Last week's episode of Community, "Remedial Chaos Theory," delved into the notion of parallel universes, complete with dystopian realities and evil goatees. This was yet another fantastically weird science fiction tribute the NBC comedy has treated audiences to over the past three seasons. Here are 10 times Community's worn its nerdiness on its sleeve.
Honorable Mentions: Abed and Troy's Firefly suicide pact, Troy's LeVar Burton fixation, the first season of Lost is the meaning of Christmas, Donald Glover's Spider-Man pajamas, Abed's space opera Spanish project — parts 1 & 2 — starring campus dirtbag Starburns.
10.) Abed Breaks A Guy's Heart With Farscape
When: "Mixology Certification"
When Troy turns 21, the study group heads to bar for a night of depressing evening of booze-fueled ribaldry. In Abed's subplot, he makes a new friend and ignores his new pal's obvious infatuation simply because he really, really wants to talk about Farscape.
9.) The Ongoing Adventures of Kickpuncher
Throughout the show, Abed and Troy constantly bring up Kickpuncher, a low-budget science fiction franchise in the vein of Cyborg. The boys are so enamored of the series that they make their own Kickpuncher fan film and comic book.
8.) The Earth-2 United Nations
When: "Geography of Global Conflict"
When the study group begins losing a Model UN competition, they circumvent the rules by creating a parallel universe. Fortunately, Martin Starr is around to allow this loophole.
7.) Modern Warfare (seriously, the whole damn thing)
When: "Modern Warfare"
This Season 1 episode is widely regarded as one of the best of the entire series, as it's a pitch perfect send-up of action movies. "Modern Warfare" is peppered with allusions to Terminator, The Warriors, Escape From New York, and — as you can see in the following clip — John Woo films and Predator. The most underrated gag is Pierce and Starburns scavenging for vending-machine protein.
6.) The Evil Study Group
When: ""Remedial Chaos Theory"
When Troy and Abed host a housewarming party, the gang rolls a six-sided die to see who will answer the door for the pizza delivery guy. Each roll has drastically different results, and in the reality where Troy fetches the food, everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
5.) Troy's Power Loader
After Dean Pelton accidentally serves a bioweapon he brought from a military surplus store at the Greendale Halloween party, infected students begin transforming into ravenous zombies. Troy, who previously abandoned his Aliens costume to dress as sexy Dracula, saves the day.
4.) Inspector Spacetime
When: "Biology 101"
After discovering that the short-lived British version of Cougartown ends in a mass suicide, Britta is forced to find a new show to placate Abed. Her solution? Inspector Spacetime, a British science fiction drama that can't be killed. Unsurprisingly, the seconds-long Inspector Spacetime clip has its own fervent internet fandom.
3.) The KFC Space Simulator
When: "Basic Rocket Science"
In this parody of Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff, the study group is trapped in a ramshackle space simulator that is sponsored by Kentucky Fried Chicken. The deranged, totally uneducational product placement makes this episode a winner.
2.) Abed's Batman Impersonation
When: "Introduction to Statistics"
Danny Pudi's Christian Bale routine tends to get the plaudits, but Chevy Chase on drugs dressed as The Beastmaster sold this episode for me. Incidentally, bats are a strong part of Abed's general repertoire.
1.) Chevy Chase Plays, Ruins D&D
When: "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
To cheer up their classmate "Fat Neil," the study group embarks on a D&D campaign despite barely knowing how to play. To make matters worse, Pierce learns the ins-and-outs to spoil the game. Apparently series creator Dan Harmon had to fight tooth-and-nail to get this episode to air.