04.28.11 1:00 AM ET
The Office's Michael Scott's Funniest Moments
The Breakfast in Bed From Hell
Six strips of bacon, a non-stick George Foreman Grill, and Michael's foot combined for the perfect injury in season two. After stepping on his grill, Michael gets a taste of the disabled life. And when he invites a wheelchair-bound guest to commiserate with him about his bubble-wrapped foot, things go downhill from there.
Foolishly thinking of himself as a pioneer in office race relations, Michael Scott hosted a "Diversity Day" in the show's classic second episode. The seminar—fallout from Corporate receiving complaints when Michael told an offensive Chris Rock joke—was based on racial stereotypes. When Indian employee Kelly Kapoor stumbles into a note-card exercise, things get a bit too real for the Dunder Mifflin crew. No Michael, she does not want to try your googey googey.
Fresh out of the "clink," Prison Mike visits Dunder Mifflin in season three's "The Convict" to remind us that life in the slammer is not glamorous and that paper-company employees have a "good life." With a rap sheet that includes larceny and kidnapping the president's son—none of which he was caught for—Prison Mike remains one of Michael Scott's best characters.
Fun Run: Racing for a Cure
Myth: Rabies kills three Americans every year. Fact: Rabies kills four Americans every year. It's bits of shocking data like this that make rabies the silent killer and the perfect cause for Michael to rally behind in the fourth season premiere. Hosting the 5-kilometer "Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Fun Run Pro-Am Race for the Cure" to make up for hitting Meredith with his car, Michael showcases true grit. Actually, it's more of a triumph of dehydration and fettuccine alfredo over the human body.
The Gay Witch Hunt
After calling Oscar the accountant "faggy," outing him as a homosexual, and catalyzing an office-wide gay witch hunt in season three's premiere, Michael attempts to put the matter to bed. In a watershed "gay is OK" moment, the meeting climaxes in an extremely awkward lip lock in front of the entire office. "I'm still here, we're all still here," Michael says.
Dumped on Christmas
What do you do when the woman of your dreams breaks your heart after you Photoshop your head onto her ex-husband's body and send it as a Christmas carThe Officed? While season two's Christmas episode is one of The Office's funniest installments, season three's "A Benihana Christmas" offers us the best holiday moment. Michael is comforted by the melancholy lyrics of James Blunt's "Goodbye My Lover"—the iTunes preview, that is. While there's little dialogue in this scene, pay close attention to his facial expressions. Priceless.
Michael Hates Toby
"I hate so much about the things that you choose to be," Michael says to his archnemesis Toby Flenderson in season two's "Casino Night." And with that, tensions between Michael and Dunder Mifflin's HR rep boil over. The conflict is simple: Soft-spoken Toby dislikes the fun (offensive, dangerous, and often illegal) things Michael does, and he only answers to corporate. An original character made for the U.S. series, Toby brings out the worst in Michael, which makes for very funny television.
Crush Our Dreams, Mr. Scott
What's worse than expecting your career trajectory to go from being the regional manager of a paper company to a millionaire in 10 years? Promising underprivileged kids that you'd pay for their college tuition. In this especially cringe-worthy episode from season six, Michael gives heartbreaking news to a classroom full of teens who considered him their savior. All he can do is offer them a consolation gift: Laptop batteries.
Armed and Ready to Improvise
Michael's foray into improv is about as successful as his attempts to gain respect from his employees. This failing may be, as we see in season two's "Email Surveillance," because of Michael's unique approach to the craft. Here's a helpful tip: Don't bring guns to class!
That's What She Said
Never one to shy away from a good dirty joke, Michael briefly retires from comedy after sexual harassment complaints in season two. But when announcing his official move from friend to boss, does the regional manager abstain from a series of potential "that's what she said" punch lines? Hardly.
Dinkin' flicka. Fleece it out. Going Mach 5. For phrases like these from "the hood," Michael seeks advice from Darryl the warehouse employee. In season two, however, Dwight puts Michael in a bind when he shows up as protection against Darryl. As you can see, at this point in the series, the interracial conversation had not progressed much since "Diversity Day."
Sujay Kumar works at The Daily Beast. He's written for MTV Splash Page and The Daily Illini.