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.
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.
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.
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.
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.); and Angela Noelle Martin.
On May 4, 2013, a wrap party for the series was held at PNC Baseball Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in anticipation of the series' conclusion. The event was sold-out and hosted most of the show's cast and crew. After most of the Season 9 regulars were introduced and seated in their chairs near home plate (with the notable exceptions of Ed Helms and Angela Kinsey who were unable to attend), the music playing over the intercom suddenly stopped and the announcer stated, "Wait...there's one more chair here." After several moments of commotion from the audience and the cast, the announcer proclaimed, "Please welcome...Michael Scott!" Steve Carell, who had left the show two years prior and whose attendance had not even been announced to the cast, then emerged from the dugout, receiving an overwhelming standing ovation from the crowd and shocked reactions from the rest of the cast. A few minutes later during an interview session conducted by Andy Buckley , who played CFO David Wallace for most of the series, one of the cast members stated that Carell had been lingering in the dugout disguised with a wig, and was believed to be merely a PNC staff member by the cast and crew.
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.
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: The American Workplace
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.
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.
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 in the office of Michael's boss at his short-lived night job at the telemarketing company and in the warehouse on the lift.
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.
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.
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.
Dwight states that Jim Halpert "looks like the world's tallest hobbit." The character of Jim is based upon Tim Canterbury from the original UK version. Tim was played by Martin Freeman, who had already been cast as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).
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.
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.
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.
By the time the show ended, many of the cast members have directed episodes. Not only the writers/producers B.J. Novak, Mindy Kalling 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.
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.
Jenna Fischer is five years older than John Krasinski - who plays her character's husband, Jim Halpert . John's character is one year older than Jenna's, born October 1, 1978. Pam was born on March 25, 1979.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.