Musical Moments from The Office
I never really cared for people saying “There ain’t no party like a Scranton party, cuz a Scranton party don’t stop” unless it came from the singing mouth of Michael Scott himself. As in most cases with all of the musical moments during the 9-year run of The Office, delivery is key.
The Office was packed with great moments where music played either a pivotal role or offered a sweet comedic release. With so many to choose from, here are a few melodic instances from The Office that will be forever embedded in my brain.

  • Michael and Holly sing the Ethical song during an ethics training seminar. They come into the conference room wearing headbands and singing, “Let’s get ethical, ethical, I wanna get ethical!” to the tune of “Let’s Get Physical.”
  • Holly and Michael’s road trip starts off promising with even Darryl singing along to “Life is a Highway.” The morale quickly deflates around the song’s fourth rotation. After breaking up with Holly, Michael and Darryl drive back to Scranton and Darryl suggests singing the blues to make Michael feel better. They do it, a cappella.
  • In the episode “The Merger,” Michael Scott makes an orientation film called “Lazy Scranton” for the Stamford employees who were transferred to Scranton. Starring Michael and Dwight, the video uses the same music, rap style, and camera effects used in the SNL Digital Short “Lazy Sunday.” (Sittin’ in my office with a plate of grilled bacon/Call my man Dwight just to see what was shakin’/They call it Scranton/What?/The Electric City)
  • Scrantonicity is a Police cover band with Kevin as the drummer and lead singer. The band makes its first appearance on the show playing “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” during the season two finale Casino Night, when Pam and Jim are watching videos of bands in order to find a band to play at Pam and Roy’s wedding. They played Phyllis’ wedding, performing several songs by The Police, including “Roxanne”, “Message in a Bottle”, and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”
  • The episode “The Farm” featured Dwight Schrute returning home after his aunt had died. One of the interesting aspects of the episode was the appearance of a Decemberists song, “Sons and Daughters.” In one scene, Dwight and his family sit around playing instruments and singing the song.
  • In September 2010, the season première of The Office (“Nepotism”) begins with the workers of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company doing a lip dub of The Human Beinz’s “Nobody but Me” through the office.
  • Dwight becomes jealous of Ryan Howard’s favor with Michael, and he is seen sulking in his car to the tune “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. Later in the episode, Dwight reveals that a fire was started by Ryan, who left a cheese pita in the toaster-oven set to “oven” instead of “toaster.” Dwight and Michael mock him by doing a song parody of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (Ryan started the fire! It was always burning since the world’s been turning!)
  • Anything Andrew Bernard sings around the office is good as gold for me. I do love me some Nard Dog tunage.

Here’s what’s in my headphones this week: Modest Mouse No One’s First and You’re Next (Sony Records) 2009

Send email to tgraham@timesshamrock.com

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