NBC's "The Office" is arguably one of the best sitcoms that has ever been on television. The writing, characters, and comedy is all phenomenal, and many people have fallen in love with everything it has to offer. Many may also argue that the openings to each episode, called "cold opens," may be some of its finest pieces of work. I am a total "Office" nerd, so I have listed what I think are the best cold opens amongst all 9 Seasons.
After reading through the list, let me know if you agree with this placing. What are your favorite cold opens from this brilliant show?
1. Dwight's Fire
The famous fire drill cold open can be seen in Season 5, Episode 14 ("Stress Relief: Part 1"). It is crazy, chaotic, hilarious, and has to be the best opening to an episode that this show could create. It features Dwight creating a an extremely realistic fire drill (complete with smoke) that everyone in the office thinks is an actual fire. It creates a panic, revealing the characters' way of dealing with crises. It is without a doubt laugh-out-loud funny and truly shows the comedic quality of this amazing sitcom.
2. "Bears, beets, Battlestar Galatica"
This famous cold open aired in Season 3, Episode 21 ("Product Recall"). Perhaps one of the most recognizable interactions between Dwight and Jim that any fan or non-fan would note, this prank is incredibly iconic. Everything about this cold open is nearly perfect, with Jim's excellent characterization of Dwight. Also, don't miss the very end of this episode where Dwight switches it around on Jim; that may be one of the most underrated scenes of the show, as it is overshadowed by this respectably brilliant opening.
3. The Lip Dub
Also used as a promotional item for the then new Season 7, this cold open aired before Episode 1 ("Nepotism"). The Office has always been very good at interjecting relevance into their writing and lip dubs were then becoming a popular way for anyone to create content. So the members of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton had to get in on the action. This is the most different opening to the show that you will probably see and captures each character in their essence. This was also Steve Carrell's last season, so they probably figured they needed to start it off with a bang. And let me just say- this take was a good one.
4. The TV Cube
From Season 4, Episode 3 ("Launch Party"), this cold open is one of my personal favorites. It's simple and perfect comedic timing is relatable to nearly every person who has had the tense experience of watching a DVD logo float across a television screen. The audience and the office find relief as that little square finds its way perfectly into the corner. Celebration ensues, much to Michael's nonchalance. This cold open shows that simple comedy can be fantastic comedy.
5. Stanley is Oblivious
Stanley Hudson is featured in this elaborate mission in Season 7, Episode 6 ("Costume Contest"). I love that the whole office gets in on this one as they try everything they can think of to get Stanley's attention. It turns out that the only thing that catches this man's eye is being sure to leave the office on time. This great cold open always has me laughing out loud.
6. Asian Jim
Dwight's great confusion in this cold open appears in Season 9, Episode 3 ("Andy's Ancestry"). This one truly shows off Jim's near perfect pranking skills- he thought of everything! Even the audience gets a little bit confused when Pam leans in to kiss her "husband." The actor here is Randall Park, who even impressively nails a Jim glance to the camera.
7. Pavlov's Dwight
This nod to Pavlov's famous experiment is from Season 3, Episode 15 ("Phyllis' Wedding"). There has to have been a psychology fan in the writer's room because this is a near perfect example of classical conditioning while enveloped in comedic genius. This cold open is another iconic one which shows the brilliant chemistry between Jim and Dwight.
8. Jim Fakes A Murder
This cold open is from the later Season 8, Episode 15 ("Tallahassee") and seems to be somewhat lost on people's radar. Jim really goes all out for this prank on Dwight (and poor Erin) while they are working in Florida. He stages a murder in his hotel room as Dwight is performing the wake up call and times the dead corpse collapse from the closet in near perfection. This Jim prank deserves a real round of applause
Dwight, Michael, and Andy's mediocre stunting from Season 6, Episode 1 ("Gossip") has become quite iconic indeed. My friends and I have found ourselves reenacting this slapstick cold open multiple times. Also, I wonder in how many other episodes of this show they actually had to use a stunt double?
10. Cheese Balls
This cheese ball cold open is featured in Season 5, Episode 24 ("Heavy Competition"). Michael Scott Paper Company has is new and very green, and you can say things are a little slow. But Michael, Pam, and Ryan, make the best of it, becoming quite impressively cheese ball-catching connoisseurs. I love this cold open because it is not only quirky and relatable but also reveals a bit of Novak, Carell, and Fischer's real personalities (and skills).
You can find a list of all cold opens here