Our love affair with The Office began over 11 years ago, when NBC first introduced Michael Scott and co. into our homes. We loved it because we knew it. The drab office environs. The cliché corporate art. The snooze-worthy staff meetings. The overzealous boss. It portrayed office culture in a way that struck a chord with many 9-to-5ers—and it did so in hilarious fashion. For all the disenchanted employees out there who daydreamed of outsmarting the boss, exacting revenge on the office narc and winning the heart of the girl from two desks down, The Office offered a bit of escapism that didn’t seem so far out of reach.
Now, over three years since the series went off air, we are still watching it, still talking about it, and still sharing quotes and memes with friends on the internet. The best The Office memes remind us why we loved the show and the crazy cast of characters in the first place, and often manage to provide poignant insight into our own lives. Check out this collection of laugh-out-loud funny, heartwarming memes to remember just why we love The Office so much.
15 Because Michael is the best (worst) boss ever
As the catalyst and leader of this ragtag crew of (literal) paper pushers, Dunder Mifflin branch manager Michael Scott is the perfect example of that one boss that really shouldn’t be giving orders to anybody. He’s utterly clueless, unwittingly offensive, and has a knack for sticking his foot in his mouth at just the right moment.
But on the flip side, he also loves his job, loves his employees, and loves putting himself into precarious situations that we can’t get enough of. This meme perfectly illustrates Michael Scott’s duality as a lover and a loser. It’s a classic Michael quote in that it’s cheesy and kind of inane, but still manages to reveal his heart of gold. He just wants to be loved, and we love him for that. Maybe he’s not such a terrible boss, after all.
14 Because Jim loves pranking Dwight (and we love watching)
If there’s one thing we can count on from The Office, it’s one of Jim’s ingenious pranks on token office assh*le, Dwight. From putting Dwight’s office supplies in Jell-O, to sending him faxes from “Future Dwight,” to conducting Pavlovian behavioral experiments on him, Jim’s gags never fail to get a rise out of Dwight—and we never tire of watching them.
One of Jim’s best—and most elaborate—pranks has to be this classic gag in which Jim and Pam learn Morse code for the sole purpose of driving Dwight crazy. Is Dwight hearing what he thinks he hears? Could they really be sending secret messages through mouse clicks? YES. Will anyone ever believe that he is anything besides a paranoid lunatic? No, never. Chalk up another win for Jim.
13 Because Jim and Pam are the perfect couple
The great thing about Jim and Pam is that they are completely adorable, amazingly perfect for each other, proof that modern romance still exists, etc. etc. etc. The bad thing about Jim and Pam? How the hell are we ever supposed to compete with a couple like that out here in the real world??
All jealousy aside, one of the most rewarding aspects of The Office is watching Jim and Pam grow, struggle and finally find their fairytale ending after so many years. This meme comes from a scene in which Pam learns that Jim may have permanently ended her parents’ marriage, but only because her dad realized that he never came close to loving her mom the way that Jim loves Pam. It’s a beautiful representation of their relationship—and a touching reminder of the love that we are all looking for in our own lives.
12 Because there can only be one assistant to the regional manager
Dwight K. Schrute is a man of many hats: beet farmer, volunteer sheriff deputy, purple belt in Goju-Ryu karate. However, it’s his role as assistant manager (well, technically assistant to the regional manager) at Dunder Mifflin that has immortalized him as one of the most hilarious antagonists in television history.
This meme perfectly sums up Dwight in a nutshell—he’s arrogant, completely ridiculous and full of BS. We’re not sure what’s more disturbing here—the idea that he accepts mythical creatures as a real and relevant part of his world, or the fact that he shot his neighbor’s dog and it never crossed his mind that MAYBE IT WAS NEVER A WEREWOLF IN THE FIRST PLACE. We can’t condone hunting your neighbors pets, but we will say, Dunder Mifflin is a much funnier place because of this bizarre, mustard shirt-wearing man.
11 Because true love is found in the most unlikely of places
Kelly and Ryan. Andy and Erin. Michael and Pam’s mom. There’s no shortage of unlikely love connections at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. However, the most bizarre—and somehow weirdly heartwarming—relationship has to be the top-secret, on-again, off-again romance between Dwight and Angela.
As the self-proclaimed assistant to the regional manager, Dwight is widely spurned in the office for his overzealous antics. Angela, a seasoned slut-shamer who watches her cats from a nanny cam, comes off as frigid to say the least. Nonetheless, the odd couple bond over their archaic, puritanical values and their hatred of pretty much everyone who isn't them. Their interactions are awkward and generally unaffectionate, but behind their icy veneers, we get glimpses of genuine care for one another. Here, we see Dwight callously calling his paramour a wh*re for wearing open-toed shoes. A terrible mischaracterization, for sure, but also a subtle acknowledgement that he notices her and the things she wears. If that’s not true love, we don’t know what is.
10 Because Stanley DGAF
There are few things that get Stanley truly excited, with notable exceptions including sudoku puzzles, the end of the work day and the office building’s annual pretzel day. However, given his history of stress and high blood pressure, maybe his general lack of excitement is a good thing.
With that being said, we can’t help but be impressed by the level of commitment and consistency in Stanley’s apathy. He has elevated DGAFing to an art form, and we are bonafide admirers of his body of work. Daily siestas, refusal of orders, walking out of staff meetings—the guy does it all, and he makes it look easy. On second thought, if it wasn’t easy, he probably wouldn’t be doing it anyway. So to Stanley, we say, “Sleep sweetly, you tortured genius of leisure.”
9 Because Creed never fails to deliver a WTF moment
Forget that Dos Equis guy. The real most interesting man in the world is quietly working at a small Scranton paper wholesaler under an assumed name. The man called Creed Bratton (also, according to Bratton, the name of the last man that crossed him) is a true enigma. No one’s sure who he is, where he came from, or what his role is at Dunder Mifflin—including him. However, throughout the course of the series, we are able to piece together a few very interesting (and also hilarious) shards of information. Namely, that he is a marijuana expert, scuba enthusiast, one-time cult leader (and follower) and quite possibly, a murderer.
Like most old men, Creed is chock-full of the kind of advice that only a lifetime of experience can bestow. Say, for instance, this nugget of wisdom regarding the respective pros and cons of leading a cult versus following one. We’ll be sure to keep that in mind, Creed!
8 Because we love watching Michael hate Toby
When it comes to his employees, Michael is unwaveringly kind, generous and forgiving. Toby Flenderson, however, is technically not his employee. And Michael hates Toby with a fiery passion. As the HR representative for the Scranton branch, Toby more or less acts as the voice of reason whenever Michael comes up with another one of his harebrained schemes. If there’s one thing Michael can’t stand (besides Toby), it’s a voice of reason.
While Michael is generally on the receiving end of criticism, his interactions with Toby give us a rare glimpse of the genial boss’s mean streak. From potshots at Toby’s failed marriage to cracks about his drab personality to shockingly violent yet ultimately hollow death threats, no blow is too low when it comes to Michael’s attacks on Toby. And you know what? Toby kind of deserves it.
7 Because we can never get our fill of hungry Kevin
Kevin isn’t much of a thinker. But when he does think, you can be almost certain that it’s about food. Sure, he’s sort of a caricature and a little one-dimensional when compared with some of the other characters (we’re not holding our breath for a Kevin spin-off), but there’s something deeply fascinating about listening to him wax philosophical about food.
Here, we see Kevin in the midst of a moral crisis revolving around eating pet cats. Is he the first person to ever find a fluffy house cat appetizing? Possibly. But that’s Kevin, and these are the kinds of quandaries you have when you’re a big man with a small intelligence quotient. So we say, you do you, Kev. Unless, you know, it involves eating cats.
6 Because Gabe is so awkwardly creepy
Poor Gabe. Assigned to oversee the Scranton branch after Dunder Mifflin’s acquisition by Sabre, Gabe is given about as much respect as you would expect from a man whose middle name is Susan. So what’s a bony and friendless corporate peon to do? Ingratiate himself to his coworkers through a series of awkwardly creepy admissions, of course!
Whether he’s talking about his love of maternity wards, his disturbing collection of over 200 horror films, or his terrific hugging skills, Gabe just has a knack for taking average conversations into cringeworthy new territory. Atop Gabe’s long list of creepy accomplishments is this disclosure about “sexual touching.” First of all, the idea of Gabe “sexually touching” anything is disturbing and wrong. Secondly, what kind of touching are we even talking about here?? Maybe it’s best not to know.
5 Because Michael knows nothing about black people...
Michael wants black people to like him. He really does. He’s just so hopelessly clueless when it comes to African-American culture. While nothing irks Stanley more than Michael making another clueless remark about black people, Darryl revels in his boss’s ignorance—so much so that he has taken it upon himself to teach Michael “black man phrases.”
“Pippety poppety, give me the zoppety.” “Fleece it out.” Dinkin’ flicka.” Thanks to Darryl, these are all phrases that Michael legitimately believes to be part of the standard African-American lexicon. What exactly Michael thinks a “zoppety” is, we may never know. We are curious, though, as to the success of his newly acquired lingo out in the real world. This may have been one of Michael’s more gullible moments, but we do appreciate the effort.
4 ...or any other minority, for that matter.
Never one to play favorites (okay, he totally is), Michael is truly an equal opportunity offender, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. However, that’s not to say that he's a bigot by any means. If anything, he is deeply interested in the cultural diversity of his staff. He just knows nothing about those cultures—and it's so painfully obvious.
As an openly gay Mexican-American, accountant Oscar Ramirez feels the weight of Michael’s ignorance and insensitivity more intensely than anyone else in the office. But hey, at least Michael is able to look past Oscar’s sexuality—straight to his “Mexicanness,” that is. Michael may not be politically correct, but who else can we count on to throw a Mexican-themed party for a coworker complete with a chihuahua and a donkey?
3 Because it's complicated between Pam and Michael
As Michael’s personal assistant, reluctant confidant and frequent babysitter, Pam is often at her wit’s end when dealing with her manchild manager. Over the years, Michael has submitted Pam to some terrible torture, including trying to kiss her, dating her mom and pretending to fire her as an ill-conceived prank.
Despite Michael’s often (if unwitting) poor treatment of his assistant, the two do display a genuine concern and affection for one another, with Pam almost taking on a motherly role with her much older boss. Here, we see her truly worried over Michael’s perplexed mental faculties (the joke being, of course, that his mind is actually moving painfully slow). The true sign of a good mother? Loving your children in spite of their shortcomings.
2 Because (very) occasionally, Michael offers the perfect gem of wisdom
While we wouldn’t generally solicit the advice of someone who tries to clean an electrical outlet with a metal fork (yes, that actually happened), sometimes Michael surprises us all with an undeniable gem of wisdom. Sort of like a moment of clarity in a clinically insane person, these instances are incredibly fleeting and are usually followed by Michael telling a gay joke or reciting some horribly offensive Chris Rock standup bit. But in that split second, you can’t help but think, “Wow, so this is why he’s the boss.”
This scene, in particular, marks a pivotal moment in the show—the moment when Jim decides to follow his heart and pursue Pam at all costs. It’s a beautiful, honest interaction between two very different people, but like Jim, we came away with this scene with a new respect for Michael.
1 Because this office offers the best benefits
As insane as The Office is—the bizarre antics, the unhinged employees, the convoluted love triangles—we firmly believe that the nondescript Scranton branch is still the best place in the world to work. We’re not saying we love the idea of cold-calling businesses all day to discuss paper weights. But after nine seasons, 201 episodes and at least 10,000 “that’s what she said jokes,” we’ve come to see The Office staff as a zany, dysfunctional family of our own. Creed, the crazy uncle. Meredith, the alcoholic aunt. Kelly, the chatty cousin who’s always up on all the latest family gossip. We love them all and we wouldn’t trade them for anything—not even Dwight.
While we can laugh at Michael as he talks about making love and making friends at work, we also appreciate the sentiment. We continue to come back to the show because we love the characters and we care about what they do. Now, where’s our application.