MBTI: Jeff Winger- ENTP
Written by Bryce Waller!
Dan Harmon, creator of Community, based the character Jeff Winger on himself. A narcissist with a great admiration for independence realizes the benefits of a group of close friends, or a community.
*No, the show was not titled after the fact that the group attends a community college.*
Jeff is intellectual in his speech, a feature that aided him well during his days a lawyer, at least before he attended Greendale. Jeff hardly ever comes right out and says what he really means. He does this on purpose in order to conceal sensitive details about himself, and to convince the people he is conversing with to do what he wants them to do.
In this way he is also utilitarian. Jeff lets everyone know from the beginning of season 1 that his ultimate goal is to actually graduate with a degree as fast as humanly possible so he can get back to being a lawyer, and making a lot of money. We only learn as we continue to watch Community that Jeff has been utilitarian for quite some time. Quite possible even since his father abandoned him at a young age.
Jeff wanted to be a lawyer – he conjured up a scheme to present potential employers with a fake diploma and even admits he cheated on the Bar Exam (Side note: all of the films/tv shows I have seen where someone cheats on the bar and becomes a lawyer is a bit troubling…LIKE any one could do it).
This openness Jeff has with the group concerning his fake law degree furthers eludes to the fact that Jeff will ignore social rules and norms. This extends to the group and the group’s desires. Jeff does this in order to achieve his ultimate goal of graduating as soon as possible. In season 1, Jeff approaches psychology professor Ian Duncan and asks him for every answer to every test in his curriculum so he can take the easiest route to graduation. This is also evident in season 4 when Jeff admits to the group that he took summer courses and didn’t tell any one.
Why did he do it? He wanted to graduate a semester early. He didn’t care that the group would no longer be able to graduate at the same time – it’s painfully obvious throughout the show that this is a collective goal of the group. This goes back to Jeff’s main goal – continuing his lucrative career regardless of how it affected the group.
Jeff’s point of view is skeptical, pragmatic, and relativistic. ENTPs choose to see life with a practical lens. They want to be able to explain things in rational terms. I believe it is also Jeff who claims to be agnostic at some point in the show. I don’t care if someone is out there. I can’t see them, so I can’t explain them…either way, I am busy texting.
ENTPs are often interested in chaos theory so it comes as no surprise that the character, essentially, controlling the outcome of every time-line in the “Remedial Chaos Theory” episode in season 3 was Winger. Jeff was in control of throwing the six-sided die in the air, always excluding himself from getting the pizza without alerting the rest of the group to his plan by wrapping his scheme in a quick plot.
This also points to Jeff’s ability to think quickly on his feet – a major trait of ENTPs. ENTPs do not necessarily plan for whatever troubles may come their way. They pride themselves on tackling any situation at is arises with whoever is around them at the time.
ENTPs find themselves successful in most careers that they choose. As long as the career does not take a dry turn, same routine day in and day out, the ENTP will succeed. We can see Jeff struggling with his career choice as a professor in season 6, episode 1, (“Ladders”) after Frankie removes alcohol from the teacher’s lounge.
What does Jeff do? He goes against authority and the rules set in place by creating an underground market for alcohol on Greendale premises. Alcohol was the only thing protecting him from the mundane life of a community school professor. Jeff could not let this stand!
ENTPs can also make excellent teachers and lawyers, partly due to how much they love showing off what they know. And what are Jeff’s two occupations we are privy too during the show? Lawyer and then professor at Greendale. Surprise!
ENTPs usually have a lively group of friends they come to care about. If that doesn’t describe Jeff and the “study group,” I don’t know what does.
ENTPs also seek to understand someone, not pass judgment on him or her. Jeff accepts what people do in the group, but can bring up their deficiencies when needed. He understands his situation and his group – usually quicker than most members of the group.
ENTPs are normally sought after by friends they associate themselves with in every day life because they make excellent conversationalists. One of Jeff’s many talents is his ability to carry on a conversation with everyone, regardless of whether or not he wants to be there.
While ENTPs can be a real treat in conversation while enjoying a nice drink after a long day at work, things can turn nasty if you get on their bad side. ENTPs will use debate to the disadvantage of their “opponent” if the need arises.
ENTPs get butt hurt when someone puts them in their place – on rare occasions when they allow this to happen. Jeff’s most vulnerable moments on the show come when someone is better than he is at anything – pottery, Foosball, award shows at a child’s bar mitzvah, etc.
There are areas where Jeff does not meet typical ENTP criteria, but I attribute to the group’s influence on Jeff through six seasons…and a movie! Also, when looking at your type, there is not some checklist you must match up to 100%. We are human beings, not robots.
- Jeff ultimately does conform in his work place, i.e. Greendale. He admits in season 6 he will probably never leave Greendale – because no one does, he joins in with other professors for drinks and games after work, etc. (shown in Season 5).
- ENTPs are usually not that critical. Jeff is extremely critical, mostly of people outside of the group (Vaughn’s nipples.) He also allows his criticisms of other group members to surface when pushed too far.
If I sat here and thought about it, I could come up with other reasons why Jeff is most denitely ENTP, but I could probably think of some reasons why Jeff does not fit the typical mold of the ENTP…but as stated earlier, who does.