The 35 Best Quotes From Office Space

Summary

  • The best
    Office Space
    quotes highlight relatable workplace situations and poke fun at the tedium of office life, making it a cult favorite comedy.
  • The movie was initially a box office flop but gained a fanbase and became a cult favorite after its release on home video.
  • The memorable characters and quotable dialogue, such as Milton’s obsession with the radio and Samir’s printer frustrations, contribute to the film’s comedic success.

The best Office Space quotes illustrate why it’s one of the highest-rated work-related comedies, highlighting the tedium of TPS reports, Hawaiian shirt Fridays, and annoying birthday parties. The 1999 comedy excels at exaggerating relatable workplace situations. The excellent cast of characters, stuck in a nightmarish cycle of redundancy and stupidity, made Office Space a success, thanks to how quotable their dialogue is. Some of the best Office Space 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 fact seems shocking since Office Space became such a cult success, but it wasn’t until it hit home video that it began to grow a fanbase. Since then, Office Space has become a beloved comedy classic, with so many memorable and hilarious lines that fans are still quoting decades later.

Related That’d Be Greeeat: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Office Space

Office Space is both a brilliant satire of corporate America and a love letter to bored workers. These are 10 fascinating behind-the-scenes facts.

35 “That Would Be Great”

Bill Lumberg (Gary Cole)

Lumberg talking to Peter in Office Space

The entire plot of Office Space surrounds office employees who feel trapped by the cubicles. What really shines a light on their plight is their boss, Bill Lumberg. The man has no concept of personal space, work/life balance, or the actual feelings of his employees. What makes him even worse is that he is smarmy and almost condescending in how he talks to his employees, with Gary Cole turning in a masterful performance of a manipulative and uncaring boss.

Lumberg is telling them in a way where he knows they have no opportunity to say no.

When he is asking employees to put in extra work, he isn’t really asking. Lumberg is telling them in a way where he knows they have no opportunity to say no, and he does it in a way that seems like he is asking a favor, but it is clear there is no other option. The fact that he ends a request for overtime on the weekend with the line, “That would be great,” adds insult to injury as he pushes Peter into agreeing to something he never wanted to do in the first place.

34 “I Have Eight Different Bosses Right Now”

Peter (Ron Livingston)

Peter talking to the Bobs in Office Space

When the Bobs come in and decide who they are going to fire and who they will decide to keep employed at Initech, they have no idea what actually happens in this specific workplace. They don’t know the ins and outs of the office, and they have no idea about the waste of manpower used and the tendency to take advantage of the staff as a result. They learn more when Peter delivers this line to them, explaining that he has eight different bosses to answer to whenever he makes any decision.

They are shocked, but anyone who has ever worked in an office set up like this knows this is true. There is an old quote about too many chefs in the kitchen, where people start to walk over each other, and no one knows what they are supposed to do because one person will say one thing and another will contradict it. It is a movie about the horrors of the workplace, and this is one Office Space quote that people who work in almost any industry can relate to.

33 “PC Load Letter. What The F**** Does That Mean?”

Michael Bolton (David Herman)

Michael Bolton wonders what PC Load Letter means in Office Space

The Michael Bolton line about the “PC Load Letter” instruction is easily one of the best Office Space quotes when it comes to people dealing with just about any form of technology in the workplace. For a company that is supposed to be based on software development, it seems almost comical that its own technology is unable to operate properly and often breaks down and sends back nonsensical instructions that the low-level staff have to find a way to deal with.

The line shows that even the smallest things add up to the overall level of frustration.

This quote shows the frustration levels that build little by little throughout the day until every employee wants nothing more than to rage against the machines that constantly refuse to work for them. From the annoying co-workers to the manipulative bosses, there is a lot going on every day in this workplace, and this is why, eventually, everyone is ready to walk out if they can only afford it. The line shows that even the smallest things add up to the overall level of frustration.

32 “I Hope Your Firings Go Really, Really Well.”

Peter (Ron Livingston)

The Bobs talking to Peter in Office Space

The best part about Office Space is seeing Peter go from being one of the overstressed and uptight employees at Initech and then turning into a relaxed and chill guy after the hypnotherapy session. No longer capable of caring about his job after his therapist dies before snapping his fingers again after hypnotizing him to let his cares go, Peter returns to work a different person. What is shocking is that the Bobs find his attitude refreshing as they head into fire people.

The Bobs’s oblivious nature, making them think it was a great quote, adds to the humor

Because of Peter’s fresh attitude, he not only keeps his job but almost gets permission to do whatever he wants while there. He lets the Bobs know everything that is wrong with the place and eventually earns their trust. He has this one last line as he says goodbye to the duo. The fact that he nonchalantly wishes them luck with their firings shows that he has no cares left to give to Initech, and the Bobs’s oblivious nature, making them think it was a great quote, adds to the humor levels.

31 “That Things Lucky I’m Not Armed”

Michael Bolton (David Herman)

Michael Bolton destroying the printer in Office Space

Michael Bolton has a few good quotes in the movie, but one of the best ones comes when he, Samir, and Peter take the printer out to a park and destroy it. This happens after both Samir and Michael are laid off (Peter keeps his job because the Bobs like him). They set up a scheme to rob Intech of excess money in the Superman III scheme, and then they go to work on destroying the malfunctioning printer, that has caused Michael so much stress at the office.

The entire scene is brilliantly shot, with the three taking the printer into a park and then kicking it, stomping on it, and bashing it with a baseball bat, all while the Geto Boys song “Still” plays over the scene. Just when it looks like they are done, Michael rushes back in and starts punching it. This leads to Michael delivering the perfect line, “That thing’s lucky I’m not armed,” which makes almost no sense but perfectly encapsulates what he has been going through for so long.

30 “Take a Look at My Cousin: He’s Broke, Don’t Do S***.”

Lawrence (Diedrich Bader)

Peter driving in his car in Office Space-1

It could be argued that Office Space is a fairly low-stakes comedy movie, but viewers can sympathize with the characters’ desires and dreams. Peter (Ron Livingston) is shown to be a typical office worker whose biggest concern in his everyday life is finding a way to escape the endless mind-numbing work he faces. He goes to work, does his reports, ends up browbeaten by his boss, and never gets a chance to enjoy life because his work seems to dominate his every waking hour.

Lawrence points out that this can be achieved without money, and you don’t have to be rich if you want to do nothing in life.

When hanging out with his neighbor Lawrence (Diedrich Bader), Peter contemplates what he would do if he were rich and concludes that he wouldn’t do anything if that were the case. Lawrence points out that this can be achieved without money, and you don’t have to be rich if you want to do nothing in life. Lawrence’s cousin is a perfect example of that. Whether he knows it or not, those hilarious words of wisdom spark the idea in Peter’s mind that his dream of doing nothing is attainable simply by not caring.

29 “The Ratio of People to Cake Is Too Big.”

Milton (Stephen Root)

Milton gets no cake at Lumbergh's birthday party in Office Space.

An animated short about Milton inspired Office Space, so it is fitting that he’s one of the most memorable characters in the movie. Stephen Root’s hilarious performance makes Milton out to be a very peculiar man, but it is also hard not to feel sorry for him at times. One such moment comes when the office is enjoying some birthday cake which is being divided up among everyone. Milton nervously watches as the cake is handed out and feels there might not be enough for everyone. Sure enough, once the cake is gone, Milton is the one left with none.

Milton knows things keep getting worse for him, and he fights to protect what he has, like his stapler.

Milton seems to be oblivious to anything happening around him and seems to live in a bubble. However, what makes him interesting is that he is actually very observant. He sees what is happening around him in the office. Milton knows things keep getting worse for him, and he fights to protect what he has, like his stapler. This quote shows that Milton sees danger coming. Sadly, he knows there is nothing he can do about it. Moments like this make his revenge in the final scenes of Office Space all the sweeter.

Related 10 Comedy Movies That Nailed Their Final Scene

Though there have been many great comedy movies, only a select few can be said to have nailed their final scenes, leaving the audience satisfied.

28 “Corporate Accounts Payable, Nina Speaking. JUST A Moment!”

Nina (Kinna McInroe)

Peter listens to the annoying receptionist in Office Space.

Office Space spends a lot of time at Initech, the titular office environment where Peter Gibbons wastes away, day in and day out. The movie quickly establishes those workplace annoyances that can make the workday harder to endure, such as the irritating Nina (Kinna McInroe), whose repeated phone greeting grinds away at Peter’s patience. 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
” cements itself as the kind of inescapable mundane torture that
Office Space
remains effective at presenting.

The high-pitched, accentuated “JUST a moment” cements itself as the kind of inescapable mundane torture that Office Space remains effective at presenting. It also shows what the office workers, from Peter to Milton, have to deal with on an everyday basis. They know that they are stuck in this cubicle world, and believe there is nothing they can do about it. Every little thing can become an annoyance, and when it is something like Nina’s repetitive nature, it almost seems worse than a ticking clock.

27 “I Was Told That I Could Listen To The Radio At A Reasonable Volume, From 9-11.”

Milton (Stephen Root)

Close

Though he tended to stick to himself, Milton found ways to irritate Peter, primarily concerning listening to the radio. Whatever privileges he had, he clung to, especially being allowed to keep his radio on during work hours. Even when Peter asked him nicely to turn the radio down, Milton cited Initech rules. To him, he was well within his bounds to listen to the radio between 9 and 11 AM, repeated like a mantra. It is a hint as to why Milton doesn’t have many friends in the office, but given the way so many people disrespect him, this is a two way street.

The radio is how Milton copes, and Peter doesn’t seem to understand they are in the same boat.

It is also not unreasonable for him to be a little protective of the simple joys he is afforded. Stephen Root’s delivery of this Office Space quote makes it all the funnier, and it’s clear it’s an argument that Peter and Milton have had before. What makes this hit home is that Peter struggles with the everyday life of the office environment, and even he can’t see that others around him are also struggling. The radio is how Milton copes, and Peter doesn’t seem to understand they are in the same boat.

26 “Why Does It Say Paper Jam When There Is No Paper Jam!”

Samir (Ajay Naidu)

Close

One of the most iconic scenes from Office Space features Peter and his recently fired friends viciously destroying a printer that they 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 (Ajay Naidu) problems with the machine revolve around frequent paper jams, while Michael (David Herman) has issues with a “PC Load Letter” notification, a nod to various indecipherable real-world printer errors that continue to anger office workers to this day.

The entire scene is overlaid by the fact that they are destroying the printer to “Still” by the Geto Boys, and the entire situation is played as hardcore

This quote is another example of Office Space‘s relatable workplace comedy antics being a driving place behind its cult success. Of course, the entire scene is overlaid by the fact that they are destroying the printer to “Still” by the Geto Boys, and the entire situation is played as hardcore, even though it is basically four office workers smashing up a printer. However, with this quote, it is clear that this is exactly how they feel when they take out their frustrations on a hapless office machine.

25 “That No-Talent Ass-Clown Became Famous And Started Winning Grammys.”

Michael Bolton (David Herman)

Close

Characters with the same name as a famous person have been used in several comedy movies and TV shows, but none to such a hilarious effect as Michael Bolton, the character who shares a name with the Grammy-winning pop star, in Office Space. It’s such a preposterous name, mainly because it doesn’t fit at all with the character in the film. Characters throughout the comedy keep asking Michael about his name, and whether he’s related to the singer.

Many offices have an employee who is sick of everything and when things become repetitive, they tend to lash out ridiculously, like Michael did here.

Michael is clearly sick of the comparisons and questions, and his lifelong exasperation is expressed hilariously by David Herman in this Office Space quote. The quote emphasizes two different kinds of bored office employees. Many offices have an employee who is sick of everything and when things become repetitive, they tend to lash out ridiculously, like Michael did here. However, the other type is the employees who look for any semblance of entertainment, and they find a small joy in the frustration of their co-workers at moments like this.

24 “Sounds Like Somebody’s Got A Case Of The Mondays!”

Chotchkie’s Waiter (Todd Duffey)

An annoying waiter in Office Space.

Peter, Samir, and Michael routinely go to lunch at a themed restaurant known as Chotchkie’s, where he first meets his future girlfriend, Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), a waitress who is fed up with her job and ready to call it quits. Joanna is joined by an overly peppy server (Todd Duffey) who greets Peter’s sour attitude with a dismissive quote that begins to eat away at him throughout the day. Peter can’t stand the zombie-like enthusiasm for a dead-end job, finding it distasteful perhaps because it reflects his own fears that he’s being indoctrinated completely into Initech’s company culture.

While Todd Duffey’s appearance is brief, his chalking up of Peter’s attitude as down to
“the Mondays”
is a hilariously optimistic juxtaposition

While Todd Duffey’s appearance is brief, his chalking up of Peter’s attitude as down to “the Mondays” is a hilariously optimistic juxtaposition and an example of how even the small parts in the movie make for memorable Office Space quotes. It is also another case of Peter not being able to see past his own depression when it comes to hating his job. People at Chotchkie’s also likely hate their jobs, and Todd is just another Lumberg, taking that frustration and annoyance to another level completely.

23 “I Believe You’d Get Your Ass Kicked Sayin’ Something Like That, Man.”

Lawrence (Diedrech Bader)

Close

Lawrence ends up being a voice of reason for Peter as he comes home each day with a new grievance. By contrast, Lawrence works a construction job and doesn’t bring home any of that stress. In fact, he seems perplexed and even angry at the things Peter faces in the office. When Peter asks Lawrence if someone has ever accused him of having a “case of the Mondays,” Lawrence is hilariously taken aback, suggesting violence as an appropriate response. While over-the-top, it shows that Peter isn’t alone in the annoyance he feels.

Lawrence lets Peter know that not everything that bothers him is a small annoyance, and sometimes Peter has every right to get angry and lose his temper about something.

Even the laid-back Lawrence doesn’t kid himself about many of the harshness of professional life. This is also a quote that helps Peter see a little more clearly. Peter takes everything that happens to him, and the small annoyances that happen around the office, personally. It seems like he can’t find happiness in anything in life. However, Lawrence lets Peter know that not everything that bothers him is a small annoyance, and sometimes Peter has every right to get angry and lose his temper about something.

22 “That Was Supposed To Be Your Career.”

Peter (Ron Livingston)

Close

Office Space has great commentary about corporate life and being a cog in a company that doesn’t appreciate employees. Peter talks about how his high school counselor would try to help the students pursue a career, but he never understood the exercise. His school believed there was a perfect way to figure out what it was that a person should set out to do as a job in life. 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.”

In one of Office Space‘s more philosophical and reflective quotes, Peter says he didn’t get how this prompt would help him choose a career. He explains that he never had a good answer, and would rather do nothing if he had the choice. It speaks to two different ways of looking at jobs. Some people see a job as part of a life’s purpose, while other people don’t see the purpose in grinding it out every day until they die, and Peter realizes he is one of those people.

21 “Oh, And Remember, Next Friday Is Hawaiian Shirt Day!”

Bill Lumberg (Gary Cole)

Close

Bill Lumberg (Gary Cole) 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 career. He walks around the office like a terrifying shadow that causes employees to run and hide or sit there and deal it. He shows how annoying he can be when he lets employees like Peter know they need to work overtime — without an option. He then adds something at the end to make it seem like it is still a great place to work.

These sorts of frivolous and superfluous events are common in many office spaces, and it’s a common joke that they do little to improve morale.

Lumberg tries his best to alleviate the horrors of working in the office by instituting superficial events like Hawaiian shirt day. This is an especially relatable Bill Lumberg Office Space quote, though not because viewers are watching from his perspective. These sorts of frivolous and superfluous events are common in many office spaces, and it’s a common joke that they do little to improve morale. By seeing this from Peter’s point of view, after realizing he just lost more free time outside of work, Hawaii shirt day becomes a bad joke.

20 “I’m Going To Need Those TPS Reports ASAP.”

Bill Lumberg (Gary Cole)

Lumberg confronts Peter in Office Space.

TPS reports in Office Space are actually a real thing. The letters stand for “Testing Procedure Specification,” and employees need to fill the reports out for quality assurance purposes. It’s a running joke that no one at Initech really seems to understand 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.

When it comes to the TPS Reports, they represent everything that Peter, and many other office workers, hate about their jobs.

The TPS report quote from Bill Lumberg is one of the most repeated from the movie in real-life offices, and at the height of the movie’s success “TPS reports” was almost a slang term for vaguely-defined purposeless white-collar administrative tasks. Every day at work, Peter had to do monotonous tasks while everything around him annoyed him to no end. When it comes to the TPS Reports, they represent everything that Peter, and many other office workers, hate about their jobs.

19 “That’s On The Worst Day Of My Life.”

Peter (Ron Livingston)

Peter goes to a therapist in Office Space.

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 viewers also frustrated by office-based careers. He realizes 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. In this starkly self-aware Office Space quote, Peter tells his counselor,


So, that means every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

It’s a somber part of the comedy movie that adds a little thematic weight to its otherwise hilarious story. What really makes the jokes in Office Space work so well is that most of them are relatable. There is no way that this comedy would remain a beloved classic so many years later if it was just an office-based comedy. By seeing Peter with his therapist, and hearing him admit that he hates his life so much, it makes his struggles seem more realistic. It also makes his triumph at the end seem so much better for him.

18 “I Have People Skills! I Am Good At Dealing With People!”

Tom Smykowski (Richard Riehle)

Tom defends his job in Office Space.

When the Bobs (John C. McGinley and Paul Wilson) 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 (Richard Riehle), they actually made the right call. Tom attempts to express how valuable he is but only succeeds in pointing out that the company was paying out a salary for an unnecessary position, and he had to go.

Tom seems oblivious to his outward demeanor, and it helps get him booted out the door sooner rather than later.

He wasn’t particularly sanguine about the idea, sabotaging his own case when he started screaming at the Bobs about how valuable his people skills are. This is an Office Space quote that’s all in the delivery, as Tom Smykowski’s claims that he’s rational and approachable are basically screamed by Richard Riehle, which is the key reason this moment’s so memorable. Much like Todd Duffey at Chotchkie’s, Tom seems oblivious to his outward demeanor, and it helps get him booted out the door sooner rather than later.

17 “So We Just Went Ahead and Fixed the Glitch.”

Bob Slydell (John C. McGinley)

The Two Bobs sitting in the conference room in Office Space

The two Bobs, who conduct the terminations in the office, do so with no remorse or emotion. Though they develop an ironically strong liking for Peter and his outlook on things, they are downright evil when it comes to dealing with the rest of the employees. This is especially true of Milton when it is discovered that he was actually laid off years ago and accidentally remained on the payroll for years. The smart thing to do would be to show Milton the door and end the working relationship. What they did was unfathomable.

When asked if they’ve now terminated Milton definitively, the Bobs explain that they’ve just fixed the accounting issue, so Milton will stop being paid, but they don’t feel the need to stop him from delivering some free work.

When asked if they’ve now terminated Milton definitively, the Bobs explain that they’ve just fixed the accounting issue, so Milton will stop being paid, but they don’t feel the need to stop him from delivering some free work. It’s one of the funniest quotes from the Bobs in Office Space, and the perfect reflection on how ruthless the corporate infrastructure of many workplaces is perceived to be. It also gives Milton the final boost that sends him on his path of vengeance as he makes the company pay for years of disrespecting its employees.

16 “Nuh-Uh. Not Really. Uhhh, I’m Just Gonna’ Stop Going.”

Peter (Ron Livingston)

Peter has lunch with Joanna in Office Space.

After taking a peaceful day off work, Peter comes to a realization and 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. His resolve to not go back to work didn’t last long, but this Office Space quote represents a turning point for his character. When his head finally clears, Peter decides that he will go back to Initech, but not to continue wasting his life.

He also decides to stop caring about his performance, putting in minimal effort and living a little more like Lawrence.

This is when Peter decides to work with Michael and Samir after they were fired to put a bug in the computer system to steal money from the company. He also decides to stop caring about his performance, putting in minimal effort and living a little more like Lawrence. At the heart of this plan was the goal of never having to work again, which is a hilariously relatable hero’s journey for the character. While he didn’t actually quit as he planned, this was the moment he started to look for a better direction in life.

Leave a Comment