The Office: 5 Best & Worst Episodes

NBC
NBC

The Office is one of my must-see TV shows of the week, no doubt. Here I've gathered what I consider some of the best - and worst - episodes of the NBC comedy. Do you agree? Let me know. Do you completely disagree? Let me know that, too. Here it is...

Christmas Party - NBC
Christmas Party - NBC

5 Best

1. Christmas Party

The series' first - and best to date - Christmas episode. The staff holds a $20 Secret Santa exchange, and Michael gets Ryan a $400 video iPod. Michael is disgusted by his homemade oven mitts from Phyllis, so he imposes a Yankee swap. I love the insights into each character when you see what gift they brought. Jim gives Pam a sweet, sentimental gift filled with their own inside jokes. The whole thing wraps up with Michael buying an obscene amount of alcohol for the party. Oh, and then Meredith exposes herself to Michael. His reaction - hilarious.

Quotes:

Michael: Unbelievable. I do the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for these people and they freak out. Well happy birthday Jesus, sorry your party's so lame.

Phyllis: Does everyone know my boyfriend, Bob Vance?

Kevin: Kevin Malone.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Stanley: Stanley Hudson.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Ryan: Ryan Howard.

Bob: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Ryan: What line of work you in, Bob?

Michael: Reverse psychology is an awesome tool. I don't know if you guys know about it, but, basically, you make someone think the opposite of what you believe. And that tricks them into doing something stupid. Works like a charm.

Jim: He clearly forgot to get me something, so he went into the closet, dug out this little number, and threw it in a bag.

Creed: Yep. That's exactly what happened.

Goodbye, Toby - NBC
Goodbye, Toby - NBC

2. Goodbye, Toby

A going away party for Toby turns into a carnival, with the help of Phyllis' planning and funds from Jim, who's planning to propose to Pam during the fireworks. His plan is debunked when Andy surprisingly proposes to Angela, who bitterly accepts. Michael also finds out that Jan visited a sperm bank while the two of them were dating. I can't hear the song "Goodbye Stranger" anymore without thinking of Michael's rendition, followed by his yanking of Daryl's keyboard off its stand. Hilarious. Oh, and Holly thinks Kevin is mentally challenged. Brilliant.

Quotes:

Michael: You cheated on me? When I specifically asked you not to?

Kevin: I am totally gonna bang Holly. She is cute and helpful. And she really seems into me.

Michael: I am downloading some NP3 music.

Jim: (quickly) That's not it. Yep?

Michael: --for a CD mixed tape--

Jim: Close.

Michael: --for Holly. I am looking for perfect songs that work on two levels.

Jim: What are the two levels?

Michael: The two levels being, welcome to Scranton and I love you.

The Injury - NBC
The Injury - NBC

3. The Injury

Michael burns his foot on his George Foreman grill and insists on coming into work on crutches with his foot wrapped in bubble wrap. Rushing to save Michael, Dwight crashes his car and gets a concussion, but Michael insists that his injury is worse. Michael is upset by the staff's lack of compassion for his "disability" and brings in the building's landlord, who uses a wheelchair, for a sensitivity training.

Quotes:

Michael: 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.

Pam: I told them you cooked your foot.

Michael: I burnt my foot!

Michael: What's your middle name?

Dwight: Danger.

Diversity Day - NBC
Diversity Day - NBC

 4. Diversity Day

This episode is classic The Office. Michael reveals his ignorance, acting like a total boob all while he actually thinks he's doing something good. Michael conducts a diversity training for the staff, with each person wearing an index card on his head with a different ethnicity written on it. He wanted everyone to know what it feels like to be a minority. Oh my. He didn't included Arab in the mix because that would be "too explosive." Unintended consequences ensue.

Quotes:

Michael: [to Oscar] Let me ask you, is there a term besides 'Mexican' that you prefer? Something less offensive?

Toby: We're not all gonna sit in a circle Indian style, are we?

Michael: Get out. No this is not a joke. It was offensive and lame, so double offensive. This is an environment of welcoming and you should just get the hell out of here.

Stanley: It's collard greens.

Michael: That doesn't make sense. You don't call them 'collard people'... that's offensive.

Michael: Abraham Lincoln once said that 'If you're a racist, I will attack you with the North, and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace.

Michael: I'm also part Native American Indian.

The Delivery - NBC
The Delivery - NBC

5. The Delivery

Baby Halpert is born! This is the newest episode on my list. Let's face it, seasons 2 & 3 are by far the best, so I am happy to be able to include a recent episode on here. I laughed a lot, it's the series' best hour-long episode in a long time, and it's definitely the best of this season so far. They're finally getting on with Andy and Erin's courtship - which, by the way, I'm enjoying because they're both so odd. Jim and Pam - two perfect people getting together - not so interesting. Andy and Erin? Cute and funny. As parents, my hubby and I could really relate to all the hospital stuff and it brought back a lot of memories. And, as a mamma, I was happy to see the way the show encouraged breastfeeding. Albeit with someone else'sbaby. Oh, and I loved the way the nurse was getting so annoyed with Jim and Pam.

Quotes:

Andy: Guys! A word of advice. Speaking as a former baby...

Michael: Phyllis, what could you possibly have to do?

Phyllis: I have an ice cream cake in the car.

Michael: Oh my god! Go! Go! Go! Are you insane?!

Dwight: I love escorting people... I put an ad out for an escort service and got A LOT of responses. Mostly creeps. Made a few friends.

Michael: Is it midnight yet?

Phyllis: It's 4:35.

_____________________________________________________________

Honorable Mentions: Dinner Party, Dream Team, Casino Night

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Moroccan Christmas - NBC
Moroccan Christmas - NBC

5 Worst

 

1. Moroccan Christmas

So many things wrong with this episode. Christmas episodes have high expectations upon them, but this was one of the worst episodes period. I despise the character of Meredith, so an entire episode surrounding her - and her alcoholism - no thanks. In another storyline, Andy learns of Angela and Dwight's affair. What a downer.

Redeeming points:

Dwight: In the Schrute family we believe in a five-fingered intervention. [raises fist] Awareness. Education. Control. Acceptance. And punching.

Phyllis: This is the first Christmas party I'm throwing as part of the party planning committee. The theme is "night in Morocco." This isn't your grandmother's Christmas party. Unless of course she's from Morocco, in which case it's very accurate.

Mafia - NBC
Mafia - NBC

2. Mafia

This episode centers around Michael, Dwight, Andy suspecting an insurance salesman is a mafioso. The premise seemed clever enough, but it just didn't materialize for me. It wasn't enough to fill out an episode. A simple Google search could find the salesman's insurance website to see he's legit. It just seemed too ridiculous and over-the-top that they were quite thatdumb. On top of it, Jim and Pam weren't to be seen, offering no grounding to the crazy hi jinx going on.

Redeeming points:

Michael: I will have the spaghetti. With a side salad.

Waitress: OK.

Michael: If the salad is on top, I send it back.

Michael: There is nothing more insulting to a great salesman than having to listen to a bad salesman. It's like a great basketball player having to listen to a bad basketball player.

Michael: If there is one thing I hate more than the mafia is a liar. I wish the mafia would go out and kill all the liars. Bury them in my yard. And I wouldn't tell the cops a thing. Not that I would be lying per se but I would just get really quiet all of a sudden.

Job Fair - NBC
Job Fair - NBC

3. Job Fair

Michael, Pam, and Oscar visit a job fair at Pam's Alma mater to recruit an intern for the office. I love Michael as his clueless, self-unaware, buffoonish self. However, in this episode, they went too far and he just came across as reprehensible, sexist jerk. Pam was also way too passive about Michael's behavior to come off likable. And the Jim and Andy golf storyline? Boring. The real problem in all of this - it wasn't funny.

Redeeming points:

Michael: Come here. [talking about Pam] I would never say this to her face, but she is a wonderful person and a gifted artist.

Oscar: What? Why wouldn't you say that to her face?

Michael: Yeah, I'm trying to lure these kids into my booth. But, uhh, kids are very weary of being lured, these days. Thank you Dateline.

Pam: Are you serious?

Michael: Yes, and don't call me Shirley.

Stress Relief - NBC
Stress Relief - NBC

4. Stress Relief

It seems like everyone either thinks this episode was great or horrible. I would be in the latter category. Way too goofy and unbelievable for The Office. Dwight starts a fire in the office to demonstrate lack of safety preparedness. Then later he destroys the CPR dummy. Then, he receives no consequences for these stupid actions. Seriously? The roast had potential to be funny but just wasn't. And the whole guest-star-filled video the staff is watching? Pointless and not funny. The whole thing was wacky and over the top - not Office style, people.

Redeeming points:

Michael: I have got to make sure that YouTube comes down to tape this.

Michael: [screaming at Stanley after he collapses] No no no no you will not die! Stanley! Stanley you will not die! Stanley! Stanley! Barack is president! You are black Stanley!

Andy: [playing the guitar and singing] What I hate about you! You really suck as a boss. You're the lousiest, jerkiest and you're dumber than applesauce. We're stuck listening to you all day, Stanley tried to die just to get away. Well it's true! That's what I hate about you! That's what I hate about you!

5. The Banker

After a 6 week break over the holidays, we are all excited for a new episode. And what do they give us? A clip show! I couldn't believe it. A fact checker visits the office to see if there are any outstanding debts or pending lawsuits of which the new owner, Sabre, should be aware. Toby proceeds to recollect what's been going on around there the past few years - in the form of a clip show. Were the clips funny? Of course. It's a funny show. The problem is - it's just necessary for a show like The Office to have any type of clip show. Most fans probably have all of those clips on DVD, or at the very least, could pull them up on Google in a matter of seconds. Very disappointing.

 

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There you have it! I want to hear your opinions! What should be on this list? What shouldn't be?

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Comments 13 comments

Rough Trade 6 years ago

I'd give "The Banker" an incomplete rather than one of the worst. It was badly timed for sure. I think "Casino Night" would have to be on the best list in place of "Goodbye Toby" and "Scott's Tots" really needs a place on the worst.


randi02 profile image

randi02 6 years ago from Illinois Author

Yes, I think you're right that it was the timing of "The Banker" that left me so disgruntled. Scott's Tots was horrible - that seemed way too low, even for Michael. I've added Casino Night to the honorable mention list. Darryl: "I taught Mike some uh, some phrases to help with his interracial conversations. You know, stuff like, fleece it out, going mach five, dinkin' flicka. You know, things us Negroes say." Thanks for commenting.


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Hello randi02: Thanks for the fan mail and I really enjoyed this hub here from you, as I love the show! The American show is proving to be more of a success than the UK version with Ricky Gervais. The characters are barking mad, and its spontaneiety is infectious. Great Hub or a Great Show!


Steve 3.0 profile image

Steve 3.0 6 years ago from Cornwall UK

The UK version works best in the UK. There are lots of funny bits that probably don't work in the US. I tried watching the US version but didn't find it as funny.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States

Diversity Day and The Injury are definitely two of my favorite episodes! I would disagree with the stress relief one. I laughed so hard during that one!


S H Webb profile image

S H Webb 6 years ago from Ireland

Enjoyed your hub - brilliant show with lots of comedy gems in every episode. Even the list of 5 worst here (which I mostly agree with) have their moments! Some of my favourite moments include: making an ad for Dunder Mifflin "The People Person's Paper People!", Parkour! - Michael, Dwight and Andy jump all over the office, Pam smack talking Kelly while the guys play ping pong, Ryan talking about 'Woofs', Michael's face every time he looks at Toby, Michael the entire episode of Jan's deposition and "That's what she said", the list goes on! In fact, there's a possible hub topic for you if you're up for the challenge, Randi02!


flonkerton 5 years ago

STRESS RELIEF IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER!!!!!!!!! IT DESERVES TO BE AT LEAST NUMBER 3 IN THE BEST! THIS PAGE IS TERRIBLE!!


randi02 profile image

randi02 5 years ago from Illinois Author

You're obviously in the "love it" camp for Stress Relief, flonkerton! Thanks for sharing.


allie 5 years ago

"stress relief" is a really funny episode, maybe one of the best, and meredith is a funny character, although i agree that episode wasn't that great.


Lewis 3 years ago

Cant say that a google search would have solved the salesman problem that just isn't the Michael Scott way. And stress relief is a great ep. I would have put the basketball game ep in the best in place of goodbye Toby and put the the Alliance in for the delivery. But that's just my thought's obviously you are entitled to your opinion. Good reviews by tye way.


Jim Larrison 3 years ago

I agree with your lists.

Some others that go on the 'bad' list:

"Boys and Girls"

"Diwali"

"Safety Training"

"Night Out"

"Frame Toby"

"Mafia"

"Happy Hour"

"Secretary's Day"

"Counseling"

"Threat Level Midnight"

"Pool Party"

"Welcome Party"

Actually, almost any episode written by B. J. Novak goes on the 'Worst' list. He had maybe 2-3 good episodes, most of his writing was crap. Though he wrote one of the best episodes of all time - "Diversity Day" - he should have quit when he was ahead


jericho911 profile image

jericho911 3 years ago from Ohio

Sex Ed is by far the best episode ever. We use lines from it at work all the time. great list from the best show ever (along with Seinfeld)


Chummy gang 3 years ago

It seems to me you threw away the phrase "best and worst Office episodes" with "MY favorite and MY least favorite office episodes" You obviously can't write an article objectively. The fact that you wrote "I hate Meredith" just proves my point. I have NEVER seen "Christmas party" on Any top lists. You are some writer.

If I were you, I'd go back to writing fan fiction for "The Simpsons" you pathetic rat.

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