❝I'm no sociopath. I always know what I'm doing is wrong. I'm just a guy that doesn't like taking tests, doing work, and getting yelled at. So if you think about it, I'm the sanest person here.❞
Name: Jeff Winger
D.O.B.: November 20, 1978
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Family: Doreen Winger (mother), William Winger (father), Willy Jr. (half-brother)
Currently enrolled at Greendale Community College.
- The Winger Speech (1x01): ❝What makes humans different from other animals? We’re the only species on earth that observes Shark Week. Sharks don’t even observe Shark Week, but we do. For the same reason I can pick up this pencil, tell you it’s name is Steve and go like this [breaks pencil] and part of you dies just a little bit on the inside. Because people can connect with anything. We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck and Academy Award for screenwriting. People can find the good in just about anything but themselves. Look at me. It’s clear to all of you that I am awesome. But I could never admit that. That would make me an ass. But what I can do is see what makes Annie awesome. She’s driven. We need driven people or the lights go out and the ice cream melts. And Pierce, we need guys like Pierce. This guy has wisdom to offer. We should listen to him some time. We wouldn’t regret it. And Shirley, Shirley has earned our respect. Not as a wife, not as a mother, but as a woman. Don’t test her on that, because that thing about the jukebox was too specific to be improvised. And Troy. Who cares if Troy thinks he’s all that? Maybe he is. You think astronauts go to the moon because they hate oxygen? No, they’re trying to impress their high school’s prom king. And Abed. Abed’s a shaman. You ask him to pass the salt, he gives you a bowl of soup. Because you know what, soup is better. Abed is better. You are all better than you think you are. You are designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself. I want you to look to the person to your left. Sorry. Look at the person sitting next to you. I want you to extend to that person the same compassion you extend to sharks, pencils and Ben Affleck. I want you to say to that person, “I forgive you.” You’ve just stopped being a study group. You have become something unstoppable.❞
Bitter, shallow hipster. Sweater, matching socks. Here's the thing about Jeff Winger: he is perfect. The man himself says so. A combination of wit, charm, good-looks, and a body to die for. He knows all of these things, and believes everyone else should too. And if they don't? Well, he's not about to go out to tell them what they're missing, because that would make me an ass. He knows what he's good at, and doesn't like facing situations where he might not be the star. Simply put, he has some very deep-seated insecurities. His whole life, Jeff was constantly praised by his mother. He was the best at everything life had to offer, and no one could be better than him. Does he have an ego because of it? Yeah, a little bit. Greendale robbed him of that (as well as many other luxuries). Community college took away what was the best, slowly forming him into what can only be described as a better person. Not without it's bumps in the road, of course. Every great journey has one.
The thing about Jeff is that he compartmentalizes everything in his life, and there is no other way for him to go through life without it. Now, he's no perfectionist / control freak like Annie - there's simply a place for everything, and everything's in it's place. Other than that, he's pretty much one of the laziest people on the planet.
❝Well, I only ever liked one person: my mom. And she liked my dad. And after all the dust and custody was settled, the guy I really admired--admired not liked, mind you--was the lawyer leaving the courthouse in a great-looking suit and a sky blue Mercedes SLK.❞
Emotionally closed off. Thanks to some bad moments throughout his childhood (wetting himself at the age of ten in public because of a certain bully's vicious taunting, and his parents divorce and father's abandonment, just to name the important few), Jeff will not allow himself to fully emotionally commit to any situation. The whole reason behind him becoming a lawyer was him seeing their ability to be emotionally-unattached no matter what the gravity of the situation was. He prides himself on his ability to be un-involved in situations that don't require time or effort (or anything. situations suck), and ultimately allows himself to believe that he prefers to be alone. And why's that, you might ask? Daddy issues piled on-top of Daddy issues piled on-top of Daddy issues. It's this topic that is Jeff's one true berserk button. You don't bury something deep, only to poke it with a stick twenty years down the road. That's just not done. Of course, it's his father's abandonment that held many factors in shaping Jeff into the man he is today. He's carried around a certain anger towards the man since he was ten years old, and that bitterness can often seep into Jeff's adult life. Not only that, he's witty, sarcastic, and cynical, even in the best of situations.
You know the phrase 'too cool for school'? Yeah, Jeff perfected the very meaning of it. He's clever (as the son of a conman, he would have to be), but so very lazy. This has never worked out well for him though, as the results from his laziness often come back to bite him in the ass. He lied about law school. He cheated on the LSAT. And he was one of the best damn lawyers his law-firm had ever seen. Jeff was born to be a liar. Simply put, he discovered at a very early age that if I talk long enough, I can make anything right or wrong. So either I'm God or truth is relative. In either case, booyah. He's the man at Greendale with the silver tongue, often giving classic 'Winger speeches' to make everything wrong right again. It's a powerful gift. And you know he uses it for his own needs. But if it helps others along the way? Well, so be it. He's got charisma. Folks can't help but be charmed by his very existence, and that is the Winger guarantee. Jeff's a people person, at least when it means something good will come out of it. Most of the time, however, he's more on his own than the lone wolf. Sad? Maybe, maybe not. It's just what he prefers.
Jerk with a heart of gold. While self-involved, it's thanks to his time at Greendale that Jeff has come to learn that helping others is a pretty good thing. He's been known to look out for the underdogs since his first year of community college, but it isn't until his third year that he realizes how healthy it could be. He'll stick up for the underdog, help fix the broken, and always tries to point out that every cloud has a silver lining. As he reluctantly accepted the role that was thrust upon him as the 'leader' of the Greendale Seven, isn't that sort of his job?
The Winger Speech (3x22):❝Your honor, I have no closing statement because I’m throwing the case. No, no, it’s okay. It’s fine, don’t worry. My client, Shirley Bennett, my friend of three years, she told me that it was okay. She said what I want was more important. She’s right—right? I mean, guys like me, we’ll tell you there’s no right or wrong—there’s no real truths. And as long as we all believe that, guys like me can never lose. Because the truth is, I’m lying when I say there is no truth. The truth is—the pathetically, stupidly, inconveniently, obvious truth is, helping only ourselves is bad and helping each other is good. Now I just wanted to get out of here, pass biology and be a lawyer again instead of helping Shirley. That was bad. And my former colleague wanted so badly to keep his rich client that he just asked me to roll over in exchange for my old job. So, I guess we all walked in here pretty bad, but now Shirley’s gone good. Shirley’s helping me. It’s that easy. You just stop thinking about what’s good for you and start thinking about what’s good for someone else. And you can change the whole game with one move.❞