The Office was one of the greatest workplace comedies to ever grace our television screens. Watching the awkward yet well-meaning boss, Michael Scott, and his employees at Dunder Mifflin Scranton get into their usual hijinks each week made for an entertaining show we aren't soon to forget. Even after Steve Carrell left and took Michael Scott with him, The Office managed to stay on air for two more seasons thanks to the strength of its core premise and ensemble.
As fun as it was to watch the fictional workers at the Scranton Branch of the paper company, there were plenty of interesting and exciting behind-the-scenes facts about the making of this hit television show, too.
There were many fascinating stories about the making of this incredible show and the cast and crew have shared many of their own over the years. So without further ado, here are the 20 Secret Details About The Making Of The Office.
20 They Filmed Season 1 In A Real Office
When they first began filming the show, the first season was all filmed at an actual real office building in some old offices in Culver City, California.
By the time season 2 rolled around, they moved to a sound stage that was designed to look exactly like the original office building they had used. The only difference was Michael’s office, which they made larger to fit the camera crew for his interviews.
19 Phyllis Smith Was Originally An Assistant Casting Director For The Show
It’s almost impossible to imagine The Office without Phyllis Lapin/Vance. But that was almost the case before Phyllis Smith was cast in the NBC comedy.
Originally, she was an assistant casting director for The Office crew. But while reading lines during the audition process, she intrigued the producers. They ended up offering her the role soon after.
18 John Krasinski Shot The Footage In The Title Sequence
One of the greatest things about The Office was the simplicity of seeing the hilarious antics coworkers can get up to in an American workplace. It just worked.
Which is probably why the simplistic style of the title sequence for The Office worked as well. And we have John Krasinski to thank for that. He actually shot the footage we see of Scranton throughout the opening credits before the show aired.
17 The Scene Where Jim Proposed To Pam Cost $250,000
One of the best moments in The Office history was when Jim Halpert finally proposed to our favorite office receptionist, Pam Beesly.
He did this at a rest stop, of all places. But it was absolutely perfect. It turns out, though, that the rest stop was actually a replica that set designers had to create. The total for creating the backdrop for this epic moment? $250,000.
16 The Oscar/Michael Kiss Was Improvised
In a classic Michael Scott mishap in season 3, he outs Oscar, causing a slew of mixed reactions from his fellow office workers.
To attempt to right his wrong, he tries to show everyone how okay it is that Oscar is gay. According to producers, Michael was supposed to embrace Oscar in a hug. But Steve Carrell went the extra mile and went in for a smooch instead.
This means all of the reactions from the rest of the cast were 100% genuine.
15 Angela Kinsey First Auditioned To Play Pam
Angela Kinsey, who went on to play Angela Martin on The Office, originally went in to audition for the role of Pam.
While the casting directors loved her, they thought she was too feisty and had a little too much fight in her to play the innocent Pam. So instead, they created the role of Angela Martin for her. Everything worked out perfectly because she got one hell of an unforgettable role.
14 Jenna Fischer Kept Pam’s Engagement Ring
Jenna Fischer has confirmed that she kept the prop engagement ring that Pam received from Jim after the show, as a souvenir of sorts.
However, the rumors of her wearing it in real life and that it cost $5,000, were not, in fact, true. And Fischer was quick to dispel those rumors on Twitter. It still is sweet that she wanted such a sentimental prop for a souvenir, though.
13 John Krasinski Wanted Jenna Fischer To Get Her Part (And Vice Versa)
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski met while auditions were going on for The Office. He, of course, was auditioning for the role of Jim Halpert, while she was auditioning for Pam Beesly. In other words, they would be love interests.
They both felt the other would be perfect the role and would be great to work with, so when each of them got the news they had gotten the part, their first question was who was playing the Jim to their Pam, or vice versa.
It was the start of a beautiful friendship.
12 John Krasinski And Jenna Fischer Didn’t Know What Would Happen After The Season 3 Finale
One of the sweetest Jim and Pam moments was when Jim finally asked Pam out in the season 3 finale. Audiences everywhere collectively swooned and were cheering them on.
But the fact is, even the actors behind those roles didn’t know if they would be starting a relationship or not. The writers kept them out of the loop and said they weren’t sure which direction they were taking them in next.
11 Krasinski Accidentally Insulted The Executive Producer
Jim Halpert was played by the incomparable John Krasinski, and while we couldn’t imagine anyone else in that role, he could’ve lost his chance due to a mishap at auditions.
Apparently, Krasinski was a big fan of the British version of the show and told a man in the audition room that he was worried they would “screw this show up and ruin it” for him. Turns out, that was the executive producer of the American Office. Yikes.
10 Toby Wasn’t Meant To Be A Series Regular
Michael Scott’s arch nemesis, HR rep Toby Flenderson, may have become a persistent thorn in Michael’s side, but he was originally only meant to appear once.
Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby, didn’t ever see himself as an actor. But after NBC President Kevin Reilly saw the episode he made an appearance in, he thought he was terrific and wanted to see him in more episodes. And thus began Michael’s hatred of Toby.
9 Jenna Fischer’s Husband Was On The Show
There were plenty of guest stars to come and go during the 9 seasons of The Office. One of those guest stars just so happened to be the spouse of one of the stars. We’re talking about the lactation consultant Pam had after she gave birth to Cece.
The actor who played her consultant was Jenna Fischer’s husband, Lee Kirk. The two got married in 2010 and have children together.
8 Mindy Kaling Is The Reason Andy Went To Cornell
Mindy Kaling didn’t just play the customer service rep, Kelly Kapoor, on The Office. She also was a writer on the show.
Fans of Kaling may already know that she also went to Dartmouth as her alma mater. Dartmouth also happens to be the rival school of Cornell. Which is precisely why she wrote Andy Bernard as being obsessed with his university throughout the duration of The Office.
7 They Retired Steve Carell’s Number On The Call Sheet
Everybody was devastated upon learning of Michael Scott’s departure during season 7. This included the cast and crew who had worked with Steve Carell throughout the seven seasons it aired.
They honored him by retiring his number on the call sheet. He was always “No.1” but that number was never used during the rest of the shooting of the series.
6 Steve Carell Didn’t Know They Would Be Singing “9,986,000 Minutes”
In one of Steve Carell’s farewell episode as Michael Scott, they sing a song to send Michael off titled, “9,986,000 Minutes”.
The cast actually planned to sing this song to him as a surprise, which ended up drawing out a 100% genuine and heartfelt reaction out of Carell.
So the scene we saw in the episode was a real moment of the cast saying goodbye to Steve. How sweet.
5 Pam’s Goodbye To Michael Was Really Jenna Fischer Saying Goodbye To Steve
It was very stressful when we found out Michael would be leaving a day early without telling the rest of the office. Especially because Pam wasn’t there to say goodbye.
But once Jim found out, he drove Pam to the airport to say goodbye to Michael. And Jenna Fischer revealed what it was she said during that scene since Pam and Michael’s mics were off.
She said, “That was me talking to Steve. I told him all the ways I was going to miss him when he left our show. Those were real tears and a real goodbye.”
4 “That’s What She Said” Was Said 50+ Times
Everybody knows “That’s what she said,” was the running joke all throughout the show's 9 season run. It was especially favored by Michael Scott.
The phrase was uttered 58 times total from season 1 to season 9. Even though it may have seemed like it was said even more than that, that is still quite a lot of times for the racy joke to be spoken.
3 Dwight Was Supposed To Get A Spin-Off
With the great success of The Office, it was bound to at least have discussions about a spin-off. And that’s what ended up happening towards the end of its run.
They were actually hoping to give Dwight his own show. It would be called “The Farm” and focus on Dwight Schrute and his life on his Beet Farm. Unfortunately, it didn’t test well, so NBC passed on it.
2 Jim And Pam’s First Kiss Was John Krasinski’s First On-Screen Kiss
Jim and Pam shippers everywhere were ecstatic when their favorite couple finally shared their first kiss in the season 2 finale. It was an epic moment for the couple as well as audiences.
For John Krasinski, it was also incredibly nerve-wracking, since it was going to be his first on-screen kiss. He even lied to Jenna Fischer when she had asked him if he had done it before.
1 Steve Carell Knew This Would Be His Most Memorable Role
When Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, And Rainn Wilson were the first cast, they went to lunch together and discussed their prediction that the show could go on for as long as eight years, potentially.
At this same lunch, Steve remarked, “Of all the roles I'll end up doing and all the films I may shoot, I believe that Michael Scott may be the role I'll always be most known for.”
He wasn’t wrong about that. And what a role to be remembered for.