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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.

"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 [sic] 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.

The return of the creepy clown

Apparently, the company garage sale in season 7 isn't just a chance for Michael to finally get rid of that broken old plasma screen. It also provides the perfect opportunity for Pam and Jim to dispose of an item that they've been trying to get rid of from the day they bought their home.

In the season 5 episode "Frame Toby," Jim pulls off the ultimate romantic gesture (or maybe it's not so romantic?) by buying his parents' house for himself and Pam to live in. As Jim scrambles to complete the sale before his fiancée finds out, we watch Halpert give us a quick tour of his childhood home. In the tour, he shows a creepy clown painting that he tries in vain to remove from the wall, pointing out that it's "apparently crucial to the structural integrity of the building." At the end of the episode, Pam asks if it's really stuck, and Jim reiterates that he "really can't move him."

At that point, the situation seems wrapped up — at least until that cold day in season 7 when the Scranton branch employees decide to throw a garage sale. As the camera pans from one display table to the next, there are a couple of points in the filming where eagle-eyed viewers can catch a quick glimpse of a painting propped up in front of the Halperts' booth. The artwork in question? The creepy clown. Which begs the question, once they got it down, why did they keep it so long?

Michael Scott's bling

Season 4 is an emotional roller coaster for Michael Scott. The manager starts the season off in perfect domestic bliss, only to have his life temporarily shattered when he cracks Meredith's pelvis. From there, things just keep on getting worse as Scott navigates his new relationship with his protege turned boss, Ryan, and his spiraling girlfriend, Jan.

Once Jan exits the picture halfway through the season, Michael decides that it's time for a fresh start. Does he act on this by asking someone he knows out on a date? Absolutely not. Instead, he forces his employees to give him romance recommendations. When Pam offers one, he finds himself meeting Margaret at a local coffee shop, and here's where the magical detail comes into play.

When Scott goes to pay for his coffee, he pulls out a brown, masculine-looking wallet. It's a ways away, and at first glance, there's nothing to see. Except that, if you look closely, the edges of the wallet are actually bedazzled with colorful sequins. The question is, has he always sported this unique billfold? Or is this a personal crafting project recently executed by Mr. Scott himself? If it's the latter, it could very well be a quiet cry for help from a man who's spent far too many nights alone, recovering from one emotional blow after another. Either way, it's one of the best — and most difficult — details to catch.

Flag mixup?

We're going to officially categorize this as a "possible" detail. In the season 6 episode "St. Patrick's Day," we see all of the Dunder Mifflinites displaying their best Irish accouterments. Of course, Meredith takes the cake with her white work jacket, green dress, and hostile attitude toward anyone who threatens to ruin the day with fighting.

Still, she's not the only one. Michael Scott also manages to show his enthusiasm in a couple of different ways. Of course, there's the giant gesture at the end of the episode, when the manager goes to bat for his employees, helping them get out of work in time to spend the night celebrating. There's also his bright green tie and a small Irish flag located on his desk.

The only thing is, depending on the lighting and the scene, the flag appears at times not to be the traditional green, white, and orange of the Irish flag but rather a flag that's green, white, and red. If the color is actually red (and it isn't just a trick of the light), then the boss — in a typical Michael move — would've purchased an Italian flag in his fervor to fit in with the celebrations.

Why include it if we're not sure about the color? Because this is a detail that countless fans have noticed and brought up over the years. The discord over the St. Patty's Day flag mix-up is loud enough that we had to at least give it an honorable mention.

Pammy's PTSD?

Throughout season 3, Pam comes into her own. By the end of the season, the coal-walking secretary finds a backbone, tells Jim how she feels, and then launches into a new phase of confident self-exploration. However, at that point, the transformation is one that's actually been taking place for quite a while.

In particular, at one earlier point in the episode "Cocktails," Pam informs the camera crew that she's trying to be more confident. In the process, she refers to herself as "old Pammy," only to pause and say, "And don't call me Pammy." The distaste for the nickname is abrupt and seems to hint at a backstory that viewers don't get to see.

However, it's hard to hide even the tiniest details from an army of sharp-eared fans. In the following episode, "Negotiation," Pam agrees to meet with Roy one last time after their second breakup. Her ex starts the conversation with the line, "I'm so sorry, Pammy," leaving everyone wondering if this was the source of Pam's intense dislike for the seemingly cutesy moniker. Of course, it could be unconnected. Heck, Roy might've picked up the nickname from Pam herself back in the day. But the repetition of the word, used so closely after Pam asked others not to use it, seems to subtly hint at the true reason why she doesn't want to be called Pammy ever again.

The fish carousel

Michael spends a good portion of season 5 trying to get the Michael Scott Paper Company off the ground. He starts with some success, getting Pam and Ryan to join him, but over time, his fledgling enterprise starts to struggle. Just before they have to call it quits, though, they're able to leverage their temporary success into a buyout from Dunder Mifflin. The entire series of episodes is exciting and a great break from the humdrum activity of the office.

A good portion of this storyline takes place in a closet on the ground floor of the building. There, cramped and tucked out of view, Michael and his intrepid crew do their best to play David to Dunder Mifflin's Goliath. While Michael, Pam, and Ryan can all be said to have done pretty well out of the whole deal, though, there's one group that appears to have gotten the short end of the stick: Michael's fish.

From the moment he sets up his new office, Michael showcases a fishbowl on his desk. This contains real water and a solitary swimmer that sits by in submerged silence as the drama unfolds all around. The only thing is, if you pay close attention, it becomes clear that as each episode goes by, the fish in the bowl changes. And we're not talking about growth here, either. The kind, color, and size of the fish literally changes over and over again, begging the question, is Michael really that bad of a pet owner?

The locked-up copier

In the season 4 episode "Branch Wars," Michael, Dwight, and Jim head out on what the boss distastefully refers to as a "panty raid." The target in question? The Utica branch of the company, which is currently overseen by Jim's ex-girlfriend, Karen. When they arrive on the premises, Michael and Dwight head inside and cause a ruckus, particularly wreaking havoc on the branch's industrial copier.

Once the dust settles, the trio heads back to Scranton, and life goes back to whatever the show's equivalent of "normalcy" would be. It seems that the Utica branch has been left standing (in spite of Dwight's threats to burn the whole place to the ground), but it turns out that there was actually some pretty deep emotional scarring that the Scranton strike force left in its wake.

Michael and Pam revisit the branch a bit later in the season 5 two-part episode "Lecture Circuit." This time, the manager is there to give a lecture — it's in the episode name, after all — which Michael kicks off with a fake phone call about his father's passing. As he's shown on the phone, the infamous copier can be seen in the room next to him ... with a sign next to it. The notice passes in a flash, but it appears to read something like "report any suspicious persons near the copier." The cherry on top? As the camera pans over, a padlock can clearly be seen, tethering the copier to the wall.

Kevin and his culinary mathematics

Oscar is a math wizard. The accountant throws out random math problems multiple times during the show. For instance, in the season 4 episode "The Surplus," he baits Michael into revealing that the boss is hiding information by asking him a difficult math question that he's aware Michael already knows the answer to. He follows this up with another, simpler one that leaves the manager stumped.

It turns out that this isn't the only time we see Oscar using math to make a point, either. Early in season 9, toward the end of the episode, the office crew finds themselves 13 short miles from LaVerne's Pie Stand. As the group dreams of gorging on delicious pies, Kevin informs them that if they continue to drive at 55 miles an hour, they only have five minutes to spare if they want to get there before the shop closes.

Impressed at his pie-driven arithmetic, Oscar asks Kevin a follow-up question — what is 19,154 pies divided by 61 pies? The answer, as Mr. Malone quickly deciphers, is a whopping 314 pies! The conversation moves on to salads and other mundane topics from there. However, one minor detail needs to be pointed out for the full genius of the scene to sink in. Oscar didn't just give Kevin a math question about pies. The answer also came out to 314. Add a decimal after the three and you have "3.14." That's right, the solution to the problem is a hop, skip, and a jump from "pi" itself.

Pam's waffling wishes

This next one is what we like to call ironic. Or maybe it's just circumstantial? Regardless, between the second and sixth seasons of the show, Pam ends up waffling on some pretty big marriage-related wishes.

The flip-flopping starts in the season 2 episode "Booze Cruise." Inspired by Captain Jack, Roy grabs the mic and informs Pam that they should finally set a date for their wedding. The excitement is palpable as Roy thanks the captain for inspiring him to make the (long overdue) move. Captain Jack responds that maybe he should just marry them right there on his ship. At this point, Pam pipes up and informs them that she doesn't want to, as she wants her parents to be there. Makes sense.

Fast forward to the season 6 episode "Niagara," and we see a frustrated Pam at her wit's end as nothing about her wedding day is going right. Inspired, Jim grabs his bride-to-be, and the pair elope right there on the spot. Where do they go for their secret nuptials? To the Maid of the Mist, a ship that takes tourists under Niagara Falls. Once on board, they ask — you guessed it — the captain to marry them. The amiable fellow does just that with Pam's father and mother nowhere in sight, we might add. Looks like it wasn't Pam's parents that were the problem after all, eh, Roy?

Creed needs some Coke

In the season 8 episode "Angry Andy," Nellie finds herself running a spur-of-the-moment meeting about impotence. She assures the group that it isn't about any one person in particular before she dives into the sex ed lesson. At one point during the extremely awkward proceedings, Oscar finally confronts the upstart manager, indirectly asking her if she's the one struggling with impotence.

Nellie's confident reply is that she's never struggled in that arena. She follows this up with the claim that she's even been with several older men. This prompts simultaneous replies from both Robert California and Creed, who creepily ask, "How old?" Creed takes the occasion to say, "Jinx, buy me some coke."

The comment is harmless enough, and the conversation quickly moves on. However, there's one thing worth asking. Why did Creed phrase the statement as "buy me some coke" instead of "buy me a Coke?" With anyone else, it could be passed off as a minor slip-up. With the ever-disturbing Mr. Bratton, though, chances are the man actually misunderstood the phrase. Instead of asking for a sweet, carbonated beverage, he may have actually been asking for some cocaine. Knowing Creed's propensity for misunderstanding things, the confusion between Coke and cocaine doesn't seem too far-fetched. And the man brazenly asking for some in a crowded room? That isn't even out of character. After all, by his own admission, the man's done a lot more for a lot less.

All in on St. Patty's Day

The season 6 episode "St. Patrick's Day" is about as green as they come. Everything from the clothing to the decorations is colored a lovely verdant hue that would make any leprechaun think of home. This decorative theme creates the perfect backdrop for a tense showdown between the employees of the now-defunct Dunder Mifflin and their new Sabre overlords. Over the course of the episode, Michael and his employees try to escape the office but fail when they come up against the workaholic vibes that Jo Bennett brings into the establishment.

All things considered, the juxtaposition of bright green fun against the struggle for work-life balance is well done. While the festive nature of the office is impressive, though, it takes a superfan to realize just how far the production team went to set the stage for the ensuing showdown. Throughout the episode, there are several shots that angle over toward the sales team. These shots are never long, which is why this prop counts as a small detail rather than simply another background item.

If you look closely, there's one piece of very green decor that quickly stands out over in that corner of the office. The water in the cooler right behind Stanley is dyed green. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. In an office where holidays are always celebrated in over-the-top fashion, St. Patrick's Day gets its fair share of attention as well. Everything right down to the water cooler contents is gussied up for the occasion.

Michael's time zone troubles

In season 5, Michael makes the best of his rift with Dunder Mifflin (and more specifically, Charles Miner) by setting up a new paper company right in the heart of the Scranton Business Park that houses his old company. He's given a tiny closet space on the ground floor, which he impressively turns into an effective little workspace.

The office of the Michael Scott Paper Company is quirky and crowded. It uses a poker table as a desk and has a copier crammed into one of the corners. Hijacked quotes are scrawled on the walls, and live fish swim around in the middle of the room as if nothing exceptional is going on. You can even hear people in the Dunder Mifflin office just above talking to each other and flushing toilets.

One detail that often goes unnoticed, though, is the clocks. Up on the wall are several cheap clocks that Michael has hung. Each one is set to represent a different time zone, with little labels underneath that read, from left to right, "Paris," "London," "Beijing." These all make sense. But the last clock on the row just reads "USA," which ...what? Which time zone is that for? With Scranton being on the East Coast, one could safely assume that it is set to Eastern time. Regardless, though, it would seem that Michael thinks the entire United States of America has the same time zone. At least, that seems to be the case judging from his wall of clocks.

Michael's demands

In the season 3 episode "Product Recall," Michael fends off an angry crowd of clients who are upset when an obscene watermark is surreptitiously printed on a batch of Dunder Mifflin paper. When the manager's efforts to ameliorate the situation prove to be a dismal failure, Michael faces a call to resign from his prestigious position as regional manager of the Scranton branch. Facing the overwhelming and unrelenting pressure of a single upset customer, Michael takes the only way out — he makes an ultimatum video.

Several shots are shown of the video in development, but the real gem is the rapidly passing text on the cue cards. Michael reads a decent portion of these out loud, but one card remains unread and only flashes on the screen for a second. It reads, "I need this job. My mortgage is hundreds of dollars a month. With this job, I can barely cover that." The self-centered text continues to say that, "I have a company car, but I still have to pay for the gas. Gas prices are high, and I have no savings whatsoever." It ends with the petulant statement, "And it wasn't even me. It's so not fair that they want me to resign."

The other cards are very fun in their own right. And they all add up to a spectacular scene that is vintage Michael Scott. But the unread cue card is the pièce de résistance, and it absolutely deserves more recognition than a passing glance.

Bringing work to work

Dwight Schrute is an industrious fellow. By the end of the show, the man has his own 1,600-acre farm, is the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin, owns the building that the business operates out of, and is even a newly minted family man. He may be in perfectenschlag, but he's also straight-up one of the busiest guys this side of the Mississippi. It turns out that Dwight's passion for work goes so far that he can't even resist the urge to bring his work to work, and this isn't referencing his season 4 efforts to open a bed and breakfast either.

In the season 6 episode "St. Patrick's Day," Jo Bennet gathers the team around Dwight's desk clump to hold a town hall meeting and brainstorm some ideas. She spends the next few minutes fielding various questions — some relevant and others less so — and providing the best answers that she can. All the while, she continues to deal with Michael's antics, as he adds unsolicited commentary from the peanut gallery.

The scene is entertaining, fast-paced, and fun, and it's easy to miss one small detail in the midst of all of the hubbub. As the camera pans across Dwight's desk, a beet is clearly visible to one side of it. It's in a small cup of dirt complete with lighting carefully provided right above it. It would appear that, even when he's pushing paper, Dwight still can't help but return to his roots — literally.

Jo's hot-selling autobiography

When Jo Bennett first arrives in Scranton, she makes her presence known. The powerful leader proves to be a woman among men as she makes tough decisions, asserts her authority, and shows everyone that there's a new boss in town.

One of her power moves comes when she calls her first staff meeting. As the group files into the room, she encourages them to take a seat, at which point Kevin points out that there are books in his chair. Bennett clarifies that this is on purpose, as one of them is the Sabre handbook. The other is the CEO's own autobiography titled Take a Good Look.

The book makes for a good laugh, and it shows up from time to time, like when Jim uses the audiobook version to prank Gabe. But there's another time when the book makes a subtle appearance in the background. In the season 7 episode "Ultimatum," Darryl, Dwight, and Andy head to the bookstore over their lunch break. The warehouse manager is trying to stick to his New Year's resolution to read more while his coworkers are looking to pick up a hot date in between the pages. As the three prepare to leave, the camera focuses on Darryl, and there, plain as day, Jo Bennett's autobiography can be seen on display taking up an entire endcap of one of the aisles. Apparently, the business titan is more important than we thought — either that or she has a really good distribution network.

A medal or a promotion?

Dwight accepts recognition in a variety of different ways. Throughout the earlier seasons of the show, the hard-working salesman repeatedly displays an avid desire to be called the official "assistant regional manager" of the Scranton branch. In season 4, he also accepts a pair of plaques instead of a pay raise for being so good at his job.

As the show progresses, though, Dwight's taste for appreciation begins to mature. He starts to want more than recognition and fancy baubles. This maturation process comes to a head in the season 8 episode "Trivia." Here, Dwight heads to Florida to ask for a management position — yet again. At the end of the installment, Robert California offers the beet farmer a management job alternative in the form of a medal that was awarded to his grandfather for courage and excellence, but Dwight turns the award down. The scene is a touching sign of growth from the nostalgia-prone character, but the story of the turned-down medal doesn't stop there.

Earlier in the episode, Dwight has a showdown with Gabe at the Sabre headquarters. As the salesman has a pathetic interview with the lanky toilet of the office, a sparsely decorated table can be seen behind Gabe's desk. And what is that displayed prominently in the midst of the decor? A medal that looks very much so the same as the one that Mr. California so generously offers Dwight a few hours later. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or, just maybe, Gabe asked for a management position at one point too.

Scranton Strangler in the house?

It's long been surmised that none other than Dunder Mifflin's resident Gloomy Gus, Toby, was the Scranton Strangler (with Creed coming in a close second). The creatives behind the show even released a mini Making a Murderer-style mockumentary detailing the favorite fan theory. While even this technically refuses to give a definitive answer on the subject, the show clearly toys with the concept that the hardworking members of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch may have a murderer in their midst.

One of the smallest yet most profound details that help to back up this ongoing theory can be found in the parking lot. Season 6 opens up with a raucous series of scenes depicting Dwight, Andy, and Michael's pathetic attempts at parkour. As the trio trounces around the premises, they eventually make their way outside where they naturally start to leap across the hoods of the parked cars. One of these is a sleek, green sedan. The detail isn't even noticeable, especially next to Stanley the Manly's eye-grabbing Lincoln. At least, it isn't noticeable to the average viewer.

However, the diehards took note and then took note again a season later in the episode "Viewing Party." The installment opens with the entire office absorbed in watching TV as reporters follow the chase and capture of the Scranton Strangler. At one point, the fleeing car is seen, and by all accounts, it appears to be the same green vehicle from the parking lot. Goosebumps, anyone?

Michael's recurring Christmas tie

Michael Scott always makes a splash at Christmas time. Whether that splash is a net positive or not is up for debate, but one way or another, when the most wonderful time of the year rolls around, Mr. Scott is always ready to bask in the limelight. One way he does this is with his Christmas apparel.

In the later seasons of the show, Michael really steps things up by spending most of the holiday season dressed up as Santa and classy Santa 2.0. Earlier in the show, he may not have acquired his North Pole threads yet, but he still finds a quieter way to dress up for the season — with his tie. It turns out that Michael wears the same tie for every Christmas episode in which he isn't otherwise dressed in a costume. Let's break it down.

For starters, seasons 1 and 4 do not have official Christmas episodes, and Michael is gone for seasons 8 and 9. He also spends the holiday episodes of seasons 6 and 7 dressed up as Santa Claus. That leaves seasons 2, 3, and 5, which include the Christmas installments "Christmas Party," "A Benihana Christmas," and "Moroccan Christmas," respectively. In all three of these episodes, the manager shows up to work sporting a gaudy Christmas tie that features a snowclad village, caroling snowmen, and a jolly St. Nick waving hello from the vicinity of Mr. Scott's gut.

Separating the trash and the recycling

This is one of the subtlest items on this list. It's a piece of minutiae caught in the background that connects to a later joke that's nearly as easy to miss. Let's start with the joke first. In the season 7 episode "WUPH.com," Pam finds Michael in the break room busily saving the planet by separating the trash into whites and colors.

At first glance, the joke seems to connect to the age-old wisdom of washing your white and colored laundry separately so that the colors won't bleed. It turns out, though, that there may be a different explanation. The act of separating paper from plastic when recycling is difficult enough for most people. However, it's technically recommended for many paper-heavy offices to try to separate white and colored paper within the recycling as well. This burdensome task makes it easier to recycle everything when it gets to the plant.

This isn't a recommendation lost on the team in Scranton either. If you back up two full seasons to the season 5 episode "Two Weeks," Michael can be seen crawling past a line of recycling bins that are labeled "white," "white," and "colors." Some fans have connected this to Michael's apparent obsession with separating trash and recycling into colors. With this scene coming first, though, we're willing to bet that the Dunder Mifflin office actually follows proper recycling protocol. We're also pretty confident that Michael carried that recycling etiquette way too far by also applying it to the break room garbage.