The Office and Arrested Development have some of the strongest characters in sitcom history. While comedies can have laugh-out-loud jokes and hilarious storylines, neither of these things can be given the spotlight they deserve without strong characters to back them up.
While writing has a lot to do with how a character comes out, casting is equally important. So it's no wonder the incredible talents of The Office cast were also used by Arrested Development.
While many of these actors made cameos in Arrested Development before their Office days, some (like John Krasinski) showed up on the sitcom after they had made a name for themselves. Either way, you can thank the casting directors (most notably Allison Jones who worked on both The Office and Arrested Development) for spreading the talent around.
With that said, it's time to take a look at the greatest Office cameos on Arrested Development.
8 Phyllis Smith
In The Office, Phyllis Smith plays Dunder Mifflin saleswoman Phyllis Vance. She usually can be seen joking with Stanley or arguing a part with Angela. In Arrested Development, Smith plays another office worker, though this time her character is employed by The Bluth Company.
Phyllis doesn't play a speaking role in Arrested Development. She shows up in the episode "The Immaculate Election" (S2E14) as part of a meeting held by Michael Bluth. No, not Michael Scott.
This was actually Smith's first TV role, so we can just pretend that her Dunder Mifflin character had a past life at a real estate company in California.
7 Brian Baumgartner
It's strange to see Kevin in a role that isn't Kevin. Nevertheless, like Smith, Baumgartner appeared in Arrested Development before he played The Office's most loveable idiot.
While Baumgartner plays an accountant in The Office, he plays a gun vendor in the Arrested Development episode "Burning Love" (S2E9). While he at first is unable to sell Tobias a gun, he finds a loophole that lets the therapist-turned-actor acquire a rifle.
6 Craig Robinson
Robinson is best known as Darryl Philbin in The Office, the foreman of the warehouse who eventually works his way to a position upstairs. Toward the end of the series, he leaves Dunder Mifflin to help get the sports marketing company Athlead off the ground.
On Arrested Development, Robinson plays a security guard at Maeby's movie lot in the episode "Switch Hitter" (S2E7). Tobias visits the location with his daughter in an attempt to score a new role, but while getting through security, he learns from Robinson that he, too, is up for the same part. The security guard wishes him luck.
5 Ed Helms
Ed Helms gets perhaps the largest role of The Office cast in Arrested Development, but let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
In The Office, Helms plays Andy Bernard, a Dunder Mifflin salesman who gets transferred from the Stamford branch to the Scranton branch in Season 3. He is eventually made regional manager, though he ultimately quits his job to go into show business and even later becomes a Cornell admissions director.
Helms instead plays a relator in Arrested Development named James Carr. Lindsay believes he is hitting on her in Season 2, but in Season 4, he ends up tricking her and Tobias into a mansion they can't afford. A scene from Helms' first episode shows him spraying the smell of warm cookies in the kitchen of a house he's about to show.
4 John Krasinski
Yes, even Jim made an appearance on Arrested Development.
Krasinki's Office character is the charming salesman who everyone loves. While Jim is always at odds with Dwight, who he frequently pranks, Krasinski's character also journies through a complicated but sweet romance with Pam.
Krasinski's Arrested Development character appears in "The B. Team" (S4E4) as Jerry Bruckheimer's Assistant. He only has a single line, but nevertheless, we were glad to see him again. Who can argue with that?
3 Patrice O’Neal
If O'Neal looks familiar to you, that's because he appeared in The Office as a warehouse worker throughout the early seasons. His character, named Lonny Collins, is first seen competing against the upstairs crew in "Basketball" (S1E5). He later supports a union, yells at Micahel for ignoring Darryl's safety presentation, and gets into an argument with Kelly after she calls him a sea monster.
In Arrested Development, O'Neal plays T-Bone, who was George Bluth's first cellmate. T-Bone ends up briefly working alongside George Michael and Maeby at the banana stand. George Sr. also enlists T-Bone to burn down the storage unit which held his flight records.
2 Bob Odenkirk (Marriage Counselor)
Bob Odenkirk was originally in consideration for the role of Michael Scott in The Office. However, he ultimately scored a role as the boss of a real estate company Pam applies to. She's shocked by how similar he is to the real Michael Scott. He has a similar sense of humor and is full of the energy that the rest of his workplace lacks.
In Arrested Development, Odenkirk plays the role of Dr. Phil Gunty, who is a Newport Beach marriage counselor. Tobias and Lindsay take a trip to the doctor in "Visiting Ours" (S1E6) to gain help with their relationship, and he suggests they try role-playing. After nearly kissing Tobias while pretending to be Lindsay, Phil realizes that counseling isn't for him and decides that he will set out to become an actor.
1 Ed Begley Jr.
Okay, so technically Begley reversely made a cameo on The Office and had a slightly larger role on Arrested Development, but his appearances are too good to pass up.
Begley appears in the finale of The Office, in which he reveals to Erin that he is her biological dad alongside Joan Cusack (who plays her mom). In Arrested Development, he takes on the part of Stan Sitwell, who runs the Bluth Company's director competitor, Sitwell Enterprises. He is also the father of Sally Sitwell, who Michael has a brief relationship with.
Being that Sitwell has alopecia, a medical condition that makes hair fall out, a running gag constantly shows him losing his fake eyebrows. Sitwell's wig has also blown off while driving a convertible.