There is an uncountable amount of cringe-inducing moments throughout the nine seasons of The Office. With characters like Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, and Andy Bernard, there are a lot of times that make you want to just take a step back and thank whoever or whatever controls this universe that you’re not experiencing the awkwardness unfolding on your TV screen in front of you. Michael Scott is a catalyst for social disaster and is constantly sending ripples of discomfort and, to put it bluntly, insane amounts of humiliation through the office and anyone involved in anything to do with it. On the contrary, though, there are a handful of times that make you think, “Man, I can’t wait to be an adult!” Check out 15 of those amazing and awe-inspiring moments that’ll make you think growing up might not be so bad.
15. Adulthood means pizza whenever you want
This first perk of adulthood comes from late in the eighth season when Dunder Mifflin’s parent company, Sabre, releases the Pyramid, a triangle-shaped tablet that’s advertised to connect you to “everything in space and time.” The whole Dunder Mifflin Scranton family is required to help out with the launch and they are all equipped with a handy dandy chest pouch to hold their Pyramids while they aren’t using them. While these pouches seem unnecessary in theory, Stanley gets the right idea by keeping an extra slice of pizza in his pouch rather than his Pyramid. Nothing is stopping Stanley, or any other adult, from eating pizza whenever he wants including being at a launch for his company’s new product. Honestly, we’d buy the Pyramid just for the pouch so we can always have an extra slice of pizza on us at all times.
14. Adulthood means office parties
If there’s one thing the people of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company know how to do well, it’s throw an office party. Michael Scott and the rest of The Office gang will use any and every excuse to get the members of the office away from the work they should be doing and into some sort of finagled and often times unnecessary celebration. In fact, the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company parties so much that they have their own party planning committee. Said party planning committee plays a significant role in much of the series and there’s quite a bit of drama that takes place surrounding this feisty bunch. However, at the end of the day, the parties that they plan that do eventually work out are always a bundle of fun and are something to look forward to when transitioning into an adult job.
13. Adulthood means making friends at work
Before we get started on this one, for the few of you that haven’t seen The Office or have been living under a rock, this contains SPOILERS. Now, then. Sure, the love story of Pam and Jim is long, complicated and tear-jerking at times. Though they experience a relatively normal amount of bumps along the way, the two end up getting married and having two adorable miniature Beasley-Halperts. But all of that love had to have started somewhere. Love doesn’t normally just pop out of nowhere; love often starts with friendship and the Pam-Jim duet had/have one of the most extraordinary friendships in the entire series. Most of the employees resent the Dunder Mifflin office and regard it as nothing more than a dead-end job. But what they don’t realize is that the work place is a great place to make friends. If you think about it, you do spend nearly a third of your week with your co-workers anyway. So, you might as well make the best of it!
12. Adulthood means trying new things
This little number comes from episode 22 of season 8 when the employees of Dunder Mifflin attend a fundraiser for the Scranton Animal Welfare society. A number of things happen throughout this episode including Dwight misunderstanding what a silent auction is. The perk of adulthood to be taken from this episode, however, comes from an interaction between Nellie and Daryl. Daryl takes advantage of Nellie’s ignorance towards popular American foods, specifically tacos. In an attempt to bond with Daryl, Nellie gives him way too much money to go out and buy tacos for the two of them. As you can see in the gif above, she dives right in without much instruction and is ultimately unimpressed. But what matters is that she tried something new, which is good for all of us!
11. Adulthood means being able to adopt a pet
We’ll preface this by saying that Michael doesn’t end up adopting a dog, or any pet at all, in this episode or any other episode. But this gif was too darn adorable to ignore. It comes from an episode where Michael is left at a gas station when Jim needs to leave suddenly because Pam’s mom accidentally locks C.C. in the car. Michael attempts to walk back to the office but is distracted by a number of things along the way. No one knows where he is but Hollie, who thinks a lot like Michael, is able to follow his trail without knowing it. His journey back to the office leads him to a pet store where he pets puppies, talks to birds and decides that snakes are entirely useless. There’s nothing really stopping him from adopting a pet except maybe the fact that he’s incredibly irresponsible. But if you think you can handle it, there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same as an adult!
10. Adulthood means knowing what you’re about and not caring what other people think about it
When you’re a teenager, it’s easy to give it to peer pressure. There’s no secret there. A lot of our childhood revolves around trying to impress our peers by doing, and not doing, things even if we don’t want to. But everything changes when you reach adulthood. Once you become an adult, you realize that one of your first priorities should always be making yourself happy even if it means sacrificing a bit of social acceptance. A good example of that comes from the episode of The Office when Michael and Jan have a dinner party at their condo. Jim, Pam, Andy, Angela, Dwight and Dwight’s childhood sitter were all in attendance. Their guests expect to eat dinner because it’s a, ya know, dinner party but Jan has a laundry list of things to do before dinner, including harassing Pam. But does Pam care? No, because all she wants is food and we don’t blame her.
9. Adulthood means having dreams and working hard to make them come true
Get ready for another spoiler. If there’s one thing to know about The Office, it’s the Michael Scott is the regional manager and Dwight Schrute is the assistant to the regional at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. Dwight praises the ground that Michael walks on but has always dreamed of taking his place one day. He works harder than anyone else in the office and takes his job entirely too seriously as a result. Things stay the way they are for a long time, four seasons or so, until a series of strange and twisted events lead up to Dunder Mifflin Scranton getting a new branch manager – Mr. Dwight K. Schrute. He doesn’t stay there for long but the point is that got there in the first place.
8. Adulthood means trying to stay hip and almost succeeding
One downside of getting older that I think we’re all aware of is the fact that we tend to get a bit out of touch with what’s hip and what’s cool at the time. Just think of all the times your parents have asked you questions about cellphones and emoji’s and laptops and whatever singer just released a single this week. Most of the time they’ve almost got it but not quite, just like Dwight in this scene from seventh season. While Jim and Dwight are in the kitchen of the office, Jim says something about mega famous millennial singer Justin Bieber to which Dwight responds by asking, “Who is Justice Beaver?” Of course, Justice Beaver doesn’t exist but at least he’s trying, which is really all we can ask for.
7. Adulthood means learning to live in the moment
We’re told all our lives that time flies by faster than we realize. So, they also tell us that we should cherish every moment that we can, even when we know something bad might be in our future. We see a good example of this in episode 15 of season 9. The whole office is anticipating the return of their then-manager, Andy Bernard, who fled his duties as the leader of the office to sail his family’s boat one last time. What was supposed to be a week-long trip turned into several months and members of the office are not happy, especially Erin who was dating Andy at the time he left. She is especially unhappy with him because he only contacted her twice while he was gone. So, she plans to spend her last day before he returns having fun rather than dwelling on the nightmare that will be his return.
6. Adulthood means falling in love
Attention, more spoilers ahead. We already know of one love story that grows in the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office. However, Pam and Jim are far from the only couple to make a life together throughout the series. Michael has various relationships before he finds his soulmate, Hollie, and Andy dates around the office a bit. But the longest standing relationship at Dunder Mifflin is actually between Dwight and Angela. Though their relationship is secret for many years and hits a few rocky patches, it’s clear that they care for each other very much and, in the end, they end up together as they should. Love comes in many shapes and sizes but Dwight and Angela teach us that that doesn’t matter as long as you love each other.
5. Adulthood means looking forward to the next chapter of your life
Sometimes looking forward can be kind of hard if you know you’re going to have to do something hard like earn a college degree or go on a big business trip that you’re not prepared for. On the contrary, if you have something great to look forward to, like your wedding or the birth of your first child, life can be pretty grand. For instance, in this gif we see Michael getting ready for the birth of Jan’s baby. Dwight has generously offered to help him get ready for the incredibly stressful labor and delivery process of a baby. Why? It’s kind of unclear because the baby isn’t actually his but he is beyond thrilled to get this baby chapter of his life started regardless of who it’s with.
4. Adulthood means having children on purpose
Once again, there are spoilers here but you’re probably already aware because of the gif above. Either way, like the number above this one, adulthood can be amazing because you can do things like have a baby without freaking out about where you’re going to put it in your dorm room. Getting pregnant with a partner (or with a donor, whichever way you’re plan goes) during a time of your life when you can support it and nurture it into the incredible mini-you that it will eventually become is one of the most awesome parts of adulthood. Now, we can’t say much for Michael and Jan because they didn’t really have a baby together — Michael is just jacking Jan’s shining moment. But Pam and Jim can do it, so why can’t we?
3. Adulthood means being able to give good gifts
We don’t know about you guys but being young and jobless makes it really hard to give those you love and care about the gifts that you really want to give them. Most times, the best college kids can afford is a cheap six pack of beer or a few slices of pizza with some extra toppings in honor of the special occasion. But if you grow up and land a job that pays you at least enough to get yourself an apartment and some groceries every week, you will finally get the opportunity to save up for something nice and thoughtful for someone you care about. We see a good example of this when Jim gifts Pam a teapot full of little memories for Christmas in season two.
2. Adulthood means having your priorities straight… for the most part
In episode 10 of season three, “A Benihana Christmas”, Michael Scott teaches us that bros always come before hoes because “your bros are always there for you”. For those of you who are unaware, this is to say that your friends should always come before your romantic interests. This comes after Michael is dumped by Carol, his girlfriend at the time, for photoshopping his face onto her ex-husband’s in an old ski photo and using it as a Christmas card. Michael is depressed but instead of spending the day destroying everything in his path to cope with the pain of his breakup like he normally would, he has a guy’s day out at Benihana where he enjoys drinks and hibachi food with some of his guy friends from the office. For once, Michael has his priorities straight.
1. Adulthood means making mistakes and learning from them
This last reason to be excited for adulthood comes from what may be the most amazingly hilarious cold open to ever exist on any TV show ever. We all make mistakes but sometimes we can be a bit hard on ourselves about them. However, adulthood means being able to accept them and learn from them, just like Dwight does in episode 14 of season five. Dwight starts a fire in the office on purpose to test everyone’s fire safety skills. The too-real test causes a panic on steroids that nearly costs him his job. While he had the best intensions, his fire safety test did much more harm than good. He loves his job far too much to jeopardize it again so he does his best to get back on Michael’s good graces while learning to get his points across in a much less intense way.