Abbott Elementary: Why Gregory Eddie Is My Favorite Character On The Show

Tyler James Williams in Abbott Elementary.
(Image credit: ABC)

When it comes to sitcoms, I’m usually very hard to please. I grew up with some awesome ones, such as The Office and Parks and Recreation, but nothing since then has really done it for me. I like sitcoms, don’t get me wrong, but the newer ones haven’t hit as much as they used to. 

However, one new-ish sitcom from ABC, titled Abbott Elementary, has slowly become one of my favorites. It won several awards at the 2023 Golden Globes, as well as scoring several nominations and wins at the 2022 Primetime Emmys, and I decided to give it a try, and I have to say, I do love it. But, what I love the most is one of its main characters, Gregory Eddie – played by Tyler James Williams. 

Out of everyone, he is truly my favorite. That’s not to say that everyone else isn’t fantastic, but I just need to give this man the praise he deserves because he is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this show. 

janine and gregory working on an egg drop.

(Image credit: ABC/Gilles Mingasson)

First Off – Tyler James Williams Plays Him Perfectly

For those who don’t know, Abbott Elementary is a Philadelphia-based sitcom that tells the story of teachers in an underfunded school who are trying their best to give a great educational experience to their students, despite barely having any money to succeed. One of the teachers is Gregory Eddie, and he is played by Tyler James Williams

When I told you I was so happy to find out he was cast in a major role in a television show again, I was thrilled. 

I’ve seen Tyler James Williams for years. I watched him in Everybody Hates Chris (I’m still waiting for a reboot). I watched him in Let It Shine on the Disney Channel. I even watched him when he had a season-long role in The Walking Dead – and had probably one of the most heartbreaking deaths ever. But nothing makes me happier than seeing him back in a role like this. 

Tyler James Williams is an underrated sitcom actor. We don’t value him enough. His comedic timing is on point and his jokes land consistently no matter what, and it’s all because Williams has had training in roles like this for years. I can’t imagine someone else playing the role of Gregory in any way. 

Right, Tyler James Williams as Gregory sitting at his desk and Quinta Brunson as Janine standing to his right on Abbott Elementary.

(Image credit: ABC)

Gregory Is The Perfect Embodiment Of “Adapt To Circumstances” 

Gregory started working at Abbott because a teacher got fired for hitting a student – because obviously you can’t do that. He started as a substitute, and as time goes on, we see exactly why he didn’t want to stay at the school – because he was looking to become the principal. 

Here’s the thing – Gregory never wanted to be a teacher. He literally went to school so he could work in a leadership role at a school, specifically to be a principal, so the idea of teaching kids was something he was never really a huge fan of. 

However, over the course of the first season, he really starts to see the value of teaching at a place like Abbott, and over time, we see him adapt and grow, all the way to the point where he ends up taking on a full-time position at the school because he truly wants to not only help Janine (played by Quinta Brunson), but help the kids. 

That’s the perfect way of adapting to circumstances around you, and it’s the sort of mentality that I honestly wish I could use better in my own personal life, as well.  

Gregory and Ava in Abbott Elementary.

(Image credit: ABC)

He Handles Ava’s Lewd Comments Hysterically Well

I’ll be honest and say that while Ava (played by Janelle James) is hilarious and we’ve started to see a little more character development with her over the second season, her comments to Gregory (the sexual comments) are not necessarily something that you would want to hear in the workplace. 

Obviously, that’s what makes it funny, because she has literally no filter and will constantly hit on Gregory no matter what, going so far as to tell him outright that she thought he was a “stripper” in the first episode, and nicknaming him, “Chocolate Kiss.” But I have to say that the way Gregory handles it is something that makes me die laughing every time. 

It’s the way he reacts that gets to me, whether that be staring into the camera like Jim used to do in The Office or just the subtle eye movements and body language. I can’t deal with it, because every time, I’m practically snorting with laughter. Just the best. I don’t know how he doesn’t break character.

Gregory and Barbara in Abbott Elementary.

(Image credit: ABC)

Gregory Also Isn’t Afraid To Ask For Help

I think what I also really like about Gregory overall in Abbott Elementary is that he’s clearly not afraid to ask for help, and you see this multiple times throughout the series. As stated before, he’s not used to teaching children, so when he really starts to get into it, he goes to the other teachers for advice. 

Whether that be asking Janine how to make his classroom look a little more homey for the students, or talking to Barbara about how to confront a parent who keeps bringing their child to class late everyday. No matter the issue, he is willing to seek advice from other people in order to make a better environment for himself and others. 

There’s just something so refreshing about seeing someone so willing to accept help when most of the time, with some of the teen dramas and other crazy stuff I’ve watched, people are so stubborn and refuse to accept it. He’s always learning something new and I really, really enjoy that. 

Gregory in schoolyard on Abbott Elementary

(Image credit: ABC)

He’s Just An Overall Good Dude – Despite His Blunt Nature

Granted, it’s only been two seasons – with a third one already ordered – but Gregory Eddie is just an overall good dude. I mean, yeah, can he be sassy sometimes? Of course. Can he be blunt as heck? You bet. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed when he’s spoken to Jacob whenever the teacher goes on his rants. I love a blunt character, whether in anime or a live-action show – they’re usually my favorite.

Though he's blunt, he’s also just a genuinely nice man. He secretly starts to help with Barbara and Jacob’s school garden, because he sees what they're doing wrong. He hasn’t known Janine for nearly as long as her boyfriend, and yet Gregory knew her favorite movie, because he knows how to listen. 

It’s stuff like that which makes me like him so much. He’s the kind of guy that I think anyone would want to be friends with, because not only does he speak his mind, he makes sure that you’re taken care of, because he respects the people he cares about. I just love it. 

Abbott Elementary has hands down become one of my favorite shows over the last year, and if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out – and fall in love with Gregory Eddie just as much as I have, even if this slow burn romance with Janine (which has led to more The Office comparisons) is killing me. You won’t regret it. 

Stream Abbott Elementary on Hulu.

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.