The 10 Best Episodes of “The Office”

Sixteen years after the start of its broadcast, The Office remains one of the most adored and influential comedies on the small screen. We take a look back at the ten best episodes of this cult series, available on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix in France.

10. «La Course» («Fun Run») – S4E1

Otherwise known as the episode where Michael runs over Meredith with his car. Just with that opening scene, brief but hilarious, “The Race” can easily justify its place in this ranking. But this pane also contains a multitude of perfect replicas like «I’m not superstitious, but I’m a little stitious» (which has no equivalent in French, but which can be translated as “I am not superstitious. I am just a little fearful”); the death of Sprinkles, Angela’s cat, in suspicious conditions; and finally, the organization of a rabies prevention charity race (which Meredith could be affected by after her traumatic encounter with a bat).

After a cliffhanger at the end of season 3, it is above all an opportunity to discover that Jim and Pam are finally together, and to witness their first moments as a couple.

9. “Gay Witch Hunt” – S3E1

Even though the American version of The Office Gradually moved away from its very wicked British origins, from its inception the series skilfully knew how to handle Michael’s legendary stupidity and insensitivity.

In this episode, the boss learns about Oscar’s homosexuality and shares the information with the whole office, which leads to a series of remarks and behaviors all more homophobic and inappropriate than the next… Until the extremely embarrassing scene where Michael forcibly kisses Oscar to prove his openness. An episode as funny as it is uncomfortable.

8. “The Marriage” (“Niagara”) – S6E4

After the very exciting period of «will they won’t they», in which the audience wonders whether or not their favorite characters are going to come together, a lot of sitcom couples run out of steam from a storytelling standpoint. So the fact that Pam and Jim’s relationship continued to stir so much emotion after six seasons is all the more remarkable. In this two-part episode directed by Paul Feig, the couple are getting married in Niagara Falls, and obviously nothing goes as planned. It all starts with a succession of vomited chain (while Creed, unperturbed, gulps down his ramen), then Michael realizes he hasn’t booked a room for the wedding, and Andy injures himself doing the splits.

But the episode ends with one of the most touching scenes of the series: the revelation that Jim and Pam were quietly married in front of Niagara Falls, before the official ceremony. An unforgettable wedding scene for one of the best couples on the small screen.

7. “Le Départ” (“The Job”) – S3E25

In the last episode of Season 3, Michael, Jim and Karen are competing for a promotion in New York. In particular, we are entitled to yet another bullshit from Jan (who learns that she is fired), and a preview of Creed’s blog (which is in fact a Word document).

Most “Departure”, it is especially one of the crucial moments of the relationship between Jim and Pam. While he seems happy with Karen, and destined to get the job in New York, Jim realizes at the last minute that he wants to stay in Scranton to be with Pam. In the last seconds of the episode, he arrives in the office and finally offers her a date … and after three long seasons of «will they won’t they», Jim and Pam’s relationship can finally begin.

6. “Safety” (“Safety Training”) – S3E20

This will undoubtedly remain one of his silliest ideas: to prove that life in the offices of Dunder Mifflin is as dangerous as that of the warehouse, Michael decides to fake his own suicide by jumping from the roof of the building.

While the boss plans his jump (using a trampoline and then a bouncy castle), the rest of the employees embark on a series of bets to pass the time. A narrative ploy that makes it possible to humorously underline the features and whims of each character: how long can Kelly talk about romantic comedies without stopping? Will Creed realize he’s eating a potato and not an apple? The result is a marvel of writing and performance.

5. “The Prize Giving” (“The Dundies”) – S2E1

“The Dundies” is the first episode of Season 2 of the American version of The Office, but in a way, one could consider that it is him which really starts the series. After a very cringe (grimacing) and modeled on the plot of the British version of the series, Season 2 takes a more benevolent turn, making Michael Scott a nicely silly boss, and more harmless than his British counterpart David Brent.

In this episode the famous Dundies ceremony takes place, where each employee receives a prize. The event, which usually turns into humiliation, ends here on a touching note, with the first little kiss between Jim and an extremely tipsy Pam.

4. «La Blessure» («The Injury») – S2E12

Lots of episodes of The Office are cult because they mark an important advance in the history of Pam and Jim, because they contain a iconic scene or because they perfectly handle the balance between humor and emotion. Some are just hilarious from start to finish.

This is the case of “The Injury”, in which Michael burns his foot on the grill he had placed next to his bed to grill a slice of bacon when he wakes up. The whole episode will then follow the incessant and hilarious chouineries of the boss, who says he is seriously injured and demands preferential treatment. As for Dwight, it is discovered that he has a concussion, which makes him unusually nice throughout the episode.

3. “Stress Relief” – S5E14

This double episode begins with one of openings the most cult of the series: Dwight starts a fire at Dunder Mifflin premises to educate his colleagues about safety measures. In seconds, chaos takes hold of the office: Michael yells at everyone to stay calm, Angela throws her cat into the false ceiling and Stanley has a heart attack.

But the gags don’t end there. Later, employees miserably fail to attend first aid training, during which Andy begins to sing “Staying Alive” (while Kelly enthusiastically dances). And when Michael realizes that he is the main source of stress in the office, he organizes his own roast, which obviously backfires (but gives rise to some excellent jokes). A cult episode that we never tire of seeing again.

2. “Casino Night” – S2E22

In this episode, Jim makes Dwight believe he has telekinetic power, and Michael utters one of his most cult insults against Toby, «Why are you the way that you are?».

But the casino night above all allows the acceleration of the love triangle between Roy, Pam and Jim. In a rare moment of sincerity, the latter admits to his colleague that he is in love with her, and is rejected … Until a last-minute change of heart. The season 2 finale thus ends on an epic cliffhanger, with the first real kiss between Jim and Pam. One of the most important episodes for this «will they won’t they» anthology.

1. “The Dinner” (“Dinner Party”) – S4E13

We can not emphasize this enough: “The Dinner” is a monument of comedy cringe. For once, the action takes place away from the office, during a dinner with colleagues hosted by Michael and Jan. Dunder Mifflin employees (and spectators) will then discover the extent of the uneasy relationship between the two executives. From Michael’s tiny plasma screen, to Jan’s osso bucco that takes six hours to cook, to the neon sign hanging in the dining room, dinner quickly goes from uneasy to nightmarish.

The couple’s long series of humiliations culminate in a scene where Michael tells everyone that he has had multiple vasectomies and vasectomy reversals to satisfy Jan’s changing cravings. Even today, it is difficult to find a more iconic (and traumatic) replica than the famous «snip snap snip snap».

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