The Office Series Finale Recap: 'Best. Prank. Ever.' - Do You Agree? [Updated]

The OfficeWarning: This recap contains major spoilers from Thursday’s series finale of The Office. Read on at your own risk!

Though it was long in coming, The Office‘s emotional final episode went by too quickly and was, at times, hard to handle (that’s what she said). 

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The 75-minute episode capped nine seasons with laugh-out-loud moments and tender tributes — a job almost as tough as medalling in Flonkerton or fulfilling the duties of Assistant (to the) Regional Manager.

The episode contained too many great jokes, throwaway lines and sight gags to list, so here’s a brief overview of what happened during Dunder Mifflin’s last outing, which took place a year after the events of last week’s episode.

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW | Dwight fires Kevin for being terrible at his job, proving himself a better manager than Michael or Andy ever was. (Does the fact that he delivers the news via cake make it easier or harder to take? I’m not sure.) In the same meeting, Toby also gets the buttercream boot. Kevin winds up buying a bar in Scranton, while Flenderson moves to New York to write a novel but mainly winds up sharing an apartment with six strangers. Meanwhile, Stanley retires to Florida and Creed — who turns out to be both a member of the Grass Roots and a wanted felon — fakes his death, leading to him losing his job and assuming a new identity. To shore up the staffing losses, Dwight hires newbies played by Ben and Kate’s Dakota Johnson and Better Off Ted‘s Malcolm Barrett.

MOVING ON | Darryl is enjoying Austin, where Athlead — now known as Athleap – is doing really well. Oscar is running for state senate. Nellie’s living in Poland (“the Scranton of the E.U.”). Andy hasn’t fared quite as well: Though he’s working in the Cornell admissions office, his breakdown during his America’s Next A Cappella Sensation audition has gone viral (think more “Leave Britney alone!” and less Justin Bieber), making him an international joke that even earns a few minutes of Bill Hader and Seth Meyers’ time during Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update.”

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BOYS’ NIGHT | Jim is Dwight’s best man, or in Schrutespeak, “bestest mensch.” So he takes it upon himself to plan a bachelor party full of pranks. The guys pile into a limo, shoot bazookas, smoke cigars and wind up at Kevin’s bar – where Mose has stashed Angela, whom he ceremonially kidnapped. (Just chalk it up to weird Schrute traditions.) Kevin and Dwight get rid of the animosity hanging between them since the firing when Dwight asserts that it wasn’t personal: Kevin was just a truly bad employee. “Your Internet searches were so filthy, we had to throw out your computer,” he says, which Kevin finds oddly comforting.

PANEL SURPRISE | A panel discussion with the Dunder Mifflinites on the morning of Dwight and Angela’s wedding draws a huge crowd, many of whom adore Jim’s love for Pam but aren’t as effusive about Mrs. Halpert. But all of that pales in comparison to a question Erin gets from a woman (played by Joan Cusack) who turns out to be her birth mother! And her birth father (played by Ed Begley Jr.) is in the audience, too! The three have a happy reunion in the aisle.

WE TOLD YA! | As they’re getting ready for the ceremony, Jim informs Dwight that according to tradition, he actually can’t be bestest mench, because he’s not older than Dwight. As Schrute gets upset, Jim gives the camera a knowing glance… and Michael shows up in the doorway. (Called it!) As they hug, a tearful Dwight says, “Michael, I can’t believe you came!” Michael chokes out, “That’s what she said.” Jim caps the perfect moment with “Best. Prank. Ever.” (By the way, the episode could’ve ended there, and I would’ve been more than happy. Nicely done, Office.) Not long after, Angela’s making her way down the aisle (on Phyllis’ back) and standing in the grave next to Dwight’s (more Schrute weirdness), then they’re named man and wife.

TURN THE BEET AROUND | So many awesome things happen at the reception, I’m just going to list them in no particular order. Cool? All of the guests bring cats as gifts. Kelly is there with her pediatrician boyfriend Ravi (played by Heroes‘ Sendhil Ramamurthy), but ditches him to run off with single dad Ryan, who in turn ditches his infant son Drake with the doc. Don’t worry, the still-longing-for-a-child Nellie’s got it all under control. Michael is so proud of his kids (!), he has two cell phones to hold all of their photos. Phyllis and Stanley really miss each other. Dwight and Michael twirl each other around the dance floor to Bruce Springsteen’s “Rosalita,” and it is fantastic. As he peers over at Jim and Pam and Dwight and Angela chatting together at a table, the World’s Best Boss gets choked up and tells the camera, “I feel like all my kids grew up and then they married each other. It’s every parent’s dream!”

AFTER THE PARTY IT’S THE PAPER PARTY | A post-panel PBS party at the warehouse features an unveiling of Pam’s new mural – which tells “the history of us” – and then a group shot that features a lot of The Office‘s behind-the-scenes staff and crew. Very sweet. Then, the main players retire upstairs for a private bash, where they reminisce and drink and Creed serenades them (?). And he’s good (?)! When Dwight and Angela arrive, Jim and Pam take their boss aside to let him know that they’re moving to Austin – thanks to Pam’s “big Jim gesture” of listing their house with a realtor (Nancy Walls’ Carol, another nice touch) – and that Jim is going to rejoin Athleap. Dwight fires them, and Jim fears that the regional manager is mad… but he’s really just trying to get them a nice severance package. Aww. Everyone waxes nostalgic and hugs, Pam muses that “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” and then Creed is led away by the police. Didn’t we always kinda know it was going to end this way?

What did you think of the episode? Grade it via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the comedy’s finale.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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154 Comments
  1. Sg. Grant says:

    Oh I can so just sit here and cry.

    • Maia says:

      That’s what I’m doing. I screamed when Michael showed up, and then burst into tears when he said, “That’s what she said.”

    • Corky St. Clair says:

      Best finale ever. Jealous that Pam and Jim get to move to Austin. It’s my hometown and I’ve been trying to get back there for ten years at least. Congrats to Andy on the job at Cornell — I’m a Cornell grad myself. And yes I sang in an a capella group there.

  2. Sg. Grant says:

    I’m glad Steve Carrell came back for the final episode. Overall, I thought it was a good wrap to the series.

    • Elly says:

      Agreed, Steve Carrell’s cameo was perfect-esp. the delivery of his first line and his two phones full of his kids. The finale was pretty amazing, although I wish I would have known whether Erin and …Plop? (I seriously can’t remember his name lol, new Jim?) stayed together.

      • Erin says:

        I know what you mean. They didn’t really talk about them. I did notice during the reception that he was sitting with Erin & her family so I took it to mean they were still together.

    • Esaul says:

      Steve’s appearance was amazing. I’m glad that they didn’t over use him, since his storyline was completed already. But there’s that selfish side of me that wishes they used him more. No more Office. I’m sad. :(

      • Elly says:

        I know what you mean but I think they used him just the perfect amount. He added that perfect cherry on top, it was 4 amazing scenes. That initial scene where he delivered his infamous “that’s what she said” I just started bawling/laughing, it was just perfect.

  3. EJ says:

    Joan Cusack and Ellie Kemper put a strain on my already compromised tear ducts. Thanks a bunch, you two.

  4. Pat D. says:

    It was very enjoyable as finales go, although that isnt saying much, now that I think about it, LOL.

    Man, Michael Scarn looked OLD with the grey hair.

    I think Creed was the star of this episode, but then, hasnt he really stole just about every scene he was ever in?

    • april-ann says:

      Wasn’t that cool? Finally, when everyone else, and rightly so because they’re so freaking talented, got to exercise their singin’ chops, an actual band member from the Grass Roots got to take it away!

    • ajintexas says:

      It might have been just a little better if Creed ended up being the Scranton strangler, but I guess I was right that Toby was just a moron for thinking he got it wrong. Too bad Gabe didn’t make some awkward appearance as well.

  5. SoLongOffice says:

    SO LONG and SO STRONG.
    Very good finale — far exceeded my expectations.
    Yup, that’s what she said.

  6. Ever says:

    I’m in a fetal position on the floor. In a huge puddle. Amazing! It will be sorely missed. Wow, such wonderful memories!

  7. KBecks says:

    Absolutely perfect ending! Couldn’t have asked for a better farewell.

  8. april-ann says:

    I cried out from sheer delight. That was epic. (“That’s what she said.”)

  9. lolwut says:

    *sobs*

  10. Kenny says:

    If i could give it more than an “A+” i would !!!

  11. nikki says:

    The Erin/parents story line was a bit weird.

    Other than that, a spectacular finale. When Michael delivered his classic “that’s what she said line”, I laughed and cried.

    The final “confessional” moments were very touching, and it was great to hear everyone’s private thoughts for the last time.

    Good ending to a good show.

  12. Ashley says:

    I cried so much! That was Awesome. Michael was perfect. Pam taking the painting was perfect. Andy’s commencement speech was perfect I loved every minute of it!

  13. JE! says:

    What an ending, this wraps it up for Finales this season. Happy to see Michael Scott back and understood immediately what Steve Carell meant by not overshadowing the ones that remained after his departure. I loved it so much when Erin finds her mom/dad, that scene and Michael’s first appearance/line of the night were gold. Here’s to what Pam said about sitting at night so many years from now and watching reruns of The Office, that’s gonna feel so good inside… And that, is what she said.

  14. Sar says:

    I was so nervous with the opening as Kevin and Toby were fired, but it turned into a funny and thoughtful finale. I laughed, I cried, I cried as I laughed. Farewell Office, and thank you!

  15. april-ann says:

    “In ten years, I hope people will still be watching, and still laughing. I hope we’re one of those shows.” You will be, guys. You will be. And far beyond that.

  16. ES says:

    Loved that we got to hear that Michael had a family, truly wrapped up his story. Great finale though.

    • CountryQueen says:

      That’s what I said to my honey. He wanted kids so bad, he almost raised Jan’s baby. So glad to see him happy.

  17. Ian says:

    Crying my eyes out! I feel so close to these characters! Thank you, The Office! You have lifted my spirits throughout the years in ways you could never know.

  18. I really thought it was perfect. They always step up during the biggest moments…and the finale was no exception. I’ll miss these guys.

  19. rob says:

    The best part of the finale was Erin finding her birth parents, and it was also one of the few moments in the finale that didn’t seem too forced. I enjoyed seeing Michael, would have been great to see him talk more.

    Most importantly, I thought it was very appropriate that Dwight was staying being at DM while everyone else was moving on. Throughout the entire show, everyone questioned themselves working at a paper company, but Dwight remained dedicated. It was great to see that his dedication paid off and left him fulfilled.

  20. april-ann says:

    Can’t wait for your full recap, Ms. Kimberly Roots. But take your time if need be, because I for one would like a full-on Kimberly Recap.

  21. asta says:

    It was one of the most satisfying finales I’ve seen and very respectful of the love we felt for the series.

  22. Josephine says:

    Steve Carrell said in an interview a while ago that he wasn’t coming back for the final season because he wanted it to be about the others on the show. So it was a happy surprise to see him show up as best man. I was just thinking, “Michael should really be there for Dwight’s wedding.” Then he appeared on screen. His comment about his children growing up and marrying each other was classic Michael and utterly perfect. I fought back the sniffles many times throughout the episode. They really went out on a high note.

  23. Michelle says:

    Kudos to the writers! So many incredible lines and seeing relationships come full circle left this fan happy. Bittersweet ending, but as someone who has had a similar “office” experience, Jim’s final words struck a cord with me – “Everything I have, I owe to this job. This stupid, boring, wonderful, amazing job.”

    It will go down as one of my favorite sit-coms, along with”MASH, One Day at a Time, Facts of Life, Seinfeld, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. I laughed and I cried alongside characters who have become very dear to me.

    Goodbye and Godspeed to The Office.

  24. Jess Kleekamp says:

    Nothing has touched closer to my heart than Pam saying, “Be strong. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Conquer your fears. And fast because life just isn’t that long.” I may have been bawling my eyes out for the last two hours. Nothing but perfection in this finale.

  25. Patti says:

    Great finale. My favorite parts were the focus on the friendships between Jim/Dwight/Pam, everyone’s final talking head, Pam’s gesture to Jim and Michael’s return as Best Man and the last “that’s what she said’

  26. Kate says:

    I thought they did an excellent job of mixing all the stories and finding time to laugh through the tears. I was getting ready to sob when they all started drinking in the office, but Kevin telling Oscar he thought he was gay had me back to giggling again. I’m glad Michael came back. I knew what was happening when Jim said he wasn’t old enough, but that didn’t make it any less emotional to have Dwight turn around and see Michael.

  27. ldmrmom says:

    Perfection. It was all that I hoped it could be and I’m sad it’s now over. Just as Jim informed Dwight that they had a problem because the best whatchamacallit should be older than the groom….well I squealed and clapped. My husband wasn’t sure what was wrong with me until I yelled out “IT’s him! It’s him! Micheal is about to come back.” I got a little teary eyed and so very happy. Loved it all. Every moment.

  28. Theresa says:

    Probably the best series finale I have every seen. The only thing I would have liked to have seen added was a talking head from Angela at the end, because her character has made such a huge journey from the beginning of the series to the end. I’m sure it was filmed and will be on the bonus features of the DVD/BluRay release though, so I will have to wait to see it then.

    • april-ann says:

      I agree. There probably is that like you mention. I hope so, because they did say they had hours of great stuff they wanted to show us. They were grateful to be given an unexpected extra 15 minutes, and so are we!

      • Theresa says:

        Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love every bit of what they showed! The entire cast is obviously so passionate about the show and their characters that I’m sure it was difficult for them to cut it down even to 75 minutes.

        I didn’t love most of the episodes this season, but I absolutely want to get the DVD release simply to watch all the unaired footage from the finale.

        • april-ann says:

          No, I’m sorry. I read it back and see that I came across as that and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it that way. I have to be more careful. The DVD release sure will be interesting to watch, and I too hope they include all of the unaired footage! It should be fun.

  29. john says:

    I thought Andy’s last line was the best. It completely blindsided me. I wish I could remember it verbatim, it was heavy and true. Really summed up the series.

    • “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days while it was going on instead of after they were over.”
      …this had me tearing up…it really hit home

      • Lisbeth Slander says:

        Cried my eyes out at that. Great line. Fantastic finale. After the successive run of Friends, Will and Grace and The Office, it was a great nearly 20 years of comedy, acting and writing at its best.

      • Erin says:

        I thought that was such a wonderful line and so true. Personally, I’ve been dealing with a LOT of horrible things happening the last couple of years and that line hit me so hard with its truth. I was just bawling.

    • Coryrox78 says:

      Immediately after he said it, it became my FB status post. What an incredible line…

  30. april says:

    Loved every minute.

    But I’m still wondering who is the Scranton stragler? I thought we were going to know by the end.

    • Juhv says:

      Isn’t it creed?

      • ajintexas says:

        No it was the guy they convicted. Toby went to tell he he thought he was wrong and the guy strangled him in the jail. I was holding out hope it would end up being Creed, but nope. Toby is just an idiot.

  31. Ajay101 says:

    Miss them already. So the halperts are moving to Auston, TX, Andy works at his old university, but why did they Toby a sad sad ending?

    • Theresa says:

      My initial response was going to be – Because he’s Toby. But I don’t think his ending was all sad – I think in the end, he did get a little bit of what he always wanted – to feel wanted by his co-workers/friends, when they were all encouraging him to come to the after party.

      • Spencer says:

        Exactly what I was going to say, Theresa. Toby may not have THE happy ending, but that’s as happy as its gonna get for him.

        • Ann says:

          Plus, he now has six roommates that he can be friends with and they have to give him at least one month notice before they leave!

  32. Leah says:

    I loved it. It left me satisfied (that’s what she said!), which is no easy task considering there are were one jillion characters and a million story lines to wrap up. I was so happy to hear MIchael is happy. And with kids! Can’t you imagine him and Holly as the weirdest parents in the world?? Between losing this and 30 Rock, this fall is gonna be rough!

  33. Ajay101 says:

    ** Austin, TX

  34. Amy says:

    Such a wonderful and satisfying ending. It is one of those episodes that will have to be rematches to get all the good lines. The Halperta are finally leaving Scranton, Dwight is married to Angela, is best friends with Jim & Pam, and Michael & Holly have kids. All is right in the Office world.

  35. Ajay101 says:

    Any chance they might revist these characters years from now in a made for TV reunion movie? The M. Scott appearance was just perfect. Also, there seems to be a trend with series finales. They seem to time jimp ahead to see what everyone is up to.

  36. Ajay101 says:

    Not all is right. Why did Toby and Creed get a sad ending?

  37. Lulu says:

    I’m so glad I didn’t see the spoiler on TVLine (booo for trying to ruin it for people). So i really fully enjoyed ‘Best. Prank. Ever.’ Awwww. Perfect ending to a show that won my heart even though I didn’t want to give in. Thank you Dunder Mifflin. And lol Kelly and Ryan – never change guys!

  38. Heather D says:

    Toby and Meredith are gonna hook up. And that’s Toby’s happy ending…. that’s what she said.

  39. Wizard62 says:

    The only thing that could have made it better would be if Holly was with Michael, and AI also would had loved to see Jan Levinson Gould show up at some point as well.

    What happened to Gabe? I missed some eps this year. Where did he go?

  40. Wizard62 says:

    Funny seeing Devin back too!

  41. Mike says:

    I didn’t think they could do it, but this finale was perfect in my eyes, this was the perfect send off.

  42. Jmh says:

    You forgot to mention one of my favorite parts. Meredith was getting her PhD the whole time!!!!

    • JB Smooove says:

      YES!!! The first frickin’ 7 years she was getting a PHD and all the boozing…well she was in college! I LOL’d so so so so effing hard at that, it was perfect. At the begining i didnt notice meridith had changed her hair or anything. it wasnt till later in the episode that i was like, wth did they do to the crazy drunk lady!.

    • mikey says:

      And she got to give her son advice on how to a proper striptease!

  43. Jeani M says:

    I actually cheered when I saw Michael in the doorway! That is best ending of a series-EVER! I am still tearing up!

    Gabe ,Pacman and Jan were in the early episodes whoever asked that !

    Thanks to “The Office” -it is been great ride!:-)!

  44. Babybop says:

    I burst into tears when Jim started saying he couldn’t be the best man because I just knew it was going to be Michael.

    The wrapped it up beautifully. Perfect ending for the show!

  45. Abe's mama says:

    I knew it!!! I kept telling my husband that Michael has to return because they’ve been giving us subtle clues all season. They have mentioned him a few times in season 9 and only once in the season 8 opener. Michael said to the film crew on ” goodbye Michael” to let him know if the doc ever aired. And come on! Dwight looks up to Michael so much that only Michael himself could truly be his best man! Absolutely perfect!!! Bravo! Now I have to calm down for bed after almost destroying my coffee table out of pure joy and excitement from Michael Scott’s genious return. What a beautiful ending to a hilariously beautiful story!

  46. Steven says:

    Did anybody figure out which song Angela walked down the aisle to? I know I know it, but I couldn’t place it, and now it’s bugging me.

    • Mike says:

      For some reason I thought it was song played when all the members of the Office danced at Jim and Pam’s wedding.

      • Steven says:

        Nah, that was a Chris Brown song, which I thought distasteful at the time, but forgiveable because Michael Scott was ripping off YouTube videos, which was awful but adorable the way Michael Scott is. This was something else…

    • Pat D. says:

      It was a Muzak version of Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns n Roses.

    • Jess says:

      I believe it was Sweet Child O’ Mine.

    • Andrew says:

      Sweet Child Of Mine I believe

    • Azure says:

      I know five people have answered already, but in case you wanted to download it, it’s performed by Strings Attached, and you can search for “Instrumental Song: Sweet Child Of Mine” on Amazon. It’s the first song on the album with the yellow sun on the cover. Amazon also lists the artist as “Instrumental Pop Players” (while Strings Attached isn’t mentioned specifically)…so you don’t get confused. Hope that helps!

  47. CatLady54 says:

    But who is the Scranton Strangler?! I thought they said that would be revealed this season. My vote is Toby.

    • Steven says:

      The Strangler was the guy who went to jail for it. Toby thought he was innocent, went to the prison to tell him so, and got strangled, several episodes back.

  48. Spencer says:

    This was so fantastic. This show changed my life, and current events in general, and the finale was legendary. And I never thought I would say this, but Creed broke my heart?? His serenading at the end, ah just made me sob.

  49. OMG I CRIED!!! I was watching EVERYTHING including the hour-long retrospective! It was worth it…this is my generation’s series finale!! I am so glad it ended well and I love crying after good–no GREAT–no FANTASTIC–farewell!!

  50. kate says:

    this was a really great series finale. I laughed and cried through the whole episode. the best part of The Office was always how they showed just how deep their friendships ran. they really did a great job of that here, and I liked that we got a nice resolution for everyone. great job.

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