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Small details only true fans noticed in The Office

Is there anything better than watching reruns of The Office? No, we think not. There's a reason the NBC cult classic has remained one of Netflix's most-watched shows for so long. It's pure sitcom gold. It doesn't matter if you're talking about the acting, the writing, character development, or the perfect balance of blatant slapstick and verbally nuanced humor, all nine seasons of The Office are a home run no matter what way you slice it.

In honor of all of the superfans out there, we've gone ahead and rounded up a list of the hardest-to-catch details that crept into the show over the years. From creepy clown paintings to palm trees in Pennsylvania, from anachronistic flags to Call of Duty screen names, here are some of the best Easter eggs to look out for the next time you settle in to binge watch America's favorite workplace in action.

A nod to the original

Any fan of The Office knows that the American smash hit series didn't begin with an original idea. It's a remake inspired by a UK show by the same name. This original series ran from 2001-2003 and focused on the fictional paper company Wernham Hogg in the British town of Slough.

In the American show's season 5 episode "Blood Drive," Michael pulls together a depressing little Valentines Day shindig for all of his single coworkers — all the while harboring secret hopes that he will be able to reconnect with a woman he met earlier in the day. As he shows off the poster he's created for the event, the camera zooms in, revealing that the address for Dunder Mifflin is "1725 Slough Ave." The address seems to be a nod to the location of the original Wernham Hogg paper company. It's not even a one-time incident either — in the last episode of season 6, Dwight refers to the street by name again.

Which came first?

Angela and Dwight's story is a long one, starting early on in the show and winding through several ups and downs before they finally tie the knot, Schrute style, while standing in their own graves in the series finale. The two characters are very particular about their preferences and often quietly nod in agreement over their shared support of moral issues, parenting decisions, and the like. Their shared interests apparently also bleed into the realm of music, too.

It's made clear from early on that Angela is a huge fan of "The Little Drummer Boy." Every time a karaoke machine is fired up, that's the song she looks for. She even asks Andy if they can use it for their first dance when they're planning their wedding. All of that said, it's very interesting that, in the opening seconds of the pilot for the show, it's none other than the Assistant to the Regional Manager Dwight Schrute who is shown aggressively humming that particular carol as he sets up for work.

Does this imply that the relationship between the two goes back even further than the beginning of the show? Or was it actually Dwight's favorite song first? Either way, the connection seems too clear to be an accident.

Great Scott!

Michael Scott is about as quirky a character as they come, with interests that are all over the board, from ice skating like a pro to awkwardly performing magic tricks. We also know he's not afraid to get his hands dirty in the kitchen. At one point in season 5, he's seen creating a towering stack of french toast as he studiously avoids starting his new paper company. He's also a huge fan of cooking bacon the moment he wakes up each day, sometimes to the detriment of his own foot.

But perhaps his greatest culinary achievement is his homemade salad dressing. That's right, Michael Scott has his own salad dressing, and he's even branded it. In the second episode of season 4, Michael is shown eating salad in his office with his then-girlfriend, Jan. As they discuss Ryan's newfound wunderkind status, a jar of salad dressing can clearly be seen on his desk. The best part? It's called "Great Scott," with a label that sports Michael's floating head over a bowl of salad.

World's Best Boss(es)

One of the first things Michael Scott shows off in the pilot episode is his "World's Best Boss" mug. It's clearly a prized possession, even if he had to literally get it for himself at Spencer's Gifts. It turns out, though, he's not the only one thinking so highly of himself. Just one season later, in the episode "Valentine's Day," the self-declared world's best boss comes up against some fresh competition in the form of new CFO David Wallace.

Things quickly go south in their initial meeting as Michael gets himself into hot water after trumpeting (and exaggerating) his relationship with his boss, Jan. In the aftermath, Michael, Jan, and Wallace can be seen in Wallace's office discussing the fiasco, and there, sitting squarely on the CFO's desk for all the world to see, is a World's Best Boss mug. It looks a little different, as it's black instead of white and has a fancier font, but the fact still stands that David Wallace has his own version of the famous mug as well. The only question is, did he have to buy it for himself?

The Finer Things Club

The whole teapot episode in season 2 is an iconic moment in the Pam and Jim timeline. After Michael turns a simple Secret Santa Christmas party into an impromptu white elephant gift swap, Jim is frustrated to find that his romantically-intentioned teapot gift for Pam has fallen into the hands of his nemesis, Dwight. Pam ultimately makes the right move, though, by choosing to exchange her fancy new iPod for Jim's thoughtful (if humble) gift instead.

But that isn't the only time that the gift appears in the show. While Jim, Dwight, and Michael are off fighting the power (a.k.a. Karen) in the season 4 episode "Branch Wars," Pam meets with the exquisitely refined "Finer Things Club." As Andy vies for membership in the exclusive club, what should show up on the table but the very same teapot Pam got from her soon-to-be beau back in the second season. Here's hoping that she had already cleared out all of Jim's nostalgic memorabilia before putting it to use.

Struggling Stanley

Over the course of the show, Stanley Hudson digs himself deeper and deeper into marital trouble. The issue even comes to a head in the season 6 opener, "Gossip," which centers on Michael as he leaks to the entire office the fact that Stanley is having an affair. While that episode ends with the employee smashing his boss' car windows, it turns out that the struggling salesman actually does want to improve his relationships… sort of.

In the season 7 episode "Ultimatum," Pam attempts to encourage the office to come up with New Year's resolutions. Some of these are minor items, like Pam attempting to drink less caffeine or Michael violently trying to floss more. Others are a bit ridiculous, like Creed trying to do the perfect cartwheel or Dwight pledging to "meet a loose woman." But the one that has to take the cake is Stanley's double commitment to "be a better husband and boyfriend." Each of those on their own is an admirable cause. The two together though, clearly point to some deep-seated issues that likely need more than a simple resolution to properly address.

Perfectenschlag

As the last two seasons of The Office unfold, Dwight slowly but surely sees his life fall into place. He unwittingly has a son, gets his black belt, inherits a 1,600 acre beet farm, and finally, at long last, becomes the regional manager of the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin. In a word — literally, his own — his life is perfectenschlag (that's the "everything coming together perfectly" definition, not the "perfect pork anus" one, mind you).

In fact, Dwight's life is so perfect at this point that even his smallest desires begin to come to fruition. Case in point: the rocking chair. When Dwight accompanies Michael to a cocktail party at David Wallace's house in the season 3 episode "Cocktails," he spends time admiring a wooden rocking chair in Wallace's son's bedroom. As he lovingly fondles the piece of furniture he declares that he wants one for himself.

Once the ninth season rolls around, it's revealed that at some point along the way, Dwight did finally get his wish. In the episode "The Farm," the salesman is interviewed as he sits in a gorgeous wooden rocking chair that looks exactly like the one he wished for six seasons earlier.

The return of the plasma screen

Michael Scott is proud of his possessions. From showcasing his Dundee Awards to proudly piping on his "all aboard for sales" train whistle, the man loves to show off his stuff. This is on perfect display in the season 4 episode "Dinner Party," in which Michael exhibits his pathetically small plasma screen television as if it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Later in the episode, Jan throws a Dundee at it, cracking the screen and infuriating Michael in the process.

That isn't the last time we see the cracked screen, though. A year later, the wall-mounted wonder has a cameo in the fifth season episode "Dream Team" as Michael and Pam struggle to get the Michael Scott Paper Company off the ground. And, as if that wasn't good enough already, it shows up yet again nearly two whole seasons later in the episode "Garage Sale" sitting plain as day on Michael and Holly's table. It looks like the much more grounded influence of Holly may have finally convinced Michael to let go of his prized entertainment possession once and for all. Then again, the sale doesn't go too well. Maybe they simply ended up bringing it (along with that beer sign) with them to Colorado.

As an interesting little side note, the garage sale also shows the creepy clown painting first seen when Jim buys Pam a house in season 5. Apparently, it wasn't quite as important to the structural integrity of the building as Jim thought.

"kjgavbiwiwpo"

In the first season episode "The Alliance," Michael checks in on the party planning committee to see how things are going as they're forced to quickly plan a birthday party for Meredith. In the scene, he mentions that the committee pulled off an "amazing '80s party last year," at which point the camera cuts to a shot of the company newsletter's coverage of the event. The picture of Michael and Dwight decked out in blues and pinks grabs the audience's attention, but the column text on the right is actually the best part of the shot.

It starts with the mundane line "Welcome to yet another exciting edition of the Dunder Mifflin Employee Newsletter." After a few more sentences, the first paragraph wraps up with "Hopefully you will find alot [sic] of useless information contained herein that will help you do your job better, faster and quicker and cheaper and happier." Okay…

Then the article completely goes off the rails. The next paragraph begins with "As anybody can easily tell, this newsletter doesn't really have alot to say. It's really just a prop to fill some space and sort of look like a newsletter without really being much of a newsletter at all." After more of the same nonsense, it goes on to say, "In fact, at times we can probably get away with not using real english words, such as kjgavbiwiwpo." Newsletter inspiration at its best.

Just... why?

Most little details are interesting because they provide a callback from an earlier episode, highlight an inside joke, or a make some other point. But sometimes they're just plain confusing. Take, for instance, the curious case of the license plate and the paper clips.

It all starts in the first episode of season 5, when Michael asks Pam — via video chat, as she's in NYC at the time — to tell the fill-in receptionist, Ronnie, where his favorite colorful paperclips are located. Over a full season later, in the episode "The Lover," Jim shows Pam that Dwight is graciously washing their car.

That's it. There's nothing more to see here, right? Except, well, there is, actually. For some strange reason, someone thought they should Google the license plate number on Pam and Jim's car: "CHD-0032." The search results? A model number for colorful paper clips made in China. Of course, this could be nothing more than a coincidence, but if it does truly connect, the question that absolutely has to be asked is… why?

The George Foreman grill

The episode "The Injury" from season 2 follows Michael Scott after he wakes up and steps on his George Foreman grill, cooking his foot in the process. While the injury is minor, he ends up milking it all the live long day. When asked why he had a George Foreman grill by his bedside in the first place, he explains that every night before he hits the hay, he lays out six pieces of bacon on a grill in his bedroom. When he wakes up he pops on the grill, goes back to sleep, and presto! When he wakes up for the second time he has fresh, crispy bacon ready to go.

It appears that Michael's morning bacon habits die hard. The grill shows up yet again two seasons later, in the season 4 episode "Dinner Party" as Michael and Jan give Jim and Pam a rather uncomfortable tour of their bedroom. Apparently, for all of her quirky, erratic behavior, Jan's okay with the smell of bacon each morning.

Screen names

A good portion of season 3 follows Jim as he attempts to begin a new life at the Dunder Mifflin Stamford branch. One episode, "The Coup," follows the Stamford squad as they practice "team building exercises" by playing Call of Duty against each other. The group is highly skilled at playing the video game at this point, but the Scranton newcomer spectacularly fails to get on the bandwagon.

Jim spends the bulk of the time running around with a smoke grenade, drawing flack from coworkers for using a sniper rifle at the wrong time and even shooting his own teammates. In one scene, Karen shows Jim how to navigate out of a corner, only to shoot him a moment later. As the screen reports "You killed Jim Halpert," off to the side it reveals Karen's player name as "KarentheJimSlayer." Quite appropriate, to say the least. As a cherry on top, when Jim accidentally guns down his teammate, Andy, the screen shows that he's killed "HereComesTreble." The Cornell grad never misses an opportunity, does he?

Certified or certifiable?

Michael Scott has been known to bend the truth from time to time. After all, he was the best salesman for two years running back in the day. When it comes to his management skills, though, the man seems a bit more insecure… and determined to prove a point.

The "World's Best Boss" mug isn't the only time Michael has gone out of his way to give off an air of authenticity. A plaque holding a certification can frequently be seen on the wall of his office. Sharp-eyed viewers may note that it's nothing more than a "Certificate of Authenticity" for his watch. That's right, his watch. And what's more, it denotes Michel as the proud owner of "a quality Seyko timepiece" — clearly a Seiko knockoff. 

The certificate can be clearly seen in the season 4 finale "Goodbye Toby," which also happens to be the same episode in which Michael is forced to give his watch to Toby as a goodbye present after being an awful boss for so many years. If that's not poetic justice, we don't know what is.

The first Assistant Regional Manager

Michael Scott and David Wallace may be in competition for the title of "World's Best Boss," but there's also the matter of Dunder Mifflin's dueling assistant regional managers. In one corner of the ring, we have the obvious candidate Dwight Schrute. His endless pursuit to escape being the "Assistant to the Regional Manager" doesn't quite end until he leapfrogs the issue entirely by being made the full-blown manager in season 9 — at which time he appoints himself as his own assistant to the assistant to the regional manager.

In the other corner, we have Jim Halpert. While he does spend some time as "co-manager" in season 6, Jim actually climbs the corporate ladder to the Assistant Regional Manager position much faster than that. In the season 3 episode "Diwali," Jim, Karen, and Andy have to work late and end up drinking a bit too much while they're at it. At one point, the camera shows Jim, passed out on his desk with his name placard in front of him. It reads, "Jim Halpert Asst. Regional Manager." No "to the" in sight. Seems we have a winner.

Krasinski, the cinematographer

The opening theme for The Office is one of the most famous TV jingles in pop culture history. It consists of a simple ditty set to a sequence of scenes in the office, most of which come from various shots throughout the show. However, a few of them are actually shots of the real Scranton provided by none other than Jim Halpert, a.k.a. John Krasinski.

Krasinski was so excited when he landed the role of Jim that he immediately traipsed off to Pennsylvania in order to do some preliminary scouting. While he was there, he filmed some of the local scenery and then offered it to series developer Greg Daniels to help him get a better feel for the area. To Krasinski's surprise, Daniels liked what he had filmed so much, he ended up asking if they could use some of the footage in the title sequence. Naturally, the budding actor agreed, and the rest is history.

Misspelled

A big part of season 6 revolves around Jim and Pam planning their wedding and then heading off to Niagara Falls to tie the knot. The two-part episode "Niagara" follows the wedding in detail as the entire office takes advantage of Michael's offer of extra paid vacation days if they choose to head to upstate New York for the nuptials.

As the group arrives, they settle in and then attend a wedding rehearsal dinner in the "Passion Package Room" of the hotel. We know that because the camera briefly shows a sign in front of the room indicating the nature of the event, the time it's being held (7 to 8:40 p.m., just in case you were wondering) and the last names of the two love birds. However, while Beesly is spelled correctly, Halpert is spelled "Halpret."

It makes sense when something like a company newspaper is purposefully doctored up with nonsense text and randomly made up words in order to fill the space without resorting to straight-up lorem ipsum filler. However, when headlining text like this is botched, you'd think it'd be a bigger deal. Did they simply miss the oversight until it was too late? Or were they just too lazy to reprint the sign?

Who are you?

Most of the time, Creed is the one in the office who isn't quite what he seems. However, in one episode it's none other than Jim Halpert who seems to have a secret identity. As all truly devoted fans will recall, season 4 kicks off with Meredith Palmer being struck by Michael Scott's car. It's a banner incident in the show that kicks off a running joke and even makes it into the montage of incidents referenced in the "Seasons of Love" parody that the crew sings to Michael right before he exits the show in season 7.

When Meredith returns to work after the accident in the season 4 episode "Launch Party," she asks Jim to sign her cast. He agrees before realizing that the mold is fitted around her pelvis and waist. As he awkwardly signs his name, fans might notice that it looks an awful lot like it says "John Krasinski" rather than "Jim Halpert." He even dots two i's when he's finished — "Jim Halpert" only has one.

15 stars

The Schrute family is well known for its sense of tradition, longevity, and attention to detail. While this can be seen in everything from the venerable Schrute Farms family home to Dwight's impeccable work performance, there's one thing that sums it all up perfectly: the American flag. Not just any American flag, though. We're talking about the one flying from the porch of Schrute Farms.

When some of the group visits Dwight on his family farm in the episode "Doomsday" in season 7, they pass a flag on their way out. If you look closely, it's missing some stars — 35, to be precise. The 15-star flag was used between 1795 and 1818, which also happens to be the period during which Schrute farms was founded. The accuracy isn't just fun to spot, it's also appropriately located on the home of the most likely person in the entire office who would care about a detail like that in the first place.

A tiny little hair

The season 5 episode "The Surplus" follows the office as they struggle to decide how to spend a budgetary surplus before it reverts back to corporate. The decision splits the group into two factions: one in favor of getting new chairs, the other for getting a new copier. Critically, Pam and Jim find themselves on opposite sides of the discussion, pitting the engaged couple against one another.

At one point, Oscar and Jim take Michael out to lunch in order to schmooze him about the benefits of getting a new copier. When they return, Jim brings Pam some tiramisu from the restaurant. Pam jokingly takes the gift with a smile, only the throw it into the garbage can in defiance.

The back and forth is comical, but it turns out that the tiramisu hasn't hit the end of the line quite yet. A bit later in the episode, Michael is seen eating tiramisu as he talks to David Wallace on the phone. Then, to bring it all home, at the very end of the episode, Michael reveals where he got his snack from as he berates the office for being spoiled for throwing out "perfectly good tiramisu because it has a little tiny hair on it." Dumpster diving at its finest.

Exotic Pennsylvania

While most of the show takes place within the actual office, the characters often need to head out for meetings or sales calls. When they do, they find themselves in the frequently overcast, often cool climate of northeastern Pennsylvania. On one occasion, at least, though, the atmosphere had a little splash of the exotic thrown into the mix.

In the third season episode "Traveling Salesmen," the group splits into pairs and then heads off to their respective sales meetings, Amazing Race style. As they congregate in the parking lot and prepare to head out, though, what should appear over the hedge behind them but a tall, flourishing palm tree. A palm tree. In Scranton, PA. While it's true that most of the show was filmed in California, it's only once and a while that the producers slipped up and let a little bit of the Golden State creep into the frame, as was clearly the case here.

It's all mine

Every show has its list of slip-ups and continuity mistakes. The Office's occasional California foliage is certainly one example. But another one slipped through the cracks in the season 8 episode "Pool Party." In the episode, the staff heads over to Robert California's house after hours in order to throw one last party before he sells the home off to the highest bidder. While most of the crew spends time taking advantage of their boss' luxurious indoor pool, another group is taken on a long, boozy tour of the mansion led by Mr. California himself.

As they go along, observing each room and sucking up to California as he endlessly monologues, each member of the tour is gifted with their own bottle of wine, recklessly taken from the soon-to-be-sold wine cellar. At one point, as they observe a "king size" bear rug made from two bears sewn together, Oscar takes a swig from his bottle, only to reveal a paper note on the bottom that reads "Oscar." Either the accountant is extremely particular about labeling his things, or somebody forgot to remove the prop label before the cameras started rolling.

Reimbursed?

One of the best cold opens for the show takes place in the season 3 episode "Product Recall." In it, Jim arrives for work decked out in an outfit that makes him look just like Dwight. From the dorky haircut to the glasses, short sleeved shirt, and beeper, the entire ensemble is on point. After his initial arrival, Jim explains that he got the outfit on the cheap, spending just four bucks on the glasses and pulling the rest of the pieces together for a mere seven extra dollars. He sums up the two numbers triumphantly on his calculator watch, declaring that the grand total for the prank was eleven dollars.

The pièce de résistance, though, comes at the end of the episode. Angela, frustrated by a day of filling in on customer service calls, rips into Kevin for failing to add up the numbers on a payroll form correctly. The numbers in question? Four plus seven. Could it be that Jim "Schrute" Halpert not only pulled off an A-plus prank but even expensed the cost? Hey, if Michael can spend company money hand over fist at a magic shop to impress potential clients, then Jim should be able to expense costs incurred while boosting office morale.