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"Couples Discount" is the fifteenth episode of the ninth season of the American television comedy series The Office and is the show's 191st episode overall. It was written by Allison Silverman and directed by Troy Miller. It aired on February 7, 2013. It was viewed by 4.15 million people.

In this episode, the office pairs off into pretend couples to take advantage of a Valentine's Day discount at a local mini-mall. Erin assures Pete she will break up with Andy when he returns, but he has good reason to doubt her. Jim and Pam share a meal with Brian, the documentary's former sound man.


It is Valentine's Day and Jim is in Scranton to spend time with Pam. Erin wants to "play hooky" with Pete and reveals that Andy is coming back the next day from his three-month boat trip during which she plans to break up with him. Dwight pretends to be Andy and forges his signature on expense reports, stating he liked pretend Andy. Meanwhile, Kevin is upset that Andy is returning because he wants to continue drinking Andy's "chunky lemon milk".

The office workers all decide that they should celebrate the day before Andy returns, as a sort of "last hurrah" to a "boss-less" office. Meredith suggests that they "get some booze, some cocaine, and just blow it out", but the office declines. Phyllis suggests that they go to the mini-mall and take advantage of the couples discount at the stores, but the single employees would have to pair up. Oscar and Darryl are forced to pair up as a gay couple. Stanley pairs up with Phyllis, Nellie with Clark, and Angela with Kevin, much to her dismay.

Pam made a Valentine's Day lunch reservation with Jim, but it's with Brian and his wife Alyssa. Jim suggests that they get a bottle of wine later to celebrate privately.

At the Korean-run nail salon in the mini-mall, the employees crowd around Angela due to her small feet. Nellie and Clark get their nails done, and an employee makes fun of Clark for his "girlish" face. When Oscar and Darryl try to apply for the discount, they are rejected insensitively by the Korean cashier after Darryl says they're "crazy in love".

When Pam and Jim get to the restaurant for lunch, it is revealed that Brian and his wife are getting divorced after her absence is made known at the table.

Andy returns a day before he was supposed to and catches Dwight forging expense reports, but does not call him out on it. He is wearing a light tan shirt and sports a homely-looking beard and beanie hat, and Dwight remarks that he looks "disgusting". The rest of the office staff return, and Erin rejects a hug from him. The only gift he brought back from his trip are bamboo sticks meant to be musical instruments, and Erin is clearly disappointed with the gift. Dwight tells Andy that David Wallace, the CEO, is coming in today, and that he should put on better clothes. It is revealed that Wallace doesn't know about Andy's absence.

Back at the restaurant, Jim finds out that Brian and Pam shared an intimate moment together, and Jim is uneasy about it.

After Dwight tells Andy about the White Pages sale, (The Whale) Andy accidentally loses the account when he calls Jan to talk about the price that was agreed to. This seems to prove Dwight as the superior salesman. Later, Andy receives the twelve paychecks and one bonus check that he should've received if he was there. It is revealed that the Scranton branch has increased its sales during Andy's absence. Andy changes into a suit and shaves.

Pam and Jim return from lunch, and they argue in the parking lot about the events that transpired when he was away. Wallace arrives and the office workers provide Andy with largely false information to discuss with Wallace as an attempt to sabotage him, such as the fact that the warehouse burned down. Fortunately for Andy, the meeting goes smoothly when Wallace doesn't seem to notice or think much about Andy's incorrect statements. Andy realizes the office set him up and tells Wallace that he was speaking metaphorically.

Andy, trying to win back Erin.

Erin tells Andy that she doesn't love him and tries to break up with him, but Andy unsuccessfully tries to win her back. He tells her that she can "fake" the love for him, and maybe she will eventually love him again.

Jim tries to cancel the "private wine" because he thinks that they will fight, but after he gives her a gift, she decides that she wants to share the wine and fight. Jim is reluctant, but agrees.

Pete and Erin meet in the parking lot and she tells him that she couldn't break up with Andy. After Pete tells Erin that he just wants her to be happy, the two share a kiss. Erin storms into Andy's office and breaks up with him bluntly and quickly, stating that he's been gone for three months and that she was worried he was dead. Wallace, on the phone with Andy prior to Erin walking in, overhears this and queries Andy.

Cultural references

  • Andy sings the opening theme song of the FOX show New Girl but replaces Jess' name with his own.
  • Dwight calls Andy “Burning Man”, due to his new rough appearance, referring to the annual festival held in the rural Nevada desert.

Connections to previous episodes

  • Even though Jim and Pam are fighting, he gives her a framed sketch she did as a Valentine's Day gift. The sketch was previously seen in a deleted scene in the season 5 episode "Business Trip". It is often mentioned that Jim is the best at giving presents.
  • In the scene where everyone is complaining about Andy, Meredith is seen drinking from her mug from the America's Got Talent party that was thrown by Kelly over the summer before season 5 and mentioned in "Customer Survey". 
  • Andy's return from his sailing trip and bringing back musical instruments mimics Michael's return from Sandals, Jamaica in Season 3 — especially as they both sit alone in their office sulking and playing their instruments.

Amusing details and trivia

  • The Kevin Malone "Get Glue" sticker was released alongside this episode.
  • Erin comments that she doesn't want to be the one to tell David Wallace about Andy's three-month absence, but she ends up inadvertently being the one that tells him.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Guest cast