Michael Scott once said, "You miss 100 % of the shots you don't take". Well, he's quoting hockey great Wayne Gretzky but still, he knows what he's talking about. Although, he also said, "I am Beyonce, always". Much like Michael and his quotes, The Office wasn't always a hit. A good TV show takes viewers on a wild ride.
It makes fans laugh, cry and jump up out of their seats. Conversely, a good TV show can disappoint and let fans down. In fact, long-running shows struggle with that all the time. For instance, The Office hit home runs with lots of its major plots. To be fair, it did drop the ball a few times. Some plots hurt the show while others saved it.
The Office aired from 2005 to 2013 for 9 seasons. At one time, it was one of the biggest shows in the world. Fans still talk about the love stories, classic jokes and heartbreaking moments. It could make fans laugh and cry all in the same scene. Early on the show had a sense of realism. It felt as if viewers walked into an office with a difficult boss. On the other hand, fans try to forget certain plots. These storylines didn't quite fit with the rest of the show. In some cases, the plot felt like a repeat or a little too wacky. It's time to take a closer look at Dunder Mifflin.
Here are 10 Storylines That Hurt The Office (And 10 That Saved It).
20 HURT - CATHY TESTS JIM & PAM'S MARRIAGE
Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's love story was the heart of the show. There were many romances in the show but none compare to Pam and Jim. Once they became a couple, some of their plotlines were a letdown. In fact, fans were angry when the show tested their love.
In season 8, Cathy Simms briefly took over Pam's job when she gave birth. However, Cathy wants to be more than Jim's co-worker. While on a work trip, she tries to tempt him. Of course, it doesn't work because Jim is a loyal husband. Most fans didn't like the plot and were happy to see it come to an end. There wasn't a person that thought Jim would make a different choice. If he did, it would have hurt his character.
19 SAVED - THE MERGER
It's always difficult to start a new job with a new boss. We've all been there before. The best thing to do is prepare and be ready to work. However, nobody can prepare for working with Michael Scott. In the early seasons, the Scranton branch was in danger of shutting down.
In fact, Michael had to fire some people. Well, he only fired one person but it was really hard. Later, Scranton and Stamford merge with Michael in charge. It freshened the show-up and added a few new faces. Furthermore, fans could relate to the plot of losing a job and starting a new one. It's one of the most memorable plots in the show.
18 HURT - SABRE TAKES OVER DUNDER MIFFLIN
The Office was always good at changing things up. In fact, it worked in the past to great success. Regardless, this change seemed to do more harm than good. In season 6, the show made a drastic change when a new company, Sabre, purchased Dunder Mifflin. A slew of new faces joined the series.
However, this also meant several people leaving. Particularly, David Wallace was no longer Michael's boss. Instead, Jo Bennett, portrayed by Kathy Bates, took over. Jo was a good character but didn't quite have the chemistry that Michael and David did. Additionally, it didn't freshen up the show as past changes had. The plot did little to push the show in a new direction.
17 SAVED - THREAT LEVEL MIDNIGHT
In season 2, the staff finds Michael Scott's unfinished screenplay Threat Level Midnight. They have a table read and enjoy laughing at his work. The plot seemed forgotten until a few seasons later. In season 7, Michael screens the film for the staff. The film's finally done after 10 years of writing, shooting and re-shooting.
The film starred Michael as agent Michael Scarn. The rest of the staff also had roles in the film. Additionally, since it took 10 years to shoot some scenes appear as if they're several years old. It brought back a lot of old faces and referenced past moments. Fans praise the episode as one of the best. It's also one of the most consistent plot lines in the show.
16 HURT - PAM FAILS ART SCHOOL
The Office is the American version of the BBC series of the same name. At first, the two series had many similarities. However, the U.S. version soon went off in its own direction. In the UK Office, Tim motivates Dawn to follow her dreams of being an artist.
In the U.S. version, Jim certainly motivates Pam to follow her dreams as well. Pam ends up going to art school and her dreams seem closer than ever. Instead of achieving her dream she fails out of art school. She leaves and never looks back. It doesn't send the best message that she failed and basically gave up. In the end, she paints a mural in the warehouse. Although, it would have been far more effective for her to graduate from art school.
15 SAVED - PAM'S PROMOTION TO SALES
When fans first met Pam Beesly she was the shy and awkward receptionist. At first, it appears that she'll never leave Roy and be a receptionist forever. Of course, she breaks it off with Roy to be with her soul mate, Jim. Regardless, she remained a receptionist for most of the first few seasons.
She struggles to find her passion in life but she knows it's not being a receptionist. Pam failing art school hurt the show but they still needed to make a change. They made the right choice when they promoted Pam to sales. She struggled in this position as well before she created the role of office administrator. Pam's plot had its up and downs but benefited from this change.
14 HURT - ANDY BECOMES MANAGER
Michael Scott was the soul of the series. He had all kinds of flaws but he was still a great boss. When he left the show the producers tried to replace him with Andy Bernard, portrayed by Ed Helms. Andy had been a supporting character since season 3.
Helms had become a big star outside of the series so that might have played a part. Regardless, Andy failed in the role as manager of the branch. He felt like a poor man's Michael Scott. The show tried to recapture Michael's glory days but with Andy. The storylines were similar to the first few seasons. Andy's era as the boss is one of the series low points.
13 SAVED - MICHAEL'S RELATIONSHIP WITH JAN
Michael Scott's search for love became a huge plot point. No matter how hard he tried he just couldn't find the right women to be with. Pam and Jim's love story wasn't enough to keep the series going. Michael had a few good romances too, but he had a very rocky start.
His relationship with his former boss Jan was a popular story. Despite all the fighting, money loss, and stress, it was one of Michael's best plots. Clearly, he was too good for her. The way they got together, the relationship and break up is classic Office. There were many other classic Michael romances, such as Carol Stills, Helene Beesly, and Donna Newton. However, nothing compares to his love for his soul mate Holly Flax.
12 HURT - NELLIE TRIES TO STEAL ANDY'S JOB
At one time, Catherine Tate was in consideration to replace Michael Scott as boss. Tate couldn't accept the role due to her schedule. Instead, she joined the series in a supporting role as Nellie Bertram. Fans reacted negatively to the character, and a plot involving her would make things worse.
In season 8, Nellie attempts to swoop in and steal Andy's job. Andy hadn't won over the fans as the new boss but neither did Nellie. In fact, both were disappointments in the role. In season 9, fans began to react more positively to her character. Her storylines were much more relatable. Regardless, her trying to steal Andy's job hurt the show. To be fair, nobody can follow Michael Scott as boss.
11 SAVED - DWIGHT FINALLY BECOMES MANAGER
All Dwight Schrute ever wanted was to be the boss. He was the assistant regional manager. Sorry, assistant to the regional manager but never the manager. Regardless, he would do anything to be the boss. He tried a few times and came close but in the end, went back to sales.
He wasn't even Michael's number 2 as that role went to Jim. The last few seasons were disappointing for some fans. However, the show won fans over in the last few episodes. In the final season, Dwight finally gets the promotion he's been dreaming of his entire life. The show ends with Dwight becoming the regional manager of the Scranton branch. There's no doubt he's successful in the role.
10 HURT - MICHAEL SCOTT LEAVES
Michael Scott might have been selfish, conceited and not very bright, but, he was a caring friend, and a good boss. In fact, he was a crucial element to the series. Steve Carell became a worldwide star and made it big in Hollywood in part, thanks to this show. He left at the end of season 7 but the series went on without him.
However, The Office suffered without Michael. His departure greatly hurt the series and the quality declined in the final seasons. However, his final episode is one of the most popular in the show. He left on a high note but clearly, nobody wanted him to go. The show was never the same and didn't recapture its glory days
9 SAVED - DWIGHT AND ANGELA'S RELATIONSHIP
Pam and Jim weren't the only couple at Dunder Mifflin; Dwight and Angela had their own beautiful love story. Of course, it had its ups and downs as well. They dated secretly for years before having a public break up. At one time, it seemed like their love story might actually be over.
However, in the final season, they reconciled and marry in the series finale. Not only did they have a great love story but also a great wedding. There were many weddings in the show but few were as unique as this one. Their love story saved the show when other romances were spinning their wheels.
8 HURT - JIM AND DARYL'S JOB IN PHILLY
Jim's worst fear was becoming Michael Scott. He didn't want to work at Dunder Mifflin forever and was desperate to get out. However, it's where he met the love of his life, Pam. Obviously, she's a big reason he remains at the company. The show always felt the need to throw more obstacles at Pam and Jim. In the final season, Jim quits Dunder Mifflin and starts a new company with Daryl.
They start a sports marketing company called Athlead in Philly. This caused marital problems for Pam and Jim, which most fans didn't enjoy. Also, the storyline hurt the series as it took Jim and Daryl out of the office.
7 SAVED - MICHAEL AND HOLLY
There's one thing that's for certain. Michael Scott and Holly Flax are soul mates. Their incredible love story had fans crying, laughing, and crying some more. Michael and Holly's romance changed the show forever. Michael had been searching for his soul mate when he met Holly. Their romance actually went on for a few seasons before they end up together.
In fact, Holly left the series but returned in season 7. Fans were happy to see Michael end up with his soul mate. In a lot of ways, it replaced Pam and Jim as the main love story. Eventually, Michael leaves the show to be with Holly in Colorado. Fans were heartbroken to see them leave but are happy they're together.
6 HURT - JIM AND MICHAEL BECOME CO-MANAGERS
In season 6, the show made another drastic change when it made Jim and Michael co-managers of the office. Jim wanted the job despite his dislike of working there for years. Of course, Michael hated the idea. He wasn't the only one that didn't like it. The story didn't connect with fans like the show had hoped. It did offer some funny moments but in the end, let fans down.
Also, Jim trying at his job just felt wrong. He's best when slacking off and avoiding work. Furthermore, they were only co-managers for a few episodes. Eventually, the show went back to normal as though Jim was never boss at all. The show could have got a lot more mileage out of Jim as manager. The plot certainly hurt the show and was a disappointing storyline most fans choose to forget.
5 SAVED - THE MICHAEL SCOTT PAPER COMPANY
The Office often would make a major change that didn't last for too long. In some cases, changing things up didn't pay off. However, The Michael Scott Paper Company isn't one of those times. In season 5, Michael struggles to get along with his new boss.
He and Pam leave to start their own paper company and recruit Ryan to join them. It was a risk that worked out in the end. It changed things up for a little bit but still kept the action in the office. All the familiar faces were there just in different roles. It's a popular storyline among fans. In fact, it saved the show when things were getting stale. Nobody will ever forget The Michael Scott Paper Company.
4 HURT - THE NEW MANAGERS
After Michael Scott left the show the producers struggled to find a replacement. They brought in a long list of rotating celebs hoping one would connect. However, none could follow in the footsteps of Michael. As a matter of fact, all ended up hurting the show.
They brought in some major Hollywood stars. In season 7, Will Ferrell portrayed new manager Deangelo Vickers. He failed to connect with fans and soon left the series. The show then brought in James Spader as Robert California in season 8. Once again, he failed to connect with fans and didn't quite fit with the show. Michael Scott leaving hurt the series but the poor replacements only caused further damage.
3 SAVED - PAM AND JIM'S ROMANCE
Pam and Jim's romance started with quick glances, smiles and a strong friendship. Their love blossomed over time and was central to the show. In a lot of ways, their love story is what the show was really about. They became one of the most famous "will they? Won't they?" couples in TV history.
Their first kiss, Jim's proposal and Pam selling the house made fans giddy and cry like babies. Additionally, their wedding is one of the most memorable weddings ever. Their sweet love story carried the show for most of its run. The storyline went to a new level when they started a family. As a matter of fact, Pam and Jim starting a family saved the show at an important time. Pam and Jim's love is still strong.
2 HURT - PAM AND JIM'S MARTIAL ISSUES
In the final season, Pam and Jim started to have serious marital problems. Jim was working in Philly and Pam was raising two kids on her own. However, their marital problems seemed to hurt the show. Fans often complain about all the obstacles thrown at Pam and Jim. Their marriage problems felt like a forced story that fans didn't enjoy.
Later, Pam confides in the Boom Mic operator about her marriage. Fans didn't like the marriage problems or the crew becoming involved in the story. For most fans, this was another pointless obstacle. From the start of the show, viewers wanted Pam and Jim to end up happy. Pam and Jim's romance helped the show but their marital problems set it back. Luckily, fans got the sweet and romantic ending they dreamt of.
1 SAVED - THE RETURN OF MICHAEL SCOTT
The final few seasons of The Office didn't live up to previous seasons. One of the main reasons is because of the departure of Michael Scott. The series finale seemed destined to fail but the show turned things around. The series finale won over all the fans who felt let down, and it featured the staff watching the documentary itself.
It tied up a lot of past storylines and brought back some old faces. In particular, it featured the return of Michael Scott. Overall, the series finale's excellent and one of the best in the series. However, Michael Scott's return made it extra special. In fact, Michael's return saved the series at the most crucial time. With the return of Michael, the wedding and the show ended on a high note.
Which storylines do you think hurt and saved The Office? Let us know in the comments!