What makes The Office so special are the relationships inside Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch. Whether it’s platonic or intimate, the Scranton branch is a family whether the characters admit it or not. Over the course of nine seasons, the likes of Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, have been there for each other’s best and worst times.
And even though the Scranton branch gets annoyed working under Michael Scott, the turnover rate is shockingly low. This creates depth in long-running jokes on the series. No matter if it’s in the fifth or ninth season, most of the workers have been there long enough to catch on to a long-running gag. But not all fans of the show found these long-running gags as funny as the writers did.
10 Best: Michael’s Man-Crush On Ryan
Michael’s man-crush on Ryan is hysterically evident. It all starts when Michael learns that Ryan is getting his MBA and had dreams of starting his own company one day. Michael is in disbelief over his knowledge and becomes jealous of how much Ryan knows about business.
But that was just the start of it all. Michael becomes even more fascinated by Ryan when he’s promoted and starts copying his style. He also chose Ryan as ‘Hottest in the Office’ every year at the Dundies. No matter how much trouble Ryan gets into, Michael will always support him.
9 Worst: Andy’s Disdain For Nellie
There aren’t too many fans of the show who approved of Nellie. Nellie wasn’t the kindest of people and was an outsider coming into the lion’s den. However, she had the confidence to make a presence in the office. With Andy away at sea, Nellie took his job from him and had no remorse for doing so.
But when Andy got his job back, he made Nellie’s life at the office a living nightmare. He threw jabs at her and didn’t take her seriously when the situation required it. The worst moment was when she needed a letter of recommendation from Andy in order to adopt a child and he refused.
8 Best: Jim’s Pranks On Dwight
The prank war between Jim and Dwight never gets old. The two have been going head-to-head since the first season and they never lose steam. From staplers in Jell-O to snowball fights, Dwight and Jim took their anger and frustrations out on each other in the form of pranks.
Over time, however, the two formed a genuine friendship. And as much as they hate to admit, they were each other’s best friends and biggest supporters. Dwight even picked Jim to be his best man at his wedding. This long-running gag was well-received from viewers and was tied up nicely in the ninth season.
7 Worst: Michael’s Ignorance
The running gag of Michael Scott’s ignorance of controversial topics gets swept under the rug because everyone treats Michael like he’s a child. It’s as if he can do and say ignorant things because he doesn’t know any better. But as a 40-something-year-old man who runs a branch of a large company, he should know that he can’t talk about certain topics in the workplace.
Religion, sex, and creed are generally ignored in the workplace as they are seen too personal and private for point of conversation. But Michael doesn’t believe in keeping things private. In his mind, Dunder Mifflin is a family and he should know and talk about all.
6 Best: Creed
Creed isn’t just a character, he’s a running a gag. Creed works in quality assurance but is never really sure what he does there. In one scene, he wasn’t even sure what Dunder Mifflin did. What’s even crazier about Creed is that the audience never knew who he really was either.
Was Creed his real name? Was he the Scranton Strangler? Did he really kill someone on Halloween? It’s unknown. The mysteries that surround Creed were a running gag in itself and is heavily beloved by viewers.
5 Worst: Andy’s Love For Acapella
Andy Bernard came from a prominent family and had a wealthy background. But even his family’s name and wealth couldn’t keep Andy from pursuing his true passion: stardom. Andy had a love for theater and acapella. No matter what Andy was doing at Dunder Mifflin, he found a way to incorporate singing. However, fans found Andy’s obsession with music annoying and overdone.
At the end of the series, Andy left Dunder Mifflin for a chance at stardom but never made it on top. But at least he found happiness in his second dream job at Cornell University.
4 Best: Michael’s Hatred For Toby
It never gets old watching Michael cringe whenever Toby comes into the room. In the case of Dunder Mifflin, Michael is the child and Toby is the parent. With Toby being in HR, it’s his job to keep an eye on Michael and make sure the office is running smoothly without chaos.
But it’s never that simple with Michael. Whenever Toby is around, Michael makes it a point to call him out, make fun of him, or kick him out of the office. And as cruel as Michael was to Toby, it’s one of the most hilarious gags in the series.
3 Worst: Oscar’s Sexual Orientation
The way Michael treated Oscar’s sexual orientation says everything about him. Not only did he make jokes about being gay but he outed Oscar without his consent. Oscar’s lifestyle was his and his alone. He did not need to talk about it at work but Michael gave him no choice. Michael wanted to be seen as the cool and accepting boss but he failed to realize that it was Oscar’s choice to come out whenever he was ready to.
Years after Michael outed Oscar, he still made jokes and crude comments to Oscar about liking men as a long-running gag. But not every viewer found it comical.
2 Best: That’s What She Said
There’s nothing like seeing a childish Michael Scott get giddy over saying “That’s what she said.” He’s in his 40’s but he has the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. Whenever someone says anything remotely sexual, Michael chimes in with a “That’s what she said” joke.
And after years of saying “That’s what she said,” his colleagues caught on to the joke and began saying it themselves. The problem is that Michael hated it when his friends pulled off his joke and made other people laugh. He always wanted to be the star of the show.
1 Worst: Meredith’s Drinking Problem
Meredith Palmer deserves more credit as a character. However, the viewers never got time to fully appreciate her character it’s overshadowed by her drinking problem. No one takes Meredith seriously because she’s typically drunk or making a mess of things.
Michael even tried taking Meredith to rehab—without her consent—after she drank too much at the office Christmas party and lit her head on fire. While her alcoholism was a defining trait, fans would have liked to get to know the real Meredith. The one that was a worker, a mother, and a friend.