Shirley Bennett is the kind of team mom we deserve. She’s loving and sweet enough to bring snacks and a first aid kit whenever the team goes on adventures, but she’s also fully capable of keeping everyone in line. Don’t let that smile fool you: Cross team mom, and you’re dead, though.
Played by the wonderful Yvette Nicole Brown, Shirley Bennett was both the Community study grou… er, team’s straight man and their voice of judgement/reason. A businesswoman, a mother, and, as Pierce said to her in his will, “A testament to our species,” Shirley’s near-total absence was felt last season, but, thankfully, we can celebrate Yvette Nicole Brown’s birthday with this wisdom-filled guide to her most quotable moments.
“Yeah, you’re both so different. Skinny bitches.”
While the fight scene between Annie and Britta in the cafeteria (and the ensuing scene later in the episode involving a vat of oil) are considered fan service paragons in the world of Community, it’s Shirley’s complete apathy towards the both of them that reminds us: Hey, wait, this fight is really stupid. Thank you, Shirley.
“So, why do you hate me and Jesus?”
You know when your parents pull the “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” card and it actually works? Multiply that by 10 and you’ve got a fraction of Shirley’s power. No one guilt trips like Shirley. No one else knows how to cut to that quick! Here, she’s guilting Jeff into what she believes is the good, Christian thing to do. As Jeff points out, not even a homemade brownie can save you from Shirley’s guilt-tripping wrath.
“I’ll make your ass sense.”
Something the members of the study group seem to forget (except for Abed and Annie during group projects) is that Shirley and Jeff are exactly the same age. So, when Britta makes the mistake of calling Shirley a “Mother Hen,” Shirley reminds Britta that she’s the kind of mother who can and will put Britta back in line. Britta doesn’t even fear her own mother like she fears Shirley. Well-played.