VeggieTales vs The Office

As the evening turned into tomorrow’s morning, I found myself burdened—no—blessed with a great task. My thoughts in the shower turned into ripples that turned into waves, and I could no longer hold it in.


What
On Earth
Does VeggieTales
Have in common
With the Office?


My friends, look no further. I’ve done the research for you, and I can tell you, it’s wonderful.

How Dwight’s Jealousy Toward Ryan in The Office Compares to the Wise Men’s Jealousy Toward Daniel in VeggieTales’ Fictionalized Version of Daniel and the Lions’ Den: an essay by Adrienne Stephens


Have you ever found yourself bored on a Monday evening, racking your sleep-deprived brain for what VeggieTales and The Office could possibly have in common? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Not only do both series have likable characters, impeccable comedic timing, and fascinating storytelling, they share moralistic dilemmas that make or break characters, teaching them valuable lessons that will forever alter their perception of things. You see; in life, there are many traits we share that bind us or break us, and jealousy is no different—not for people; not for vegetables. In an episode of The Office called “The Fire,” Dwight grows increasingly jealous of Michael’s affection toward Ryan, Dunder Mifflin’s temp; likewise, in VeggieTales’s “Daniel in the Lions’ Den,” the king’s council of wise men become green with jealousy over King Darius’s regard for Daniel.

Like a savory recipe for disaster, both plots skirt along the line of a character desiring something another character receives. Ryan’s prowess in the realm of business catches Michael’s eye, giving the two a reason to bond. Of course, Dwight takes this as a sign that Michael is no longer interested in their friendship; thus, Dwight has a disproportionate meltdown, even asking himself why he didn’t go to business school. In the same way that Ryan’s education captures Michael’s attention, Daniel’s ability to explain the meaning of an odd dream to King Darius enlightens Darius to Daniel’s knowledgeability. Immediately, King Darius promotes Daniel, leading the wise men to loathe Daniel and the king’s favoritism. However, after they are finished steaming, these veggies begin scheming, going as far as plotting Daniel’s death. In both cases, the underdogs strive to regain their positions, either through power plays or bullying tactics.

Each character suffers a type of loss: the wise men lose their hand in the king’s decision making while Dwight believes he has lost his best friend. After Michael gives Ryan an employee evaluation in “The Fire,” Dwight’s jealousy takes central stage. Michael has nothing but high praise for Ryan, taking him under his wing and showing great pride for Ryan’s intelligence. The camera cuts to Dwight bitterly proclaiming, “I haven’t been evaluated in years.” Comparatively, in “Daniel in the Lions’ Den,” Kind Darius offers Daniel a position as his second-in-command, much to his council of wise men’s dismay. Unlike Dwight in “The Fire,” Darius’s wise men begin to plot against Daniel in the song, “Oh, No! What We Gonna Do?” whereas Dwight simply tries to reestablish his position in Michael’s eyes. “Michael and I have a very special connection. He’s like Batman, and I’m like Robin. He’s like The Lone Ranger, and I’m like Tonto. And it’s not like there was The Lone Ranger and Tonto and Bonto.”

Eventually, Dwight and the wise men grow desperate to reclaim what they believe to be rightfully theirs, utilizing cruel tactics to pull the rug out from under their enemies. Through manipulation, the wise men in VeggieTales seek to undermine the king’s favoritism of Daniel by painting Daniel’s intentions in a poor light. Taking advantage of their high ranks, the rapscallion wise men convince King Darius that only he is deserving of praise and worship, and all who worship anyone or anything else should be thrown to the lions. Meanwhile, Dwight attempts to buddy up to Michael, acting as though Ryan never stole his spot in Michael’s limelight and, overall, making a scene.

Finally, both parties get their wishes. After the king creates the law that no one but he can be worshipped, Daniel is caught praying to the Lord. To the delight of the wise men, Daniel is thrown into the lions’ den as determined by the king’s decree. In “The Fire,” a fire alarm goes off in the office building, sending employees scurrying to the parking lot as they await a crew of firefighters. Much to Dwight’s glee, he discovers the cause of the alarm to be a burnt pita Ryan had attempted to make for lunch. “Ryan started the fire” becomes Dwight’s anthem as he points all the blame to Ryan, ultimately humiliating him in front of Michael and reclaiming his status as Michael’s right-hand man.

Although both Dwight and the wise men hold a common jealousy toward their seemingly superior peers, each faces extremely different outcomes. Because of Daniel’s pure heart and good intentions, God sends an angel to protect Daniel, rendering him safe from harm and usurping the wise men’s scheme. For Dwight, things go far differently. He finds a fault in Ryan’s “perfect” character, making a fool of him to the rest of their coworkers. Upon comprehending Ryan’s indifference toward his offering of friendship, Michael is quick to join Dwight’s mockery of Ryan’s mistake, solidifying Michael and Dwight’s friendship.

Looking back, it’s easy to say both shows ring similar bells. Jealousy drives these characters to lash out, acting in ways that either put them in a pickle or draw attention to themselves. Still, the types of jealousy exhibited hold diverse and complicated intentions. While Dwight’s jealousy of Ryan becomes overwhelming and transforms into the desire to prove his loyalty to Michael, the wise men’s deeply-rooted jealousy of Daniel quickly becomes their demise, planting seeds of bitterness in their hearts and driving them to act out against the wrong people. The lessons that stem from VeggieTales teach important values about pride and jealousy, while The Office shows Dwight’s tantrums over Michael’s favoritism, causing Dwight to tease Ryan in order to regain his status. At the end of the day, “Daniel and the Lions’ Den” and “The Fire” share similar plot devices, but their varying morals should not be left unconsidered. One plot drives a powerful point about the consequences of jealousy across, and the other aims to entertain its audience through the relatability of human flaws. Perhaps if Dwight had eaten more vegetables than beets, he might have realized sooner that jealousy would get him nowhere.

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