For the American Equivalent, see: The Merger.

"Merger" is the first episode of the second series of the British Office. It was written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and aired on September 30, 2002.


Tim Canterbury has been made Senior Sales Rep at Wernham Hogg and is now more serious about his job. He also reveals that the Swindon branch is going to be incorporated into the Slough branch.

Gareth Keenan gets a phone call from his friend Oggy, which leads to Tim asking him if still stays in touch with Oggy. Gareth tells Tim that he doesn't know Oggy and Tim sarcastically responds he sounds "great". Tim requests to Gareth to stop doing pig impersonations while he's on the phone Gareth tells him that he's the team leader and that Tim can't tell him what to do. Tim tells him that as Senior Sales Rep, his position outweighs team leader, claiming that it means nothing.

Neil Godwin, regional manager of the Swindon branch arrives at the Slough office to take Jennifer Taylor-Clarke's position. David Brent insists to cameras that Neil isn't his boss.

David mentions that during the merger, he's had to make Karen Roper, his personal assistant redundant because she was the last person to be hired. David was coping with having to fire her because Dawn Tinsley could do most of her work anyway.

Gareth and David annoy Tim with a cookie jar that speaks every time it opened. David tells them that they will be holding a party to greet the Swindon branch and that he will be giving a speech. Gareth also tells David a racist joke, which makes him laugh.

The rest of the Swindon branch arrive, along with Jennifer, who comes to see if the transition goes smoothly. Neil gives a speech to the employees of the two branches. Throughout his speech, he makes them laugh multiple times, making David jealous. David begins his speech and mentions that he isn't gay after Neil made a joke about it. David makes a joke but is met with silence. David greets the Swindon employees and makes jokes, but is met with silence again. David makes fun of a man that he met at a conference, but no one knows what he's talking about. When he asks everyone if they went to the conference, one of them says they did, but don't recall anyone speaking like David. David, feeling defeated, sits down.

Later, David claims that Neil, unlike himself, isn't a "professional comedian", and begins telling the joke that Gareth told him earlier, however, he begins hesitating when he is approached by a black employee named Oliver. Oliver asks David if he was telling a joke, but David says he wasn't. Another employee asks him to finish the joke. David says he doesn't know, and an employee tells Oliver that the joke was about the Royal Family playing 20 Questions. Oliver asks if was the "black man's cock" joke, and says that he isn't offended, and thought the joke was "alright".

David is reported to Jennifer and Neil for telling the racist joke, but David tells them that Oliver had heard it before and thought it was good. Jennifer asks him to repeat the joke, and when she hears it, she says that someone can find it offensive. However, David claims it isn't racist because he wasn't saying anything bad about black people. Jennifer tells him it is offensive because he's using a stereotype that black men have large penises and says it's a myth, however, Gareth tells her that he can show her a magazine saying it's true. David attempts to place the blame of Gareth because he told it to him, but Jennifer tells him that she's heard enough.

During the party, Gareth, Tim, and Keith all set their sights upon a woman named Rachel and attempt to flirt with her. Gareth and Tim argue with each other about who should ask Rachel out, and Gareth says that it should be him because "he saw her first".

David runs into Jennifer, who is speaking with Oliver. David asks Oliver if he liked the joke he told earlier, and Oliver tells him it was funny. Jennifer says that they've spoken about it and leaves. When David says that she should "chill out" by taking some marijuana, he says that Oliver would know about it. David is reported again, this time for advocating drug use and stereotyping black men as drug dealers.

Dawn asks Tim if he wants to wind up Gareth with her, but he says that he's got work to do. Later, he tells her that he's found a 20-minute window in his diary which says "To wind up Gareth with Dawn", and asks her if she wants to do it. She happily agrees. Gareth tells them that he's working, but Tim asks him if he's seen the movie "Gaylords Say No". Gareth tells them "No".

David asks which one of the Swindon employees reported him, and tells them that whoever it was, that they got off on the wrong foot with him, and that they should "chill out". He also tells them that they will "never work in a place like this again" and that they will "never have another boss like him again". He asks for who reported him to tell him, and two female employees raise their hands. The first one, Trudy, tells him that she told Jennifer because she didn't know David and because someone in his position shouldn't be laughing at black people. David says that she reported him because she didn't understand his sense of humor, however, an employee who worked at the office before the merger comes forward by saying he also found the joke offensive. David says the main thing is that Oliver didn't find the joke offensive, and Trudy tells David that he thinks that only black people can get offended. David says that everyone is equal, which leads to Trudy asking him if that's why he's only got only one black person in the entire office. David tells her that there's also an Indian employee working in the warehouse. David says that if he had his way, the place would be full of minorities, and leaves.

Later, Lee catches Dawn and Tim playfully dancing and pushes Tim against a wall in anger.

Connections to the American Office

  • This episode was the inspiration for the American office's third season, introducing the merger.


Main cast

Supporting cast

  • Joel Beckett as Lee
  • Patrick Baladi as Neil Godwin
  • Stacey Roca as Rachel
  • Stirling Gallacher as Jennifer Taylor-Clarke
  • Julie Fernandez as Brenda
  • Rachel Isaac as Trudy
  • Ewan MacIntosh as Keith Bishop
  • Howard Saddler as Oliver
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.