Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

We Finally Know How The Office Pulled Off The Iconic Fire Drill Scene

"The Office" is one of the biggest shows of all time. The beloved mockumentary, based on the British series of the same name, revolutionized the sitcom landscape and made household names of its extremely talented cast. Since its debut in 2005, "The Office" has remained a significant part of pop culture, with devoted fans enjoying many rewatches of the show in syndication and on NBC's streaming service Peacock.

The series has some very memorable cold opens, but one has been cemented in our minds forever: the fire drill. Kicking off Season 5's two-part episode "Stress Relief," Dwight (Rainn Wilson) starts an actual fire hoping colleagues will learn about fire safety through experience. The ensuing chaos is absolutely hilarious, and this particular cold-open stands above the rest seen on "The Office." 

In a recent episode of their popular "Office Ladies" podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey (who play Pam and Angela, respectively, on the show) revisited the episode and explained how they were able to pull off the memorable fire drill scene, as transcribed by Showbiz Cheat Sheet

According to the podcast, the episode originally aired during the covetable post-Super Bowl time slot, so the writers knew the episode had to have a strong opening to engage viewers — including those who weren't familiar with the show. Executive producer and writer Greg Daniels wisely wrote a cold-open that relied on physical humor, so those who didn't know "The Office" characters would still find it hilarious — and they definitely succeeded. Here's how they pulled it off. 

The scene was complex to film

The complex fire drill scene on the Season 5 episode of "The Office" took a full day to shoot, Angela Kinsey noted on "Office Ladies." Cinematographer Randall Einhorn joined Jenna Fischer and Kinsey on the podcast to offer more technical insight on filming the episode. Einhorn shared "there [were] a lot of moving parts, a lot of moving pieces," during the episode, explaining the camera operators used "swishes" to capture the action and then "piece it together so it looked like it was one piece" (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

Of course, what many viewers want to know is: How did the laugh-out-loud "Save Bandit!" scene come to be? Turns out Oscar (Oscar Nunez) didn't really climb into the ceiling –a stunt double did it. A fake cat was thrown up into the ceiling, however, a real-life kitty was involved in the stunt, too. "Then up in the rafters of the ceiling there was a trainer that would then gently be holding a real cat and release it onto my desk, which was just a few feet below," Kinsey shared, noting that there was an airbag cushion on her character's desk so the cat had a safe landing.

The opening "Stress Relief" continues to be one of the funniest scenes in all of "The Office's" 201 episodes. Every season of "The Office" is currently streaming on Peacock.