18 Times "The Office" Actually Taught Me A Lot About What Corporate Life Is Like

Even though a lot of what happened on The Office was anywhere from silly to ridiculous, a lot of it was pretty true to what goes on in corporate America.

michael scott looking surprised on the office
michael scott looking surprised on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

In the 13 years I've been working in office settings, it's wild how often I think, "This is just like that episode of The Office."

andy saying nailed it on the office
andy saying nailed it on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

Here are some of those episodes that prepared me for what it'd be like to work in actual offices:

1."Health Care"

dwight saying there will be no healthcare coverage for anyone on the office
dwight saying there will be no healthcare coverage for anyone on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me not to expect management to care about my health.

2."Sexual Harassment"

michael saying the only thing i'm worry about is getting a boner on the office
michael saying the only thing i'm worry about is getting a boner on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me not to be surprised when I had to start taking quizzes about sexual harassment at work.

3."Office Olympics"

pam gesturing to a sign that says games of the 1st dunder mifflin olympiad on the office
pam gesturing to a sign that says games of the 1st dunder mifflin olympiad on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that nothing gets done while the boss is away.

4."Email Surveillance"

oscar saying we just got a memo from i t saying you're doing email surveillance
oscar saying we just got a memo from i t saying you're doing email surveillance

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that email surveillance is a thing. (I'm glad I saw this episode before entering the corporate world, because I knew from the get-go to only bitch about my bosses in-person or over text.)

5."Initiation"

stanley saying i like pretzel day on the office
stanley saying i like pretzel day on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that I might get little treats here and there that are supposed to distract employees from the things they're not getting.

6."A Benihana Christmas"

angela angrily tearing down pam and karen's christmas party flyer on the office
angela angrily tearing down pam and karen's christmas party flyer on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This is the episode that really drove home the concept of office politics for me. Watching Angela fight with Karen and Pam over the Christmas party made me realize just how petty coworkers can be with each other.

7."Cocktails"

michael choking on whiskey on the office
michael choking on whiskey on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me to have multiple excuses ready to go when one of my bosses eventually threw a party and invited my coworkers and me.

8."Fun Run"

pam walking in on michael naked on the office
pam walking in on michael naked on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that I might be pressured into exercising at work (I ultimately was).

9."Survivor Man"

michael scaring kelly with a birthday cake on the office
michael scaring kelly with a birthday cake on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me how much time is wasted on birthday parties. (Numerous birthday parties were only a thing in one of the offices I worked in because there were so few employees that management felt the need to celebrate all their birthdays, but still enough that it felt like we were partying twice a month.)

10."Employee Transfer"

pam dressed up for halloween when no one else is on the office
pam dressed up for halloween when no one else is on the office

NBC

This one taught me to always check to see whether or not people dress up for Halloween.

11."Nepotism"

luke saying i love cinema on the office
luke saying i love cinema on the office

NBC

This one taught me that nepotism isn't confined to small-town ice cream shops.

12."Costume Contest"

pam making an awkward face on the office
pam making an awkward face on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one cemented the fact that the office is apparently the only place to meet romantic partners.

13."Threat Level Midnight"

michael and dwight in threat level midnight on the office
michael and dwight in threat level midnight on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that you might need to help out with your boss's ill-conceived vanity project.

14."Todd Packer"

andy booting up his computer on the office
andy booting up his computer on the office

NBC

This one taught me you can disguise a Mac as Windows.

15."The Inner Circle"

deangelo on the office
deangelo on the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me it's better the devil you know.

16."Angry Andy"

andy saying your stupid office and punching a wall in the office
andy saying your stupid office and punching a wall in the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that you can apparently punch a hole in the wall on two separate occasions and you'll just keep getting rehired.

17."Work Bus"

dwight driving a giant work bus on he office
dwight driving a giant work bus on he office

NBC / Via giphy.com

Management of any kind — including building — will do anything to make sure people keep working.

18."Lice"

angela slapping mayo on oscar's hair in the office
angela slapping mayo on oscar's hair in the office

NBC / Via giphy.com

This one taught me that someone might bring lice into the office??

What did The Office teach you about corporate America? Sound off in the comments!