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Why 'The Office' U.K. Christmas Special Is The Best Ever

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Dec 13, 2013 | 11:00am EST

The Office, UK, Christmas specialBBC

If schmaltzy Christmas spirit isn't your thing, come on down to Slough and spend it with the gang at Wernham Hogg. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant closed out the original version of The Office with a two-parter Christmas special in 2003, and it still stands as one of the funniest and most satisfying holiday episodes of all time.

The previous season ended on a brutal down-note, with Brent getting fired and Dawn shutting Tim down, seemingly for good. But, despite its shabby exterior of fluorescent lighting and middle managers who never did reach their potential, The Office Christmas Special has an ooey, gooey center. It's a milestone in the history of cringe-comedy. Here's why.

Being famous: #thestruggleisreal

David: "You headbutt a girl on telly and you're labelled a prat. That's the game."

If you don't know him by now...

David Brent spent all the money he made from the documentary to record his first official single. It didn't exactly launch his career, but it's the video Michael Bolton wishes he made. Perhaps he would have had better luck with "Free Love Freeway."

Tim's new neighbor

Now that Gareth is the boss, it's Tim's lot in life to sit next to Anne, who is pregnant and surely can't be expected to endure the tiniest inconvenience.

The party-planning committee

Keith: "Invite girls."
Gareth: "There will be girls there."
Keith: "Not the girls who work here. Other girls. Pretty girls."
Tim: "Do you want us to invite prostitutes, Keith?"
Keith: "Nah. Shouldn't have to pay for it."

Brent's blind date

David's can't even wait for a blind date to show up without offending someone.

Tim doesn't know when to quit — good boy.

"Yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing her again, of course. She's my friend, and she's a good friend, and no, I don't know exactly how I'll feel. I'll feel like a friend feels, whatever that is, you know, but as I said, I'm not going to ask her again! Come on. *grins* I might ask her again."

How to Secret Santa

Gareth: "Put a tenner in an envelope, if that's me."
Tim: "Ah, the spirit of Christmas. A tenner in an envelope."

David Brent's Legacy

Interviewer: "How would you like to be remembered?"
David: "Simply as the man who put a smile on the face of everyone he met."

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