- Developed By: Greg Daniels
- Streaming On: Peacock
- Release Date: March 24, 2005
- Seasons: 9
A popular mainstay on network television, based on the BBC television series of the same name, The Office and its talented cast still resonates with viewers 17 years after it debuted on NBC. With episodes that have broken records on streaming platforms in recent years, The Office has generated a plethora of quotes, one-liners, and characters that have stood the test of time.
Skillful comedians and newcomers to television made for a classic combination at Dunder Mifflin when the show first premiered in 2005, equipped with fantastic storylines from a diverse group of writers.
A mockumentary-style sitcom that takes pleasure in its commentary on everyday working conditions in an American workplace, The Office stars Steve Carell as The World’s Greatest Boss, according to himself. Managing a paper company named Dunder Mifflin, Carell’s Michael Scott character invites audiences inside the regional Scranton, Pennsylvania office where underlings Jim, Pam, Dwight, Andy, and many others handle the day-to-day operations to great comedic effect.
Rolling Stone has named The Office one of the 100 greatest television shows in history, and much of the cast has gone on to other high-profile projects since the series ended in 2013 after nine seasons.
Here is a look at The Office cast and the characters they play:
THE OFFICE CAST – THE MAIN PLAYERS
Michael Scott – Steve Carell
Former The Daily Show with Jon Stewart correspondent Steve Carell embodies Michael Scott, a former salesman turned Regional Manager whose laziness is significantly explored during the show’s trajectory. Initially modeled from Ricky Gervais’ character in the British version of The Office where the manager was a hypocritical self-promoter, Carell’s Michael Scott changes throughout the series to become awkward to interact with.
He tends to distract his employees with inane games and thinks of the company more as a family, revealing a softer side that is much to the disdain of everyone in the office.
Often inappropriate and annoying to work for but lovable nonetheless, Michael Scott likes to quote movies and consistently uses the catchphrase, “That’s what she said.” Steve Carell’s performance is highly regarded in his leadership of The Office cast, having been nominated six times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy once.
IndieWire has named Michael Scott one of the most original characters of all time, primarily due to his comedically sexist tone and Carell’s approach to the character.
Jim Halpert – John Krasinski
Another character introduced on the BBC series that changed names and personalities in the American version, Jim Halpert, is played by actor John Krasinski to great depth and likability. A salesman for Dunder Mifflin, Jim is hopelessly in love with the engaged Pam Beesly when the series first begins, although their friendship and ultimate love story take a “will-they-or-won’t-they” turn for several seasons.
Good-looking and tall, Jim is referred to as “Big Tuna” by coworker Andy Bernard and is known for his various pranks against his deskmate, Dwight Schrute.
Dwight K. Schrute – Rainn Wilson
Another salesman at the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch, Dwight Schrute is the butt of many jokes on the part of The Office cast of characters, played to perfection by Rainn Wilson. A know-it-all Assistant to the Regional Manager, Dwight is cunning, socially awkward, and a fan of bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica.
Dwight fashions himself to be a corporate ladder climber when it best suits his interests and is severely loyal to Dunder Mifflin and his romantic interests with coworker Angela Martin.
Pam Beesly – Jenna Fischer
Originally the receptionist of Dunder Mifflin Scranton, Pam Beesly transitions into a saleswoman later in the series. Portrayed by Jenna Fischer, Pam is interested in art and develops a relationship with Jim Halpert after a disastrous engagement with warehouse worker Roy Anderson.
She can be shy at times but finds her voice as the series progresses, often at odds with coworker Angela Martin and the object of HR representative Toby Flenderson’s affection.
Ryan Howard – B.J. Novak
The Office writer and executive producer B.J. Novak is also part of the cast as Ryan Howard, initially a temp in the Scranton branch that evolves into a morally corrupt corporate stooge later in the series. With an on-again-off-again romantic association with coworker Kelly Kapoor and an uncomfortable connection to his boss Michael Scott, Ryan’s relationships are often unprofessional.
Ryan changes his personality, hair, fashion style, and attitude throughout The Office, coinciding with the many jobs and schemes he embarks on during his time with Dunder Mifflin.
Kelly Kapoor – Mindy Kaling
Customer Service Representative Kelly Kapoor is portrayed by The Office writer and executive producer Mindy Kaling, who played the character within the cast for the show’s first eight seasons. First presented in the Season 1 episode entitled “Diversity Day” as the target of Michael Scott’s racist accents, Kelly becomes a staple of The Office through her valley girl way of speaking and for being a motormouth.
Her relationships with Ryan Howard and Darryl Philbin, mixed with her Indian heritage, take center stage in popular episodes of the series that Kaling also wrote.
Andy Bernard – Ed Helms
Beginning in the third season of The Office, when Jim Halpert briefly transfers to the Stamford, Connecticut branch of Dunder Mifflin, viewers are introduced to Ivy League-educated Regional Director in Charge of Sales, Andy Bernard.
Played by former The Daily Show with Jon Stewart alum Ed Helms, Andy has an anger management problem but is a hopeless romantic. After Steve Carell left The Office in season 7, the character of Andy Bernard eventually becomes the Regional Manager of the Scranton branch and is often viewed as annoying and unfocused.
OTHER DUNDER MIFFLIN EMPLOYEES
Angela Martin – Angela Kinsey
The Office is full of an ensemble cast that eventually became complex characters through the show’s run, and Angela Kinsey’s take on accountant Angela Martin is a prime example. A religious cat-lover who embodies the essence of conservatism in the Scranton branch, Angela is patronizing in her delivery, constantly at odds with her coworkers.
She begins various relationships inside and outside Dunder Mifflin. Angela eventually marries Dwight Schrute after a longstanding affair that hurts fiancé Andy Bernard and later on her gay husband, Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Lipton.
Stanley Hudson – Leslie David Baker
Brash and often the target of racist jokes on behalf of his boss Michael Scott, Stanley Hudson is a veteran salesman of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin. As part of the larger supporting The Office cast of characters, Stanley is hardly seen doing work, preferring to complete crossword puzzles at his desk while he waits for the next Pretzel Day.
He doesn’t respect his boss or many fellow employees and counts the days until he can finally retire.
Kevin Malone – Brian Baumgartner
Derided by his coworkers for his obesity and perceived dimwittedness, Kevin Malone is one of the funniest characters of The Office, performed by Brian Baumgartner. Kevin’s skills are lacking as an accountant, but his drumming talents outside the workplace make him an integral member of the local band Scrantonicity.
As part of the real-life commercial for Bush’s Baked Beans, Baumgartner recreated part of a scene from the season 5 episode “Casual Friday,” in which Kevin spills his famous chili all over the Scranton branch’s office.
Darryl Philbin – Craig Robinson
Foreman Darryl Philbin is calm, confident, and a leading member of the warehouse workers in Scranton. A stickler for protocol and safety when other employees enter the warehouse, Darryl is at odds with Michael Scott, who often breaks Darryl’s rules. The character transitions into a main role in later seasons, developing a comical relationship with Kelly Kapoor.
Meredith Palmer – Kate Flannery
Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s resident alcoholic, Meredith Palmer, is portrayed on the television show by actor Kate Flannery. Sexually promiscuous to the point that it gets her in trouble in the office repeatedly, Meredith is assertive and inappropriate. One of the background characters that insert themselves into events with funny one-liners, Meredith is unique in her manner of speaking and attitude.
Oscar Martinez – Oscar Nunez
Oscar Nunez is distinctive from the rest of The Office cast because he portrays Oscar Martinez as a gay man, a quality shared by only a few characters in sitcoms on the air at that time. Oscar is an accountant who prides himself on his intellectual abilities and understanding of finances. He develops a relationship with Angela’s husband, Robert, that is revealed in later seasons of The Office.
Phyllis Vance – Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Vance is a Dunder Mifflin saleswoman who ends up marrying Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration after meeting in the office park shared by the two companies in Scranton. An enemy of Angela Martin’s, as the two often fight over being the head of the Party Planning Committee, Phyllis is quiet but strong-willed.
A longtime resident of Scranton, she went to school with her boss Michael Scott and the two share a long history of working for Dunder Mifflin.
Toby Flenderson – Paul Lieberstein
Human Resources Representative Toby Flenderson is portrayed in The Office by writer Paul Lieberstein, who joined the cast and eventually became the showrunner of the series in later seasons.
Toby is Michael Scott’s least favorite employee and is subjected to Michael’s constant mockery even though Toby is in a supposedly powerful position at the branch. He is in love with Pam Beesly but can never honestly share his feelings with her because Toby believes she is out of his league.
Creed Bratton – Creed Bratton
The only character on The Office to share their full name with that of a cast member, Creed Bratton, is a fan-favorite of the show because no one knows precisely what he does at Dunder Mifflin. Sketchy and provocative, Creed is supposed to be in charge of quality assurance in the Scranton branch but is never seen doing any work to that effect. Creed has memory issues, and his behavior is typically different than that of many of his coworkers.
THE OFFICE CAST – THE LOVE INTERESTS
Erin Hannon – Ellie Kemper
Beginning in season 5 of The Office, actor Ellie Kemper joined the cast to portray Erin Hannon, the receptionist in Scranton who replaces Pam Beesly when Pam temporarily quits. Erin is hard-working and optimistic to a fault. She develops a relationship with Andy Bernard after Andy breaks off his engagement with Angela Martin.
Erin is likable and also eventually dates Gabe Lewis, the Coordinating Director of Emerging Regions for Sabre, when Sabre buys out Dunder Mifflin.
Karen Filippelli – Rashida Jones
Karen Filippelli meets Jim Halpert when they both work at the Stamford branch of Dunder Mifflin, and the two date when the Stamford and Scranton branches merge. She is beautiful, and though she could have been a rival of Pam’s when she was introduced to Scranton, the two become friends until Jim and Karen break up.
Jan Levinson – Melora Hardin
Melora Hardin is part of The Office’s recurring cast as Jan Levinson, Michael Scott’s boss who works out of the Dunder Mifflin corporate headquarters in New York City. Though she is professional and focused on ensuring Michael stays on top of his branch’s workload, Jan and Michael begin a sexual relationship that turns ugly for both. She is revealed to be a bit unstable and eventually gets fired.
Holly Flax – Amy Ryan
A true counterpart to Michael Scott’s geeky nature, Amy Ryan portrays Holly Flax, the Human Resources Representative who replaces Toby when the latter moves to Costa Rica. A recurring character throughout The Office, Holly strikes up a romantic relationship with Michael, who ultimately proposes to Holly in a heartfelt moment, joined by the rest of the cast.
Holly and Michael move to Colorado, taking Steve Carell away from the series after season 7, where various actors like Idris Elba and Will Ferrell fill Michael’s leadership position at Dunder Mifflin.
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