When Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant—the creators of the UK Golden Globe-winning TV series The Office—announced that their show would be remade for the US market starring Steve Carell, people anticipated its arrival with bated breath.
Now, over a decade later, the US version of The Office has become one of TV’s most beloved sitcoms. The antics of the cast merged with the quality of the writers, resulting in a series that’s endlessly rewatchable and appealing to all kinds of audiences.
The show is filled with moments of gut-busting hilarity, thanks to characters like Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, Jim Halpert, and Pam Beesly, who are now part of TV’s social lexicon. They enjoy a legacy that keeps the show popular years after it finished.
Each character in The Office had a special place amongst fans, and everyone has their own favorites. Here are our own picks for the best characters in The Office and their funniest moments!
8. Kevin Malone
Kevin had instant likability in the show. He was the person of the group who didn’t create problems for anybody else. He was one of many who liked to fit in. Everybody has known a Kevin in their workplaces, and nobody has ever hated a Kevin.
His overall story arc made him cruder and cruder as the show continued; however, Brian Baumgartner still managed to give Kevin that special factor that drew you to him anyway.
Kevin wasn’t a person with complicated love arcs and he never stole the show as the star of any particular episode. But as a background character with occasional face time, he could make the whole audience smile with one or two lines of cutting dialogue.
Kevin’s best moment came when he dropped his homemade chili all over the office floor, using several office implements to try and clean up the horrific mess in desperation.
7. Pam Beesly
Pam’s storyline through The Office stalled a lot after she and Jim had their first child, becoming a character who liked to have fun more than she used to, and had a slightly wackier edge by the end.
This was likely an attempt by the writers to keep Pam on track with the show’s runaway comedy after the fifth season.
However, at her peak, Pam was hands-down one of the best characters in the show. Her will-they-won’t-they with Jim and her friendship with Michael both evolved to give Pam an empathetic resonance.
Pam’s funniest moment among her back catalog is when she accidentally breast-feeds the wrong baby in the hospital shortly after giving birth to Cece.
6. Robert California
It feels like Robert California rode into Dunder Mifflin one day on a wave of sex, promiscuity, and a Jaguar E-Type. His infectious dynamism and renegade attitude affected all those around him, to the point where even Jim was taken in by the charisma.
The way he treated everyone else—and the way he explained his theories so that others couldn’t disagree with him—made Robert a character who didn’t suffer from exaggerated writing.
Played by the ever-phenomenal James Spader, he lasted just one season in the show before moving on… but it was the perfect hangover cure following the departure of Steve Carell’s Michael Scott.
Robert’s finest moment in The Office was when he got interviewed by Gabe, Jim, and Toby, displaying all of his charm and charisma within seconds of sitting down.
5. Holly Flax
Holly may not have been in the series very long overall, but she was a defining character during her stint. Her love for Michael didn’t just have to garner the approval of the characters in the show, it also had to win over the approval of fans.
Fortunately, she was everything that Michael needed and more. Her personality traits and sense of humor mirrored Michael Scott’s own, thus making him fall in love with her almost immediately after speaking to her for the first time.
Holly was brought to life by Oscar-nominated actress Amy Ryan, who gave Michael and the series a perfect way to bid farewell to one another without feeling too sad.
Holly’s most hilarious moment came when she arrived at the Scranton branch for the second time, doing an Old West bit with Michael and frequently using the word “bastard” in the process.
4. Creed Bratton
Whereas Kevin Malone was a guy in the background who didn’t steal scenes, Creed Bratton was the exact opposite. He was always in the background and only had occasional moments of face time, but every line and reaction landed like a haymaker.
Creed was clearly a deranged lunatic who had somehow scored a job at Dunder Mifflin, often earning the audience’s suspicion as to how many horrific crimes and misdemeanors he’d been party to.
Played by musician Creed Bratton—as a very loose version of himself—Creed’s best bits came when you least suspected them.
Of Creed’s various stand-out moments, the funniest has to be his attitude toward thieves. When the office is burgled, Creed tells the camera: “Nobody steals from Creed Bratton and gets away with it. The last person to do so went missing, and his name: Creed Bratton.”
3. Jim Halpert
Jim Halpert is the one character the audience sees through the entire show. He’s the straight man. The one who had enough sense to put down Michael’s worst impulses, while not caring enough about his job to truly curtail the chaos around him.
Some of his pranks on Dwight were hilarious, especially during the early seasons when he’d often use Dwight’s own property against him, as well as Jim’s position as Number Two in the office.
His and Pam’s journey through the series ended when they finally got married, remaining together for the rest of the show’s run. Jim’s character was forced to evolve with the series’ ever-increasing wacky humor, which felt slightly counter to the Jim from earlier seasons.
Jim had many moments that made the audience laugh, but watching Michael read out the various pranks that Dwight suspects Jim has played on him over the years is downright hilarious.
2. Dwight Schrute
How can anybody not love the character of Dwight Schrute? If Jim Halpert was the lens through which the audience viewed the office, Dwight was the person furthest removed from the social fabric.
Yet, in the end, he was still adored by fans. Dwight wasn’t always a popular character in the traditional sense of the word. His treatment of his fellow employees bordered on cruel at times, and his sucking up to Michael could be insufferable.
However, he was always a person with feelings and often proved to be a true friend to his coworkers. His standing with fans is a testament to how well Rainn Wilson portrayed Dwight. And his marriage to Angela at the series’ conclusion was the perfect send-off for him.
Dwight’s best moment is hard to pin down. However, his explanation of how he lost a school spelling bee to a fellow student in the final after misspelling the word “failure” is eye-wateringly funny.
1. Michael Scott
He was always the best character in the series. Steve Carell’s comic creation started as a David Brent parody, but as the show gained its own identity, he evolved into something more original.
His love life and his professional life—both were often in disarray, yet Michael coped because of the strange lens through which he saw the world. He could be petty, annoying, and rude, but deep in his heart, Michael was one of the nicest people on the show.
When he left the series, the show took a downturn in quality, which is why it only ran for more two seasons without him. He’s a meme, a GIF, a pop culture icon—and that’s why Michael Scott is the best. In the end, everybody loved him.
Michael had too many funny moments to count. However, one of his best scenes was when he showed off his brand-new HD TV to Jim and Pam at his dinner party—which was only about 12 inches in size and inexplicably mounted to the wall.