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It's a fake wheel, dummy! : Mistakes in The Office
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Mar 5th 2006

The Northern Attack forums are awesome, because obsessed Office fans (like myself!) don't have to feel embarassed about having watched each episode over and over again. But as much as we love The Office, we know it can never be perfect! So here's a great place to share mistakes, oversights, and conflicting plot points that we may have noticed. Let the nitpicking begin! :)

Mar 5th 2006

Here's one thing that bothers me about the JAM timeline, which may or may not be an oversight on the writers' part:

  • In Dwight's Speech, Ryan mentions that Jim has worked in the same place for five years.

  • In Booze Cruise, Pam tells Katy that she's been engaged for three years.

  • In The Secret, Jim tells Pam that he had a crush on her when she "first started" at Dunder Mifflin, but then he found out that she was engaged.

If we assume that Pam started at Dunder Mifflin shortly after becoming engaged, that would mean that Jim's been crushing on Pam for 3 years without doing anything about it, and only recently (in episodes like Christmas Party and Booze Cruise) has he been close to finally telling her his feelings.

This timeline seems way too stretched out to me. If Pam has been only recently hired, it would be much more believable. I know Pam is used to ultra slow-moving relationships (hello, World's Longest Engagement!) but they don't seem like two people who've worked together for 3 years. Any thoughts?

Mar 5th 2006

I think it could happen. First of all, we've "known" these characters for a year now, and Jim still likes Pam, Pam is still engaged to Roy. Only recently has the wedding been moving forward, which it seemed that everyone was surprised by, since they have apparently seen Pam and Roy engaged for so long with no progress forward.
And we know that Jim's life is a little monotonous (same job, same sandwich, etc). He probably could easily have gone on for the past few years with the same crush and not done anything about it. We've only seen things change now that the wedding is moving forward. I can easily see them having worked together for 3 years. The teapot had a bunch of little inside jokes between the two of them, showing that they had a history together - Jim mentions that she put the hot sauce packet on her hot dog "a couple years ago", and mentions this is the first time he's gotten her in "secret Santa", making me think she's been around for a few years. I think that you're right - in many people's worlds, 3 years would be too long to have a crush and not do anything about it - and for the other person not to notice. But Jim and Pam are a little slow-moving in life, they live in a small town and both have bigger dreams but are doing nothing about it. Anyway, there's my two cents. :-)

Mar 6th 2006

In "The Client" episode:

In describing her worst first date, Pam initially refers to a 'minor-league hockey game'.

In jokingly recounting THEIR first date, Jim mockingly mentions the 'high-school hockey game'.

Mar 6th 2006

I think Jim has been at D-M: 7 years (Pilot), 3 years (The Secret) and 5 years (Dwight's Speech). Pam has been with Roy: since high school, 10 years and "not that long ago" (per worst date story).

Mar 6th 2006

Also, regarding college attendence: Michael ate Cup O' Noodles in college (can't remember episode)

But

Michael went to the "school of hard knocks" not college, per Dwight in The Fire.

Mar 6th 2006

Cat Party -- As far as Michael's college attendance goes, I think he's lying in Email Surveillance.

Mar 6th 2006

Here's how the JAM thing works...

Jim started, let's say 5 years ago...

Pam gets engaged, and begins working at Dunder-Mifflin 3 years ago, when she meets Jim and Jim, who doesn't know of said engagement, develops a thing for her...

See, JIM started 5 years ago, and developed the crush when PAM started, which was not necessarily 5 years ago.

However, there probably is some sort of error there.

Mar 6th 2006

The license plate on the front of Michael's car does not have the same numbers as the one on the back.

Mar 6th 2006

the timeline thing is not an error. there's just a little lie hidden in there.

jim was in damage control mode when when he talked to pam. michael spilled the secret and jim tried to make it as innocuous as possible. making it 3 years old was just a made up set up for his ‘totally over it’ line.

Mar 7th 2006 edited

Nice thread, Scarlet! I know I've come across a few wrinkles while putting together my recaps. Just gotta dig 'em up...

Mar 7th 2006
Not really a huge mistake, but I always find it comical when you can see the large microphone hanging over the cast, especially at times when the camera moves quickly.
"Basketball" is full of these. In one instance during the game, Michael takes a shot, the camera pulls way back to an angle under the hoop and you can see the whole mic apparatus extending over the court. Aren't those things called 'booms' or something like that?
Mar 7th 2006

Not really a huge mistake, but I always find it comical when you can see the large microphone hanging over the cast, especially at times when the camera moves quickly.

I think those moments are to help give the show its documentary-like style.

Mar 7th 2006

Sometimes the mockumentary conceit is a real problem if you think too much about it. Like in "The Client," we could hear the music coming over Jim's iPod during the scene in the parking lot. Does that mean he and Pam hadn't taken off their microphones for the day yet? Do they wear them home or return them to the camera crew? I try not to worry about logistics like this because it'll ruin the show.

Mar 7th 2006

I guess I was never under the impression that they wore mics. What would be the point of the other mics then? I know the characters in the British versions wore them, though.

Mar 7th 2006

Sometimes the mockumentary conceit is a real problem if you think too much about it.

You're right Tad. We could write a 500 page novel on the inconsistencies of the mockumentary conceit if we desired. I just let it go.

BTW, I just posted a small spoiler in the appropriate thread concerning the mockumentary conceit's future.

Mar 7th 2006

Trent, the only really obvious mention of mics I can remember is when Michael has to take his off in the hospital when Dwight has his concussion.

Mar 7th 2006

Nice thread, Scarlet! I know I've come across a few wrinkles while putting together my recaps. Just gotta dig 'em up...

Thanks, James! But now I feel like a big dweeb because I started this thread and haven't been able to come up with any real mistakes yet. LOL!

Back to the ol' iPod I go ... I think tonight calls for "The Dundies" (17 times so far, and counting!)

Mar 8th 2006

I've seen the office thermostat in no less than 3 different locations. Also, sometimes it is round and sometimes it is rectangular.

Mar 8th 2006 edited

Back to the ol' iPod I go ... I think tonight calls for "The Dundies" (17 times so far, and counting!)

Stanley: My wife did come.
Michael: Well I look forward to meeting her.

That exchange was priceless !!

Mar 8th 2006

Good call, Tapper! For me, I love the part when Michael is telling the joke about the "hot chick in HR" and Dwight says "yeah???" all enthusiastically. Something about the way Rainn delivers Dwight's lines always cracks me up! :)

Mar 9th 2006

In response to the post regarding Michael’s license plates:

In PA cars only have official plates on the back. People are free to do anything they like with the space for plates in the front of the car. Most of the time car dealers with put some sort of placeholder in that space, usually with an advertisement, and a lot of people will just leave it there. Other people will leave the space empty all together. But there are people who like to personalize their cars a bit. Some people have plates that pay tribute to their school or their heritage, for example an Irish flag. You can also get ones that look just like the official state license plates but say different things. One that I see all the time is “JESUS.” I’ve never really looked into it, but I assume that plates like this are pre-made and that you can purchase them somewhere, perhaps through the DMV, and I’m not 100% sure if you can have them custom made, but I would assume that you could.

So while it is very odd and improbable that Michael’s front plate would just be random numbers (if he did pay to have one customized, you’d think he would want it to actually spell something, “JANS MAN” for instance), the fact that the front and back plates don’t match is not actually a mistake.

Here’s another question: How many kids does Meredith have? In “Alliance” Dwight says she has two but in “The Injury” Michael says that she only has one. I am guessing that this is actually not a mistake, and that the writers wanted Michael’s character to mess up the number to show that he doesn’t know his co-workers as well as he thinks he does. What do you guys think?

Mar 19th 2006

Hey this is my first time posting! Exciting stuff. Anyway, I was also confused about the number of kids Meredith has, because in Take Your Daughter To Work Day it seems as though she's only got the one.

Also, in The Secret when Jim and Michael are at Hooters and Jim asks Michael "What about you?" after Michael asks him what his favorite thing about Pam is, what is Jim referring to? That's always bothered me...

Mar 19th 2006

little kid luvr,

I know! Michael asked Jim what he liked about Pam, and Jim told him. Jim reciprocated the question to Michael, who answered very straight-forwardly. And then Jim said that's not what he meant... what's the deal, yo?

Mar 19th 2006 edited

Trent, the only really obvious mention of mics I can remember is when Michael has to take his off in the hospital when Dwight has his concussion.

And herein lies another mistake...

When going in for Dwight's CAT scan, the nurse says "no metal of any kind" is to enter the room. Michael takes his mic off, but leaves his wrist watch on.

edit! I just re-watched that bit and he does take it off... I don't know how I missed it before!! But I'm sure he has a metal belt buckle... or something :P

Mar 19th 2006

Plain White Jim, little kid luvr, I'm guessing he was after an answer that wasn't quite so... graphic? Perhaps something about her personality? He should've known better, he was talking to Michael!

Mar 20th 2006

Quote from Cat Party- "Pam has been with Roy: since high school, 10 years and "not that long ago" (per worst date story)."

Well if Pam is 25, according to her MySpace, 10 years would put her back in high school.

Mar 20th 2006

Well if Pam is 25, according to her MySpace, 10 years would put her back in high school.

It's not the high school/10-year-ago that's bothersome. It's the "not so long ago."

Also, the hockey game is refered to as a high school hockey game and a minor league hockey game in the same episode.

Mar 20th 2006

Well, Pam was just walking up to the worst date conversation and perhaps didn't pick up on the "first" element. Still, it feels like the discrepancy could've been smoothed over with a simple "It's not a first date, but" or something. Or maybe, since she presumably has not had any first dates in ten years, "not that long ago" could've been a relative term (and a way to avoid stating outright that it's her fiance, since it's embarrassing for Pam). But yeah, it's bothersome.

Same with the minor-league/high school discrepancy. Of course it's conceivable that someone could confuse the details and say the wrong thing, but it feels rough.

Mar 21st 2006

I put in the first season dvd this morning and noticed that in the summary for The Alliance episode, it says Dwight asks "JOHN" to be in an alliance (instead of "Jim").

In Hot Girl, after Michael insults the crap out of Toby, the camera focuses on the picture of his daughter on his desk and she has dark hair. In last week's episode, we met her and she was a cute blond.

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