Considering its quirky NBC sitcom roots, Community just oozes sci-fi cred. In three seasons, the show has tackled everything from multiple realities and Batman cosplay to a Doctor Who spoof that has become a meme in its own right. Plus, it featured one of the greatest rambles ever about the awesomeness of Farscape.
If that wasn't enough, the cult fave has also earned its stripes with fans by constantly battling cancellation—and coming back funnier and crazier after every reprieve.
So, with the series set to return Thursday night from a lengthy hiatus, here are some of the greatest sci-fi moments to date:
The college is overrun by zombies (seriously)
Due to Dean Pelton's cost-cutting measures for the college's Halloween party, most of the student body is accidentally exposed to an outdated bioweapon that turns them all into semi-zombies, with hilarious results.
The multiple-realities episode
This is, arguably, one of the greatest episodes of anything ever. "Remedial Chaos Theory" shows seven different timelines where one tiny difference in each leads to a whole host of wildly varying outcomes. It's worth watching alone just to see the shockingly dark timeline that could have been.
Abed is Batman now
When Annie accidentally breaks Abed's ultra-super-limited-edition copy of The Dark Knight, she hides the truth and drives Abed to become Batman himself to investigate.
Troy and Abed: Inspector Spacetime
This past season, the show introduced a Doctor Who spoof that has actually developed a growing fan base (and aborted web series) of its own. Abed becomes a huge fan of Inspector Spacetime, so he and Troy do a little role-playing—complete with a fantastic low-budget Dalek-esque attacker.
The first paintball episode spoofs almost every action movie ever
Some of the most popular Community episodes have revolved around campus-wide paintball tournaments for massive prizes, and the first paintball ep in season one was arguably the best. Spoofing everything from Predator to Terminator 2, it's mind-boggling how many cultural references they were able to squeeze in.
The gang plays a wild game of Dungeons & Dragons
For most shows, building an episode around a game of Dungeons & Dragons would be a huge stretch. But Community managed to build some awesome humor off the premise, along with some touching moments. Plus, watching Chevy Chase manically cheat is pure gold.
Kickpuncher, aka the greatest action series ever
The show is big on meta, and has also created its own delightfully low-budget Robocop/Cyborg mashup called Kickpuncher. Abed and Troy are, not surprisingly, huge fans.
Abed really wants to talk about Farscape
While at a bar, Abed is hit on be a guy who is also a big sci-fi fan. Though he isn't gay, Abed does string the guy along, just long enough to state his argument for why Farscape is legendarily awesome.
The gang wins a model U.N. with Earth-2 council
While getting whipped in a model United Nations contest, the study group decides to think way outside the box and create the Earth-2 council to sweep the event in the final moments.
The second season paintball two-parter
After the success of the first season's paintball epic, the writers put together a two-parter in the second year that is just as awesome. The second episode was deeply inspired by the original Star Wars trilogy, along with some nods to Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
The gang spoofs Apollo 13 in a KFC spaceship
This episode is a hilarious parody of Apollo 13 (with some Spaceballs) that finds the study group trapped in an outdated Kentucky Fried Chicken mock spaceship and forced to complete some ridiculous gimmicks to escape.
The dark, awesome, claymation Christmas special
Abed seemingly has a mental break and takes the study group on a Christmas-themed journey into a claymation adventure that plays like a twisted version of the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.