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Power Rankings: The Office - Best Episodes

Updated: May 18, 2020

Narrowing The Office down to just 10 episodes? That is really hard...(that's what she said). Many episodes have iconic moments and memorable scenes, but to make this list, the episode has to leave us in stitches from start to finish, its storylines have to be ones we are fully into, and it has to embody everything that we love about the show.


Episode Title: Gay Witch Hunt

Air Date: September 21, 2006 (Season 3, Episode 1)

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Greg Daniels

Synopsis: Michael apologizes to Oscar, after he finds out he's gay, for calling him a homosexual slur--but his apology outs Oscar to the entire office. And Jim decides to take a promotion at the Stamford office.

Why We Love It: Michael and Dwight's ignorance is off the charts again in this one, but this time, it's with the topic of homosexuality. The result is the most awkward kiss you've ever seen between Michael and Oscar. This episode is also significant because we were introduced to Andy and Karen as Jim had just transferred to Stamford.


Best Quote:

Michael: I would have never called him that if I knew. You don't call retarded people "retards". It's bad taste. You call your friends "retards" when they're acting retarded. And I consider Oscar a friend.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: The Dundies

Air Date: September 20, 2005 (Season 2, Episode 1)

Director: Greg Daniels

Writer: Mindy Kaling

Synopsis: Very much unlike his staff, an overeager Michael can't wait for this year's annual Dundies awards.

Why We Love It: Taking everyone to Chili's gave Michael the platform he needs to be an entertainer with his music spoofs, jokes, and awards to get his workers the recognition they deserve. This occurs while tying in the financial trouble for Dunder Mifflin and threat of downsizing and an argument between Pam and Roy. Technically, The Dundies also gave us Jim and Pam's "first kiss".


Best Quote:

Michael: Tonight is the Dundies, the annual employee awards night here at Dunder Mifflin. And this is everybody's favorite day. Everybody looks forward to it, because, you know, a lot of the people here don't get trophies, very often. Like Meredith or Kevin, I mean, who's gonna give Kevin an award? Dunkin' Donuts? Plus, bonus, it's really, really funny. So I, you know, an employee will go home, and he'll tell his neighbor, "Hey, did you get an award?" And the neighbor will say, "No man. I mean, I slave all day and nobody notices me." Next thing you know, employee smells something terrible coming from neighbor's house. Neighbor's hanged himself due to lack of recognition. So...

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Casino Night

Air Date: May 11, 2006 (Season 2, Episode 22)

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Steve Carell

Synopsis: The Dunder Mifflin crew holds a casino party at the warehouse and Michael has two dates.

Why We Love It: THEY KISSED! JIM AND PAM KISSED! If only we knew at the time when season two ended that the show would continue to drag this story out for the entirety of season three. Still, it was a great moment to show us something real was there between Jim and Pam. We also thoroughly enjoyed Michael's version of the "two dates in one night" trope.


Best Quote:

Michael: Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not...that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Sexual Harassment

Air Date: September 27, 2005 (Season 2, Episode 2)

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: B.J. Novak

Synopsis: The office reviews its sexual harassment policy in light of explicit e-mails.

Why We Love It: There are few things Michael values more than being able to tell a good joke. The whole idea behind this episode epitomizes Michael's character and the series with the running "that's what she said" jokes and Michael's hatred for Toby and HR.


Best Quote:

Michael: Toby is in HR which technically means he works for Corporate. So he's really not a part of our family. Also he's divorced so he's really not a part of his family.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: The Injury

Air Date: January 12, 2006 (Season 2, Episode 12)

Director: Bryan Gordon

Writer: Mindy Kaling

Synopsis: Michael's "injury" from a George Foreman Grill distracts the staff from Dwight, the one with the real injury.

Why We Love It: This is one of those episodes you can throw on no matter how many times you've seen it and still laugh uncontrollably. Michael's need to be the center of attention had him wrap his foot with bubble wrap, fall in the bathroom and request Ryan to help him and clean him up, and offend their building's property manager, Billy Merchant, who happens to be in a wheelchair, in one of Michael's famous staff meetings. We also got to see a softer side of Dwight while he dealt with a concussion.


Best Quote:

Dwight: Where are we going? Jim: We're going to Chuck E. Cheese. Michael: Chuck E. Cheese? Oh, God, I'm so sick of Chuck E. Cheese. Jim: We're going to the hospital, Michael. Michael: I know, just sayin'.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Christmas Party

Air Date: December 6, 2005 (Season 2, Episode 10)

Director: Charles McDougall

Writer: Michael Schur

Synopsis: Seeing the party is headed for disastrous boredom, Michael breaks corporate policy to buy alcohol for the staff.

Why We Love It: There are some great holiday episodes, but nothing tops the first Christmas in The Office. I'm sure we've all experienced awkward gift exchange situations with co-workers or family, but the way Michael converted Secret Santa into Yankee Swap is an all-time great holiday sabotage. When Pam finally ended up with the gift that Jim intended for her, it became a touching moment and the card that Jim had taken back here was brought up again in the final season.


Best Quote: Michael: Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say 'Hey man, I love you this many dollars worth.'

Best Moment:


Episode Title: The Job

Air Date: May 17, 2007 (Season 3, Episodes 24 and 25)

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Paul Lieberstein, Michael Schur

Synopsis: Michael appoints Dwight as regional manager, anticipating that he will receive the job at corporate. Jim and Karen also interview for the same position. And Michael gets back together with Jan after she gets a boob job.

Why We Love It: This episode was a major turning point for the show. It kick-started the version of Michael and Jan's relationship that carried much of the following season and it gave us the moment we had been waiting for what felt like forever when Jim asked Pam out, leaving her (and us) teary-eyed with joy.

Best Quote:

Creed: I remember. I blogged the whole thing.

Creed: www.creedthoughts.gov.www/creedthoughts. Check it out.

Ryan: Last year Creed asked me how to set up a blog. Wanting to protect the world from being exposed to Creed's brain I opened up a Word document on his computer and put an address at the top. I've read some of it. Even for the internet it's...pretty shocking.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Basketball

Air Date: April 19, 2005 (Season 1, Episode 5)

Director: Greg Daniels

Writer: Greg Daniels

Synopsis: Michael and his staff challenge the warehouse workers to a basketball game with a bet looming over both parties.

Why We Love It: This was the first time we got to see the show set outside of the traditional office and it did not disappoint. If you've ever played pick-up basketball, you've probably come across a Dwight or a Michael. Tensions also rose on a physical level between Jim and Roy for the first time.


Best Quote:

Michael: Let's put together the starting line-up, shall we? Stanley, of course. Stanley: I'm sorry? Michael: Um, what do you play? Center? Stanley: Why 'of course'? What's that supposed to mean? Michael: I dunno... I don't remember saying that. Jim: Uh, I heard it. Michael: Well people hear a lot of things, man.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Stress Relief

Air Date: February 1, 2009 (Season 5, Episodes 14 and 15)

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Writer: Paul Lieberstein

Synopsis: Dwight's too-realistic fire alarm gives Stanley a heart attack. When he returns, Michael learns that he is the cause of Stanley's stress. To remedy the situation, he forces the office to throw a roast for him.

Why We Love It: We distinctly remember this episode airing right after the Super Bowl that year because the opening "fire" scene was that hysterical and jolted life back into the series. This episode also gave us the beautiful disaster that was the resulting CPR training, the roast of Michael Scott, and even a great Jack Black cameo in the film that Jim, Pam, and Andy were viewing.


Best Quote:

Michael: Well I wrote them down so I wouldn't forget. Jim, you're 6'11 and you weigh 90 pounds, Gumby has a better body than you. Boom. Roasted. Dwight, you're a kiss ass. Boom. Roasted. Pam, you failed art school. Boom. Roasted. Meredith, you've slept with so many guys you're starting to look like one. Boom. Roasted. Kevin, I can't decide between a fat joke and a dumb joke. Boom. Roasted. Creed, you're teeth called, your breath stinks. Boom. Roasted. Angela, where's Angela? Whoa there you are, I didn't see you there behind that grain of rice. Boom. Roasted. Stanley, you crush your wife during sex and your heart sucks. Boom. Roasted. Oscar, you are... [Stanley is laughing] Oscar, you're gay.

Oscar: Wow.

Michael: Andy, Cornell called, they think you suck. And you're gayer than Oscar. Boom. Roasted. Alright. Alright everybody, you know I kid, you know I kid. You guys are the reason I went into the paper business, so, uh, goodnight, God bless, God bless America, and get home safe.

Best Moment:


Episode Title: Dinner Party

Air Date: April 10, 2008 (Season 4, Episode 13)

Director: Paul Feig

Writer: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky

Synopsis: Michael invites Jim and Pam and Andy and Angela to a couples-only dinner party, which makes Dwight very jealous. However, the only thing he's missing is a ringside seat to witness Michael and Jan's extremely dysfunctional home life.

Why We Love It: Dinner Party is the definition of cringe and is The Office at its absolute best. Getting a look inside the everyday life of the Michael and Jan relationship opened up so many opportunities for this amazing cast and crew to do their best work. Even the bloopers for this episode are as entertaining as anything because you can see how hard it was for the actors to get through this one.

Best Quote:

Michael: Man, I would love to burn your candles!

Jan: You burn it, you buy it!

Michael: Oh, good, I'll be your first customer!

Jan: You're hardly my first.

Michael: That's what she said!

[Jan picks up one of Michael's Dundies and throws it at his $200 plasma TV]

Best Moment:

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