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T.J. Miller and Jason Bateman star in 'Office Christmas Party' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Office Christmas Party opens in theaters today (December 9), and looks set to bring back long-repressed memories of the annual festive shindig for all of us.

It stars Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Olivia Munn (The Newsroom), T. J. Miller (Silicon Valley), Jillian Bell (Idiotsitter), Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters), and Randall Park (Fresh Off The Boat) as a team of coworkers whose future relies on hosting an epic Christmas party.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, if our memory serves us correctly, just about everything. There’s the guy with wandering hands from accounts, the gal who hits the punch a little too hard, and then the ill-advised hook-ups, and that’s all before anyone even suggests photocopying intimate body parts.

We can’t save you from every holiday hazard out there, but we have put together a list of people you really want to stay clear from.

1. Milton Waddams

Milton (Stephen Root) started out life in a series of animated shorts called Milton by Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge before being transferred to his 1999 cult classic Office Space. And transferred he was, over and over again in numerous office moves that seemed increasingly to feature only his desk.

What to expect: Milton will spend the entire night in the corner by the Christmas tree, until it suddenly and without warning bursts into flames.

2. David Brent

The moment Dawn (Lucy Davis) finally kisses Tim (Martin Freeman) to the tune of “Only You” by Yazoo at The Office Christmas party surely goes down as one of comedy’s most touching moments, especially given how it comes after their erstwhile boss David Brent (Ricky Gervais) finding love too. That doesn’t stop him being one of the people you’d least like to be left with on the dance floor.

What to expect: You can trust David will have brought his own sprig of mistletoe. Be very wary.

3. Veronica Palmer

Portia Rossi plays the cold and calculating boss at Veridian Dynamics in workplace sitcom Better Off Ted. Ted’s immediate superior, she’s a dynamic and efficient leader who doesn’t let silly things like feelings or the lives of total innocents stand in the way of her success.

What to expect: A few drinks will break through that stony facade, and she’ll spend the night crying on your shoulder in the toilets.

4. Simon the I.T. Guy

Tim’s nemesis and Gareth’s go-karting rival in The Office, Simon is arrogant, a show-off, and a teller of porkies when it comes to his go-karting record. He’s played by Matthew Holness of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

What to expect: A surprising early entrant to the dance floor, Simon will lead with his version of the robot.

5. Jonah Ryan

Timothy Simons plays the insufferable liaison to the president on HBO’s brilliant political satire Veep. A privileged frat boy oblivious to how much he’s hated, Jonah ranks high in the list of absolutely the worst humans you’ll ever meet, in D.C. or otherwise.

What to expect: Jonah will trap you in the corner while he rattles off a potted version of his CV.

6. Richmond Avenal

The Mighty Boosh‘s Noel Fielding plays the goth employee who’s banished by colleagues Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade) and Roy Trenneman (Chris O’Dowd) to the back room of Reynholm Industries’ I.T. department as he was “bringing the everyone down”.

What to expect: A very long, very dull, and extremely depressing account of his most recent correspondence with human resources.

7. Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S.

No one would like to be cornered by any of the bosses in 2011’s Horrible Bosses, but the one played by Jennifer Aniston (who also just happens to play the unsympathetic CEO in Office Christmas Party) might just take the biscuit.

What to expect: Just don’t leave your drink with Julia while you pop to the bathroom.

8. Pete Campbell

Scion of a well heeled New York family, Pete walks into his job at Sterling Cooper as if he’s a partner already, which, of course, he eventually is. He’s a loathsome creep, but a subtle performance by the brilliant Vincent Kartheiser means we grudgingly root for him nonetheless.

What to expect: After one too many drinks, Pete will probably end up brawling in the car park outside, like when Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) challenged him to a fight in this scene from season five:

9. Katharine Parker

Sigourney Weaver is the boss from hell in 1988’s Working Girl, who steals an idea for a merger deal from her secretary Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith), takes all the credit when it goes well, and generally orders her around like she owns the place.

What to expect: She’ll have you serving hors d’oeuvres before you can say “80s hair.”

10. Colin Hunt

Every office has one: the guy who thinks he’s the office clown, though in reality he’s anything but. This character (played by Charlie Higson) from cult 1990s U.K. sketch show The Fast Show nailed the type years before David Brent and Michael Scott came on the scene.

What to expect: Colin will re-enact every line of last night’s hilarious sitcom.

11. Dwight Schrute

The Dunder Mifflin Christmas parties are of course a thing of legend, but even more legendary are Dwight’s Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas traditions, shared by absolutely no one in The Office, or on planet Earth, by the looks of things. One to avoid at the Christmas party, for sure.

What to expect: Whatever Dwight does, be assured it will involve an inappropriate costume.

Do you have a strategy in mind for your year-end office party? 

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Filed Under: Office Christmas Party
By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.