Over its eight seasons The Office served up plenty of laughs, tearjerkers, romantic moments and at least one instance of kitty flinging. These are some of the best of them, and a reminder that the best shows never die… they’re simply reborn on a new format (hello, streaming wars).
There were few things more romantic in the mid-to-late noughties than sharing headphones with someone. The Office recognised this, and had Pam and Jim share a pair on a rooftop while eating toasted-cheese sandwiches and watching a firework show. You can keep The Notebook, this is what true romance looks like.
The Little Drummer Boy is arguably the worst of all Christmas tunes (yes, even considering Boney M’s substantial contributions to the canon), but somehow Angela’s middling karaoke rendition still manages to be charming. Probably because it’s one of the first times we see that she might actually be human after all…
… But then Angela reminds us of her cold, calculating side when she ignores Andy’s pleas for help and instead watches him bob off across a lake while in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit all so Dwight can win the Christmas games. There something to be said for that degree of commitment to her man, though.
Offices can be dull places, especially when bums in seats are deemed more important than whether the hands and heads connected to those bums are actually doing anything useful.
The crew’s fixation with Pam’s claim she once saw the moving DVD logo screensaver on the conference room television bounce perfectly in the corner of the screen also manages to give Michael one of his (in)famous moments of undeserved pride.
The love triangle between Andy, Angela and Dwight is one of The Office’s most ludicrous and consistently amusing plotlines, and it reaches a crescendo when Andy uses the inherent stealth of his Prius and Dwight’s susceptibility to seeming mysteries to pin Dwight to some flora, showing himself to be both environmentally conscious and cunning in the process.
Arguably one of the finest four-and-a-half minutes of The Office sees Dwight pretend there’s a fire to teach his colleagues a lesson. Oscar winds up in the ceiling, Angela hurls her cat bandit up to join him, Stanley has a heart attack, Jim and Andy try to use a photocopier as a battering-ram, and Kevin … well Kevin goes post-apocalyptic with the vending machine.
There’s a huge selection of brilliant cold opening to choose from in The Office, but none tops the lip-dub sequence at the beginning of Season 7. Messages scrawled on bared bellies, Ryan shamelessly promoting wuphf.com, Michael performing thrift-shop magician tricks all with the Human Beinz Nobody But Me as the soundtrack – it’s truly got it all.
The risk with including overly specific pop-culture trends in a show is that they can make it feel dated fast. Unless that trend is planking, and that show is The Office. The first episode of the last season of the show used the trend to wonderful effect, both reminding us of key characters’ best traits and of their relationships with one another. Most notably the risks – and delights – of imbuing Dwight with anything vaguely resembling power or authority.
The pranks Jim plays on Dwight are one of the reasons to watch The Office all the way through, and it’s tough to top Asian Jim. An actor friend of Pam and Jim’s pretends to be him while the real Jim is at the dentist. Dwight is understandably baffled. It’s a thing of pure and unadulterated beauty.
What would the finale of an era defining show be without its show defining character delivering the show’s most defining one-liner? Unforgivably disappointing, that’s what. Fortunately, The Office is way too good for that, so it brought back Michael one last time. So he could slip in the big one (umm, that’s what she said).