Currently, I have been binge watching the US Office series for the last few weeks, and I am finally close to the finale. The show has recently regained popularity because of a popular fan theory about the character Toby, the HR representative at the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Also, the show has been used quite often within the meme community, with Steve Carell’s character, Michael Scott, being the forerunner. Since the show is coming to a close for me, I wanted to reminisce on my favorite opening scenes of the entire nine seasons of hilarity at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
1. Dwight sets a fire in the office
After realizing that no one paid attention to his fire safety meeting the previous week, Dwight decides to start a small fire in a trash can within the office, along with using a blowtorch to heat up door handles, blocking the exits, and disconnecting the phone lines, to test the knowledge of his coworkers. In response, they begin to panic immensely, which leads to Oscar trying to escape through the vents, Angela throwing her hidden cat in with Oscar, and Kevin smashing the vending machine with a chair. Stanley also suffers a heart attack, leading into the main focus of the episode. This cold open was my absolute favorite,with the entire office losing their minds because of Dwight’s crazy shenanigans.
2. Asian Jim Prank
Jim was away for the morning, so to prank Dwight he had his friend Steve pretend to be him. This leads to Dwight thinking that he has never realized that Jim was actually of Asian descent. Jim and Pam even went as far as to replace the picture on Jim’s desk with the same photo of their family except with Steve and two children that are not theirs. Though there are tons of pranks between Jim Halpert, Pam Beesly, and Dwight Schrute, this one is by far one of my favorites.
3. The lip dub of “Nobody But Me.”
The entire opening of the episode is a lip sync of a Human Beinz song, with the entire office getting involved, even showing Kelly and Ryan arguing about the tee Ryan has on over his dress shirt. Toby is behind the camera with Michael doing magic tricks, Dwight pulling out his knife, and Kevin looking like a Blues Brother. The dub overall is quite interesting for the office, and definitely something to remember.
4. There’s no limit to what Stanley won’t notice
Jim notices that Stanley drinks his orange juice and does not notice that it was not his coffee, this leaves the rest of the office to partake in doing anything they can to peak Stanley’s attention. Such acts include Kevin dressing as Phyllis and pretending to be her, Andy having no shirt on, and setting up the conference room completely backwards with nonsense talk. All of these attempts led to Stanley noticing nothing, and leaving at five o’clock completely oblivious to the happenings throughout the day.
5. Jim pranks Dwight by pretending to have been murdered in his hotel room
Jim is used to waking up early when caring for his daughter, Cece, so when he is away for business with Dwight and other coworkers, he decides to prank him by using red paint to paint on the wall “It Was Dwight”, along with a briefcase of fake money, a tattered room, and a “dead body falling out of the closet, which just so happens to be Jim. Dwight comes in the room with Angela looking for Jim and finds the room, as the camera pans to a close up of his terrified face, now thinking he has been framed for murder.
6. Andy, Dwight, and Michael parkour around the office
The popular internet trend had made it’s way to the paper company, leading to the Regional Manager and his two cohorts finding any way to do it around the building. This leads to Andy attempting to parkour from the roof of the building to an empty refrigerator box, to the dumpsters. When he tries to jump on the fridge box, he falls through since it was empty, and then Michael and Dwight are left on the roof.
7. Oscar admits he is having an affair with the Senator and Kevin overhears
Oscar has been sleeping around with Angela’s husband, the Senator, with no one knowing, until the camera crew caught the two having a make out session outside the office building at the end of the previous episode. This cold open starts with Oscar coming into work and pulling the camera men aside to ask for their confidentiality, along with admitting to the affair, Kevin then comes out from his hiding spot with an ice cream cone and a shocked expression as it pans to him and then back to Oscar’s face of pure fear. This opening is one of my favorites because Kevin always ends up hearing about other people’s drama and struggles to keep it a secret.
8. The Scranton Strangler escapes his house
The entire office watches on Toby’s computer as the Scranton Strangler runs from the police in attempt to flee. The only person not in the office is Toby himself, which led to a fan theory that has recently resurfaced about Toby Flenderson being the famed Scranton Strangler serial killer. Toby also has written a murder novel, was on the jury for the case, feels guilty about putting an innocent man behind bars, and visits the man labeled the strangler. It’s theorized that Toby told the man that he was the real strangler, which led to the man ironically strangling him.
9. Michael hits Meredith with his car
Meredith is the coworker that is just so depressing, constantly drinking at work, flirting with any and every new male that comes in the office, and being tortured by the others. Michael, while talking to the camera on his way into the parking lot, hits Meredith as she’s walking in to start her day. This cold open was absolutely hilarious because Meredith just has the worst luck out of everyone in the office, which leads to the worst things happening to her.
10. An office safety meeting turns into a discussion on how to get rid of Bin Laden, Hitler, and Toby at once
Michael Scott, Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, has a absolute hatred of Toby Flenderson, the HR representative for the company, because he ruins the fun that Michael attempts to bring in the office. During this meeting, Michael states that if he were in a room with Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Toby along with a gun with two bullets, he would shoot Toby twice. The entire office has witnessed Michael’s absolute torture of Toby throughout the years, so much so that aided a popular fan theory that points to Flenderson being the Scranton Strangler.
The Office was one of the first shows of its kind on television, and was widely successful and leading to others like it, such as Parks and Recreation. My watching experience may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean I may not be watching it again in the future, which I plan to do. I am glad that I found this comedy on Netflix, and hope that this top ten intrigues people to watch some of these cold opens, and possibly the entire series.