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 Fans Are The Eighth Member Of The Study Group
Redditor /u/brigodon theorized the empty seat at the study group table remains empty intentionally for the viewer to make them feel like a part of the group. He provided alternative theories about the extra chair being meant for Jeff's ego or to simply accommodate the occasional guests.
Redditor /u/alfiekong piggybacked on this idea by pointing out how marketing companies leave an empty place at the dinner table in advertisements to make consumers feel welcome.508111Is this theory plausible?
Rich Is A Serial Killer
Redditors /u/Seaniard, /u/splingles, and /u/DGWilliams pieced together a theory about Rich from "Beginners Pottery" as the Black River Ripper, the serial killer Buzz Hickey could never pin down as a cop.423110Is this theory plausible?
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.427112Is this theory plausible?
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.324153Is this theory plausible?