The Office is one of those shows that people watch over and over. They find it comforting, which is funny, because it has some of the least comforting, most stressful moments of cringe comedy that ever aired on a massively popular TV show. But The Office's not-so-secret secret to being so beloved is that it always balanced its moments of cringeworthy darkness with moments of love and connection between its characters. That's what makes it comforting. You know Michael Scott (Steve Carell) will always at least try to do the right thing.
You may be someone who has watched The Office a million times. You've watched it so many times, in fact, that you're having a little bit of trouble getting outside your Office comfort zone to watch some new shows. We're here to help. We've compiled this list of shows that will help you wean yourself off The Office by expanding your TV watching beyond Scranton. Some share the mockumentary format, some are great workplace comedies, and some feature the creative minds behind The Office. And because you've already scoured the internet for more shows like The Office, we've left the obvious picks off this list — there's no Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, or The Office (U.K.) to be found here; they're great and you've probably watched them already — and searched deeper for other shows you maybe haven't seen. We think you'll find something you like as much as Michael hates Toby.
Ted Lasso is a show that on the surface is pretty different from The Office but has a similar soul once you get to know it. The Emmy-winning sitcom follows the titular genial fellow, played by co-creator Jason Sudeikis. Ted is an American football coach who's hired as the head coach of an English soccer club despite not knowing anything about soccer, because the team's owner, Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham), is secretly trying to run the team into the ground. But then Ted, with his goofy jokes and irrepressible optimism, starts to win everyone over. And then the team starts to win. Ted is sort of like a mirror image of Michael Scott. They're both lonely men who just want to be loved, but they go about it differently. In the way that Michael's obnoxiousness hides his deep pain, Ted uses optimism to hide his. And the more time you spend with both of them, the more you see their humanity. The Office (in both British and American forms) was the show that defined its moment in comedy, and Ted Lasso is the show that defines this time. If The Office were made today, it would be more like Ted Lasso. It would be softer and nicer and the characters would explicitly affirm that they care about each other at the end of each episode. The Office always had a lot of heart the way Ted Lasso does; Ted Lasso is just more direct about it. And on a less abstract point of comparison: both shows feature a mingling of cutting British humor and gentler American humor. -Liam Mathews
This ABC comedy has an almost identical premise to The Office: it's a workplace mockumentary set in Pennsylvania. The setup is that it's a documentary about an underfunded public elementary school in Philadelphia, where the teachers try to provide for their students with what they have without getting burnt out by the lack of resources, respect, administrative support, and difficulty of the job itself. The main character is Janine Teagues (series creator Quinta Brunson), an idealistic second-grade teacher in her second year on the job. There's more than a little Leslie Knope in her, if Parks and Recreation is another show in your rewatch rotation. And Tyler James Williams, as cute but awkward substitute teacher Gregory Eddie, looks at the camera like Jim Halpert. As a product of its time, it's a kinder, more politically aware comedy than The Office, but it has a similar sweet-and-salty sense of humor and a cast of characters who feel like people who could actually exist. It's also the best new broadcast comedy to come along in years. -Liam Mathews
If you're really a fan of The Office, then you must have a subscription to Peacock. And if you have Peacock — which we'll remind you has a free tier — then you can watch A.P. Bio. Like The Office, A.P. Bio was a former NBC workplace comedy with a stacked cast, but this one moved to streaming to help Peacock launch (it would have been canceled otherwise). It's set in an Ohio high school where a former Harvard professor of philosophy (Glenn Howerton) teaches advanced placement biology to a bunch of nerdy kids, but instead of getting deep into the wonders of mitochondria, he's more interested in using his students for his own various gains, including exacting revenge on the man who took his old job. Though less heartfelt than The Office, it captures work dynamics really well and is bolstered by its cast, which includes Patton Oswalt and Paula Pell. It was canceled in December 2021 after four seasons.
So you burned through every single episode of The Office and don't know what to do with your life? What if I told you there were secret "lost" episodes of The Office out there for you to discover? See, back in the days of late-'00s television, there was thing called the "internet" that was a weird, scary place, but TV execs saw an opportunity to "stream" "content" on the "computer" with a thing called "webisodes." (The late '00s were a weird time.) Anyway, NBC made several The Office shorts almost every year beginning in the summer of 2006 (between Seasons 2 and 3) and concluding in the spring of 2011. Each webisode ran anywhere from three to eight minutes each, and each series was made of about three or four webisodes, with the first series, "The Accountants," in which Oscar, Angela, and Kevin try to find $3,000 missing from the budget, running a whopping 10 webisodes because no one knew any better. They weren't garbage, either; "The Accountants" was written by Mike Schur and Paul Lieberstein and won a Daytime Emmy. Be warned, though: They're not all easy to hunt down, but this Reddit thread will help you find most of them.
If it's more of The Office you're looking for, then how about another show with Steve Carell and created by Greg Daniels? Netflix's comedy stars Carell as the head of Space Force, the new branch of the Armed Forces that's the laughingstock of the Army, Navy, and Marines. It's a spoof of our own incompetent government, with Carell feeling the heat from POTUS to get America back on the moon ASAP while his science advisor (John Malkovich) frustratedly explains how that's not possible. Warning: Reaction to the series has been mixed so far; some fans love it, while critics mostly roasted it. Also, though Carell plays a bad boss, it's not exactly The Office in space.
The Office may be the best crowd-pleasing workplace comedy ever, but The IT Crowd is a close second when it comes to showing the humdrum life of an office drone trapped in a corporation that only hires buffoons. The series stars Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson as the IT team of a corporation that does, uhhh, well, we don't know what exactly, because it doesn't really matter. All that really matters is it's a perfect mash-up of The Office's coworker comedy and The Big Bang Theory's nerd culture, making it a hilarious combo of British alt-comedy and mainstream appeal.
The Office's focus on workplace absurdity and budding coworker friendships has made it a classic for everyone, but if you're sick of your job and looking for the workplace absurdity slathered with a dose of soul-sucking satire, Corporate might hit home a little too hard, and have you doubling over at the same time. The vastly underrated Comedy Central show looks at life through a corporate-approved prism of strict email regulations, acceptable interoffice behavior, and social lives burdened with the fear that another Monday is just around the corner. There's no Jim and Pam hanky-panky here; it's just the empty, nihilistic, and hilarious lives of the workforce.
Another overlooked workplace comedy, ABC's Better Off Ted lasted only two seasons from 2009-2010 because people are dumb and don't know a good thing when they get it. A direct answer to the growing popularity of The Office, the comedy followed the employees of a mysterious, evil corporation that does everything from sway presidential elections to build military-grade weapons out of gourds, and their friendships in the shadow of corporate oversight. The show's protagonist, Ted (Jay Harrington), even pulls a few Jims by breaking the fourth wall and looking into the camera to talk to the audience. Better Off Ted was appreciated by critics, but not by viewers, who didn't watch it because it was opposite NCIS and American Idol, which were Top 5 shows at the time.
If it's straight mockumentary comedy you're after, FX's What We Do in the Shadows is the current king of the format. The vampire parody has nothing to do with office work, unless you consider coffins to be cubicles and the Johnson account to be Johnson's arteries, but it still uses the format well with confessionals, absurd access to its subjects, and a camera crew that occasionally makes an appearance when they're getting attacked inside a vampire nest. But like The Office, the real draw here is the cast and the character relationships, so who are we to say that drinking the blood of virgins and turning into bats isn't as important or relatable as selling paper?
The Office's formula of a workplace with unique and nutty coworkers was clearly the influence for Superstore, another NBC comedy that's a lot better than ratings give it credit for. Swapping out a paper sales company for a big-box store called Cloud 9, Superstore has a slightly different feel because of the retail experience, which leads to great gags. But again, it's the relationships between the characters, particularly between Amy (America Ferrera) and Jonah (Ben Feldman), whose romance evolved across the show's six-season run. Check out more shows to watch if you like Superstore.