25 Behind The Scenes Secrets Of ‘The Office’

Posted by , Updated on April 20, 2024

The Office is an American television comedy series written by Greg Daniels and produced by Howard Klein, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Ben Silverman. It aired from 2005 to 2013 and depicted the lives of the employees of the fictional paper company known as Dunder Mifflin. Soon before the last episode of this TV series aired, its cast and producers shared some bits of hush-hush information behind what it took to create and maintain the office of Dunder Mufflin’s Scranton, Pennsylvania branch. Here is a list of 25 Behind The Scenes Secrets Of ‘The Office’ that as a fan, you need to know.

The Office was not originally developed for the NBC channel.

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When Daniels thought of selling his adaptation of The Office, he really wanted to sell it to FX or HBO and not NBC because he felt that it was not fit for the network. At that time, Will and Grace was the number one show for NBC and he was afraid that The Office would not be a hit. But his trusted friends in the industry were confident that the story would sell so he pushed it.


It took a while before Steve Carell got the role of Michael Scott.

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When the producers of The Office were still thinking of the best actor to play the role of Michael Scott, Universal Pictures chairman Stay Snider strongly suggested Steve Carell. But the actor almost missed out on being Scott because at that time, he was working on the NBC sitcom Come to Papa. The producers had Bob Odenkrik, David Koechner and Alan Tudyk as their other options, but the auditions ended up in Carell’s favor.


The producers initially thought of making the Jim-Pam affair an interracial love story.

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Daniels thought of Americanizing the affair of Jim and Pam by getting an African American actress to play the roles of both Pam and Roy. Had he pushed through with the plan, Jenna Fischer would not have been Pam and Craig Robinson would have played the role of Roy, the boyfriend of Pam.


Dunder Mifflin has branches throughout the Northeast.

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Even before Jim moved to Dunder Mifflin Stamford branch, Daniels had already come up with a list of the other offices of the paper company in Northeastern United States. He picked out some cities in the Northeast that had comical names, such as Nashua and Yonkers. These branches were first cited at the beginning of Season 3.


The sequel of The Office could have been a parody of An American Family.

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As the producers of The Office brainstormed about the possible spinoffs of the series, they thought of creating a “mockumentary” version of the Loud Family, where Andy would play the role of dad and Nellie Bertram would play the role of mom. Several other ideas were also considered but were eventually discarded due to some foreseeable loopholes.


Parks and Recreation was considered for the spinoff.

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Parks and Recreation could have been a spinoff of The Office if not for the role of Rashida Jones. But even though it did not turn out as Daniels had planned, executive producer Paul Lieberstein had a unique way of somewhat pulling it off. Parks and Recreation entered the scene when the copier was loaded into a truck and was dropped off in the Parks and Recreation office.


The character of Oscar Nunez was not supposed to be from the third sex.

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Oscar would not have been gay in The Office if not for the pink shirt that was put on him by the wardrobe staff of the series. In the episode where Michael was trying to figure out who among his colleagues was gay, the writers thought it was best to reveal it was Oscar because he was wearing pink at the time.


The back story of Dwight was pulled from different inspirations

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The rural background of Dwight came from the bunch of pictures of Daniel’s family that he once showed to the writers of the series. His being an owner of a beet farm was drawn from the grandparents of Greg who happened to be beet raisers in Poland in real life. The idea of the goofy character Mose was inspired by the reality show Amish in the City.


Viewers did not like the strong-willed character of Pam.

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When The Office was still airing, several viewers came up to Fischer to tell them how disappointed they were by the assertive and strong-willed character of Pam. This surprised him because he thought the audience would love to know that from being a wallflower, Pam had already found her voice. Fischer admitted the response of the audience ran contrary to what he had expected.


Dwight would have left The Office if The Farm had pushed through.

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The plan was that if the NBC would order the series, Rainn would leave halfway through the year and Nellie would step into the shoes of Dwight. This would have also resulted in Mose’s becoming a traveling salesman and Schur’s being a busy executive working on Parks and Recreation. Good thing the NBC did not push through with the show.


Dwight had a soft spot for bobble head dolls.

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With four on top of his office desk, there is no denying that Dwight was a huge fan of bobble heads. First on the list was his “Dwight Schrutte” bobble head doll. He also had his own version of two former Philadelphia Phillies stars Mike Lieberthal and John Kruk, as well as Gerry McNamara, a Scranton native who worked as a guard for Syracuse University.


The opening credits of The Office revealed the real Penn Paper Building on Mifflin Avenue, Scranton.

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The background of the opening credits of The Office series showed an office exterior. That office was the Penn Paper Building located on Mifflin Avenue in Scranton, the location used to represent the Dunder-Mifflin Office in the show. Just a few years following the first shoot in that place, a bar was erected across the building and was named The Office.


The cast of The Office would love surfing the net in between takes.

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In an interview following the last episode of the last season of The Office, some of its characters revealed that they would always surf the net in between their takes, especially whenever shooting background scenes. The computers set up inside the Dunder Mifflin Office were all connected to the internet so surfing was never a problem at all.


Four characters had the same names as the actors who played them.

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Much like in the movie Knocked Up where almost all of its secondary characters retained their real names, four of the major characters in the television series The Office had the privilege of using their real names to play their roles. Angela Kinsey played Angela, Oscar Nunez played Oscar, Phyllis Smith played Phyllis and Creed Bratton played Creed.


Ryan Howard got his name from a popular athlete.

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Ryan Howard, the character that BJ Novak played in the television series, was named after one of the most popular athletes of this generation. Ryan Howard is a major league baseball player who used to play for the Scranton/Wikes Red Baron team. He is currently the NL All-Star and league MVP of Philadelphia Phillie.


The images used in the opening credits of The Office were taken during a casual road trip.

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Most of the images used in the video that is shown in the opening credits of the series The Office were taken by John Krasinski. Days after he learned that he would play the role of Jim in the series, Krasinski road tripped with some of his friends and took photos of the exterior of the Dunder-Mifflin Office.


Some of the characters of The Office had high school connections in real life.

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The Office featured actors that had real life high school connections. Among them were John Krasinski (who played Jim) and BJ Novak (who played Ryan) who both finished high school from Newton South High School in 1997. Brian Baumgartner and Ed Helms (Kevin and Andy) were also batch mates in The Westminster Schools in Georgia.


Poor Richard’s Pub was a bar located in Scranton.

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Several times in the series, the characters of The Office would refer to a bar they called Poor Richard’s Pub. In actual life, the bar was known as the South Side Lanes Bar in South Scranton, United States. Located near a bowling alley in the town, it was where most of the scenes in Poor Richard’s Pub were shot.


The opening credits of The Office revealed a section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

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Aside from the footages of the exterior of the Dunder-Mifflin Office, the opening credits of The Office would always show and highlight a certain document before the show begins. This document was the Section 12.22 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code, which had to do with building codes and permitting laws in Los Angeles, United States.


Steve Carell was not a fan of the British version of The Office.

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Upon learning that he would play a major role in the NBC television series The Office, Steve Carell was worried that he might not be able to give justice to his character, Michael. This was so because he never had the chance to watch the British version of the series. He feared that he would solely imitate the acting of Ricky Gervias and not make the character his own person.


There was something unique about the British flag that Steve Carell placed on top of his office desk

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Steve Carell decided to place a Union Jack flag on top of the desk of Michael in the series The Office in honor of the British version of the show. In one of his interviews, Steve Carell said that the gesture was his own way of paying homage to the original series on which the NBC series was based, which he very rarely watched.


Jenna Fischer kept her engagement ring in the series.

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Even after The Office already stopped airing, Jenna Fischer, the actress who played the role of Pam, still kept the engagement ring that Jim gave her in the series. In her TV appearances today, Fischer is still often seen wearing that ring. According to the grapevine, the value of the ring when it was bought for the show was just around $5,000.


The warehouse used in the basketball scene was just below the office.

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In the episode entitled “Basketball,” there was a certain scene when the male characters played basketball inside a warehouse somewhere in the Dunder-Mifflin office. That location used in shooting that episode was just below the actual office, above a sound stage. Later in the series, that space was referred to as the Dunder-Mifflin warehouse.


The Daily Show paved the way for the rise to fame of some of The Office characters.

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Three characters in the hit NBC series The Office first had their names known in the news program The Daily Show. Ed Helms and Steve Carell had their first breaks when they became correspondents in the program, while Larry Milmore had his when he served as one of the writers of the same show.


Dunder Mifflin is now recognized by the Chamber of Commerce.

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Since the Dunder Mifflin office was used as the shooting location of the series The Office, it has become one of the most popular spots in Scranton. Today, it is one of the actual members of Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, bringing in millions each year to the town through active tourism. It is said that Dunder Mifflin brings in more revenues to the town than any other business in Scranton.