"Promos" is the eighteenth episode of the ninth season of the American television comedy series The Office and is the show's 194th episode overall. It was written by Tim McAuliffe and directed by Jennifer Celotta. It aired on April 4, 2013.
Everyone in the office is excited when promos start running for the documentary, but they become concerned when they realize that some private things are shown, including Angela cheating on the senator with Dwight. Dwight makes Angela jealous when he starts dating a Brussels sprout farmer. Meanwhile, Jim has a big meeting with Major League baseball player Ryan Howard.
In the cold open, Phyllis is listening to the Fifty Shades of Grey audiobook, making everyone uncomfortable. After Andy refuses to do anything about it, Dwight takes matters into his own hands. He drenches Phyllis with a bucket of water, and Andy confiscates her phone. In his office, Andy is seen listening to the audiobook and is suddenly drenched in water the same way Phyllis was.
The office is excited to see promos for the upcoming documentary The Office: An American Workplace, but many of the workers are dismayed to learn just how much of their activities have been recorded and how much of their conversations the microphones picked up. Several excuse themselves and go to the warehouse to talk, turning off their microphones in an unsuccessful effort to keep the discussion private. Pete suggests that Pam talk to dismissed crew member Brian to learn more. It's noticeable that Pam seems to miss the "old Jim", and she questions Brian on if he thinks Jim has changed. She reminiscences about the old times that she and Jim shared in the past. Brian also informs her that the staff's private moments were still recorded, regardless of them wearing their own microphones or not. This causes her to get upset and leave, once he tells her she practically had no privacy for the past 10 years. Meanwhile, Angela and Oscar, after some arguing, jointly call Angela's husband Sen. Robert Lipton to inform him that the documentary will probably out him and reveal that Angela slept with Dwight.
Dwight makes Angela jealous when he starts dating a Brussels sprout farmer. Meanwhile, Jim and Darryl have a big meeting with Major League baseball player Ryan Howard, a meeting that ends up with Darryl and Jim reading Ryan's self-written screenplay about a baseball player turned superhero.
Meanwhile, Andy enjoys reading the comments from the promos and even replies to some of them, but becomes annoyed when some of them begin insulting him. It is revealed at the end of the episode that some of the comments were from Nellie.
- Ryan Howard says "Eat Fresh" many times in the episode. This is the slogan of the sandwich restaurant Subway, for which Ryan Howard was a spokesperson at the time the episode aired.
Connections to previous episodes
- The promos are connections to several previous episodes.
- Upon seeing a clip of her and Dwight exiting the warehouse, Angela remarks that she didn't know the film crew was filming her. However, in that episode, that scene ends with Angela noticing the camera, fixing her cardigan indignantly, and storming off.
- An internet comment calls Andy gay, which is a continuation of a running gag where Andy's sexuality is called into question.
- Pam meets with Brian, the boom mic operator who was fired from the doc crew for interfering with the documentary in "Vandalism".
- When Andy is reading the comments on the promo videos, he encounters someone who calls him a 'butt'. He then shouts, "I'm gonna lose my freaking mind!" which is a reference to Andy's first debut in "Gay Witch Hunt".
- When Dwight says that Angela is a nine in terms of looks, Clark says that she is a Scranton nine. Ryan Howard says something similar to this in "Michael Scott Paper Company" about Pam, saying she is a seven in Scranton but only a six in New York.
Amusing details and trivia
- The Pam Halpert "Get Glue" sticker was released alongside the episode.
- Nellie posts mean comments on Andy's videos but in a previous episode she confessed to Pam that she is not at all comfortable with computers.
- While watching the first promo, Nellie says "Who is..." when Michael is shown, as she has never met Michael.
- Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who meets with Jim and Darryl, is the acknowledged namesake of the character of the same name; in Season 4's "Night Out", Ryan claimed to be the baseball player while attempting to get inside a New York City nightclub.
- While remarking how everyone has changed, Stanley is holding a pretzel. A slight nod to Pretzel Day.
- The song Angela plays to muffle her mic in the stairwell is "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood.
Behind the scenes
- The Subway restaurant chain aggressively pursued product placement deals with television networks as a way to maintain ad presence in the face of audiences skipping over commercials. The appearance in "The Office" was the result of months of effort, looking for an opportunity.
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- Catherine Tate as Nellie Bertram
- Leslie David Baker as Stanley Hudson
- Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone
- Creed Bratton as Creed Bratton
- Clark Duke as Clark Green
- Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
- Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon
- Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin
- Jake Lacy as Pete Miller
- Paul Lieberstein as Toby Flenderson
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
- Chris Diamantopoulos as Brian
- Ryan Howard as Himself
- Allan Havey as Mr. Bruegger
- Nora Kirkpatrick as Esther
- Richard Augustine as Tractor Salesman
- Kelly Daly as Bertha
- Kamala Jones as Edna
- Sam Richardson as Colin, Athlead Employee
- Steve Carell as Michael Scott (archive footage)
- Steinberg, Brian. "How Subway Sandwiches Devoured TV's Shows, Scripts." Variety. October 20, 2013.
|Season 8||The Office - Season 9|
|#01||New Guys||#07||The Whale||#13||Junior Salesman||#19||Stairmageddon|
|#02||Roy's Wedding||#08||The Target||#14||Vandalism||#20||Paper Airplane|
|#03||Andy's Ancestry||#09||Dwight Christmas||#15||Couples Discount||#21||Livin' the Dream|
|#04||Work Bus||#10||Lice||#16||Moving On||#22||A.A.R.M.|
|#05||Here Comes Treble||#11||Suit Warehouse||#17||The Farm||#23||Finale|
|#06||The Boat||#12||Customer Loyalty||#18||Promos|