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?
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."
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."
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."
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?"
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."
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…"
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."
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."
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."
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?"
First Appearance: "Pilot" Job Title: Sales Representative Quote: “THAT LITTLE GIRL IS A CHILD! I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU SNIFFIN' AROUND HER ANYMORE THIS AFTERNOON, DO YOU UNDERSTAND? BOY, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? 'CAUSE I’LL HELP YOU FIND IT! WHAT YOU LOOKING FOR, AIN’T NOBODY GONNA HELP YOU OUT THERE. JESUS COULD COME THROUGH THAT DOOR, HE’S NOT GONNA HELP YOU IF YOU DON’T STOP SNIFFIN' AFTER MY CHILD!”
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."
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."
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.”
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."
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."
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."
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."
First Appearance: "Pilot" Job Title: Supplier Relations Representative Quote: "Hi, I'm Meredith, and I'm an alcho… good at supplier relations."
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."
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.”
First Appearance: "Initiation" Job Title: Co-Owner of Scrute Farms Quote: "Welcome children."
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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