The Ten Best Cold Opens from The Office

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If there’s anyone who can see us through this scary and emotional time, it’s Michael Gary Scott and the rest of the cast of The Office. I’ve watched the entire series numerous times, and in my very humble, super fan opinion, the best part of the show is often the cold open. For those of you who don’t know, a cold open is when a show jumps right into the story before the title sequence or credits are shown, and The Office is famous for them. So “beer me” a moment of your time, and read through some of my faves. Then, put on your comfiest comfies and snuggle up for a mini marathon! 

Season 5, Episode 13: Stress Relief

This is not a drill, folks! Except for it actually is. A fire drill. Yep, this is the ICONIC cold open where Dwight seeks revenge on his co-workers for not taking his fire safety training seriously by starting an actual fire and cutting off all the exits. Mass chaos and hilarity ensue and I honestly can’t think of a scene that better captures the current state of the world.

Season 4, Episode 1: Fun Run

In the fourth season premiere, Michael is assuring us that everything is great even though he didn’t get the job at corporate. He’s living with Jan, Jim is back, and things seem perfect…until they’re not and he hits Meredith with his car. The comedic timing here is nothing short of amazing.

Season 7, Episode 1: Nepotism

I crack up every single time I see this one and to my utter delight, I just recently discovered my five-year-old thinks it’s hilarious too! Fun for the whole family! The episode starts as the elevator doors open on Andy who appears to be immersed in whatever he’s listening to on his iPod, but SIKE! It’s a Lip Dub, y’all! The camera follows along as the entire cast takes turns lip-synching to Nobody but Me by The Human Beinz (you don’t think you know the song, but you totally do!) Erin skates, Kevin’s got Meredith on his back, Creed plays the guitar, Ryan and Kelly bicker, and Michael treats us to some magical stylings. Then, in true Dwight fashion, he ruins (read: makes it even better) by pulling out a knife. 

Season 2, Episode 12: The Injury

Pam receives a call from a panicked Michael. He says he is gravely injured but insists on coming to work and needs someone to pick him up. Jim puts him on speaker and makes Michael announce that he has actually burned his foot…on his Foreman Grill? Cut to Michael explaining that he likes “waking up to the smell of bacon. Sue me.” Come to find out, he places his grill on the floor of his bedroom every morning, as one does, and well, you can figure out the rest. This is one of the best examples of Michael’s constant need for attention and it’s as hilarious as it is unbelievable. 

Season 7, Episode 3: Andy’s Play

Every Office-loving theatre geek’s dream comes to life in this one. I love it so much because without saying a word, Andy places a boom box on Erin’s desk, presses play and starts right in with “ATTEND THE TALE OF SWEENEY TODD…” The reactions from everyone are priceless and very on brand as they realize this isn’t just one of Andy’s regular one man shows, but rather a teaser for a local theatre production of Sweeny Todd featuring several of his cast mates. Jim is pumped, Erin wonders if Andy wrote the song, Dwight is, of course, on guard, and Michael can’t believe he didn’t get so much as a call-back.

Season 2, Episode 7: The Client

“Who dry-cleans jeans?” asks Ryan innocently. Michael Scott does, of course. This one is short and sweet, but captures Michael doing various activities in his infamous Levis such as line dancing and weight lifting. Obviously.

Season 3, Episode 20: Product Recall

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. Arguably, Jim’s best prank ever, this is the one where he shows up to work dressed up exactly like Dwight, calculator watch and all. While this one is one of the funniest cold opens of the entire series, it is very important to remember, “IDENTITY THEFT IS NOT A JOKE, JIM!” Bonus: Watch the entire episode to see Dwight’s spot on impression of Jim. 

Season 4, Episode 12: Did I Stutter

Michael frantically bursts into the office asking for ideas for how to make his mark in the wet cement outside. After some lackluster suggestions, Pam translates Kelly’s celebrity ramblings as putting his handprints in the cement, then Jim takes it a step further and convinces him to put his face in it. So stupid. So funny.

Season 8, Episode 2: The Incentive

Oh, Kevin. You poor, sweet dumbass. A lot of people love the cold open where he spills his chili all over the place, but that one just makes me sad. I think my favorite Kevin moment is here…where he insists on cutting down on words to save time. For example: “Me feel good. Body strong. Sleep big last night.” His plan backfires, though when Jim & Pam are convinced he’s having a medical emergency.

Season 4, Episode 5: Local Ad

This is the one where Michael wants to go big or go home when it comes to the local ad Dunder Mifflin will run featuring the Scranton branch. While in the infamous conference room, he asks his employees to help him brainstorm ideas and Andy brings up what he calls, “the best ad ever” and starts singing a popular candy bar theme song. The only problem is he has a brain fart and can’t come up with the words “Kit- Kat Bar” and tries substituting other products such as applesauce, Fancy Feast, and my personal fave, “football cream.” For the sake of time, Michael insists it is, in fact, football cream, and moves the meeting along. 

The Office cold opens will get us ALL through this time. 

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