Community’s Best Parody Episodes

No show spoofed popular movies and TV quite like Community, and these were the 8 best parody episodes.

By Erika Hanson | Published

community movie

Community was an extremely meta sitcom with countless pop culture references. Some of the most unforgettable episodes were complete spoofs of some of the biggest movies and television series. To celebrate them, we’ve narrowed down the best episodes parodying pop culture.

Contemporary American Poultry – Goodfellas

Mafia movies usually deal in drugs and other contraband, but when Community parodied this popular genre in season 1, it was chicken fingers that turned Abed into a crime boss similar to Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill in Goodfellas.

Jeff convinces Abed to take a job as a fry cook at the school’s cafeteria, so the study group can easily access the school’s popular chicken fingers before they run out each week. The job gives Abed and the gang high-ranking status at the school, and they begin slinging poultry in return for favors and better grades.

Basic Rocket Science – Apollo 13

Early on in the second season, the Study Group found themselves on an important mission, tasked with helping Greendale one-up City College. The episode is a space adventure parody, specifically playing homage to the Tom Hanks film Apollo 13.

Aboard the Kentucky Fried Chicken 11 Herbs and Space Experience, the gang gets locked inside as the flight simulator is towed away. Abed, still inside the school, is tasked with directing the crew inside safely back , similar to how Gene Kranz, played by Ed Harris, did in Apollo 13

Epidemiology- Zombie Movies

Community creator Dan Harmon loved to give his fans Halloween episodes, and season 2’s Epidemiology was not only the greatest holiday special of the entire series but also a terrific parody episode. The episode spoofed zombie films, complete with the perfect zombie-squashing soundtrack featuring ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.”

To save money on Greendale’s Halloween party, the dean purchases what he thought was taco meat from a discount army surplus store. The food slowly starts to turn the party-goers into flesh-eating zombie-like creatures. After everyone is turned back into their human selves, the military intervenes, gassing everyone so they forget what really happened.

A Fistful of Paintballs – Westerns

Paintball was a common recurring theme throughout Community, but season 2 took paintball episodes to the next level. “A Fistful of Paintballs” took the competition to new heights, spoofing spaghetti westerns. 

The study group, coined with typical Western nicknames, all dress for the occasion. Troy pays homage to Blazing Saddles, dressed similarly to Sherrif Bart. As the group team up to win the cash prize, they face off against the mysterious black rider, played in a cameo part by Lost’s Josh Holloway.

For a Few Paintballs More – Star Wars

It would be a sin if Community, a show ripe with spoofs, went its entire run without a Star Wars parody episode. Luckily, the series gave fans plenty of Star Wars references during the penultimate season 2 episode, which was a take on the beloved sci-fi franchise.

For the conclusion of the two-part paintball episode, Greendale’s students band together to win the competition to save their college from a hostile takeover by their rival, City College. After Abed points out that they are taking on a Star Wars theme for this portion of the competition, Troy and Jeff argue over who the leader is, while Abed goes full Han Solo.

Documentary Filmmaking: Redux – Hearts of Darkness

Community delivered plenty of documentary-style episodes, but one, in particular, spoofed a precise documentary, with Dean Craig Pelton perfectly stealing the show. “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” was a direct spoof on Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocolypse Now.

The dean is given a small budget to create a new commercial for Greendale. But after his directorial powers go to his head, Dean Pelton becomes crazed and obsessed with making the perfect commercial. 

In the end, Pelton is left with no actors, thousands of dollars over budget, and no commercial to submit. But Abed, who had been acting as the videographer for the episodes documentary about the making of the commercial, saves the day by piecing together clips to create a compelling new commercial.

Basic Lupine Urology – Law & Order

Episode 17 of Community’s third season parodied Law & Order, as the Greendale seven took on the roles of the detectives from the long-running legal drama. The episode was even given a different title sequence to match.

After the study group’s yam for a biology project is found destroyed, Annie decides that if they find the culprit, they’ll receive an A. They break into pairs, and Troy and Abed (playing the good cop, bad cop duo) lead a ridiculous investigation to find the yam smasher.

Pillows and Blankets – History Documentary

“Pillows and Blankets” was the second episode in a two-parter that saw the fallout of Troy and Abed’s friendship. To spoof the civil war style episode, Community brought in Keith David (who joins the cast in Season 6 as Elroy Patashnik) to narrate the history and battle just like a Ken Burns war documentary. 

A school war breaks out after Abed wants to continue creating a large pillow fort throughout the school, but Troy wants to switch back to blankets. Abed becomes the leader of Pillowtown, and Troy oversees Blanketsburg as the two sides battle for supremacy.