Community Wiki
Community Wiki


I don't think the lava's here because you're leaving. I think it's here because I won't let go.
— Abed
In Group Study Room F, the Save Greendale Committee throws a going away party for Troy before his trip. Britta reminds everyone it's okay to be sad Troy is leaving. The PA system interrupts with the Dean letting Abed announce his going-away present for Troy is a school wide game of "Hot Lava." Meanwhile, Abed incentivizes everyone to play by offering his comic book "Space Clone" valued at $50,000. Everyone scrambles to get ready for the competition as Abed starts a countdown. Hours later, Britta is searching for Abed while adhering to the games rules when she encounters Professor Duncan in the teachers' lounge. Duncan attacks but Jeff and Annie show up and save her.

5x05-Abed Pelton announcement
Let's all play Hot Lava.
Britta joins them and they begin "centipeding" through the halls with chairs. Britta believes the lava game is Abed's way to put off saying goodbye to Troy. Jeff dismisses her theory as he spots loose chairs. When they approach, several students pop out of the nearby lockers. Ben Chang is the leader of these "Locker Boys" and demands their provisions. Troy and Abed make a heroic entrance and tell Chang to back off. The Locker Boys retreat although it's because of Buzz Hickey arrival riding an intimidating makeshift vehicle. Hickey drives through making quick work of the Locker Boys. The study group members escape with Abed telling the others he and Troy will meet up with them at "Shirley's Island."

5x05-Jeff Britta Annie treasure
Momma Mahogany!

When Britta encourages Abed to say goodbye to his best friend, he orders Troy to strand Britta in the hallway. However, Hickey takes pity on Britta and invites her to join him. Elsewhere, Troy and Abed arrive at Shirley's Island, a peaceful demilitarized oasis inside the cafeteria. Shirley welcomes them all but turns less friendly when Abed asks her about something called "The Orb." Troy regrets how they treated Britta on his "last day", but Abed doesn't understand his meaning. They are interrupted by the arrival of Hickey and his army of "chair-walkers." Britta is with him and declares everyone should quit playing childish games and face their feelings. Hickey's army attacks and the ensuing battle claims not only Annie but also Jeff who is sent into the lava by Britta.

5x05-Abed Troy heroes
The cavalry arrives.
Inside the Island, Shirley presents The Orb, a Zorbing sphere, to Troy and Abed who use it to burst free from the Island. They roll into the battle and dispatch the remaining enemies. They face off against Hickey and his Juggernaut in a game of chicken but lose when the sphere gets sliced. Troy and Abed retreat and are pursued by Hickey and Britta as the orb slowly deflates. They roll down a stairway to the basement and leave the crumpled orb. Abed suggests escaping but Troy favors making a final stand because the game has to end. Abed admits that it's not a game for him, he really sees lava instead of the floor. When Hickey and Britta show up, Troy explains the situation to get them to back off.

Total bad ass.

Hickey doesn't care and knocks over the shelves which Troy and Abed are holding onto. Troy is still safe but Abed is forced to jump up into the rafters. When Britta eliminates Hickey from the game, Abed realizes that the floor is only lava because he refuses to let go of Troy. He decides to fall to the ground and pretends to be "dead." Troy prepares to forfeit the game but Britta comes up with a plan. They "clone" Abed, who is revived as a copy who can now let his friend go. Troy is "cloned" as well to remove his trepidation about leaving. Afterwards, the study group assembles outside the library to prepare to say farewell to Troy as his sailing vessel arrives.

5x05-Hickey Troy Abed battle
Hickey prepares to battle the dynamic duo.

Britta tells Troy he's a better lover than Jeff and Annie is happy they've become close friends. Jeff confides that since he himself has never left the state of Colorado, Troy is now much cooler than he is. Shirley thanks him for putting up with her parental ways but Troy assures her she is the badass of the group. "Clone Abed" then informs "Clone Troy" that the cloning process included homing pigeon DNA which gives him a compulsion to return. Jeff worries that Troy will have trouble sailing alone. Troy responds that Pierce's will arranged for someone to join the trip to verify he doesn't cheat. His favorite celebrity LeVar Burton then appears from inside the ship and invites Troy on board. The rig pulls away as Troy and the study group wave goodbye to each other.

5x05-Britta Annie Troy Jeff Shirley Abed Childish Tycoon
Come Sail Away on the Childish Tycoon.

End tag[]

Troy asks LeVar Burton questions about Star Trek but, rather than criticisms of various episodes, he asks about the minutiae of on-set life.

Recurring themes[]


Continuity lists
Recurring or debuting plot points in this episode:
  • That just happened: This episode deals with Troy's departure which was announced at the end of the previous episode, "Cooperative Polygraphy."
  • Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: Chang screams that his celebrity crush is Nathan Fillion, who happens to guest star in the next episode, "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking."
  • Previously:
    • The Community Webisode series "Study Break" was the first time the study group tried to play a game of lava.
    • In the Season Two episode "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking," Troy was catatonic in the presence of LeVar Burton.
    • A box of "Rod & Barry's Plumbing" brand pipe wrenches is on the basement shelves knocked down by Hickey. In the Season Three Episode The First Chang Dynasty, Troy and Abed use the pseudonyms Rod and Barry when pretending to be plumbers to infiltrate Greendale.
    • A version of the Styx song Come Sail Away plays as Troy boards the Childish Tycoon and leaves Greendale. Troy once mentioned in the Season One episode "Debate 109" that the song makes him cry. Though he doesn't cry in this episode, the song plays during the part of the episode he might be expected to tear up: the farewell.
    • The school is once again taken over by a supposedly simple game that turns serious because of a high stakes prize.
    • Troy, Shirley, Pierce, and Star Burns played a variant of the lava game while taking a sailing class in "Beginner Pottery," with the parking lot serving as the ocean and Pierce "drowning." It was during this class that Troy would learn some of the skills he would need to complete the voyage he embarks on at the end of this episode.
    • A photo of Britta in her "Tranny Queen" sash from Pascal's Triangle Revisited can be seen being pinned onto the "Fallen" board on Shirley's Island.
    • A tube of Hawthorne Wipes and the Buddha bong from "Comparative Religion" are seen inside the "Childish Tycoon" yacht.
  • Coined and minted: Several new terms related to the game of Hot Lava are introduced. These includes "Floor strider," "Inch worm," "Scootinany," "Centipeding," and "Chair Walker." (For a full definition of these terms see the "Hot Lava" article).
  • Discontinuity: In this episode Jeff tells Troy that he never left Colorado, yet in the Season One episode "Communication Studies" he told Britta that he went to Disneyland once. It's possible he was lying in either case just to make the other person feel better.
Recurring or debuting characters in this episode:
Recurring or debuting places in this episode:
Recurring or debuting items in this episode:
  • Abed offers his rare comic book Space Clone as the prize which is valued at $50,000.

Running gags[]

List of Running gags
Recurring or debuting running gags in this episode:
  • Attention students!: Dean Pelton announces over the PA system that in honor of Troy leaving, Abed will be hosting a campus-wide game of "Hot Lava."
  • Britta'd: Britta catches herself before Britta'ing her goodbye to Troy.
  • Raging against the machine: Britta regrets the homogenization of world culture due to American imperialism.
  • Troy and Abed in the Morning!: The duo sing "Troy and Abed in a bubble!" while zorbing.
  • WWBJD: Shirley has a wall of the fallen participants of the Hot Lava competition which is divided between those who are Christian and those who are Secular.

Pop culture references[]

List of Pop culture references
References to popular culture in this episode:
  • IMDb: Abed wasn't a fan of the reveal in The Jewel of the Nile that the titular jewel was a spiritual teacher.
  • Name that tune: Aimee Mann's cover of "Come Sail Away" plays at the end of the episode. Another song by the singer ("Wise Up") was previously featured in "Spanish 101."
  • Product placement:
    • Britta mentions how the magazine Teen Vogue is setting a terrible example for today's young women.
    • Chang apparently pays his group of "Locker Boys" in M&M's.
  • Shout out:
    • Annie mentions the "reverse Danny Thomas" as the name for a way to move around on chairs without touching the floor. This refers to the urban legend that Thomas would pay prostitutes to defecate on a glass table while he lay on the floor below the table watching.
    • Chang loudly proclaims that his same sex celebrity crush is Nathan Fillion.
    • Abed mentions the character Keyser Söze, a pseudonym for Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects.
    • The name of Troy's boat, the Childish Tycoon, is a reference to Donald Glover's rap career under the stage name "Childish Gambino": a "tycoon" that he left Community to pursue.
  • TV Guide: Troy asks LeVar Burton inconsequential questions about Star Trek.
    • A best boy is an assistant who helps either the gaffer (chief electrician on set) or the key grip (in charge of lighting and rigging).
    • Troy complains that they only visit planets, never stars, which isn't really true. Most notably, in "Descent, Part II" the Enterprise hides within the corona of a star from a Borg ship, and in "I Borg" they flew inside the chromosphere of a star.
  • Use your allusion:
    • Chang and his "locker boys" are dressed up like Rufio and the Lost Boys from the film Hook.
    • Garrett telling a story on Shirley's Island about the "Now, now" times is a reference to "The Tell" segment in "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."
    • Abed's fall into the lava references the fall of Sméagol in "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." Similarly, Troy's fall into the lava is similar to Ripley's suicide in "Alien 3". Like Ripley, Troy also returns as a "clone."

Meta references[]

List of Meta references
Meta references in this episode:
  • Homage: Most of the episode takes place in a dystopian/fantasy environment which Community creator Dan Harmon mentioned on the Season Five DVD commentary was inspired by the Kevin Costner film "Waterworld."
  • IRL: Magnitude proclaims that he is actually British. The actor who portrays him, Luke Youngblood, is British.
  • Résumé: Britta shouts "Who's there, bitch!" after knocking Jeff down, similar to the "Bitch" catchphrase used by Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad. Jonathan Banks plays a character who acts as a mentor to both Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad and Britta in this episode.


Script for Geothermal
The episode script.

On September 12, 2013, Community writer Tim Saccardo tweeted a picture of this episode's script with the caption:

After 1 month of rewrites, 3 allnighters and immeasurable amounts of insanity... It begins #community #ep504
Writer Tim Saccardo posted a draft of the episode's script on his Twitter account. It contained deleted dialogue including an extended goodbye from Abed to Troy:

Abed: Clone Troy.

Troy: Clone Abed.

Abed: From a clone perspective I can see what an important figure Original Troy was in Original Abed's life. Original Abed spent decades unaware he could connect with other people. But his friendship with Original Troy showed him he doesn't just have to observe the world. He can be a part of it.

Troy: Me, too. Original Troy used to care so much about what people thought. But Original Abed showed him it was okay to be himself. I'm really glad those two met.

5X5 Extended goodbye
Extended goodbye scene.

Production diagram for the introduction of the "Juggernaut"
Production diagram for hallway scene

During the Q&A session for the charity table read of "Cooperative Polygraphy " during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Dan Harmon recalled the episode's tag originally showed LeVar Burton yelling at other drivers during a traffic jam (including using his Reading Rainbow clout over another driver). Harmon claims this version was shot and even edited, although none of the cast recalled ever seeing it.


  • When Britta and Buzz "sled" down the stairway on a bookcase, they are obviously just two mannequins tied to the bookcase.


Don't regress to primal behavior just because it's allowed. We're human beings, not the editors of Teen Vogue.Britta
This is why the British never win at sports! Because everyone else cheats!Professor Duncan
Sweet, sweet portable chairs. Plastic gold, four-legged diamonds... you claiming this? Lava joust?Jeff
Did you all hit your heads on each other's heads?Britta
Cirque du so long you high-stepping acro-bastards.Leonard
Knock, knock, Britta.Jeff
I'm not going to say 'who's there' because someone on the floor is knocking.Britta
Well, that's lame. You have to say 'who's there'.Jeff
That's who's there!Britta
I'm actually British!Magnitude
What time did you guys have to get up in the morning? Does every writer write for one character? What a best boy? (I saw it in the credits once) Why don't they call it Planet Trek? You never go to a star. You-, not one episode.Troy, asking LeVar Burton about Star Trek

External links[]

Season Five Episodes

1. "Repilot"
2. "Introduction to Teaching"
3. "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics"
4. "Cooperative Polygraphy"
5. "Geothermal Escapism"
6. "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking"
7. "Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality"

8. "App Development and Condiments"
9. "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"
10. "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
11. "G.I. Jeff"
12. "Basic Story"
13. "Basic Sandwich"

Community The Complete Fifth Season

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason FiveSeason Six