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We Finally Know How That Iconic CPR Scene From The Office Got Made

"The Office" was packed to the brim with iconic moments. From the pilot episode showing Jim (John Krasinski) placing Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) stapler in Jello to Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim's wedding, it's hard to pick just one as the all-time best. Most people would even have a difficult time narrowing down to a Top 10. However, most fans would likely agree that the CPR scene from Season 5's "Stress Relief Part 1" deserves a spot close to the top.

The episode is noteworthy for several reasons. Most people probably remember it for the cold open where Dwight launches a surprise fire drill at Dunder Mifflin. The only problem is that he takes things too far and traps people in the office, ending with Angela (Angela Kinsey) launching one of her cats into the ceiling. Having just one iconic scene would be enough for most sitcoms, but this episode ups the ante by having another awesome bit with the CPR scene.

Writer Jen Celotta came up with the CPR scene on The Office

On the September 8, 2021 episode of the "Office Ladies" podcast, hosted by Fischer and Kinsey, the actresses discuss how the scene came together. It turns out it was a brainchild of "Office" writer Jen Celotta. She was the one who initially heard about how you can resuscitate a person by pumping the chest to the rhythm of "Stayin' Alive" by Bee Gees. As Fischer explains on the podcast, "This whole 'Staying Alive' CPR idea came from her. She said that she had heard it was true. She looked it up and cross-checked it. She said she cross-checked it again because she didn't want to put it on TV unless it was true."

It turns out offering solid medical advice on a sitcom was nothing new for Celotta. Fischer goes on to explain, "[Celotta] had been a writer's assistant on 'Home Improvement' and that the writers had done an episode where the Jonathan Taylor Thomas' character found a lump on his throat. And it turned out that it was a thyroid issue in the episode ... They got letters from all of these families that said after watching that episode, it helped save their children's lives because their children had thyroid lumps. And because of the episode, they got it checked out." The same thing happened with "The Office," as the actresses later recount how there have been multiple instances of people who have saved others' lives thanks to watching the episode.

It just goes to show how watching "The Office" isn't just fun. It can also be educational.