"New Leads" is the twentieth episode of the sixth season and the 120th episode overall. It was written and directed by Brent Forrester who wrote, "Mafia", "Blood Drive", and "Business School". It aired on March 18, 2010. It was viewed by 7.63 million people.
In the cold open Michael calls Jim into his office and shows him photos of who he claims is Johnny Depp at his condo. Jim messes with Michael before bluntly telling him that there is no way it is Johnny Depp. After a short argument Michael relents after stating that the name on the mail box was "M. Shulman." Jim, who is on his way out, pauses and asks, "M. Night Shyamalan?", to which a shocked Michael has no reply.
Michael holds a meeting but Stanley and Dwight interrupt Michael demanding if there are any sales topics or any news on the $50,000 leads that Sabre bought them. Michael lets them know they aren't here yet. The salespeople are especially anxious to get the leads which is causing them to snap at Michael and their co-workers. They abruptly leave the conference room. Michael tells Dwight that he would like his undivided attention. Dwight responds coldly, "You couldn't handle my undivided attention." Michael explains that Sabre's policy of "Sales is King" means that the company emphasizes the importance of the sales staff which reduces the rest of the office to support them. This has gone to the salespeople's heads and is creating tension in the office.
Dwight comes into Michael's office to ask him patronizingly about news on the leads. Jim texts a potential client, ignoring Micheal when he tries to speak to him and has to literally force his hand to sign Jim's commission check. Phyllis refuses to answer Angela's repeated emails. Andy demands a pencil from Darryl during a sale and wrestles him for it when Darryl refuses. Darryl tells Michael he needs to put the salespeople in their place.
Thus, when the leads arrive, Michael refuses to hand them out, especially when Phyllis demands, "hand them over numbnuts". While this earns him the appreciation of the rest of the branch, Gabe explains that it is Michael's job to hand those leads over. So Michael hands them to the non-sales staff. Jim tries to convince Michael that this plan isn't going to work. Michael responds by giving Jim a list of clues to find his share of the leads which he has hidden all over the industrial park.
Phyllis asks Angela for her share of the leads. Angela agrees to do so as soon as Phyllis fills out a stack of paperwork that Angela plans to shred in front of her as soon as she's done. Stanley wins leads from Ryan and Kelly by agreeing to both their arguments in a relationship debate. Jim decides to call Pam, tells her about the situation at Dunder Mifflin and Pam helps him solve some of the clues.
Erin hides her share of the leads, and plays the hot-cold game with Andy which awkwardly leads his hands moving towards her chest before she reveals them underneath her keyboard.
When Dwight returns from his sales call and demands his share of the leads, Michael advises him, "If you want to find your leads, go to the man who never breeds." Dwight immediately identifies Kevin, who attempts to humiliate Dwight but only results in getting strangled. After a few seconds of being choked by Dwight, Kevin tells him that the leads are in the trash, but Erin already threw it away. Dwight heads to the dumpster, to find nothing there. Michael realizes that it's Friday and runs out into the street where a garbage truck can be seen driving away.
Michael asks everyone to go to the dump with him to find the leads, but only Dwight will, fearing that Michael won't be able to find them on his own. While at the dump, Michael confronts Dwight about how Dwight no longer shows him respect. Dwight admits that he resents how being under Michael's tutelage hasn't gone as far as he thought it would. He believes he would have been in a higher position at another company had he accepted one of the other job offers he'd been given. As a result, he's still just a salesman at a company that failed under a boss that isn't going anywhere. "I hitched my wagon to a horse with no legs." This results in a short trash fight, which ends when Michael accidentally dumps a sink of garbage water onto himself. The two, exhausted, rest on a bathtub and resume their friendship after a short conversation, acknowledging they'll never find the leads. Jim meanwhile convinces the sales-staff to acknowledge their behavior and to give up 2% of their commissions to appease the rest of the office.
Jim, Andy, Phyllis, and Stanley present the non-sales staff with a platter of pastries. The other employees are so delighted that Jim realizes that that's all it takes to earn their forgiveness. The 2% commission offer is never made. Michael and Dwight return with a dirty bean bag chair that Dwight exclaims is, "For me and Michael only!", showing they have become friends again.
At the end of the episode, Erin and Andy are at the dump, and Erin gives Andy her coat after he states he is cold. Andy tells her that she is the nicest person he has ever met, and they have their first kiss in the landfill.
- Creed asks Andy for $10,000, but Andy declines, and offers something else. Creed asks for Andy's hairpiece and $500, which Andy declines.
- Phyllis and Stanley agree that in over the 31 years that they worked at Dunder Mifflin, they are happy that salesmen are being taken seriously and that Sabre recognizes that Salesman is King.
- Andy talks to Erin and asks her for leads. Erin says she doesn't have any.
- An extended scene/alternate scene of when Andy, Phyllis, Stanley and Jim discuss solutions to the issue. Stanley questions Jim's actions.
- Dwight and Darryl fight over Sabre's demands about alerting client on freezing rain, which will affect shipping time.
Connections to previous episodes
- Pam also had bad sales numbers in "Koi Pond", when she was forced to make cold calls with Andy, as the people with the two lowest sales in the office had to do them. She also only doubled her sales from 2 to 4 in "Scott's Tots".
- Phyllis wears purple so much, she was called "Mother Goose," by Sasha Flenderson in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day".
- Kelly also told Charles Miner that her family was much like the Kardashians, showing that she is a huge fan of their show. She later tries to persuade Ryan to watch it.
- Phyllis and Andy have apparently stepped up their sales ability as in Employee Transfer Dwight scoffs at Andy for "barely being able to outsell Phyllis".
- Kelly is heard telling Oscar that he should "go for it". She is possibly referring to Oscar's infatuation with Matt that was seen in "Secret Santa".
- On the board in the conference room, it is said that Phyllis has made the most sales. However, Dwight says that he made the most sales, and that he is "King of Kings".
- When Michael is in the conference room, it shows how many sales each salesman made. While Phyllis has the most sales, Jim, Dwight, Andy, and Stanley are also doing well in sales. However, Pam, is once again doing bad in sales, possibly due to her low sales (she had to make cold calls) or also because she is on maternity leave, and only had three days to make sales.
- In the meeting in the beginning Michael explains the Lost and Found is itself lost and Creed can be seen nervously adjusting glasses clearly made for a woman, indicating he in fact stole the Lost and Found.
- When Michael explains that Sabre's policy is to support the salesmen, Gabe is seen giving the sales staff exclusive Sabre merchandise. Stanley puts on the jacket given to him and happily spins around as Phyllis takes a picture of him.
- The sales staff use Bluetooth ear pieces to make their sales calls, similar to those of stock brokers.
- As the new leads arrive, the sales staff are gathered at reception opening a box of what appears to be more exclusive Sabre merchandise for the salesmen.
- As receptionist, Pam was always forced to take care of Michael, explaining why she knows everything he means, including his "Mopey Place".
- Michael's clue describes Kevin as the one who never breeds, but Kevin was engaged to Stacy for several years.
- Dwight believes that Kevin is referring to Meredith when he says the leads are in the trash. He then asks Meredith to strip, to Kevin's horror.
- Michael refers to Johnny Depp's character as Captain Jack Sparrow which is a running joke throughout the movies. Captain Jack Sparrow and his friends always insist on including his title when he is named.
- Dwight licks the garbage bag and jumps into the dumpster to declare that they are clean and empty respectively, when he could have just done so by looking at them.
- Michael says "Make friends first, make sales second, make love third, in no particular order," even though he just put the three items in order.
- When Michael is signing Jim's seemingly handsome commission check, and Michael comments on how much money it is, Jim says, "It's good, you know, with the kid." And Michael responds, "Don't gloat," referring to his longing for children that is never able to be fulfilled.
- Michael calls for a time out during his fight in the landfill so he can look for objects to throw at Dwight.
- There is disagreement among fans over whether the scenes at the dump were created with a green screen or a painted backdrop.
- Jim says Michael's idea for the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is "that they should do one." The fourth movie in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was released the year after this episode aired.
- The cold open for this episode appears to have been filmed while Jim was still a co-manager, as he is wearing his suit jacket, something he did only when co-manager.
Behind the scenes
- The cold open for this episode was originally written for "Double Date".:22:15
- At the staff meeting, Michael starts setting the ground rules for "Pet Day". In season 1, Greg Daniels wrote an episode titled "Pet Day" that was never used, but which he kept around just in case they got really in trouble. (In the episode, everybody took their pets into the office. Michael had a parrot named Jim Carrey.) Even after the characters had evolved past the point where the "Pet Day" episode would have made sense, the writers would still refer to it as their emergency backup episode.
- A lead is a person who has expressed an interest in purchasing a product or service. Salespeople pursue leads in order to attempt to convert them into paying clients.
- Johnny Depp is an actor known for roles such as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
- Cap'n Crunch is a sweetened cereal for children.
- Jim teases Michael by suggesting that his neighbor's name is M. Night Shulman. M. Night Shyamalan is a filmmaker and screenwriter who grew up and lives in Pennsylvania and films nearly all his movies in that state.
- Michael says that Jim thought he saw Roger Clemens, a former Major League baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees.
- Sexting is a form of texting in which people send sexually explicit photos, messages, etc., using electronics.
- A Conspiracy is a usually an attempt to defraud people of their legal rights, or the overthrowing of a government, in some cases.
- Michael wants to call Stanley uppity but reconsiders and applies the term to Jim instead. Uppity is a racially-tinged term used during the Civil Rights era to refer disparagingly to blacks who tried to improve their social and economic status.
- While Michael is on the phone with Gabe about holding back the leads, Michael references the idea of the correlation between ice cream and going to jail. This is very similar to the correlation vs causation fallacy that increased ice cream sales leads to increased homicide.
- Kelly refers to the Kardashians, from the hit reality television series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, about a family, which consists of an ex-wife and her daughters. Kelly is a devoted fan. Khloe and Kim Kardashian are known for dating/marrying African-American men, which is likely why Kelly mentioned the show to Darryl.
- Michael sends Jim to a streetlamp he believed was used in the movie Casablanca. The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, with a few scenes filmed in nearby Arizona.
- Michael hides some leads in a tin of ravioli, with the note "Now that's Italian!". The phrase "That's Italian!" was the marketing slogan for Ragú brand spaghetti sauce. Example.
- Erin plays the hotter/colder game with Andy. In this children's game, warmer temperatures indicate that the player is closer to the target. (The game was last seen in the episode The Fight.)
- Michael's clue says to look under the first President. The first President of the United States was George Washington, but the clue is actually under a Lincoln brand car. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th United States President, not the first.
- Baba Ghanoush is an Arab dish made from eggplants, which are mixed and mashed with several spices. It is eaten throughout western Asia, and can be dipped with pita bread.
- Kevin figures out what day it is by remembering that Ghost Whisperer is on television. The show is about a woman who can see dead people and helps to bring closure to families who have recently seen death in their families. It did indeed air on Friday nights.
- A falafel is a fried ball or patty derived from chickpeas, and usually served within a pita. It is from Egypt, but is eaten throughout the world.
- Michael tries to say "accessories" (a legal term meaning people who assist a criminal) but says "successories" which is not a real word.
- A onesie is a garment designed to be worn by infants, much like pajamas, and have snaps.
- Dwight says that he would be assistant manager at Home Depot, a chain of home improvement stores.
- Pam suggests giving iPods as a form of reconciliation. The iPod is a portable music player which featured prominently in the episode "Christmas Party".
For quotes, see: New Leads Quotes.
- Steve Carell as Michael Scott
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert (voice only)
- B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson
- Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone
- Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton
- Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
- Mindy Kaling as Kelly Kapoor
- Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon
- Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin
- Paul Lieberstein as Toby Flenderson
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
|Subtle Sexuality||The Office: Season 6||"The Mentor"|
|#01||Gossip||#07||The Lover||#13||Secret Santa||#19||St. Patrick's Day||#25||The Chump|
|#02||The Meeting||#08||Koi Pond||#14||The Banker||#20||New Leads||#26||Whistleblower|
|#03||The Promotion||#09||Double Date||#15||Sabre||#21||Happy Hour|
|#04||Niagara, Part 1||#10||Murder||#16||Manager and Salesman||#22||Secretary's Day|
|#05||Niagara, Part 2||#11||Shareholder Meeting||#17||The Delivery, Part 1||#23||Body Language|
|#06||Mafia||#12||Scott's Tots||#18||The Delivery, Part 2||#24||The Cover-Up|