10 pop culture moments influenced by Spreadsheets

As you can probably guess by our name, we Love Spreadsheets. They are a great tool to share and store data. And are widespread in offices.

So naturally, they make an easy target for writers who want to poke fun of the office drone.

Let’s see 10 pop culture moments where spreadsheets played a role!

10. NPR digs up some memorable history

You might have heard the NPR podcast Planet Money. One of the episodes is about Spreadsheets and the pivotal role they played in computing history.

In the episode, the host reads an excerpt from a 1984 article that describes what spreadsheets are.

Read it below and see if you could have figured out what the article author was talking about

Here — when you, “boot the program into your personal computer, you see little more than some letters running across the top of the display screen and some numbers running down the side.”

The, “cursor, a tiny block of light on the screen that acts like a kind of electronic pencil can be moved, by a touch of the computer keyboard, to any cell in order to, input numbers or formulas.”

9. The Office shows how easy it is to use spreadsheets

Clearly a show about working in an office will have some spreadsheet references.

In our first entry from this beloved show, Angela is seen yelling at Kevin about how easy it is to use spreadsheets yet he still managed to screw it up.

Might not be available in some countries

The scene doesn’t rely on spreadsheets for laughs but instead on a running joke that the HR rep Holly think Kevin is mentally disabled!

8. Trevor Noah compares Mick Mulvaney to a Spreadsheet

The Daily Show host dug into Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s Chief of Staff, by saying he is an

Excel Spreadsheet Came to Life

Spreadsheets mentioned at 6:08

Naturally we were offended at such a comparison and looks like we are not alone.

A YouTube commentator on the video agreed

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7. Peep Show calls the MS Office Family the “Three Amigos”

Peep show is a silly raunchy comedy from the United Kingdom.

A character, Johnson, on the show starts a new management consultancy and gets thanked by his first prospective client for all the leg work he has done.

He genuinely replies,

Don’t thank me. Thank the Microsoft Office Family. Powerpoint, Excel, Word. The Three Amigos

Start at 1:49

Johnson’s love for MS Office is a running gag throughout the show and shows how deep the Microsoft loyalty lies amongst office workers.

And it never fails to make us laugh!

6. The Good Places demos how points in the afterlife are managed

The Good Place is a hilarious and poignant show about ethics, morality and philosophy.

In one segment it shows that points in the afterlife are assigned, managed and collected by a swath of office workers.

While spreadsheets and MS Excel are never explicitly mentioned, we can’t imagine how else all these people kept track of all this data so easily!

We are imagining the data collection is automated by programmers but as they describe, any new scenarios and audits must be done in Excel.

Or they all subscribed to our newsletter and became great at Python (shameless plug hehe)

5. Parks & Rec paints an accurate picture of spreadsheet lovers

Parks & Recreation is a hilarious sitcom from the same team that produced the Office.

Ben Wyatt, an accountant for the city, is a quintessential spreadsheet lover.

In this scene, Tom Haverford, a self-proclaimed cool guy, asks Ben for some help with accounting because (in his words) “Ben is a nerd”.

Ben retorts sarcastically,

No, of course, yeah. I’ll just put on my Star Wars pajamas and sit in my mom’s basement and pour over some spreadsheets. It sounds great. What do you got?

When Tom says they are Break Even Analysis Tables, Ben perks up

Oh break evens? Those are really fun! Yeah sure I’ll take a look.

We love this scene!

No matter the stereotypes against nerds, we keep doing what we do because of how much we love it!

4. The Office hints at the dark side of spreadsheet use

Another entry from The Office.

In this scene, Pam and Ryan are fighting over the single laptop in their new office.

Pam: Okay it’s my turn.
Ryan: No don’t take that, give that back!
Pam: Give it back for what? What’re you gonna do with it?
Ryan: I’m gonna make a spreadsheet.
Pam: You’re gonna make another “spreadsheet.”
Ryan: Yeah!

We have all been guilty of the behavior Ryan displays. Using spreadsheets as an excuse for slacking at work.

Whether it is opening a dense spreadsheet to make it seem like we are working or telling our boss we have been working on an awesome spreadsheet!

We have all done it.

3. Parks & Rec uses a misogynist character for some brilliant spreadsheet wordplay

Parks & Rec once again comes in with a great spreadsheet moment.

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein is a despicable character. His idea of earning a living is through lies and scams.

One such lie comes up when he gets hired at an accounting firm and it is realized that he totally made up his resume.

When on his way out, he manages to be a total a****** and call out a female employee at the firm for being a 10.

Woman: Is this the new temp who’s supposed to help me with the spreadsheets?
Jean-Ralphio: You wanna talk about spreading the sheets, we can go back to my place and I will rock your-
Barney: [appalled by Jean-Ralphio’s unprofessional behavior] You’re fired!

Even though the character is horrendous, the spreading the sheets line got us laughing like crazy.

2. Office Space perfectly captures the drudgery of office reports

Office Space was the first big pop culture movie to show how life in a monotonous office environment can take its toll on a person.

In this scene we see the manager perfectly using the office passive aggressive voice to remind his employee to use a cover sheet for his TPS reports.

Spreadsheets aren’t mentioned explicitly in the scene but how else would TPS reports be made!

This scene is so iconic that just mentioning TPS reports makes us shudder…

1. Kelly Rowland texts Nelly using Excel

And then says she doesn’t even know what Excel is.

In the music video for the song Dilemma Kelly Rowland is seen texting Nelly on none other than Microsoft Excel.

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Clearly this is a mistake by someone in the video direction but it has made one hell of a viral moment

The even funnier thing is that when asked about this moment, Rowland replied

I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what Microsoft Excel is.

This is such a funny and crazy moment that it had to take our top spot!

Let us know which moment you found the best and any other ones that we have missed!

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Products and resources that magically simplify hard spreadsheet tasks. Check us out at www.lovespreadsheets.com

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