March 23, 2021
Now streaming on Peacock, this classic sitcom's debut season will make you want to binge-watch the whole series.
NBC's "The Office" premiered in 2005, and introduced U.S. audiences to Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, Inc. and iconic characters like Michael Scott, Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. The mockumentary-style comedy series ran for nine years but gained a second life — and huge following among millennial and Gen-Z viewers — as a favorite on streaming. With endlessly quotable lines, meme-worthy moments and tons of "That's what she said!" jokes, "The Office" has become one of the most binge-worthy shows.
As a new addition to the Peacock service in 2021, it's the perfect time to revisit this classic show. Here are standout moments from first season — including ones you might have missed! Just say 'The Office' into your Contour Voice Remote
"The Office" is based on the popular British sitcom of the same name, and nowhere is that more apparent that in the first episode of the season. The pilot is directly adapted from the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's British version and as expected, a lot of it was lost in translation. Many critics gave it — and Steve Carell's cartoonish performance of Michael Scott — lukewarm reviews. As actress Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly) explained on the Office Ladies podcast, "Well, we got a lot of critical attention when we were making the pilot. And not a lot of love because people really thought we were gonna mess it up."
Still, the pilot does a great job introducing the Dunder Mifflin world for American viewers. Fans are instantly drawn in to the show's mockumentary aesthetic with confessionals, actors playing to the camera and the guerrilla shoot>
One of the most memorable scenes is the end of the pilot when Michael pranks Pam (while temp Ryan Howard awkwardly watches) into thinking she's fired. She bursts into tears and then calls him a jerk. It's cringeworthy and makes the boss less likable. However, as Fischer explained, producers weren't sure if they wanted to keep it in for that very reason. Welcome to the office.
Standout Scene: Michael fake fires Pam trying to emulate MTV's 'Punk'd'.
You Might Have Missed: The debut of Michael Scott's "World's Best Boss" mug.
Memorable Line: "I guess the atmosphere that I've tried to create here is that I'm a friend first and a boss second, and probably an entertainer third." — Michael Scott
What happens when Michael Scott makes a racially-insensitive joke (by imitating comedian Chris Rock)? The whole office needs to undergo diversity training. "Diversity Day" was the first episode that deviated from the British series with completely original writing by B.J. Novak (who also plays the part of Ryan Howard). The show revolves around Michael offending everyone and then holding a diversity seminar in which employees put index cards with a race on their foreheads. The goal: Everyone else must treat the person like the race of their forehead.
Standout Scene: Pam falls asleep on Jim's shoulder in a tender moment.
You Might Have Missed: Writer Mindy Kaling introduced as an actor (Kelly Kapoor) after slapping Michael during the seminar.
Memorable Line: "Try my googi, googi. Try my googi, googi."— Michael Scott
3. "Health Care"
If there's one thing Michael Scott needs, it's to be liked. When he's given the task of picking a new healthcare plan, the boss doesn't want to make an unpopular decision so he gives the job to the least qualified person: Dwight. A hatchet man, Dwight cuts the plan so much that Jim and Pam start making up fake diseases to mess with him. Meanwhile, Michael has gone MIA hoping to find a "surprise" to raise spirits back at the office.
Standout Scene: Dwight reading Jim and Pam's fake diseases like "Count Choculitis".
You Might Have Missed: Michael calls a local cave and the voice on the other end is an uncredited Creed Bratton who would later go on to play himself in the show as a cast regular.
Memorable Line: "In the wild, there is no healthcare. In the wild, healthcare is: Ow, I hurt my leg; I can't run; a lion eats me, and I'm dead."— Dwight Schrute.
4. "The Alliance"
Downsizing rumors are swirling, and everyone in the office is paranoid, especially Dwight. Hoping to glean important information, he forges an alliance with Jim (a la 'Survivor') that he hopes will protect him. Of course, Jim and Pam use this as a way to mess with Dwight but things backfire with Pam's fiancé, Roy Anderson, who finds their friendship to cross the line.
Meanwhile, Michael celebrates Meredith Palmer's birthday with a tacky and inappropriate birthday card. Birthdays will be an ongoing occurrence in the office, causing mayhem every time.
Standout Scene: Dwight hiding in a box hoping to overhear Pam talking about downsizing. The Office Ladies podcast revealed that Phil Shea, the prop guy, was actually in the box.
Memorable Line: "Meredith, let's hope the only downsizing that happens to you is that someone downsizes your age."— Meredith
"The Office" includes the warehouse at Dunder Mifflin, and "Basketball" is the first episode where we get to see how Michael interacts with the foreman, Darryl Philbin, and his crew. The upstairs workers challenge the warehouse to what should be a friendly basketball game but of course, Michael takes things too far with his athleticism (or lack thereof), horrible sportsmanship and hysterics.
The episode has become beloved by sports fans, even inspiring a "30 for 30" spoof.
Standout Scene: Stanley Hudson dribbling a basketball.
You Might Have Missed: Kevin Malone sinking basket after basket in the background. According to the Office Ladies podcast, there was a basketball hoop that cast members, including Angela Kinsey (Angela Martin), would use when they weren't on set.
Memorable Line: "Football is like rock and roll, it's just bam-bam-boo... And basketball is like jazz, you know? You're kind of... Dupee-doo, dupee-do. It's all downbeat, it's in the pocket, it's like... Dupee-do, dupee-do, dapee-dah..." — Michael Scott
6. "Hot Girl"
Pam might be known as "the office hottie" but she faces some competition when Katy the Purse Girl (played by Amy Adams) comes to sell purses. Michael and Dwight go into full-on flirtation mode, trying to win Katy's affections, while Jim ultimately ends up being the winner.
Standout Scene: Pam and Katy standing side-by-side. The resemblance is striking and clearly, Jim has a type. As Jenna Fischer explained, some people confused the two in real life.
You Might Have Missed: Michael Scott's cologne of choice is Rite Aid Nite Swept. Pam would later surprise him with a box of it for his birthday in "Michael's Birthday."
Memorable Line: "It was nice to meet some of you!"— Katy