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Community: Why Jeff and Annie Belong Together

When Community debuted late last year, smug former attorney Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) met his potential romantic match, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) on the first day of school. Their potential romantic future was laid out clearly for the audience—she was pretty, he was cocky, she rebuffed him at the outset, he remained coolly confident things would work out for him.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the second season: Jeff and Britta didn't end up as the compelling love interest of the show. Ever since Jeff realized, to his shock, that he had some latent feelings for neurotic perfectionist Annie Edison (Alison Brie), I've been all about Jeff and Annie, and totally over Jeff and Britta. Here's how the two combinations stack up:

Jeff + Britta: Bookends

What's hot: They're the cool kids in class. Blonde hair, great features, tight jeans: Despite Britta's attempts to stay out of the mainstream, she and Jeff are the quarterback and cheerleader of the Spanish study group.

What's not: You can't have two characters be exactly the same and create much romantic tension between them, especially if they're both "the cool one." Community writers both gave Jeff and Britta tons of sarcastic, cynical dialogue but rarely gave them chances to be, like Troy or Abed, characters.

That little something: Lately Britta and Jeff have been getting some funnier dialog. I especially liked Jeff admitting to Britta on last night's episode, "I did eat all the macaroni!" Maybe I'll buy them more as a couple once they stop being so damn cool all the time.

Jeff + Annie: Opposites

What's hot: Jeff and Annie weren't supposed to fall for each other—she's young, he's not, she's a perfectionist ingenue and he's a bit of a slacker sleaze. Thus, when they're together, Annie brings a bit of depth of character out of Jeff, who is obviously confused by his feelings for her. If you're a budding shipper like me, you couldn't help but melt a little when they exchanged glances during last night's episode.

What's not: Some people would argue that it's gross that Annie's character is supposed to be 18. Some other people also have a hard time really buying Alison Brie as an 18-year-old.

That little something: It's the Rhett Butler/Melanie Hamilton situation. He's supposed to be with snotty Scarlett, but the scenes are much more compelling when the older, more experienced, confident guy finds himself knocked off his block a little bit by the "good" girl.

Sorry Britta, but look on the bright side: There's always Pierce.

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It's funny what people consider "cliche." How is the hot, blonde, self-obsessed guy with issues getting with the hot blonde who he has snappy repartee with and calls him on his crap not a cliche? You can argue for both sides, but really the fact that Jeff and Annie have a 12 year gap, that's what makes it not a cliche. When does the 35 year old ever choose the 23 year old? And people can't find a better reason than he's too old for her and it's creepy as an excuse? When she was 18, yeah it was creepy, but people act like Jeff is 50 and Annie is 12. They're both adults at this point. If you want to try and argue that Annie is still immature or she still needs to find herself, fine. Have at it. But people acting like the age difference is some sort of creepy scandal is played out and lazy.
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I know this article is really old now but just adding my opinion: JEFF & ANNIE for endgame, if there has to be one. I kinda hope we end up with no couples but maybe just some open-ended hints so everyone is happy!



But I can't believe people are still using the age difference as a valid argument against Jeff/Annie and saying that there's only sexual chemistry and not a real connection! WHAT?! Are we even watching the same show? Jeff/Annie have shared so many meaningful moments which hints at a deep connection. He knows her and she knows him and she is under his skin in a way he never expected. Their relationship unfolding on the show has been an unexpected highlight to watch.



When I first started watching Community I went along with Jeff/Britta but was kind of 'eh, it's ok, bit boring' because it's almost predictable how much they were showing us how messed up these two kids were and doesn't that mean they are made for each other? It just did nothing for me. Sure, they were attracted. Of course they had sex. But I just don't see them as anything more than friends. And I was really excited that season 3 paved the way for Jeff/Britta as amazing best friends because that would just be a really great way to keep that relationship.



Also, for the whole J/A or J/B argument, there's Troy/Britta to consider now, who were unexpectedly adorable together and it delights me that Britta was so happy at his text. Never seen her act like that with Jeff did we? Then there's the fact that Jeff hasn't show ANY interest in Britta since season 2 and even then that was pretty debatable. Oh and Annie is also in his heart - you know - the only REAL thing in there which terrified the crap out of him.



Obviously we can argue this forever and we will always disagree but to bring back Jeff/Britta as endgame is poor writing after all the build up between J/A and T/B. I actually love that they flipped the two original pairings. I've not seen that before. JEFF/ANNIE FTW!
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I wouldn't say it was quashed in 3.16. In the episode she didn't want Abed's idea of Jeff, which he portrayed as lusting after her and just wanting to sleep with her. She knew that wasn't who Jeff really is and rejected it. When Abed appeared as her herself and portrayed her as a love sick school girl with unrealstic ideas about love Annie rejected that part of herself too. She doesn't want to love for selfish reasons anymore like she did when she was pining after guys like a "love struck teeny bopper". She's matured enough now that she understands the diffrence and wants real love that's unselfish. While she may be attracted to Jeff she understands that it hasn't become love yet.
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Jeff and Britta for endgame!!
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I realize this article is pretty old, but it's kind of funny considering J/A was pretty much quashed in 3.16
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Jeff an Britta are a lot like siblings--they remind me a lot of me and my brother without the creepy incest. Their best scenes are when they're acting like brother and sister too. If they revert to becoming an "item" again. I'm gonna have to stop watching the show cause it'll be too creepy.



Joel and Alison have amazing on screen chemistry. If the writers don't use it to it's full advantage, they'll have botched something very rare and special and Dan Harmon could come out looking like a stubborn old fool who's obsessed with a certain type of girl aka ones who remind him of his girlfriend.
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Wow, I'm really late to this party, but wanted to throw in my two cents...I agree that Jeff/Annie have chemistry, but if Community decides to do an endgame-type of resolution to the love polygon, I'd rather it be Jeff/Britta and Troy/Annie. Or Annie/other, cos I think she's got chemistry with pretty much everyone. I think Alison Brie just has that preternatural charm to imbue sparks with her fellow actors. I really just enjoy Jeff and Britta's prickly, real, and less cliched relationship and how they're allowed to be themselves around each other, without having all this pressure to change. I don't mind either Jeff or Britta exploring relationships with Annie or Troy to have them experience what it may be like to be with "good" people, but eventually, I'd like to see Jeff and Britta kinda stumble together through for the longer haul.
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it has nothing to do with age but he seems like her big brother rather than a boyfriend. regardless of her age she is too mentally immature for him. i am by no means saying that jeff is mature but Annie is a child (mentality). jeff behaves like horny 18 years old boy and annie behaves like a five year old.
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i love jeff and britta together. they're similar but neither one is safe from each others sarcastic remark which makes them good together unlike most couples who are too alike end up being weird and almost start to look related. i love annie but i see her more as a child than jeff. jeff is a full blown man but she's has school girl in love thing that just makes her so childish. i would love to see her and abed together since they're both so childish and adorable. jeff and annie dont look like they're even the same species. they have little to no chemistry. i love the back and forth between britta and jeff.
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Forgot to add another vote for Jeff and Annie in my last post for all the reasons stated in this article. Not only are the characters great foils for each other but when you add incredible chemistry between the actors themselves it's a perfect pairing.
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I have to laugh at the description given of Jeff and Britta in one of the responses here, it in no way resembles what's happening onscreen between those two. Based on how this ship has been presented I don't see how anyone can interpret this relationship as healthy . The writers have purposefully shown just how dysfuntional and downright toxic the pairing can be. They hardly ever bring out the best in each other, quite the opposite they end up encouraging each other to act as badly as possible. Rewatch "Art Of discourse","Mixology Certification" and "Paradigms of Human Memory" to see how awful those two are to each other and to the group. Mixology in particular shows they are far from mature responsible adults, Troy even calls them out about this when they have a ridiculous argument about a bar. Their selfishness, vanity, egotism and pettiness are all they have in common. Yes they are similar but in all the BAD ways. If they ended up together they just make each other very unhappy in the long run.
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The whole Jeff/Annie thing is pretty contrived, the only chemistry between them is purely sexual and anyone who's been in a long term relationship knows that burns out pretty quickly.



Jeff and Britta have a real connection and are pretty similar people,(this has been shown numerous times throughout the show) they can both be fairly selfish at times, they're both very passionate people (Britta through her political activism and Jeff through his numerous speeches to the group)and they are two very independent people.



Similarity counts for so much more in the long term.Whereas Jeff and Annie are wildly different people, she's moral to a fault, he's always willing to push the truth to get what he wants out of life. She can be clingy and emotional whereas Jeff is measured and independent.



Yes the age difference would make a huge amount of difference in a long term relationship and here's why.



People want different things at different ages and Jeff knows exactly what he wants at this point, He wants his career back and to really push ahead with his life. He knows he's not getting any younger (as evidenced by his reaction in the episode in which he gets the results of a physical). Annie however is just starting out in life and doesn't seem to have a clue what she wants to do in later life (and who can blame her? she's 18).



Just like Jeff Britta is becoming quite career oriented (as evidenced by her picking her major) and after more than a decade of exploring her passions and having fun she's now ready to settle down and have a normal life.



This is why Jeff and Britta would work incredibly well as a couple whereas Jeff and Annie would burn out and break up in less than a month tops.
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Their age difference is, to me, not an argument against the Jeff/Annie paring. That's basically the only thing I hear get said against them. How many real life couples have age differences of 10 or 15 years? Tons. And on the show right now Jeff is 32 and Annie is 19, or possibly 20 and 33. 13 years is supposed to be disgusting? I don't think so. Also, I agree with the other poster that said they bring out the best in each other and make them want to be better. It's true. The paintball episode where Jeff gave the early registration form to Shirley doesn't count IMO. By that time Annie had already been influencing Jeff, and a lot more than Britta. With Britta he doesn't need to change. Douchebag Jeff is just fine with her. And notice the ONLY times Britta ever got jealous or acted like she really wanted to be with Jeff when was he was with Slater or thinking about getting back together with Slater. She only wants what she can't have. She's really insecure. Even when they had the finale ep. last year, it was obvious Britta only told Jeff she loved him to one up Slater. Look at her face when she says it. It was the move of a desperate person to keep the attention on her. And then in 2.01, it's obvious it would never work when they engage in that mock relationship. They are just too much alike and clash too much, and their back and forth is not hot or filled with chemistry, it's just annoying, at least on Britta's part. Abed even pointed out they had no chemistry, only sexual tension in the paintball episode. And he's always right about his observations.
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ahh, ok, so this comment system is worse than anticipated. Let's try that again. Your quotes in quotation marks this time. "Your arguement that Brita and Jeff are both 'hot' so they should be together, is quite juvenile."

- - - - - No, I said they exude hotness, and they exude it towards each other. I made no reference to their looks.* Annie just doesn't have the same overt sexuality of those two.

"Brita doesn't make Jeff want to be a better person, she doesn't make him evaluate who he is, and try to work harder for the things he wants."

- - - - - That's directly contradicted by Jeff himself. Go back and watch him talk to Britta in the paintball episode. At least one line is something to the effect of "I accuse you [of faking compassion] to convince myself I'm not such a jerk." And then, at the end of the episode, he DOES BETTER - he gives the form to Shirley, even though he'd repeatedly stated he was going to keep it for himself, and was not going act compassionately like Britta (and give it to Shirley). Britta made him reconsider, and act differently... one might even say... better.

"Jeff helps Annie relax a little,,"

- - - - But look what it does to Jeff! Anytime he realizes he's at all attracted to her, he goes into crazy stress mode! He removes himself from the room, he pats her on the head, he even runs through the rain to Dr Perfect's apartment he's so stressed out about it!

"As for the age difference, I personally don't think it's that big of a deal. Annie should be just about 20 now, because her and Troy graduated together, and he turned out to be a year older, so any day now I'd say she should be turning 20. When I was 18 I dated a guy I worked with who was 29, and when I turned 21 I started dating a guy who was 31, and we're getting married in 4 months, so I don't think that the age difference is a deal breaker."

- - - - - I'm glad you see yourself in Annie, which is perhaps why you're so invested in that partnership, but I recall Jeff once being called "35" and him not correcting the person. If we take Jeff as 35-39 (Joel is 39) and Annie as 19 (at the latest age check), that's a much bigger age difference than you and your husband - and your exception doesn't make the rule. In most 19 year olds' relationships, 10 years is a pretty big stretch, let alone the 16 - 19 years we may be looking at here.

Also - I think you'll find the reason we're being fed Annie/Jeff is that alluded to in the article - the writers see Alison Brie, the seasoned 27 year old actress every day, and somewhat forget she's playing Annie, the 19 year old student perfectionist. But unfortunately, Annie remains 19.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ [ * ] But quickly - Even if that *had* been the point I was making, good looking people tend to end up in relationships with other good looking people - that's just reality. It's hardly "juvenile". If there's a disparity in looks, the reason for disparity is usually because there's some other equalizer - like, say, money. Or fame.

For example - why isn't there more of a push for Jeff and Shirley? She's certainly pretty, they get along great, he does sweet things for her and she makes him want to be better... but she's older than him. And more overweight than him. She's not a contender. Not here or any TV blog. I wonder why...?

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@Christine 624... I went on and on? Really? Your post is at least a third longer than mine. But let's parse some stuff out. I've excerpted your quotes in >> >...See how I am constantly using the words 'I think', I do this because these are my opinions... you should try it.>Your arguement that Brita and Jeff are both 'hot' so they should be together, is quite juvenile.
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@Mq15... It appears to me that you went on and on in your post, stating your opinion as fact. To say that Brita and Jeff have sexual chemistry and Annie and Jeff have none, is quite ridiculous because there are plenty of people that see it the other way around. I certainly don't agree with your view of things at all. I think that Annie and Jeff exude more chemistry just looking at eachother, than Brita and Jeff do when they are actually communicating with eachother. To say that the actors aren't buying it is also quite presumptuos, I think that the scenes with Joel and Allison are some of the best scenes of the series. See how I am constantly using the words 'I think', I do this because these are my opinions, and not the end all be all of the discussion. You should try it when stating your opinion.

Your arguement that Brita and Jeff are both 'hot' so they should be together, is quite juvenile. There's plenty more to being a couple than both of the people being good looking. Brita doesn't make Jeff want to be a better person, she doesn't make him evaluate who he is, and try to work harder for the things he wants. In my opinon Jeff and Brita haven't done anything to make eachother better people. Jeff helps Annie relax a little,, and she helps him take things more seiously. Jeff and Britta are basically the same person, it doesn't make a relationship interesting at all. As for the age difference, I personally don't think it's that big of a deal. Annie should be just about 20 now, because her and Troy graduated together, and he turned out to be a year older, so any day now I'd say she should be turning 20. When I was 18 I dated a guy I worked with who was 29, and when I turned 21 I started dating a guy who was 31, and we're getting married in 4 months, so I don't think that the age difference is a deal breaker.
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Another vote here for Jeff + Britta. That said, I think this article hits on an interesting point of character development that *is* interesting - that in meeting Annie, Jeff realises he wants to be a better man. Unfortunately that has never translated to sexual chemistry; instead the writers have tried to force that into later episodes with the kiss/ discussions about jealousy which frankly, the actors just don't seem to believe in. Probably because they don't.

To the contrary, Jeff and Britta just standing next to each other exude sexual chemistry. The group shot which first revealed the cool cat costumes this week is one example. They both ooze hotness - and toward each other. Not only do they actually have great chemistry (totally disagree with the characterisation here), can we again revisit the fact that Annie is meant to be 18? I would be very disappointed in a show I was first attracted to by the strong, feisty, equal (to Jeff) voice in Britta would instead choose to put its male protagonist in a relationship with a baby-voiced teenager. It's also somewhat sad - but, I guess, predictable - that they'd shy away from the interracial attraction between Annie and Troy from the first season.

Also - whether you have problems "buying" Alison Brie playing a teenager or not, the fact is that Annie *is* 18 (or 19 now). That doesn't really come into it from a character development point of view.
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Jeff and Britta forever! They have amazing chemistry and make this show!!
Totally don't agree with this. :)
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Jeff and Britta FTW!
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Annie + Abed 4eva.
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Speaking from the view point of someone versed in social psychology Annie actually makes a good deal of sense as Jeff's only option for a real relationship. I say this because she, unlike Britta and Slater, was not seen by Jeff as a sexual object first. Now, in Jeff's way of thinking, which is largely influenced by heuristics, Annie's original role was that of the child or "little girl," a role enforced by her kind of childish hairdo (by the way, this kind of thinking is also why Jeff/Shirley is an impossibility because Jeff would never see her as a woman only as a "mom"). On the debate episode, when Annie "let her hair down" both literally and figuratively she destroyed the role in which Jeff had cast her in his mind. As such, because she no longer occupied the role of "child" and since she never occupied the role of "sexual object" Jeff was actually able to see her as a real person instead of an heuristic. In seeing her as a person he came to understand that Annie is just as brilliant as he and just like him finds herself in a place that is truly beneath her because of circumstances, again much like his own, that were completely her own responsibility. As such, an unexpected but wholly believable relationship can develop between the two characters and it can feel organic. The one problem people seem to have is the age difference but many of the couples I know, my own mother and father for example, are separated in age by more than 10 years and are quite happy (and have been married for 36 years) so I see this as really a non issue. Now, you may say that I'm over analyzing this, and that may be quite true, but... I'm a law student... that's what we do :)
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Great article -- couldn't agree more! From the series premiere, it was obvious that the writers had initially envisioned Jeff with Britta. And I was content to go along for the ride. But could anyone have predicted the chemistry between Jeff and Annie?? The attraction between them is palpable and undeniable. They are HAWT together. I couldn't believe the Debate episode. Jeff and Britta on the other hand ... not so much. Those two feel like brother and sister on-screen. Jeff/Annie = sizzle, Jeff/Britta = fizzle. I'm really hoping the writers acknowledge this and are willing to change direction instead of being locked into preconceived notions that are now proving themselves wrong. It will make for a better show if the relationships that develop feel natural and real (Jeff/Annie) instead of artificial and forced (Jeff/Britta).
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Jeff and Annie! Jeff and Britta are way too cliche.
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Tyrone, "ship" is short for "relationship," IE you focus on the relationship between two characters. My first shipping experience was Fox and Dana on X-Files
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Forgive me for being 40. What is "ship" and "shipping". You interbloggers are driving me crazy with your lingo.
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I'm more of a fan of Jeff/Britta, but it really doesn't matter to me! Jeff/Annie are just as interesting as the former :)
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I totally ship Jeff/Annie. And it's been many years since I shipped a het couple. This is huge for me! There has to be something magical to pull me back. The tension between the two, the longing looks. The way Jeff dropped that paraplegic after a kiss. Then there was Thursday's episode, the way both of them got so offended when either dared suggest there was nothing great about the kiss. MAGIC! JEFF/ANNIE!!!
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I agree torontogirl--I really can't get down with that teacher lady. She's like Jeff but somehow more smug.
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I love them both its a toss up for me as long as Jeff doesn't stick with the Stats teacher I will be happy!
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I loved that one scene where everyone was looking at each other as a potential girl/boyfriend... hehe their faces were the best... but any way... I'm still for Jeff and Britta... but I wouldn't say no to Jeff and Annie... and of course Troy and Abed all the way! :)
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Jeff and Seacrest
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I care how old Annie's supposed to be. It's all I can think about when they have this Annie/Jeff stuff. I think they're making Britta more likeable lately. There'll be some real Britta/Jeff chemistry soon.
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agreed!annie&jeff=)
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Jeff was totally knocked off his feet when Annie took her hair down in the speech and debate episode. There's definitely something between them, but the age difference is a big deal. Especially to Jeff.
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I shipped no one on Community until Debate 109. From that episode on, I shipped Jeff and Annie all the way, and episodes like last night's just confirmed why. Sizzingly chemistry and Jeff just seems SO smitten with Annie. They bring out something so real and awesome with one another. I don't expect it any time soon, but Jeff and Annie = endgame OTP!
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I'm totally team Jeff/Annie. Them two have scorching chemistry whereas Jeff/Britta are so plain and boring.
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Jeff and Shirley!!

With jokes aside, it's a great show. I will go for either way.
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Jeff and Annie? Blech! Jeff and Britta FTW!
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Jeff and Annie, ever since the episode were they kissed, we realized that Brita didn't have a chance!
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jeff and brita.... theyre both two stubborn i doubt it would happen (or at least on purpose)
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