Tonight, Community finally—FINALLY!—makes its return to TV screens, and we couldn’t be more excited. As previously reported, the season four premiere will be a Hunger Games spoof in which Greendale’s best and brightest compete in a series of physical challenges to win a spot in the coveted History of Ice Cream class.
It won’t be the first time Community’s poked fun at a popular flick; clever movie parodies are the show’s bread and butter, and if “The Hunger Deans” is anything like the show’s previous brilliant cinema-inspired episodes, we’re in for a treat tonight. To tide us over in the meantime, we’re counting down Community’s 10 best movie parodies.
Note: In an attempt to whittle down the show’s many pop-culture references here, we’ve limited it to movie parodies only here, which means the fantastic Law and Order episode is ineligible for this one.
10. The Dark Knight, “Introduction to Statistics”
Abed’s hilarious Christian-Bale-as-Batman impression cropped up again last season when he donned the Bat Mask to hunt down the villain who took his limited-edition Dark Knight DVD, but it’s his initial appearance as the Caped Crusader here that features some of the best lines.
9. Apollo 13, “Basic Rocket Science”
When the study group gets trapped in a space flight simulator being towed away from Greendale, Abed—left behind and only able to use his knowledge of the craft to help guide his classmates home—channels Gary Sinise in the classic space adventure to bring his pals back to familiar turf.
8. Good Will Hunting, “English as a Second Language”
This one’s more of a reverse Good Will Hunting, as a janitor discovers Troy’s incredible plumbing abilities and tries to get him to abandon his eduction and pursue the trade. Inspired by the movie, Abed tries to follow the Ben Affleck supportive best friend template, but it doesn’t go over quite as well.
7. Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, “A Fistful of Paintballs”
When it was announced that Community was doing another pinball episode, some fans were understandably nervous. After all, the first one was so great, it’d be nearly impossible to top. But they wisely chose a new type of movie to spoof this time around, and all those fears melted away when they completely nailed the spaghetti Western genre—right down to their The Good, The Bad and The Ugly-inspired opening credits.
6. My Dinner With Andre/Pulp Fiction, “Critical Film Studies”
This episode’s a bit of a bait-and-switch: we think we’re getting a Pulp Fiction parody when the group organizes a birthday party for Abed with a theme based on the Quentin Tarantino flick and dresses up as its characters, but Abed’s got a different movie in mind for his special night. Instead, he and Jeff pull a My Dinner With Andre and spend all evening in deep conversation over a nice meal. Twist!