Goodbye Office, it’s been nice…

The 2007-2008 writers’ strike was a bleak time for everyone remotely interested in popular culture. Our favorite television shows were forced off the air, and we sat for months staring at our TVs trying to find something to entertain us. But it was during this time that I fell in love with a television show that I never expected to love as much as I did. One evening, after putting the kids I was babysitting to bed, I turned on a rerun of The Office on TBS. It was the premiere of season 2, “The Dundies.” I spent the next 30 minutes laughing so loud that I woke up the kids. When another episode of The Office didn’t come on afterwards, I immediately became sad and wanted to watch more.

The next day, I went out and bought the first two seasons on DVD, and the rest is history. By the time the show returned from the writers’ strike, I was ready to watch the episodes as they aired live on NBC. The Office was the first show after Friends that I really loved. It helped to fill the hole left by those 6 friends that I missed so much. Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, and the rest of the Dunder Mifflin paper people made me ridiculously happy. Sadly, since Carell left, I haven’t loved the show as much as I once did. I’ve even missed a few episodes and decided that I didn’t care enough to catch up. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I love The Office dearly and will spend tomorrow night crying my eyes out over the ending.

To celebrate, here are my top 10 episodes of this almost perfect show:

  1. The Dundies (Season 2): Because this episode was the first I ever saw, it will always be my favorite. This episode is the epitome of awkward Michael Scott situations and cute Jim & Pam moments. It sets up the show well. It’s hilarious but also has a lot of heart—a perfect explanation of what The Office is.

  2. The Injury (Season 2): Mindy Kaling knows how to write comedy. This episode is a phenomenal example of her skill. Michael burning his foot on a George Foreman grill is one of the greatest things that has ever happened on television. Rainn Wilson is also superb in this episode, especially his line “You can’t fire me! I don’t work in this van!” It will go down as one of the best lines of the show, in my opinion.

  3. Traveling Salesman/The Return (Season 3): Any episode that involves Ed Helms punching a hole through the wall is a good one. This episode puts Jim and Pam back together for a wonderful prank and also gives us a nice guest appearance by Yvette Nicole Brown. It’s a classic that  makes me cry from laughter.

  4. Dinner Party (Season 4): The Office’s return from the writers’ strike was an epic one. Dinner Party takes the characters out of the office for a night, which honestly always made me nervous on this show. But Dinner Party was a great way to prove that the setting didn’t matter for these people. This is Michael’s and Jan’s best episode and also has some great moments for Andy and Angela. It makes me so happy. (I also highly recommend the bloopers for this episode. It’s a miracle they ever finished this episode.)

  5. Booze Cruise (Season 2): Never, ever, ever give up. These words proved that Michael Scott wasn’t just an ignorant regional manager. He was kind-hearted and often had good advice to give. This episode helps put into motion what happens at the end of Casino Night, another great episode. Steve Carell is perfect, and it’s an overall fantastic episode that brings the entire Dunder Mifflin crew together in a fun setting outside the office.

  6. Goodbye, Michael (Season 7): Tears everywhere. That’s all I have to say.

  7. Fun Run (season 4): Jim and Pam are finally together. Michael hits Meredith with his car and then hosts a fun run for rabies. Dwight kills Angela’s cat. It has all the ingredients for a great episode, and it certainly is one. It’s an hour of hilarious perfection.

  8. Diversity Day (Season 1): The pilot of The Office is terrible. I hate it. I’ve watched it multiple times and still don’t like it. But this episode, the second episode of the series, is a fantastically awkward introduction to the people of Dunder Mifflin. This should have been the pilot. I will stand by that belief forever.

  9. Women’s Appreciation (Season 3): I’m honestly not sure how they even filmed this episode. The bloopers from season 3 are filled with moments from this specific episode because it’s just so ridiculous and well-written. And of course, it’s full of moments that should never, ever happen in your own office. If they ever did in mine, I know I’d be upset, but when it’s on this show, it works really well.

  10. A.A.R.M (Season 9): I watched season 9 sporadically because I wasn’t happy with a lot of the choices. However, I watched last week’s episode, and it was the perfect penultimate episode for this show. Aside from the lackluster Andy Bernard storyline, Dwight, Angela, Jim, and Pam had some of the greatest moments in the show’s history. I’m beyond excited they brought Dwight and Angela together for the end, and Jim and Pam seem to have finally solved their problems. Jim kept his Christmas letter for Pam for 7 years. How perfect is that?! I love it. I’m so glad the show seems to be ending in the right way.

I’m nervous, excited, and sad to say goodbye to The Office tomorrow. I really haven’t enjoyed much of what I’ve seen this season, but this show will always hold a very special place in my heart.  It will always be a show that can cheer me up, no matter what the situation. Tomorrow night, I’ll be wearing my Dunder Mifflin pajama pants and sitting on my couch with a bunch of gross, teary tissues.

Goodbye, Office. It’s been really, really nice.

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