"Gossip" is the first episode of the sixth season of The Office. It was written and directed by Paul Lieberstein. Overall, it was the show's 101st episode. It originally aired on September 17, 2009. It was viewed by 8.20 million people.

Cold open

In the opening, Michael, Dwight and Andy are seen practicing "parkour" while wrecking the office and bothering the employees. Jim, in a talking head interview, explains briefly that the goal of parkour is to get from Point A to Point B as creatively as possible. He briefly jokes that the guys are likely to end up in the hospital. After practicing around the office, Andy proposes they jump from the top of a truck onto two refrigerator boxes, a dumpster and pallets, before doing a backflip into a trash can. Andy, overexcited, injures himself when he jumps onto what turns out to be an empty refrigerator box.

Synopsis

As someone who wants to be popular, Michael is distressed when he is left out of the rumor mill. He finds a nugget of gossip when the summer interns reveal they saw Stanley dancing with a woman at the club they were at the previous night. Michael chuckles about the normally-choleric Stanley doing any dancing when he reveals his tidbit to the salespeople. Phyllis dismisses him because she knows that Stanley's wife, Teri, is out of town. Furthermore, they all know Stanley isn't the type to like crowded public places.

After confronting the interns, who are adamant that they saw Stanley dancing with someone, Michael realizes that he may have uncovered a bigger secret. Now, he replaces his dancing story by telling everyone that Stanley is having an affair. Jim tells him to stop spreading the rumor as he doesn't even know if it is true and he could be ruining Stanley's life.

In the parking lot, Michael confronts Stanley who resignedly admits it's true. He became involved with his physical therapist, Cynthia, after his heart attack. He was just going to meet her to call the whole thing off and implores Michael not to tell anyone. Having already told the entire office, Michael decides to fix the problem by spreading all kinds of made-up rumors about the rest of the staff to cover himself. One of them turns out to be inadvertently correct: Michael tells them that Pam is pregnant. While Jim and Pam ponder how Michael knew this as they've told no one at the office, the other rumors cause rampant confusion and anger, especially when Andy - who everyone has been told is gay - tries to get more information from Oscar. When the rumors are traced back to Michael, he decides to confess and admits that only one of them is true. He starts to reveal Stanley's affair, only to be interrupted by Jim who reveals that Pam is pregnant.

Later, Michael gets a return phone call from Stanley's wife, whom he accidentally calls Cynthia twice. It turns out that she already suspected Stanley's affair, since she saw him with Cynthia.

With his secret exposed, Stanley bashes Michael's car with a crowbar at the end of the episode.

Jim then pastes a picture of Pam's ultrasound to a frame on his desk as Michael narrates "you can't stop love."

The three interns describe how they have learned different things. Maurie learned that there is no law against a company advertising its internship program as "full of exciting experiences" even if it's not true. Meghan learned that most of the Scranton branch uses the word "password" as their password, while Eric learned that a ream of paper is 300 sheets, only to be corrected that it is 500 sheets. The interns then describe how Michael has been calling them by nicknames all summer such as Jet Li, Julia Stiles and Alan Thicke.

Gossip that Michael created

  • Andy is gay.
  • Pam is pregnant. (True)
  • Angela is dating an 81 year old billionaire Quizno's owner.
  • Creed has asthma.
  • Dwight uses store-bought manure.
  • Stanley is having an affair. (True)
  • Jim is a J. Crew model (although it was supposed to be about Michael)
  • Kevin has another person inside his body, working him with controls.
  • Kelly is anorexic.
  • Erin is a bad worker and will probably be fired.
  • Oscar is the voice of the Taco Bell dog.
  • Toby is a virgin.

Deleted scenes

  • Ryan asks the intern to make 20 copies of a paper, and he replies "you know you're not supposed to talk to me". Apparently, Ryan made him get tons of pennies from the bank to search for rare coins, getting Ryan banned from speaking with them. He said that it wasn't as bad as Dwight making them pass around messages instead of using IMs.
  • Dwight is teaching useless info to the interns through flash cards, and the intern says they should reference it later when they might need it. Dwight tells a story of a restaurant customer talking to the waiter about the paper info. The waiter gets fired, starts their own paper company and hires the customer. The customer becomes rich. Dwight says that their generation would suck in a war, and he would fight in the Boer War in South Africa.
  • Dwight has the interns bring in a cake and they spaced on getting the candles. He says that if he said to duck and jump because a wrecking ball was coming towards your head and a sword to your feet, if you spaced on one you would die. He said that they suffered because the cake was for them. Pam and Jim taught them the defense for it and slapped Dwight in the head and kicked him when he was wondering what the defense was for it.
  • Dwight was given a paper apple by the intern. He said in the interview, "There must be 40 folds in this thing. 40 folds!"

Cultural references

  • Parkour is a physical discipline of French origin involving the "traceur", or parkour practitioner, to traverse through obstacles from point A to point B in an efficient manner. It often involves serious training and can be dangerous at times when performed improperly (as demonstrated by Andy when jumping into the refrigerator box).
  • Shotgun Wedding is a form of forced wedding.
  • Jim, when explaining parkour, mentions that it had made an appearance in a "Bond film", referring to the 2006 version of Casino Royale.
  • Spartacus is a movie based on the life of Spartacus, the leader of a slave revolt from 73 to 71 BC. In the movie's climactic scene, the group of slaves is offered leniency in exchange for turning over Spartacus. Before Spartacus can offer himself, the slaves each individually proclaim, "I am Spartacus" and all share in his punishment. Michael is confused by this gesture of solidarity.

Amusing details

  • No move that Michael, Dwight, and Andy demonstrated in their "parkour" has anything to do with the moves actually performed in parkour.
  • Meredith is very excited when Pam shows her ultrasound, although earlier in the episode, when she is told that Pam is pregnant, she says "She's gonna hate being a mom."
  • The term "gainer", as noted by Andy, is an actual movement in freerunning which refers to performing a backflip while achieving forward momentum.
  • Michael spreads the rumor that Toby is a virgin, even though he has a young daughter.
  • Michael does not spread a rumor about Phyllis, Ryan, or Meredith.
  • Creed appears to be working towards some scuba related retirement. He is extremely concerned about this when the rumor is spread that he has asthma.
  • Kelly is notably more interested in the rumour that Andy is gay than the possibility that Erin may be fired.
  • Ryan can be heard shouting "Don't vaccinate it" after it is confirmed that Pam is pregnant.

Trivia

  • When Michael and Kevin are playing Hangman, it can clearly be seen that Kevin guessed every single letter in the alphabet before guessing "t" (even q, x, y, and z). In order to not end the game before revealing the gossip, Michael has kept adding features to the Hangman stick figure.
  • Stanley's affair would likely not have been discovered by his wife if Michael did not try to spread more rumors or answer the phone as Jim and Pam told him not to.

Connection to previous episodes

  • This is the second time Jim uses the word “delusion” in a talking head interview. The first time was in “Baby Shower”. Both times he is referring to something Michael is taking part in or doing.
  • Michael previously called Andy gay in "Stress Relief".
  • Stanley mentions that he met his mistress Cynthia while he was in rehabilitation following his heart attack in "Stress Relief".
  • Megan was the high school student from the Season 4 episode "Job Fair" who was interested in an internship, but Oscar told her the position had been filled, because he saw that she could do better. Apparently she didn't give up, and finally landed that internship two years later. How disappointed she must be!

Cast

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Guest Cast

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