The Pierce Hawthorne character is supposed to have made his fortune with a moist-towelette company called "Hawthorne Wipes." Chevy Chase, the actor who plays Hawthorne, in real life also has a family fortune derived from a personal sanitation product. Chase, whose real name is Cornelius Crane Chase, is the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, who was heir to the Crane Plumbing company, which manufactures and distributes plumbing fixtures and products (most notably, toilets for home and commercial markets) in North America.
The show was based on Dan Harmon's life at community college, attempting to reconcile with his girlfriend in Spanish courses. He has also stated the characters are loosely based on the people he hung around with and has nothing to do with his film and television career.
Creator/showrunner Dan Harmon was fired after the third season by Sony Pictures Television. Crew members claimed that Harmon caused numerous delays in shooting and that his work habits caused tension between himself and the writers. Harmon was replaced with David Guarascio and Moses Port. Writers Chris McKenna and Dino Stamatopoulos also left. After a low-rated fourth season, Harmon was rehired and Guarascio and Port were fired. McKenna and Stamatopoulos also returned.
Dan Harmon originally wanted Annie to be played by an Asian or Latina actress. He eventually cast a white actress, Alison Brie in the role, but later created a character named Annie Kim played by Irene Choi, who is Asian, as a nod to his original idea.
Chevy Chase left the series towards the end of the fourth season. Nevertheless, he agreed to return for a surprise cameo in the fifth season premiere. Although Chase had a public feud with showrunner Dan Harmon, Chase departed during the season Harmon was not running the show. Harmon has later stated their feud was resolved before the story hit the news.
In 2009, Donald Glover told The New York Daily News that one of his inspirations for his "Community" character, Troy Barnes, was the character of Brian "Smash" Williams in the TV show "Friday Night Lights." Glover said, "When you think of the former high school football star, you think 6-foot-2, white, meathead as the model for that kind of character. Since I'm not 6-foot-2 or white, I just thought about what I could bring to it. I thought about Smash Williams from 'Friday Night Lights,' like the cocky quarterback, and played around with that."
In 2014, Yvette Nicole Brown confirmed that she had asked to be released from her sixth-season contract because the demands of caring for her gravely ill father had become overwhelming. She also said that Sony had allowed her to accept a recurring role on a midseason version of The Odd Couple airing on a different network; Brown explained that The Odd Couple, as a multicamera sitcom, would be less taxing on her schedule than Community, which is a single-camera show.
The Boob-A-Tron 6000 that Abed and Troy have in the season one episode "The Art of Discourse" appears "alive" in a flashback of Annie and Jeff in the season two episode "Paradigms of Human Memory" This references the conversation between Abed and Troy in "The Art of Discourse" where Abed says that Boob-A-Tron will come to life when bong water is spilt on his circuitry.