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Fridge Brilliance

  • The Scranton branch's shift from one of the worst branches in Dunder-Mifflin (leading to Jan's attempt to shut it down in Season 3) to the most successful in Season 5 is not explicitly explained. Until you remember that Scranton absorbed the successful Stamford branch, and presumably its client base, but then Michael drove out all the salesmen except Karen and Andy. So Scranton absorbed all of Stamford's revenue but nearly none of its payroll.
    • The same happens after the Buffalo branch closes, except Scranton absorbs none of their employees and the surge of new customers almost instantly overwhelms Michael, making the Scranton branch even more successful despite Michael's leadership.
    • However, when David Wallace is meeting with Michael about his high sales numbers, he takes a moment to specifically congratulate Michael on not losing any clients over the course of the two mergers. Wallace has not been portrayed as an idiot, so one would think that if it was just that simple, he would've been able to connect those two dots himself. The show never gives any specific figures, so I believe that David Wallace took this possibility into account already.
  • Angela's cheating on Andy with Dwight at first seems to just make her a heartless bitch to her completly devoted and loving fiancee, until you rember that after transfering to Scranton, Andy had caused Dwight to get fired, which had left Angela an emotional wreck (as they were dating at that point). When Andy begins hitting on her, Angela at first is repulsed by him, but then accepts his advances, planing to make him fall in love with her and then break his heart, leaving him an emotional wreck just as he had done to her. She never loved Andy, it was all part of the plan. Additionally she lied to Dwight about sleeping with Andy to get back at him for killing her cat. If you notice she never seems all that regretful for any of her actions during this period.
  • Jim's briefly mentioned poor human resources review, which Michael uses in "The Meeting" to convince David Wallace not to promote Jim, would have been written by Toby, who has a crush on Pam.
  • Also from "The Meeting" Jim's plan to have Michael promoted to oversee all the northeast branches while Jim takes over Scranton is almost identical to Jan's plan from "Branch Closing." Of course Jim was a part of the plan and simply recycled it later with Michael instead of Josh.
  • When Holly briefly returns To Scranton, Erin (who had not previously met her) takes an instant, seemingly irrational dislike to her. This would seem to be out of character for the sunny Erin until you remember that she sees Michael as a surrogate father and is thus behaving exactly like a Bratty Teenage Daughter suddenly confronted with her father's new girlfriend.
  • Why would Pam be so vehemently opposed to Michael dating her mom? She remembered his reaction to her landlady.
  • When Michael is at the New York bar and explains that he'd like a tattoo on his back that reads "Back To The Future", it's obvious that he is living in 80's nostalgia. If you think about it, it can also mean that he's literally living in the past by turning his back to the future.
  • One of the earliest examples of Andy's parents' disappointment in him and his status as The Unfavorite is when he mentions, in a talking head, that his parents originally named him Walter after his father but instead gave it to his brother when he was born and gave him the name "Andy" which they got "from a baby name book." Andy starts with "A." Implying his parents only opened the first few pages of the book before picking a name.
  • The cold open of Stanley not even noticing any of the office's shenanigans except for the clock basically says that Stanley has worked at Dunder-Mifflin for so long, nothing fazes him any more.
  • Michael getting back together with Jan is portrayed as completely unreasonable - things are exactly the same except for her breast enhancement surgery, and he'll be just as unhappy with her as he was before they broke up. Until you take into consideration that on Michael's pro-con list on what to do about an, being unhappy when he was with her was below her flat chest. In fact, her "shrunken chesticles" were on the con list TWICE. By Michael's logic, Jan actually addressed a lot of what was wrong in their relationship.
  • Michael asking the camera crew when the show will actually means that in the show's universe, the documentary has never been released to the public before. It makes sense, because, if the show had already aired, wouldn't they be famous by now?
  • The Office (U.S. Version) - The season 6 episode "The Chump" seems to brilliantly lampshade the show's Growing the Beard status by lampshading many different tropes:
    • All of the Cringe Comedy style of previous episodes, by the use of Toby's brief appearance. He seems to be the only Straight Man left from season 1 after the mass amount of Character Development / Flanderization (whichever you think it is) for all members of the office. Also, as the show went on he seemed to be appearing less and less....
    • Which is a trope lampshaded by how the office seemed to somewhat have evolved into a Nakama, a stark opposite from the start of the show. Pam assumed Michael was upset due to finding out that his girlfriend is a married woman, so she proposed that the whole office try to cheer him up. Michael clearly hates Toby, so when he walked out of his office the whole office very vocally asked him to leave, which actually further Woobified him.
  • When a mysterious prankster takes a dump in Michael's office, Michael speaks with his former boss Ed Truck who mentions he's had that done to him as well. It's later revealed that it was Todd Packer's doing. Keeping in mind that Packer and Michael worked together as salesmen before Michael's promotion, it becomes clear that crapping in the manager's office is a standard trick in Packer's book of unfunny humor.
  • The talking heads segments are a brilliant way of showing the thought process of the characters as the scenes are progressing without compromising on either the narrative or the chosen medium of documentary style which allows neither for an omniscient narrator or thought bubbles.
  • Toby probably doesn't deserve the level of vitriol Michael directs toward him, but Michael does have reasons for his contempt:
    • Michael has an irreverent, politically-incorrect sense of humor. Given his self-esteem issues, why wouldn't he resent someone who's constantly telling him he's not funny?
    • Jim and Pam, in spite of all that's happened, are Michael's true friends. He's been rooting for them as a couple since day one. Toby has a crush on Pam, and though he seems like a nice guy, has tried a number of tactics to sabotage Jim, from the subtle (refusing to register Jim and Pam's relationship with HR), to the not-so-subtle (giving Jim a bad HR review and waiting until he had a co-conspirator in Ryan to bring it to light). Simply put, Toby is Jim's enemy, and the enemy of Michael's friend is his enemy.
  • This scene ( 0 y 2 n V Cg A) may just seem like Creed being his usual self, But once you realize that the actor is actually Creed Bratton and his character is heavily based on the real Creed, He's actually right. Creed is the only person on that show that's "real"
  • Stanley's resolution in "Ultimatum" is "Be a better husband and boyfriend", implying he's still cheating on his wife, failing to keep his resolution just by writing it down.
  • The characters interact with the documentary crew less nowadays. They've been following them for EIGHT years. They probably barely notice it.
  • "Branch Closing" has a great comparison between Michael and David Brent. During the episode, Josh leaves his branch to die for money, something Jim says Michael would never do. This is exactly what Brent did in the end of the first series.

Fridge Horror

  • In-universe: After Michael hit Meredith with his car, Jim has a horrifying epiphany in his talking head interview:

 Jim: [deadly serious] Last year... Michael was complaining about a speed bump on the freeway... I wonder who he ran over then...

    • Similarly, when Michael is watching movies in parts and emulating the characters, he apologizes to Pam for acting like Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada:

 Michael: Meryl Streep is the bad guy. Never saw it coming. Anyway, if I was mean in any way to you, I'm sorry. I just want what's best for you, Manuschka. (Pam mouths "Manuschka?" at the camera)

Pam: (talking head) 'Mo cuishle'! He's watching Million Dollar Baby! (pause, face falls) He's gonna try to kill me.

    • Creed shows up late to work in the episode when the employees are playing the murder game and doesn't know Micheal is only playing when he tells them there has been a murder and Creed is a suspect. Creed runs outside, gets back in his car and drives away. So Creed committed an actual murder.
      • Or maybe he just thought that a police investigation would unconver the fact that he is a tax and debt fraud, regularly steals things from the office, is sometimes homeless, and provides fake ID's for underage children.
      • "Nobody steals from Creed Bratton and gets away with it. The last person to do this disappeared. His name? Creed Bratton."
      • When the cops are called to frame Toby for drug possession:

 Creed: (to the confession cam) Just pretend we're having a normal conversation until the cops leave.

  • Not so much horrifying but disgusting but I hope Pam washed that teapot Jim gave her. She got it back right after Dwight put the spout up his nose
  • In the 2010 Christmas episode of The Office (U.S. Version), Dwight is terrorizing Jim with snowballs. Jim is so fed up he hurls a snowball at him but Dwight dodges it, and it breaks the window. One of the windows that WOULDN'T BREAK WHEN A CHAIR WAS TOSSED AT IT.

Fridge Logic:

  • The show is filmed in a sort of documentary style, any yet apparently none of the employees ever decide to watch their own damn show. Of course, this might just be a stylistic choice.
    • Interestingly, their UK predecessors did watch the show, and it had effects on the characters between seasons.
    • Possibly justified in that some documentaries do take many years of shooting footage to complete, especially if they're constantly running into new possibly dramatic material. This is what happened to the acclaimed doc Hoop Dreams.
      • One of the more notable Epileptic Trees is that it is not, in fact, a documentary, but rather a documentary course: the taping of Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch is an ongoing project of some Film professor at the local art school.
    • Pretty much any scene where somebody outside the office doesn't question the fact that there's a camera crew following one of the main characters around.
      • This is a bit of a Truth in Television, how many people comment on the cameras in reality shows?
      • David Wallace, at least, tends to act very self-consciously, as if he always forgets Scranton is being filmed until the cameras are in the door.
    • This has been a pattern throughout the course of the show. One example: Dwight and Angela somehow imagining that their relationship is still a secret long after it's been dramatized on the show. Does Andy Bernard not watch the television documentary he stars on? "Hand wave" is right.
      • The filmmakers showed Jim and Pam the footage of them kissing at the beginning of season 4 to make them admit they were a couple, presumably so the cameramen didn't have to put effort into spying on them outside work anymore (compared to Dwight and Angela, who never tried that hard, if at all, to hide their affair from the cameras). This kind of implies the documentary isn't being broadcast yet; the filmmakers rarely interfere with events, so they'd have no reason to confront Jim and Pam with the footage if it was just going to air in a few weeks and reveal the truth anyway.
    • Word of God says the documentary hasn't aired yet. God has also acknowledged this is ridiculous, but that it may be a future plot point that the documentary airs and everyone reacts to it (like how the documentary "aired" between the events of series 2 and the Christmas specials for the U.K. version).
    • From the July 30, 2010 Dunder Mifflin Scranton newsletter (not yet online):

 Kelly:I'm followed around by a documentary crew all day at work...

    • In Michael's last episode right before he removes his microphone he says "Tell me if this ever airs". So it hasn't aired yet and they know it.
    • Many people seem to assume this is a reality show, then complain about the Fridge Logic. This is foolish. If it seems like nobody has seen the reality show, there probably is no reality show. Reality shows did not invent the concept of documenting peoples' lives. In fact, The Office premiered before network and cable TV became dominated by reality shows. Yes, it is a long time to film for a documentary, but we may assume they have an unusual arrangement.
  • What I don't get is how the members of the camera crew are never caught on tape. Or, on a related note, they get seemingly impossible shots like Pam standing in front of an office window with the reflection of her back caught in it, but you can't see the reflection of the camera man seemingly right in front of her. Or how they'll have a shot of one character from one angle, and then another shot 1 second later that's from the other side of the room.
    • The impossible shot, of course, also had to be shot in real life, so clearly there is a way, with experienced cameramen and/or editing.
    • In real life the same scene is performed many times and different angles edited together, but that shouldn't be the case with an unscripted reality show. There's one obvious example of this in "Safety Training" when the point of view switches between Michael on the roof and the people on the ground - in the ground shots we should see the member of the camera crew who's filming the close-ups of Michael, but Michael's alone on the roof.
  • In Season 3 "Safety Training" Jim says that the odds of Michael's stunt being "in any way real" are 10000 to 1. Kevin then says he'll take those odds and bets $10. Everyone then discovers that Michael does intend to jump (He plans to jump onto a bouncy castle, but still he does intend to jump and if he had would probably have been seriously injured, possibly even killed), forcing everyone to talk him down. Shouldn't Jim owe Kevin $100000 because of the bet?
    • First, Jim probably mean real in the sense of "Michael is actually suicidal" as opposed to "Michael is actually going to jump." Second, I don't recall Jim ever acknowledging Kevin on that bet.
  • In the 2010 Christmas episode, Jim throws a snowball at Dwight that crashes through a window in the meeting room. In "Fire Saftey", those windows couldn't break with a large chair!
    • They'd been replaced by sturdier stuff.
      • The fire safety episode "Stress Relief" came before "Classy Christmas". Michael couldn't break out the window by throwing a chair at it, but he apparently broke it with an overhead projector. Perhaps they replaced it with less sturdy glass so that it would break if a similar incident ever recurred.
    • Dwight also took control of the building between those episodes, so it wouldn't be out of character for him to replace the windows either for A) fire safety or B) to make the office colder (he's not shy about making his fellow employees uncomfortable.)
  • According to Michael, Holly's engagement ring cost three-years salary. Upon first glance this is a cute throwaway gag with Michael misunderstanding something (in this case the "tradition" is three-MONTHS salary), but upon further consideration Michael has now put himself in sizeable debt at a time when both he and Holly have decided to leave Dunder-Mifflin for Colorado. With no job arrangements in order.
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