Best Characters on the Office

by - Thursday, May 16, 2013

 Today I am feeling sentimental about the Office since it ends tonight. We have watched this show from the beginning, and it is one of those comfort watching things you watch late at night. Like most everyone, I was frustrated with some of the choices they made as the seasons went on, but since it was back to back with Parks and Rec, we still watched pretty much every week. I feel genuinely sad the show is over, so let's blog about it, shall we?

 I have seen LOTS of favorite episodes stuff the last few days, which is fine, but they often boil down to the same hand full, so rather than do that, I figured I would talk about my favorite characters on the show, since it is the ensemble that is so great. Watch the season 7 cold open and try not to smile. It is all about the chemistry of the group, which comes from having a great bunch of characters across the board.

 12. Michael Scott- Ok, it just feels like the list has to start with this character. There has been lots of debate about whether he will have a cameo in the finale, and I really hope that he does, or I will be sad. In some ways, I didn't enjoy the really cringe-y parts of his character (the part where he drives his car into the river or tries to be survivor man come to mind), but I love the crazy things he says and it was always fun to see this character succeed. I like the characters cast of characters like Prison Mike. I really love the sweet child-like eagerness of the character, because I think that is what Steve Carrell really added to the show that wasn't there in the British version. He basically plays Michael Scott as this guy so desperate for a family that he tries to turn his work space into a family. Everyone can relate on some level to that loneliness, so as the show goes on, you have to root for him. His face at the end of "Niagara" is priceless, and I think it is so satisfying how he was written off the show.

Favorite Moment- Despite my previous praise of his sweetness, I think my favorite Michael Scott moments come from his unbridled hatred of Toby. In "Casino Night," Toby makes multiple very good arguments for why Boy Scouts should perhaps not come to their super late night, dangerous warehouse, gambling party, and Michael responds "Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time that I try to do something fun, or exciting, you  make it not that way. i hate so much about the things you choose to be."

Oh, and his dancing on "Booze Cruise," which is still mesmerizing. You better show up tonight, Carrell!

11. Phyllis- Phyllis is the Boy's absolute favorite character. I think it is because her line delivery (that soft voice) is funny no matter what she is saying. I also love her saucy side, like when she shimmied at the window. I also love her ongoing feud with Angela, and in "Benihana Christmas" I like how she slowly directs people out of the Nutcracker Christmas. I like when she whispers to her "I don't like you"

Favorite Moment-  When she took Karen to get their "makeovers" and come out looking like crazy prostitute clowns, because she knows what that client is into. I love her look to the camera in that episode. Also, I love her Ben Franklin bachelor party. Oooh! And when she gets mad because Karen complains about her perfume.

10. Jim/ Dwight- I like them fine separately, but I like them better together. In one of those youtube clips going around, Rain Wilson said that he and John Krasinski have the most natural unspoken repor that he has ever had with any actor, and kudos to the writers for realizing their arc was the most important one on the show, because it is ending with them being genuine friends to each other. The only great episodes of season 8 are when they are constantly together in Tallahassee. Those episodes, especially the store opening are hilarious mostly because of them, and it was nice to see some actual character development (which the writers were pretty wimpy on that season) when Jim turned around and helped Dwight. I could go on a long time about this one, but this is one of the best dynamics on the show.

Favorite Moment-  This is tough, but there are two absolute classics. When they threw the Kelly Birthday together. The "It is your birthday" banner and their old couple bickering still makes me laugh every time I see that episode. The other one you have to mention is when they impersonated eah other in such a spot on way.

9.  Erin Hannon- Elie Kemper was a great later addition to the show, and she actually continues some of the Michael Scott qualities more than anyone in the later seasons- she has that same absolute, ridiculous honesty and that childlike eagerness to please. She is just sweet. I wish they hadn't wasted so much of her screen time on her various love triangles, none of which turned out to be that interesting. But she is hilarious in a way no one else on the show has been (she kind of reminds me of Betty White when she was younger... cleverly dipsy or something). I also love hr relationship with Kelly and their jumping the party off at Cafe Disco.

Favorite Moment- Erin as a hipster in Florida is pretty great. I also love at "Garden Party," when Andy asks if she is taping his duet with his dad, she says "It is either recording or calling someone" smiles, and gives him a thumbs up.

8. Gabe Lewis- Gabe is a grossly under appreciated character from the show, because he is written to be unlikable and kind of wimpy, but i think a lot of his exchanges with people are super funny. I like the episode where they openly disdain him. Michael Scott gives him great advice on his last day (to look less like a transvestite) and the whole office turns against him in the Sabre photo captioning contest. He has such a feminine energy and compliments himself on the strangest things ("Sometimes I wonder if I have ovaries in my scrotum, because I am great at girl talk"). He is so pathetic ("I don't like to be alone with me either"), but I love it.

Fave Moment- Again, there are two. Gabe is AMAZING in the "Search Committee" episode ("Shut up about the Sun!"). His exchange with Kelly is also really funny "Me peeing on Gabe's corpse"). He is only intermittently funny before the Erin break up, but after, his bitterness is consistently hilarious. My other fave is when the group goes to Gettysburg and he is mistaken for Abraham Lincoln, and he just goes for it.

7. Pam-  Obviously, the Jim and Pam romance is the other really strong thread through the course of the show, and it was so smart for them to push that this last season, because at the peak of their popularity, I think that is what people tuned in to see. Anyone can relate to Pam in the beginning, and her arc is so much about learning to stand up for herself and what she wants, that I am so so so glad that she didn't have to be the one that gave up in their conflict. Plus, they started making Jim and Pam videos again, so you know the Office hit a nerve again.

 I think they started to go really wrong by both of them in some of the middle seasons, because all the other characters were becoming increasingly likable, so she and Jim seemed to just be needlessly disdainful and whiney. She is almost too much for me in the wedding episodes (you are really going to complain about these people who are mostly being very loving toward you?). But the writers turned Pam in such a smart way, and I think now she functions as the kind of beating heart of the office, consistently looking out for others. I loved that she intervened in Michael's proposal for instance. I also really loved the running jokes they did when she and Angela were both pregnant (both with Philip). It cracked me up that Angela bounced back perfectly- the brownies bit is hilarious.

Favorite Moment-  I do love the "Casino Night" episodes, but I think I love the company picnic episode. When Pam turns out to be awesome at volleyball, she is so funny about it, but I LOVE when she hurts herself, and is still pointing and glaring threateningly while being carried away.

6. Toby-  Oh, he is the ultimate sad sack. The most interesting thing he ever had to talk about was the Scranton Strangler. He also harbors an unrequited love for Pam, that remains totally unfulfilled, but no one ever roots for him. He gets framed for having caprese salad. He has the sweetest, saddest voice in the world. They threw a giant party because they were so happy he was leaving. He is another one of those characters, that no matter what he says it is a little bit funny.

Favorite Moment- His big debut in Diversity Day is still pretty funny. I love the episode where he has to counsel Michael, and that he tries so so hard and eventually makes some leeway.I also love when Jim become manager and also starts to hate him.
5. Kelly- I love that for the first season and a half, they dressed her in super dowdy clothes and barely let her speak, then they moved Jim back into the annex. We realized she is a super girly tabloid pop culture junkie. Her romance with Ryan is the super toxic other side to the all the more sincere romances on the show. I also love that she is such a badass in real life, writing some of the BEST episodes ever on the show, but plays such an airhead onscreen.

Favorite Moment-"Ryan used me as an object." Basically, Ryan's entire tenure as a big executive brings out the hilarious in her.

4. Darryl-I still 100% believe that when they were reworking the show, they should have made Darryl manager. I think he would have brought a very different energy to it (unlike the weirdly similar energy Andy brought) but he is still lazy enough that a lot of nonsense could have taken place. It would have been a better challenge. Right now in my marathoning, I am watching his short-lived romance with Kelly, and his super dry delivery is so great with her super drama. He is the kind of super chill energy and sarcastic humor that balances really well with so many of the characters. He is a harsh slap of reality, and he may actually be the smartest character on the whole show. I loved his dancing send off in the last episode too. He makes me laugh pretty much every time he is on screen in the first 5 or so seasons.

Favorite Moment-  I love his early interactions with Michael, especially when he teaches him to "fleece it out" and "dink and flicka." His speech to bring Michael off the roof ("It takes courage just to be you") in the Safety episode is pretty amazing too.

3. Kevin Malone-  It says a lot about a character when someone can be tricked into thinking they are mentally challenged. He is basically a giant baby. He is another one of those characters who says exactly what is on his mind. I think they have actually made him less and less functional as the seasons have gone by, maybe because some of his giant child moments (like sitting on Michael's lap) played so well. Also, he has the cutest laugh of anyone on the show. Also, I love Scrantonicity and Scrantonicity 2.

Favorite Moment-  His "You oughta know" kareoke moment is amazing. So is his effort to get all of the guys into the bathroom when the girls are all off at the mall. And wearing his tissue boxes and toupe to Jim and Pam's wedding.

2. Creed- And if he can't scuba, what's the point of any of this? Basically the best and most quotable character on any tv show ever. Also, I love that people theorize that he is the Scranton strangler, because he is just crazy enough for that to be true. He makes fake ids and steals stuff and has been both a leader and follower in a number of cults. He sends his debt to a second identity and runs away when he hears he is the suspect in a murder. I also LOVE Product Recall (probably my favorite episode ever) when he takes down poor Debbie Brown, because this job is the only thing between him and being homeless. He also has no idea who anybody is (Darnell), and weaves a good tale.

Favorite Moment- I can't choose! I think it might be when Pam is going to give her his chair and he says " When Pam gets Michael's old chair, I'll get Pam's old chair, and then I'll have two chairs. Only one to go."

That or 

1. Ronnie-This is the only picture I could find of Ronnie, but Pam's replacement is our absolute favorite and a total dreamboat. I am not sure she actually gets a line, but she is still the best employee to ever grace Dunder Mifflin. If you know the episode she is in, you are either a super fan, or you get weirdly attached to randoms like we do. This is no joke, she is genuinely our favorite enough, that if her episode comes up when we are going to bed, we will stay up to watch it.

Favorite Moment- Her stakeout with Michael, Dwight, and Holly. Just the shot with her in it makes me laugh out loud every time. Ronnie is a gem.

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