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Rachel

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GreendaleID
Student ID
Rachel
Rachel
Portrayed by: Brie Larson
First appearance: "Herstory of Dance"
Last appearance: "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing"
Date of birth: October 1, 1989
Home town: Denver, Colorado
Major: SOCIAL ENGINEERING
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Quote
No spoilers. I'm really hoping things turn around for this Job guy.
EndQuote
— Rachel discussing the Bible


Rachel is a student at Greendale Community College who has a work/study student job on the event staff. She was once responsible for the yogurt machine in the cafeteria until an elderly student broke it. Her current gig is as a coat check girl where she tags party goers coats and other miscellaneous items they brought to school functions and give them tickets to claim their possessions later when they leave. She and Abed have a mutual attraction to each other due to their love of television and movie tropes. Her first appearance was in the Season Four episode "Herstory of Dance". She is portrayed by actress Brie Larson.

HistoryEdit

Season FourEdit

In the study group's fourth year at Greendale, Annie and Shirley each picked two different girls to ask Abed to a Sadie Hawkins dance being held at school. Abed immediately saw the opportunity to do the classic sitcom trope of having two dates to a dance. He accepted both dates and kept it a secret from each girl in order to let the hijinks ensue. The night of the dance as he carried out his deception, he ran into an event attendant named Rachel while changing outfits in the coat check room. He asked her to check two gifts he had brought for his dates, a kaleidoscope for Annie's choice Kat and a bible for Shirley's choice Jessica. Having observed how he had been switching between his two different outfits, Rachel told him she knew what he was doing a trope homage. She even corrected him when he was about to step out wearing a hat for the wrong girl. Impressed she figured it out, they discussed specific tropes.



4x08-Rachel Abed
Can I help you?
Rachel tells Abed her favorite ones were the "embarrassed dog" and the "public declaration of love". Abed asked if she would be willing to assist him and Rachel enthusiastically agreed. The two of them set out to keep the charade going; at one point Rachel blew bubbles to keep Kat distracted and delivered a fake telegram to Abed so he could excuse himself from Jessica. They returned to the coat check room together to check off some more antics off the list which they hadn't done yet. When the list accidentally fell to the ground, an awkward moment occurred when they both reached for it. Rachel jokingly replied that if this were a classic movie trope they would be kissing at this point. Abed, unaware they were sharing a genuine moment, replied that wouldn't be the case since they were doing a TV trope and not a movie one.



Rachel and Abed share a look
Rachel and Abed share a look
He then announced that despite the fun they had together he needed to bring the charade to an end. He decided to contritely tell his dates everything and make an impassioned plea to continue the night with the "crowd favorite" Jessica. He departed leaving Rachel saddened by his obliviousness to her attraction to him. When Abed returned minutes later to further update her on the situation he was told by her coat check replacement she left early. Her co-worker added Rachel was visibly upset which made Abed realize how he had taken her for granted. After he apologized to Annie and Shirley for his shenanigans he is encouraged by them to go after Rachel. When he is unable to find her Abed is inspired to do one more trope after seeing Sophie B. Hawkins perform at Britta's dance. He jumped on stage, grabbed the mike and made a public declaration of his feelings for Rachel and pled for her forgiveness.



Her name was Rachel
"There was a girl here tonight.
Her name was Rachel."
After he left the stage, Rachel appeared amused at how how embarrassing that must have been for him. She teased she was doing the "embarrassed dog' trope the entire time but Abed told her he was glad he did it. Rachel then asked Abed if he would like to go out and even offered it could be an homage to the trope where the date is actually for a bet. Abed admitted he would like to do that but suggested that they should just have a regular date the first time, which Rachel agrees to. Shirley and Annie, who had been watching from the sidelines, cooed their approval. Rachel and Abed joined the rest of the crowd watching Sophie B. Hawkins perform "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover". Rachel told Abed she actually preferred the song "As I Lay Me Down" to which he smiled and agreed ("Herstory of Dance").



Abed and Rachel
Aren't they cute together?

Season FiveEdit

In the study group's fifth year at Greendale, Rachel met Abed again after he had a disastrous date with Carol at the Mid-Term dance. He was just leaving the cafeteria when he noticed her in the coat check room reading a book. Abed asked her what happened to her and she coolly replied that he never called her back. Abed apologized for his behavior and admitted he could be inconsiderate at times. Rachel accepted his apology and let him off the hook by saying she could have tried harder to keep in touch. She then asked him if he would like to go to lunch but he refused saying he would rather take her dinner right now and Rachel happily accepted. She admitted that she wasn't working in an official capacity anyway and had started coat checking without anyone's permission. Abed took her back to his apartment and the two enjoyed popcorn while watching "Rick and Morty" ("Analysis of Cork-Based Networking").



5X6 Abed and Rachel watching TV
Abed and Rachel watching TV
She and Abed began to date and Jeff started calling the "Aww couple" due to the fact that everyone found them adorable. On their (one month) anniversary they went to the study room after a meeting of the Save Greendale Committee concluded. Abed proudly showed off the gift Rachel had given him for the occasion, a VCR game called "Pile of Bullets". After introducing herself to Buzz Hickey she gave Abed a kiss on the cheek and left. Abed later invited her to dinner at his apartment with him and Annie's brother Anthony. Once dinner was finished, the four played the VCR game Rachel got. Rachel and Anthony had to endure hours of them competing without a clear victor. After it's revealed Annie and Abed were playing to determine if Rachel or Anthony would be their next roommate, Rachel was furious. She stormed out of the apartment angry that the evening had been ruined.



Aww couple
The "Aww!" Couple
The next day, Rachel was at her locker when Abed approached her looking to do a "third act" apology. With the help of Pavel, Abed pretended that he was at her doorstep with rain pouring down on him (Pavel was above him dousing him with a watering can). Abed explained he had been accelerating their relationship intentionally hoping to avoid making any mistakes. Rachel told him that she only needed for him to be honest and not manipulate her. After Abed agreed, Pavel stopped "raining" down on him and held a cardboard rainbow above his head. A student walking by then slipped and fell on the puddle of water which had accumulated. Rachel assumed it was a stuntman Abed hired but he told her that it wasn't ("VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing").



5X9 Third act apology gone wrong
Third act apology gone wrong

TriviaEdit

Rachel is the only character introduced in Season Four ( the only season to be produced without creator Dan Harmon ) to later appear in Season Five. Rachel was one of the few positive elements Harmon singled out as he had made very negative comments about his dislike of Season Four on his podcast. During a discussion on Reddit, Harmon shared his thoughts on the character:

I thought Rachel was adorable. She was the first season 4 conversation we wanted to have and she was one of the most recent. I don't know how much we want to see Abed-the-boyfriend; I don't mean "I don't know" as in "I don't think," I really mean I don't know, and romance has to be played very carefully and organically. For instance, in the episode with Abed's secret service fling...the scene was longer and we shot Abed kissing her, but it felt a bit forced in the edit bay so we pulled back. But I agree Rachel was a good thing. More on this story as it develops.Dan Harmon on Reddit

In an interview with Hitflix, Harmon further elaborated on why he decided to bring Rachel back for Season Six:


"You said before that there were really only two things from the fourth season you needed to carry through. But you chose to bring back Brie Larson. I don’t know if she comes back at any point later in the season or if that was just it. But you clearly saw something there that you wanted to have come back."


Dan Harmon: Well I’ll break your heart by telling you that, I mean, she’s in demand and did us a favor probably financially by coming back. She comes back in this next episode, the Vince Gilligan one, but there’s no closure with that. The idea is that Abed’s in a relationship and we’re not making a big deal out of it. We tell a story about what it might be like to be in a relationship with Abed for this episode but we didn’t have the Brie Larson availability to have her there at the curtain call and the finale or anything like that. But she was magical in her appearance in the fourth season. She doesn’t even say anything. She might as well be a pair of glasses and a wig on a mop handle, but it’s Brie Larson so she has this humanity, this energy coming off. I never wanted to go the Latka route (from “Taxi”) and pair Abed with a female Abed. Maybe at one point I thought, “Let’s have Parker Posey come on and be a film professor that Mrs. Robinson’s Abed,” where she can’t keep her hands off of him because of his genius and also soils him with classic education about film that starts to pollute his pop cultural purity. I think that would have been cool. I like pairing out of the passionate people. We did that Secret Service agent and that was as close as we got to a female Abed. We lifted a lot from that story and one of the biggest things we lift was that they actually kissed. And it just didn’t feel right. It felt actually more powerful that they passed in the night and that they intellectually acknowledged their compatibility and couldn’t be together. The idea of a healthy or semi-healthy but clearly quirky in her own regard woman being able to recognize Abed’s value and strike an emotional connection with him on a more intimate level than we’ve seen – that’s a story in and of itself and I think that was the iceberg tip that we saw laid out in season 4 that I think is deserving of further exploration. So we did what we could with the time with Brie Larson that we had to examine that in a very funny way and she’s just great. And it was just verified on set. Most of our cast is of this species but it’s weird, too, when a new person come on to set that they just get it. They read the script and they inflect the lines in the way that makes them the most funny and the most human and if we were to do a sixth season, it would be great to see her come back."


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