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Here Are All the Major Characters on Community, from Seasons 1-6

Community is now streaming on Peacock, so let's take a look back at its stars.

By Matthew Jackson

Though it sometimes faced bumpy ratings along the way, Community remains one of the most celebrated and enduring sitcoms of the past 25 years. Now, it's streaming on Peacock for your viewing pleasure.

Created by Dan Harmon, the show follows the exploits of a small group of students and faculty at a somewhat dysfunctional community college, and the unlikely bonds they forge while there. The show was so beloved by its core fan base that it weathered everything from Harmon's firing to his rehiring to a shift from linear TV to a streaming service long enough to get six full seasons, fulfilling half the fan battle cry of "Six seasons and a movie!" And since that movie is now on the way at Peacock, with most of the cast back for more, there's no better time to revisit the show and its many memorable characters.

RELATED: Alison Brie Reacts to Community Movie News

Speaking of characters, Community can get a little twisty and strange when it comes to its key players, particularly in the later seasons, so we're here to help you out. Whether you're new to the show or gearing up for a rewatch, here's our quick and handy guide to all of Community's stars.

Here are all the major characters on Community


Jeff Winger (Joel McHale)

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) sits an a table with a gavel in front of him

The show's initial point-of-view character, Jeff appears at Greendale Community College as a reluctant new student. A formerly successful lawyer, he lost his license to practice and was fired from his job at a major firm when it was revealed that he lied about his college degree, so now he's at community college trying to get a real education. Of course, his real interest is in dating college girls and doing as little work as possible, which eventually leads him to forming a fake study group so he can try and hook up with one of his classmates. This ruse sets him up as the natural leader of the Glendale gang we come to know and love, and over time, Jeff learns from his new study pals, growing beyond his selfish and manipulative ways to become a better friend, better person, and better student. He never stops being Jeff, but he does become a better version of Jeff.

Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs)

Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) with a look of surprise on her face

Britta enters the series as the object of Jeff's lust, the girl he forms the study group for in order to sleep with her, but she proves too smart for his basic lothario games. Deeply influenced by the world traveling she did after high school, Britta tries her best to be a principled, combative activist who stands up for what she believes is right, though it's often revealed that she's not the expert in activism and worthy causes that she believers herself to be. Still, her principles and her commitment to sticking up for the disadvantaged make her a very loyal friend who's willing to go to bat for others in the study group, even if she can never quite keep her own messy life in check.

Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi)

Abed (Danny Pudi) makes a sullen face in an episode of Community

A nerdy student who views the world through his pop culture expertise and processes things very differently than the rest of the Greendale gang, Abed emerges as an unlikely voice of reason and wisdom in the study group, often because he's fascinated by the behavior of his fellow students just as he's fascinated by the behavior of fictional characters. His obsessive love of movies and TV means that he gets to be the study group member most likely to comment on the more metafictional nature of certain episodes, and it also means that he's most likely to rope the whole group into some kind of pop-culture inspired scheme or game. But Abed isn't all about the fictional world. He truly wishes to grow and evolve as a person, and tries his best to do so, with help from his new friends in the study group.

Troy Barnes (Donald Glover)

Troy (Donald Glover) stares off in an episode of Community

Abed's eventual best friend, Troy comes from a background of major high school success. A star quarterback who initially got a scholarship to a much better college, he deliberately injured himself to avoid the pressures of athletics at the next level, and ended up at community college instead. That means that he's insecure, unsure of how to mature as an adult, and early on hiding behind the facade of the star athlete who's cool and confident. Over time, Troy learns that he can be goofier, nerdier, and more emotional thanks to his fellow study group members, and particularly enjoys engaging in metafictional flights of fancy with Abed, including their own talk show, dubbed Troy and Abed in the Morning. Of course, Glover would go on to be a full-on cultural force through his musical career as Childish Gambino, and acclaimed roles in projects like Atlanta. But it all started at Greendale.

Annie Edison (Alison Brie)

Closeup of Alison Brie as Annie in Community

Unlike Troy, Annie was not popular in high school. Despite her good looks and perky demeanor, she got so lost in trying to be the best at everything that she wound up missing out on all the fun, and she's carried that sense of determined overachiever spirit into her time at Greendale. Eager to be part of the study group and do her best when it comes to college, Annie joins up for some serious studying, only to find that other members of the group force her out of her comfort zone, urging her to enjoy life more and even getting her in trouble that she's initially very reluctant to embrace. Over time, Annie relaxes a bit more into her role within the group as a loving, devoted friend, even if her overachiever nerves do still often get the better of her.

Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown)

Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) smiles at someone offscreen

A divorced mom who's going back to school in order to start her own small business, Shirley is determined, devoted, and often reveals herself to be the strongest member of the group, though certain insecurities tied to her faith and her work-life balance do sometimes manifest. Like other members of the study group, she initially joins to get a leg up in school, but finds herself roped into the schemes of the more laid-back members and, sometimes, finds an unlikely affinity for the flights of fancy launched by characters like Troy and Abed. Though she's usually the quietest member of the study group, she can have a temper, and can even rise up to be a natural, powerful leader.

Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase)

Pierce (Chevy Chase) makes an incredulous face

While other members of the study group are initially there because they're either young college students or people who enrolled with a key goal in mind, Pierce is...well, he's just there. He doesn't need college, because he's already the millionaire founder of a company, but he ended up at Greendale because he wanted to take classes that would keep his aging mind agile. That means he's automatically a bit of misfit even among this group of misfits, and he's a bit clueless about it. Pierce's age and wealth mean that he's often standoffish, arrogant, and seemingly disconnected from reality, though he often harbors major insecurities when it comes to his study group mates. He wants to be more like them, and in some ways is even able to show that he cares about him, even if he's often too wrapped up in his own ego to express it in the right way.

Ben Chang (Ken Jeong)

Ben Chang (Ken Jeong) stands with his arms outstretched

The first major villain of the series, Chang begins the show as Greendale's resident tyrannical Spanish teacher, and the reason many of the study group members joined together in the first place. He's unstable, prone to yelling, and often needlessly brash with his students, meaning they all need help in his class and, in the end, often work against him. Annie even manages to get him fired by the end of Season 1, which makes the character a bit of a wild card for the rest of the series as he never actually leaves Greendale. Sometimes he's helping the study group, sometimes he's a villain again, but no matter his allegiances, Chang is always hanging around, waiting for his moment to steal the show.

Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rash)

Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) smiles while holding a large flag

Greendale's enthusiastic, often misguided Dean, Pelton emerges early on as one of Community's greatest scene stealers. Though everyone else sees Greendale as what it is, Dean Pelton always sees it as what it could be, and goes out of his way to make the place look bigger, more fun, and more prestigious than it really is, often wearing wild costumes and making bad financial decisions to try and boost the school's reputation and appeal. He's always enthusiastic, but he's particularly enthusiastic about the study group, and spends a lot of time finding excuses to pop in on them, particularly to flirt with Jeff. That makes him a mainstay on the show, and a key player in some of the study group's wildest schemes.

Frankie Dart (Paget Brewster)

Paget Brewster walks the red carpet of the 57th Monte Carlo TV Festival: Closing Ceremony

Joining the show in Season 6, Frankie begins her run on Community as something of an opposing force to the study group, who are all working to "save Greendale" and view her as an outsider who might disrupt the school as they see it. A consultant hired to help revamp the school, Frankie eventually proves herself to be a powerful ally, and an important influence on the study group, often commenting on the group dynamics in a way that makes her akin to the show's audience. 

Elroy Patashnik (Keith David)

Keith David walks the red carpet of "Cloud Atlas"

Another Season 6 addition, Elroy enrolls at Greendale to get a fresh start after his software inventions don't go over particularly well, and eventually gets a job as head of the school's IT department. Often stuck in his own little world and wrapped up in his personal obsessions, he too finds a place in the group after bonding with them over one of his favorite board games, and becomes a key player in the "save Greendale" movement.

Professor Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks)

Professor Hickey (Jonathan Banks) eats birthday cake while wearing a white robe and birthday hat

A key player throughout Season 5, Professor Hickey teaches criminology at Greendale, a job he's held for well over a decade, which makes him both experienced and a bit disillusioned with the school's more eccentric tendencies. His long teaching career makes him a mentor figure when Jeff begins his own attempts at teaching, and his position as Annie's professor makes him a source of wisdom for the study group. He's not on the show long, but he makes a lasting impact thanks to Banks' season-long performance.

Community is streaming now on Peacock.