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The Best Episodes Of The Office According To IMDb

The Office is a modern classic in the sitcom genre. It evolved into an acclaimed hit during its 2005-2013 run, and the show's characters have only continued to captivate their audience and remain in the spotlight long after the series wrapped.

For years, the series has regularly ranked among the most-watched shows on Netflix. Its prolonged success was so profound that six years after the finale aired, NBC bought the streaming rights for $500 million in order to add The Office to the network's Peacock streaming service. This coincided with the announcement that an Office reboot was also a future goal for the company.

With so much sustained interest and passionate fandom surrounding the show, it's never a bad time to look back at the absolute best episodes that The Office ever aired — at least according to IMDb. Here they are, including several nine-star favorites and a handful of episodes that came within two or three tenths of a perfect 10-star rating.

Weight Loss

The first episode of season 5 follows brand new HR rep, Holly Flax, as she leads the office in an intracompany competition to see which Dunder Mifflin office can collectively lose the most weight — and earn some extra vacation days in the process. The competition quickly shifts from fun to miserably intense. Kelly is particularly overcommitted as she tries various crash diets and even swallows what she thinks is a tapeworm that she got from Creed, all in a zealous attempt to lose way too much weight too fast. Ultimately, all of their efforts are for naught as they fail to lose enough weight to bring home the prize.

In the meantime, the episode follows Pam, who heads to the Big Apple to begin a three-month stint in graphic design school. Ryan returns to the office after his disgraceful fall from corporate and begins plotting revenge. Andy is also showcased as he fruitlessly attempts to plan his and Angela's wedding — a wedding that Angela is very clearly uninterested in pursuing.

The brightest spot of the entire installment, though, comes in the form of Jim and Pam's long-awaited engagement. Jim originally planned to propose at Toby's going away party at the end of season 4, only to be thwarted when Andy hijacked the occasion to propose to Angela. Losing his patience, the love-struck paper salesman finally meets with Pam at a gas station halfway between their current living quarters and proposes in the rain.

Fun Run

The first episode of season 4 kicks off in style. In a fairly rapid information dump, it's quickly revealed that jobless Jan is living with Michael, Ryan has dumped Kelly and has gone corporate, Jim has broken up with Karen but isn't officially dating Pam in the open yet, Pam's computer has a virus, and Angela's cat, Sprinkles, is at death's door. In a word, the office seems cursed.

One would think this was all dramatic enough to start off a season, too, but no sir. To top it all off, Michael has to go and hit Meredith with his car, sending her to the hospital with a "tiny" crack in her pelvis. While there, she's treated for possible exposure to rabies. The excuse — er, the news — leads Michael to put on the "Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure" because, of course, Michael would call it that. The subsequent run wastes oodles of company resources and raises a pitiful amount of (mostly Michael's) donated money as the entire staff embarks on a mission to increase rabies awareness and defeat the curse that must be haunting the office.

As if all of that wasn't enough, Dwight also makes a splash by euthanizing Angela's cat, and Jim and Pam are forced to confess that they're dating in secret. From one end to the other, "Fun Run" ranks as one of the most jam-packed episodes in the series' long history.

The Return

An instant classic, "The Return" comes hot on the heels of "The Salesman," where Dwight is wrongfully fired. As a result, this episode picks up the story by revealing that the beet farmer has gotten a job as the only overqualified paper salesman to ever work at Staples. When Michael eventually learns of Dwight's innocence, he tracks him down and rehires him.

While Dwight's personal odyssey remains the central theme, it takes place set to the background of a few fairly momentous events. First, this is the episode where Oscar returns from his three-month paid vacation after Michael kisses him in "Gay Witch Hunt." In celebration, Michael orders the Party Planning Committee to throw the most racist welcoming party ever seen on television.

In the meantime, Jim finally reunites with Pam in order to prank Andy, who's been nothing but obnoxious since his arrival in Scranton. The two manage to deposit Andy's cell phone — complete with his personally recorded a capella "Rockin' Robin" ring tone — into the ceiling above him. As they call him repeatedly, the emotionally unstable salesman eventually loses his cool and punches a hole in a wall. The stunt lands him in a ten-week anger management program, which he's determined to complete in half the time. The episode is a perfect microcosm of the chaotic comedy that reigns supreme after the two Dunder Mifflin Branches merged earlier in the season.

Business School

This gem-of-an-episode is yet another no-brainer as one of the best installments of all time. But while many of the episodes on this list hinge on important plot points or momentous events, this one earns its place through pure comedic joy. 

Nestled deep in the heart of the third season, "Business School" primarily follows Michael Scott as he gives a one-of-a-kind speech at Ryan Howard's business school class. Riddled with outdated statements, insensitive sentiments, and candy-infused analogies, Scott's lecture is, in a word, unforgettable. The scene gets even better when he finds out that Ryan has been discussing Dunder Mifflin's inevitable demise behind his back — something that leads to the latter's banishment to the annex with Kelly. The episode also follows a then-shy Pam Beesly as she puts her talent on display at a local art show. The night ends in tears, only to be resurrected when Michael shows up and, in a proud papa moment, buys her painting of their office building.

The episode also traces the rest of the crew as they try to deal with a loose bat in the office. This leads to one of Jim's more famous extended Dwight pranks as he pretends to turn into a vampire throughout the day. It also ends with Dwight's ridiculously heroic antics as he captures the bat ... after it bites Meredith — an event that possibly leaves her with rabies, of course.

Christmas Party

The earlier seasons of The Office are filled with awkward fun and uncomfortably whimsy, both of which are on full display in the episode "Christmas Party." In many ways, this episode, which takes place early in season 2, marks one of Michael Scott's most insecure, aggressive, and all-around lowest points in the show.

The story takes place during the titular office Christmas party, particularly focusing on a traditional game of Secret Santa. However, the entire event is thrown out of whack when it's revealed that, as his gift for Ryan, Michael purchased a video iPod. (Remember those?) It's worth hundreds of dollars and massively upsets the balance in a game with a meager purchase limit of $20. The gloves really come off, though, when Michael receives a homemade oven mitt from Phyllis as his gift. Fuming with completely unfounded rage, Michael shifts the game to Yankee Swap, ensuring that a miserable time is had by all.

The episode features a slew of memorable early series moments. Angela's party planning frustrations, Michael's penchant for alcoholic workplace reverie, and a drunken Todd Packer are all on full display. Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration also makes his first appearance. But, of course, it's Jim's teapot gift for Pam, with the note that shows up again all the way at the end of the series, that really steals the show.

The Negotiation

"The Negotiation" aired during The Office's third season, following the violent fallout after Roy finds out that Jim kissed Pam at the end of season 2. After Roy is thwarted by Dwight's pepper spray — who's laughing now? — Jim proceeds to spend the rest of the episode doing his best to thank his coworker in spite of Dwight's insistence that he was simply doing his duty as a citizen.

In the meantime, Darryl and Michael hash out the former's request for a pay raise. Michael botches an attempt to use his Wikipedia-based negotiation tactics while Darryl glories in the revelation that his boss is wearing a woman's pantsuit — and that their salaries are surprisingly close. The event leads the pair, with Toby in tow, on a trip to the Big Apple where Michael proceeds to "extort" a raise from his boss and lover, Jan. The entire episode is filled with witty humor, dramatic discoveries, and Dwight K. Schrute wielding a can of pepper spray. What's not to love?

Company Picnic

The season 5 finale saw emotions running high for a number of reasons. The episode came at the end of a turbulent season that had seen Charles Miner replace Ryan as Michael's manager, only to have Mr. Scott tender his resignation and start the Michael Scott Paper Company. After the showdown between the two paper suppliers was reconciled, it only made sense to end the season with a pleasant company picnic... or that was the idea, anyway.

As the episode unfolds, the branches meet for a day of fun and festivities. It doesn't take long, though, before everything goes south. As Michael and Holly team up to put on a song-turned-sketch, the pair accidentally reveal that the Buffalo branch is about to be shut down. 

As the shock of the news sets in, the Scranton employees decide to teach corporate a lesson — by taking them down in that year's volleyball tournament. Things are going well until their star player, Pam, is forced to go to the hospital with a possible injury. As Dwight stalls for time, Jim and Pam race to a  nearby medical facility where they're shocked to discover that Pam is pregnant.

The surprise revelation that the show's favorite couple was officially becoming a family, along with the further setup for Michael and Holly to ultimately get together, make this episode a shoo-in for the list of all-time favorites.

Gay Witch Hunt

Who doesn't love Oscar "Actually" Martinez? The accountant quietly entered the show in season 1 and primarily served as a butt for Michael's racist comments throughout the first season. Over time the character began to slowly find his own voice, although it wasn't until the start of season three that he really came into his own. 

After using a homosexual slur, Michael is surprised to find out that Oscar is gay. The episode proceeds to follow Michael's utterly inappropriate attempt to make things right, a scenario that ends with Michael outing Oscar to the entire office. In a last-ditch effort to fix things, Michael finally kisses Oscar, landing the employee a three-month paid vacation and a company car in lieu of suing for sexual harassment.

In the meantime, the episode traces Jim's relocation to the Stamford branch, where he has retreated after being rejected by Pam in the previous season's finale. From beginning to end, "Gay Witch Hunt" is an episode filled with the uncomfortable awkwardness and romantic drama that defined the show's earlier years.

Classy Christmas

Michael Scott's desperate search for his happily-ever-after is a central storyline throughout several of the earlier seasons of the show, and it's on full display in the season 7 doubleheader "Classy Christmas."

There's no one Michael loves more than Holly Flax and no one he hates more than Toby Flenderson. Naturally, then, the manager is over the moon when Toby is replaced by Holly as he takes a leave of absence to attend the Scranton Strangler trial. Michael's euphoria is so great that he impulsively orders the cutesy cookies and tacky tree to be replaced with a new and improved "classy Christmas party" to impress his returning crush. It doesn't take long for Mr. Scott to come crashing down from cloud nine, though, when he learns that Holly is still in a relationship, and she doesn't seem like she's about to break up with the guy, either.

Joining Michael in his misery is Jim Halpert, who quickly regrets sparking a snowball fight with his nemesis, Dwight. In a rare turning of the tables, Dwight manages to utterly outmaneuver Jim, pranking him repeatedly and leaving him in a panic-stricken daze. Between Dwight's frozen terror and Holly's long-awaited return, it's no wonder this episode was received well.

Michael's Last Dundies

The Dundies are a hallmark feature of Michael Scott's quirky management style starting in The Office's second season, so it's only fitting that he'd go out with one final Dundies ceremony in the fittingly titled "Michael's Last Dundies."

The episode centers on Michael's vain attempts to instruct his replacement, Deangelo Vickers, in the essential duties of hosting the most important awards event of the year. As Deangelo shows his stage fright and Dwight lashes out in sidelined anger, the ceremony slowly devolves into chaos. 

Eventually, the entire crew is kicked out of the restaurant where the awards are being held and decides to head back to the office to wrap things up. There they surprise Michael with an emotional personalized rendition of the Rent anthem "525,600 Minutes," rewritten as "9,986,000 minutes" — the amount of time that Michael had worked at Dunder Mifflin. The closing scene is a perfect setup for Michael's personal finale, which came one episode later.

Livin' the Dream

It's not surprising that the final three episodes of The Office are all among the most popular. As the last season wound down, so many different storylines were being juggled that emotions ramped up fairly early. In the third-to-last episode of the series, "Livin' the Dream," the seeds for the finale begin to be sewn in earnest.

It all starts with "Right Dwight." The ambitious employee inherited a massive farm not long before, and in this episode, the rest of his life begins to fall into place. He earns his black belt in karate — after having spent a whopping $150,000 over 20 years of practice to get it. The cherry on top? He's also made the manager of the branch the same day.

This last bit is only made possible because the current manager, Andy Bernard, lets his emotions get the better of him. Over the course of the episode, Andy quits his job to pursue acting, gets cold feet and is rehired as a salesman, and then quits a second time. With his Dunder Mifflin career kaput, Mr. Bernard serenades everyone with Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You" as he exits the building, making sure everything ends on a good note.

The Injury

Season 2 was an important one for The Office. As the show branched out from its British counterpart and established a personality all its own, several unique episodes aired, including the gem "The Injury." In this installment, Michael takes his petulant behavior to new lows when he calls into the office in order to inform everyone that he's burned his foot on his George Foreman Grill.

From there, things primarily alternate between Michael and Dwight. Michael capitalizes on his demise by desperately seeking every sliver of attention possible. Dwight, on the other hand, reluctantly begins to show signs of a genuine concussion caused by a car accident as he peeled out to save his distraught boss. 

In the end, Michael is forced to swallow his insecurities and grudgingly take Dwight to the hospital, wrapping up a perfect microcosm of the entire Dwight and Michael relationship that would continue to unfold over the course of the show.

Broke

The middle of The Office's fifth season chronicles the rise of the Michael Scott Paper Company as Michael starts his own business and turns it into a heavy-hitting little company that can stand toe-to-toe with Dunder Mifflin. This paper-fueled showdown culminates in the episode "Broke." 

While Michael's startup is showing signs of success, it turns out that the company is operating unsustainably — apparently, Michael's poor financial skills extend from his personal to his professional pursuits. As Michael and his employees Pam and Ryan prepare to throw in the towel, they're pleasantly surprised by a buyout offer from Dunder Mifflin. 

The best scene in the episode takes place in the meeting room where Dunder Mifflin execs David Wallace and Charles Minor face off against Michael, Pam, and Ryan. In their darkest hour, Michael pulls out his well-hidden professional gravitas and manages to strongarm Wallace into buying out their company by giving them all jobs at Dunder Mifflin again. The trio's return is a triumph — as is the episode itself.

Beach Games

This Survivor-themed episode is a treat. As the third season of The Office wraps up, the crew seeks out some R&R with a trip to America's eighth-largest body of water — according to Mr. Scott: the rather lackluster Lake Scranton. Within seconds of their arrival, though, Michael reveals that the day won't be quite as relaxing as they may have thought.

Over the next several hours, Michael proceeds to put his employees through a ridiculous set of challenges that run the gamut from sumo wrestling to a hot dog eating contest and even a firewalk. Eventually, Michael lets slip the fact that the winner of the competition will be recommended for his own job after he interviews for an open position at corporate. 

The episode is filled with raucous fun and even features an impassioned speech from the previously reticent Pam in which she publicly shares her feelings for Jim. From start to finish, it's a nice change in scenery from the Scranton office we all know and love.

Garage Sale

Michael Scott's quixotic pursuit of love is a theme that The Office touched on often, beginning with his failed attempts to woo Katy in season 1. Of course, things take a bit of a turn for the better in season 4 when Holly arrives on the scene. By the 18th episode of season 7, the couple has dated, broken up, reunited, and there is absolutely no question that they're soup snakes — err, soulmates. 

However, a wrench is thrown into things when Holly finds out that she needs to go back to Colorado to care for her parents. Undeterred, Michael recruits his work family to put on one of the best proposals in television history. It ends with an army of lit candles — in a paper supply company, no less — which set off the fire alarms, leading Michael to pop the question in a downpour.

Along with the mushy romance, the episode features a company-wide garage sale, Ryan's ripoff culinary products, and Jim's magic beans prank on Dwight, all of which leaves no doubt that this episode is one of the all-time greats.

Goodbye, Toby

The Office's season 4 finale centers on Dunder Mifflin's despondent HR rep, Toby Flenderson, as he attempts to find a new lease on life by moving to Costa Rica. Toby's last day at work sends Michael into fits of ecstasy as he puts on a farewell bash for the ages in honor of the expulsion of his office nemesis.

The episode also features the first arrival of Holly Flax on the scene as the replacement HR rep. Michael's initial hostility towards Miss Flax, rooted in years of unaccountable antipathy towards Human Resources, quickly gives way to interest as he falls head over heels for the new arrival. 

A good deal of the audience's fondness for this episode also revolves around two other romantic relationships — or three, depending on how you count them. The season finale follows Jim as he tries and fails to propose to Pam, thwarted by his coworker Andy, who leapfrogs him by proposing to Angela first. The scenario is further complicated when Angela is caught hooking up with Dwight after the party. The entire scenario perfectly sets up a multi-layered fiasco waiting to unfold once the next season begins.

Casino Night

Many of the fan-favorite episodes of The Office revolve around romantic relationships in one way or another. Case in point: "Casino Night." The season two finale follows Michael Scott as he hosts a charity casino night in the warehouse — and "drops a deuce on everybody" by bringing both Jan and Carol as informal dates. 

The episode is filled with hilarious scenes as Phyllis accidentally wins poker, Kevin's musical talents are revealed, and Jim forces Dwight to fold repeatedly simply by coughing.

The most memorable moment, though, comes at the end. After Roy leaves the event early, Jim decides to make an all-or-nothing move by telling Pam how he feels about her. After Pam turns him down, he steals a kiss and then disappears, leaving everyone in suspense. While we know now that they ultimately get together, the first dramatic outward expression of love in the PB&J relationship is a surefire reason for the episode to rank high in the IMDb ratings.

Threat Level Midnight

In the season two episode "The Client," Jim discovers an unproduced screenplay in Michael's desk drawer titled "Threat Level Midnight." While the manager is away, the entire office reads through the script, to their great delight. And that's the last we hear of it — apart from the occasional veiled reference — for five seasons.

Then, in season seven, as Michael prepares to depart Dunder Mifflin for his new life in Colorado, it's revealed that the self-starting producer has finally completed his movie. The finished product is exactly what fans of The Office would expect from Michael Scott. It's filled with offbeat slapstick moments, awkward scenes, and accidental guffaws. It's narcissistic to the hilt. It's stuck somewhere between a B-level movie and unwatchable — and it's perfect.

The entertainment value of this movie within a TV show is off the charts as office employees turned actors, like "Goldenface" Jim and android Dwight, flash across the screen in an endless procession of amusing sequences. The episode also uses the opportunity to bring Michael's ridiculously inflated producing ambitions down about a thousand notches as Holly gently calls out the film for the homemade quality that it truly displays. Of all the topics to choose for the final run of Michael Scott moments on the show, this has to be the best of the lot.

The Job

The episode "The Job" features a hectic carousel of job-hopping sequences as Michael quits his manager's position to interview for an opening at corporate. Dwight kicks things off by filling the vacancy left by Michael — immediately proceeding to appoint multiple assistants and paint the walls of his new office as black as outer space without the stars.

In the meantime, Jim and Karen also apply for the corporate position, with the former withdrawing partway through the process and the latter ultimately landing a job at the Utica branch. In the meantime, Michael fails to get the promotion and simultaneously finds out that the open position is to replace his girlfriend Jan. 

Michael returns to Scranton where he demotes Dwight and they discover that, of all people, it's the temp Ryan Howard who has ultimately been chosen for the corporate position. Who doesn't love a chaotic round of professional musical chairs —  especially on a show devoted to the quirks and squabbles of the American workplace? It's no wonder this depiction of corporate ring-around-the-rosie was received so well by viewers.

Niagara

The two-part episode "Niagara" follows one of the most popular story threads in the history of The Office. Jim and Pam's season one flirtations take five years to develop before the pair finally tie the knot in this episode during the first half of the fifth season. 

The story follows everyone as they head to upstate New York after Michael gives the entire office paid leave to attend the wedding. Once everyone arrives at the hotel, it's not long before things begin to go sideways. Pam's grandmother shuns Pam and Jim when she discovers her granddaughter is pregnant, Andy tears his scrotum while dancing, and Michael spends the night by the vending machine.

Fed up with everyone's antics, the unhappy couple decides to micro-elope by heading to the Maid of the Mist where they ask the captain to unite them in the bonds of love. At that point, they head back to the formal wedding, where everyone joins in on a dance-off to Chris Brown's "Forever." Oh, and Michael hooks up with Pam's mom, too. From ridiculous side stories to the cutesy happily-ever-after, this doubleheader makes the list in spades.

Dinner Party

Most of the episodes of The Office take place, well, in the office. However, every once in a while the show wanders out of the building and explores some of the Dunder Mifflinites' home lives. The most famous of these adventures has to be the season four installment "Dinner Party."

The episode follows Jim, Pam, Angela, and Andy after they're cornered into a dinner party at Michael and Jan's condo. As they wait a ridiculously long time for the food to cook, the guests are subjected to an awkward tour, a bungled game of charades, musical serenades from Jan's old assistant Hunter, and a sales pitch to invest in the fledgling candle company "Serenity by Jan."

Things only get spicier when Dwight unexpectedly arrives, forcing his way into the party with his own wine glasses and a "date" that he claims to be his childhood nanny. Once dinner is served, Michael and Jan's simmering antipathy boils over, and the couple enters into a screaming match in front of the guests. The episode is all sorts of dysfunctional — the kind of train wreck that you simply cannot look away from. Needless to say, it was an instant classic.

A.A.R.M.

The last three episodes of The Office all make the top 20, including the second-to-last episode, "A.A.R.M" (which stands for "assistant to the assistant to the regional manager"). The episode continues a ton of ongoing storylines, helping to wrap each one up before the show ends.

It starts with Dwight preparing to propose to Esther with his moonshining grandmother's buttock bullet ring. However, he ultimately asks Angela to marry him instead and is surprised to find that her son, Philip, is his child. While that's going on, Darryl is caught trying to sneak out on his last day at Dunder Mifflin and ends up participating in an epic final dance with his coworkers. Andy Bernard is also shown epically failing in an audition for America's next A Capella Sensation, and Jim convinces Dwight to hire himself as his own assistant. Mr. Halpert also brings Pam to happy tears with a video reel of their past and a note that he's kept since season 2 — one we all still desperately want to read. 

As the episode closes, the office heads to Poor Richards to settle in and watch the first episode of their own PBS documentary. From beginning to end, this episode is about as packed as they get — and boy is it satisfying to watch.

Stress Relief

The episode "Stress Relief" begins with what is arguably one of the greatest cold openers in the history of television. Taking his responsibilities as safety manager way too seriously, Dwight sets up a realistic fire drill by literally lighting a contained fire in the office. As the employees panic, Dwight manages the mayhem until he announces that it was all just a drill. At that point, Stanley collapses from a heart attack.

The rest of the two-part episode chronicles Michael's reaction when he discovers that it's none other than he himself that is the cause of Mr. Hudson's stress. Taken off guard, Michael decides to remedy the situation by having his employees throw a roast for him. 

During the roast, the ever-sensitive Mr. Scott is ripped to shreds by brutal speeches, multi-lingual rants, and even a hate-filled song from Andy. After spending most of the next day recovering, he arrives in the office with a perfectly written counter-roast that leaves everyone, including Stanley, satisfied and smiling. (That's what she said.)

Goodbye, Michael

Goodbyes are tough — but apparently, they're also popular. Michael Scott's final episode stands proudly tied for first place as the most popular episode of The Office. Of course, when you break it down, the reasons are pretty obvious. 

For one thing, the event serves as the culmination of a multi-episode run of nostalgic Michael Scott moments. Topics like Scott's movie Threat Level Midnight, the Dundies, and his relationship with Holly all build toward the eventual departure of everyone's favorite Dunder Mifflin manager.

Even with such an impressive build-up, though, the episode itself is pure gold all on its own. Michael misleads the office into thinking he's leaving a day later than planned so that he can personally have a farewell moment with each of his employees without their knowing it. From pulling Oscar's leg with a hideous homemade doll to a surprise paintball duel with Dwight and a last-minute hug from Pam, there is absolutely, positively no better swan song for a character in the history of serialized comedy.

Finale

For some reason, it's those goodbye blues that seem to rank the highest. The other episode to stand proudly tied with "Goodbye, Michael" at the top of the list of IMDb's most popular Office episodes is the series finale itself, appropriately titled "Finale." 

The episode picks up a year after the documentary airs, as the camera crews roll back into town to nab some bonus footage for the DVD release. Throughout the finale, we see Dwight successfully running the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office. Jim also throws Mr. Schrute a bachelor party that is, in a word, perfectenshchlag. As it goes, the episode touches base with each character and we learn what they've been up to over the last year.

Toward the end, Dwight and Angela finally tie the knot in a rustic yet elaborate wedding at Schrute Farms, with Michael Scott even making a surprise visit to attend the nuptials. Another packed episode, the finale of the show masterfully uses the mockumentary format to provide closure for nearly every character. It satisfactorily wraps up a sitcom for the ages, and it's no surprise that it remains a fan favorite.