Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Alison Brie pose together at Comic Con
Movies - TV
One Of Community's Best Jokes Took Three Whole Seasons To Pull Off
A great aspect of “Community” is the almost absurd level of care that seems to go into every moment of the show. The series has jokes that are so subtle and patiently developed that they would never be noticed if not for a passionate fanbase — for instance, one of these carefully crafted moments was the Beetlejuice joke, which took three entire seasons to pull off.
Season 1's “Communication Studies” features a casual Beetlejuice remark, and Season 2's “Cooperative Calligraphy” has another one. Then, in Season 3's “Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps,” Annie nonchalantly makes a third reference, triggering the rule that Beetlejuice will appear if you say his name three times, and a man in a Beetlejuice costume walks by.
Creator Dan Harmon explained in a commentary for the Season 3 episode that the writers only realized as they were writing the script that the characters had already said “Beetlejuice” twice before, so they went with it. The writers were always willing to take the show's history and play around with it in subtle ways, regardless of casual viewers being able to pick up on it or not.