Fans Figured Out The Ultimate Villain In The Office. It's Not The Scranton Strangler

Fans Figured Out The Ultimate Villain In The Office. It's Not The Scranton Strangler
Image credit: NBC

Who is the Thanos of The Office?

The Office has become one of the best escapist sitcoms for a reason. The show's goofy humor is backed by one of the best ensemble casts ever, making each character seem like your deeply flawed, yet beloved, family member.

The screen time and focus is spread out, making it hard to name a protagonist. Is it Michael Scott? Or Jim? Or Dwight? Even harder, though, is figuring out The Office's antagonist. We know that every story needs its big bad for dramatic impact, but who is it in The Office?


Fans on Reddit recently took to social media to discuss this question. They had several candidates in mind, each of which was dubious.

Characters like Todd Packer and Jan Levinson felt worse than others, but they had their moments and didn't have enough screen time to be considered The Office's villain. Creed Bratton has certainly been on the wrong side of the law more times than we can count, but he is nowhere near evil.

The Scranton Strangler seems like an obvious candidate, but the serial killer didn't have a direct impact on the characters, though he did make Toby (who would definitely be Michael's first choice, by the way) doubt himself.

Finally, the discussion came down to the one and only correct answer.

Real Antagonist

The ubiquitous big bad of The Office is none other than corporate America itself.

Intentionally or not, The Office has always been about the inefficiency and dark nature of corporate culture in the mid-2000s to early 2010s, when the mockumentary aired.

The employees of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre are in a constant battle against the politics and business model of the company they work for.

A few points mentioned by fans prove this:

  • The Scranton office stands out as the only successful branch because Michael did not care about corporate directives and just let people do what they wanted.
  • More than that, the branch is at its most productive when it had no manager at all.
  • The office is literally killing its occupants with radon exposure and high levels of asbestos in the ceilings.
  • Despite being the most profitable, the Scranton office has at least five employees who literally never work - Creed, Kevin, Toby, Ryan, and Pam (as a salesperson).
  • To survive as a middleman, Dunder Mifflin has to cannibalize smaller companies like Prince Paper and Michael Scott Paper Company, which is a direct rebuke of the American dream.
  • Beyond their love story, Jim and Pam's arcs revolve around finding work that they actually consider meaningful.
  • The only person who really enjoys the corporate power structure is Dwight, an outright authoritarian with fascist overtones.

All of this proves that The Office is, at its core, an anti-corporate story that shines a satirical light on outdated culture.

Source: Reddit.

Do you agree that the corporate culture is the main antagonist of The Office?