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Top 5 The Office U.S. Running Gags

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It’s been 5 years since the widely adored U.S. version of the British original sitcom “The Office” came to an end and ever since, Steve Carell, who played the central character of the series Michael Scott, has been dodging any and all questions about a potential reboot in the near future. That was until this passed weekend, when Carell hosted “Saturday Night Live” and dedicated his entire opening monologue to teasing the audience about the possibility of an “Office” reunion. Unfortunately, based on how the monologue played out, the sketch that took place on stage featuring Ellie Kemper, Ed Helms, and Jenna Fischer may be the only Dunder Mifflin reunion we get, so for now, let’s look back at the top 5 running jokes, gags, and character habits or traits that helped make “The Office” an instant classic!

#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. Check out the video below to see 10 of the best pranks from the show!

#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, “That’s what she said!”, 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?

What’s your favorite running joke from The Office?! If you don’t see it on this list, make sure to check out the FULL video here for our pick of the Top 10 The Office U.S. Running Gags:

And for some interesting facts about the show that even true fans probably don’t know, here are the Top 10 Things You Never Knew About The Office:

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