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The Real Reason The Office's Dundies Almost Didn't Take Place At Chili's

Pam may have felt God in that Chili's the night of the Dundies but, reportedly, Chili's wasn't really feeling her. At least, that's the story according to actress Kate Flannery who portrayed the, um, free-spirited Meredith Palmer on The Office

In an interview with BuzzFeed to highlight the show's move from Netflix to Peacock (NBC's new streaming service), Kate dished on what went down, explaining that "the people from Chili's were coming in [to the shooting location] because they were upset that Pam may get drunk there." Turns out chain restaurants tend to shy away from anything being portrayed onscreen that might tarnish their reputations. Perfectly reasonable, but we can't help but wonder if the episode would be different had Chili's gotten their way. Would Pam and Jim have shared that first kiss after her Dundies win had she not been falling-off-the-barstool tipsy? 

Mercifully, we don't have to guess, because the sticky plot point somehow stayed in the script thanks to a clever workaround.

Chili's and the issue of Pam's 'second drink'

According to the podcast "Office Ladies," hosted by Angela Kinsey (who played Angela on the show) and Jenna Fischer (who played Pam), there's even more insider info about this episode fans might not know, starting with the fact that the infamous Chili's wasn't even a Chili's at all. According to the two actors, the location used for filming was just a closed restaurant the set designers had to make look like a convincing Chili's. 

Also, the scene where a drunk Pam falls off the stool was originally supposed to end instead with her vomiting. Yeah, we're glad that got axed. And as for Chili's not loving Pam's drunkenness? Well, it turns out that a waiter is intentionally never shown bringing Pam more drinks. Instead, Pam can be seen finishing off her colleagues' discarded drinks which she likes so much because, as she explains, "the ice melts, and then it's, like, second drink." Doing it that way ensured Chili's was not portrayed in the episode as overserving a guest and everything turned out fine for all involved — except for Pam, of course. She still got banned from Chili's for life.