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"The Promotion" was the third episode of the sixth season and the show's 103rd episode overall. It was written and directed by Jennifer Celotta. It originally aired on October 1, 2009. It was viewed by 7.28 million people.

Cold open

Dwight enters Michael's office to get his expense report signed, but Michael explains that he deals only with "big picture" matters, and that expense reports are a day-to-day item, which is Jim's responsibility. When Dwight goes to Jim, Jim insists that Dwight say "please", and Dwight angrily storms back to Michael's office to file a "huge, enormous, massive complaint," but Michael refuses to engage once he learns that it's a complaint about Jim not signing the expense report. Dwight goes to Jim to file his complaint, and Jim falsely notes in the complaint that Dwight is crying.

In a talking head Dwight begins by insisting that he deserved that promotion, then becomes more animated as he describes how he would dominate Jim as if in a professional wrestling match, collecting "$18,000 and a chance at the title! Ooh hah!" Erin interrupts and tells Dwight that Jim has asked him to be less noisy.


The office is still trying to adjust to having both Michael and Jim as bosses, with Jim in a newly-built office in the corner of the bullpen. Michael and Jim constantly find themselves at odds with each other as Michael keeps having "conference room meetings" while Jim wants to keep productivity in the office place. They get a call from CFO David Wallace who tells them that the budget for cost-of-living raises is limited, and the managers must decide how to distribute it. Michael suggests giving a small 1.5% raise to everyone and gets annoyed when Jim suggests making a list of pros and cons. Jim decides to give the raises to the sales staff since they bring money to the company. Michael is against the idea, but invites Jim to announce it to the office.

Jim tells the office that they are only going to give raises to the sales staff, which clearly upsets the non-sales staff. Dwight, not wanting Jim as a boss, complains about the unfairness of Jim's decision despite being a salesperson. Michael, who was scoffing at Jim, is then asked to give his idea, but he does not speak coherently about it, leading everyone to say that Jim was at least being direct despite having a bad idea. Michael and Jim go back into the conference room to decide how to handle the raise issue. They ultimately decide that the raises should be performance-based, and decide to take turns placing beans on employee pictures to determine how much of a raise each person deserves. Jim believes that it is a good idea, but when Michael and Jim leave the conference room, Dwight goes into the conference room and shows the employees their plan. Everyone gets upset at Michael and Jim for this, particularly Pam, whose picture did not have any beans, as Jim was trying to remain unbiased.

With the entire office now upset with both Michael and Jim, Dwight uses this opportunity to start an uprising against Jim personally. However, everyone in the office refuses to as they are more concerned about the raise issue. Michael then goes into Jim's office to check on him. Michael explains he felt terrible having to make those kinds of decisions on his own and he leaves to get Jim something. Jim comments that Michael is currently his only friend in the office at the moment, as everyone else, even probably Pam, is upset at him about the raise situation. Michael returns to give Jim his own new "World's Best Boss" mug, fianlly recognizing Jim in his new position and they share some gin together.

Meanwhile, Pam is trying to discreetly ask everyone to give cash as wedding gifts instead of actual gifts. She first tries Phyllis to no avail. She then manages to get Kevin to write her a check, and starts to feel guilty about asking people for simple cash, but she gets ecstatic when she sees that the check is made out to "Mrs. Pam Halpert." At the end of the episode, Ryan gives her an offer of either having $100 now or $5,000 in a year. She initially wants the $100, but after he tells her about an algorithm that can determine the winner of any college basketball game, she agrees to the $5,000. However, this allegedly requires a $50 investment from her, which she gives, later regretting it.

Deleted scenes

The Season 6 DVD contains the following deleted scenes:

  • In a talking head, Jim says that nothing has changed, and Michael acts like he's completely in charge. "But today, Jim Halpert puts his foot down." Pull back to reveal that Jim is watching a recording of a talking head he made three days ago. Nothing happened, "but today, Jim Halpert really, really puts his foot down."
  • Andy complains to Dwight and Stanley that Jim wants everyone to make 20 cold calls a day. Andy and Stanley share complaints about Jim as Dwight watches with great interest.
  • Kevin comes into Jim's office and asks him to forget what Kevin said last week, "about the fact that I don't really do my job." Kevin says he's not avoiding Jim; he merely took a nap in the bathroom. Jim suggests Kevin stop sharing that information with him.
  • In a talking head, Toby says that comparing Jim and Michael is like comparing apples to oranges. Toby adds that he likes apples. "Oranges are annoying and hate me."
  • In a talking head, Stanley explains that when you ask Jim a question, he gives an answer. When you ask Michael a question, he'll do all sorts of things to avoid answering. "But he also doesn't care if you come in late, so I prefer Michael."
  • In a talking head, Andy says that Michael is the fun dad and Jim is the serious mom. He then uses baby talk to say that he prefers Jim "because Jim gives him his num-nums on time." He adds in a normal voice, "Num-nums are of course my commission checks."
  • Jim tells Michael that they can give everyone a 2.5% raise. Michael says that everybody will be a little bit mad, but he agrees. Jim then notes that if a salesperson is upset, they may leave and take their clients with them. Michael tries to avoid the topic by suggesting other things to do, then suggests just giving it all to Stanley "because he just looked at me." Jim asks if Michael always just picks whatever comes off the top of his head, and Michael says, "There are worse ways to make a decision." Jim uses an analogy of ordering the first thing off the menu, and the two of them get into an extended hypothetical.
  • In a talking head, Stanley says he needs the raise because his wife has expensive tastes, "especially because I cheated on her." Now he has to save up for a Kobe diamond.
  • In a talking head, Angela says she needs the raise because "once your cats have kittens, all your priorities change."
  • Dwight sneaks into the conference room, sees the beans, and says, "This is worse than I ever possibly could have imagined." He transitions to a dramatic speech about how he has imagined things so terrible that English doesn't even have words for them. He then adds, "German captures them nicely." He eats a bean.


  • Kevin's check to Pam was for $40. By making it out to "Mrs. Pam Halpert", he makes it difficult for Pam to cash the check until after the wedding and she legally changes her name, giving him some protection against the wedding being called off.
  • This is the first episode to feature the second manager's office.
  • Jim's office occupies the space where Creed's desk was, Creed's desk is now pushed against Meredith's.
  • Pam has moved to Jim's desk.
  • While Jim and Michael are using the conference room, talking heads by the office staff are held in the annex.
  • Jim's solutions on how to handle the raise issue are in fact good practical solutions. The issues are mainly that Jim and Michael were expecting that the news of there being less raises or no raises for some of the staff to be well received when it would not be possible.

Amusing details

  • In spite of Dwight's obsession with martial arts, his description of what techniques he would use on Jim in a competition are non-sensical. Dwight states that he would force Jim to the ground with a triangle chokehold, but the triangle choke is normally applied in Mixed Martial Arts or BJJ already on the ground (with the legs being wrapped around the opponents neck and arm to apply the choke), so using it to throw Jim to the ground is ridiculous. Additionally, the hammer-lock Dwight later mentions is a real technique in wrestling, but Dwight's miming of it with his arms looks nothing like the real technique.
  • Oscar likens the absurdity of having two managers in the office to there being two presidents of a country, two captains on a ship and two popes in Catholicism.
  • When Jim and Michael are trying to figure out ways to distribute the limited bonus money and Jim says that Michael has a lot of weaknesses, Michael tells him to “enliven” him instead of “enlighten” him.
  • Michael refers to the pun "Your anus" of "Uranus".
  • Kelly is evidently only just returning to the office after shopping, walking in while carrying shopping bags.
  • Kelly asks how Ryan's car will be fixed without a raise. Ryan is a temp, and does not get annual raises, meaning she was intending to use her planned raise to fix Ryan's car.
  • As Michael runs to Jim's office and the rest of the office starts yelling at him, Kevin can be heard in the background asking again, "What does a bean mean?"
  • Both Michael and Jim lower the blinds of their offices after the office staff express their unhappiness at their bean merit system.

Connections to previous episodes

  • The "World's Best Boss" mug is seen in nearly every episode and was introduced in the pilot. Michael apparently bought two, a callback from a deleted scene in Dwight's Speech.
  • When Jim and Michael are debating with each other over the bonus money shortage, Michael continually calls Jim a “nerd”. Later on, in the season 9 episode Here Comes Treble, Dwight is shown eating Nerds candy, and he then proceeds to say he is eating “Jims”, which is the second time Jim is referred to as a “nerd.”
  • Despite making fun of Michael in "Stress Relief" because of his innocence when it comes to internet schemes, Pam seems quite prone to schemes as well, having previously crashed her computer in "Fun Run" after paying to download an alleged celebrity sex tape. She appears to fall for Ryan's investment scheme as well.
  • Jim also suggests Michael creates a Pro and Con list during Casual Friday when Michael is deciding to keep Pam or Ryan for the sales position.
  • Dwight's speech to attempt to rally his co-workers against Jim is similar to that of Aragorn's when rallying the dead men of Gondor in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Dwight previously referenced the series when convincing Michael to send David Wallace the information on Prince Family Paper Company in the titular episode.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast