|Community revolves around the actions of The Study Group inside and outside of Greendale Community College. Disbarred attorney Jeff Winger lied about tutoring a Spanish study group to impress Britta Perry. She agreed to join but also asked Abed to attend who in turn invited several other students: Annie Edison, Troy Barnes, Shirley Bennett, and Pierce Hawthorne. The study group quickly become a close circle of friends and eventually formed the core of the school planning committee. Their first appearance together was in the Season One Pilot.|
|“||Conflicts like this will ultimately bring us together as an unlikely family.||”|
The study group collectively takes Spanish in their first year at Greendale. Over the year we see the strong bonds that form between each of them. Jeff and Britta's flirtation continues. Troy and Abed's friendship start what will become an epic bromance and the beginnings of another possible romance is laid out as another one ends. As their freshmen year continues, the group take on the school bully and his minions, form a chicken finger mafia, participate in the campus destroying first paintball assassination game. The semester concludes with The Tranny Dance where a love triangle ends with a shocking romantic cliffhanger.
|“||I'm hoping we can move away from the soapy, relationship-ey stuff and into bigger self-contained escapades.||”|
The study group finds themselves taking Anthropology for their second year. Jeff deals with the consequences of his actions at the Tranny Dance which leads repercussions for him throughout this semester. Pierce gets into an accident, breaking his legs. He grows dependent on painkillers and becomes alienated from the study group. His increasingly nasty behavior causes them to exclude him from their activities. The other members of the group secretly took a vote about whether they'd include him in the group next year, and only Annie voted to keep him in; by the end of the semester, the other group members have reconsidered and are willing to let him back in the group, but Pierce claims he's not interested in staying.
|“||We're gonna have more fun and be less weird than the first two years combined!||”|
The study group's third year at school sees them taking Biology together. Several overlapping story lines take place as Troy is recruited by the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School, Abed slowly starts losing his grip on reality, Jeff begins therapy to deal with his father issues, Britta declares her major to be psychology, Annie moves out of Dildopolis and into Troy and Abed's apartment, and Pierce and Shirley become business partners. The end of the year concludes with the group being blamed for a cafeteria riot and being expelled from school due to Ben Chang's machinations. Chang takes over the school and the group works together to take his regime down, clear their names and be reinstated at school.
|“||No, I want us to take the class together, I just want it to be the last class we take together!||”|
The study group's senior year together at Greendale sees Jeff on track to graduate early, Troy and Britta's relationship slowly progressing, Annie deciding to switch majors, Shirley and Pierce's sandwich shop still in operation and Abed worried about this being the end of the study group's friendship. They are also beset by external obstacles including the returning German exchange students, a tough new History professor, and the return of Ben Chang to the Greendale campus.
|“||We decided to re-enroll at Greendale!||”|
After graduating, the study group returned to Greendale, sans Pierce, when summoned by Abed to join Jeff's fictitious "Save Greendale Committee". When they realize that their lives haven't turned out well since leaving, everybody decides to re-enroll while Jeff accepts a teaching position. The study group was forced to deal with the departure of two of their members; Pierce unexpectedly passed away and Troy left when he was bequeathed the bulk of Pierce's estate with the stipulation that he completed a sailing trip around the world. The study group unofficially comes to an end and the remaining members formed an actual "Save Greendale Committee" with Professor Buzz Hickey, Ben Chang, and Ian Duncan joining them.
Study group member candidates
The following are students who have tried to join the group but have been turned away for one reason or another:
After losing his job as a teacher, Chang comes back to Greendale as a student. He joins the group's Anthropology class in hopes of becoming part of the group. He also hoped to get membership by participating in a group dance contest for five hours. Jeff proposed adding Chang to prevent Annie's candidate (and crush at the time) Rich from joining the group. With Jeff's help Chang is officially voted in by the group, however, Pierce out of spite for Shirley casting a vote against his choice reveals that she had sex with Chang on the Halloween that no one can remember. Shirley apparently takes back her vote and kicks Chang out of the study room.
An unnoticed student who desperately wanted to join the study group. His erratic and obnoxious behavior caused the group to veto his inclusion. Jeff later had a change of heart and asked the rest of the group to reconsider him. However, after welcoming him into the group he is offered membership into a more exclusive, cooler study group. He quits the Spanish study group and joins them instead. He admits they were just his safety in case he didn't make it into the other group.
In the study group's second year, Annie has a crush on Jeff's pottery class rival Rich and proposes that he join the study group. The group throws a mixer in the study room inviting other Anthropology classmates to consider any new potential members. Rich is a clear cut favorite due to kettle corn he brought to the party and becomes the reaming candidate along with Chang. Due to Jeff's impressive orating skill the vote is split between the two of them. After being threatened by Pierce to vote for Rich, Shirley casts the deciding vote and chooses Chang instead.
An attractive and bubbly blonde student that Jeff pushed as his first alternative to Annie's choice for a new group member Rich. At a mixer held in the study room, Pierce inappropriately propositions her and she leaves before the group could consider her for membership. In desperation, Jeff uses Chang instead as his candidate for study group membership.
The group often splits up into specific pairings, some are seen more often then others.
Alternate versions of the study group
Infected study group
|After eating mysterious taco meat that Dean Pelton provided for a Halloween party during the study group's second year at Greendale, all the students are exposed to a quickly spreading contagion whose infection causes them to enter into a "Zombie" like state. Eventually every member of the study group is infected but not before Troy heroically saves them when he reverses the process by lowering the temperature in the building.
First appearance: "Epidemiology".
|During the study group's second year, Abed suffers a mental breakdown around Christmas time. He imagines the world has become stop-motion animated just like the Christmas movies he used to watch with his mother when he was a kid. The rest of the study group along with Professor Ian Duncan have a special therapy session together in order to get to the root of his mania. While helping him through this he re-imagines the group as Christmas cartoon characters.
First appearance: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas".
"Jeff Winger in...An Important Lesson"
|During the study group's second year, the Dean created a cartoon which retold an incident where he tried to play peacemaker when the study group got into a heated argument amongst themselves. After being mocked by Jeff for wearing so many costumes, Pelton left the library only to be struck by a truck filled with toxic waste. The payload spilled onto him transforming Pelton into "Mega Dean" and he returned to the study room and to exact revenge on the group for having insulted him.
"First appearance: "Paradigms of Human Memory".
|During the study group's third year, Abed imagines the worst possible outcome for his and Troy's housewarming party. In this scenario, the study group is left in shambles. Abed names this reality "The Darkest Timeline" and spends the year believing his counterpart was trying to cross over into his world. Jeff later revisits the Darkest timeline scenario when he is about to graduate in the study group's fourth year at school. Now equipped with special paintball guns, the Evil Study Group looks to darken other realities as much as their own.
"First appearance: "Remedial Chaos Theory".
|In the study group's third year together at school, Pierce is summoned to a reading of his father Cornelius Hawthorne's will. He is instructed by the executor of his Dad's estate, Gilbert Lawson, to bring 7 of his closest friends. He arrives at the meeting with the study group where they learn that in order for Pierce to get his inheritance they will all have to play a video game called "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne". Special avatars are created for the group as shown below.
First appearance: "Digital Estate Planning".
|In the study group's last year together at school, Abed is in therapy with Britta. She suggests to him that whenever faced with anxiety about the group's last year he goes to a "Happy Place" in his mind. He again imagines fantasy versions of the study group including an animated one based on a classic cartoon show.
First appearance: "History 101".
Puppet Study group
|A disastrous group balloon ride leaves the study group unable to talk about what happened on the trip. Dean Pelton tries to get the group to open up to each other by having them participate in Puppet Therapy. The events of the balloon trip are then recounted with puppet avatars of the study group and they are forced to confront their most terrible secrets.
First appearance: "Intro to Felt Surrogacy".
|The group is spoofed in the Rick and Morty episode "Auto Erotic Assimilation." On a planet where an ex-lover controls everyone, Rick has a TV show created for him that he can direct. He orders to make "him" (Troy) happy cry, to make fun of the blonde one (Britta) and then for them to do it on the table. He then says to cancel the show and bring it back. Community creator and executive producer Dan Harmon occupies the same roles on Rick and Morty.