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The Worst Thing Andy Bernard Did On The Office

In many ways, Andy Bernard was the true spiritual successor to David Brent in the American version of "The Office." Steve Carell's Michael Scott was softened to appeal to American audiences. As "Office" writer Michael Schur said, Michael Scott was made 10% more likeable in order to help the show last longer than the more prickly British version. "We still maintained his inappropriateness, his blind spot for how people viewed him, his desperate desire to be loved and admired, but we just made everybody be 10% nicer to him," Schur told the Believer (via CinemaBlend), "And that made all the difference."

But unlike Michael, Andy never became fully likeable. Like Ricky Gervais' OG manager, Andy was fame-hungry, cowardly, and prone to making people listen to him sing more than is OSHA-compliant. 

Andy Bernard did a lot of terrible stuff. He punched a hole in a wall. Twice. He tried to break up Pete and Erin by hiring their exes. And, again, he just constantly subjected people to a cappella performances without their consent (there should be a law against that). But one of Andy's boneheaded moves takes the cake.

Andy abandoned Dunder Mifflin (and Erin) for 3 months

Andy Bernard was always fueled by his lack of familial support. His original name was Walter Baines Bernard Jr., after his father. But we learn in "The Delivery" that his family made him change it to Andy when his younger brother was chosen as the family favorite. When Walter Sr. bankrupts the family, it falls to Andy to liquidate their assets so that his mother can live in comfort. But what does he wind up doing? Sailing away with his brother. Andy abandons his job and his girlfriend for three months for what? Reconnecting with Josh Groban? Hard pass.

Andy's decision to leave has far-reaching consequences. He never tells corporate that he left, collecting a paycheck for all that time. Dunder Mifflin actually does better with him gone, and he keeps the bonus the company gives him for all his "hard work." And he doesn't react well to Nellie Bertram filling his absence. His animosity towards her goes as far as writing a hateful letter of non-endorsement when she's looking to adopt a baby.

Real life dictated this plot development. According to IGN, Ed Helms had to leave the show briefly to film "The Hangover III," and the boat nonsense was the show's way of justifying his absence.