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"Double Date" is the ninth episode of the sixth season of The Office, and the show's 109th episode overall. It was written by Charlie Grandy and directed by Seth Gordon. It originally aired on November 5, 2009 and was viewed by 7.94 million people.

Cold open

Dwight enters the office with a basket of bagels he went to New York City for. As the Scranton branch happily accept, Phyllis thanks Dwight who tells them not to worry as they owe him now, with a sly look on his face. Dwight then goes into Michael's office and convinces him to take two bagels, telling him that Michael now owes him. In a talking head he explains that he is doing nice things so the Scranton branch will owe him favors that he plans to use to get Jim fired from his co-manager position.


Dwight continues giving out bagels, this time trying to get Pam to accept a bagel. However she refuses, as she has an early lunch planned.

Meanwhile, Pam and Jim are going on an early lunch with Helene and Michael because it is Helene's birthday, although Pam wishes the relationship would have died out.

Ryan gets into photography. He takes pictures of "places with unlikely beauty," including a sewer, homeless people, and graffiti. He asks Erin if she has ever been photographed before, and then shows her a topless picture of Kelly, for a series titled Exposure in the Workplace. Erin is visibly shocked.

Michael is thrilled that he can prove to Pam on the birthday lunch that he really likes her mom. Angela snidely asks Pam if she's going to introduce the office to "Michael's girlfriend". Helene reveals that Michael got her two presents. When Kevin suggests that Helene and Michael had sex, Pam is outraged. As Helene, Jim, Pam, and Michael leave, Pam gets a "phone call" and tries to stay at the office by saying to the couple that her client is having a shipping emergency. However, Jim, who is having none of it, takes the phone and acts as if he's resolved the issue; he hangs up and the foursome leave for the double date.

On the car ride, Pam tells her mother that she likes sales. Helene suggests that Pam's sales are mediocre, and Pam reflects that she shouldn't have gotten in the car.

While Pam endures the date, Andy repays Dwight by giving him his suitcase back, which he polished. Not to be outdone, they awkwardly keep giving each other little favors on the way back to their desks from the break room. Dwight says that Andy is complicating everything, but that he is not afraid.

Meanwhile, Pam is shocked when the waitress calls Helene, Michael, Jim and Pam the "Scott Family." She shows open disdain towards Michael in a talking head. It is revealed that Michael decorated the area where the double date takes place, which causes Pam to warm up a bit.

Michael, however, begins to realize how old Helene is when he says he'd like to go to Italy someday, but instead of echoing his desire she says he can have her guidebooks and that she's "done with those really long plane rides". Helene then jokingly says that she is 49 for the 9th year. Michael uses a pen and paper to add 49 and 9; "you're 54 years old!" he says when done. Helene corrects him and says she's 58. Michael says in interview that he's not robbing the cradle, he's robbing the grave. Back at the table, he is mortified when Pam and Jim suggest that Helene be called "grandma" and he knocks back the rest of his wine. To probe Helene's attitude towards her age, Michael tries to get her to participate in a triathlon. She says no, but she might have done it when she was younger, confirming Michael's fears.

At Dunder Mifflin, Andy takes "a page out of the old Schrute book of niceness" and buys lunch for the whole office. They all eat the tacos, except Angela. Dwight tries to maintain his edge by offering to make everyone's tacos for them.

Michael begins to signal that he doesn't want to be with Helene. Michael downplays the gift he got Helene - a scrapbook with mementos of their relationship and a cutesy poem—which Pam, unaware of Michael's change in attitude, calls a "home run". Pam and Jim are pleased at Michael, finally.

After a stop at the bar, Michael says in interview that he thought he was going to grow old with Holly Flax. Then he met Helene and although she already knows and has done everything Michael wants to do, he wants to do those things himself. At the table, Michael tells Helene that he wants her to enjoy her cake before he tells her a "terrible terrible thing". Michael then announces he can't continue to date Helene "in good conscience" because of Pam's disapproval. Pam tells him that it is okay and that she's come around. Michael abandons that line of argument, and instead breaks up with Helene by telling her, in essence, that she is too old for him. Pam is angry, and Helene is seemingly ruined by the news.

While Helene tries to get over the breakup, Dwight continues to help Andy, assisting him get something off a high shelf only to realize that it is in fact a gift for him (a $15 Starbucks gift card from the whole office).

Michael, bribing Pam, offers to give her a raise on the condition that she stops being mad. When she's not happy with that, Michael invites Pam to hit him, and Pam says she will. She tells him that she will hit him that day after work, in the parking lot, as hard as she can, in front of everyone.

Kelly and Ryan come to see Michael and to tell him that he is going to get punched hard. Nervously, Michael goes to Jim to ask him to stop Pam, but Jim toys with Michael, saying he needs some time to make a decision about it; "no more than a week... maybe two weeks".

Toby talks to Pam and tells her that the punch needs to be off company property. He then advises her on how to punch with more force.

The whole office waits outside to see Pam punch Michael, who is late. Once he shows up and says he's ready, as he's about to be hit he keeps wincing and blocking the anticipated punch with his hands. Michael then tells Pam that he is sorry, and after extracting some clarification on what he's sorry for, Pam lets him off the hook, warning him never to date a family member of hers again. He agrees, but as Pam turns away, he tries to get the last word by saying that "for the record your mom came onto me." Pam abruptly turns around and slaps him hard, drawing a shocked reaction from the gathered crowd. Pam asks Michael if he is okay, but when he says "no!" like a crybaby, she brushes him off and walks away. Jim asks Pam if she feels better, but she says "no, you were right".

Afterward, Dwight aids Michael by holding a frozen chicken part against his swollen cheek. Michael tells Dwight he owes him one. Dwight, not missing a beat, tells Michael he's cashing in the favor and that he wants Michael to fire Jim and promote him to "tri-managers". Michael refuses, and Dwight storms off, chicken in hand.

Deleted scenes

The following scenes are on the Season 6 DVD:

  • Michael stops the car in the middle of the road and announces "Chinese fire drill, everybody out!" The other cars honk at him.
  • In a talking head interview, Michael explains the advantages of dating an older, more experienced woman, but he doesn't appear to be convinced by his own explanation.
  • Michael's scrapbook contains ticket stubs to Love Happens, even though Helene threw hers away. Michael went to see the movie again with Dwight.
  • In a talking head interview, Michael concedes that dating Helene closes the book in a chapter in his life, "specifically the chapter titled 'Age 46 to 58.'"
  • Michael starts to break up with Helene, and Jim kicks him under the table.
  • Helene is broken-hearted in the car returning from lunch. She tells Pam it's been years since she's had an orgasm. In a talking head interview, Michael says, "She told me she doesn't like them."
  • In a talking head interview, Kevin admits that whenever he makes a taco, he gets too excited and crushes it. When Dwight hands him a taco, he crushes it.
  • In a talking head interview, Dwight tells a story about his grandfather who was a boxer.
  • Andy tries to convince the rest of the office to get a gift for Dwight. (This explains the Starbucks gift card that appears later in the episode.)
  • After Pam slaps Michael, the others crowd around Ryan, who took pictures. But his pictures are of Oscar's shoes.

Cultural references

  • When Dwight and Andy yell, Caka, Caka, KY, it is from a Taco Bell commercial.
  • Michael's poem was based on a poem by Shel Silverstein.
  • "Kafkaesque" is an eponym used to describe concepts, situations, and ideas which are reminiscent of the literary work of Prague writer Franz Kafka, particularly his novels The Trial and The Castle, and the novella The Metamorphosis.
  • A hover car is a futuristic car that is supposed to be made in the future. It is a large part of science fiction.

Amusing details

  • Kelly tells Helene she loves her new necklace, only to shake her head at the camera afterwards.
  • After Michael jokingly tells Kevin he is fired, the latter looks to Jim who shakes his head in reassurance. Kevin then gives a sigh of relief.
  • Angela, a strict vegetarian, doesn't eat the tacos.
  • Since the episode "Launch Party", Michael has wanted to be friends with Jim and Pam, and continues to try to invite them on a double date, or in "Dinner Party", a triple date (Jim and Pam, Michael and Jan, and Andy and Angela) with Dwight and his babysitter barging in.
  • Pam is visibly disturbed that the reservation is under "Scott Family".
  • Pam states how she wished that Michael's relationship with her mother would just die down. Ironically, after being impressed with Michael's birthday efforts she begins to accept it; only for Michael to decide he wants to break up.
  • Michael pauses not only mid-sentence but mid-word when the waitress comes to refill their water, pausing between "fer" and "tility".
  • When Ryan and Kelly question Michael about "The Punch", Ryan has a camera around his neck. Earlier in the episode Ryan revealed to Erin that he is photographing a series on "Exposure in the Workplace". The implication is that Ryan was recently taking more nude photos of Kelly that day.
  • Michael is visibly horrified that Toby is teaching Pam how to punch him.
  • Meredith tells the office staff that Michael was not in the bathroom although the seat was warm, implying that she was using the men's room.
  • Ryan has his camera ready to take pictures of the punch. (See deleted scene for aftermath.)
  • Michael begins limping after the slap, only to stop once Dwight asks why he would be limping after getting slapped in the face.
  • In a talking head interview, Michael says his life flashed before his eyes, saying he saw his future. Normally, you would see what has already happened so far when your life flashes before your eyes.
  • Dwight tells Michael that the chicken in the freezer is for his dinner.


  • If Helene turns 58 years old in this episode, this birthday should actually be the tenth time she has celebrated her 49th birthday, since her actual 49th birthday would have been the first time, her 50th birthday would be the second, etc.
  • Pam says Michael locked himself in his office all morning to work on Helene's present. However, in the cold open, Dwight comes in to give him a bagel, the door wasn't locked, and he doesn't appear to be doing much.
  • Dwight mentions that fish sticks are not an aphrodisiac. An aphrodisiac is a substance that is used in the belief that it increases sexual desire. Foods such as artichokes, ginseng, and truffles are supposed to be aphrodisiacs.
  • The trees in the background are orange and yellow, similar to what Scranton would look like in the fall.
  • In a deleted scene when Michael is driving the group home, out the window several palm trees can be seen growing along with other trees, very un-Scranton like and further evidence that this is filmed in California rather than Pennsylvania.
  • The restaurant the double date takes place in is Paparazzo's, an Italian restaurant. The restaurant is not known to be in Scranton.
  • Pam tells Michael that she has the lowest sales record of anyone in the office. This is untrue, as Ryan has not made a sale as of this episode. It is possible she meant currently.

Connections to previous episodes

  • In a deleted scene in the "Pilot", Angela tells the documentary crew that Phyllis likes cats too. In this episode, a picture of a black cat is seen sitting on her desk.
  • In “Cocktails”, Pam tells the camera crew during a talking head that she doesn’t like being called “Pammy”. When Michael, Helene, Jim, and Pam are driving to the restaurant, Michael refers to Pam as “Pammy”, and Pam is visibly disturbed after.
  • In "Office Olympics", Michael angrily tells Dwight, "I'm not going to date a 55-year-old woman." In this episode, he breaks up with Helene because of her age.
  • In "Casual Friday", Michael makes a scrapbooked poster of The Michael Scott Paper Company. In this episode, he makes a scrapbook for Helene. In "Women's Appreciation", Michael says that he's happy with Jan "sometimes, like when we're scrapbooking..."
  • This is not the first time Michael has been slapped by a coworker. The first time was by Kelly in "Diversity Day".
  • In this episode, the parking lot is considered to be off of company property, but in "Fun Run", when Michael hits Meredith with his car in the parking lot, it is considered company property.
  • In "Frame Toby", Michael taunts Toby to hit him, but Toby refuses. Later, he is seen practicing his punches.
  • When Pam tries to get out of lunch with Michael and Helene by getting a fake call about a shipping problem, Jim foils her excuse. This is a reversal of "Dinner Party", in which Jim faked a phone call to leave Michael and Jan's dinner party, only to be foiled by Pam.
  • Dwight tells Andy that there is no book when the latter says he "took a page out of the Schrute book of niceness", there is however a survival guide. Dwight reveals in "The Duel", that all Schrute men need to learn important rules of survival.
  • Michael in a talking head says before he met Helene, he believed for the longest time that Holly is who he is meant to be with. Michael has previously been in love with Holly since the last episode of season 4 "Goodbye, Toby" to the last episode of season 5 "Company Picnic".

Andy and Dwight's favors

  • Dwight buys the whole office genuine New York bagels.
  • Dwight cleans the break room fridge.
  • Andy refurbishes Dwight's briefcase in return.
  • Dwight gets the door for Andy, and in return, Andy does the same.
  • Dwight tells Andy that "if you clench your buttocks together then you will take pressure off of your knees", and welcomes Andy to use the tip whenever.
  • Andy fixes Dwight's jacket then Dwight fixes Andy's bow tie. In return, Andy fixes Dwight's glasses.
  • Dwight gets a chair for Andy, and Andy gets a chair for Dwight afterward.
  • Dwight changes the batteries in Andy's wireless mouse.
  • Andy buys the whole office tacos and Dwight serves them to the employees.
  • Dwight cleans up lunch.
  • Dwight helps Andy retrieve something from the top of the shelf, only to discover that it is a gift card from Andy and the whole office.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Katharine Leonard as Chloe
  • Melinda Haugh as Waitstaff #1 (uncredited)
  • Kristin Millian as Waitstaff #2 (uncredited)
  • Aaron Pushkar as Bartender (uncredited)