What Type of Humor is The Office? – Understanding Comedy

As one of the most popular comedy shows out there, The Office is full of goofy scenes, sarcastic jokes, and tons of cringe moments. Surely, it’s easy to spot the variety in types of humor present in the show.

In case you have been living under a rock this past decade, The Office is a popular sitcom based around various employees at a mid-level paper company. And in this article, we’ll be talking about the American version of The Office with Michael Scott as the main character.

If you’ve been wondering what type of humor is The Office, keep reading to find out the answer and understand what made the show so popular amongst the audience.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

What type of humor is The Office?

What Type of Humor is The Office?

The Office is a hilarious comedy show which includes several types of humor:

  • relatable humor;
  • pranks;
  • awkward humor and cringe moments;
  • dry humor and sarcasm.

We will be looking at each of these in more depth and providing examples of funny scenes along the way.

#1 – Relatable Humor

Firstly, aside from the perfect comedic timings to the ‘lovable idiot’ trope, The Office heavily relies on having relatable characters on screen that are both endearing and easy to like.

What makes them all so relatable is that most of those characters you can find in your everyday life, too, whether at work or other social events. It’s primarily due to their regular worries in not over-the-top situations that make it all seem both relatable and funny.

This type of comedy is popular among viewers since relatable humor in everyday scenarios doesn’t require too much imagination and thought. It’s simple everyday life made funny.

For this same reason, one of the most well-received types of humor in Friends is “universal” (relatable) humor as well.

That’s why various sitcoms have such large fan bases worldwide, much more so than comedy specials or other forms of pure witty humor. Just like The Office, they are relatable and speak to the audience directly.

On the other hand, in this TV show, there aren’t any prominent self-deprecating characters like you’d usually find on other sitcoms. The glory of The Office humor is the fact that characters are funny even when they’re not exactly trying to.

They often break the fourth wall and look straight into the camera, making us feel like a part of their group. After all, what’s better than Michael Scott looking directly into the camera with a deadpan comedic expression and saying one of his famous lines as if you were his friend.

And the best thing is due to the popularity of this American sitcom, you can find on YouTube various compilations of similar relatable moments:

#2 – Prank Style Humor

Successful, funny pranks are always a safe option to make the humor of a certain show first-class. This is especially true if they are executed well in the storyline and between two lovable characters famous for being rivals.

The audience’s favorite comedic duo is Jim and Dwight. Jim likes to prank Dwight on many occasions by having fun with Dwight’s particular personality, making those episodes one of the best ones in the entire show.

Nothing could beat that time when Jim impersonates Dwight and imitates his voice tone, body language, and quirky sayings in a scene that was way too short for the audience’s liking:

And we can’t forget the famous fire drill scene. Here, Dwight creates a fake fire simulation because no one was paying any attention to his Powerpoint presentation about fire safety. Hence, pure chaos erupts, leaving you crying out of laughter.

Another brilliant scene included both a prank on a lovable character and a relatable element. In this one, the entire staff collectively agreed to change the clocks after Michael fell asleep so that they could leave their job early. It showed a moment of unity between them that made everyone watching wish that their job would include those kinds of funny scenes in real life.

We could go on and on with the examples of hilarious bits, but we should probably move further down the list.

#3 – Awkward & Cringe Humor

You can also find plenty of awkward humor in The Office, from characters’ deadpan funny statements to characters being so oblivious that it’s hilariously nerve-wracking.

The best example of awkwardness would be starting from the episode Dinner Party, which will have you laughing out loud for the entire time while watching it.

Another brilliant and awkward moment was when oblivious Michael had a presentation in a business class. He prepares an entire cringe-worthy entrance and puns with chocolate bars’ names. Furthermore, he throws them at the students with horrendous comedic timing, making this scene so hilariously awkward and endearing to the audience at the same time.

Here’s a compilation of the most awkward moments that will make you grimace and have you feeling almost sorry for the characters:

#4 – Dry and Sarcastic Humor

And finally, no one masters the art of dry and sarcastic humor than The Office.

The show is recognizable for our favorite characters delivering lines while talking straight to the camera in a deadpan fashion. It’s even funnier because they don’t seem to realize how utterly ridiculous the thing that they’re saying is. 

As we previously mentioned, this continuously breaks the fourth wall, making us feel more involved in the show. We love how the characters talk directly to the camera to either be sarcastic behind other people’s backs or deliver seriously funny dry punchlines.

A funny example would also be when Michael makes Jim and Dwight fake talk on the phone and practice talking because they have low customer reviews. Jim uses the situation as a perfect way to sarcastically mock Dwight and keeps pushing his buttons:

Your Turn

We hope you’ve had a few good laughs! Now, we would love to hear from you:

What are your favorite and funniest moments from The Office?

Also, do you prefer the US version of The Office or the earlier UK version? 

Please share your thoughts in the comments down below!

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