Ben Bennett is Shirley and Andre's youngest child. He was conceived not long after his parents reunited from a year long separation. His parentage was in question during her pregnancy since Shirley had unknowingly slept with Ben Chang around the same time. His first appearance was in the Season Two episode "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts".
|In the study group's second year at Greendale, Shirley and her ex-husband Andre reunited and start dating. After taking a pregnancy test, she found out she could be pregnant and naturally assumed that Andre was the father ("Cooperative Calligraphy"). However, she was unaware that she had a one night affair with Ben Chang on Halloween. Her memories, along with everyone else involved in a certain incident on campus, were erased by government agents ("Epidemiology"). After returning from Winter break, Pierce and Troy told her about a voicemail message from Chang that night which suggested something happened. The incident was further confirmed when Chang found candid photos he had of Shirley. Andre decided that, no matter who the father turns out to be, he will be there for Shirley and the baby ("Asian Population Studies").
|During her pregnancy, Shirley refused to accept Chang could be the father of her child and ignored his efforts for them to get to know each other better ("Celebrity Pharmacology 212"). She got Jeff's help to convince Chang to sign off on any parental rights he may have. After learning about this, Chang tried even harder to prove he was father material by picking Shirley's other children up from school. He brought them back to the Jeff's apartment (where he was staying at that time) but learned they were not Elijah and Jordan but their classmates. To escape prosecution from kidnapping he set Jeff up to take the fall. After Jeff was arrested, Shirley freed him from jail and helped to sort out Chang's mess with the police and the children's parents.
|She and Jeff then conspired to have Chang put away for this until Andre intervened. He told his ex-wife that Chang would always be a part of their lives from now on if he is the baby's father ("Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"). Later in the semester, Shirley goes into labor while in Anthropology class. With the help of Britta and the coaching of Abed she delivered the baby. After seeing the baby, Chang told her he is not the father since Chang babies are always born with tails. Thankful to Chang for his efforts, she decided to name the baby after him. Andre, who arrived just in time to see Ben being born, pointed out that the babies will mean his name is Ben Bennett but Shirley decided to keep it that way ("Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts").
In the study group's fourth year at Greendale, Shirley and her family decided on a "Star Wars" theme for Halloween. Shirley dressed as Princess Leia, Andre dressed as Han Solo, Elijah and Jordan dressed as Storm Troopers and baby Ben was dressed as an Ewok ("Paranormal Parentage").
In the study group's fifth year at Greendale, Jordan's parents separated again due to Shirley's failed business ventures. This time Andre got custody and Ben and his brothers went to live with their father ("Repilot").