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"Goodbye, Michael" is the twenty-second episode of the seventh season of The Office and the 148th episode overall. It was written by Greg Daniels and directed by Paul Feig. It originally aired in the United States on April 28, 2011. It was viewed by 8.42 million people. The episode is the final episode to feature Michael Scott as the series's main character, not returning until "Finale" at the end of Season 9, but making appearances in archive footage in Season 9 episodes "Promos" and "Paper Airplane." 

Summary

It's Michael's last day at the office, at least he knows it is. The rest of the office is under the impression that his last day will be the day after, so Michael tries to get out all of his goodbyes that day before he heads to the airport. Michael talks to and/or gives gifts to every member of the office before he leaves. He first talks to Phyllis, Andy, and Stanley. Michael gives a chattering teeth gag gift to Phyllis, telling her to voice her opinion more often. Michael gives a mini felt pool table to Stanley, but doesn't include balls.

Finally, to boost Andy's confidence, Michael gives him his ten largest clients, to which Andy responds that he will not be able to keep them all. To Darryl, Michael bestows his unfinished copy of 'Somehow I Manage', a guide to managing that Michael himself wrote (this alludes back to 'Happy Hour' in season 6). Michael gives Kevin a caricature of Kevin as a pig drooling over a pizza. Michael then rips it up, telling Kevin not to be a caricature. Michael gives Oscar a self-made scarecrow. Michael talks to Angela about her fiancé, the state senator. In every photo of Angela and Robert there is also Robert's aide, which provides more evidence to Oscar that Robert is in fact homosexual.

Michael begrudgingly talks to Toby, even saying that he will talk to Toby's brother Rory. Michael leaves Kelly alone, which she claims is the greatest gift he could give her. To Ryan, Michael gives his St. Pauli Girl neon beer sign. Michael writes a letter of recommendation for Dwight, bringing Dwight close to tears. Dwight also plays paintball with Michael. Michael talks to Creed, Gabe, and Meredith. Michael tells Creed not to fear death, for Gabe not to fear dying alone, and for Meredith not to fear dying drunk in a ditch. Michael claims that he is proud he never slept with Meredith, and resists when she says she would do it with him now. Michael talks to David Wallace, revealing his intentions of leaving the company to his former boss. David tries to talk Michael out of leaving, causing Michael to almost rethink his decision.

Michael has a very personal conversation with Erin, who he has become a father figure to. Michael gives her advice on her dating life and search for love. He tells her that she will know when the right guy comes around. He also tells her to call him anytime if she needs advice. Michael says his final goodbye to the group during his last conference room meeting. However, he doesn't reveal that it is his real last goodbye, so he uses one his characters, Ping, to say goodbye to the office. Jim realizes what is happening and asks to talk to Michael in private. Michael reveals that he is leaving in a few minutes. Jim promises not to tell anyone that he is leaving. Jim expresses his true feelings for Michael, telling him that he turned out to be a great boss. With this goodbye, Michael leaves the office, but not before taking the almost finished mittens that Phyllis made for him. Pam is the only person Michael was not able to say goodbye to. Pam arrives back at the office just after Michael leaves. However, Pam rushes to the airport, saying an emotional goodbye right before Michael leaves for Colorado.

Parallel to the events above, Andy sets out with Deangelo to keep one of Michael's ten largest clients. Deangelo reveals that he has no sales or management background, and he was only given this job because he saved one of Jo's dogs during a mugging. Deangelo turns out to be a terrible salesman, almost blowing the sale. However, Andy goes back alone and shows his true sales ability, convincing the client to sign back with Dunder Mifflin.

Deleted scenes

Watch them

  • Jim, Pam, Creed, and Kevin have lunch in the break room, with Michael sitting along the back wall by himself. Michael starts to cry, but covers it by complaining that his boots are uncomfortable. He tosses them in the trash and leaves the room. Creed steals Michael's boots from the trash.
  • Over video chat, Michael asks David Wallace if he ever regrets leaving. David admits that he does, "about 90% of every day." David reassures Michael that there's no shame in being downsized, but Michael says that he's quitting voluntarily to with Holly in Colorado. David says, "And I left to 'spend more time with my kids.'" Michael convinces David that he really did quit voluntarily, and David says, "Well, then this is a terrible decision." He then starts bad-mouthing Colorado. Michael hangs up on him.

Michael's final moments with each employee

  • Phyllis: Michael gives Phyllis a "chattering teeth" gag gift, and in return, she gives him hand-knit mittens with very complicated washing instructions. (Washing instructions: hand-wash only, do not use water. Wring dry gently, use hairdryer on cool.)
  • Stanley: Michael gives him a miniature pool table but without any balls or cues.
  • Andy: Michael gives Andy his folder containing his top ten most important clients, even though Andy is the salesman with the lowest numbers. Andy then has trouble keeping the clients with Dunder Mifflin.
  • Kevin: Michael gives Kevin a grotesque poster of a pig eating pizza, with Kevin's head on it. He proceeds to rip it up, which apparently makes Kevin feel better. Michael tells Kevin: "You should never settle for who you are".
  • Oscar: Michael gives Oscar a ragdoll and Oscar pretends to appreciate his gift. In a talking head, Michael laughs at how Oscar's low opinion of him easily allows him to accept that Michael spent hours making such a shoddy ragdoll.
  • Angela: Michael confesses that he thought the two would have sex at some point. Angela shows him pictures of her boyfriend, the state senator.
  • Toby: Toby tells Michael about his brother who lives in Boulder, the city where Michael is moving to.
  • Kelly: Michael asks Kelly if the best goodbye he could give her would be to walk away and stop talking to her, which he does.
  • Ryan: Michael gives Ryan his "St. Pauli Girl" neon beer sign for his closet "office".
  • Darryl: Michael gives Darryl an unfinished version of his book, "Somehow I Manage" and asks if he can use the baler to which Darryl refuses.
  • Warehouse: Michael tries to score a basket while turned around and constantly fails but eventually succeeds. Every time he shoots he says the phrase "Catch you (guys) on the flippity-flip"
  • Erin: The two share an emotional moment. He gives Erin from-the-heart relationship advice, briefly acting as the comforting father figure that she never had.
  • Dwight: Michael gives him a positive recommendation letter and they share a paintball game behind the warehouse.
  • Meredith: Michael talks to her about dying along with Creed and Gabe.
  • Creed: Michael talks to him about dying along with Gabe and Meredith.
  • Gabe: Michael gives Gabe advice on how to look "less like a transvestite".
  • Jim: Michael and Jim share an emotional moment as Jim realizes Michael's plans to leave early, as a way to avoid emotional goodbyes.
  • Pam: The two meet at the airport and hug; Pam watches Michael's plane fly away. This was his last individual goodbye.

Connections to previous episodes

  • Gabe says he owns over 200 horror movies. His love for the genre was clear in "The Seminar."
  • Michael puts his new Dundie from the previous episode ("Michael's Last Dundies") on his desk, a homage to the final shot in the series opening sequence.
  • Phyllis knits Michael red mittens that look very similar to the oven mitts she made him in "Christmas Party." Michael has learned to appreciate her homemade gifts and is very glad when she manages to finish them, a big change from the way he treated his gift years ago.
  • When Michael mentions that Angela is dating a senator, Oscar corrects him: "State senator." Oscar did the same thing to Angela in "Classy Christmas".
  • Unlike in "Email Surveillance," Michael prefers to have his lunch alone, perhaps in a way to have a more "normal" last day.
  • Michael gives his St. Pauli Girl neon beer sign to Ryan. It has appeared in "Dinner Party" and more recently, "Garage Sale."
  • The Party Planning Committee is reformed after being broken up by Pam as Office Administrator in "Classy Christmas."
  • Creed's continual habit of using the women's bathroom was first introduced in "Women's Appreciation."
  • Michael gives Darryl his unfinished book, Somehow I Manage, which was originally mentioned in "Happy Hour".
  • Michael's obsession with basketball and wanting to use the baler serves as a reference to the season one episode, "Basketball," and the season three episode "Safety Training," respectively.
  • Michael asks Erin if she's in love with Kevin, probably because he set them up in "The Delivery." He also gives her fatherly advice like he did in "Viewing Party."
  • Dwight finally gets to play paintball with Michael, he first expressed interest in it back in "Christmas Party."
  • Pam goes to a screening of The King's Speech; this was referenced several times in the previous episode "Michael's Last Dundies."
  • Michael's racist character Ping appears, having previously appeared in "The Dundies" and "The Seminar."
  • In "The Client", Michael told Christian, "Spent my whole life right here in Lackawanna County and I do not intend on moving." Michael's previous statement was in the context of a sales call, so he may have been lying to land the sale. He also could not have anticipated that being with the love of his life would require him to move.
  • The title of the episode is very reminiscent of another time a character left - "Goodbye, Toby."

Amusing details and trivia

  • In the cold open, Dwight begins eating the bull testicles that Michael refuses while they quarrel.
  • Jim is able to make eye contact with the camera by using the mirror.
  • When Michael replaces his World's Best Boss mug with the Dundie he was just given, he replicates the ending of the theme song for the entire show where he adjusts his Dundie on his desk.
  • Toby's brother Rory is played by Warren Lieberstein, who is the younger brother of Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby. Their sister is Susanne Daniels, wife of creator Greg Daniels. Warren Lieberstein and Angela Kinsey (Angela) were married for ten years and have a daughter who was born in 2008.
  • Michael's goodbye to Pam serves as a homage to a scene in the UK version of The Office, where Tim Canterbury proclaims his love for Dawn Tinsley in a meeting room, but Tim turns off his microphone first so the cameras pick up only their reactions and no sound. This scene was also referenced in the fifth-season finale, "Company Picnic."
  • When Michael leaves for Boulder he is most likely at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport. That airport does not have non-stop flights to anywhere west of Detroit, so he must have had a connecting flight to Denver.
  • It's unknown how Pam got past the security checkpoint at the airport without a ticket. She likely purchased a very cheap or a refundable ticket. However, some airports allow loved ones to go to the gates to say goodbye, as long as they go through security. Also, the microphone on Michael's chest must have been hard to explain to TSA.
  • When Michael leaves the office to catch his taxi to the airport, Creed spots him and says "See you tomorrow boss," and raises his coffee mug to him - this mug is Michael's "World's Best Boss" coffee mug that he threw away in his office trash can earlier in the episode. Ironically, Creed soon becomes acting manager shortly after.
  • Michael left his tape recorder and other toys in his office.
  • Michael crosses out Jim and Dwight's names in different ways than the rest of the staff on his list.

Goofs

  • Phyllis tells Michael that the mittens can't get wet, and much be hand-washed without water. After completing a knitted or crocheted piece, it is actually standard practice to hand-wash in water, and then air-dry, a process known as blocking, in order to set the shape.
  • The envelope Michael gives Dwight changes size between shots.

Behind the scenes

  • It was Steve Carell's idea that there should be a farewell party for Michael, but that Michael would intentionally avoid it by leaving a day early and instead say good-bye to each character individually.[1]
  • Finding herself with some extra time, Pam goes to watch a movie. The show considered having Pam watch Bridesmaids, also directed by episode director Paul Feig, and which was set to premiere on the same day that the episode aired. However, the producers were concerned that the movie would not be successful, so they went with the previous year's Oscar-winning movie The King's Speech.[2]
  • Jenna Fischer (Pam) stated that when she hugged Steve Carell (Michael) after the microphones were off, she was telling him how much she was going to miss working with him.
  • Director Paul Feig asked Fischer if she could do Michael's farewell scene again, but a little faster, since the first take took five minutes.[1]

Cultural references

  • The Rockies is short for The Rocky Mountains, a major mountain range in western North America.
  • Deangelo calls Michael a "dead man walking"; an employee who is certain to be fired in the near future.
  • Sudoku is a logic-based, combinational number-placement puzzle.
  • The "scarecrow who gave me a brain" is a reference to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a children's novel.
  • Michael tells Angela "Bravo!" about the Senator and Oscar quickly corrects him with "Brava!", the form of the word to congratulate a woman.
  • Andy finds Deangelo cooking a S'more with the coffee machine. An empty bag of marshmallows sits on the counter. Deangelo whistles "Music to Watch Girls By" by Bob Crewe.
  • Michael doesn't know where Holly's parents live and makes up a town name "Mountainton" based only on knowing that there are mountains in Colorado. Holly's parents live in Boulder.
  • Pam plans to go to Carbondale in the afternoon to get a new shredder. Carbondale is a town about 30-minute drive from Scranton.
  • Michael doesn't think his "credits will transfer" from his improv class. Each colleges and university in the United States specifies the conditions under which it will accept coursework from other schools as course credit toward a degree; there is no national standard. Michael's improv class is a non-credit evening class for adults. Michael is concerned that he will be forced to start over at the entry-level improv class. For adult education classes, placement is usually at the discretion of the instructor and not contingent upon credits.
  • Michael tells Gabe he looks like a transvestite.
  • Pam watches the movie The King's Speech.
  • A deathbed is a place where a person dies or lies in during the last few hours before death. Michael is under the impression that it is a specific product one could buy in a store, and wonders why one would spend time there instead of at the office.
  • At Michael's going away party, big posters of his favorite comedians Robin Williams and Steve Martin are on the wall.
  • In a deleted scene, David complains that Colorado is "one big REI store." REI is a chain of sporting goods stores focusing on outdoor activities, and Colorado offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as skiing and mountain climbing. He also says that the only book they read is one by Joseph Campbell. He complains that everyone is racist. Colorado does have a history of racism, with the second highest members of the Ku Klux Klan per capita in the nation in 1925. Finally, David complains that the women don't shave their armpits. Refusing to shave armpits is associated with feminism, though not specifically Colorado.

Cast

Main cast

Supporting cast

Special guest star

Recurring cast

Guest cast



References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Baumgartner, Brian. When We Said Goodbye To Steve, An Oral History of the Office, Episode 9. August 25, 2020.
  2. Baumgartner, Brian. "Paul Feig." The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner.
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