The Best Cold Opens (According To Reddit)
At the beginning of the year, fans mourned the loss of The Office after it was taken off of Netflix, but luckily, it only transferred platforms and all episodes can now be streamed on Peacock. While the show has gone up and down in popularity, there are certain things that fans of the show will never forget and most of them fall within the cold opens of the show.
Over the years, the debates on Reddit about which of the show-defining opens truly holds the title as the best have displayed how hard it is to pick just one, but there are some that appear on Redditors’ lists more than others.
Wrapping Paper Desk
Season 5, Episode 11
Jim’s wrapping paper desk prank was a gift that kept on giving in the Moroccan Christmas episode of season 5. Most of Jim’s pranks had predictable punchlines that put Dwight at the butt of the joke. Dwight may have once again been Jim’s target in the cold open’s prank but the punchline was a bit more of a surprise.
When Dwight decided against ripping apart his gift-wrapped desk and instead collapsed into the deconstructed mess, viewers like Reddit user likeablefella couldn’t help but applaud Jim for pulling off a “prank within a prank.” Dwight’s look of confusion and Jim’s look of pure satisfaction both give the cold open a top spot on many Redditors’ list of the best opens in the show’s history.
Kevin’s Famous Chili
Season 5, Episode 26
Kevin dropping his famous chili all over the office floor and then frantically trying to scoop it back into the pot is easily one of the most iconic food moments from The Office. The cold open not only had fans feeling bad for Kevin while still laughing at him, but it also introduced them to what sounded like an amazing chili recipe.
The moment has become one of the most memorable of the show with Redditor Afishinthewell saying that it’s stayed with them for years because while it was sad, “as (Kevin) rolled in it on the floor (they) knew it was hilarious.” Every so often, Kevin’s slip-up will once again grow in popularity and will make reappearances in memes across social platforms.
The Pavlov Experiment
Season 3, Episode 16
Some of the best cold opens are the ones that have nothing to do with the actual episode that followed. The one that showed Jim conducting his own version of the Pavlov Experiment on Dwight actually started off the episode that focused on Phyllis’ wedding (an episode that would end up being full of the most cringe-worthy scenes in The Office’s entire history).
The Pavlov Experiment was one of Jim’s more thought-out pranks on Dwight. While some viewers, like Redditor NotLostJustWandering, found it so funny they can never seem to stop “thinking about it,” others loved the incorporation of the real-life Pavlov’s theory, something they had learned during their own academic journey. No matter what the reason for enjoying it may be, its impact on fans of The Office continues to be felt.
Season 2, Episode 8
“The Exercise Ball” cold open was one that actually became a fan favorite due to how the scene unfolded. Die-hard fans of The Office who often find themselves watching bloopers from the show on repeat are probably more than familiar with the accidental moment where John Krasinsky stabs the exercise ball that Rainn Wilson is sitting on with a pair of scissors, causing the ball to explode and Wilson to fall out of frame.
In a 2007 interview with Esquire, Krasinsky revealed that originally the ball was supposed to slowly deflate but what fans got instead was so much better. Viewers can’t help but find the cold open even funnier due to the incorporation of the actors’ authentic reactions to the happy accident. User hilldo75 took to Reddit to talk about how those reactions add to the scene, saying “I always thought the real reactions added to the documentary feel of the show.” It’s a true statement for the now iconic cold open.
Randall Park’s Cameo
Season 9, Episode 3
Actor and comedian Randall Park made a surprise appearance in the cold open for the season 9 episode of The Office titled “Andy’s Ancestry.” In this cold open, Dwight was, once again, the target of an elaborate prank set up by Jim that forced him to think that the Jim he knew never existed and that Park’s Jim was the true Jim.
Some fans may have lost interest after Steve Carell left after season 7 but, like Reddit user EstacionEsperanza, others still found joy in the show and in this cold open specifically with EstacionEsperanza having the opinion that “Asian Jim is the best thing to come out of the post-Michael episodes.”
Season 6, Episode 1
There are likely two things that come to mind when hearing the word Parkour, Ridiculousness or the hardcore Parkour cold open from The Office. There was really no reason for Andy, Dwight, and Micheal to be jumping and rolling around the office while screaming “PARKOUR!” as it didn’t really add anything to the plot or character progression, but sometimes absurdity can make for a great cold open.
Parkour had already had its time of popularity by the time the episode aired, but it found its way back into people’s minds because of how ridiculous and memorable the cold open was. Redditor fishred even shared, “…it’s certainly the one that I think of the most often. It comes to mind every time I walk around town with my four-year-old son, who wants to climb up and jump off of everything.”
It Was Dwight
Season 8, Episode 15
Dwight’s gullibility combined with Jim’s commitment to his craft made for some great cold opens. One of his darker ruses stands out against the others and that’s the one that aired in the season 8 episode, “Tallahassee,” where Jim sets up his room to look like a murder scene with “It was Dwight” written on the wall in red.
There are very few things funnier than the way Jim falls like a dead body out of the closet, scaring the unsuspecting Erin and Dwight. Redditor xIrish thinks that the cold open may be “underrated because it was in what’s seen as a weaker season” but it’s still referenced by fans in subreddits as one of The Office‘s best cold opens.
Season 3, Episode 7
When it was revealed that Jim would be leaving the Scranton branch, some may have assumed that it would mean less of Jim and Dwight’s antics. However, Jim made sure they lived on. After leaving, he led Dwight to believe he was receiving faxes from a future version of himself, a prank that Stanley felt the brunt of.
Reddit user jtyler998 calls this cold open “good stuff,” specifically for the way Dwight dives at Stanley when he thinks his coffee has been poisoned. It was certainly a hilarious scene, with Rainn Wilson deserving a lot of credit for the commitment he put in.
Season 3, Episode 21
Very few moments from The Office have made as big of an impact on viewers as the cold open, where Jim dresses up as Dwight to execute an uncanny impersonation that had even Dwight stunned. The dialogue is so great that it’s almost impossible to choose the best quote from the short scene.
Even people like Reddit user queiroga who weren’t exactly fans of the show saw the genius in the now classic Jim and Dwight moment, saying “that’s one of the funniest scenes of any tv show, ever.” Its placement in front of the “Product Recall” episode also made for a strong cold open and episode pairing.
The Fire Drill
Season 5, Episode 14
Choosing a favorite cold open commonly turns into a battle between the fire drill and whichever cold open viewers think could compete with the iconic scene that’s become known to people both inside and outside The Office fandom. It was placed before the episode that aired after Super Bowl XLIII so for those who were unfamiliar and stuck around after the game, it was their introduction to The Office.
The cold open continued on into the episode and there were several other scenes full of The Office’s most popular jokes, including the CPR training scene. Redditors across the platform agree with the cold open’s icon status but CountMecha put it great when they said “I was crying so hard and I couldn’t breathe…I’m not totally sure I’ve laughed that hard since then.”
Next: The Office US vs. UK – 5 Differences (& 5 Similarities) Between The Characters & Their Counterparts