"Special Project" is the fourteenth episode of the eighth season of the American television comedy series The Office and is the show's 166th overall. It was directed by David Rogers and written by Ameile Gillette. It originally aired on February 9, 2012.
"Special Project" introduced a six-episode arc which featured several of the office workers working on a special project for Sabre in Tallahassee, Florida. The episode received largely positive reviews from critics, with many reviewers looking forward to the "special projects" storyline. The ending scene featuring Cathy's phone conversation about Jim and Pam's marriage has also received significant attention from critics. According to Nielsen Media Research, "Special Project" drew 5.16 million viewers and received a 2.5 rating/6% share in the 18–49 demographic, marking a three-tenths drop in ratings from the previous episode, "Jury Duty," and becoming one of the lowest-rated episodes of the series. Despite this, it was the highest-rated NBC series of the night.
Just as Pam's maternity leave ends, Dwight is assigned the task of forming a team and traveling down to Florida for three weeks to help Sabre launch a chain of retail stores. He and Andy must select employees to accompany Dwight to Tallahassee. At first Dwight chooses Darryl, Phyllis, Toby, Angela, and Oscar, but Andy refuses letting so many essential employees leave for three weeks. While letting Dwight have Darryl and Phyllis, Andy chooses Kelly, Kevin and Cathy to join the team instead, upsetting Dwight. After Dwight announces who will be leaving there is much argument in the office on who gets to go and who does not. Andy decides to let people convince him why they should go before making his final decision.
Meanwhile Jim receives a text from Robert California inviting him on the trip to Tallahassee. After unsuccessfully trying to back out via text, Jim and Pam both agree Jim should just go. The final team includes Cathy, Ryan, Stanley, Erin and Jim, infuriating Dwight. At first he tries to convince the members to change their minds, but after realizing they all have excellent ideas for the project, he is content with the team. Erin expresses frustration that Andy is still with Jessica. After Andy and Dwight jointly choose her for the project team, she relates in a talking head that she is not going to return to Scranton once she arrives in Florida. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Cathy has ulterior motives for the trip, intending to seduce Jim while the two are in Florida together, stating, during a cell phone conversation to an unidentified friend, that "... Definitely we will. It's three weeks in Tallahassee. What else is there to do?"
Darryl discovers warehouse worker Val has knitted him a beanie. Unsure if she intended it as a romantic gift or simply one of friendship, Darryl decides to find out by giving her a Valentine's Day gift of an expensive pair of cashmere ladies' gloves with a romantic card. Upon discovering that Val had knitted a beanie for everyone in the warehouse, an embarrassed Darryl passes the gloves off to warehouse worker Nate, who's moved by the gift. Darryl is further disappointed when a man named Brandon calls asking for the address of the warehouse to send flowers to his girlfriend Val. He's intrigued, however, when she says the flowers were from her mother, despite him pointing out the caller had a deep voice and went by the name Brandon. Darryl decides that Val's gift was "a love beanie".
(This list is incomplete)
- Cathy sees Pam and Erin making more Valentine's Day decorations and concludes that she didn't make enough. She offers to help, but Kelly rudely shuts her down.
- In a talking head interview, Cathy says that now that Pam is back, she is out of a job. "The funny thing is, if I had just married Doug, I wouldn't be having this problem." She then remembers why she didn't marry Doug and tells the camera crew, "Could you remind me, the next time I forget, 'Cathy, you were not happy with Doug'?"
- "Perfektenschlag" is a made-up German-sounding word.
- Stanley says that he's the only one in the office who watches the television series, Burn Notice.
- Dwight says after finishing work on the special project in Florida, they will be able to go visit Cape Canaveral and go sea kayaking with Gloria Estefan.
- While attempting to convince his group not to go to Florida, pictures of Casey Anthony, Katherine Harris, Brooke Hogan and Tony Montana are used.
- Kevin says, "Sometimes Batman's gotta take off his cape."
- Dwight saying "Andy is an honorable man" is a reference to Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and the quote "Brutus is an honorable man" which is used in irony because Brutus kills Caesar, much like Andy is dishonorable at that moment.
- When Andy comes out of his office he says “Mushi Mushi” in reference to the Japanese term Moshi Moshi, which means “Hello”. It is commonly said when answering the phone.
- Stanley says he has a lot of Tommy Bahama shirts.
- Toby suffers from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
- Dwight calls Deliverance a documentary.
- Ryan says they need to think different from Apple. Think Different was an ad campaign that Steve Jobs helped create for Apple in 1997.
- Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
- John Krasinski as Jim Halpert
- Jenna Fischer as Pam Halpert
- B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard
- Ed Helms as Andy Bernard
- James Spader as Robert California
- 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
- Oscar Nunez as Oscar Martinez
- Craig Robinson as Darryl Philbin
- Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance
- Zach Woods as Gabe Lewis
|Season 7||The Office - Season 8||Season 9|
|#01||The List||#07||Pam's Replacement||#13||Jury Duty||#19||Get the Girl|
|#02||The Incentive||#08||Gettysburg||#14||Special Project||#20||Welcome Party|
|#03||Lotto||#09||Mrs. California||#15||Tallahassee||#21||Angry Andy|
|#04||Garden Party||#10||Christmas Wishes||#16||After Hours||#22||Fundraiser|
|#05||Spooked||#11||Trivia||#17||Test the Store||#23||Turf War|
|#06||Doomsday||#12||Pool Party||#18||Last Day in Florida||#24||Free Family Portrait Studio|