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What You Only Notice About Dunder Mifflin After Rewatching The Office Pilot

When "The Office" first premiered on American television in 2005, no one could have predicted what a massive cultural phenomenon it would become. Inspired by the British series of the same name, the show revolutionized the sitcom genre and brought the mockumentary into the forefront of entertainment.

During its nine seasons on NBC, "The Office" changed quite a bit throughout its run. Notably, lead star Steve Carell left his role of Michael Scott at the end of Season 7, as the actor wanted to pursue other projects. Upon rewatching the pilot episode, though, fans will notice significant changes to the series. The pilot episode was largely a shot-by-shot remake of the original British version of the show, down to the stapler-in-Jello prank, while later episodes of Season 1 show how the series' comedy was adapted for an American audience. 

Eagle-eyed fans will also notice another difference in "The Office's" very first episode – though we won't blame you if you miss it yourself.

The pilot includes a shot of a different office building

It's not uncommon for the location and set of a pilot episode to be different than the one seen on the rest of the show. Since a pilot is shot as a "tryout" for a series, the episode lacks the big budget necessary for a unique set, often filming in already existing locations. As revealed by Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer on their "Office Ladies" podcast, this was the case for Dunder Mifflin, too. The actresses revealed that the first season of "The Office" was actually shot on site in a real Culver City, California, office building, though that office would later be replicated on a soundstage for the rest of the series.

In the pilot episode, observant fans will also notice the exterior of the Dunder Mifflin building looks different. At roughly the 9:29 mark of the pilot, there's a shot of this exterior, but it isn't the office building we've grown to love, and instead is just a generic concrete structure. As Fischer and Kinsey remark, the shot isn't even of the Culver City location where the episode was filmed. The image is likely part of stock footage, the actresses assume, that was replaced once a permanent set for Dunder Mifflin was created. 

"The Office" certainly went through many changes during its nine-year run. We miss seeing new episodes, but one thing is for sure — Dunder Mifflin will always be one of our favorite TV homes.