You Won’t See This Controversial Cold Open From ‘The Office’ on Netflix, Other Airings

The Office has been a fan favorite since it started airing, and it remains one of the most-watched shows on Netflix. While the show will be leaving Netflix in 2021 in favor of NBC’s streaming service, it’s possible it will hold that top position until its transition. 

However, there are some episodes and moments in The Office that have not aged gracefully. In fact, there was one cold open to the show that you won’t be able to view on Netflix, The Office DVDs, or television reruns. While the scene features a classic Michael Scott move, it’s easy to see why this one might have gone too far. 

The most-watched show on Netflix

Steve Carrell
Steve Carell | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Netflix hosts a wide variety of popular sitcoms, making them easy to binge-watch. Naturally, that means there are some big numbers when it comes to sitcom viewership. 

And while some Netflix users might think Friends would be the show to win top billing, that’s not the case. It’s The Office that clocks in with the most impressive numbers. In 2018, The Office scored a high of 45.8 billion minutes viewed. 

Angela Kinsey, who plays Angela Martin on The Office, says the show succeeded thanks to the nature of the characters and how they fit together. “It’s very, very, very well-written and smart,” she told The New York Times. “I also think that at the core of the show are the relationships. It’s this sort of misfit family. And the relationships themselves feel familiar.”

She added, “What I’m seeing even with my daughter in fifth grade or someone in their 50s with a corporate job is that whether it’s in your homeroom classroom or in your office conference room, there’s probably a Dwight. There’s probably an Angela.”

‘The Office’ is leaving Netflix 

Unfortunately for Netflix users, The Office’s days are numbered on the streaming platform. As viewers are favoring streaming over cable subscriptions, networks are struggling to keep up. As a result, a bevy of new streaming services is hitting the market — and that means networks want their shows back. 

However, while The Office is slated to leave Netflix, fans still have some time to enjoy it before NBC takes the show for its own service.

“We’re sad that NBC has decided to take The Office back for its own streaming platform — but members can binge watch the show to their hearts’ content ad-free on Netflix until January 2021,” Netflix tweeted.

The controversial cold open

The Office is known for its cringe comedy and hilarious cold opens. But one Halloween episode featured a joke that has since been removed from streaming versions, syndication, and even copies of The Office DVDs.

In the scene, Darryl Philbin (played by Craig Robinson) wheels children through the warehouse for a haunted house adventure while Michael Scott (Steve Carell) scuttles off to prepare a surprise. 

When the kids reach the end of their haunted tour, Michael comes swinging out from between two shelves with a fake noose wrapped around his neck. He then tells the kids that suicide is never the answer and that they’re not alone. All of this is made worse by Michael’s costume. He decided to go as “d*ck in a box” from the Saturday Night Live digital short of the same name. 

After its original airing, many viewers voiced their disapproval of the scene, which led to its removal.