The American version of The Office is considered to be one of the greatest comedies of the last 20 years. It may have premiered in 2005, but it crossed generations when it was released on Netflix. It helped to spawn the careers of multiple stars such as Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasiniski, Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling, B.J Novak, and Ed Helms, just to name a few. Stretching over 9 seasons and 188 episodes, it I easy to see why this is a go-to “comfort show” for people all over the world. With 188 episodes, choosing a top ten is no easy task. None the less, here is the top ten best episodes of The Office.
10 “Scotts Tots” Season 6, Episode 12-2009
“I told them if they graduated from high school, I would pay for their college education. I have made some empty promises in my life but, hands down that was the most generous.”- Michael
When Michael realizes he is unable to uphold a promise he made to a class of children ten years ago, he decides to let them down gently…with some laptop batteries. One of the best moments in this episode is when Michael first shows up and all the students break out the song they wrote, “Hey Mr. Scott, what ya gonna do? What ya gonna do? make our dreams come true.” The entire time they are singing it Michael is beaming with pride, knowing he still isn’t paying for these kids to go to college. It is the perfect glimpse into the type of man he really is.
9 “The Convict” Season 3, Episode 9-2006
“Close your eyes. Picture a convict. What’s he wearing? Nothing special, baseball cap on backwards, baggy pants… he says something ordinary like… ‘yo, thats shizzle.’ Okay. Now slowly open your eyes again. Who are you picturing? A black man? Wrong. That was a white woman. Surprised? Well, shame on you.”- Michael
The Convict is one of only two episodes that UK The Office writers and creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant wrote for the American show. When Michael finds out that a Black employee, Martin Nash, is a former criminal he informs the entire office. When it seems that he may being a racist, he tells everyone to name a white person they trust, and he will name a Black person he trusts more. When Karen says “Jesus”, Michael says “Apollo Creed.” The absolute best part of this episode is when we get to meet “Prison Mike” during Scott’s “scared straight” presentation.
8 “Product Recall” Season 3, Episode 21-2007
“Last week, I was in a drug store and I saw these glasses. Uh, four dollars. And it only cost me seven dollars to recreate the rest of the ensemble. And that’s a grand total of… [Jim calculates the total on his calculator-watch] eleven dollars.”-Jim
Product Recall has the best cold open of not just The Office, but any television show ever made! Jim dresses up like Dwight and starts impersonating him while Dwight gets rage continues to grow. When Jim says “Bears, beats, Battlestar Galactica.” I fall over laughing every time. The rest of this episode has some great moments as well, but the amazing cold open is what earns its place on this list.
7 “Threat Level Midnight” Season 7, Episode 17-2011
“I am a huge Woody Allen fan. Although I’ve only seen Antz, but I’ll tell you something. What I respect about that man, is that when he was going through all that stuff that came out in the press, about how Antz was just a rip-off of A Bug’s Life, he stayed true to his films. Or at least the film that I saw which again was Antz. The thing is… I thought Bug’s Life was better, much better than Antz. The point is, don’t listen to your critics, listen to your fans.”-Michael
The screening of the greatest action movie of all time, or at least Michael hopes so. When Michael finally finishes his movie that stars everyone in the office, only after “three years of writing, one year of shooting, four years of re-shooting and two years of editing.” There are so many great moments in this episode but watching Threat Level Midnight is by far the best. Luckily, NBC released an entire uncut version of the short film you can watch without any interruptions.
6 “Finale” Season 9, Episode’s 24, 25-2013
Dwight: [turns around] [whispering] Michael. I can’t believe you came.
Michael: That’s what she said.
Very few shows know how to bring things to an end. Show’s will jump the shark, leave on cliff hangers, or have a queen burn down an entire city with her dragons and leave fans angry all over the world. Thankfully The Office left on a perfect note. Wrapping everything up in a nice little bow.
5 “The Dundies” Season 2, Episode 1-2005
“And I feel God in this Chili’s tonight. WHOOOOOOOO!!!!”-Pam
This episode kicked off season two, and it did so in a beautiful way. When Michael puts on his award show, “The Dundies”, where he presents those in the office with awards for things such as Kevins “Don’t go in There After Me” award. While at the award show Pam and Roy get in a fight which causes Pam to get drunk and she ends up kissing Jim.
4 “Dinner Party” Season 4, Episode 13-2008
“When I said that I wanted to have kids, and you said, you wanted me to have a vasectomy, what did I do? And then when you said that you might want to have kids and I wasn’t so sure, who had the vasectomy reversed? And then when you said you definitely didn’t want to have kids, who had it reversed back? Snip snap! Snip snap! Snip snap! I did. You have no idea the physical toll, that three vasectomies have on a person. And I bought this condo to fill with children.”-Michael
A hilarious yet terrifying look into the home life of Michael and Jan. When Michael and Jan decide to throw a dinner party for what seems to be “to get closer to their co-workers” it turns out that Jan is just looking for people to invest in her candle company. The best part of this episode is when Jan breaks Michael’s tiny flat screen television.
3 “Money” Season 4, Episode 4-2007
“You know, I just realized, this is Pam’s and my first night away together. I used to play it over in my head, and…it was just a little bit different. Maybe a nice hotel, or, a romantic dinner, wine…um, but wine that wasn’t made out of beets…didn’t think Dwight would be involved at all, and, uh, I always imagined less manure – I mean, some manure, just…less.”-Jim
One thing that this show is so good at is having two separate stories going on in the same episode but keeping them connected with a common theme. Money is the theme this time or lack thereof. Michael is working a second job and having some problems with finances. This comes to a head when he decides to declare bankruptcy, literally he just screams it in the office. Dwight is also having some issues, so Jim and Pam decide to stay the night at his bed and breakfast. The entire stay at Dwight’s beet farm is so funny but the best part is when Pam looks out the window and sees Dwight’s cousin using the outhouse.
2 “The Injury” Season 2, Episode 12- 2006
“I enjoy having breakfast in bed. I like waking up to the smell of bacon, sue me. And since I don’t have a butler, I have to do it myself. So, most nights before I go to bed, I will lay six strips of bacon out on my George Foreman Grill. Then I go to sleep. When I wake up, I plug in the grill, I go back to sleep again. Then I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon. It is delicious, it’s good for me. It’s the perfect way to start the day. Today I got up, I stepped onto the grill and it clamped down on my foot… that’s it. I don’t see what’s so hard to believe about that.”-Michael
When Michael burns his foot whole cooking breakfast, Dwight flees the office to help Michael. But when Dwight is pulling out of the parking lot he crashes into a pole and gets a concussion. The beauty of this episode is watching Rainn Wilson transform Dwight into a different person who becomes a close friend to Pam. However, once Dwight sees the doctor and feels better, he goes right back to his old ways.
1 “Murder” Season 6, Episode 10-2009
“I know she didn’t do it. It’s never the person you most suspect. It’s also never the person you least suspect, since anyone with half a brain would suspect them the most. Therefore, I know the killer to be Phyllis, AKA Beatrix Bourbon, the person I most medium suspect”-Dwight
Co-Managing an office together comes with its own set of issues. Jim and Michael butt heads while trying to figure out the best way to deal with some bad news they got from corporate. While Jim wants the day-to-day operations to continue as normal, Michael decides to play a game with everyone instead. This is one of the funniest episodes of the show but what really lands it on this list is the fact that we get to see the inner workings of Michael’s mind. It seems like he is screwing off the entire day but what he is really doing is taking everyone’s mind off of the negative and trying to give them a good day. It is a very sweet moment for Michael.
Written exclusively for TheLastPicture.Show by Jacob Ruble
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