Stanley’s crossword puzzles, Dwight’s beet farm, and Jim and Pam’s meant-to-be-love — during the worst of the pandemic, no matter how stressful the news or ridiculous the time spent pent up inside got, it was shows like The Office we could count on to be a sweet dose of light relief when we needed it most. Predictable, low-stakes, relatable, and all about finding the magical in the mundane, classic comedy shows like The Office provide an important refuge in a very weird world. Most importantly, The Office is still hilarious after all these years. Admit it: How many times a week do you use quotes from The Office? That’s what she said? Kelly Kapoor’s “Fashion show at lunch!” is the very best and useful in a surprising number of situations. If you’re a real hardcore Dunderhead, you can take a shot at this list of The Office trivia, which asks stuff any self-respecting fan would know — e.g., who Michael hit with his car (poor Meredith!).
But even go-to-standards like The Office can get stale after a few dozen viewings, so here are a few shows to expand your repertoire of feel-good comedy. Yes, we skip the obvious choices like Friends, Parks and Rec, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. They’re all great and funny, but these shows include a few you might not have heard of before, which always make the best recommendations. Like, who needs someone else to tell them how good Schitt’s Creek is, right? (It’s fab, BTW.)
So, save this list for the next time you land in a showhole. The following picks are full of heart, fun, and — most of all — a lot of laughs.
Shows Like The Office To Binge-Watch
1. American Vandal
This satire of shows like Making a Murderer follows an aspiring high-school documentary filmmaker as he tries to crack the case of who spray-painted penises on 27 of the faculty’s cars.
This British sitcom released in 2000 is billed as a Friends knockoff, but it’s got a bit more edge. Three women, three dudes, all in their thirties, navigating London at the turn of the century, being beautiful and deeply humiliated on the reg.
3. Derry Girls
Set in the hot political climate of 1990s Ireland, five students in an all-girls Catholic high school navigate becoming women surrounded by nuns. As a bit of a bonus, the 2019 show stars Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton.
4. What We Do in the Shadows
Four vampires who’ve been roommates for hundreds of years get into all sorts of fun and trouble when they venture out into modern-day Staten Island, where they land in parties and cross paths with a variety of other supernatural characters (like the energy vampire). It’s *ahem* a scream.
The powerhouse cast of this 2009 sitcom includes Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, and tons of other talents that make the series a must-watch. Centered around a community college, the endless stories and jokes will remind you of the big-hearted humor of The Office.
6. After Life
This 2019 series follows a newspaper writer (played by the always exceptional Ricky Gervais) suffering since his wife’s death. The hook? He makes a drastic personality switch from being a nice guy to a grouch operating on his own terms.
7. Better Off Ted
A manager of a science company grapples with the intense chaos of his work environment and corporate culture in this series from 2009 starring Portia de Rossi. Watching Ted trying to hold on through it all makes for engrossing television.
Friends is a sitcom about a group of five pals fumbling through their twenties to find their ideal careers, love, and accomplishments. The show is quirky and filled with tons of jokes, but it also has moments of sincerity and confusion most young people face during these formative years. If you’re looking for a way to romanticize your youth, these characters will help you realize you did the best you could.
Dr. Frasier Crane is a therapist from Boston who travels back home to Seattle. He moves in with his dad and starts a new and interesting career as a radio psychiatrist. Frasier is clever and intelligent and often butts heads with his sweet and down-to-earth father. In this sitcom, he must also deal with his arrogant brother, crazy coworkers, and his hilarious friends.
10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Shows about cops are usually gritty and relatively serious, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine turns many of those familiar tropes on its head. This show is not so much about catching the bad guy but about the plucky and hilarious police officers who make up the 99th precinct. The officers in Brooklyn Nine-Nine are played by comedians who constantly stumble into shenanigans while doing their best to protect the city.
Other Sitcoms Like The Office People Love:
- Parks and Recreation
- The League
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
- Ugly Betty
- Silicon Valley
- The Good Place
- The IT Crowd
- The Mindy Project
- The Larry Sanders Show
- Other Space
- Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- How I Met Your Mother
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Arrested Development
- Modern Family
- New Girl
- 30 Rock
- Trailer Park Boys
- Space Force
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