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Things You Never Noticed In Community's Final Episode

In 2015, having survived cancellation and plenty of behind-the-scenes drama, Community completed its preordained sixth season, flying in the face of the building inspector, the health inspector, the foundation inspector, the water line inspector, the geologist, the exterminator, the plumber, and Dean Pelton's dad. It had been a long road. The show had moved from network primetime to a now-defunct streaming service. Series leads had dropped in and out on a yearly basis. Showrunner Dan Harmon had been tossed overboard for year four, then reeled back in for the next season, right around the time that the school was recovering from their 13-episode gas leak.

Even following the finale, when Yahoo! Screen made noises about Community's possible continuation, the writing was still on the wall. Season 6's conclusion, "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television," felt more like a stop than a pause, with the entire plot revolving around the importance of moving on. It's a poignant lesson that, five years later, few of us have actually taken to heart. Instead of carrying on with our lives, let's embrace our inner Abeds and slavishly devote our time to dissecting every ounce of minutia that Community's final bow had to offer. Cool? Cool. Cool cool cool.

I'm Mister Ice Cube Head, look at me!

So the study group-Save Greendale Committee-newly christened Nipple Dippers decide to cap off another successful year with a trip to The Vatican, the bar where Britta (Gillian Jacobs) works. Once there, the gang considers what might happen in the definitely absolutely for sure-forthcoming seventh season via a series of cutaways. Abed gives a characteristically mathematical and decidedly on-the-nose summation of the show's episodic formula. Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) struggles to balance inclusivity and Jeff's abs against his own inability to write compelling dialogue. Chang (Ken Jeong), perpetually trapped in the gas leak year that is his own head, imagines the crew hanging out in the study room, cool as cucumbers, accompanied by their new pal Ice Cube Head.

Ice Cube Head is a pretty boilerplate late-season add-on character: He's computer generated, has an ice cube for a head, and eats delicious cell phones. If that particular brand of off-the-cuff weirdness seems familiar, then his voice probably does, too: He's played by Justin Roiland, the co-creator of Rick and Morty, and bears astonishing similarities to the eponymous wish fulfillment critters from the animated series' episode "Meeseeks and Destroy." He even parrots the Meeseeks' catchphrase "look at me!" and offers to fix everyone's problems with his magic powers.

Community's in-house Marvel burn

Fans of Community were pretty well acclimated to the show's love-hate relationship with all things pop culture by the time season 6 rolled around. The show had already deconstructed My Dinner with Andre and questioned when exactly Star Trek would trek to an actual star. The question was never where they'd make fun of Doctor Who, but when.

Even with the show's penchant for taking the wind out of the sails of anything in the zeitgeist, the final episode of Community was awfully hard on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Words like "flavorless," "unremarkable," and "boring-ass" were thrown around during the series finale, but not before the characters voicing their opinions on the MCU took a precautionary look around.

They were, of course, right to make sure that they weren't being watched, since around one in six Marvel movies was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Before the Russo brothers blew up with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and went on to co-direct Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame, they were working on television comedies like Arrested Development and, for a good long while, Community. Ever wonder why members of the study group keep popping up in the Marvel universe? Ta da! One or both of the Russos were behind the camera on some of Community's most iconic entries, including the pilot and the season two two-part paintball episodes. 

Was the show making a dig at their absence during season 6? Maybe. Then again, series creator Dan Harmon also worked as a consultant on Doctor Strange and hasn't spoken warmly about the experience. Maybe he was just cranky.

Community's hidden code

Greendale Community College has always been famous for its subtle background Easter eggs. Community once spent three seasons leading up to a single, half-second salute to Beetlejuice. Occasionally, if you squint at the whiteboard in the study room, you can spot the remains of an episode's plot outline, drawn out in Dan Harmon's "story circle" format. Other times, the board will have production notes left up on it.

In "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television," the whiteboard goes full self-referential. Throughout the final seasons, it had displayed the production code for each episode, with "GC613" here representing the 13th episode of the sixth season. The lines of cryptic letters and numbers left conspicuously present probably set off an alarm in most viewers' heads. Type them into a search engine, and you'll discover that they're the numeric codes assigned by IMDb to different actors' profiles — specifically, the lead actors on Community. As Easter eggs go, a coded message that just takes you back to the actors in the show you're already watching is sort of a snake eating its own tail, but hey, you know what they say. "Bear down for midterms."