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    Michael Gary Scott 

    Dwight Kurt Schrute III
“Nothing stresses me out. Except having to seek the approval of my inferiors.”
Played by: Rainn Wilson
Seasons: 1-9

Sales Representative/Assistant to the Regional Manager/Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

UK counterpart: Gareth Keenan.

  • Babies Ever After: By the series finale, he has son, Phillip, with Angela.
  • Bad Liar: Dwight has many impressive skills. Deception is not one of them.
  • Bears Are Bad News: A firm believer in this trope.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: "Idiot." Also begins countless sentences with "Question...", "Fact..." or "False..."
  • Characterization Marches On: He used to be an almost blind worshiper of Michael, eagerly doing all his requests, but in later seasons he grew increasingly dedicated to surpassing and taking the Regional Manager job for himself.
  • Character Development: In Seasons 8 and 9 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.
    • 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. He also shot a "werewolf" that turned back into the neighbour's dog. And, while volunteering at the animal hospital, euthanized over 150 pets by himself.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Dwight is someone who, while his behavior is mostly predictable, seems to have motivations and an internal monologue that indicate that he is one of these.
  • The Comically Serious: Everything is Serious Business for him and this is often, if not always, Played for Laughs.
  • 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.
  • Control Freak: He greatly dislikes letting anyone share his status or have more authority than him, not even letting his girlfriend Angela share it when they plan for Dwight to take over the branch.
  • Crazy-Prepared: he has a large amount of weapons hidden around the office in case of attack.
  • Determinator: In "Tallahasee" he tries to make it through a Sabre seminar even though he's in pain from an appendicitis. Later in the day he still tries to give a presentation just a few hours after having an emergency appendectomy.
  • Dumb, but Diligent: In contrast to Jim, who is Brilliant, but Lazy, Dwight is still intelligent but he's socially inept and quite gullible has a tendency to just not take "No" for an answer, and that is how he makes sales. His interpersonal skills are inappropriate, sometimes even illegal, but he has a high level of passion for everything he does.
  • Enemy Mine: Prior to befriending Jim, there were a few things that would make him enter into this with Jim - the opportunity for a major sale (when Robert California closed the Binghamton Branch while drunk, for example) or Todd Packer being the most notable.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Fits the bill for Proximity and Supervision. Dwight is easily the least liked person in the office, with even friend hungry Michael trying to avoid him if he can help it. Most of Jim's pranks work largely due to nobody in the office being willing to support Dwight if he catches on or keeping quiet so he doesn't figure it out. Ironically Jim seems to be about the only person in the office willing to treat Dwight as a friend.
  • A God Am I: Dwight calls himself "the King of Kings" of sales because thinks of himself as Jesus, something reinforced when he does a Tableau of The Last Supper so he can play Christ in the center.
  • Happily Married: With Angela as of The Finale.
  • 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 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!)
    • While Dwight can be seen as off-putting by a lot of people, he's surprisingly good with and quite fond of children and babies, including Jim and Pam's baby, Cece. This is best seen in the episode "Viewing Party" where Cece keeps crying and Dwight takes her from Pam and does a simple hand motion that stops her crying and causes her to fall asleep within seconds. Pam even notes that she "loves him" much to Jim's despair.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Some of the things he says about his childhood are pretty horrifying, including years of being shunned and performing his own circumcision.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: With Angela who stands 5'1 next to Dwight who is 6'3.
  • Idiot Houdini: There's honestly no logical explanation for why corporate didn't fire him in "Stress Relief" (other than Status Quo Is God, of course). First, he intentionally started a fire in the office that not only led to people damaging corporate property in the panic, but almost killed Stanley, who has a heart attack from the stress. Then, after inexplicably not being fired, he costs corporate 3,500 dollars a day or two later when he deliberately destroys a CPR dummy. And he's still not fired. Top salesman or not, you've got to expect that he'd be fired and sued immediately in Real Life.
  • 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.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's a great salesman with a gigantic ego.
  • Jerkass: Not exactly a friendly person. Due to his Brutal Honesty and lack of social skills, he comes across as rude.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: His fire drill, while insanely dangerous, proved that he was right about how ill-prepared his coworkers were for an actual fire.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Occasionally. Though his compassion isn't seen by any characters (just the audience), its effects are obvious. Almost the entirety of his relationship with Angela shows this, especially getting fired (temporarily, though he didn't know it) due to respecting her wish to keep their love a secret.
  • Karma Houdini: See his entry on the main page under this trope.
  • 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. Justified since he is actually a Competition and Control Freak and his extreme emphasis on the rules is as much about intentionally undermining or irritating others to advance his own agenda as it is any actual Uber-respect for the rules.
  • Manipulative Bastard: On occasion.
  • 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.
  • Nazi Grandpa: Repeatedly hinted that his grandfather was a German war criminal, to the point that the Shoah Foundation protested Dwight's visa to visit him in Argentina.
  • Nerd Glasses: Has both the glasses and the look.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: If he has a chance to perform for the camera or make a pop culture reference it will often be something villainous, and he will invariably take it way too far- case in point, his homage to Silence of the Lambs when he pretends to be Hannibal Lecter by skinning the face off a resuscitation dummy and wearing it as his own!
  • No Sense of Humor: Everything is Serious Business for him.
  • 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.
  • Not So Above It All: As much as he tries to avoid doing so, he does occasionally find himself involved in the antics of his fellow employees - among other things, he was a part of the Lip Dub of "Nepotism", he was one of the many people trying to see what Stanley would notice, and he was willing to help Jim and Pam trick Michael into believing he'd slept the entire day after the latter had eaten an entire chicken pot pie (mostly because he had to bring one of his horses to the vet and needed to leave early).
  • 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.
  • The Paranoiac: Dwight tends to believe that everyone else in the office has (or even, should have) just as much of a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder as he does and acts accordingly, plotting against others in the workplace and assuming that they are plotting against him; he is a security freak to the point that he doesn't let anyone walk behind him for fear of being attacked from behind, and hides numerous weapons around the office in case someone actually does; he is a Professional Butt-Kisser of the highest order yet mostly so he can abuse his power and further his own career, and ultimately plots to replace his own boss; he entertains numerous crazy fantasies and conspiracy theories whilst simultaneously pointing out the (perceived) stupidity of other peoples' more mundane ideas; and, like many paranoids, his behaviour and attitude becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy as it just leads to almost everyone in the company disliking, undermining and pulling pranks on him.
  • 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 lost all of the respect he had for Michael.
  • Properly Paranoid: As mentioned above, Dwight keeps numerous weapons hidden around the office in the even of an assault. In "The Negotiation" when an enraged Roy enters the office and attacks Jim, Dwight stops him with the spray; saving Jim. This was lampshaded in Dwight's talking head that he's brought pepper spray to work with him every day for eight years and everyone laughed at him for it. He responds with "Who's laughing now?"
  • Refuge in Audacity: For example, sending the entire office into a panic by tricking them into thinking there was a fire for the sole purpose of running a realistic fire drill.
  • The Rival: Jim. Andy, initially, but they become good friends in season 5.
  • Serious Business: Dwight treats everything in his life with absolute seriousness, especially his job.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Even more than 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.
  • Tsundere: To Angela.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He's quite average and a bit dorky-looking compared to his later wife the petite, pretty blonde Angela.
  • 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).
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Back and forth with Angela.
  • Worthy Opponent: With Jim.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Dwight treats real life as if it were a different genre of fiction. He treats the threat of layoffs as if he were participating in a competitive reality TV show like Survivor, keeps a variety of weapons in strategic hiding places throughout the office as though violent attacks were imminent, and at one point describes a detailed robbery plan that would be Genre Savvy if he existed in a crime thriller.
  • 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.

    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."
Played by: John Krasinski
Seasons: 1-9

Sales Representative/Co-Regional Manager/Assistant to the Regional Manager/Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

UK counterpart: Tim Canterbury.

  • The Ace: One of the best salesmen in the company, a Chick Magnet to the point that he's arguably the most handsome man in the office, gets away with every prank he pulls, and gets the girl of his dreams. Jim is likely the most conventionally successful person in the office.
  • Adorkable: More outgoing and charismatic than Pam, but still shown to be lacking in a real social life.
  • Audience Surrogate: Jim is the one who most frequently reacts to the insanity around him, mostly by throwing Aside Glances as the camera.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: He loves messing with Dwight for his own amusement but he ultimately sees Dwight as a friend and will look out for Dwight's best interests. Like when he physically fought Dwight to prevent him from going into a meeting where he'd be scapegoated and fired and putting together the ultimate bachelor party so that Dwight can make peace with Kevin and stepping aside so that Dwight can have Michael as his best man.
  • Babies Ever After: By the series finale, he has daughter (Cecelia) and son (Phillip) with Pam.
  • 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.
  • Butt-Monkey: After getting with Pam, Jim's awkward moments are played up. He's forced to confront Karen after getting suckered into a prank that backfired. He makes a fool of himself while trying to discuss "Angela's Ashes" with Pam's "Finer Things Club". His attempts at leadership expose his similarities to Michael and make his co-workers turn against him. He makes a bad first impression on Michael's new boss. He accidentally reveals that Pam got pregnant out of wedlock in front of her conservative grandmother. Then there's the snowball fight...
  • 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.
  • Cool Loser: Despite his charismatic personality, he doesn't seem to have too much of a social life outside of the office and Pam. Probably Justified though because it's clear Jim spends a lot of time working.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly directed towards Michael and Dwight, especially during conference room meetings.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Michael once commented on how good looking Jim is.
  • The Everyman: An easily relatable average guy.
  • Everyone Can See It: With Pam.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • As much as he pranks and mocks Dwight, he strongly disapproves of Michael's treatment of him, notably in "Drug Testing" and "Golden Ticket". Probably at least in part because, whereas Jim's actions are in response to Dwight's Jerkass behavior towards him, Dwight practically worships the ground Michael walks on (most of the time).
    • Jim tends to avoid doing anything that involves putting Dwight in serious physical danger, causing him genuine distress, or threatening his job, and is usually among the first to step in if Dwight is in danger of any of those from another source.
    • He looks after Michael in the same vein and in the end, tells him how much he actually appreciates him as his boss.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • The Gadfly: Loves playing pranks, preferably on Dwight. It's partly to keep Dwight's ego in check, partly to alleviate the boredom of the office.
  • Happily Married: With Pam as of early season 6. They go to a couple of rough spots, especially in season 9, but the marriage survives.
  • In Series Nick Name: Andy calls him "Big Tuna" or sometimes just "Tuna" ever since he saw him eat a tuna sandwich for lunch.
  • Jerkass Realization: Once Michael starts listing off all of the pranks he's pulled on Dwight over the years, Jim slowly realises that he's been incredibly mean to Dwight and even if Dwight "deserved it", if nothing else the sheer number of pranks he's pulled were excessive and the fact that he could waste entire days doing nothing but screw with Dwight is just sad. More poignant was that Dwight was trying to get Jim fired or at least transferred for all of these pranks and it dawns on Jim that the real reason he's been doing this is because he's become miserable at work and they are what he does to pass the time so Dwight might even be right.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Most of his pranks on Dwight are genuinely mean-spirited, but most would agree he's a nice guy.
  • Karma Houdini: Most of his pranks should have gotten him reprimanded. More than a few of them should have gotten him fired. And a small handful of them should have ended in his immediate arrest.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After getting away with pranking Dwight for years, he gets a pretty humiliating comeuppance in the snowball fight episode.
  • Lonely at the Top: When he briefly became co-manager alongside Michael.
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Mentioned by a few characters. It doesn't help that during a game of Who Would You Do, Jim jokingly said Kevin.
    • In season 3 Roy admits that he only tolerated Jim's friendship with his fiancée because he thought Jim was gay.
    • Todd Packer asked Jim if he is "still queer", though that's a pretty standard remark for Packer to make towards 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.
  • Not So Different: The occasions where he's allowed to take charge show him to be just as incompetent as Michael. When his plan to merge all the month's birthdays into one party backfires, Michael, who was away that day, reveals he tried the same exact thing with similar results when he started out as manager.
  • Noob: At Call of Duty. He accidentally kills his own team members, gets stuck in corners and wants to snipe in Carentan.
  • Oh, Crap!: Due to being the closest embodiment of No Fourth Wall on the show, his tend to be most visible.
  • Only Sane Man: While Jim is probably the most likely out of the entire Dunder Mifflin staff to point out his coworker's foibles and snark about them, he is more than willing to indulge them for his own amusement whenever he's bored, which is often. In later episodes, though, Jim has shown that he's not immune from picking up the Idiot Ball, especially when he's put in charge of anything, and he and Pam go through a good deal of drama in the final season due to their inability to communicate.
  • The Prankster: Though he usually limits himself to Dwight (or occasionally Andy).
  • The Rival: To Dwight, though there are occasional moments where they get along.
  • Screwy Squirrel: He tends to play pranks on Dwight and Andy out of boredom, but occasionally because they're driving him crazy and pranking them allows him to turn their insanity into comedy. How sympathetic Jim is depends a lot on how funny his pranks are and how much the victims did to deserve them that episode.
  • Second Love: To Pam — she was originally engaged to Roy, but after spending time with Jim more and more, getting tired of Roy's selfishness, and having a Green-Eyed Epiphany, she eventually became an Official Couple with Jim.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: When his two brothers make a first appearance in "Employee Transfer", it's clear that Jim is sweet, thoughtful, and encouraging in contrast to his brothers' mean (with a minor Pet the Dog moment), thoughtlessness, and discouraging attitudes.
  • Straight Man: Jim in particular serves to balance the insanity that is Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Pam in early seasons. A lot of critical speculation said that its resolution would destroy the show. Its continuing strength even after dealing with the UST is a testament to the writing team. They Do.
  • Worthy Opponent: With Dwight.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Jim gets tranfered he starts pulling his pranks Andy, clearly expecting to start up the same dynamic that he had with Dwight. Unfortunately for Jim he didn't count on Andy having genuine anger issues.
  • 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.

    Pamela Morgan "Pam" Beesly-Halpert
"I just... I don't think it's many little girls' dream to be a receptionist."
Played by: Jenna Fischer
Seasons: 1-9

Receptionist/Sales Representative/Office Administrator of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

UK counterpart: Dawn Tinsley.

  • Adorkable: Especially in early seasons with her meek, shy personality, and the way she smiles when Jim is around.
  • 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.
  • Babies Ever After: By the series finale, she has daughter (Cecelia) and son (Phillip) with Jim.
  • Berserk Button: Do not call her "Pammy". And definitely don't date her mother if your name is Michael Scott.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Especially in later seasons, when she has learned to stand up for herself.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mostly in the early seasons when she's much more of an insecure Shrinking Violet, frequently being put in extremely awkward situations by Michael, but less so after she gains confidence after Beach Games. Slightly occurs again when Michael begins dating her mother, much to her horror and chagrin.
  • Character Development: She learns to gain a backbone and more outspoken.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder:
    • Tries to be this to Michael, sometimes, but has a hard time keeping him on the ground.
    • When she's not antagonizing Dwight, she is also sometimes this to him, particularly when he gets a concussion.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Steadily became more of one over time.
  • 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. Michael has also expressed his attraction to her a few times. Creed has stated his desire to see her topless. The Ben Franklin impersonator hit on her after only one hour.
    • She also dated Danny Cordray (Timothy Olyphant) and Kelly's cartoonist friend. Subverted with the former who ends up dumping Pam after their second date because she is too "dorky". Also subverted with Dwight who apparently thinks she is "plain"; when he stands up for her, he tells Danny that Pam is "One of the plain hearty women of Scranton that make this city great. And so what if she doesn't wear makeup? We like her better that way!"
    • Subverted when Ryan moves up to corporate and tries to be a slick New Yorker. He describes her as a seven for Scranton but maybe a six for New York.
    • She is aware of this and in one episode she gets jealous when an attractive woman named Katy comes into the office and becomes the new Dude Magnet among the male co-workers, including Jim. It doesn't help that Kevin outright tells Pam "She's much prettier than you".
  • Everyone Can See It: With Jim.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After she starts going out with Jim in season 4, she wears her hair down and ditches the button-up shirts.
  • Extreme Doormat: She tolerates absolutely everything Roy does while they're together, no matter how insensitive or borderline abusive. She gets better.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
  • Fragile Flower: Initially.
  • Girl Next Door: A big part of her appeal is how approachable she is, combined with her obvious but understated good looks.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: A variation occurs in Season 2. When Pam lets her hair down she goes from being quietly pretty to breathtakingly gorgeous. Michael notices, which causes Pam to quickly tie her hair up again. Invoked in a Season 4 episode where Pam loses her contact lenses and comes to work wearing thick glasses. Everyone comments on how ugly she looks, except for Kevin who has a librarian fetish.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Pam first noticed her feelings for Jim when he began a relationship with Katy, a purse saleswoman.
  • Happily Married: With Jim as of early season 6. They go to a couple of rough spots, especially in season 9, but the marriage survives.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: For all the touting of her taking a level in jerkass, most of the people she mistreats are those who spent the first few seasons (and often continue right up to the present) treating her like dirt, so it's hard to feel too much sympathy for them.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Her relationship with Michael. She often behaves a lot like a little sister who has to take care of her stupid big brother. Best seen when she races to the airport to hug him goodbye.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Breaks down shortly before the wedding as their friends and family are driving her crazy. Luckily, Jim had tickets for the boat ready.
  • Odd Friendship: With Michael, Dwight and Angela, though all three friendships are off-again, on-again. She is notably one of the few who will ever play along with Michael and Dwight's odder moments, such as Dwight's Recyclops act. She cheered him on while everyone else was just resignedly annoyed.
  • Only Sane Woman: Oscar labels himself, Toby, Jim, and Pam as Dunder Mifflin's 'Coalition of Reason'.
  • 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 fiancé 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.
  • Sexy Secretary: Her male co-workers regard her as one.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Andy and Erin. She also ships Oscar with Matt from the warehouse: "Yes, they're the only two gay guys I know. But they should be together."
  • Shrinking Violet: In early years.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The reason she likes Jim is because he's funny, it's easy to talk to him, and he encourages her aspirations.
  • Straight Man: Along with Jim she is this to the wackiness that emanates from various corners of the office.
  • 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. Roy also says that as part of her "artsy-fartsy" identity in high school, she wore turtlenecks.
  • Team Mom: Occasionally.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Downplayed. After she learns to stand up for herself and gains more confidence, she sometimes takes it too far and starts acting selfishly.
  • 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.
  • UST: With Jim. They Do.

    Ryan Bailey Howard
"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."
Played by: B.J. Novak
Seasons: 1-8, 9note 

Temporary Worker/Sales Representative/Vice President of Sales (Corporate) of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

UK counterparts: Ricky Howard, Neil Godwin (in season 4).

  • Advertised Extra: Why he is even in the opening credits along with the main characters (Michael, Dwight, Jim, Pam, and later Andy) is never made clear.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Ryan was known to be a very ambitious temp who dreams of running his own business but his laziness, arrogance, selfishness and drug addiction kept him from from succeeding and the fact that he can't commit to anything clearly doesn't help matters and while he's not completely evil, his morals constantly shifts which doesn't make him a reliable person either.
  • 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.
  • Back for the Finale: Ryan is absent in season 9, save for returning in "Finale" when Ryan attends Dwight and Angela's wedding.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Ryan started out as a man with ambition and intelligence but ends up being the laziest coworker in Dunder Mifflin.
  • Characterization Marches On: He started out as a generic, mild mannered rookie working his way through college but after being hired as a full time salesman, he becomes more snippy and sarcastic and is shown to be an insensitive and aloof boyfriend to Kelly since he has a hard time mastering commitment. After being promoted to VP of company sales, he became incredibly pretentious, rude, selfish and egotistical. After being fired from his VP position and forced to become a temp again, he remained pretentious, sarcastic, selfish and rude while also becoming openly uncaring about his job.
  • Composite Character: Although he is originally based on Ricky Howard from the UK show, when he takes Jan's place in corporate in season 4, his role and behavior become similar to that of Neil Godwin.
  • Cool Hat: His trilby. Where'd he get it? He'd rather not say.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often in early seasons. When Phyllis introduces her boyfriend Bob to the others:
    Kevin: Kevin Malone.
    Bob Vance: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.
    Stanley: Stanley Hudson.
    Bob Vance: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.
    Ryan: Ryan Howard.
    Bob Vance: Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.
    Ryan: What line of work you in, Bob?
  • Didn't Think This Through: He was clearly desperate to make the website work, both because it was his brainchild and because if it failed, his job would have been on the line. But telling everyone to take the sales they made through their clients personally and credit them to the website as well (to make it look like the website was working) wouldn't have fooled anyone for more than a month at most. As soon as an accountant tried to reconcile sales figures with accounts receivable, the jig would have been up.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Lampshaded. Ryan confirms Angela's boyfriend is gay because he liked Ryan's pictures on facebook. At three in the morning. Not to mention Michael's man crush on him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: At one point, Creed asked for his help in setting up a blog. He instead set up a Word document disguised as a blog, to "protect the world from being exposed to Creed's brain". He describes the contents as being "pretty shocking, even for the Internet."
  • Feigning Intelligence: As Regional VP, he turns out not so competent or confident in his position, and the use of "business buzzwords" doesn't hide it.
  • Foil: To Michael. Both were put in management positions they were completely unsuited for. But while the dimwitted Michael attempted to make up for his shortcomings by being overly friendly towards his employees, the brainy Ryan became an complete jerk who was willing to break the law to hide his failures.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: A Downplayed Trope for him since not much focus is put on his placement in the social dynamics of the office but its pretty clear that pretty much no one in the office cares at all for him. Only Michael and Kelly want to spend time with him and even they get fed up with how much of a Jerkass he is.
  • 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. His quirks mostly involves him being inconsistent with his morals, interests, fashion and personality which makes him a bit of a erratic person.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: He grows a Beard of Evil after being promoted.
  • Hey, You!: In the early seasons, a lot of his co-workers just called him "Temp" or "the Temp".
  • Hidden Depths: Apparently he is quite the poet. In "Angry Andy" when Kelly gets a new boyfriend, he is jealous and writes a poem about her. He refuses to read it when Pam asks him to, however she and Jim dig it out of the trash and upon reading it start crying.
  • Hipster: He has settled into this characterization starting in the sixth season.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Ryan as "hottest in the office." It's mostly Michael and Kelly's crushes on him that inform this, and Ryan himself.
  • Insufferable Genius: Ryan is undeniably very smart and can be a little arrogant and pretentious about it.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: Ryan's photography.
  • 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. He goes from a contemptuous, disdainful and condescending human being to a complete amoral monster who poisons his own son Drake with strawberries (which Drake is allergic to) and abandons him to continue his unhealthy relationship with Kelly.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While it's clear he's a Know-Nothing Know-It-All most of the time, he's correct that the primary reason for Dunder-Mifflin's struggles is that the company refuses to pivot it's business strategy towards a marketplace that is becoming more and more paperless.
    • He's not wrong on how Michael's behavior is wildly inappropriate.
    • Ryan had every right to be mad at Kelly for lying about being pregnant just to go on a date with him.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Throughout the first two seasons he would talk about the things he had learned in business school, suggesting that he was knowledgeable in the field than his older co-workers. However, it soon becomes exceedingly clear despite his smarts, he has no idea what he's doing as he is a failure as a salesman and his website fails to attract any customers.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Ryan is generally aloof and antisocial and he's not the most popular coworker due to his smugness, shadiness and pretentious attitude.
  • Manipulative Bastard: On occasion when he finds the opportunity that benefits him.
  • Manchild: Not as blatant as Michael, but Ryan's temperament and personality is comparable to that of a teenager's.
  • Nerd Glasses: Ryan starts wearing big thick rimmed glasses after they started becoming trendy.
  • Only Sane Man: In early seasons.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: In season 4. He tries to cover it up with excessive use of office buzz words and hip terminology, but he obviously has no idea what he is doing.
  • Put on a Bus: Left the office to pursue Kelly in season 9.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Ryan and Kelly. He was an aloof and snarky temp who is one of the smartest characters, she was a ditzy and bubbly chatterbox.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: One attribute he's picked up from Michael.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In season 4. Ryan's morality gets more and more questionable as the show develops.
  • Two First Names: His first and last name can both be used as a given name for a male.
  • 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.

    Andrew Baines "Andy" Bernard
"I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them."
Played by: Ed Helms
Seasons: 3-9

Sales Representative/Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.

  • 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.
  • Adorkable: After he Took a Level in Kindness he becomes more endearing and well-meaning, while still being very eccentric and naive.
  • Ambiguously Bi: In "Gossip", he's shown to be quite unsure about being straight, to the point of being conflicted on believing or not the false rumor that he was gay, and genuinely unsure about whether he would reject Brad Pitt.
  • Amusing Injuries: He rips his scrotum while trying to do a split at the night before Jim and Pam's wedding. This is Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Berserk Button: In the earlier seasons he really doesn't like pranks.
    "I need to know who put my calculator in Jell-O, or I'm gonna lose my freaking mind!"
    "A lot of people here for some reason think it's funny to steal someone's personal property and hide it from them. Here's a little newsflash! It's not funny! In fact, it's pretty freakin' unfunny! Oh, my GOD! [punches a hole in the wall]"
  • Breakout Character: His role gets bigger and bigger as the series progresses, even resulting in a Promotion to Opening Titles in mid-Season 6.
  • Butt-Monkey: Jim's cell phone prank, getting marooned on Lake Scranton, tearing his scrotum while dancing, falling neatly into an open box while parkour-ing, getting sunburnt while sailing to the Bahamas his second day on the water, and finally, being made into a meme.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: With Erin. Though lately, it seems that he's gotten over her.
  • Characterization Marches On: After going through Anger Management, he faces some pretty big Villain Decay and is now one the nicest people in the office.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Even for an Ivy League graduate selling paper in a small Rust Belt city right behind the Poconos.
  • Competition Freak: Both him and Dwight have this as one of their defining traits.
  • 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.
  • The Dilbert Principle: Was promoted to Regional Manager between Seasons 7 and 8 despite being repeatedly shown to be the worst salesman among the cast. A rare positive example in that he seems to be much more competent as a manager than a salesman (pre-Season 9, anyway).
  • 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.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: There are points where he's even less liked than Dwight. Fitting considering that he's just as annoying and bizarre but lacks Dwight's business acumen.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Throughout the series Andy sings songs clearly not meant for his vocal range, including "Zombie" by the Cranberries, "Stayin' Alive" by The Beegees and "Closing Time" by Semisonic. His singing of "Zombie" is especially notable as it ultimately led Jim to play the prank on him that caused him to have an angry outburst, putting him in anger management and ultimately contributing to his Villain Decay.
  • Hot-Blooded: Until he goes to anger management. Though, once he gets pushed over the edge, his anger issues resurface.
  • It's All About Me: Pre-anger management and much of Season 9.
  • I Was Beaten by a Girl: By a little girl no less in "Test The Store". He attempts to obscure the detail about his black eye...until the mother comes by forcing her daughter to apologize. He later gets another black eye after Kelly accidentally punches him. Toby is sympathetic, heavily implying he was abused by his ex wife.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He was initially a Manipulative Bastard, but after going to Anger Management he Took a Level in Kindness. Come Season 9, with Andy getting accustomed to being the new boss, Andy Took a Level in Jerkass again.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Initially. At least successfully around Michael, 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. In season 9, he also calls Pete "Plop", because he supposedly defecates a lot.
  • Not as You Know Them:
    • Changed quite radically between the 8th and 9th seasons, into a more confident and assertive but much less sensitive and likable figure. Notably he became much more hostile to Nellie in part to make her more sympathetic.
    • 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.
  • Odd Friendship: With Darryl.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In mid-Season 6, thanks to the trope below and Ed Helms having a starring role in a blockbuster comedy.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: With Erin. They ultimately break up permanently in the final season.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: At first. After going to anger management, his confidence drops to practically nil.
  • Teeny Weenie: According to Meredith in "Sex Ed" and "Search Committee".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the final season. Managed to get his Kindness back by the time "Finale" rolls around.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Post-anger management. He's keeping his temper under control.
  • Two First Names: His first and last name can both be used as a given name for a male.
  • The Unfavorite: Especially evident when Andy's parents and little brother attend his garden party. Foreshadowed way before that when he explains that he was originally 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 single-handedly 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 Jerkass, making it debatable as to whether this really was good for him.
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: Is a trust-fund baby from a wealthy New England family.
  • 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.

    Bob "Robert California" Kazamakis
"I'm the [bleep] lizard king."
Played by: James Spader
Seasons: 7note -8

Chief Executive Officer of Sabre and Dunder Mifflin, replacing Jo.

  • 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 coconut and penis-flavored energy drink (lamenting the fact that they added coconut), and kisses Andy on the lips.
  • And Starring: Spader gets an "And James Spader" credit as of Season 8.
  • Charm Person: See Manipulative Bastard
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: In a different way from other characters on the show. He seems to genuinely know what he's doing most of the time, but he has a tendency to go off on weird tangents during any conversations he has with other characters.
  • Fan of the Underdog: Not so much one himself, but he does invoke this trope in his making Andy Regional Manager, claiming that it works on the "unexceptional".
  • Foil: To both Michael and Andy. While Michael was a secretly-brilliant yet socially awkward boss and Andy is emotional and submissive, Robert is a genius who makes bad decisions and maintains a stoic yet dominant demeanour.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He managed to talk Jo - previously established as far from stupid herself - into giving him her job. Jim is both amazed and quietly terrified by this.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Seemed to ping-pong in and out of this trope for awhile, Depending on the Writer. After his divorce with his wife, however, he dove headlong into this trope, making a series of bizarre decisions that drove Sabre into the ground, Dunder-Mifflin only surviving due to the intervention of Andy and David Wallace.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In season 8.
  • 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...
  • Slave to PR: It doesn't come up much, but some of his decisions are apparently tied to Jo's legacy. Notably, despite not believing that the retail store idea would work, he had to go along with it anyway since Jo endorsed it (though he got around that by claiming that one of the employees in charge of the project botched the execution).
  • Slimeball: While he oscillates between being a Pointy-Haired Boss and Manipulative Bastard, he regards almost everything in terms of sex. Whenever he talks to his staff one-on-one, they usually go away with a vague feeling that they've somehow been sexually harassed regardless of the topic of discussion. He even tries to start a naked pool orgy at a party he hosts at his house, much to the extreme discomfort of the guests who all work for him.
    Robert California: There is only sex. Everything is sex. Do you understand that what I'm telling you is a universal truth?

Example of: