The Office cast in 'A Benihana Christmas'
(NBC)

The 10 Worst Episodes of ‘The Office’

Let’s face it, The Office is a hard watch at times. Take “Scott’s Tots” or “Phyllis’ Wedding,” episodes that will have you cringing with secondhand embarrassment. But they’re also well-made episodes that will have you laughing as well as wincing.

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These episodes, on the other hand, are light on the laughs and big on the discomfort—discomfort for all the wrong reasons in some cases. Let’s revisit the 10 worst episodes The Office has to offer.

“Gettysburg” (Season 8, episode 8)

Jim and Daryl wearing bright pink "DM does GB" hats
(NBC)

In “Gettysburg,” some of the Dunder Mifflin crew don bright pink hats and go on a field trip to Gettysburg. The results are … mixed. Dwight finding out that Schrute Farms was once a haven for poets and pacifists is just too silly, and so few of the jokes land. One that does land is Gabe being mistaken for an Abraham Lincoln impersonator, and that saves this episode from the bottom of the heap.

“Christening” (Season 7, episode 7)

Pam holding her baby
(NBC)

Generally it’s considered that Steve Carell stepping down from the role of Michael Scott is what sent The Office into a downward spiral, but there were some dud episodes before that, too. Take “Christening.” Michael and Andy almost running away to Mexico with a church group just isn’t particularly funny, although the actors give it their all.

“Pilot” (Season 1, episode 1)

Michael Scott holding a 'World's Best Boss' mug
(NBC)

You’d never have guessed in a million years that The Office would become beloved if you only had the pilot episode to go on. It’s basically just a straight copy of the first episode of the UK Office, which was then much more popular, and has very little flair of its own. And yet, from humble beginnings eventually sprang one of the biggest and best sitcoms of all time.

“The Banker” (Season 6, episode 14)

Michael Scott wearing a bike helmet
(NBC)

Clip shows were semi-useful once upon a time, as they caught audiences up on what was happening if they’d missed previous episodes of the show. But then came streaming and binge-watching and they simply became annoying. “The Banker” is The Office’s one clip show, all about a banker who interviews Toby Flenderson, and most people just skip over it.

“Welcome Party” (Season 8, episode 20)

Erin and Andy in a car
(NBC)

The end of season 8 had some of the worst episodes in the show’s entire run. “Welcome Party” is a pretty Nellie-centric episode and so your opinion of it will entirely depend on whether you like Nellie or not. And despite her being played by the great Catherine Tate, Nellie could get so annoying at times. This episode tries to get us to have sympathy for her (via her extreme dislike of magicians) and it just doesn’t work.

“Angry Andy” (Season 8, episode 21)

Erin and Andy in the Dunder Mifflin offices
(NBC)

Andy started to come apart as a character in season 8, and it was a real shame for anyone who liked him. In “Angry Andy” he’s well, angry, and he has every reason to be considering that his job just got stolen. But then he takes it too far and it’s not really funny anymore. This episode also has a big Ryan subplot and Ryan is only amusing in small doses.

“Here Comes Treble” (Season 9, episode 5)

Dwight wearing a pumpkin on his head
(NBC)

The run of sub-par Office episodes continued from the end of season 8 right into season 9. “Here Comes Treble” is an Andy-centric episode with a problematic subplot about Dwight learning Nellie takes medication for anxiety. And it also marked the beginning of Pam and Jim’s major marriage problems, which is an aspect of the later seasons that fans absolutely hate.

“Roy’s Wedding” (Season 9, episode 2)

Jim and Pam at Roy's wedding
(NBC)

Pam dumped Roy for being a possessive, boorish jerk … and then he got better. When she and Jim encounter him again in “Roy’s Wedding” they find an entirely different man than the one they knew. But this only highlights the fact that Jim is keeping a big secret from Pam. Meanwhile, back in the office, some unfunny Erin/Clark/Pete and Nellie/Dwight subplots are developing.

“Get the Girl” (Season 8, episode 19)

Nellie in the office
(NBC)

This episode starts out with one of the most jarring green screen effects in Office history (if not television history) and it only gets worse from there. “Get the Girl” is all about Andy trying to win Erin back, going all the way to Florida and popping out of a box for her. Meanwhile, Nellie barges her way into Andy’s job at Dunder Mifflin. This is the worst-rated Office episode on IMDb and it’s not hard to see why. It feels like a different, much worse, show.

“A Benihana Christmas” (Season 3, episode 10)

Michael Scott next to a Christmas decoration
(NBC)

This episode leans heavily into Michael’s racism as he brings two waitresses from the Japanese Benihana restaurant back to Dunder Mifflin and then can’t tell them apart. Actress Kat Ahn played waitress Amy and she’s not a fan of the episode. In 2021 she called it “problematic” on her TikTok, and later on she told the Washington Post that a co-worker actually did draw on her arm once as a “telling them apart” joke. Because of all of the above—and the fact that the episode affected real people—this one is easily the worst of all time.


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Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.