As a television series, the American version of The Office is considered to be one of the greater to ever air. It was a series that ran for nine years and tells the story of Dunder Mifflin, a failing paper company that was staffed with the most memorable TV characters ever. Steve Carell led the way as Regional Manager Michael Scott, the highly inappropriate boss with no filter and worse ideas.
There are so many things about The Office that have made it highly enjoyable (and cringy), but one of the things they perfected over the years was the cold open. These would typically set up the episode to come and were an absolutely riotous way to begin. So, here are some of the best cold opens in The Office history that you can’t help but watch again and again.
Best Cold Opens in The Office
10. “The Matrix”
This very first cold open might actually be one you have never seen before. It was going to air during the final season, but it’s been said that it was cut because it was too long. In it, Jim decides to prank Dwight again, this time with a Matrix theme. The results are hilarious as Dwight goes all in thinking he is in The Matrix. Until he doesn’t.
9. “Future Dwight”
This is one of the more classic “Jim pranks Dwight” cold opens. Here, Jim (John Krasinski) has fun with Dwight (Rainn Wilson) sending him faxes from the future printed on Dwight’s stationery. From “Dwight.” This one hilariously tells Dwight that at 8 am, the coffee will be poisoned and not to drink it. The gullible Dwight then runs over to Stanley, slapping his coffee mug out of his hand.
8. The “Parkour”
One thing you will know immediately from this cold open is that there is not one (okay, maybe Jim) employee at Dunder Mifflin who you could call athletic. This cold open is a perfect example as they attempt “Parkour” all over the office and even outside. Andy doesn’t fare well.
7. “Knock Knock”
It’s always fun when Michael Scott (Steve Carell) gets himself involved with The Office cold opens. In this one, his attempt to tell Pam a knock, knock doesn’t go as he expected. It doesn’t hit the mark, causing Dwight to want to chime in, which in turn brings Jim into the joke.
6. The “Lip Dub”
It wasn’t often, but it did happen on a couple of occasions when the entire cast’s cold open consisted of a song. This one was a lip sync to “Nobody But Me” by The Human Beinz. The whole thing is choreographed perfectly with each cast member showcasing their talents. Can’t go wrong with a good lip sync.
5. The “Stress Relief” CPR
With shades of The Silence of the Lambs, Dwight takes charge of a hilarious CPR training session gone wrong (or right, for fans of the show!). But before we get to Dwight’s classic cutting off the face of the CPR dummy and wearing it like Hannibal Lecter, we get the entire office learning how to keep CPR timing by way of the Bee Gee’s “Stayin Alive”.
4. The “Fire Drill”
We all know that Dwight takes his position as “assistant to the Regional Manager” quite seriously. In fact, whatever job he is given, usually by Michael Scott, he always takes it seriously. In this hilarious cold open, Dwight goes to extremes to send the office through a fire drill. Mass panic and hilarity ensue.
3. “Toby Returns”
For some reason that we may never know, Michael Scott has no love loss for his human resources person Toby (Paul Lieberstein). Perhaps it’s because Toby makes Michael follow company rules. So, when Toby decided to quit and move away, Michael was thrilled. So, just think of how he felt when Michael is told that Toby is back.
2. The “Asian Jim”
Some of the best cold opens were between Jim and Dwight, with Jim always pulling a solid prank on Dwight. In this one, Jim hires an Asian actor to play himself. Of course, Dwight is onto the prank, that is, until Asian Jim begins to answer all “Jim” questions Dwight poses. Then he sees the family portrait with Asian Jim, Pam, and their children.
1. The “Identity Theft”
This is the ultimate classic cold open. Again, it is between Jim and Dwight as Jim enters the office dressed exactly like Dwight. As Jim sits in his chair, he pulls out a pair of glasses and the ensemble is complete. Mimicking Dwight’s appearance and mannerisms are perfect, at first leaving Dwight confused and then finally frustrated. “Michael!”