Episodes that paved the way for the Dunder-Mifflin staff to miss him as he goes
Season 2's 'Michael's Birthday'
"Michael's Birthday" (3/30/06): Michael actually spends much of this episode pouting over the way that Kevin's potential skin cancer diagnosis has upstaged the birthday gala he's been pushing the staff to throw him. But when he runs into real estate saleswoman Carol (played by Carell's wife Nancy) and her kids, he turns out to be genuinely charming and relaxed with them, and his successful flirting gives him license to be there for Kevin when the (fortunately negative) prognosis comes in. One of the earliest examples of Michael's ability to come across like a real human being and not just a walking collection of misquoted pop culture references.