The Office is one of the most renowned comedy series to ever air on television. Remaking the widely acclaimed and very funny U.K. version, The Office has something for everyone. From the ridiculous shenanigans that office workers take part in, or the discomfort of a workplace relationship, The Office seems to have it all. Now whether you adore the show for Dwight and Jim’s constant pranking, Pam and Jim’s adorable relationship, or the sheer idiocracy that is Michael Scott, we can all agree that the show definitely had its fair share of misses.
Now whether those misses are attributed to poor storytelling, poor delivery, or just pure cringe factor, The Office definitely had an episode from time to time that left us all feeling like we needed a shower afterwards. After all, with nine seasons it is difficult to keep that momentum that they built up in the first four or five. So with that being said, here are the 15 Worst Episodes Of The Office.
15. Mafia (Season 6, Episode 6)
Following one of the most memorable episodes of the series (Jim and Pam’s Niagara wedding), we get one of the most ridiculous and un-funny setups for any episode. In this episode, a salesman comes to Michael Scott attempting to sell him insurance for the office. However the man’s overall mantra and appearance leads Andy and Dwight to believe that he is part of the mafia. This leads to a ridiculous town hall style meeting between the office workers discussing if the man is actually apart of “the mob.” After this, Michael, Andy, and Dwight decide to schedule a lunch with the salesman to try and threaten him. This episode is filled to the brim with cringe-worthy Scarface jokes and interactions. With a side story that also lacks in quality and delivery, the entirety of this episode just falls completely flat.
14. Lecture Circuit Part 1 (Season 5, Episode 16)
After a heart-wrenching breakup with his latest love interest, Holly Flax, Michael cannot seem to move on or find closure. But after all the depressing events following the breakup, Michael gets a shot at fame and fortune among the other branches of Dunder Mifflin. David Wallace sends him on a lecture circuit where he can share his secret to success with the other branches and their salesmen. Pam tags along with Michael as his “magician’s assistant”, in other words to assist his performances for the other branches. This leads into an awkward interaction between Michael, Pam, and Jim’s former lover Karen. On top of that, we receive unnecessary and pointless interactions between Jim, Dwight, and Kelly – Jim and Dwight are appointed head of the party planning committee and they forget Kelly’s birthday, sending her into a rage.
13. Lecture Circuit Part 2 (Season 5, Episode 17)
The painful “Lecture Circuit” episode had two installments. Two, excruciatingly painful installments. Following Michael and Pam’s visit to Karen’s branch, Michael decides he did not find closure with his ex-lover Holly. In order for him to find closure, Pam suggests that the two of them visit the Nashua branch so that Michael can confront Holly. On top of Michael visiting and having to interact with Holly’s new boyfriend, the uncomfortable interactions between Dwight, Jim, and Kelly also continue. Despite Kelly having quite a few good jokes in her scenes, the overall vibe is just awkward and uncomfortable. But Michael meeting Holly’s new boyfriend, AJ, definitely takes the cake for most difficult to sit through. During his speech to the salesmen, Michael has what could be described as a mental breakdown. Embarrassing himself in front of the entire branch, this deserves to be in the top five most uncomfortable scenes of all time.
12. Night Out (Season 4, Episode 11)
Ryan Howard is easily one of the most hated characters within the world of The Office. Ryan is a horrible person morally and despite him having some funny moments from time to time he is an absolute horrible character. Most of his scenes seem to be filler, so when entire episodes are dedicated to him they feel almost wasted.
In an attempt to get laid due to his loneliness, Michael travels to New York to go clubbing with Ryan. Ryan, who is hopped up on success, alcohol, and drugs, is just more of a bother in the episode than anything else. With no witty one-liners or witty jokes in general, Ryan just drags the episode on and on. With a setup that has potential to be quite hilarious, it falls short simply due to Ryan’s overwhelming and abrasive personality.
11. The Return (Season 3, Episode 13)
After Dwight has been fired for going behind Michael’s back in an attempt to steal the manager position, Oscar returns to the office. Oscar is a fun character with a lot of funny moments under his belt, but the episode does not necessarily focus on the return of Oscar so much. Instead we get to see Andy and his attempt at becoming Michael’s favorite employee along with being number two in the office. On top of him advancing towards this position, there are several scenes of Andy proving to be quite a bother to the rest of the office. Andy is a fun character from time to time but he is without a doubt annoying every now and again. There does happen to be a good prank that Jim and Pam pull on Andy in this episode that causes him to have a drastic meltdown. Despite the meltdown being quite hysterical to look at, Andy’s uncomfortable advances on Michael are just a bore to watch (and also disturbing).
10. Series Finale (Season 9, Episode 23)
It is always a sad moment when a show must come to an end. We all have our favorite finales whether it be a comedy show or a drama show, there are some great ones out there. We could go on and on about the best series finales but sadly The Office’s finale does not land on that list. The Office’s finale is quite long and grudging to get through. The finale doesn’t necessarily have any of the moments that we adore The Office for, instead we get to receive one big emotional splash between all of the characters. Which is comforting to see everyone’s individual stories wrap up, Dwight and Angela get married, Jim gets to have his dream job, Erin meets her birth mother, all subplots are neatly tied together. But the comedy does not necessarily flow in this finale and instead we just get a sad sappy episode that drags on for way too long.
9. Job Fair (Season 4, Episode 13)
The Office has had some hilarious set ups, especially hilarious to those who have worked in an office workplace. But one of their more weaker moments is with the job fair episode. Michael, Oscar, Daryl, and Pam attend a job fair that is being hosted at Pam’s old school in order to find some new interns. On top of this job fair, Jim attempts to close a sale with a client through playing a game of golf. Versus being a fun comedic setup this episode turns more into Pam hunting down a new sheet of paper for Michael and also Jim playing a game of golf with a client. Instead of delivering high quality jokes and comedy, we instead receive an incredibly cringe worthy scene from Michael and a just way too oversaturated situation that we do not want to be apart of in any way.
8. The Christening (Season 7, Episode 7)
As the series went on and on it was clear that the writers were running out of ideas/situations to place the characters in. We got more off the wall scenarios as the series continuously got more and more odd. One of those weird scenarios was the christening of Pam and Jim’s baby Cece, in where the entire office is invited to this intimate event. When the reception of said christening gets a tad out of hand, Pam and Jim aren’t sure how to handle the mass amount of guests and their demands. This also leads into Michael becoming inspired by the church and wanting to make a difference in his life, so in the spur of the moment him and Andy join a church youth group on a trip to Mexico to help build a school. With a lot of different kinds of characters coming in and out scenes, to the awkwardness of Michael and Andy interacting with the youth group. The two of them actually even have some sort of mental breakdown on the way to Mexico, forcing themselves off of the bus continuously making the episode even more awkward and begrudging.
7. The Banker (Season 6, Episode 14)
Every television show ever has had filler episodes and, just like series finales, we all have our favorites. The Office has quite a few filler episodes under its belt but none are on the level of this one. After Dunder Mifflin is bought out by Sabre, a banker is sent to the Scranton branch to perform an inspection. The inspection is meant to prove that Scranton is an efficient and effective branch so Sabre can asses which branches will stay and which will go. However this inspection leads more into just a series of flashbacks of things that have happened throughout the series up until this point. Just utilizing pre-edited clips from the show and dropping them into this episode, we receive more of a recap than an actual episode. The Banker episodes practically serves as one giant “previously on The Office.”
6. Prince Family Paper (Season 5, Episode 13)
The Office has had quite a few good debates. Whether it be a serious topic or something totally ridiculous, The Office has mastered the art of the comedic argument scene. But in “Prince Family Paper” they seem to fall a bit flat with the argument scene. After Michael and Dwight are sent on a mission to learn about a rival paper company, the rest of the office debate over whether or not Hillary Swank is hot. The argument goes on literally the entire episode and there is nothing comedic or unique about said argument. The characters just go back and forth between what makes Hillary Swank attractive or unattractive, and the two sides are deadlocked. Michael eventually returns to the office and casually breaks the tie by declaring her “hot,” ending the argument anti-climactically.
5. Junior Salesman (Season 9, Episode 13)
The 13th episode seems to be the worst in several seasons, doesn’t it? Since Jim has taken his new job in Philadelphia, David Wallace puts Dwight in charge of finding his replacement. Every candidate for the position happens to be a friend of Dwight in some way or another and then the newest office employee, Clark. Since this replacement will be sitting next to Pam, Jim wants to make sure that whoever Dwight hires will not bother Pam. This setup has a lot of potential for a lot of hilarious interactions between Dwight and his insane friends, however his friends don’t necessarily bring it all to the table. Since Dwight is insane we would assume his friends are just as insane or even worse, but this idea isn’t really capitalized on. The interactions lack the comedic element making the entirety of every interview feel a bit lacking in some way.
4. Survivor Man (Season 4, Episode 7)
In Survivior Man, Toby is invited to a wilderness retreat with Ryan and some other branch members and HR reps. Unfortunately Michael is not invited to Ryan’s retreat and Michael is heartbroken by this. Inspired by the stories that Toby is telling, Michael decides to head out into the woods on his own and try to survive for a few days. Michael films his experience in the woods while Dwight watches from afar, making sure Michael doesn’t get into any serious harm. The episode is quite a funny set up and starts off with a lot of steam but as the episode just turns into Michael just practically improving all of his scenes, the jokes don’t necessarily land as well as the creators had hoped. Michael does have quite a few good moments from time to time but a majority of the jokes told do not carry and comedy and just fall completely flat.
3. Launch Party (Season 4, Episode 3)
After Ryan is promoted to Jan’s previous position, Ryan decides to have a party in honor of the new website he is launching. Every branch and branch member is invited to this party via webcam, but Michael mistakes his web invite for a physical invitation. After getting halfway to New York Michael is forced to turn around and go back to the branch and celebrate with the rest of the office. This leads into Michael kidnapping a pizza delivery worker which is a scene that is completely awkward and cringe worthy with how Dwight and Michael treat the pizza worker. This episode also includes Dwight challenging the new website to a sales contest which is completely pointless to say the least despite a funny joke that arises. This episode just revolves around Michael’s ego and how precious that it is making the episode drag for sometime and be completely full of cringe.
2. Stairmageddon (Season 9, Episode 19)
When Dwight must perform maintenance on the elevator in the office, this forces Stanley to take the stairs up to the office. This causes a painful and horrible experience for Stanley. After Stanley reaches the office, Dwight needs him to go on a sales call with him but Stanley is reluctant due to being tired. So to force Stanley to go on this sales call Dwight tranquilizes him, knocking Stanley unconscious. Dwight then drags Stanley to the sales call, literally, and Stanley is high as a kite the entire meeting. The episode’s set up is just completely ridiculous and has no purpose for any of the characters. The situation and joke isn’t funny and the overall episode is just completely over the top and ridiculous making it almost impossible to enjoy.
1. The Farm (Season 9, Episode 17)
This episode takes the cake as the worst episode of The Office. After Dwight’s aunt dies, a funeral is held for her bringing together several members of the Schrute family that we have not met before. The whole setup has the potential to be hilarious, but instead we just get some talking heads. Instead of jokes being the primary focus of the episode it’s just the different Schrute family members talking to one another. Discussing who will inherit the aunt’s farm, what each member has been doing with their lives, etc. This episode feels too forced and is not funny in any way. Lacking on all fronts and having none of the elements that make The Office great, “The Farm” is simply the worst episode of The Office.
What are some of your least favorite episodes of The Office? Let us know with a comment below!