The Office is considered one of the all-time great television shows. Jim, Pam, Michael, and Dwight were some of our favourite characters on the small screen from 2005 to 2013. But have you ever noticed how much the office drinks on the show? It’s shocking, considering the show is set in a place of work. I decided to jump down a rabbit hole and discover just how much alcohol is consumed through the seasons. Moreover, I wanted to discover how these imbibing scenarios guided the episode and pushed the storyline forward.
So let’s journey together through each episode that features either wine, beer or spirits, starting with seasons 1 through 3 (arguably the best of the series, but that’s a debate for another forum). Here are the top 10 drinks that shaped episodes of The Office.
S1: E2 Diversity Day
MINI BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE
Jim buys a small bottle of Champagne to commemorate his yearly re-signing of a big paper client. In this episode, the shenanigans of Diversity Day prevent him from being able to connect with the client on the phone. In the end, Dwight snags the commission, and Jim places the bottle on Dwight’s desk as a congratulatory gesture. This scenario sets up the yin and yang relationship between Jim and Dwight.
S2: E1 The Dundies
THE OFFICE DRINKS BEER & TROPICAL COCKTAILS
This is an epic episode regarding the Jim and Pam love story arc — and alcohol is a key player. The staff at Dunder Mifflin are celebrating the annual Dundies Awards at their local Chili’s. When they discover it’s not an open bar, Ray and Darryl leave and coerce Pam to leave with them. She changes her mind in the parking lot, returns to sit with Jim, and reaches for his beer. Later, we see her happily finishing off several tropical beverages, leading to a drunken and unexpected celebratory kiss after she accepts the award for whitest sneakers.
Word to the wise: Don’t Drink and Dundies.
S2: E7 The Client
EL NIÑO MARGARITA
Michael and Jan meet with a representative from the local county in hopes of becoming the paper supplier for the entire county. Jan is all business, but Michael takes the casual approach by ordering drinks and Chili’s infamous Awesome Blossom. After several hours of schmoozing and drinking, they book the deal. A celebratory Michael and Jan end up kissing in the parking lot, which leads to an off-screen make-out session at Jan’s hotel. This begins an awkward and horrendously toxic relationship between Michael and Jan.
S2: E9 Email Surveillance
THE OFFICE DRINKS BEER
Jim invites the entire staff (except Michael) about a BBQ he’s hosting. But Michael sees the invite because of some new email surveillance software installed on his computer. Despite Michael’s attempts to get an invite, Jim doesn’t invite him. He also tells Dwight that it’s a surprise party for Michael to prevent Dwight from spilling the beans.
Later, Michael ends up coming to the party — unannounced — making an awkward entrance. Dwight is the only one who yells surprise, still under the impression it is a surprise party.
S2: E10 Christmas Party
THE OFFICE DRINKS VODKA
After receiving a generous bonus from corporate, Michael spends $400 on an iPod for his Secret Santa gift to Ryan. Michael begrudgingly accepts a hand-knit oven mitt from Phyllis and insists the game be changed to White Elephant — essentially killing the office Christmas spirit and pissing everybody off. To bring the party back to life, Michael uses some of his bonus money to buy 15 bottles of vodka, kicking the party into high gear.
Ultimately, Pam barters the iPod for the teapot Jim had intended for her. Inside is a note divulging his true feelings for her, but he manages to hide it before she sees it and decides the time is not right to tell her how he feels.
S2: E11 Booze Cruise
THE OFFICE DRINKS BEER, WINE, AND SHOTS
Despite fizzling chemistry, Jim invites Katie on the company booze cruise only to realize it is truly over. During the cruise, he comes to terms with his feelings for Pam and is seconds away from telling her how he feels before Roy drunkenly (after one or more scuba shots) announces a determined date for their wedding.
Out on the deck later, Jim divulges his feelings to Michael, who tells him to never give up on Pam.
S2: E22 Casino Night
THE OFFICE DRINKS BEER, WINE, AND SPIRITS
As the season finale of season 2, the last 10 minutes of Casino Night brings a surge of Jim/Pam will they/won’t shenanigans. Taking a break from the casino games, Jim and Pam find themselves outside for some fresh air. Jim decides to tell Pam that he loves her. She’s taken aback and doesn’t express reciprocal feelings. A few minutes later, inside the office, Pam is on the phone with her mom, telling her about Jim. She hangs up when Jim walks in, and he immediately goes in for a kiss. She certainly kisses back, but in the end, tells him that she’s still going to marry Roy.
Drinks were not central in the plot of this episode (which is why there aren’t any good photos). But it’s a pivotal episode involving casual drinking that needed to be included.
S3: E2 The Convention
THE OFFICE DRINKS SPIRITS (Cosmos)
Michael and Dwight head to a regional sales convention, where Jim and his new boss from the Stamford branch also attend. Note: Jim transfers branches between seasons because of his proclaimed and unrequited love for Pam. At the convention, Michael focuses on little more than preparing his room to be ‘the party room’ and invites every stranger to attend. After no one shows up, Jim strolls in on a gloomy Michael, and they have their first true moment of friendship. Over cosmopolitans, Jim tells Michael about what went down with Pam. Party-goers eventually linger in, bringing Michael’s energy back to normal levels.
S3: E6 Diwali
THE OFFICE DRINKS SHOTS (Jägermeister)
At the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch, Kelly invites the entire office to her family’s Diwali celebration. Michael misinterprets the occasion and tells his girlfriend, Carol (his real-estate agent), that it’s a costume party. She shows up in a cheerleader outfit, adding to the list of reasons for her to eventually break up with Michael.
The drinking in this episode occurs at the Dunder Mifflin Stamford branch, where Jim, Andy, and Karen are forced to work late. Andy turns the evening into a drinking game, which Karen wins by pouring her shots into the wastebasket. By the night’s end, Jim drunkenly rides his bike into the bushes, giving Karen an ‘in’ (because, at this point, she clearly has a crush on him), and she offers him a ride home.
S3: E10 A Benihana Christmas
THE OFFICE DRINKS NAGASAKIS AND MARGARITAS
Carol, the real-estate agent, arrives at the Dunder Mifflin office to break up with Michael – two days before his surprise trip to Jamaica. To help cheer him up, Andy offers to take Michael out to lunch at Benihana while Jim and Dwight tag along. At Benihana, Andy introduces the Nagasaki (one part eggnog, three parts sake). They flirt with the waitress and convince her and a friend to come back to the office for the holiday party.
At the office, Pam and Karen (who joined the Scranton branch during the merge) battle with Angela over having the better Christmas party. Eventually, they join forces and offer everyone salt-rimmed margaritas and karaoke. At the end of the episode, Michael — on a whim and a prayer — calls Jan to invite her to Jamaica. She accepts, thus beginning their somewhat reciprocal relationship.
Believe it or not, there were a small handful more episodes in season 3 that involved drinks. Among them was Champagne poured at Phyllis’s bridal shower and wine at her wedding. But these episodes were separate from the storyline or character development.
Who wants to help me with season 4 and onward? 🙂