Plotting Out the Metaverse of “Community”, “Cougar Town” and “Scrubs”

The TV metaverse broke this week. Much the way Superboy-Prime’s punch shattered the DC Multiverse, Abed’s appearance on Cougar Town sets up a very weird order of shows that puts Community in the same world as you, me and Scrubs reruns. Somewhere, Britta is reading Pitchfork. Or she’s trying to install Napster.

In this season’s episode “Critical Film Studies”, Abed details a long story wherein he’s invited on the set of Cougar Town as a background extra. A fan of the show, Abed’s obsessive nature kicks in. He develops a character, Chad (Hey! Good choice!), and becomes lost in this man in the world of Cougar Town. He also poops his pants, hence the running away at the end of the clip above.

Dan Harmon’s show is fed by wonderful program pop culture references both in themed episodes and running gags like jabs at Glee and Big Bang Theory.

But Abed’s presence on Cougar Town sets a precedent. We now have Cougar Town as a show that you and I watch, but so does Abed. That wasn’t Danny Pudi as an extra, that was us seeing the exact story from “Critical Film Studies” (though they should have put Courtney Cox in the scene as Abed had included the detail that it was done after one take because “Courtney nailed it”).

And then Ted, a main character on Scrubs (Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence’s biggest series), shows up on Cougar Town as well. God, I hate typing “Cougar Town”. I hate that phrase. Bill Lawrence, it’s OK. We’ll all understand if you change the name of your show three seasons in. Everyone who’s a fan will keep watching.

Scrubs and Cougar Town are in the same universe. It’s entirely possible for Courteney Cox to get cancer and be treated by Dr. Cox. We now have this hierarchy.

The real world (not the show; actual reality) = Community

Cougar Town = Scrubs = Clone High?

Whatever movies or shows characters of Cougar Town/Scrubs watch.


God damn it. Well, maybe in this episode, those are actually supposed to be Cougar Town actors Dan Byrd and Busy Philipps. They’re just there at Greendale. Yea, that still makes Greendale real.

…We had Travis [CT character] have a love of Community

– Bill Lawrence

So Cougar Town characters watch Community. It’s a perfect, endless loop.

Harmon, I need Britta to exist. I need her to be possible.


About Chad Quandt

Writer for videogames, animation, the webcomic Suffrage. Master blocker in dodgeball. Barbecued with Corey Haim before he died.

Posted on May 27, 2011, in Chad Quandt, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. And don’t forget – Courtney Cox was the chief of medicine at Sacred Heart for a few episodes in the Scrubs universe.

  2. That doesn’t say BBT, it says BBE, as seen later in the season.

  3. Yeah, but Harmon acknowledges that it was BBT before they chickened out and changed it to E. It’s a tweet of his, in response to Reddit.

  4. Yeah, no. There is no connection, just a bunch of allusions and alliterations to other shows. Any meaningful connection between these show you find will feel forced. There is no Da Vinci Code for this. It’s just producers giving a nod to other producers.

    • Maybe for scrubs and cougartown it may be a simple nod, but there is definitely a connection between community and cougar town. Community revolves around being meta and breaking the third wall, and the “Abed scene” in Cougar Town doesn’t make sense unless there was a connection to the community episode .

  5. Link the tweet, or it didn’t happen.

  6. If Britta can be real, can I have Annie be real too?

  7. jeff kiki dorian

    in cougar town community is mentioned by name in the romantic date episode multi world theory for the win

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