Ten years ago this week, Dwight Schrute set fire to the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch and simultaneously cemented “The Office” into television history.
Airing directly after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat of the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, “Stress Relief” became the series’ highest-rated episode ever, as it shared 42 minutes of pure, comedic gold with 22.9 million viewers.
To some, this may just be another episode of one of TV’s greatest shows of all time, but to me, it means so much more. As the very first episode of “The Office” I ever experienced, I was immediately thrown into the outrageous world of Michael Scott, and what better time to dive in?
After seeing the show advertised throughout the Super Bowl, my family and I, like most everyone else, decided to tune in and check out all the hype. For a show already midway through its fifth season, “The Office” knew how to take advantage of this primetime TV slot and expand its audience. Before we knew it, my family was tuning in every week to catch up with all our favorite Dunder Mifflin employees.
Not only did “Stress Relief” give us one of the series’ most rewatchable episodes, but it presented us with a gift that keeps on giving – the gift of GIFs.
As 10 years have passed, it only makes sense to look back on the 10 greatest GIFs created in this historic episode of television.
10. Michael’s Failed Finger Guns
9. Kevin Raiding the Vending Machine
8. “Save Bandit!”
7. Dwight Channels His Inner Hannibal Lecter
6. Andy Pondering Life
5. Stanley Faces the Truth
4. Kevin Can’t Help Himself
3. The Classic Jim Face
2. Michael’s Realization
1. “STAY F-CKING CALM!”
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.