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"Booze Cruise" is the eleventh episode of the second season of The Office and the 17th overall. It was written by Greg Daniels and directed by Ken Kwapis. It first aired on January 5, 2006. It was viewed by 8.6 million people.

Cold open

The episode opens with Dwight, who is incensed that Jim has put all of his possessions in the vending machine. Pam puts in some money and buys Dwight's pencil cup, to his great dismay.


Michael sends out a vague memo telling the staff to pack a number of random items, including a swimsuit, a toothbrush, rubber-soled shoes and a ski-mask, in preparation for the company's first quarter leadership training trip. The surprise trip turns out to be a "booze cruise" on Lake Wallenpaupack, and the staff is not happy--it's January, and much too cold for a cruise. Michael tells the staff: "Leader... ship. The word "ship" is hidden inside the word "leadership," as its derivation. So if this office is, in fact, a ship, as its leader, I am the captain!" When they arrive on the boat, however, Michael immediately feels threatened by the ship's captain, Captain Jack, who declares that he will be the ship's "party captain" for the evening. A hilarious battle for top authority on the ship ensues, with Michael echoing everything Captain Jack says.

Jim brings Katy, his new girlfriend, (played by Amy Adams) as his date, and Pam brings Roy along. The four soon start talking, and it becomes clear that Katy and Roy enjoy each other more than they do their respective partners. Pam and Jim are left alone together, and the romantic tension is palpable. As the party inside begins, Michael tries unsuccessfully to motivate his staff and is disappointed when Captain Jack does a better job.  The awkwardness Michael creates is magnified by the fact Dunder Mifflin's group is not the only group on the boat. When Dwight volunteers to hold the limbo stick, Captain Jack sends him outside to "steer the ship." Angela asks Dwight to come inside and talk to her, but he refuses, saying "I can't. Do you want us to run aground, woman?!" (The wheel Dwight is so seriously manning turns out to be fake). When Captain Jack leaves the festivities with Meredith, Michael claims wildly that the ship is sinking and will be at the bottom of the lake in mere minutes. At first no one believes him, but soon people start to panic and one passenger jumps overboard. Captain Jack returns and, after discovering what Michael has done, handcuffs him to the railing outside to prevent him from causing any more trouble. Roy, motivated by Captain Jack's stories about commitment (and slightly drunk), announces to Pam that it's time to set a date for their wedding. He suggests June 10th, and Pam happily accepts. After seeing this, Jim becomes depressed and soon breaks up with Katy, who is shocked and upset. Jim then admits to Michael that he has strong feelings for Pam. Michael more surprised than anything tells him he usually has a radar that kind of thing. Jim looks down and seems ready to let Pam go, Michael tells him that if he really likes her then he shouldn't give up. Michael also tells Jim: "engaged ain't married," encouraging him never to give up on Pam.

Deleted scenes

The Season Two DVD contains a number of deleted scenes from this episode. Notable cut scenes include:

  • Jan and Brenda meet with Michael in his office. When Michael asks Brenda for a moment alone with Jan, she responds that Jan had specifically told her to say no if he asked that question - when he asks again soon after, Brenda is happy to comply before Jan tells her not to. After Jan leaves, Michael offers to make Brenda a fake ID.
  • Toby intentionally arrives late to the booze cruise. Michael, of course, refuses to have the boat go back to get him - though as the boat pulls away from the dock, Toby smiles and jokingly says that stopping to have dinner might not've been a good idea.
  • Michael tries to play guitar with the band, but fails. Creed offers to play and begins playing very well. A goof exists in this scene, as Michael is seen hitting the high-E string on an upside-down left-handed guitar, but the notes sound as if he were playing the low-E string.
  • Creed explains how he was a member of the band, The Grass Roots, which is the real band the real Creed Bratton played with.
  • Dwight states he was conflicted between Michael and Captain Jack as he boarded the boat, but now "he will follow Captain Jack to hell and back."
  • Michael gives Ryan useless advice on how to study in the current situation.
  • In separate shots Ryan and Meredith throw up.
  • A drunken Darryl orders a drink. Angela says that maybe he had enough to which he responds, "What you say, bitch?". He immediately admits she might be right and walks away guiltily.
  • In a scene after Roy has announced a date for his and Pam's wedding, Katy tells Jim he should make a toast. Despite him saying he doesn't want to, Katy tells everyone on the boat that he wants to make a speech. He stumbles through the beginning and then begins talking about how amazing Pam is. He is then cut off by a very drunk Dwight who "steals" one of Michael's jokes.
  • In an extended version of the scene where Michael convinces Jim not to give up on Pam, Michael asks Jim for a hat. Jim gives him one then walks away, and Michael then realizes he can't get the hat on because his hands are tied to the railing. He still tries and eventually gets it on his head, but only barely.

Amusing details

  • Kevin wears the requested ski mask to the booze cruise. It obscures his vision so much, he bumps into Michael as he walks up the ramp.
  • When Katy sits and pouts after being dumped by Jim, Kelly is behind her with her head on the table, sleeping. Making the situation worse is that Katy knows no one else on the cruise, so she just has to sit by herself. And she has no ride home afterward.
  • After Roy finally sets a date for his and Pam's wedding, Captain Jack offers to marry them aboard the ship. Pam politely declines, saying she wants her parents to be present. Spoiler: Four years later, in "Niagara", she and Jim slip away from the wedding and get married on a boat, without any relatives present.


  • A real January booze cruise on Lake Wallenpaupack would be impossible. The lake is frozen over, and all boats must be removed from the lake by October.
  • The official name of the ship is Lake Wallenpaupack Princess.
  • Captain Jack claims to have been a captain of a US Navy PC-1 Cyclone class patrol ship during Operation Desert Storm.
  • Actor Rob Riggle (plays Captain Jack) served as an Officer in the Marine Corps from 1990 until 2013.
  • During the cruise, Michael gets seasick. Brenda notices that and he explains to her that he's on medication. When pressed for its name, he says, "Vomicillin". This is clearly a made-up name, a portmanteau of "vomit" and "penicillin", implying that it's some sort of antibiotic that makes you vomit.

Behind the scenes

  • The idea for this episode came from B.J. Novak who came up with a simple two-word pitch: "Booze Cruise".[1]:52:40
  • According to Greg Daniels' DVD commentary, the original script included a storyline depicting Oscar as a nasty drunk. It was cut for time.
  • It was during filming of this episode that the secondary cast members learned that they had been promoted to series regulars. Up until that point, they had been hired week-to-week.[2] A photo of Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer celebrating is on Pam's desk in the episode "Take Your Daughter to Work Day".
  • Jenna Fischer recorded a "behind the scenes" Booze Cruise Video Blog. Links to it come and go. YouTube. Reddit.

Cultural references

  • Michael's recitation which begins Stanley Bo-Banley is a verse from "The Name Game" adapted to Stanley's name.
  • Tony Robbins is an author and motivational speaker who conducts seminars around the country.
  • The -ship suffix in the word leadership is not part of its derivation as Michael claims. It is merely a noun-forming suffix meaning "the qualities of".
  • The idiom all in the same boat means that everyone shares the same problem and needs to work together to solve it.
  • The idiom to bowl over means to make someone happy by overwhelming with surprise. One can be bowled over by a gift, for example. Michael's use of the idiom in to bowl over the competition is somewhat misguided; one would more likely wish to bowl over one's customers. The phrase originates from the sport of cricket, although Michael is more likely to have taken his employees bowling.
  • Michael fails to recognize that Darryl is making a pun on sales and sails.
  • Titanic is an Oscar-winning blockbuster film about the ship RMS Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage. The film is well known for Leonardo DiCaprio's line "I'm the king of the world!", shouted while standing on the prow of the ship, a scene which Michael re-creates.
  • The Hunt for Red October is a film (based on a book of the same title) about a Soviet submarine whose captain wishes to defect to the United States.
  • Michael sings "A three hour tour" from the theme song to Gilligan's Island, a comedy about a group of castaways stranded on a tropical island when their ship runs aground. It's probably not a good choice of a song to celebrate a boat trip. He also matches up office employees with characters from the program:
  • Nebulose is not a real word. Michael intended to say nebulous.
  • Michael uses a variation of the slang saying If the van's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'. In the saying, the van is rocking because the occupants are having sex.
  • Bishop O'Hara is a high school in nearby Dunmore.
  • Pan Am is a now-defunct airline. Before airline security became more stringent, pilots would occasionally allow young children to visit the cockpit and let them pretend to fly the plane. They likely discontinued this practice for safety reasons.
  • Dwight sings What do you do with a drunken sailor?, a traditional sea shanty.
  • A snorkel shot is a drinking game invented for this episode. It appears to consist of drinking a shot of liquor through a snorkel tube.
  • Operation Desert Storm is another name for the Gulf War.
  • Michael offers to give away the bride at Pam's wedding. This is a role traditionally played by the bride's father.
  • BFD, short for Big F—ing Deal, is a derisive expression.
  • I hope I die before I'm old are lyrics from the song "My Generation" by The Who.
  • The Grass Roots was a real group, a successful folk rock act active from 1966 to 1975 who garnered 29 hit singles on the Billboard Top 100, and sold over 30 million records. Creed Bratton is portrayed by the actor of the same name, who was the group's guitarist. Creed appears to exhibit a level of bitterness over his 'fall from grace'.
  • Songs played on the cruise were "Get Busy" by Sean Paul and "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers.


see Booze Cruise Quotes


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast