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The triangularly 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 became the nexus of six diverging timelines. The roll of a die determined the different scenarios and the darkest of those alternate realities saw the study group at it's lowest point: Pierce supposedly died, Annie was institutionalized, Jeff lost his arm, Troy's throat was severely damaged and Shirley become an alcoholic. The Abed of that timeline suggested a radical plan to make right all that went wrong. He created a felt goatee to denote his evilness and handed out copies to the rest of the study group. He announced his plans to correct his mistake of 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 would kill their doppelgangers and take over their lives, restoring the balance. Jeff, Britta and Shirley were too traumatized to seriously consider the plan and left. Only Troy stayed behind and joined Abed in donning the felt goatee. Proclaiming themselves "Evil Troy and Evil Abed" they did their signature handshake to signify their evil intentions. Meanwhile back in the "Prime timeline", the original Troy and Abed were watching "Inspector Spacetime" when Abed sensed something ominous occurred. He tried to shake off the feeling and resumed watching the show although he remained troubled ("Remedial Chaos Theory").
|Abed started to lose himself in his role-playing adventures within a special playroom he and Troy constructed inside their apartment called The Dreamatorium. He saw Evil Abed in there one time no longer sporting a felt goatee, instead 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. Depressed and vulnerable, Abed again saw Evil Abed in the Dreamatorium. He was "possessed" by his doppelganger who took control of his body and donned a felt goatee. Britta arrived to the apartment for a therapy session she had arranged for Abed and was disturbed by his new appearance as well as his change in demeanor.
|Evil Abed attempted to darken the "Prime Timeline" by making everyone as broken as the study group members in his world. Evil Abed left Britta in a depressed state then went after Jeff intending to cut off his arm and make him like his "Evil Jeff". Before he could go through with his plan he was stopped when he heard Jeff delivering one of his "Winger speeches". His earnest talk about doing good for the sake of it and putting other before themselves genuinely moved "Evil Abed". The "Prime Timeline" Abed took advantage of the pause and caused the felt goatee "Evil Abed" was wearing to fall off. He regained control of his body and "Evil Abed" was sent back to his own reality.
|In the study group's fourth year at Greendale, the goatee was seen again when Abed retreated into his "Happy Place" sitcom fantasy. He imagined Evil Abed appearing in the opening credits wearing the goatee and carrying the bone saw. It's then revealed to just be Abed playing a prank on Troy after he removed the goatee ("History 101").
|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.