John Krasinski and B.J. Novak went to high school together. They went to Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts, and they both graduated in 1997. They were even on the same little league baseball team.
When John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) got the role of Jim, the first thing he asked the casting director was "did Jenna (Fischer (Pam)) get the role?" Similarly, when Jenna got the job, the first thing she asked the casting director was about John getting the role.
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.
The show had to stop production in November 2007 because of a writer's strike. 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.
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.
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.
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.
A couple of times throughout the series, Angela (Angela Kinsey) mentions that her favorite song is "Little Drummer Boy". At the beginning of the pilot episode, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is singing that song at his desk.
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 his entire name (and a large chunk of his history) with his character. They are both called "Creed Bratton".
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.
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.
Ed Helms missed seven consecutive episodes on season nine, 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.
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.
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 eleven 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 aired in season nine, it was called "The Office: An American Workplace".
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 condemned by the city in 2011.
Many main and supporting cast members have written episodes of the show. B.J. Novak (Ryan), Paul Lieberstein (Toby), and Mindy Kaling (Kelly) wrote twelve of the twenty-eight episodes over the first and second seasons (albeit separately). (Lieberstein directed season four, episodes seven and eight, "Money".) Steve Carell (Michael Scott) wrote two episodes: the season two finale, "Casino Night", and season four, episode eleven, "Survivor Man". Season two, episode eight, "Performance Review", was written by Larry Wilmore, who played Mr. Brown, the diversity instructor. Michael Shur, a seasoned writer, played Dwight's cousin Mose Schrute. Gene Stupinsky and Lee Eisenberg, two writing partners, played the delivery men in season two, episode sixteen, "Valentine's Day", and others. Greg Daniels, the developer and show runner, played Michael's neighbor in season two, episode three, "Office Olympics", but his scene was cut.
All of 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.
The first season was filmed in office space located just above a soundstage at the Chandler Valley Center Studios. The soundstage was often used to replicate the Dunder Mifflin warehouse, most notably in season one, episode five, "Basketball". For the second season, an exact replica of the original office was built on a soundstage right next to the warehouse set in the same building.
In season one, episode four, "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.
Dwight has a "Froggy 101" bumper sticker on the filing cabinet next to his desk. Froggy 101 is the number one rated Country and 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, in the warehouse on the elevator, at the tattoo parlor, in which Andy gets a tattoo, and in the bar during a scene of Michael's movie.
Ricky Gervais, who played Michael Scott's counterpart, David Brent, in the English version of the show, made a cameo in season seven, episode fourteen, "The Seminar" and again in "Search Committee" although "The Seminar" is his only in person appearance as his appearance in "Search Committee" is via video conference only.
nbc.com sent out bobble head coupons on character's 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; and Pam - March 25, 1979.
Originally, Steve Carell was unavailable to play Michael Scott, as he was 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.
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 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.
By the time the show ended, many of the cast members directed episodes. Not only the writers and 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.
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 afterward. Also, the wall in between Michael's office and the conference room (the one, in which Andy punches a hole) 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.
Three of the four anchormen from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) appeared at some point in this series. Steve Carell as Michael Scott, David Koechner as Todd Packer, and Will Ferrell as Deangelo Vickers. Ironically, the one who didn't appear, Paul Rudd, appeared on Parks and Recreation (2009), which was originally going to be a spin-off, but still had the mockumentry style this show had. Paul Rudd played Bobby Newport.
Besides the sales team and the accountants, characters had the following jobs: Creed worked in quality assurance, Meredith works in supplier relations, Toby works in human resources, Kelly works in customer service, and Ryan is a temp for the first two seasons.
Dwight's overcoat he always wears is an East German military coat. The German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or D.D.R.) existed from 1949-1990. This is probably a nod to his German heritage he always talked about.
Many of the famous insert shots from the original series, such as the water cooler and copier machine were not used on this show. Instead, they pay homage to those particular shots by placing them in the opening credits. However, some clips were used, such as the paper shredder, but in later seasons.
The Penn Paper building featured in the opening credits is located at 215 Vine Street in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which is about one block from Mifflin Avenue. This is likely, from where the fictional company name "Dunder Mifflin" came. The "Penn Paper" sign on the building has now been replaced by "PA Paper" in blue lettering.
Dwight had four bobbleheads on his desk. The most well known is the "Dwight Schrute" bobblehead, 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, was 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), and Mindy Kaling (Kelly Kapoor). Guest stars Nancy Carell (Carol Stills) and Andy Buckley (David Wallace) are also from Massachusetts.
There is some dispute regarding the actual number of episodes that the show had, with some saying there are one hundred eighty-five, and others saying the amount is two hundred one. This is because the show did several double episodes throughout its whole run, which some people counted as one longer episode, and others (including producers from the show) considered two-part episodes.
Every time Dwight was shown pantsless, he is wearing the same pair of green underwear, except in season two, episode seven, "The Client", in which he wore blue underwear, and in season five, episode four, "Baby Shower", in which he wore red underwear.
Throughout the series, a bobblehead of MLB catcher Mike Lieberthal (in his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barrons jersey) can be seen on Dwight's desk. Ironically, Lieberthal's middle name is Scott, making his full name "Michael Scott Lieberthal".
First NBC comedy series to be presented in widescreen to non-HDTV viewers, resulting in horizontal black bars. Previous NBC dramas had been presented in widescreen to non-HDTV viewers, but no previous comedy.
Season 5 episode 10 "The surplus" Hank the security guard when asked to help make the decision for the staff regarding buying a new copier or new chairs for the office, He reaches for some skittles on Pams desk, This is a In-joke because the actor (Hugh Dane) Who plays hank Recently at the time of the episode aired starred in a highly famous skittles commercial which ran in America and the UK.
Steve Carell (Michael Scott) and Amy Ryan (Holly Flax) have been in movies where Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson played an agent for the government. Steve starred alongside Dwayne in Get Smart (2008) and Amy was in Central Intelligence (2016).
Steve Carell announced during the hiatus between seasons six and seven, that he would not sign a new contract beyond the latter, and this was confirmed right before the seventh season began in September 2010.
In season seven, episode twenty-two, "Goodbye, Michael", Toby talks to his brother Rory Flenderson via video chat. Rory was played by Paul Lieberstein's real-life brother Warren, who was also a producer on the show.
Will Ferrell was originally asked to play the part of Michael. He declined and role was offered to Steve Carrell. When Steve left the show, Ferrell filled in as a guest star for a role he originally passed on.