“The Office” debuted in March of 2005 with a six episode first season. The debut episode saw high ratings that went down after the pilot aired. However, the second season saw the show find its own voice apart from the original British version. Since that time, “The Office” has become one of the most popular comedies on television. It holds the 9 pm ET time slot on NBC that was once held by “Seinfeld.” The show is now in its seventh season. This season marks the swan song for star Steve Carell. However, “The Office” has many other characters that can carry it beyond the next few years. Here is a look at the best episodes of each of the first six seasons.
Season 1 – Diversity Day
The second episode started Michael Scott on his way to inappropriate behavior in the workplace. In this episode, Michael attempts to teach his employees about diversity by writing various ethnic backgrounds on an index card and having his employees figure out what group they are by the stereotypes others use about them. It was a funny episode that showed early signs of the direction the show would eventually head.
Season 2 – Drug Testing
This is the strongest season of the show so far. It gave the characters their own voice that has sustained ever since. In this episode, Dwight dons his deputy uniform and conducts an over the top investigation when a joint is found in the parking lot. The best parts consist of Dwight commenting on his family history as well as the state of his urine (it was green). In addition, we are treated to a nice moment between Jim and Pam while Jim is unable to talk as a result of being jinxed.
Season 3 – Back From Vacation
Season 3 introduced several new characters who came over from the Stamford office, including Andy and Jim’s new girlfriend Karen. In this episode, Karen attempts to help Jim mess with Dwight in the way Pam once did. The best moment comes when Dwight attempts to console Pam. Just when we think Dwight has a touch of sympathy, he attributes her behavior to PMS. Meanwhile, Michael causes issues all over the place when he accidentally emails a suggestive picture of Jan to everyone.
Season 4 – Dinner Party
The bulk of this episode takes place outside of the office, providing a refreshing change of scenery. Jim, Pam, Andy, and Angela head to a dinner party hosted by Michael and Jan. Dwight also arrives with his old babysitter as his date. The episode captures the general awkwardness of many social gatherings as Jim and Pam suffer through lame tours and games. But the fireworks fly when Michael and Jan have an epic fight that results in the police coming. Among the highlights of the argument is Michael mentioning that he has had three vasectomies since dating Jan. Also, Pam thinks Jan is trying to poison her. All in all, this is a great episode.
Season 5 – Prince Family Paper
In this episode, Dwight and Michael perform an undercover operation in an effort to obtain a client list from a family owned paper company. The unsuspecting family shows kindness to both Michael and Dwight as they pose as a potential client and employee respectively. Elsewhere, the rest of the office spends the day in an elaborate debate regarding the attractiveness of actress Hilary Swank.
Season 6 – Scott’s Tots
In a new low for Michael, he is too afraid to tell a bunch of kids that he can’t deliver on a promise to put them through college. Michael waits until the last possible minute to tell them. He even sits through a ceremony honoring him for his generosity. It shows that Michael means well and wants to do good, but that he can’t face difficult situations. The other angle involves Dwight trying to rig an Employee of the Month program in an effort to make Jim look bad.