The Office

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Mar 24, 2005 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Michael asks Ryan if he's, "ever seen Punk'd", a play on B.J. Novak beginning his career as a cast member of that show.

    • When Angela tells Kevin that she is afraid she'll be fired Kevin speaks in a different voice than the later episodes. This is the normal voice of actor Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin.

    • In the closed captioning for this episode, Pam's last name is spelled Beasley.

    • The work computers are all different than in the rest of the series, they have much fatter flat panel monitors and are running on Windows 98, which in later episodes they are running on XP

    • The two women in blue sweaters at the staff meeting scene were actual accountants that worked on the production.

    • The scene where Jim tapes pencils to his desk and Dwight says they are a safety violation was originally filmed as the British version was, in which Tim stacks up cardboard boxes in front of Gareth so he can't see him. The scene was later re shot. However, later on in the episode, if you look closely in the background, you can see the boxes stacked up in front of Dwight.

    • Four of the regularly appearing secondary characters have the same first name as the actress or actor that plays her or him: Angela (Angela Kinsey), Oscar (Oscar Nunez), Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) and Creed (Creed Bratton).

    • The Office's address is 1725 Slough Road. Slough was the name of the town in which the original BBC version of the show takes place.

    • On Michael's desk there's a British flag - a nod to the original series from the BBC.

  • Quotes

    • Michael: People say I am the best boss. They go "God, we've never worked in a place like this before. You're hilarious. And you get the best out of us." Um.. (picks up his "World's Best Boss" mug and shows it to the camera) .. I think that says it all. (pauses) I found it at Spencer Gifts.

    • Dwight: Downsizing? I have no problem with that. I have been recommending downsizing since I first got here. I even brought it up in my interview. I say, bring it on.

    • (Worried about downsizing)
      Angela: I think it's going to be me... It'll probably be me..
      Kevin: Yeah, it'll be you.

    • Michael: Howard? Like Moe Howard, three stooges. Watch this, this is Moe, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck, meeeeee! (laughs) Ah, right here, three stooges. High five.(holds his hand up for a high five, Ryan obliges) Oh Pam, it's a guy thing, Pam. I'm sort of a student of comedy. Watch this, here we go (grabs Pam's nameplate and places it below his nose) (starts marching shouting nonsense German, laughs) I'm Hitler! Adolph Hitler. (continues impression)

    • Jim: My name is Jim Halpert. And I am a sales rep. Which is a very important job, um without me dozens, literally dozens, of small businesses would go paperless. They'd have to write on their hands, or bedsheets, or who knows? You know, total chaos. Total chaos. I mean or they could get their paper from somewhere else, Staples maybe. I don't know.

    • Michael: This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she's cute now you should have seen her a couple of years ago!
      Pam: What?

    • Michael: People I respect, heroes of mine, would be Bob Hope... Abraham Lincoln, definitely. Bono. And probably God would be the fourth one. And I just think all those people really helped the world in so many ways that it's really beyond words. It's really incalculable.

    • (Michael takes over one of Jim's accounts to try and show off his closing skills)
      Michael: All right. Done deal, thank you very much, sir. You're a gentleman and a scholar. Oh, I'm sorry. Okay. I'm sorry. My mistake. That was a, uh, woman I was talking to, so... She had a very low voice. Probably a smoker, so... So that's the way it's done.

    • Michael: Any messages?
      Pam: Yeah, just a fax. (hands Michael a piece of paper)
      Michael: This is from Corporate.
      Pam: Yeah.
      Michael: How many times have I told you there is a special filing cabinet for corporate.
      Pam: You haven't told me.
      Michael: It's called the waste paper basket. (throws it in the trash)

    • Michael: Ah, this is our receptionist, Pam. Pam! (bangs desk twice) Pam! Pam!

    • (To the camera, about the downsizing)
      Michael: No, I'm not going to tell them. I don't see the point of that. As a doctor, you would not tell a patient if they had cancer.

    • (Jim is sticking upright pencils between his and Dwight's desk)
      Dwight: You can't do that.
      Jim: Why not?
      Dwight: Safety violation. I could fall and pierce an organ.

    • (Dwights stapler has been set in jello by Jim)
      Michael: No, no, no, no. Do not take it out; you have to eat out of there. Because there are starving people in the world, which I hate, and it is a waste of that kind of food.
      Dwight: Okay you know what? (to Ryan) You can be a witness. (to Michael) Can you reprimand him please?
      Jim: (eating jello) How do you know it was me?

    • Pam: I don't think it would be the worst thing if they let me go. Because then I might... (pauses) I just, I don't think it's many little girls dream to be a receptionist.

    • Michael: I guess the atmosphere that I've created here is that I'm a friend first and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third.

    • Michael: What is the single most important thing for a company? Is it the building? Is it the stock? Is it the turnover? It's the people. The *people*. My proudest moment here wasn't when I increased profits by 17%, or cut expenditure without losing a single member of staff. No, no, no, no. It was a young Guatamalan guy, first job in the country, hardly spoke a word of English, but he came to me and he went, "Mr Scott, will you be the Godfather to my child?" Didn't work out in the end. We had to let him go. He sucked.

  • Notes

    • Although never actually mentioned in the show, the scenes where the characters talk to the documentary people, are called "Talking Heads".

    • The German episode title is "Alltäglicher Wahnsinn", meaning "Daily Insanity". The French title is "La Rumeur", meaning "The Rumor". The Italian title is "Un capo esemplare", meaning "An Exemplary Boss". The Spanish title is "Capítulo 1", meaning "Chapter 1".

    • Music: "Little Drummer Boy", performed by Rainn Wilson

    • Some of the video used in the show's opening (specifically the exterior shot of the building) was taken by John Krasinski and his friends in their Jeep. John had just gotten the part and was coming out for shooting.

    • The character of Ryan Howard was named after Ricky Howard, the temp from the first season of the British version of The Office.

    • After seeing this episode, Entertainment Weekly's Gillian Flynn gave the series a solid B. She calls the sitcom "clever and insular, capturing all the drudgery, awkwardness, and rivalry of cubicle living."

    • The Office (US) pilot episode is a re-enactment of "The Office" (UK) pilot episode. The remake is not verbatim, as the dialogue had to be "Americanized" (e.g. the Camilla Parker Bowles reference became Hillary Clinton), but pretty much every scene is common to the two.

    • Overall, it ranked as the third most-watched show on US TV for the night, behind only FOX's American Idol and NBC's ER.

    • The exterior shot of the building the office is "in" in Scranton, Pennsylvania is across the street from a bar which is coincidentally named "The Office". Greg Daniels has said that he hopes this is a sign of good karma for the show. Sadly, The Office (the bar) was actually condemned by the city a few years back.

    • First ever NBC comedy series (and first ever NBC comedy series episode) on NBC to be presented in widescreen to non-HDTV viewers, resulting in horizontal black bars. Previous NBC dramas have been presented in widescreen to non-HDTV viewers, but no previous comedy.

    • This show was originally titled "The Office: An American Workplace" during its development.

    • Originally scheduled to premiere on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 9:30pm ET

  • Allusions

    • When Michael first introduces Pam to the camera crew, he shouts, "Pam, Pam, Pam!" while knocking on her reception desk. This is a reference to The Flintstones character Bamm-Bamm, who would say their name the way that Michael says Pam's name.

    • Michael tells a manager, "You are a gentleman and a scholar." This line comes from the novel Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger. In it, the main character, Holden Caulfield says to one of his roommates, "You're a real prince. You are a gentlemen and a scholar, kid."

    • Michael mimics running in slow-motion and comments, "I'm the The Six Million Dollar Man." The Six Million Dollar Man was a TV show that aired in the 1970s, and revolved around a man who was nearly killed after a new government plane malfunctions and crashes. To save him he is rebuilt using bionic parts. Him running at super speeds was shown by using slow-motion.

    • Michael says, "Hey, I'm Moe," who was a character from The Three Stooges shorts, which centered around three good-hearted fools who had a knack for screwing up even the simplest task.

    • Michael tells Pam, "You've been X-ed." This catchphrase comes from The WB's The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, in which the star of the show would pull pranks on the public and celebrities. Once the joke had run its course, the star would deliver the show's tag line, "You've been X-ed."

    • Michael borrows the very popular and overused catchphrase "Wazzup" catchphrase from Budweiser commercials.

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