10 reasons why Community is better than The Big Bang Theory

We just can’t let it go! The great Big Bang Theory debate rolls on. This week’s What We’re Watching Wednesday is conclusive* evidence that Community is better than The Big Bang Theory. 

1.       The lack of studio audience laughter

We know that Charlie has waxed lyrical about this already, but it cannot be reiterated enough times: we are adults. We will laugh if it’s funny. We do not need prompting. You sound ridiculous.

2.       Chevy Chase

Er, hello? Have you seen the Three Amigos? Or Christmas Vacation (topical)? Alright, alright, so maybe he is leaving, but I think we need to take a moment to appreciate the wonder that is Pierce Hawthorne. He’s streets ahead of any of the Big Bang characters (and if you have to ask, you’re streets behind).

3.       Abed: 1, Sheldon: 0

As already pointed out by Charlie, Abed and Sheldon both suffer from the similar conditions which make socialising difficult to the point of frustrating. In Sheldon’s case, he is a dickhead, yet he inexplicably has friends who he is nothing but unkind to. In Abed’s case, he is a some-time insensitive but always loveable cast member who makes up for his social misgivings by being… well, not a dickhead. Abed, we salute you.

4.       Kudos

Say you like Community on your Twitter/Facebook/online dating profile/to someone’s face (what? Does that happen anymore?) and all of the above’s recipients will be mentally high-fiving you in the face. You will earn deserved respect. Say you like The Big Bang Theory and you will be unfollowed/deleted/alone forever/punched in the face. No one cares. It’s not worth saying because it’s the equivalent of saying ‘I’m a massive bore. LOLZ.’ Community is the Jean Paul Gualtier edition of Diet Coke. The Big Bang Theory is, at best, Sainsbury’s own brand cola.

5.       It’s not racist

Big Bang has one token guy of ethnic minority. The guy of ethnic minority hams up his accent and is constantly stereotyped because of his race.  Of course, other shows use these stereotypes, but just because it happens it doesn’t make it okay. Or funny, for that matter.

6.       It’s not sexist

There’s one main girl in The Big Bang Theory. She is blonde and hot and says stupid things. Community has a crew of main characters, with more than one girl and more than one non-white person. WOW! Big, sensitive issues like gender and race and all that stuff are handled with comedy – not ignored. All the characters have a different religion, which is often joked about but never trivialised. The characters have a depth and personality that extends beyond the colour of their skin or the nature of their junk.

 7.       Pop culture references

Paintballing (twice). Glee. Dungeons & Dragons. Pulp Fiction. Community constantly pay homage to pop culture cleverly. There’s actual – *gasp*- writing involved. The Big Bang Theory uses references to things in pop culture as punch lines. Nothin’ but laziness there.

8.       Geeks celebrated, not stereotyped

I would like to be friends with everyone in Community (except maybe Pierce). They’re all outsiders, and few of them are ‘normal’ in the way that The Big Bang Theory would like us to think of it (See: Penny). I would not like to be friends with anyone in The Big Bang Theory, for fear that they would steal my pocket protector, guffaw-snort laugh and then fall over their untied shoe laces before crying to their mum, whilst wearing some Spock ears. Because isn’t that what every geek does?

 9.       The bromance between Abed and Troy

There is no way this relationship cannot thaw even the coldest of hearts. In contrast, Sheldon and Leonard have a relationship of dependency based on need rather than love. They need each other. Abed and Troy – now that’s true love, and we’re all about the love here.

 10.   You don’t have to listen to the Barenaked Ladies every time you watch it

Worst. Theme song. Ever.


*alright, not ‘conclusive’.


Special thanks to Sarah Kramer, who not only introduced me to Community and made my life infinitely better, but also pointed out that The Big Bang Theory is sexist and racist and she is not down with that, and may or may not have had one of her emails slightly plagerised here. 

  • Callum

    How dare you insult BNL? They have two Billboard awards to your zero!

    They were the most celebrated Canadian Alt-Rock group of the mid-90s!

    Are YOU triple platinum?

    • albo

      plus one for that!

      *leaves the thread humming Daybreak”

    • Matt

      This is good

    • frostbr

      They’re ‘BNL’ now? We need a shorthand for the Barenaked Ladies. That’s how fundamental they are.

  • NullApostle

    Point 2 is no longer valid. Point 6 is severely outdated.

    Community is goind to get cancelled after season 5 – the new showrunners having run it into the ground.

    What are the ratings of Community again? Right … insignificant.

    • Charlie

      Because a TV show’s ratings are indicative of how good it is. Presumably Two and a Half Men is one of the greatest shows of recent years then.

      And if Community does get cancelled soon, it’ll still have had at least three great seasons, which is three more than The Big Bang Theory.

      • zazus

        I beg to differ. before I watched community I had never seen a good comedy in my life. I had been watching big bang theory wondering how they could get away with making me watch all of them being so utterly predictable and lame to the point my relatives were more interesting. and now since community, with not one character acting stupid pretty much all the time, with no laff track, I am ruined. I can only watch community reruns over and over and over, that and the comedy stylings of Zen Warrior princess. when will the world ever catch up with me. sigh. im totally not kidding, and anyone who disses me is just a simple ass.

        • zazus

          I meant to say I beg to differ with all who don’t understand how Community was 1000 times better than anything before it or anything on now. I meant to say I totally agree with everyone who agrees that Community was as close to pure genius you can get with a show that must be cranked out weekly year after year. that the producer would call his own genius trash tells me how messed up people are that they can’t even admit they like their own creations, even when they are incredible. truly tragic. and blows… my mind. somebody wake me up when television comedy gets an inkling of a clue again. if that can happen. they say if it happened once it could happen again… I hope so. but not holding my breath in this world.

    • DrVagary

      If there’s anything thing that Arrested Development has taught us, it’s that show with low ratings are always bad.

    • Buttsoup

      yess. because ratings tell you how good a show is, not the actual writing and development of character. Season 4 of Community is not at par with the previous seasons, but it has its reasons. And hell, it is still better than the best season of TBBT which I can’t recall because all of them sucks.

      • one of the many Asscrack bandits

        Buttsoup, i like your reference from the show “butt soup Barnes” lol
        I also agree with everything u said.

    • Bobbbbbbbbbbbbbb

      See the Big Bang theory is for common
      Idiots like you. Honestly you where probably never a nerd because really the show makes fun of nerds and of course Sheldon who clearly has Asperger’s syndrome and they just treat him like some sort of pesky dick (which he is portrayed as) when he needs help. And yes the show is racist , sexist and homo phobic

      • zazus

        bobbbbb, you are so right, bbt is so lame you can’t even notice it at first. but so are all the other shows that everyone seems to like so much. never forget that the most popular websites are pornographic. don’t believe me just google. this is the kind of people we live amongst . ok im totally depressed now. I have to stop.

        ok Bee, I read your comment, now I feel new hope, thank you!
        and Hannah, the article author, thank you for writing all I was ever thinking so eloquently. sp

      • GIGI

        community copied the Big Bang theory in so many ways, abed is the ethnic one and is in a bromance with Troy, Raj the ethnic one is in a brkmance with Howard, in community they go to college, TBBT they work at a university, in community the guy that isn’t good with girls chases after the pretty one, in TBBT the guy who isn’t good with girls chases the pretty one, community was written two years after TBBT was originally premiered too

    • fcku

      Cancelled after season 5? hahahaha fuck you

  • bee

    wow, you guys like Community! I’m subscribing.

    TV ratings suck, just like the general population, we all know that.

  • tomo

    so frustrating when people bring up ratings to argue against a show, arrested development my favourite comedy of all time imdb rate it a 9.2 out of 10 was cancelled only after 3 seasons, people are lazy with tv, the big bang theory, 2 broke girls and two and a half men are the most poorly written shows on tv, and they are the most popular, these shows have no heart, no witty jokes no originality they are just completely dull shows for the mindless drones who cant be bothered to change the channel.

  • Cynic

    Point two is totally incorrect. The Big Bang Theory isn’t sexist. The main girl is a tough-ass farm girl from Nebraska. While she may not have extensive knowledge in science, she has way more common sense and street smarts than the nerds. She is definitely not a dumb blonde bimbo.

    As for point nine, what about the bromance between Rajesh and Howard? Sounds to me that you’ve only seen maybe 10-20 episodes of TBBT.If you don’t know it well enough, don’t judge it.

    • Steve

      You mean the one where they can get as many homophobic jokes in as possible? That bromance?

      • zazus

        Steve, you nailed it. Cynic, I have watched all the community episodes 3 times and still not bored. tbbt I have watched more than I can stand, which is plenty more than I wanted to. it is true penny is not a bad character, now that I think of it, it’s all the guy characters, they’re the worst. but the worst thing of all is the stupid laff track. I’m so spoiled now. and no I can’t even watch things that abed liked, I’m screwed. I guess i’ll have to actually get a freeking life of my own. sheesh.

        • Zumba rumba

          Someone who watches Community over and over again? I may have found my soulmate. Hihi
          I used to watch tbbt in their earlier seasons bec I never knew about Community (All hail Community!) until I read this comment in Youtube saying “streets a head” (RIP Pierce Hawthorne of the Hawthorne Moist Towelettes. You lovable bigot) then I researched it and damn I was hooked. I wont pretend that I get all the references but the greatest thing about the show is that despite me not knowing the reference it doesn’t make me feel stupid and prevents me from laughing. Instead, the joke piques my interests making me concentrate more, investing my attention and when I finally get the joke and rewatch the episodes I laugh with the show. I love Community. Best comedy show along with Arrested Development (Sometimes 30 Rock. Hihi)

  • Rajesh

    I’m a die hard fan of TBBT, but I don’t hate Community. It’s a great show but community fans seem to love to trash TBBT and I’m guessing it’s because they’re jealous of how much more praise TBBT gets. Now just in viewers but how many Emmys or Golden Globes have TBBT been nominated for/won compared to Community. TBBT>Community

    • Charlie

      You do realise that the number of viewers a show has has no bearing on how good or bad it is? And neither does the number of Emmys a show wins. Especially when you consider rubbish like Everybody Loves Raymond won a hatful of Emmys whereas Buffy the Vampire Slayer never won any non-technical ones.

    • Michael Bagamery

      Critics and award organizations can be, shall I say, a bit slow to catch on to genuine genius. Not that I don’t like Big Bang, but Community is, by a wide margin, the best thing in the history of comedy.

      • jake

        Then u don’t know what comedy is then

    • zazus

      rajesh, you would be guessing wrong. we’re just bored to death with TBBT and laff tracks and want more multi-dimensional Community. no matter how bad it was always streets ahead of TBBT for those of us who loved it. TBBT is not the worst, it is actually the best of the worst. everything else is totally intolerable, for example, everything else labeled comedy that’s on right now. at least I still have the late nite reruns… ttfsmf. I feel sorry for all the geek characters on that show, they have to act so stupid when they’re supposed to be so smart. ‘doh. ok I must shut up now, im getting all worked up. sorry. yes I am bitter than more people just don’t get anything actually original and fun. sad and lonely me.

  • Rebekah

    I love both shows! I think they’re both great in their own right.

  • 16bit

    I was hoping for something a bit more cohesive to go on. This was just hatred for one show.

  • MarSG

    The Big Bang Theory is nothing compared to Community.
    Community is a smartly written complex TV show whereas TBBT is dumb and devoid of any kind of intellectual pleasure.

    First of all TBBT’s cultural and pop references are face-value. They are just things the characters talk about. But in Community the meta-reference are part of the story. They are the blocks that build the world Community is based on.

    Secondly the greatest difference between the two shows that make Community much better that TBBT is that TBBT has an awful worldbuilding when Community has an incredible one .Community is in constant change. Every episode is a new adventure in an entirely new environment and each one of these episodes is written in a way that makes us understand and discover a little bit more about the show’s universe. But TBBT is such a constant show that it has even became predictable.The characters are about the same and even when they change it doesn’t last long( Raj can’t talk to women but then in the last episode of the 6th season he talks to Penny without consuming alcohol just so we find out in the 7th season that he doesn’t know how to talk to women. Back to square one).

    Finally the most important thing to me as a geek that makes TBBT suck is that TBBT is a show about geeks and nerds when Community is a show for the geeks by geeks.TBBT is full of stereotypes about geeks which main goal is to show the audience that geeks are spoiled and don’t know how to behave in society and that they need to be changed and reajusted (The Penny way! Hate that bitch).Community in the other hand is a tribute to geek culture. It’s a show about normal people(thought damaged) implanted with great geek references that make the show move. In fact only one character of community can be considered geeky and it’s Abed and the great thing is that we love that guy’s geekiness (unlike Sheldon’s ) and the other characters accept him the way he is. Quick exemple :when Sheldon disguised as The Flash for Halloween and acted as if he travelled around the World and came back to the same spot the other characters mocked him but when Abed didn’t find his Dark Night DVD and disguised as the Batman the other characters -Troy and Annie- played along and didn’t judge or mock him.

    In conclusion if you are a smart person proud of being a geek you should watch and like Community. But if you are dumb and want to feel good about it then TBBT is perfect for you and that my friends is why TBBT is killing it in the ratings and Community not so much.

  • Lizzie

    Pertaining to #9: I like how Community accepts two guys being best buddies having a strong bond and not saying, “Hur hur they must be gay!” like The Big Bang Theory does with Howard and Raj.

  • jake

    Big bang theory will always be better as the characters have far more talent than community

    • one of the many Asscrack bandits

      TBBT is one of the worst shows i’ve ever watched. But community is one of the smartest, funniest and emotional shows, I’ve ever watched. TBBT is an absolute pile of shit, that only dumb fucks watch. And TBBH fans always think that Community copied the show, even tho they are two completely different shows. One is smart and funny and the other is incredibly boring and dumb.

  • Tejas

    I would say community is better than TBBT and i would love to keep it in my rack of DVD’s with the likes of Friends, sienfield, brooklyn 99, but not waste by dime on a shallow show such as TBBT

    • abhay

      all points are bs!…TBBT is compared with friends nowadays,so comparing it with shit like comedy is insulting,TBBT has well written and performed characters.tell me one character in community who is better in acting skills than jim parsons aka sheldon cooper.Sheldon cooper is considered even better than his rival in friends and yet dickheads compare it with community.