The Office was a low-tech sitcom with a simple premise: a documentary crew filming the mundane lives of workers in a paper company. On paper, the concept may have appeared uninteresting but the quality episodes produced over nine seasons were anything but ordinary. Classic moments and quotes have become woven in the pop culture fabric of a generation and The Office will be fondly remembered for its unique mix of humor, harebrained schemes, co-worker camaraderie, romance, and warmth.
Regional manager, Michael Scott, is at the helm of these antics, as his oblivious nature sets him up for a myriad of different ways to offend, antagonize and unconsciously entertain those in his office as well as the viewers who are undoubtedly charmed time and time again by his childlike follies.
Here are 10 of the best scenes from The Office:
1) Pam and Jim’s Wedding
After five seasons, Pam and Jim finally make it to the alter in the episode, “Niagara.” After some hitches and hijinks, Pam and Jim make it to the church to witness the wedding party dance their way down the aisle to Chris Brown’s “Forever”, making their big day memorable and joyous.
2) Pam’s Art Show
In the third season, Pam was still in her doomed relationship with Roy but was taking steps to explore her creativity and passion by attending art school. Pam’s art show was to be the culmination of her hard work, but hardly anyone showed up from Dunder Mifflin. Even Roy only made a brief appearance, unsupportive of Pam in his nonchalance.
Enter the unlikely savior of what would have been one of Pam’s worst days: Michael. The bumbling, oft clueless manager showed a new facet to his personality that was heartbreaking in its kindness. Michael was enamored of Pam’s watercolor of their office building, praising her talent and expressing a genuine interest in buying her work. The expression on Pam’s face leaves nothing to the imagination. The viewer can see her heart in her eyes and the hug she bestows on Michael is poignant because the enthralled audience knows just how much his gesture meant to Pam.
3) Threat Level Midnight
The premiere of Michael’s long in production masterpiece, “Threat Level Midnight” was so bad it was good. Cameos by workers past and present in outlandish roles and situations make the movie even more fun but the addition of its own dance, The Scarn, took Michael’s film to a whole new level of weird.
4) Diversity Training
Michael creates his own diversity training session with disastrous, politically incorrect statements and complete with a guest speaker and mediator ironically named “Mr. Brown,” which Michael takes as a hilarious joke. After failed attempts to mediate this diversity session, Mr. Brown leaves Michael to do it himself. Michael attempts to “right” social wrongs by blatantly pointing them out while also grossly overcompensating for what he falsely believes his “role” is in this prejudice. The day finally ends when he offends Kelly with a poor imitation of Indian culture and winds up being slapped in the face.
5) Jim as Dwight
Season three introduced a new prank to get Dwight’s goat: Jim dressing, acting, and speaking as Dwight in the episode “Product Recall.” Jim’s impression was dead-on accurate and only made funnier because of Dwight’s obvious dismay at having his “identity” stolen. Jim asks inane Dwight-like questions, such as, “What kind of bear is best?” The oblivious Dwight feeds into these questions at first, until he realizes Jim is impersonating him and becomes offended and ridiculously believes he is a victim of identity theft at the hands of Jim Halpert.
6) The Proposal
Though the audience knew this was coming, when Jim got down on one knee at the gas station where they had been meeting literally halfway while Pam had been at art school in New York to propose to Pam in the rain, a collective sigh was heard across the viewing public. The sweet, non-dramatic act was what would forever cement Pam and Jim’s love. The long shot of the act from the documentary crew filming across the street only adds to the sweetness of the proposal.
7) Goodbye, Michael
Michael though at times a rather intolerable buffoon had become an icon in the TV world as a heartwarming character. Though not your typical manager, he means well and is a boss that truly loves his employees and wants nothing more than to see them happy. Michael’s final sendoff was a touching final chapter to the world’s greatest boss. In his last scene, Pam—who had grown to care for Michael more and more through the show’s trial—rushes to catch up with him for a final goodbye. Without a microphone, it is unknown what was said, but were words even needed in that moment? The tender moment pulled at the heartstrings of viewers across the world.
8) Jello Stapler
The first episode or the show established the relationship between Dwight and Jim that would be the cornerstone of the series. Dwight’s discovery of his gelatin encased stapler became a symbol of their feud. It also solidified the office setting as an atypical workplace to be filled with pranks, antics and immeasurable laughs.
9) The Kiss
The show had been building to Jim and Pam’s climactic kiss since the beginning. The characters had been drawn together since the very first episode with a magnetic, yet unspoken attraction. The finale for season two gave the audience a passionate embrace that kept hearts thudding all summer long, eagerly anticipating the show’s return.
10) “That’s What She Said”
Season two gave the world the iconic phrase while Michael was leading a sexual harassment training session. “That’s what she said” has become a recognizable phrase worldwide, one that seemingly never gets overused. Michael’s interjection of the phrase at the most inopportune times within his professional life left the immature adolescent in all of us clutching our sides with laughter.
License: Creative Commons
Alex Faubel enjoys writing about topics related to business and technology in career-focused education programs.