YMMV: Office Space

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: While Lumbergh is clearly a dick, most of his behavior is designed to help the company (with the exception of his treatment of Milton). He clearly shows up to work on the weekend when everyone else has to and most of his annoying commands are basic details of Peter's job. Meanwhile, Peter does literally the bare minimum he can and then decides to rob the company because they dare to expect him to do work for his paycheck (and convinces his friends to help based on their oncoming layoffs) which leads to near imprisonment for his friends.
    • His behavior helps the company? He has everyone stop what they're doing so he can give speeches on how they need to help the company, and he adds make-work and red tape to everything, doesn't seem to actually do any work himself, spends money on consultants just so they can tell him to fire his most competent employees (and argues with them when they make a decision he doesn't like), kills efficiency and productivity by asking people to work 7 days a week to catch up on projects, steals personal property from employees, etc...
    • While interesting the other side of the story is that when things were going wrong Peter decided to take the blame to protect his friends and only planned the robbery when he was told about his friends getting fired. He made some pretty dickish moves but also some very positive ones.
    • Of course, he still parked in the handicap space - albeit because Peter parked in HIS space. Then the rear bumper of his car got ripped off when they attempted to tow him in the very same scene.
    • It should be mentioned that, as Peter himself said, the reason he does the bare minimum is that he has no incentive to do more. And when he made it clear that this was how he felt to the consultants, he got promoted. Meanwhile, his buddies were about to get axed despite their greater competence and sense of work ethic.
    • How about Tom, then: From his explanation, it's entirely possible he had a job back when the company was young, before the Internet bubble started and his fax machine and secretary imperceptibly made him superfluous, and getting rid of him is exactly the kind of thing the Bobs should do, and he's right to be worried.
      • Tom's job is actually incredibly important at any tech company (essentially, it requires an understanding of how to turn generally loose, vaguely-defined customer requirements into concrete specifications that the engineers can do something with, while also conveying to customers exactly what is and isn't possible; as such, it requires two discrete skillsets that not many people have.) He just does a terrible job explaining it, which could be attributed to how on edge he very obviously was when the interview took place.
  • Ass Pull: Peter is disgusted when told that Joanna slept with Lumburgh and breaks up with her. He later learns that this was referring to another previously unmentioned character with that same last name, which somehow never occurred to him.
  • The Catch Phrase Catches On: Several turns of phrase from the film have become fairly commonplace in Real Life,e.g. "TPS Report", "pieces of flair", "a case of the Mondays", "Did you get that memo?" etc. Not to mention Michael Bolton being described as a "no-talent ass-clown".
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: A part of the Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster montage.
    • Any time Geto Boys' "Still" plays. Must submerge the urge to smash a hated piece of technology in the office...
  • Cult Classic: For almost anyone who has ever worked at a white collar office job.
    • Hell, anyone who has ever had a job in a professional career field, blue or white collar, can in some way identify with the numerous annoyances the main characters are forced to put up with at Initech.
      • Or anyone who has any idea what a job in a professional workplace might be like.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Despite only appearing in a few scenes, Peter's neighbor Lawrence has become one character from the film that almost everybody remembers (largely due to his hilariously stone-faced delivery of the line "Two chicks at the same time.")
    • Or his matter-of-fact refusal of Peter's offer to come over. "No thanks, man. Don't want you fuckin' up my life too."
  • Fridge Brilliance: Milton's ramblings about his stapler are actually accurate. The Swingline brand stapler is a far more reliable model than the cheaper, flimsier Bostedge brand. Also counts as Fridge Horror when you realize that you've been working a white collar office job long enough to appreciate that...
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: You know that plan to rip off the company with endless micro-transitions? Aside from being an homage to Superman III, someone tried that themselves.
    • It's even funnier than that when you consider this quote by Michael Bolton: "And a bunch of hackers in the 70s tried it as well. One of them got busted."
    • This one may depend on the viewer. This movie features Ron Livingston as a guy who is treated like crap by his boss. Thirteen years later, Livingston plays a Lumbergh-like boss in The Odd Life of Timothy Green (who treats his employees like crap, makes fun of the title character for not being a good soccer player and even steals patents from his employees). In fact, this character may actually be worse than Lumbergh.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In one scene, Peter tries to shut down his Mac quickly. It shows an MS-DOS-like command line, which Macs in 1999 did not have until a couple of years later with the release of the Unix-based Mac OS X.
    • This was actually intentional on the part of Mike Judge. In the way that character traits are combined into a single person to make an "everyman", elements of Windows and Mac OS were combined to make a "generic" computer that anyone could relate to, whether they used Windows or Mac.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "I believe you have my stapler?"
    • Michael's description of federal prison.
    • "Yeeeaahh, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and...", etc.
    • "Two chicks at the same time."
    • "What exactly is it you do here?"
    • "No-talent ass-clown."
    • "I'm going to set the building on fire."
    • "Flair."
  • Misaimed Fandom: Ron Livingston said that a lot of people have told him they quit their jobs because of the movie. Probably not the best lesson to learn from the movie considering the efforts of Peter, Michael, and Samir to get out of work for life nearly get them sent to prison, and at the end of the movie they're all relieved to have jobs again.
  • Most Annoying Ear Worm: "Corporate accounts payable, Nina speaking. Just a moment..."
  • Values Dissonance: Due to high unemployment rates in recent years, Peter's constant whining about how much he hates his job has made him look pretty unsympathetic to some people. This is even lampshaded by Samir, when Peter asks "What if we're still working for Initech in 30 years" and Samir says "It would be nice to have that kind of job security."
  • The Woobie: Milton by far.
    • Anyone who's felt trapped in a boring office job will probably have a lot of sympathy for Peter.