For nine seasons, NBC's beloved sitcom The Office has introduced us to a treasure trove of fun, relatable, and often hilarious characters that viewers around the world got to know and love. But in the process of making such quotable and endearing television, the show creators also created a few, shall we say, less-than-desirable characters who brought their own brand of despicableness to Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Indeed, while there are several likable and lovable main and supporting characters who filled the cubicles of Dunder Mifflin, there are also a few folks viewers loved to hate, or simply hated altogether.
Some of these characters had their likable qualities, but for one reason or another, they were also kind of the worst. In a sitcom defined by humble, eccentric, hilarious, likably weird, relatable and/or simply understandable characters, there are still a few less-than-winning characters who have populated Dunder Mifflin's offices. We're here to list just 10 characters who seemed to go out of their way create problems around the office over the course of the award-winning, well-viewed workplace sitcom's nine hit seasons on NBC.
10. Jan Levinson
Though Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) wasn't initially an unlikable character, many fans of The Office felt that the love interest for Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) wore out her welcome in her later seasons. At first, Jan played the part of a worn-out boss that had to deal with all the nonsense that ensues at Dundler Mifflin Scranton. As the sitcom pressed forward, however, her character began losing touch with reality and became harder to like, as well as less relatable and endearing, as the show pressed forward. Additionally, some might argue that her relationship with Michael seemed abusive. It doesn't help that she probably cheated on poor Michael with Hunter Raymond (Nicholas D'Agosto). Ultimately, it just was not working out with her.
While Jan Levinson's relationship with Michael had some good, solid laughs in the early seasons, her character was less winning as the show went on, and she ultimately became too mean to Michael. The blame shouldn't be placed on Melora Hardin, however. She played the part well enough. But, in the end, as the show continued to press forward, Levinson's character did overstay her welcome, and it was for the best (certainly for Michael) when she left.
9. Gabe Lewis
While the delightful Zach Woods played the best character on HBO's Silicon Valley with Jared Dunn, Gabe Lewis, his persona on The Office, wasn't quite as universally beloved. Specifically, the employees at Dunder Mifflin ultimately found Gabe to be a little too annoying and his stay seemed to be a little too extended, particularly as Gabe played a more prominent role in the final few seasons of the NBC sitcom. Truth be told, Gabe came across as a little too needy and pushy, which made him be a handful around the Dunder Mifflin offices, and the guy could be annoying at several points too.
To make matters worse, Gabe eventual relationship with Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) was cringy and creepy. He could come across as belittling and he didn't really take her thoughts and feelings into consideration, like when he wouldn't let Erin watch anything but the horror movies he wanted to watch. While Woods is certainly a talented performer, no doubt, this character was not popular around the Dunder Mifflin (Sabre) Scranton office.
8. Robert California
When Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) left Dunder Mifflin, and Steve Carrell subsequently left The Office, there were mighty big shoes to fill, and the writers had to come up with a few ways to keep the viewers invested in the life-and-times of the Pennsylvania paper company despite the noted absence of its main character. One such personality was Robert California, played by the wonderful James Spader, who was a character who wanted to have a little too much control of the company. Specifically, Robert made himself CEO, which got under the skins of the Dunder Mifflin employees.
Robert California does have an audience, and it's easy to see why in the earlier episodes. But after a while, it's hard to get invested in such a stock "rich, out-of-touch eccentric boss" character, and it ultimately wasn't a shame when Robert California left, even though it's hard to find many reasons to be excited about the absence of James Spader. Alas, by the end, this imposing, arrogant boss character just didn't fit into the vibe of The Office.
7. Andy Bernard
Admittedly, Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms, was left in a difficult position. He found himself at the head of The Office and Dunder Mifflin, and Helms needed to fill in some big shoes for Steve Carrell's looming absence. While Andy was not the most likable character during the earlier seasons of The Office -- remember that time he punched his fist through a wall? -- he wasn't necessarily the worst. But when it came time to promote him to head of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, the result was for the worse.
As the character became the boss of the Scranton branch, Andy Bernard got in over his head. In The Office's effort to essentially make him Michael 2.0, he became dumber, more delusional, and sometimes kind of a clueless jerk. Though he managed to win the affection of the kindhearted Erin, he lost her after he decided to leave Scranton and sail his family's boat to the Bahamas, completely ditching his relationship and his job responsibilities for a few months. Theres a lovable side to Andy Bernard, but this was not it.
6. Cathy Simms
While there are many characters who served as love interests for our main characters on The Office, Cathy Simms (Lindsey Broad) was easily among the most detestable. Serving as a replacement for Pam (Jenna Fischer) at the office while she was on maternity leave, Cathy was exceptionally flirtatious to Pam's husband, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), and she took exceptional measures to flirt, charm and ultimately try to sleep with Jim. One could argue that it was all innocent, except when you take into account that Cathy knew all about Pam and her relationship with her office crush.
That's an awfully shady thing for someone to do, especially willfully. That makes it hard to root for Cathy Simms when her intentions seem to be an effort to tear apart the romantic beating heart of The Office. It's understandable that dramatic tensions need to be build, especially once Jim and Pam are finally together, but Cathy was deceitful. While many love interests came-and-when during The Office's run, this one was among the least likable.
5. Frank the Warehouse Guy
Admittedly, Frank the Warehouse Guy (Brad William Henke) didn't have a long stay in Dundler Mifflin, but we can all be thankful for that. Because, even though the character only made one appearance in the ninth season episode "Vandalism," the character quickly established himself as one of the most heinous and despicable characters in The Office's prolonged history. To be specific, this dastardly character had the nerve to vandalize and deface the mural that Pam (Jenna Fischer) made in the warehouse, spray-painting butts all over it. If that wasn't enough to get on people's bad sides, when Pam seeks revenge by vandalizing Frank's truck, the low-life character attempts to physically assault Pam, with Brian the boom operator (Chris Diamantopoulos) stepping in to defend Pam. Ultimately, Frank and Brian were fired for the altercation, and we're definitely happy to see Frank gone.
4. Luke Cooper
Admittedly, Luke Cooper (Evan Peters) is another character who didn't have a long residence on The Office, only staying on-board for the first two episodes of Season 7. Nevertheless, it did not take long before the distant nephew of Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) got under everyone's skin.
The lazy, inconsiderate office intern who had a bad habit of getting the wrong coffee orders for the employees and hosting an awfully bad attitude during his (admittedly short) time in Dundler Mifflin, Luke Cooper's presence inside the paper company ends in spectacular fashion as Michael spanks him, resulting in the rude, uncaring intern nephew crying and then quitting, only to later trash all of his former employees on his Twitter. While Evan Peters is a tremendous actor, his character in The Office was just an annoying little twerp that got on everyone's bad side. It's not wonder that everyone in the Dundler Mifflin company hated him after only a short amount of time. Thankfully, Luke never made another appearance on The Office.
3. Nellie Bertram
When your main character leaves your show, even in an ensemble piece like The Office, it's hard to recover. Indeed, while The Office did its best to keep going strong in spite of the absence of Steve Carrell's Michael Scott, it was a tough uphill battle, and the new characters add to the show during this time (as seen by a number of the entrees listed here) just didn't do the trick. One such example was Nellie Bertram, played by Catherine Tate.
Despite Catherine Tate's talents, Nellie Bertram was a hard character to endear with throughout the latter seasons of The Office. She would be mean in some moments and then try too hard to be sympathetic in others, making her an inconsistent and unneeded presence at Dunder Mifflin. She never really played an important role in the office proceedings, and it was hard to figure out what she really did at the office in the first place. It also doesn't help that she could be manipulative, particularly when she took Andy's job and tried to turn the staff against him, in an act that seemed pretty egregious, to say the least.
2. Todd Packer
While there's no denying that David Koechner is a talented character actor, best known for playing Champ Kind in the Anchorman movies, as well as his stint on Saturday Night Live in the early '00s, his character, Todd Packer, was an intentionally unlikable, unbecoming, and just plain despicable personality. He did a lot of terrible things around the office, including leaving Michael a disgusting "package" on the floor of his office and drugging people's cupcakes all for the sake of a twisted laugh. Todd was also mean-spirited, left almost everyone uncomfortable, and he would also do and say a wide range of inappropriate things.
Todd Packer was so crude and offensive, he made Michael Scott's inappropriate comments in the workplace come across as tame in comparison, and he was always crossing the line in terms of his demeanor and harassment in the workplace. While he somehow managed to hold down a job as a salesman at Dunder Mifflin for years, he was eventually fired, much to the relief of everyone left at the office.
1. Roy Anderson
Admittedly, Roy Anderson is a character designed for audiences to root against in the first couple seasons of The Office. In the persistent "will they, won't they?" workplace cutesy friendship-turned-serious romantic relationship that was Jim and Pam's sweet, endearing on-screen dynamic, Roy Anderson (David Denman), the DM warehouse employee and one-time fiancé of Pam, served as the primary antagonist to this would-be romantic affair. Even beyond our hapless Jim feeling threatened by this man hoping to marry the woman he loved, Roy was simply not a good person. And he showed his ugly side at several points.
In the earlier seasons of The Office, Roy Anderson was your typical brute jerk. But as the sitcom continued, it became clear that the character's dark side had different shades. He showed a violent side as the show progressed, to the point of trashing a bar and later trying to attack Jim before his character inevitably exited the series (with the exception of a few guest appearances). By the end of the series, Roy seemed to have grown out of some of the more negative aspects of his personality, getting married and finding success in his career. But looking at his run on the series as a whole, Roy Anderson is exactly the type of unlikable supporting character you simply loved to hate.
Which character from The Office do you think was just the worst? Please let us know in the comments section below!
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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