If there are two shows that I love, they’re The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius & Community. Both programs were a huge source of inspiration to me not only as a writer, but as someone who wanted to learn how to open up to people. These programs are all about the importance of friendship, family, and how amazing it can be when we let others into our lives. Jimmy Neutron may be long off the air, but Community is still hanging on.
Through some miracle of television magic that I’ll never understand, Community began its sixth season earlier this week. These opening episodes answered many questions fans were pondering. How will Yvette Nicole Brown’s absence be handled? What will the new major characters be like? Will the ever-adored ‘Ladders’ class make a reappearance?
Thankfully, the answer was yes.
But there is one important question Dan Harmon has failed to address; a simple query that has plagued my mind for years. Is Dean Pelton actually Principal Willoughby from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius?
In case you’re some weirdo who has never wondered this or disbelieves my claim, allow me to show you how wrong you are.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Both Craig Pelton and William Willoughby are flamboyant school administrators whose whole lives seem to be defined by their jobs.
Fun fact, they also both love to practice calisthenics in their extremely similar offices. Notice the green paint and red couch?
These men’s similarities extend way beyond their simple personalities, though. For example, in spite of being dean of an entire college, Craig Pelton only cares about a single small study group.
“There’s an actual fire. I wanted you to be the first to know before I told anyone else.”
William Willoughby, despite being principal of an entire elementary school, only seems to get involved with a single class of students. He knows the names of all of these students, and he only seems to let this single group of kids become involved in his school projects.
Instead of doing an announcement over the intercom, I’m going to tell only you guys about the opportunity to pitch me ideas for a public access show.
“Okay,” you might be saying. “So they’re both flashy school administrators obsessed with a lone group of students. There’s probably dozens of people who match that description; this doesn’t mean Craig & William are the same person.” You know what I say to that garbage?
“Feast your ear tongues on these memory pops.”
How about the fact that even though William and Craig are both obsessed with a single group of students, they also have a clear disgust for a lone member of that group. In particular, this distaste most noticeably shows up when that student tries to get involved in school theater productions.
Who’s the star of this thing? I want to be him.”
“Over my dead body.”
“Oh, Britta’s in this?”
And if that’s not enough, throw in the fact that both men have a completely inappropriate interest in the “cool kid” at their school.
Now all of that evidence wouldn’t mean a thing without some sort of explanation of how these two men could be the same person. Obviously, William Willoughby taught at Lindbergh Elementary until the Jimmy Neutron gang graduated. After years of being surrounded by complete insanity, he simply couldn’t handle the boring normality that the new batch of elementary schoolers brought. Deciding that he needed a change of pace, he moved to Colorado and got a job as dean of Greendale Community College.
As for the name change? Well, you may recall that Jimmy Neutron began with a town of adults being abducted by aliens. This was ignored by an inept government for a while, but around the time Jimmy and his friends graduated the government finally tried to crack down and keep that mess quiet. When William moved away he was given a new name and told never to mention all that he had been through in Retroville.
Although he never could shake the love of space that being abducted by aliens had instilled in him.
At Greendale, William (now called Craig Pelton) began to miss the close bond he had shared with his old students. He decided to reincarnate this relationship with a new gang of lovable misfits. The result? Like before, William managed to form a close relationship with his pupils. But now, because he was working with adults, he was able to fully become one of them. Though he’d left Retroville and his old life behind, he finally found what he had been searching for all along.