The Office had nine incredible seasons…right?
That claim is actually going to depend on who you ask. While The Office is collectively loved by many, not every season is equal. Many swear by the entire thing, but others will tell you to skip the first season or cut off the last few.
Nevertheless, it’s time to find out which seasons shine once and for all with a little help from Rotten Tomatoes.
We’ll be ranking each season based on its Tomatometer score. If two or more seasons have the same critic score, we’ll be looking to the audience score. And finally, in the case that both of those being equal, we’ll be taking into account the number of critics to rank the seasons in consideration.
Let's get to Scranton.
9 Season 8 (55%)
The only rotten season of The Office has a 55% Tomatometer score and a 58% audience score, which is almost just as bad.
Season 8 was the first of the post-Micahel Scott era, which left the show unsure of itself. Andy tried to fill the regional manager void left by Michael but didn’t possess the same lovable charm.
A new character who took charge of the season was Sabre’s new CEO, Robert California. While James Spader played the role of an enigmatic boss well, his character was aggravating and not nearly likable enough to make Season 8 possess the familiar feel of those before it.
8 Season 6 (80%)
Season 6 sends us straight to the fresh rating The Office deserves. It first focuses on Jim and Pam’s marriage and baby, but later pays attention to Andy and Erin’s relationship along with the never-ending tension between Dwight and Angela.
Michael, notably, has flings with Pam’s mom and Donna during this season, all while still longing for Holly. It also features perhaps the most uncomfortable episode in all nine seasons, “Scott’s Tots.”
While some of the episodes are forgettable, Season 6 has its keepers and claims itself a fabulous 93% audience score.
7 Season 1 (82%)
The Office’s opening season introduced its memorable cast of characters through a set of six episodes. It gave the show a solid start but definitely had a different feel. You can tell the cast and crew are still figuring out The Office's true identity throughout it.
In Season 1, Kelly isn’t a chatterbox and Kevin isn’t that dumb, but Dwight is instantly intense and Michael knows how to create an awkward situation.
Although even the filming style of the first season feels a little more self-produced than its successors, the episodes are funny and leave viewers wanting more.
6 Season 9 (87%)
The final season of The Office was certified fresh. Although Michael only appears briefly in the final episode, the series recaptured the heart of the earlier seasons.
While none of the episodes are particularly memorable, and Pam and Jim’s relationship troubles seemed a little unnecessary, Season 9 balanced its new employees (Clark and Pete) with style and gave us one of the greatest TV finales in existence.
Not only was the finale funny and sob-inducing; it also allowed every character arc to tie itself up into a perfect happy ending. Michael is happily married to Holly and has kids, Dwight has finally fulfilled his dream of running the Scranton branch, and Pam and Jim are moving away and pushing forward with their lives.
5 Season 7 (100%)
Season 7 is the first of a handful of seasons to get a perfect Tomatometer score. Audiences also seemed to like it, awarding it a 91%.
This season is the last to feature Michael Scott. He grows his relationship with Holly and ultimately decides to move to Colorado to be with her.
The last few episodes after Michael’s departure show Deangelo taking over as office manager, but this switch doesn’t last long after he ends up in a coma.
Season 7 additionally features the highly praised episode “Threat Level Midnight,” in which Michael hosts a screening of his low-budget secret agent movie. This saw a reappearance of many past cast members and helped elevate this season altogether.
4 Season 2 (100%)
Season 2 acted as The Office’s first full season. It gave viewers a real feel for the mockumentary as characters became further established, Michael created endless antics, and Jim and Pam’s early chemistry waded through endless ups and down.
The season earned itself a 97% audience score based on 512 user ratings and contains many unforgettable episodes.
Season 2’s clear story progression was also evident. Within 22 episodes, The Office’s most popular couple (yes, Jim and Pam again) went from being hopeless crushes to sharing their first kiss during "Casino Night."
We all wanted more.
3 Season 5 (100%)
Season 5 was yet another perfectly rated season of The Office and happened to get itself that same high 97% audience score. Being that it had three more critic ratings, though, it claims itself a slightly higher ranking.
The longest season of The Office (with 28 episodes) follows Michael’s new interest in Holly, Pam’s New York art excursions, Charles Miner’s welcome into the Scranton branch, and the rocky success of The Michael Scott Paper Company.
In addition to including hilarious episodes like “Weight Loss,” “Stress Relief,” and “Cafe Disco,” Season 5 gave itself the perfect setup to usher in Season 6: Pam and Jim learned they were pregnant.
2 Season 4 (100%)
Season 4 edges itself just above the former two with an audience score of 98%. Three cheers for yet another near-perfect season!
This season of The Office focused on Ryan’s new, powerful, and fragile position at Dunder Mifflin. It also saw the slow and sweet development of Jim and Pam’s relationship, which contrasted the dysfunctional one held between Michael and Jan. This is also the season in which Dwight decides to mercy kill Angela’s cat, Sprinkles.
In summary, basically, every episode in Season 4 is iconic. “Fun Run,” “Survivor Man,” “Dinner Party…” Do we really need to convince you?
1 Season 3 (100%)
Season 3 lands on top with a 98% audience score, a perfect Tomatometer score, and just a few more positive critic ratings than the prior.
By the time Season 3 premiered, The Office was already loved for being hilarious and reliable. The new season also introduced many fan-favorite characters, including Andy Bernard and Jim’s temporary girlfriend, Karen Filippelli.
Much of Season 3 revolved around the strained but hopeful prospects of Jim and Pam’s relationship. It also saw Pam develop greatly as a character, as she gained confidence and ended up telling Jim how she really felt. Jim then realized he couldn't leave her behind again in the finale and rushed back to ask her on a date.
The conclusion is satisfying, the plot lines are fresh, and the entire season was as funny as ever.