The best Office Space quotes helped turn it into one of the highest-rated work-related comedies, even though the workplace has evolved greatly from the days of TPS reports, Hawaiian shirt Fridays, and annoying birthday parties. Every scene is memorable for a totally different reason, and it’s the excellent characters, stuck in a nightmarish cycle of redundancy and stupidity, that make the whole thing a success. Some of the quotes are jabs at the workplace, while others poke fun at society in general, especially for 9-to-5’ers who are fed up with the rat race and daily grind.
There was never an Office Space sequel for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason was that it was a box office flop, earning only $12.2 million on a budget of $10 million (Box Office Mojo). This seems shocking since the movie is a huge fan favorite, but it wasn’t until it hit home video that fans discovered it. The biggest reason that Office Space has such a huge following years after it bombed at the box office is thanks to its great quotes. That was evident from Mike Judge’s later work, which included the animated series King of the Hill, the darkly comedic look at the future in Idiocracy, and another work-related comedy in Extract.
“Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina Speaking. JUST A Moment!”
Nina Is A Monotonous Time Loop For Peter
The movie spends a great deal of time at Initech, the titular office space where star Peter wastes away day in and day out. Right from the beginning, the best Office Space quotes come fast and large. The first and most irritating comes courtesy of receptionist Nina, who sounds like a broken record. In the Mike Judge movie, Peter bears the unfortunate fate of having his cubicle situated within earshot of the repetitive greeting she gives to each caller. The high-pitched, accentuated “JUST a moment” is enough to make a grown man cry.
“I Was Told That I Could Listen To The Radio At A Reasonable Volume, From 9-11.”
Milton Clarifies The Rules To Peter
Though he tended to stick to himself, Milton still found ways to irritate Peter, primarily when it came to listening to the radio. Whatever privileges he had, he clung to like a Rottweiler on a bone, refusing to give them up. Even when Peter asked him nicely to turn the radio down, Milton cited the rules. To him, he was well within his bounds to listen to the radio between 9 and 11 AM, and that was that. It was the first indication of Milton’s love of the rules, and how they failed to gain him any friends in the workplace.
“Why Does It Say Paper Jam When There Is No Paper Jam!”
Samir Grows Frustrated With The Copy Machine
One of the most iconic scenes from Office Space features Peter and his recently fired friends kicking the tar out of a printer that he stole from the office. It’s their way of walking out of Initech with their heads held high while getting in a little catharsis at the same time. Samir’s problems with the machine deal revolve around frequent paper jams, while Michael has issues with a “PC Load Letter” notification, a famous nod to an actual real-world printer error that angered office workers who couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
“That No-Talent Ass-Clown Became Famous And Started Winning Grammys.”
Michael Bolton Remains Frustrated At His Name
Characters with the same name as a famous person have been used in a bunch of comedy movies and TV shows, but none to such a hilarious effect as Michael Bolton in Office Space, sharing a name with the Grammy-winning pop star. It’s such a preposterous name, mainly because it doesn’t fit at all with the character in the film. This, and this alone, is the joke, and the reason for these Office Space quotes. People actually have the temerity to keep asking Michael about his name, and whether he’s related to the singer. It’s a preposterous insinuation and one that Michael endures constantly on a day-by-day basis.
Sounds Like Somebody’s Got A Case Of The Mondays!”
Restaurant Server Is Overly Annoying
Peter, Samir, and Michael routinely go to lunch at a themed restaurant known as Chotchkie’s, where he first meets his future girlfriend, Joanna, a waitress who is fed up with her job and ready to call it quits. Jennifer Aniston’s character is joined by an overly peppy server who greets Peter’s sour attitude with a dismissive quote that begins to eat away at him over the course of the day. He can’t stand the zombie-like enthusiasm for a dead-end job, perpetrated by a guy who has been indoctrinated completely into the company’s culture based on his Office Space quotes.
“That Was Supposed To Be Your Career.”
Peter On His High School Counselor’s Advice
Office Space has great commentary about corporate life, being a cog in a company that doesn’t appreciate employees. Peter delivers these Office Space quotes about how his high school counselor would try to help the students pursue a career, but he never understood. He explains, “Our high school guidance counselor used to ask us what you would do if you had a million dollars and didn’t have to work. And invariably, whatever you’d say, that was supposed to be your career.” Office Space reveals that he didn’t get how this prompt would help and he never had a good answer, and would rather do nothing if he had the choice.
“Oh, And Remember, Next Friday Is Hawaiian Shirt Day!”
Bill Lumberg On Hawaiian Shirt Day
Bill Lumberg is widely regarded as one of the worst bosses in cinematic history, representing the typical stuck-up manager who bosses his subordinates around while spending his time enriching his own career. He walks around the office like a terrifying shadow that causes employees to either run and hide or sit there and deal with him. Of course, Lumberg tries his best to alleviate the horrors of working in the office by throwing the staff a bone in the form of Hawaiian shirt day. These sorts of frivolous and superfluous events were common in 1990s office spaces, and they did little to boost employee morale.
“I’m Going To Need Those TPS Reports ASAP.”
Bill Lumberg Annoying Peter
TPS reports in Office Space are actually a real thing. The letters stand for “Testing Procedure Specification,” and the reports needed to be filled out for quality assurance purposes, though no one really understood why. As such, they’ve become a huge symbol of pretentious corporate management culture, and redundancy in the workplace. Office Space turned the TPS report into a life lesson, and they suddenly became the catch-all term for meaningless exercises imposed upon employees by inept and uncaring management. The fact that Bill Lumberg’s Office Space quotes were the ones to turn it into a workplace faux pas is icing on the cake.
“That’s On The Worst Day Of My Life.”
Peter Bares His Soul To His Therapist
Peter bares it all to his therapist, summing up the monotony and despair of his 9-to-5 job. It helps set the tone for what Peter is feeling and reels in the audience members who share the same predicament. ” Peter says, “So, that means every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.” He realized ever since he left school as a bright-eyed, optimistic young man that his life has gotten consistently worse. Not only does he hate his job, but he’s left with the residual misery of days past. It’s a somber part of the film that would end up being spun into a hilarious story.
“I Have People Skills! I Am Good At Dealing With People!”
Tom Smykowski On His Worth To The Company
When the Bobs were brought in to do a little downsizing in the company, they weren’t particularly consistent with their firing methods. Some employees were fired for the wrong reasons, while less-than-stellar employees were either allowed to stay, or given promotions. However, in the case of Tom Smykowski, they actually made the right call. Tom’s (prolific actor Richard Riehle) Office Space quotes were the definition of redundant, and since it meant the company was paying out a salary for an unnecessary position, he had to go. He wasn’t particularly sanguine about the idea, sabotaging his own case when he started screaming this quote at the Bobs.
“Nuh-Uh. Not Really. Uhhh, I’m Just Gonna’ Stop Going.”
Peter Reveals His Future Plans
Peter goes full George Costanza from Seinfeld when he decides to do the literal opposite of what’s expected of him. In one of the best Office Space quotes, he nonchalantly admits that he’s not even going to quit his job, but simply stop going altogether. Such is the way his personality had shifted since his disastrous therapy session. In truth, this kind of attitude was largely temporary, but when his head finally cleared, Ron Livingston’s Peter was more than willing to take his employer to the cleaners as a form of payback. At the heart of this plan was the goal of never having to work again, for anyone.
“I Love Kung Fu!”
Peter And Joanna Want To Watch Kung Fu Movies
Peter’s carefree new attitude rubs off on everyone, not just his workmates. He ends up courting Joanna when he visits the restaurant she works at by casually inviting her to come over and watch kung fu movies with him, not knowing if she’s even into the genre. Joanna also hates her job, and this, combined with Peter’s newfound flippancy regarding his own is enough to pique her interest. When he brings up kung fu movies, however, everything changes. It’s the catalyst that ends up setting Peter up for a great relationship with Jennifer Aniston’s Joanna, right when he needs it the most.
“I Did Absolutely Nothing, And It Was Everything I Thought It Could Be!”
Peter Explains His Mood Change To Michael
After his therapist session goes unexpectedly awry, Peter approaches his life in a much different way. Instead of working ridiculous hours and clocking in massive overtime at his job, he decides to simply not show up for work and spend the whole day doing absolutely nothing. It’s a simple, yet unorthodox idea, as many societies expect productivity in order to provide for themselves, and their families. Peter would rather just be able to relax and do nothing for a while, and he loved every second of it. Later, this trance-like state would fade somewhat, but it did change how he thought of his career.
“I’d Say, In A Given Week, I Probably Only Do About 15 Minutes Of Real, Actual Work.”
Peter Is Honest With The Bob’s
After the two Bobs (John C. McGinley and Paul Wilson) ask Peter to run through a typical day, he delivers a hilarious and brutally honest monologue featuring this Office Space quote. The candidness of his revelation shocks the Bobs into thinking that Peter is some sort of visionary that could benefit the office in a big way. This is ironic since the same Bobs fired a bunch of staffers who actually put in real, honest, and genuine hard work. They were bean counters up until Peter sauntered in with his newfound confidence, and the office was never the same afterward.
“Not Right Now, Lumberg. I’m Kinda Busy.”
Peter Finally Snaps Back At Lumberg
Following Peter’s spiritual awakening, his entire outlook on his job changed. He was no longer content to do work and get paid for it. Rather, he started coming in and goofing off on the company dime, which caught the attention of his manager, Bill Lumberg (character actor Gary Cole). When Lumberg questioned him about his TPS reports, Peter replied with this quote while playing Tetris on his computer, and eating Cheetos off his desk. The reverse psychology worked, and Lumberg found himself on the wrong side of the management table for the first time.
“I Believe You Have My Stapler!”
Milton Wants His Stapler Back
Office Space is one of Mike Judge’s best works. Milton is easily the highlight of the film with his Office Space quotes, with fans never tiring of his scene-stealing performances. Milton’s bad luck is legendary. His paycheck is secretly cut off, his office moved down to the basement, and his prized red Swingline stapler was taken. All of this culminates in Milton taking out his frustrations on the company by setting the building on fire but not before retrieving his precious stapler. The movie is based on an animated short series that featured Milton Waddams, though he was only a supporting character in the film adaptation.
“Well, I Wouldn’t Say I’ve Been MISSING It, Bob.”
Peter Continues To Be Honest With The Bob’s
Everyone with a job can relate to Peter’s struggles at the beginning of the movie, so it’s no surprise that he drops these Office Space quotes during another meeting with the Bobs. Already on their good side, Peter felt as if he could drop a joke with ease, without any repercussions. In truth, he was right. The Bobs had already decided that Peter was special and worthy of some sort of promotion. It didn’t matter that his flippant attitude and lackluster approach to work was front and center. It was the ultimate form of reverse psychology.
“We Find It’s Always Better To Fire People On A Friday.”
The Bob’s Talk About Firing People
Bob Porter calls it “standard operating procedure” when Peter finds out his buddies Samir and Michael are going to be laid off and replaced with “entry-level graduates,” and outsourcing to Singapore. This would lead to the Office Space baseball bat moment. However, Samir and Michael would have to work the whole rest of the week, unaware that their bosses were going to fire them on Friday. This is all because statistics have shown that employees are less likely to make a scene if they’re fired on a Friday, which is always the happiest day of the work week.
“It’s Like Superman III.”
Peter Blames Superman For Their Crime
Peter tries to explain his plan of embezzling money from Initech by lifting a scheme straight out of Superman III, which starred Richard Pryor as a character who uses a computer program to shave off fractions of a cent off of every transaction, then deposit them in a secret account. They don’t really see an issue with taking the minuscule amount, since they’ve given their best years to the company without any recognition or respect. However, as Superman III showed, this kind of corporate fraud is deeply immoral, as employees can quit a job they don’t like, any time they want.
“Say Hello To LUMBERG For Me!”
Peter Snaps At Joanne
Peter really stepped in it when he got some bad intel from a co-worker about Joanna, his new girlfriend. According to rumor, she slept with none other than Bill Lumberg, which was about the most offensive thing Peter could possibly fathom. Unfortunately, it was the wrong Lumberg, but that didn’t stop Peter from losing his temper and delivering some harsh Office Space quotes to her. It nearly cost him his romance with Joanna, but thankfully the two managed to reconcile when Peter’s high-flying schemes came crashing into the hard wall of reality.