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Ryan Bailey Howard is the main antagonist of the US version of the workplace sitcom The Office. He is an arrogant temp worker that frequently antagonizes and manipulates his co-workers.
He serves as a major character in the first three seasons, the main antagonist of the fourth season, and an on and off anti-villain for the rest of the series.
He first appears in the series premiere. Michael Scott hired him though a temp agency. He gets to know a lot of his co-workers including Kelly Kapoor who develops a crush on him. In the second season he starts a fire in the office while trying to make a cheesy pita. People start making fun of him. Calling him “fire guy”. He and Kelly eventually start dating. In the third season he is moved to the annex after telling his business school classmates about the way Michael runs the office. In the season finale he gets a call from David Wallace asking him to be the new V.P. He accepts and breaks up with Kelly, much to her horror. He takes over the corporate position and develops a new website called Dunder Mifflin Infinity. Which doesn’t go so well. In the season finale it is revealed that he committed fraud and was fired and arrested. In the fifth season, he was re hired by Michael as the temporary receptionist.
He later goes off on a trip to “Thailand”. When he returns he starts working at a bowling alley. He is later recruited by Michael to start working at the Michael Scott Paper Company.It was with them that he reveals he actually went to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Which actually had a Pad Thai place he really liked. While working they steal some of Dunder-Mifflin’s major clients. After a few weeks they start to go bankrupt. David Wallace decides to buy them out. Michael accepts under the condition that Pam and Ryan get hired back as salesmen and he gets his old position.
Later Jim Halpert becomes co-manager. As payback for treating him like dirt while under corporate, Jim puts Ryan in a closet and makes it his office.