The Definitive Ranking of Every Episode of The Office, Part III
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. Getty Images/ Circuit Artwork 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 six days, The Circuit will release episode rankings, leading to the ultimate reveal of the top episodes, plus the characters with the most wins! This third post will feature episodes #126-#150, the "lower-middle tier" 25 episodes in the nine-season run of the show. #126: After Hours (Season 8, episode 16) One-line recap: Dwight battles Todd Packer for the VP position, Cathay tries to seduce Jim, and Darryl gets his feelings for Val put on blast back in Scranton. Reasoning: This episode has some great moments. Watching Jim and Dwight tackle the fake bed bugs problem is hilarious, and seeing the chaos back in Scranton unfold between Darryl, Val & Kelly is reminiscent of early Jim-Pam-Michael antics. Iconic quote: “No. There’s no way in hell I’m leaving. Something interesting is happening here for once in my life, I am staying here. Darryl, read the texts.”- Kelly Kapore Winner: Kelly Kapore! Finally, something interesting happens at work for Kelly to invest in (I guess fires, fights and ferris wheels don’t interest her), plus Ryan says he’s in love with her (mind you, not to her, and after he tries to hook up with another woman, but still he says it). #127: Test the Store (Season 8, episode 17) One-line recap: Dwight looks to impress Nellie with a theatrical store opening, while back in Scranton Andy gets beat up by a little girl. Reasoning: Andy channels his inner-Michael by running a self-defense meeting because he gets beat up by a little girl, and Jim gives one of his most memorable performances in the history of the series with his Sabre performance in an ill-fitting suit. Iconic quote: “Tough day. Yes. But I feel good. I put the office in their place, took a bunch of painkillers, drank a half a bottle of wine, took my pants off. I just feel good!”- Andy Bernard Winner: Random Little Girl! She kicks Andy’s ass, and absolutely slaughters Pam with a savage comment about her being “thin”. Dwight came close in this episode, but the random girl gets our vote. #128: Last Day In Florida (Season 8, episode 18) One-line recap: As Dwight celebrates becoming VP, Robert California reveals to Jim that he plans to scrap the store, so Jim has to battle Dwight to save his job. Reasoning: Rounding out the Florida storyline, we get one of the best physical altercations in the entire show between Jim and Dwight in the hallway. Andy finally makes his decision to be with Erin and drives down to Florida to bring her back. Toby and Darryl fight over selling Kevin cookies. Plus we get another fun golf scene in the show which I personally can’t get enough of. Iconic quote: “No. Wait, no. I’m buying, I make the rules. I actually do want you to fight over me. I wanna be wined and dined and… 69ed.”- Kevin Malone Winner: Dwight Schrute! Probably deserved the win in the last episode, so we’re going with a make-up victory here. Thanks to Jim, Dwight gets to keep his job. #129: Sex Ed (Season 7, episode 4) One-line recap: Michael reconnects with all his former lovers when he thinks he has herpes, and Andy runs a sex ed class with the office to teach them about diseases. Reasoning: It’s always fun to see Michael overreact when he thinks he has something wrong with him. Plus seeing Andy get flustered when the office has nothing bad to say about sex is priceless. And we get our introduction to Nate! Iconic quote: “I asked you if it was ok if I asked her out. You said, and I quote, ‘My good sir! Nothing would make me happier than to hand you the hand of the hand once in my hand.’ I specifically remember it because you said it in such a weird way.”- Gabe Lewis Winner: Jan Levinson! Yes, she is slightly concerned that she has herpes, BUT we see that she is a very successful woman and seems very happy with Astrid. This is a far cry from when we saw her floundering as a candle maker. #130: Double Date (Season 6, episode 9) One-line recap: Michael and Helene go on a double date with Jim and Pam for Helene’s birthday, but the lunch goes tragically wrong. Reasoning: As great as it was to see Michael dating Pam’s mom, it’s even greater to see him break up with her. Plus it’s fun to watch Dwight and Andy try to one-up each other with favors in order to gain leverage over the office. Oh, and Pam hits Michael. That happened. Iconic quote: “Dammit. I am no closer to taking Jim down. What a waste of a day. I could have grown poisoned mushrooms that would have been this high by now. [bends over and holds hand about 1/2 an inch from the floor] They’re mushrooms. They don’t get that high.”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Pam Beesly! Sure her mom is upset, but three great things happen for her in this episode: 1) She gets a free lunch from Michael Scott (we can assume), 2) Michael Scott is no longer dating her mom and 3) SHE GETS TO HIT MICHAEL SCOTT. #131: Blood Drive (Season 5, episode 18) One-line recap: While Jim, Pam, Phyllis & Bob Vance go out to a Valentine’s lunch, Michael meets a woman at a blood drive and throws a party in hopes of seeing her again. Reasoning: After Holly broke Michael’s heart, it’s nice to see him get excited about another woman. Plus seeing Phyllis embrace her inner freak with Bob Vance in the restaurant in a pantheon Phyllis moment. Iconic quote: “Believe me it's nothing. I hardly even talked to her we just, we were lying there next to each other, I think our blood bags touched.”- Michael Scott Winner: Phyllis Vance! She takes yet another extremely long lunch to avoid working, and it looks like she got a pretty wild ride in the restaurant bathroom on Valentine’s Day. #132: Shareholder Meeting (Season 6, episode 11) One-line recap: Michael is getting honored for his great work at a shareholder meeting, and he brings Dwight, Andy & Oscar with him. Reasoning: We spend so much time on the show watching Michael flounder at being a boss, but this episode is one piece of evidence that Michael is actually really good at his job… but maybe not at public speaking, as he completely torpedoes the meeting and ruins everything. Iconic quote: “Uh, I’m not a moron. Time after time my branch leads in sales. I have personally won over 17 Dundie awards. So, I am not a moron and I am just trying to help, you know? So… you’re the moron.”- Michael Scott Winner: Michael Scott! Michael gets a limo, he gets special recognition by the company, and he ultimately works up the courage to tell off the board. This episode works as a way of showing the audience that Michael is actually The World’s Greatest Boss. #133: WUPHF.com (Season 7, episode 9) One-line recap: Ryan and Michael try to get WUPHF off the ground with a group of office investors. Reasoning: This episode works as a big milestone for Michael, as he finally seems to outgrow Ryan and realize that he isn’t good for him, which follows the theme of season 7 of Michael’s personal growth. Iconic quote: “Okay, moving backwards, our I.T. Guys have been… Glasses, Turban, Ear Hair, Fatty 3, Shorts, Fatty 2, Lozenge, and Fatso. I think Lozenge was the one who installed it.”- Michael Scott Winner: Michael Scott! As mentioned above, Michael continues to show growth in this episode by realizing that Ryan is not all that he has held him up to be. Plus he gets his money back when Ryan sells, which is a huge relief. #134: PDA (Season 7, episode 16) One-line recap: Michael and Holly are finally back together, and they let the whole office know that they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Reasoning: This episode is great because we see Michael and Holly back together, and Michael might be happier than we have ever seen him. And we get to see Jim and Pam explore the office park for places to hook up, leading to countless funny interactions. Iconic quote: “Can I finish? Can I finish? Is that okay? I was saying…I enjoy watching them because it makes me horny.”- Kevin Malone Winner: Michael Scott! He has waited two years to get back together with Holly, and he finally has her back and is moving in with the love of his life. #135: Get the Girl (Season 8, episode 19) One-line recap: Andy heads down to Florida to win Erin back, while Nellie attempts to take his job back in Scranton. Reasoning: This is really the last we see of the real Andy. After this episode, he goes into a downward spiral that is not great to watch. But in this episode we still feel like we have the Nard Dog with us, and his scene with Erin and Irene is priceless. Iconic quote: “Where’s the ring, Lancelot?”- Irene Winner: Nellie Bertram! Nellie goes to Scranton and just… takes the manager job? That’s one of the ultimate power moves in the entire series. #136: Free Family Portrait Studio (Season 8, episode 24) One-line recap: Dwight offers free family portraits in order to get a DNA sample from Phillip, and Andy concocts a plot to take back the manager position. Reasoning: While Andy is on a downward trajectory at this point, watching him play the drunken janitor while he waits for David Wallace to return is quite funny. And Dwight succeeds in his plan to get hair from Phillip while also pranking Jim without pranking him. Iconic quote: “I just want one mother[bleep] delicious moment. Is that too much to ask?”- Andy Bernard Winner: David Wallace! David makes his triumphant return to Scranton after he buys the company back with his profits from Suck It! Plus many of the other characters do not win in this episode. Even Andy suffers the majority of the show. #137: Ultimatum (Season 7, episode 13) One-line recap: Holly gives AJ an ultimatum in their relationship which leads Michael to an outburst, and Pam regrets putting up a New Years Resolution board. Reasoning: This episode takes us one step closer to Michael and Holly getting together which is what we all want. Not to mention, Kevin gets broccoli shoved down his throat, Creed does a cartwheel and Darry reads more. Iconic quote: “That’s real, real classy, Kevin. Hey, was it me or you that just shoved the butt end of a pound of broccoli into my mouth because Michael told me to?”- Ryan Howard Winner: Creed Bratton! Michael goes on a real roller coaster, Kevin takes a big L, and Pam has her board blow up in her face. But Creed pulls off a (very bad) cartwheel and is so content afterwards, so he wins. #138: The Manager and the Salesman (Season 6, episode 16) One-line recap: Jo Bennett is not having two managers, so Jim and Michael battle it out to see who is the manager… and who is the salesman. Reasoning: The entire co-manager storyline was defined by a power struggle between Michael and Jim to see who had the most power. But here we see them battle it out for the sales job with the uncapped commission. Plus Dwight and Ryan plot to dethrone Jim. Iconic quote: “They love a good crotch.”- Jo Bennett Winner: Jo Bennett! We get our in-person introduction to Jo Bennett, and she makes her presence felt immediately. She comes in with her crotch-loving dogs and her crotch-loving Gabe and nixes the co-manager system. #139: Dream Team (Season 5, episode 22) One-line recap: Michael looks to put together his sales team for the Michael Scott Paper Company, and Charles Miner looks to tighten the ship in Scranton. Reasoning: It’s fun to see Michael assemble the Avengers of sales, headlined by Vikram! Plus we get an iconic cold open where Kevin struggles to answer the phones, and the office plays soccer which ends in disaster for Phyllis. Iconic quote: “I have egg in my Crocs.”- Michael Scott Winner: Ryan Howard! He gets plucked away from a terrible bowling alley job, gets back to Michael who he can completely manipulate, and he gets to watch tv. #140: Night Out (Season 4, episode 15) One-line recap: While Michael and Dwight go to New York to party with Ryan, the office stays late to get work done and they get locked in. Reasoning: Dwight and Michael are hilarious to watch in New York clubs, and seeing the office struggle to get out of the office park after they lock themselves in. How do they not know Hank’s name? And how is Dwight such a ladies man? Iconic quote: “Yeah I have a lot of questions. Number one, how dare you?”- Kelly Kapore Winner: Dwight Schrute! Dwight gets to go partying in New York, and manages to pick up the Jersey State varsity team in the process. And he meets a real-life hobbit. #141: Local Ad (Season 4, episode 9) One-line recap: Michael battles a marketing company on who can make a better commercial, and Dwight escapes into his Second Life. Reasoning: We get some awesome musical scenes here, plus Jim and Dwight both exploring their Second Lives is fun to see where they are at mentally. And Michael actually delivers a pretty good commercial! Iconic quote: “I kind of know what it’s like to be in commercials. My nickname in high school used to be Kool-Aid Man.”- Kevin Malone Winner: Michael Scott! Even though Ryan underestimates him, in the end Michael pulls off a pretty great commercial. #142 & #143: A Benihana Christmas Parts 1 & 2 (Season 3, episodes 10 & 11) One-line recap: Carol breaks up with Michael and Andy and Dwight take him to Benihana’s to cheer him up. Reasoning: Every Christmas episode is special on The Office, and this one includes a trip to a restaurant which always goes wrong. Plus we get a party afterward where Michael goes to extreme lengths to try and hook up with a waitress. Iconic quote: “It is my job to be there for Michael. How can I be there for Michael if I’m here for Michael?”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Andy Bernard! Andy seems to succeed in splitting Michael and Dwight, both metaphorically and physically at the restaurant, with Andy sitting next to Michael and Dwight at the other end of the table. #144: The Fight (Season 2, episode 6) One-line recap: Michael and Dwight fight at the Dojo, and Jim and Pam hit a speed-bump in their friendship. Reasoning: Seeing Michael and Dwight fight at the Dojo is priceless. Plus we see some development, even if it is negative, in the relationship between Pam and Jim when her shirt starts to come up as they were hoarding around at the fight. Iconic quote: “So effective immediately I am promoting you from Assistant to the Regional Manager to Assistant Regional Manager.”- Michael Scott Winner: Dwight Schrute! He may have lost the fight, but he gets promoted to Assistant Regional Manager, his dream job. #145: The Negotiation (Season 3, episode 19) One-line recap: After Darryl asks for a raise and realizes Michael is underpaid, they both seek to get more money from Jan. Reasoning: Watching Dwight protect Jim from Roy was really touching to see, and we finally get rid of him for good (at least in terms of dating Pam). And watching Michael and Darryl navigate pay raises is fun to see as well. Iconic quote: “This may be the first time that a male subordinate has attempted to get a modest scheduled raise by threatening to withhold sex from a female superior. It will be a groundbreaking case when it inevitably goes to trial.”- Toby Flenderson Winner: Dwight Schrute! He’s on a roll here. He saves the day by defeating Roy, and he gets a lot of rewards from Jim, including his secrecy about Dwight and Angela. #146: Happy Hour (Season 6, episode 21) One-line recap: The office goes to happy hour after work, and we are introduced to Date Mike. Reasoning: Date Mike is legendary, with his hat and his swag. We also meet Donna, who Michael will take up an affair with, Andy and Erin look to hide their relationship, Kevin tries to make Pam lactate, and Stanley beats 25 push-ups and 1 girl push-up. Iconic quote: “When a new mom hears a baby cry, her you-know-what’s fill up with you-know-what, and then her shirt gets, you know… that would be funny.”- Kevin Malone Winner: Pam Beesly! Sure, her friends doesn’t really like Date Mike, but Pam does get to go out and have a fun night with the office which she was clearly so excited to do. #147: Livin’ The Dream (Season 9, episode 21) One-line recap: Andy quits to pursue fame, Jim comes back to Scranton to pursue family, and Dwight is promoted to Regional Manager. Reasoning: The episode before the penultimate episode of the series starts to sow everything together; Jim and Pam seem to be okay after Jim moves back to Scranton, Dwight finally becomes the new manager, which is very earned, and Angela is trying to put her life back together just in time to get back together with Dwight Schrute. Iconic quote: “Yesterday I was just your average, ordinary paper salesman with a farm and a bunch of pipe dreams about beet fuel. Today, I leave here a regional manager with a black belt. It really is amazing how your life can change in one day.”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Dwight Schrute! Who else could it be? Dwight finally becomes regional manager, and this time it sticks for good. Perfectenschlag. #148: Secret Santa (Season 6, episode 13) One-line recap: Michael is outraged that Phyllis is Santa, so he sets out to ruin the Christmas party as he usually does. Reasoning: Michael vs. Phyllis for Santa is great. Seeing Kevin interact with Michael as Santa is hilarious, and then Michael heckling the office as Jesus is even better. Iconic quote: “You can’t yell out ‘I need this, I need this’ as you pin down an employee on your lap!”- Jim Halpert Winner: Phyllis Vance! Phyllis gets all she’s ever wanted; to be Santa. #149: Heavy Competition (Season 5, episode 24) One-line recap: Dwight plays the mole to the Michael Scott Paper Company, but ends up flipping on them and sabotaging their office while they’re gone at lunch. Reasoning: The MSPC storyline is one of the strongest in the show, and watching Dwight contribute both positively and negatively to the arc is fun to watch. And we get the epic cheeseballs cold open. Iconic quote: “I color code all my info. I wrote “gay son” in green. Green means go, so I know to go ahead and shut up about it. Orange means “Orange you glad you didn’t bring it up?” Most colors mean “Don’t say it.”- Michael Scott Winner: Michael Scott! He gets some valuable information from Dwight at the beginning, and then ultimately beats Dwight at the sales call at the end. #150: Back From Vacation (Season 3, episode 12) One-line recap: Michael returns from his vacation and sends an email of him and Jan together, which leads to all sorts of trouble. Reasoning: It is fantastic to watch Michael try and fix the mistake he made by emailing the picture of him and Jan topless at the beach. And we see Pam help Jim and Karen sort out an issue, but ends up crying in the hallway before Dwight comforts her. Iconic quote: “So you’re PMSing pretty bad, huh?”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Jan Levinson! Jan listens to her therapist and goes for it with Michael despite all her instincts, plus the entire warehouse thinks she’s hot and blows up the topless photo of her.