“Traveling Salesman,” “The Negotiation” and “Safety Training.” Those are the only three episodes from Season 3 that have not had a prank. With four episodes still remaining (with only one being a 30-minutes and the rest being supersized), this season already has more pranks than Season 2 or Season 1. In fact, this season’s pranks have almost doubled the original 21 pranks throughout the series to an impressive 41. Next week’s prank of Jim dressing like Dwight will give this season the same amount as the previous two seasons combined. And you know there will be more than just one in four episodes.
This season has also featured four episodes with multiple pranks: “Gay Witch Hunt,” (Calculator in Jello; Jim Sends the Office a Gaydar) “The Merger,” (Pam Times Dwight’s “Mile”; Jim Stares at Dwight’s Forehead), “A Benihana Christmas,” (Dwight’s CIA Letters; Dwight Explains how to Butcher a Goose) and “Ben Franklin” (Jim Hires Ben Franklin; “That is not the real Ben Franklin. I am 99% sure.”).
But which was the best? This was the question that I posed to the visitors of this blog almost three weeks ago and they have let their voices indeed be heard with 155 votes. It really was a two-horse race all the way from the beginning. Here are the top vote getters:
1. Dwight gets Faxes from Future Dwight - 23.87%
2. Fun with Andy's Phone - 21.29 %
3. Jim sends the Office a Gaydar - 9.03%
4. The Vampire Bite - 8.39%
T5. Pavlov's Altoids - 7.74%
T5. Dwight's CIA Letters - 7.74%
7. Pam, Ryan and Kevin Share their Grief - 3.87%
T8. Jim Sets Andy up with Pam - 3.23%
T8. Pam Times Dwight's Mile - 3.23%
10. That is not the real Ben Franklin. I am 99% sure. - 2.58%
The readers and I weren’t too far off. The top ten vote getters for readers matched all of my top ten. The order was switched around, but none the less. Without further adieu, here’s the list.
10. Jim Hires Ben Franklin
Of the 20 pranks from the season, five have specifically moved the plot line of the episode. Without these pranks, the episode wouldn’t have a story. This one is the one of the highest on that list. Without Jim’s initiative to not only save the company from sure-fire litigation, but to add some humor to the ladies of the office (who desperately need it) this episode would be much different. I personally would have liked it better and ranked it higher if Jim got Spongebob Squarepants instead.
9. Jim Sends the Office a Gaydar
A surprising reader favorite. This is the first completely original prank of the season for Jim and he got it started on the right foot. I like to think that immediately after receiving the package, Dwight goes around proclaiming that he has excellent gaydar. But then again, he never thought he would have a gay friend, much less himself. What is worse, Dwight as a homosexual, or him imagining Angela as one?
8. Pam, Ryan and Kevin Share their Grief
Without Jim around, the office had been a quiet, prank-less place. Thank God for Pam. All it took for her to come around was the death of Michael’s former boss. Extra kudos to Dwight for the resorbed twin comment…that was the catalyst that got Pam’s mind a-brewin’. Ryan even took the time to take the stick out of his butt to join in the fun. Kevin, taking a little longer to catch on, helps things along, but a poorly planned “Weekend at Bernies” reference tips Michael off. You can even see Ryan’s face as he realizes the fun is over.
7. Pam Times Dwight’s “Mile”
This is one prank that might have been overlooked more than any other. This one is a benchmark for the Dunder-Mifflin office. What is it that sets this one apart? Everyone’s favorite human resources manager, Toby Flenderson. Dwight would never have wanted to run a mile in the first place had Toby not come in and flirted with Pam. More props for Pam in being a good sport and actually going with Dwight.
6. The Vampire Bite
Transfer this situation to any real workplace in America and this one flops 99 times out of 100. But that one time it works, it’s pure gold. What is it that makes it work in this case, (besides a bat) an incredibly gullible and mystic-natured co-worker. Could have been higher if Karen would have put some presence in her acting. The previous Oscar-worthy work of Pam has spoiled me.
5. Jim sets Andy up with Pam
I was worried on the pranks front when Jim made the transition back to Scranton. This is his first one with some thought since his return. This also is one of the few pranks with multiple targets. Not only does he sink Andy with his horrible advice, Pam has to suffer through the attempt. This was probably bumped up a spot just because Jim was found out and continued on anyway.
4. Dwight’s CIA Letters
Besides the obvious brilliance associated with it, what sets this one apart from the others? The anticipation. When Pam first proposed the idea to Jim, he turned it down. Everyone could imagine what could happen if Jim had jumped on board. This one gave everyone a chance to think like Halpert. When he finally turned around and did it, he delivered like he rarely has before.
3. Pavlov’s Altoids
If this were a list based solely on originality, this one would be number one without a doubt. Never has the Pavlov’s Dog Theory been put to such use. Not to mention, this is the only instance during Phyllis’ Wedding that we get to see a glimpse of the office in any form.
2. Dwight gets Faxes from Future Dwight
The number one vote getter in fan opinion. It’s simple, to the point and gets the max effect for Jim but he is not around to see it.
And number one…
Why is it that this one takes the number one spot over all the others? This is one of the only pranks of the season that would have hurt the episode if it was left out. Andy is/was evil. He needed to be destroyed and Jim and Pam were the ones for the job. This prank also lends so much to the rest of the season. Andy/Drew is now nice to everyone, Karen is always jealous of Pam and Michael is no longer seduced by Andy’s friendship. This still might make number one based solely on the flawless and silent execution from Jim and Pam. Brilliant, just plain brilliant.
Check back later tonight or tomorrow for the latest prank.