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The Worst Thing Phyllis Vance Ever Did On The Office

In the world of "The Office," you don't often think of pure evil when it comes to the hapless escapades of the Dunder Mifflin paper company's beleaguered staff. You might think Dwight (Rainn Wilson) would be the face of evil on the show, with his fervent desire to take over for Michael (Steve Carrell) and rule the office like a petty dictator. But what if we told you that the true evil of Dunder Mifflin was hidden in plain sight, behind an innocuous, sugary-sweet persona that in fact concealed pettiness, bitterness, and spite? May we present the figure of Phyllis Vance, who through her actions revealed herself to be one of the absolute worst people in the world of "The Office."

While mostly appearing sweet and simple, don't be fooled: Phyllis Vance is a plotter, pure and simple. And while she might leave you be if you don't cross her, when she perceives you as a threat to her position or finds herself in a place of power over you, a different side of the seemingly sweet saleswoman emerges. Let's take a look at the worst thing Phyllis Vance ever did on "The Office."

It's not blackmail without a formal letter

In the Season 3 episode "The Negotiation," Jim (John Krasinski) catches Dwight in the passionate embrace of Angela (Angela Kinsey). Jim decides to keep the knowledge to himself despite his rivalry with Dwight, but Phyllis most definitely does not. From the beginning, Phyllis and Angela have mixed as well as oil and water, with Angela frequently complaining about Phyllis at every given opportunity. As Angela herself is a bit of an ice queen, the audience is inclined to sympathize with Phyllis. But given this information and actual power for the first time, Phyllis elects to blackmail Angela, a married woman engaging in extramarital relations with Dwight.

Things reach a boil in the Season 5 episode "Moroccan Christmas," when Phyllis is placed in charge of organizing the office Christmas party. As head of the party planning committee, she makes it a point to have Angela perform one humiliating task after another, from preparing a plate of hummus and bread during Michael's intervention for Meredith (Kate Flannery) to forcing her to take down the Christmas tree and nativity scene (as they don't fit the party's theme) only to order her to put them back. Angela finally refuses, and when Phyllis threatens to reveal her secret Angela states she no longer cares. Phyllis begins to leave, seemingly chastened ... then tells the entire office that Dwight and Angela are sleeping together.

A study in pettiness

While seemingly a sweet and kind character, Phyllis is actually the worst kind of office coworker: one who'll toe the party line and appear upbeat and friendly but who harbors grudges and waits for the right moment to undercut you or gain power. Even Angela, who started out a very judgmental and antagonistic character, experienced emotional growth in later seasons, while Phyllis only seemed to get objectively worse.

It's vile to take knowledge of a person's private life and hold it over them to blackmail them into doing what you want, then when they finally stand up for themselves, to reveal that secret anyway for no other reason than petty vengeance. While many characters on "The Office" have proven to be rude, insensitive, and just plain ignorant at times, Phyllis' actions in this case are evil, pure and simple. With her actions toward Angela, Phyllis Vance proves herself to be the absolute worst.