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The Origin of “Six Seasons and a Movie” - Where That Viral Community Phrase Came From

Community fans will finally see their "...and a movie" dreams realized with a feature-length swan song on Peacock.

By Josh Weiss

For close to a decade, Community fans have tirelessly reiterated the same war cry over and over again: "Six seasons and a movie!" Their vocal cords might be a little sore, but after all these years, longtime pupils of Greendale's motley study group led by disgraced lawyer and forehead extraordinaire, Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), will finally get their wish in a feature-length swan song coming exclusively to Peacock within the next year or so. 

First announced back in 2022, the long-awaited Community movie, which plans to shoot this summer, hails from series creator Dan Harmon, who wrote the screenplay alongside Andrew Guest.

RELATED: Alison Brie on What She Wants to See in The Community Movie - and What About Annie and Jeff?

Harmon and Guest also serve as executive producers, along with McHale, Russ Krasnoff, and Gary Foster. Nearly all of the original cast members — McHale, Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry), Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley Bennett), Alison Brie (Annie Edison), Donald Glover (Troy Barnes), Ken Jeong (Ben Chang), and Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) — are expected to reprise their iconic characters from the show's six-season run between NBC and the now-defunct Yahoo! Screen. The jury's still out on whether Chevy Chase will make an appearance as Pierce "Streets Ahead" Hawthorne.

But how did we get here? Where did the viral phrase of "six seasons and a movie" originally come from? Here's a quick explainer for those of you who have yet to enroll at the hallowed institution of higher learning known as Greendale Community College. Before we get started, though, we'd just like to say one thing: E. Pluribus Anus!

The Origin of Community's Viral "Six Seasons and a Movie!"

The Community Cast pose for a photo

The first utterance of "Six seasons and a movie!" can be traced back to Episode 21 of Season 2, "Paradigms of Human Memory," which initially aired on April 21, 2011.

A parody of the clip show format, the episode is mainly comprised of flashbacks to various study group exploits that audiences had never seen before. At various points throughout the 21-minute runtime, we glean that Abed is a big fan of The Cape, an NBC superhero drama that was canceled after a single season in 2011.

When Abed dons a black cape and swipes Jeff's lunch off a cafeteria table, the exasperated Winger exclaims: "The show's gonna last three weeks!" Not phased by this doom-filled pronouncement, Abed calls back: "Six seasons and a movie!" The phrase would continue to pop up sporadically throughout the subsequent four seasons (both verbally and non-verbally) as both in-joke and persitent rallying cry. It effectively sowed the seeds of a powerful fan campaign that ultimately led to the greenlight from Peacock.

RELATED: Where to Watch All 6 Seasons (and a Movie) of Community

"I didn’t even actually write that phrase! I don’t even know now who did!" Harmon confessed in a 2014 interview with The Shelf. "But it follows me around and people took it up as their mantra. I think that was a [writer] Chris McKenna thing, when Abed starts talking about a show that Jeff says is only going to last two weeks, which is cynical, but true, and Abed just blurts that out and it certainly sounds like how long that show he was talking about, The Cape, should last. It just sounds like a rightful duration for that show. Then it’s applied to Cougar Town and other shows. It just sounds like the right amount of time!"

Harmon continued: "There are shows that last for more than six seasons, and I think most people would agree that after the sixth season that season seven probably won’t be the best season. But yeah, saying 'six seasons and a movie' is like saying 'seventy-eight years old and three kids.' It’s the American dream."

How to Watch Community?

Annie (Alison Brie) appears on Season 3 Episode 2 of Community

All six seasons of Community are officially streaming on Peacock.

The NBCUniversal platform currently offers two monthly subscription plans: Premium ($5.99 a month with ads) and Premium Plus ($11.99 a month with no ads and download access for certain titles). If you're a student, you can enjoy the Premium plan for just $1.99 for an entire year!

Looking for more NBC Originals in the meantime? The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Heroes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, La Brea, Quantum Leap, ALF, The Voice, America's Got Talent, Young Rock, and more are also streaming!