20 Quotes from ‘The Office’ that Perfectly Capture the Hellscape that is Parenting

Because sometimes, it’s just too hard (that’s what she said.)

by Tess Gionet
a quote box is illustrated above a screen shot from the office

It’s been eight years since The Office aired its last episode, but that doesn’t mean anyone’s stopped watching. In fact, last year it was the number one streamed show across America with 57 billion minutes watched. Just like Ryan coming back to Kelly, The Office finds a way to hook you again and again throughout the different stages of your life. I’ve watched it repeatedly through my college dorm years, my first real job/first apartment years, and my newlywed years– but never has The Office hooked me harder than during my early parenting years.

Turns out, there are a lot of similarities between the everyday trials of running a small upstate New York paper company and being the parent of real-life tiny humans. Like it or not, running after kids all day and keeping track of their schedules and snacks turns even the most organized parent into a bumbling Michael Scott by bedtime.

With that in mind, please enjoy these The Office quotes that clearly parallel the everyday tortures (and insurmountable joys) of parenting.

  1. “I am running away from my responsibilities. And it feels good.” –Michael Scott, or any parent who’s hidden in the bathroom while their kid bangs on the door repeatedly, trying to get in.
  2. “Sometimes I get so bored I just want to scream, and then sometimes I actually do scream. I just sort of feel out what the situation calls for.” – Kelly Kapoor, aka any parent who’s on hour 5 million of make-believe play.
  3. “If I don’t have some cake soon, I might die.” — Stanley Hudson, or a 3-year-old.
  4. “I only have one goal today. To make one kid like me. Just one.” – Pam Beesly. (We’ve all been there, Pam.)
  5. “OK, too many different words coming at me from too many different sentences!” – Michael Scott, aka any parent who’s juggling two or more kids at the same time.
  6. “Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” – Michael Scott. (Just substitute ‘people’ with ‘my kids.’)
  7. “I just want to lie on the beach and eat hot dogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” – Kevin Malone, or pretty much any 3-year-old.
  8. “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.”– Michael Scott, aka any parent trying to discipline their kid in the middle of a meltdown.
  9. “I miss the days when there was only one party I didn’t want to go to.” — Ryan Howard, or parents during those months with way too many birthday parties in them.
  10. “Why are you the way that you are?” – Michael Scott to Toby, or me to my 1-year-old when he bites the tips off all the markers when I turned my back for two seconds.
  11. “Hey everybody, he’s not in the men’s room. Although the seat was warm, so we may have just missed him.” — Meredith, or me to my 4-year-old when my toddler has suddenly disappeared and I’m running through the house room to room, trying to track him down.
  12. “Monkey see, monkey do, monkey pee all over you.”- Michael Scott. (Also the refrain of a tired parent at 2 am when you can’t get the new diaper on fast enough.)
  13. “I have been trying to get on jury duty every year since I was 18 years old. To get to go sit it in an air-conditioned room, downtown, judging people, while my lunch is paid for… that is the life.” — Stanley Hudson, or any stay-at-home parent to whom jury duty sounds like the best vacation they’ve had in years.
  14. “I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it at all and it’s terrible.” — Michael Scott, or what parents secretly think after their kid shows them their 8th scribble drawing in a row.
  15. “The only problem is whenever I try to make a taco, I get too excited and crush it.” – Kevin Malone, aka all kids who try so hard to eat crunchy tacos. (Soft tacos forever.)
  16. “So you’ve come to the master for guidance? Is this what you’re saying, grasshopper?” — Michael Scott, or me to my 4-year-old when she comes to me asking for help taking off her shoes.
  17. “So this is my life — until I win the lottery. Or Pam finally writes that series of young adult books.” — Jim Halpert, or any stay-at-home parent who’s just waiting for their partner to make it big so they can hire some extra help.
  18. “No God! Please! No!” – Michael Scott, or a parent who’s just found their toddler armpit deep in the toilet.
  19. “And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”– Michael Scott. (If there was one universal mantra of parenting, Micahel’s quote would be it– we’re all just faking it.)
  20. “In the parking lot today, there was a circus! The copier did tricks on the high wire. A lady tried to give away a baby that looked like a cat. There was a Dwight impersonator and a Jim impersonator. A strongman crushed a turtle; I laughed, and I cried. Not bad for a day in the life of a dog food company.”– Creed Bratton, aka my kid at the end of a super long day when I’m desperately trying to get her to sleep and she suddenly has no end of nonsensical stories to tell me.