Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki
Dunderpedia: The Office Wiki

"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of The Office. It was written by Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant and directed by Ken Kwapis. It first aired on March 24, 2005.


A documentary crew gives a firsthand introduction to the staff of the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, managed by Michael Scott. Introduced in this episode include Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute, who both work as sales representatives, Ryan Howard, the temp, Pam Beesly, the receptionist, and Jan Levinson-Gould, Michael's boss from corporate.

File:World's Best Boss.jpg

Michael's mug.

Jim tells Michael that he couldn't close a sales deal, so Michael calls the client and successfully concludes the sale, though he also accidentally insults the client. Pam gives Michael a fax from corporate, to which Michael jokes that the wastepaper basket is the special filing cabinet for things from corporate. He then crumbles the fax and throws it in the wastepaper basket. Michael tells the camera that people consider him the best boss because he's hilariously funny and demonstrates this by repeatedly shouting "Whassup?" to Jim and Dwight.

Jan Levinson-Gould then enters the office for a meeting. Jan, Michael, and Pam have the meeting in Michael's office. When Jan asks Michael if there was anything he wanted to add to the agenda, Michael tells her he didn't get one. Jan replies that she sent one earlier in the day. Michael asks Pam if they got an agenda, to which Pam says it was the one he threw in the garbage can. Jan then informs Michael that the board has determined that they can't justify having a Scranton branch and a Stamford branch. She says she told Josh in Stamford the same thing and that there may be downsizing in Michael's branch, which Michael begins to panic at. Later in the meeting, Todd Packer calls. Michael answers the phone, and Todd asks if "Godzillary" is coming to his office and says that he wants to ask her if the carpet matches the drapes, at which Michael hangs up, though Jan is displeased at Packer.

In the break room, Oscar Martinez, Phyllis Lapin, and Stanley Hudson are at a table talking about the possibility of downsizing. Angela Martin and Kevin Malone are shown also talking about the downsizing. Jim and Pam are not affected by the rumours, as they discuss Angela's "cat party."

File:Wall of pencils.jpg

The wall of pencils between Jim and Dwight's desks.

Ryan Howard then arrives from the temporary employee agency. Michael demonstrates to him his humour and imitates Moe of the Three Stooges and Adolf Hitler. Later, as Jim is on the phone, Dwight uses a ruler and pushes Jim's overlapping papers onto his desk. Afterwards in retaliation, Jim places pencils between his desk and Dwight's, which Dwight smashes with his phone, during which Jim tells the camera he's not afraid of the downsizing issue. Dwight also tells the camera he has no problem with downsizing and that he's been recommending it since he first arrived at Dundler Mifflin.

To boost morale, Michael holds a meeting, with Dwight acting as Michael's assistant. Michael assures the office that they have nothing to worry about, though they still aren't pleased.

Dwight's stapler in Jell-O.

After the meeting, Michael introduces Ryan to Jim and Dwight. Dwight talks about his 1978 Nissan 280Z and opens his drawer to show Ryan some pictures though finds his stapler encased in Jell-O. Dwight wants Michael to punish him, though instead, Jim, Ryan, and Michael make puns about the issue.

Jim later asks Pam if she wants to go out for a drink after work, but Pam's fiancé, Roy, arrives and wants her to go home with him. Michael later tells Ryan his management style and plays a prank on Pam, pretending to fire her for stealing Post-it notes. When she breaks down crying, Michael reveals the firing as a prank, though Pam is not amused.

Michael's mug in Jell-O


After everyone has gone home, Jim goes into Michael's office and places Michael's mug, encased in Jell-O, on his desk.


  • This episode was adapted from the first episode of the original British series, but "Americanized" by executive producer Greg Daniels. Most scenes are very similar to the British version, though some are very different.
  • Most of this episode was filmed more than six months before the other episodes of the season.
  • The scene where Jim tapes pencils to his desk and Dwight says they are a safety violation was originally filmed as the British version was, in which Tim stacks up cardboard boxes in front of Gareth so he can't see him. The scene was later reshot with pencils. However, later on in the episode, if you look closely in the background, you can see the boxes stacked up in front of Dwight.
  • The two women in blue sweaters at the staff meeting were actual accountants that worked on the production.
  • Michael asks Ryan if he likes The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Punk'd, to which Ryan says he does. B.J. Novak, who plays Ryan, was a prankster on the second season of Punk'd.
  • The work computers are all different than in the rest of the series. They have much fatter flat panel monitors and are running on Windows 98, whereas in later episodes they are running on Windows XP
  • This episode marks the first mention of Josh Porter, Todd Packer, and the Stamford branch. Also mentioned is the possibility of a merge of the Scranton and Stamford branches, which later happens in the season 3 episode "The Merger".
  • Michael identifies Dane Cook as one of his comedic influences. In real life, Steve Carell will co-star with Cook in the romantic comedy Dan in Real Life as Cook's brother. Both Carell and Cook are from Massachusetts.

Deleted scenes

Included on the season one DVD were various deleted scenes. These included:

  • An interview with Dwight describing his family background. This would later be used in the season 2 episode "Drug Testing".
  • Michael holding a Dundie saying he's the best boss in the world.
  • Jim saying without him, dozens of small businesses would be paperless.
  • An alternate take of Michael introducing Pam, where he says every guy in the office has sprayed sprayed on Pam.
  • An interview with Dwight explaining how his human touch affects sales figures.
  • An alternate take of Michael welcoming Ryan to the office.
  • An interview with Michael talking about downsizing and lying to his co-workers about it.
  • Michael showing the Homer Simpson doll and introducing Ryan to Oscar, Kevin, and Angela.
  • Interviews with Angela, Oscar, and Kevin, who all talk about the downsizing issue and themselves.
  • Michael telling Pam he thinks he has testicular cancer as she eats her lunch.
  • Michael playing with the boom mic.
  • After being intimidated by the boom mic in an interview (it's in a blind spot), Dwight goes into detail about his self-defence experience.

Cultural references

  • Michael calls Jim grasshopper. Grasshopper was the nickname given to the protagonist in the television series "Kung Fu" by one of his teachers.
  • Spencer Gifts is a chain of stores that sells novelty items. There is a store in Scranton.
  • Downsizing is a corporate euphemism for firing employees. Other corporate terms employed in the episode are compensation (pay) and HR (human resources, the department responsible for employee issues such as hiring and salary).
  • The Six Million Dollar Man was a television program popular in the 1970's. The title character was a cyborg, and footage of the character performing superhuman feats were played in slow motion and accompanied by a sound effect similar to the one Michael makes.
  • The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Punk'd are television programs from the early 2000's. Both programs play pranks on unsuspecting victims. Michael's exclamation "You've been X'd, punk!" combines the catch phrase "You've been X'd" from first program with the name of the second program.


  • In his meeting with Jan, Michael precedes a question by saying "Question". This mannerism was given to Dwight in subsequent episodes.


Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Guest Cast

External links