The triangular shaped facial hair technically known as a Van Dyke beard but more commonly referred to as goatees have long been a symbol of evilness (particularly by devotees of a popular Sci Fi TV show). This can possibly be traced back to classic depictions of the Devil sporting a similar pointed beard. An alternate universe version of Abed renames himself "Evil Abed" and dons a goatee made out of felt to represent the negative change in his personality. The goatees first appearance was in the Season Three episode "Remedial Chaos Theory".
|In the study group's third year together at Greendale, a housewarming party for Troy and Abed's new apartment becomes the site of six diverging timelines. The roll of a die determines the different scenarios and the darkest of those alternate realities sees the study group at it's lowest point: Pierce supposedly died, Annie is institutionalized, Jeff lost his arm, Troy's throat was severely damaged and Shirley become an alcoholic. The Abed of that timeline suggests a radical plan to make right all that went wrong. He creates a felt Goatee to denote his evilness and hands out similar goatees to the rest of the study group. He announces his plans to correct his mistake in not stopping Jeff from rolling the die.
|Now renaming himself "Evil Abed", he proposed that the study group cross over into what he referred to as the "Prime Timeline" that their "Dark" one diverged from. Once there they will kill their doppelgangers and take over their lives restoring the balance. Jeff, Britta and Shirley are too traumatized to seriously consider the plan and leave. Only Troy stayed behind and joined Abed in donning the felt goatee. Proclaiming themselves "Evil Troy and Evil Abed" they do their signature handshake signifying their evil intentions. Meanwhile back in the "Prime timeline", the real Troy and Abed are watching "Inspector Spacetime" when Abed senses something ominous has occurred. He tries to shake off the feeling and resumes watching the show although he remains troubled ("Remedial Chaos Theory").
|Abed starts to lose himself in his role playing adventures inside a special playroom he and Troy construct inside their apartment called The Dreamatorium. He sees Evil Abed in there one time no longer sporting a felt goatee but instead now having a full van dyke beard ("Contemporary Impressionists"). After the study group is expelled for instigating a cafeteria riot ("Course Listing Unavailable") and then reinstated after overthrowing Ben Chang's rule over the campus, Troy is forced by the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School to never see his friends again. Now depressed and vulnerable, Abed again sees Evil Abed in the Dreamatorium. He is "possessed" by his doppelganger who takes control of his body and puts on a felt goatee. Britta arrives to the apartment for a therapy session she had arranged for Abed and is disturbed by his new appearance as well as his change in demeanor.
|Evil Abed attempt to darken the "Prime timeline" by making everyone as broken as the study group members in his timeline. Abed leaves Britta in a depressed state then goes after Jeff intending to cut off his arm and make him like his "Evil Jeff". Before he could go through with his plan he is stopped when he hears Jeff delivering one of his "Winger speeches". His earnest talk about doing good for the sake of it and putting other before themselves genuinely moves "Evil Abed". It's then that the "Primetimeline" Abed takes advantage of the pause and causes the felt goatee "Evil Abed" was wearing to fall off. He regains control of his body and "Evil Abed" is presumably sent back to his own reality. In the study gourp's fourth year at Greendale, Evil Abed wearing his felt goatee are seen again when Abed retreats into his "Happy Place" sitcom fantasy.
|When NBC announced their mid-season schedule for 2012, it was revealed that "Community" would not immediately return and was instead put on hiatus to come back sometime at a later date. This was done to make room for the returning "30 Rock" to take its 8:00PM EST time slot and to also move the new show "Up All Night" to Thursday from its Wednesday slot. Fans of Community immediately began to refer to the hiatus as "The Darkest Timeline". Many of them began internet campaigns championing the show and demonstrating their support on social network sites with the rallying cry being #sixseasonsandamovie. On February 21, 2012, NBC made the announcement that "Community" would be returning March 15th to its regular time slot at 8:00PM. When it returned, it had a 2.2/7 ratings among the 18-49 demographic, its highest ratings since Season One.
|The Darkest Timeline is symbolized by black Van Dyke shaped beards which is a direct reference to the "Mirror Universe" concept in Star Trek first introduced in the episode "Mirror, Mirror". In the story, evil versions of the main characters exist in an alternate reality and that version of Spock is sporting a Van Dyke beard, often colloquially referred to as a goatee.