Regional Manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from The Office is rude, ignorant, and one of the most loveable TV sitcom characters ever. He's done some heinous things on his quest for human connections. However, he has a redeemable quality in that he's not malicious with his intent.
Michael is simply out of touch with the world outside Dunder Mifflin. He may not be the best boss, but he tries. Love him or hate him, there's no contesting that Michael brought something to The Office that made it the revered television series it is today.
Here are some of the best and worst moments of Michael Scott.
Best: Distracting the Office -“Murder”
When an article in the Wall Street Journal, aka, “The Wall” reports that Dunder Mifflin may declare bankruptcy, the office staff worries about losing their jobs. So, knowing that games distract stressful situations, Michael (Steve Carell) pulls out a “Belle's, Bourbons, and Bullets Game.”
In a Southern accent, he announces, “there has been a murder in Savannah.” Then, he plays an audio instruction while passing out character cards and props. Reluctantly, the staff takes on their roles, and many begin to have fun in character.
Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) tries to persuade Michael to stop, but he demands that he let them “keep their stupid little game.” Then, after learning that it's not looking good and the company may be out of money by the end of the year, Jim declares another murder, and the office resumes having fun.
“Today is the hardest I have ever worked, in a long, long time.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: The Entirety Of – “Diversity Day”
The entire season one, episode two premise of “Diversity Day” is cringeworthy at best. After Michael has offended the office with his controversial Chris Rock impressions, a consultant (Larry) shows up to teach about tolerance and diversity.
Unfortunately, once Larry leaves, Michael creates an inappropriate exercise. First, he has everyone in the office put a notecard labeled with a race on their forehead.
Then, he instructs them to “stir the melting pot” by guessing the other people's race based on racial stereotypes.
“Abraham Lincoln once said, if you're a racist, I will attack you with the north.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Advising Jim on Pam – “The Booze Cruise”
After Roy Anderson (David Denman) publicly sets a date for his wedding with Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) on the “Booze Cruise,” Jim wanders outside on the ship. He discovers Michael is zip-tied to the railing because the Captain has finally had enough of his shenanigans.
Jim is hurt and confesses to Michael that he is into Pam. Not surprisingly, Michael is oblivious to the reality that Jim has secretly been in love with her. However, when Jim fears he has missed his chance, Michael encourages him to fight for her.
“If you like her so much. Don't give up. BFD engaged ain't married. Never, ever, ever, give up.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Outing and Kissing Oscar – “Gay Witch Hunt”
After using homophobic language toward Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez), Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) informs Michael that Oscar is a homosexual.
Michael spends the entire episode trying to prove how alright he is with Oscar's sexuality. So naturally, in Michael's attempt to prove he's not homophobic, he outs Oscar to the office.
He becomes more offensive as it becomes evident that Oscar is the first gay person he has ever known. Ultimately, it leads to him holding a meeting and awkwardly kissing Oscar in front of the office staff.
“Trick question! Cause you can't always tell! So, how would I know? Is that the right answer?” – Michael Scott.
Best: Securing Pam and Ryan's Jobs – “Broke”
“Well, well, well, how the turntables.” After stealing ten clients from Dunder Mifflin, The Michael Scott Paper Company discusses a buyout with them. Initially, David Wallace (Andy Buckley) offered Michael $60,000.
Ryan (B.J. Novak) and Pam are excited, and they all agree to take it privately. However, Michael informs Wallace the deal isn't enough. He insists that all three get their jobs back with full medical and dental, even though Ryan has cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Michael elaborates that he wants a Sebring, his old parking spot, and Dunder Mifflin V.P. Charles Miner (Idris Elba) gone. In addition, he fights for Pam to be a salesperson instead of a receptionist. Finally, David Wallace agrees, and Michael is the day's hero.
“I don't care if Ryan murdered his entire family; he is like a son to me.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Prison Mike – “The Convict”
After learning that Stamford transfer Martin Nash (Wayne Wilderson) has been to prison, Michael tells the entire office. Martin explains that his incarceration was due to insider trading, and prison perks aren't bad.
So Pam jokes about the prison being better than their work conditions. As a result, Michael forces everyone outside in the freezing weather to have “rec time.”
Attempting to prove Dunder Mifflin is better than life behind bars, he creates a tone-deaf persona, “Prison Mike.” Sadly, prison Mike embodies racial and prison stereotypes he learned from television.
He dons a purple bandana on his head and begins spewing insensitive nonsense. Ultimately, Martin explains Michael reminded him nothing of his time in prison. He chooses to quit over Michael's inappropriate behavior.
“The worst thing about prison was the Dementors, they were flying all over the place, and they were scary, and then they'd come down, and they'd [take] the soul out of your body, and it hurt!” – Michael Scott.
Best: Making Pam a Sales Person – “Two Weeks”
Pam quits Dunder Mifflin to follow Michael in a Jerry Maguire type of exit to start his company, The Michael Scott Paper Company. However, she has one condition, she wants to be a salesperson instead of a receptionist.
Michael not only agrees, but as already established, he ensures she comes back to Dunder Mifflin as a salesperson too. He always looks out for his friends; in this instance, he secured something Pam wanted and may not have otherwise obtained.
“This is a dream that I have had since lunch, and I am not giving up on it now.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: The Blind Date With Pam's Landlady – “Chair Model”
Michael becomes captivated by one of the chair models in the office supply catalog and decides he is ready to date again. So he insists the office set him up, but no one is willing.
Finally, after learning the chair model died in a car crash, Pam sets Michael up on a blind date with her landlady (Brooke Dillman). However, the coffee shop date doesn't go well.
After being approached by the landlady, Michael denies his identity. However, the barista calls his name for his hot chocolate, giving Michael away. So the two sit down for coffee. Michael repeatedly insults her.
Then, he shows her a picture of Jan before telling her it was pleasant talking to her like an old lady on the bus. When she calls him out for being rude, he walks out on her, stating, “now you've ruined it.”
“Wish I could, but I can't. Well, can, but won't. Should, maybe, but shorn't.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Defending Dunder Mifflin – “The Deposition”
When Michaels' toxic girlfriend, Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), sues Dunder Mifflin for wrongful termination, he doesn't allow her to manipulate him.
After learning that, she wrote a terrible performance review suggesting they should demote him to a salesperson after they were dating; Michael becomes indignant. Then, adding insult to injury, he discovers he was never in the running for Jan's job.
David Wallace only interviewed him as a courtesy. Despite being hurt by that admission, Michael does the right thing and stands by Dunder Mifflin.
“You expect to get screwed by your company, but you never expect to get screwed by your girlfriend.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Forcing Tony on the Table – “The Merger”
When the Scranton and Stamford branches merge, Michael Scott holds a meeting in the conference room. When Michael's music doesn't play, Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) creates the melody of the song “What Is Love?”
Then, mimicking the film A Night at the Roxbury, they both chest-bump Tony Gardner (Mike Bruner), making him uncomfortable. Next, he has the new employees sit in chairs that are on top of tables. Michael says it's to demonstrate that they are not above them. However, Tony is a husky man who informs he cannot get on the table.
Michael and Dwight attempt to hoist him on the table before he quits due to Michael's managing style. However, Michael says Tony can't quit and fires him before he exits. So, he put Dunder Mifflin on the hook for a severance. Jan was not happy.
“My branch is absorbing the Stamford branch. Or, as I like to put it, my family is doubling in size.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Proposing to Holly – “Garage Sale”
After buying an engagement ring that costs three years' salary (what he believes is traditional), Michael plots an elaborate way to propose to Holly Flax (Amy Ryan). First, he calls to get her father's approval but leaves his request as a voice message.
Later, Michael takes Holly down memory lane, visiting places they have kissed, made love, and fallen in love. Finally, they make their way toward Holly's office, and each staff member asks Holly to marry them as they make their way through the crowd.
She declines their proposals before Michael, and she enters her candle-lit office. There are dozens of lit candles. So naturally, the sprinklers go off, and they laugh while getting soaked.
Then, finally, Michael proposes in Yoda's voice, and she accepts in Yoda's voice. A throwback to when they first spoke that way while she was fixing Toby's chair.
“No. I am not going to be proposed to in the break room. That is not going to be our story. Mhm hm. Should have burned this place down when I had the chance.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Inappropriate Dundie Awards -“The Dundies”
Michaels' annual ceremony, “The Dundies,” is an embarrassing award show he puts on for his co-workers. He sings, he raps; he puts on a comedy act. Michael believes the office loves it, but it's a dreaded event.
The staff gathers at a Chili's restaurant as Michael puts on a show. In addition, he hands out inappropriate awards, such as the “Don't Go In There After Me Award,” regarding entering the bathroom after Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner).
Finally, Michael embarrasses Ryan with the “Hottest in the Office” award. Lastly, he inadvertently gives Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) the “Bushiest Beaver” instead of the “Busiest Beaver” award.
“T.M.I.? Too much information. Ah, it's just easier to say T.M.I. I used to say, “Don't go there,” but that's lame.” – Michael Scott
Best: Attending Pam's Art Show – “Business School”
Pam Beesly invites her co-workers to her art show after work. Not knowing that Pam is standing behind them, Oscar Martinez and his partner Gil (Tom Chick) critique her art. Gil calls it “motel art,” hurting her feelings.
Roy and his brother show up but offer no insight or compliments on her artwork. None of her co-workers show up, devastating her and leaving her sad. Finally, as she begins to take her work down, Michael shows up, “Pam-casso!” He apologizes for being late.
In one of the show's most touching Michael Scott moments, he is excited about her artwork. He expresses how proud he is of her. His sincere appreciation of her art causes her to tear up before embracing his hug. Ultimately, Michael hangs Pam's artwork on the wall next to his office.
“My God, these could be tracings! Ohh! Look at this one. Wow! You nailed it. How much?” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Hitting Meredith With His Car – “Fun Run”
While pulling into work, Michael hits Meredith Palmer (Kate Flannery) with his car. As a result, Meredith ends up in the hospital with a fractured pelvis. Then, Michael announces it to the office with a lead-up that sounds like she died.
He insists the staff go to the hospital, where he wants her forgiveness in front of all of them. However, he doesn't get it. Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) discovers that Meredith received a rabies preventive shot from the bat from “Business School.”
Upon hearing this, Michael immediately takes credit for saving Meredith's life, never owning up to his responsibility for hitting her with his car.
“I'm not superstitious, but I'm a little stitious.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Standing Up for Himself – “New Boss”
Michael is being micro-managed by Dunder Mifflin V.P. Charles Miner, and Michael doesn't appreciate it. First, he attempts to send him back to New York. However, Charles informs him he is staying for the day.
Then, Michael and the staff are planning his 15-year party, and Charles shuts it down, abolishing the party planning committee. Wallace refuses Michael's calls, and his receptionist even connects him to Charles instead.
So naturally, this infuriates Michael, and he drives to New York to see Wallace. Once there, Michael tells him how he deserves to be treated better after 15 years with the company. He's angry that Charles has become the middle man in their conversations. Especially after defending them at “The Deposition.”
Wallace tries to appease Michael. He promises to let him have his 15th-anniversary party and that he will be there. Michael sees through the appeasement, shakes his hand, and quits.
“You have no idea how high I can fly.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Revealing Stanley's Affair – “Gossip”
“Parkour!” Michael learns from the interns that Stanley (Leslie David Baker) is having an affair. As a result, Michael begins spreading it around the office before Jim Halpert advises him to stop. Finally, Michael catches Stanley in the parking lot and confronts him.
Stanley denies the allegations. He is on his way to breaking it off. Michael promises not to say a word. Then, to cover his tracks, he creates rumors about all of the employees. Including that Andy is gay, Creed (Creed Branton) has asthma, and Pam is pregnant (unaware it's true). Then, of course, he plants rumors that he's a male model.
Eventually, the employees corner Michael in the conference room, and he admits only one of the rumors is true. After realizing Stanley's affair is true, Jim jumps in and admits Pam is pregnant.. so the other employees won't know the truth.
However, when Stanley's wife Terri returns Michael's missed call, he inadvertently answers the phone, “Hello Cynthia,” alerting her to the affair.
“Because a lot of people think that models, even though they're very attractive, are somewhat vapid. It's set our industry back quite a bit.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Getting Dwight Back From Staples “The Return”
In the previous episode, Dwight Schrute is found out for taking a trip to corporate in New York. Michael, suspects something demands an explanation. But Dwight doesn't have an alibi, because he was doing a favor for his girlfriend – and Angela Martin (Angela Kinsey) doesn't want anyone to know about their relationship. So Dwight respects her wishes and seeing no alternative, quits instead. After leaving Dunder Mifflin, he takes a job at Staples.
In addition, Andy Bernard is a brown-noser who obsessively demands Michael's attention while annoying everyone in the office. Michael begins missing Dwight and detesting Andy's blatant antics.
Finally, Michael learns that Dwight was at corporate because of Angela and not on account of shady business. So he goes to Staples and apologizes to Dwight. Despite not having all the facts, he is genuine and asks Dwight to return.
“Yes, she did. And Dwight, if you were willing to do something like that for some random co-worker, then clearly I have misjudged you from the beginning, and I apologize.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Ruining the Secret Santa “Christmas Party”
The Scranton office is hosting a “Secret Santa” Christmas party with a $20 limit on gifts. So naturally, Michael draws Ryan and buys a $400 iPod. After Ryan opens it, Michael eagerly announces it's from him.
The rest of the office is not amused. After receiving an unappreciated handmade oven-mitt from Phyllis, Michael storms off. When he returns to get a better present, he declares, “We are going to turn ‘Secret Santa' into ‘Yankee Swap.”
Everyone's trying to get the iPod. Michael berates Phyllis's gift. He tries to unload it on every exchange until Meredith pities Phyllis and takes it. After that, Phyllis storms off, and Michael is clueless about why she is upset.
“Unbelievable, I do the nicest thing anyone's ever done for these people, and they freak out. Well happy birthday, Jesus. Sorry, your party's so lame.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Trying To Leave Quietly “Goodbye Michael”
Michael misinforms the office of his last day so that he doesn't have to say goodbye. He loves them all so much he can't bring himself to do it. So instead, Michael spends a little time with each of them. For instance, by playing paintball in the parking lot with Dwight.
Also, he gives them things from his office to remember him. Finally, Jim figures out that Michael is leaving today and not tomorrow. They share some tears and decide to save their goodbyes until “tomorrow” at lunch.
Jim apologizes that he couldn't get Pam back in time. Michael redeems himself (Christmas Party) with how badly he wants Phyllis's mittens that she is knitting for him as a goodbye present.
He takes them unfinished and leaves without saying goodbye. However, Pam catches up to him at the airport. Their mics are off, but they exchange a few words and hug goodbye.
“Hey, will you guys let me know if this ever airs? Thank you.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: – “Scott's Tots”
“Scott's Tots” is the most infamous episode in Michaels' library. Michael promised a class of third graders that he'd pay their college tuition if they graduated high school. Ten years later, it's time to pay, and the school invites him for a tribute.
Michael takes Erin (Ellie Kemper) to the class, and they sit at the desks as the students perform a song and dance for Michael. “Hey Michael Scott, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do, make our dreams come true!”
The tots testify to being pressured to get into the drug game, but after thinking about what Mr. Scott had said, they stayed focused and on track. First, Michael begrudgingly tells the students that he can't pay for the tuition. Then, he sets it up as if he is giving them laptops; instead, it's laptop lithium batteries, which they will now need for “online classes.”
“I've made some empty promises in my life, but hands down, that was the most generous.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Paying For Derrick's Books “Scott's Tots”
As Michael leaves the high school in “Scott's Tots,” a student (Derrick) approaches him to let him know how messed up it is to get their hopes and dreams up. Additionally, Derrick asks, “who does something like that?”
Michael tells him he's sorry, and if he can figure out how to pay his tuition, Michael will pay for his books. So he writes him four post-dated checks for $1000 each. Michael asks Derrick to call him before he cashes it so he can move his monies around.
“I'm not a millionaire. I thought I would be by the time I was thirty, but I wasn't even close. Then I thought maybe by forty, but by forty, I had less money than I did when I was thirty.” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Bob and Phyllis's Wedding – “Phyllis' Wedding”
Phyllis tasks Michael with pushing her dad in his wheelchair down the aisle at her wedding. She does it to get six weeks off for her honeymoon. However, Michael translates it as being the co-father to the bride.
He is furious when her father “upstages” him by standing up and walking the last few steps. So he accidentally announces, loudly, “for the first time Mr. and Mrs. Bob Vance,” before he kisses the bride. Then, after realizing it, he waits until they kiss and loudly repeats himself.
At the reception, Michael interrupts to give an inappropriate speech before Bob (Bobby Ray Shafer) has him thrown out. However, he redeems himself when being mistaken for finding Uncle Al, Phyllis' uncle with dementia.
“Webster's Dictionary defines ‘wedding' as the fusing of two metals with a hot torch. Well, you know something. I think you guys are two metals—gold medals.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Attending Dwight's Wedding – “Finale”
In the series finale of The Office, Dwight appoints Jim to be his best man at his wedding with Angela. However, in his final prank, Jim informs Dwight that under Schrute tradition, he's not allowed to be his best man because he's younger than him.
Finally, Jim surprises Dwight with Michael Scott's arrival. Dwight states, “I didn't think you'd come.” Michael responds for one last time, “that's what she said!” At the reception, Michael shares pictures of his kids with Pam, admitting that he pays for two phones to hold all of their images.
“I feel like all my kids grew up, and then they married each other. It's every parent's dream!” – Michael Scott.
Worst: Michael and Toby – Every Interaction
Michael despises Toby Flenderson and relentlessly bullies and belittles him. He doesn't appear to have a valid reason despite suggesting otherwise, “I have cause. It's be-cause I hate him.” However, Michael did allege, “I tried. I tried to talk to Toby and be his friend, but that is like trying to be friends with an evil snail.”
In his movie, Threat Level Midnight, Michael explains the scene where he repeatedly blew off Toby's head was the most expensive. Additionally, he was overjoyed when Toby moved to Costa Rica and sang him an emphatic farewell. “See ya!”
Toby is the only relationship where Michael is deliberately mean. He tries to frame Toby by placing “marijuana” inside his desk. Ultimately, it was Caprese's salad, but the intent was malicious.
“If I had a gun with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice.” – Michael Scott.
Best: Writing Dwight's Letter of Recommendation – “Goodbye Michael”
Dwight is angry that Michael never recommended him for the management position. However, in an attempt to reconcile, Michael hands Dwight a recommendation letter. Initially, Dwight is hostile and mockingly reads the beginning.
Although, he almost immediately changes his tone as the letter's sentiment touches Dwight. It reads, “I define it as Dwight Schrute. As a sales executive, as a leader, as a man, and as a friend, he is of the highest kind, quality, and order. Supreme.”
Dwight is notably moved but doesn't own it to the camera operators. Nevertheless, it's easily the most admirable thing Michael has ever said and done for his loyal friend Dwight.
“Wow, those do not taste like oysters.” – Michael Scott.