Community is a show which references a lot of pop culture from the past and present. Pop culture references are recurring themes within the show used often by Abed through his obsession with TV and movies. They are direct references to people, places, and things within the culture as opposed to meta references which are often references that are hinted at and alluded to but not directly stated. On the episode pages the references are divided into the following categories and are given a brief description along with examples from various episodes:
- Alert nerd!: Any overly fanyboy-ish references. Ex. In the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory", Abed has a diorama of the boulder scene from Indiana Jones which he proudly shows off to his guests.
- IMDb: Named after the popular online site the Internet Movie Database this is any direct referencing of movies and films. Ex: In the Season One episode "English as a Second Language" Britta mentions the popular 2009 movie "Avatar" and how she was the only one in the group who didn't like it.
- Name that tune: Named after the old TV game show, this is any direct reference of a song or piece of music. Ex. In various episodes of Season Three, starting with "Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps", the song "Daybreak" is featured very prominently.
- Off Broadway: Any references to Broadway shows or musicals.
- Product placement: Any obvious promotion done on the show of a particular product. Ex. In "Basic Rocket Science" the fast food franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken is prominently promoted.
- Shout out: Any direct reference to a person, often a celebrity or other well known personality. Ex. In the series Pilot, both Abed and Jeff state that Britta looks like the actress Elizabeth Shue.
- TV Guide: Named after the long running magazine, this is any direct reference to a television show. Ex. In the Season Two episode "Competitive Wine Tasting" Abed takes a course which studies the popular 80's TV Show "Who's The Boss?".
- Well read: Any references to well known literature. Ex. "Digital Exploration of Interior Design", both Subway and Britta express their love of the George Orwell novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four".