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Pierce Hawthorne is a moist towelette tycoon attending Greendale Community College. He created Hawthorne Wipes, the award-winning moist towelette company. He is a world traveler, a toastmaster, magician, keyboardist and self-styled hypnotherapist, and considers himself a "quality of life person".
He enrolled in Greendale looking for companionship and popularity, but is held back by his clumsiness and his lack of tact. He is sometimes disoriented by youth culture while still trying to embrace it. He also unknowingly buys into many sexist and racist stereotypes which often lead him to unintentionally make offensive statements, the nature of which he's completely ggggggg. Much of this is directed at Shirley, who he sometimes mistakes for other black women, Abed, whom he is suspicious of because he is Muslim, and Jeff, who he actively tries to insult, despite his inability to do so with wit. This leads Troy to start up a popular Twitter account with 600,000 followers called "Old White Man Says", documenting anything outrageous said by Pierce.
Though he considers himself to be a Buddhist, he is actually a member of an obscure religious cult. Additionally, he has seven ex wives and 32 ex-stepchildren. While he at first makes excessive attempts to be friends with Jeff, he later attempts to insult him for the most part. Part of this dynamic manifests itself though Pierce wanting to recapture his younger self via Jeff —and Jeff wanting to make sure he didn't turn into Pierce as he got older. He is the author of Greendale's unusual school song and was for a brief time a member of Vaughn's band. Because of his moist towelette business, Pierce is very wealthy and owns a mansion, where Troy also lives over the summer and during the second year. Given his age and his eccentricity, Pierce occasionally surprises his friends with wise insight and support when they truly need it.