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Movies & TV

04th Oct 2019

Every minor character in the US Office ranked from worst to best

Ciara Knight

This was hard (that’s what she said)

It’s been six years since The US Office aired its final episode.

But we mustn’t cry because it’s over. As the inspirational fridge magnet quote suggests, we must instead smile because it happened.

Then, we must rank the show’s minor characters from worst to best because this is an important topic that merits discussion and mild outrage.

Obviously we can all agree that Robert California was complete trash, but where do we go from there? Was Jan actually okay? Was Packer a bit of a laugh?

Legally, I must advise that all decisions are final. Please do not @ me.

20. Robert California 

Also known as Bob Kazamakis, this smug little weasel ruined The Office for precisely 25 episodes with his cold, dead eyes and delusions of grandeur. The show was already on its knees at the time, it didn’t need to add the character equivalent of stepping in something wet while just wearing socks. I hope Robert California died from natural causes, but in a way that made it seem as though he was penetrating a carton of milk at the time.

19. Todd Packer

Tragically, everyone has encountered a Todd Packer in the workplace. If you haven’t, I am truly very sorry to be the one to tell you that it’s you. You are Todd Packer and everyone hates you except the office loner. Packer was the worst. If he was a real person in the world today, he’d describe very reasonable things as ‘PC gone mad’ at least twice a day and the #MeToo movement would have rightfully come down on him pretty hard.

18. Jo Bennett

This abysmal character came very close to ruining Kathy Bates for me, and that is a goddamn national emergency. Jo Bennett was a terrible person and as an Irish person, I found her lack of respect for St. Patrick’s Day to be an absolute outrage. She deserved to be tricked into giving her job away to Robert California, it was a delicious moment of a clown one-upping another clown at the circus. She also took the piss with the Dunder Mifflin’s office dog policy because those were clearly horses.

17. Brian

Was it really worth breaking the fourth wall for Brian? Fucking Brian? Boom operator Brian? How dare he jeopardise the world’s last hope of true love, Jim and Pam. He tried to crack on with Pam while Jim was away because sound guys, it turns out, aren’t actually very sound. He was too handsome to be a boom mic operator, it wasn’t a believable storyline. It was all just too convenient for him to come along when they were running out of Jam drama.

16. Pete / Plop

True to his name, Plop was just a bit of a drip overall. The final season’s offerings in terms of minor characters were pretty weak. There just wasn’t a huge need for Plop. When a character’s most exciting storyline is that they have head lice, that’s a very classic sign that the writers were absolutely reaching. Plop did make Erin happy though, so at least he had  that going for him, I guess.

15. Danny Cordray

He was smug, he was a successful salesman and he was therefore a big threat to the comforting mediocrity at Dunder Mifflin. Danny Cordray previously dated Pam and never called her for a third date because he thought she was “a little dorky”, and we all joined in unison to shout “HOW DARE YOU, DANNY CORDRAY. PAM IS A LITTLE DORKY BUT ONLY JIM IS ALLOWED TO CALL HER THAT” at the TV. Dwight put it best when he said, “She is one of the plain, hearty women of Scranton that make the city great”.

14. Nellie Bertram

As a huge Catherine Tate fan, it is with a heavy heart I must announce that Nellie Bertram was a decaying sack of garbage. She brought a sense of hysteria to the Dunder Mifflin office that I, nor the workers, seemed to care for. If Nellie was a one season wonder, things could’ve been different for her character arc. It just felt like she was around for too long and with no good reason to be there. Also, she didn’t say “Am I bovvered?” even once, which is a travesty.

13. Gabe Lewis

Gabe, or ‘Jo Bennett’s bitch’ wasn’t the worst in the world, he was just very annoying. Representing an overgrown teen who has been handed far more responsibility than he can handle at work, he was too stressed about impressing that we never got to see any real banter about him. Remember when he warned Andy to stay away from Erin and not to get on his bad side because he has seen some horrible things due to owning “over 200 horror movies”? JFC. A soaking wet blanket of a man.

12. Karen Filipelli

It was the Parks & Rec / The Office crossover we didn’t realise was happening at the time and boy did it deliver. A convenient romance between Karen and Jim was very clear from the start, but she really didn’t stand a chance when they moved back to Scranton. Karen now sadly finds herself in the ‘Wronged By Jim Halpert’ club, but she was still a good addition to the cast. Her Threat Level Midnight cameo will never be forgotten.

11. Hank Tate

Scranton Business Park’s security guard hates his job and all who cross his path in that endeavour, which is fair. His back and forth with Dwight was always a joy to behold, as was his reluctance to do any real work. He was the true definition of a minor character, where you’d completely forget his existence until he appeared for a very small role in an episode every so often. Remember when the staff all got locked out and Creed was the only one who knew Hank’s name? There’s a story there between them two, we just need to find it.

10. David Wallace

David Wallace was a nice guy. He had a high stress job and was always very polite to people. Even when he lost everything and had a midlife crisis, he resisted the urge to blame the incompetent clowns all around him. He built himself back up, composed a very catchy song with his son which he then sold the physical manifestation of for $20m and then used that money to save Dunder Mifflin. As someone who is also rarely referred to by my first name alone, I identify with David Wallace on a spiritual level. I hope he finds peace.

9. Katy Moore

It was hard not to feel sorry for Katy after she got caught up in Jim’s whole journey in trying to distract himself from Pam’s alleged indifference towards him. She looked very similar to Pam, but that was where the similarities ended. Her handbags were trash, her personality was average and her taste in movies (Legally Blonde was her favourite!) was garbage. But she still didn’t deserve the hardship she suffered. Jim was a bit of a dick to Katy in the end. She was merely a pawn in his sadistic little game. #JusticeForKaty.

8. Val Johnson

After winning the lottery and rightfully quitting, the warehouse staff paved the way for Val’s hiring. She was nice, she was fun and she was not single, but that didn’t stop Daryl. Eventually they got together, but Daryl quickly got bored so he tried to get her to break up with him by gaining weight because he is, it transpires, the absolute worst. Then the whole office intervened and made Val take Daryl back, despite him absolutely not wanting that. It was a weird storyline and overall, Val deserved better.

7. Deangelo Vickers

Let me be very clear, Deangelo Vickers was a terrible person, but he was also hysterical to watch and that has to count for something. I don’t need to explain this any further, just watch the following video and you will find it impossible to argue this generous placement on the list.

6. Merv Bronte

What a magnificently weird energy Ray Romano brought into that janky Scranton office. Although we only met Merv for the briefest of moments, his impression will last a lifetime. He was interviewing for the position of regional manager and truly, I wish he got it. Merv was tricked by classic arsehole Robert California into thinking that the job would be trash, so he threw the interview using methods that included eating a sandwich midway through and generally being very obnoxious. Another California victim, but he makes a decent sarnie.

5. Bob Vance

Anyone who announces their name and company in the one breath is a hero we both want and need in this world. Remember when he bid £1000 of his own cold (because of the refrigeration) hard cash on getting to hug Phyllis? A woman who was his wife so he could probably just hug for free? That’s a real man. He was an unproblematic king who loved his queen more than anything else in this world, and may God have mercy on anyone who tried to get in the way.

4. Holly Flax

Michael Scott finally met his match in the form of another complete and utter dork, Holly Flax. They took a little while to find each other, but the payoff was there. She was a good character because she made the best character happy, and that’s enough in my book. Remember when Holly and Michael did their office ethics presentation which shoehorned the word ‘ethical’ into the song ‘Let’s Get Physical’? Of course you do. Holly was basically the female version of Michael and although that is a chilling thought, we have to stan regardless.

3. Mose Schrute

Dwight’s weird cousin was always a welcome featured extra in the show every so often. Little quirks such as frantically running after cars that enter his yard and relying solely on homegrown beets for sustenance made Mose a fascinating specimen. I’ve just learned that Mose was meant to be 27-years-old in the show, but if you told me he was 12 or 55, I wouldn’t have questioned those numbers either. What a funny little freak. I hope Mose gets a spinoff show one day. If Better Call Saul can thrive, then so can Bulldoze With Mose.

2. Jan Levinson

Easily the most unlikeable character on our television screens in the 21st century, Jan Levinson was the human equivalent of stubbing your toe, then stubbing the exact same toe a few days later when it was close to being healed. She was garbage personified, which unfortunately makes her a terrific character. The way she treated Michael was disgraceful, but you cannot sit there and tell me that the dinner party episode isn’t one of the greatest twenty-four minutes of television ever made. What a phenomenal villain and a complete and utter bitch.

1. Prison Mike

A minor character in every sense of the word, Prison Mike has to be the clear winner because we simply didn’t get enough of him. Appearing for the briefest of moments in series three, Prison Mike taught us all, the employees of Dunder Mifflin included, a very important lesson about prison. Add a purple bandana to Michael Scott and what we’ve got is the most important minor character of a generation. Prison Mike was right, the worst part about prison is the dementors. He taught us that “prison stinks” and someone as pretty as Ryan Howard shouldn’t drop the soap. Thank you, Prison Mike. I hope you get out soon.

Images via NBC

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