Happy Birthday, Dunder Mifflin Scranton!
Fourscore and 15 years ago yesterday, the 24th of March, the first episode of the American adaptation of The Office premiered on NBC, serving us hilarious dead-pan, often controversial material that would soon become one of the world’s most adored shows.
Following its release, The Office would soon set the bar for what we now know as the ‘workplace comedy’. Though it’s set as your “typical” office structure in the somewhat unheard of town of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the show’s material combined with the exceptionally strange characters made the show nothing short of a masterpiece.
From creating iconic characters like the enigmatic Michael Scott and his not-so-sidekick Dwight Schrute, to endless shenanigans and pranks like starting a fire in the name of safety or sticking a stapler in some Jell-O, this series is made to be watched over and over again—so don’t feel too guilty that you do.
This show really is the gift that keeps on giving, and to celebrate it’s 15 years of existence, let’s look at some of the best episodes from over the years (since there are too many to count over nine seasons, I specifically looked at seasons with [Spoiler Alert] Michael still around).
1. S1E2: Diversity Day
Possibly one of the most controversial episodes in the series, ‘Diversity Day’ glorifies stereotypes in a game of ‘guess who’ that would never make it to air nowadays. It’ll have you laughing while asking yourself ‘wait, is it bad that I’m laughing?’ And that’s exactly why we love it.
2. S2E1: The Dundies
From ‘Busiest Beaver’ to the ‘Whitest Sneakers’, the Dundie Awards are the highlight of the year at Dunder Mifflin. Though the tradition continues throughout future seasons, the original episode in season two is the ultimate classic thanks to Pam (and her ultimate banning from Chilis).
3. S2E10: Christmas Party
One of the most classic holiday episodes is season two’s Christmas Party. Michael feels the holiday generosity a little too hard, and Angela takes her party planning a little too seriously. Oh, and if you ever play yankee swap after this, please don’t buy an iPod.
4. S4E13: Dinner Party
Michael and Jan invite some office couples over for dinner, but end up airing their dirty laundry instead by openly fighting. While it’s not really clear if anyone actually eats their dinner, there’s plenty of awkwardness, Jan dancing, and passive aggression to go around.
Not only did most of us learn the proper song to do compressions to, but this episode was filled with all the memes that will last in our hearts forever, from a fake fire drill that gives Stanley a heart attack to a CPR lesson that gets out of control. And now Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees will always remind you of this episode.
Sadly, that’s not all we took away from this episode as can be seen with the recent toilet paper hoarding caused by panic buying. Maybe a little Schrute-eqsue disaster preparedness test wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
We could all use a little bit of Dunder Mifflin in our lives during this pandemic, so go ahead and proudly binge on all your favourite seasons to celebrate 15 years of memes, quotes, and streaming site access. What episodes from The Office do you rank as most iconic?