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An ode to The Office's 'Recyclops,' the world-saving (and destroying) Earth Day hero to rule them all
Christmas has Santa Claus, Easter has a bunny, and Valentine's Day has cupid — but beyond that, it's a bit of a hard sell when it comes to holiday-themed figures. Unlike so many other holidays, though, that's not the case for Earth Day, which is forever connected to one of our most iconic legends: Recyclops.
Yeah, Dwight Schrute's legendary Earth Day creation will live forever in our hearts, and — ya know — streaming on Peacock.
The Earth Day hero (and destroyer) was first introduced in the cold open to "Shareholder Meeting," the 11th episode of The Office's sixth season, airing Nov. 19, 2009. Like most things, it started simply. Dwight (Rainn Wilson) sported a green shirt and a fake third eye as Recyclops, rolling into Dunder-Mifflin with helpful tips like the fact that a milk carton can be recycled into a planter with a bit of ingenuity.
Things got a bit more aggressive in Year 2, as Recyclops started pushing hard on recycling etiquette while beefing up his costume a bit. In Year 3, the Recyclops aesthetic really came together, with a helmet, shoulder pads, and even more aggressive threats — like drowning humans in their over-watered lawns. (Hey, water waste is a serious issue!)
Then tragedy struck — at some point between Earth Days, Recyclops' fictional planet was attacked by another fictitious thing, leaving Recyclops angry and bitter. He renounces Earth and vows to destroy the planet he once loved. Oh, how quickly our mighty heroes can fall. In case his resolve wasn't clear, at this point, Recyclops' look has transitioned to an all-black, almost-Alien-style Xenomorph creature with a sword.
Even worse? He's traded in the helpful recycling tips for spraying aerosol spray for fun and tossing trash on the ground (though, admittedly, somewhat near the recycling bin). He even channels a bit of Thanos, noting humans are the worst thing of all for the environment. Which, again, is dark — but the three-eyed killing machine ain't exactly wrong.
At least he survived that assassination attempt from Poluticorn. So not all is lost.
The full series run of The Office is streaming now on Peacock (complete with super-sized bonus episodes), and in the meantime, you can check out the "Recyclops" scene in the cold open roundup below.