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 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.
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.
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.
Season 4 Follows A Different Timeline
Redditor /u/bomberman12 has an idea on why Season 4 of Community is weird (beyond the switch to different showrunners):
There is a reason why [Season 4] of Community doesn't feel like the other three seasons, and its not just because of Dan Harmon's exit, but because this season is not following the original timeline (Jeff goes to get the pizza) that was the timeline we were [used] to seeing for the rest of Season 3.
You think, "But every other timeline ended in some type of horrific element, yet everyone seems happy," but there was one other timeline, where Pierce goes to get the pizza: where Britta and Troy fully start to commit to their attraction; Annie and Jeff get close; and Pierce never shows Troy the troll, thus ending the episode... very happily amongst the group.
This is also the first timeline to show that these characters can be able to grow outside the surrounding area of the college.
And it has been hinted in the past that timelines can cross into the main timeline before, Season 3 saw Normal Abed defeat Evil Abed, thanks to a Jeff Speech.