"Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."
(Steve Carell)Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton (seasons 1-7).
419 Scam: Michael has a habit of falling for these, to the point where Pam jokes he is "sponsoring twenty Nigerian princesses."
Michael:" ... when the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help! His father ran the freaking country!"
The Con: He mentions not being able to attend college because he lost his savings in a pyramid scheme.
Aesop Amnesia: Has a mind-boggling ability to completely forget practically every lesson he ever learns almost immediately. This finally starts to turn around when Steve Carell made his decision to leave The Office.
Attention Whore: Michael will even try to make someone else's wedding about him.
Babies Ever After: When he shows up in the finale, it's mentioned that he has two cell phones because he takes so many pictures of his kids.
Bacon Addiction: Michael makes himself breakfast in bed with a Gary Foreman grill at the foot of his bed. In the episode this was mentioned in, he came into work with a burnt foot.
Benevolent Boss: He likes to think of himself as one of these, but he's so bad at it that he ends up being a Stupid Boss instead. Though he comes close occasionally, even having moments where he actually is helpful. (Supporting Pam after her failed art gallery show, for instance.)
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's the single most successful salesman in Dunder-Mifflin history, and every time we see him make a sale, he is incredibly good at pitching and selling the company's service and has a great rapport with almost all of his clients. This is why corporate had him promoted to Regional Manager, a position which he seemed to have been a perfect fit on paper, but is largely incapable of doing properly.
Due to (or despite) his strange and distracting managerial style, the Scranton branch goes from being the worst performing branch in the company at the beginning of the series, to the most successful branch by season 5.
But Now I Must Go: He gets engaged with Holly and he moves to Boulder, Colorado to live with her.
Cannot Tell a Joke: Well, he can tell them reasonably well in the right conditions (as seen in "The Client"), he just can't come up with good ones himself or reliably tell one when put on the spot.
Chandler's Law: He repeatedly misuses this at improv classes, on the grounds that you can't top pulling out a gun for drama.
Characterization Marches On: At the beginning of the series Michael was merely socially unaware and desperate for attention. Starting with season 2 he became progressively moronic and more of an Man Child.
Character Development: Though the later seasons have steered him back in the right direction, especially season 7, it being his last season and everything.
He is a very calm and collected person at Dwight's wedding, showing how much his kids have matured him.
Cloudcuckoolander: He completely lives in his own world, where things work a bit differently than they do in real life. It's what makes his attempts at being a Benevolent Boss backfire most of the time.
Crippling Overspecialization: Experience in sales done with a few repeat clients in a highly personal manner doesn't translate into telemarketing very well, as Michael finds out in "Money".
Also a key part of his character, considering he was promoted to Regional Manager because of his sales skills, which didn't exactly convert to managerial skill in his new position.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: There are a couple of times when he is genuinely angry, and dear Lord, he can be terrifying when that happens. The shift is big enough to get a just as angry Stanley to back down.
Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Falls into this when he suffers from a very mild burn on his foot and ends up using a wheelchair. Throughout the episode, he acts as if it was ten times worse than Dwight getting a concussion from a car accident earlier.
Innocent Bigot: He says the most insulting things to minorities such as Stanley and Oscar (the only black and hispanic/gay persons in the office, respectively) but he constantly gets away with it because he really does mean well.
Innocently Insensitive: A large component of his sense of humor. Made worse by the fact that his underlings (constantly) point how much his jokes offend them, he refuses to change his choices of joke-worthy material.
It's All About Me: Early on, Michael is actually unsure of what "open-mindedness" means.
Jerkass / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Depends on the story. Sometimes it is zig-zagged within that - for instance, in Goodbye Toby, he breaks down weeping when he finds out about Ryan defrauding the company and thus shafting his entire life, but the episode revolves around him celebrating Toby's leaving the office and culminates with him getting security to escort Toby from the building as a final insult. In the same episode he shows compassion for a fraudster, but can't even swallow his hatred to let Toby leave the company with dignity.
Really only in the legal sense is he a Houdini, the show makes it rather clear that most of the people he knows try to avoid being around him if they have a choice in the matter, so he suffers in that regard.
Kick the Dog: Whenever Toby is around, mostly in regard to his divorce.
Like Brother and Sister: His relationship with Pam is sort of like a crazy big brother. Protective and loving, but she has most of the responsibility.
The Match Maker: Subverted in that Michael believes he's the one who first put Jim and Pam together. After they have their first child and attempts to do the same to the rest of the office.
Metaphorgotten: When he tries to describe Dwight's betrayal in "The Coup":
Michael: Business is like a jungle, I am like a tiger, and Dwight is like the monkey that stabs the tiger in the back with a stick. Does the tiger fire the monkey? Does he transfer the monkey to a different branch? (eyes light up) Pun! There is no way of knowing what is going on inside the tiger's head. We don't have that kind of technology.
Mistaken for Gay: According to Phyllis: She and Michael's classmates in high school thought he was gay due to the outfits he wore.
Pointy-Haired Boss: A classic example of The Peter Principle. He was a very good salesman who got promoted to regional manager, a job in which he is completely in over his head. He does have his moments of clarity, in which he's actually the Benevolent Boss he so desperately wants to be, but those moments are few and far in between.
Took a Level in Jerkass / Took a Level in Kindness: It varies per episode. The episodes "Dinner Party" and "Chair Model" are great examples: in the first, he is portrayed as a sympathetic man suffering from a Bastard Girlfriend, while in the latter, which is the next episode, he completely ignores his employees problems, demands that they find a date for him and then insults said dates when they do not live up to his high standards.
Verbal Tic: "That's what she said" veers into this on occasion, especially in "The Deposition", where he does it in response to something he said himself and doesn't even seem to realize he's doing it.
Big Eater: In "The Coup", he orders a meal large enough to feed an entire family.
Brutal Honesty: In "Pam's Replacement", Pam even starts taking advice from Dwight because he's the only one she knows for sure is being honest with her.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's the most-successful active salesman at Dunder-Mifflin, and yet his quirks are far more pronounced than Michael's.
Butt Monkey: Exemplified in the penultimate episode of season four, when Michael leaves the office. Dwight (accurately) announces that he is in charge of the office for the day. Stanley simply stands up and leaves. Over the course of the episode, so does every other employee except Angela.
Catch Phrase: "Idiot." Also begins countless sentences with "Question...", "Fact..." or "False..."
Goes through more in Seasons 8 and 9, in which he learns to appreciate his coworkers more. Examples:
When he's putting together a team to go to Tallahassee and gets saddled with his least favorite people in the office, but soon recognizes that even they have traits that he can appreciate.
Another is when he tries to hire one of his personal friends to pick up Jim's slack (as he is busy starting another business), and when he finds out that none of them would be even remotely competent, he realizes that he holds his coworkers to a far higher standard than his friends.
By the time he is appointed Regional Manager again near Season 9's end, everyone in the office is actually happy for him, and among his final words in the series is him admitting that he does get along with his subordinates.
By the second half of the final season, Dwight actually considers Pam and Jim his close friends, and they are both happy to admit the same (even if they are still prone to pranking him). Dwight, without pause, tells Pam he thinks Jim would be best choice for Regional Manager, and Jim says this of Dwight to David Wallace. After Dwight's promotion, he immediately asks Jim to be his number two.
Chronic Pet Killer: Euthanized Angela's cat Sprinkles because it was weak. He really thought he was doing both the cat and Angela a favor, though.
Competition Freak: He went as far as taking on a computer (which he thought was sentient, by the way) on a contest who could get the most sales before the end of the day. He won.
Near the end of the series, Dwight becomes Regional Manager, and Jim becomes the Assistant to the Regional Manager. When Jim decides to take on his own assistant and hold a competition to determine who it would be, Dwight eventually can't help but compete and win.
Heel-Face Revolving Door: Subverted in that everyone knows this is how he acts, but he's often so poor at it they just brush it off.
Hidden Depths: He is an able entrepreneur. His antics aside, his farm and motel are actually well-managed.
To say nothing of adding becoming owner of the office complex to the mix. He juggles this, the above two jobs, and being the most effective salesman in Dunder-Mifflin with seemingly no trouble at all.
He's also pretty good at basketball, yet not so good in martial arts (despite his boasts).
He does obtain a black belt near the end of the series, so he may well have improved, or is better than his onscreen attempts to show off his skills make him seem.
Despite turning the office into a near living hell for his "subordinates" whenever he's Regional Manager, it's pointed out that the office as a whole runs very well under Dwight's watch. When he becomes Regional Manager at the end of the series after learning to respect his coworkers, he manages to bring that efficiency without sacrificing morale (he even brings back Devon!)
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Showing off a family heirloom holster and an antique revolver he hopes will impress Jo, Dwight displays staggering incompetence with a gun for a man with Crazy Survivalist tendencies. He accidentally discharges the firearm in the office; thankfully, the damage is limited to bursting Andy's eardrum and putting a small hole in the floor.
Insistent Terminology: Frequently insists that his coworkers be referred to as his subordinates, even when that's not really the case and this fact is pointed out to him.
Kavorka Man: Despite his rather questionable fashion sense, behavior and general ethics, he easily scores a one-night-stand with one of Pam's attractive friends. Said friend even came back for more, only to find Dwight talking with another woman the following day, again quite successfully from the looks of it. And then there was that entire women's basketball team in "Night Out"...
Lawful Stupid: Treats even the most trivial rules with the utmost importance. A joint at the parking lot is enough to have him don his (voluntary) sheriff uniform and subject the entire office to interrogations and drug tests. Another time, Jim tells Dwight that wasting valuable office time is against the rules and Dwight goes as far as pee in a coke bottle at his desk and sneeze with his eyes open, simply not to waste time.
Munchkin: In the episode "Murder," he and everyone else in the office play a murder mystery dinner party game set in Savannah, Georgia. He draws the Butler character but immediately abandons it to play a hardass detective.
No Social Skills: Comes with being raised on a beet farm, far away from society with a family that shunned him for two years (starting when he was four years old) for not saving excess oil from a can of tuna, just to name something. This is what he has to say about Angela:
Dwight: She introduced me to so many things. Pasteurized milk. Sheets. Monotheism. Presents on your birthday. Preventative medicine.
Number Two: To Michael, but noticeably refused to be Deangelo's number two by season seven.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Occasionally. In "Office Olympics," when Michael offers to rent his spare room to Dwight, Dwight intentionally annoys Michael into withdrawing the offer because he doesn't want to have to say no.
Professional Butt-Kisser: Was this until "The Coup", and then it was on and off until the Michael Scott Paper Company arc, where it seems he pretty much lost all of the respect he had for Michael.
Stay in the Kitchen: Dwight feels this way about anything that "elevates" women to the status of men.
The Starscream: Starting from "The Coup", when Angela demands that he take over.
Ultimate Job Security: He even fired a gun in the office, and the worst punishment he got was being barred from the Regional Manager position, and Jo even lifted that when she saw how dedicated he was to getting the job. The fact that he owns the building the office is located in adds into the situation.
Even earlier, in season 5, he deliberately started a fire and blocked all the exits (except for one) and all he had as punishment was to get everyone to sign a piece of paper (which he tricks everybody into doing).
Yes-Man: To Michael in the first seasons. This stems from a mix of Hero Worship and a desire for authority, which he thinks being Michael's Yes-Man gives him.
You Are in Command Now: He's been given command of the office a few times (though none of them have stuck), such as when Michael left for the New York job and when Michael leaves for good but is almost immediately removed because of the aforementioned gun incident and two years later the new CEO David Wallace gave him another chance by promoting him after Andy's departure, and this time Dwight didn't screw it up.
UK counterpart: Gareth Keenan
James Duncan "Jim" Halpert
"Right now this is just a job. If I advance any higher in this company, then this would be my career. And well, if this were my career I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."
Brilliant, but Lazy: As noted by Pam in "Office Olympics", when Jim gets excited by something, he really gets into it and does an amazing job. Sadly, he works at Dunder Mifflin Scranton, so that doesn't happen often.
Jim: Right now, this is my job. If I advance any higher, this becomes my career. And if this is my career...I would have to throw myself in front of a train.
Chick Magnet: There's Pam, of course, but he also dated with Katy, Brenda and Karen, who even went from "what's up with that guy?" to crushing on him in one episode. There's also Cathy, who unsuccessfully tries to steal him from Pam, and all the other women in the office admitted that, if they had to do it with someone, they would pick Jim.
Deadpan Snarker: Mostly directed towards Michael and Dwight, especially during conference room meetings.
Mistaken for Gay: Mentioned by a few characters. In season 3 Roy admits that he only tolerated Jim's friendship with his fiancee because he thought Jim was gay. To Roy's credit, during a game of Who Would You Do, Jim jokingly said Kevin.
Also Todd Packer asked Jim if he is "still queer", though that's a pretty standard remark for Packer to make towards basically any guy.
Creed also seemed to think Jim was gay, despite knowing of his relationship with Pam and trying to hook Jim up with his daughter just a few seconds before.
My Own Private "I Do": On Maid of the Mist. Apparently, he got the tickets as soon as he saw the YouTube video of the wedding dance routine.
You Are in Command Now: Avoided. When Jo offers him the Regional Manager position sometime after Deangelo was incapacitated, Jim turns her down, reasoning that the Office was running smoothly enough without anyone needing to be in charge. It's also possible that he remembers the last time he had that position.
UK counterpart: Tim Canterbury
Pamela Morgan "Pam" Halpert (née Beesly)
"I just... I don't think it's many little girls' dream to be a receptionist."
Ambition Is Evil : An interesting case. Averted in the first four and a half seasons in which her artistic aspiration is treated as one of her more positive qualities but played painfully straight after that. she quits her job to help Michael poach clients from her former co-workers in order to get promoted to sales. Also, see Kick the Dog
Berserk Button: Do not call her "Pammy". And definitely don't date her mother if your name is Michael Scott.
Dude Magnet: Was engaged to Roy; Jim spent three years in love with her before hooking up; Brian the boom mic guy has a crush on her and so does Toby; Andy and Ryan tried to ask her out; Kevin considers her the hottest woman in the office.
Plucky Office Girl: Her dream was always to be an Happily Married artist, but at the start of the series, she's a receptionist who has to put up with an insane boss and co-workers that treat her like dirt, and a fiancee that hardly shows interest in her at all. A confidence boost and a new relationship at the start of season 4 turn things around for her, though. The artist thing doesn't work out, but she does end up Happily Married and with a job she likes.
Retcon: Her name has been changed in canon three times without even counting going from a maiden name to taking Jim's.. Her last name has been spelled differently multiple times in the first two seasons, and her middle name inexplicably changes from Jean to Morgan.
Sweater Girl: As a receptionist. Mostly cardigans (check out the photo) but starts to wear more form-fitting turtlenecks as she gains confidence. She switches to suits when she starts working in Sales.
Took a Level in Jerkass: After she learns to stand up for herself and gains more confidence, she sometimes takes it too far and starts acting smug.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: With Jim in season 3. She turned him down in favor of her marriage with Roy in season's 2 finale, but realizes this was a mistake when Jim transfers to Stamford and comes back with a girlfriend.
"Yeah, I'm not a temp anymore. I got Jim's old job. Which means at my 10-year high school reunion, it will not say "Ryan Howard is a temp." It will say "Ryan Howard is a junior sales associate at a mid-range paper supply firm." That'll show 'em."
The Artifact: He has been part of the opening credits since the first season despite being an ultimately minor character with shifts in role and personality to justify his place there. There has been some Lampshade Hanging in the seventh season about how Ryan does not even have a real position in the office anymore nor does he bother to do any work. He has been removed from the opening as of season 9, but this is because BJ Novak has left the show rather than acknowledging that Ryan's role had diminished.
The Generic Guy: During the first two seasons his defining characteristic was being The New Guy. He finally got more focus starting in Season 3.
Going Native: Ryan was one of the most sane people in the beginning of the show; As of season 6, he has his own "quirks" like everyone else, probably from just accepting being stuck in the office for his life.
Jerkass: Simply keeping to himself and avoiding attention from his co-workers, he stops coming off as shy by season 3. Turned into a complete douchebag the next season. Now he doesn't hold back and is openly sarcastic.
Man Child: Not as blatant as Michael, but Ryan's temperment and personality is comparable to that of a teenager's.
Nerd Glasses: Ryan starts wearing big thick rimmed glasses after they started becoming trendy.
What, Exactly, Is His Job?: His positions at the office were clearly shown throughout the first five seasons, but in the sixth season he phased into having no clearly indicated position in the office. The seventh season episode 'The Inner Circle' lampshades this and has him temporarily pretend to be Kelly's supervisor for Deangelo to give the appearance that he actually does work at the office.
What's more, Jim eventually exiles him to the supply closet and that's where he stays for the rest of his run on the show.
UK counterparts: Ricky Howard, Neil Godwin (in season 4)
Andrew Baines "Andy" Bernard
"I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them."
Acquired Situational Narcissism: After getting some positive online comments in regard to his banjo playing in the documentary promos, he decides to quit and become a performer.
Derailing Love Interests: Bizarrely, despite having earlier put Gabe through this so Andy could end up with Erin, Season 9 pulls this with Andy so that Erin could be paired up with new character Pete instead.
Fratbro: Andy was a former Frat Bro at Cornell and was in an a capella group. He often gives his co-workers silly nick names and even has several of his own ("Nard Dog" being the most common). It seems he was pretty popular at college but not so much in the workplace.
Manipulative Bastard: Initially. At least successfully around Micheal, maybe Josh from the Stanford branch.
Memetic Mutation: Becomes a rather unflattering one in-universe. By the events of "Finale", he's made peace with it, and even managed to make it work for him a bit.
The Nicknamer: Consistently calls Jim "Big Tuna" (or simply "Tuna") after seeing him eat a tuna sandwich on his first day at Stamford. He likes to refer to himself as "Nard Dog") and calls Pam "Pama-lama-ding-dong" when he flirts with her.
He also called Ryan "Big Turkey", presumably for the same reason.
A lesser, but still notable, example is that, in early Season 8, Andy proved that, while he was still naive as a boss, he was willing to learn and fully capable of handling completely unreasonable circumstances (like being demanded to double profits at the drop of a hat, or having the entire warehouse staff quit at once and having to deal with Darryl being completely uncooperative about resolving the situation). In Season 9, everyone seems to start treating Andy like a complete imbecile near the level of Michael Scott.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Even moreso in-universe. At first the office had an even lower opinion of him than they had of Dwight, but he eventually became more likeable, if still a bit annoying at times. Reaches its peak in "Gettysburg", where Jim and Darryl spell it out for him that the Office generally approves of him as Regional Manager and he doesn't need to prove anything to anyone anymore.
Unfortunately, Season 9 somehow felt the need to throw him right back in, both in and out of 'verse.
Small Name, Big Ego: At first. After going to anger management his confidence drops to practically nil.
The Unfavorite: Brutally apparent when Andy's parents and little brother attend his garden party.
Foreshadowed way before that when he explains that he was named Walter Jr. but was renamed Andrew because his younger brother "fit the name better".
"Well Done, Son" Guy: Really wanted to impress his family with being new manager of Dunder-Mifflin in a garden party. He doesn't get it from his father.
He seems to get over this when his father singlehandedly ruined the Bernard family in a single night and left him to pick up the pieces, leaving Andy with zero concern with his father or what he thinks. Unfortunately, this also added to Andy's season-wide descent into a Jerk Ass, making it debatable as to whether this really was good for him.
As of the episode "Get the Girl", they are finally a couple.
Yes-Man: At first. After anger management, his friendliness with Michael becomes more due to being a genuine nice guy than this trope.
You Are in Command Now: Andy's the new official manager of Dunder-Mifflin at the start of s8, though this doesn't last for long.
Above the Influence: In "Christmas Wishes", it seemed for awhile that he would try to take advantage of Erin's drunkenness when he offered to take her home, considering the divorce he was going through, a few comments he made to her, and the fact that he convinced her to drink in the first place. But no, he drops her off, gives her some advice, and leaves, much to the relief of Andy, who followed them suspecting the same thing.
The Alcoholic: Somewhat. It isn't a normal part of his personality, but he definitely has his episodes. The primary one was in "Turf War", where he comes into the office hungover, and it is explicitly mentioned that he got drunk the night before out of depression about his divorce, and among other things, shut down another branch and tried to hit on Nellie.
Ambiguously Bi: Especially played up in the 8th season finale, Spader's last episode as a regular. He hijacks Oscar's "It gets better" video, drinks a penis-flavored energy drink, and kisses Andy on the lips.
And Starring: Spader gets an "And James Spader" credit as of Season 8.
Cloud Cuckoolander: In a different way from other characters on the show. He seems to genuinely know what he's doing, but he has a tendency to go off on weird tangents during any conversations he has with other characters.
It appears that all of his decisions and failure to make concrete ones will result in either Sabre going under, or being bought out by David Wallace and Andy.
Put on a Bus: In the season 8 finale, he convinces David Wallace to give him a new job, "helping" undereducated Eastern European high school gymnasts. We won't be seeing him again, but dear, oh dear, those poor gymnasts...
Angela Noelle Schrute
(née Martin; formerly Lipton)
"I actually look forward to performance reviews. I did the youth beauty pageant circuit, and I enjoyed that quite a bit. I really enjoy being judged. I believe I hold up very well to even severe scrutiny."
The Beard: Angela is unknowingly this to the state senator she married.
Break the Haughty: Much of season nine has been this for her, from finding out about Oscar and her husband to moving into a squalid studio apartment and losing her cats. Things end happily for a noticeably sweeter Angela with her marriage to Dwight.
Character Development Greatly accelerated in the final season. Between the season Humiliation Conga and the Time Skip of the last episode, Angela goes from a bitchy, bigoted, arrogant shrew incapable of mantaining any sort of healthy relationship through most of the show to a much more tolerant and open minded Happily Married woman
Crazy Cat Lady It's heartbreaking to learn she loses most of her cats when you remember how much love she's expressed towards them. Unusually for this type of character, her marriage actually contributes to this, since a lot of the wedding gifts she receives are cats.
Dramatic Irony After all her open despising of homosexuals, she ends up unwittingly marrying one, and after the divorce and subsequent disgrace she ends up living with Oscar, for a Literal Metaphor bonus, she lives in his closet. This is a huge part of the reason she breaks ot of herice queenbigot personality.
Evil Is Petty: She hasn't spoken to her sister, whom she says was her best friend, in sixteen years over an arguement she can't even remember. And She's extremely proud of that. This is gone by the finale, where we find out she chose a latino homosexual with whom her husband slept with as godfather of her child.
Hidden Depths: Her extreme bitchiness and high-maintenance-ness nothwistanding, she does have an understanding about the class a Proper Lady needs to have. When Dwight demands that she just hose his dirty aunt (said aunt also wants that) for her bath, she silences both of them, promising that she would treat the aunt like a lady she is. Later it is shown that she carefully braids Dwight's aunt, who is now properly bathed and dressed.
Humiliation Conga: In the final season, Angela learns her husband is not just gay, but cheating on her with her co-worker and frenemy, Oscar, and they separate. Without the Senator's money, she is forced to move into a studio apartment with her young son. Then, after a neighbor complains, two "sackfuls" of cats are taken from her, she is evicted from her studio apartment, and she has roughly $25 in her bank account.
Hypocrite: Practically her defining trait. She's capable being incredibly judgmental towards anyone but herself, it seems.
In many talking head interviews, she refers to Jan and even Pam as "whores", often for no other reason than wearing clothing that Angela has decided is inappropriate. Clothing that is often less revealing than attire that Angela herself has worn.
She put out a hit on her husband's lover. Despite the fact that she repeatedly cheated on both her fiancées with little to no hesitation, and even had some indiscretions during her marriage. This, from a Fundamentalist.
Flanderization: The longer the show's on the air, the dumber he gets. It's hard to reconcile the Kevin of recent seasons as being the same character revealed to have won a World Series of Poker bracelet in season two.
Genius Ditz: While he's not all that bright and a terrible accountant, he's a talented singer, musician, cook, and basketball player. And he can do relatively impressive math in his head... so long as pies are involved.
"I love a good quitting story. It makes me feel like I have control over my own life. Gives me hope. Maybe I will have one of my own someday."
Hipster: Not as blatant about it as Ryan, but it's there.
Insufferable Genius: He can get really obnoxious when he has something he wants to get across, notably in "China", "Costume Contest", and pretty much any time Angela's talking about her boyfriend. Hence his...
In Series Nick Name: Called "Mr. Actually" by the office because of know-it-all tendencies and correcting people by starting with "Actually..."
Insistent Terminology: Seems oddly obsessed with correcting Angela when she refers to her boyfriend as a Senator, as he's always quick to chime in with a "State Senator", to the point that he seemed conflicted when Angela gets it right on her own. He notably stops doing it once he starts an affair with him
Only Sane Man: Every character but Michael is this to some degree, but while other characters have some degree of hysteria, Oscar remains a representative of the levelheaded average guy.
Not so Above It All: While it is crass and insensitive of Michael to single him out for being gay, Oscar is a bit of a jerk sometimes to his officemates (in particular when he and his partner publicly savage Pam's art)
In Oscar's defense: he was telling Gil that his criticisms were too harsh and that it was Pam's first try and has potential. They were also talking amongst themselves and were unaware that Pam was listening in on them. Not only that, but that harsh criticism was what eventually triggers Pam's revelation that she needs to toughen up and Oscar was one of the few workers who bothered to show up at the gallery.
There was also the time that he broke open a car window when he thought it would help free a dog.
Small Name, Big Ego: While he is smart, Oscar has a tendency to overestimate himself sometimes, such as in "China", where he loudly decries the figures Michael cites on cities in China and the US, only to be proven wrong, and in "Doomsday", where he tries to cut down on mistakes by doing the math in his head, and screws it up almost immediately.
"Oh, I don't think it's blackmail. Angela just does what I ask her to do so I won't tell everyone that she's cheating on Andy with Dwight. I think for it to be blackmail, there would have to be a formal letter."
Ascended Extra: She was originally a casting assistant who was rewarded with a part after making a good impression at a read-through.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Don't let her grandmotherly appearance fool you. She is a cunning stone cold bitch when it comes to staking a claim. After all, she works in sales.
"The only difference between me and a homeless man is this job. I will do whatever it takes to survive…like I did when I was a homeless man."
Adam Westing: Creed Bratton is basically an exaggerated, weird version of the real Creed Bratton. Creed Bratton is a former member of the popular 1960's folk group The Grass Roots, as is his character.
Bi the Way: A kinda version mentioned in the "Gay Witch Hunt" episode: "I'm not offended by homosexuality. In the 60's, I made love to many, many women. Often outdoors. In the mud, in the rain. And it's possible a man slipped in. There would be no way of knowing."
The Unsmile: In "Get the Girl", when Nellie Bertram arrives in Scranton to seize control of the manager's office while Andy's gone, she tells the staff she's giving them performance reviews, and that since she doesn't know anyone they'll be evaluated "on first impressions, so I recommend smiling. It goes a long way with me." The camera pans across a dejected-looking Kevin and Phyllis...and stops on Creed, who's donning a hilarious UnSmile.
Villain Team-Up: Dwight is reluctant to ally himself with Creed in one episode, but Creed agrees before even listening to the entire proposal.
You Are in Command Now: With Michael gone, Deangelo in coma, and Dwight...being Dwight, Creed - due to seniority - is appointed Acting Manager while a replacement is found.
The Caligula:Thankfully, Pam prevented Creed from actually contacting the clients.
What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Lampshading this is almost a running gag, and Creed himself forgets what his job is when meeting Holly. However, his job is actually Quality Assurance, and one episode ('Product Recall') has him actually dealing with the ramifications of doing his job poorly.
Toby Wyatt Flenderson
Michael: "Toby is in HR which technically means he works for Corporate. So he’s really not a part of our family. Also he’s divorced so he’s really not a part of his family."
Flanderization: Toby starts out as one of the most normal people in the office, even if he's shown to be rather unlucky in life, secretly attracted to Pam, and forced by his job to spoil other people's fun every now and then. He gradually turns into a pathetic loser, a creep, and the most boring man in the world.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: On occasion, he is shown to be completely apathetic towards his own job. In an episode which aired in October, Oscar mentioned that "Toby has mentally checked out since June", and Toby didn't deny it. More recently, he explicitly stated his job was a joke and he could not do anything about an inappropriate meeting.
"I don't talk trash, I talk smack. They're totally different. Trash talk is hypothetical, like: Your mom is so fat she could eat the Internet. But smack talk is happening right now. Like: You're ugly and I know it for a fact 'cause I got the evidence right here."
Characterization Marches On: Her character changes completely after the first season, initially a very modestly dressed, quiet professional, she then was retconned into a squeeky voiced bratty child obsessed with teenage culture.
Possibly explainable that in her first episode she was a new hire eager to make a good first impression, but by the time she got comfortable in the office just let her real self come out.
It's All About Me: Acts "righteously" upset at Darryl when he chooses to spend time with his daughter over her, constantly lies to her boyfriends that she's pregnant, seeming to genuinely not understand why this might upset them, and let's not forget her defining moment of Disproportionate Retribution mentioned above.
Motor Mouth: To the point that she admits that she doesn't even to listen to herself anymore.
Put on a Bus: She left the office to be with her fiancee in order to go to Miami University in Ohio.
"Disposable cameras are fun although it does seem wasteful and you don't ever get to see your pictures. If it's an important event that you want to remember, I recommend using a real camera. But, I don't care if I forget today."
Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Takes over from Pam in watching over Michael. Erin actually does a better job of it sometimes because rather than trying to outright stop Michael's zaniness or encouraging it for her own amusement (like Pam did), Erin would let Michael have his eccentricities (because she's not too far removed from them herself) and only worked to guide Michael to do the right thing according to her own moral compass.
"I taught Mike some, uh... some phrases to help with his interracial conversation. You know, stuff like, "fleece it out," "going mach 5," "dinkin' flicka." You know, things us Negroes say."
Ascended Extra: Most of the cast started off as being like extras, although Darryl took longer to "ascend". Originally he primarily appeared in the occasional warehouse scenes, and he did not gain prominence until after Roy left when he basically became the face of the warehouse. Finally, in the fifth season he begins appearing more until becoming part of the actual office and thus part of the regular cast.
Black Best Friend: Much like Stanley, Michael sees him as this. Unlike Stanley, Darryl at least somewhat tolerates Michael.
Technically he did start off as Roy's Black Best Friend until Roy was put on a bus.
After a while, he seems to have become Andy's.
Also with Jim. Their first major interaction on the show involves a pingpong rivalry, although it's revealed that it's something their girlfriends blew out of proportion. The guys were just having fun. Later, Jim helps Darryl get a job at Athlead/Athleap and they become Odd Couple roommates whenever they're in Philadelphia. In the series finale, Darryl is overjoyed when Jim reveals that he will be rejoining the company after leaving to work on his marriage.
Genius Ditz: Although dramatically less so than Michael. She at least seems to be able to do her job
Hollywood Atheist: Mostly averted. Holly just mentions that she's an atheist and that she doesn't believe you "need a god to be happy." She doesn't rub it in people's faces or make fun of her theistic peers.
Put on a Bus: Back to Nashua. And then again to Colorado, although this time with Michael.
Crazy Jealous Guy: He was real uncomfortable about Erin being around Andy. Justifiably, as it turns out.
Derailing Love Interests: His relationship with Erin was accompanied by some episodes which show them as being like a normal couple, but also several episodes which exaggerated Gabe as being distant or insensitive in order to show Andy as the better man.
Psycho Ex Boyfriend: Has become this after Erin breaks up with him. He follows Andy, (whom Erin really likes) to the men's room and threatens him and follows Erin into the ladies room and pleads for her to take him back.
Put on a Bus: Jo finds about him and Erin and takes him back to Tallahasse.
What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Initially he's just there to oversee the transition between Dundler-Mifflin and Sabre. After the merge is complete, however, Jo leaves him in Scranton ostensibly in a supervisory role, but he has absolutely no authority and no official job title.
Took a Level in Kindness: In the third season, he actually becomes much nicer after being dumped by Pam. And when they do get back together, he shows some traces of his old self but ultimately seems committed to being a better guy until it's all violently subverted when he finds out about Pam's kiss with Jim, which causes him to temporarily become more violent than ever. He is more cordial again in his few post-firing appearances though. Up until the last part, his positive character development in this season could be seen as a prototype for that of Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation.
After he was fired, Roy encouraged Pam to pursue Jim and even had a casual chat with Jim (but at the same time, made a backhanded comment about Pam's new friends[note]Suggesting that Pam may not be loyal because Roy thought Jim was "just a friend" back then.[/note]) years after he was fired.
It's not exactly played straight. Note that when the abusive nature of the relationship first brought up in "Women Appreciation Day", the women present notice how disturbing it is and try to motivate Michael into breaking up. "Dinner Party" also has a bit of a deconstruction-y feel with this trope, as Michael himself is the only one who seems to be okay with her behavior.
Characterization Marches On: Was at first a very professional, over worked and impatient superior who was forced to put up with Michael's advances, but soon transformed into a shrill, abusive nightmare, and then finally going completely insane, going hippie and singing sexually provocative songs to her infant in the office.
I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Got implants to get Michael to get back together with her. Michael is obvious about how effective this trope is on him.
Mrs. Robinson: It's implied that she had an affair with her teenage assistant Hunter and when she returns in season 9 as a client Dwight brings in Clark, the new 23 year old Dunder Mifflin employee as a bribe for her in exchange for her business.
Easily Forgiven: Pretty blatant in Season 9, as the only one in the office who even seems to remember what she pulled in Season 8 is Andy himself. Even Erin only acknowledges that Andy hates her, having apparently forgotten he has a very good reason for it.
Karma Houdini: She gets away with stealing another person's job while being very ill-suited for it (which she herself admitted), raising and lowering her employees' salaries at a whim as bribes to get them to support her(despite the fact that not even the job she claimed to have had that authority), and being openly insubordinate and talking down to the CEO. Being Jo's friend and Robert's object of affection helps.
Gradually becoming averted in Season 9, in which Andy has resolved to pay her back for what she did to him.
Andy later abandoning both his job and his girlfriend to sail to the Bahamas for a few months helped turn the office against him.
Pointy-Haired Boss: She's pretty incompetent, but gets by on being an old personal friend of Jo Bennett.
Brother Chuck: Disappeared for several seasons, and then returned for the seventh season episode "Todd Packer". Jim and Dwight team up to get rid of him by impersonating as Sabre representatives over the phone who tell Packer he's been promoted to a job at Sabre HQ in Florida. We likely won't be seeing him again.
Nope, he is in Tallahassee. Packer will not be rid of easily.
Yeah, Dwight and Jim tried to get me fired, but I landed on my feet in Florida. You see this cat's got nine lives. And a nine inch—!(Curse Cut Short)
In a weak sense, anyway. He doesn't show any real incompetence outside of favoring Dwight, which does indeed make him look pretty stupid when Dwight starts displaying just how nuts he is.
Though much more competent than Michael in every other way, he seems to be a Horrible Judgeof Character, what with making Stanley his productivity Tsar, ignoring Jim's talents, and making Dwight his number two. Though it should be noted, Michael did the same thing with Jim and Dwight until corporate intervened. Also, the hardworking, top salesman Dwight would look promising on paper and Jim's work under Ryan's VP tenure indicated Jim may in fact work better under a boss who doesn't like him.
Put on a Bus And later fired when Sabre cleaned house after they acquired Dunder-Mifflin
Broken Pedestal: For Michael in Season 5, after sending Holly away and putting Charles in charge of the branch's operations while ignoring Michael's calls, pushing him to quitting the company altogether.
Brutal Honesty: When she learns that Gabe had become irrational and creepy over Erin, she pads nothing about her opinion: Gabe was picked, perhaps because of his gaunt, bony apearance, to be a "ghost" to keep the DM staff on their toes, and since he had gotten involved in their lives and therefore showed them that he was a week reed and kind of a creep he was useless to her in Scranton, and his being moved back to Florida was not a promotion.
Canine Companion: Her great danes...although when we see her again in "Dwight K. Schrute (Acting) Manager", they've been replaced, by two much smaller dogs.
The next time we see her, she's got one of the smaller dogs and one great dane. Woman loves her dogs.
Pointy-Haired Boss: Subverted. Actually seems to be rather competent, and her straight-shooting style is actually a honest kick in the pants that the office needs when facing problematic situations such as finding full-time managers.
Though she does make her share of boneheaded moves as well:
Not recognizing that the reason Dunder-Mifflin Scranton had two co-managers was because Scranton had absorbed the full workload of two other branches prior to that point, making the arrangement more or less necessary. Though this seems to be more Fridge Logic than in-universe stupidity on Jo's part, as it comes across as though the writers forgot this themselves.
Appointing Deangelo Vickers, a complete incompetent, to a Regional Manager position solely because he rescued one of her dogs.
Appointing Dwight to be Acting Manager when Deangelo is incapacitated, despite it being very obvious that he has zero concern for his fellow employees.
When Dwight doesn't work out, she puts Creed in charge solely based on his senority, despite every member of the Search Committee warning her not to. It's only thanks to Pam keeping him in check that he didn't cause irreparable damage to the client base.
Greenlighting Nellie's retail store initiative. Robert California, of all people, points out that Saber's electronics are the cheap kind that are better off being sold online or over the phone than in person.
Formerly Fat: Part of his Ted Baxter tendencies seem to stem from the fact that he overcame obesity, to the point that he claims that "If someone shot me in the head, I'm pretty sure everything would be fine. I almost welcome it."
The Millstone: When Andy takes him along to help with hanging on to a client, Deangelo nearly wrecks the entire pitch instead.
Pointy-Haired Boss: The only reason he has a job at Sabre was that he stopped a guy trying to steal one of Jo Bennett's dogs, and not because of any skills in sales or management.
Put on a Bus: Ultimately winds up becoming comatose after being the official boss for just one episode after a freak accident with a basketball hoop.
Straw Misogynist - He only allows males into his inner circle despite the office having high-ranking females such as Pam and Angela. When Jim meekly tries calling him out on it, he tries to cover this by hiring a woman as his executive assistant, except that he hires a Brainless Beauty with no corporate background.
On the other hand, the woman in question is named Jordan, so it's possible he didn't even know that she was female when he hired her.
Stupid Boss: Michael is a savant at selling paper. Deangelo is completely incompetent and antagonistic with clients. During a sales call to one of the company's most important clients, he intentionally angers and alienates the client, believing that this is some sort of brilliant reverse psychology sales tactic. Deangelo fails so spectacularly that Andy, who is a mediocre salesman, has to step in to save the contract.
Aborted Arc: One of her deleted scenes implied she had a crush on Jim.