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Top 10 Worst Things Michael Scott Has Done

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
He may want people to be afraid of how much they love him, but sometimes we feel quite the opposite. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things Michael Scott Has Done. For this list, we’re looking at the most awful, despicable, and cringe-worthy things this “Office” manager did in his time on the show.

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He may want people to be afraid of how much they love him, but sometimes we feel quite the opposite. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Worst Things Michael Scott Has Done.

For this list, we’re looking at the most awful, despicable, and cringe-worthy things this “Office” manager did in his time on the show.

#10: Driving into a Lake

“Dunder Mifflin Infinity”

While some of the things that Michael did over the show’s run are cruel and ignorant, this one is just plain dumb. While trying to make a point that human interaction trumps fancy technology, Michael and Dwight go to visit former clients to try to win them back. Along the way, though, Michael has a bit of a misunderstanding with his GPS and drives into Lake Scranton. Michael yelling “the machine knows” and blindly driving into the lake while Dwight tries to stop him is both astonishingly stupid and extremely funny. Thank god Dwight is there to help because of course, he has trained for this.

#9: Sending That Photo of Jan

“Back from Vacation”

We can safely say that pretty much every way that Michael handles his relationship with his superior, Jan, is inappropriate and misguided. But right near the beginning of their courtship, he makes a major faux pas that has some unfortunate consequences. In an effort to impress Todd Packer by sending him a racy photo of Jan on their Jamaican vacation, he accidentally sends it to “Packing,” which means the entire warehouse has access to it, which means that eventually, everyone in the office sees it too. Though this particular outcome wasn’t intentional, Michael obviously should have been a little more discreet about the whole thing.

#8: Pretending to Kill Himself

“Safety Training”

Daryl is just trying to teach the other warehouse workers about safety procedures, but as always, Michael has to make it all about him and sets out to prove that working in an office can be dangerous too. In an attempt to show the perils of depression, Michael and Dwight set up an elaborate ruse where Michael is going to pretend to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of the building. Michael shows a total insensitivity to real mental health issues, and actually puts himself in danger in the process. Let’s not forget that in this same episode, Michael accidentally commits a hate crime by dropping a watermelon on Stanley’s car.

#7: The Way He Dealt with the Company's Healthcare

“Health Care”

Way back at the beginning of Season 1, before we had come to love Michael in his own particular way, he was butchering Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s health care plan by delegating the work of choosing a plan to Dwight instead of just doing it himself. Because of his cutthroat ways, Dwight scraps almost all the coverage that the employees had previously enjoyed in an effort to save money. When the other workers are (understandably) upset, Michael avoids them and then pretends to have a surprise for them when in fact he has nothing planned at all. The first season really packed in the cringe!

#6: Spreading Rumors About Stanley’s Affair


We can all agree that things get a little too personal in many episodes of “The Office,” with Michael frequently blurring the line between the personal and the professional. This instance is one of the worst, though, when Michael starts spreading a rumor about Stanley having an affair, only to find out that it’s actually true. He tries to cover his tracks by starting a bunch of other rumors (most of which are quite offensive). In the end, he panics while speaking to Stanley’s wife on the phone, and inadvertently reveals the whole thing, despite his best efforts not to.

#5: His Behavior After Phyllis Was Flashed

“Women's Appreciation”

On her way to work one morning, Phyllis was flashed by an unknown aggressor in the parking lot, and she arrives at the office feeling rattled by the experience. Michael, of course, handles the situation about as poorly as you would imagine, first questioning why anyone would flash Phyllis when there are more attractive women around. He then goes on to try to lighten the mood by pretending to be a flasher himself and sticking his finger through the zipper of his jeans. Watching this today, especially in light of more recent news events, makes us want to cover our eyes in horror.

#4: Diversity Day

“Diversity Day”

Because of Michael’s inappropriate behavior (namely his performance of a certain Chris Rock routine), the head office is forced to send in an employee from Diversity Today to do some basic training with the Scranton branch. Michael, of course, mocks the entire proceeding, and when the rep leaves, he decides to hold a diversity training session of his own. Of course, like most of his other ideas, it’s totally misguided, and involves each worker being given an index card with a different race on it and being forced to act out stereotypes about that demographic.

#3: Running Over Meredith

“Fun Run”

In the premiere of Season 4, Michael is talking to the camera about how optimistic he’s feeling and how well things are going for him. Because this monologue is taking up his full attention while he’s driving, however, he doesn’t notice Meredith in the Dunder Mifflin parking lot and hits her with his car. Of course, when he brings the whole gang to visit her at the hospital afterwards, his bumbling demeanor makes things even worse. Perhaps the silver lining here is that while being treated, it was discovered that Meredith had rabies.

#2: Making Oscar Kiss Him

“Gay Witch Hunt”

Michael does a lot of terrible things throughout his time on the show, and while many of them are sexist, racist, and generally bigoted, the show pulls it off because viewers are obviously supposed to understand that Michael is in the wrong. Some episodes still manage to take it too far, however, and we have a feeling this one wouldn’t make the cut today. After outing Oscar against his will, Michael tries to literally kiss him to make up. Thankfully, Oscar did get something positive out of this undoubtedly horrible experience, because to cover the incident up, he was offered three months of paid vacation and the use of a company car. Not too shabby!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions:

Sensitivity Training

“Koi Pond”

Breaking Up with Pam’s Mom

“Double Date”

Framing Toby

“Frame Toby”

Pepperoni Tony

“Lecture Circuit: Part 2”

Ruining the Prince Family Paper Company

“Prince Family Paper”

#1: Scott’s Tots

“Scott’s Tots”

If you haven’t been cringing in horror yet, the worst is yet to come. This storyline is nearly impossible to watch because it made viewers just want to climb into a hole and never come out. It’s revealed that ten years earlier, Michael made a promise to a group of low income children that if they graduated from high school, he would pay for their college tuition. Now that the time has come to make good on his offer, he obviously can’t follow through on it and tries just about everything to get out of facing them. Watching him break the news is like watching a car crash - you don’t want to see it but you just can’t seem to look away.


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