The Office: 10 Characters Who Changed Michael Scott The Most

The Office remains one of the most popular sitcoms of all time even almost a decade after it came to an end with its ninth season. Fans get to relive all the fun on Peacock, where extended episodes are being released for the very first time.

Over the course of his seven seasons on the show, regional manager Michael Scott undergoes a massive amount of character development as he grows into a better man. Several important people aided this long process of character development in Michael’s life.


10 David Wallace

David Wallace (Andy Buckley) is the Chief Financial Officer of Dunder Mifflin from seasons 2 through 6 of The Office. As Michael’s superior, he has many interactions with Scranton’s regional manager, often finding himself puzzled at his subordinate’s wild and often unhinged schemes.

Though David often had to correct Michael, he always remained strikingly patient with him. In most cases, David was willing to hear Michael’s plans out, even if he had to shut them down quite quickly thereafter. The two may not have had a perfect relationship, but Michael found himself able to flourish under David’s management, growing as a boss himself.

9 Jan Levenson

Jan Levenson (Melora Hardin) is Michael’s direct superior in the early seasons of The Office who later becomes his girlfriend. The two foster an on-again-off-again romance that quickly devolves into rampant toxicity as the two grow to hate one another more with each moment they spend together, leading to their inevitable breakup.

Though Michael thought he was getting his fairy tale ending with Jan, he was rather learning everything he didn’t want to have in a relationship. His relationship with his former boss quickly became a schematic for everything to avoid when searching for a life partner, proving to be invaluable information for Michael moving forward.

8 Andy Bernard

Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) joins the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin after being transferred from the closing Samford branch. Though Andy initially intends to flatter Michael in order to gain his favor, the two eventually become legitimate friends, working together for five years until Michael’s departure.

Though Michael and Andy got off to a rocky start, each was able to teach the other several important lessons as a result of their friendship. Michael learned how to forgive people for their past mistakes, even finding himself sold on Andy before too long, despite him being a “product no one wanted.”

7 Jo Bennett

Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates) is a self-made billionaire and the CEO of Sabre, the printer company that buys Dunder Mifflin after it falls in financial straits. Jo works with Michael for just under two years before he resigns and moves to Colorado, with Jo retiring from Sabre only a few months thereafter, leaving Robert California (James Spader) as her replacement.

Though Michael had enjoyed working for David Wallace, he also found great value in serving under Jo Bennett. Unlike David, Jo kept Michael in his place, not letting the manager follow his every whim. Michael matured greatly under Jo’s tutelage, finding himself prepared for Holly’s eventual return shortly thereafter.

6 Ryan Howard

Michael hires Ryan Howard (BJ Novak) as a temp during the first episode of The Office. Over the years, Ryan worked several different jobs in the company, rising to the ranks of corporate for a brief time. He would continue with the company in various positions until season 8, fostering an on-again-off-again relationship with HR representative Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling).

Michael fostered an unshakable and often irrational belief in Ryan throughout the series, refusing to condemn his protege for his wrongdoings. Ryan transformed in quite a different way from Michael throughout the series, however, seemingly becoming a worse person as time went on. This eventually led Michael to finally admit that Ryan was a “bad friend” in the episode “,” finally learning to tell the difference between a true friend and someone taking advantage of him.

5 Erin Hannon

Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper) joins the series in season 5 as Pam’s replacement at reception following the formation of the Michael Scott Paper Company. She stays on board after the companies merge, becoming the office’s main receptionist for the remainder of the series.

Though Michael initially didn’t care for Erin, he comes around on his new receptionist before too long. The two share several sweet moments throughout the series, including the unforgettable episode “Viewing Party,” in which Michael discovers that Erin thinks of him as a father figure, leading him to take a more loving approach to her for his remaining tenure on the series.

4 Dwight Schrute

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is a salesman at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch and the Assistant (to the) Regional Manager during Michael’s reign over the office. Of all Michael’s coworkers, Dwight is the only one who seems genuinely interested in spending time with Michael, though Michael often wants little to do with him.

Though Michael was typically annoyed by Dwight, he eventually came to see him as the friend he had always been striving for. By the time Michael leaves the series, he has learned to stop taking such a selfish approach to his friendships, finally engaging in some of the activities that Dwight had always wanted to do with him.

3 Pam Beasley

Pam Beasley (Jenna Fischer) is one of The Office‘s most intriguing characters. Beginning the series as the office’s receptionist, she later becomes a saleswoman and, eventually, the office administrator. Amidst all this, she finds and marries her true love, who worked five feet from her desk for years.

Michael and Pam each have a profound impact on the other, as both characters believe in one another when few others do. The most notable example of this comes during the “Michael Scott Paper Company” arc in which each character pushes the other to achieve their full potential, despite their own self-doubt. Coming out of this arc neither Pam nor Michael would ever be the same.

2 Jim Halpert

Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) is a salesman at Dunder Mifflin and the best prankster on TV. Jim grows in his aspirations throughout the series, even spending several months as the office’s co-manager alongside Michael before eventually stepping back down to salesman for the remainder fo the series.

Though Jim often can’t help but have fun at Michael’s expense, he also finds himself relating to his manager more often than his coworkers did. Especially as a co-manager, Jim learns to appreciate everything Michael does for the office. Jim even goes on to coach his boss in courting the love of his life, helping Michael finally find the companionship he had always been looking for.

1 Holly Flax

Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) is an HR representative at Dunder Mifflin who briefly dates Michael before being transferred to another branch. She returns in the show’s seventh season, eventually becoming engaged to Michael just before they both move to Boulder, Colorado to be with Holly’s ailing parents.

Michael spent much of the series desperately seeking love and friendship from his coworkers and, though he would eventually succeed, he found something much greater in the process. After falling in love with Holly, Michael no longer needed the validation from his employees that he had once demanded. Instead, he found a caring and affectionate partner that fulfilled his every dream, giving Michael a happy ending after seven years on the beloved sitcom.

NEXT: 9 Arguments Every Fan Of The Office Has Gotten Into

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