The Office: 10 Jokes That Have Already Aged Poorly

The Office, the popular sitcom that aired for 9 seasons, has many problematic jokes that don't hold up when we think about them today.

The Office is one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time. The series ran for nine seasons on NBC and helped launch the career of beloved actors like Steve Carrell and John Krasinski. It had a pretty basic premise, simply based around the lives of a paper company and the day-to-day activities at the office.

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What made it unique was its mockumentary style of filming, it's sharp writing and the heavy satire. Michael Scott was the worst boss you could have and Carrell played him to perfection, often becoming the butt of every joke. However, there were some jokes that have aged pretty poorly.

10 The name tag game

Many people remember "Diversity Day" as it was one of the early standout episodes of the show. There are some great jokes in the episode and cunning commentary, but there are also some moments that have aged terribly. The concept of the episode is for everyone to learn how to be more "open to diversity." In order to do so, they get labels of different races and religions placed on their forehead.

The characters then have to try and figure out who they are based on clues given by others. Some of the more offensive moments in the episode involve heavy racist stereotyping.

9 Hot Girl

Did you know that Amy Adams once guest-starred in an episode of The Office? You could be forgiven for forgetting since the episode she was in was one of the worst in the entire series. Season one of The Office was poorly received, to begin with.

The entire concept of the episode is simple: Amy Adams's character is perceived as hot and so Michael and Dwight spend the episode acting extremely inappropriate towards her. In a time where workplace harassment is a hot topic, this episode would certainly not have been taken lightly if it aired today.

8 Michael's treatment of Toby

Speaking of workplace harassment, it's hard to think of Michael's treatment of Toby as funny nowadays. The joke already got somewhat old on the original series after a while. It got particularly bad when Michael wished Toby dead and also said he would rather shoot Toby twice than Hitler or Osama Bin Laden.

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Of course, the point of many of these jokes is to make Michael seem like the butt of the joke. The series is aware it's crossing a line twice. That said, the way Toby was treated doesn't quite sit well when rewatching the show back.

7 The outdated technology

Some jokes from The Office didn't age poorly because they were offensive but simply because they refer to things no longer in existence. In one Christmas episode, Michael buys Ryan a "video iPod." Try explaining that to someone from Generation Z. There are several jokes about iPods on the series actually because when The Office first came out, it was one of the hot items on the market.

iPods aren't even made anymore, especially not the Shuffle or the other versions. It's funny to look at some of the other equipment they used then too like the bulky televisions instead of projectors or the old cell phones.

6 Ping

The point of many jokes surrounding Michael Scott's character was to highlight his stupidity. You were supposed to laugh at him and not with him. However, when Michael created the "Ping" character, it went a step too far and has certainly aged extremely poorly. Ping was a racist caricature of an Asian delivery man.

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It involved all the terrible things you often see associated with racist jokes and stereotyping. Such a depiction would probably not even make it to the air if it had been written the same way today. To make matters even worse, Michael also wore a pair of glasses that made him "appear more Asian." This can definitely be seen as racist.

5 Michael's Chris Rock impression

This was another cringe-inducing moment from the second episode, "Diversity Day." In it, Michael decides it would be a good idea to do an impression of comedian, Chris Rock. To make matters even worse, he actually repeats, verbatim, the original Chris Rock sketch from the 1990s in which he uses several racial slurs.

The words are bleeped out in the episode but it's clear what Michael is saying and everyone is shown to be adequately shocked by his behavior. It was unnecessary at the time and has certainly only gone on to age poorly since it was originally aired.

4 Kelly's false accusation

In one episode, Kelly makes a comment that she was raped as an excuse to get out of something. Michael claims that she can't just say that to make all her problems go away. Given how big the #MeToo movement is and how we live in a time where believing women is more important than ever, making such a crass joke about false accusations doesn't sit right watching it now.

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It has certainly aged poorly, as have many different aspects of Kelly's character given her tendencies to be overtly creepy towards Ryan. The same can be said for Michael's treatment of Ryan.

3 Dwight opens a gym

Dwight opening a gym wasn't a bad storyline but he does make a joke about how he will get it to become profitable that has certainly aged poorly. He says that the way to make a successful business is to get "all the black people to do it first" and then the white people will follow and then you get the black people to stop doing it.

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You can see how a joke of that nature would likely not sit well with people who watched the show in today's climate, nor was it appropriate then.

2 Nate dresses as a minstrel

This joke is very small and doesn't actually get played out in full as Dwight decides to cancel it but it's surprising the show thought it was a good idea at all. In Dwight's Christmas he comes in dressed as a Krampus-style figure and his assistant, Nate is dressed as a minstrel in full blackface.

Blackface is never a smart move, it's always offensive. Luckily, Dwight decides to cancel the event but we still see Nate dressed up as he answers his cell phone and then turns back to discard the outfit.

1 Michael outs Oscar

Michael outing Oscar was a pretty big deal on the show and Michael was rightfully portrayed as the bad guy. The joke of the entire thing feels far more cringeworthy when watching it back now. We know that many gay people are still beaten and killed for simply existing.

Outing someone against their will and without their consent is a pretty terrible thing to do. Even though Michael is meant to seem awful when he does it, it's still clearly a joke that hasn't aged well with time.

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