Indisputable Ranking of Greatest Scenes from The Office


Photo Courtesy of NBC

Isabella Bennett and Liam Boris

The Office (U.S.) is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sitcoms ever produced in the 21st century. Some of the most memorable moments of the show are from the cold opens, or the scenes that are played before the opening title sequence. Below are ten of the best of those cold opens, ranked from great to greatest.

10. Jim wraps Dwight’s desk with wrapping paper (Season 5, Episode 11): Walking into the office, Dwight scoffs at Jim when he sees that his desk, chair, and office supplies have been wrapped in wrapping paper. Mocking Jim about how it will literally take him five minutes to dismantle all his hard work, Dwight throws his briefcase onto the desk and plops onto his chair, only for all the wrapping paper to collapse.

9. Letters from future Dwight (Season 3, Episode 7): Using Dwight’s stationery, Jim faxes Dwight messages from “future Dwight.” One message is that someone is going to poison the coffee that morning, which leads Dwight to sprint across the office and smack a cup of coffee out of Stanley’s hand.

8. Identity Theft (Season 3, Episode 20): Jim shows up to work in full-character as Dwight, mocking Dwight’s persona by talking about bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.

7. Pavlov Experiment (Season 3, Episode 15): Jim trains Dwight to reach out his hand for an Altoid every time his computer chimes, parroting the famous Pavlov Experiment that taught dogs to expect a treat when a bell rang.

6. Parkour (Season 6, Episode 1): Andy, Dwight, and Michael partake in “parkour” around Dunder Mifflin. As Jim describes it in the episode, “The goal is getting from Point A to Point B as creatively as possible, so, technically, they are doing parkour as long as Point A is “delusion” and Point B is “the hospital.”

5. Asian Jim (Season 9, Episode 3): While Jim is away at the dentist, he has his actor friend Steve fill in for him at the office, acting exactly like Jim and pretending to be him. He knows Jim’s clients and phone passcode, kisses Pam and has a family photo with him in it instead of Jim. Dwight, exclaiming that Jim’s not Asian, tries to get Steve to reveal that he’s an imposter, but to no avail.

4. Planking (Season 8, Episode 1): This season begins with Oscar walking past Erin, who is planking on a parking block. Other office employees’ plans of planking (Meredith prefers to plank in the men’s restroom) are foiled as Dwight goes around spraying them with a fire extinguisher.

3. Jim pretends to be murdered (Season 8, Episode 15): Jim, having woken up at 4 a.m. (as he is used to waking up to crying children) decides to pull a prank on Dwight. All the characters are staying in a hotel, and he knows Dwight and Erin will come to wake their colleagues in the morning. He puts out many props to make his hotel room look similar to a murder, and hides in his closet. As Erin and Dwight go round the corner, Jim topples out of the closet as though he were dead.

2. Michael hits Meredith with his car (Season 4, Episode 1): This short clip begins in Michael’s car as he is driving to work and explaining how great his career life has been. As he pulls into Dunder Mifflin, he hits Merideth, and she topples onto his car’s windshield.

1. Fire Drill (Season 5, Episode 14): Finally, the most iconic scene in The Office. Dwight purposefully begins a fire and creates obstacles for proper escape. All the Dunder Mifflin employees are in a united panic as they try different paths of escape, until Michael yells, “Every man for themselves!” Angela attempts to save her cat Bandit, which she keeps in a filing cabinet, by throwing him up to Oscar, who is in the ceiling, but fails as Bandit falls through another ceiling panel. In the conference room, Michael attempts to break open a window by throwing a chair, but the chair bounces back and hits him in the face. The scene ends as a heart-stressed Stanley collapses after Dwight announces the chain of events was only a drill.

Honorable Mentions: Andy puts up billboards and they get vandalized (Season 8, Episode 4), Dwight and Michael prepare for Jan’s baby with a watermelon decoy (Season 5, Episode 3), Dwight puts a jack o’lantern on his head and it gets stuck (Season 9, Episode 5)