3 funniest seasons of The Office, ranked

There are three seasons of The Office that are just funnier than the rest
THE OFFICE -- "Did I Stutter" Episode #4016 -- Airdate 05/01/2008 -- Pictured: Steve Carell as Michael Scott (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE OFFICE -- "Did I Stutter" Episode #4016 -- Airdate 05/01/2008 -- Pictured: Steve Carell as Michael Scott (Photo by Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) /

The Office is one of the best and funniest TV shows of the last two decades. Fans fell in love with the US remake of Ricky Gervais's UK series that premiered on NBC in 2005. The series ran for nine seasons on the network before signing off in 2013.

Steve Carell, who hadn't yet become a household name, captivated American audiences as Michael Scott, the regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton. Carell is joined by an incredible cast, including Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, BJ Novak, Mindy Kaling, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner, Ed Helms, Rashida Jones, Leslie David-Baker, Phyllis Smith, Oscar Nunez, Creed Bratton, Paul Lieberstein, Kate Flannery, Melora Hardin, Craig Robinson, and many more.

I started watching The Office when it premiered in 2005 and became an immediate fan. I've seen the series a dozen times on Netflix and Peacock, at least, although I do like to stop my binge-watch at season 7 from time to time. We all know why!

Over nine seasons, it's easy for me to pick out the seasons that I would consider the funniest season of The Office. Do they include Michael Scott? No? Okay, season 8 and season 9 are off the list! Oh, it's only six episodes? There goes season 1!

There's also no doubt in my mind which season of The Office is the funniest. It's the season I go back to all the time when I need a funny episode to watch. For this ranking, I also included the other two seasons I consider to be the funniest. Let's get the ranking started with the third funniest season of the series.

3. The Office season 3

Top episodes:

  • "Grief Counseling" (season 3, episode 4)
  • "Initiation" (season 3, episode 5)
  • "Branch Closing" (season 3, episode 7)
  • "Back from Vacation" (season 3, episode 12)
  • "Business School" (season 3, episode 17)
  • "Women's Appreciation" (season 3, episode 22)
  • "Beach Games" (season 3, episode 23)
  • "The Job" (season 3, episode 24)

The Office season 3 is almost the funniest season of the series. In fact, many people would probably pick season 3 as their favorite season. I'm not saying they're wrong, but it's no. 3 on the list of the funniest seasons of The Office for me.

There are so many funny episodes in this season. Of the 25 episodes, which includes the hour-long episodes, there is probably 14 or 15 great episodes. That's incredible for a season like this!

The season begins with "Gay Witch Hunt," which is one of my least favorite episodes of the series. It just doesn't hit that hard now, but the season brings Jim back to Scranton, which invites all sorts of hilarity with the new colleagues from Stamford. How could we forget about Prison Mike and the worst part about prison?

Some of my favorite episodes of the season include "Grief Counseling," which is an all-timer. "Back from Vacation" is the episode when Michael and Jan return from Sandals in Jamaica. This season also includes Michael photoshopping his face onto Carol's old Christmas card and inviting her on the Christmas trip to Sandals, which she declines.

The season ends with "Beach Games" and "The Job," where Michael believes he's a shoo-in for the corporate job and holds the Survivor style competition to find the next manager. We also get our first big plot twist in The Office when Ryan actually gets the corporate job and becomes Michael's boss. Oh, how the turn tables.

2. The Office season 4

Top episodes:

  • "Dinner Party" (season 4, episode
  • "The Deposition"
  • "Chair Model"
  • "Fun Run"
  • "Goodbye Toby"
  • "Survivor Man"
  • "Branch Wars"

The Office season 4 is the second-best and funniest season of the series. It has fewer episodes than the third season, so I understand why it seems like the third season has more hits, but it doesn't! The Office season 4 has an incredible streak of hilarious episodes capped off by "The Deposition," "Dinner Party," and "Chair Model," a pivotal three-episode run that delves further into Jan and Michael's tumultuous relationship.

The season begins with "Fun Run," an incredible and hilarious episode, with Michael up to his usual hijinks and raising awareness of rabies, a disease that's been basically eradicatd in the United States. And, it ends with "Goodbye Toby," which sets up Toby's hilarious return later in the series and, most importantly, introduces Michael to Holly.

"Dinner Party" is probably my favorite episode of The Office. It's definitely my favorite episode that's set outside of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch. Michael and Jan are truly up to no good in that episode. Every line and situation is perfect!

What's insane is that the fourth season, which consists of 19 episodes, was actually going to be the longest season of The Office, but it was cut short because of the writers' strike. If we had seen the full scope of what the writers had planned during the peak of this show? Fugetaboutit! This is one of the best seasons of not just The Office but of any sitcom ever! It was that good during this stretch.

After season 4, there are so many funny episodes of The Office and so many great stories get told. For me, though, this is where the characters started to slip a little bit. I'm not saying that the show got stale or anything like that, but the characters started to become a little more ridiculous if that makes sense.

1. The Office season 2

Top episodes:

  • "The Dundies" (season 2, episode 1)
  • "Sexual Harassment" (season 2, episode 2)
  • "Office Olympics" (season 2, episode 3)
  • "Christmas Party" (season 2, episode 10)
  • "Booze Cruise" (season 2, episode 11)
  • "The Injury" (season 2, episode 12)
  • "Drug Testing" (season 2, episode 21)
  • "Casino Night" (season 2, episode 22)

I know season 2 is a bold choice for the funniest season of The Office! Season 2 might not be the best season of the series, but it's clearly the funniest season of the show.

The Office season 2 is truly where the show became the funniest show on TV. After a good but not great first season, the show's writers struck gold with a nicer and more friendly Michael Scott than in the first season. Michael's change enabled the show to reach new heights and popularity. It's the difference to me between The Office UK and this series. Michael was meant to be much more like David Brent, but that didn't play in the same way that it did. Without making Michael an incompetent yet lovable character, The Office would have never been as successful. Season 2 was where that started.

The season begins with "The Dundies," which is just an iconic episode and running theme throughout the series. We also get a hard re-launch of Jim and Pam's relationship in the episode. It's the perfect start to a new era in this show, and it really works.

Following "The Dundies," we saw "Sexual Harassment," "Office Olympics," "The Fire," and "Halloween." That's an incredible stretch of episodes that totally changed the direction of the series. Over the course of the second season, we also get the hilarity of "Christmas Party," "Booze Cruise," "Drug Testing," and "Casino Night."

And, we can't talk about season 2 without talking about the best episode of the season, "The Injury," when Michael burns his foot on his George Foreman grill while cooking bacon in his bedroom. It just doesn't get much better than The Office season 2, and I think that's why so many people fell in love with the show and continue to fall in love with the show on streaming services.

That's the list of the funniest seasons of The Office! You can't go wrong with any of these three seasons.

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