The Definitive Ranking of Every Episode of The Office, Part V
Despite the success The Office had during its initial run on cable, the show's popularity has exploded ten-fold in the age of streaming. Becoming the spirit show for millennials all over the globe, The Office became one of the most iconic shows of all-time. We’re here to rank every episode, 1 to 201.
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Here at The Circuit, we loooooove The Office. It’s probably collectively our favorite show. It’s an endless well of content, from ranking the best characters to arguing who the villain of the show is (that article coming soon to The Circuit). But we begin our Office content with perhaps the most ambitious of them all; ranking all 201 episodes of the American workplace sitcom.
Before we begin it’s important to note this is entirely objective. These rankings are final. If you have a different opinion, then we’ll agree that you’re wrong (but seriously, there are 201 of these f*cking things. Our rankings will differ, and that’s okay. As long as we agree that each episode is great, and it’s like choosing a favorite amongst your 201 children. Your poor wife).
For each episode, we’ll provide:
A brief one-line recap of the episode
Reasoning for the ranking
Iconic quote from the episode
Winner of the episode
Every day for the next four days, The Circuit will release episode rankings, leading to the ultimate reveal of the top episodes, plus the characters with the most wins! This fifth post will feature episodes #76-#99, the "upper-middle tier" 24 episodes in the nine-season run of the show.
#76: The Client (Season 2, episode 7)
One-line recap: Michael and Jan make a connection on a sales call, and the office does a table read of Threat Level: Midnight.
Reasoning: While Jan and Michael kissing at the end was crazy to see, the real heart of this episode is the table read; and it does not disappoint.
Iconic quote: “Ok, we didn’t dance. I was totally joking anyway. I mean, it’s not really a date if the girl goes home to her fiance. Right?”- Jim Halpert
Winner: Michael Scott! He nails the sales pitch and he nails Jan. Wins all around.
#77: Product Recall (Season 3, episode 21)
One-line recap: An obscene watermark appears on Dunder Mifflin paper and the office goes into damage control.
Reasoning: The idea of an obscene watermark on a show about a paper company is brilliant, and it’s surprising it took them three seasons to get to it. But it was worth the wait. And we get an iconic Jim-Dwight moment.
Iconic quote: “Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.”- Jim Schrute/Dwight Halpert
Winner: Creed Bratton! Somehow, Creed survived this episode and kept his job. That may be the most impressive win in the series.
#78: Broke (Season 5, episode 25)
One-line recap: As the Michael Scott Paper Company continues to build its brand, Dunder Mifflin is losing clients left and right and they are forced to buy out the rival paper company.
Reasoning: A solid conclusion to a really strong six episode arc.
Iconic quote: “Your donuts make me go nuts!”- Michael Scott
Winner: Michael Scott! Michael gets his job back, plus jobs for Ryan and Pam by giving a really powerful speech that makes the audience realize just how much he loves… paper.
#79: The Incentive (Season 8, episode 2)
One-line recap: Andy motivates the office by saying he’ll get an ass tat of their choosing if they reach their goals, and it takes them no time at all.
Reasoning: As the show tries to find its footing after Michael left, this episode did a great job of making the audience forget (briefly) about that loss.
Iconic quote: “My ass is only so big, I mean I can’t do this everyday.”- Andy Bernard
Winner: Andy Bernard! Andy had the impossible task of being the guy to follow Michael Scott, and he doesn’t always succeed. But in this episode, he channels his inner Scott and delivers a performance that is memorable. And he gets a little nard dog on his ass.
#80: The Lover (Season 6, episode 7)
One-line recap: Jim and Pam return from their honeymoon to learn that Michael is dating Pam’s mom Helene.
Reasoning: While we love to see Michael happy, this episode forces us all to confront a rather terrifying question; how would we react to Michael dating our mother?
Iconic quote: “Michael, let me make this very easy for you, I could give a shit about your happiness! Stop dating my mother!”- Pam Beesly
Winner: Dwight Schrute! His ultimate plan succeeds, as he gets to spy on Jim after all.
#81: Secretary’s Day (Season 6, episode 22)
One-line recap: Michael takes Erin to lunch, where he inadvertently lets it slip that Andy used to be engaged to Erin.
Reasoning: Watching the meltdown at the restaurant as Michael is visibly uncomfortable is vastly entertaining. And there’s a great cookie monster side-plot.
Iconic quote: “They’re making fun of Cookie Monster. I get that. But in a strange way, it feels like they’re making fun of me.”- Kevin Malone
Winner: Pam Beesly! Pam is the one to discover Gabe can’t actually suspend them, so she exploits him and gets some paid time off to be with her kid. Goals.
#82: Garage Sale (Season 7, episode 19)
One-line recap: The office has a garage sale in the office, and Michael proposes to Holly.
Reasoning: From the neon beer sign, to Ryan’s pesto, to Jim’s magic beans, this episode has a lot of laughs. And then a very weird, but very sweet proposal to end the episode.
Iconic quote: “Will you marry me”- Almost everyone, but Michael Scott with the main one
Winner: Holly Flax! Not only does Holly get proposed to, but she convinces Michael to move to Colorado with her.
#83 & #84: The Job Parts 1 & 2 (Season 3, episodes 24 & 25)
One-line recap: Members of the office prepare to interview for the open corporate position, and Jan returns to get Michael back.
Reasoning: This is an important episode in the series, as whoever gets the corporate job will definitely result in a shift in the show heading into season 4. Plus, Jim finally asks out Pam… and she says yes!
Iconic quote: “All right. Then… it’s a date.”- Jim Halpert
Winner: Jim Halpert! Jim gets a banging haircut, spends some time in New York City, and ultimately gets the girl of his dreams. Amazing win.
#85: The Convict (Season 3, episode 9)
One-line recap: When Michael learns that one of his employees has a criminal record, he tries to confront stereotypes by creating an alter-ego, Prison Mike.
Reasoning: We get the birth of Prison Mike.
Iconic quote: “I had Martin explain to me three times what he got arrested for, because… it sounds an awful lot like what I do here every day.”- Kevin Malone
Winner: Prison Mike! Michael creates a number of alter-egos in the series but the most memorable one has to be Prison Mike.
#86: The Deposition (Season 4, episode 12)
One-line recap: Jan is suing the company for the way they treated her, so Michael has to testify and things get messy.
Reasoning: Michael acted in a legal setting about the exact way we all expected Michael to act in a legal setting… terribly.
Iconic quote: “Mr. Scott do you realize you just contradicted yourself. I did? Yes you did. Can I go to the bathroom? No. I really have to I've been drinking lots of water. You went five minutes ago. That wasn't to go to the bathroom that was to get out of a question. You still have to answer it. First can I go to the bathroom. No.”- Court Reporter
Winner: Darryl Philbin! He kicks Jim’s ass in ping-pong, and Kelly proves herself to be a devoted girlfriend (for now) by pumping him up all episode.
#87: Health Care (Season 1, episode 3)
One-line recap: Jan tasks Michael with picking a health care plan, so Michael tasks Dwight with picking a health care plan.
Reasoning: We get to see Dwight in charge, which emphasizes how little the office respects him. And we get some hilarious made up diseases.
Iconic quote: “Could you mean vagina? Because if you do, I want that covered.”- Meredith Palmer
Winner: Jim Halpert! Tough call, since no one gets a solid health care plan. But Jim does get to dunk on Dwight over and over again in this episode, so he wins.
#88: The Merger (Season 3, episode 8)
One-line recap: As the Scranton and Stamford branches merge, Jim is named the office #2, which leads to Andy and Dwight battling for the office #3.
Reasoning: Watching the scene with Tony in the conference room is amazing. And we get to See Dwight race a thermometer.
Iconic quote: “No. I mean I can’t physically. I can’t get on the table.”- Tony Gardner
Winner: Karen Filippelli! She survives the first day in Scranton (unlike Tony) and gets a date with Jim (unlike Pam).
#89: Phyllis’ Wedding (Season 3, episode 16)
One-line recap: The office gets its party on at Phyllis and Bob’s wedding.
Reasoning: We see Michael try and take over the wedding after being upstaged, and ends up getting thrown out. Plus a lot of great dancing as well.
Iconic quote: “I can’t believe I pushed that… that guy’s lazy ass around all day… until he was ready to stand up and steal the show. That’s… well… I got news for you, Albert. If that’s your real name. The show’s not over.”- Michael Scott
Winner: Phyllis Vance! She gets her special day, and she gets uncle Al back before she heads out for her honeymoon.
#90: Job Fair (Season 4, episode 17)
One-line recap: Michael, OScar, Darryl and Pam go to a job fair to look for interns, while Jim, Andy and Kevin play golf with a client.
Reasoning: It’s fun to see Michael trying to recruit interns, but it’s even more fun to watch Andy play golf and drive the cart into the sand trap.
Iconic quote: “Hit about 1200 balls last night, in preparation for today, so hands are a little tender. It’s actually not funny at all. It’s incredibly painful.”- Andy Bernard
Winner: Jim Halpert! Jim does well with the sales pitch, as he finally wears him down, plus he shoots a 102 which is respectable.
#91 & #92: Dunder Mifflin Infinity Parts 1 & 2 (Season 4, episodes 3 & 4)
One-line recap: Ryan tries to get the company to go old school, while Michael and Dwight try to win over clients the old-fashioned way.
Reasoning: These two episodes boil down to one scene; Michael driving his car into the lake.
Iconic quote: “Where are the turtles??? WHERE ARE THEY???”- Michael Scott
Winner: Garbage! Garbage, the cat Dwight gets from the street to win over Angela, gets a new home in the office building.
#93 & #94: Classy Christmas Parts 1 & 2 (Season 7, episodes 11 & 12)
One-line recap: With Holly returning to Scranton, Michael scrambles to have a cool Christmas party.
Reasoning: The snowball war between Jim and Dwight might just be their best duel in the series.
Iconic quote: “Oh, my God! It’s the first snowfall of Christmas. Is that just so magical for you, little girl? Can you not wait to have a hot chocolate, and cuddle up with Papa and tell him about all your Christmas dreams, hmm? It’s not even real snow. Look, it’s dusting. Pitiful.”- Dwight Schrute
Winner: Dwight Schrute! He doesn’t get the best of Jim very often, but he absolutely torments his nemesis in this episode.
#95: Counseling (Season 7, episode 2)
One-line recap: After Michael assaults his nephew in the office, he is forced to go through counseling sessions with Toby.
Reasoning: It’s always fun to see Michael and Toby clash, but this episode is special, as they are locked in a room together. Plus the Dwight-at-the-mall storyline is pretty fun.
Iconic quote: “Good sir. I happen to have been working a very long day. When I came to your fine establishment. You are such a… I’m gonna… Ok. Listen. You can’t treat… Thank you! Good morning sir!”- Dwight Schrute
Winner: Toby Flenderson! Toby takes a lot of shit over 9 seasons, but in this episode he really gets through to Michael, in their most meaningful connection of the series.
#96: New Guys (Season 9, episode 1)
One-line recap: We catch up with what the office did over the summer, and we meet Pete and Clark (Dwight Jr. & New Jim).
Reasoning: Of all the new additions to the show over the years, Pete and Clark are two of the best. Plus Kevin and the turtle is a priceless moment.
Iconic quote: “You will be called Plop… Cause you’re always taking dumps!”- Andy Bernard
Winner: Oscar Martinez! He’s having an affair with the (state) senator, and he gets a cat.
#97: China (Season 7, episode 10)
One-line recap: Michael learns something that Oscar didn’t know, which leads to a not-so-friendly competition to see who knows more.
Reasoning: The Michae-Oscar brain-off is fun to watch, and watching Andy win over Darryl puts a smile on your face.
Iconic quote: “I’m sorry, isn’t that good enough for your anus? Don’t get me started on how coddled the modern anus is.”- Dwight Schrute
Winner: Andy Bernard! He eventually makes Darryl laugh and gets that coveted high five.
#98: Sabre (Season 6, episode 15)
One-line recap: After Sabre takes over Dunder Mifflin, Michael goes to see David Wallace for advice on how to deal with all the changes.
Reasoning: Andy and Erin singing at the beginning is really sweet and funny, and seeing David Wallace in his natural habitat is priceless. As is Jim at the preschool.
Iconic quote: “There are very few things that would make me not want to team up with David Wallace. And Suck It is one of ’em.”- Michael Scott
Winner: David Wallace! David is living his best life, and Suck-It is about to become a mega hit.
#99: Christmas Party (Season 2, episode 10)
One-line recap: The office holds a Secret Santa party, but when Michael blows the spending limit away things become awkward.
Reasoning: This episode includes a lot of hurt feelings, but we do get a wonderful teapot that circles back at the end of the series.
Iconic quote: “So Phyllis is basically saying, “Hey Michael, I know you did a lot to help the office this year but I only care about you a homemade oven mitt’s worth.” I gave Ryan an iPod.”- Michael Scott
Winner: Dwight Schrute! Dwight gets the iPod in the end, so he’s the real winner.