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Use Your Allusion Vol. 1: A New Friday Office Game
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Jul 28th 2006

"The Office" is full of pop culture allusions (indirect references) and references (specific mention of a particular person, place, thing, etc.) ~ maybe not as many as a Barenaked Ladies song, but they're still there. Like the fairy tale allusions in Shrek, they add to the story. Sometimes in "The Office," they even come full circle. For example:

  • In "Sexual Harassment," Kevin uses the term MILF, which was used in the movie American Pie, which starred Seann William Scott, who will be in the movie Quebec with Jenna Fischer, who stars in "The Office."

  • I also love the reference to Brad Pitt in "Dwight's Speech."

  • The title of this post is an allusion to (and a play on words of) the Guns & Roses Album of the 1990s. Or maybe that I've pointed it out, it's a reference. I don't know.

So what other favorite allusions and references do you see, full circle or not, in "The Office"? It doesn't have to be like the Six Degrees game or even involve people - anything is fair game. The writers certainly have their fingers on the pulse of their viewers, and they know that a carefully dropped allusion can make the scene.

Jul 28th 2006

I'm not sure if this fits but I love when Michael is speaking to Ryan in Yoda's voice and asks Ryan who he is. Ryan says, "Fozzie Bear?" That kills me!
Also, I enjoy the "Pink, the person, the color, basically anything that's awesome" line. Oh yeah, and Kelly's Kobi Bryant reference to the huge ring he bought his wife post infidelity.

Jul 28th 2006

I'd say it's the Johnny Carson bit that gets me everytime. No full circle here, but oh man, 'the hot dog stand behind the warehouse'? The best.

Jul 28th 2006

I like the Catch-22 bit in "The Fight"; the nonsensical atmosphere of the office (complete with gross mismanagement at the top) reminds me of the feel of the novel.

Jul 28th 2006

"You're fired" – Michael a la The Donald

..."going to be a bumpy one" – paraphrasing Bette Davis

"BAM – Emeril"

"Whassup"

"forward it like it's hott" – Michael's butchering of Drop It

and a personal favorite:

"Let's get this party started – Black Eyed...Crows"

Not surprisingly, all Michael...

Jul 28th 2006

"You talkin to me? - Pacino, Raging Bull"

"Fat Halpert" (I go back and forth as to whether Jim really didn't know what Michael was talking about, or if he was just egging him on to explain himself)

The whole idea of an "alliance" just shows how ridiculous reality TV is

And my all time favorite... "why does everyone ask me that (Packer being a fan of William Hung)"

Jul 29th 2006

I agree with THPJ, the Pacino, Raging Bull reference was great. And Michael saying he would like to go one-on-one with Robin Williams is hilarious. Can't you just picture that in your mind? Robin would say 50 funny things before Michael ever got one out of his mouth!!

Jul 29th 2006 edited

Oh yeah, and Kelly's Kobi Bryant reference to the huge ring he bought his wife post infidelity.

I totally forgot about this one, but it's one of my favorites. "And I know he didn't do it. OK, maybe he did..."

I think they had another Kobe Bryant reference, too, which I think is pretty bold, considering.

I also like one of the scenes in "Health Care." It might have been a deleted scene, in fact, involving Jim and Dwight talking about Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and not getting sick. Jim says, "Have you ever seen The Sixth Sense? Maybe you're already dead." Dwight: "Unlikely."

Jul 29th 2006

"A real man makes his own luck. Billy Zane, Titanic."

Dwight and Michael spending New Year's Eve together watching Armageddon.

American Pie 2 is Kevin's favorite movie.

Jul 30th 2006 edited

I always liked Michael refering to the velvet James Dean poster his mother got him as Luke Perry.

Jul 31st 2006

OK, this is an allusion, only backwards -- back to The Office from another source.

Has anyone seen the KFC commercial with the guy who looks like Jim? I know they're aiming it at Office Nation. I just know it. Here's why:

  1. The guy's name is Jim.
  2. He has the same flippy, tousled haircut, same cheap dress shirt and grandpa tie.
  3. He works in an open-concept office.
  4. His friends are chastising him for eating the same lunch every day.

Am I nuts? Has anyone in the Greater Office Community seen this spot? I live in Canada, so I don't know if it's a Canadian ad or one imported from the States. Nine times out of 10, they're U.S.-made, but you never know.

Tell me I'm not going crazy, seeing The Office in everything I watch!

Jul 31st 2006 edited

Yep, I've seen that commercial, but only like two or three times. Oh, and I live in N. Carolina. I guess it's an American commercial.

Jul 31st 2006

I thought of that similarity the first time I saw that commercial too!


Denise

Jul 31st 2006

Phew. I thought I was going nuts. When I saw it, I sat there with my mouth hanging open. My husband asked me if I was all right and I babbled, "Oh my God, thye're playing on Jim from The Office!" He just sighed and rolled his eyes.

I'm so glad I can come here, where people understand.

Jul 31st 2006

I'm glad I'm not the only person who thought that. I thought I had some sort of mental disease.

Jul 31st 2006

I just came to this thread to post that. Seems like an obvious Office rip-off.

Jul 31st 2006

I started a new job today on Maling St. It's kind of a mix of Mindy and Kaling.

It's a stretch, I know, but I haven't posted in this thread yet and I was feeling left out!

And no, it's not an office job ;-)

Aug 2nd 2006

Edward R. Meow = Edward R. Murrow, groundbreaking journalist who took on Joe McCarthy in the 1950s.

Kinda interesting, when you consider the whole "I love my Big Brother" comment from Michael in Email Surveillance....

And yes, I have seen the commercial too. The first time I saw it, I could've sworn they said that he had a ham-and-cheese sandwich, but it's a hamburger

Apr 29th 2007

This looked like fun. All of Michael's new references in Product Recall were great, as was Kelly's impersonation of Bridget Jones.

Apr 30th 2007

"Dwight, you ignorant slut" from Chevy Chase and SNL.

"The worst thing about prison are the dementors" - Harry Potter reference.

Direct references to Million Dollar Baby, Lion King and Weekend at Bernies in Grief Counselling.

There must be millions of these. Are these allusions? Or just references to pop culture?

Apr 30th 2007

Sweep the leg.

Apr 30th 2007

"Dwight, you ignorant slut" from Chevy Chase and SNL.

That's SNL all right, but it's actually Dan Akroyd who says that (to Jane Curtin).

I don't mean to be picky, but I, like Michael, am a student of comedy (and I'm just about as sadly unfunny as he is).

Apr 30th 2007

One of my favorites is in The Fire, when Michael says "Image is everything. Andre Agassi," referencing the Canon ads that he did like 10 years ago. I like it because he represents it as a direct quote, when really, it isn't at all.

May 10th 2007

Trivia: There was once an episode of "The Flintstones" called "The Gambler."

May 10th 2007

One of my favorites is in The Fire, when Michael says "Image is everything. Andre Agassi," referencing the Canon ads that he did like 10 years ago. I like it because he represents it as a direct quote, when really, it isn't at all.

Michael's "Being a boss is also about image" talking head tonight reminded me of the Agassi quote.

May 10th 2007

In "Sexual Harassment," Kevin uses the term MILF, which was used in the movie American Pie, which starred Seann William Scott, who will be in the movie Quebec with Jenna Fischer, who stars in "The Office."

sean william scott went to my high school, speakimg of circles :)

Oct 5th 2008

I have never met anyone famous.

Strike that. Is the Secretary of Defense considered famous?

Oct 5th 2008

I guess it depends on which one.
I don't really remember if I've met famous people. I met Newt Gingrich, and Roger Staubach. Apparently I was on a plane with Sean Connery once, but I didn't see him because I was carrying the bags.

Oct 5th 2008

Ha. Robert Gates was the President of Texas A&M when they yanked him up for the SecDef position. When I worked there, I received a university-wide award in which I shook hands with Robert Gates and took a photo. He laughed at my raunchy joke I told to make him and the Former Students Association President smile. It was a great picture. I don't remember what joke I told though.

That's probably the closest I've come to actually meeting someone famous.

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