One of the most beloved characters in comedy history, The Office’s Michael Scott, was known among his work peers for his stupidity, accidental offensiveness and, above all, his massive heart. What most viewers knew him for, though, were the endless amount of quotable gems that he tossed out on an episodic basis. While there are many memorable lines from the self-crowned “World’s Best Boss,” we narrowed them down to some of the best of all time. Some are funny, some are insightful and others are just downright eye-roll-worthy. See for yourself below and for more from The Office, check out our list of the best quotes from the show as a whole here.
1. On having an affair
“I’m Beyoncé, always.”
When Michael’s then-lover Donna is revealed to actually have a husband, Michael is shown the error of his ways (staying complicit in the affair) by none other than Andy Bernard and a deep-cut reference from the Beyoncé film Obsessed.
2. On his return to the paper business
“It’s Britney, bitch.”
When Michael leaves Dunder Mifflin after a contentious relationship with the new VP, he forms a paper company of his own and basks in the freedom the only way you can: Quoting Britney Spears while Lady Gaga plays in your PT Cruiser.
3. On being loved
“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”
Wise words, Michael. Wise words.
4. On leadership
“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”
CFO David Wallace at one point explained to Michael that while every other Dunder Mifflin branch had been struggling, Scranton consistently reported great numbers. When asked how he does it, Michael gave an answer that, well, pretty much clarified nothing (in true Michael Scott fashion), and followed it up with this all-too-relatable admission.
5. On prison
“The worst thing about prison was the Dementors. They were flying all over the place and they were scary and they’d come down and they’d suck the soul out of your body and it hurt!”
When one of the Scranton branch members compares working there to being in prison, Michael decides to teach the team a lesson about what prison is really with a little help from his friend “Prison Mike.”
6. On email scams
“When the son of the deposed king of Nigeria emails you directly, asking for help, you help! His father ran the freaking country! Okay?”
If Michael Scott can teach you one thing, it’s that you shouldn’t fall for email scams involving Nigerian royalty. Just don’t.
7. On just cause
“I have cause. It is beCAUSE I hate him.”
Yes, he’s talking about Toby.
8. On grief
“Society teaches us that having feelings and crying is bad and wrong. Well, that’s baloney, because grief isn’t wrong. There’s such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown.”
When Michael takes on the role of grief counselor after his former boss dies, he strangely has some good thoughts on the emotions that come along with loss.
9. On being betrayed
“You know what they say. Fool me once, strike one, but fool me twice … strike three.”
Uh, yeah … that’s not … what that is.
10. On gaining the upper hand
“Well, well, well, how the turntables.”
He’s really not getting these sayings right.
11. On superstition
“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little ‘stitious.”
Turns out that it’s okay to be a little bit skeptical of the supernatural. Just not too much.
12. On inside jokes
“I love inside jokes. I’d love to be a part of one someday.”
Usually in a borderline-heartbreaking manner, Michael repeatedly tries to get in on Jim Halpert’s comedic banter with others. It never really works out that way.
13. On sourcing information
“Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.”
When Darryl comes to Michael to ask for a raise, Mr. Scott decides to look up “no-fail negotiation tactics” on Wikipedia. It goes about as well as you’d expect.
14. On MLK
“I don’t understand. We have a day honoring Martin Luther King, but he didn’t even work here.”
In some far-away parallel universe, Micheal might actually have had a point here.
15. On having a plan
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
Once Stanley had his heart attack, Michael realized he had no clue what to do in emergency medical situations, so it was time to bring in an expert to train the office.
16. On stubbornness
“I understand nothing.”
When asked by his mortal enemy Charles Miner to stop poaching Dunder Mifflin clients after Scott’s departure, Michael shows he’s willing to die on the hill of the Michael Scott Paper Company.
17. On love
“Well, it’s love at first sight. Actually, it was … No, it was when I heard her voice. It was love at first see with my ears.”
When Michael finally realizes that he is deeply in love with new HR representative Holly Flax, he attempts to describe the feeling in the most romantic way possible.
18. On being overwhelmed
“Okay, too many different words from coming at me from too many different sentences.”
When the entire office tries to convince Michael that a potential client is in the Mafia, he gets a bit … frazzled.
19. On acne
“It’s a pimple, Phyllis. Avril Lavigne gets them all the time and she rocks harder than anyone alive.”
Now that is self-love.
20. On improv class
“I would not miss it for the world. But if something else came up I would definitely not go.”
Another attempt at trying to make plans with Jim falls flat.
21. On comedy
“That’s what she said.”
A true classic.
Dylan Haas is an intern at Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.