Ah yes one of half of the most debated office watercooler arguments. And no, I am not getting into it here. While the US Office was not as satirical as its UK counterpart (probably owing to not featuring Ricky Gervais), it made up for it by being one of the funniest and quotable TV shows ever. Who needs David Brent when you have Michael Scott yelling No! God Please No! Anyway, before I get into the list properly here is some history about the TV show.
The US Office first aired in March 2005 and ran for 9 seasons until May 2013. Like the UK Office, it is a mockumentary following a ‘normal’ office environment however it’s set in a mundane paper company called Dunder Mifflin. Another key factor in the US Office’s popularity was its cast which was based off the UK Office. The likes of Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer and more all had superb performances which often left audiences groaning and holding their sides in laughter. So, without further ado here are the best episodes of the US Office.
10: Safety Training (S3, E20)
Kicking off the list of the best US Office episodes is Safety Training. This episode demonstrates the cringe humour that made the show so funny. So, after the warehouse staff show how dangerous their work environment is Dwight and Michael team up to prove their work environment is more dangerous. Not sure that is the right spirit but ok. Anyway, one thing leads to another which is Michael faking a suicide. Wow. Obviously, he was never going to do it, but Darryl’s emotional speech and the reveal of the bouncy castle is perfect.
9: The Job (S3, E24)
No funny intro here just The Job is a funny episode. The main plotline revolves around Jen, Michael and Jim all interviewing for the same corporate position. As usual, Michael is far too confident, so he’s already sold his flat and named Dwight as his successor. The Job also sees a call back to Jen’s speech in Beach Games with everyone mocking her for it. But what truly cements this episode as great as Michael learns he’s interviewing for Jan’s position. Oh, and Jim and Pam finally making their relationship official.
8: Niagara Part 1 (S6, E4)
Next up on the list of the best US Office episodes is Niagara, Part 1. Now, Jim and Pam knowing their colleagues decide to have their wedding as far away from the Office as possible. However, as usual Michael decides to do something regrettable. What does he do? He offers incentives for everyone who attends the wedding. Damn. If that wasn’t enough for Jim and Pam, they are also trying to hide Pam’s pregnancy from her overly conservative mother. Good lord, that is a lot of stuff. I wonder which episode is next….
7: Niagara Part 2 (S6, E5)
How could Niagara, Part 1 be on the list of best US Office episodes without featuring Niagara, Part 2? While Part 1 featured the weekend festivities (not like that), Part 2 sees Jim and Pam getting married albeit with obstacles. What are those obstacles? Well, Pam’s veil rips so Jim cuts his tie in half, so he does not break tradition. They then try to sneak away to get married before the main ceremony in which everyone dances down the aisle. A brilliant season finale with the second-best wedding of a comedy couple after Peraltiago.
6: Dinner Party (S4, E9)
One of the longest running gags in this episode finally pays off with Michael managing to convince Jim and Pam to have dinner with him and Jen. That is already uncomfortable. But it gets worse when Michael falsely tells Jan he used to date Pam. One thing then leads to another and Dundies get thrown at plasma TV’s, Dwight shows up unannounced with his babysitter. Honestly, for the sheer number of cringe-inducing moments, Dinner Party remains one of the funniest episodes.
5: Threat Level Midnight (S7, E16)
Speaking of long running gags, after 11 years of writing, shooting and editing Michael’s action film Threat Level Midnight is shown to the Office. Obviously starring in the lead role is Michael as Agent Michael Scarn. The rest of the cast features the likes of Dwight as his robot butler and Jim as his rival Goldenface. If that’s not enough, this episode sees the return of Helene, Roy, Karen and Todd. This episode serves as one of Steve Carell’s last and it’s everything a US Office episode should be: entertaining, quotable, hilarious and ambitious.
4: Stress Relief (S5, E13)
Narrowly missing out on the top three best US Office episodes is Stress Relief. If you’re a fan of the US Office, you’ll know exactly why this episode is on here. Michael learning CPR to the tune of Stayin’ Alive. Other highlights include Dwight’s overly elaborate fire drill (with a blowtorch) and Michael deciding to calm everyone by hosting a roast but only after meditation fails. Oh, and somewhere in the commotion Stanley suffers a heart attack… All of the above demonstrates why Stress Relief is a fan favourite episode.
3: A.A.R.M (S9, E22)
Kicking off the top three best US Office episodes is A.A.R.M. The main reason this ranks so highly is the fact it ties together a lot of plot points from previous seasons. What are these plot points? Well, Jim finally gives Pam the card he took out of the teapot in Season 2 and Dwight finally gets engaged to Angela. Aww, to both of those plot points. While the less said about Andy’s singing competition, subplot the better, even that is enough to tarnish A.A.R.M’s reputation amongst fans.
2: Goodbye, Michael (S7, E21)
Well, here it is. The final episode of the US Office where Steve Carell’s Michael Scott was a regular presence. In Goodbye, Michael, Michael prepares to depart for Colorado with Holly, and he says goodbye to everyone in the Office. Like A.A.R.M, this episode ties up loose plot points while remaining funny and poignant. With all that in mind, it is easy to see why many believe this could have been a great season finale given the slight drop in quality in future episodes.
1: Finale (S9, E23)
I mean was it going to be anything else? The best US Office episode is ironically the last episode: Finale. This episode allowed fans to say goodbye to their favourite characters with them pursuing different goals. Jim and Pam decide to move away to allow Jim to pursue his dream of sports marketing, Dwight and Angela have the wedding of the century and the cherry on the cake is Michael returning as Dwight’s ‘bestest mensch’. If any episode of TV was considered perfect, Finale would make a very strong contender. Truly a wonderful episode.