NBC's Community regularly pays tribute to its characters' pop culture obsessions, but it still came out of left field when the last episode focused on protagonist Jeff's love of G.I. Joe.
Not a knockoff legally distinct from G.I. Joes, either, but the actual Joe toys and cartoons themselves, both owned whole cloth by Hasbro, which is apparently totally cool with integrating its product into a really good episode of an extremely dark comedy (Jeff was hallucinating about children's toys after mixing anti-aging pills and alcohol).
Update: Hasbro's Mike Vogel says he loved the episode. "They made all the toys and did all of the designs and animation themselves," Vogel told us. "However we did work with them every step of the way to ensure authenticity. The Community team sent us the script, all of the character designs, props, backgrounds, etc. It was actually a very easy process. The Community team are all clearly such hardcore G.I. Joe fans that they made sure everything was 100 percent authentic before they sent it to us. Their love for the brand was apparent in everything they did and we couldn't be more thrilled with how it all turned out!" (Who wants to bet Jeff mixes less funny meds with his booze in draft 1?)
One of the best things showrunner Dan Harmon and his team managed to do was include some slightly too real advertisements for toys based on the characters:
It's all series accurate, too. Overly earnest feminist Britta is "Buzzkill," uptight Annie is "Tight Ship," motherhood-crazed Shirley is "Three Kids," meta Abed is "Fourth Wall," and Jeff Winger is "Wingman." Each sold separately. And if the show taught us one thing, it's that collecitng 1980s military toys is a perfectly reasonable obsessi … er, hobby for an adult man and there is nothing unusual about it.
And of course the episode had to include one of G.I. Joe's "Knowing Is Half the Battle" PSAs featuring characters from the show:
We'd post more of the ads, but they seriously make up about a third of the episode, so just check out the whole thing below: