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

Why April 26 Is A Huge Day For The Office

The Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch knows how to celebrate a holiday. They throw a mean Secret Santa party. Their Valentine's Day celebrations are full of oversized teddy bears and romantic blood drives. Every birthday party is a hallowed event to the point where when Jim tries to smoosh several birthdays together, he's burned at the stake for his insolence.

Yep. Special events at the Scranton office are, well, just that, special. They even have an official Party Planning Committee that wields so much intra-office influence it becomes a bastion of political power for most of the show. While major holidays are important, though, it's the one-off events that really get specialized attention. Toby's going away party is a shindig of epic proportions. Michael's 15th anniversary doesn't get off the ground ... but it was going to have figs, for goodness' sake.

In spite of so many good contenders vying for the attention of the Dunder Mifflin staff (and by extension, the audience members themselves) there's one date on the calendar that truly stands out as the most important day of the year. Not because it's a major holiday. Not even because everyone is looking forward to it. Heck, it's just April 26, and there are only one or two people on staff who get excited about it. But that's all that's needed because their anticipation is infectious enough for the entire office.

April 26, a date to remember

April 26 is an important day for fans of "The Office," whether they're aware of it or not. That's because that day is National Pretzel Day. That's right. April 26 is the one day a year that we get to see Stanley Hudson wake up in his undersized bed, drive his daughter to an expensive school, and then go to his underpaid job ... with a smile on his face. That day, ladies and gentlemen, is the day when Stanley Hudson is — gasp, dare we say it? — happy. And the best part is, the unbridled joy is contagious. 

The beloved biscuity tradition has been a mainstay of "The Office" fanbase ever since October 19, 2006, when the fifth episode of the third season, "Initiation," aired. On that memorable day, fans first became aware of the exciting importance of National Pretzel Day via the annual arrival of Scranton Business Park's pretzel vendor — and employee Stanley Hudson's remarkably uncharacteristic excitement about the prospect of a free soft pretzel.  

Since that episode first hit the airwaves, Pretzel Day has captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Folks of all walks of life have woken up to the fact that they're missing something in their lives — something that comes in the unique, twisted shape of a soft pretzel. 

While this unquenchable need to feed on a fresh pretzel is novel to many, though, it turns out that it isn't exactly a new phenomenon. Pretzel Day is actually a legitimate event that goes way back, long before the venerable Mr. Hudson was even a twinkle in his father's eye. Not only that, but some recent events have marked that date in late April as an even more important cause for celebration for the fanbase that has brought the holiday back to prominence.

An enduring holiday with ancient roots and modern "Office-y" traditions

For many, Stanley's exceptional interest in Pretzel Day was the first time that they heard of the holiday. However, anyone who is remotely interested in holidays will also know well that there is no end to the number of nonsensical sanctioned events actually in existence — and in this case, National Pretzel Day stands proudly in their midst.

The origin of the holiday is obscure, but many sources point back to the Middle Ages (per National Day Calendar), where monks were likely the first to create the baked good. The Pennsylvania Dutch are credited with bringing the popular snack to America, which jives well with the Scranton backdrop of "The Office."  

Eventually, the hype became so real that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell made it an official holiday (per NBC) in 2003, two short years before "The Office" kicked off and three years before it incorporated the holiday into the show. That said, Dunder Mifflin Employee Stanley Hudson's obsession with the delectable baked good sparked a new interest in millions of fans for big, soft pretzels.  

Then, in April of 2021, NBC went and made April 26th arguably one of the most epic days of all time, rivaling the likes of Christmas and the first week of summer break, by releasing all of the "Superfan Episodes" for the 3rd season on April 26 (per People). At this point, that date has become one of the greatest in the entire Gregorian calendar. It just leaves one lingering question: what kind of pretzel and toppings does Stanley prefer? After all, we want to know how the king of Pretzel Day takes his order so we can try it out for ourselves when April 26 rolls around.