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Attention students! I'm standing here with Abed Nadir who has chosen to give his best friend Troy the very special going away present of declaring a school wide game of Hot Lava.
— Dean Pelton, Geothermal Escapism

Lava World
Hot Lava
Hot Lava is a game where the players imagine that the floor is lava and they must avoid touching it to win. Greendale hosted a campus-wide version of this contest at Abed Nadir's request. He wanted one more adventure with his best friend Troy Barnes before he left for a trip around the world. The duo had previously played the game in their first year at school but this time it evolved into a far more epic struggle. The conflict saw unusual alliances being formed, an unstoppable force unleashed and a hidden power awakened. The first instance of the game was seen in the Season One webisode "Study Break".


Season One[]

In the study group's first year at Greendale, they were in the middle of a study session when Annie insisted that take a 90 second break. During the third one of these imposed breaks, Troy suggested that the floor was lava. Troy and Annie jumped on top of their chairs and joined him in playing game of Hot Lava. Jeff amusingly noted the generation gap of the study group as all the older members remained seated. The younger members tried to encourage the rest to join in but Jeff was indifferent, Shirley and Pierce didn't understand the rules and Britta only halfheartedly joined in. Troy, Abed and Annie then stopped playing feeling that the others lack of participation ruined all the fun ("Study Break").

First "Hot Lava" game
The first "Hot Lava" game.

Season Five[]

In the study group's fifth year together at Greendale, Pierce Hawthorne passed away and Troy was unexpectedly given the opportunity to inherit his fortune. According to Pierce's will, he had to complete a trip around the world in order to earn it. Abed decided to commemorate Troy's departure by announcing a special school wide game of Hot Lava on his last day of school. With Dean Pelton's approval, he announced this to everyone over the P.A. System. As an incentive for everyone to participate, Abed offered up as a prize his copy of the comic book "Space Clone" valued at $50,000. He counted down to the start of the game as everyone on campus scrambled to get into position.

The contestants scramble for position
The contestants scramble for position.
Hours later, Britta found herself reluctantly following the rules of the contest in order to find Abed. She believed he was extending the game in order to put off saying goodbye to Troy. Britta made her way to the Teachers' lounge where Jeff and Annie saved her from being pushed into the "lava" by Ian Duncan. Afterwards, the trio were lured into a trap by Ben Chang and his Locker Boyz gang. Before they could attack, Troy and Abed appeared only to have their arrival trumped by Professor Buzz Hickey riding atop his Juggernaut. Hickeys contraption made short work of Chang and his gang knocking them all into the lava. Abed and the others fled amidst the chaos and made plans to meet later at the safe haven known as Shirley's Island.

The Locker Boys flee from the Juggernaut
The Locker Boys flee from the Juggernaut.
Troy obeyed Abed's instructions and left Britta behind since her psychoanalyzing was slowing them down. Buzz witnessed the abandonment and instead of eliminating Britta invited her to join him in an alliance. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed reunited with their friends at Shirley's Island. Abed questioned Shirley about a legendary power she was rumored to have access to known as "The Orb". His inquiry was interrupted by the arrival of Buzz and Britta who were accompanied by their chair walking henchmen. After using a megaphone to berate Troy and Abed, Britta had her troops attack. They quickly took out the sentries and went after the island itself. Shirley had Leonard retaliate by greasing the floor with popcorn oil and sent a few of them into the lava.

March of the Chair Walkers
March of the Chair Walkers.
Jeff and Annie chose to confront the invaders on the battlefield using rolling chairs. Together, they executed a devastating tandem maneuver and eliminated a few more of the invaders. However, a mishap sent Annie into the lava as well and a duel involving toilet plungers and punchlines had Jeff eliminated by Britta. The dire situation convinced Shirley to give Troy and Abed "The Orb", a Zorbing sphere she hid in the bowels of the island. Inside the Orb, Troy and Abed burst free of what was left of the island and eliminated the rest of the chair walkers. They were confronted by Buzz Hickey who engaged them in a game of chicken with his Juggernaut vehicle.

Troy and Abed VS Hickey
The Orb VS The Juggernaut
Buzz manged to get in close and slashed the bubbles outer shell with his knife causing it to slowly deflate. Troy and Abed were forced to retreat exiting the cafeteria and knocking Star-Burns into the lava while entering the hallway. Hickey and Britta pursued them on the Juggernaut all the way to the basement of the library just as the Orb expelled the last of its air. Troy and Abed hopped onto supply shelves, where in the midst of strategizing their next move, an unexpected breakthrough occurred. Abed confessed that because he didn't want Troy to leave he was actually imagining that the floor was really lava. When Britta and Hickey showed up, Troy warned that them that Abed was playing the game to a dangerous degree.

Juggernaut pursues The Orb
The Juggernaut pursues The Orb.
Buzz ignored him and used what was left of "The Orb" to push over a row of shelves which knocked Abed off his perch. He managed to grab onto a low hanging vent while Britta pushed Hickey into the lava in retaliation. Abed realized he could only let Troy go if he "died" and willingly fell into the "lava". Britta and Troy tried unsuccessfully to rouse Abed out of his comatose state. Inspired by the "Space Clone" comic they found on Abed, Britta suggested they "clone" him. After pretending to do so, Abed awakened and stated this version of himself was okay with Troy leaving. Troy admitted his own reluctance at leaving and decided to fall into the lava and get cloned as well to remove his trepidation. Britta became the last "Hot Lava" player standing but it was unclear if she actually claimed the prize ("Geothermal Escapism").

Abed's Hot Lava sacrifice
Abed's Hot Lava sacrifice.

The game[]


Hot Lava is a competition where players imagine the ground beneath them is made of lava and must avoid coming into contact with it. Players must creatively utilize the environment to keep from touching the "lava". This can involve manipulating various items in their surroundings, particularly furniture, to accomplish this task. Competitors are forced to continually navigate designated areas and fending off challenges or attacks from other players. The game continues until one contestant is left who is then automatically declared the winner.

5x5 Promopic16
Lava fights

Abed's rules[]

The following rules were added:

  • Take this seriously.
  • Stay on furniture.
  • No books.
  • No bags.
  • The dead can't talk.
  • No coming back as a lava monster.

The Prize[]

Abed wanted to organize the biggest game of "Hot Lava" he could manage. In order to motivate all the students and faculty to play, he offered the winner his copy of "Space Clone" issue number one. It was valued at $50,000 and proved incentive enough for those who normally wouldn't join in to eagerly participate. Although Britta was technically the winner it is unknown if she actually accepted the prize.

Space Clone
Space Clone #1


  • Four legged diamonds: A slang word for chair.
  • Floor Strider: Name given to players who aren't afraid to travel vast distances across the lava landscape.
  • Plastic Gold: Another slang word for chair.
  • Sofa hopper: Derogatory name given to a player who plays it safe and uses only large objects.
  • Magmarath: A Deity of lava. Troy swears upon "the vapors of Magmarath" to restore the balance which Chang and his Locker Boys upset.

Advanced maneuvers[]

"Inchworm" - Debut: {{{first}}}
Inch worm

Players position themselves on top of two separate chairs that are facing each other. Their upper body is supported by the first chair with their hands gripping the seat. Their knees are on the other chair supporting their lower body. To move the player slides the first chair forward and then using their knees drags the other chair in the same direction.
"Scootinanny" - Debut: {{{first}}}

This move is usually done with chairs, although other items may be substituted. Players are knee-down on the reverse side of a chair gripping onto the back support. They then execute short hops with the chair slowly nudging themselves forward.
"Centipeding" - Debut: {{{first}}}

This is a slow, methodical sequence utilizing two or more chairs. A competitor steps from chair to chair rotating the empty chair to the front and repeating the process until he/she reaches their destination. This process can be done solo or in small groups.
"Rolling" - Debut: {{{first}}}

This involves using a rolling chair or another wheeled object. The player will often tuck in their legs on the seat and use tools to help propel themselves forward. Rolling must be done on flat surfaces and is generally unusable on uneven ground.
"Chairwalking" - Debut: {{{first}}}

Similar to using stilts, players create makeshift Lava "shoes" by strapping a chair on each foot. This process takes a lot of practice and can be slow and awkward.
"Reverse Danny Thomas" - Debut: {{{first}}}

If enough chairs are collected, players can attempt this lava-defying maneuver. The name itself is a reference to an urban legend involving comedian Danny Thomas about a particular sexual fetish he was rumored to have (source).

List of other maneuvers[]

Community writer Tim Saccardo tweeted a photo of a board listing several different "Hot Lava" maneuvers.

Saccardo5X5 2
Production notes


"Troy and Abed" - Debut: {{{first}}}
5x5 Promopic6

Abed began the contest in honor of Troy's departure and also competed alongside his best friend. They became "Floor Striders" who served the lava God "Magmarath" and fought to restore the "balance". After being entrusted by Shirley with "The Orb", they were two of the last competitors. After sharing an emotionally cathartic, moment they ended up forfeiting and give the victory to Britta.
"Jeff and Annie" - Debut: {{{first}}}
Hot Lava Jeff and Annie

Rescued Britta from Ian Duncan and later defended Shirley's Island from the Chair Walkers by executing a tandem rolling chair maneuver. A rolling chair used by Annie hit a bump and sent her into the lava. Jeff lost a one-on-one toilet plunger duel to Britta and was eliminated as well.
"Lockerboyz" - Debut: {{{first}}}
Saccardo5X5 12

Players who opted to stay in one particular location and hide in lockers. They will usually lure competitors into traps where they will hide in their lockers until the prey is in position and then attack. They were led by Ben Chang and eliminated by Buzz and his Juggernaut.
"Shirley's Island refugees" - Debut: {{{first}}}
Inside Shirley's Island

Greendale students and faculty looking for a respite from the game gathered at Shirley's Island. This included sentry Neil, his girlfriend Vicki, storyteller Garrett, bongo player Magnitude, teams Jeff and Annie with Troy and Abed and founder Shirley.
"Buzz and Britta" - Debut: {{{first}}}
Hot Lava Britta and Buzz

A surprising alliance was formed between the would be psychiatrist and former criminologist. Using psychological warfare, the powerful Juggernaut and an army of Chair Walkers, they razed Shirley's Island and forced Abed to face his fears.
"Chair Walkers" - Debut: {{{first}}}
5x5 Promopic17

Players who duct tape chairs to their feet in order to move around. A group of these competitors were commanded by Buzz and Britta to attack Shirley's Island. They all ended up eliminated during the assault.
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