The Office: Conflict Resolution, 2.21

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Writer: Greg Daniels, Director: Charles McDougall

Summary: Michael plays office mediator, causing a variety of hidden resentments to erupt to the surface. No one is immune to hurt feelings, not even Jim and Pam.

The Office Conflict Resolution extras

The Office Conflict Resolution quotes

Jim: Yeah, I mean it’s inevitable, I definitely overhear some wedding preparation, but, I’m fine with it. She hears me arranging my social life. And we both have to hear Dwight order deer urine over the Internet, so it evens out.

Pam: There are a few people I decided not to invite, and that might make things kind of awkward but … it’s my wedding. And I don’t want anyone there who has called me a hussy.

Michael: Yes, thanks, Fantastic Sam’s. Adult Cut Plus. Comes with a shampoo and blow dry. We’re doing I.D. photos today. Gotta represent.

Dwight: Oh! What is on your face? Is that a disguise?
Phyllis (leaving the room): Excuse me.
Dwight: Clown paint.

Dwight: I.D. badges are long overdue. Security in this office park is a joke. Last year, I came to work with my spud gun in a duffel bag. I sat at my desk all day, with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?

Michael: That’s a nice tie.
Ryan: Thank you.
Michael: That is … who makes that?
Ryan: Um, I don’t …
Michael: Do you mind if I wear that for the photo?
Ryan: Um … let’s um, let’s keep our clothes.

Oscar: I’d say if Jesus saw that, he’d freak out!

Michael: What’s the dealio?

Michael: So what, you’re having a little spat. I forget, are you guys dating?
Oscar: No.

Michael: What do you know about conflict resolution? Your answer to everything is to get divorced.

Michael: In this office, it is till death do us part. Assuming that we don’t get downsized.

Michael: My Shaolin temple style defeats your monkey style.

Michael: With win-win-win, we all win. Me too.

Angela: I got this poster for Christmas, and I feel I want to see it everyday. It makes me feel like the babies are the true artists, and God has a really cute sense of humor.
Michael: C’mon, seriously, that?
Oscar: I don’t like looking at it. It’s creepy, and in bad taste, and it’s just offensive to me. It makes me think of the horrible, frigid stage mothers who force the babies into it. It’s kitsch, the opposite of art. It destroys art, it destroys souls. This is so much more offensive to me than hardcore porno …

Angela: It was hand delivered, but, I did get a ‘save the date’ after all. (Looking at it) It’s not my taste.

Toby: Every Friday at 4, I have a standing appointment with Dwight, for him to file a grievance against Jim. I tell him that I’m sending them to a special file in New York. That box is the special file in New York.

Michael: This is from Kevin. He says Stanley uses his Miracle Whip without asking. Meredith complains that everyone talks too loud in the morning, and the lights are too bright.

Michael: Creed is sick of looking at the redhead all day, and wants a seat facing the receptionist.
Pam: Nice.

Toby: Actually, I have a separate folder for complaints against Michael.

Michael: How about the Phyllis/Angela dispute.
Angela: You already did me.
Michael (with Jim mouthing the words to the camera): That’s what she said.

Pam: I have this kind of big secret about Angela. And I’ve been really nice to her, and I haven’t told anyone, and … (shakes head) what the hell?

Michael: Here is a Kelly complaint. “Ryan never returns my calls.” Ah, join the club.
Ryan: My voicemail’s real spotty. Sometimes.

Jim: Dwight tried to kiss me.
Michael: What?
Jim: And I didn’t tell anyone, cause I’m not really sure how I feel about it.
Dwight: That is not true. Redact it. Redact it!

Pam: Hey, thanks for ratting me out!
Angela: I didn’t do it!
Pam: I find that hard to believe, considering you have problems with every single person in this entire office except Bobblehead Joe.

Michael: Someone complained that the men’s room is “whites only.” Stanley, you know that’s not true.
Stanley: I didn’t say that.
Creed: Then why is there a picture of a white man on the door?

Michael: And also, Phyllis, Stanley says that you cry too much and that bugs him.
Phyllis: Stanley and I are close, too.
Stanley: We sit close.

Jim: Well what does Roy think about everything.
Pam: I don’t know, I try not to bother him about this kind of stuff.
Jim: You mean, like your thoughts and feelings?
Pam: Yeah.
Jim (under his breath): Yeah.

Phyllis (to Angela): I don’t like you.

Michael: Okay, Ryan, you told Toby that Creed has a distinct old man smell?
Creed: I know exactly what he’s talking about. I sprout mung beans on a damp paper towel in my desk drawer. Very nutritious, but they smell like death.

Michael: Alright Kevin, you are accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to Angela, that made her feel uncomfortable. Solution: Angela, you are to make sexually suggestive remarks to Kevin, that will make him uncomfortable.
Kevin: I accept your decision. (Angela has that ‘you gotta be kidding’ look on her face)

Dwight: I never smile if I can help it. Showing one’s teeth is a submission signal in primates. When someone smiles at me, all I see is a chimpanzee begging for its life.

Dwight: This is humongous. I am not a security threat. And my middle name is Kurt, not Fart.
Jim: What did I write … (grins)

Michael: You know your I.D. says you’re a security threat?

Michael: Cage matches? Yeah, they work. How could they not work? If they didn’t work, everybody would still be in the cage.

Michael (reading Dwight’s complaints): “Somebody replaced all my pens and pencils with crayons. I suspect Jim Halpert.” “Everyone has called me Dwayne all day. I think Jim Halpert paid them to.” “This morning I found a bloody glove in my desk drawer, and Jim Halpert tried to convince me I committed a murder. I think he may be the real murderer.” “Jim Halpert said there was an abandoned infant in the women’s room. When I went to save the child, I saw Meredith on the can.”

Michael (reading Dwight’s complaint): “This morning, I knocked myself in the head with the phone.”
Jim: That actually took awhile. I had to put uh more and more nickels into his handset, til he got used to the weight, and then I just … took them all out.

Michael (reading Dwight’s complaints): “Every time I typed my name, it said ‘Diapers.'” “By the end of the day, my desk was about two feet closer to the copier.”
Jim: Yeah, I just moved it an inch every time he went to the bathroom. And that’s how I spent my entire day that day.

Michael: The Japanese have this thing called shiatsu massage, where they dig into your body, very hard. And it is very painful. And apparently, some people throw up. But the next day they feel great. I’ve never had one. They sound awful.

Dwight: I have a girlfriend.
Jim: Sure, you do, Dwight.

Michael: It was really hard getting a good picture of 15 people. He would not give me a discount, and eight tries added up. But, I’m sort of an expert at Photoshop, so it turned out fine in the end. When people work together, there is going to be conflict. You can’t outrun your problems. And that is why the idea of a cage match is so universally appealing. But here’s the thing about cage matches. Sometimes you have to open the cage. And that is something Toby will never understand.

Icon provided by ckday23.


  1. The episode itself was great, I really liked it. But I don’t know if I can deal with the Office without Jim. And that bit of next weeks episode where Jan asks him if he’s told anyone yet, I was like NO!!!!

    But otherwise, I’m a HUGE Toby fan, so the fact that he was such a big role rocked. His picture thing was soooo funny.

    I literally can’t wait till next week.

  2. I was amused at Oscar’s reasons for hating the jazz-baby poster. I think at one point he said he found it even more offensive than hardcore porn.

  3. It was nice to finally see Jim called Pam out about Roy. Even though she didn’t get it.

  4. Creed’s comment about the bathroom being whites only quite possibly could have been the funniest moment in television history.

    Well maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it was still pretty darn hilarious.

  5. This episode was great, but next week I think Jim confesses his true love for pam and stays at the scranton branch.

  6. Wow….what a fantastic episode….I think the best was when Jim was describing all the pranks he pulled on Dwight.

  7. I liked when Oscar said he found the poster more offensive than hardcore porn – I assumed the porn comment was referring to Kevin’s workspace! haha!

    Very glad to see an episode featuring pretty much all of the minor characters. Creed is so awesome.

  8. this episode was hilarious. the part when they cut to jim for a split second and you see him say “thats what she said” under his breath when michael says it had me rolling. creed just got bumped up my list of cool mother fuckers.

  9. Wow! So much to take in! Dwight being pushed so far to the edge that he dominates Michael. Pam feeling betrayed by Jim. “Angelight” almost being exposed. Great use of all the characters in this episode!

  10. Wow, that was a great episode! A little darker than the others I felt, but very funny and very insightful. A lot was revealed in this one.

  11. The episode was definitely hilarious, but you could tell something was wrong with Jim the whole time. He was definitely down, and you could tell he is not too happy with the way things are going to turn out if he doesn’t do anything (wedding, work with dwight still, etc.). In Jenna Fischer’s blog, she mentions that Michael, Pam, and Jim will not be in the “webisodes” that will air during the summer because “the storyline in the season finale will not allow for it.” Who knows what that means, but she also says that everyone is returning to film Season 3. All that with Jan asking Jim if he’s told anyone yet (preview for next week), who knows what is going to happen.

    Great episode, but they better not leave us the whole summer with Jim and Pam broken up. That would just not be right. All the other actors were hilarious this week also, by the way.

  12. This episode was awesome and totally set stuff up for next week. I love Toby so much and just.. D: Jim. I totally knew it was him who complained about Pam & not Angela. \o/

  13. When Dwight commented on Phyllis’ makeup, I could not stop laughing. But man, I feel bad for Jim. Dwight and now Pam are not too happy with him and he might be considering the transfer? Weird. One thing I don’t understand is that if it supposed to be a “mockumentary”, how does the camera follow him to the corporate offices in New York? (A flaw in the writing?) But I loved how this episode finally involved everyone in the office and did not just focus on Jim & Pam or Michael’s stupidity (although both were included).

    Another good part was when Creed went in for the photo shoot and after getting his picture taken, he turned to the side like a jail photo shoot. Hilarious.

  14. Here is my thought on Jan and Jim’s conversation. I think he interviews with her and mentions his feelings for Pam (maybe accidentily) and that’s what she talks about during the finale. At least I hope so.

  15. I agree with Barry, loved Toby in this one. I died when he said “just take it!” and he was already out of his chair when they snapped the picture.

    Was filled with serious dread at the thought of Jim leaving. (Followed by deep depression.)

    Pissed at Pam for being so clueless, but I guess that’s the point. Great performances by all.

  16. Dwight’s huge laminated security badge rolled me. Also, Jim’s psyops on Dwight, like putting coins in his phone handset, then taking them out so he hit himself. This is classic stuff.

  17. Does anyone else want to smack Pam? Okay, I know, it’s just a TV show…….

  18. All I can say is thank God for TiVo- I laughed myself into an asthma attack several times. Most severly with “this morning, I knocked myself in the head with my phone”.
    Although maybe that is because I had to sedate myself for what came at the end? Hmmm.

  19. I look so forward to the show. The episode was hysterical, however, there is no way I can function without Jim………

  20. Jim’s not going anywhere…

    Why Jim want’s to leave is because he doesn’t want to confront his feelings, so instead he’ll run.

  21. I’m still not sure how I feel about this episode. I mean it was really funny, but some parts didn’t make if for me. I mean Pam already knows that it makes Jim uncomfortable when she talks about the wedding, so that should come as no supprise, right? We learned that from Dwight’s Speech. So I think Pam is overreacting a little bit.
    I also thought that this was the only episode that keeps you hanging, and really can’t stand on it’s own, because nothing gets resolved until the next episode, I don’t know if I like that…
    However it does have enough funny parts in it to possibly make it stand on it’s own, but plot wise, I don’t think I could watch this without watching the season finale right after it.
    I also have a prediction, that Jim will not transfer, and he will get promoted, just like in the BBC one.

  22. Note on the teaser for next week… Jim went to got meet with Jan, then a sound bite from Jan asking Jim when he was gonna tell everyone?? I know these teasers are always painted to lead us in the wrong direction. But I’m honestly a little nervous that Jim could be written out.. Nahhh! no way. I may be “Stuck on Pam” but I want Jim to have her… of course. We all do. The show did kinda ‘drop’ the Jim confession for the complaint against Pam’s time whatever. Are we suppose to think that she’s just going to forgive him for that. Does she really not know that he wants her? The comment about Roy that Jim made to Pam was classic about sharing her feelings.

  23. I think Creed is hilarious…Mug Shot…Whites Only…Seeds of Death…very funny guy.

  24. loved the episode. michael’s comment about being a photoshop expert and then the shot of the group photo had me on the floor gasping for air. too funny!! does anyone have a bigger screen capture of the group photo?

  25. John is not leaving! And I think Pam understood, in fact she understood so much that she didn’t say another word other than, “okay,” as in okay, let’s drop it.

    But this was a dark episode and everyone was angry…

  26. What was in the box that Toby was putting in the warehouse? Is this supposed to be the box of complaints on Michael and he’s put it in the pile to get shipped out with the paper?

  27. Sorry – I just have to add:

    If Jim takes a job in the New York office, I AM GOING TO KILL MYSELF!!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!

    Unless….. Isn’t NY where Pam’s art intern thing is?????? I might be able to live with them finding happiness in NY.

    And I also had to throw in my love for the camera time for the other charactors….I love Creed and Toby and Oscar was so funny …. “I forget, are you guys dating?”

  28. I think Phyllis is the only person in that office with much sense. She knows exactly what’s been going on with Pam and Jim, hence her “Oh dear” when he confesses.

    Remember the episode where Jim has a party at his place and Pam first becomes aware of Dwangela – she goes to Phyllis and asks if she’s heard any rumours about an office romance, and Phyllis says something along the lines of, “You mean you and Jim?”

  29. Oh man this episode was great. The nickel trick that Jim played on Dwight with the phone is awesome. I want to do that to some co workers. Toby’s pic was great also. This show just keeps on getting better and better. LOVE IT

  30. I don’t know what to think this episode. It really stressed me out. When everyone was arguing, I couldn’t help but get this uncomfortable feeling as if I were right there in the room. It was good but for some reason, this episode made me feel like crap for the rest of the night.

  31. I still can’t get over that Jim appeared to feel guily over all his pranks on Dwight. It can’t be! Did I imagine that?

  32. After they finished trying to take the group picture, it was HILARIOUS when Michael said “I’m sort of an expert at photoshop.” and it showed the picture with everyone’s head edited in!!! I was laughing so hard. Yeah, it was a good episode.

  33. WOW. What an amazing episode. Both hysterical and witty as well as dramatic and emotional. My favorite parts were Dwight’s reason for never smiling, Jim’s explanation of the placing of the coins in Dwight’s phone (GENIUS), and seeing Toby get angry (for the first time, right?) at Michael. Stupendus. And, of course, the 30-second teaser for the Season Finale that played during the credits just has me more excited than ever for the last episode of the season. It’s gonna be quite a ride. :)

  34. Amazing episode. Seriously. I loved it so much. Really just a big set-up for next week, but great anyways.

    To Chetan: Yes, its a mockumentary. It’s not a writing flaw the camera followed him. They just sent a cameraman with him to New York. They always send a camera when a character leaves the office for a day. (Actually, the camera man knows more about Dwangela than anyone else).

    To The Svan: Totally agree. That was my first thought too.

    So thats that. Can’t wait until 9:20 Thursday night!

  35. What a great episode & it seems to be setting up for a fantastic finale that will probably leave us hanging about the Pam/Jim relationship, who it seems Phyllis is also a fan of judging by her “oh dear” when Jim confessed he was the one who complained about Pam’s wedding planning.

    I can’t see Jim actually going to the other office & can almost see Dwight asking him to stay because we all know deep down Dwight will miss him. Loved Dwight had a standing appointment at 4pm every Friday to file his complaints to “New York” about Jim. And OMG when he was listing the stuff Jim has done to him was hilarious & a little sad when Jim starts to get that “why am I staying here?” thought in his head. Something else I thought of, did Jim get a “Save the Date?” It was never mentioned….

    LOVED that we saw more Toby, and Creed was hilarious in this one with the “old man smell” & him pouring the things that smell like death in his mouth,(they must taste better than they smell), wanting to look at the receptionist instead of the redhead (“Nice!”), & the whites only bathroom-he totally stole this episode.

    I can’t wait to see next week’s to see what Dwight does that makes Angela slap him & of course to see what Jan’s asking Jim about. They seriously can’t leave us hanging until next season………..

  36. I laughed out lound in this episode more than any other. All of the comments and past references to episodes like the Christmas Party and Valentine’s Day.

    “Bobblehead Joe” and Creed turning to the side like it was a mug shot cracked me up. There were so many side things going on throughout the entire episode, it was awesome! Too bad it ended with such a downer: I know Jim won’t really leave, but it’s sad to think he feels he has to. I don’t like depressed Jim.

    “With win-win-win, we all win”

  37. This is probably the best episode since Take Your Daughter to Work Day. A little dark, yes, but it also had some great jokes and a bit of character development.

  38. To Christi (who was shocked that Jim looked regretful over his list of pranks):

    I don’t think the look was so much regret for what he’s done to Dwight as it was a further realization that his life at D-M is going nowhere. The “look” came right after he told about putting the nickels in Dwight’s phone, that it took all day, and “that’s about all I did that day.” Brillian piece of acting. I love the human element in this show, the fact that even though people like Michael and Jim seem trapped in the emptiness and vanity of their livess, every once in a while there is a glimmer that they at least realize it…and regret it.

  39. By the way,
    I was a little confused about a comment that Pam made regarding Angela.

    She said that she knew her secret or something to that effect… I’ve not watched this entire season, so I wasn’t sure what she was referring to. Can anyone shed some light on this one?


  40. this episode was awesome. some of the funniest lines and a great set-up for next week’s finale.

  41. Congratulations to Barry (1), Matt (11) and Christo (36) for winning’s iTunes Drawing this week!

  42. I was amazed by this week’s episode. I’m a huge fan of the BBC version and didn’t think that the US one would be able to live up to the original, but now I can’t decide which one I like more. They’re really two different shows now. The character development this season has been unreal, culminating with this episode. Granted, the BBC version was only planned out as 12 episodes. I feel like the writers have much more freedom in this version and they’re doing a great job with it.

    Almost every single line in this episode was hilarious, but my favorite one wasn’t. It was just fantastic writing:

    “When people work together there is going to be conflict. You can’t outrun your problems.” – “Hi Pam, it’s Jim. Um, I have a doctor’s appointment in the city…”

    I definitely don’t think that Jim and Pam will be together when this season ends nor will she call off the wedding. I do think Jim might transfer only to get reassigned to Scranton in the future due to the imminent downsizing. Hopefully the cameras follow him wherever he goes.

    p.s. – did anyone else catch the background conversation between michael and stanley during “bobblehead joe”?

  43. I just sat here and read through all the comments about last Thursday’s show. I agree with just about everything I read. When Phyllis was getting her picture taken, I thought she looked really nice with her make-up. I forget what Dwight said to her, but he should not have said anything because it hurt her feelings. I really hope that Jim and Pam get together next week. How can we wait until next season? PLEASE don’t make us wait until next season!!! Everyone in the show were great as usual. I love to see all of them. Creed turning sideways was really funny. I have trouble remembering all the names of everyone in the office, but love all of them. Waiting until Thursday night like everyone else………

  44. I’m curious as to why so many people treat this show like it’s the Gilmore Girls. “Oh, I hope Jim and Pam finally get together.” “Oh, Dwight shouldn’t be so mean to Phyllis.”

    I understand the sentiments, but let’s realize that the whole thing that makes this show work, it’s whole comic premise, is that all of these people are hopelessly trapped in their own private hells…themselves. They never will change or grow. That’s not what the show is about. The greatest comedies of all time have been based on human tragedy, and Office works so well because it is based on the greatest tragedy of all, being trapped with other human beings who, just like us, are hoplelessly destined to repeat their same sins over and over again.

  45. your premise sounds a little slow. you may want to round that out with some character development, humor, add a love interest or two. you know, just to make it something people will want to come back for every week.

    your post suggests you see the show working on just one level. that’s fine because that is how you enjoy the show. but you seem to be criticizing others for enjoying the show as they see it.

    the writers arent sitting around moaning “why dont these idiots see my work for the existential masterpiece that it is.” they sit down and discuss and write and rewrite into the show every week the very things you are criticizing people for enjoying about it. blame them.

    go get yourself a writers forum.

  46. I’ll ignore Fred’s “go get your own forum” whine…because this is the Internet, so that goes with the territory.

    Sorry I tried to bring a little depth to the discussion of what makes this show tick. Perhaps, Fred, you would be better off watching Gilmore Girls. “Oh, when will Rory dump that nasty, nasty Logan?”

    Of course, in the real world, we would all love to see Pam and Jim live happily ever after. All I was saying is don’t waste your time wishing for that to happen on this show, because it would ruin what the show is all about.

    We’ve been through two seasons now. Has any character changed or grown in any significant way? Has anyone come to any self-realization through the situations that have happened? In standard comedies, the main character(s) always grow or change in some way. Take for example Northern Exposure, one of my favorites from the past. The starting premise of Joel’s character was that he was a hard-nosed New Yorker who could never be at home in the Alaskan wilderness. Yet as time went by, Alaska (and the people of Cicely in particular) got to him. By the time the show ended, though he went back to NY, he went back as a true Alaskan.

    I don’t see anything similar ever happening on Office. It would break the rhythm of the show. This is not heartwarming comedy, and it is not meant to be. The only way anyone ever escapes the hell of the office is to get fired, so in a way the random guy who got downsized earlier this season was done an unknown mercy. Is that “existential”? Sure. But it’s what makes the show funny. As I said before, the greatest comedies have all been based on the tragedy of life…which is why Office is among the greatest.

    We now return you to our regularly scheduled Office Tally discussion: “Do you think Dwight and Angela should go to Chilis on their first real date?”

  47. I bow before Mr. Farkel…basic Internet etiquete that I know well but nonetheless forgot here. My apologies!

    And beside, he trumped me forever by working in a win-win-win reference! Touche!

  48. ferd wrote: “i would be fine with tanster deleting the whole exchange. would you agree?”

    Whatever. If that seems best, fine. I usually am OK with letting my warts be on display, helps me grow. But if you think that would be more productive, I’m good with it. I’d be glad to rewrite and resubmit my thoughts in a less personally directed way.

  49. It was really all just an act…to demonstrate the theme of “Conflict Resolution.” Yep. That’s what it was.

    Now if Tanster would be so kind as to open up the complaint file she keeps on all the members here, we can get all these little things resolved!

  50. Ferd Farkel and Foolish Sage, thank you for a thought-provoking discussion, and for concluding it as gentlemen and scholars.

    I don’t see a need to delete the comments. :)

  51. yes, and tanster you played toby perfectly. now….

    just how does one aquire the suit their grandfather was buried in anyway?

  52. ah, found it.

    it seems i had lost my i/emotive voice there for a while, as well. turns out it had rolled under the couch.

  53. The direction of this episode was amazing! I loved how they used camera pannings instead of switching between two cameras. Also Michael’s final talking head or his walk to the photographer. Another great bit was the little fight between Angela and Pam, while Stanley and Michael are talking.

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