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Michael Scott, although incredibly awful sometimes, won over both audiences and critics after seven seasons on NBC's The Office.
After its short debut season received mixed reactions, The Office’s showrunners realized the need to differ Steve Carell’s character from the original British version’s much more misanthropic and downright nasty regional manager David Brent (Ricky Gervais).
Rightfully so, Michael’s jackass personality was toned down and made more sympathetic once season two premiered in 2005 with “The Dundies,” which offered a poignant footnote to Michael’s typical antics. And apparently the softened approach worked: his performance that season earned Carell a Golden Globe Award for Best TV Comedy Actor.
12. When he declared bankruptcy:
(from “Money,” season 4)
After girlfriend Jan’s (Melora Hardin) spending habits get carried away and put Michael in a real financial mess of debt, he has to resort to drastic measures like taking a second job to avoid financial ruin.
He didn’t just say it — he declared it.
11. When he hit Meredith with his car:
(from “Fun Run,” season 4)
And turned it into a rabies awareness fun run.
We also got this little gem of awkward — because Michael doesn’t understand the concept of the phrase, “Come in:”
10. When he supported Erin:
It was the father-daughter relationship that cheerful receptionist Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) never really had growing up in foster care.
(from “Goodbye, Michael,” season 7)
They danced together. Look at them dorkishly bossa nova:
And then there was this. Erin’s weird, and Michael knows it:
9. The Dundies:
(from season 2’s premiere)
Just all of this, every minute. Michael’s ‘performances,’ Phyllis’ award snafu, Kelly’s bowler trophy award for “Spicy Curry,” Jim & Pam’s kiss — best awards show ever. Eat your heart out, Seth MacFarlane. This is the kind of show America wants to see.
Michael Scott 4 Oscars 2014.
8. “Threat Level Midnight,” featuring Michael Scarn:
(from season 7)
Michael finally screened his action film for the office after 11 years of writing, shooting, re-shooting and editing (and the office finding and reading the script in season 2).
The film starred himself as Secret Agent Michael Scarn, Dwight as his butler-sidekick, Jim as archnemesis “Goldenface,” Daryl as the president and other employees in several roles. It also featured cameos from a number of former Office castmembers (Rashida Jones, Melora Hardin, David Denman and David Koechner), as well as glorious special “effects" that included Toby's 'head' exploding.
Do the Scarn!
(A Michael Scott Joint)
7. Prison Mike:
(from “The Convict,” season 3)
Michael’s most wonderful alter ego is here to scare the office straight, to convince them prison isn’t better than working in an office.
He stole, he robbed and he kidnapped the president’s son, and held him for random. And he never got caught neither.
The worst thing about prison was the dementors, obviously.
6. When he came to Pam’s art show:
(from “Business School,” season 3)
Not only was he one of her few co-workers who attended, Michael was the only one to say something sincerely nice about her drawings, even paying her for her painting of the office complex.
5. Whenever he (rightfully) hated Toby:
(from the beginning of time)
Michael and HR rep Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) never really got along. Toby, who reports to corporate, was just there to suck out all the fun from everything Michael tried to do, which just isn’t what family does at Dunder Mifflin. It wasn’t logical, but the flame of his hatred burned beautifully for seven seasons and 10-plus years.
I would argue that this is a positive thing, because Toby Flenderson is horrible and should never get birthday donuts. We too hate so much about the things that he chooses to be.
And Toby got creepy when he started crushing on Pam, so it was OK that Michael had Toby escorted out on his last day. He then planted on Toby a bag of pot he got from the warehouse workers (actually caprese salad) when he found out he had returned from retirement. We didn’t like when Jay-Z unretired, either, but this was much worse.
4. When he closed a sale in “The Client:”
(from season 2)
We (and supervisor Jan Levenson) got a glimpse of a
smarter smart, competent Michael act as a clever salesman to win over an on-the-fence client, played by Tim Meadows.
Michael impressively knows what he’s doing as a salesman. Hey, it got the dude laid, because Jan (Melora Hardin) was divorced and lonely. Nuff said.
3. “That’s what she said:”
(starting from “Sexual Harassment,” season 2)
For good, clean measure, here is Steve Carell’s golden People’s Choice Award acceptance speech.
Give him all the awards, please.
2. When he accidentally sabotaged Jan’s hearing:
(from “The Deposition,” season 4)
It’s OK, she deserved it with her crazy eyes and awkward fetish games. Because their tumultuous relationship gets so out of hand, the issue of when they started dating is brought up at her deposition against Dunder Mifflin for firing her.
Basically, that’s what she said.
1. When he finally proposed to Holly Flax:
(from “Garage Sale,” season 7)
Michael Scott became happily engaged with his family there, and it was one of the sweetest moments until the sprinkler went off. Then we laughed. Once Michael announced he’d be moving to Colorado with fiancée Holly (always-adorable Amy Ryan), well then we got misty-eyed and in the mood to punch TV sets. At least, I did anyway.
Pam saying goodbye to Michael. I cried. We all cried.
Some noteworthy moments:
Michael and his jeans
Michael staring at Ryan
Finally, whenever he stood up to CFO David Wallace in season 5 (for transferring Holly, when he quit, and when he negotiated his rehire).