The Office’s Hilarious “It’s Happening!” Reaction Meme Explained

Beloved sitcom The Office has spawned many a funny meme, and here’s the show’s hilarious “It’s Happening!” reaction meme explained. It may have been the better part of a decade since The Office aired its final episode, but the series remains as popular as ever. Part of its lasting appeal is how it absurdly riffs on the minutiae of the nine-to-five grind – from the often ridiculous politics of the workplace to cringey bosses like The Office’s Michael Scott (Steve Carell) or quirky co-workers like Dwight Schrute.

It helps, of course, that many of the funniest moments from The Office have been immortalized in meme form. The subplot in the season 7 episode “Search Committee” that saw Pam Halpert (née Beesly) distract Creed Bratton by asking him to find the difference between two identical pictures birthed the brilliant “They’re The Same Picture” meme, while Jim Halpert’s habit of breaking the fourth wall led to “Looks At The Camera Like I’m On The Office” – the go-to meme for demonstrating how absurd a situation has become.


One The Office fan-favorite episode is the classic “Stress Relief” which spawned yet another hilarious meme. The season 5 two-parter features a cold open in which Dwight decides to teach his colleagues a lesson for not paying attention to his fire safety talk by showing how unprepared they are for an emergency. To that end, Dwight seals the exits shut and cuts the phone lines before setting a fire in a trashcan. Chaos ensues as Dunder Mifflin devolves into an “every man and woman for themselves” situation, resulting in Stanley Hudson having a heart attack and Dwight getting reprimanded and stripped of his safety officer duties. Watch The Office scene below.

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Dwight’s plan to raise awareness of workplace safety may have backfired but Michae’s response to the fire drill – which involved running around and flapping while saying “Oh my god! Okay, it’s happening! Everybody calm down!” – did lead to one of the best Office memes of all time. The “It’s Happening!” meme features a screencap or gif of Michael’s reaction from the “Stress Relief” cold open and is usually used to express either intense excitement or panic. It’s become quite a popular reaction meme for much-anticipated moments (such as an announcement from Marvel about a new movie) and has proved particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic as a reaction to the panic and chaos it has caused.

Popular as The Office is, rumors that a possible reboot is in the works has been met with mixed opinion. Funnily enough, however, those various rumors have given fans of The Office the perfect opportunity to bust out the “It’s Happening!” memes once again to express either their excitement about a potential revival or panic their favorite show might get unnecessarily rebooted.

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