The Office seems like one of those shows that is destined to live on forever. Even five years after it ended, it can still be found on TV at virtually any hour of the day. Meanwhile, many gladly pay a monthly subscription to Netflix just so they can tune into the beloved sitcom whenever they so desire.
While the familiar settings and the hilarious jokes continue to keep us coming back for more, it’s inevitably the characters who have made The Office the classic that it is today.
The series, which ran for nine seasons on NBC, featured a large cast of characters who became like a second family to regular viewers. Although the show may have significantly dropped in quality during its later seasons, it was the emotional bond with these employees of Dunder Mifflin that kept viewers sticking around until the series finale.
Of course, not every character could have the heartfelt goodbye that was given to Michael Scott. Nor could they get the same amount of screen time that Jim, Pam, and Dwight enjoyed in the final episode. That doesn’t mean we can’t feel as though some of these Office characters didn’t get the send-off they deserved.
Whether it be because they simply fell off the radar or because they weren’t exploited to their full potential, there was a fair number of beloved or vital characters who seemed to get the short end of the stick.
Here are 20 Characters From The Office Who Were Completely Abandoned.
20 Robert California
After Will Ferrell’s brief stint on the show as Michael Scott’s replacement, it looked as though James Spader’s Robert California was going to be the new boss for the remainder of the series.
While Robert is originally hired as the new branch manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, he swiftly rises to the position of CEO thanks to his bizarre set of persuasion skills.
While Robert California was certainly no Michael Scott, the character at least gave some sense of consistency back to the series after a bumpy season.
When David Wallace buys Dunder Mifflin, Robert makes his final appearance in the season eight finale, with his departure being just as mysterious as his arrival.
19 Jo Bennett
When she first appears in the middle of season six, Jo Bennett is the CEO of Sabre — the printer company that ends up buying out Dunder Mifflin. She was portrayed by Academy Award-winner actress Kathy Bates, who would appear sporadically throughout the next couple of seasons.
While she may have only been a recurring character, Jo plays a vital role in the series. She completely restructures Dunder Mifflin and is the one responsible for hiring Michael Scott’s replacement, Deangelo Vickers.
As soon as Robert California strolls onto the scene, Jo Bennet mysteriously disappears in between seasons. We’re told that Robert persuaded Jo to give him the title of CEO. But that hardly seems like Jo’s style, making her sudden absence more than a little inconsistent.
18 Danny Cordray
Danny Cordray was a rival salesman working at Osprey Paper when he first showed up in season seven of The Office. After he poached one of their clients, Danny is tracked down by Michael, Jim, and Dwight, who eventually convince him to sign on as a traveling salesman with Dunder Mifflin instead.
Danny is quickly fawned over by both his male and female coworkers for his good looks, and it’s revealed that he briefly dated Pam after she broke off her engagement with Roy. However, Danny never called Pam back after he found her a bit too dorky for his taste.
While the talented Timothy Olyphant would have certainly made for an interesting recurring character on the show, Danny totally falls off the radar after season seven.
He was even cut out of a scene in "Michael's Last Dundies".
17 The Early Season Employees
If NBC had known what a hit The Office was going to be before it debuted, the network might have done a better job at nailing down the primary cast of characters in the early days.
If you ever go back and rewatch the first few seasons, you’ll notice a lot of unfamiliar faces walking around Dunder Mifflin Scranton.
The most notable example of this is Devon, who conveniently appears in the one episode where Micheal is forced to fire someone. But there are a number of other employees who appear in the first few seasons before they also disappear.
With downsizing being such a prominent fear at the beginning of the show, it's curious that the show didn’t just mention that more people had to be laid off to help remedy this inconsistency.
One of the best storylines at the beginning of The Office involved the love triangle between Jim, Pam, and Roy — which just so happens to turn into a double love triangle in season three with the appearance of Karen.
Unfortunately, the show tried to recreate this scenario numerous times over, always to diminishing returns.
As soon as Jim and Pam got together, a love triangle between Dwight, Angela, and Andy was fired up. After that, another involving Michael, Holly, and Jan began. But at least all of these characters had a continued presence on the show.
Then there was A.J., who was introduced solely to prolong a relationship between Michael and Holly, only to be completely forgotten as soon as he was no longer needed as a plot device.
15 Val Johnson
There’s nothing worse than when a sitcom leaves one of their love stories hanging, which is largely what we got with the relationship between Darryl and Val.
Val first appears during season eight when she is hired to work in the warehouse. Like most couples in The Office, the beginning of Val and Darryl’s relationship is extremely awkward, as the usually-smooth Darryl finds it exceptionally hard to flirt with the new employee.
After they finally do get together, Darryl seems to sabotage the relationship for no good reason, and Val quickly becomes an afterthought.
While the two are seen together in the finale, the status and quality of their relationship is far from clear.
14 Cathy Simms
Cathy Simms appeared in a string of episodes throughout the eighth season of The Office, when she was brought in to serve as Scranton’s Office Administrator while Pam was on maternity leave.
Cathy quickly develops a crush on Jim, and she even tries to romance Jim while the two are on a business trip to Florida.
Of course, Cathy never succeeds in her plan to destroy Jim and Pam’s marriage. Once the drama is over, she is largely forgotten.
She is last seen at the Sabre store back in Florida alongside Robert California and Todd Packer. Whether or not she continued to work for the company or was eventually let go is left up in the air.
13 Todd Packer
While Michael has his fair share of obnoxious and insensitive moments, none of them can hold a candle to Todd Packer's appearances.
In other words, Todd’s not the kind of guy you’d want to stick around for more than a few episodes at a time, but it was entertaining when he showed up sporadically.
Unfortunately, Todd was deployed way too much in season eight, where he competes alongside Dwight for the position of Vice President.
With little warning, Packer is fired by Robert California and let go for good.
While Packer does have one more appearance in the season nine episode “The Farm”, this episode was actually conceived to be a pilot for a Dwight spin-off series which never came to be. Otherwise, Packer never returns to the company or appears in the finale.
12 Charles Miner
Charles Miner steps in as the VP of Northeastern Sales after Ryan's firing, and his no-nonsense management style puts him on a crash course with Michael Scott.
After butting heads on a number of occasions, Michael eventually leaves Dunder Mifflin to start his own paper company, and Charles continues to be an adversary to him throughout season five.
Even after Michael reclaims his position, Charles continued to be a presence at the corporate office, and he pops up again in the season five finale “Company Picnic, ,where he faces off against the Scranton branch during a volleyball game.
That turns out to be the last we ever see of the character, as Dunder Mifflin is bought out by Sabre and we’re left to assume that Charles was let go along with the other higher-ups.
Unless you’re someone who watches The Office on a continuous loop, it's easy to forget that Amy Adams actually appeared in a few episodes back in seasons one and two.
Here, she plays Katy, a purse salesman who brings her business to the office one day and eventually ends up dating Jim. Later, Jim calls off their relationship due to his feelings for Pam, and Katy makes her final appearance in “Booze Cruise”.
While Katy’s character arc had largely concluded, Amy Adams’ career really ended up taking off over the next few years.
It might have been a nice touch if they had found a way to work her back into a few more episodes at some point down the line.
10 Karen Filippelli
In the grand scheme of the show, Karen Filippelli may not have appeared in a ton of episodes, but her stint in season three certainly played a big part in the developing relationship between Jim and Pam.
Karen understandably leaves the Scranton office after getting dumped by Jim between seasons three and four, though she does pop up in a number of later episodes where she is shown to be the Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin Utica. She's now happily married and expecting a child.
At that same time, actress Rashida Jones was also becoming one of the biggest stars to come out of The Office, landing a role in Parks and Rec and appearing in I Love You, Man and The Social Network. It would have been nice to see Jones reprise the role for the finale.
9 Gabe Lewis
Gabe Lewis may be yet another character who largely fell off the radar in the final days of The Office, but that doesn’t exactly mean he was missed.
Gabe is easily one of the most annoying and unsettling characters on the series, who first appears in season six when Dunder Mifflin is bought out by Sabre. He’s a lackey to CEO Jo Bennett, and Gabe has a number of peculiar quirks — including his fascination with horror movies and his desperate need to be liked by everyone.
It’s assumed that Gabe loses his job after Dunder Mifflin is bought back.
The character only appears in one episode of season nine, titled "Moving On", before Gabe is never heard from again.
8 Roy Anderson
In the early seasons of The Office, Roy is largely a nuisance — he seems to be the only thing prohibiting a relationship between Jim and Pam. When Roy finally does find out about the chemistry between the two, he completely loses his cool and ends up getting fired from Dunder Mifflin.
However, Roy does have somewhat of a redemption in the later season, where he apologizes to Pam and even offers Jim congratulations on their engagement.
Unfortunately, just when Roy actually starts to become a likable addition, he is largely cut out of the show.
Roy is completely absent from seasons six and eight, and he doesn't even make a cameo in the series finale.
7 Jan Levinson
Jan Levinson was far from a fan-favorite character, but the former Vice President of Dunder Mifflin certainly played a vital role in the early days of the series.
Jan served as both a foil and occasional girlfriend to Michael Scott, and she had a compelling character arc where she eventually cracked under the pressure of her perfectionism.
Unfortunately, while a number of earlier characters ended up reprising their roles in the finale, Jan’s last physical appearance came at the beginning of season nine. Technically, her last appearance on the show came in the form of a phone call in the episode “Couples Discount” — not a very fulfilling end for a character who had her beginnings all the way back to the pilot.
The Office made a bold move during its ninth and final season when they decided to make the documentary crew a part of the action. Brian the boom operator plays a particularly vital role, as he forms a bond with Pam during a trying time in her marriage.
Even after being fired from the crew, Brian assures Pam that he will still be there for her if she ever needs to talk.
Brian quickly turns from a caring guy with a slight crush on Pam to a bit of a jerk.
It’s clear that he was added into the show simply to throw a temporary wrench into Jim and Pam’s marriage.
After the drama is no longer needed, Brian the boom guy is swiftly forgotten.
Ronni isn’t so much a character who was abandoned by The Office, as she is one we wonder why she was even introduced in the first place.
She first shows up in the season five opener “Weight Loss”, where she is brought in to serve as a replacement for Pam while she's is away at art school.
However, she’s replaced during the very same episode when Michael decided that he’d rather have Ryan come back as a temp, claiming Ronni's a weirdo who was depressing everyone.
She later makes a brief appearance during a flashback in the season six episode “Shareholder Meeting”, further reminding audiences of this character who was seemingly introduced for no reason.
4 Luke Cooper
Luke Cooper is Michael’s nephew who is hired to work as an intern at Dunder Mifflin Scranton at the beginning of season seven. He is the son of Michael’s half-sister, who ended up cutting ties with Michael fifteen years previous when he lost Luke in a forest.
He first appears in the season seven opener “Nepotism”, where the employees are fed up with Michael for offering Luke special treatment simply because he’s family.
Like most sitcoms, The Office often introduced new characters in the premiere of each season, and it looked like Luke was being set up to be a new addition to the series. However, the promising comedy dynamic between Michael, Luke, and the other employees was tied up much quicker than expected. Unfortunately, the talented Evan Peters never made a return to the show.
3 Troy Underbridge
Troy’s first notable appearance comes in the season four episode “Night Out", where Michael and Dwight venture to New York City to go clubbing. He is a friend of Ryan’s who (in a deleted scene) is revealed to be Ryan’s dealer. Meanwhile, Dwight can’t help but confuse him with a hobbit due to his short stature and his peculiar last name.
While the character does continue to appear sporadically throughout the show, Troy’s true comedic potential was ever fully exploited.
He has brief scenes in seasons seven and nine, but the moments largely go nowhere, and we can’t help but think would have been a better sidekick to Dwight in the later season rather than the unbearable Rolf.
Vikram first appeared in season four of the show, where he is one of the employees working alongside Michael Scott at the telemarketing company. He is a top salesman and a former surgeon, which leads Michael to eventually recruit Vikram to join the Michael Scott Paper Company later in season five.
While Vikram may have never been a major player on the show, he was certainly a memorable one. The expert salesman offered up a new comedy dynamic for Micheal to play off of.
Unfortunately, Vikram sees right through Michael’s haphazard business plans, and he departs the Dream Team almost immediately.
1 Deangelo Vickers
After Steve Carell left the series, the show seemed to be scrambling to try and find a replacement who could live up to the task.
We got a string of A-list cameos that went nowhere and only seemed to serve as a distraction from Carell's departure.
Jim Carrey, Ray Romano, and Will Arnett all made brief appearances as possible applicants to fill the role of Scranton Regional Manager. Before them, the position was temporarily held by Will Ferrell’s Deangelo Vickers.
Unfortunately, Deangelo’s storyline was extremely short-lived, and after he reveals his true colors as a megalomaniacal boss, the character suffers a serious brain injury and exits the show just as swiftly as he arrived.
Which The Office characters would you have liked to see more of? Let us know!