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"Whistleblower" is the twenty-sixth episode of the sixth season and the 126th episode of The Office overall. It was written by Warren Lieberstein and Halsted Sullivan. It was directed by Paul Lieberstein. The episode aired on May 20th, 2010. It was the last episode of Season 6. It was viewed by 6.60 million people.

Cold open

Following the last scene of the previous episode, Michael views his press interview regarding the Sabre printers malfunction online, as Todd Packer calls him to congratulate him on his media appearance. He happily explains how his interview was not only on the news the previous night, but also in the morning paper, online and the radio (after he requested to talk about it). Michael asks the Scranton branch to watch his interview at least eleven times on the news website to make it the most viewed clip, giving them permission to do so instead of working. To his annoyance, Angela finds a clip of a baby otter on the website instead, which the Scranton branch are more enthusiastic about. In a talking head Michael protests that the otter isn't that cute anyway, only to watch it himself excitedly and be amused before forcing a grimace and shaking his head.


CEO Jo Bennett shows up to the office smoldering as she explains that the defect was found recently and the company was just about to send out a software patch with a letter offering free toner to those affected by the defect. Instead, someone took it upon themselves to alert the media which has caused a massive PR problem for the company. She wants to know who it was. Because Andy found out about the problem first, most of the employees believe he's the responsible person. Jo decides to start at the top and pulls Michael into the conference room to interrogate him. She has always believed that an innocent person would recommend a harsh punishment, while a guilty person would be more sympathetic. To Jo's satisfaction, Michael insists on a heavy punishment for the whistleblower, but is also adamant that none of his people would have leaked the story.

Dwight refuses to waste any time. He immediately denies responsibility and gives Jo a long list of people she should fire, satisfying her. Changing the subject, she mentions his very profitable year. Dwight doesn't have any real ideas as to where to do next. She strongly suggests he invest in real estate. After a lot of consideration, Dwight attempts to buy the Scranton Business Park and suggests in a conversation with Hank the security guard that he will implement sweeping changes to the place.

Meanwhile, while Sabre's IT guy, Nick, checks everyone's computers for evidence, Michael is pressured by the others to get Andy to confess. Andy points out that Darryl was just as upset about the issue. Michael is stunned when after being confronted, Darryl admits to disclosing the information to a woman at a bar who turned out to be a journalist. Pam also confesses to Jim that she mentioned it in casual conversation with another mother at the day-care center whose husband also happened to be a journalist. When she confesses to Michael, he asks her and Darryl to meet him in Meredith's van. Kelly joins them as she also revealed the news on Twitter out of boredom. The three suggest to Michael that he should try to talk to Jo about the situation so that they can confess without losing their jobs.

When Michael changes his tune about harshly punishing the whistleblower, Jo realizes that he knows who it is. He refuses to name names so Jo takes him to her private plane and changes tactics. He admits his life hasn't been great this year. Besides the many small things that have made him realize he's not satisfied, he desperately misses Holly. Jo opens up about how she'd always dreamed of being a powerful woman who could set an example for young girls. Instead, she's going to be remembered as someone who sells cheap printers that burst into flames. There's a press release that someone will have to read and she's dreading having to do it. Michael offers to "fall on his sword" and announce the public apology for her.

Back at the office, Gabe finishes interviewing everyone and deduces that Andy is the one who talked with the press. Everyone tries to suggest that it could be someone else, perhaps even Gabe. At that moment, Nick suddenly announces that he is quitting to go teach inner-city children in Detroit how to use computers. The employees don't even know his name and aren't interested in his news. In retaliation, Nick reveals all their private information he found on their computers, including the Quicktime video Andy shot with Darryl and a message he emailed to a local newspaper.

At the end of the day, Andy finds himself harassed by the other employees. However, Erin commends Andy's bravery, and he leaves smiling.

Michael is shown giving a public apology to a news crew, after which Jo tells him she will owe him a favor. When Michael jokingly asks to bring Holly back to Scranton, Jo smiles and says that she will look into it, leaving him at a loss of words as the episode ends.


  • During the cold opening, Michael announces that the office is at "DEFCON 5." This is actually the lowest level of DEFCON, meaning the office is at peace and not in a crisis.
  • This episode is one of the only episodes where Michael is shown in a semi-serious light.
  • Dwight says that the office building is on 1725 Slough Avenue, a reference to the city of Slough, where Wernam-Hogg is located in the British series.
  • Ryan creates a messaging-like application for the iPhone called the "WUPHF." A service similar to this already exists, known as ping.fm.
  • First appearance of WUPHF.
  • This is Nick's (the eighth IT Guy) last episode as he announces that he is leaving to teach kids about computers. It is revealed that no one remembers his name and brushes him off as he attempts to get a goodbye from Scranton Branch.
  • The whistleblowers are:
    1. Pam
    2. Darryl
    3. Kelly
    4. Andy
    5. David Wallace
  • The top articles on the news website are:
    • Local Teacher Wrongly Accused of Pedophilia
    • Area Business Manager Responds to Allegations
    • Local Zoo Gets A Baby Otter
    • Last of three murder suspects arrested
    • Former fire secretary sentenced for Theft
    • Expert: Bill Likely to be Ruled Constitutional
    • Ex-State Rep Convicted in Bonusgate Scandal
    • Parents Pack Meeting to Hear About Drugs in School
  • There are multiple fan theories on why Jo brought Michael to the airstrip:
    1. Jo was hoping Michael would be more cooperative outside the office.
    2. Jo was hoping Michael would confess through intimidation alone.
    3. Jo left the investigation to Gabe and wanted to convince Michael to give the press statement.
    4. Jo was genuinely feeling overwhelmed from the PR nightmare and wanted to vent to Michael.

Amusing details

  • Although the top news article Michael is attempting to surpass is about a teacher who is cleared of pedophilia, Michael tells the office "We cannot let the pedophile win again" when he asks them to watch his clip.
  • Michael tells the office members to watch his clips eleven times, unaware that repeated views on the same computer are not counted separately.
  • Andy is noticeably uncomfortable during Jo's opening speech.
  • Pam opens her mouth in an attempt to protest but closes her mouth and frowns instead after Jo pastes the news article over her drawing of the office building from "Business School."
  • Meredith has a tire clamp in her van for unknown reasons and Darryl's horror.
  • Michael's suggestion to protect the whistleblowers is to smash all the computers. After Pam points out they would just be fired for breaking company property, Michael suggests they just break their own computers, unaware that this would just draw more suspicion on them.
  • Creed leaves the interview with Gabe saying "I'm very relieved to learn it wasn't you."
  • Gabe proclaims Stanley innocent without interviewing him. It is possible since Pam, Darryl and Kelly were not discovered that Andy was the sole suspect of the investigation after Nick checked the computers.
  • Michael ends the statement with "There will be no further questions," only to immediately ask if there are any questions.

Dwight's list of people to fire

Michael Scott 5
Jim Halpert 1
Pam Halpert 3
Phyllis Vance 2
Andy Bernard 1
Stanley Hudson 2
Creed Bratton 4
Meredith Palmer
Angela Martin
Kevin Malone
Oscar Martinez
Darryl Philbin
Kelly Kapoor

Dwight's scores for names starting with Meredith are not visible. Two additional names are hidden below Kelly's name, likely Ryan and Erin.

Connections to previous episodes

  • In this episode, David Wallace makes an appearance during an interview. He is supposed to discuss his feelings towards the Sabre printer controversy but instead takes the time to promote his invention "Suck-It," an idea that he shared in the episode "Sabre."
  • When the employees want to punish Andy, they put his bag in the ceiling. Jim previously pranked Andy by hiding his phone in the ceiling in "The Return."
  • The running gag of Kevin's computer being filled with pornographic material first began in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day."

Cultural references

  • There is a reference to the movie Airplane! during Michael's conversation in the private jet.
  • When Jo asks for the whistleblower to confess, Phyllis quietly says to Andy "Raise your hand Norma Rae," a reference to the 1979 movie Norma Rae.
  • Michael makes a reference to "Montego Bay," which is part of the Sandals resort (in Jamaica) to which he took Jan earlier in the series. He means to refer to "Guantanamo Bay," which is located in Cuba.
  • The scene where Jo is suggesting to Toby how to write his mystery novel is a reference to the movie Misery where Kathy Bates (Jo) is an obsessive fan of a mystery writer and tries to get him to write his novels the way she wants.
  • There is a reference to the company Blockbuster during Michael's conversation in the private jet


Main cast

Supporting cast

Special guest star

Recurring cast