Hawthorne Wipes". It was a company founded by his father, Cornelius Hawthorne which afforded Pierce a leisurely lifestyle free of worries. In his younger years he lived it up, marrying seven times and accumulating over thirty step-children. However, later in life he found himself all alone and unhappy with his life. In an attempt to cure his malaise, he started several hobbies including traveling the world, becoming a Toastmaster, performing magic, and playing the piano (Greendale Campus Connect). Eventually he decided to return school in order to further expand his horizons and began attending Greendale Community College back in 1999. He stayed for over a decade before finally graduating in 2013. In his final years in school he joined a Spanish study group and despite a few rocky moments they became his longest lasting friendships. He also had to deal with the death of both his parents, learned that his father's assistant Gilbert Lawson is his half-brother and lost his position as C.E.O of Hawthorne Wipes when the board of directors fired him. He is currently part owner of a sandwich shop with Shirley Bennett. "Pierce Hawthorne" is portrayed by actor/comedian Chevy Chase.
|“||I say things others won't. That has value.||”|
–Pierce, "Pascal's Triangle Revisited"
Pierce's boorish and abrasive personality is a direct result of his upbringing. His life of luxury insulated him and made it hard for him to understand typical social norms. Adding to this was him being raised by his father Cornelius who passed on his racist and bigoted beliefs. This attitude he was raised on, coupled with his lack of tact, has gotten him into trouble as he constantly makes outrageous statements unaware of how rude and offensive they are. Pierce is also fairly gullible; this is evidenced in his participation in a religious movement known as "Reformed Neo Buddhism" which his friends and even his mom had warned him is just a cult. His father was also emotionally abusive towards Pierce when he was a child often undercutting him and making him feel worthless. In his adulthood this led him to over exaggerate his abilities and competency in various areas. As he is much older than most Greendale students, he is sometimes disoriented by youth culture. In order to fit in he tries to embrace it with little success, particularly technology. The study group has tried on occasion to change his behavior for the better with mixed results. Despite this, he will on occasion surprise his friends by offering support or some sage advice when they least expect it.
|“||I can't have children. I'm not sterile. In fact, it's a rare condition they call it hyper virility. Apparently my sperm shoot through the egg if you can believe it.||”|
–Pierce, "Spanish 101"
Pierce is invited to a Spanish Study group by Abed where he meets Jeff, Britta, Troy, Annie, Shirley. He desperately tries to become best friends with Jeff but upon being rejected starts a more adversarial relationship with him. He began a love/hate relationship with Jeff admiring the ex-lawyer while at the same time trying to After Annie hires him to write Greendale's new school song Pierce also helped Dean Pelton create the school's latest mascot the Greendale Human Being. He ends the school year by offering to let Troy stay at his mansion after he was kicked out of the house by his father.
|“||I'll show you the tool that's most important to our survival... but fair warning, it's my penis.||”|
–Pierce, "Anthropology 101"
|“||How long was I out? Is Napster still a thing?||”|
–Pierce, "Studies in Modern Movement"
|“||No one's even willing to consider that I might be the Hitler of the group?||”|
–Pierce, "Alternative History of the German Invasion"
In the study groupEdit
Pierce joined the Spanish study group to meet new people and to take up his time. He was quite taken by Shirley, and according to her, he was sexually harassing her since the first day, though he didn't really know better. Although he has been the source of a lot of conflict and tension in the group, the others know that he is a very important part of the group becausehe fulfills the role of a universal scapegoat . Despite the trouble he has caused, he has also assisted others in the group, such as helping Troy to act (and sneeze) more like a man and helping Shirley get over her fear of public speaking. He considers Annie his favorite member of the group. He has also had multiple father-son moments with Jeff, with the roles reversing at times. He was kicked out of the group at one point but eventually returned.
Other notable relationshipsEdit
Due to the time-consuming nature of his job and possibly his own personal attitude, Pierce was married and divorced 7 times. Pierce had a date and ended up sleeping with Dr. Escodera in the first season, but besides those incidents, Pierce made no attempts at finding a girlfriend until he became involved with a rival moist towelette tycoon, Wu Mei. He goes as far as to try and marry her before Jeff reveals she is just spying on him and ruins the relationship. Pierce admits he was just using her for sex as she was just using him to take over his business, but it didn't mean that there weren't good feelings underneath all the using. Jeff redeems himself and brings the two back together for a real date.
He spent most of his time trying to help other members of the group, or sometimes getting back at them. Pierce has fathered around 31 step-children from all of his marriages. He currently doesn't speak to any of his exes or any of his former step-children, and he regrets not ever fully settling down and starting a family. Due to this, Pierce considers all the members of the study group to be his family. He believes that he and Jeff have a father-son dynamic although Pierce himself plays the son role most of the time.
- Pierce is part of a "Buddhist" Church that the others describe as a cult donning a wizards gown and a cookie wand.
- Pierce's favorite movie is Fletch, which stars Chevy Chase. ("[]")
- Pierce's name may be a reference to Los Angeles Pierce College, where many scenes in the show are shot.
- Pierce's last name may be a reference to the famous professor Hawthorne, due to similiarities in the way of thinking.
- Pierce's name may also be a reference to Nathaniel Hawthorne's campaign biography about his friend, Franklin Pierce. Pierce was later said to be the worst president in US history.
- Pierce has been going to Greendale for 13 years. Until the study group, he has never remained friends with any of his classmates for more than one semester.
- Pierce represents Somalia in Annie's Model UN and considers it to be a "tropical paradise" based on its severely limited government, loose regulations, free trade policies, and lack of gun control.
- Pierce never gets invited to the study group's games.
- Pierce likes gay jokes.
- In the episode “Pillow’s and Blankets” in his medical records it says that his middle name is Cornelius instead of Anatasia, which is Chevy's birth firstname. It also says he was born in 1943 which is the same year Chevy Chase was born in making him 68 or 69.
- Pierce followed the Barenaked Ladies, or BNL as they are referred to in the show for a period of time. This is shown in his politician bio in the season two episode Intro to Political Science.