Michael Scott and Tom Haverford come from completely different sitcom worlds. Michael Scott is the goofy, awkward, and lovable regional manager in The Office, and Tom Haverford is an assistant and entrepreneur over on Parks and Recreation. Both shows have similarities in humor and how they’re filmed — even the characters have a lot in common.
Michael Scott and Tom Haverford are both boisterous characters who need to be liked. Their imagination tends to get the best of them, but they never settle while chasing their dreams. Over the years, both characters have come up with hilarious business concepts. Whose ideas are better?
10 Michael: Shoe La La
In the episode “Golden Ticket,” Michael explains that he’s full of amazing ideas. If he had the time he would create an upscale shoe store for men called Shoe La La. The shoe store would have all the shoes available for the big moments in a man’s life, like “the day he gets married” or “the day his wife has a baby.”
Judging by Michael’s personal style, it’s hard to imagine him going through with this business plan. He’s not the most fashion-forward man… He didn’t even know the difference between a man’s and a woman’s suit.
9 Tom: Snake Juice
Snake Juice is an alcoholic beverage that Tom created for the Snakehole Lounge. Tom was trying to create a way to make money, so he created an alcoholic drink that was made to knock your socks off. Tom debuted the drink in “The Fight” where he asked all of his colleagues to show their love for Snake Juice while at the club.
Donna referred to Snake Juice as “rat poison.” It was incredibly strong and equally dangerous. Everyone was wasted by the end of the night, which is why Tom should steer clear from the alcohol business. Snake Juice seemed like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
8 Michael: The Golden Ticket
Michael’s golden ticket idea really was golden. He hid a few golden ticket vouchers in various boxes of paper around the warehouse, and if a client received a golden ticket, they would get a major discount on their next purchase.
The problem with this idea is that it was poorly executed. Michael accidentally hid all of the vouchers in boxes going to the same company (which happened to be one of the company’s biggest clients). Michael could have lost thousands in this deal but the company loved the idea so much, they made Dunder Mifflin their sole paper provider. In short: a great idea but needed better execution.
7 Tom: Rent-A-Swag
Rent-A-Swag was one of Tom’s first business initiatives that took off. The affordable — but stylish — boutique was Tom’s first business venture with his best friend and sidekick, Jean Ralphio. At Rent-A-Swag, people could rent designer or high-end clothes for an affordable price.
It was a fantastic idea for parents who had teens in Pawnee who needed something nice but didn’t want to buy it because they would outgrow it so quickly. Tom’s business did so well that someone even tried buying it from him.
Michael Scott wouldn’t have the marketing smarts to pull off something like Rent-A-Swag.
6 Michael: Mike’s Cereal Shack
What does a person do if they can’t cook? They pour themselves a bowl of cereal! Just leave it to Michael to think of a fantastic idea for a food truck.
This is one business that Michael could succeed at because he wouldn’t actually be cooking anything and he’s passionate enough about his favorite childhood breakfast food that he would be happy at work every day. Unlike Shoe La La, Mike’s Cereal Shack is a fantastic idea for Michael.
5 Tom: Toddler Cologne
Tom obviously has a thing for smelling good. He stated on two different occasions that he wants to make a cologne for toddlers (based on the slogan alone) and a cologne that could kill spiders. To be fair, enough cologne could easily kill a spider but Tom could market it in a fun way to get different consumers.
But would these work? Not too many parents would buy their cologne for their child… And most people squish spiders or free them outside. It’s safe to say these two ideas would flop.
4 Michael: Toilet Buddy
Michael appears to have an issue with dropping things in the toilet. In the episode where he burned his foot on his George Foreman Grill, he fell into the toilet after not being able to stand there with crutches. The moment must have scarred him because he later announced an accessory for everyone’s toilet: Toilet Buddy.
Formerly known as Toilet Guard, Michael created a net of sorts that lays over the toilet to catch anything that could fall in. What Michael is forgetting is what happens when a person needs the toilet for purposes other than urination… Not too many investors would be chomping at the bit to help Michael get this off the ground.
3 Tom: Text-Ready Contact Lenses
Imagine being a contact lens user and being able to see who texted you by simply staring ahead. That was Tom’s idea: contact lenses that had text messages displayed as they arrived.
Now, is the idea futuristic and cool? Sure. But is it possible? It doesn’t seem that way. Having something in a person’s eye that’s also attached to their phone seems problematic and dangerous. What was wrong with looking at your texts on your phone?
2 Michael: The Michael Scott Paper Company
The Michael Scott Paper Company is one idea that came to fruition. The only reason why Michael’s own paper company worked was that he had nothing else to live for. He left his job, his friends, and his work-family… Without Dunder Mifflin he had nothing and he knew it. The next best thing was to create a similar company.
After creating the Michael Scott Paper Company, Michael had his ups and downs but he came out on top in the end. Dunder Mifflin couldn’t compete with the Michael Scott Paper Company’s prices and was bleeding from the inside. They ended up buying Michael’s company out by re-hiring him, Pam, and Ryan.
1 Tom: Tom’s Bistro
Just like the Michael Scott Paper Company, Tom’s Bistro was Tom’s baby. He always wanted to be a restauranteur and he was able to become one with Tom’s Bistro. It was one of the nicest places to eat in Pawnee and gave a swanky vibe to the sleepy town.
Tom’s mark was all over the restaurant, from a romantic ambiance to an extensive wine list and a classy atmosphere. Tom’s Bistro made Tom grow up and it proved that he was capable of sustaining his brand in Pawnee.
NEXT: Parks & Rec: Tom Haverford’s 10 Best Nicknames For Ron Swanson
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