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First occurred: "Pilot" — Participants: Community characters
Type of theme: Continuity - the consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, and places seen over some period of time.

The characters must start in the ordinary situation, descend into a new situation, adapt to it, become native to it, pay the price, and then flock back to basics having “changed."
Dan Harmon

Continuity is any type of consistency within the show. This covers a wide range of topics and can refer to not only character motivations and overall storylines but also a person, place, or object which has some significance to those recurring plot points. In the "Recurring Themes" section of the episode pages on this wiki, continuity that appeared in that particular episode are listed and separated into specific categories. Below are descriptions of each type of continuity category:

  • A nice gesture: Any gesture that is continually used. Ex. Troy and Abed's handshake
  • A sweet ride: Any vehicle that has a recurring role. Ex. Jeff's Lexus
  • All by myself: Someone is left out of an activity with the group. Not to be confused with the running gag "Screw you guys!" where someone is kicked out of the group.
  • And we're back: Return from a hiatus of some kind that then continues an ongoing storyline. Can be specific to a two part story such as "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For A Few Paintballs More" or a general link such as a season premiere like "Anthropology 101" which picks up after the events of last year's season finale.
  • Catchphrase: Any phrase often said by a character or characters, for example "That's nice!" from Shirley.
  • Cliffhanger: Any season finale plot twist which is to be resolved the following season. Ex. "For A Few Paintballs More" had Pierce quitting the study group.
  • Climax: A payoff to an ongoing storyline. Ex. "Modern Warfare" sees Jeff and Britta's sexual tension resolved.
  • Coined and minted: Introducing new words or idioms specifically for the show. Ex. In "The Art of Discourse", The High Schoolers introduce the word "Shmitty" into the lexicon.
  • Discontinuity: An unexplained break in continuity when a contradiction from something previously established occurs. Can also refer to anything illogical that happens in the episode. Ex. Abed's mother being depicted as Arab in his short film, when she is referred to in earlier and later episodes as being Polish.
  • Express tuition aisle: The poor quality of classes offered at Greendale is mentioned or shown, including cases where professors give credits for nothing or have idiosyncrasies that prevent them from doing their job. Example: Professor Whitman inspiring students to "seize the day" instead of teaching accounting.
  • Familiar faces: Special guest stars and any returning actors or characters that aren't faculty, staff or students. Ex.Dean Spreck (Note: Since the presence of Annie's Boobs is a Running Gag it isn't included in this category.)
  • First appearance: The debut of what eventually becomes a recurring character. Ex. Jerry
  • History lesson: Any background story details of a specific character. Ex. In the Season Two episode "Accounting for Lawyers", we are given a lot of backstory on Jeff's previous life before Greendale.
  • Googly eyes: Any example of sexual tension or romantic develpoments between two characters. Ex. Jeff and Annie share a kiss outside the Tranny Dance in the Season One finale.
  • Identity crisis: Any sort of storyline where a character questions who he/she really is. Not to be confused with the running gag "I'm Batman!" which is significant only to Abed and is played for laughs.
  • Mad skillz: Any special ability a character has which has been mentioned previously and is showcased. Ex. Troy's plumbing skills
  • Middle Eastern Magic 8 Ball: To foreshadow something that becomes a major plot point later on. Ex. "Living in the moment" was a phrase used by Professor Whitman that later became the inspiration for Annie's actions in the Season One finale.
  • Previously: Any reference to a past storyline, usually from another season. Ex. Abed mentions in "Curriculum Unavailable" that they shouldn't do paintball again because it's too forced.
  • Replay: A callback to a scene or specific dialogue which is a reference to another one and done in a similar manner. Ex. Remedial Chaos Theory
  • Returning faculty: Any Greendale instructors that make a return appearance.Ex. Professor Whitman
  • Returning students: Any Greendale students that make a return appearance. Ex. Neil
  • School song: Any song created specifically for Community or one which has been heard more than once on the show. Ex. Greendale's school song "The Way It Is".
  • School supplies: Any item, mostly related to school, which is showcased. Ex. Annie's purple pens
  • School uniform: Any outfit, clothing, or costume which has appeared more than once or has some significance to the story. Ex. Jeff's cowboy outfit
  • That just happened: Any event which is referenced that occurred fairly recently. Ex. In "Regional Holiday Music", Jeff mentions several events that happened recently like attacking the group with an ax and "killing a dude".
  • Theoretical Phys-Ed: Examples of particularly nonsensical classes that Greendale offers.
  • This must be the place: A specific place or area that is featured prominently in that particular episode. Ex. The Dreamatorium.
  • Winger speech: Jeff delivers a speech which usually sums up the lesson to be learned in that episode. Ex. Jeff delivers the first of many such speeches in the Pilot episode referring to the Study group as a Community. (See main article: "Winger speeches")

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