Michael Scott is, definitively, one of the best characters ever created for television. The raucous and wildly inappropriate manager of a mid-range paper supply company is embodied perfectly by Steve Carell for seven seasons of The Office. Who could forget the infinite “that’s what she said” jokes, his empty promise to fund college for a group of third graders, when he PhotoShopped himself into a newly-established girlfriend’s family photo, or when he finally debuted his feature film, Threat Level Midnight? While just about any scene Carell is in can be considered iconic, a few stand out above the rest.
Thanks to Prison Mike, we now know that the worst thing about prison is the dementors, and his purple bandana has been the mark of many a Halloween costume.
Hats off to anyone who can quote Michael’s season five tirade where he roasted every employee in the office. Creed, your teeth called. Your breath stinks. Boom, roasted!
When you've got Michael and his misplaced confidence falling into a koi pond after a sales meeting, you’re guaranteed to strike comedy gold. The only thing better than the surveillance video is Michael refusing to reimburse the company for a deceased fish, arguing it, “could’ve died of natural causes.”
Buttlicker! Our prices have never been lower!
The brilliance of this scene goes beyond its hilarity—not only does it pit Dwight (Rainn Wilson) and Jim (John Krasinski) against each other in one of the funniest ways throughout the show’s run, but it also flexes Michael’s (not half bad) skills as a salesman. “I am going to have to fix you, manage you two on a more personal scale, a more micro form of management. Jim, what is that called?” Microgement.
No! God, please no!
Michael’s infamous feud with Toby (Paul Lieberstein), Scranton’s HR representative, could make up a “best moments” list all on its own. But, one of the funniest interactions happens when Toby returns from a hiatus in Costa Rica and is met with Michael’s hysterical outburst.
Season four starts off with a bang when Michael accidentally hits Meredith (Kate Flannery) with his car, leading to the show’s first hour-long episode packed with laugh out loud moments. Michael organizes a “fun run” to raise money for science, and in preparation, he downs an entire order of fettuccine alfredo. “Michael, 5k means 5 kilometers, not 5,000 miles.”
I'll Kill You
Michael’s new love interest, Holly (Amy Ryan), insists on joining his exit interview with Toby. Michael runs through a list of questions, like “who do you think you are?” and presents him with a rock as a going away gift.
One of Michael’s greatest contributions to society is his superlative awards show for Dunder Mifflin employees, the Dundies. The episode kicks off The Office’s second season, and is brought back in season seven during a multi-episode farewell to Carell’s character.
Michael’s House Tour
Love it or hate it, the “Dinner Party” episode of The Office is one of the all-time greats. Michael offers his guests a house tour riddled with tension between him and his girlfriend, Jan (Melora Hardin). The tour ends with Michael showing off his plasma screen TV that folds right into the wall. For an extra laugh, check out the episode’s bloopers.
A “blink and you miss it” moment in season five, Michael puts in his two week’s notice in an attempt to start his own paper company and begins desperately searching for employees to join him. Loud roars can be heard coming from Michael’s office, to which Jim subtly states, “it’s Monster.com. No S.” I took the liberty of checking, and the monsters.com domain is up for grabs (just saying).
Best Prank Ever
Over the course of seven seasons, it’s impossible to not fall in love with Michael’s character. That’s what makes his exit—and his surprise return as the show nears its end—all the more special. During Dwight’s wedding, Michael delivers his best “that’s what she said” joke yet when he shows up to be his best man.
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