The Office: Season 8 (2011 - 2012)

SEASON:

Season 8
The Office

Critics Consensus

The Office spends its eighth season in the midst of an identity crisis as characters leave and reappear, but at least Robert California is gone.

44%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 25

57%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 536

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 22, 2011

In the Season 8 opener, the staffers discover their names on a mysterious list authored by new Sabre CEO Robert California (James Spader). Paranoia sweeps through the office as the employees anxiously speculate what the list means.

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Air date: Sep 29, 2011

The staffers are motivated to sell when Robert delivers an exhilarating speech challenging them to double their sales and offers them an off-the-charts reward. Meanwhile, Pam bonds with an unlikely person over her pregnancy.

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Air date: Oct 6, 2011

The warehouse employees all win the lottery and quit, causing the desk jockeys to dream about living the luxury life of a lottery winner and spinning into motion the search for a new warehouse staff.

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Air date: Oct 13, 2011

Andy plants the seeds of trying to impress Robert California by throwing a garden party at Schrute Farms. Andy's parents (Stephen Collins and Dee Wallace) and brother (Josh Groban) also attend the event, only to make him feel awkward.

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Air date: Oct 27, 2011

Halloween is tricky for Erin when she tries to organize the Halloween office bash but can't seem to meet her bosses' party demands. The scare fare continues when Jim and Pam argue about the authenticity of ghosts, and Dwight connects with Robert's son.

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Air date: Nov 3, 2011

Dwight launches a draconian "doomsday" system to reduce employee mistakes and improve office efficiency.

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Air date: Nov 10, 2011

Pam prepares for her maternity leave by training her temporary replacement (Lindsey Broad), but she frets that Jim finds the attractive new temp tempting. Meanwhile, Robert California asks to join Andy, Darryl and Kevin's band.

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Air date: Nov 17, 2011

Andy hopes to inspire and motivate the group by taking them on a field trip to Gettysburg. Some staffers remain at the office, and Robert California tasks them to hatch the company's next big idea.

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Air date: Dec 1, 2011

Robert California ushers his wife (Maura Tierney) into the office in a bid to find her a job. Elsewhere, Dwight pumps up the proceedings by opening a gym in the building.

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Air date: Dec 8, 2011

Andy jingles all the way by trying to grant everyone's holiday wishes. Meanwhile, drama spills over at the office party when Robert California tries to drown his sorrows.

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The Office: Season 8 Photos

Tv Season Info

Series 8 marks the first series of the post-Michael Scott era. Andy Bernard has assumed the role of regional manager after Deangelo Vickers' quick flame out at the end of the seventh series. James Spader costars as Robert California, the newly appointed CEO of Dunder Mifflin's parent company, Sabre. Much of the early season episodes focus on Andy's attempts to motivate and inspire his new reports. Later in the season, Pam prepares to go on maternity leave when she is expecting her second child, but worries that her temp replacement Cathy Simms may be too pretty, perhaps causing Jim to have a wandering eye. Also: Unhappy, and unfulfilled, office secretary Erin decides not to return to Dunder Mifflin Scranton after a special project takes her to Sabre headquarters in Florida, and Andy must head south on a mission to bring her back.

News & Interviews for The Office: Season 8

Critic Reviews for The Office Season 8

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (13)

I find myself watching mainly out of habit, rather than anticipation. A show that used to be so fresh and funny is no longer fresh and only intermittently funny.

Feb 24, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It's hard to imagine The Office getting any worse... At this point, it's best to think of The Office as both David Wallace and Bob Greenblatt do: a purely financial investment. Silly, but probably necessary.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

It was both warmly funny and wickedly funny, and it retained the sense of flawed humanity that always distinguished Carell's best work, even without him there.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

The transition has been awkward -- to be expected when a classic character has been replaced -- but The Office seems to know where it's going and seems to be enjoying itself in the process. Spader? Absolutely a keeper.

Feb 24, 2020 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

The characters may all still work in an engaging nut house, but the series is punching the clock, trying to solve the same old problems, create similar stories, develop familiar characters.

Feb 25, 2020 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The fact is, I still watch The Office, and I like it; if its only purpose is to make me laugh for a half-hour, it's still working.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

I don't know who was actually driving the decisions made about what the show has become post-Carell... But I do know that this isn't working comedically. The Office now is a pale, listless shadow of what it used to be.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

It gave a noble post-Carell effort -- there were laughs and a few earned tears and that's pretty respectable -- but it's now slowing and stalling and becoming a depressing husk of its old self.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

The Office has fallen and shows no signs of getting back up.

Feb 24, 2020 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

While everyone was busy being disappointed, The Office sneaked in some genuinely great jokes, new characters, and affecting plotlines. All things considered, this is still one of the best shows on TV.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

I think we must finally acknowledge the elephant in the room: The addition of James Spader as Robert California is not helping this series survive the departure of Steve Carell.

Feb 24, 2020 | Full Review…

It's a new era, but it's one that still has promise.

Aug 30, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Office: Season 8

  • Sep 30, 2020
    Not terrible but one of the weaker seasons of The Office. There are still some laughs and memorable moments but also some boring episodes. The show hasn't been as good since Michael Scott left, but it's still worth seeing.
  • Sep 22, 2020
    Of course without Michael this series is not as good but still lots of funny moments.
  • Sep 16, 2020
    Even at its worst, the Office is still a good show.
  • Jun 23, 2020
    Season 8 has funny moments but that funniness is quickly destroyed by overexaggerated scenarios.
  • Jun 20, 2020
    Even though it's clearly the worst season of this great show. It still delivered one of the best lines of the series.( You are a fine toilet, I am just an expectational turd)
  • Jun 18, 2020
    A very frustrating season to say the least Nothing works I mean there's a few jokes here and there bt nothing clicks James spader deserves better than this Not very fun season
  • Jun 02, 2020
    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!
  • May 21, 2020
    It's so weird without Michael, hope the final season will be better..
  • May 20, 2020
    This season stains an otherwise amazing show. Andy as a character is annoying and unlikeable. The comedy lacks the same subtle undertones as previous seasons but instead relies on absurd stunts. They're funny, don't get me wrong, but I miss the not-in-your-face humor of previous seasons.
  • May 09, 2020
    The writers must have forgotten what made the office so special and because of that it feels like a different show.

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