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The Office Episode You Never Knew J.J. Abrams Directed

The Office has a catalog of over 200 episodes, which were directed by 55 different directors, according to IMDb. Paul Feig and Randall Einhorn directed more than anyone else involved in the sitcom, with 15 episode credits to their names. Ken Kwapis and Greg Daniels each had 13 episode credits, while many of the other episodic directors had only single-digit credits. During a re-watch, an observant Office fan might notice some pretty famous names in the opening credits, which always stated who the director was behind every episode.

Some notable Office episode directors include Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston, The Avengers director Joss Whedon, and The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau. Surprisingly enough, venerated filmmaker J.J. Abrams also got behind the camera for one episode of the hit NBC series — a fact that may seem quite odd given his résumé that's stacked of big-budget sci-fi adventure blockbusters. However, prior to his Office directing gig, Abrams also directed episodes of Alias, Lost, and Felicity, so he certainly wasn't a stranger to the small screen. When it comes to The Office, Abrams was actually the director behind one of the funniest episodes of the show's third season.

J.J. Abrams directed an unforgettable episode of The Office season 3

The episode of The Office that J.J. Abrams directed is season 3, episode 18, "Cocktails." Written by Paul Lieberstein, who plays the always-hated human resources representative Toby Flenderson in the show, the episode follows Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), Karen Filippelli (Rashida Jones), Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), and Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) as they attend an employee get-together at CFO David Wallace's (Andy Buckley) house. Shot almost entirely beyond the walls of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office, "Cocktails" marks the official confirmation of Michael and Jan's relationship, with the pair signing human resources paperwork to verify their coupling. Michael, taking this as an act of love, openly tells David that he and Jan are lovers.

Also in the Abrams-directed episode is an epic prank that Karen plays on Jim: She pretends to have a romantic history with many of the men in attendance at the party. Though he's the prankster of all pranksters, Jim falls for Karen's lies — one of the few times he's fooled throughout the series' run. 

One of the episode's biggest moments happens outside of the party, as the rest of the Dunder Mifflin gang attend Happy Hour at Poor Richards bar. It's here that Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer) tells Roy Anderson (David Denman) she kissed Jim on casino night, which made the latter go ballistic, breaking glasses and mirrors at the bar. This is the nail in the coffin for Pam and Roy, who had just rekindled their relationship a few episodes prior at Phyllis Lapin (Phyllis Smith) and Bob Vance's (Robert R. Shafer) wedding.

That all makes for a lot of story to navigate, and the episode's director J.J. Abrams did a top-notch job.