Top 10 The Office U.S. Running Gags



Top 10 The Office U.S. Running Gags

Written by Garrett Alden

These jokes made us love the folks at Dunder Mifflin. Welcome to and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Running Gags From the US Version of The Office.

For this list, we'll be looking at the running jokes, gags, and character habits or traits that helped make “The Office” so much fun to watch.
These jokes made us love the folks at Dunder Mifflin. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Running Gags From the US Version of The Office.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the running jokes, gags, and character habits or traits that helped make “The Office” so much fun to watch.

#10: Assistant to the Regional Manager

Dwight Schrute is the office’s resident suck up, always out to seize more responsibility and power for himself. It’s no surprise then that he likes to throw his weight around by flaunting his title as the assistant regional manager. However, other people, particularly Michael Scott and Jim Halpert, are always quick to point out that Dwight is the assistant to the regional manager, which is a far less important role. The gag is an excellent example of Dwight’s power-hungry personality and his relationship with other characters.

#9: Michael’s Obsession with Ryan

Michael Scott can be rather creepy on occasion and his interest in office temp Ryan Howard is definitely one of his more offputtingly amusing traits. Michael frequently goes out of his way to include Ryan in things, finding any excuse he can to talk to or about him, and even staring at him unabashedly through his window. Although at times verging on a man crush, Michael’s Ryan obsession is likely derived from his desperate need to be liked and to be cool, and Ryan, being the new kid in the office, is Michael’s ideal of what cool is.

#8: Big Tuna

Many of us have had inexplicable nicknames given to us by people that just won’t go away. Andy Bernard bestows one on Jim after seeing him eat a tuna sandwich on the first day they meet – “Big Tuna.” Thereafter, Andy refers to Jim almost exclusively as Big Tuna, Tuna, and many variations thereof, despite Jim’s efforts to stave off the nickname by avoiding the fish. Andy’s persistence on calling him Big Tuna is not malicious, though, and his enthusiasm and creativity with it makes this nickname another endearing and funny part of the show.

#7: Angela’s Cats

The office’s resident stick in the mud, Angela Martin, may be more uptight than most, but she does have a soft spot, and zealous enthusiasm, for cats. Over the course of the series, she owns over a dozen of them as pets; dressing them up like people, giving them ridiculous names, bringing them into the office, and generally treating them better than she does everyone else she knows. While she may be a stone’s throw away from becoming a full-on crazy cat lady, her furry companions are part of what make Angela so memorable.

#6: Meredith is Nasty

Meredith Palmer is a bit of a background player in the office, but when she does have a moment in the spotlight, she reveals herself to have some issues with substance abuse, including a severe drinking problem, as well as some very kinky, or at least blasé, attitudes when it comes to sex. These include flashing fellow employees, having sex in the office, having no issues with her son stripping professionally in front of her, and, allegedly, sleeping with a terrorist. Meredith is one of several characters who prove that there’s always more to our coworkers than there appears.

#5: Jim’s Stare

There are plenty of things that occur on “The Office” that leave us nonplussed or in disbelief at how awkward or outrageous they are. As it turns out, the characters feel the same way. Jim, in particular, will often act as an audience surrogate in some respects when things get too crazy, by looking directly into the camera. These looks can range from a sarcastically deadpan face, to an amused grin, to frightened disbelief. Although some find them distracting, Jim’s looks at the camera are often the perfect punctuation to many an iconic scene.

#4: The Mysterious Creed

A fictionalized version of the man who plays him, Creed Bratton has had quite the checkered past, including a musical career, but has fallen on hard times and it’s mentioned that he sometimes sleeps in the office. He also has frequent memory lapses, likely brought about by frequent drug use, and Creed often makes reference to other criminal activities, which may include everything from fake ID creation to murder. Like Meredith, Creed is a side character who’s so great because we get so little about him, leaving our imaginations to run wild with funny possibilities.

#3: Hating Toby

Michael is generally a well-meaning boss, even if he’s incredibly ignorant, and is rarely intentionally mean, with one notable exception – Toby Flenderson. The Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch’s resident HR guy is the office’s sad sack, yet Michael has an undying hatred for the man. This is likely due to Toby’s efforts to curtail some of Michael’s ill-planned, outlandish, or offensive decisions, which are a nightmare for someone in Toby’s profession. While generally well liked by everyone else, over time Michael’s attitude towards Toby becomes somewhat contagious. Michael’s loathing of Toby does lead to some of the series’ most memorable and hilarious moments, though.

#2: Jim’s Pranks

Jim and Dwight are perpetual frenemies throughout the series, and Jim loves to take the self-important Dwight down a few pegs with a wide variety of pranks. These can range from the relatively simple, like messing with Dwight’s desk or convincing him it’s a different day, to more elaborate tricks, like faxing him messages from future Dwight or having an actor friend pretend to be him for a day. Although Dwight manages to get in some licks of his own, Jim definitely comes out ahead overall in terms of creativity and amusement.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Kelly is Obsessed with Ryan

Dwight’s Farm/Family Stories

The Dundies

#1: That’s What She Said

We all saw this one coming, right? Primarily Michael’s catchphrase, although it does rub off on some other people, the excitable manager will frequently call out these four words when anything that could remotely be construed as sexual is said or acted out by anyone in the office. While “The Office” may not have invented the phrase, it definitely popularized the practice, for better or for worse; and from the mouths of these beloved characters, it was definitely for the better. Who knew being so immature could be so satisfying?