Community has some of the most active and dedicated supporters on the internet, so it's no surprise there's a rich world of Community fan theories breaking down Dan Harmon's genre-bending sitcom. The best fan theories about Community almost feel like plotlines from forgotten episodes, showing why Greendale Community College was one of the richest sitcom settings of all time.
While there are plenty of TV fan theories out there, Community invited fans to think big with the potential connections between the Study Group and their classmates.
Depending on which timeline you're in, Dan Harmon created Community in 2009. It ran for five seasons on NBC, with the sixth season on Yahoo, and worked through its reshuffling both behind and in front of the camera. All along this tumultuous journey, fans stood by the show and created a rich world of Community conspiracy theories capable of giving small moments a worthy backstory.
The Blanket/Pillow Forts Represent The Show
Redditor /u/thechooper sees the blanket and pillow forts as a metaphor for the series itself:
The blanket fort/pillow fort, in both episodes in which they appear, represents the show as a whole. At the end of the first blanket fort episode (Season 2, episode 9 - "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design") Abed and Troy see that the fort has become too mainstream and decide to tear it down. In my opinion, this marks the beginning of the show's [descent] into REAL weirdness, ultimately culminating in Season 3 which some see so weird that it is alienating.
In Season 3, episodes 13-14, Troy and Abed work on constructing a fort made entirely of pillows, until Troy decides he would rather break the Guinness Record and starts using blankets. This, to me, signifies NBC's desire to increase viewership by returning to the "mainstream" blankets, thus compromising the integrity of the show.
The Entire Show Is One Of Abed's Film Class Projects
Redditor /u/Kai_Daigoji has a suitably meta theory on why the show exists:
My theory is that the show is actually the student films we see Abed making.
Essentially, Abed the film student had a study group, and started making short films about everything they did. He cast people who resembled his friends, but he structures episodes according to genres that he knows and is experimenting with.
He even put himself in the show. Even though the show originally cast Jeff as the central character, more and more Community comes through Abed's point of view. This is why his character is always more genre-savvy and takes things to metafictional places - he's the avatar of the author, who is also Abed.
And because he's Abed, the character who plays him in his sitcom also makes short films about the study group. And probably the Abed in those student films makes films about the study group, etc.
Abed Knows Someone's Filming Him
Redditor /u/Brinner has a theory on why Abed is the only character who breaks the fourth wall:
Abed knows he's in a TV show; he's the only one who noticed all the cameras all around them, but he doesn't mention it except to break the fourth wall once a season to let us know he knows.
Duncan Is Actually A Great Psychologist... He's Just A Broken Person
This one's a long one, so buckle up. Redditor /u/awesomeness0232 believes Professor Duncan is genuinely a great psychologist:
Unfortunately, Duncan's run in the show is pretty limited, and after he disappeared in Season 3, he never really goes back to any therapy-related plot threads (that I can find or remember). However, the few times that he's asked to step up as a therapist, he is able to pretty consistently diagnose his patients accurately.
Perhaps his sad emotional state has [led] him to his alcoholism, or perhaps it's the other way around, but I assert that if not for his lonely and depressed state, Professor Duncan would be a very successful therapist, as he clearly has a brilliant mind for psychology.