The Office: Episode 16 – Christmas Party

  • The Writer – Michael Schur
  • Director – Charles McDougall
  • A brief synopsis – Michael wants to celebrate Christmas in a big way this year, as he got a huge bonus for firing Devon.  So for the Secret Santa, he goes 20x the $20 limit, getting Ryan an Ipod.  This makes him feel great until he finds out the Phyllis made him an oven mitt.  Desperate to get rid of the mitt, he changes Secret Santa to Yankee Swap (White Elephant), and then chaos ensues.  This does not sit well with anyone, Jim least of all, as he had gone out of his way to get something very personal for Pam.  Cat leaps out of the bag about Michael’s bonus and everyone is even more sideways, until he buys $160 of Vodka to make it a party.
  • The best line – Michael: Oh, well, Oscar, you little gourmand, you have the next turn.
    Oscar: I’ll take the … teapot.
    Meredith: Damn it.
    Dwight: Okay, moving along. Meredith, let’s go.
    Meredith: I really want the iPod.
    Dwight: It’s already been stolen this round. Pick something else.
    Michael: [holding oven mitt] I hope nobody takes this baby, cause this is great. Wow, look at that fine craftsmanship. Somebody really put a lot of work into that. It’s beautiful.
    Meredith: I’ll take the oven mitt.
    Michael: Sucker! See, I wanted somebody to take it. Boom! Reverse psychology.
  • The best moment – The look on Phyllis’ face after Michael announces that he used reverse psychology to get Meredith to take the oven mitt.
  • Bonus second moment – Drunk Meredith flashes a tipsy Michael, who, after looking at her, unmoved, for a couple beats, takes a snapshot and says “All right, let’s head out. Sounds good. Do you have a coat?”
  • The best storyline – The journey from Secret Santa to White Elephant deserves mean props, but I am most moved by the agony of Angela, who takes the party planning so seriously, when it changes course, she takes it so hard she begins to cry.  Add to that Kelly giving Dwight a drunken kiss and you have not a very good night for Angela.
  • Notable guest appearance – Bob Packer (David Koechner) is back, and passed out within seconds!
  • Grade – A+

The winner and still champino for best episode ever.  Laughs, discomfort and joy throughout.  No forced moments.  No wasted lines.  This is the episode upon which all others are judged.


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