CHARACTER NAME: Abed Nadir | Inspector Spacetime
CHRONOLOGY: Season 3 Finale
Abed Nadir was born into a perfectly normal-seeming version of the world as the only son of a falafel-making Palestinian father and a Polish-American mother. It soon became apparent that Abed was perhaps wasn't quite right in the head, and the family had him extensively yet unsuccessfully tested. Whatever was wrong with Abed continued to go undiagnosed and untreated. His mother left when he was six years old, a combination of cultural differences and the strain of Abed's mental problems, leaving him with his father. His only contact with his mother following that was when she'd visit him every year on December 9th to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with him, making it an important holiday for him despite being Muslim. Believing his father to blame him for the divorce, Abed's relationship with his father remained distant and tense.
During his childhood, Abed never made close friends because of his inability to easily understand or relate to others, and spent a lot of time in junior high shoved in lockers or clothing dryers because he was eccentric in a way that people got tired of quickly. Those who tried to help him only ended up frustrated and soon stopped talking to him after realizing they couldn't (and that Abed didn't want to be changed.) A love of American pop cultural filled the absence of relationships, and his vast knowledge of tv and movies became the lens in which Abed could understand the world and people around him.
When he entered Greendale Community College, Abed enrolled in business and restaurant management under direction of his father to take over the falafel restaurant. He joined a dysfunctional and diverse study group for his Spanish class, although they got far less studying done while getting involved in increasingly unrealistic hijinks that somehow occurred around them. And Abed was the only one ever truly aware of the nature of their sitcom-paralleling adventures.
When Britta realized Abed's interest in film and his father's refusal to support any classes other than business-related, she offered to pay for his classes herself. After casting Britta and Jeff unwillingly as his parents in a class assignment documentary about the divorce and his childhood from his perspective, Abed's father came to understand that film was an important outlet for his son to express himself and Abed was allowed to pursue it as a major.
The study group began to function as Abed's new family, and Troy quickly became his best friend as they indulged each other's nerdy hobbies and whims. Although Abed was initially hesitant about having too much of a good thing and rejected Troy's suggestions about moving in together, and Troy ended up moving in with Pierce, the two remained close friends and spent most of their time together anyway, often in Abed's room watching movies.
During his next three years at Greendale, Abed began directing his own documentaries, fake morning news programs with Troy, and various films with varying success and a large campus following. His biggest flop was his self-indulgent film about films about films (and so on) in which he as a director was Jesus and everything was and wasn't part of the film, luckily was destroyed when the religious Shirley intervened on his behalf when he realized how awful it truly was. Abed was there to document many important events in Greendale, such as the dean's filming of what was supposed to be a simple school recruitment video as it spiraled out of control leading to the dean's breakdown. Breaking out of his role as the fly on the wall, Abed created his own version of the commercial using the original footage in order to save the dean from humiliation and likely firing.
Eventually Troy and Abed got their own apartment together outside of the dorms, a two-bedroom where they shared one and used the other to build the Dreamatorium. The Dreamatorium was a black room with a yellow grid where they could role-play and act out any scenario, fueled by Abed's knowledge and imagination in the form of an engine constructed of cardboard tubes. When they invited Annie to move in with them (because she knew things like where the water in the iron went), they built her a blanket fort instead of allowing her to use the second bedroom they pretended didn't exist, saying the Dreamatorium was a nonnegotiable part of the contract. Realizing that the act of putting themselves before their friend drove Annie off, they instead gave Annie their bedroom and moved their bunk bed into the blanket fort.
Though usually Troy and Abed went along with each other's antics and own ways of doing things without question, trouble arose when the two were constructing a pillow fort on the Greendale campus. They agreed to make it out of only pillows, but when the dean informed the two that they were close to the Guinness Book of World Records, Troy got excited and wanted to start using blankets for rapid expansion. Abed refused to allow the blankets to be apart of his own fort because it contradicted his vision of a pillow fort, and Troy began building his own blanket fort on the opposite side of campus. When the two forts collided in the middle and both refused to back down, war broke loose and Troy and Abed turned on each other. Abed revealed Troy's weaknesses and insecurities in an email that Troy intercepted and responded with a text to Abed saying that he'd be Abed's LAST friend because nobody else will ever have the patience to deal with his issues.
Realizing that what seemed to be a petty fight was turning serious and causing permanent damage to the relationship, Jeff attempted to intervene with the fighting. Even when the Guinness Book visit was cancelled and everyone involved in the pillow fight left, Troy and Abed continued fighting for hours because it was the last thing they'd ever do together now that their friendship was ended. But Jeff retrieved the (imaginary) magical friendship hats from the dean's office, and the two decided to be friends again.
All the while, trouble was lurking as ex-Spanish professor Chang became campus security after living in the air vents for the year, slowly plotting to take over the school. He got the dean to sign off on questionable security measures, recruiting a group of preteen boys to work as his enforcement.
After being expelled along with the rest of the study group, dubbed as the "Greendale Seven" from the community college for inciting a riot during a student's memorial, Abed became obsessed with his theory that the dean had been replaced with a doppledeaner because the real dean loved them too much to have them expelled. While trying to find evidence to support this, dressed as Inspector Spacetime, Abed got caught and recommended to go to a psychiatrist. The group attended with him in support, as Abed refused to go to any kind of doctor alone (he was even caught trying to remove his own tonsils). After the psychiatrist tried to convince the group that all the antics suspiciously revolving around them at Greendale were a shared delusion, the group came to realize that Abed was correct and forced the psychiatrist to admit the kidnapping plot of the dean in order for Chang to take over the college.
In an elaborate heist planned on Chang's birthday bash at the school, Abed dressed as a plumber along with Troy in order to rescue the dean from where he was being held captive. However, they were caught and locked away while Chang planned to burn down the school, and only escaped when Troy made an agreement with the always-watching Air Conditioning Repair School to join under the condition he could no longer spend time with his friends.
The day saved and returning to school, everything was almost back to normal, but Troy's absence weighed heavily on Abed. Losing the most important friendship in his life, Abed encountered an evil version of himself in the Dreamatorium. Evil Abed was a product of the split timelines that were (hypothetically) created when Jeff rolled a dice during their housewarming party to decide who would get the pizza. Evil Abed was from the darkest timeline where Troy left- in that brief time Pierce died, Jeff lost his arm, and the apartment caught fire. Evil Abed's goal was to darken this timeline and drive everyone else around him down to the same level of misery.
However, his plot to cut off Jeff's arm was stopped not only by not being able to find a long enough extension cord but overhearing one of Jeff's speeches about looking out for your friends. Abed returned to normal, and soon Troy got out of his binding agreement with the Air Conditioning Repair school after the vice dean was murdered. Moving back into their apartment, Troy took the bedroom that used to be the Dreamatorium, leaving Abed with the blanket fort in the living room (and a secret??? miniature Dreamatorium made from a cardboard box.)
Easily kept happy with nothing more than watching television and eating a bowl of cereal, Abed comes off as an eccentric that knows too much about pop culture and too little about the rest of the world. He's aloof in a way that reminds girls of their father, uncomfortably self-aware, surprisingly good at athletics and judo, and and prefers to view everything around him as something from a sitcom. When Abed likes something (and he likes liking things) he talks about and obsesses over it with whoever is willing to listen. Abed is also really into live-action roleplaying, liking to act out characters and roles whenever he deems appropriate to the situation (pretending to be Batman when his special Dark Knight DVD was "stolen", acting out Han Solo during an intense game of paintball, or even a stereotypical bad cop/good cop to track down who ruined their science experiment.)
And despite all his weirdness and the trouble he's received for it in the past, Abed is perfectly confident with himself that he was willing to play along with his friends' attempts to change him in order to prevent them from giving up on him. He's rather straight-forward and earnest in his friendships, making an agreement with Troy that friends do not mess with friends. Abed will do what he's agreed to, and once sat patiently and unbothered in a room for 26 hours because Annie asked him to for a class assignment, even though it turned out to be an experiment that was to monitor how long it took for the participants to snap because of the wait... which ended up backfiring and causing the professor to snap first. He only left with a frustrated Annie told him to go home.
It doesn't take long for those that meet him to realize that Abed has an undiagnosable personality disorder, often compared to some form of autism due to his inability to properly understand sarcasm and his trouble understanding emotions through facial expressions. Claiming he can only relate to people through movies, Abed prefers when people say what they mean- or sing it, the time he convinced his study group to join the school's Glee club to save the Christmas Pageant so he wouldn't be alone that time of year.
While relatively unemotive, Abed can be sensitive about things that disrupt the order of how he thinks they should be. The clocks changing for daylights savings time (and the fact you get an hour BACK later) or his favourite tv-show being moved to midseason brings out a high-pitched wail. And the year his mother sent a letter saying she wasn't coming for their yearly viewing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to be with her new family instead, Abed refused to believe it was December 9th and began imagining everything in stop-motion animation to block it out. But the biggest example of Abed's inability to cope with situations that he refuses to accept was when he imagined himself being taken over by Evil Abed to destroy the happiness around him when Troy left.
Often comparing his friends and their lives to events from TV series, Abed has a reputation as being meta and shoving things up their own ass. Yet his overly analytical approach at trying to understand people through these patterns has given him almost scarily-accurate abilities at predicting how people would react in certain situations, highlighted in his show where he casts other students to play out his friends in these scenarios. At the time, he claimed he didn't have powers to predict the future. However, Abed later used his predictive abilities to corner himself into believing his own future was one alone and without success, after Annie set Troy and Britta up on a date. It was an act he viewed as trying to upset the dynamic of the group and a selfish move to allow her to date Jeff and ultimately push him out after overhearing her conversation with Troy on the phone that people bent over backwards to cater to him. After acting out the scenarios together in the Dreamatorium, Annie attempted to teach Abed about empathy and that his simulations were flawed in nature and fueled by his insecurities.
Abed doesn't like being told what to do, wanting to play out any of his whims without fully considering the consequences and often leaving the logistics of cleaning up the mess to somebody else- sometimes oblivious that there's a mess to even clean up. He'll enable situations to play out particular scenes or tropes, and can be rather manipulative as he pushes for specific reactions from friends without fully thinking of the emotional impact. His love of fantasy may help liven up his group's spirit and he always looks out for them, but there's an underlying irresponsibility and disregard of reality that can weigh a heavy burden upon his friends- especially Troy. After falling several thousand dollars into debt after hiring celebrity impersonators, a situation his friends bailed him out on by agreeing to impersonate for a birthday party, Abed continued hiring the impersonators much to Troy's frustrations. Eventually Abed had to relent that sometimes he had to trust himself to trust Troy to tell him what to do and that Troy sometimes knows better.
Virtual reality- Abed can create a simulation from his own imagination, allowing him to manipulate his surroundings at whim within a 10-foot radius. Anyone caught within this will see what Abed sees and feel compelled (but not forced) to play along... and they can easily just walk out. Abed is particularly sensitive in this state, and while people caught in this reality can't directly change things, their playing along convincingly can influence Abed's control over it. SO BE CAREFUL.
Genre-appropriate costume changes- Abed somehow always blends in to whatever situation he needs.
Kick-punching- His punches have the powers of kicks.