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The 6 Best And 6 Worst Webisodes Of The Office

With too much talent and humor to fit into a network TV slot, NBC's The Office ventured into the world of the web series in 2006 with The Accountants. This 10-episode spin-off, which focused on the characters in the accounting department at Dunder Mifflin, was the first of nine web series. Yep, that's right: nine. You may have heard of and even seen The Accountants, but if you're missing your Office fix ever since its departure from Netflix in January 2021, there's probably some content across the other eight web series that will be relatively new to you.

For example, did you know there's a four-episode series from 2009 that follows Creed's attempts to blackmail his coworkers? Or that Ryan attempts to use the office as a shooting location for a horror film the next year?

Each of the webisodes dives a little deeper into the quirks and character dynamics of the paper company employees we know and love, in a short-form, stand-alone format that offers a fresh creative space to complement 22-minute sitcom episodes. Based on IMDb scores, these episodes are welcome additions to the Office canon. If you'd like to binge them, here are the six best and six worst places to start.

Worst: Gabe's Podcast (The Podcast series, 2011): 7.2

When we say "worst," we're speaking relatively: Almost every webisode of The Office scored above a 7 on IMDb, and the absolute lowest score was 6.8. So we're still working with some high-caliber stuff here, even at the "worst." ("The Story of Subtle Sexuality," from The Girl Next Door web series, shares the same rating as "Gabe's Podcast," but the latter has a greater consensus by virtue of having more reviews.)

Honestly, Gabe should be flattered that the first episode about his podcast didn't land further down in the ratings. In fact, the only thing that's the "worst" about this episode is probably Gabe himself, as he awkwardly runs around trying to become popular. Sorry, Gabe, that might be a bit harsh — but, to be fair, it's not that different from what he does in regular episodes.

Aside from Gabe's antics, we learn that Creed, in addition to his blog, www.creedthoughts.gov.www\creedthoughts, which has been around since at least 2007 when Ryan first mentioned it in "The Job," also runs "Creed's WNBA Appreciation" site. ("I like hoops and I like ladies. Why am I the only one who sees it like this?") We also find out that Meredith has better foot-writing than Creed has handwriting, among many other wonderful tidbits.

Best: The Memo (The Accountants series, 2006): 7.9

One of the best webisodes of The Office debuted in the summer between season 2 and season 3, when the series was really starting to hit its comedic stride. Idiosyncrasies and interpersonal dynamics are on display in "The Memo," the sixth episode of the initial web series The Accountants, which showcases vintage Office gags like Angela's attempts at being low-key (but actually very high-key) in her praise of Dwight. We also get some great pointers from Kevin about stupid vs. smart ways to steal from the company.

But the best part of this webisode is that the action and humor stem from the relationships between the three accountants. We all know that Kevin resents and fears Angela — much like a young boy might be of his teacher — but in the full series, major plotlines tend to overshadow this dynamic. In "The Memo," we get a window into Kevin's psyche and Angela's place there in one simple but compelling and hilarious scene.

Worst: Lights, Camera, Action (The 3rd Floor series, 2010): 7.1

An attempt by Ryan to produce a horror movie? Before we even press play, we know The 3rd Floor series is going to be deliciously bad. In fact, the premiere of this series is the lowest-rated Office webisode of all (we'll get there). "Lights, Camera, Action!" was also pretty unpopular.

Maybe it was the fact that Ryan used a real knife rather than a prop knife in his scene? That was just plain irresponsible. Maybe it was Ryan's regrettable indie-director getup? Or his saxophone playing?

Or maybe this episode represents another correlation between a lower rating and Gabe's ego. He's so easily bought off when he attempts to hold a hard line on the very reasonable position that people shouldn't be allowed to jump out at their peers with weapons in the office. All Ryan has to do is compliment him and he melts away. This is actually the kind of storyline that might have done better in a longer format, where the contest of wills could have been more drawn out. As it stands, Gabe's giving in so immediately is sadder than it is funny.

Best: Kelly (Blackmail series, 2009): 8

It's just a simple conversation between Creed and Kelly, but every single line of "Kelly" is hilarious. Given the particular quirks of the two characters at hand, maybe that's not much of a surprise. The two of them are so absorbed in their own worlds that they misunderstand each other about half the time, making Kelly a surprisingly difficult target of blackmail and an even more surprisingly suitable accomplice. Due to their self-interested natures, they simply plow ahead as if they're on the same page despite their differences.

This means that a lot of character exposition is accomplished in a very short amount of time, because they just get to talk about themselves as if they're the only ones in the room. With another pair of characters more suited to empathy and social skills, this might not have been possible. Both actors are in rare form for this sub-two-minute short, and the dialogue would probably be among The Office's most quotable if it had aired to a wider audience.

Those of us who have seen it get to imagine what Creed might do with a helicopter, "political capital," or a four-leaf clover.

Worst: Reimbursements (The Mentor series, 2010): 7.1

It's really hard to see Erin act like Angela the way she does in "Reimbursements." Actually, it's hard to see Angela act like Angela: As sympathetic as she became over the course of The Office, sometimes she can just be downright cold. We love her, but one of her is definitely enough.

So it's extra difficult to understand (for fans and for Kelly, whose incredulous talking head closes the episode) why Erin would choose Angela as her mentor. Or why, once Angela had her start wearing Victorian-era collars and forbade her from crossing her legs, Erin was so determined to stick with the program. Especially since this webisode aired just a month after the one in which Erin found out that Angela used to be engaged to her boyfriend.

This episode isn't a bad one, but it doesn't strike audiences as one of the most enjoyable ones to watch. It's certainly funny, but both Angela and Erin seem to be at their best in other capacities, and you can see just how uncomfortable Erin is as her behavior begins to result in social alienation — which, from what we've seen of her personality, she usually tries hard to avoid.

Best: Stanley (The Accountants series, 2006): 8

The absence of a real authority figure from The Accountants episodes has an interesting effect on the dynamics in "Stanley," the fourth short from the series. Michael's absence is palpable in some scenes from The Accountants, and — true to the reality of their fraught relationship — allows Stanley to shine.

We've seen Stanley disrespect authority, but never in such a smug and measured fashion. At best, he'll make a sarcastic but ultimately disinterested comment from the back of the conference room, nose-deep in a crossword puzzle. His outburst in "Did I Stutter?" from the full series was probably his most insubordinate, but it lacked the self-assurance of his performance in "Stanley." We've seen him display nonchalance in Tallahassee, but there he was just carefree, not obstinate.

In "Stanley," we get the perfect mix of both: He's hostile and provocative, but also blissfully serene in his self-satisfaction. The three members of the accounting department have no power to punish him as he gloats over their loss of thousands of dollars. Not only that, but they represent both the boon and the bane of Stanley's existence: money, and the control the company has over it, which Stanley believes should belong to him. Seeing them scramble delights him. This is Stanley at his most triumphant.

Worst: Creative Differences (Subtle Sexuality series, 2009): 7

Subtle Sexuality had some trouble taking off, both in terms of Erin and Kelly's girl group and the 2009 web series from The Office that takes its name from their musical endeavor. One of the lowest-reviewed webisodes, "Creative Differences," comes from this series. Put simply, it's about Kelly and Ryan being Kelly and Ryan, both together and where they both shine the brightest: individually.

This webisode lets the two run somewhat free with their own delusions, with Kelly blindly supporting Ryan's with much more enthusiasm than she displayed in the main series — enthusiasm that quickly turns to hatred. In a full-length episode, a Kelly-and-Ryan B-plot would be punctuated by the A-plot, and the cadence would feel more natural. Honestly, sometimes you just need a break from the two of them (at least as often as they need a break from each other). The episode plays kind of like a deleted scene; one that you still find funny, but understand why it was left out.

Best: Someone in the Warehouse (The Accountants series, 2006): 8

Did you know that before the theft of $3,000 from petty cash, Angela thought everyone in the office was a good person? This revelation in "Someone in the Warehouse," the fifth episode of The Accountants, perhaps explains why, for most of the series, she doesn't treat her coworkers like she believes there's much good in them. (Though she was already pretty bitter in seasons 1 and 2.)

Of the "good people" she works (worked) with, though, Roy from the warehouse is one of her absolute favorites. His reputation in her eyes remains untarnished throughout the whole ordeal. While this crush is mostly implicit in the full-length installments The Office, this short episode of The Accountants gives us a delightfully uncomfortable window into Angela's little infatuation.

In The Office, one of our first hints at Angela's attraction comes in "The Fire," when, in a game of "Who Would You Do?" Roy picks Angela, to her embarrassment but not her dissatisfaction. When the employees fear that the branch is going to close, Angela assures Roy that he'll be fine because he is very "strong and capable." In the full show, such remarks would usually only be made in passing, perhaps garnished with a raised eyebrow to the camera from Kevin. In "Someone in the Warehouse," we're treated to a more explicit, if shorter, exploration of her crush.

Worst: The Replacement (Subtle Sexuality series, 2009): 7

"The Replacement," an episode of the Subtle Sexuality segment, begins with a series of rapid-fire cheap shots at Kevin, which seems a bit low-effort as far as the level of humor we've come to expect from The Office. He's not the only character the writers dunk on, but spending 30 seconds of an episode that's just over two minutes long on this kind of interaction is a bit much.

Then we get another 30 seconds and change of Andy singing to a vending machine as his Subtle Sexuality audition, then re-enacting his own audition again with scatting and poorly executed beatboxing. Even though the second minute of the episode is pretty funny — we get to see Ryan act on his jealousy in a not-entirely passive-aggressive way for once, while wearing eyeliner and a blue bathrobe — it's hard to make up for more than half of the episode being a bit difficult to watch (and we don't mean in the good, patently cringey Office fashion).

Best: Best Day of My Life (The Accountants series, 2006): 8

In the previous episode, after digging through Michael's bank account when he's out of his office, Kevin and Oscar decide that someone needs to talk to Michael about whether he took the $3,000, before each of them quickly calls "not it." The finale of The Accountants web series, "Best Day of My Life," deals with Angela as she grapples with this responsibility.

In this episode, critically important questions and points are raised that you won't want to miss. Like, how did Michael afford the new waterbed he's always talking about? Suspicious indeed. Then there's Dwight's counterpoint that if Michael were a general in the army and Angela accused him without proof, she'd be court-martialed and executed by firing squad. We get a wonderful peek into Dwight and Angela's relationship as well. It's a seriously well-done episode, and the best day of your life might be the day you sit down to watch it — not in the least because of the unexpected way the mystery finally resolves.

Worst of All: Moving On (The 3rd Floor series, 2010): 6.8

The absolute lowest-rated webisode from The Office, "Moving On," comes from The 3rd Floor and is the only episode to rank lower than a 7 among fans on IMDb. Since it was the first episode of the 3rd Floor series, this means that the set of webisodes involving Ryan's horror film improved over the course of its run. Apparently, this 2010 series took its cue from Kelly's mission at the beginning of the episode: Not giving up on fame.

Unlike Kelly, "Moving On" didn't have "nothing to say, and no medium in which to do it." It was a respectable episode, but it didn't land with audiences the way others did. Perhaps fans were mourning the death of Subtle Sexuality, which Kelly and Erin abandon in search of a new creative pursuit. Still, it doesn't seem like their brand of performance is going anywhere: The episode closes with the two singing, "No more singing and dancing for us," while also dancing.  

Best of All: Pay Day (Blackmail series, 2009): 8.6

For all those fans who remain convinced that Creed is the underrated but undisputed best character on the show, the top webisode ratings provide vindication: The finale of Blackmail, which follows Creed's attempts to blackmail his coworkers, is the best-rated episode on IMDb by a huge margin of 0.6.

It's easy to see why. In just under three minutes, this webisode packs a first-act twist with that trademark sideways glance at the camera. Toby is as unbearable as ever, and Creed seems like he could easily be a criminal mastermind. Now, as far as this episode shows, he isn't. Still, we get glimpses at the skeletons in Creed's closet, which viewers could only wonder about after years of hints gleaned from cryptic offhand comments from talking heads.

It's clear from the Blackmail series, and "Pay Day" in particular, why Creed kept his spot on the series after he was almost written out in season 2. Not only is he absurdly funny, but he also plays extremely well with the rest of the cast. Rather than alienating his coworkers, his eccentricity invites their action. This episode is so good because it leaves us wanting so much more Creed. We eat up each revelation, each interaction, knowing that we only have a few seconds left of this highlight reel.