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  • In season four, Meredith claims to have been sleeping with the company's Hammermill supply representative in order to receive discounts on their supplies for six years. But Hammermill was exclusively a Staples provider until Michael talked them into doing business with Dunder-Mifflin at a conference in season three.

    Ryan's MBA 
  • If Ryan went to college and received his MBA, then why did he return to being a temp after getting fired from corporate. Shouldn't he have used his MBA to get a better position somewhere else?
    • He was fired after being arrested for fraudulently inflating his numbers, so he may have had trouble getting another job right away.
    • He's a felon with a criminal record directly relevant to his employment that explicitly (per David Wallace) cost his last company hundreds of thousands of dollars. No company would even consider hiring him for a job that used his MBA.

    Snowball fight 
  • In "Classy Christmas" Dwight's retaliation for Jim hitting him in the face with a snowball was pretty brutal. Yeah, Jim threw that snowball pretty hard, but at the end of Dwight's attack, Jim is literally bleeding. He did screw up pretty badly with the lacrosse stick by destroying company property, but it's ridiculous that Michael and Holly hold him totally responsible for the mischief when Jim literally still has blood on his shirt and bruises on his face. Dwight's attack seems something he could be prosecuted for.

    Dwight's pranks 
  • Both openings to this show feature Dwight doing something somewhat prank-ish. In the first opening, which was used for the majority of the show's run, he seemed to be playing around with the shredder (I assume he's just playing because of his really casual posture and the fact that he seems to be shredding credit cards). I initially chalked this up to Early Installment Weirdness, since Dwight might be one of the most law-abiding members of the building. However, the second opening features him using some kind of blowtorch to heat up a metal door handle. When would Dwight ever do this, and what's with his out of character portrayals in the openings?
    • The first is seen in one of the early episodes when Jim is trying to talk on the phone to a client, and Dwight is just shredding stuff to annoy him. I'm pretty sure the second is when he's "teaching" them about fire safety in the episode that aired after the Superbowl. He heated the door knobs to make them think there was a fire, as well as filling the office with smoke.
    • I don't think Dwight is using the shredder to annoy Jim. More likely he's simply using it and is oblivious to how annoyed Jim is. (This is more obvious with Tim and Gareth in the original version of this scene.)
    • I think the joke is that Dwight is accidently shredding his own credit card.
    • Dwight isn't law-abiding at all. He is just a Control Freak who imposes rules on others and expects them to obey pedantic laws; his own antics range from the unethical at best to the flagrantly illegal at worst. He is a massive Hypocrite and designed to be such.

    Fire v. fire drill 
  • Speaking of the fire drill...What happened? In Season 2, Ryan starts a fire. While Michael runs outside like a maniac, everyone else goes downstairs in an orderly fashion and nobody loses their heads. Dwight locked the doors to try and prove a point, sure, but did he also forget they behaved fine during the first fire of the series? Discontinuity, Flanderization, or just bad writing?
    • The fire in Season 2 was more likelya small controlled fire, but enough to get everyone outside. What Dwight did was trying to simulate a building wide fire with everyone trapped in the office.
    • Nobody believed that the fire in season 2 was real until the fire department showed up. There was no smoke and no visible flames when they left the office. They only left because of the fire alarm. With Dwight's fire, there was no alarm and quite visible smoke, together with warm doorknobs and stuck doors which convinced people they were trapped, which is what triggered the panic.

    Branch closings 
  • First Stamford, and now Buffalo is closing? Why is it that the Scranton branch is nothing but screw-up after screw-up, and they are still open, especially after the whole Michael Scott Paper Company incident?
    • It's been stated that, despite Michael's quirks and the lax attitude, they still have high sales numbers. Also, the Stamford branch closed because Josh screwed them over.
    • The merger was just that: a merger, meaning that the purpose was to streamline and not that either branch was failing. Of course either location would have worked, but Stamford was chosen because corporate wanted Josh to lead the combined branch. When it was found that Josh would be leaving, there was no reason to move to Stamford. We are never told, but there could have been other factors working in Scranton's favor like location or lower rent costs for the office space, which made it the better location when Josh left.
    • And the Buffalo branch likely closed because of the money they spent to buy out the Michael Scott Paper Company
      • Doubtful. The only real money they spent was on Pam; Ryan got busted down to temp right away, which would mean he makes less, and Michael was taking back the job with the same benefits and such that he would have had anyway. Erin got Pam's old job, so she got the money that would have gone to Pam. The budget just has to increase fifty thousand per year, and if a mere fifty-thousand dollars was all that it took to keep a multi-million dollar business afloat, they're doing worse than they thought.
      • Dunder Mifflin is a company of middlemen, and in an internet world the margins for being one shrink every year. Not only would they be taking back three fresh salaries, but they'd have to keep supplying the paper at Michael's too-low prices until the contracts ran out. Couple that with the fallout from a major fraud indictment in corporate management and that could easily be the tipping point. As for why the Scranton branch stays open and profitable, the Stamford branch was very successful, but when it folded only Jim and Andy stayed on with Scranton. So they inherited all of their clients but almost none of their payroll.
    • Jim was the ninth best salesman in the entire company, Dwight was first, and Michael is one of the best salesmen in Dunder-Mifflin history. They're all very good at what they do.
    • In keeping with one of the theories mentioned below, a foreign television studio produces the show for audiences in a foreign country and pays the Scranton branch for the opportunity, boosting that branch's revenues quite substantially. This aspect of the branch's financial structure may even have contributed to Sabre's acquisition of it.

    When is this gonna air? 
  • Are they ever planning on airing this documentary? In the British version, all the office footage seemed to be done over a relatively short time frame and the Christmas Special featured the effects of this stuff having been shown on national television. In the American version, the film crew has been there long enough for at least 2 Christmases to have happened, and if any of the stuff has been aired, clearly none of the participants have been watching
    • It's airing right now, and we're watching it!
      • Yeah, I always assumed it was an ongoing TV show. In fact, that's what I thought in the original show.
      • Of course, then the cast could watch the show, which might interfere with their interactions. For example, if Pam saw Jim telling Michael that he had a crush on her might have affected how she felt about him.
    • The whole mockumentary premise has been stretched beyond the breaking point in the American series by now, and we should basically accept that it has — it's a sort of fourth-wall-breaking framing device but there's no way anymore to presume that the documentary crew really exists in their world. For one thing, it's not just that they've been filming for too long, but they've been filming too much stuff, including stuff that in real life they'd never allow a documentary crew access to. It's implausible in the extreme that Michael would allow the documentary crew to shadow him to the call-center job he's moonlighting at or that the call-center boss would let them in. It's ridiculous that Ryan would be terrified of the cops finding out about his drug-addled apartment parties but have no compunction about letting the crew film him high on coke. There's no way a pathologically distrustful man like Dwight Schrute would let a film crew into his B&B, nor is there any way the film crew would actually be there all night in Jim and Pam's bedroom waiting for something interesting to happen when they wake up. Etc.
      • Starting with the call-center job: Michael's dumb. Bribes. High on coke. Publicity. Next door bedroom. All justified!
      • Although in some instances the notion that there is a film crew present is really a stretch of Willing Suspension of Disbelief, in the case of filming Jim and Pam at Dwight's farm, there was one or two additional room available for them to have stayed in, so it was arguable justified in-universe.
      • I think you really underestimate how far a reality TV crew would go to get a juicy shot like Jim and Pam in bed together.
      • There was a specific shot of Jim closing the door to their room at the B&B with finality when it was really time for bed, a definite acknowledgement that the film crew was accounted for.
      • Another thing, would they really take an airplane to Costa Rica and back, just to get a quick interview with Toby?
    • One of the most obvious questions about the film crew is why no one outside the office seems to really notice or care about the cameras. There's been the odd moment where a non-regular character kind of looks askance at the cameras, but the camera crew follows them everywhere, even to things like (many) sales calls, house showings, going to other offices or visiting relatives, and rarely are the cameras even looked at by these people who, unlike the regulars at Scranton Branch, are not being filmed regularly and have not had time to get used to them. Similarly, visitors to Scranton branch don't stop when they see the cameras and ask why they're being filmed. And none of them show the slightest compunction to watch how they act or what they say when the cameras are on them.
    • Although some of the funniest jokes have interactions with the camera crew. Pam trying to bribe the cameraman into letting her know what's going on between Dwight and Angela spring to mind. Besides who knows, maybe the documentary crew's trying to make the next Hoop Dreams.
      • Lately they seem to have dropped this premise, as the cast hasn't interacted at all with the "crew" in the last few seasons.
      • Some documentaries film for years - take Jon Ronson's "Reverend Death", filmed over the course of six years. The Other Wiki has a list of films shot over many years.
      • One way of trying to explain it is that rather than the boring look at office life the camera crew had anticipated, they found an interesting group of characters and series of events and wanted to see where they were going. Realizing themselves that the show airing could interfere with these events, they decided to turn it into a long term thing, and start filming outside of the office more and more.
      • Yeah, this troper has a feeling that the producer of said documentary found himself obsessed with the characters as we, the audience, are. That still doesn't explain why no one gets too weirded out by the fact that the cameras ARE STILL THERE, but we'll accept it because of the Rule of Funny.
      • Doesn't Pam address this in the first episode of season 9? Once her and Jim finish their talking head, she asks the crew something along the lines of "Why are you still filming us? Surely nothing new or exciting will now happen?" to which the a crew member replies "Well we're following what happens to you guys"
    • The real question is, why didn't the camera crew follow Karen to Utica, or Holly to Nashua, when they clearly followed Pam and Ryan to New York (on two different occasions) and Jim to Stamford?
      • Both of them left under difficult circumstances, so they probably withdrew their consent to be filmed daily.
      • It follows the original, established characters, not the ones who come later.
    • I LOVE the documentary style of The Office, as it's unique film style donates tremendously to the show's originality. That said, I find myself repeated hitting my head against the wall that none of the Dunder Mifflin employees ever watch their own show or even question why a crew is there in the first place. I mean, come on! They're videotaped everyday to a point it could almost be called harassment, and they don't even care. I was hoping that new girl,Erin, or even Scary Black Man Charles might have questioned the filming in a Funny Moment... but they didn't?! If anyone watched at least one episode of their own damn show, that would just save so much time for them.
    • I just found an article of The Onion that answers all these "documentary based" questions.
    • There's actually a good theory that covers most objections about the realism of the documentary style.
      • "An American Office" is a reality show filmed for a foreign market. This makes sense, as in the American TV market, most "workplace" reality shows are about exotic workplaces. For foreigners, America itself it a somewhat exotic, or at least interesting, place.
      • It's also produced for a country where a relatively minor language is spoken (e.g., Estonian), and has not been translated for other markets.
      • Thus, even though "An American Office" is wildly popular in Estonia, few if any people at Dunder-Mifflin (except corporate legal types) have ever seen the show.
      • So they're not "famous" in America and don't adjust their behavior to play to the camera much, react to being shown in a bad light, etc.
      • It'd be funny if they ran into an excited Estonian tourist who reacts to the Big in Estonia characters: "Is Kevin! Is Kevin!"
      • Confirmed, only in Denmark.
    • Now that David Brent has appeared on the US Office, there's the question of why David reacted to the cameras on the British Office, but didn't seem to react to them on the American Office.
      • Character Development; after his experiences in the British Office, Brent's gotten over his compulsive need to play up to the cameras.
      • Fridge Brilliance; Brent was in the building solely to get on cameras and is attempting to get the job at the US branch to reclaim his on-screen glory.
    • Lampshaded by Michael in his last episode. Even he asks the same question as us. Let us hold our peace henceforth then, guys.
    • Does David Brent's appearance mean that everything in The Office UK happened in this universe, and thus, by pure coincidence, there are two offices with very similar employees, and both offices had nearly the exact same things happening in them one day?
    • The most recent episode has Oscar find the show is about to air in Denmark and sees the promos online, with everything narrated in Danish. Meredith and Angela, in particular, are surprised to learn the crew filmed certain things, Phyllis notes they had no idea what was being filmed, and Oscar likens it to a hidden camera show.

      The office is not impressed, and Pam talks to the fired boom mic operator, who reveals they film everything they can get away with, and is planning on including everything in the finished product, much to Pam's horror.
    • In the finale, the documentary finally aired on PBS.

    Documentary crew behavior 
  • What exactly are the rules the documentary crew follows for not getting involved in the lives of their subjects? They're perfectly willing to conspire with Pam to let her know about Dwight and Angela, but at other times they seem overly dedicated to staying out of things. It's one thing for them to not let Jim and Pam know about their feelings for each other (or even let Andy know that Angela is cheating on him), it's quite another for them to not tell anyone about Roy's threat to kill Jim, Michael's plan to jump off the building, Dwight's incredibly dangerous fire safety drill, Dwight's very serious plot to get Jim fired (if someone actually believed Dwight's story, that's actually something that could make it impossible for Jim to get another job), etc.
    • After finding the documentary's promos, Pam talks with the director - who's basically a total sleazebag - who reveals they've been filming everything they can get away with, esentially invaded everyone's privacy, and are planning on including as much of it as possible.
    • Pam specifically asked them to help; while they may not have actually "said" anything, she's smart enough to be able to follow their camera-focus hints.
    • Up until he showed actual signs of depression, they could likely believe Michael wouldn't go through with it; if he had, it's possible they'd intervene, or considering the original premise that got them in the office in the first place...
    • With Roy, depending on the time line involved, there might've been no time between Roy making his declaration and getting to the office, and the second unit filming him to get a hold of the main unit at the office. Or they just wanted to see happens.
    • With the fire drill, while it quickly got out of hand, at this point they probably knew Dwight well enough to know he wouldn't put himself in danger, so the rest of the office would be okay (but who can plan for Oscar climbing into the ceiling?).

    Firing someone 
  • If Michael had to fire someone in that Halloween episode, why didn't he fire Ryan, a temp who hadn't even made a sale?
    • It's because Ryan is hot and Michael has a man-crush on him. Besides, if the company needed to fire an employee to save money firing a temp wouldn't be the same thing.
    • Also, throughout the show, Michael favors Ryan, along with Jim and Darrel because he thinks they are cool and wants to be accepted by them.
    • He might not even have thought of it. He asked around for who to fire, but no one mentioned Ryan.
    • More to the point, temps are usually low-paid, with benefits (if they have any at all) that would be paid for by the temp agency, not Dunder-Mifflin. It's unlikely that letting a temp go would solve the implicit financial problem.
    • Michael wasn't told to fire someone just for the sake of firing someone; it was a financial issue. As a temp, Ryan is paid considerably less than everyone else, and, as mentioned above, was likely not even getting his paychecks from Dunder-Mifflin. Firing him would have been a pointless gesture.

    Jim and the corporate job 
  • Why does Jim go for the big job in New York, when in his own words, he would throw himself in front of a train if his job became his career?
    • Basically Jim is a coward. He talks big about going to school or striking out on his own, but that would involve substantial risk and seriously change his life. Despite his too cool for school attitude, he is way too scared to leave the comfort of Scranton for anything unknown.
    • Because over the course of two years, Jim's priorities in life changed. Karen had convinced him that success in the company was more important than he thought it was. She was also trying to manipulate him and get him away from Pam.
      • That's a pretty narrow interpretation of Karen. And anyway, they were competing for the same position.
      • It's not without some truth though. The job is in New York, and she said that if Jim got the job she would move to New York with him, and she expected him to do the same for her. So either way Jim leaves Pam behind. It was pretty clear that she was partly motivated by getting Jim away from Pam.
      • It doesn't make her an evil person or even unjustified, but this "narrow interpretation" was all-but-spoken-out-loud on the show. She was clearly shown pressuring Jim on a commitment that he had second thoughts about.
    • It's a good job and he wouldn't be working as a paper salesman, but an executive.

    Pam and the MSPC 
  • Why the hell would Pam, practical, down-to-earth, reasonable, Pam Beesley go off to work with Michael? I get that she was unhappy with her job, but what the hell? And why didn't she rush back afterwards once she realized the mistake she made? Who cares if Michael would feel "hurt" or whatever? She basically just lost all her income.
    • Jim and Pam are getting married soon. That means expenses are being merged into one household. If things work out with the Michael Scott Paper Company, great, two income sources. If not, then hey, they still have enough to get by. It's win-win.
    • How is it win-win? Pam already had a job. Not a great one, sure, but a comfortable job with a stable income and decent coworkers. And Pam's hinted at possibly having kids (back when she was engaged to Roy) and that's the kind of thing you save up for. I doubt Dunder Mifflin salesmen make a lot of money, anyway. Most of the employees live with roommates who they'd split the cost of living with. Michael's got a good life, but he's the boss. I really think the Office jumped the shark on this one.
      • A majority of the employees live with roommates? Are you counting Angela's cats, Phyllis's husband, Stanley's mistress, or Dwight's cousin Mose, who helps Dwight run the family's beet farm? Jim had a roommate early in the series, and you can count Dwight's ... person ... but apart from that I don't think that any of them have roommates.
    • I think it was stated that Pam hates being the receptionist. She really wants to be a salesman - if the MSPC worked out for long enough (which it did, as Michael is not an incompetent salesman himself) she'd have work experience as a salesman and be able to get a job as a salesman with another company.
    • It's also character development. Look at how timid Pam was with Roy, who shot down all of her ideas (like the design school from "Boys and Girls") compared to how Jim has been trying to encourage her to take risks.
    • It might even have been out of pity for Michael, since its been shown that without his friends at the office Michael basically self-destructs.
    • Like the person above me stated, it's character development. Pam has been getting more impulsive and assertive about things and more willing to take risks (the events of Beach Games come to mind). Also, we've been shown moments between Pam and Michael that really solidify their friendship, so Pam quite possibly left out of a sense of loyalty.
    • In that episode, Pam had spent a great amount of time learning their new copier inside and out. It was a huge accomplishment for her, but no one cared, and she herself realized she couldn't be proud of it. She could, however, be proud of being a salesperson.
    • Don't forget, Pam did panic and crawl back to Charles to ask for her job back. He said they'd already replaced her, and then refused her idea of becoming his personal shopper. She had to go back to MSPC as her next best bet. During that particular scene, Pam outright states that when she left, she was "feeling impulsive," and should have just gotten a tattoo.

    Darryl's i Pod 
  • In "Back From Vacation," during the Inventory Luau, Darrell finds an iPod and attached stereo in the warehouse. What is the significance of that iPod, was there a deleted scene?
    • I can't say for certain, but my understanding of that particular bit was that Darrell had previously lost that iPod/stereo combo, and him finding it was adding onto his great day (the previous great thing being the picture Michael accidentally sent out, of course), hence the line "See? I knew he'd turn up! This is the greatest night of my life!"

    Oscar's paid vacation 
  • In "Gay Witch Hunt," the first episode of Season 3, Oscar intends to quit his job, but he is convinced to stay when Jan offers him a three month paid vacation in Europe and a company car. Why would Jan do this? The company as a whole is in a difficult financial situation, Oscar is quitting of his own accord and would not need to be paid severance, and it was revealed in an earlier episode that the three accountants of the Scranton branch do work that only requires two people. Yes, Oscar could sue the company, but would the legal fees and punitive expenses in that case really exceed the cost of covering an employee's salary and benefits for the next thirty years (or however long it will be before Oscar retires)?
    • At that point she has feelings for Michael (she reveals them in "Casino Night"), and he would necessarily be fired if it came to a lawsuit. I thought she did it to protect him, rather than Dunder Mifflin.
      • Even a successful lawsuit probably would have cost DM more money than what they offered Oscar, who probably doesn't make much money anyway. Businesses do this all the time.
      • Personal feelings or not, Dunder-Mifflin is still in bad shape financially. Giving him three months vacation with his regular salary (like most normal compaines do) is one thing; but the company to actually give him an all-expenses paid vacation in another country is just asinine.
      • It seemed that avoiding a lawsuit was the primary motivation, a lawsuit would most likely have exposed them to other lawsuits once the practices of the branch became public record.
    • It's possible that they feared negative publicity.
    • Also, remember that Dunder-Mifflin is a badly managed company in many ways. They were probably wasting money in any number of ways on the road to bankruptcy; this could have been just one of them.
    • Additionally, Kevin is generally portrayed as pretty incompetent with accounting. Just because they only need two accountants doesn't mean that he could be one of the two. But it wouldn't make sense that corporate knows he is incompetent or he would have been fired.
      • Also, keep in mind that the audience knows that only two accountants are required, but they never reported that to corporate, so corporate doesn't know they don't need three people.
    • If Oscar sues, his coworkers might decide to follow. Almost everyone in that branch has a good basis for a harassment suit.
    • He was never given an all-expenses paid vacation. He just took the three months of free money and rolled it into a European vacation (which was not specified to be three months long). Gil likely helped pay part of that way also.

    Company picnic 
  • Why was Holly wearing a Nashua t-shirt at the company picnic when the other HR people (Toby, guy who acts like Toby) were both corporate?
    • Maybe some of Michael's dislike for corporate rubbed off on her, and she didn't want to be associated with them?
    • Toby wasn't with Corporate, he was wearing a gray hoodie but if you look at his collar he's wearing a red Scranton shirt underneath. The only HR person from Corporate was Kendall.

    Ryan's business education 
  • I highly doubt that a former VP of a multi-million dollar corporation with a bachellors degree in business wouldn't know what a variable price model is.
    • In fact, he actually had a masters degree by then.
    • That's the joke.
    • This troper always sort of guessed that the drugs Ryan was addicted to sort of messed up his brain. He may know what a variable price model is but he can no longer summon the ability to construct it properly in his head. It seems to fit with his current characterization which is no longer as sane as it once was.
    • Viewers are morons. If the issue was something complicated enough to actually make sense for an MBA, it would also have been too complicated to be easily explained for the viewers to follow.
    • Ryan was VP but he had almost nothing to show for it. His entire business plan revolved around his website which while a decent plan on it's own, quickly fell apart due to poor execution. Really aside from reading off a few questions from his text book, he's shown basically zero actual skill in business and by the time of the MSPC anything he might have actually learned was long gone.

    Why does Michael still have a job? 
  • Not sure why it's taken so long for someone to ask this — why the fuck hasn't Michael been shot!? Or sued!? Or at least fired!?
    • He was fired, in Season 5.
      • Perhaps I'm remembering wrong, but Michael quit because Charles wouldn't let him have a 15th Anniversary (with the company) party.
      • 6 of one, a half-dozen of the other. David sent Charles to Scranton to rein Michael in. Michael chafed at it, and when he thought David wasn't taking him seriously, he put in his notice. While running out his two weeks, Michael realized that he had no realistic plan for the future, and tried to start MSPC right in Dunder-Mifflin's offices. Charles discovers it, and fires him.
    • As for the shot or sued parts, "Conflict Resolution" seems to imply that Toby manages to defuse most of the immediate issues people have with Michael before they get that far.
    • He hasn't been fired because he's running the most successful branch of Dunder Mifflin but Corporate never figured out almost all of it's best features are unrelated to Michael (Jim and Dwight are both some of the strongest salesmen in the company and Scranton absorbed Stamford's clients but almost none of their salaries). Since they're frequently hurting for money, they've basically left Michael as untouchable as long as his branch keeps performing well.
    • Michael has been shown to be extremely serious with anything customer related, and while his antics inside the office are childish and might annoy all of the people there and in corporate that have to deal with him, he is a superb salesman that is FANATICALLY loyal to the company. He is very serious when actual problems with customers occur - when he thought Jim and Dwight were getting poor customer reviews, for instance, he immediately tried to fix the perceived problem on his own initiative with no input from corporate. And has been pointed out, he is the only branch in the entire company that consistently makes money over the years. As has been shown any time anybody else tried to take over, the rest of the staff are such a bunch of babies themselves that Michael seems to be the only one that can actually keep them somewhat happy and not go crazy themselves (until Dwight finally took over in the end).

    B.J. Novak in the credits 
  • Now, I understand B.J. Novak does a lot for the show in real life, but why is he still in the opening credits? Come to think of it, why was he in the credits to begin with? Ryan has been as much of a main character as characters like Kevin and Angela. Not only that, but he wasn't in a good amount of episodes from seasons 4 and 5 (though 4 is understandable, as he was in New York).
    • He's a writer and co-executive producer.
      • The original poster acknowledged this in saying that Novak does a lot for the show in real life — s/he is referring to how his name comes up among the names of other cast members and how his character appears in the opening credits (not so for other writers and co-executive producers who aren't also cast members).
      • What probably happened, and this is just a guess, is that when Novak signed his contract to appear on/write for the show, they intended Ryan's character to be a much bigger part of it. As the writing/producing process went along they shifted focus from him to others. Usually what'd happen is they'd terminate a star's contract and re-negotiate once they were no longer a main character, but since he is so involved in the production process behind the scenes, they can't terminate his contract without losing that aspect of him as well. So as long as they renew his contract, he'll be in the opening credits. He's never gonna negotiate himself out of the top five. That's money.
      • Novak explained in an interview that he loves the show and wants to continue working with it, but is beginning to lose interest in continually playing "Ryan The Temp", hence his drastically reduced role in later seasons.

    Kevin's mental abilities 
  • Sometimes Kevin is just a plain boring guy. Other times he seems to be bordering on the line of mental retardation. Wassupwitdat??
    • I think he has Asperger's Syndrome. He is good with numbers, the accounting and the gambling, but can't interact well with people. You can see this when he has to be the receptionist(his mistakes with the phone lines are because he's nervous), mimicking the Nard Dog "You're so money that you don't even know it" and when he drops insensitive one-liners when people are covering up the truth ("Hi Jan, you look tanned" while her a picture of her sunbaking topless is plastered over the warehouse).
      • Wait, what? Kevin is terrible with numbers, and loses tons of money to his gambling addiction. Michael says he was originally going to be in the warehouse, because he is so terrible an accountant.
      • I thought Kevin was going to be in the warehouse originally, but Michael convinced him to work in accounting instead.
      • The safety episode of the third season in particular showed him to be bad with numbers and number-related gambling.
      • Of course, Michael is the epitome of the Unreliable Narrator... about anything. We can't necessarily trust his memory or veracity abou such things.
      • Actually, he seemed pretty excited to be allowed to be talking to customers when the watermark-crisis required him, Oscar, and Angela to assist Kelly.
      • He has skills, just unrelated to his job. He is a musician and it is heavily implied that he is a pretty good cook.
      • Also, in one episode Kevin flat-out tells Holly he's not "special."
      • He says that because Dwight told Holly that Kevin was 'special' as some sort of joke on Holly as a hazing of the new guy.
      • He's good with mental arithmetic but only when the adding, subtracting, division and multiplication is to do with pies as reveals in the episode "Work Bus".
      • In Scott's Tots Michael reveals that Kevin applied to work in the warehouse but that he hired him for accounting because he had a feeling about him — typical of Michael to make an unsupported decision based on unprofessional whims, usually rooted in the need to be liked. However, there is a diploma hanging in Kevin's workspace for an Associate of Science degree in Accounting from Penn Foster College. Fridge Logic says maybe he took courses after he was hired.

    Jim and Pam and the rest of the office 
  • It seems that, particularly in the later seasons, the rest of the people in the office can be pretty hostile towards Jim and Pam. Examples of this would be the way they talk about Pam after she becomes a salesperson, or the lack of respect they showed Jim when he was the boss. I mean, you don't have to like all your co-workers, but it seems to get kind of nasty sometimes. This isn't what bugs me though, what bugs me is that despite this, the entire office was present at their wedding, and the entire office was in the hospital when Jim and Pam's baby was being born. Give me a break, these people are acquaintances at the very best, why were they present at these events?
    • It isn't that everyone in the office is particularly hostile towards Jim and Pam; it's that everyone in the office is hostile to each other, but Jim and Pam tend to take it more personally (or are more shocked by it) because they sometimes forget they're Not So Above It All. Everyone in the office has problems with each other. Everyone finds Dwight and Andy abrasive most of the time, everyone is at points disgusted by Meredith or frustrated with Kevin, everyone sees Angela as awfully judgey, everyone finds Oscar to be a Know-It-All, etc. At the same time, they all share camaraderie with each other (people supported Dwight and Andy as bosses, Oscar and Angela become actual friends, Stanley and Phyllis are also shown to be friends). The members of the office aren't actually hostile to each other, it's just that pressing each other's buttons is par for the course there. If you consider some of the things other members of the office have done to each other (Dwight and Andy dueling, Angela trying to have Oscar whacked), what Jim and Pam experience is pretty tame for the office. Another way to look at this is that Dwight and Jim butt heads more than anyone else in the office, and yet Dwight still considers Jim a close friend throughout most of Season 9 (which Dwight expresses at one point by beating Jim aggressively with a broom).
    • The hostility is justified if you consider Jim and Pam's smug nature, passive-aggressive tendencies, and fondness for pulling pranks. Don't forget that Jim and Pam provoked Andy's outburst (which landed him in rehabilitation), for example.
      • Maybe, but at times several of them have enjoyed their pranks or have demonstrated some fondness for Jim and Pam, and their reactions seem out of place. Obviously it was necessary for plot reasons, but I was really struck by how quick everyone was to jump on Jim for the Employee of the Month scheme - he may be an arrogant prankster, but he's never done anything even approaching that level of malevolence, and he's being set up by Dwight, who on at least one occasion ALMOST KILLED ONE OF HIS CO-WORKERS.
    • The wedding, at least, was lampshaded and justified, in that Michael gave everybody some ridiculous vacation-time incentive to anyone who attended. Jim and Pam's plan was to have the wedding in Niagara Falls specifically because they thought it would keep most of the office people away without having to actually "non-invite" them. Thanks to Michael, that plan backfired.
      • Diiiiid you not notice that along with her co workers Pam's personal friends and family members were ALSO taking part in it? It was kind of the ENTIRE wedding party doing this, not JUST the office members. And besides, it was a Rule of Cool moment that was pretty heartwarming.
      • Jim and Pam are (I think) two to the youngest person in the office, there's bound to be some resentment when people younger than you get promoted to your equal or above you.
      • Ryan, Kelly, and Erin are all younger (though Erin is recent, the other two have been here the whole time.)
      • Interestingly, Ryan has already been promoted over everybody once and the end of Season 6 suggested Kelly was going the same route.
    • What kind of bugged this troper was that Jim got treated about as badly in season six as Pam did at the end of Season Five. Yes, he has been promoted above them and people like Dwight think they deserved it more but at least he didn't hurt the rest of them to get it. No, Pam didn't join a rival company and steal their clients out of spite and didn't resent anyone personally until they told her she was unqualified for the sales job, but she doesn't show regret when she found out how things had been. I can understand why someone would be angry about that to the point of a bit of irrationality. Jim's no saint either (and if you are looking for saints, you're watching the wrong show) and Dwight and Ryan have hated him for awhile but as manager he seems to want to put in the effort to keep the branch running smoothly (which is saying something, since he's a [1] character in general) even if he does make boneheaded mistakes at times. It's not as if Michael has never made a boneheaded mistake; he just gets more sympathy from the employees because they are used to him as a boss (and let's them get away with things like getting drunk on an extended lunch hour). It makes one wonder if Jim might actually get more respect from the others at this point if not associated with Pam.

    Jim and Pam and the rest of the office part 2 
  • Why everybody loves Jim and Pam. Yes, Dwight and the others can be annoying, but they can really go to extreme measures to seem above the others, to the point of being smug. "We're so normal, everybody else is stupid" is a vibe I'm getting. Hell, a recent episode had them learn Morse Code JUST to mess with Dwight. That seems out of character, it's stooping to Dwight's level.
    • Yeah, because Jim and Pam have NEVER done zany schemes and pranks against Dwight. It certainly wasn't one of the well known parts of the show for the first three seasons or anything.
    • Nah, they do that all the time - Jim especially, but Pam usually joins in too. It's even lampshaded a couple times, with Jim actually saying in camera talk something to the effect of "Man, just think if I spent as much time and effort on my actual job...."
      • This is a bit of a strange one, as the writers seem to have gone out of their way in the last three seasons to have more moments that are critical of Jim or Pam. A great example is when they meet the daycare guy who outright tell the two that they're not as charming as they think they are. Yet at the same time, they both seem to have become bigger jerks more and more in the last three seasons, especially season 6, creating the need for the criticism in the first place. Jim and Pam were a LOT easier to like in the early years then they have been in season 6. That's something that bugs me big time.
      • You've also got the new character (currently being groomed as Michael Scott's successor) telling Pam that she was too dorky for his tastes. And you could tell that he did not mean "dorky" in a cute way ... he meant "dorky" in a bad and offputting way.
    • It could be, that they somewhat resent Jim and Pam for being promoted. It could be issues like why it wouldn't necessarily be good for someone who graduated from a high school to return there as a teacher. Pam was the receptionist and Jim was a salesman. Seeing them promoted to an equal and superior, respectively, to the rest of the staff could cause some resentment.
    • When you say everybody, do you mean the characters or the audience? Because the other characters do not love Jim and Pam. They're just the least defective of the bunch. As for the audience, through most of the early seasons, Jim and Pam acted as audience surrogates - the Only Sane Man who was stuck in a job surrounded by idiots and snarked to get through the day. When Jim and Pam committed to their jobs at D-M and started to join the office crazy, they became less sympathetic over time.

    Holly's sweater 
  • If Holly is on a three day retreat in "Lecture Circuit", then why is her sweater on her chair?
    • Oh, that's pretty common. I know a lot of people who keep a sweater or sweatshirt at the office pretty much just to wear there when needed due to the vagaries of office air conditioning.

    Dwight likes his coworkers 
  • In the drug testing episode of season 2, Dwight says he generally likes his coworkers with four exceptions. Obviously Jim is one, and probably Ryan because of jealousy, but who would be the other two? He never seems to catch Pam's involvement in the pranks, and he turned to her instead of the other women when he wanted feminine advice, so I don't think she would be one. And I don't remember him having major conflicts with anyone else through the second season (and I just watched the first 2 seasons).
    • As I recall, this was before "The Coup" when Dwight was still Michael's sycophant. So I'd guess the other two would be Toby, because Michael hates him, and Stanley, because he's clearly not committed to D-M and insubordinate.
    • For some reason, I seem to recall him saying something about disliking Meredith. The same for Kevin. Of course, it's Dwight, at that point in time the only people you could tell he cared about were Michael and Angela.
      • ^^It was the Moroccan Christmas party episode where Dwight says he likes Meridith to the group during the intervention, then reveals in the talking head that in fact he does not like Meridith, but was bluffing because he wanted to end the intervention. I agree with Ryan, Jim, and Meridith; Stanley, Kevin and Toby are good possibilities for the last one.
      • Interestingly, as of the finale, it seems he does genuinely like Meredith, due to a shared enjoyment of Motorhead.
    • He dislikes Kevin a great deal and fires him in the last season. He also dislikes Phyllis and Stanley for being overweight.

    Pam's new job 
  • Pam lying to get a better salary in "Counseling" just because she's not so great at sales. If she has such balls, why doesn't she just apply it to her clients?
    • Because Gabe is a spineless idiot, and her clients are not.
    • I think the bigger issue there is why Pam thinks she can get away with that kind of fraud when she KNOWS THE CAMERAS ARE FOLLOWING HER.
      • That generally plays into the idea that the show isn't aired in its own universe's United States. Either it's only shown abroad or it's never shown at all, but the characters in general reveal way more information to the cameras than they ever would if they were going to be seen later.
      • I think that Pam realized she was fairly safe from “fraud” accusations: she could easily argue that she was previously offered the job verbally and that the paperwork was lost, and there’s nothing on camera to dispute that claim (save her subjectively transparent attitude), and Gabe would likely prefer conceding his mistake rather than getting into a conflict.
      Pam: Say that I'm lying or say that I have the job. Make a definitive statement, Gabe.
      Gabe: Statements of such nature, while they have their place, are overused in a competitive business environment.

    Stretch limo 
  • Why did everyone act like they have never seen a limo before in "Shareholder Meeting"? Especially Andy, who is supposed to be filthy rich. Only reason I can think of is that he was making limos seem special to him just to kiss Michael's ass and get a day off.
    • Not every rich person has a limo you know. And if Andy is rich enough to have a limo/have ridden in one growing up, then why doesn't he have a higher paying position?
      • Andy comes from a wealthy family and had a very privileged upbringing, and it has been hinted that his family still takes care of him to some degree; that doesn't mean he's a good salesman.
      • Andy has also stated on many occasions he's The Unfavorite . When his younger brother was born, his parents took away his name, and re-named him Andy!
      • We see his relationship with his parents in a later episode, and it's terrible. It's not hard to imagine his parents going off in a limo and leaving him with the nanny or the maid. Otherwise, Rule of Funny applies here.

    Andy proposing to Angela 
  • Why would Andy propose to Angela, or even keep dating her; a woman who shows zero affection or interest in him. Is it the challenge? This leads on to me questioning why does Angela even agree to marry him or continue dating him, she's a strong woman with strong beliefs, why would she stay in a relationship for the sake of it? To make Dwight jealous? Maybe, but then she sleeps with him a few hours after the proposal anyway.
    • Not sure about Andy. I guess those are just some of his traits: he falls in love easily (he asked Jim for dating advice for nearly every woman in the office), and he persistently goes the extra mile for them (playing the guitar for Pam, giving Erin the 12 days of Christmas) even when they don't seem to return his affection. For Angela it seems that at first it was about both making Dwight jealous and trying to convince him she was over him. However,she still has feelings for Dwight, which is why they sleep together the first time. In one episode (sorry, can't remeber the name) it's noticeable that Angela sleeps with Dwight every time Andy is really annoying her. However, she gets attached to Andy too, and in that same episode when Andy (who's planning the wedding) does something nice for her, we get a shot of Dwight in the warehouse waiting for Angela, but she doesn't show up. Eventually, hse's so confused and conflicted she's not sure who to choose in "the Duel".
    • As Phyllis said in Crime Aid, Angela's not a big risk-taker and Andy isn't a real risk. She's got her safety net (Andy) and her secret bad boy (Dwight). Angela is judgmental of everyone except herself and has never considered that what she did was wrong, and we know this isn't her first time, as another duel was fought over her in the past. Angela took what was offered her from both men without thinking twice about her own role in it.
    • Andy is something of a stereotype of an upperclass, ivy-league WASP from Connecticut. A cold, indifferent, petite blonde with a CPA is probably the type of woman his mother always wanted him to marry.
    • Andy really wants to get married, and anyone will do. On the episode he proposes to Angela, he reveals that he’s been carrying an engagement ring around in his wallet for years.

    DM's reckless spending 
  • Going back to the reactions to the limo, why was Oscar saying it was a disgusting example of the company's reckless spending in a way that it was implied that we were supposed to agree with him? Car services routinely send out fancy limousines for the same price as a towncar when they run out of the latter.
    • I figured he was referring to the fact that they sent a car (and a driver) at all when it's already known that driving to New York isn't all that difficult. Michael was a lowly branch manager. Sending a car for him was a waste. He could have driven.
    • He's also on record as saying renting the hall for a presentation to the stockholders was a waste of money, so either the writers don't know what they're talking about, or he doesn't.
      • They are themselves not that big of a waste, but it's a huge indicator of what the corporate is doing to actually control wasteful spending (nothing). Sending a car two and half hours to pick up somebody that has been driving himself the same route for years is a huge waste. Renting a hall for a presentation, complete with hospitality suite and food/alcohol for the corporate officers is a huge waste when they could have either had the meeting in the corporate headquarters or had a remote meeting (they had already shown this capability years previously when Ryan did his website announcement). Each individually might be shrugged off. All together it's just a confirmation that the corporate officers waste a huge amount of money, have no plan, and no intention of doing anything other than party on the company dime until it goes insolvent.
    • And this season, it's been established that Oscar is something of a know-it-all (and indeed has earned the nickname "Actually.") As any troper should know, though, such self-assurance isn't necessarily accompanied by being right, though.

    Michael's cell phone 
  • In the episode where Jim leaves Michael at a gas station, Michael asks to use the gas store clerk's cell phone. When Michael remarks, "Oh, you don't have any of my numbers on speed dial.." the clerk takes the phone back. Why didn't he just call his own phone if he knew it was missing? Jim would've answered it and explained the situation to Michael. Doesn't Michael know his own number?
    • I don't...
      • A salesman would be pretty silly not to know his own phone #. What if he runs out of business cards?
      • This is no ordinary salesman. This is Michael Scott. He may be great at sales, but it's totally in character for him to not know his number.
      • Not just not know his own number, but not be able to use a basic phone - after all, we saw him drive his car into a lake because he misunderstood a GPS; it could be that he's only slightly less clueless with a traditional phone.

    Angelo's inner circle 
  • I just didn't got the whole thing with Jim being kicked out of Angelo's Inner Circle for saying some people perceived it as sexist, and then being readmitted after Pam complained about the noise. I get that she complained in purpose to have Jim readmitted, I guess by turning herself again into a target of hate... or something.... I just don't get the logic of it.
    • I gathered that Deangelo realized that it was Pam pushing Jim to bring it up, and so it wasn't Jim's fault. But in the next scene Deangelo injures himself, so we didn't really have time to see the ramifications.

    Stamford branch closing 
  • Why was Andy so upset about the Stanford branch closing? He comes from a wealthy family so he didn't need the job and later episodes indicate that he isn't all that good of a salesman. Then he moves to Scranton, away from his family and most of his friends in Connecticut to keep his job. It just seems like a lot to go through for no real reason.
    • While Andy's parents seem well-off I've never gotten the impression that they are so rich that he never needs to work again. As for the Stamford issue, Andy's original characterization was as a Dwight-like Yes-Man. He had (in his mind) climbed all the way up to Josh's #2 man before the rug got pulled out from under him, forcing him to start over.
    • His relationship with his parents seems distant at best, so it wouldn't a stretch for them to be unwilling to support him financially for life.
    • As we saw later on, Andy's dad basically torched the family's finances and ran when he fled to Argentina. It could be that Andy suspected that something of that might happen, and the Stanford job was his main security.

    Greasing boxes of paper 
  • What happened with Erin in the episode on the 6th of October, in 2011? She got dark when Jim and Dwight were dismissive of Kevin trying to suggest they grease the boxes of paper and slide them to the truck (assuming that was what he originally meant to suggest, and they later changed the plan to greasing the floor instead).
    • Hi, welcome to the joke!
      • It seems that that (along with a couple of minor incidents in the following few episodes) was foreshadowing to the Christmas party episode, and not necessarily just a joke of incongruity.

    Robert California's presence 
  • What is the deal with Robert California? It feels like he's being plastered in each script when it wouldn't really make a difference if he was there or not. The show keeps pushing him, making him look like a wise old master of the buissness who takes away from Andy trying to take control and learn to manage himself.
    • To me it seems he is what Michael, or even better David Brent, would have become eventually. A man convinced he is some kind of business guru/wise old master, when in reality he's just full of it and has simply picked up a knack for convincing people he is what he believes he is. And I think they have him there to give us the jerk boss the show was built around, but that Andy can't be.

    Robert and the Scranton branch 
  • Why does Robert California, the CEO of Sabre, who now runs this enormous company, spend all of his time still hanging out at the Scranton branch?
    • Is there the implication that he just happens to live in or near Scranton (hence him interviewing for Michael's old position in the first place?) and pays special attention to this branch just because it is conveniently located?
      • The episode "Pool Party" shows that it was indeed largely because his house was close to Scranton.

    Garden party prank 
  • How did Jim prank Dwight in "Garden Party"? Even if I accepted that Jim was crazy enough to write/adapt a book on garden parties and bind a copy just to prank Dwight, how would he find the time? They only knew about the titular party less than a week in advance because Andy staged it on short notice to upstage his brother.
    • The Office is starting to take on a reality level akin to that of The Flintstones.
    • During one of his talking heads, Dwight points out that he has wanted Shrute Farms to break into the high end of "Bed Hosting Industry" for some time, so it's likely that Jim knew about this since Dwight likes to brag about this kind of thing. The whole thing with the book probably happened some time before, but only became relevant during this episode in which Andy hired Dwight to be the host of that party. The joke is clearly not a brick joke and was written for the episode, but within the show it's perfectly reasonable that the book was one of the jokes Jim has invested in, hoping for it to pay in the future.

    Gabe's job 
  • What exactly is Gabe's job? Seems like the only thing he really does is micro-manage Michael. And after Michael leaves, he's more or less just...there.
    • He's a "management supervisor" (quote mine), the sort that handles messages from upper management and acts as their spy on the middle management... I think. It's not so much "since Michael left" as it is "since Robert California took over".
    • His role made more sense when Sabre initially took over D-M Scranton - they were a new acquisition, so they sent a junior exec to oversee the transition, which should be significant since they went from re-selling paper products to being an internal distributor for an electronics OEM. Once the changeover had largely occurred, his role was rather superfluous but it wouldn't surprise me if they left him in Scranton because he was annoying.
    • Answered in the most recent episode: He handles whatever dirty jobs senior management doesn't wish to be bothered with.

    Commission cap 
  • The addition of a commission cap in a "" just kinda bugged me. Back in "New Leads", a huge deal was made out of Sabre's "Sales is King" policy, giving them no commission cap, large amounts of swag, and spending a ton of money to obtain new client leads for them. Yes, businesses can change their policies, but suddenly delivering a massive "Fuck You" to the entire sales staff out of nowhere, not even bothering to tell them so they would only find out when they get screwed over by it, and then shrugging off protests when they find out just seems like much too stupid a move for Jo to try and pull.
    • It's likely that it was made to entice the salesmen to stay - had Jim, Dwight, or any of the other salesmen threatened to quit, odds are that Jo would've scrapped the cap.

    Two co-managers 
  • In "The Manager and the Salesman", I was kinda bugged by the conversation Jo had with Michael and Jim about how she sees that they were two guys doing one job. The problem there is that the arrangement was made in the wake of Scranton merging with two other branches, meaning that a more accurate assessment is that they are two guys doing three jobs (especially considering David Wallace established that no clients were lost over those mergers, meaning that they were still dealing with three branches's worth of business). It just strikes me as odd that neither Michael nor Jim would bring this up, and that Jo would be completely unaware of this, considering how the Scranton branch's success is the whole reason she bought it in the first place.
    • It's not uncommon for new management to take a reductionist view of a workplace they've inherited and believe that they can do more with less through shrewd management, ignoring the actual history and precedent of the company.

    Jim and Charles 
  • Similar to the scene just above, when Charles Minor is in Scranton, there is a conversation where Jim is trying to convince him that he isn't a complete goof-off, citing his position as Assistant Regional Manager, only for Charles to throw the Assistant to the Regional Manager card at him. Considering Jim got that position from Corporate and got a pay raise from it, Charles should know full well that it's not as made up as he's trying to claim it is. Even worse is when Charles asks Jim what new responsibilities came with the job, and Jim can't come up with an answer. We know his job came with extra responsibilities, Jan told him so - back when she was still sane, mind you - and it wouldn't make sense for Jim to be caught off-guard by the question, considering demonstrating his responsibilities and his ability to take them seriously is the entire reason the conversation is taking place. I can see what the idea behind this scene was - Jim winding up in the same position as the people he most frequently mocks - but the execution makes absolutely no sense, and makes the writers look like idiots more than it does Jim.

    Jim driving drunk 
  • Did Jim drive home drunk in "Pool Party?" They never show exactly how full or empty his bottle of wine is, but seeing how drunk Oscar, Toby, Ryan, and Gabe clearly became, and assuming Jim drank every time there was a toast, he'd have to be at least buzzed. And that's....really not cool. And he clearly ran over something while driving away from Robert's house.
    • I think normally, Jim would totally agree. He was just that desperate to get out of there!
    • As far as the clumsy escape, he did mention earlier that Meredith had him blocked in, so a graceful exit was simply not an option.

    Pam at the airport 
  • How did Pam get past security to say goodbye to Michael without a boarding pass? Furthermore, how did the camera crew get access to that area? Normally, cameras aren't allowed anywhere near TSA checkpoints.
    • Pam wasn't supposed to be in that scene; Jenna Fisher ran onto the set on her own and it was decided to Throw It In!, so the logic of the scene was probably not given much thought. Chalk it up to Rule of Heartwarming.
    • When Pam runs in, she is holding her shoes and jacket. I took it to imply she went through security so she could see Michael before he left.
    • It's possible to go through security without a ticket under certain circumstances. I've been allowed to do it twice. Once to escort a child who was flying alone and once because the ticket agent gave me a pass allowing me through.
    • Pam possibly bought a cheap ticket just so she could go through security to say goodbye.

    Kathy and Jim 
  • From the episode "Special Project," where did Kathy get the idea that Jim and Pam don't have a good marriage? They spent almost the entirety of that episode basically hanging out together with Pam dutifully trying to help Jim compose the perfect text message. And in "Jury Duty" the whole office found out that Jim took extra time off to stay at home with her and their children. Kathy saying that just seemed so out of nowhere and forced that it got me wondering whether the actress who plays her has a contract or something and they just needed something to do with her. In any case, I am seriously not looking forward to future plot points with her.

    David Brent's appearance 
  • David Brent's appearance indicates that the UK and US offices exist in the same universe. Given this, wouldn't somebody notice the extreme similarities between people and events in the two workplaces? Especially since the first episodes of the two documentaries were almost exactly the same?
    • Who would notice?
    • Fans of reality television? Probably British ones, because American programs are more likely to air in the UK than vice versa.
      • According to Michael's last line before departing the show, the American version has never aired. Besides, what would someone do if they did see them both? Conclude that they were scripted and turn them off.
      • This raises an interesting question. Are they scripted? In-universe, I mean? The American show has branched off a lot from the original, but in the beginning they were virtually identical. I mean, come on, what are the odds of that?
      • I would say, no, they are not scripted.
      • The reason being? You shouldn't just leave it at that, give us a reason you feel that way. MST 3 Kmantra be damned, it's fun to get a debate going over meaningless crap like this.
      • I would argue that by bringing David Brent in it means the two must exist in the same universe. The attitude of the show is clearly that the characters don't realize this, at least there is 0 evidence to support it. There's 0 evidence to support that David Brent is aware of the activities in the DM office, because really he's the only one who could be expected to put it together. The way it's been left (and I really doubt they'll come back to this) is that yes, these two reality shows/documentaries are of two separate paper selling offices in the same universe, in two separate countries, each with an employee whose stapler gets put in yellow jello. To me it takes away from the realism which is why i was not a fan of Brent's cameos. I think it just has to be accepted, as unbelievable as it is.
      • Could one not argue that this is a bizarre, expanded version of Celebrity Paradox, wherein this universe just happens to have a guy that looks exactly like Ricky Gervais, and this guy also happens to have the same name as his most famous character? Think about it; there's no reason to believe that he's the same David Brent from the Wernham Hogg any more than you should believe that Deangelo looks and sounds exactly like Will Ferrell. Both shows could exist in different universes which happen to contain two different men with the exact same face, and also the same name characteristics. If you can see past 'A Night at the Roxbury' existing in the Scrantonverse, a film starring Will Ferrell (who was also in Anchorman with Steve Carrel!) then it's not a huge leap to believe that it also contains a David Brent who is seemingly identical to the one from the UK sitcom.
    • I would guess that David Brent heard about a spinoff of the documentary he was in that was based in an American paper company, and came to the US when he heard there was an opening for regional manager- not only because he wanted to be on camera again, but also because he already had experience as a regional manager of a paper company!

    Mafia insurance salesman 
  • Was believing the insurance salesman in "Mafia" to be a gangster entirely unreasonable? I mean sure, just because he fits the mobster stereotype doesn't mean he is one, and assuming he's a full-blown criminal is a leap in logic, but a lot of what he said came across as thinly-veiled threats, and he was definitely a pushy guy one shouldn't be faulted for feeling a tad uncomfortable around.
    • Some salesmen are pushy; as a former salesman I can firmly say that some people need to be pushed into making a purchase, and insurance IS one of those things that many people don't think about needing. Him playing into the idea of being a mafioso is the entire point of that plotline, because none of them had ever seen a real mafioso, so they were basing it off of what they'd see on TV.

    Andy's relationship to Michelle Obama 
  • Putting aside the fact that the whole ancestry thing was a hoax, when Andy shares with the rest of the office that he's a distant relative to Michelle Obama, Oscar's immediate theory is that Andy's family owned slaves. Perhaps I missed something, but couldn't the possibility stand that some of Andy's family could've just had interracial marriages?
    • Or better yet, why they cared that much about it?
    • Because the writers are actively trying to make Andy look like a horrible person now. They apparently believe that way, we'll forget about the crap Nellie pulled last season and finally actually like the show's resident Creator's Pet.
    • It wasn't an outlandish idea, to be fair. Andy's family was already established to be older, rich, and southern.
    • If the relations are that distant, the common relative would be from long before interracial marriages were common, or even legal, in the US.

    Why hasn't Dwight been fired? 
  • How is it that Dwight hasn't been fired for gross misconduct? While Jim's pranks can at time be downright mean-spirited, they're generally harmless, and he's never attempted to get Dwight fired, demoted or otherwise in serious trouble with superiors. Dwight, on the other hand, has done all that and more. He's tried to get Jim fired repeatedly, changes Jim's plans for the Employee of the Month to make it seem like he was trying to give himself the award (plus ordering a cake with Jim's face on it), then give Pam the award, and collecting for an employee bonus without authorization, then filed numerous bogus complaints under co-workers' identities to get Jim demoted from Manager, put a bag over Meridith's head to catch a bat, resulting in her getting rabies, announced personal medical files in a meeting, almost kills an co-worker, performs an extremely dangerous fire safety drill, destroys a CPR dummy costing the company $3500, and, most recently (2012 Halloween), after finding an anxiety pill, tried to find out who was diagnosed with anxiety. So, how exactly is he still employed?
    • First off many of your complaints (Jim & Employee of the month, trying to get Jim fired, trying to get Jim demoted) are all sort of fair game when Jim pranks him as much as he does. The way I see it, you can either be empathetic to Jim or Dwight and you're clearly in the former camp.
      • That's no reason to write this off as nothing. You're assuming that All Crimes Are Equal, which any sane person will tell you is not the case. Mildly annoying someone every so often, even if in an absurd and elaborate way, doesn't hold a candle to trying to get someone fired in a way that will ensure no other employer will even touch them with a 10-foot pole ever again, committing fraud, and physically assaulting someone multiple times in a single day. You can be empathetic to Dwight if you like, but you can't ignore the obvious fact that Jim has standards, Dwight does not; when Dwight is going through genuine problems, Jim tends to back off, or even switch around to being nice to him. Dwight, on the other hand, actively tries to ruin Jim in very serious ways.
    • I don't even see how some of these complaints would cause a dent in Toby's HR file (which I doubt he even keeps and that is why Dunder-Mifflin is so wacky anyways. For instance, the anxiety pill thing in the last episode wasn't really anything that was particularly wrong from a company standpoint except it's massive time theft (which everyone seems to be doing anyway. Also, no one was really aware of Dwight's suspicions except Nellie. And how would putting a bag over Meredith's head be firable? Would Meredith file an assault complaint? Also, Dwight has a lot of seniority and can make sales.
      • ...are you even listening to yourself? Putting and holding a plastic bag over someone's head is a very well-known way to suffocate someone to death. The anxiety pill thing in and of itself isn't cause for legal trouble, but it can open the floodgates to a whole series of very costly lawsuits were Dwight to let slip who those pills belonged to. Not to mention the series of Dwight's much less defensible actions that you've conveniently ignored.
      • Dwight started a fire for a fire drill. As the episode showed, people nearly trampled each other as they were fleeing. Even if no one sues (not likely), his sales numbers and seniority should not have protected him against criminal charges (which the company would have to do in order to get the insurance).
      • And that bag contained a bat, which gave Meredith rabies.
    • And in "Stairmaggedon", Dwight shoots Stanley with three bull tranquiliser darts to get him downstairs. Not only is this definitely against the company's violence as well as drug and alcohol policies, Stanley could sue Dwight blind for assaulting him with tranquilisers and could force the company to pay Stanley's medical bills in the ensuing drug addiction to tranquiliser darts.
    • Not to mention the time Dwight (acting as manager) openly carried a gun into the office, and it discharged. That is a slam dunk lawsuit from every person in the room against both Dwight and the company (especially given his past behavior). The company should have not only have fired him, they should be busy purging reality of every trace of his existence.
    • In "The Merger", Pam says she feels bad about screwing with Dwight (making him run laps around the building), but then remembers Dwight frequently makes her life harder and often deliberately, like trying to get the company to install meters on the toilet stalls to raise money. And in "Lecture Circuit Part 1", he reads Kelly's confidential records to the camera crew.
    • Simple: Dwight is smart enough to know never to do more than one thing that could get him fired at a time, because of how good of a salesman he is. Jo thought that him carrying a revolver meant for women was embarrassing enough to make up for him firing it in the office, and she was in charge at the time.

    Andy and Pete and Erin 
  • Why are they trying to derail Andy for the sake of bringing Pete and Erin together? He almost lost his job just so he could bring her back from Florida, whether or not you support this shipping it's obvious that they should be more dedicated to each other. Are they going to derail Pete so she gets back with Andy? That would be just as bad as whats going on here.
    • What's worse is that Pete's personality is sort of Andy-like. He's better looking (subjective, and he can't help it anyways), less insecure (should have overcame that by now), and no anger management issues (also should have been overcome), but they share similar quirks.
    • The moment this subplot fell apart for me was the massive Jerkass moment that was Erin barging into Andy's office and telling him to "get over it" like a spoiled teenager. This apparently setting aside the fact that she spent most of the last season being a selfish jerk who repeatedly tried to derail Andy and Jessica's relationship, eventually accomplishing exactly that.
    • Ellie Kemper (Erin's actress) stated that Erin's relationship with Pete was suppose to transition her maturity. Would have been a nice idea if Pete was introduced earlier. My other problem with Pete is that he's not giving us much of a reason to care about his character (I will say the same exact thing about Clark) while Andy had at least 6 seasons worth of development.
      • Not to mention that Erin didn't mature so much as her immaturity was suddenly dumped onto Andy. He was never that bad before Season 9, not even while he was still the Jerkass his character was introduced as.

    Jim and Pam's marriage 
  • The writers putting Jim and Pam's marriage through the wringer seems like a really transparent way to avoid the Relationship Ceiling. Since the moment they got together they've been totally in sync with one another, but now out of the blue their relationship is crumbling. Jim lying about his new business prospects and becoming a subsequent Jerkass, Pam wanting nothing to do with Philadelphia, and the ultimately pointless love triangle teased with Brian the sound guy that lasted all of two episodes.... It's not that I don't buy the idea that Jim and Pam could ever fight, it just seems like they're trying to cram five years of marital problems into the span of just a few episodes just for the drama.
    • True Art Is Angsty seems to have played a part. And angsty episodes like Customer Loyalty rather predictably got good critical reviews, partly because of the fight, so using that trope worked on critics (except the sound guy romance was still seen as a bit much).
    • Pam complaining now years later about Jim buying their house without telling her. You know, the "I love it" one with her own art studio that Jim set up for her? What the hell, Pam?
      • To be fair, Pam was probably too much in shock (both good and bad) and she didn't want to be rude about it. It's also an apt counterargument to "How dare you sell our house without telling me?"
    • I assumed it was a callback to PB&J's attitudes/characters back in season 2-4 (when the most angst in their relationship happened). Jim wants to have more out of life, while Pam had grown complacent in her marriage. Season 8 also had Jim mention different jobs he would not mind having, including among them owning his own business (selling bicycles or something?), and this was supposed to be a natural growth out of his character development. In S 9 E 1 he even shows some level of shock when Pam says that nothing exciting will happen to them for a long time. It doesn't forgive the writers rushing it, but it might help explain some things.
    • Pam and Jim had been married for at least a few years at that point, the show merely truncated their conflicts into a few episodes. Something like when Dwight quit Dunder Mifflin to conceal his relationship with Angela, went on several job interviews, started working at Staples, quit Staples, and returned to D.M. in the span of two episodes, something which would've taken at least a week but seemed to happen all in one day. Being generous, I would chalk it up to sloppy editing by the in-universe film crew, but yes, the plot did seem rushed.

    Dwight as manager 
  • I'm confused, why is everybody congratulating Dwight on becoming Regional Manager when the last time he had that role, he was a complete fascist about it?
    • My guess is that everyone's acknowledged that he's matured since then and by now would be more up to the task.
      • By the time he did become Regional Manager for good, he's grown to actually appreciate his coworkers as people as opposed to seeing them as fellow employees - case in point, by that time, among other things, he'd befriended Meredith over Motorhead, grown to actually appreciate Pam and Jim as friends, and was serious about his marriage to Angela. Odds are that if the Dwight at the start of the show had gotten the position, they would've been reacting with despair.

    Dwight firing Toby 
  • How was Dwight able to get rid of Toby when Michael couldn't?
    • Toby presumably reported to the corporate HR department in Seasons 1-8, so Michael wasn't technically his boss and couldn't fire him. By Season 9, Dunder-Mifflin seems to be Scranton + David Wallace. There's nobody left to stop Dwight.
    • Alternatively, Dwight didn't actually have the power to fire him, but Toby simply accepted it and left the job. He was so pathetic and burned out by the end of the series that this would still be in character. Perhaps he viewed it as an opportunity to spend more time writing his Chad Flenderman novels.

    Phyllis' kid 
  • So does Phyllis ever find the kid she gave up? Or was that just another aborted arc?
    • Not even really an arc. Just a red herring in Erin's arc.

    Film crew's standards 
  • I don't get the film crew's standards to what is or isn't appropriate to film. Filming Pam crying because she had one argument with Jim over the phone isn't okay but it's totally fine to record staff members physically harming or harassing co-workers?
    • It wasn't the crew that decided it wasn't okay to film Pam crying,it was specifically Brian that did it because he had gotten close to Pam over all those years of filming. It was also said that he wasn't allowed to do that and was almost fired for it.

    Michael and Holly 
  • Did Michael and Holly never get married?
    • You'd think they would have had a big wedding and invited the Dunder-Mifflin people to it (considering how Michael always thought of them as family and Michael and Holly met at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton). But not even a mention! I get that Steve Carell had left the show but you'd think Jim or Dwight or Pam would have mentioned it as part of a "what did I do over the summer" talking head. It's just totally glossed over until the final episode where it's revealed that he has kids.
      • This troper's headcanon is that he did get married to Holly, but either he kept it a secret from Dunder Mifflin, mainly because he didn't want to take the risk of Jan finding out and crashing his wedding, or he got married at a time that the staff couldn't attend (i.e., when the search committee was happening).
    • Holly seemed to consider it extremely urgent to return to Colorado and see her parents, so maybe she and Michael decided to compromise and elope before setting off, or just had a small ceremony that the office would've attended, but didn't make for interesting material for the documentary.

    Dwight and Angela dating 
  • When exactly did Dwight and Angela start dating? We see him humming her favorite song in the first episode but otherwise I'm season 1 they don't interact much, as well as him asking out Katy the purse saleswoman, and when suggesting people for Michael to fire in "Halloween", Angela is one of the names he mentions.
    • They started dating in season two, most likely after "The Fight" (which is the episode after "Halloween"). Throughout the series, it is made very apparent that Angela strongly values ambition, power, and prestige; almost all of her romantic interests are those who are either ambitious, or prestigious in some way (likely BECAUSE they were ambitious). When she was with Senator Lipton, for instance, you'll notice that she rarely ever referred to him as "Robert"; rather, she always referred to him as "the Senator," because it wasn't really HIM that she loved, but rather, his status, and the fact that she could say that someone so important was into her. With that said, we know that they were not dating in "Halloween" thanks to Dwight suggesting that she be downsized, and the fact that they had no positive interactions in that episode, or any of the preceding ones (in fact, they were annoyed with each other in "The Fire" because Angela was safety manager, and Dwight kept stepping on her toes). However, in "The Fight" she takes notice of his purple belt (you see her looking over at him multiple times throughout the episode), and at the end of the episode, Dwight is promoted to Assistant Regional Manager (kind of; Michael gives him a fake promotion to make him feel better after the humiliation at the dojo). This sort of promotion is something that would catch Angela's eye and interest, and even if Dwight wasn't supposed to tell people, you KNOW he would have told the woman he was trying to court. Angela certainly would have taken interest in dating the #2 of the Scranton Branch. As a final point, two episodes after "The Fight" we have "Performance Review". In the cold open of "Performance Review", Dwight says that sitting on an exercise ball has numerous health benefits, and can lead to better sex. Jim says, "You're not having sex," at which point Dwight smirks at the camera. It's pretty safe to say that he was already with Angela at the beginning of "Performance Review" therefore. In summation, Dwight and Angela likely started dating after "The Fight", which is the sixth episode of season two.
      • Also in Performance Review, Angela coldly explains that office romances are none of anyone's business when she started hearing gossip concerning Michael and Jan. She seemed particularly offended by this, implying that she was hiding such an affair herself.

    Why Angela? 
  • Why is Dwight so into Angela, is it ever stated? I get why she likes him (traditionally masculine, fearless, good provider, etc.) but he seems pretty picky about women, and while Angela's attractive, he doesn't seem to care as much about looks as most people.
    • Dwight probably appreciated Angela's no-nonsense, moralistic and traditionalist outlook which would mesh well with his (bizarre) traditional upbringing, putting aside that Angela herself is a hypocrite when it comes to her morals. That, or it started out as a physical attraction that grew deeper over time.

    What if 
  • Why didn’t Michael use Angela for the “what if Pam was a lesbian” demonstration in “Sexual Harassment”?

    Discussion panel 
  • What the hell was up with that discussion panel in the finale? It was the entire main cast of the last season, yes, but the main cast of the last season featured a lot of very insignificant characters and lacked a lot of important ones. Given that the documentary probably only contained about nine hours of footage as opposed to the four whole days it would take to watch the entire show from start to finish, I imagine that characters like Pete and Clark only would have had a few minutes of screentime — why would anyone who had just watched that whole documentary care what they had to say about it? And they could get Nellie to come all the way from Poland and even get Creed out of hiding for this event, but they couldn't get Michael to come from Colorado? None of it makes sense.
    • The documentary spanned at least a miniseries, as Pam says at one point that she couldn't watch past the first couple of episodes. Given that, it makes sense that the entire office would be allowed to participate, including the ones who were only working there for the last two or three years of it. Pete and Clark probably didn't receive any questions, and probably weren't expecting any. Also, Creed wasn't coerced out of hiding by the filmmakers. It seems like he just simply happened to show up on his own accord. And as for Michael, well who's to say he wasn't invited? He would certainly have been in town for the panel, since he was there for Dwight's wedding. But given that he's a quieter and more mature man now, he probably wasn't interested in attending a panel based on a life he had put behind him and didn't have a lot to say about.

    Robert's winner list 
  • Why was Kevin of all people on Robert California’s “winner” list?
    • One of the main points of the episode was that the list was almost completely nonsensical. It's all but outright stated that the "little talks" Jim refers to early on in the episode are Robert's way of deciding who would be in which column (so it's got little to nothing to do with job performance), and he switches Andy's position to the "loser" column seemingly just for the fact that Andy happened to be the one the others sent in to confront him about the list - the same way Deangelo cut Jim out of the "inner circle" for being the one to confront him about his sexism. In all likelihood, Kevin just happened to do or say something that amused Robert or that he attributed some deeper meaning to.

    Dwight and pop culture 
  • Dwight lives on a backwards, archaic farm. However, he is still aware of pop culture, and regularly watches Battlestar Galactica. Does he have television, electricity, and cable on this remote place? It seems a bit unlikely.
    • Dwight's farm isn't that remote or archaic. It's perfectly normal for a farm to have electricity and television. The fact that Dwight works a white-collar job in a suburban office in the first place shows that he's connected to modern culture and technology.
    • Dwight's Cousin Mose's attire hint that he is Amish. Dwight himself was probably raised as a Mennonite, which is a related to the Amish faith (in fact, Mennonites often have Amish cousins). Mennonites are not as strict with prohibitions on modern technology as the Amish are, though they do tend to be more conservative and traditional with their values and customs than the average modern American.

    Michael and the camera crew 
  • Michael is a man who does not seem to respect or often even acknowledge boundaries and conventions of professionalism. And while he hams it up for the camera plenty, given how he's obsessed with everybody around him liking him, it seems like he'd be trying to befriend the camera crew constantly. Sure, we can assume those bits were edited out, but more importantly, wouldn't it make it REALLY hard for the crew to do their jobs in the first place?

    DNA test 
  • If Phillip truly is Dwight's son, then why did the DNA test in "Free Family Portrait Studio" come back as negative? It's not possible for Angela to have manipulated anything about those findings, because Dwight stole the diaper out from under her nose, and she had no way of knowing what testing center he was taking it to.
    • The answer actually has nothing to do with anything In-Universe - one of the writers confirmed that there was actually going to be a subplot in which it's revealed that Dwight grabbed the wrong diaper, as neither he nor Angela actually checked to confirm that it was Phillip's diaper. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the rest of the subplot was cut, rendering the whole DNA testing scene moot.

    Stanley going home early 
  • Why is Stanley so obsessed with excuses to go home early? He's a salesman who works on commission. Unlike the accountants, for example, who get paid a flat salary no matter how much time they spend in the office, Stanley needs to be in the office making sales to make money. So leaving early doesn't "earn" Stanley anything. He's just robbing from himself.
    • For most of the show they presumably had a commission cap. They make special mention of Sabre not having one and when shortly later Sabre adopts one. We also see that despite hitting his cap, Jim is still expected to be at work. From this we can draw the likely conclusion that Stanely has worked out how to hit the cap with the least amount of work (probably drawing from his decades of contacts) but is not allowed to go home early. So given he won't make a single dollar more from working harder or staying later he doesn't. Compared to say Dwight who might want to get more sells to prove his worth so that he might eventually get promoted higher in the company.

    Why don't they watch their own show? 
  • The show is filmed in a sort of documentary style, any yet apparently none of the employees ever decide to watch their own damn show. Of course, this might just be a stylistic choice.
    • Interestingly, their UK predecessors did watch the show, and it had effects on the characters between seasons.
    • Possibly justified in that some documentaries do take many years of shooting footage to complete, especially if they're constantly running into new possibly dramatic material. This is what happened to the acclaimed doc Hoop Dreams.
      • One of the more notable Epileptic Trees is that it is not, in fact, a documentary, but rather a documentary course: the taping of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch is an ongoing project of some Film professor at the local art school.
    • Pretty much any scene where somebody outside the office doesn't question the fact that there's a camera crew following one of the main characters around.
      • This is a bit of a Truth in Television, how many people comment on the cameras in reality shows?
      • David Wallace, at least, tends to act very self-consciously, as if he always forgets Scranton is being filmed until the cameras are in the door.
    • This has been a pattern throughout the course of the show. One example: Dwight and Angela somehow imagining that their relationship is still a secret long after it's been dramatized on the show. Does Andy Bernard not watch the television documentary he stars on? "Hand wave" is right.
      • The filmmakers showed Jim and Pam the footage of them kissing at the beginning of season 4 to make them admit they were a couple, presumably so the cameramen didn't have to put effort into spying on them outside work anymore (compared to Dwight and Angela, who never tried that hard, if at all, to hide their affair from the cameras). This kind of implies the documentary isn't being broadcast yet; the filmmakers rarely interfere with events, so they'd have no reason to confront Jim and Pam with the footage if it was just going to air in a few weeks and reveal the truth anyway.
    • Word of God says the documentary hasn't aired yet. God has also acknowledged this is ridiculous, but that it may be a future plot point that the documentary airs and everyone reacts to it (like how the documentary "aired" between the events of series 2 and the Christmas specials for the U.K. version).
    • From the July 30, 2010 Dunder Mifflin Scranton newsletter (not yet online):
    Kelly:I'm followed around by a documentary crew all day at work...
    • In Michael's last episode right before he removes his microphone he says "Tell me if this ever airs". So it hasn't aired yet and they know it.
    • Many people seem to assume this is a reality show, then complain about the Fridge Logic. This is foolish. If it seems like nobody has seen the reality show, there probably is no reality show. Reality shows did not invent the concept of documenting peoples' lives. In fact, The Office premiered before network and cable TV became dominated by reality shows. Yes, it is a long time to film for a documentary, but we may assume they have an unusual arrangement.
    • All of this is resolved in the final season, in which we are shown that the in-universe version show is airing on PBS following the events of the show as we see it

    Camera crew on tape 
  • What I don't get is how the members of the camera crew are never caught on tape. Or, on a related note, they get seemingly impossible shots like Pam standing in front of an office window with the reflection of her back caught in it, but you can't see the reflection of the camera man seemingly right in front of her. Or how they'll have a shot of one character from one angle, and then another shot 1 second later that's from the other side of the room.
    • The impossible shot, of course, also had to be shot in real life, so clearly there is a way, with experienced cameramen and/or editing.
    • In real life the same scene is performed many times and different angles edited together, but that shouldn't be the case with an unscripted reality show. There's one obvious example of this in "Safety Training" when the point of view switches between Michael on the roof and the people on the ground - in the ground shots we should see the member of the camera crew who's filming the close-ups of Michael, but Michael's alone on the roof.

    Michael's stunt 
  • In Season 3 "Safety Training" Jim says that the odds of Michael's stunt being "in any way real" are 10000 to 1. Kevin then says he'll take those odds and bets $10. Everyone then discovers that Michael does intend to jump (He plans to jump onto a bouncy castle, but still he does intend to jump and if he had would probably have been seriously injured, possibly even killed), forcing everyone to talk him down. Shouldn't Jim owe Kevin $100000 because of the bet?
    • First, Jim probably mean real in the sense of "Michael is actually suicidal" as opposed to "Michael is actually going to jump." Second, I don't recall Jim ever acknowledging Kevin on that bet.

    Office windows 
  • In the 2010 Christmas episode, Jim throws a snowball at Dwight that crashes through a window in the meeting room. In "Fire Saftey", those windows couldn't break with a large chair!
    • They'd been replaced by sturdier stuff.
      • The fire safety episode "Stress Relief" came before "Classy Christmas". Michael couldn't break out the window by throwing a chair at it, but he apparently broke it with an overhead projector. Perhaps they replaced it with less sturdy glass so that it would break if a similar incident ever recurred.
    • Dwight also took control of the building between those episodes, so it wouldn't be out of character for him to replace the windows either for A) fire safety or B) to make the office colder (he's not shy about making his fellow employees uncomfortable.)

    Holly's ring 
  • According to Michael, Holly's engagement ring cost three-years salary. Upon first glance this is a cute throwaway gag with Michael misunderstanding something (in this case the "tradition" is three-MONTHS salary), but upon further consideration Michael has now put himself in sizeable debt at a time when both he and Holly have decided to leave Dunder-Mifflin for Colorado. With no job arrangements in order.
    • Unless, of course, Michael paid cash or had in some way saved that much ahead of time. This was a man obsessed with meeting "the one" and starting a family, after all.
      • Previously he had been shown to be in serious debt, and spending frivolously. At one point he says that in the future when he's on his yacht, he won't be thinking back to worry about money. And since he's living on a yacht (in his mind) in the future he must be doing pretty well, and that is the reason he doesn't worry about money. So saving up 3 years salary is very unlikely. Especially since he would have needed to have suddenly saved that much in just a few years at least (if he were somehow able to get out of debt Immediately).
    • I'm envisioning a scene in Colorado in which creditors show up to reclaim the ring when Michael stops making payments, after which he'd have to buy her a more modest one.

    Michael's jokes 
  • So, remember when Dunder Mifflin corporate told Michael he couldn't tell anymore That's What She Said jokes and Jim baited him until he cracked? Why didn't Jim get in trouble for blatantly encouraging Michael's inappropriate behavior?
    • If Michael couldn't hold his tongue even when he knew he was being baited by easy layups - and in front of corporate no less - then there was no way he was going to hold it when a set up snuck up on him. They might have been annoyed he was toying with Michael right out of the meeting, but they could easily view it as a test of Michael's capabilities (obviously, few and low).

    Corporate job 
  • If Michael was never going to be seriously considered for the New York job, why did David Wallace even invite him to interview? It was obviously going to cause trouble with Jan, and Michael would never have thought to apply for it on his own.
    • If I remember correctly, all branch managers were asked to interview for the position.

     Michael and Dwight, Sales Geniuses 
  • I get the trope of Michael being promoted from a job in which he excelled to a job he wasn't qualified for, but how are Michael and Dwight good salesmen? During sales calls they're portrayed as charismatic people-persons that can read their customers and think on their feet, but they distinctly lack these skills when it comes to every other area of their lives. Michael and Dwight don't channel their dysfunction into a useful skill, they develop completely new personalities when they want to make a sale. Where does this come from?
    • Caring. It's actually fairly common with people with certain personality disorders (such as ADD and others) to be able to hyperfocus on things they consider important, while completely neglecting 'ordinary' interactions. Michael and Dwight both consider keeping customers happy and selling paper to be THE single most important thing they do. Dwight has shown to be ridiculously obsessive about anything that might let him sell more paper, and HIGHLY attentive to customers. When apart from customers, Dwight couldn't possibly care less what his co-workers think about him, and considers it effort he COULD put into selling more paper, so he puts zero effort into caring about his co-workers. Michael has been demonstrated on several occasions to be quite good at reading people, and that he know exactly what people actually think of him, but also demonstrates a truly amazing capacity to lie to himself about what people actually think of him.


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