Why Dwight Schrute Is More Important Than The Office Fans Think

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) never set out to be Dunder Mifflin's most popular employee. He did go out of his way to be Michael's (Steve Carrell) right-hand man, but Dwight couldn't care less about the scrubs he worked with. That's why he was always the butt of their jokes. At the same time, most fans of "The Office" tend to agree that he's one of the best characters in the show, and he's hard not to love. Despite firing guns in confined spaces, entering into an affair with Angela (Angela Kinsey), and showing his affection by killing her cat, Dwight was a man of principle and consistency. He was also a tremendous asset to the paper company, as his exceptional sales record and willingness to protect Jim (John Krasinski) from an angry Roy (David Denman) showed.

There are plenty of aspects of Dwight's character that are undeniably obnoxious, but it was hard to root against him. That being said, there was a reason for the madness that is Dwight Schrute's behavior. Without him, his colleagues would have been judged for their own questionable actions a whole lot more than they were. 

The Office needed Dwight Schrute to make Jim look good

In "The Office," Jim brought some excitement to his boring workdays by playing pranks on Dwight. As The Atlantic pointed out, these included covering his nemesis' stapler with Jell-O and hiding the contents of his desk in a vending machine. In most workplaces, that would be considered harassment. However, Dwight's tendency to insult his colleagues, steal their sales, and fight for strict office policies made Jim's cruel antics seem quite justified. If Dwight had his way, life would have been hell for the Dunder Mifflin team. For example, in one Season 2 episode, he found a blunt and used it as an excuse to set up drug testing in the office. Fortunately for the real culprit, Jim manages to convince Dwight that he could have been the one who sparked up, in turn forcing Dwight to give up on his anti-drug sheriff dreams.

Dwight was a necessary evil in "The Office" — otherwise Jim might not have been the show's most clean-cut and likeable male character. Regardless of which lines his colleagues crossed, you could always guarantee that Dwight was capable of worse. To Dwight's credit, he wasn't as bad as Creed Bratton, but that's beside the point. Still, everyone at Dunder Mifflin was prone to some mischief, and that's what made them captivate viewers for eight years.