The Definitive Ranking of Every Episode of The Office, Part VI
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 three days, The Circuit will release episode rankings, leading to the ultimate reveal of the top episodes, plus the characters with the most wins! This sixth post will feature episodes #51-#75, the "upper tier" 24 episodes in the nine-season run of the show. #51: Doomsday (Season 8, episode 6) One-line recap: Dwight installs a machine that keeps track of mistakes, and if it hits 5 it sends a report to Robert California… it hits 5. Reasoning: We have always understood how inefficient this office is, but this episode just goes out of its way to highlight the mistakes they all make. And it’s fewer than you’d think. Iconic quote: “Uh… the man tree puts its penis…”- Kevin Malone Winner: Dwight Schrute! He comes up with a pretty brilliant device that detects mistakes, strikes fear in everybody that he’s mad at, and he realizes he has genuine friends. #52: Tallahassee (Season 8, episode 15) One-line recap: As select members of the office head to Tallahassee for a new Sabre project, Jim discovers Vacation Stanley and Dwight is rushed into surgery after his appendix bursts. Reasoning: We get a remote location, we see Jim and Dwight go head-to-head and we get the moment that caused me to laugh harder than any other scene in series history; when Jim pranks Dwight into thinking he was murdered and falls out of the closet. Iconic quote: “Life is short. Drive fast and leave a sexy corpse. That’s one of my mottos.”- Stanley Hudson Winner: Stanley Hudson! Throughout the show, Stanley doesn’t care about anything work-related. Here he gets a vacation to Florida where he can live his best life. #53: Drug Testing (Season 2, episode 20) One-line recap: A joint is found at the office, and Dwight holds a full-blown investigation to find the source. Reasoning: Watching Dwight interrogate the office is a fun scene, and seeing Michael panic is even more fun. And Pam jinxing Jim is so cute, you could melt. Iconic quote: “I don’t think Michael’s ever done drugs. I don’t know if anyone has ever offered him any.”- Ryan Howard Winner: Dwight Schrute! Dwight gets to flex his voluntary deputy sheriff muscles, he displays ultimate loyalty to his best friend, and he is named “Honorary Security Advisor” to Dunder Mifflin. #54: The Search (Season 7, episode 15) One-line recap: Jim has to leave Michael at a gas station, and apparently he can’t make it back to the office, so a search party goes looking for him. Reasoning: Finally, Michael wins Holly over! It’s so heartwarming to watch Holly and Michael on this collision-course of destiny, and that rooftop kiss is everything. Iconic quote: “Holly is ruining Michael’s life. He thinks she is so special. And she’s so not. Her personality is like a 3. Her sense of humor is a 2. Her ears are like a 7and a 4. Add it all up and what do you get? 16. And he treats her like she’s a perfect 40. It’s nuts.”- Erin Hannon Winner: Michael Scott! He finally begins his happy ever after, winning over Holly once and for all. Plus he gets to explore the city, which apparently he has never done before. #55: Branch Wars (Season 4, episode 10) One-line recap: Karen, now the branch manager in Utica and tries to poach Stanley to leave Scranton, so Michael, Dwight and Jim go on a mission to stop it. Reasoning: We get a great heist episode here, as Michael and Dwight kidnap Jim and go to Utica to stop the poaching. We also get the “Finer Things Club” which is one of tha all-time subplots of the series. Iconic quote: “I wasn’t really planning on leaving, all I wanted was a raise. How on Earth did Michael call my bluff? Is he some sort of secret genius? (laughs) Sometimes I say crazy things.”- Stanley Hudson Winner: Michael Scott! In the end, he was able to keep a beloved employee, so he wins the episode. #56: Crime Aid (Season 5, episode 5) One-line recap: The office has been broken into, so they throw a fundraiser in the warehouse with a pretty boss main item. Reasoning: Michael as MC is always entertaining, and the Bruce Springsteen debacle is typical Michael hijinx. Iconic quote: “Really Phyllis? You’re auctioning a hug?”- Michael Scott Winner: Phyllis Vance! Her hug goes for $1,000 after Michael mocked her for it. #57 & #58: A.A.R.M. Parts 1 & 2 ( Season 9, episodes 22 & 23) One-line recap: Jim and Dwight seek to find the new Assistant to the Assistant to the Regional Manager, Dwight questions if he’s Phillip’s father, and Andy is embarrassed and it goes viral. Reasoning: We start to wrap up the loose threads of the show, start to realize Dwight is the father, and we see Andy try to begin his musical career… and fail miserably. Iconic quote: “Oh I can so just sit here and cry!”- Andy Bernard Winner: Dwight Schute! Dwight is regional manager, Dwight wins the A.A.R.M. position, and he starts to put together that he is the father to Phillip. Everything's coming up Dwight! #59: Lice (Season 9, episode 10) One-line recap: Pam brings lice into the office, and Meredith shaves her head. Reasoning: Pam brings lice into the office, and Meredith shaves her head. Iconic quote: “Shave her head. Shave. Her. HEAD!”- Meredith Palmer Winner: Jim Halpert! Jim is in Philly with Julius “Dr. J” Erving shooting hoops and avoids the lice. Maybe the most decisive win of the series. #60: Michael’s Last Dundies (Season 7, episode 21) One-line recap: Michael is about to move to Colorado, so he and Deangelo Vickers host the Dundies. Reasoning: The last scene in the conference room where the office sings to Michael is genuinely moving. Iconic quote: “Yeah, okay. (deep inhale) Well this is gonna hurt like a mother-beeeeeeep.”- Michael Scott Winner: Michael Scott! It could only be him. While this wasn’t his official goodbye, it sure felt like it. And he was right, it did hurt like a mother-beeeeeeep. #61: Nepotism (Season 7, episode 1) One-line recap: Michael hires his nephew, who is awful, and ends up spanking him in front of everyone. Reasoning: Michael hires his nephew, who is awful, and ends up spanking him in front of everyone. Iconic quote: “Everywhere I look it’s Betty White this and Betty White that. Finally a kid that’s not talking about Betty White. Of course I follow him.”- Creed Bratton Winner: Betty White! The first winner of the series that isn’t actually in the series. With an episode void of any real winners, the Betty White name drop is as much of a win as anything else. #62: Michael Scott Paper Company (Season 5, episode 23) One-line recap: Michael, Pam and Ryan make their home in their new office, and Jim struggles to figure out what the hell a rundown is. Reasoning: Watching Michael and co. adjusting to their new office is amusing, and watching Jim flounder under the rundown pressure is even more so. And we get the birth of “Erin”! Iconic quote: “What the hell is a rundown?”- Jim Halpert Winner: Erin Hannon! Erin gets the name she’ll use the rest of the show, and she has Dwight and Andy fawning over her all episode. #63: Branch Closing (Season 3, episode 7) One-line recap: When Jan tells Michael Scranton is closing, he takes Dwight to David Wallace’s house to change his mind. Reasoning: It’s touching to see Michael and Dwight do everything they can to save their friends, and Josh makes a heel turn. Winner: Kelly Kapore! I initially thought Michael, but Kelly not only keeps her job, but she keeps Ryan too. Simultaneously, Ryan is the episode's loser. #64: Business School (Season 3, episode 17) One-line recap: Michael goes to speak at Ryan’s business class, and back at the office a bat is on the loose. Reasoning: Dwight puts a trash bag over Meredith’s head and Jim makes Dwight think he’s a burgeoning vampire. And we get an incredibly tender moment between Michael and Pam, the foundation for that relationship moving forward. Iconic quote: “If a vampire bat was in the U.S., it would make sense for it to come to a “sylvania.” Like PENN-sylvania. Now that doesn’t mean that Jim is going to become a vampire. Only that he carries the vampiric germ.”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Ryan Howard! Ryan was able to avoid all the bat drama at the office, and we think he got the credit for bringing Michael? So yeah, Ryan wins. #65: Diversity Day (Season 1, episode 2) One-line recap: Michael continuously impersonates Chris Rock, so corporate decides that he needs sensitivity training. Reasoning: A classic offensive early-season episode of the show, we see Michael in rare form. Plus the Jim storyline of his huge sale is an intriguing sub plot. Iconic quote: “All right! All right! Yes! That was great, she gets it! Now she knows what it’s like to be a minority.”- Michael Scott Winner: Dwight Schrute! Tough call here, as there weren’t a lot of winners; Michael gets slapped, Kelly gets targeted, Jim loses his sale. Dwight steals Jim’s client and then is gifted champagne, so he wins. #66: Business Ethics (Season 5, episode 3) One-line recap: During an ethics meeting, Meredith reveals she has been sleeping with a client for a discount, which leads Mihcael and Holly to a fight about what to do about it. Reasoning: The ethics meeting is a really fun sequence, and seeing Jim time Dwight for everything he does on personal time is great. Iconic quote: “Ughh! For the love of God we’re trying to help you… stupid bag.”- Michael Scott Winner: Meredith Palmer! Meredith gets the discount, she gets to sleep around, and she gets out of trouble. Wins all around. #67: Prince Family Paper (Season 5, episode 13) One-line recap: Michael is tasked with getting information on competing paper companies, but he struggles to contribute to sabotaging a family business. Reasoning: It’s fun to see Michael and Dwight go undercover to Prince Family Paper, and seeing the office debate of “hot or not” is amazing. Iconic quote: “Huge difference. A painting can be beautiful, but I don’t want to bang a painting.”- Kevin Malone Winner: Hillary Swank! The second episode winner to not actually be in the episode, Swank is associated with hotness for the entire episode and ultimately is ruled as hot. That’s a win! #68: Cafe Disco (Season 5, episode 27) One-line recap: Michael sets up a cafe disco in the office building, but the employees are reluctant to go down and hang out. Reasoning: We get to see the office let loose and have fun at the cafe disco, and we see Dwight treat Phyllis like a farm animal which is hysterical. Iconic quote: “It’s just, we need to get her out of here because no one is going to want to go in there with a woman writhing around on the floor. Wait, wait, wait. But most importantly we need to get her some medical attention. ASAP. Stat.”- Michael Scott Winner: Michael Scott! Michael comes out of this episode as the true winner, as his cafe disco turns out to be a big hit! #69: Pam’s Replacement (Season 8, episode 7) One-line recap: Pam is pregnant and her replacement is hot, so she and Dwight set out to discover the truth of how attractive Jim finds her. Reasoning: The lengths Dwight goes to get the truth out of Jim are hilarious, and Jim is in rare form denying that he finds Cathy attractive. And that poor old man at the drugstore. Iconic quote: “Does your husband have very soft erections? Because if not, I just grabbed a very soft penis for nothing.”- Dwight Schrute Winner: Cathy Simms! Much like Hillary Swank, the premise of this episode is essentially that Cathy is hot and everyone knows it. Winning. #70: Pool Party (Season 8, episode 12) One-line recap: Robert is selling his house due to his divorce, so he throws a pool party for the office and hijinks ensue. Reasoning: It’s always fun to see the workers at a house party, and watching the rave at the end with Gabe and Ryan is priceless. And the meatball cold open is pitch perfect. Iconic quote: “It’s not a party if you don’t do something that scares ya.”- Robert California Winner: Stanley Hudson! He is the mastermind that orchestrates the meatball pranks, leading to untold meatball riches. #71: Mafia (Season 6, episode 6) One-line recap: Michael comes across a pushy insurance salesman, and Dwight & Andy convince him that he is being shaken down by the mob. Reasoning: We get to see Michael navigate being shaken down by the mob, and we get to see Kevin cause havoc on Jim & Pam’s honeymoon. Iconic quote: “Shh. I will have the spaghetti, with a side salad… If the salad is on top, I send it back.”- Michael Scott Winner: Kevin Malone! Kevin found a wonderful place to fart, and he ultimately wasn’t caught by Jim and Pam. #72: Viewing Party (Season 7, episode 8) One-line recap: Gabe and Erin host a Glee viewing party, where Michael is upset and Dwight is nurturing. Reasoning: Again, the workers at a house party is always awesome. And seeing Dwight manipulate Jim is oddly satisfying. Iconic quote: “You know what? I’m so confused. Is this a Glee watching party? Or a Glee pausing party? ‘Cause we keep stopping it, to get a history lesson from…”- Kelly Kapore Winner: Erin Hannon! She throws a pretty successful party all things considered, and she makes a heartwarming connection with Michael at the end. #73: Casual Friday (Season 5, episode 26) One-line recap: As Michael, Pam and Ryan return to Dunder Mifflin, the sales staff is not happy that they took their clients and a coup starts. Reasoning: Kevin spills the pot of chili. That’s it. Iconic quote: “You don’t understand clothing, Toby. You’re dressed like this amorphous blob of khaki.”- Andy Bernard Winner: Pam Beesly! She beats out Ryan for the lone sales job, so she beats out everyone in the episode for the win. #74: Safety Training (Season 3, episode 20) One-line recap: Michael is frustrated that the warehouse is more dangerous than the office, so he pretends to be depressed and plans to jump off of the roof. Reasoning: Michael is great in the warehouse, playing with all the dangerous machines, and the trampoline testing scene with the watermelons is iconic. Iconic quote: “Dwight, you ignorant slut.”- Michael Scott Winner: Darryl Philbin! Darryl schools Michael during the safety training, and then delivers the speech that brings him down from the roof. #75: Initiation (Season 3, episode 5) One-line recap: Dwight takes Ryan on his first sales call, Michael and Stanley wait in line for pretzel day, and Jim takes Karen’s chair. Reasoning: Pretzel day becomes an iconic holiday in the series after we see how serious Stanley takes it, and it’s fun to see Ryan get hazed by Dwight. Iconic quote: “I wake up every morning in a bed that’s too small, drive my daughter to a school that’s too expensive, and then I go to work to a job for which I get paid too little, but on Pretzel Day? Well, I like pretzel day.”- Stanley Hudson Winner: Stanley Hudson! It’s pretzel day.