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Community Theory: Gillian Jacobs' Britta Perry Is The Ass Crack Bandit

"Community" is famous for its running gags and recurring jokes. Leonard (Richard Erdman) never shuts up. Britta (Gillian Jacobs) is the worst. Chang (Ken Jeong) uses his name in every conceivable way. Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) can always be counted on to arrive dressed in something provocatively humorous. Michael Haggins' "Daybreak" is a tune repeated ad nauseam at different times and in various settings. Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed's (Dani Pudi) make-believe talk show, "Troy and Abed in the Morning," features countless times over the show's six-season run.

Occasionally, these repeating plot points cumulate until they become the central point of entire episodes. Troy and Abed's penchant to build blanket forts turns into the epic episode "Pillows and Blankets," featuring a Ken Burns-style civil war across campus. Chang's wild storyline culminates in his Napoleonic attempt to take over the school. And then there's the Ass Crack Bandit. Similar to the Scranton Strangler on "The Office," Greendale's Ass Crack Bandit is a recurring mystery character that torments the campus over the course of the show by sneaking up and putting ice-cold quarters down people's derriéres. The character is never revealed, even though an entire Season 5 episode called "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics" is devoted to uncovering the campus criminal.

Despite the persistent enigma, one Redditor thinks they've figured out who the culprit is, and it's a doozy. A few years ago, Reddit user u/IntelligentDog4 put forward the proposition that the bandit is none other than Britta Perry. They present three forms of evidence: Britta is old enough to be a Dave Matthews fan (a fact connected to the Bandit), she has access to the teacher's lounge where the criminal strikes, and she's been at Greendale long enough to perpetrate all of the fetid crimes discussed on the show.

The case for Britta Perry as the Ass Crack Bandit

The fan theory adds that Britta breaks into a car and steals coins at one point in the show and even indicates it could be a repeatable behavior. She also attacks multiple people, showing a willingness to lash out at those who hurt or threaten her. "The reason she attacked Troy, is because she is still upset about him breaking up with her," the Redditor explained. "She attacked Duncan because she was sick of him always hitting on her."

These are decent points but hardly damning on their own. However, in context with Britta's dramatic character arc, they're pretty powerful. In detailing Britta's lengthy history at Greendale, the fan theory adds the easily overlooked fact that Britta slides from her maternal character in the study group in Season 1 to a more ridiculed and extreme character from Season 2 onward. This happens to correlate with the first mentions of the Ass Crack Bandit in the show.

There's also the fact that Britta is notoriously bad at pulling pranks. She kills a frog and sends a dead body out a window in her first major "Britta-ed" April Fools event early in the show's run, setting the tone for a ruinous career in comedy from there forward.

It would make sense, then, that she would resort to a clandestine career of coin slot shenanigans as a way to vent her frustration. While the stars do align, though, there really isn't anything in the evidence that genuinely could put Miss Perry in detention for her behavior. 

Justice remains unserved years after the finale aired. The Ass Crack Bandit is still at large, waiting to strike again ... perhaps even in a "Community" movie at some point in the future.