When rumors about Dunder Mifflin going under start to spread, Michael decides to get the office to calm down by playing a corny Southern Gothic murder mystery roleplaying game called Belles, Bourbon and Bullets. As more news about the company's financial crisis trickles in, Michael finds himself unable to break character and wants the game to continue, leading Pam and Jim to worry that he's finally lost his mind.
Meanwhile, Andy tries to ask Erin out.
- Anti-Escapism Aesop: Subverted. Michael's behavior through the first part of the episode seems to lead into this, as Jim urges everyone to go back to work so they can try to save their jobs, however, when he gets news that the situation might actually be as bad as they fear, he decides that rather than making everyone feel bad, he starts another round of murder mystery. He mentions to the camera that, if two parents are in a boat with kids, if one of the parents wants to play a game, rather than row, they might be doing it for the kids and to keep them happy.
- Calvinball: After everyone realizes the company is still in limbo and they won't be getting any more updates for the rest of the day, they continue the game, but discard the original storyline and start tossing in additional murders, elaborate weapons and each player revealing that they're a Double Agent.
- Catchphrase: Michael adopts "I do declare" as one for his game character Caleb Crawdad, on the grounds that it's "the way Southern people talk."Jim: And what Designing Woman are you basing that on?Michael: Delta Burke, I do declare!
- Corpsing: The cast really must've had trouble keeping it together in the conference room scene where Michael starts the game out, with all the goofy character names and accents. You can see Rainn Wilson covering his mouth with Dwight's game card to hold back his laughter after Angela's Comically Serious objection to playing the role of "Voodoo Mama Juju", and Phyllis Smith cracks a seemingly-character-breaking smile at one point.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Andy couldn't decide whether the date he got with Erin was real or just part of the game. As he is unable to decide, he tries to save face by passing it off as a game. Erin reveals to the camera that she was excited because she thought it was a real date. Complicated by the fact that they're playing brother and sister in the game.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Much to her horror, Angela gets assigned the role of "Voodoo Mama Juju, the Witch Doctor of the Savannah Swamps" in the game, complete with a fake Shrunken Head prop.
- Mexican Stand Off: Michael, Pam, Dwight and Andy get locked in one at the end of the episode, where almost all of them are double agents and all blame each other for the murder.
- Noodle Incident: Creed arrives late to the game and, upon being told he was a suspect in the 'murder', he runs to his car and drives away like a bat out of hell.
- Not So Above It All: Jim goes to the conference room to find out that Pam, of all people, is in there in a pretend Mexican Stand Off with Dwight, Michael and Andy.
- Really Gets Around: Erin's game character Naughty Nellie Nutmeg, which complicates things when Andy tries to ask her out for real.
- Shown Their Work: The writers did research for the episode by playing a Real Life murder mystery game, taking note of how convoluted the gameplay became and how all the characters had a Punny Name.
- Stress Vomit: In the cold open, Michael becomes so nervous over the rumors of Dunder Mifflin filing for bankruptcy that he throws up in the men's room. This happens entirely off-camera, all we're privy to is retching sounds (and Michael very unsuspiciously wiping his mouth with a paper towel when a concerned Kevin goes in to check if he's okay).
- Kevin: Michael, did you just throw up in here?Michael: Nah. Just poopin'. You know how I be.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Oscar's bizarre, high-pitched attempt at a Southern drawl when Michael forces him to start talking in-character, sounding like some unholy cross between a Cajun Mickey Mouse and Gomer Pyle.