Many of us who watched all nine seasons of The Office wouldn’t hesitate to rank it among the greatest television comedy series of all time. Set in the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of a fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, The Office is a mockumentary sitcom that depicts the lives of typical office employees as they go about their various daily endeavors.
But for Dunder Mifflin employees, every day seems to present a unique set of challenges. From inappropriate slurs and overly patronizing conduct to ego clashes and inter-colleague relationships, The Office unpacks it all.
If you’re yet to watch even a single episode of The Office, I wonder how else you’re spending your time on television. But since every Office episode has a unique takeaway, choosing which episode to begin with is not exactly a walk in the park.
Fortunately for you, we’ve prepared a rundown of the ten best Office episodes of all time. Each episode comes with a short snippet of what it’s all about, followed by an active YouTube link that you can click on to begin watching immediately.
1. Business School (Season 3, Episode 17)
Business School is unquestionably one of the best Office episodes of all time. The highlight of the episode is about Michael’s struggle to separate perception from reality. He has harbored a long, unhealthy obsession with Ryan but he’s about to get his heart broken…big time.
Besides Michael’s rude awakening, this episode also highlights Dwight’s shenanigans in dealing with a bat that entered the office and bit Meredith. Ordinarily, the vampire twist would make watching the episode creepy. But it ends up adding an even more hilarious touch to the episode’s background plot.
2. The Dinner Party (Season 4, Episode 13)
The Dinner Party is all about Michael and Jan throwing an extremely uncomfortable dinner party. The highly-anticipated party turns out to be ill-fated as it marks the end of Michael and Jan’s relationship. What makes The Dinner Party even more messed up is that the party attracted an insensitive, unwitting audience who will stop at nothing to bring out the worst in the two protagonists – Michael and Jan.
However, there seems to be some glimmer of hope before the episode ends, as we see a somewhat genuine attempt by Jan to piece Michael back together. Maybe they were destined to be together despite their conduct in the party suggesting otherwise.
3. Niagara (Season 6, Episodes 4 and 5)
Jim and Pam get married at Niagara Falls in the presence of their families, friends, and colleagues. A romantic setting for a wedding, anyone would agree. The highlight of the wedding is when Jim takes Pam on a boat to take their weddings. In a way, this episode offers a nice wrap-up to a standard love story between typical office workers.
But like all Office episodes, Niagara isn’t short of rib-cracking scenes. Watch as Andy joins a dance fight that ends in getting his scrotum ripped. Kevin also causes his fair share of mayhem by tainting an entire ice machine. And as you might expect, Michael plays the biggest role in ruining the wedding.
4. Booze Cruise (Season 2, Episode 11)
Every serious company takes out its staff on bonding trips once in a while. Michael is familiar with this concept. The problem is how he plans to execute it. He invites all the Dunder Mifflin staff on a booze cruise for what he presumes will be a successful bonding trip.
But Michael’s inability to captain the ship introduces a series of intrigues. Is that an indictment on his leadership abilities too? Well, the ship’s captain, played by Rob Riggle, thinks so. This episode has lots of behind-the-scenes maneuvers as well, including Roy finally setting a wedding date with Pam.
5. Gay Witch Hunt (Season 3, Episode 1)
The Office’s season 3 premiere also turned out to be one of the best episodes for the season. Michael uses gay slurs on Oscar. Naturally, Oscar should be offered, which he is.
However, Michael learns that not only did Oscar take offense, but he’s actually gay as well. What follows is a series of intrigues with Oscar threatening to leave the company, putting Dunder Mifflin through one of its worst human resource nightmares ever.
6. Fun Run (Season 4, Episodes 1 and 2)
In Fun Run, Michael accidentally hits Meredith with his car. Following this ordeal, Meredith learns that she’s infected with rabies. That revelation leaves Michael with a guilty conscience and he’s determined to atone for his mistakes. He organizes a charity titled “Michael Scott‘s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race For The Cure.” Seriously?
Fun Run is also filled with romantic undertones. The relationship between Jim and Pam grows fonder as that between Dwight and Angela falls apart.
7. Stress Relief (Season 5, Episodes 14 and 15)
Stress Relief is all about a well-intentioned fire drill that ends in epic failure. When Dwight starts a fire drill, he couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams that the drill would end up in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, Stanley gets a heart attack in the process.
But it’s Dwight’s confusion during CPR sessions that makes Stress Relief truly worth watching. The inclusion of special guest stars by Jessica Alba, Jack Black, and Cloris Leachman makes this episode all the more worth watching.
8. The Secret (Season 2, Episode 13)
In this Office episode, everyone has something to hide. Much of the episode is centered on the secret that Jim shared with Michael in “Booze Cruise,” which was his love for Pam. Well, Michael isn’t the best secret keeper around, so it’s only a matter of time before he lets his little cat with Jim out of the bag.
Another special highlight in the episode is when Dwight convinces Oscar to fake an illness and take sick leave. During Oscar’s absence, Dwight embarks on an investigation that ends up uncovering that Oscar was, in fact, going on a vacation with his boyfriend.
9. Beach Games (Season 3, Episode 23)
In an episode of Booze Cruise the previous season, we saw Michael taking his workers on a bonding session at sea. In Beach Games, Michael invites the entire office, apart from Toby, for a beach day with a view to organizing a hot dog eating contest to pick his predecessor.
As with all other bonding exercises, Beach Games nearly ends in disappointment before Pam saves the day. Her emotional speech to Jim before all the other co-workers gives the show the nice ending it deserves.
10. Goodbye, Michael (Season 7, Episode 22)
True to the episode’s title, ‘Goodbye, Michael’ is all about Michael’s exit from the office. To avoid causing undue anxiety, Michael has to pretend that it’s his second-last day at work. But Jim soon catches on and the two share a passionate goodbye.
The most heartfelt moments are when Dwight say goodbye to Michael and when Pam gives Michael a warm hug at the airport. The episode offers a special wrap-up to Michael’s genuine relationship with every Dunder Mifflin employee.
The Office remains one of the best television comedy sitcoms of all time and coming up with the top ten episodes wasn’t easy. But if you’re yet to watch this series, any of the above-reviewed episodes will clue you in on what to expect.