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"Koi Pond" is the eighth episode in the sixth season of The Office and the 108th episode overall. It was written by Warren Lieberstein and Halsted Sullivan and directed by Reggie Hudlin. It aired on October 29, 2009 and was viewed by 8.20 million people.

Cold open

Jim prepares for a meeting as Michael describes his weekend plans. Erin comes in and tells Jim that the client expects both Jim and Michael to be there. Michael happily exclaims in a talking head how although Jim is capable, he is the master, saying, "why would you date an amateur when you can date a professional?" Michael feigns bewilderment at the client's request and tells Jim that he does not want him to feel like he is being babysat, as he leaves the room jokingly calling Jim a baby. Jim then compares Michael to a teacher who would always stay by one's side but never let them do anything.


Michael accompanies Jim to a client meeting. While there, Michael accidentally trips and falls into their koi pond. Word spreads around the office, causing all types of puns and jokes at Michael's expense. Michael, unable to handle humor directed at him, gets angry. Jim tries to calm Michael down and get him to see the humor in the situation. If he shows that he can take a few jokes, it will probably cause them to end more quickly. He starts off well, lobbing a few hardballs at himself, but inevitably goes too far in mocking his friendship challenges and storms off. Then Meredith is sent a video of the incident. Jim attempts to convince the group to leave things alone, but Michael decides to let it be shown. The video captures Jim deliberately bending backward to avoid grabbing Michael as he falls.

In Michael's office, Jim admits he resented that Michael didn't trust him to handle the meeting himself. Michael can't believe that Jim is jealous of him.

Meanwhile, Andy and Pam, the two poorest-performing salesmen, are sent on cold calls. The potential clients assume that the two are a married couple which causes some awkward moments and quick denials. Eventually, they decide to pose as a married couple in hopes of landing a sale. Andy takes the ruse too far which makes Pam and the client uncomfortable. They land no sales. On the car ride back to the office, Andy admits to liking Erin, and Pam tries to help the two get together.

Pam then asks Erin to send a fax for her, bemused when Erin insists on receiving the fax while it is face down so she doesn't see it. Pam then talks up Andy to Erin, who agrees that Andy is an attractive person.

Deleted scenes

The following deleted scenes are on the Season 6 DVD:

  • Michael criticizes Jim's necktie and reties it for him, over Jim's objection. He does a terrible job, but proclaims, "That's perfect!"
  • Kevin makes squishy shoes noises when Michael walks into the bullpen from the kitchen. Erin points out some seaweed stuck to Michael's neck. Toby comes into the bullpen and says a friendly hello, and that's the last straw. Michael orders everyone into the conference room.
  • In Michael's sensitivity training, he says that you can only make fun of people for things they have control over. "Oscar is gay, that is his choice, we can make fun of that." Toby corrects Michael, and Michael begins to insults him, but catches himself for being insensitive.
  • When Michael mentions that he fell into a second fountain, Toby begins to laugh, and then says, "Can you kick me out of the meeting now?" Michael does.
  • Michael says that teasing will no longer be tolerated, but clarifies that the ban applies only to the topics listed on the board.
  • Dwight talking head about his small nose.
  • Michael asks Creed to write something on the board, and Creed says, "If I write it down, I can't be charged with it."
  • Angela says she is sensitive about her petite figure, and Kelly is disgusted.
  • Phyllis says she has acid reflux.
  • Ryan says, "I'm in a kind of ill-defined relationship sort of thing... Just put down Kelly." Kelly finds this sweet. Dwight asks, "That's still going on?"
  • Angela angrily comes to Meredith and tells her she can't just turn in a stack of receipts instead of an expense reports. The two exchange insults.
  • Dwight menacingly tries to boost Michael's confidence while bad-mouthing Jim. Aside from Jim's nose, "the rest of him looks like Popeye's wife."
  • Extended footage of Michael's fall into the koi pond and his failed efforts to get out.

Connections to other episodes

  • Creed offering to sell blood to children is a callback from when Creed stole blood from the blood drive in the Season 5 episode, "Blood Drive."
  • This is the second time Michael ends up soaking wet. The first is in "Dunder Mifflin Infinity".
  • Meredith is using her coffee mug from Kelly that is first seen in "Customer Survey".
  • Dwight says that Jim looks like Popeye's wife. In "Costume Contest," Jim and Pam dress as Popeye and Olive Oyl.
  • Toby asks Michael if he could be kicked out of the meeting immediately, when he can't help but laugh after learning Michael fell into a second fountain. Toby similarly stands up to leave without any prompting when he points out the flaw in Michael's presentation in "Mafia".
  • Andy reveals that he is aware of birthing classes in the area even though he is still single. He similarly reveals in "Goodbye, Toby" that he has been carrying an engagement ring around for years even while single.

Halloween costumes

In the deleted scene that was removed after the premiere of the episode, the staff put up a haunted warehouse for the local children. Each staff member is wearing a Halloween costume.

Character Costume
Michael Justin Timberlake from SNL's "D**k in a Box"
Dwight Billy the Puppet from the Saw film series
Jim "Bookface"
Pam Rosemary Woodhouse from the movie Rosemary's Baby
Darryl Jack-o-lantern shirt
Angela Black widow spider
Kevin Paul Blart from the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Erin Princess Fiona from the movie Shrek
Kelly Leelo from the movie The Fifth Element
Stanley Torture victim
Ryan Edward Cullen from the Twilight novel series
Creed Dracula
Meredith Hobo
Mose Himself
Oscar Sarah Palin
Andy Michael Jackson from Thriller
Phyllis Evil scientist

Michael describes Darryl's simple costume as a "gangster pumpkin."

Dwight identifies his costume as "Jigsaw", a character frequently conflated with Billy the Puppet.


  • When originally aired, the episode opened with the office putting together a haunted house in the warehouse for some children. At the end of the cold open, Michael frightens the children by simulating a suicide by hanging. The cold open was removed from reruns, the DVD, and online streaming platforms in response to viewer outrage, as well as pressure from Caryn Zucker (wife of NBC president Jeff Zucker), who worked in suicide prevention.[1] The scene was quietly posted on NBC's web site in 2017.
  • Do Not Mock List:
    • Michael- Koi Pond, Fountain (he says he also fell into the fountain at the Steamtown Mall)
    • Dwight- Nose too small
    • Erin- Orphan
    • Kevin- Huge Gut
    • Angela- Shrimpy (Then she says that some people think she eats like a squirrel. Phyllis asks, "So now you're comparing yourself to a cute tiny animal?")
    • Meredith- Sex with a terrorist
    • Phyllis- Acid Reflux
    • Stanley- Crosswords
    • Ryan- Kelly
  • Dwight doesn't react when Jim yells at Angela as he usually does when someone wrongs her. This is most likely due to their relationship officially concluding in "The Duel".
  • Michael says "loser" in a similar way Jim Carrey famously does in the movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
  • Michael incorrectly answers that "Wilma" is the wife of Popeye. In his naivety, he's actually getting her confused with the wife of cartoon character Fred Flintstone, from the classic 1960s cartoon The Flintstones. Olive Oyl, is in fact Popeye's girlfriend.
  • It is revealed that Pam and Andy currently have the lowest sales in the office.
  • Stanley does not wear his usual jacket, but instead wears a sweater over his shirt instead.

Amusing details

  • Jim says the real embarrassment was not that Michael fell in as much as how long it took him to get out. A deleted scene shows Michael splashing about frantically and trying to grab a plant nearby, pulling it into the water. He then tries to reach Jim to be pulled out, only to fall limply as Jim tries to pull him up.
  • Most of the office workers change their computer's screensavers to fish tanks after this episode.
  • Toby greets Michael before the latter exclaims that he won't take this and calls for a conference room meeting. Ironically, Toby is likely unaware of Michael's situation and would not have mocked him.
  • Toby can't help but laugh when Michael reveals that he fell into a second fountain at the mall. He then asks Michael to just kick him out of the meeting now.
  • Andy appears to be aware of birthing classes in the area despite not even having a girlfriend.


  • Michael reveals he doesn't even have Jan's cell phone number, but in the season 4 episode "Chair Model" he accidentally calls Jan while talking to Pam's landlady. Although, it's possible that she has changed her phone number since then.

Behind the scenes

  • The episode was inspired by an incident that occurred to writers Warren Lieberstein and Halsted Sullivan: They were going to a meeting, and Warren Lieberstein fell into a koi pond.[2] After finding a garbage can in the atrium, Lieberstein turned around and was unaware that he was right next to a koi pond. He took a step backward and fell in, splashing flat on his back. Lieberstein didn't see it because it was a sunny day, and his eyes had trouble adjusting to the indoors. All of the koi had been removed for cleaning, and the pond had the same marble as the lobby floor, making it even harder to see. Lieberstein went to an athletic store and bought a track suit to wear to the meeting. "Everybody at the meeting got a big kick out of this." His agent texted him, "I heard you made a big splash at the meeting."[3]
  • When filming the koi pond scene, Steve Carell didn't get it right on the first take. As he was drying off, Carell was dubious that someone would be so stupid as to fall into a koi pond. Paul Lieberstein told him, "It happened to Warren." Steve reluctantly prepared for the second take.[3]

Cultural references

  • Michael talks about going to the Garlic Festival. The Pocono Garlic and Harvest Festival takes place in nearby East Stroudsburg. The festival takes place in early September, and not late October, which is when this episode aired.
  • Michael mentions a TCBY at the Garlic Festival, as well as one in downtown Scranton. TCBY is a national chain of frozen yogurt. There used to be a TCBY store in Scranton.
  • In a deleted scene, Michael tells Jim, "I don't want them to think you are a country pumpkin." He means a "country bumpkin", an unsophisticated person from the countryside.


Dwight: "Jim is my enemy. But it turns out that Jim is also his own worst enemy. And the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So, Jim is actually my friend. But... because he is his own worst enemy, the enemy of my friend is my enemy. So, actually Jim is my enemy. But-"


Main cast

Supporting cast

Guest cast

  • Tom Yi as Tim Dockery
  • Amy Weaver as Keena Gifford
  • Jennifer Hasty as the Receptionist


  1. McCarter, Reid. Revisit the controversial Halloween joke The Office scrubbed after its first airing. The AV Club, October 29, 2019.
  2. Gajjar, Saloni. “It’s a fine line between laughter and tears”: Behind the scenes of The Office’s messiest cold open. The AV Club, May 1, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Greene, Alan. "The Writers' Room." The Office: The Untold Story of the Great Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History. Dutton, 2020.