Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Who's Your Favorite 'Office' Character?

About a year or so after the American version of The Office first premiered in 2005, I remember asking my aunt if she’d seen the show yet. She cringed immediately and said “Oh, I tried that show, it’s unbearable. I work with those people.”

Many of us have worked with judgmental Christian cat ladies like Angela, creepy old dudes like Creed, or bosses like Michael who seem more occupied with being your buddy than properly managing a company. And while some Office characters are more or less caricatures, others — like Jim, Pam, and at times, Michael — can not only evoke our darkest fears and worries about living in trapped, dead-end cubicle lives, but do so in the form of puppets, drawings, hot coal walks, and booze cruises. So now that The Office has entered its ninth and final season, why not take a moment to appreciate this ensemble of lovable weirdos who have kept us entertained for the past seven and a half years? And most importantly, which one is your favorite?

Andy Bernard

First Appearance: "Gay Witch Hunt"
Job Title: Assistant to the Regional Manager, Regional Sales Director, Regional Manager
Nicknames: The Nard Dog, St. Bernard, King Butt
Quote: "For the record, I prefer women. But off the record, I'm kinda confused."

Nellie Bertram

First Appearance: "Search Committee"
Job Title: President of Special Projects, Regional Manager, Special Projects Manager
Quote: "When you use a ridiculous font, no one thinks you have a plan."

Creed Bratton

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Quality Assurance Representative, Acting Regional Manager
Quote: "I want to do a cartwheel. But real casual like — not enough to make a big deal out of it but I know everybody saw it, just one stunning, gorgeous cartwheel."

Robert California

First Appearance: "Search Committee"
Job Title: Chief Executive Officer
Nicknames: The Fucking Lizard King
Quote: "Ugh, I hate ties. I feel like I'm being strangled like I'm at some erotic asphyxiation sex club over on I-84 — the Red Room, say, or Dominic's?"

Holly Flax

First Appearance: "Goodbye, Toby"
Job Title: Human Resources Representative
Quote: "Today is ethics day. After they finish their quiz I'm going to run my first ethics meeting here. It's gonna be insaaaane. No, it's not. I have to read from the binder."

Toby Flenderson

First Appearance: "Diversity Day"
Job Title: Human Resources Representative
Nicknames: T-Dog, The Devil's Butthole
Quote: "If I won the lottery, I don't know if I'd make any changes to my life. I'd quit my job, move, meet someone…"

Jim Halpert

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Sales Representative, Assistant Regional Manager, Co-Manager, Regional Manager
Nicknames: Big Tuna, Tuna, Tunes, Fat Halpert, Slim Jim, Jim Bag
Quote: "I have a lot of work to do this afternoon. Those mines aren't going to sweep themselves."

Pam Halpert

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Receptionist, Sales Representative, Office Administrator
Nicknames: Pam-Pam, Beesley, Pamcake
Quote: "I have decided that I'm going to be more honest. I'm going to tell people what I want. Directly. So look out world, cause ol' Pammy is getting what she wants. And don't call me Pammy."

Erin Hannon

First Appearance: "Michael Scott Paper Company"
Job Title: Receptionist
Nicknames: Tabitha
Quote: "Disposable cameras are fun, but it does seem wasteful, and you don't ever get to see your pictures."

Ryan Howard

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Temp, Sales Representative, VP of Northeast Region, Director of New Media, Receptionist, Customer Service Supervisor
Nicknames: Temp, The Temp, Mr. Temp, The Tempinator, Fired Guy
Quote: "I'd rather she be alone than with somebody. Is that love?"

Stanley Hudson

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Sales Representative

Kelly Kapoor

First Appearance: "Diversity Day"
Job Title: Customer Service Representative, Minority Training Executive
Quote: "I never really thought about death until Princess Diana died. That was the saddest funeral ever. That and my sister's."

Phyllis Lapin-Vance

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Sales Representative
Nicknames: Easy Rider
Quote: "If I wanted Jamaican food I'd just hire a bunch of body guards and go there."

Gabe Lewis

First Appearance: "Sabre"
Job Title: Coordinating Director
Nicknames: The Toilet
Quote: “It's hard to explain why Erin is doing so well today. The only thing I can think is Erin is living out some Slumdog Millionaire scenario where every word she’s playing has a connection to her orphan past. It’s possible.”

Kevin Malone

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Accountant
Nicknames: Kool-Aid Man
Quote: "If someone gives you 10,000 to 1 on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude."

Angela Martin

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Senior Accountant
Nicknames: Booster Seat
Quote: "I actually look forward to performance reviews. I did the youth beauty pageant circuit, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. I really enjoy being judged."

Oscar Martinez

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Accountant
Quote: "Angela's engaged to a gay man. As a gay man, I'm horrified. As a friend of Angela's, horrified. As a lover of elegant weddings, I'm a little excited! But overall…horrified."

Todd Packer

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Outside Sales Representative
Nicknames: Packman
Quote: "I'm a huge alligator nerd. I can name you every genus, every sub species. Also I'm a huge boob nerd."

Meredith Palmer

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Supplier Relations Representative
Quote: "Hi, I'm Meredith, and I'm an alcho… good at supplier relations."

Darryl Philbin

First Appearance: "The Alliance"
Job Title: Warehouse Foreman, Unspecified Position, Assistant Regional Manager
Nicknames: Regis, Roger, Mittah Rogers, D-Dog
Quote: "That's cool that you like the Southwest. It's one of my favorite regions."

Dwight Schrute

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Sales Representative, Assistant to the Regional Manager, Acting Regional Manager, VP of Sabre Retail and Special Projects
Nicknames: D, Dwight Fart Schrute
Quote: “In the end, the greatest snowball isn’t a snowball at all. It’s fear. Merry Christmas.”

Mose Schrute

First Appearance: "Initiation"
Job Title: Co-Owner of Scrute Farms
Quote: "Welcome children."

Michael Scott

First Appearance: "Pilot"
Job Title: Sales Representative, Co-Manager, Regional Manager
Nicknames: Michael Scarn, Prison Mike, Caleb Crawdad, Michael Scotch, Michael Klump (all self-imposed)
Quote: "This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell out of here."

Megh Wright misses Harrisburg, lives in Brooklyn, and answers phones in Manhattan.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/edithzimmerman Edith Zimmerman

    Michael, Holly, and Meredith

  • Will

    I don't know about favorite, but Nellie is by far the worst.

  • JoshUng

    I liked Ryan at the beginning, when he was like Jim, but without the mopey secret crush. And Andy when he was in Connecticut. Otherwise, I guess Gabe, the last new character that was successfully added to the show.

  • eden

    michael. it was always michael.

  • BonzoGal

    Dwight and Jim in the first season. Angela when she was meaner. Michael is the best at making me either laugh my ass off or run out of the room whimpering. Nowadays, Kevin makes me larf the hardest.

  • Nick

    This is truly a 3 category question: Michael is in a class by himself. Then I would group Jim, Pam, Dwight, Andy and maybe Ryan into a category. Amongst them, Dwight has consistently remained the funniest (I've found Pam to just become unlikable the past few years). Then there are the "side" characters, the category that all great sitcoms have thrived on (nobody has created better ones than The Simpsons). For my money, it's Creed. Brilliantly crafted as just a crazy old dude, which allows a seemingly one dimensional character the room to say anything, regardless of context.

  • JD

    Michael, Andy, Dwight and Creed.

  • http://www.google.com krossoverking

    Mike, Stanley, Dwight, Creed, and Darryl.

  • http://karmacomatic.tumblr.com Rose Anna

    People may hate for this but I cannot STAND Michael. Idk. After watching Season 8, I then attempted season 2. Couldn't stand having him be the center of attention. I like when it's an ensemble show, not an "all about M.Scott" show. Idk. Without him, other characters got to shine.

  • cbay86