"The Fight" is the sixth episode of the second season of The Office and the 12th overall. It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, and directed by Ken Kwapis. It first aired on November 1, 2005. It was viewed by 7.9 million people.

Cold Open

After getting to work, Dwight realizes that his desk is missing. Jim directs him all the way to the bathroom, where his desk is planted in the middle of the men's restroom.


After getting promoted to a purple belt, Dwight now as a "senpai" keeps bragging about his new position at the Goju-Ryu Karate dojo. Over at reception, Stanley complains to Pam that he doesn't want to stay until 7:00 because of Michael, who always procrastinates when it comes to signing time cards. When Pam confronts Michael about the cards, he is in a meeting with Ryan, whose job is to update emergency contacts. Michael claims that emergency contacts are more important then the time cards, and sends Pam away. Michael spends his time sending prank calls to Ryan, impersonating a plethora of celebrities instead of signing the time cards. Jim plays a prank on Dwight and plays "Keep away" with his purple belt. Michael takes his attention off of bothering Ryan and starts to practice his cursive.  Jim asks Dwight if he can beat Michael in a fight. Dwight claims he can, and a passing Michael counters, saying that indeed he could. Michael convinces both of them that he can beat Dwight, with Dwight responding they can't beat each other due to the fact that they are friends. However, the jokes turn into a rivalry, and later a joke fight, which results in Michael losing. Jim and Pam then work together to making Michael feeling humiliated, and convince both of them to do a rematch at Dwight's dojo. Both of Dwight and Michael agree. At the dojo, both of them start with ridiculous movements. Michael makes lots of illegal shots, causing Sensei Ira to seperate them. In the next round, Michael pounces and pins Dwight to the floor. He starts to cough of phlegm. Dwight screams and begs Michael to stop, but at the same time, admitting he is the loser.  Dwight, subdued, returns to the office with Michael, and is cold and meek. Michael realizes that he severely attacked Dwight's pride, and gave him the position as the Assistant Regional Manager to lift Dwight's spirits. Dwight gratefully accepts, and they become friends again.


  • Kevin comes out of the bathroom stall holding a scented candle. In a previous episode, "The Dundies", Kevin won a Dundie award in honor of the horrid smell he leaves behind after using the bathroom.
  • Spoilers: Dwight tells Kevin to wash his hands in the cold open, however later in the series when he waters down the soap and is criticized for it, he says, "Why do you even need to wash your hands? Are you really that bad at going to the bathroom?" And when Pam tries to place hand sanitizing stations all over the office, Dwight advocates for placing hand "de-sanitizing" stations around instead, insisting that the human immune system shouldn't be coddled.
  • Michael didn't actually win his fight with Dwight. halfway through, he broke the rule of no holding and scored his three points illegally. Thus, Dwight won, and Michael would have been disqualified. However, Michael, refusing to obey the sensei, and unable to accept the fact that Dwight is better, still claims he won and gloats about it for the rest of the episode. 
  • Jim has a sister named Larisa as he has her listed as his emergency contact. Spoilers: Larisa's name is spelled with one "s" on the wedding program in the episode "Niagara".
  • Spoilers: In a talking head interview, Michael talks about friends who come to work late "having dentist appointments that aren't dentist appointments." This hypothetical situation comes to pass in the future episode "The Coup".
  • Dwight botches the phrase "tit for tat" by saying "tit for tit" instead. He made the same mistake in a previous episode, "Diversity Day", where Jim corrects him.
  • According to the logos on Dwight's Dojo, the school is not supposed to be teaching Karate, but Tae Kwon Do, due to the World Taekwondo Federation logos (See picture). Additionally, the sparring gear that the training dummy adorned in the background is actually Tae Kwon Do sparring gear, not Karate, as the user usually isn't supposed to wear any gear, in Kumite, or "full body contact", although Shiai/Jyu Kumite, "free sparring", has the users wearing gear (gloves, mouthguards, leg padding, optional headguard).
  • The actor who plays Sensei Ira, Lance Krall, is an actual martial art expert: He holds a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, and in 1992, he was ranked the sixth best in the nation for his weight class.
  • Rainn Wilson, studied martial arts in college and has a yellow belt. The writers did not know that Rainn Wilson or Lance Krall had martial arts experience when they wrote and cast the episode.[1]
  • In the episode's closing scene, not only is the staff laughing at Michael beating up Dwight but so is Dwight's Sensei.
  • Dwight's use of "senpai" is (purposely) incorrect, it is an honorific to indicate someone of a higher rank. When talking to someone who is a higher rank than you (in this case, sensei), you do not call yourself "senpai".
  • Spoilers: The address that Jim provides for his emergency contact who is presumably his mother is different from the address of when he purchases his parents home.
  • A sign in Dwight's dojo lists the 10 rules of karate. The rules were created by writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. It is apparent from the rules that this is a children's martial arts school. Lee Eisenberg kept the poster.[1]
    1. Obey your parents.
    2. No junk food.
    3. Do your homework.
    4. Keep your room clean.
    5. Maintain an indomitable spirit.
    6. Don't fight with your siblings.
    7. Practice, practice, practice.
    8. Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
    9. Be loyal to your country.
    10. Have fun!
  • The 2nd Michael Scott absent in cold open.

Deleted scenes

Notable cut scenes include:

  • At the dojo, Dwight's attempt at a kick fails miserably. Dwight is disciplined by sensei Ira when his pager goes off during class.
  • In a talking head interview, Dwight explains that he has not bonded with his classmates. "I'm not there to make friends. I'm here to attack people."
  • An alternate take of the scene in which Jim asks Dwight whom he could take on in a fight.
  • Angela accuses Oscar of eating her pudding snacks. Oscar denies it, as does Kevin. (Kevin snickers to the camera.)
  • Kelly invites Meredith to Happy Hour. Meredith is unsure. "I'm still recovering from last night... but maybe."
  • Scenes at the dojo of Michael and Dwight putting on equipment, trying to psych each other out, and ultimately fighting like idiots.
  • Ira introduces his young senpai Alyssa. In a talking head interview at the dojo, Dwight explains that Alyssa may technically be the senpai, but "the only reason she got into regionals was because her competition was a bunch of thirteen-year-old girls."
  • Michael brags about the fight to Stanley, who is more interested in Michael signing the purchase orders. Pam pointedly puts the forms on Michael's chair.
  • In a talking head interview, Dwight explains that Michael has no honor and would be an outcast in Japan. "Well, that's not totally true, because Asians worship chest hair."
  • Michael delivers Pam "part one" of the forms, but it is just the emergency contact information.

Cultural references

  • Jim plays the hotter/colder game with Dwight. In this children's game, warmer temperatures indicate that the player is closer to the target.
  • Arigato gozaimashita and Hai, loosely translated, mean "Thank you very much" and "Yes", respectively, in Japanese.
  • The Perfect Storm is a book and subsequent movie about a powerful storm that struck North America in 1991. It subsequently became used to refer to the disastrous effect of multiple events which coincide by chance.
  • Michael sings I don't want to work. I want to bang on this mug all day to the tune of Bang the Drum All Day.
  • Chillax is a slang term combining chill (meaning "to relax") and relax.
  • Pam-M-S'ing is a pun on PMS (known as PMT in British English).
  • Catch-22 is the title of a novel by Joseph Heller. The term refers to a no-win situation, although it is clear that Michael has no idea what it means.
  • Michael Jackson's Wonderland is Michael's mistaken reference to Jackson's property the Neverland Ranch.
  • Mike Tyson is a professional boxer with a high-pitched voice.
  • A Jet is a member of one of the rival street gangs in the musical West Side Story. "When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way" is the opening line to The Jet Song. Jim snaps his fingers in the same way as the gang members.
  • Bedtime for Bonzo is a movie notable primarily for its star, future president Ronald Reagan. Michael's use is nonsensical.
  • You are the weakest link is the catchphrase from the game show Weakest Link.
  • Queer Eye (originally Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) is a make-over reality television program featuring five openly gay men dispensing fashion and style advice.
  • Armageddon is a 1998 science fiction action movie starring Bruce Willis.
  • Tit for tit is an incorrect version of tit for tat, an expression meaning that one can respond to an offense in the same manner as the original offense. Dwight first uses this incorrectly in the Season 1 episode, Diversity Day.
  • Michael's Two punches: me punching you and you hitting the floor is a botched quote from the classic 1985 movie The Breakfast Club. Actual quote: "Two hits; me hitting you, you hitting the floor."
  • Jim's "Bring it" is a challenge (short for "bring it on", a phrase used by Katy in Hot Girl).
  • Jim mocks Pam by doubting her status as an Ultimate Fighter. The Ultimate Fighter is a reality television series in the form of a martial arts competition.
  • Kevin's advice to sweep the leg comes from the movie The Karate Kid.
  • Michael's "You talkin' to me?" is a line performed by Robert De Niro in the movie Taxi Driver. Michael misattributes it to Al Pacino in Raging Bull.
  • Phone tag is a term applied to the phenomenon of two people trying to reach each other by phone but always missing each other.
  • Although Dwight's martial arts style is Japanese Karate or "Gōjū-ryū" Karate, the dojo is obviously not Japanese, as the logos on the windows are actually logos belonging to the World Taekwondo Federation, which is in charge of hosting the Tae Kwon Do games of the Olympic games; Taekwondo itself is a Korean martial art.
  • Adding to the above, the scoring mechanism used in the episode (one point for a clean hit to the body) is more similar to the scoring system for "Jyu Kumite" (free sparring) used in multiple styles of Karate, while the Taekwondo's point system relies on how many hits the contestants can land on their opponents in two minutes.
  • Fudge packer is a rude term for a homosexual male.
  • The Karate Kid is a 1984 movie about a boy who becomes an accomplished karate fighter. The Hilary Swank version is The Next Karate Kid, the fourth movie in the Karate Kid series, starring Swank as the first female student of sensei Miyagi.
  • Michael suggests, "Let's gangbang this thing," unaware that gangbang refers to a single person having sex with multiple partners in rapid succession.
  • Michael poses a question at the end of the episode, about whether he would rather be feared or loved.  This comes from Machiavelli's "The Prince ", which poses the same question of leaders.


see The Fight Quotes


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kinsey, Angela and Jenna Fischer, The Fight, Office Ladies podcast, January 22, 2020.
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