cutting retorts, sometimes he seemingly can’t control the words erupting from his mouth. By belittling her academic abilities — which, honestly, everyone should reconsider if they end up at a place like Greendale — Jeff cuts through to the heart of her insecurities: failure and an inability to be taken seriously. Cruel? Definitely. Effective? Also definitely.

5.”You waste of a soul-shaped hole forgotten by God.” — Matt Lundergarden

Jason Mantzoukas only appeared in one episode of Community, but within that 30-minute span, he managed to land one of the most devastating insults ever on the show. Chang alternates between pitiful and despicable episode to episode, but Matt manages to encapsulate both sides with just a few words. Harsh barley, but bravo.

4. “You devious clump of overpriced fabric and hair product.” — Annie

Jeff can dish it out, but can he take it? Usually not. Jeff’s affinity for douchiness is often adjacent to his unspoken desire to be the beloved hero (you don’t give that many speeches if you don’t, deep down, want to inspire people and be liked), so Annie was quick to remind him that those two qualities are not going to go hand in hand.

3. “You’re more of a fun vampire. Because you don’t suck blood, you just suck.” — Troy

For being such a kind, childlike person, no one could match Troy for the specificity and hilarious cruelty of his comebacks. The classic “you suck” can seem like a juvenile attempt at an insult, just like comparing the desecration of a Britta party to spoiled poop, but in the right creative hands, it can be molded into a work of art. Dress it up a bit, see how it works for you with a little finessing. If you have a Britta in your life, this may be the best way to handle them.

2. “You are the AT&T of people.” — Troy

This may be one of those jokes that don’t age well because the cultural references will eventually be irrelevant, but anyone who has dealt with the customer service of the massive conglomerate knows exactly what this savage burn means. They’ll drain your motivation to live, take your money, and waste your time. Basically, Britta in a nutshell.

1. “You are human tennis elbow. You are a pizza burn on the roof of the world’s mouth. You are the opposite of Batman.” — Troy

Hello? 911? I’d like to report a murder. In just a few sentences, Troy managed to both come to the aid of his best friend while also encapsulating the worst elements of Britta’s personality. “You are the opposite of Batman!” will surely go down as one of the best insults in sitcom history, and a zinger that you should definitely inflict on your enemies if you want them to feel true sadness.

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