Well, Community fans, this is it. The day we’ve been dreading for months. Tonight we say goodbye to Troy Barnes. And I, for one, am not ready. I had a good and proper meltdown when it was announced over the summer that Donald Glover would be leaving the show after 5 episodes. I thought Community would get by fine without Pierce, even though he would be missed. But Troy…? I couldn’t see how the show could go ON without him. No more Troy and Abed in the mooooooooooooooooooooorning????
I need a moment.
I must confess I had a lot of anger towards Donald Glover about the whole thing. I STILL have some anger about it…but that’s the thing about being a fan; we get a sense of entitlement. How DARE Donald Glover, a human being with emotions and issues, mess up my favorite show?? How DARE he want to pursue other projects when we fought so hard for season five? I had all of those feelings and I am still processing them. But the fact is this: we’ll never truly know what drove Donald to leave Community, and you know what? It’s not our business to know. It IS our business to treasure the 4.5 seasons he DID give us as Troy Barnes. Because Troy is special and the work that Donald did on the show is spectacular. And I will always be appreciative to him for bringing Troy to life in such a wonderful way. So let’s get right to the Troy appreciation, shall we?
1) His emotional meltdowns
It’s a well documented fact that one cannot properly fangirl without a Troy Barnes crying gif, as I properly proved in my intro. I truly believe that Donald is at his funniest when Troy is having an emotional meltdown.
What’s even better about Troy and his emotions is that he purports himself to be this big tough jock when deep down he’s just a giant crybaby. You want to hug him and laugh at him at the same time.
And no post “Soul Crushing Episode of Television” meltdown on Twitter is complete without the following two gifs.
But seriously…what did a fangirl DO before the phrase “my whole brain is crying” was in our lexicon? So thank you, Troy. Thank you for being emotionally fragile and a vessel for fangirls across the world to express THEIR emotions.
2) His love of food.
Troy, like most 20-something dudes, tends to think with his stomach. I can’t say I blame him. Kettle Corn IS delicious. Especially when it’s made by my future husband, Rich.
And who HASN’T eyed the giant cookies on display at the mall and wanted to eat the entire thing? Only me? Oh…
But mostly, Troy just wants to make HIS food, you know?
3) His misunderstandings of phrases…
Personally, I will never use the phrases “ultimatum” or “scapegoat” again. “All tomato” and “escape goat” are SO MUCH BETTER.
Also, imagine what the English language would look like if Troy Barnes and Joey were friends.
4) Yet he is also quite wise.
Like many characters who are played as quite dim, Troy can be unexpectedly wise. I think it is because he is so refreshingly filter-free. Troy just says what is on his mind…whether it’s something laughably dumb or incredibly profound. One of my favorite Troy moments (and Troy episodes, really) comes from season one’s “Football, Feminism, and You” where Troy says THIS to Jeff right before the pep rally:
“I don’t know about you, but I know I ended up here because things weren’t that great out there. You should try accepting where you’re at, man.”
That was when I knew there was more to Troy Barnes than what we were seeing. He also has a very Forrest Gump-ian way of putting things in a way we can understand his meaning perfectly. Alcohol DOES tend to make people sad. So do Lifetime movies. Hence, the comparison makes perfect sense.
Truth. I learned that back in Dirty Dancing when Penny said “God didn’t give you maracas if he didn’t want you to SHAKE EM.” It’s one of the best things about having boobs, really.
5) His obsession with Butt Stuff
I’ve never quite known WHY Troy is obsessed with butts, but I DO know that it is delightful.
6) He’s excellent with insults.
I’m just going to let these speak for themselves.
7) His innocence
This goes back somewhat to how Troy is often portrayed as dim/a bit stupid/gullible. I don’t think of it that way. I prefer to think of him as innocent and child-like. Why WOULDN’T you believe things that your mom or your best friend tells you? Again it’s one of the most endearing things about Troy. Everyone needs someone in their life who is willing to put on their pajamas and build a blanket fort with you. Even as an adult.
8) He is always encouraging and supportive of his friends.
Troy is INCREDIBLY perceptive when it comes to his friends. The scene with Annie at the end of “Mixology Certification” is one of my favorite moments of his. It’s so wonderful and sweet to see these two people who were at odds in high school become close friends as adults.
And don’t get me STARTED on Troy and Britta because that’s a whole other post.
But Troy’s ultimate devotion to his friends is shown when he sacrifices himself to save the Dean at the end of “The First Chang Dynasty”. Troy may be the fun one of the group, but he always knows when it is time to man up in the name of helping his friends.
9) His love of Levar Burton
Again….I’m just going to leave these here. The fact that Donald Glover has never gotten an Emmy nomination is criminal. His meltdown over meeting his Idol is comic gold.
And let’s face it…Troy is again a vessel for fangirls every where here. Because I KIND of feel like this is exactly what I would do were I to come face to face with David Tennant.
10) His complete and utter devotion to Abed.
The Troy and Abed relationship is the HEART of Community. It’s what I am most afraid of losing after tonight. I’m afraid of losing one of the best friendships on television. I’m afraid of losing all the end tags. I’m afraid for Abed as a character and that he will be unmoored by the loss of Troy. Troy has been such an incredible friend to Abed, and despite some trying times, they have always found their way back to each other. It’s a friendship that will last a lifetime. And I like to think that as soon as Troy is done with his year of sailing, he will use some of his fortune to help finance Abed’s films.
EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO WEEP.
BUT SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITHOUT THESE TWO???
In conclusion, I am not at all ready for tonight. I trust Dan Harmon. I trust that he will send Troy off in a manner befitting everything that he has brought to the show.
And I have faith…that like a surprise witness…someday we may get him back. Even if it is just in hologram form.
What about you Community Fans? What will you miss most about Troy Barnes? Let us know in the comments.