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  • Actor-Inspired Element: Steve Carell conceived a lot of Michael Scott's character arc, including Michael getting into a relationship with Jan Levinson, and his finally completing and screening Threat Level Midnight.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Pam brags to Jim that she types 90 words per minute. Jenna Fischer's typing really is that fast, and she worked as a receptionist. Several other cast members had backgrounds doing office jobs before they were on the show. Angela Kinsey worked for 1800Dentist. Leslie David Baker had a long career working for several government agencies in Chicago before he became a full-time actor. Paul Lieberstein was an auditor at Peat Marwick.
    • Angela Kinsey based a lot of Angela Martin's interests- such as cats, bobble head dolls, party planning and Baby Ruth candy bars- on things she enjoys in real life.
    • Michael's love of improv is a running theme throughout his run on the show. Steve Carell got his start as a member of The Second City improv troupe (and still enjoys improv to this day).
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  • Adored by the Network: Comedy Central adores airing reruns of the series after gaining the cable rights to the series in 2018, to the point where this and South Park make up most of their daily weekday schedule.
  • Approval of God: Les Stroud loved "Survivor Man" from the fourth season and how it lampooned both himself and those hapless people who get in trouble while trying to emulate him.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Andy's line in "The Return" is often quoted as "You know what? Maybe you're in the ceiling!", but the actual exchange goes like this.
    Andy: Where is my FREAKING phone?
    Jim: You know what? Maybe it’s in the ceiling.
    Andy: Maybe you’re in the ceiling!
  • Billing Displacement:
    • B.J. Novak as Ryan - He's in the opening titles and is on the front of the DVD packaging, but increasingly decreased in prominence as the show went on. This was largely due to the increasing role he played behind the scenes of the show. This even gets a Leaning on the Fourth Wall nod in the full-length Threat Level Midnight movie (which Novak wrote): Ryan Howard gets an "And Introducing..." credit, but only has one line in the movie.
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    • Ed Helms' Andy as of season 8. Thanks to The Hangover movies Helms was the biggest "name" on the show post-Carell, and his character became the office manager, but (perhaps for contractual reasons) he's still billed behind Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and Novak. Even newcomer James Spader, whose role is only a recurring one, bests him with an And Starring credit.
  • Breakup Breakout: Steve Carell has so strongly eclipsed the rest of the cast that he has been firmly established as the show's breakout. This played a large part in his decision to leave the show to focus on his film career.
  • California Doubling: The interior scenes do a good job hiding that the show is filmed in California instead of Pennsylvania, but when they go outside it can be really obvious.
    • In "Goodbye, Michael," Deangelo and Andy are seen driving down a typical Southern California boulevard and California-style street signs are clearly visible.
    • In "Fun Run" and other episodes throughout the show's run, palm trees and the surrounding mountains can be seen in the background.
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    • A big giveaway is any exterior scene set in the winter. There's fake snow on the ground and everyone's wearing coats, but it's always sunny, you can't see anyone's breath when they talk, the grass is green, and trees in the background still have leaves.
  • Cast the Expert: Andy Buckley, who plays former-CFO David Wallace, is a Real Life stockbroker.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Angela Kinsey originally auditioned for Pam. The creators felt she was too feisty for that part, but it made her perfect for the role that became Angela Martin.
    • Kate Flannery initially auditioned to play Jan Levinson but wound up as Meredith.
    • Brian Baumgartner read for Stanley before getting chosen as Kevin.
    • Ed Helms auditioned for Jim when the show was in development. While he lost out, he made a good enough impression that Greg Daniels approached him before season three for the role of Andy.
    • Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) and David Koechner (Todd Packer) both auditioned for Michael Scott.
    • In a cross-show example, Ellie Kemper had auditioned for a role on Parks and Recreation, and while she didn't get a part in that, she did get called over to play Erin.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Ed Helms is constantly singing and playing musical instruments, which is a major character trait of Andy, one that the other characters find obnoxious.
    • Averted with Creed, despite his Grass Roots pedigree he almost never participates in the many musical interludes the cast indulge in.
    • Craig Robinson gets to show off his keyboarding and singing skills in a few episodes. He was a music teacher before he went into comedy, and included musical bits in some of his standup routines.
    • The writers set most of "Michael's Birthday" and Michael's movie Threat Level Midnight at an ice rink specifically so they could showcase Steve Carell's expert skating and hockey skills.
  • The Danza:
    • Devon, Phyllis, Angela, Oscar and Clark are straight examples.
    • Creed Bratton may be a Danza, but lives in As Himself and Adam Westing territory.
    • Vance Refrigerations deliverymen Gino and Leo, portrayed respectively by writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, are a subversion: in addition to an "o" at the end of their names, they are named after each other instead of themselves.
    • "Finale" had a bunch of one-off examples, like Rachael Harris as Angela's sister Rachael, and new Dunder Mifflin employees Dakota (Dakota Johnson) and Malcolm (Malcolm Barrett).
  • Dawson Casting: Erin is in her early twenties despite Ellie Kemper being almost 30 when she first appeared on the show.
    • Jenna Fisher was approximately 5 years older than Pam was intended to be, and 6 years older than John (Jim Halpert) Krasinski, who was himself about 2-3 years younger than Jim was intended to be.
    • Shira Scott Astrof, who plays Andy Bernard's underage high-school student girlfriend in "Product Recall," was in fact 27 at the time of filming, two years older than John (Jim) Krasinski.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Famous props in the show like Dwight's bobble-head of himself and Michael's "World's best boss" coffee mug have been made into merchandise that fans can buy.
    • In "Business Ethics" Michael mentions viewing a YouTube video called "Cookie Monster sings Chocolate Rain". You'd think a video like that would have already existed on YouTube but it didn't. A video was created by a fan after the episode aired.
    • Staples now sells real Dunder Mifflin paper.
    • For a while, Serenity by Jan candles were available on the NBC website. Some scents available included Campfire, Hunter Green, and Clean Jeans.
    • In "The Chump", there's a joke about a Billy Joel Rockband game. While a Billy Joel Rockband game in the vein of The Beatles: Rockband (or for that matter, a Guitar Hero game in the same vein) has yet to materialize, Rockband 3 featured 10 of Billy Joel's songs as Downloadable Content, released roughly three months after the joke.
    • Dwight's Second Life character was actually part of the real game for awhile- he was even given the honor of announcing the birth of Angela Kinsey's daughter Isabel.
  • Development Gag: Charles Miner said he used to work for Saticoy Steel. The Office was filmed at Chandler Valley Center Studios, located on Saticoy Street in the San Fernando Valley.
  • Directed by Cast Member:
    • Paul Lieberstein, 7 episodes ("Money", "Two Weeks", "Gossip", "Whistleblower", "Sex Ed", "Training Day", "The Incentive")
    • B.J. Novak, 5 episodes ("Scott's Tots", "The Seminar", "The List", "Trivia", "Free Family Portrait Studio")
    • Steve Carell, 3 episodes ("Broke", "Secretary's Day", "Garage Sale")
    • John Krasinski, 3 episodes ("Sabre", "Lotto", "The Boat")
    • Rainn Wilson, 3 episodes ("The Cover Up", "Classy Christmas", "Get the Girl")
    • Mindy Kaling, 2 episodes ("Body Language", "Michael's Last Dundies")
    • Ed Helms, 2 episodes ("Christmas Wishes", "Welcome Party")
    • Brian Baumgartner, 1 episode ("After Hours")
    • Lieberstein was also the showrunner during Seasons 5-8, and many additional episodes have been written by cast members.
  • DVD Bonus Content: A crapload of canonical, extra features, and webisodes can be found online at NBC's Office website, as well as its Office site on NBC's streaming service Peacock. Perhaps the most notable of these involves Michael accidentally uncovering Stanley's Porn Stash of hentai illustrations, which the latter responds to in an interview cutaway by claiming It's Not Porn, It's Art; once publicized, this deleted scene became subject to heavy enough Memetic Mutation to escape the confines of the show's fanbase for fairly obvious reasons. In addition, blooper reels for every season can be found on both the DVDs and YouTube.
  • Edited for Syndication: Due to content guidelines that vary channel by channel, some episodes have altered lines to be fit to air on basic channels with stricter oversight than cable channels:
    • In the original version of "Performance Review" Dwight wonders if the suggestion "Don't Sleep with your Boss" refers to "You boning Jan". In the syndicated broadcast version he says "You doing Jan."
    • Also, in "Sexual Harassment" Michael says "The only thing I am worried about is getting a boner," in the syndicated broadcast version he said "The only thing I am worried about is getting a shwing"
    • “Koi Pond” had its cold opening removed which involved a fake hanging by Michael and was also omitted from DVD release and Netflix. Fortunately, the clip can still be seen on the official site.
    • Due to changing social sensibilities at the end of The New '10s, all syndicated airings, broadcast and cable, of "Gay Witch Hunt" now mute the use of the words "fag" and "retard".
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • Season's 2 "The Carpet" is centered around an incredibly foul smelling... "thing"... left behind in Michael's office. Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Steve Carell had thrown a stink bomb into his office just before shooting began on the scene in which the employees smell the odor in his office. Unless they postponed filming, there's a good chance that everyone's reactions to the smell, especially Kevin's, as Michael locks him in his office for a short while, is not acted.
    • Another moment, also courtesy of Steve Carell, is his incredibly awkward kiss with Oscar in "Gay Witch Hunt". He was only supposed to kiss Oscar on the cheek, but in that one take, Carell just wouldn't let go of Oscar Nunez (who plays Oscar) and kept coming closer and closer. Oscar trying to pull away was completely real. In fact, they had luck the camera kept fixed on Michael and Oscar (and that Nunez managed to keep a straight face), because the rest of the cast were all cracking up.
    • The scenes set at the Stamford branch in early Season 3 were filmed on a separate set and shooting schedule than the main setting, resulting in John Krasinski having little interaction with the Scranton cast members during this period. This made the other characters' reactions to Jim's return in "The Merger" more realistic.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The reason why the pilot episode is an Americanized version of the British pilot episode.
    • According to several of the crew members, Steve Carrell actually wanted to renew his contract and stay on the show after Season 7, but the higher ups at NBC never made him an offer for reasons unknown.note 
    • Going into the 8th season, there was some meddling with Michael/Deangelo's replacement. NBC apparently wanted Catherine Tate to replace them, and James Spader to replace Jo Bennet, with more frequent appearances. Only the second one went through.
  • Fake American:
    • Idris Elba (Charles) is actually British. The character seems vaguely transatlantic, especially in terms of accent, and anyone who's seen The Wire knows Elba could have done a much more convincing American accent if he'd wanted to. Charles is also an avid soccer fan.
    • The show is set in Pennsylvania, but the only Pennsylvania natives in the cast are Kate Flannery (Meredith) and Zach Woods (who ironically plays Gabe, an out-of-stater sent to Scranton). There are quite a few cast members from Massachusetts (Steve Carell, John Krasinski, B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling, James Spader), plus contingents from Missouri (Jenna Fischer, Ellie Kemper, Phyllis Smith), Georgia (Ed Helms, Brian Baumgartner) and Illinois (Craig Robinson, Leslie David Baker).
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Karen Filippelli is an Italian-American, while Rashida Jones is half Jewish, half African-American.
    • Oscar Nunez (Cuban-American) as Oscar Martinez (Mexican-American).
  • Foiler Footage: In the script of the finale used at the table read, Michael Scott never appears. One of his two lines is dropped, the other one is given to Creed. An additional piece of dialogue was added to the Q&A, in which an audience member asks about Michael's whereabouts, and Jim, who still keeps in touch with him, mentions that Michael put Dunder Mifflin and the documentary behind him, and isn't interested in revisiting this part of his life anymore.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny:
    • As mentioned in Throw It In, the show allowed the cast to improvise in subsequent takes after shooting a scripted scene. But with Steve Carell being an improv master, and Michael being a character with such a unique take on things, there were many sequences where Michael had hardly any scripted lines, so Carell could cut loose. Michael walking around Times Square in "Valentine's Day" is a prominent example.
    • In "Sexual Harassment", Dwight asking Toby "Where is the clitoris?" was the only scripted line in the scene, so Rainn Wilson and Paul Lieberstein could ad-lib everything else.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Angela Kinsey became pregnant during the filming of Season 4, and it was intended to write the pregnancy into the show itself, with the child being the result of her secret affair with Dwight (or at least what THEY thought was a secret affair!). Unfortunately, the 2007-08 Writer's Strike prevented further shooting until she was too far along, causing them to obscure it as it couldn't be written in.
    • Averted in season 8, when Jenna Fischer and Pam were both pregnant (though in this case the aversion was unintentional- the second Halpert child was already planned when Fischer became pregnant for real).
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The scenes with Kevin and the shredder from “The Merger” and the cold open from the episode “Koi Pond” (the one with the haunted warehouse) have not only been edited out of their respective episodes for reruns and Netflix, but also omitted from DVDs (even the "deleted scenes" features don't include them) . They can still be found online.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • In a ninth season article, Nellie tricked Andy into believing that he's related to Michelle Obama. Turns out that Ed Helms really is related to Michelle Obama, as well as Mitt Romney, John McCain and Amy Poehler (of Parks and Recreation).
    • There is a real Dunder Mifflin paper, it's produced by Quill Corporation, and sold (in the United States) at Staples.
  • Marathon Running: Comedy Central, as TBS before it, will air the show in blocks spanning hours.
  • Name's the Same:
    • Michael Scott was the name of a real-life medieval scholar with a posthumous reputation as a sorcerer. He even appears in the eighth circle of Dante's Inferno.
    • David Wallace shares at least a first and last name with the well-known novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace.
    • Ryan Howard shares his name with baseball player Ryan Howard, who won an MVP award with the Philadelphia Phillies during the show's run. Although Word of God said this was coincidence, it's a little harder to believe when one finds out what team Howard played for during the show's development in 2004: the Phillies' AAA affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons. The baseball Howard eventually did a cameo as himself to bring it full circle.
  • Network to the Rescue: Then-NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly championed the show in its first season, which is why, despite low ratings and middling reviews, it got renewed for a second season. Reilly was also responsible for Toby's role expanding, since he'd enjoyed the scene in "Diversity Day" where Michael chastises Toby over an innocent remark, and urged the writers to continue having Michael treat Toby as a Sitcom Archnemesis, in contrast to Toby's bland, inoffensive personality.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Shannon Cochran played Pam's mom Helene in the second season episode "Sexual Harassment". When they decided to bring Helene back as recurring character a few years later, Cochran was busy in the national touring company of August: Osage County, so Linda Purl took over the role for the rest of the series.
    • Andy's parents are portrayed by two different sets of people in "Goodbye, Toby" and "Garden Party".
    • Andy's father even has a different name. Andy introduces his father as Andrew Bernard,Sr; after Stephen Collins takes the role, the character's names is Walter Bernard,Sr (and it's revealed that Andy's name was originally Walter until his younger brother was born, at which time Andy's name was changed to Andrew and his younger brother became Walter Jr.)
  • Permanent Placeholder: The reason the show has so many examples of The Danza is because a number of actors were chosen for the show before their characters were fully developed, so they were named Angela, Oscar, Phyllis, etc., for convenience in the planning stages. But the creative staff got so used to using them, they decided to adopt the names permanently.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Jennie Tan, creator of the fansite OfficeTally.com, appeared as an extra in "Company Picnic" (as part of the ill-fated Buffalo delegation) and had a speaking role in "Finale" as the woman at the cast reunion panel who asks Pam about her behavior when Jim left for the job in Philadelphia (a line cut from the show reveals that she's the creator of a fansite for the In-Universe Dunder Mifflin documentary series).
    • John Krasinski has admitted he was already a huge fan of the British version when he first auditioned for the role.
    • David Denman (Roy) also says he was a fan of the UK version and begged his agent to set up an audition for the show.
  • Quote Source:
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Carol Stills was played by Steve Carell's real-life wife, Nancy.
    • Angela Kinsey and Paul Lieberstein were in-laws for most of the series run, since she was married to his brother Warren Lieberstein until 2010.note 
    • Avu and Swati Chokalingam, the father and mother of Mindy Kaling, played Kelly's parents in "Diwali".
  • Scully Box: An inverted example. To minimize the huge height differential between Rainn Wilson and Angela Kinsey, many of the Dwight/Angela scenes were done with Dwight sitting down.
  • Star-Making Role: For the whole cast, most notably Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Ed Helms (along with The Hangover), Craig Robinson, Ellie Kemper and Mindy Kaling. Steve Carell was already famous as a movie star, and while Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer have had moderate success in film, Craig Robinson and Ed Helms have had big pushes in their film careers thanks to this show.
    • This show was also one for writer Michael Schur, as this and Parks and Recreation gave his career a big push.
  • Stunt Casting:
  • Talking to Himself: Michael in "Ultimatum".
  • Technology Marches On:
    • The Dunder-Mifflin Infinity Website.
    • Computron!
  • Those Two Actors: After the show's run there were a couple of cases of cast members being reunited in films, which, given the relationships of their characters in the series, could count as a Casting Gag. John Krasinski and David Denman played fellow private military contractors in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (so Jim and Roy teaming up), then Amy Ryan played Steve Carell's ex-wife in Beautiful Boy (in contrast to their previous pairing as "soup snakes" Holly and Michael).
  • Throw It In!: Unlike many other mockumentaries, The Office is tightly scripted. However, once a given scene has been shot as written, the actors were free to improvise on subsequent takes if they wished to do so; time permitting the actors were always allowed at least one extra take for this purpose. This was most common when shooting the Talking Heads segments, which are typically long rambling monologues anyway. According to Word of God, Rainn Wilson was the most prolific improviser (which is readily apparent in the blooper reels), noting, "Rainn has never not given an alternate version." As a result, what made it to air was usually about 90% scripted, 10% improvised.
    • The most famous bit of improv to make the final cut was when Michael kissed Oscar in "Gay Witch Hunt". This one worked only because, by all accounts, Oscar Nunez was impossible to break; anyone else would have dissolved into fits of laughter. Rainn Wilson, of course, improvised Dwight's attempt to kiss Oscar after Michael was finished.
    • The episode "The Duel" was, by Office standards, heavily improvised: all of Jim's noises when he is interrupting Michael trying to tell Andy about the affair, Jim walking in between a circling Dwight and Andy facing off, and most of the dialogue between Dwight and Andy during the climactic duel were all improvised. Unsurprisingly, Rainn Wilson really went amok in this episode, also improvising the "learn your rules" nursery rhyme and the "she certainly seems to enjoy making lovemaking" line. The duel was originally scripted to have the entire office rush down to the parking lot to try and break up the fight; when this couldn't be adequately staged, John Krasinski suggested that Jim alone head down to try and put a stop to it.
    • A notable UNINTENTIONAL example is when Jim pops Dwight's exercise ball in the cold open of "Performance Review". The ball was supposed to slowly leak air when punctured- thus gradually causing Dwight to sink lower and lower until he was sitting on the floor- and did so in the first several takes. But on the last take, with the last of the prop balls, John Krasinski wound up hitting a seam, causing the ball to burst on contact and dump an unsuspecting Rainn Wilson onto the ground. The take ended up being so good- and so funny!- that they decided to keep it and use it in the final cut (in which Krasinski can be seen quickly diving out of frame so as not to ruin the rest of the take by laughing).
  • Trolling Creator: When it was announced that season 9 would be the show's last, there was considerable speculation as to whether Steve Carell, who left in season 7, would return for the finale. But the show's producers, along with a rep for Carell himself, immediately denied that this would happen. Eventually, anonymous leaks hinted that there might still be a chance Carell would cameo in the finale and when it was announced that he was seen on set the jig was basically up (although all sides continued to insist that he was just visiting). Sure enough, Michael Scott appears at Dwight and Angela's wedding. After the finale aired, Carell admitted that attempting to keep his return a secret had been planned all along, baldly stating that "we just lied to people".
  • Unintentional Period Piece: For much of the late 2000s and early 2010s, especially with regards to the technology and pop culture references.
    • In Season 2, the most coveted gift at the office's Secret Santa exchange is an iPod 5G (and understandably so: Ryan remarks that it costs $400).
    • Jim and Pam's wedding in Season 6 is an extended Shout-Out to a then-popular YouTube video.
    • Characters are frequently shown using Blackberries and flip phones.
    • Dwight's obsession with Battlestar Galactica (2003) is now quite dated.
    • The fourth season (which ran from 2007-2008) featured a subplot of Ryan trying to modernize Dunder-Mifflin and make it more user-friendly. It's telling that there's never a mention of using social media like Facebook or Twitter but rather creating a chatroom for the company's website.
    • In season four's "Local Ad", Dwight plays Second Life, which was at the peak of its popularity, receiving lots of attention from the mainstream media at the time.
    • The Season 9 subplot about the elevator being shut down and leading to "Stairmageddon" was a reference to the 2011 closing of Interstate 405 in Southern California, which was dubbed by the media "Carmageddon."
    • Oddly, the irritated Wendy's employee on the phone in "Chair Model" who tells Michael "You have to come to the restaurant to order food" and mocks his proposal to send someone over to pick it up, since today most fast food chains (including Wendy's) now allow ordering via their website or custom apps, and pickup/delivery services like Doordash and Uber Eats are popular.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman were originally approached for the part of Michael Scott before Steve Carell was cast.
    • John Cho, Adam Scott, and Hamish Linklater auditioned for the part of Jim Halpert before the casting of John Krasinski. Later becomes Hilarious in Hindsight as Jim plays a prank on Dwight by switching places with an Asian man and Adam Scott gets his own Jim-like role as Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation.
    • Anne Dudek, Kathryn Hahn, Ever Carradine, and Mary Lynn Rajskub read for the role of Pam Beesly before Jenna Fischer was cast.
    • Seth Rogen, Patton Oswalt, Matt Walsh, Matt Besser, and Judah Friedlander auditioned for Dwight Schrute before the casting of Rainn Wilson.
    • Eric Stonestreet read for the part of Kevin Malone before Brian Baumgartner was cast.
    • Although Ricky Gervais did appear on the show twice as his character David Brent from the original UK series, there had previously been plans for Mackenzie Crook, Martin Freeman, and Lucy Davis to reprise their roles as Gareth, Tim, and Dawn for "The Convention" in Season 3, but scheduling conflicts prevented it and Gervais, who ironically wasn't planned to appear originally, was ultimately the only one who did.
    • There were several plans for a Spin-Off. Parks and Recreation was originally conceived as an Office Spin-Off, but once they decided to cast Rashida Jones as Ann Perkins (which, since she'd been Karen Filipelli, effectively separated the two shows' universes), it turned into a Spiritual Successor. Greg Daniels wanted to do a Spin-Off that was a Mockumentary about a family, but then Modern Family got greenlighted. The Farm, focusing on Dwight running Schrute Farms and dealing with his extended family, at first seemed to be a likely pickup for NBC as an Aftershow, and they went ahead and filmed a Poorly Disguised Pilot for it in Season 9, but then the network passed on it. Had it been picked up, Dwight would've left the show halfway through the season (which would've led to a much different ending for the series). The idea of Clark and Pete getting spun off into their own series after Season 9 was also kicked around.
    • Before Executive Meddling forced the pilot to be a remake of the UK version's pilot, Greg Daniels wanted the pilot to revolve around The Dundies, which of course would happen in season 2 episode one instead. The Dundies were still a presence in the show from the very beginning. Michael adjusts a Dundie on his desk at the end of the opening credits, and Season 1's "The Alliance" has a brief reference to Meredith winning some Dundies.
    • During Season 9, the crew originally wanted to put a spin on the Credits Gag from late season 7 when Andy went on his boat trip: the final shot of Andy knocking his sailor statue off the desk would have been replaced with a shot of the manager's office from the same angle, but with nobody there, and stacks of paper on the desk that would be getting bigger and bigger. They ultimately decided to not focus on Andy's absence and simply removed the shot entirely.
    • Had they been able to secure the rights to The Land of Hatchy Milatchy - a kids' show that once aired on local Scranton television - that would've been the show that Michael would've claimed to be the star of as a kid instead of the in-universe show Fundle Bundle.
    • According to this article, the "Niagara" two-parter had a subplot in which Roy would have crashed Jim and Pam's wedding riding on a horse to woo Pam. When he's rejected, Dwight would have tried to ride over Niagara Falls on the horse, on the logic that while people have died trying to go over the falls, a lot of animals managed to survive; at the last minute he drops out, and the horse is last seen falling behind Jim and Pam during the ceremony. However, Steve Carell (who served as a producer on a number of episodes and thus had a certain amount of creative input over the series) expressed concerns about the plot, saying he felt it was too morbid and absurd. This ultimately led to the idea being scrapped.
    • When Angela Kinsey became pregnant in season four, the original plan was to write it into the show as part of the Dwight/Andy/Angela Love Triangle plot line. Then the 2007 WGA Strike happened and the production gap made it impossible to do it, forcing them to employ Hide Your Pregnancy. The arc wasn't TOTALLY abandoned, however- Angela would eventually go on to bear a Schrute fruit in season 8 (while married to the Senator).
    • According to this Entertainment Weekly article, the writers discussed several of their ideas for episodes that ultimately never went anywhere. These included a "Pet Day" at the office (in which we would have met Michael's pet parrot), a real-time episode in which the camera crew follows each character as they go on their respective lunch break, and a really out there one where Michael accidentally crucifies himself on his garage and later believes himself to be Christlike as a result (almost makes the rejected horse-going-over-Niagra-Falls plot mentioned above look perfectly sane!).
    • In "The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s", Lee Eisenberg revealed there was a proposed episode where Michael and Jim would take a client golfing for a sales pitch. Michael would close the deal on the first hole then the rest of the plot would focus on Jim worrying about Michael blowing the deal on the remaining holes.
    • Several side characters were created and later dropped during the very early stages of development including a female office worker named Kristen, described as an "irritating bland stupid nice girl with no depth" (one could argue that this character was later reworked to fit Kelly's eventual personality), and Anton, a dwarf employee whom the producers considered asking Peter Dinklage to read for.
    • An initial idea for the series Grand Finale was to present it as a Survivor-style reunion show, and Jeff Probst was even approached to host it, but he said no.
    • Greg Daniels wanted a Real Song Theme Tune, and narrowed it down to a handful of songs which he asked the cast to vote on. They chose Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky", but then they learned it had already been used as the theme for the short-lived Heather Locklear drama LAX.
    • Ed Helms was supposed to leave the show after his initial contract was up, with Andy supposed to be fired after punching the wall in "The Return". However, everyone on set and behind the scenes enjoyed working with him so much that they decided to rewrite the ending to Andy going to anger management before returning permanently. The creators also seriously considered extending this treatment to Rashida Jones and Karen, but ultimately Greg Daniels and Michael Schur decided to cast Jones in Parks and Recreation instead and Karen only returned for two episodes following Season 3.
    • Season 3's arc with Roy trying to reform himself and reconcile with Pam wasn't fully worked out when the season began filming, and everyone was so impressed with the dimensions David Denman was adding to the character in his performance, that it was very briefly considered to have Pam and Roy end up as a permanent couple. In the Office Ladies podcast Jenna Fischer says she even approached Greg Daniels with this idea, and he found it intriguing, but felt that Jim and Pam were still the more likely pairing.
    • Rainn Wilson unsuccessfully tried to pitch an episode that would've been A Day in the Limelight for Creed. Creed would leave work early and invite the camera crew with him, who would then follow him through his everyday life, with more and more shady behavior by Creed as they kept going.
  • The Wiki Rule: Has a wiki here.
  • Word of God: David Rogers, one of the show's directors, has addressed an apparent Series Continuity Error that occurred in the series' penultimate episode, "A.A.R.M.", namely the contradiction between the season premiere in which Dwight learns Angela's son Philip is not his after stealing his diaper and having a lab run a DNA test and A.A.R.M. in which Angela tells him Philip is actually his son: apparently, they had planned on planting hints before The Reveal, indicating that Dwight had stolen the wrong diaper, but ultimately didn't go through with it.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Jenna Fischer wrote lots of notes during filming to help her prepare for scenes, expressing her own ideas about Pam's backstory and motivations. She's shared some of these on the Office Ladies podcast.
    • Her theory on how Pam and Roy became a couple despite not really being a good fit for each other is that Pam's family owned an appliance store, Roy got a job there as a delivery man, then the two families became friendly with each other. Pam became comfortable with Roy after spending a lot of time together, and once they had a relationship it became awkward for her to back out even if she'd wanted to.
    • Since Fischer wasn't actually talking to anyone on the line during the final phone call in "Casino Night", she mentally filled in what Pam's mom would've been saying on the other end that led to Pam's scripted responses. Specifically, she confirmed a popular fan theory about the question to which Pam responded "Yeah, I think I am." Helene asked her "Are you in love with Jim?"
  • Working Title: The Office: An American Workplace. This remains the Market-Based Title of the series in the UK (to avoid confusion with the original series) and, curiously, is also the title of the documentary series itself In-Universe.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Greg Daniels has said that he borrowed some of Michael's antics from his father, Aaron Daniels, a longtime radio executive who liked to spice up his corporate presentations with humor, and often had Greg write material for him. One of the elder Daniels' specialties was a takeoff on Johnny Carson's Carnac the Magnificent character, and the Carnac joke Michael tells in "The Dundies" ("The PLO, the IRA, and the hot dog stand behind the warehouse...Name three businesses that have a better health care plans than Dunder Mifflin") was an actual joke that the then-teenaged Daniels wrote for his dad.
    • Daniels says Holly Flax was inspired by a store clerk he met who behaved like a female Michael Scott.
  • Written by Cast Member: Paul Lieberstein, Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak were on the writing staff from the beginning. Steve Carell later wrote the Season 2 finale "Casino Night" as well as season 4's "Survivor Man" (with the former- which he wrote in ONE NIGHT- earning him a Writer's Guild Award).
  • Written-In Infirmity: Jenna Fischer broke 4 bones in her back at a party promoting Season 3, and so the writers had her and Jim walk in "Fun Run" to avoid exacerbating her injury.
  • You Look Familiar: Blake Garrett Rosenthal, who played Dwight's nephew from the season 9 episode "The Farm", was originally in the season 7 episode "WUHPF.com" as a child on the hayride.
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