‘The Office’: The Show’s Highest-Rated Episodes Share 1 Distinction

Everyone’s favorite episodes of popular series differ. However, some stand out among the rest as those that received near-universal acclaim. Such is the case for the U.S. comedy The Office. And the show’s two highest-rated episodes on IMDb have one element in common that makes them memorable.

‘The Office’ is one of the most popular series of all time

Steve Carell as Michael Scott in 'The Office'
Steve Carell as Michael Scott in ‘The Office’ | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank

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The Office premiered in 2005 on NBC. Inspired by the British show of the same name, the series depicted the employees at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Filmed mockumentary style, it was later explained that there was a crew filming a documentary about them, which ended after nine years.

When The Office first began airing, many thought it couldn’t live up to its predecessor. However — in part, because it didn’t try to copy the original — the U.S. series became a phenomenon. When it finally ended its run in 2013, fans of the cast and characters were sad to see it go, and have continued to rewatch it ever since.

‘Goodbye, Michael’ is the highest-rated episode of the show

With a score of 9.8, The Office Season 7’s “Goodbye, Michael” is the most beloved episode of the series. Notably helmed by Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, the episode showcases the manager’s last day at Dunder Mifflin. However, until the end, many of them don’t know it’s his final day there, as he plans to leave without a big goodbye.

The episode highlights how much Michael has changed since the beginning of the series, and how much those around him care about him. It also focuses on his special relationship with Jim and Pam. The former figures out Michael’s plan, and gets a special goodbye with him, while the latter chases him down and says goodbye at the airport.

It’s tied with the series finale

The only other The Office episode with a 9.8 on IMDb is the two-part series finale, simply titled “Finale.” It jumps one year in the future, as the Dunder Mifflin employees get together for Dwight and Angela’s wedding. The film crew returns (seemingly to film DVD bonus content), as does another special guest.

The series finale wraps up everyone’s storylines. Dwight and Angela get their happily ever after, Ryan and Kelly run off into the sunset (albeit without his baby), and everyone else is achieving their own personal and professional dreams. Jim and Pam leave Dunder Mifflin so he can run his company, Athleap, in Texas.

The episodes have something in common

When it was time to say goodbye to Carell’s infamous character, viewers couldn’t believe it would really be his last time on screen. After all, the series was framed around Michael. However, the actor was ready to move on to other things, and so “Goodbye, Michael” was meant to be his last The Office appearance.

Even so, it was long rumored that Carell would return to play Michael in the finale. However, the actor denied this. In the end, both Carell and his character surprised everybody by attending Dwight’s wedding to serve as his best man. This makes “Finale” Carell’s actual last episode of The Office.