Jeff and Britta were the first major pairing, romantic or otherwise, on Community. A clear love/hate dynamic was established between the two with Jeff's aggressive pursuit of Britta romantically in the beginning of Season One. Although Jeff created the study group as a means to impress her, he eventually forms a close bond with all of them including Britta. Initially, they felt a sense of responsibility towards the other members of the study group and considered themselves to be their Greendale parents. They have since abandoned those roles and just become friends with them. The nature of their own relationship has ranged from bantering friends, scheming co-conspirators, and casual sex partners. Jeff is portrayed by Joel McHale and Britta is portrayed by Gillian Jacobs.
Jeff aggressively pursued Britta romantically in Season One, but she repeatedly refused him; he did see some hope with her after Shirley reveals that Britta had a sex dream about him. Eventually, he moved on and started dating Professor Slater. During her tap dance recital, Britta saw that Jeff and Slater were actually serious, which made her realize her own potential feelings for him. She ends up leaving Jeff an embarrassing drunk dial laced with BCI. Upon Abed's insistence and with his help, Jeff later drunk dials her as well in order to restore the balance between them. Not long afterwards, however, Slater unceremoniously dumps Jeff. During the chaos of a Greendale paintball competition, Jeff and Britta find themselves swept up in the moment and end up having sex. Afterwards, they both agree it was a mistake and decide to keep it a secret from the study group. At the end of the school year, Abed throws a keg party at his dorm, and Jeff makes an awkward pass at a clueless Britta. Slater interrupts the moment, having made an attempt earlier that day to get back with Jeff. That night at the Transfer Dance formal, Slater and Britta compete for his affections. Desperate to win at the competition more than be with Jeff, it culminates with both women declaring their love for him. Instead of choosing between them, Jeff leaves the dance and ends up running into a third option.
Jeff deals with the fallout of the Tranny Dance events, which sees him being scorned by the female students at Greendale who believe Britta to be the victim of unrequited love. Jeff starts a competition between them to bring the truth to light which sees them almost getting married thanks to Abed's interference. Although Jeff manages to win the contest, they nearly end up tearing the study group apart in the process. Troy's birthday celebration at a bar leads to a drunk make out session between the two of them, but they quickly decide it was a mistake. Eventually, at the end of the school year, it's revealed to the study group by Abed that Britta and Jeff have been secretly sleeping together. Although the group forgives them for keeping it a secret and gives them their blessing to continue, they both agree not to.
Okay, listen to me, you are not that big of a deal. Do you understand? You have bad posture, when you do too many push-ups it looks like you have boobs, the tile in your bathroom is tacky, you were emotionally closed-off in bed to the point where one time I didn't come up because I couldn't find close enough parking! You have an unusually high butt-crack!
–Britta destroying Jeff's ego for his own good
School year synopsis
Jeff and Britta appear to have moved on romantically but still have a good friendship with each other. On Halloween, Jeff tries to help Britta figure out which member of the study group could be a psychopath. When Pierce's father shows up, Britta warns Jeff about his issues with his own father which might be affecting him more than he thinks. Jeff defends Britta when Mr. Rad berates her for ruining the school musical. When a recently engaged Shirley and Andre Bennett have a wedding rehearsal, a drunk Jeff and Britta try to get married themselves. Later, Britta tries in vain to stop Jeff's ego from spiraling out of control. Jeff decides to see for himself what the big deal is about Britta's old boyfriend and makes a shocking discovery. After the study group learns how Ben Chang set them up to be expelled and had the real Dean Pelton replaced with Faux-by, the group concocts an elaborate plan to set things right. As part of the plan, Jeff and Britta team up and infiltrate the school as Ricky Nightshade the rock and roll magician and his goth assistant respectively.
At the start of their senior year at Greendale, Britta is now in a relationship with Troy ("History 101"). During Thanksgiving, Britta decides to help Jeff deal with his father issues on Thanksgiving when after over twenty years he meets up with his estranged father. Although initially she was an unwanted presence at the reunion, Jeff later sincerely thanks her for motivating him to finally get some closure over his unresolved anger towards his dad. Abed later reveals that Jeff and Britta met earlier before Greendale and provides a photo as proof. On his graduation day from Greendale, Jeff has anxieties about leaving his friends and Greendale behind. He discusses his concerns with Britta although he hides his own feelings by pretending it's the group who has problems with him leaving. Britta reassures he needn't worry as everyone is looking forward to see him graduate but he still has some reservations.
"History 101": Jeff and Britta show up for the first day of class wearing hipster glasses.
"Paranormal Parentage": The study group splits up into pairs to search for Pierce with Jeff and Britta forming one of the pairings.
"Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations": Britta finds out where William Winger lives from the Dean in order to 'help' Jeff get closure from his father. Jeff later thanks her for efforts and the two share a brief moment.
After graduating from Greendae, Britta reunites with Jeff and the study group to "save" their alma mater. Jeff ends up taking a teaching position at school while the rest of the group re-enrolls with Britta redetermined to get a degree in Psychology. When a campus wide game of "Hot Lava" is held in honor of a departing Troy, Britta reluctantly ends up participating. Britta and Jeff face off on in a office chair duel where she emerges the victor. Not long afterwards, an app called MeowMeowBeenz is beta tested at Greendale. Britta tries to rebels against the status ranking app. She tries to convince Jeff to help but he has a more personal vendetta against Shirley that takes precedent. Sometime later, Duncan enlists Jeff help in trying to woo Britta. Although Jeff found himself suddenly attracted to Britta again he allowed Duncan to take his shot at her. When Jeff, Hickey and Shirley discover stolen textbooks they get Britta's help to try and fence it. Towards the end of the school year, Jeff has an unexpected proposal for Britta.
You've been lying to me for years? What kind of friends are you?
Poor. We are poor friends. And you mooch off us because you are too afraid to use your own support system. What kind of friend are you?''
–Britta to Jeff, "Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care"
School year synopsis
In 2015, Jeff and Britta started their sixth year at Greendale along with the remaining members of the Save Greendale Committee. A campus disaster occurred which the committee failed to prevent which necessitated the hire of a consultant named Frankie Dart. Jeff, Britta and Annie initially rebelled against the new policies Frankie introduced but eventually welcomed her and the new head of I.T. Elroy Patashnik to the committee. Individually Jeff and Britta were both dealing with personal issues; she was homeless and he seemed to be drinking more than usual. Britta soon found a temporary residence with Annie and Abed in their apartment but was furious to discover her parents George and Deb Perry made the arrangement. She confronted Jeff about this who revealed that her friends have been in cahoots with her parents to help her for years now. When a cyber terrorist threatens the school, Britta convinced Jeff and the rest of the committee not to not give into his demands. Together Jeff and Britta starred in a low budget sci-fI film directed by Abed. At the end of the year Elroy, Abed and Annie left Greendale to pursue opportunities out of state over the summer break. When the time came for Annie and Abed to leave Jeff dropped them off at the airport and said his goodbyes. He later headed to The Vatican bar Britta worked at and joined her alongside what was left of the committee for a drink.
To be blunt, Jeff and Britta is no Ross and Rachel. Your sexual tension and lack of chemistry are putting us all on edge, which is why, ironically — and hear this on every level — you’re keeping us from being friends.
Dan Harmon initially based this relationship, as well as the story of Community itself, on his real life experience of going back to community college in order to impress a girl he was dating at the time. The couple was featured prominently in a lot of NBC's promotional material and was to be the main pairing on the show. At first, the differences in their personalities were emphasized; Britta was selfless, and Jeff was selfish. In Season One DVD commentaries and in this interview, Harmon mentions how Britta had become relegated to policing Jeff's bad behavior. Reacting to feedback from critics and his own writing staff, he sought to change that aspect of their relationship. A noticeable change was made mid-season as her negative similarities with Jeff began to be emphasized more while her positive influence was phased out. A new dynamic was established which led to Britta being a partner-in-crime of Jeff's antics and an enabler of his bad behavior; this was highlighted in a number of episodes ("Romantic Expressionism","The Art of Discourse", "Mixology Certification") and even commented on by Shirley in "Paradigms of Human Memory". As the series progressed, Harmon further tweaked the relationship between them. Harmon wanted to subvert the traditional "Will-They-Won't-They" sitcom elements and change viewers perception of romance on TV. Jeff and Britta went from flirting and a one night stand in Season One, casual secret hook ups throughout Season Two, and back to being just friends in Season Three through Five.
So, second season, that conversation resulted in Emily Cutler saying, “What if you just found out toward the end of the year that Jeff and Britta have been doing it the whole time, and it was no big deal?” And I thought that was genius because the audience might not believe you if you just tell them on camera in real time that it’s possible for a relationship to not eclipse everything, but they won’t believe it in their hearts, because they haven’t seen any evidence that it’s possible for a relationship to not eclipse everything. Guess what, as many of you in the audience have been doing at various points in your lives, particularly the broken points, two of these people have been, in an ungodly middle finger to our fairytale perceptions of monogamy, using each other as sex toys.
Jeff and Britta are initially introduced as the main focus of show with a will-they-won’t-they dynamic. Many of the earlier episodes in Season One involved Jeff trying to win Britta's affections. Britta at first denied any attraction she had to him, but Jeff's relationship with Michelle Slater forced her to realize her feelings. It's worth noting that two contradictory analyses of Britta and Slater in relation to Jeff are made in Season One. In the episode "Communication Studies", Abed explains to Jeff that Michelle accepts him as he is and expects nothing more from him while Britta is the opposite and challenges him to be a better person. Jeff agrees with this statement but curiously changes his opinion by the end of the year. In Pascal's Triangle Revisited, Jeff reveals to Annie that Slater is the one who makes him want to be a better person while Britta is the one who accepts him as he is. In an interview, Dan Harmon somewhat admitted the contrasting views was an unintentional oversight on his part, although he did offer a retroactive explanation for the discrepancy.
Personality wise, both Britta and Jeff share a cynical outlook on life, sarcastic attitudes, and moments of vanity and selfishness. Although they connect through these similarities, their interactions unfortunately often brings out the worst in them with humorous consequences to follow. Despite their past sexual history, they have not let it affect their friendship as they both genuinely care for each other in spite of all their bickering. The snarky bantering between them is mostly indicative of how comfortable they are around each other. There have been occasions when Jeff went too far ("The Science of Illusion"), ("Herstory of Dance") but ends up apologizing later. While Jeff may enjoy taunting Britta, he defends her whenever someone else does the same ("Regional Holiday Music"). They both have been there to support each other, although Britta usually ignores Jeff's pleas not to. This was the case when she tried to help Jeff mend his relationship with his father ("Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations"). Britta herself has become something of a sounding board for Jeff shown when he privately expressed his reservations about his early graduation ("Advanced Introduction to Finality").