For nine seasons, Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert and the rest of the crew from Dunder Mifflin showed us what it's like inside the world of a Northeastern Pennsylvania-based mid-size paper company in the hit mockumentary show, NBC's The Office. Led by Steve Carell and officially one of Netflix users' favorite shows, the series has blessed pop culture with memes and one-liners, led one user to binge so much that Netflix felt the need to check on him, and introduced us to a slew of talented actors who have gone on to do great things.
With an end date on Netflix looming in the distant future, we polled fans of the show who work here at CinemaBlend, took the 29 best characters from The Office and ranked them from bottom to top (that's what she said). Take a look!
29. Pete Miller
The downside to joining a hit show late in the game is that you often don't have time to make an impact with fans before all is said and done. Pete (a.k.a. "Plop") wasn't introduced until the season 9 premiere, "New Guys." Combine the timing with his brief yet disruptive relationship with Erin Hannon, and it's no surprise that he's landed in last place on our list.
28. Nellie Bertram
After coming in to interview as the new Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton, in Season 7, The Office fans were surprised to see Nellie join the main cast for the remainder of the series. It came as a bit of a shock because, frankly, not many people asked to see more of her brash and peculiar character. After claiming the vacant manager role while Andy went to Florida to win Erin back, fans were eventually provided more background on why Nellie behaved the way she did. There are even some scenes where we felt sorry for what she was going through, but not quite sorry enough to earn her a top spot among fans.
27. Roy Anderson
Roy's near the bottom, likely because The Office fans still can't forgive him for wasting three years of Pam's life even when John Krasinski clearly can. After all, Pam does deserve some blame for how poorly she handled the end of their relationship, although her actions don't necessarily negate the generally unappreciative and undeserving fiance he was. Roy's screentime isn't all that noteworthy, and makes him pretty easy to hate even if he wasn't the worst guy.
26. Deangelo Vickers
One of the most divisive additions in the entire series, the introduction of Deangelo Vickers was an obvious attempt to ease the departure of Steve Carrell by giving us Will Farrell in his place for a four-episode arc. While some were satisfied with the performance of the comedic legend, many saw it as unwanted fan-service or didn't find that his type of humor meshed well with the established tone of the show, ultimately landing him on the back half of our list.
25. Clark Green
Another character introduced at the eleventh hour, "Dwight Jr." didn't make a huge impact with fans during the final season. He did manage to both work his way up to "Junior Salesman" and have a brief fling with Michael's former boss/girlfriend Jan Levinson, although I don't see his character returning if the show ever makes a comeback.
24. Gabe Lewis
Gabe Lewis scored surprisingly high on this ranking in my opinion, and I can't help but wonder if it's due to that same magic Zach Woods brings to characters like Jared on Silicon Valley. There's very little to like about Gabe as a person, but his quirkiness and odd private life do make for more than a few funny moments throughout the series. As far as The Office characters go, he was good for a couple chuckles.
23. David Wallace
The Office can be ludicrous at times, which is why there needs to be plenty of normal characters to balance out the wilder ones. David Wallace is one of those characters, serving as the stereotypical corporate big wig that looks as though he'd be on the board at any big company. David is one of The Office characters with some really solid scenes, although it's not him necessarily that makes them great. He's still a great recurring character, though.
22. Todd Packer
On a short list of The Office characters folks would never want to actually meet, Todd Packer has to be near the top of the list. Of course, he thinks he's a laugh riot, as does Michael throughout a bulk of the series right up until Todd talked smack about Holly. Still, when viewed as a fictional character we'd never actually have to share a workspace with, we can acknowledge David Koechner's character had his moments.
21. Karen Filipelli
Early in season 3, a line was drawn in the sand ("Beach Games") causing many fans to find themselves on one of two sides: Team Karen or Team Pam (I'm personally of the opinion that Jim didn't deserve Karen). When Karen transferred to Scranton with Jim and the rest of the Stamford branch, their new relationship became another obstacle that stood in the way of the "PB&J" romance, earning her a low score on our list.
20. Jan Levinson
Jan Levinson is one of the most transformed The Office characters over the course of the series. She goes from competent and unassuming Vice President at Dunder Mifflin to a hot mess all in the span of the first 4 seasons, and things only get crazier from that point on. Jan's memorable moments are numerous, but in terms of what's the best I would say she's what makes "Dinner Party" one of the series' best episodes.
19. Robert California
Originally only brought in for a one-time cameo, Robert California (a.k.a. "Bob Kazamakis", or "The Lizard King"), played by the voice of Ultron himself, James Spader, is admittedly a hard character to read, but still one of my personal favorites. As Jim perfectly put it, "He creeps me out. But, I think he might be a genius."
18. Holly Flax
Michael's second serious romance and future wife rings in at number 18, which seems low for a character co-creator Greg Daniels himself likened her to "the female Michael Scott." Some would argue that title belongs to Parks and Rec's Leslie Knope, and Holly is just the perfect amount of goofy and endearing that won Michael's heart. A middle of the road ranking is suitable for her, especially considering the gaps between her appearances.
17. Meredith Palmer
When thinking about what makes Meredith Palmer so great compared to other The Office characters, it's not the alcoholism or the promiscuous behavior that stands out... or at least, not entirely, but the physical comedy. Whether she's hit by a car, trapped in a trash bag with a bat, or on fire, Meredith provided a bulk of the slapstick laughs on The Office when compared to someone like Jim or Pam.
16. Oscar Martinez
Here's another one of The Office characters who plays a relatively normal role, which often elevates the ridiculousness or hilarity of others. He's just the guy trying to get through his workday regardless of whatever shenanigans Michael, Jim, or anyone really is up to, and you gotta respect that. The most controversial thing he really ever did was have an affair with Angela's state senator husband Robert, and even that was relatively tame compared to other characters!
15. Phyllis Vance
Originally a casting agent for the NBC show, Phyllis Smith went on to unintentionally land the role of Phyllis Vance. Described as "like a grandmother" by Michael, the two characters were actually in the same high school class, as Phyllis was quick to remind him. Nevertheless, there is something maternal and loving about her character, landing her in the middle of our list.
14. Erin Hannon
Coming in at a position that's squarely middle of the road, it may be the most universally agreeable ranking on this list of The Office characters. Erin is often a character that fans will laud as one of the best or worst depending on the person, when in truth, she's fairly middle of the road. She meshed well-enough with the core cast despite her introduction in Season 5, and she clearly left an impact greater than some of the lesser main cast.
13. Ryan Howard
It's impressive how Ryan Howard (played by show writer B.J. Novak) transforms between sympathetic temp to corporate big shot burnout, then back to a temp. Though Ryan might not be the most likable character of the bunch, his rise and fall was one of the more entertaining b-plots of The Office, and he was certainly one of the show's most entertaining "villains." He's also the highest ranked of that category, unless we're throwing Dwight into that group (I wouldn't).
12. Angela Martin
Prude, hypocrite, former leader of the Party Planning Committee. Whatever fans may think of Angela Martin, there's no denying her character provided a fair amount of drama on The Office over its run. Her appearance over so many other characters in this ranking speaks volumes, especially considering she's intentionally the least funny person of the bunch. She's also not that likable on paper, but sometimes it's great to watch someone who stirs the pot!
11. Toby Flenderson
Credited with writing some of the best episodes of The Office, Paul Lieberstein plays Michael's favorite H.R. punching bag, Toby Flenderson. As Michael pointed out, "Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he's not really a part of our family. Also, he's divorced, so he's really not a part of his family." While Michael (and eventually, Andy) clearly hated the man, he's still managed to almost crack our top ten.
10. Kevin Malone
Frequently seen, but rarely featured, Kevin Malone has some of the most laughs throughout The Office. It's not hard to see why given his oafish demeanor and actions typically fit into just about any story happening on the show. His spot in the top 10 is definitely deserved, and could be justified by his cold open with the chili alone. Ugh, why can't every show have a character like Kevin?
9. Andy Bernard
Another character who was only supposed to be around for one season, Andy Bernard had such a crazy ride that his fandom ultimately kept him in the show from Season 3 all the way to the end. From anger management to Regional Manager to an internet meme and finally landing his dream job at Cornell University, Andy closed out his character with the famous line, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them," which is both heartfelt and depressing, much like his character.
8. Stanley Hudson
This must be annual Free Pretzel Day, because Stanley Hudson is towards the front of the line in this long list of The Office characters. For what it's worth, his dry sarcasm is unmatched, and those rare situations where he does show emotion have made for some jarringly hilarious moments. Which outburst is the best is a real question readers can debate for themselves, but personally, I'm between his heart attack or when he yelled at Ryan.
7. Darryl Philbin
Darryl is often soft-spoken and frustrated with Michael, yet still hilarious. He fights an on-going battle between the office staff and his team in the warehouse, but he still manages to (usually) sing a song or crack a joke at Michael's expense, so it's no surprise that his character landed in the top ten. It's upsetting that actor Craig Robinson's followup "comedic X-Files" show with Parks and Recreation alum Adam Scott didn't last very long, but you can still see him in the new Jay and Silent Bob Reboot this October.
6. Kelly Kapoor
Not only does Kelly Kapoor have some of the most memorable (and ridiculous) moments from the series, actor/writer Mindy Kaling is also responsible for some of the best episodes of the series including "Golden Ticket", "Branch Wars", and "The Injury." From her "on-again, off-again relationship" with B.J. Novak's character Ryan Howard to the many times she's reinvented herself, ("The Business Bitch" is my personal favorite) Kelly Kapoor was everyone's favorite train wreck, with Kaling herself stating that her character probably didn't fare so well after the series ended.
5. Pam Beesly
Is there any surprise here? It was never a question whether Pam Beesly would be in the top 5 of The Office characters. Pam's the heart of the show and is featured in some of the most emotional moments. You always root for her, and maybe a few younger viewers during the original run sought out their own "Pam" later in life. Even Chili's welcomed her back, so who can really say she's not one of the best?
4. Creed Bratton
Played by a real-life rockstar from the band The Grass Roots, Creed is one of those characters who didn't say much, but when he did, it was usually something pretty alarming and in hindsight, a huge red flag. His one-liners and jokes about drug use and identity theft often seemed like the ramblings of a man with a tattered past, but his true history was finally put on display for all to witness during the final episode of the series, as well as his original song, All The Faces (opens in new tab).
3. Jim Halpert
Typically acknowledged as not the greatest guy, but still so funny that you just have to love him, Jim Halpert cracks the top three of our list. While it's more so the reactions he got out of Dwight via pranks that are so memorable, there's no doubt that Jim's charm and his "will they, won't they" relationship with Pam earned him a spot as an all-time fan favorite. The actor himself has had a pretty impressive transformation in real-life, too, and has even stepped behind the camera into a very different genre.
2. Dwight Schrute
As noted earlier, it's really Dwight's reactions to Jim's pranks that elevate the two as a classic duo. Dwight's strict moral compass often led him to do more harm than good, ironically, but as his (second) sensei once said, "He's one of the most tenacious and determined men I have ever met." His loyalty to his job as well as his hilarious and triumphant character arc have landed him just shy of being absolute best character. Surprisingly, for being on the most-watched show on Netflix, actor Rainn Wilson has some controversial thoughts on streaming content in general.
1. Michael Scott
Michael Scott isn't just the best of The Office characters, he's one of the best characters of modern television, period. The complexity to his character is astonishingly unique, as Steve Carell played the skilled salesman-turned-awful and oblivious manager in a way no one else could. His iconic show moments are as numerous, and while we love to laugh at him, we can all agree actually working with him would be a living nightmare.
Are there any picks on this list that feel far too low or too high? The comments are where all grievances can be filed. For now, The Office is available to binge on Netflix (opens in new tab), and CinemaBlend is still the place to be for the latest and greatest movie and television news.
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Morbidly curious pizza enthusiast with a heart of gold. Has no time to hear why you think The Office is overrated and is pretty sure the meaning of the Universe can be found in the movie Cats. Co-host of American Hauntings Podcast. Inaugural class of Enstitute, an entrepreneurial alternative education program written about by Forbes, The New York Times, and PBS.
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