"Heavy Competition" is the twenty-fourth episode of the fifth season of The Office and the 96th episode overall. It was written by Ryan Koh and directed by Ken Whittingham. It first aired on April 16, 2009. It was viewed by 8.24 million people.
The episode opens with Michael perfectly tossing a cheese puff into Ryan's mouth. Pam explains that things have been slow as there is a limit to the number of cold calls that they can make a day. Instead they have spent the time practicing throwing cheese puffs into each other's mouths, claiming "we've gotten really good at it" as Michael tosses a cheese puff into her mouth from across the room. The 3 members of the company then demonstrate their cheese puff tossing abilities to the camera crew. As Pam opens her mouth to yawn at the end of the sequence, Ryan and Michael mistakenly throw cheese puffs at her, which land in her hair.
Michael and Dwight have been having secret meetings in the parking lot, where Dwight provides information about Dunder Mifflin so Michael can undercut the company. However, Dwight's loyalty is put to the test as Charles Miner seems to show more respect for Dwight than Michael did. Dwight brings Charles to the parking lot during one of the secret meetings, where Charles orders Michael to stop pestering Dwight. This begins a rivalry between Michael and Dwight, and Michael begins to steal Dwight's clients. Dwight asks for a truce and offers to take Michael and his employees out to lunch; Dwight does not go to the restaurant and instead sneaks into the empty Michael Scott Paper Company office and steals everything on Michael's desk, including his Rolodex contact list, and places a dead fish in the air conditioning vent.
Meanwhile, Jim and Pam are attempting to get bargain deals on wedding plans from Andy. When Pam turns down his ideas, Andy suspects that Pam might be acting controlling and cruelly to Jim, in the same way Angela treated Andy. Andy warns Jim, who tries to convince Andy that he and Pam are really happy. Andy remains convinced that Pam will betray him, so Jim asks Andy to provide for his emotional needs as a prank. After Jim feigns crying on Andy's shoulder, Andy blames the office for Jim's emotional troubles and asks them to apologize. Phyllis tells Andy that Jim is just messing with him. Andy does not believe her until he sees Jim grinning through the kitchen window. When Andy confronts Jim, Jim assures him that he and Pam are really happy and that Andy will find someone else one day.
Michael, Pam, and Ryan return to their office and believe they have been robbed. Dwight calls and reveals his treachery. Michael calls Dwight on the phone and tells him that he is going to steal his biggest client while he listens. Dwight races to the Harper Collins office, where Michael and Dwight start fighting over the client. The client asks for both of their offers via email, and they agree to do so. Before leaving, Dwight then looks at the client's personal information from Michael's Rolodex card and asks him about his "gay son", which seemingly perturbs the client. Michael reveals his unusual system where he color codes personal information about his contacts so he knows what not to talk about. Michael is seen laughing with the client in the parking lot as Dwight returns to his car alone.
The episode ends with the members of the Michael Scott Paper Company trying to put as many cheese puffs as possible into their mouths. As Ryan puts one final cheese puff into his mouth, they give a muffled exclamation as Michael writes the number 32 on the whiteboard. As the phone rings, Michael answers it with cheese puffs in his mouth to the amusement of Ryan and Pam.
Connections to previous episodes
- Michael stole the jar of cheeseballs from Dunder Mifflin in a deleted scene from "Two Weeks."
- Dwight complains about Charles' new dress code. However, Dwight was the one concerned with the dress code when he sent Jim a memo about it in the episode "New Boss." Also in "The Return" Dwight wears a long sleeve shirt while working at Staples.
- This is the second time that the Michael Scott Paper Company is compared to a computer giant. Michael tells Mr. Schofield that buying paper from him is like buying software from Bill Gates. In "Dream Team" Pam states they have an advantage over Apple because they are starting in a condo instead of a garage.
- Pam reveals she once spent a month putting the information from Michael's Rolodex into Michael's BlackBerry. Ryan previously asked the Scranton branch to use BlackBerry smartphones for their business needs in "Dunder Mifflin Infinity".
- After hanging up the phone Michael whispers "shit" and they don't censor it.
- In the cold open, Pam yawns and has two cheese puffs tossed at her, one of which gets caught in her hair. Pam doesn't notice and only flicks away the other one.
- Michael asks Dwight to walk towards the sun at noon. Dwight stands by the dumpster and stares at the sun, blurring his vision temporarily to the point of confusing Madge with Michael.
- Charles commends Dwight for his work ethic, promises to give him more responsibility and offers to hang out with Dwight. These are things that Dwight has actively sought from Michael throughout the series.
- When Charles tells Dwight he admires how focused he is, Dwight compares himself to a wolf. After Dwight sabotaged the Michael Scott Paper Company's office he tells Michael, "you have unleashed the wolf."
- Michael reveals that he got hit with a urine filled balloon as a prank in high school.
- Stanley is notably amused that Dwight is anxious about losing his client to Michael.
- Dwight changes back into his signature short-sleeved mustard shirt prior to storming the meeting between Michael and Dwight's biggest client.
- Dwight shouts "spin move" and spins on the spot as the secretary tells him not to enter the client's office.
- Andy expects Jim and Pam to pay $9000 for his college a capella group to play at their wedding. Andy's unrealistic expectations of people's reception to his musical talent is a plot point in Season 9.
- The footage of Andy yelling at the Scranton branch to be nicer to Jim is used for Ed Helms in future cold opens after he is promoted to main cast status.
- Pam writes a note to tell Michael that Dwight is talking about their relationship in his hypothetical scenario. Michael brushes off the idea, until Ryan also nods and taps the note insistently.
- Straitjacket is a restraining garment.
- Michael, Pam and Ryan have lunch at Alfredo's Pizza Café, a reference to the restaurant first referenced in the fourth season episode "Launch Party".
- Andy presents a recording of his a cappella group singing Pachelbel's Canon segueing into the Paul Simon song "You Can Call Me Al".
- Dwight said under Michael's leadership, the office was like the Roman Empire, the Wild West, war-torn Poland, and Poland all at once.
- Dwight describes Charles as "Will Smith-esque", a reference to the American film actor.
- Andy vows to be Jim's "traveling pants", a reference to the young adult novel series The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
- Michael and Dwight both court HarperCollins, an American publishing company, as a prospective paper client.
For quotes see: Heavy Competition Quotes
- Steve Carell as Michael Scott
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski sa Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly
- B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson
- Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone
- Creed Bratton (actor) as Creed Bratton
- Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
- Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor
- Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
Special Guest Star
- Bob Gebert as Mr. Schofield
- Angela Campolla-Sanders as the Receptionist
|Kevin's Loan||The Office: Season 5||The Outburst|
|#01||Weight Loss||#07||Business Trip||#13||Stress Relief||#19||Two Weeks||#25||Cafe Disco|
|#02||Business Ethics||#08||Frame Toby||#14||Lecture Circuit Part 1||#20||Dream Team||#26||Company Picnic|
|#03||Baby Shower||#09||The Surplus||#15||Lecture Circuit Part 2||#21||Michael Scott Paper Company|
|#04||Crime Aid||#10||Moroccan Christmas||#16||Blood Drive||#22||Heavy Competition|
|#05||Employee Transfer||#11||The Duel||#17||Golden Ticket||#23||Broke|
|#06||Customer Survey||#12||Prince Family Paper||#18||New Boss||#24||Casual Friday|