As if a compelling central conceit and mesmerizing execution weren’t enough to keep the big screen’s latest horror hit, A Quiet Place, in everybody’s minds and mouths, there’s also the winning opportunity for jokes tethering the film to director and star John Krasinski’s other major contribution to pop culture: his role on The Office. That the two projects couldn’t be any more different from one another makes it all the more fun to find—or force—connective tissue, an undertaking that has spawned memes aplenty.
But fun has no place in a post-apocalyptic future infested with man-eating aliens whose greatest asset as hunters is their sense of hearing; what we’re interested in is survival. Specifically, the survival of the varied employees of Dunder-Mifflin Paper’s Scranton branch. Who among the lot could make it out of Jim Halpert’s gruesome nightmare alive? Who wouldn’t be able to resist indulging in an inflammatory talking head segment, an impromptu a capella session, or a shouting spree over a gelatinized stapler?
In case you’ve been asking the same questions, we’ve got the answers for you right here.
First to go: KELLY KAPOOR
Even in an office filled with people who can’t seem to keep from spouting absurdities at every turn, Kelly Kapoor distinguishes herself as the one who commands the least control over what comes out of her mouth and when. Kelly simply can’t be expected to stop talking for longer than it takes to snap an Insta.
Death by: Complaining Ryan still hasn’t texted her back.
Next: MICHAEL SCOTT
Naturally, the branch manager who couldn’t even keep from dropping an off-color one-liner to save face in front of his company’s vice president wouldn’t be much of a power player in an A Quiet Place-like scenario. Between the need to assert himself as the alpha dog among his fellow survivors and needing to ingratiate himself with the very same to satisfy his unquenchable thirst for affirmation, Michael Scott would be one of the earliest to go in a world where noise of any kind—read: ill-conceived lectures, desperate pleas to hang out during off-hours, and, of course, bad jokes—is forbidden.
Death by: “That’s what she said!”
Next: CREED BRATTON
The odds of Creed remembering the “no talking” rule for more than a few minutes at a time—if he even manages to get it to sink in in the first place—are even lower than that of him not swiping everyone else’s survival rations.
Death by: Having no idea what’s going on.
Next: KEVIN MALONE
Though not necessarily the biggest chatterbox in the office, impulse control does not rank among the admittedly short supply of Kevin’s strong suits. The simplest provocations—say, a tasty candy bar or the sight of a deck of cards—could be all it takes to conjure a guttural moan from the office’s third best accountant.
Death by: See for yourself.
Next: MEREDITH PALMER
Meredith might be famous for hanging the occasional wordless, dead-eyed glare, but don’t let her silent stares prompt undue confidence in her inhibitions. As soon as she gets her hands on a drop of hooch, Meredith is surely out for the count.
Death by: Drunken stupor.
Next: ANDY BERNARD
An explosive anger problem and an unrelenting penchant for carrying a tune? Andy Bernard cannot be trusted with the obligation of silence. Nor can he be trusted in general.
Death by: An unresolved melody, or a wall that’s just begging to be punched.
Next: RYAN HOWARD
When the apocalypse takes hold, most of us will afford our every waking thought toward our own survival and that of our loved ones. But that’s for sheep. The real movers and shakers won’t let a simple alien invasion stop them from trying to make it to the top. Ryan Howard may have to change the way he plays the game in this new era—especially given the fact one wrong move could cost him not only his career but his life—but he’ll be sure to nab the first opportunity he sees to tout the merits of his big break: social media for the silent age.
Death by: Self-promotion.
Next: ERIN HANNON
Oh Erin. Dear, sweet, innocent, not-so-bright Erin. She’d try so hard to keep quiet, wouldn’t she? But then she’d spot a puppy or a squirrel or a marshmallow or something and all hell would break loose.
Death by: Her own inveterate sweetness.
Next: DWIGHT SCHRUTE
On the one hand, Dwight Schrute has the makings of a survivalist deep within him. As an experienced farmer, hunter, and fantasy geek, Dwight is probably better equipped at navigating a rural woodland overrun by vicious alien predators than just about any of his fellow employees. The only catch is he’ll be spending the apocalypse in the company of his greatest nemesis: Jim Halpert, who’ll no doubt make it his business to drive Dwight to his breaking point. Not out of any desire to see Dwight killed, mind you. Just to be funny.
Death by: Jim.
Next: JIM HALPERT
But then there’s Jim himself, who has on more than one occasion expensed all good reason—not to mention great physical resource—toward the end of pulling one over on Dwight. Frankly, there’s nearly as good a chance Jim will get himself axed mid-prank in this new, unforgiving world, as he will manage to carry one out to completion. If Jim gets the edge at all, it’s simply because he directed the darn movie, and I’m feeling like it’d be rude not to toss him a few extra points for that reason.
Death by: Jim.
Next: DARRYL PHILBIN
We, as lovers of the horror and adventure genres, know it always behooves one to stick with a pack they can rely on. Maybe the Dunder-Mifflin crew isn't exactly reliable, but they are, if nothing else, a pack. A pack Darryl has showcased a desire to have nothing to do with, time and time again. If he doesn't jump ship after the first act to go live on his own, it'll be a miracle. And if he does stick around, well... Darryl's patience for the office's antics can only last so long.
Death by: Bemoaning the idiocy of Michael, or Andy, or Dwight, or...
Next: OSCAR MARTINEZ
That there was an entire episode of The Office devoted to Oscar’s proclivity to butt into nearby conversations with an unwelcome “actually…” should say a little something about his chances for survival in a world where verbal interjections are a strict no-no. The fact that everyone else will be unable to speak, and thereby unable to say anything Oscar deems in need of swift correction, should give him the edge for a while. But eventually…
Death by: The insatiable urge to remark on someone else’s grammatically incorrect ASL.
Next: ANGELA MARTIN
Like her fellow accountant, Angela lives her life aboard a particularly high horse. That said, Angela is a touch more comfortable stewing in the satisfaction of a private sense of superiority—passive-aggressiveness has never known a worthier brigadier. Soon enough, though, one of Angela’s colleagues is bound to show hints of a licentious lifestyle, and she won’t be able to silence her disgusted “tsk.”
Death by: Judgment.
Next: PAM BEESLY
Pam spent the first three years of The Office choking back her feelings—all of the anger and pain she’d been dealt by the hands of the rest of Dunder-Mifflin. Though latter-The Office Pam was quicker to speak her mind, we have no doubt she’d be able to revert to old strategies for burying those pangs deep down inside if faced with a monster who’d otherwise make her a meal. Truth be told, we’d put our money on Beesly making it all the way to the end were she to fly solo, but unfortunately for Pam, she’s hitched her wagon to a particularly troublesome horse.
Death by: Let’s be honest—this one’ll probably also be Jim’s fault.
Next: PHYLLIS LAPIN-VANCE
Perhaps the only character more reticent than early-era Pam was early-era Phyllis. Though she too would eventually eke out of her shell, laying the occasional hint of a spicy sex life with her local celebrity (at least as far as Phyllis was concerned) husband, Phyllis never lost her soft-spoken flare.
Death by: Name-dropping Bob Vance.
Next: GABE LEWIS
If anyone is psychologically prepared for a post-apocalyptic future, it’s the horror-obsessed and inherently creepy Sabre narc Gabe Lewis. The sheer thrill of living at last in a world suited to his sinister inclinations should charge Gabe with enough enthusiasm to curb whatever impulses he may have toward pretentious tirades about pre-code cinema and Japanese culture. As such, Gabe may well be able to escape the wrath of any lurking monster, but that doesn’t mean he’d be able to escape doom altogether.
Death by: To be honest, he’d probably end up being killed by the other members of his group.
Next: STANLEY HUDSON
When you really think about it, Krasinski’s A Quiet Place lays out something of a dream setting for Dunder-Mifflin’s most disgruntled salesperson. If it were up to Stanley, no one would ever speak to him, and he’d never have to speak to anyone else. In fact, we’d bet on Stanley as a surefire survivor… just so long as the future is devoid of the one thing that lights a fire in his belly.
Death by: Pretzel Day. (Hey, some traditions have to last into the apocalypse, don’t they?)
And finally: TOBY FLENDERSON
Imagine being a cohort of an alien species with hypersensitive hearing—one who can hear just about everything said for miles around. That kind of power has got to weigh on you, and inevitably, you’ll have to tune some things out. It stands to reason the first piece of potential prey A Quiet Place’s hunters will opt to ignore is a man whose own species treated him to the very same fate throughout the run of his life: Toby Flenderson, a paragon of forgettableness. If there is one thing more remarkable than Toby’s tendencies to whine and weep, it is everyone else’s ability to translate his moanings into inaudible white noise. Sure, he’ll undoubtedly be left behind by his pack. Of course he’ll exhibit brazen ineptitude when it comes to fending for himself. But if there’s one thing Toby has on the rest of the bunch, it’s that nobody—not even man-eating aliens who hunt by sound—wants to listen to him.
And so, we have Dunder-Mifflin’s sole survivor. But which The Office character would you bet on to make it to the end of A Quiet Place? Let us know!
M. Arbeiter is the East Coast Editor for Nerdist. Find them on Twitter @micarbeiter.