When John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) got the role of Jim, the first thing he asked the casting director was "did Jenna (Fischer, the actress who plays Pam) get the role?" Similarly, when Jenna got the job, the first thing she asked the casting director was about John getting the role.
The show had to stop production in November 2007 because of a writer's strike. The show's star Steve Carell (himself a WGA member) supported the writers, and refused to cross the picket lines even for non-writing duties. Carell went so far as to call in sick to the network on the first day of the strike, citing a case of "enlarged balls" as the reason he couldn't come in.
Paul Lieberstein's role as Toby Flenderson was meant to be a one-time appearance, since Lieberstein had never acted before, and never actually wanted to because of his quiet, reserved personality. However, NBC President Kevin Reilly saw the episode where Toby appeared and reportedly said "That red-haired guy is terrific, we should see more of him." Toby then became a recurring character, and the cast and crew have repeatedly lavished praise on Lieberstein's acting abilities, and he has allowed the role to expand somewhat while remaining abashed by the attention it's brought to him. Notably, Toby has no or few lines or story presence in any episode that Paul Lieberstein writes or directs.
Steve Carell only watched a few minutes of the British version before permanently stopping such viewing because he did not want to copy Ricky Gervais' performance as the office manager. John Krasinski, on the other hand, was an avid viewer of the original.
Some of the video used in the opening theme song 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.
Bloopers are available on YouTube for almost every season. Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute) finds it especially difficult to maintain character in scenes with Steve Carell (Michael Scott) and John Krasinski (Jim Halpert). On the other hand, Oscar Nuñez (Oscar Martinez) hardly ever breaks character. The few times he does are brought to attention by other cast members in the blooper scenes.
In "The Office: Gay Witch Hunt (2006) ," Michael holds a homosexual meeting in the conference room. The writers wrote for Michael to hug Oscar Nunez. But Steve Carell improvised when he kissed Nunez. The shock and horror on Oscar's face is legitimate.
Four of The Office cast members were interns on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993): Angela Kinsey in 1993, Mindy Kaling in the winter of 1999, John Krasinski in summer of 2000, and Ellie Kemper in spring of 2005.
The "Welcome to Scranton" sign featured in the opening credits, formerly located on the Central City Expressway, is now on display in the food court of the Mall at Steamtown. It is displayed with a backdrop so that people can get their picture taken with it. It was moved there when the city replaced the old signs with new signs.
A couple of times throughout the series, Angela mentions that her favorite song is "Little Drummer Boy". In the pilot episode of the series, at the very beginning of the episode, Dwight is singing that very song at his desk.
It is frequently mentioned that the characters Phyllis Lapin Vance and Michael Scott are the same age, having gone to high school together. In real life Phyllis Smith is 11 years older than Steve Carell.
Originally, after the show was first picked up, NBC planned on retitling the series "The American Workplace" in order to differentiate it from the original British version. The idea was later scrapped. But when the documentary airs in Season 9 it is called The Office: An American Workplace
All the principal characters have had their full names revealed throughout the series. Michael Gary Scott; Dwight Kurt Schrute III; James "Jim" Duncan Halpert; Pamela "Pam" Morgan Beesly; Ryan Bailey Howard; Andrew "Andy" Baines Bernard (Born Walter Jr.); Kelly Erin Hannon; Angela Noelle Martin, and Kelly Rajaniganda Kapoor
NBC.com sends out bobble head coupons on character birthdays. They have sent one out on Michael's, Jim's, and Pam's birthdays. This reveals that Michael was born on March 15, 1964; Jim- October 1, 1978; Pam- March 25, 1979.
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 Nuñez), Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) and Creed (Creed Bratton). Interestingly, Creed shares an entire name with his character; they are both called Creed Bratton.
The first season was filmed in actual office space located just above a sound-stage at the Chandler Valley Center Studios. The sound-stage was often used to replicate the Dunder-Mifflin warehouse, most notably in the "Basketball" episode. For the second season, an exact set replica of the original office was built on a sound-stage right next to the Warehouse set in the same building.
When John Krasinski first auditioned for the show, he was called back for the role of Dwight. He told the producers that he would rather play Jim, but they refused to allow it. After a suitable Dwight was found for the show, Krasinski was allowed to come in for the role of Jim.
Many main and supporting cast members have written episodes of the show. B.J. Novak (Ryan), Paul Lieberstein (Toby) and Mindy Kaling (Kelly) wrote 12 of the 28 episodes over the first and second seasons (albeit separately). (Lieberstein would even go on to direct a fourth season episode, "Money".) Steve Carell (Michael Scott) has written two episodes so far: "Casino Night" (which was the second season finale) and "Survivor Man". One episode (2.8, "Performance Review") was written by Larry Wilmore, who plays Mr. Brown, the diversity instructor. Michael Shur, a seasoned writer, plays Dwight's cousin Mose Schrute. Gene Stupinsky and Lee Eisenberg, two writing partners, play the delivery men in the Valentine's Day episode and others. Greg Daniels, the developer and show runner of the Office, played Michael's neighbor in "Office Olympics" but his scene was cut.
Dwight has a "Froggy 101" bumper sticker on the filing cabinet next to his desk. Froggy 101 is the #1 rated country-western station in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the setting for the show. This bumper sticker can also be seen as an easter egg in the office of Michael's boss at his short-lived night job at the telemarketing company and in the warehouse on the lift. As well at the tattoo parlor in which Andy gets a tattoo.
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. The Office (the bar) was actually condemned by the city in 2011.
In the Season 1 episode, "The Alliance", Meredith is said to be an accountant. This is the only instance in which she has this job, as she becomes the Supplier Relations Representative for the remainder of the show.
Originally Steve Carell was unavailable to play Michael Scott being already committed to _Come To Papa (2004)_. As a result, Bob Odenkirk was selected to play him and was a part of the cast when the show was presented to NBC Executives.
The shots of Scranton in the opening credits were filmed by John Krasinski and two of his friends before production began on the series. They shot the footage from their Jeep with the camera outside the sunroof on their trip to Scranton. Many of the items shown have been destroyed or changed since.
Michael Scott's home address is shown as either 42 Kellum Court (per NBC's Dunder Mifflin website) or 126 Kellum Court (seen on the show). Kellum Court is a real street in Scranton, but house numbers start at 300 because of the city block numbering system. If it existed, the physical location of 42 Kellum Court would actually be in the rock quarry depicted behind the "Scranton Welcomes You" sign in the opening credits. The quarry is frequently mentioned by Creed throughout the series.
There are some changes in the set between the first season and the subsequent ones. The exterior of the building is completely different in the first season than what's used after. Also, the wall in between Michael's office and the conference room (the one Andy punches a hole in) is much thinner in the first season. Also in the first season there is a door to the left of the break room door. Now there is just a door between Creed's desk and Oscar, Kevin, and Angela's island.
In season 4, episode 4, John Krasinski's character Jim is asked by Meredith to sign her cast. Instead of signing it 'Jim Halpert,' you can see him signing it 'John Krasinski' as he dots two 'i's' when signing his last name.
Many of the famous insert shots from the original series such as the water cooler and copier machine are not used in the show. Instead they pay homage to those particular shots by placing them in the opening credits. However, some clips are used, such as the paper shredder, but in later seasons.
By the time the show ended, many of the cast members have directed episodes. Not only the writers/producers B.J. Novak, Mindy Kaling or Paul Lieberstein, but also Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner. Krasinski, Wilson, Helms, and Jenna Fischer went on to become producers of the final season.
Besides the sales-team and the accountants, characters have the following jobs: Creed works in quality assurance, Meredith works in supplier relations, Toby works in human resources, Kelly works in customer service, and Ryan is a temp for most of the show.
3 of the 4 anchormen from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy appear at some point in this series. Steve Carell as Michael Scott, David Koechner as Todd Packer and Will Ferrel as Deangelo Vickers. Ironically the one who didn't appear, Paul Rudd, appeared on Parks and Recreation which was originally going to be a spin-off, but still had the mockumentry style this show has. Paul Rudd played Bobby Newport.
The Penn Paper building featured in the opening credits is located at 215 Vine Street in Scranton, PA, which is about one block from Mifflin Ave. This is likely where the fictional company name "Dunder Mifflin" came from. The "Penn Paper" sign on the building has now been replaced by "PA Paper" in blue lettering.
Dwight's overcoat he always wears is an East German military coat. The German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) existed from 1949-1990. This is probably a nod to his German heritage he always talks about.
Four of the main cast members are originally from Massachusetts: Steve Carell (Michael Scott), John Krasinski (Jim Halpert), B.J. Novak (Ryan Howard) & Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor). Guest stars Nancy Walls (Carol Stills), Steve Carell's real-life wife, and Andy Buckley (David Wallace) are also from Massachusetts.
Dwight currently has four bobble-heads on his desk. The most well known is the "Dwight Schrute" bobble-head, a present from Angela in season two. Two others seen throughout the series are of Mike Lieberthal and John Kruk. Lieberthal played catcher for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons before being promoted to the Philadelphia Phillies and John Kruk was a Philadelphia Phillie before retirement. The fourth bobble-head, added in the fourth season, is of former Syracuse University guard and Scranton native son Gerry McNamara.
Every time Dwight is shown pants-less, he is wearing the same pair of green underwear, except in Season 2, Episode 7, "The Client," in which he wears blue underwear, and in Season 5, Episode 4, "Baby Shower", in which he wears red underwear.
There is some discussion regarding the actual number of episodes that the show has, with some saying there are 187 and others saying the amount is 201. This is because the show did several double episodes throughout its whole run, which some people count as a longer episode and others (including producers from the show) consider two-part episodes.
In the Season Four episode where Michael spends the day watching movies, the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" is mentioned. The movie stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski's real-life wife, and Meryl Streep, whom John Krasinski appeared with in her movie "It's Complicated".
First ever NBC comedy series on NBC to be presented in wide-screen to non-HDTV viewers, resulting in horizontal black bars. Previous NBC dramas have been presented in wide-screen to non-HDTV viewers, but no previous comedy.
In season 8 episode 18 Toby tells Darryl and Andy that it is his daughter's first year in girl scouts and he is helping her sell cookies. This is false though because in season 5 episode 15 Toby tells Dwight that he will only sign his apology statement if Dwight buys girl scout cookies from his daughter.
In Season 4, Episode 2 (Dunder Mifflin Infinity), Dwight states that when he tried to travel to Argentina to visit his granfather Mannheim (also the name of a town in Germany) his travel visa was protested by the Shoah foundation. Shoah Foundations are foundations formed in order to further the rememberance of the holocaust, and this could be a reference to Dwight's German heritage. Argentina was sympathetic with the German cause during WW2 due to a high number of German immigrants. The Argentinian goverment also provided sanctuary for a number of Nazis after the collapse of the Third Reich.
In Season Eight, Craig Robinson (Darryl Philbin) mentions that they should watch the film "Limitless" (2011) starring actor Bradley Cooper. Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) has starred with Cooper in The Hangover series from 2009 to 2013.
Ed Helms missed seven consecutive episodes on season 9 because he was shooting The Hangover Part III (2013). His absence was explained in that his character (Andy) went on a three month long boat ride with his brother.