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"The Surplus" is the tenth episode of the fifth season of The Office and the show's 82nd episode overall. It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and directed by Paul Feig. It first aired December 4, 2008. It was viewed by 8.33 million people.

Cold open

Oscar informs Michael that the office must spend a $4300 surplus or lose it in next year's budget. After Oscar explains it to Michael like he is eight years old, and then further simplifying it as if he is five years old, Michael finally begins to understand. Oscar says it should be spent on a copier, which they desperately need.


When Michael opens up the floor for suggestions, factions break out and office employees square off against one another in order to get what they want. Oscar suggests that they replace the copier while Pam suggests they buy new chairs. Jim takes Oscar's side, to Pam's surprise and shock, because Jim started making copies himself after the two started dating and must know how bad the copier is. The rest of the employees side with Pam. Toby is the only employee who does not choose a side. He instead suggests that they get the air quality in the office tested saying that there is radon coming from downstairs and asbestos coming from the ceiling, and calls them "silent killers", to which Michael replies that Toby is the silent killer. Pam notices the copier malfunctioning when she uses it, but still wants to replace the chairs. Michael feels indifferent about the matter, so both sides try to win him over with psychology: Jim and Oscar take Michael out for lunch, while Pam puts on make-up and flirts with him.

Meanwhile, Angela and Andy visit Schrute Farms to discuss their wedding plans with Dwight. Dwight holds a mock wedding in a barn, with Dwight playing Andy and Andy playing Angela's father. A Mennonite minister who only speaks German is the minister and performs the mock-ceremony. Dwight goes through the steps of the wedding, putting a ring made of twine on Angela's finger and having them both say "I do" to each other. Angela appears to be very happy with Dwight and tells him that she made a mistake getting together with Andy. Dwight acknowledges her mistake and tells her that the mock wedding was real: The minister was performing the real marriage ceremony in German, and Andy acted as their witness. He tells her that this was why he allowed her to have her wedding to Andy on his farm, and she angrily storms off. Back in the office, Angela passionately kisses Andy in front of everybody and tells him that she is going into town to take care of a "legal issue" (presumably annulling her marriage to Dwight).

Michael still remains indifferent regarding what to buy, so he brings in a third party: Hank the security guard. However, Hank is more interested in staying in the warm office than making a decision so Michael calls CFO David Wallace to help settle the matter. David informs Michael that he has the option of turning in the surplus, which would result in him getting paid a bonus equal to 15% of the amount. Michael then tells the employees that he is not going to replace the copier nor the chairs, but Oscar tricks Michael into revealing that he knows about the third option: Oscar asks him what 15% of 4300 is, and Michael answers "645 dollars" instead of just 645.

Michael becomes indecisive again and, unable to take the employees' intrusive behavior anymore, delegates the decision-making to them, hoping that they will be unable to come to a consensus so that he can take the bonus. The employees quickly decide to have the chairs replaced instead of having nothing replaced. Michael is upset because he already bought a fur coat with the anticipated bonus, and because a group of people threw a bucket of fake blood on his coat when he walked out of the store. Throughout the day, Jim and Pam try to get each other to switch sides. Pam gives Jim a scare, implying that he should switch to her side. Jim later shudders in a talking head spot, amazed at Pam's ultimatum. At the end of the episode, Jim gets back at Pam for getting the chairs replaced by having her make three copies of a document on the copier, initially telling her he is kidding. He then reveals that he actually needs four copies, doing so in the same way Pam had mock threatened him earlier.

Deleted scenes

Watch them online

  • Jim sends Dwight a video, but Dwight refuses to watch it because he knows it's a screamer video. Dwight scoffs, "Is that the best thing you can do?", then looks to see that Jim is not at his desk. He turns the other way to find Jim in a mask, whereupon he screams. This is followed by a quick talking head with Jim saying, "That is the best I can do."
  • Dwight and Angela talk outside. Dwight insults Andy, but Angela defends him. "His ancestors came over on the Mayflower." Dwight scoffs, "Half my family came over on a U-boat and would have destroyed the Mayflower." Angela is disgusted and goes inside, locking the door behind her.
  • In a talking head interview, Dwight makes an analogy between wedding planning and beet harvesting. The beets have no right to complain about how they are being harvested. "Just shut up and be delicious!"
  • Pam stands next to her chair and explains, "This is the chair that was here when I was hired. It was crappy then, and it's even worse now. To give myself a break, sometimes I go outside and sit on the ground."
  • Michael talks in the annex with Kevin, Creed, and Kelly, all of whom are being extremely attentive. Kelly invites Michael to do a magic trick. Michael fake-protests "I'm totally not prepared to do a magic trick," but turns around, pulls something from his pocket, and then faces the others again. He pulls a multi-colored handkerchief from his pocket.
  • In a talking head, Kevin says that he knows what's going on: They're just buttering Michael up. But he also likes to see magic.
  • Back in the annex, Michael makes the handkerchief disappear by stuffing it into a fake thumb. Everyone acts amazed.
  • In a talking head, Michael says that when people suck up to you, it's easy to get an inflated ego. "I'm not at that point yet, but I'm going to get there."
  • Angela drives to Schrute Farms with Dwight in the passenger seat and Andy in the back seat. Angela suggests a fish bowl centerpiece with a fish in it. Dwight suggests a piranha, so it will attack the fish and the guests will get a show. Angela says, "I don't want to see any blood at my wedding." Dwight mutters, "Well, I'll have to change the cake, then."
  • At the farm, Dwight gives a talking head interview with Mose. Dwight says he learned about wedding planning by watching a movie with Mose about "a Latina wedding planner with an enormous can." He didn't think the movie was good, but "Matthew McConaughey was great." Mose makes a "so-so" gesture.
  • Andy washes manure off his foot, then screams when he sees Mose standing in the background with a bag on his head, watching.
  • In the conference room, Michael reads jokes from a joke book to most of the employees. Pam encourages him. "The last 45 minutes have been hilarious." Oscar tries to get Michael to make a decision, but Michael tells a joke that ultimately falls flat. He leaves the office to make a decision.
  • In a talking head, Michael says that the day has been lots of fun, but he knows that it has to end.
  • Michael paces around the bullpen. Pam holds up a sign saying "Lap 18." Everyone is annoyed that Michael hasn't made a decision yet.
  • Michael paces around the parking lot. He tells the camera that he has decided to get a new copier. He comes into the office and announces, "We're getting new chairs!" Pam celebrates, but Jim asks Michael, "Have you seen that copier?" The copier has been taken apart by Oscar in order to clear a paper jam. Michael announces, "We're getting a new copier!"
  • Andy is surprised at how many forms he has to sign. Dwight explains that they are for insurance. Mose enters, but is scared away when Angela hisses and claws at him. Dwight says quietly to Angela, "He [Mose] loves you." Andy steps in a pile of manure in the kitchen.
  • Andy cries as he washes manure off his shoes a second time. "This is not how I pictured it. There's s*** everywhere."

In the blooper reel

  • Alternate versions of the directions to Schrute Farms, including steps like "If you are attacked by territorial crows" and "if you smell bear pee".

Not on the DVD

  • Angela drives back to the office from Schrute Farms, with Dwight in the passenger seat and Andy in the back. Angela is furious, and Andy is thrilled. Andy starts singing along to the radio. It's "What's Up?", the part that goes "And so I wake up in the morning" with the falsetto. Angela turns off the radio, but Andy continues singing the chorus.[1]:42:01
  • After she kisses Andy, Angela wipes her mouth and gives a speech: "I would marry you during an earthquake in the middle of a tornado. I would marry you in the front row of an Elton John concert. I don't care how terrible a place it is. I just want to be with you. Now I have a legal matter to clear up."[1]:54:33

Wedding ceremony

Minister: Wir sind hier versammelt, um die Union dieser zwei Menschen [unclear] to erweisen. (We are gathered here to demonstrate the union of these two people.)

Minister: [unclear]

Dwight holds up a ring.

Minister: Du hast ein Ring. (You have a ring.)

Minister: Wenn er auf die Hand schieben wirst... (when it is placed upon your hand...)

Minister: "Und mit diesem Ring nimm ich dich als Frau, [unclear] Leben zu halten." Nimmst du dieser Frau als Frau? ("And with this ring I take you as my wife, to have [for the rest of my] life." Do you take this woman as your wife?)

Dwight: ... and you will reply, "I do."

Minister: Nimmst du diesen Mann als Ehemann, [unclear] Leben und zu halten, in guten und schlechten Zeiten? (Do you take this man as your husband to have [for the rest of your] life, in good times and in bad?)

Angela: I do.

Dwight: And there we go.

Minister: In Gottes Namen nenn' ich euch als Mann und Frau. (In the name of God, I name you man and wife.)

Connections to previous episodes

  • In "Christmas Party" Michael claims to have received a bonus after firing Devon. This may be due to the fact that Devon's termination generated a surplus in that year's budget. In this case, however, accounting most likely gave the money back to corporate without consulting Michael.
  • Toby continues his crusade to have the building tested for radon, first mentioned in "Goodbye, Toby".
  • Pam reminds Michael that she was supposed to get his old chair when he got a new chair, a reference to "Chair Model".
  • Michael mispronounces "ergonomically" as "urkelnomically." In "Back From Vacation", he denies that the photo is of Jan and instead claims that it's a German woman named "Urkel Grue". The name "Urkel" (see "Cultural references") is somehow stuck in Michael's head.
  • Andy mentions that he has "seen Angela naked zero times." In "Business Trip" Andy reveals that, despite being engaged, he and Angela have not been more intimate than kissing on the lips.
  • Hank rushes up the stairs after getting summoned by Michael. In "Frame Toby", we learned that Michael has a habit of texting "911" to get people to pay attention to his messages.


  • There is a copier in the annex, which nobody mentions. (It's next to the coat rack by the door to the kitchen. An excellent shot of it is in Karen's talking head near the start of "Back From Vacation".) It's possible that the copier in the annex is also broken, seeing as Holly came all the way from the annex to front reception to use the copier in "Business Ethics".
  • There are deleted scenes of Angela, Dwight, and Andy driving to and from Schrute Farms. But Dwight lives at Schrute Farms. He can just stay at home and wait for Angela and Andy to arrive.

Amusing details

  • When Michael is in the kitchen after giving his ultimatum, he pours sugar into a diet cola.
  • Jim gave Pam tiramisu cake as a peace offering and Pam throws it away. During Michael's speech about the copier and the chairs he mentions that the office is wasteful and that "people throw away perfectly good tiramisu because it has a little tiny hair on it." This causes Pam to realize that Michael took the cake out of the trash. In the previous scene with David Wallace, Michael chokes on that tiramisu but keeps eating it anyway.
  • Michael mispronounces "ergonomically" as "urkelnomically" and "x-axis" as "x-axix".
  • In the deleted scene of Angela driving to Schrute Farms, her windshield is very muddy. The mud may have been from a recent secret visit to Schrute Farms.
  • The insurance forms that Andy is signing in a deleted scene are likely the paperwork for being a witness to Angela's secret wedding to Dwight. Toward the end of the deleted scene, Angela Kinsey buries her head in her hands to keep from laughing. Clip.
  • The German minister departs on a horse.
  • Pam's chair slowly sinks while Michael is sitting in it.
  • Michael looks at his watch, and then says, "That's my phone."
  • Andy takes a bite out of a tuna sandwich just before Angela walks up to him and kisses him.  During the season 4 finale, Angela and Dwight had an intimate scene.  Angela complained in an interview that Rainn had eaten a tuna sandwich before the scene and because she was pregnant and extra sensitive to smell she had a hard time kissing Rainn.
  • Michael had to have bought his fur coat somewhere between him finding out about the bonus and Oscar and Pam deciding to go with new chairs.
  • Stanley looks into the camera the same way Jim does, when Hank mentions that the chairs have poor lumbar support.
  • Andy does not overhear Angela shouting about how the marriage between her and Dwight doesn't count, despite being in earshot.


  • Dwight's instructions to the minister ("Bitte, fangen wir an", meaning "Please, let's begin"), the minister's ceremony, and Dwight's translation, are all accurate German.
  • When Kelly opens the door for Michael, he says chivalry still exists. Traditional chivalrous behavior would have been for Michael to open the door for Kelly, not vice versa.
  • The group of people that threw blood on Michael's fur coat was likely a group of PETA protestors.
  • Spoiler: Andy mentions that he has yet to see Angela naked as of this episode. By the episode "The Duel" he mentions that he and Angela have had sex twice. It is possible that she chooses to sleep with Andy after Dwight's actions in this episode, or that Angela prefers to remain dressed during sex with Andy.
  • A fur coat is another example of Michael's unwise spending habits: There is no occasion where Michael would need to wear a fancy fur coat.

Behind the scenes

  • The working title for this episode was Spend the Surplus.[1]:04:22
  • This is the first of a series of episodes in which Ryan does not appear because he is on a trip to Thailand. B.J. Novak took 11 weeks off from the show in order to film the movie Ingluourious Basterds.[1]:06:00
  • The scenes at Schrute Farms were filmed at the Golden Oak Ranch, also known as the Disney Ranch. The barn with the horses is known as the Rag Wing Barn, and producer Randy Cordray negotiated to have the horses and mules included in the rate. The wedding ceremony was filmed at Pee Wee's Barn. The Schrute Farmhouse was filmed at Olivia's House.[1]:11:49
  • Michael's line "I'll be six!" was scripted.[1]:13:39
  • After Andy says "Let's three-way this", the script called for Dwight to look at Angela and roll his eyes, but Angela refuses to engage.[1]:19:00
  • The "You're on very dangerous ground" moment in which Pam goes in to kiss Jim and then pulls back was not in the original script. It was developed during rehearsal by Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski.[1]:19:47
  • The manure that Andy steps in is fake, made of outmeal, sand, and food coloring.[1]:22:38
  • In the scenes at Schrute Farms, the actors are pretending to be cold because the episode takes place in Pennsylvania in December, but at the time of filming in Los Angeles, the temperature reached 88 degrees Fahrenheit. You can see sweat on Angela Kinsey's forehead.[1]:23:03
  • When Michael goes into his office with his drink, he says "I almost choked." This was improvised by Steve Carell.[1]:36:20
  • Requirements for the role of the Mennonite minister included being fluent in German and being able to ride a horse. Actor Potsch Boyd arrived early at the set in order to select a horse and practice with it.[1]:38:15
  • The show had to submit a translation of the wedding ceremony to NBC to confirm that there was nothing untoward in it.[1]:38:31
  • Hugh Dane improvised Hank taking some candies from reception.[1]:44:12
  • The actual copier on set barely worked. In one take where Michael tries to show that the copier is fine, he pushed the button and the machine just made a weird sound.[1]:47:16
  • The gag with Michael sinking in Pam's chair is one of Paul Feig's favorites. The chair was rigged to sink, and Jenna Fischer had to start the scene squatting over the chair pretending to sit on it.[1]:47:56
  • Angela kissing Andy was scripted as "Angela kisses Andy with a passion we haven't seen since Jim and Pam in 'Casino Night'."[1]:51:59
  • Ed Helms was eating a real tuna sandwich in the scene. He kept his mouth shut and held his breath during the kissing scene so as not to get tuna on Angela Kinsey.[1]:52:14

Cultural references

  • Andy says, "Let's three-way this", unaware that "three-way" is another term for a threesome, typically involving two men and one woman.
  • Michael mispronounces "ergonomically" as "urkelnomically". Urkel was the nerd on the television comedy Family Matters.
  • A U-boat is a German submarine. They became notorious in the First and Second World War for hunting Allied cargo ships and for their high casualty rates; of the 40,000 U-boat sailors in World War II, 30,000 never returned. Dwight's talking head implies that his ancestors were German soldiers who deserted.
  • Michael brags that he got his tie and pants at TJ Maxx, a discount department store chain selling primarily clothing. There is a T.J. Maxx store in Dickson City, just over the border with Scranton.
  • Andy whistles Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D major as he takes Angela down the aisle at the mock wedding. The song is commonly used at weddings as the processional.
  • In the car on the ride back from Schrute Farms, Andy sings "What's Up?" by rock group 4 Non Blondes.
  • Dwight watched The Wedding Planner, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Lopez (the "Latina with an enormous can") and Matthew McConaughey.
  • "Can" is slang for buttocks. Singer/actor Jennifer Lopez is known for her shapely backside.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Potsch Boyd as Mennonite Priest