The Office: Michael’s Smartest Business Ideas & Inventions, Ranked


Steve Carell will forever be known as The Office’s Michael Scott but as of late, he’s being praised for his role in Hulu’s The Patient. Seeing Carell in dramatic series filled with horror and suspense is new for fans, but he proved to be a true professional through his amazing performance.


In The Patient, Carell portrayed a psychotherapist, listening to and helping clients in need. On The Office, however, Michael was the complete opposite and caused more of a ruckus than a helping hand. On top of being the Regional Manager of the Scranton branch, Michael also had a few ideas up his sleeve that could help him or the company in the future. While some ideas (like Toilet Buddy) were nonsensical, others (like the Golden Ticket idea) were relatively brilliant.

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10 Toilet Buddy

In ‘Golden Ticket,’ Michael brought up, according to him, a great idea that could revolutionize the way people went to the bathroom. Known as Toilet Buddy, the said invention would catch things from a person’s pocket before landing in the toilet.

RELATED: Michael Scott’s 9 Most Wholesome Moments On The Office

Considering this invention meant placing a net of sorts on a toilet, this would mean it would catch whatever came out of a person as well… David Wallace and Dwight Schrute saw the flaws in Michael’s idea, but to Michael, it was just a wholesome invention that could save people the trouble of flushing their wallets, phones, or keys. Nevertheless, this design is flawed and would never work.

9 The Magic No Ouchie Meat Machine

One thing that some fans didn’t know about Michael Scott was that he had the idea for a safer version of the George Foreman Grill.

In ‘The Injury,’ Michael came into work with crutches after stepping on his George Foreman Grill. When the office asked how that could happen, he explained that he kept his George Foreman Grill next to his bed with strips of bacon on it. When it was time to wake up in the morning, he’d rise to the smell of fresh bacon. However, since the grill burned his foot, he had the idea for The Magic No Ouchie Meat Machine. This was essentially a grill in a cage to prohibit anyone from stepping on it, which wasn’t the brightest idea.

8 The Michael Scott Paper Company

The Michael Scott Paper Company was created on a whim after he spontaneously quit Dunder Mifflin. Realizing that the market was harder than he realized, Michael created his own business because he knew the ins and outs of the paper industry better than anyone else.

And while The Michael Scott Paper Company had some great (and not-so-great) business ideas, it eventually came to an end. It was smart for Michael to go into business for himself (especially with guidance from Pam and Jim), but it was even smarter for him to sell it back to Dunder Mifflin so he could have his old job back. The reason why this idea wasn’t lower on this list is because starting a dying business during a recession was a ballsy move.

7 Shoe La La

It was hard not to root for Michael when Dwight mentioned Michael’s idea called Shoe La La. ‘Golden Ticket’ proved that Michael had multiple business ideas that could pay off if he ever wanted to start his own business again.

RELATED: 10 Times We Rooted for Michael Scott

For Michael, Shoe La La was a men’s shoe store that housed shoes for “the special occasions in a man’s life.” The examples he gave for big days in a man’s life were his wedding day, the birth of his first baby, and lounging around a house. Michael has had worse ideas than a shoe store, but this idea needed some work since shoes can be worn for any day in a man’s life, not just the big ones.

6 His Personal Salad Dressing

Michael wasn’t the epitome of health per se, but he was seen eating salads on occasion when Jan came to visit him at work. On one occasion, fans couldn’t help but notice the salad dressing he had on his desk — mainly because it had his face on the bottle with the words Great Scott!

In a deleted talking head from season 4, Michael said, “I mix Newman’s Ranch with Newman’s Italian. I sell it at flea markets for a slight loss. I could make a profit if I changed one of the ingredients to Wish-Bone, but I won’t do it.” While stealing a product and selling it as his own is illegal, he’s on the right track with creating and selling his own, unique salad dressing.

5 His Screenplay For Threat Level Midnight

There are some classic moments in Threat Level Midnight that can’t be duplicated. As a lover of improv, acting, and writing, it made sense when Jim found a screenplay written by Michael called Threat Level Midnight.

The movie was based on a character that was dangerously close to James Bond, Michael Scarn. In short, Scarn was sent on a mission to save the United States from a terroristic act set at NHL All-Star Game. Although his screenplay had major plot holes and didn’t always make sense, creating an idea, writing it, filming, and editing it took guts. Michael followed his dreams, which was always a good idea.

4 Tube City

When Jim became co-manager with Michael, he told the cameras that he had to pick and choose his battles. Michael was a fine manager, but his ideas didn’t always make sense for a corporate office setting.

Jim didn’t last long as a regional manager, but he did save the office from having to endure Tube City. Tube City was Michael’s idea for a hamster tunnel system. He would place a series of connected tubes throughout the office so that hamsters could explore freely. While this was a horrible idea for an office setting, it’s not a bad idea for those who have rodents as pets and were looking for a way to let them roam without losing them.

3 Chair Pants

If there’s one meme to be made about Michael’s character, it would be based on his chair pant idea. In ‘Company Picnic,’ Michael was excited to see his former love Holly again. Knowing that she was in a relationship with someone else was hard, but he was happy to catch up.

In a quick conversation over a drink, Michael mentioned his design for a new chair. Holly said. “Oh, I remember your chair pants idea!” which excited him. Michael went on to say the chair is made into the pants so that a person could be supported while sitting or standing. As odd of an idea as it sounded, this is something that went on to be made by companies like Noonee.

2 Golden Ticket

Michael’s Golden Ticket idea was so good that an entire episode centered around it. In ‘Golden Ticket,’ Michael placed a handful of golden tickets in various boxes in the warehouse that were going out to customers.

Whoever found the golden ticket received a big discount from Dunder Mifflin on their next order. The idea was innovative, fun, and a perk for customers. The only problem was that Michael accidentally gave their biggest client all five of the golden tickets, forcing Dunder Mifflin to lose a lot of money. It worked out in the end because the client loved the idea so much that they made Dunder Mifflin their exclusive paper provider.

1 Mike’s Cereal Shack

Even though Michael didn’t make the best decisions, he did have some good business advice when times were serious. With the notion of never giving up, Michael shared his small business idea for Mike’s Cereal Shack.

He told Ryan that he would have “as many varieties as you can buy in the store” partnered with different kinds of milks, presumably. A food truck where a person can order any cereal they want is a great idea. In fact, a fan on Reddit spotted a similar idea and shared a photo.

NEXT: Michael Scott’s 5 Best Pieces Of Business Advice (& 5 We Should Forget Forever)



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