Lasting from 2009 until 2015 and bouncing from both different writing teams and different networks, Community showed itself to be a one-of-a-kind sitcom in more ways than you can shake a stick at. As a series, Community was completely singular and unlike anything else on TV, especially when it came to its variety of episodes. Much like a box of chocolates, you never knew what you were going to get.
During its six-year run, there is not a single episode of Community that feels like another. They each, in their own way, put a unique twist on the sitcom formula. Whether it was by doing a claymation Christmas special, a puppet episode, a Zodiac parody, or a Halloween episode with actual zombies, Community was constantly mixing things up. Even season four, regarded by fans as so bad that it didn't happen, has its share of spectacular episodes.
Unfortunately, the series never hit it off with mainstream audiences. Which, while not surprising due to the nature of the show, is a real shame as it deserves to be just as well known as other popular sitcoms. So, let's celebrate the little show that could by taking a look at the ten best standalone episodes of Community.
10. Basic Rocket Science
Blast off in 3, 2, 1...
After changing the school flag to a butthole, the study group have to clean up the "Kentucky Fried Chicken Eleven Herbs and Spices Space Experience" space simulator before its "launch" as punishment. Due to a mishap, however, all but Abed find themselves trapped inside and being towed to an unknown location, leaving it to him to save the day.
While clearly being a parody of Apollo 13, like any good episode of Community Basic Rocket Science manages to stand on its own separate from its influences. Community is a series defined by clever character bits, and this episode excels in that area.
The entire inciting incident involving the study group changing the Greendale flag to a butthole isn't just hilarious (especially considering it stays that way for the rest of the series), but also totally in character for all of them. Then there's the conflict inside the simulator where Pierce has somehow managed to succumb to "space madness" which is easily the highlight of the whole episode.
Sometimes all an episode needs to do is be one hell of a good time, and Basic Rocket Science is just that.