Trivia is the eleventh episode of the eighth season of the American comedy television series "The Office" and is the show's 163rd overall. It was directed by B.J. Novak and written by Steve Hely. It orginally aired on NBC January 12, 2012. It was viewed by 5.90 million people.

"Trivia" received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many noting that the episode marked an improvement from the first part of the season. Despite this, several reviews were critical of the Dwight sub-plot. According to Nielsen Media Research, "Trivia" drew 5.87 million viewers and received a 2.9 rating/7% share in the 18–49 demographic, staying relatively even with the previous three episodes, "Christmas Wishes", "Gettysburg" and "Mrs. California". It ranked third in its timeslot and was the highest-rated NBC series of the night.


Andy, who is worried that he will not be able to meet the 8% quarterly sales growth figures that Robert California (James Spader) asked for by about $800, starts to think of creative ways to sell more paper. During a conference room meeting, he proposes that everyone in the office buy paper to alleviate some of the burden, but no one is willing. He then decides to ask Oscar to make a rounding mistake in the books, but Oscar tells Andy that he does not have time to make the mistake because he is leaving for a trivia contest in a bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He tells Andy that the prize is $1,000 and his team is determined to win it. Andy, encouraged by Darryl (Craig Robinson) and Jim (John Krasinski), decides to take the entire office to Philadelphia in an attempt to win the money and make up the sales growth difference. At the bar, which turns out to be a gay bar called the Liberty Well, Andy divides the office into three teams: Dunder Mifflin A-Team (Jim, Darryl, Andy, and Ryan), Dunder-Mifflin B-Team (Stanley Hudson, Phyllis, Creed, and Cathy), and the "Just For Fun" team (Kevin, Kelly, Erin, and Meredith). Oscar refuses to join Andy and stays on his original team. Initially, the Dunder Mifflin A-Team does well until they soon falter. However, much to Andy's surprise, the "Just For Fun" team (calling themselves The Einsteins) ends up doing much better than expected because of the group's trivial knowledge on a variety of issues. Humorously, the team misses the answers to a handful of common questions, including one about their namesake. They make it to the final round against Oscar's team and eventually win thanks to Kevin's correct answers. However, the Just for Fun team's luck runs out when they later get demolished while trying to win another bar's even more lucrative trivia contest.

Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) heads down to Florida to meet with Robert California at the Sabre headquarters to discuss a possible manager position. While sitting in the waiting room, Dwight talks to Gabe, who describes himself as the "toilet of the company" who flushes all the unwanted items away. Robert then tells Dwight that he cannot meet with him but will have him meet with Bill, another executive, much to Dwight's frustration. However, Robert manipulates the situation by secretly calling Gabe and instructing him to not let Dwight speak with Bill either, but to have Gabe listen to Dwight's pitch and then reject him. Dwight, after being told by Gabe that he is not wanted as a manager, grabs and twists Gabe's arm and forces him to be taken to Robert's Florida condo. Initially, Robert tries to spare Dwight's feelings, but eventually turns him down by telling him he's a better salesman and his drive and energy would be wasted in a manager's position. Dwight then returns to Scranton.

Cultural references

Connections to previous episodes

  • Andy is trying to double the sales growth to 8% because Robert told him to so in The Incentive.

Amusing details/Trivia

  • Jenna Fischer (Pam Halpert) is credited but does not appear in this episode.
  • After airing, the episode sparked a debate among fans, as well as critics, as to whether former leading actor Steve Carell had made an uncredited cameo as a member of an opposing trivia team. NBC later denied that Carell had made an appearance and stated that the situation was just a coincidence.
  • Andy doesn't know the answer to the sailing question.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

  • Brian Gattas as Xander
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.