The Office: 5 Best & Worst Episodes
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...
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.
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.
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.
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--
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Michael: I will have the spaghetti. With a side salad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There you have it! I want to hear your opinions! What should be on this list? What shouldn't be?