Passive-Aggressive Office Notes That Leave Very Little Room For Interpretation - Traveler Door

Passive-Aggressive Office Notes That Leave Very Little Room For Interpretation

It takes a certain level of skill to craft the perfect passive-aggressive office note. You have to achieve a delicate balance between being forceful to get what you want, but not so aggressive that you seem like you need an inpatient stay at a certain type of facility (if you know what we mean). Most people don’t have this skill, but there are, of course, a handful of individuals who have mastered it, and could probably write an office note in their sleep. Today, we’re going to be looking at more than 40 hilarious examples of office notes that are both effective and sidesplitting — and they were actually posted somewhere! Imagine that. So, if you’re ready for some rib-tickling laughter, buckle up and get your scrolling finger ready!

Not Debbie’s

It’s a luxury when your office has a fridge. You can pack a delicious packed lunch – including your favorite salad – without worrying that it will go bad sitting at your desk in the heat all day. But what happens when you get to the fridge and your salad is gone?

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If you work at this office, you obviously blame Debbie because, by the looks of things, Debbie forgets which lunch is hers. Luckily one of her co-workers was nice enough to clear things up for her using a series of harmless office notes.

But Why Is There Two?

The ‘Notice’ that is most noticeable in this photo isn’t what caught our attention. Nope! The first one is relatively reasonable, we’d like to think. But then again, the little tiny office note below the main message is also reasonable. The writer poses a very valid question.

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If the fuse in question can only handle one microwave, then why are there two of them? That’s like having two chairs in a room but telling people that they can only sit in one despite both chairs being fully functional. What gives? It doesn’t make sense to us, either.

Office Philosophy

In general, office notes are lighthearted and fun — they might even be angry at times. Sometimes, though, there’s an office employee who takes things one step further than anyone asked them to. When this happens, we coin them as the ‘Office Philosopher.’

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According to this office note’s comment section, humans, like printers, are only here temporarily. Let that sink in for a moment…yep, someone actually wrote that. What a way to ruin a perfectly good day. Good going, Office Philosopher! Why couldn’t you have just kept that thought to yourself?

Sarcastic Advice

We’ve all been guilty of hitting, smacking, whacking, or walloping an inanimate object when it doesn’t work or is going too slow for our liking. While using physical force doesn’t really tend to change anything, it does make us feel better — even if it also slowly causes the object to break for good.

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Unfortunately, this poor printer endured enough physical force that its print button caved right in and someone – likely the maintenance guy – was provoked to give his coworkers some sarcastic advice via an office note. The question we have, though, is did it print any faster?

Not So Subtle

Most of the time, subtle but straight-to-the-point office notes work pretty well. But sometimes, things are so serious that one must up their office-note game to a threat level. This, as you can see, is one of those rare times.

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In the words of Vince, when you get caught throwing loaves of bread in the toilet, your arms are going to be broken off — and that’s a promise. Seriously, we wouldn’t put it past him to follow through with his threat even though it’s ridiculous to throw bread away like this. After all, what did the bread ever do to you?

Only 4 Dave

We understand what the owner of these drinks is trying to say here. Is your name Dave? No? Then hands off my drinks! Fair enough. But, what this drink hoarder didn’t anticipate was that his incredibly common name might be shared with someone else in his office.

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So, basically what this note is saying is that if our name is Dave, like this other guy’s name is (or if we pretended to be a Dave), we get to take advantage of the free drinks brought in by Dave #1? Yep! Count us in. Thanks a ton, Dave #1.

Large Jobs

According to this well-meaning office note, the printer pictured here is not suitable for printing large jobs. Why? We don’t know, but if this were our office printer we’d still try to honor the note — despite the fact that it’s vague and makes us want to test the theory.

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Someone decided to test it in our place apparently! But not quite in the traditional, no non-sense way that the note was likely referring to. What, exactly, does that result in? A very, very large photo of Mr. Steve Jobs himself, clearly.

A Reminder To Do Better

The beauty of working in an office is that everyone has a job. One job. A single job that they are supposed to know how to do like the back of their hand and could likely do in their sleep. This, of course, includes the hired cleaning staff who are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and order.

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On occasion, the cleaning staff might drop the ball — forget to vacuum under that desk or wipe the table off. They usually pick it up again next shift…unless you’re the cleaning staff at this office, where, apparently, other employees pay more attention to details than you do.

Do You Want Ants?

So, you have an office party and someone brings a dozen delicious donuts to snack on. Sounds great, right? For sure! But what happens after the party, when no one wants the last lonely donut (which is almost certainly a “boring” one)? It tends to just be left there and forgotten about.

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In this office, the offending donut and its buyer are both in trouble because DO YOU WANT ANTS?! Leaving unwanted donuts in the tech room is how you get ants according to this office note writer. To be fair, they have a valid point: that is how you attract ants.

Scumbag Alert

We all know the stories of the office lunch thief. You know — that one anonymous office worker who regularly combs the fridge to take leftovers that don’t belong to them? Well, it goes without saying that the coworkers of such employees get pretty fed up with the whole thing.

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This office note is nothing short of aggressive, complete with name-calling and everything. We can’t help but wonder if after the note was posted, the offending lunch thief stopped stealing people’s food. If not, he’s likely being a lot more careful with who’s food he takes.

What’s Your Excuse?

Sometimes, there are valid reasons for being hard to live or work with. For example, maybe you broke your leg and can no longer go up and down the stairs to retrieve the boss’s coffee every morning or fetch the mail from the basement that’s located mailroom because your office doesn’t have an elevator.

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Other times, though, there’s no excuse for having poor office etiquette and, in this case, someone has been more than happy to remind the offender of exactly that. “You have arms, so what’s your excuse?” This is pretty much what this note says.

26 Steps Away

We all have that one friend who takes pride in being a smarty pants (for a lack of family-friendly words to describe this person). Maybe you live with them or date them, or maybe you even work with them but don’t know it yet.

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If this office note writer didn’t know it, they do now because here’s a prime example of exactly what we’re talking about. A smart answer to a question that was never asked and never needed a smart, picture-included, answer that’s full of sass.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

The original poster of this angry office note has a right to be angry. After all, who would be happy to know that their carefully packaged lunch had been stolen, half-eaten, and then tossed like trash? Not us, that’s for sure! In our opinion, the OP (original poster) also had a very good reason to want an explanation.

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Luckily, the lasagna thief in question did give the OP an explanation! Sure, it wasn’t exactly the detailed, well-thought-out one that the OP was likely hoping for but it’s better than nothing, right?.. No? Well, at least we can all agree that it was an honest explanation if nothing else.

Just A Warning

Everyone who works or has worked in an office understands the struggle to keep your pens. Pens, for whatever reason, seem to go missing left, right, and center and no one knows where they go or how they go missing. Do they grow legs and walk off? Apparently.

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But, this office note writer isn’t falling for it. They know who has been stealing their pens and they’re not having it. In fact, you could consider this note the one and only warning that this office pen thief is going to get — and honestly, we wouldn’t mess with it. Seems pretty serious, in our opinion.

I Stink

At the top of the list right below milk, fish has to be the worst thing that someone can leave in an office break room. Not only is fish really hard to clean off of dishes once they spoil, but it also starts to stink within a matter of hours of being left out.

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That being said, cleaning up after you have flaked tuna for lunch is common sense, right? Well, apparently it’s not because someone, somewhere, felt that it was necessary to remind their fish-eating coworker that fish do not belong in the communal sink.

Control Yourselves, Ya Animals

When you’re a child, no one expects you to eat your favorite treats in moderation. It’s just accepted that, if you see it, you’re going to eat as much as you can before you get caught. Luckily, we grow out of this lack of self-control as adults (well…usually).

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But, when you work in an office, self-control goes out the window when there’s a help-yourself candy machine involved! I mean seriously, how could the author of this note expect their bored coworkers to resist eating all the free candy when they could just polish the entire stash off in 10 minutes?

Dobby On Strike

It goes without saying that, within an office setting, there’s always one or two people who get stuck with cleaning up everyone else’s mess. For a lack of better terms, you could call these unfortunate people the Dobby’s of the Office or, simply, house-elves.

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As much as house-elves love to clean messes that they didn’t make during their break, even they get burnt out and require some downtime. Unfortunately, this means that the rest of the office has to fend for themselves and handle their own lunch messes. How terrible!

With Love from Roachy Roach

Food thieves and missing pens aren’t the only problems that plague the modern office. Nope! Roaches and bugs are commonplace, too, much to the dismay of both employees and janitors alike. The thing is, bugs are attracted to food and, if there wasn’t food for them to be attracted to….you get where we’re going with this.

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The janitor who wrote this obvious but apparently very necessary office note is clearly no stranger to the company of roaches during his shift. Maybe, just maybe, this note will be the thing to whip the office workers into shape! What do you think?

Mold Is Coming

Any and all Game of Thrones fans will appreciate the humor of this passive-aggressive-humorous office note. What better way to warn everyone that the dreaded fridge clean-out is coming than by enlisting the help of GOT’s most popular meme?

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If we worked at this office, we’d definitely get a chuckle out of seeing this on a Monday morning when we’ve just arrived at work for another day of mind-numbing torture and crunching numbers. This just might be the best office note we’ve ever seen!

Fair is Fair

Sometimes office notes are completely uncalled for. Other times, we think they’re perfectly acceptable and perhaps even warranted. This instance of office note falls into the latter category because, seriously, who drinks all the office coffee and leaves the empty pot?! A savage, that’s who.

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The office note writer in this instance clearly agrees with us. However, he (we’re picturing a grumpy old man office employee here) has phrased what we’re all thinking in a much more direct manner that we can get behind. We just wonder if the offender filled the pot up next time!

Sorry, Dan.

This entire office note is a tragedy to be completely honest. First of all, the poor toilet likely doesn’t deserve to be clogged as often as we’re lead to believe that it is. Secondly, the person clogging the toilet is about to be one very unhappy office employee.

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Thirdly, Dan. Poor, poor Dan, who gets left to clean up the mess after the offender so rudely leaves the remains of their lunch and an entire roll of toilet paper in the office bathroom toilet bowl. If we were Dan, we’d take to writing a passive-aggressive note, too!

Paper House

We all know that one person who just doesn’t, for whatever reason, know how to put empty toilet paper rolls in the trash can, which is where they belong. Maybe this person is your sister or partner — in both cases, you can nag at them until they learn their lesson. Bonus!

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Unfortunately, when this person is your co-worker, there’s not a lot you can do that won’t get you in at least a little bit of trouble with your boss. Notes that are more aggressive than they are passive, however, are a readily available solution that won’t result in you being hauled to the big office for reprimanding.

Extra Estrogen

Despite being known as a “woman’s” hormone, estrogen is produced in both male and female bodies. It’s necessary for sexual health and reproduction — but sometimes, the body doesn’t produce quite enough. When this happens, it’s time for supplements!

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The good thing about supplements is that they can be added to water! The author of this note knows all about adding their supplements to water, it seems. Too bad the rest of the office employees don’t know how to leave other people’s drinks alone…

Desperate Measures

There is no shortage of creative ways to prevent coworkers from stealing your packed lunch and, on this list so far, we’ve seen a number of them already! But just in case you hadn’t seen enough of them to realize how serious lunch thieving is, here’s another creative deterrent.

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Mixing in a bit of laxative powder is one sure way to ensure that your food doesn’t go missing. It’s also a great way to find out who’s been stealing it since the offender is going to be best friends with the office bathroom within 24 hours.

B.O Uh-Oh

B.O is one of those problems that we all deal with at some point, one way or another. Whether we’re the ones stinking up the office or just the poor souls that get to sit beside the offender, B.O touches us all eventually. It really starts to become a problem when management finds out about it, though…as we can see here.

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According to this note, employees are no longer allowed to wear tank tops or t-shirts so we wonder how they’re going to get by during the hot summer months? Maybe the no-t-shirt threat was just to scare the offender into deodorant-wearing submission.

Sinks Are For Washing

When you think of an office environment, you probably think of employees in clean, pressed shirts, floors that are mopped or vacuumed on a daily basis, desks that are clean and tidy, and bathrooms that look like they’ve never been used.

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But after seeing this office note, we’re not going to think of office bathrooms the same way ever again. Like the note says, why is a note like this even necessary in a professional working environment, anyways? Clearly, someone has a health problem to get checked or a drinking problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.

First and Last Warning

It’s one thing to make a mess in the office’s communal lunchroom sink, but it’s a whole other thing to make it and then not clean it up. If you’ve worked in an office with someone who’s guilty of this offense, you know how much that statement rings true.

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It’s really not surprising that one of the offender’s coworkers got fed up with cleaning the food mess out of the sink and decided that writing an office note was the best course of action. Of course, threatening to expose the mess maker might have been one step too far, though. The jury’s still out on that one.

Just In Case

Now, no one that works in this office is saying that you need the toilet brush or that you consistently blow up the office toilet every morning, but if they were, they’d be telling you via an office note like this. Yep, this is a great example of an office note with purpose.

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It doesn’t name any names so it doesn’t embarrass anyone but it also gets the point across — and includes a cute little graphic! Well, a graphic as cute as a toilet brush and a roll of toilet paper can be, anyways.

Pen Licker 1, Coworkers 0

Pens are a hot commodity around the office. Somehow, the newest and best pens always end up going missing, often showing up on the desks of those they don’t belong to months later once their owner has forgotten that they ever disappeared.

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The next time someone goes to steal one of this person’s pens, they’re going to get a rude awakening! Either, they take the pen and risk getting mouth germs all over their hands or they pull up their socks and stop losing their own pens so that they don’t have to use anyone else’s anymore — it’s a win either way, really.

No Laughing

It’s understandable that cubicle-style offices might have stricter rules regarding noise levels. After all, everyone can quite literally hear everyone all the time. That being said, Susan in cubicle 2’s constant fingernail clacking can likely be heard in cubicle 6, who hates distractions. It’s a problem.

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Laughing can surely be heard from every corner of the office and, as one might expect it to, the laughing going on was obviously distracting someone. We get it. But is it seriously serious enough to write (type!) an office note to tell someone to stop laughing so loud?


Seriously, this is a good one. We wouldn’t call it aggressive per se, but it’s definitely a prime target for smart remarks. We have to wonder, though, whether it was supposed to be taken literally or if this office note and the results of it were just the product of poor wording.

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Either way, it’s pretty easy to see who’s been flushing the toilet after they use it! It’s also obvious that someone hasn’t been — or at least that they didn’t on the instance that they signed this office note. It’s just too bad that there’s no way of knowing who the anti-flusher is.

Pizza Privileges Revoked

Having something greasy to snack on during work hours is something that employees everywhere dream about while they sit dutifully in their meetings. So, when your office manager declares that it’s pizza party day, it’s always a good day. The best one all week even!

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Or, it’s usually a good day…unless you work with someone who thinks it’s okay to eat only a bite out of the last slice. That person is a jerk. They successfully claimed the last piece of pizza and then, not only did they not eat it, but they left it for everyone to see! Is it office noteworthy? We think so.

Printer’s Name: Bob Marley

When Bob Marley rose to fame for his jammin’ hits, he probably never imagined that he’d be used as part of an office note more than 30 years after his death. But alas, it’s his face we see on this passive-aggressive office note. Who would have thought, huh?

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Despite Bob Marley being a peaceful and a “chill guy”, it’s easy to think that he would have found a lot of humor in this note even though it’s slightly threatening (in a nice, non-threatening way?). It really is quite funny when you look at it two or three times.

All You Had To Do Was Ask

Of all the office notes we’ve seen so far and those that are to come, this one is the least aggressive. In fact, it actually kind of straddles the border of being too nice to be passive-aggressive. But still; here it is. It deserves a spot for being so true.

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We can recall countless times where someone ate our food or used our stuff without asking. If they had just asked, they would have revived — without stealing! Nothing like having yours Baby Ruth’s stolen from under your nose…we’re looking at you, Debbie.

Contagion #1

They say that yawning is contagious — and it certainly does seem to be. But you know what else is contagious, according to this office employee? Sighing! Who would have thought? But is it really worth writing a note about this? We are on the fence.

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By the looks of this office note, someone got so fed up with the contagious sighing, that a bit of friendly office passive-aggressiveness was required. While the writer means well, they probably weren’t counting on the fact that someone (like us) might take the note as a reason to sigh twice as much.

Can We?

When you’re at the point in your life that you’re old enough to wear a suit and can hold down a job in an office setting, it’s safe to assume that you’re old enough to know better than to wipe bodily fluids on the walls. Right? Apparently not in this office.

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It’s pretty sad that this office employee had to write a note to their colleagues to ask them to refrain from wiping gross things on the walls in a public place. We’re sure that the note writer felt just as uncomfortable as the offender, who, more than likely, saw the note at some point.

Nothing In Return

When it’s finally break time, there’s nothing better than the convenience that is accessing the office vending machine. Unless, of course, it’s one of the many machines that eat your money! We’ve dealt with our fair share of machines that do this, but, as of today, we can’t say that we’ve ever left a nasty note about it.

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In this situation, it’s hard to tell who’s the real star of the show. On one hand, the OP’s note probably enticed the maintenance man to fix the vending machine, and on the other, well…you just have a whole lot of bitterness and aggression.

Hey Nasty

It goes without saying that microwaves are the most neglected part of the office when it comes to cleaning. They just don’t get the attention that the front desk or the public washroom does, despite being used just as much (if not more?).

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That’s why we’re not surprised to see this note popping up on our list. After all, there’s only so much that the office Type A clean freak can handle in regard to the disgusting state of the office microwave after Jim explodes his instant noodles inside of it.

Warning: Tupperware Thief

When you bring carefully prepared Greek salad to work, you expect to enjoy it on your lunch break. So, when you go to the communal office fridge to find it – container and all! – missing, it almost certainly ruins your entire day. Not to mention the next day because now you’re one container short!

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The note writer in this scenario has likely been battling the office food thief for quite some time now, seeing as they’ve started spitting in their food as a deterrent (that’s probably not something a first-time victim would do). But seriously, Food Thief, the Tupperware?! Uncalled for.

A Huge Thank-You

Great job. Seriously. Whoever flushed the perfectly good roast chicken down the toilet should give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done..and Debbie from HR should get a pat on the back for her great passive-aggressive note!

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Debbie’s note is simultaneously nice, aggressive, and sarcastic — a feat that takes talent to accomplish. The note, however completely serious Debbie is about it, is also somehow humorous enough to have us cackling as we imagine what was going on in the offender’s head when they walked past this note.

Just Bring the Cow

If you’re going to bring the entire gallon jug of milk to work and keep it in the tiny office fridge, you can’t be shocked when someone says something about it, can you? We think not because, as the saying goes, you had it coming.

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As this office note writer writes, why not just bring the whole cow? Surely, it would take up less space than the bulky milk jug! Not to mention, it’d be a whole lot funnier. Is it Instagram-worthy? Probably. Talk about an opportunity wasted!

Leftover Lettuce

When a piece of stray lettuce is found on the floor of the communal office kitchen, things get serious. Who would dare leave a perfectly good piece of lettuce lying around? Surely, whoever did is missing their lettuce! Right? It couldn’t have been left on purpose.

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Luckily, the author of this note and finder of the lettuce was nice enough to see if the person who left it wants it back! How nice — and not passive-aggressive at all? Okay, maybe just a little bit.


This office note is a prime example of what can happen when an employer senses that one or more of his employees doesn’t want to be at work. We can understand wishing for a 4-day work week or loving the idea of having Fridays off, but if you never want to show up, you might as well say so.

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This manager has had enough of ungrateful employees who don’t want to do their job. He just wants someone who’s appreciative of the opportunity — and we can’t blame him for that (or for this note!). It’s a solid note that has a clear meaning and leaves very little for interpretation.

A New Trend

Offices aren’t immune to the new and exciting trends of today’s modern world. The mom-jean trend that hit recently? Office assistants and low-level managerial types were both rocking it! Once a trend hits, the whole office gets hit.

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So when the new trend of naming your lunch popped up in this office (thanks a lot, Debbie!), it’s no wonder that someone created a meme-style passive-aggressive note about it. Just because a sandwich has a name doesn’t mean it’s off-limits, right? Wrong.