"Customer Loyalty" is the twelfth episode of the ninth season of the American television comedy series The Office and is the show's 188th episode overall. It was written by Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller and directed by Kelly Cantley. It aired on January 24, 2013. It was viewed by 4.19 million people.
Dwight is digging through some old accounting files when to his amazement, he discovers a letter from one of the company's founders, Robert Dunder, a letter detailing that he has found a rare treasure that he has hidden away for someone to find. Dwight deduces that it must be the Holy Grail and begins to follow the trail of clues to it. Pam suspects this may be one of Jim's pranks and calls him. Jim realizes that it is and that he set that prank up years ago and refers to it as The Dunder Code. However, he has forgotten what happens when Dwight gets to the end of the trail. Pam and the others watch as Dwight follows the clues and eventually ends up searching the warehouse. Pam tells Jim that they didn't find anything, but it is shown that the goblet Jim had placed at the end of the trail has wound up as a coffee cup for a warehouse worker.
Nellie has assembled a Youth Task Force made up of Pete and Erin. Their goal was to create a Facebook page for the company. They explain how they have created several fake profiles and liked the page in order for the company to appear very popular. Nellie is very proud that she chose those two to work together.
Jim is excited as he is coming back to Scranton to see Cece in a ballet that she has been practicing for a while. He and Pam agree to meet and catch up after a meeting with an investor.
Darryl comes in with a bag with Jim's company printed on the side. Dwight laughs at the name "Athlead" and mocks Jim for his new job. Darryl defends Jim and also mentions how he soon will be working full-time for them. Dwight is horrified that Jim is taking Darryl away and suspects that Jim is planning to steal each employee one by one.
Pam asks Angela if the Senator has mentioned anything about a mural. Pam reveals that the Senator recently helped her submit her design for an Irish-American Cultural Center mural downtown and she hopes to be the one picked.
Dwight asks Clark to print out any customer complaints on Darryl however the old printer leads to very slow printing.
Nellie congratulates Pete and Erin on their great job after the company's Facebook page gets its first real like, but she soon realizes that there is an attraction between the two. Nellie is horrified with herself as she is the one who paired them up on the project. She plans to keep them apart to help Andy as she wants to pay Andy back for writing the recommendation letter for her to the adoption agency.
Dwight pretends to be willing to go out and get everyone coffee by having everyone sign their names on a sheet, but Phyllis discovers that the sheet is actually a document asking for a pledge of loyalty to the company. Darryl tells Dwight that he is overreacting. Dwight holds a meeting where he tries to convince people to stay as loyalty is important. Nellie also uses the opportunity to talk about a different kind of loyalty, loyalty to your partner. Kevin brings up how he believes that Pete and Erin are flirting with each other to which both deny.
Dwight tries again to convince Darryl to stay, but Darryl tells Dwight he will be leaving the company.
Pam calls Jim to see if he is close, but Jim reveals he is still in Philadelphia. Jim talks about how the meeting has gone on for a very long time because the investor they were meeting with got nervous and has decided to back out of the deal. Jim is very sad that he will not be able to see Cece's ballet recital and asks Pam if she can record it on her phone. He is nervous as Pam is usually not very good with her phone, but Pam insists she can do it.
Darryl is told he is needed to go on a paper delivery and climbs into the truck. The driver has their head low and a hat pulled over their face. It is then revealed that the driver is Dwight. Dwight tells Darryl that they are going on a paper delivery together so that Dwight can show Darryl all the fun there is in working at a paper company.
Nellie is happy to see that she has saved Andy's girlfriend from going to Pete, but when she talks to Toby, Toby reveals that Andy did not treat her very well and that Nellie may have broken up a very real and happy relationship. Nellie resolves to fix this, but she is somewhat perplexed when Toby starts holding her hand and comments that "they don't have what we do". Nellie suddenly remembers that she kissed Toby at the Christmas party and appears regretful.
When Pam is recording Cece's ballet recital, her phone goes off much to the annoyance of the other parents in the audience. Pam becomes very excited when she learns that the call is telling her that she has been picked to paint the mural.
Dwight tries several tactics to make Darryl have fun including playing loud music, playing sports, getting fast food, and throwing a milkshake at an employee as a practical joke. Darryl does not find Dwight's prank amusing and steals the keys so Dwight can't drive away. The manager then makes Dwight clean it up and another driver throws one at him.
Jim is still very stressed out as he attempts to persuade the investor to come back. The investor still appears reluctant.
Things are now very awkward between Pete and Erin and as Nellie observes this, she feels guilty and decides to get them back together.
Pam tries to show the video of Cece's ballet recital to Kevin and Oscar, but Pam accidentally turned the video off when she took the phone call and she never got the rest of it. Angela accuses Pam of choosing a phone call over her child. Pam says that it was an important phone call, but does not tell them what the phone call was about. She tells the cameras that she wants Jim to be the first one to know that she will be the one to paint the mural as she likes it when Jim gets very excited about her art.
Nellie calls Pete and Erin into the conference room and tells them that she will be reassembling the Youth Task Force and that they will have no choice but to keep talking to each other. Pete and Erin seem very happy about this and leave with smiles on their faces. However, Nellie seems rather uncomfortable when Toby congratulates her and begins to give her a shoulder massage.
Jim calls Pam to tell her how the meeting went. Jim is very stressed and annoyed as the investor has decided to back out. He asks Pam if she can send him the video recording of Cece to cheer him up and Pam admits she did not get it. She tries to make light of it by making self-deprecating jokes, but Jim goes off and berates Pam for not being able to film it. The two soon get in a heated argument before they hang up. Pam starts crying and one of the documentary crew members, Brian, asks Pam if she is okay. He proceeds to comfort her and tells the other crew members to shut the cameras off.
Darryl watches the video of the driver who hit Dwight with a drink as he was cleaning up the kitchen from when he threw a drink on the fast food employee. Darryl laughs as he watches it several times. He then admits that this will be a part of the job that he will miss.
Dwight's coffee order sheet
After the episode aired, NBC released a copy of Dwight's coffee order / loyalty oath.
Courtesy of Dwight
|*By writing my name in the column below, I do hereby resolve to swear an oath of loyalty and obedience to Dunder Mifflin and its affiliates (hereinafter "Company") for life plus 10 years (hereinafter "Hereafter"). My loyalty and priorities will be wholly with Company and no side projects or extra-curricular endeavors, aka moonlighting at dumb sounding companies including but not limited to "Athlead," will be pursued. I also promise not to take tips or kickbacks or any form of "payola" (as such term is generally defined in the radio industry) in exchange for giving special treatment to any customers (hereinafter "Customers"). My devotion to the Company shall be nothing less than unconditional obedience and I shall be prepared at all times to give my life to uphold this oath in this life and the Hereafter. One coffee order maximum per name, no pizza.|
|Phyllis||banana fruit smoothie|
|DP||Double Latte (lotsa latte!)|
|Oscar||Venti chai tea misto, half soy|
|Clark||Tall & Black (like my women!)|
|Nellie||Black Tea (any) with lemon (like my men!)|
|Erin||Vanilla blendy thing (5 sugars) [happy face drawing]|
|M—||irish coffee – extra irish!|
|Creed||Pastrami on rye, fries, coke, nothing to drink|
- The Dunder Code is a reference to the popular book and movie The DaVinci Code.
Connections to previous episodes
- Dwight recognizes the existence of invisible ink and knows immediately to heat it up—in Casual Friday, Dwight employed urine as invisible ink, instructing Andy and others to "heat my words."
- Kevin recognizes the poker hand as a flush, a reference to his skills as a poker player first mentioned in Casino Night.
- Phyllis is once again the one who sees through Dwight trying to get everyone to sign a sheet.
- Meredith is still wearing a wig after having shaved her head, albeit a different one.
Amusing details and trivia
- The Creed Bratton "Get Glue" sticker was released alongside the episode.
- This is the first time a member of the film crew has appeared onscreen.
- Pam is wearing her lucky pink cardigan. This is potentially an allusion to the intimate moment she shares with Brian at the end of the episode.
- Ed Helms (Andy Bernard) is credited but does not appear in this episode.
- The YouTube video of Dwight getting hit by the milkshake is quite different from the scene shot by the documentary crew following Dwight. The biggest difference is in the YouTube video, the milkshake splatters across Dwight's shirt instead of his pants leg.
- While Dwight is on the quest for the grail at the start of the episode, he finds a key above Angela's desk in the ceiling panel. Jim said he put it there 6 or 7 years ago; however, in Season 5's "Stress Relief" (Episode 14/15), long after Jim would have put the key there, everyone is trying to escape the building during the fake fire. Oscar climbs into the same ceiling panel that Dwight finds the key in. The key would have been lost or found when Oscar climbed up or Angela threw her cat Bandit in the ceiling to try getting him out. In either case, it would have been long gone by season 9.
- In the previous episode, "Suit Warehouse", the employees of Dunder Mifflin are shown tearing up the office's carpet after drinking many cups of espresso. In this episode, the carpet is seen undamaged, but it's likely that the carpet has simply been replaced since then.
Behind the scenes
- The character Brian was named after the show's real-life boom operator Brian Wittle, who even tried out to play himself. Real-life Brian Wittle said that it felt "really weird" being the boom operator for the talking head in which character Brian Wittle introduces himself as Brian Wittle.
- Creator Greg Daniels knew that he was going to reveal the documentary crew at some point, but Michael Schur was strongly opposed to the idea. When Daniels returned for the final season, Schur was still running Parks and Recreation, giving Daniels the opportunity to introduce Brian the boom operator. Spoiler: The show responded to overwhelmingly negative fan feedback about the Brian storyline and quickly pivoted away from it.
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- Catherine Tate as Nellie Bertram
- Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson
- Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone
- Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton
- Clark Duke as Clark Green
- Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
- Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon
- Angela Kinsey as Angela Lipton
- Jake Lacy as Pete Miller
- Paul Lieberstein as Toby Flenderson
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
- Chris Diamantopoulos as Brian
- Sam Richardson as Colin, Athlead Employee
- Ben Silverman as Isaac
- Calvin Tenner as Glenn
- Greene, Alan. "Season Nine." The Office: The Untold Story of the Great Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History. Dutton, 2020.
|Season 8||The Office - Season 9|
|#01||New Guys||#07||The Whale||#13||Junior Salesman||#19||Stairmageddon|
|#02||Roy's Wedding||#08||The Target||#14||Vandalism||#20||Paper Airplane|
|#03||Andy's Ancestry||#09||Dwight Christmas||#15||Couples Discount||#21||Livin' the Dream|
|#04||Work Bus||#10||Lice||#16||Moving On||#22||A.A.R.M.|
|#05||Here Comes Treble||#11||Suit Warehouse||#17||The Farm||#23||Finale|
|#06||The Boat||#12||Customer Loyalty||#18||Promos|