The Office: 10 Best Opening Scenes Ranked

One of the best reoccurring things about the American version of The Office is the cold open at the beginning of almost every episode. They're strange, hilarious, and even a little charming, making them the perfect way to start a show. Whether it's Michael Scott trying to trick his employees into saying "what's up dog" or Kevin Malone's pet turtle, some of the most memorable moments come from these random scenes. Regardless of the situation, they almost never failed to make us laugh, so we assembled a list of our favorites.

Related: Ranked: The Office's Most Hilarious Characters

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10 Pavlov's Dwight

From: "Phyllis' Wedding" (Season 3, Episode 16)

In this cold open, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) conducts an exercise on Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) inspired by Pavlov's classical conditioning dog experiment. Throughout the day, Jim would restart his computer, causing the machine to do the classic window's shutdown jingle. When that happens, Jim would offer his co-worker an Altoid. After enough times, Jim shut down his computer and Dwight instinctively shot his hand out expecting a mint but didn't receive one, he then got an awful taste in his mouth.

9 Parkour

From: "Gossip" (Season 6, Episode 1)

Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), and Dwight got very into parkour—but they're pretty bad at it. Yet, they still try and jump around the office, ride desk chairs, and make fools of themselves while yelling "parkour" at the top of their lungs. The skit comes to an end when Andy tries to jump from the top of a truck to a refrigerator box to a trash can, but he falls right through the first obstacle.

8 Future Dwight

From: "Branch Closing" (Season 3, Episode 7)

When Jim left Scranton for Stamford Connecticut, he couldn't resist the opportunity to mess with Dwight. Despite his distance, he can still prank his old desk clump partner just like he was beside him. For this prank, Jim decided to fax Dwight as "Future Dwight", letting him know what would happen that day. On this particular morning, present-day Dwight received a message telling him the coffee is poisoned, prompting the office's best salesman to run across the room and smack a cup out of Stanley Hudson's (Leslie David Baker) hand.

7 Recyclops

From: "Shareholder Meeting" (Season 6, Episode 11)

To celebrate Earth Day, Dwight created the character "Recyclops" an alien who would give adorable little recycling tips. Unfortunately, by this episode, the lovable alien was angry. We were told that as the years went by, the character lost his home planet because of the evil Polluticorn. Dwight, dressed as a darker Recyclopse, kicks open the door yelling while spraying aerosol. The older members of The Office, however, don't really react. In fact, Stanley responds by just saying "Oh, is today Recyclops Day?"

6 Kevin's Chili

From: "Casual Friday" (Season 5, Episode 26)

Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) makes really good chili and decided to bring a whole pot to the office. In this cold-open, a voiceover plays of Kevin talking about how he stayed up the night before pressing ancho chilis and prepping the entire dish plays over shots of him dropping the pot on the floor is playing. As he rushed to clean up his mess, he gets covered in the now-spoiled chili while viewers hear him wince while using office folders and binders to push as much as he can back into the pot. It's equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, but mostly it's an amazing TV moment.

Related: Ranked: All Seasons Of The Office

5 The George Forman Grill

From: "The Injury" (Season 2, Episode 12)

In this classic cold-open, Michael Scott calls the office in a panic because he injured himself. As Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer) tries to make sense of what's happening, Michael admits he stepped on his George Foreman Grille and it clamped down on his foot, burning it in the process. In a talking head immediately after, Michael reveals that he likes to wake up to the smell of grilled bacon in the morning but can't afford to hire someone to make it for him. As a result, he wakes up early in the morning, lays the meat on the grill, sets an alarm for a little later in the morning, and wakes up to the smell of cooked breakfast. This morning went the wrong way, however.

Michael then requests that someone—preferably Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak)—comes to pick him up, but Dwight jumps at the chance. Rushing out of the parking lot, however, he smashes his car on a light pole, giving him a concussion. Not to be deterred, he gets out of his car for a second, vomits, and drives away with his bumper still on the road.

4 It Was Dwight Prank

From: "Tallahassee" (Season 8, Episode 15)

Many fans of The Office think the show lost something when Michael left, but this opener really puts all doubt aside. In this episode, Dwight is heading up Sabre's new storefront location in Tallahassee, and he brought a team of Scranton salesmen to help him out. Jim is one of them. At this point in the series, Mr. Halpert is a dad, so he wakes up very early—something he can't shake even when he's away from home. So, to kill time, he sets up a prank to look like he's been murdered and Dwight was framed. It ends with his "lifeless" body dropping out of a closet, startling everyone else in the room.

3 Toby's The Silent Killer

From: "The Chump" (Season 6, Episode 25)

Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein), Dunder Mifflin Scranton's Human Resources Rep, was holding a safety meeting, but Michael couldn't stand it. Interrupting the proceedings, the Regional Manager steps up to profess how much he hates Toby, something that's already pretty obvious by this season in the show. He compares his HR rep to carbon monoxide and then goes way too far by saying "If I had a gun, with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice." This gets a pretty bad reaction from the rest of the office, but Dwight chimes in to prove how with only one bullet, you can kill all three.

2 Toby's Back

From: "Frame Toby" (Season 5, Episode 9)

Michael and Toby's interactions are some of the most memorable from The Office, but none of them really compare to when Michael learned Toby returned from his time away in Costa Rica. Before this moment, he was blissfully unaware that a member of his office had been there for a while, and he was happy. So, Jim told Michael to go check for himself. Thankfully, Toby wasn't there, and once Michael was ready to brush off the scare as a joke, the HR rep greets the Regional Manager.  This prompts a prolonged "no" from Michael, followed by "God, no!"—and on that day, a legendary meme was born.

1 The Fire Drill

From: "Stress Relief" (Season 5, Episode 13)

In the best cold-open in The Office history, Dwight starts a fire after his co-workers didn't pay attention to his safety lessons. Everything goes off the rails from there as everyone tries to escape, but can't. Angela throws her cat through the ceiling, Kevin smashes the vending machine to steal the candy inside, and Stanley has a heart attack.

This is the most chaotic open the show ever featured, but it was hilarious throughout every second. This is one we wish we could watch for the first time again.

Next: The Office: 10 Of The Best Dwight Schrute Quotes

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