The Office is a franchise of several television comedy shows created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, including several international adaptations. The first was the UK version, which was initially broadcast on BBC Two in 2001 and ran for two series and a pair of Christmas specials. The success and unique appeal of the series led to NBC commissioning Gervais and Merchant to create an American version, which premiered in 2005. The shows focus on a mock-documentary of an office and its employees.
- In an Entertainment Weekly online exclusive video from September 23, 2011, Elmo and Cookie Monster "reenacted" a scene from the NBC version of the show.
- The first series of The Office featured a Flat Eric doll in the office; the doll sat at the top of a coatrack in various positions. The doll can be seen in the background in each episode of the first series. In two episodes, David Brent shows off the doll to visitors, a sign of his desperate attempts to add levity to the workplace.
- In the cold open of the first episode of series 2, Gareth irritates his co-worker Tim by singing "Mahna Mahna". To Tim's despair, David joins in the song.
- In the second episode of series 2, David proves to Dawn that he's funny by doing a series of Muppet impressions, including Kermit, Miss Piggy and Robin the Frog. He can't do Gonzo.
- In the episode "Hot Girl" (originally aired April 26, 2005) Michael introduces Katy to Oscar, and showcases his personal nickname for Oscar, Oscar the Grouch.
Michael: Here's Oscar. Oscar! This is Katy... Oscar: I'm on the phone. Michael: Woo-woo-woo...Oscar the Grouch! (laughs) Right! I thought of that! Yeah... Katy: That was on Sesame Street Michael: I know, I know, I know. I made the connection. Can you believe he never heard that before he worked here? Katy: No, I don't believe that. Michael: I know. It's unbelievable.
- In the episode "The Fire" (originally aired October 11, 2005), Michael becomes a mentor to Ryan the intern. The newfound relationship prompts Michael to do attempt an impression of Yoda, which Ryan "confuses" with another Frank Oz character, namely Fozzie Bear.
Michael: (doing a bad Yoda impression) Much advice do you seek... (in regular voice) Do you know who that was? Ryan: Um... Fozzie Bear? Michael: (disappointed) Aw no, no, that was Yoda.
- Andy serenades his co-worker Pam on the banjo with his rendition of "The Rainbow Connection," in partial pig-latin and a high falsetto singing voice at the conclusion of the episode "The Convict" (originally aired November 30, 2006).
- The episode "Back from Vacation" (originally aired January 4, 2007) features a mention of Muppet Babies. While Michael is away on vacation, Dwight takes it upon himself to tape record all the meetings that Michael misses. As a prank on Dwight, Jim and the other employees begin to proclaim made-up remarks "into the record" of what Dwight is doing. Included in the made-up list of embarrassing and inappropriate actions the audio tape recording captures includes Dwight exposing a tattoo of Baby Animal from Muppet Babies.
Karen: Dwight, what is that on your stomach? Is that a Muppet Babies tattoo? Dwight: What!? Jim: Karen, you are right, that is Animal from the Muppet Babies. Dwight: You can't see my stomach.
- In the episode, "Money" (originally aired October 18, 2007), Oscar is analyzing Michael's credit card debt and asks about a charge from Amazon.com which Michael excitedly exclaims was for The Muppet Show.
- In the episode, "Business Ethics" (originally aired October 9, 2008), Michael makes a confession about the days following his discovery of YouTube, claiming to have "watched Cookie Monster sing 'Chocolate Rain' about a thousand times."
- In the episode "Baby Shower" (originally aired October 16, 2008), a large plushie of Big Bird is hidden in the background during the titular shower.
- In the episode "The Meeting" (originally aired September 24, 2009), David Wallace asks Michael Scott is Jim Halpert would be good at management.
Michael: Jim is like Big Bird. He is tall and yellow and very nice. But would I put him in charge? No, I don't think so. He -- Big Bird doesn't make the tough decisions. If I was going to put someone in charge, I would put Bert in charge. Or I would put one of the real grown-ups in charge. Like Maria, or Gordon maybe.
- In "Niagara, Part 2" Dwight mocks what Pam will sound like when she's married, but Michael says he just sounds like Kermit.
- In "Murder" Kevin asks Andy to do an impression of The Swedish Chef. Andy isn't familiar with him, so he asks what province he's from. Kevin replies, "He lives on Sesame Street, dumbass."
- In the web-exclusive episode "The Mentor: The Pupil", Erin considers becoming an accountant. When Oscar asks her if she's good with numbers, Erin replies, "The Count used to be my favorite part of Sesame Street. 'One apple, two apple, three apples, ah ah ah!'"
- In "Secretary's Day", Oscar dubs a video of Cookie Monster with Kevin's voice. The parody prompts the office members to do impressions of Kevin all day. Later, Kevin dubs a video of The Count with Oscar's voice, but nobody except Michael thinks it's funny.
- In "Counseling", Dwight attempts to open a daycare, which he calls "Sesame Avenue Daycare Center for Infants and Toddlers."
- In "Search Committee", Dwight questions one of the potential new managers on his knowledge of paper.
Dwight Schrute: Do you even know anything about paper? How it's made? Robert California: I saw an episode about how they make paper on Sesame Street.
- In "The List," Robert discusses his belief that Sesame Street was created to reflect the environment in which the audience lives.
- Amy Adams played Katy in "Hot Girl", "The Fire" and "Booze Cruise" (2005-2006)
- Jessica Alba played Sophie in "Stress Relief"
- Roseanne Barr played Carla Fern in "Stairmageddon" and "Paper Airplane" (2013)
- Jack Black played Sam in "Stress Relief"
- Kevin Carlson performed puppet character Edward R. Meow in the episode "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"
- Steve Carell played Michael Scott (2005-2011, 2013), wrote and directed several episodes, and served as a producer
- Stephen Colbert played Broccoli Rob in "Here Comes Treble"
- Mackenzie Crook played Gareth Keenan in the BBC Two version
- Joan Cusack played Erin's biological mother in "Finale"; according to a deleted scene, she was as a puppeteer on The Dark Crystal
- Martin Freeman played Tim Canterbury in the BBC version
- Creator/producer Ricky Gervais played David Brent on the BBC version and in two guest spots on the NBC version
- Bill Hader played himself in "Finale"
- Ed Helms played Andy Bernard (2006-2013), directed several episodes, and served as a producer
- Ken Jeong played Bill in "E-mail Surveillance"
- Rashida Jones played Karen Filipelli (2006-2011)
- John Krasinski played Jim Halpert (2005-2013), directed several episodes, and served as a producer
- Ken Kwapis was an executive producer and one of the main directors for the series (including the pilot and finale)
- Cloris Leachman played Lily Hanaday in "Stress Relief"
- Seth Meyers played himself in "Finale"
- B. J. Novak played Ryan Howard (2005-2013), wrote and directed several episodes, and served as a producer
- Conan O'Brien played himself in "Valentine's Day"
- Timothy Olyphant played Danny Cordray in "The Sting" and "Costume Contest" (2010)
- Melissa Rauch played Cathy in "The Delivery: Part 2"
- Amy Ryan played Holly Flax (2008-2011)