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The Office: Michael Scott’s 10 Smartest Schemes

Even almost ten years after The Office ended its historic run on NBC its characters and humor continue to be central parts of American entertainment culture. As such Michael Scott a character synonymous with the show has become a cultural icon in more ways than one.Michael Scott may not be the most intelligent character on The Office but even he has the occasional surge of supreme inspiration. Though perhaps better known for his hilariously inane plans like Tube City or Shoe La La Steve Carells character was actually behind some truly brilliant ideas even if he stumbled upon some of them accidentally.

Cafe Disco

In the season 5 episode Cafe Disco Michael uses the office space that formerly housed the Michael Scott Paper company to create his own dance club. After numerous failed attempts to get his coworkers to venture down to join the party Michael eventually succeeds in drawing each of his employees to Cafe Disco for a fun afternoon of dancing.This particular scheme turns out to be one of Michaels more wholesome moments as he is able to provide the office with a fun distraction from the monotonies of everyday life. Ultimately Cafe Disco proved to be Michaels most successful party where all of his friends at work were able to relax and have a good time.


One of Michaels truly lowest moments comes in the season 5 episode Prince Family Paper when he and Dwight effectively sabotage a family owned paper company by stealing their clients. Michael and Dwight pose as a client and candidate for hire respectively all while gaining information about the quaint family business.Although Michaels actions were decidedly immoral his plan worked to absolute perfection as he was able to gain the Prince familys trust to the point of being handed the list of their biggest clients. As the audience would learn later in the season Michaels actions would lead to Prince Family Paper going out of business.

If You Cant Beat Them…

In The Sting an episode from The Offices season 7 Jim and Dwight turn to Michael in frustration after continually being beaten by a rival salesman Danny Cordray Timothy Olyphant. After several hair brained schemes that attempted to monitor Cordrays sales tactic Michael instead opts to hire the salesman effectively eliminating the threat he posed to the company.Many Office fans underestimate the genius of Michael Scott but he knows how to make a good deal. Seeing that Danny Cordray was an excellent salesman capable of stealing their potential clients Michael decided that rather than trying to compete with him Dunder Mifflin should attain his talents. While the company probably couldnt afford another employee Dannys skill as a salesman likely brought in a profit for the Scranton branch.

I Want My Babyback

In the season 2 episode The Client Michael and Jan take the titular client Tim Meadows out to dinner. Jan is frustrated by Michaels seeming immaturity with the client and plays second fiddle all night. Much to Jans surprise however Michael has befriended the client by the end of the night gaining his business in the meantime.This episode marks one of the many times where Michael reminds the Office fans of his business savvy. It can be easy for both the characters in the series and the audience to forget that though Michael is often immature as a boss he was once a remarkable salesman. In The Client Michael proves himself to be more than just the idiot boss.

Fun Run For The Cure

After hitting Meredith with his car in the season 4 premiere episode Fun Run Michael attempts to distract the office from his deed by having a fun run in Merediths honor effectively shedding light on the very curable and well known disease that is rabies.While typical shenanigans ensue during the fun run including Michael nearly not finishing the race due to an absurdly large intake of fettuccini alfredo minutes before beginning the run this particular scheme seems to have accomplished its desired goal of distracting the rest of the office from his nearly fatal blunder. By the episodes end most of his employees seem to have forgotten that Michael had run one of them down in his car only days before.

A Golden Ticket Idea

In the season 5 episode entitled Golden Ticket Michael employs an idea to hide golden tickets in random shipments of paper that provided customers with 10% discounts on their next order. Though this plan initially goes awry with the companys biggest customer finding all five golden tickets this ultimately causes the customer to make Dunder Mifflin its sole paper provider.Though this scheme could very well have put the entire company into bankruptcy and nearly cost Dwight his job the golden ticket idea ended up tremendously benefitting a company that had been in deep financial turmoil. However unlikely this particular plan proved to be one of Michael Scotts greatest successes.

A Murdah In Savvanah

In the season 6 episode Murder the employees of Dunder Mifflin Scranton are uneasy about their job security moving forward as it appears their company is about to go out of business. While they wait for news for corporate Michael forces the entire office to engage in a murder mystery game to distract them from the impending bad news.Michael takes plenty of criticism throughout the episode for his seemingly aloof attitude toward the possibility of Dunder Mifflins bankruptcy. As the storyline progresses however it becomes clear that Michals goal is to keep everyones minds off of the entire matter while also livening their spirits. Ultimately this proves to be a moment where Michaels unique managing style came in handy.

The Michael Scott Paper Company

One of season 5 s most famous storylines saw Michael quit Dunder Mifflin and start his own rival paper company called The Michael Scott Paper Company. Along with Pam and Ryan Michael began to undercut Dunder Mifflins prices stealing their clients out from underneath them and ruthlessly bleeding their Scranton branch.Though their business model was ultimately untenable in the long run Michael and his compatriots were able to hold out long enough to make David Wallace and the other executives at Dunder Mifflin nervous. In the end the Michael Scott Paper Company was attained by Dunder Mifflin in what equated to a multi million dollar buyout putting a cap on one of the few special moments when the Office fans were actually rooting for Michael Scotts success.

Loose Lips Sink Ships

In the premiere episode of The Offices season 6 entitled Gossip Michael comes to regret telling the entire office of Stanley Hudsons affair with his nurse Cynthia. In an attempt to confuse his coworkers into forgetting the rumor he begins spreading false information about everyone else. The office descends into chaos as everyone tries to figure out where all the rumors are coming from.Though his coworkers are able to trace the rumors back to him in the end Michaels plan was actually quite genius. In fact he was indeed able to take the focus off of Stanleys affair keeping the truth from the rest of his workers. Unfortunately for Stanley Michaels success was short lived as he accidentally revealed the truth to Terri Stanleys wife over the phone shortly thereafter.

Dinner Plans

Perhaps the most infamous scheme on the part of Michael Scott occurs in the season 4 episode Dinner Party. In an effort to finally get Jim and Pam to come to dinner at the condo that he shared with Jan Michael tells the entire office not to make plans on account of having to work late. After confirming they had no plans Michael fakes a rebellious call to corporate sending everyone home early and leaving Jim and Pam without an excuse to get out of coming over for dinner.This is a rare instance wherein one of Michaels lofty plans worked to perfection even garnering begrudging respect from Jim. What ensues that evening is infamous among The Office fans as one of the cringiest and most beloved episodes in the entire series as Jim and Pam are forced to endure the awkward tension of Michael and Jans toxic home environment.

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