Goofs, Gaffes, and Inconsistencies in "The Office" (US): Or Things You Notice When You Watch Every Episode, Back to Back

Updated on March 12, 2018

Season 1, Episode 4: "The Alliance" and Season 5, Episode 3: "Business Ethics"

Jim signs Meredith's card with a joke suggesting she fudge her age because she's an accountant. Not only does she not sit with the other three accountants, it is later revealed (Season 5, Episode 3: "Business Ethics") that she works in supplier relations, not accounting.

Season 2, Episode 2: "Sexual Harassment" and Season 6, Episode 5: "Niagara: Part 2"

Shannon Cochran plays Pam's mother in Season 2, Episode 2, while Linda Purl played her mother in subsequent episodes, starting in Season 6. According to Wikipedia, Cochran was unable to return to play Pam's mom for the wedding episode (Season 6, Episode 5: "Niagara: Part 2"), due to scheduling conflicts (a year-long theater contract).

Season 2, Episode 12: "The Injury" and Season 5, Episode 17: "Lecture Circuit: Part 2"

Throughout the show, Meredith only ever acknowledges one child (Jake or Jakey, who later sports a face tattoo and dances at Angela's bachelorette party).

In Season 5, though, she mentions having a second child for the vacation, yet we never hear about this child or see him or her.

Season 2, Episode 13: "The Secret" and Season 4, Episode 3: "Launch Party"

Who came first, Jim or Pam? (That's what she said...?)

According to Episode 13 of Season 2, Pam started after Jim. Flash forward to Season 4, Episode 3, and we hear that Jim started after Pam. I'm so confused.

Final Verdict: Episode 12 of Season 6 ("Scott's Tots") confirms that Jim started after Pam. When determining the results of Employee of the Month, we learn that Jim is employee number nine, while Pam is employee number three.

Season 3, Episode 10: "A Benihana Christmas"

Michael and Andy pick up a couple of Benihana waitresses after Michael's realtor breaks his heart. Cindy, Michael's date, looks noticeably different upon arrival at the office. Even Michael gets confused and scribbles on "Cindy's" arm with a marker to identify her. IMDB identifies Cindy #2 (on the right) as "Nikki", though no one by that name is ever referenced in the episode. Oops.

Cindy #1 and #2
Cindy #1 and #2

Season 4, Episode 13: "Job Fair" and Season 6, Episode 26: "Whistleblower"

Pam speaks to someone at a booth about a job in graphic design - turns out it's Nick the IT guy (see Episode 16: "Manager and the Salesman" and Episode 26: "Whistleblower" of Season 6). Graphic design and IT aren't completely unrelated: graphic design is often done on a computer and IT professionals also work with and on computers (*cough* reaching *cough*).

Nick the IT guy moonlighting at a graphic design firm
Nick the IT guy moonlighting at a graphic design firm

Office Trivia

Fun Fact: Angela Kinsey, aka Angela Noelle Martin, was pregnant during much of the fourth season. She sports a noticeably fuller face starting in Episode 13 ("Dinner Party") and spends much of the season with her tummy out of view.

Season 4, Episode 14: "Goodbye Toby"

At the end of the day, Toby's watch (formerly Michael's) goes off. He says "Oh, some kind of...alarm." If you recall, Michael set the watch earlier in the day to go off at the end of the day (presumably at 5pm), indicating the end of Toby's last day. However, when Michael gave Toby the watch, Toby immediately set it to Costa Rica time (two hours behind local Scranton, PA time).

Season 5, Episode 7: "Customer Survey"

Dwight shows Andy and Angela some Schrute Farms promotional materials. The gentleman representing a funeral home from the career fair (Season 4, Episode 13: "Job Fair") appears in the brochure. He's flanked by a much younger bride in the photo.

Funeral home director?
Funeral home director?
Dale Raoul aka Ronni the receptionist
Dale Raoul aka Ronni the receptionist | Source

Season 6, Episode 11: "Shareholder Meeting"

In the montage of Recyclops' (excellently portrayed by Dwight) history, the order of receptionists is incorrect: in reality, Ronni (played by Dale Raoul on the right) replaced Pam when she moved to New York for design school, then Ryan replaces Ronni after he is ousted from Dunder Mifflin for fraud. In the flashback, however, Ryan precedes Ronni as the receptionist.

(More) Office Trivia

Dunder Mifflin had an unusually high number of green-eyed employees. Six of the twenty (30%) main employees had green eyes (Jim, Michael, Angela, Pam, Nellie, and Pete), while only about 2% of the world's population is green-eyed!

Similarly, approximately 2% of the world's population has red hair; however, three out of twenty (15%) Dunder Mifflinites are red heads: Erin, Nellie, and Meredith!

Season 6, Episode 22: "Secretary's Day"

During a confessional, Andy says the following: "If it wasn't for secretaries, I wouldn't have a stepmom."

However, in later episodes, Andy's parents are still married (see Episode 4 of Season 8: "Garden Party").

In Season 9, though, Andy's father abandons the family and runs off with another woman (Episode 6, Season 9: "The Boat").

Bonus Gaffe: Season 4, Episode 14: "Goodbye, Toby" and Season 8, Episode 4: "Garden Party"

Introducing Andy's parents: Andrew and Ellen Bernard

Wait - didn't Andy say that he was named after his father Walter until he was about six (see Season 6, Episode 17: "Delivery: Part 1"), when they renamed him Andrew and gave the name Walter to his younger brother (portrayed by Josh Groban)? Ouch.

Re-Introducing Andy's parents: Walter and Ellen Bernard!

They also look very different...Hmmm...
They also look very different...Hmmm...
Source

Season 7, Episode 2 "Counseling" and Season 6, Episode 26: "Whistleblower"

Dwight introduces Pam and Jim to the "Sesame Avenue Daycare Center", but in a previous episode (Season 6, Episode 26: "Whistleblower"), it is revealed that the building is located at 1725 Slough Avenue. (Context: Dwight is speaking to his realtor on the phone and instructs him to make an offer on the building where Dunder Mifflin is located.)

Note: Readers have pointed out that "Sesame Avenue" is actually a reference to the show "Sesame Street".

Baby Cece looks different...
Baby Cece looks different...

Season 7, Episode 7: "Christening" and Season 7, Episode 8: "Viewing Party"

Admittedly this is super nitpicky, but the infant playing Cece (Pam and Jim's first baby) is noticeably not the same as the infant in the previous episode ("Christening"). Though neither baby is credited on IMDB.com, the naked eye reveals that they are in fact different actors.

Season 7, Episode 9: "WUPHF.com" and Season 9, Episode 17: "The Farm"

Blink and you might miss Blake Garrett Rosenthal's appearance as a random "Hay Place" patron in Season 7's "WUPHF.com". Don't worry, you can see him again playing Dwight's nephew in Season 9's episode, "The Farm". Awkward.

Blake Garrett Rosenthal aka Cameron aka "Hay Place" visitor
Blake Garrett Rosenthal aka Cameron aka "Hay Place" visitor | Source

Season 7, Episode 22: "Goodbye, Michael"

SPOILER ALERT: Michael leaves Dunder Mifflin.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can resume our hypercritical examination of The Office. In Michael's farewell episode, Pam is uncharacteristically out of the office when Michael is saying his goodbyes. Miraculously, she catches up to him at the airport after he's gone through security, resulting in a touching goodbye scene. Miraculous because Pam manages to get through security (note that her shoes are off when she catches up to Michael) without a ticket - unheard of in our post-9/11 world.

Season 7, Episode 24: "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager" and Season 9, Episode 11: "Suit Warehouse"

As acting manager in Season 7, Dwight accidentally shoots a gun, leaving a hole in the carpet. Upon examination of the hole, Oscar discovers hardwood floor beneath Dunder Mifflin's hideous textile floor covering.

You'd think he would've remembered this, but in Season 9, he rediscovers it after the office binges on espresso from the new machine. From Wikipedia:

"As the rush dies down, they all begin to sweat profusely...and begin to frantically tear up the carpet of the office to reveal the hardwood underneath and try to relocate the copy machine to another position at the same time."

"Wait. Hardwood."
"Wait. Hardwood."

Season 8, Episode 24: "Free Family Portrait Studio" and Season 2, Episode 18: "Take Your Daughter to Work Day"

Jazz Raycole plays Stanley's daughter in the "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" episode. Years later, she's portrayed by a clearly different (and uncredited) actor. Sure, Melissa (Stanley's daughter) has aged, but unless she underwent an Extreme Makeover, it is unreasonable to try to convince us she's the same person.

(Interestingly, Jazz Raycole was replaced on another sitcom, My Wife and Kids, after one season. Jazz, you've got some 'splainin to do!)

Jazz, is that you!?!?
Jazz, is that you!?!?

Bonus Goofs

  • Season 3: Thanks to another Office fan (or stan, may I call you that?), I went back and watched episode 7 of season 3 ("Branch Closing"). When Michael and Dwight approach David Wallace's front door, there's a doormat monogrammed with the letter "H". No one in David Wallace's life has the initial "H" - his wife is named Rachel and his son is called Teddy. Later in the season, in episode 17 ("Cocktails"), Michael and Dwight return to David Wallace's home for a company party. The front of the home is different (the columns and the front door), and the doormat has been changed. Well, corrected.
  • Season 5: When Michael quits and leaves the office (episodes 20 and 21, "New Boss" and "Two Weeks"), he drives away in a red PT Cruiser. This is interesting for a couple reasons: Michael has consistently referenced driving a convertible Sebring, and the Sebring is a company lease. If Michael was in fact escorted from the building and prevented from taking any company property, he would presumably have had to return the company car as well. Later, in season 6, episode 4, "Niagra: Part 1", Michael shows Jim and Pam his car in the parking lot. He "spent all morning" decorating it to say "Going to a Wedding" for their nuptials. The goof? It's a Sebring again.
  • Season 6: More David Wallace. In episode 13, "Secret Santa", Michael calls David Wallace at corporate. In order to be patched into David's office after repeated calls, Michael uses his "little girl voice" and pretends to be David's daughter. The goof? This daughter was never mentioned before and is never mentioned after.

Questions & Answers

  • Someone may have already said this, and maybe I'm missing something, but in the last episode of one of the later seasons, Dwight gets ahold of Angela "and the Senator's" baby's diaper and runs a DNA test, which was the cliffhanger. The next season starts out with Dwight saying that the DNA test showed that Dwight was not the father. But in the last episode of the series, Angela says she lied and the baby IS Dwight's. How is the DNA test so easily forgotten?

    YES! I've also wondered about this and just assumed Angela convinced the doctor to lie (maybe while Dwight was sleeping?).

    However, whilst lurking in the show's subreddit, I learned that the diaper was apparently one of Jim and Pam's babies', not Angela and Dwight's. This was revealed in a deleted scene I never saw (https://www.reddit.com/r/DunderMifflin/comments/8k...

  • In The Office, Meredith mentions another kid named Wendy who her divorced husband took with him. So does she have another kid that is never seen?

    Yes, Meredith has two children, but Wendy "the good one" lives with her ex-husband. However, this was revealed in a webisode that I never saw (or knew existed!): http://theoffice.wikia.com/wiki/The_Accountants:_M...

  • I recently watched The Office season 2, episode 4, “The Fire." I’m trying to figure out how Dwight knew that the cheesy pita was Ryan’s. Do you have any ideas?

    The only thing I can come up with is perhaps Ryan had a package of pita bread labeled with his name in the fridge. But you're right, it's never explained!

  • I'm watching season 3 episode 7, Michael Scott and Dwight go to David Wallace's house, but I noticed the monogrammed door mat has the letter H. Are they at the wrong house, or is it an oversight?

    Wow! You are 100% correct. I just watched that scene and the H doormat is clearly visible. I wondered if maybe it could have been explained away by his wife or son's names, but they're Rachel and Teddy, so it's definitely a mistake.

    Interestingly, in season 3, episode 17 (or 18 if you go by Wikipedia - it's called "Cocktails"), Michael and Dwight visit David Wallace's house again and the mat is different. The front of the house looks different, too (the columns and the front door have definitely changed).

    Thank you for asking this question! I'm going to add this goof to my article.

Did I forget anything? Add it here!

Submit a Comment

  • Camille Harris profile imageAUTHOR

    Camille Harris 

    3 weeks ago from SF Bay Area

    I actually thought the same...

  • profile image

    Joseph Jumbalaya 

    3 weeks ago

    Dwight grows hemp, not weed. The kid mistook it for weed which is why he says it's bad.

  • profile image

    Sophie Hoang 

    5 weeks ago

    Oh! One more small thing!

    In one episode, Meredith says “Meredith Palmer ain’t no cheater. I’ve never cheated, been cheated on, or been used to cheat with.” However, in the episode where they think the branch is shutting down, she walks into Michael’s office and says “I know you’re still seeing someone, but I’m still willing if you are” (willing to go through with sex pact for last day of work). Is she willing to be cheated with suddenly?

  • profile image

    Sophie Hoang 

    5 weeks ago

    Omg- one more thing! In Season 6 Episode 25, where Michael is going out with the married bar manager woman, Meredith says “I have never cheated on, been cheated on, or been used to cheat with. I ain’t no cheater” or something along those lines. In the episode where they thought the branch was going to be shut down, though, Meredith walked into Michael’s office and said “hey I know you’re seeing someone, but I’m still willing to if you are,” and wanted to have sex on the last day of work. Is she a cheater or not? Hmmm!

  • Camille Harris profile imageAUTHOR

    Camille Harris 

    6 weeks ago from SF Bay Area

    Sophie! These are FANTASTIC. Happy to have another Office fan / eagle-eyed watcher among us!

    Thank you for contributing. These really are great.

  • profile image

    Sophie Hoang 

    6 weeks ago

    Hi! A couple of things I’ve also noticed.

    1) In the job fair episode, Pam recalls her memories in that same high school and talks about pretending to have PMS to skip all sports. However, in the Company Picnic episode, she’s surprisingly good at volleyball and says she has had experience in junior high and high school.

    2) When Michael takes the 17 year old boy hostage for not letting him get 50% off of the price of 8 pizzas, the teenager recognizes Dwight as “the guy that grows really shitty weed.” Dwight grows weed, however, in the episode of Aunt Shirley’s funeral where Dwight is reunited with his siblings, he talks down on his brother for growing weed.

    3) In the episode where Michael has an ingrown hair and thinks it’s herpes, and Andy shows people pictures of herpes infested genitalia in the conference room, he is bothered that people are disgusted. He said he was an RN in college or something and was seemingly sensitive to STDs. In the later seasons when Andy is manager and is upset that Erin dumped him for the intern Pete, Andy calls Pete into the office and pretends to complain about having gotten chlamydia from Erin. He was however reading the name of the disease off of his computer screen and could not properly pronounce it.

    :-)

  • profile image

    Gregp12 

    4 months ago

    How about season 3 episode 8 when michael, Jim, Dwight and Andy are discussing who the number two in the office is. Michael says it’s Jim and Dwight says, “like he wants the job, it doesn’t pay more”. To which Jim replies “actually it does”. Later on in the series, Charles asks Jim if he’s proud of his made up number two position and asks if it pays more, and Jim says no.

  • profile image

    Joseph Jumbalaya 

    5 months ago

    Nice article, though I think I have a couple answers to some of your goofs.

    For the Who came first question, employee number 3 vs 9 doesn't indicate the order they were hired. For instance, there is no way Pam is the third person hired. Creed, Michael, Dwight, Stanley, Phyllis, etc have all been there longer than Pam, so no way is she #3. The numbers here were arbitrarily assigned by Dwight just for that activity.

    The different waitress in Benihana Christmas is an obvious nod to the joke that all Asians look alike. Michael even (basically) says it towards the end of the episode.

    As for Andy and the stepmom secretary, his mom might just not have divorced the dad after he was caught cheating. Happens all the time, especially if there is money involved, and Mr. Bernard seems (seemed) well to do.

    Oscar and the floor. When they start peeling up the carpet, Oscar isn't amazed that there is hardwood, he's amazed he's actually seeing it. He remembers seeing a glimpse of it through the bullet hole two seasons back and says, "I always knew it was down here...I just never dreamed that I would actually see it."

    The rest I agree with :)

  • Leland Johnson profile image

    Leland Johnson 

    6 months ago from Midland MI

    You certainly did your homework on this hub! I'm usually too busy laughing to note the inconsistenecies. Could it be possible that there are multiple producers,or that maybe different producers for different shows? i also thought Carrel was a producer at one point??? At any rate, interesting hub, fun for fans of the show. keep up the good work.

  • profile image

    Uzington 

    12 months ago

    I think the "Sesame Avenue" thing is supposed to just be a play on "Sesame Street" rather than named after their actual street.

    As for the recyclops thing they are referring to season 2. The time period where Ryan was covering reception for Pam while she was on vacation. This was at the beginning in "The Carpet" episode.

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