Troy Barnes is a graduate from both Riverside High School and Greendale Community College. A popular figure at Riverside, Troy was the star quarterback of the football team and also the prom king. His many admirers at school included his fellow classmate Annie Edison who would later join him at Greendale and become his roommate. At the time, he had the interest of many elite universities but couldn't handle the pressure of other people's expectations. The night before a big game attended by college recruiters, he intentionally dislocated both of his shoulders (or faked a knee injury, accounts vary) doing a keg flip at a party. With few options for a higher education, he considered Greendale after being handed a promotional flyer by Ben Chang while at the frozen yogurt place. Troy later admitted he chose the school because it was close to his house and because he saw a late night commercial for Greendale in which had a student giving a thumbs up sign in a "cool way." While at GCC he grew very close to a study group he joined, particularly Abed Nadir who became his best friend and Britta Perry whom he dated briefly. After graduating from college, he briefly re-enrolled some time later in order to discover who he was. When his fellow study group member Pierce Hawthorne passed away, Troy was offered a chance to win his fortune by completing a sailing trip around the world. Troy accepted the challenge and said goodbye to his friends before he left on the boat with his childhood idol LeVar Burton. In the next episodes, a news ticker on a television in the background states that LeVar Burton and a non-celebrity companion were taken hostage by pirates.
Troy began the series as an arrogant, selfish jock who was so concerned with keeping his former High School status that he wore his letterman jacket for the first few days at Greendale. Jeff implied that Troy wanted so badly to be liked that he based a lot of what he did just for other people. Eventually, Troy evolved from his original persona into an overly sensitive and goofy nerd. The transformation was largely due to Abed's mutually beneficial friendship, which Troy seemed to lack in his high school years. Troy cared deeply about his friends and has been willing to sacrifice himself for their sake on several occasions (("Epidemiology"), ("First Chang Dynasty")). Despite his heroic and lovable traits, Troy has numerous insecurities and something of a childish personality. It is noted by Abed that Troy is extremely emotional, easily distracted, and is insecure about his level of intelligence ("Pillows and Blankets"). He struggled to be viewed as an adult by the rest of the study group due to his juvenile antics with Abed. However, it's shown that he can be serious and mature when he needs to be ("Introduction to Finality").
Troy (along with Pierce, Shirley and Annie), is asked by Abed to join Jeff and Britta in a Spanish study group. When it's discovered that Jeff lied about being a Spanish tutor, the rest of the study group kicks him out. When Troy and the others later find Jeff depressed on the steps of the library, they all take pity on him and invite him back. Troy and Abed soon become fast friends and a full-blown bromance develops. He also becomes more comfortable with college life and ditches his varsity jacket along with his jock mentality. He also spent the year oblivious to Annie's obvious school girl crush on him until he was made aware of it by Jeff and Britta. When he helps Britta out at her dance recital it lays the seeds for future developments between them. An encounter with Jerry the janitor makes Troy aware of the exceptional repair man skills he possesses. At the end of the semester, his father kicks him out of the house to make room for his much younger girlfriend. Troy tries to move in with Abed in his dorm room but is told by his friend that living together at this point would put too much of a strain on their friendship. He instead accepts a previous offer he got from Pierce and moves into his mansion with him.
Troy is still adjusting to living with Pierce when he returns to school. Now in his sophomore year, he and the study group take Anthropology 101 together. Pierce learns that Troy had been quoting his offensive comments on a Twitter account called "Old White Man Says," but eventually forgives him when he finds out how popular the account had become. Troy makes a gruesome discovery at the mansion when he finds Pierce's mom dead. On Halloween, he rescues everyone from a mysterious contagion brought on by taco meat although everyone's memory of the event is erased by government agents. Troy later receives a voice mail that hints Chang hooked up with Shirley that same night. Troy discovers on his birthday that he is actually turning 21 years old and the study group goes take him to a a bar to celebrate. He takes an acting class with Britta and lies about a childhood trauma, at first to win the respect of his classmates but later to to take advantage of Britta's attraction to "damaged" men. He and Abed build a blanket fort together, have a friendly competition over the affections of the school librarian and rally the Greendale students when the school is invaded by City College.
"Anthropology 101": Troy is upset with Jeff for "hogging the doughnuts"; Pierce discovers Troy has been quoting him on a Twitter account called "Old White man says".
"Basic Rocket Science": Troy assumes control of the "Eleven Herbs & Space Experience" when the Winnebago, along with him and the rest of the study group, are towed off school property before it's debut at a press conference announcing it as part of Greendale's new space program.
"Epidemiology": At a school sponsored Halloween party, Troy reverts back into his original jock persona as a horrifying epidemic grips the rest of the attendees.
"Competitive Wine Tasting": Troy takes an acting class with Britta and lies about a past traumatic experience which gets him top marks in class and also the attention of Britta who becomes attracted to him.
In Troy's third year at school, he and Abed finally move in together. They also later welcome Annie as the roommate at their apartment. His talent as a repairman gets him the attention of the Air Conditioning Repair school annex. Throughout the semester, the head of the A/C department Vice-Dean Robert Laybourne tries to convince Troy to join them enticing him with the perks of being in an elite A/C secret society. A schism forms between him and Abed while at the same time Troy finds himself getting closer to Britta who starts to return his unrequited affections. While he is constructing a Pillow Fort with Abed they have a falling out resulting in a campus wide civil war. Although the best friends make up, Troy and the study group are later expelled by the school board thanks to Ben Chang having framed them for causing a riot at school. Troy and the group eventually manage to expose Chang as the true culprit and redeem themselves by saving the school from his rule. However, he is forced to leave his friends and join the AC school due to their assistance during the crisis. Over the summer, a shocking death at the AC school has Troy convinced it was a murder. After confronting the culprit he wins his freedom from the school and is able to reunite with his friends.
Troy started his fourth at school in a relationship with Britta. On Halloween, Troy and Abed dress up as Calvin and Hobbes and Shirley warns Troy about not letting Britta pressure him into anything he isn't ready for yet. Troy, Britta Abed, Jeff and Annie all attend the Inspector Spacetime convention. He becomes jealous when Abed introduces him to a new friend he made online called Toby Weeks. He and Annie investigate Chang's mysterious return to school. Troy has a traumatic balloon ride with the rest of the study group and reveals to them his most shameful secret: he started the Greendale Fire of '03. On the anniversary of his first date with Britta, Troy pretends to "swap" bodies with Abed. It's later revealed he did this in order to avoid admitting to her that their relationship wasn't working. He eventually comes clean and breaks up with Britta. When Abed tries to piece together any unknown connections between the study group, Troy recalls how he intentionally injured his knee in a keg flip and how he previously lied about not knowing who Annie was. He later makes the group realize that their past histories are all linked by a fateful day at the Greendale Mall when they all went to Yogurtsburgh.
"History 101": Troy and Britta are now a couple and have their first fight.
"Paranormal Parentage": Shirley expresses her concern to Troy about his relationship with Britta; later Britta asks Troy if the could skip Vicki's Halloween party and go watch an episode of "Inspector Spacetime"
Troy and the study group are unexpectedly reunited with Jeff for another year at Greendale Community College. They all re-enroll at the school after Jeff joins the staff as the new law professor. At Abed's insistence, Troy, Annie, Shirley and Britta take a Nicolas Cage-themed media studies course taught by Professor Sean Garrity. Troy and the rest of the group also form a teacher/student alliance called the "Save Greendale Committee". When the Ass Crack Bandit resurfaces, Troy becomes one of his victims and is traumatized by the incident. When Star-Burns confesses to the crime, Troy confronts him at a press conference and slaps him, although it is later revealed that Star-Burns is not responsible. Soon after, Shirley finds out that Pierce has died and Troy and the group attend his funeral. A man named Mr. Stone carries out Pierce's will and asks them to participate in a private inquest which makes them eligible for a share of Pierce's estate. After the inquest is done, Troy is revealed to have gotten all of Pierce's shares of Hawthorne Wipes worth over 14 million dollars. The only condition is that Troy accept the challenge of sailing around the world. Before Troy embarks on his trip, Abed hosts a campus wide game of "Hot Lava" in his honor. Troy and Abed enjoy one last adventure at school and, thanks to Britta's persistence, admit how much they will miss each other. Once the game is over, a rig pulling Pierce's sailing vessel "The Childish Tycoon", along with co-anchor LeVar Burton, arrives to pick Troy up. Troy says goodbye to everyone and climbs aboard, sharing one last look with Abed as he leaves. Sometime after their journey started it was reported that LeVar Burton and his "non-celebrity companion" were captured by pirates off the Gulf of Mexico.
Troy and Abed are best friends whose bromance has been prominently featured on the show. The other members of the study group are both amused and disturbed at how close the two are. Their many misadventures at Greendale inevitably drag their friends into their hijinks and the entire school a few times as well. Being that Abed is unable to adequately express emotion, and Troy is overly emotional, this has led to a few conflicts between them. They soon make up, however, as they understand they are better together than apart. In the group's fifth year at school, Troy accepts an amazing opportunity but is forced to leave Greendale because of it. Abed has trouble saying goodbye to his best friend but eventually lets him go. They share one last adventure at school before he departs.
Pierce and Troy initially started a friendship based on mutual adolescence. At the end of Troy's first year at Greendale, he moves out of his fathers house and accepts an offer from Pierce to move into his mansion ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited"). The second year at school together it's revealed that Troy had been quoting Pierce under a Twitter account called "Old white man says" ("Anthropology 101"). When Troy later moves out of the mansion to live in an apartment with Abed, Pierce is shown to be jealous. Troy has hinted that he sees Pierce as a bit of a role model of a man going through life despite numerous hardships on his own ("Remedial Chaos Theory"). When Pierce dies, he bequeaths his fortune to Troy stating that he sees great potential in him ("Cooperative Polygraphy").
In their freshmen year, Annie had a crush on Troy that was obvious to everyone except him. He remained oblivious until Britta and Jeff made him aware of it ("Romantic Expressionism"). Unfortunately, at that point Annie had moved on and was dating Vaughn. While it is clear that he finds Annie attractive ("Accounting for Lawyers"), he hasn't tried to pursue her romantically and instead has developed feelings for Britta ("Competitive Wine Tasting"). They have settled into a more fraternal dynamic between them and Troy has told Annie that he enjoys talking to her. ("Paranormal Parentage").
Troy and Britta bonded in their first year at Greendale after they discovered they were both taking dancing classes and keeping it a secret from the rest of the study group. It was hinted that Troy had a crush on Britta but she remained oblivious to it much like Troy was to Annie's crush on him. Britta later kisses Troy after he uses her attraction to men with pain to woo her. She didn't reciprocate his feelings until their third year at school after realizing how deep his affection for her was. At the start of their Senior year at school they are in a relationship and dating.
Initially when Troy meets Jeff he is in awe of him but that admiration fades a bit as he gets to know him better. Jeff and Troy have shared interests in numerous things such as RC cars, basketball and secret trampolines. The two apparently stop hanging out as much as they used to when Britta reveals inmate details about sexual kinks. At the start of the group's third year at school, Jeff seems to be threatened by Troy and mocks his childishness. By the end of the year, however, Jeff has a change of heart and lets Troy know he doesn't have to be like him to be a grown-up. It is implied that Troy looks to Jeff for approval at he end of "Course Listing Unavailable " both for rallying the group and his feelings for Britta which Jeff does.
Troy has had the least interaction with Shirley out of all the study group members. Troy is often subjected to Shirley's motherly ways and never wants to disappoint her. In their sophomore year at school, Troy kept a voice mail Chang sent him that hinted he could be the father of Shirley's baby a secret not wanting Shirley to know until he could verify it ("Epidemiology"). During the Pillows and Blankets War she took Troy's side believing Abed was in the wrong for hurting his feelings. On Halloween of their senior year the two team up together while in Pierce's mansion. She warns Troy to be careful while dating Britta ("Paranormal Parentage"). Later, the two take P.E.E., Physical Education Education, together in which Shirley excels while Troy does not ("Economics of Marine Biology").
Nana Barnes is Troy's grandmother who, during his freshmen year at Greendale Community College, visited him during the Family Day event held at the school. A cantankerous and ornery old lady, Troy was not looking forward to seeing her. Britta attempted to show Troy that he should honor and cherish his grandmother. She learned that Troy was right about Nana Barnes when she accidentally insulted her and agreed to make it up to her by being spanked with a switch. After administrating the punishment, Nana Barnes overheard a conversation Troy and Britta had where her grandson called her a monster. She then demanded that Troy get her a switch so she could administer to him some punishment.
During Troy's freshman year at Greendale, he displayed extraordinary skills as a plumber, which got the attention of a janitor named Jerry. Jerry tried to convince him to give up on college and pursue a career in plumbing. He later returned during Troy's third year at school and warned him about Vice Dean Laybourne and the Greendale air conditioning repair annex.
In Season Three, Murray brought Troy to Laybourne's attention after observing his plumbing skills. Laybourne personally tried to recruit Troy to the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School Annex. He even manipulated Troy and Abed against each other in an attempt to make this happen. After Troy finally enrolled at the school, Laybourne unexpectedly died in what is deemed an accident. Troy suspected his second-in-command Murray of having something to do with it. In a duel inside the Sun Chamber, Troy later saw what appeared to be Laybourne's ghost watching him in the crowd.
Murray alerted his boss Robert Laybourne to Troy's repairman skills and has him kidnapped to take part in an "audition" for the A/C school. After the study group is expelled from Greendale by Chang, Troy met up with Murray at Señor Kevin's" to get insider information so he and the group could take down Chang. He reluctantly joined the A/C school to get the group out of a jam when their plan went awry. Later, Murray personally picked up Troy at his apartment to take him to the A/C school. After suspecting Murray for the death of Laybourne, Troy challenged him to a duel in The Sun Chamber and got him to admit his guilt.
In the study group's second year together at Greendale, Troy and Abed both competed for a date with a school librarian named Mariah. Despite the fact that she ultimately chose Troy, he decided not to go out with her after she admitted the reason she didn't pick Abed was because she found him to be weird.
Troy is a huge fan of LeVar Burton from his time as host of the popular PBS children's show "Reading Rainbow." In the study group's sophomore year, Pierce overdosed on drugs and was taken to the hospital. Although he fully recovered he decided to get back at the study group for ignoring him all year. Pretending to be on his death bed, Pierce bequeathed Troy a visit from LeVar Burton in order to mess with him. This had the intended affect, as Troy was frozen in his idol's presence and couldn't talk or move. LeVar returns years later when Troy is about to leave Greendale. He was hired to be Troy's co-captain for a trip around the world.
In his first year at Greendale, Troy went on one date with a classmate of his with the ambiguous name of Randi. Annie, who still had a huge crush on Troy at the time, reluctantly helped him prepare for the date. The relationship did not seem to work out when Annie took back the blanket that she let him borrow in the middle of their date.
Troy is the second main character to leave the show. Actor Donald Glover arranged to leave five episodes into Season Five in order to pursue other opportunities. His final episode appearance was in "Geothermal Escapism". Troy has appeared in 89 episodes of "Community".
Troy's favorite movie is The Bridge on the River Kwai.
In Season 2, Troy's phone is a Motorola Droid X.
Troy's nicknames include "T-Bone", "Butt Soup", "The Disco Spider", "Constable Reggie", "George Washington Lemon Fresca", "Butts Carlton"
Among the three main characters who left the cast, he is the only one whose departure had a build-up, as opposed to Pierce and Shirley who left between seasons without much fanfare with an explanation of their absence provided later, as well as the only former main character to not make a cameo appearance after his departure.