Ahead of The Office’s impending removal from Netflix in 2021, not only did I want to rewatch the entire series one last time but I wanted to share my favorites quotes and moments with you. The question then became: how do I do this in a way that doesn’t overload the reader with thousands of memorable scenes in this iconic TV series? I decided to attempt to narrow it down to the top 10 from each season. So far, this has proved to be a harder process than it is for Dwight to find Pam’s iPod.
These selections are based on my personal enjoyment of each quote/moment so there will be some bias but hopefully if you have any disagreements, share with me your top 10 in the comments below or on Social Media. My Twitter is @IvanOrnelas2 and my Instagram is @ivanthewriter95. All photos are credited to The Office and NBC. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and this inspires you to give the series one last watch before it goes away at least on this streaming platform.
10: Jim maps out how Michael spends his time (Episode 3, The Promotion)
Not a lot of companies have co-managers, so naturally, Jim and Michael take some time to adjust to this situation. Jim’s assessment of Michael’s time management skills is pretty scathing but accurate: he spends most of his time procrastinating, and his favorite activity after that is distracting others. Jim might have been generous with the amount of the pie chart given to critical thinking, because Michael Scott is definitely not known for that. Despite these flaws, Jim finds out the hard way that being a manager isn’t a walk in the park.
9: Hate it or Love it, The Underdog’s on Top (Episode 14, The Banker)
“It might sound crazy, but since there is no one left in New York, Michael is now Dunder Mifflin’s highest-ranking employee. So that’s where we are”-Pam
When Sabre bought out Dunder Mifflin to save the company from bankruptcy (not the kind that Michael declared out loud in the office), the employees of the Scranton Branch kept their jobs. No such luck for David Wallace or the rest of the executives that worked in the company’s headquarters in New York City. This turn of events did leave Michael, Regional Manager, the top of the new chain-of-command, which is a situation as strange for us to believe as it was for Pam when she said that quote. That status would be short-lived, but it could have ended even sooner had Toby told the Banker about all of the hazards Michael caused in the office.
8: Date Mike Makes His Appearance (Episode 21, Happy Hour)
To be honest, this persona can’t even shine the shoes of Prison Mike. However, whenever Michael decides his normal behavior isn’t enough to embarrass himself, I can’t help but watch intently to see the incoming crash and burn. In this case, while it does repel the woman Pam and Jim tried to set him up with and nearly gets him throughout of the adult arcade the Dunder-Mifflin employees were hanging out at, it did bring him to Donna. Donna would become Michael’s latest love interest, and it seemed too good to be true because of how out of his league she was (granted, the same could be said for the other women Michael has dated). It ended up being too good to be true as she was using him to cheat on her husband.
7: The Birth of Cecilia Marie Halpert (Episodes 17 and 18, The Delivery Parts 1 and 2)
Another big milestone in the lives and relationship of The Office’s favorite couple (results may vary depending on which fan you talk to), this is where we see Michael’s vision of the coworkers of Dunder-Mifflin being a family come true. From Kevin enjoying feasts with Pam to Dwight and Michael assisting in getting Pam and Jim to the hospital (and then Dwight getting sidetracked by the police and then later the mold problem in the Halpert household), it was nice to see this cast come together for a beautiful moment. The birth of their daughter tested the new parents, but Jim and Pam have been through a lot together and they cherish this new phase of their lives.
6: Jim accidentally reveals Pam is pregnant during his toast, which upsets her conservative grandmother. “To waiting” (Episode 4, Niagara: Part 1)
A lot of fans shared in Andy’s reaction to Jim’s toast, briefly but beautifully summarizing a love story that has captivated us all. However, the elephant in the room (Pam being five months pregnant) made itself known thanks to some loose lips. For once, those loose lips weren’t Michael’s! Jim accidentally mentioned that Pam would not participate in the toast since she cannot drink due to her pregnancy. This revelation stunned Pam’s grandmother, and the situation was made worse by Michael trying to help. His idea of helping was explaining how sex works and how normal it is. There’s a time and place for everything…
5: Kevin as Cookie Monster (Episode 22, Secretary’s Day)
Sometimes the best moments of a TV show come out of nowhere. At least that’s how this scene feels like. Before watching this episode, I honestly didn’t make the connection between Kevin’s voice and that of the Cookie Monster. Once that connection is made through Oscar’s video, it makes perfect sense and it just puts a smile on my face. It is indicative of a simpler era of YouTube that editing a new voice onto a familiar video clip was all it took to make people laugh. Kevin would then endure a day of heckling from his fellow coworkers before trying to get revenge on Oscar. This attempt to parody his voice with the Count felt flat, but good effort anyway, Kevin.
4: Longest Rough Patch (Episode 26, Whistleblower)
This quote is synonymous with how I feel about the year 2020 so far. If it were not for this pandemic, this quote probably places lower in this top 10 list. However, it remains a relatable quote that we feel in our soul with the delivery Michael presents it. This quote is prompted by a whistleblower situation where someone (Andy) leaked that the Sabre printers caught fire, though it was a defect that had since been resolved. Michael barely handles his job at the best of times, so he crumbles under the pressure only to find refuge in the most unlikely of sources: Jo, the CEO of Sabre.
3: Embracing When Life Forces Your Plan B (Episode 5: Niagara Part 2)
“The boat was actually plan C. The church was plan B and plan A was marrying her a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day I met her.”-Jim
I am not a relationship expert, but if you felt your heart tingle when Jim says this quote, you probably feel the same way about your partner and he does about Pam. While Jim and Pam often feel like a very “plain Jane” and flawless couple, throughout the series their flaws are often shown and highlighted. Their relationship takes an unlikely, unconventional path. From the friend zone all the way to their wedding, it was a long and winding road that led to this moment. The one certainty, aside from his relationships with Katie and Karen, was that Jim was in love with Pam. Heck, he probably still was even during those periods. In any case, I simply love this quote and how loving it feels.
2: Michael Reveals Who he Wouldn’t Kill Over Toby (Episode 25, The Chump)
“You say Radon is silent but deadly and expect me not to make farting noises with my mouth? We aren’t going to die of Radon, we are going to die of boredom”-Michael
Another standard Toby announcement is met with Michael being mean to him for no reason. This time, the meanness escalates and it results in a simultaneously awkward, funny, awful, and odd scene all in one. This is a moment where I feel like the writers of The Office go above and beyond to produce a line of dialogue so strange that it becomes an instant classic. No one knows what Toby did to deserve this level of verbal abuse from Michael, but the momentary disapproving reactions of the other coworkers leads to them discussing how this hypothetical situation would play out. Of course, Dwight, expert of multiple methods of thwarting enemies, leads this charge and provides a demonstration of how he would kill Toby, Hitler, and Bin Laden with one bullet. It’s a scene where I feel bad for enjoying it, but I enjoy it anyway.
1: Pam Hits Michael After Dumping Pam’s Mother on Her Birthday (Episode 9, Double Date)
What’s worse than your mother dating your boss? Your mother dating Michael Scott. Michael gets very desperate when he is single and loses any sense of personal boundaries, leading to Pam’s mother Helene sleeping with Michael at their wedding. Their relationship is revealed to Pam shortly after, and she does not take the news well. In fact, she gets mad at Jim for not being madder at this situation, reminding him “You need to be more upset about this. She’s your mother too now. Your mother is sleeping with Michael Scott.” Along with Michael’s desperation, he is very shallow, which was demonstrated when he dumped Helene on her birthday when realizing she was in her late 50s. Needless to say, Pam hitting Michael was justified and it was an epic moment built up by other characters. Don’t mess with Pam!
“What does a bean mean?”-Kevin, who says this several times increasing in worriedness after Jim and Michael’s plan (Episode 3, The Promotion)
Andy does the splits with painful results: “Did somebody change my name to Baskin Robbins? Because I feel like a banana split”-Andy (Episode 4, Niagara: Part 1)
The Chris Brown YouTube parody wedding celebration (Episode 5, Niagara Part 2)
“Best wedding I’ve ever been to. I got six numbers. One more and I would’ve gotten a complete phone number”-Kevin (Episode 5, Niagara Part 2)
“Now do the Swedish Chef”-Kevin, following Andy’s impeccable Southern accent
“Uh I’m not familiar, what province is he from?”-Andy
“He lives on Sesame Street, dumbass!”-Kevin (Episode 10, Murder)
Michael, Dwight, and Andy pointing finger guns at each other (GIF Worthy) (Episode 10, Murder)
“I need a baby. I’ll never be able to outsell Jim and Pam without one. I also noticed a gaping hole in my life. Sometimes I would wake up and find myself cradling a gourd”-Dwight (Episode 17, The Delivery Part 1)
“It used to be make friends first, make sales second, and make love third…in no particular order”-Michael reflecting on the changes brought upon by Saber (Episode 20, New Leads)
“All cases are solved with logic. The only logical way to find out if Donna is a cheater is to seduce her, bring her to orgasm, and tell Michael the sad news”-Dwight (Episode 24, Cover Up)
Nick the IT guy delivers some parting shots before going to Detroit for Teach for America
“I saw all your hard drives, and guess what? (gestures to Ryan) You’re not a photographer. (gestures to Kelly) And you definitely can’t fit into a size two. Darryl, man, you’re on Facebook. Why have you been telling people you’re not on Facebook? People want to be your friend, man! Alright? And you. (points to Andy) This guy, you’re the one who told the press. You wrote an e-mail to the editor. I saw it, and I also saw a QuickTime movie of your little printer fire test on your hard drive. This guy’s the snitch, he’s the snitch. So that’s it, check it out. (gives the finger)”-Nick (Episode 26, Whistleblower)