The Office: Dinner Party, 4.13

« Previous episodeNext episode »

The Office Dinner Party

Writers: Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky
Director: Paul Feig

Summary (NBC): Pam and Jim go to Jan and Michael’s house for dinner. When Andy and Angela are also invited to dinner, Dwight’s jealousy gets the best of him.

The Office Dinner Party extras

The Office Dinner Party rating

7.91/10

See all The Office Season 4 ratings.

The Office Dinner Party quotes

Michael: Do you have plans tonight?

Michael: These people are my friends, and I care about them!

Michael: How about you, Pam, mi casa, a little dinner, dancing, drinks?

Michael: You said you didn’t have plans.

Dwight: Michael, what time should I be arriving?
Michael: Dwight, it’s couples only. And besides, I only have six wine glasses.

Dwight: Does it bother me that I wasn’t invited to Michael’s dinner party?

Jan: This will be great to cook with.

Michael: Make yourself to home.

Michael: Totally your call, babe.

Jan: So sorry about this god-awful carpet.

Michael: As you can smell, there’s a lot of different odors going on in here.

Pam: So you have an office and a workspace.

Jan: I cannot create in the same space that I conduct business. I’m sure that you’re the same with your doodles!

Michael: Bond! James Bond Fire!

Jan: These walls used to be white. Like an asylum.

Michael: Guess what. White and eggshell white are exactly the same color.

Pam: What a cute bench.
Michael: Thanks! That’s my bed. Jan has, uh, some space issues so I crawl up on that puppy.

Jan: He fits perfectly!

Michael: I finally broke down and bought myself a plasma TV.

Michael: Voila. Right into the wall.

Michael: Sometimes I will just stand here and watch television for hours.

Michael: I think that is either pine or Nordic cherry.

Jan: It was between the neon beer sign and the Dundies.

Andy: What’s up, Tuna? We gonna have some tuna for dinner?

Angela: What am I supposed to do with this?

Jan: The osso bucco needs to braise for about three hours. Everything else is done.
Pam: Three hours from now, or three hours from earlier, like four o’clock?
Jan: You know, Pam, in Spain, they often don’t even start eating until midnight.
Michael: When in Rome …

Michael: Here’s to good friends.

Michael: Kinda sorta an oaky afterbirth.
Jim: What was that?

Angela: Sometimes I think she holds on to faxes.

Pam: I don’t care what they say about me. I just want to eat. Which I realize is a lot to ask for. At a dinner party.

Pam: Why didn’t you just say Forty Niners quarterback?

Michael: My-my-my-my turn!

Jan: Could you just simmer down.

Jim: Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game. And it’s called let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests. And they’re both winning.

Jim: Pam, see you at home. Thank you so much.
Pam: Oh Jim, I don’t think you’re going to abandon this party here all by itself.

Pam: You can buy new stuff, but you can’t buy a new party.

Jan: No names, no rhyming, no soundalikes!

Michael: Rhymes with Parnold Schporzenegger.

Jan: Michael ran through the sliding glass door because he thought he heard the ice cream truck.

Michael: I shouldn’t say that jokingly because she will sue me. She loves to sue! She loves lawsuits.

Michael: That door was extremely clean, and it looked invisible.

Michael: She is the devil! I’m in hell! I’m burning. Help me!

Jan: You should see our bathroom after Michael takes a bath. Whew!

Pam: Not ever, not now, not then, not now, not ever, ever.

Michael: Have a hand.

Michael: For only $10,000, you could become a co-owner of “Serenity by Jan.”

Michael: Dwight brought glasses and a … person.

Michael: Snip, snap, snip, snap, snip, snap!

Michael: You have no idea the physical toll that three vasectomies have on a person!

Michael: I bought this condo to fill with children!

Jan: Let’s have a [bleep]in’ kid!

Jan: I hate my life.

Dwight: Great turkey leg.

Angela: I hate beet salad.

Angela: The thought of popping one of your beets in my mouth makes me want to vomit.

Michael: I can’t prove it, but I think she might be trying to poison me.

Pam: If she was going to poison the food of someone at that table, wouldn’t it be me? Michael’s former lover?

Michael: You know I have soft teeth.

Dwight: It’s purely carnal, and that’s all you need to know.

Jim: Would you write down your email, because I have just so many questions.

Michael: B.F.D. I’m a screenwriter.

Michael: Man, I would love to burn your candles!
Jan: You burn it, you buy it!
Michael: Oh good, I’ll be your first customer!
Jan: You’re hardly my first.
Michael: That’s what she said!

Michael: That is a $200 plasma screen TV you just killed!

Police officer: Not now, Dwight.

Michael: My girlfriend threw a Dundie at my TV. Plasma.

Pam: This is the best burger I have ever had, babe.

Icon courtesy of Lindsey.

490 comments

  1. AHHHHHHHHHHH! As soon as the episode started, I started laughing, I couldn’t even stand it. I also cannot believe all the money Jan is spending….WOW!

  2. TERRIBLE SHOW SO FAR…ARE THE WRITERS STILL ON STRIKE?

    “I bet you eat tuna every night” Are you kidding? This is just not good t.v.

  3. This is my first Office episode on the west coast… What I wouldn’t do to still live in the central time zone!

  4. Some people actually guessed right about the mystery woman!! It’s totally the woman from Donnie Darko! I missed whether it’s Dwight’s date or his mom though…

  5. what do you mean number 3??? this is hilarious. i LOVE the awkward stares, and also love pam for making jim stay. hahah. i’m so happy.

  6. I have no words for how much I loved that.. it was different yes, but I’m so happy the show is back… and it was great!

  7. Wow, I realize now how much I miss The Office. What a great episode. The end scored with Hunter’s song was fantastic.

  8. Ok, not the greatest episode ever, but very real. I could totally see the uncomfortable-ness of being in that situation: Having a couple fight while you’re a guest. And the scenes in the car? Very cute. I like how they show all the couples.

  9. Hey, Babe?
    Yeah, Babe?
    I’m so happy the Office is back, Babe!
    Me too, Babe. Me too.

  10. GREAT EPISODE! I loved it. I don’t want to ruin this for too many west coasters but Jan plays the CD of a past character from the show! There’s a great Jam moment at the end (sort of a mini date). Dwight’s date is hilarious and Jan is totally crazy. I suspect that there will be LOTS of deleted scenes for this episode.

  11. HOLYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hilarious
    yes. it’s a classic
    i wish it was a one hour but
    WOW. i can’t wait for everyone to watch it!

  12. omg. what was that? that was possibly the most frightening and awkward thing I’ve ever seen, but I coudn’t stop laughing. I can’t believe Jim was going to leave Pam though. What’s with that? They made up for it though(kinda, I’m not sure you can get past what he was going to do to Pam) with the car scene.

  13. Aww, I was so excited for it to come back on, it was as funny as Jenna, etc. said.

    Poor Michael, though. Jan just wears him down.

  14. Ahhh Dwight’s babysitter! “It’s carnal…that’s all you have to know…”
    Hahaha! I love it!

  15. I’m so happy right now!

    Such a great episode. I can’t believe Jim was going to leave Pam!

  16. That was definitely my favorite episode this season…POSSIBLY throughout the whole series… THAT WAS AMAZING!

  17. Michael and Jan have to be the most dysfunctional couple in television history.

    And I couldn’t tell if that red Marilyn Monroe-esque painting by the staircase was actually Jan? Did anyone else notice that?

  18. They did a fantastic job at trying to make us feel exactly how Jim and Pam probably did. Different, but excellent.

  19. Considering the show was on a hiatus for such a long time, I expected so much more. Not so funny. It was alright.

  20. Oh my gosh, that episode was hilarious! I loved the Jim and Pam scene at the end! I am so glad this wonderful show is back. I missed them!

  21. A weather warning interferred with the last 5 mins of the show! What happened after Dwight offered to let Michael stay at his farm?

  22. Gene and Lee, if you can read this,

    I will marry you for being incredible writers. And I am a man.

  23. I loved the part when Dwight shows up at the door with his date and the wine glasses and Pam gets excited!

    I can’t believe I just watched a new episode of The Office after all these months! I loved it! So cute Angela’s purse on her lap =P

  24. The awkwardness of everything almost HURT to watch. But it was hilarious, none the less. Hahaha, Hunter’s song is pretty good, but it’s ruined for me…
    Also, I can’t believe Dwight brought a homeless woman! I didn’t know he was THAT desperate, I figured he would bring his mom or something, lol.

  25. Really solid episode. Jim and Pam in the car at the end made the show. From the “babe”s, to Jim stealing Hunter’s CD, to the fact that they’re totally cool just eating hot dogs…it showed their personalities perfectly. I’m now preparing for a ton of posts about how horrible Jim is for almost leaving Pam behind. Relax people!!!

  26. Wow… half an hour seems so short now. I got spoiled on those hour-long episodes earlier in the season.

  27. I was just down the hall in my friend’s dorm watching The Office like we used to every Thursday before the strike. After the episode, we smiled, looked to each other and said, “Same time next week?”.

    It’s good to have it back.

  28. Hey Babe.

    Oh my gosh, funniest episode this season. So awkward. I’m pretty sure I’m afraid of Jan now.

  29. it was wildly different from the rest of series. but funny nonetheless. though i’d go as far to say that it was more awkward and painful that it was funny.

  30. I cringed, laughed, and even teared up a little (Michael’s plasma TV!!!) Good to have you back, babe.

  31. Even with everyone building it up, saying this was the funniest episode of The Office this season… This was the funniest episode of The Office this season!!!!! So awkward, so heartbreaking, but SO FUNNY!!!
    Jim almost left Pam… Dwight was so mean to Angela, and visa versa… Michael and Jan are so dysfunctional… I can’t wait for more!!!!

  32. OMG, Jan is so crazy, babe! Babe, don’t you feel so bad for Michael? But, babe, the mini-date with Jam was cute.
    Seriously, though, it wasn’t the best episode ever, but I’m happy with it.

  33. I love the “Jan possibly tries to poison Pam” storyline. WHY on earth would Michael say that?! SO CREEPY!

    Not really classic Office, but I still loved it.

  34. Everyone did say it would be unlike any other office they’ve ever done and I thought it was great, don’t worry everyone, they will be back in the office next Thursday.

  35. I agree with Cat…it scared me that Jim would leave Pam there at the party just to save himself. Very scary. However, I have never been so happy to see Dwight when he showed up at the front door. And the former babysitter was a very nice older woman.

  36. Wow! That rocked!!! I love the tension between characters that was created with all of the awkwardness.

  37. That probably goes down as one of my top three favorite episodes they’ve ever done. I was laughing the whole entire time – not just because of the jokes, but from the awkwardness of it all. Wow. That went entirely too fast! And seriously, if they can keep up the humor and everything we saw in tonight’s episode for the rest of this season – I will be so very happy!

  38. #53 Team Pammy: She wasn’t homeless, Dwight just abandoned her at the bus stop so he could bring Michael home instead! Hahaha.

    P.S. Why didn’t they do the ending? It said more Office and then they didn’t do the end-clip or a preview for next week. Sad.

    This episode even made me like Andy when he did the ice cream thing, it was genuinely cute. But Angela’s reaction was HILARIOUS.

  39. Wow what an awesome episode! I am proud to say that I found the willpower in me to not watch any promos this week and it was so worth it! I think it made the episode so much better.
    Plus that car scene between Pam and Jim was adorable!

  40. I didn’t think this episode was funny at all. I didn’t laugh once. I can’t imagine why so many of the cast said this was the best episode ever!?!

  41. I had to have a few drinks to prepare myself for that episode. And I’m so glad I did. Awkward!

  42. She is! She is the devil! BLAHHHHHHHH!!!! I’m burning! SNIP SNAP SNIP SNAP SNIP SNAP!

    Oh, and when Michael screamed “That’s what she said!” I think I peed a little.

    Classic.

  43. From the live blog with Greg:

    “The song was That One Night and was lyrics by Lee and Gene and music by Todd Fancy of The New Pornographers. It is available on Unbox which is currently unavailable.”
    Ha ha like the dig at unbox!

  44. Tonight’s episode was so disappointing! Nowhere near as to what Jenna was saying.

    I hardly laughed at all!

  45. and about Dwight’s date? I thought that it was probably going to be his date (paid or not) and I loved how they made Dwight look he was so cute and nice looking.

  46. That was so funny! Michael and Jan are definitely the most dysfunctional couple ever! I think more time at the Office would have been nice, but I mean, it was still awesome! The only thing is that in a TV guide article it said “one of four things: They’re getting engaged, they’re having sex, they’re eloping or they’re breaking up (again). Naturally, I ran my theory by my Office snitch, who confirmed that one of those four events will indeed take place” speaking of Jim and Pam (http://www.tvguide.com/Ask-Ausiello/080409) and I waited for one of those things to happen, but no!
    Oh man, I can’t wait for next week!

  47. Why oh WHY would Michael tell Jan that he and Pam used to date? Does he actually believe that they did? Is this a reference to something that I’m completely missing?

  48. Babe, that was so awkward I felt I was sitting on the couch, playing a horrible game of charades along with them. But when Jan started dancing to Hunter’s CD – pure classic. It reminded me of equally awkward dinner parties I’ve been to. Totally really, totally funny and I can’t say it enough – THE OFFICE IS BACK, BABY! (I mean, babe!)

  49. I was also very concerned that Jim considered leaving Pam at the party. Maybe it was just to emphasize how bad it was there lol….. i think the car/singing scene made up for it though

  50. Eh, I thought it was alright. I just wish it wasn’t the 1st episode back from the strike, being so Michael and Jan prominent- I really miss the rest of the cast and those crazy office shenanigans.

    Tanster: Get some sleep tonight!!

  51. Great episode! Awkward and funny throughout the whole thing. I loved Michael’s plasma tv. I’m guessing that in a deleted scene Jim may have apologized to Pam for almost leaving her.

  52. I must admit I laughed out loud so much when Michael screamed THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!!!!!!1

  53. Maybe Jim potentially leaving Pam at the party could set up more problems they may have to come? A sad thought, I know, so I hope it doesn’t happen!!!! Great episode…my first ever new one after seeing the entire series!

  54. Seriously, guys. I was forced to miss the last five minutes because of weather warnings from the NBC affiliate… please, please, please fill me in!

  55. Hunter’s song was great…and so obviously written about Jan. Which is why she clearly loved it so much. Awkward.

    I loved Angela’s big purse hiding the baby belly. And the ice cream on Andy’s car.

    Did Dwight’s “date” end up being homeless, or just taking the bus home? I noticed her standing next to a homeless man.

  56. I was overall pretty underwhelmed. I enjoyed Jan, but I kept waiting for the promised funny, but it never really ever came.

    It was nice to see Beth Grant (probably best known from Donnie Darko) on the show, though. She filmed part of a series for LOGO at my aunt’s house in January. I was away at college, but my aunt says she was super sweet and happily signed my Southland Tales graphic novel.

  57. I loved it. It wasn’t the usual funny lines given by Kevin or Creed but it was just so perfectly awkward. I loved Angela’s reaction to Andy when he gave her that flower… so perfect!

  58. By the end of the episode Pam did’t seem too mad at Jim for trying to leave the party w/out her. She would probably have tried the same thing had she thought of it first so I’m guessing she totally understood where he was coming from.

  59. I really liked it. I agree it was a little different, but I felt it was very real in a lot of ways…and funny, too. About Michael saying he had a relationship with Pam: Michael has been jealous of Jan’s association with Hunter since last season, and now she’s more obsessed with him than ever. Maybe he said that about Pam to make Jan jealous, since Pam is the closest thing to his personal assistant of all the office employees and she’s also the one he’s always considered attractive in the office.

  60. It was hilarious, of course!
    It seems like everyone that’s mad is only mad because of the way the cast hyped it up!
    It was a great, great episode none-the-less.

    I’m so glad our show is back!

  61. I think that the humor came more from the horrible awkwardness of the whole situation, not really the lines or anything like that. I am thoroughly concerned that Jim was going to leave Pam at the house. It was definitely one of those “WTF” moments.

  62. that car scene was so adorable. I loved jim’s face when he was singing, “you made me a man…”

  63. I won’t read the comments…
    I won’t read the comments…
    I won’t read the comments…

    I’m shielding my eyes, while saying to you east-coast folks, you sure are lucky. Not only do you get to see the episode three HOURS before we west-coast folks do, but you also get to participate in the live blog with Greg Daniels having seen the show already. We left-coast people have to either deal with spoilers, or miss out on the blog. Not to mention by the time the show is over here, there will undoubtedly be 500 comments to sift through here at OT.

    Poor tanster! I’m sure she’s going to have a very busy night! :-) Sending lots of love and gratitude your way!

  64. Notice Jim said he had an apartment…before he moved to Stamford, he lived with a roommate in a larger condo or something like that. So I guess that rules out the annoying roommate being the “unexpected inconvenience” in “Did I Stutter?”.

    AWESOME episode.
    I loved how Pam substituted her name with “party” (“you can buy new things, but you can’t buy another party!), and I’m totally in love with their late-night Coney Island car scene. : )

    THE OFFICE IS BACK!!!

  65. I think Dwight’s ‘date’ was just taking the bus home. I loved the “let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests” quote!

  66. This is for people like me that find “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” hysterical. A fine job. It was more like a little play than a TV episode and it worked beautifully.

  67. Jim didn’t do anything wrong. His attempt to save them both backfired and after saying what he did, he couldn’t volunteer to stay. He was only able to stay because the Jan and Michael have crazy priorities/insensitivity. It seemed the writers were careful to make him not at fault.

  68. Dwight and his date seated separately and eating from their own containers reminded me a little of an old Mary Tyler Moore episode with Henry Winkler. The Henry Winkler character was Rhoda’s date and there wasn’t enough room (or food) for him. I just looked it up and the MTM episode is called (wait for it)… Dinner Party!

  69. Jim almost leaving Pam made me very nervous though the car seen almost made up for it. Could there be any basis for Michael thinking he had dated Pam- even if she did it unintentionally? That could be a curveball and I wouldn’t put it past the writers.

  70. Didn’t laugh once. They shouldn’t have a spin-off until we see if the original is going to last. I will say that Melora Hardin gave an excellent performance.

  71. Missed the clip before the credits because Jim wired my TiVo wrong (AKA I forgot that it always cuts out because it’s been FIVE MONTHS…). Can someone please post what I missed?

  72. Um, I thought it was funny that Jim was going to leave Pam. Come on, it’s every man for himself at a Michael/ Jan dinner party, we all know that people!

  73. “Michael ran through the sliding glass door because he thought he heard the ice cream truck” makes this episode. That line was hysterical. The rest of it was ok, but that line, that might be one of my favorite lines ever.

  74. Pretty good episode! I like how the cops knew Dwight, ha ha ha! Nice to have good TV back on.

  75. I think it definitely lived up to the hype. Hysterical!

    My favorite part definitely would’ve been Michael’s little bed. That had me on the floor!

    I think it’s not fair to expect the show to stay the same season after season. There’s only so much you can do without delving deeper into relationship and characters, and for that, you sometimes need to get out of the office. Naturally, the people are going to get used to the “documentary crew.” People will get to know each other better. So I don’t really understand where the negativity is coming from.

    I don’t want the Jim leaving Pam thing to be overanalyzed! I think anyone would’ve tried to leave, no matter how deep their love and passion and fire was! I know I would!

  76. Guys, quit freaking out about the fact that this didn’t take place “in the office”. There are still, what, 7 episodes left? This was written before the strike, everything will settle again.

    I don’t know how the people that said they didn’t laugh once could have NOT laughed at 1) Michael’s self-made table, 2) Jim’s reaction face to Jan’s candles, 3) Angela smacking her ice cream cone on Andy’s car.

    Just, wow. I LOVED THIS EPISODE LIKE WOWZA.

  77. So, in Jenna Fischer’s chat session, she said that “John Melora and I have a scene in Dinner Party that we could not get through. She creeps up on us in a hallway and every time she said her line, we lost it.”

    Any ideas which line it was?

  78. Wow. All I can say, though maybe “yikes” fits the bill. Welcome back, The Office! We’re glad to see you.

  79. Great way to come back from the strike! This is why I love the show. So awkward in so many hilarious ways!

  80. I completely agree with Aaron. This was like a bad spec script or something. Everything was just…too obvious. I mean, Michael is ridiculous, but even he can recognize how lame his plasma tv and pine table are. I am fairly certain I’d feel the same way about the episode even if the cast and crew hadn’t overhyped the episode to the degree they did.

  81. its like that feeling right after you open Christmas presents, where you’re just so excited still that you almost can’t function.

    and wait…whoahwhoahwhoah.
    what’s this?

    “Job Fair”?

  82. Excellent! A great way to come back. I had to actually pause the show at the camera/bedroom scene. I laughed so hard it was almost physically impossible to focus on anything else.

  83. OK not sure at first how I felt about it, but I think it will be one of those episodes that grows on me.

    I love the subtle in office humor and this had so much over the top tension BUT now that I think about it…

    Michael sleeping at the end of the bed
    Jan’s office AND her ‘workspace’
    Jan and Pam, plus Angela piling on
    “Katie Holmes?”…”No, but he’s married to Katie Holmes!” …”Dawson’s Creek”
    Dwight’s beet salad
    The plasma TV
    Michael’s table
    the hand chairs
    Michael having to sleep at Dwight’s
    “You changed your mind..you want to have a baby?”

  84. I’m thrilled the Office is back, but to be honest I was disappointed. Everyone was going on and on about how hysterical this episode was going to be, and I barely laughed. Very underwhelming…

    Except for Dwight. Dwight was amazing.

  85. The show is so completely over the top and ridiculous. I’ve had enough. I’ve lost it for my once favorite show. Terrible writing.

  86. That was, hands down, the worse episode of the series. Good God, they need to get it back together.

  87. I am in the love the episode camp…but I was bothered by one thing. After Jim and Pam listened to the CD Jim stole (completely hilarious), it sort of felt scored. The music playing under the other scenes didn’t quite feel like The Office to me.

    But I thought this was completely hilarious. I was watching with several other people and we missed a couple lines after the cops recognized Dwight because of how hard we were laughing.

  88. Good episode. The cringe factor (which actually was elevated near the end of The Deposition) really made me think of the UK Office instead than the US Office. I wouldn’t be surprised if Melora gets a Best Supporting nom for this episode.

  89. I agree with #139 – I feel very underwhelmed. There were only a couple laugh out loud moments for me, which is really disappointing given that the cast was talking about how this was the funniest episode ever. I just found it awkward…

  90. I was pretty disappointed. It wasn’t really good or really bad or just in the middle. It was just kind of … out there.

  91. the ENTIRE time i was watching i was shielding my face!! it was soo uncomfortable! it was amazing!

  92. The best part was any part with Angela! I don’t know why, but I thought her little interjections were the best part and made the episode extra funny.

  93. I love this show! Something so small like the cops knowing Dwight in this episode, was so down played but it was still able to make me laugh out loud. It was very hilarious. I loved that part.

    I can’t wait for the deleted scenes!

  94. Why is it even called The Office anymore. It’s a miracle when a storyline actually takes place inside the office. This used to be my favorite show but now I just feel like it’s best if they just end it after this season. There’s nothing realistic about the show anymore.

  95. I’d agree it wasn’t the strongest episode yet, but the awkwardness was award-winning! Yay for our show to be back :) I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season pans out…

  96. Wow- I loved all the awkwardness tonight! Hilarious. Now we have to wait another week….

  97. I loved it! One of my favorite parts was when Jim and Pam started to sing Hunter’s CD. Great episode.

  98. I’ve got to admit, I’m very surprised about some other peoples reactions to this episode. My friends and I loved it! we were laughing out loud the entire time. The best reaction shot of the night was definitely the look Jan gave Pam when Michael gave Pam his coat. She looked so evil! It’s great having The office back. I can’t wait for more episodes!

  99. Over-the-top? Over-done writing? “Diversity Day”? “The Injury”? “The Return”? All of these are favorites and they’re pretty much the same level as “Dinner Party.”

    I know that not very episode is going to win people over, but I thought that this episode was very good. It was cringe-worthy and had some great reaction shots. There were some awesome lines and interesting plot points. The whole thing with Jim about to leave Pam… there’s no trouble in their relationship because of that; Pam was clearly being playful with the “oh no, you’re not leaving me with these crazies” looks.

    Good times, y’all! Great job!

  100. 137 – you hit it right on the head. So many funny moments that I have to watch it again because I’m sure I missed some due to the extreme awkwardness of the episode. Man that was funny.

  101. Not my favorite episode but it will probably grow on me..I do wish they would go back to the office.

  102. There is just so much I loved about this episode.

    -Pam’s face saying “if I can’t leave neither can you” when Jim tries to ditch her.
    -The games.
    -The ‘after leaving the dinner’ montage.
    -The candles. Oh the candles!
    -Michael’s clever trick to get them to come to dinner and Jim’s confession of its genius.
    -The CD.
    -The camera facing the bed.

    The entire episode. But I think and kind of hope Jan leaves because she has gotten too crazy even for this office.

  103. Oh my gosh, the look on Angela’s face while Jan was talking in the beginning and staring at her boobs.. freaking hilarious. I loved that Andy was humming with Hunter’s music. Great moments, pretty much everything in this episode were the things you have to love about the office. I’m so happy they’re back to form. My thursdays are complete again.

  104. wow, that was so horrifically awkward but totally amazing at the same time. I laughed so hard it hurt! I can’t get over how awesome Jim’s face was in the candle room!!! holy wow, they were definitely right in calling it a classic!

  105. The camera in the bedroom. CLASSIC. I was dying. Also Jan and her Candles. Yes, I did always picture her as a candle kinda gal. Priceless. Welcome back Office. It’s been too long!

  106. And, a sigh of happiness… and relief… escapes my lips. Solid episode! Do you know the toll three vasectomies takes on a man?

  107. I thought this was an amazing episode. It actually felt A LOT like the British “The Office”…excellent job writers! I wonder if they didn’t show a promo for next week because there was talk that the next episode takes place after the “jump”…i.e. the strike. Maybe they don’t want to give too much away.

  108. Hmmm…they didn’t show Pam actually drinking the wine, just playing with it in her glass and she just HAD to get some food…

  109. 143 (Emily): Yes, I agree with you about it feeling scored. A lot like The Dundies. But I can forgive it. I think I need to see it again, but I love episodes where Michael is just…..closer to normal. Reminds us why we care about him as a character.

    Aside from the scoring at the end, I thought it was quite cringe-worthy and a little like s1 almost. 7 out of 10. (10 out of 10 being The Injury)

  110. Someone commented earlier about a scene with Jan, Jim and Pam – they must have cut it out, because I don’t remember seeing one. But also, they changed another thing too…when Dwight’s in the office talking about if he’s sad he wasn’t invited – in the promos, he’d say “no” and then have to get up and walk away. In the actual episode, it didn’t play out that way.

  111. My .02 worth: I would have enjoyed this more if I had not believed the hype that it was going to be the end-all, be-all funniest episode EVER!!! Instead there were lots of subtle comedy bits, which made the episode funny in a way I wasn’t expecting.

    I liked how Andy added harmony to Hunter’s song and Angela just glared at him. And I liked Dwight’s hair in this episode.

    The ending was cute with Jim & Pam singing in the car, but I did not like Angela smashing the ice cream cone on the door. If she is so unhappy with Andy, why did she go to the party with him in the first place?

  112. If Jim had have just said “My house is flooding but I’ll just stay here” then it would have been obvious it was a lie. I doubt Jim meant anything. Although maybe if Jim and Pam break up it will make this season more like the first 3 and less like a pile of poo.

  113. The episode definitely had fun moments. Not a favorite but didn’t dislike it either. I liked everything regarding Jim and Dwight.

    Didn’t care for: Jan’s devolution, and Pam’s new look. Jim and Pam don’t seem to have as much chemistry anymore. Partly I think due to Pam’s new assertiveness.

  114. I really need to watch it again to appreciate all of the little nuances that I probably missed. I thought it was funny, and was really glad to see Jan in her natural habitat! She’s really psycho! Great episode!

  115. Not really sure how I feel about the episode yet. I think I have to watch it again to make a decision. All I want to say though is that I can’t stand what they did to Jan’s character and I hope that Michael gets rid of her and finds someone worth his time. He may not be too bright but he deserves to be happy. She’s psycho! And not in a funny way…

  116. My favorite things lately have been the Jan/Pam stand-offs and Jim deliberately guessing wrong things and driving Michael crazy, so… check and check. I think one of the cops though should’ve said “What’s a ‘Dundee’?” :)

  117. I think it might of seemed out of touch to everyone because of the vast amount of time from the last episode, if it had aired the way it was meant, I think the whole ‘out of the office’ thing would have been a breath of fresh air. But overall I really loved this episode, and I already re-watched it three times…oh and I can’t get Hunter’s song out of my head. They should release it on iTunes!!!

  118. I liked the episode. It wasn’t all that the hype made it out to be, but it was good. I was so upset when Michael and Jan were fighting and Michael mentioned his surgeries. I was all “Nooooo!”

  119. How can something so uncomfortable be so hilarious?! Brilliant. Much praise for the writers and actors. Jim’s face upon smelling Jan’s candles was the best moment for me. Also Jim driving Michael crazy while playing Celebrity. Jan is hysterically over-the-top…but to the point that I feel REALLY bad for Michael. If someone has to leave I hope it’s Jan–for Michael’s sake! And yay yay yay for the happy Jim/Pam moment at the end.

    Ah yes, the Office is back and the world is right again…phew…

  120. I never thought I’d say this, but Jan is becoming one of my favorite characters. Melora Hardin is BRILLIANT!

    Favorite scene- definitely Pam and Jim eating burgers singing along to Hunter’s CD.

    I’M SO HAPPY IT’S BACK!

  121. It had been so long since I’d seen a new episode that I thought I had lost the love a little bit. But this episode was a 10 in my book. All the little bits made it hard to watch without laughing over something else so clever. It’s “the injury” of S4 for me. Way to go Gene and Lee.

  122. What I saw of it was great, but I am so freaking mad because they cut into the last five minutes with the stupid weather. I had to get out of my house I was so mad.

  123. What happened to cute lovesick Jim? Would that Jim ditch Pam? Would that Jim not offer his coat, sweater, or maybe his arm around her when he saw her chilly? Him stealing the CD for Pam wasn’t classic Jim cute enough for me. Why is it that they are together now and the writers put more space between them then when Pam was with Roy and Jim was dating Karen?

  124. Rachel- later she was holding a glass of wine. Sorry to burst your bubble. Mine was popped, too :)

  125. I wish I didn’t watch those previews of the episode before the episode aired – because the celebrity game, the first few times I saw it was hilarious…but wasn’t so much to me when it aired. Jim’s faces always get me. I love his looks. My all time favorite had to be when Jan and Michael were giving the tour and they had a video camera set up. I don’t know why but I laughed for like ten minutes ’cause of that.

    I absolutely loved the episode and I think it’s refreshing to see things happen outside the Office..especially since it doesn’t happen all that often if you actually look at all the episodes they’ve ever done. A nice change of scenery is great, not to mention – we get to see all of them outside of work, which in the case of a lot of people, they act differently.

    I was laughing so hard I had to keep rewinding things through out the whole half hour because I missed what they were saying. And I must say, a half hour has NEVER gone by so quickly!

  126. my favorite line would probably be the “so i spend most of my time right here (talking about the computer), have a hand (sick thoughts, plus the hand from arrested development)” when michael was trying to get investors for serenity for Jan.

  127. eh.. i dunno… i didn’t hate it but I don’t see how it could have the funniest table read or whatever… I think I had my hopes up too much… for a regular episode it was great though.

  128. I thought it was a bit over the top. It could have been more subtle. I laughed out loud many times, but it just became too unreal, which made it seemed forced to me. I think it would have worked fine without the extremes, like Jan breaking the TV. In my opinion, the vasectomy arguement would have been funnier if they had gone into a room to argue and everyone in the living room overheard it.
    It was very funny, but so sad at the same time for michael. My favorite episodes have less obvious places to laugh.

  129. I actually thought this episode was a bit lackluster and boring. They completely hyped it up as the “funniest episode ever,” which, once they said that, I think they set it up to be disappointing! I’m not sure what it was…waiting for next week though.

  130. i liked it, but the 5-month hype was too much for it…angela and andy had way too small of a role too

  131. I was so excited about the return of The Office tonight and I thought perhaps maybe I had set my expectations too high. I was wrong. This episode was awesome and I am so stoked to have the best show around back on the air again :) There were entirely too many moments that had me laughing out loud to try to point out a favorite! Awesome job by Lee and Gene and all the actors involved. Looking forward to the rest of the remaining episodes with much anticipation!

  132. For those who say it didn’t live up to the hype, you have to look at it from two different angles. The first angle is if there was no strike. If a strike did not occur, then the comment would not have ever been made that it was the funniest table read ever. Because the strike did occur, I believe that the writers might have inadvertently over-exaggerated the hilarity of the read to sort of “rally the troops.” They wanted you to feel that the networks were robbing you of the funniest Office yet, which isn’t anything to fault them for. If you were being robbed of the funniest Office yet, you were more likely to lash out at the networks. My two cents.

  133. I enjoyed tonight’s episode but due to the strike, I really just want a full episode in The Office. I miss that set and the interaction of ALL the workers! And the meetings! I miss the meetings so much!

  134. Wow. I just…wow. Great comeback! There is a definite market of hilarity in awkwardness; I laughed the entire time! b/c I have friends like Jan and Michael…who would rather being in a miserable relationship than be alone. Fighting, throwing things, ..it’s ridiculous. Fiction vs reality is a definite bonus here though.

    Jim and Pam..still cute as can be. And Jim’s face after whiffing in Jan’s candles! (haha) Priceless. :p

    Welcome back, The Office! How I’ve missed you!

    *Hugs*

  135. I loved the episode…I agree with #181. I was laughing at some parts, which made me miss some of the subtle jokes following.

    Gene and Lee are my favorite writers…you have to re-watch their episodes to pick up all the clever humor. A+ boys!

  136. So Jenna said in one of her interviews this past week that this episode would plant the first seed of a major story development at the end of the season… anyone else think it’s the moment Jim tried to ditch Pam tonight? That seemed out of character for him, and if the writers force those two apart instead of sticking to the more natural, cute dynamic they had in the rest of the episode, I think it’ll ruin the series’ heart.

  137. A little depressing in my opinion. Still a good episode…just kind of a downer.

  138. I guess I am one of the few people who don’t really enjoy when they leave the office, except for Casino Night, but technically that was in the warehouse, so whatever. I didn’t think this episode had any HILARIOUS moments that were original to this episode. Dwight was barely in the episode, and there was hardly any interaction between he and Jim which are probably my favorite moments. Oh, and no Michael/Toby moments. Those are amazing too.

  139. My sister and her husband call each other “babe” All. The. Time. I used to think only my husband and me found that sort of thing ridiculous. and annoying. I now know I am not alone. *Squeee* The Office writers make me so happy. (I swear, that scene at the end with Pam and Jim mockingly calling each other babe? Been there, done that. Loved it.)

  140. After a second viewing I noticed that Hunter’s cd was called “The Hunted”, I thought the whole Hunter thing was very funny.

  141. I can’t wait for next week. This episode was a 10 in my book. I really enjoyed seeing outside of the office, the character development and the tension. The cast/crew are so interactive that it feels more like welcoming community theatre members back than a distant corporate production. I hope all involved in the show know how appreciated they are.

  142. Great episode! I think that the cliffhanger will be Jan convincing Michael to fire Pam… thoughts?

  143. I loved this episode, no question. And I think it’ll get funnier the more I re-watch and re-think it!

    Re: the whole “how could Jim do that?” argument, I think that this season was meant to be a major character arc for Jim, just as last season was an arc for Pam. If you go over each episodes from this season so far, I’m pretty sure you’ll notice at least one little Jim-imperfection, or at least something he’s got to work on, per show. Like how Pam had to apologize for Jim in the Finer Things Club because he tended to be an attention hog. So he’s not perfect, big deal. The writers (the best on TV) are making him more human. And I trust them!

  144. Awesome, awesome episode. I think one of the funniest moments were Jim reacting to the candle room – he looks out the door to get some air and then Jan rams a candle under his nose – ROTFLOL!

    On a random side note – anyone notice Jim said to Pam (when he was about to leave, lol) “See you at home”. :)

  145. I’m very anxious for a repeated viewing – I feel like I missed a lot! I really really enjoyed this episode. To those of you who are saying it wasn’t realistic enough, clearly you’ve never been to an awkward dinner party. Some of that was far *too* real, which is why it was so great!

    Personally I’m happy to see the US Office taking some of the risks that the UK Office did – making it so awkward and real it hurts.

  146. So awkward; so hilarious!

    So many great moments, but most of them have already been mentioned so I won’t say it all over again.

    Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg are still my favorite writers. Keep it up, guys.

  147. Not sure why people are upset/worried over the Jim leaving trick. I’d think people who were scared that JAM finally being together would wreck their bantering/teasing relationship would be happy to see that their dynamic is just like it used to be. That’s the way I saw it – as a glimpse that we still have classic Jim and Pam on the show, even though they’re dating now.
    I thought it was a good episode, very funny. I’m going to re-watch tomorrow because I was a bit distracted while watching so I don’t think I caught all the subtle jokes. I’m very excited for the next few weeks, and glad to have The Office back!

  148. I didn’t believe it was going to be the funniest episode ever, but it still surprised me in a lot ways. But it really just made me sad for Jan and Michael. OH MICHAEL. It’s been awhile since I’ve rewatched The Deposition. Just thinking about the way they’ve been living and how it’s gotten WORSE? Gah.

  149. Geez… and I thought me and my girlfriend were dysfunctional… apparently, we have NOTHING on Michael and Jan… and we’ve even been compared to those two (which I wear as a badge of honor.)

  150. I thought two of the funniest moments of tonight’s episode were Pam’s talking heads in the bathroom, especially, “if she was going to poison anybody it would be me.” And granted that Jan is unstable but where does her hostility for Pam come from? Does it stem from the fun run and Pam accidentally seeing Michael’s “dangling participle?” And am I mistaken in thinking that Michael built the table out of the crate the wine came in?

  151. Loved it. Jim and Pam in the car were too cute, Angela was fantastic, Michael shouting “That’s what she said!” was classic… All around great.

    My Thursday nights are right again.

  152. I have been watching Season 6 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” lately, and this episode reminded me of that series with its cringe-worthiness! The Jan-Michael thing is really uncomfortable to watch. But the episode as a whole was pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay good!

  153. “Pam, I’ll see you at home” ??? What’s that supposed to mean? Loved this episode!!

  154. 8.57 I turn on the TV to find out that Direct TV and the network is having problems. Thank GOD i have comcast in the other room!!

    I also felt like the episode was over the top. I hope the rest of the episodes focus on interaction actually in the office.

    Jan was over the top. Although her character can be explained by the fact that she lives with MIchael and has no job, but the portrayal was a bit off.

    I would never think that Jim would try to leave Pam in that situation. Seems out of character, but if I was in his position I would have done the same.

    I missed seeing the rest of the cast in the background. I hope we get to see more of them.

    I did laugh though: Jim stealing the CD, ice cream on Andy’s car, Jims face in the candle room, and it even made me laugh to think of the ways they had to hide angela’s stomach!

    I just find the episode really hard to love, but no matter what I will still love the show!

  155. This was just a stunningly great episode! It was absolutely hilarious in little and big ways, wonderfully awkward, and just kept winding up into a tighter and tighter cringe-worthy ball. I’m absolutely in awe of how well written and acted it was. Melora Hardin, especially, has never been better. The little end segment with Pam and Jim at the drive in was such a great peek into their friendship/romance and so relatable. Well done all the way around!

  156. The best part was when Angela squashes her ice-cream cone against Andy’s car.

    That was awesome.

  157. The Office is written to take the form of a documentary. Given that we already know this and that we expect some sort of realism from the show, should we not expect the same realism in story arc development?

    People change. Relationships change. A documentarian’s choice of style/filming/etc. can change. Real life changes through time.

    The people in the office have changed and will again. Their relationships have changed and they will again. The style/filming/setting/etc. has changed and yes, it will again. The Office is more true to real life than we may even know it.

    We all love The Office for our own reasons. Each of us has our favorites, be it a relationship, a subtle exchange of words, or even the entire story development as a whole. If the show was a movie, it would be a very long movie. But, it would also be one of the greatest movies of all time.

    This new episode was brilliant just as all the episodes have been. It is a new piece to this great puzzle we know as The Office. (198 words?)

  158. pretty good episode! i didn’t laugh much, but i really enjoyed the episode. it was really weird seeing a new episode of the office…i was so used to watching the season 2 and 3 dvds. haha

    but i think phyllis and bob vance should have came. that’s just me

  159. It totally lived up to the hype from me. So many great moments and so awkward! It had everything that made me fall in love with the show to begin with.

    Off to watch it again!

  160. Loved the subtle moments, like Angela not drinking wine and Michael’s dundies being on the bottom shelf and the camera panning up to reveal Jan’s candles on top. The buildup of the explosive fight at the end between them was brilliantly done. A few witty comments back and forth to each other in the beginning that I didn’t pay any attention to until the second viewing.

    Oh, the funniest line for me was when Michael was mad at Jan and said “man I would love to burn your candles” 1) because he had a mouthful of food, 2) because what exactly would be the harm in burning the candles haha, and 3) because it sounded like some obscure sexual innuendo

  161. This episode reminded me how short 21 minutes are! I was so looking forward to the little ending snippet they usually have and I was sad to see they didn’t…

  162. FACT: Thursday nights are right again!

    I thought the episode was hilarious. Highlights included: the camera facing the bed, the “woody afterbirth” comment, michael’s genius way of getting the couples to go to his house, the three-hour long wait for the osso bucco, the “hunted” and montage at the end, the vasectomy comments, the fact that michael sleeps on a small sofa…

    Things I didn’t like: Jan is a little overwhelming. I liked her better when she was passive aggressive; no toby; uncomfortable interchange between pam and jim when he wanted to leave; feeling sorry for michael (i like to be frusterated with him!); and DWIGHTS HAIR :(

    Question: Why did Michael tell Jan that Pam was his lover ?

  163. aw god it was so good to have the office back. how hilarious was the drama all over the $200.00 plasma tv..
    also holy god jan is the hottest unemployed candle salesman in the WORLD.

  164. @ 218:

    I assume Pam & Jim are living together now.. Jim was going to ditch the dinner party when Michael shot down the idea of both of them leaving when his apartment “flooded”

  165. 201 – I believe that Jenna was talking about next week’s episode, after the time jump takes place.

  166. Wow, I’m surprised so many people found this episode too over-the-top. After all, Michael once grilled his own foot…Ryan’s sales training session included wrestling Fear/Mose at a beet farm…Jim convinced Dwight he was a vampire, etc. I think the zanier moments give the show a feel that distinguishes it from the British version. Plus, a horrifyingly awkward dinner party seemed all too real to me. :) At any rate, I hope the upcoming episodes delight everyone.

  167. Why didn’t they start the time jump with this episode? It would’ve made so much more sense for Jim to almost ditch his girlfriend of almost a year as opposed to ditching his girlfriend of only a few months. In the beginning stages of a relationship, you’re on your best behavior; you don’t ditch the girlfriend during this stage. To me, the time jump could’ve justified Jim’s behavior. It may have indicated that the magic truly is gone. Are we really supposed to believe that one week Jim is defending “[Pam’s] honor against Kelly” in The Deposition (with something as frivolous as ping pong no less), and then the next week he’s almost ditching her at Michael’s? I know I’m taking this way too seriously, but it’s bugging me–why did he come sooo close to ditching out on Pam? This has to be the seed that is being planted for the major plot development that Jenna Fischer noted.

  168. I absolutely think this episode was great! I watched it twice already and both times laughed out loud a LOT. I especially enjoyed the camera/tripod in the bedroom, Dwight bringing his own food (and Angela declining it), and Jim’s apartment being on fire (correction: flooded). Jan *was* over the top, but overall the awkwardness of this episode made it fantastic!

  169. For all of you who are saying
    “I can’t believe Jim was going to leave Pam!”
    I think he was so desperste and just had to get out of there. But when he realized Pam would either a) kill him or b) break up with him, he sacrificed his happiness (or sanity) for her.
    By the way, this episode was amazing!!!!!

  170. Fantastic episode, despite Jan being a tiiiny bit over-the-top. Favorites include the tripod/camera, Dwight bringing his own food (and Angela declining his beets), “Tom Cruise!”, and Jim’s ‘apartment on fire (oh wait, ‘flooded’!). Looking forward to next week SO much!

  171. Did Jim really say, “Pam, I’ll see you at home”? OMG. I didn’t catch that.

  172. Oh babe, it was soooo fun to have our Office back! I think Jan’s been a little bit over-the-top for the last year or so – meltdown at corporate, babe? So nothing tonight really surprised me with her character. It is just the epitome of a terrible relationship.
    I don’t think Jim was just going to ditch Pam. I think he figured that she would be smart enough to find some way to get out of there shortly after. She’s always held her own with Jim’s schemes before.

  173. I love when Jan was being called a devil you could see the fireplace behind her with the fire.

    Brilliant

  174. So where was the funny part? Once again Dwight and Andy steal the show while Jim becomes more and more unlikable

  175. I basically cringed through this whole episode, which for me means it was a huge success. I think Dinner Party may be the most awkward Office episode yet. And that’s saying quite a bit.

    Welcome back everyone and congratulations on a hilarious return!!!

  176. #144 is right about tonight’s show recalling BBC’s The Office… BABE! It had that same semi-nasty harsh edge we’ve generally been better without.

    While I did think it was very funny at times, many times, the cringe factor was seriously over the top at times, too. I think what the issue is here is that we have fractured respect for Michael and Jan, but tonight they threw out those values we respect in them and just went for the weirdness, ignoring or disrespecting the inherent intelligence we have grown to expect from them. It “ungrounded” the characters. What happened to the wise Michael who sat next to Jim sharing lessons he’s learned, bonding when Jim never expected it? That Michael never saw the script of this ep. It was as though Michael had a soulectomy or something. Jan just plainly needs meds.

    Looking forward to next week, babe. I hope Jan dances again, babe!

  177. Far from ‘the funniest episode we’ve ever done’, but still solid in general.

    Too much hype.

  178. Did anyone else think Jim could’ve simply said that he was Pam’s ride and she therefore had to leave with him to check on his (or should I say “their” after his “see you at home” comment) flooded apartment? Granted that would’ve killed the storyline if they had left right then, but maybe that was a hole in the story the writers could’ve patched up a bit so it didn’t look like they could’ve had an easy out? Interested to hear any thoughts you folk may have. Thanks, babe(s).

  179. Wow. This episode was terrible.

    It has nothing to do with hype. I didn’t read one word of hype. This was just so bad.

    All the jokes are obvious. All subtlety is gone.

    It’s too bad, really.

    Me, I’ll stick with Seasons 1 and 2.

    Blech.

  180. Sorry to be another reason you lose sleep tonight, tanster, but in case the cast is checking out our comments…#1)Office ladies, you rock! The female performances tonight were awesome. #2)This episode was everything I love about The Office–real life situations taking unexpected and terrible turns.

    I do have to say Jan’s unexpected and terrible turns were the most scary. I also nearly fell off the bed laughing at her. That horrible tension between a couple on their way to hell in a handbasket was perfectly and miserably portrayed between her and Michael. Awful! …and so, so, so, so, funny.

    I’m so happy you guys are back!!!

  181. For those mad about Jim trying to ditch Pam, I didn’t see the scene in that way at all! Jim came up with a plan to get both of them out of there, and then Michael ruined it by pointing they didn’t both need to go. My take was that Jim then decided to playfully screw with Pam and be all “well okay, see you later”. But in no way did it seem to me like he was serious. Yes he put on his coat, yes he was about to go out the door, and i’m sure he would have just to mess with her. But within 5 minutes i’d bet he would’ve called her with some new plan to get her out as well. No way was he actually planning on abandoning her there for real. But that was my take.

    [from tanster: that is exactly how i saw it, too. that he was just playing with her. because he knew she would come up with a way for him to stay.]

  182. That episode truly lived up to the word “cringe-worthy”, and therefore, I thought it was awesome. Maybe it wasn’t my favorite episode ever (like I was hoping for) but definitely funny. Thank goodness it is back!

    I loved Michael leaving out the camera in the bedroom and then his little i’m-ashamed-but-not-really look into the documentary camera. As for Jim, I totally thought he was just messing with Pam. Babe.

  183. I love Pam and Jim together tonight, but overall this season is starting to feel more reliant on the “Curb Your Enthusiasm”/awkward/uncomfortable-situation humor than on the classic/clever/witty, roll-on-the-floor humor we’ve come to love from “The Office”. Certainly having a good amount of awkwardness is delightful and fun (especially when Michael Scott is involved!), but when it becomes the predominant source of humor on the show (as it has in many Season 4 episodes), I start to worry…

  184. #242 littlepinkfeet: “What happened to the wise Michael who sat next to Jim sharing lessons he’s learned, bonding when Jim never expected it?”

    and
    #249 Tommy: “Me, I’ll stick with Seasons 1 and 2.”

    Yes. Agreed. I watch the seasons 1 & 2 DVDs over & over. “Dinner Party” follows in the over-the-top trajectory that may have begun with the episode in which Dwight takes Ryan to the beet farm and tries to make him lie in a coffin.

    And can the stylists please stay out of Jim’s hair? And take their “product” with them?

  185. This was one lousy episode. Either the writers are still off-stride after the strike, or the post production editing was too ham-handed. Overall, a 3 out of 10. Disappointing.

  186. I think we’re reading too much into the whole Jim ditching Pam-thing. Judging by the last scene in the car they’re still pretty happy together and apparently they are living together. I think he was just messing with her, which I thought was hilarious. Pam (Fancy New Beesly) can stand up for herself, especially against Jim. He doesn’t need to sacrifice himself for her or anything like that. She’ll deal with it on her own. And Jim knows that. Anyway, that’s just my opinion.

    Overall, a really good episode. I just want them to go back to episodes in the office. Those have always been the best (with a few exceptions: the Dundies, Booze Cruise)!

    I’m so glad they’re back! I’m already excited for next week! ;)

  187. It was an okay episode – awkward as all get out but not particularly funny. I think every cast member raving about it being the “funniest script ever” got my expectations up way too high. There are talking heads that have made me laugh more than this entire episode did! A couple of cold opens have too, so this was pretty disappointing after all the hype and a long wait.

  188. I *loved* this episode. It’s good to have the Office back. The episode was filled with awkward moments that just made me crack up, I think I spent most of the episode laughing.

    Loved the part when Jim said “my apartment’s on fire” and Pam went “flooded…” haha. Best moment of the episode, I thought.

    As for Jim taking off- I don’t think he wanted to leave Pam there. I mean, Pam is smart enough to get out of there on her own.

    Jan was over the top but I thought that was kind of hilarious…

  189. i kinda miss old, dorky, sweet, humble, lovable, cuddly jim. he acts so cocky now it makes him way less attractive. he never even smiles anymore. i just wanna shake him out of it!

  190. I don’t rate that episode at all, the whole episode could have been summarised in a few scenes, Angela’s lines were boring with minimal interaction with Dwight. Jim, who is always entertaining, was bland and Jan is just so predictable. I don’t think it was worth the wait.

  191. OMG! Jan’s crazy turns were insane. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in some scenes. But I cackled like an evil witch at the plasma tv scenes. LOL

  192. Only read a few comments and got bummed so I hope this isn’t a repeat. I thought the episode was great – laughed out loud consistently. What more do I want from a comedy? Maybe a little broad, but no problem. One nitpick – I thought Jim & Pam should have kissed when eating their hamburgers at the end. And not just because I love them as a couple but they are clearly the normal couple and it seems like that is what a normal, in love couple would do.

  193. Great episode!

    Best line: “You have no idea the physical toll that three vasectomies have on a person”

    Regarding Jim ditching Pam, I agree with #251

  194. Ricky Gervais would be rolling in his grave right now…..If he were dead. I bet he’s really disappointed though.

  195. I don’t know if it was just because I was so happy to have The Office back, but I thought the episode was hilarious. I’m a big fan of the British original, so this kind of humour was right up my alley. Yes, it was awkward, but that was what made it so hilarious. I loved the look on Pam’s face as she noticed the video camera, and I burst out laughing when Jan started dancing (swaying?) to Hunter’s music.

    Also, I didn’t interpret Jim’s final escape plan as him ditching Pam. Like others have said here, I thought he would a) leave the party and call her from his car to get her out of there, or b) pretend as though he was leaving to see her reaction. Besides, their final scene together was really sweet.

  196. I did however really like when Michael was showing off the table he [proudly] made and Jim was asking about what he made it from and was like “I’m just terrible at all this stuff so that’s really cool.”… I think he was trying to boost Michael’s self-esteem since Jan was already trying to squash it! I love the little moments when Jim shows that he actually does care about Michael despite how crazy he can be.

  197. @ #96 Aaron: Exactly right. Well put.

    I really really hope this kind of episode remains a rarity. Most of it was great, but it just wasn’t The Office-like.

    I realize shows can’t stay the same throughout their lifetimes, but this type of change is a drastic shift in style and feel of the show–a disturbance in the foundations of the show that I fell in love with during Season 2 (which was the BEST, by the way).

    It’s weird. I enjoyed that half-hour of television, but not at all in the same way that I enjoy my favorite Office episodes, and it makes me feel…sad.

    #96 said exactly what I’m feeling.

  198. I thought this episode was hilarious! The only time I cringed was when Jan accused Pam of sleeping with Michael. I’m loving how Angela becomes more and more unpleasant.
    I didn’t get personally affronted when Jim was going to leave Pam. I found it true to his prankster nature.

  199. I didn’t catch it, either! …Guess that means I’ll have to go rewatch it again ;)

  200. Fantastic episode. Favorite line was Michael complimenting the wine as having a
    “oakey afterbirth”. So gross, so funny.

    I so missed them all.

  201. SO MUCH FUN! I don’t care if it was a little over-the-top, as many have suggested. It felt like a reunion to me. A reunion of a bunch of friends who’ve been gone far too long… and got a little antsy and restless during the separation, which only served to accentuate their neuroses… I was so happy to see them again! My face still hurts from the chronic smiling. BRAVO. The most enjoyable Thursday night I’ve had in 5 months!!

  202. I thought it was great! Not my favorite episode, but I’ll take it after 5 months of no Office. I agree with you #238…it did feel good to cringe again.

  203. Any of you babes know where I can find an MP3 of Hunter’s song? It’s just SO bad and yet…I can’t stop listening.

  204. This episode is akin to Sexual Harrassment. I knew it was funny, but almost couldn’t laugh because of how much I was cringing. Kind of like I didn’t want to laugh.

    I think I will like this more later, after a few more viewings.

  205. My sister had a good theory…she seems to think Hunter’s song was about Jan, which is why she was so obsessed with listening to it (and danced around like a fool haha). Anyone agree?

  206. The Dinner Party episode was a little too dark for me. But I’m glad that The Office is back on the air and I look forward to next Thursday’s episode.

  207. I think why I loved this episode so much was because it was so relatable – at least to my life. I had to go to a dinner party where the couple throwing it basically went at each other and fought and just made it very uncomfortable for everyone around. Now, the couple didn’t go to the extent to which Jan and Michael did – but still, the awkward, cringy moments were practically the same for my situation. I must admit though, I really don’t like Jan anymore because of this episode – don’t get me wrong, her scenes were some of the funniest ones…it was just her overall behavior that kind of made me dislike her. I hope if they do have a character leave, please keep the Scranton people and get rid of Jan!!!

  208. It’s official…Angela is now the best thing about The Office. I didn’t like this episode myself. The first shows of this season saw it coming back to form. Then this. Jim’s puppy dog faces can’t save scenes anymore. Too over the top with Jan and Michael. Not enough Rainn. Nothing “must see” about it. There’s always next week.

  209. I don’t get the big deal about Jim leaving Pam there. It would’ve almost been a prank on her to leave her there. And Pam would have done the SAME THING. It’s not like she was getting left in a burning house…just a crazy dinner party.

  210. I’m predicting that the spinoff will star Jan Levinson. Last night’s episode seemed to set up her swift decline in the eyes of everyone. There was nothing likeable about her character at all! She was mean and vindictive- especially towards Pam! (And Michael!)
    Or maybe that’s just my opinion.

  211. I thought this episode was hilarious. I laughed the whole time… and I know Angela was upset about Dwight, but I felt so bad for Andy. He was so sweet and she was just, well, a little evil. I did love the “What am I supposed to do with this?” line after he gave her a flower, though.

  212. If the point of the episode was to make you feel like, “I never want to step foot in that condo again as long as I live” then, it completely succeeded. I agree with #243 that it was too much of one joke. As far as Michael’s character, I thought he earned a lot of sympathy. He just seemed so desperate.

  213. Wow. What are you supposed to do after a dinner party like that? Send a thank you note? I have to say that last night I really couldn’t figure out how I felt about this. I saw it again, and liked it a bit more. I saw the first 10 minutes this morning, and loved it. The dark humor takes a few viewings to get into, but I did think this was really funny.

    One personal gripe for me: I don’t find much humor in people pinning Pam as some kind of office slut. She seems to be the backboard for a lot of insecure women on this show who seem to be jealous of her because men like her, she was engaged to a oafish hunk for 10 years, and then started dating the very desirable Jim, whom everyone knows adores her. I get the psychology here, but enough already. I admire her resolve and letting it go, but there has to come a time when she (and/or Jim) stands up for herself.

  214. I think I built up this episode too much in my head.

    It was a bit of a let down for me. It might have been fun for them to make but it was hard for me to watch.

  215. I think Angela was hilarious tonight.

    “What am I supposed to do with this?”
    “You shouldn’t joke about that.”
    “Sometimes I think she holds faxes.”

    HAHAHA. I also loved trying to see how they were hiding her belly.

  216. Such a funny episode. Things change, people change, so let’s just move on and enjoy the show for what it is–30 minutes of joy in the week. Not the greatest 30 minutes or the worst 30 minutes of the week, but 30 minutes of happiness all the same.

  217. I agree with StephanieG #193 completely! I loved the part when Jim tried to get them out of the party and then was going to leave on his own. It was true to their relationship of jokes and pranks and challenging each other to “top this”. Also loved Pam’s line “Oh Jim, I don’t think you’re going to abandon this party here all by itself”. I think Jim knew there was no way he was actually getting out of there. And when they were eating in the car at the end – loved it! Welcome back!!!

  218. Angela and Andy with the ice cream cones made me laugh so hard I was crying. Angela is just getting better and better! And her comment about the rose “What am I supposed to do with this?”…perfect!

    My other favorite part was Jim blatantly not playing along with Michael’s game. Hilarious!

  219. #242 and #255, re: “What happened to the wise Michael who sat next to Jim sharing lessons he’s learned, bonding when Jim never expected it?” Survivor Man?

  220. #254 Brad – “I love Pam and Jim together tonight, but overall this season is starting to feel more reliant on the “Curb Your Enthusiasm”/awkward/uncomfortable-situation humor than on the classic/clever/witty, roll-on-the-floor humor we’ve come to love from “The Office”.”

    The Office has always been based on awkward/uncomfortable moments while at the same time being clever and witty. This was a classic Office episode in that they took something very plain and ordinary like a dinner party and made it incredibly uncomfortable and funny.

  221. Michael on the bench at the end of the bed…my favorite moment. Good to have the office back. (kinda getting tired of Jan being so pathetic)

  222. Also, Angela looked like she started to come out of character some (looked more like the real Angela) during “charades” when she is yelling for another clue.

  223. I loved the ending – that horrible song playing while we see the couples in their true state: Jim and Pam happy, Dwight happy because he has Michael, Andy and Angela, not so much, and Jan trying to fix what she’s broke. Brilliant, really.
    P.S. I thought this was one of Jenna Fisher’s best episodes ever, and she didn’t even have that many lines. But every reaction she had was perfect. Or should I say “Awesome!”

    [from tanster: i 100% agree. jenna was brilliant. so was melora.]

  224. I understand what many are saying about this episode being “off” in terms of humor. Yes, it mostly relied on awkwardness, and yes, it was cringe-worthy, and yes, it was over-the-top. It wasn’t the classic humor we’ve come to expect, because that isn’t what this ONE episode was about. What else would you expect from an evening in the home of Michael Scott? It wouldn’t make sense for them all to act as they do in a “normal” office setting, because they were all very much out of their element.

    Watch it in context with the Deposition; it might make more sense. I firmly believe that the wit will return when they all go back to “work”.

  225. I thought the episode was hilarious. The awkwardness is part of what I love about the show. I’m so happy it is back! The “I’m burning in hell, help me” exchange might be one of my favorites from the entire season.

    If you can buy Serenity by Jan candles at NBC.com, please tell me that “That One Night” by The Hunted is available for download somewhere.

  226. I love this episode! The acting and writing felt very natural. Yes, there was yelling and emotion, but it’s JAN and MICHAEL. Of COURSE there will be craziness, but the reactions from Jim, Pam, Andy, and Angela were what made it all believable and fun. We’ve all been waiting for Jan to unravel and we’re finally getting to see that. (The fact that the police actually knew Dwight was great, too).

    I thought it was brilliant and a great way to come back after such a long break. Hooray!

  227. Apologies if this has been said already, but I loved Jan’s “workspace” and “office” because it harkens back to Season 1 (Health Care episode) where Jim taunts Dwight over whether his use of the conference room is his workspace or his office!!

    Hunter’s lyrics were sooooo completely suggestive that he has slept with Jan! Hysterical!

    Melora Hardin is an amazing actress, she was so good.

    I completely agree with the poster who suggested that Jan is going to ask Michael to fire Pam — good call!

    Finally, anyone else think that there’s more to the broken patio door story than Michael/Jan let on? I’m not buying the ice cream truck story…

  228. I don’t think it was the best or funniest but it was great! I think Jan has turned into the Britney Spears of the show, because she is such a trainwreck. She has reached her How I Met Your Mother point though where I hope she can rehab herself and be something closer to the old Jan again. Maybe the implants are making her crazy.

  229. I loved when Michael asked if he could stay with Jim and Pam and Jim said, “My apartment’s on fire.” Then Pam corrected, “Flooded.”

  230. Wow. How they managed to pack so much uncomfortableness into twenty-two minutes is beyond me. Not the best episode ever, nor the funniest, but definitely the most awkward. I liked it.

    Moment of the episode: Jim’s face when he turned away from the candles room. Priceless. (Interestingly, the font used on “Serenity by Jan” is the same used for the movie Serenity, by Joss Whedon, director of Business School. A shout out?)

    Best little moment: the barely seen, never mentioned, painting of Jan on the stairway. Brilliant, and even more so cos no attention was brought to it.

    I think, much like Season Three in general, this episode will play better as part of a larger whole. This episode had a lot working against it: hype from the cast and crew, fans expectations, the strike, etc. I’m reminded of the hoopla after the branches merged and everyone freaked about Andy being featured more than Dwight, but when I watch them now I don’t even think of that cos I know Dwight comes back to the forefront later on.

  231. Highlights:
    -Jim and Michael~”TOM CRUISE!” that scene was great!
    -Jim preparing to leave Pam and her turning it around on him

    Lowlights:
    -just about everything else.

    I don’t know why I bothered staying up and sitting through it all… I just miss my Office. And this wasn’t it.

  232. #299…
    Just read your post. It helped A LOT! Thanks for your thoughts. It helped me off the ledge. :0)

  233. I think the dysfunctions of Jan and Michael’s relationship were HILARIOUS – so many great quotes in this puppy. You do wind up feeling really bad for Michael because let’s face it, Jan’s kind of psychopath. She’s a heartbeat away from a nervous breakdown and that’s what I can’t wait to see. Jim and Pam were awesome. Wish there was more of Andy. Dwight’s babysitter = brilliant.

  234. It’s like you caged a dog up for a couple days and let em loose. The writers seemed to go crazy with a manic script. Some great lines but, I miss:

    – the old Jan (she contrasted Michael much better)
    – Andy (more Andy)
    – the nuance and the subtlety that made The Office great, stop hammering the jokes so hard

  235. It just hit me, the brilliance of this episode is in the writers/actors making the audience become Jim and Pam and feeling the exact same emotions that Jim and Pam were feeling during the dinner party. I bet a lot of people were trying to think of an excuse to stop watching after a while (Jim) but were sucked back in because it is the office (Pam/Michael getting Jim to stay).

  236. Not a bad episode…more cringe worthy than funny but I’ll watch it again.

    Did anyone else notice the painting of dogs playing cards hidden away in the garage? Poor Michael.

  237. “Oh Jim, I don’t think you’re going to abandon this party here all by itself!”

    Hands down my favorite part of the ep.

    I didn’t really understand where the MAJOR overhaul of Jan’s character came from. I know that a lot of The Office staff have mentioned seeing the “cracks” in Jan (that’s what she said) but nothing in previous eps prepared me for her being THIS crazy, except maybe Michael’s talk in Women’s Appreciation about her bedroom habits.

  238. I really liked this episode. To me, it is like all the great cringeworthy episodes (and unlike the worst cringeworthy episode–Phyllis’ Wedding). You cringe because you can relate. I am sure that everyone knows a Jan and most everyone has been in a situation where they have been uncomfortable at a dinner party. I watched it a second time and once you are used to the cringes, the jokes are absolutely top notch. Everything about the TV just killed me.

  239. 1. Has it been established that Jim and Pam are living together? I didn’t think so, but when Jim referenced “his” apartment, and then said to Pam, “see you at home”, I was confused. Someone help me here…

    2. After all the “mystery woman” discussion, I was surprised that no one has expressed any disappointment that she turned out to be a “whatever”. I realize that we created our own hype over the character, but I for one was disappointed it wasn’t Michael’s mom.

    3. About this episode being “over-the-top”, I think all of that came from Jan, and it served a purpose. I loved seeing how far Jan has sunk from her days in corporate. Jan is a favorite of mine, and her behavior at the party revealed so much about her character and did not feel out of place to me at all. I actually loved when she was pretending to be the devil, dressed in red, sitting in front of a raging fire. There is a fire of desperation, depression, and delusion raging deep inside of Jan, and I cannot wait to see how it all comes pouring out like so much molten lava.

    198!

  240. sooo many great moments:

    Jim telling Michael that no, he can’t stay with him because his apartment is on fire…followed by Pam’s correction of, ‘flooded’

    The huge picture of Jan hanging on the wall in the stairway

    Jim’s face as he enters Jan’s candle workspace

    the cops knowing Dwight’s name

    Michael’s plasma screen

    Jim and Pam’s mocking of Michael and Jan by saying ‘babe’

    I thought this episode was so great because it was an insight into Michael and Jan’s life- something I’m sure everyone at the office was curious about, just too scared to know the truth. Great awkward moments-that is what Michael is known for so it made sense to have all that awkwardness since this epsisode was centered around his life.

  241. Did anyone else notice the cameraman in the corner towards the end when Jan got up to turn The Hunted CD back on..? I love the little things

  242. #312–Yes, I agree. Brilliance!

    My husband actually got up and walked out of the room at one point! He couldn’t take it anymore.

    #314–I don’t know that this was a major overhaul of Jan’s character. We’ve seen this coming for some time now. I will say that she can hold it together when she needs to, like in The Deposition, but in Dinner Party, she was on her home turf (or should I say, her little “bubble”), feeling very threatened (by Pam, of all people), and probably quite drunk. I am not surprised at all by her behavior, and love how bipolar she appears to be (one moment throwing a Dundie into Michael’s sad little tv, the next running after him all worried as he’s leaving–I truly believe she is conflicted, and not just putting on a show). She’s so desperate to appear normal, in love, and sophisticated that yes, it was awkward and over-the-top. I have seen people behave this exact way.

    [from tanster: i think she was either drunk or heavily, HEAVILY medicated.]

  243. I loved Hunter’s song! The moment you heard the lyrics you knew like Jim and Pam what he was singing about!

    Jan definitely is crazy now but Melora is so funny and great at it that I don’t mind. Jim and Pam may be the only normal people on the show.

  244. Oh Tanster I love all your choices for best Office quotes from this episode! I love it!

  245. Wow! I definitely enjoyed it, although I am not sure how I feel about Jan’s new direction. It seemed a bit over the top for me, but then again, when isn’t The Office over the top? Did anyone notice the painting of Jan’s face when she was walking up the stairs? LOL! I also missed the other characters who weren’t at the party. My MVP for this episode was Angela, so much subtle humor coming from her. Can’t wait until next week, babe!

  246. So it’s apparent there are three camps: 1) “love it”, 2) “hate it”, and 3) “somewhere in the middle and will have to watch it again to decide”. I think I am in camp three. It wasn’t what I expected, but there were some darn funny moments and some great acting. Melora=crazy, Steve was the epitome of desperate, and John and Jenna were textbook trapped-dinner-guests. Will have to watch again to catch all the little hidden jokes. Some favorite little things: painting of Jan on the stairway wall, Jim’s “Tom Cruise!” line, and the cop’s “not now, Dwight”. Wasn’t digging on the super-awkwardness, but I didn’t love “The Injury” the first time I watched it either…

  247. was nobody else feeling like jim has gotten a little cocky? i miss the old jim, who was sweet and down to earth and a good guy. i feel like some one needs to shake him or something. and i know that pam can stand up fpr herself, but as her boyfriend did anyone else feel like he should have stuck up for her when everyone was kind of being mean? i don’t know. i feel like we just need another good dose of like witty jam to be happy and for jim to go back to the way he used to be.

  248. I really have to watch the episode again to voice my thoughts on it, but I just wanted to ask before I forget, and I probably will if I don’t, and I feel like a bad Office fan for not knowing this but what does BFD mean? Michael used it in this episode and also on the Booze Cruise.

    [from tanster: BFD stands for Big F**king Deal]

  249. I was disappointed that Jim was ready to leave Pam high and dry at the party. That was pretty out of character for him.

  250. Police officer: Not now, Dwight.

    LOL i just noticed that. OMG hilarious little bits here and there you pick up after waching it a 2nd time.

    hilarious

  251. oh yeah! jim’s expression of distress when they were all in jan’s ‘workspace’ was ‘AWESOME!’ from watching him I could imagine how suffocating all those different ‘odors’ were. Jim and Pam’s expressions throughout the whole episode was just…awesome. i love all the little confessionals they had :)
    I loved Pam’s expression of surprised delight when it was shown the Dwight and a guest were at the door. ‘Awesome’

  252. This episode was a complete homage to the movie Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe. The story line of the movie is a night with a house guests and the entire movie the couple keep doing things that make the guests more and more uncomfortable, like bickering and talking about very sensitive subjects.
    I loved the episode but thought that this should be pointed out.

  253. favorite part–

    when michael screamed “that’s what she said” in the middle of a screaming match with jan!

    ooohhhhhhh…i could’ve split open i laughed so hard.

  254. Is the song really “So raw, so right””

    Or is it “So wrong, so right?”

    Either way, it’s awesome.

  255. Absolutely loved this episode. I’ve watched it 3 times now and it gets better after every viewing.

    Question: Didn’t Jan say she wanted to have kids when she married Gould?

  256. I think Gervais would LOVE this. It was so painfully awkward that, to me, it actually seemed more like the British version than the American.

    That being said, I really hope Jan and Michael break up soon. They’re obviously both miserable. It was great that the viewers felt pretty much the same way as the others at the dinner party.

    Maybe Jan will make it big as a jazz singer?

  257. Tanster, you forgot the best quote of the night, during the tour of the bedroom: “Babe, I thought you said you’d tidy up in here!” LOL, I died when I saw that camera!!!

  258. I have never felt so uncomfortable while watching a tv show in my life. That episode was painful. That being said I expected more from the episode. It was really really hyped up so it had a lot of expectations. All in all it was a good episode and I agree that this will go well in the context of the next few…

    I love that Michael was told to stay with a friend by the cops, and that montage at the end with Hunters song playing was great!

  259. My favorite line:

    Michael’s pitch about Jan’s business:

    Andy: Thought about it…I’m in..

    I peed my pants when I heard that.

  260. I don’t know if this has been mentioned but did any notice the size of the wine glasses Dwight brought were, and how much he filled them up?

  261. i loved this episode. i thought it was a throwback to the british office, so awkward with subtle humor contained in the small comments and reactions and faces. who cares that it wasn’t “in the office”? clearly we all watch this show because we are interested in these people not because we love looking at desks and photocopiers. i watched it again this morning without all the over excitement and energy and other people and appreciated it on a whole new level. this episode had it all. yes it was VERY awkward but if anyone knows a couple that fight in front of others and knows what that is like this was SPOT ON. and i thought the jim and pam stuff was great. and jan’s dancing and angela with the ice cream. or the flower “what am i supposed to do with this” haha!

  262. Really, there are a lot more subtle jokes after viewing the episode a second time. For instance the camera in Jan and Michael’s bedroom. Dwight’s date not knowing what e mail was just an example of the weird netherworld Dwight seems to inhabit.

  263. My apologies for giving this episode the worst score last night, right after the credits ran.

    Upon further review, this ep was brilliant.

    I think it was the shock of seeing Jan become such a psycho girl friend that pained me initially. I kind of miss Client-Jan, but oh well.

    Loved the Andy Warhol-style painting of Jan on the staircase wall, Michael’s $200 plasma TV, the number of pillows on their bed and not putting away the video camera.

  264. #334–Yes, Jan’s reason for divorcing Gould was she wanted kids going into the relationship, but she knew going in that he did not, and they each though the other would change their mind (The Client–one of my favorite episodes, by the way).

    I think Jan is just lucid enough to realize that she doesn’t *really* love Michael (although she tries to convince herself and everyone else that she does) so she doesn’t really want his kids. It doesn’t surprise me that she goes back and forth on the issue though, and drags Michael through her indecision with her (snip, snap, snip, snap, snip, snap).

    Just watched it again, and noticed that all of the boxes in the garage are labeled “Michael’s”-whatever. Also, the boxes for the cookware (expensive cookware, btw) Jan was using in the kitchen are right on top, suggesting to me that it was purchased specifically for this party. Why do I notice this minutia? Also, add “bongo drum” to Oscar’s list of “Things No One EVER Needs”!

  265. To # 344 | Cher is Bonto:
    Michael had just taken a sip of the wine, and what he meant was that is has an ‘oaky aftertaste…’ a term I assume he probably picked up from some wine-tasting class Jan dragged him to. (That could have been a great storyline, too.)

  266. #344

    Michael was trying to act as if he was a wine connoisseur. He meant to say that it had an oaky aftertaste, but he said afterbirth which is the placenta that a woman expells from her uterus after she gives birth to a baby.

  267. #344–Cher is Bonto–I think what Michael meant to say was “aftertaste”. An “afterbirth” is NOT something you want to put in your mouth (google “placenta”). I don’t drink wine, but I’ve often heard them described as having “woody” (or other types) of undertones to their flavors.

  268. #333 — I just downloaded it and I believe it’s both “so raw, so right” and then a few lines later it’s “so wrong, so right.” I hate to admit it, but please Hunter don’t give up the band, that’s a catchy tune!

    Just brilliant through and through… I agree with the others who think Jim was not going to actually ditch Pam there. I think he kind of peeved her off, but honestly, my husband would have thought of doing the same thing. Sometimes men don’t think clearly…but stealing the CD for her, that’s love babe.

  269. # 326 nick

    “was nobody else feeling like jim has gotten a little cocky?”

    I have always thought Jim is very cocky. I think that we just all felt so sorry for him because of his predicament with Pam that we overlooked that part of his character. Now that he has her, his arrogance is more apparent.

    That’s just my opinion, anyway.

  270. Michael dipping his food into his wine glass to “kill the poison” sent me over the edge. OMG.

  271. Ok I just noticed something else! Not only does Jan have that weird painting of herself in the stairwell, but if you pay attention, like EVERY personal picture up is of Jan…haha, she is so self-involved. Poor Michael.

  272. Babe, they weren’t often mean to Pam in front of others, babe.

    That episode was the most cringe inducing ever. And yes, I noticed Dwight’s glass. That glass can hold an entire bottle of wine.

    The only thing I didn’t like was Dwight leaving the woman at the bus stop. He’s more of a gentleman than that, regardless of his man-love for Michael.

  273. This wasn’t one of my favourites. The whole thing felt kind of off, even though it was hilarious . It was off for me because 1) there was no buildup to the cringeworthy stuff, like in Phyllis’ wedding… it started weird and crazy and stayed at that pitch. Plus, there were no talking heads from Michael. Those usually tie the episode together so it was kind of weird not seeing any.

    I still liked it and laughed. Just different than usual.

  274. 344, Cher

    Michael has a habit of pisspronunciating himself. His intention was “oaky aftertaste.”

  275. I thought this episode was great right away, but I think it gets better with repeat viewings. I especially love that the candle Jan shows off is fire scented. Bonfire scented, but still. ;)

  276. I thought the episode was really great! Not only did it have the patented office uncomfortable moments, but it had some phenomenal unexpected moments. And maybe I’m a sap, but I loved the bit at the end in the car with Jim and Pam.

  277. Apologies in advance if this has been mentioned before.

    Spin-off theory:

    Jan wants to start her own business.
    They mention Hunter was fired (he’d be the perfect secretary for Jan, obviously).
    Andy mentions he wants to invest.

    They already stated that no major characters were leaving and clearly they can’t keep the Jan/Michael relationship going forever. What will they do with her character after that? Show what happens to her when she starts her own business. Just a thought.

  278. I love the hand chairs, especially since I just finished watching all of the episodes of Arrested Development, ha ha. I loved Hunter’s song, and Jan’s dancing. I I really enjoyed this episode, and I have to say it made my day to see the quote randomizer back today! I can’t wait to see what the next few episodes have in store…it should be amazing.

  279. season 4 is like a drama, I miss 1, 2 and parts of 3. Somebody please explain to me how this is funny? Please I need to know. It gets too serious with Michael and Jan. Lukcily Andy and Dwight somewhat redeem it

  280. Ugh, it was not good. I completely accept that it might have been a very british-style of “The Office”, where it’s very awkward and such. But..the American one has managed to usually be funny, as well, and this just wasn’t it. The jokes were too obvious and too over-the-top.

  281. Song Lyrics
    I think it is
    “so wrong, so right”

    which makes more sense if you are a young assistant sleeping with your much older boss

  282. HILARIOUS! I loved this episode. There were so many great moments. It was all too real to me. I think that many of us have been at dinner parties like this one.

  283. #353 – I thought that Michael dipped his piece of meat into the wine because he said that he had soft teeth? Although that was my first reaction when I saw that. I was asking myself how he expected to get rid of the poison by dipping his food into the wine.

  284. Comments about Jim considering ditching Pam at the party because sometimes men don’t think clearly are true….but she would have had no other ride home! I love that in Pam’s response, “party” is synonymous with “girlfriend”….nice.
    In that scene, Pam stands up for herself. But it seems like she can only stand up to people who know her well enough (Jim, Michael -at work) but not to Jan or Angela….weird. Like during the girls’ time in the kitchen, in response to Angela’s accusation that she holds onto faxes, in response to Jan saying she is a bad assistant…
    She has gotten better, I guess but it is still disappointing that Jim doesn’t help her out (and of course, after Roy, Pam is good at putting up with it)

  285. Well, it seems like either people loved this episode or hated it. I think if you evaluate it solely on how much it made you “laugh out loud,” then Dinner Party was very disappointing. This humor was much bigger than that though. Even though this wasn’t my favorite episode, I appreciate what the show was trying to do in showcasing the worst possible scenario of office workers going to their boss’s dinner party.

    In the history of The Office, some of my favorite moments have been those that at first I hated for how awkward they were (i.e. Michael’s proposal to Carol), and then later realized the genius of their humor. Similarly, I feel this episode will grow on us too.

  286. 326 nick

    “was nobody else feeling like jim has gotten a little cocky?”

    I have always thought Jim is very cocky. I think that we just all felt so sorry for him because of his predicament with Pam that we overlooked that part of his character. Now that he has her, his arrogance is more apparent.

    That’s just my opinion, anyway.”

    Spot on, Pam 6.0…

  287. OMG! Don’t know if this was mentioned but on NBC.com you can by Serenity by Jan candles!

  288. #344

    I’m assuming he meant to say “after taste.” Afterbirth is what would come out (including the placenta I believe) right after a baby comes out during birth.

    So…yeah.

    Brilliant episode. One of the best of all time in my opinion.

  289. Wow! I was actually loving that episode! I watched it with my fiance, who is also a big Office fan, and he said it was a bit disappointing. I personally thought it was hilarious! Not quite the type of episode I could watch over and over again, but I loved finding out who the mystery lady was. Dwight’s date! Was not expecting that! And #351 and 326- I agree that Jim is a bit cocky. I’ve also always thought that, but this season the writers are especially bringing the arrogant side of him out. So overall rating of 8/10 guys!

  290. Very disappointed. I think The Office has proven that it can make people cringe; the question is, can they make people laugh? Or care about the story? At this point I just want Jan to GO AWAY. The show is simply unwatchable when she’s on the screen.

  291. #370 – Luke: The fax machine is by Pam’s desk, so it seems that she receives the faxes that come in for anyone in the office. Generally, when a fax comes in, it should immediately be distributed to the recipient. Angela is saying that Pam doesn’t distribute them right away (or maybe not at all).

  292. I can’t stop listening to that stupid song! It’s stuck in my head. And I really want to smell the “bonfire” candle.

  293. 360, that’s a good spin-off theory re: Jan. It seems like Melora Hardin has been in the press lately more too (I read silly US/People/Ent Weekly magazines), which may indicate that her publicist is trying to get her face/name out there more.

  294. I don’t think Jim was doing anything bad to Pam by trying to leave the party, I think he had already made the excuse that he had to go check on his apartment, and wanted to make sure they believed him. Plus, they have been dating for how long in office time? About 4 or 5 months? So Jim can’t be Mr. Perfect all the time, they are getting comfortable with each other and goofing around. I’m sure Jim would’ve come back for her, he probably just didn’t think about her getting home, I didn’t think about it until I read everyone’s comments.

  295. I actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit. I must say, the beginning was a bit slow but I absolutely loved Hunter’s song, Jan’s candles, and Jim and Pam and Andy and Angela at the end. I basically died when Angela smushed her ice cream on Andy’s car. Priceless! Thank god the Office is back!

  296. “Snip, Snap, Snip, Snap, Snip, Snap”

    my friend and kept saying that all day.

    i LOVED this episode. i wonder if nbc will put hunter’s album on itunes.

  297. I really loved this episode.
    Poor Jan. I just feel so sorry for her.
    I just have to say that I actually preferred Dwight’s reaction in the promos (running from the interview) to the actual crying.
    And, I can’t wait to see Dwight’s obvious plan to make Angela jealous unfold!

  298. I enjoyed this episode, I think it would have fit better though to have seen it directly after the Deposition, this was definitely the downfall from that. I loved Michael and Jan trying to overly show that their relationship is okay, and then just completely deteriorating into destroying Michael’s 200 dollar TV. When he lit that gigantic neon blue beer sign and it illuminated the entire room like some giant bug light, I almost died laughing. I didn’t really think it was so awful of Jim to try and “leave” Pam, I don’t know, a part of me felt like he knew he wasn’t getting away with that and he just likes messing with her. I mean, he’s sent Andy to ask her out, they generally treat each other as equal partners in crime.

  299. It’s the OFFICE! Where is everyone else? I miss Kelly and Creed and Kevin, Kate and Phyllis and Oscar. Even Angela and Andy have little to do in these relationship episodes. Maybe the spin off should be the Jim and Pam Show and the rest of us can get back to the FUN stuff!

  300. The best line was michael’s:

    Bond! James Bond! Fire! POW POW! Michael Scarn!

    oh my goodness. just amazing.

  301. I just watched it again. Best part:

    Jan dancing to “That One Night” and Andy trying to harmonize to it.

  302. I’ve watched it twice more now and the episode really grew on me. And I don’t think it was awful of Jim to try to leave. I think he probably knew he was going to stay. Hunter’s song is hilarious.

  303. Glorious.

    I wonder if Michael’s “soft teeth” has anything to do with his taking 10 seconds to brush?

  304. #389 I didn’t catch that Michael Scarn comment… haha amazing! I love this show.

  305. This was a great episode! Melora was amazing in this one. Jan is completely psycho and I feel awful for Michael. She has completely taken over his condo. I can’t believe she makes him sleep on that bench! Also, I loved Angela smashing her ice cream cone into Andy’s car. That was dawesome. Congrats to Lee & Gene for another fine episode. Also, YAY for the return of the quote randomizer!!!

  306. I loved this episode and thought the humor was a great combo of subtle and in-your-face.

    I also loved that the burger place Jim and Pam go to after the party is right by my parents’ house in Reseda!!! Whoo-hoo Reseda! (it’s on the corner of Reseda Blvd and Saticoy, in case you wanna go.) Reseda hasn’t had an entertainment shout-out since Karate Kid.

  307. I love The Office, but this past episode was just utterly painful to watch. I was really looking forward to it when cast members were saying it was hilarious, but it turned into a massively awkward, unfunny episode that seemed too forced. Dwight was the only person who made me laugh the entire time. I really hope the Jan and Michael relationship is on the down-low for what’s left of the season, I wont be able to handle it otherwise.

  308. This episode was just too unrelentingly dark for me. I love The Office for its ability to quickly redeem dark moments with compassion or light humor, whether a concerned look from Pam or a nonsense talking head from Dwight or Michael. This one just dove in the deep end and sunk. Pam and Jim seemingly unconcerned and giggling over a burger after being exposed to a person clearly losing their mind? The writers need to join Angela in a moment of prayer. Yikes!

  309. It was disturbing. That was flat out emotional domestic abuse. Nothing funny about that folks. If they were going for the squirm factor they more than succeeded.

  310. Okay, thank you guys for informing me of the meaning. That’s what I thought he was trying to say, but I wasn’t sure. Definitely saying that at my mom’s wine tasting party next month! LOL.

    Again, great episode. I saw it now four times along with the other episodes of this season, which I suggest to everyone else. This was truly meant as the climax of the season.

    All Season 4, Michael has been descending into madness from day one. He ran over an employee, he drove his car into a lake, he lost the ‘respect’ from his protégé, he’s in debt, his creativity was denied, his employee wanted to leave and he found out his branch is the worst one, he was nearly killed by wild mushrooms and his girlfriend hasn’t respected him from the beginning.

    I think it’s safe to say that Michael and Jan have been leading up to this meltdown for some time. And what better way to do so than in front of your coworkers.

    So… yeah, this was a very good episode. Bravo!

  311. Just finished watching it a second time…I really loved the episode. I know a lot of people were put off by the episode, and it’s pretty understandable…a lot of it was brutal.

    I remember reading some spoilers about the episode way back when the strike was still on, and someone (I think it was Jenna) commented that this episode would be VERY different and would almost feel like a play. I knew that coming in, and even if you didn’t, did you expect anything less than a train wreck from a dinner party at Michael and Jan’s?

    I can’t help but feel that more people would appreciate the episode if it just aired in the middle of a normal season. I think the problem was that after waiting five months, fans really didn’t want to see such a harsh episode. But I really appreciated the different approach this episode had.

  312. This is my favorite show, and I really want to say this was a great episode, but something was just off for me. Usually watching them again helps, but I’ve watched it about four times now, and I’m still not a fan. I hope this episode isn’t an indication of things to come!

  313. I liked the episode, although I think the promos ruined most of it for me. I LOVED it when Jan threw the Dundie at Michael’s tiny TV… Awesome! Also I loved Pam’s reaction when she learns that Michael has told Jan that he and Pam had dated in the past. The glares from Jan (towards Pam) were awesome too. Maybe Michael was getting back at Jan for her Hunter fascination?
    All in all, I am glad to be back watching this show again :)

  314. Liked the episode a lot the first time and loved it, loved it, loved it the second time around. That’s what is great about “The Office” is that multiple viewings are actually better. A lot of the time, shows are only good once or twice, but these episodes just get better with time. Can’t wait until next week!

  315. I’ve been reading all of the comments here and I must say that I’m shocked more people didn’t like this episode. I loved it! It was insanely hilarious!

    Some thoughts: I think people expect The Office to be season 2 or even season 3 without realizing that the characters are growing and changing.

    Jim was always cocky but he seems like his normal self. He seems totally happy with Pam. I think people are forgetting that he did not want to be at that party at all and that’s why he seemed sad or down.

    And he didn’t ditch Pam or even try to ditch Pam. He had no idea that his plan to leave wouldn’t work. Crafty Michael said that they BOTH DIDN’T NEED TO GO. Poor Jim just felt stuck and didn’t know what to say.

    Jan’s character is completely insane and amazingly hilarious. That devil thing reminded me of Elaine from Seinfeld saying she’s the devil with David Puddy. So freaking funny!

  316. Dwight shows up at the door with 2 extra wine glasses…hahaha. He is my favorite character. I loved seeing him drive in his mighty Firebird too. I hope we get to see more of him and Mose at the Schrute beet farm!

  317. Dwight shows up at the door with two extra wine glasses…classic. He is my favorite character. Hope to see more of him and Mose home on the farm!

  318. I’m Lindsey from livejournal!!!! Meaning, that’s my icon used as the episode’s tag :) YAY!!!! It’s so great, because I loved this episode so much, it’s great that my picture will be associated with it now!!!

  319. I liked the episode when I watched it the first time, and I ended up liking it even more when I watched it for a second time. There were a lot of subtle things that I missed the first time around, like Jan’s painting by the stairs. I also liked how Jan being mean to Pam was a callback to Fun Run, when Jan gets mad after she finds out about Pam walking in on Michael changing. Loved the video camera in Jan and Michael’s bedroom too! So disturbing…

  320. I liked the episode because I couldn’t not; we all had to wait so long for more of the show that to acknowledge the episode wasn’t one of the best is kind of disheartening. I think what fans needed after the strike was a subtler episode to ease back into things. This one would have worked better flanked by episodes with dramatics on the same level. I loved seeing the characters interacting again but they dealt with a heavy subject that didn’t center around the office itself and that just seems almost too run-of-the-mill sitcom-ish to me. Anyone get that vibe?

  321. I haven’t seen anyone mention Andy’s outfit. Did anyone notice when he took off his jacket he had a sweater already folded over his shoulders? I noticed that on the second viewing, hilarious. Awesome episode.

  322. Tanster how did you know way back in January that Jan was starting a candle making business, when it was a choice in the personality quiz, and you said it was a spolier….what is your secret! haha

    [from tanster: lol. a little birdie told me.]

  323. i still don’t know how i feel about the episode…

    has pam and jim moved in together .. hence the “see you at home.”?

    that would be funny if we find out they move in together a few episodes in. i wonder if jim snores, haha.

  324. Did anyone else think it was sort of touching of Dwight to offer to take Michael home. Of course that was mitigated by him bringing his babysitter to dinner.

  325. I just watched it again… I cant believe the stuff I missed the first time!

    SO good. Such a good show.

  326. I was completely in love with this episode from beginning to end. It absolutely had a theater feel, and struck a fantastic balance between humour and bitterness. Melora Hardin was flat-out amazing; I have to say that Jan was not one of the more interesting characters for me during the beginning of the series, but she has really shone as of late. Her obsession with her ex-assistant was hysterical!

  327. This episode makes me miss Carol. Carol was normal and whenever Michael did something ridiculous, it was funny to see how Carol reacted. When there are two clearly insane people, the show becomes too dramatic, too much like a soap opera. When two people are acting crazy and are screaming at each other, it added a more serious tone. Personally, I prefer a more comedic, light hearted show, which is why I’d like it if the show got back to its roots. Michael is funniest when he has rational people to “interact” with, not when he and Jan are trying to out-crazy each other.

  328. Just watched – agree that it was a little dark, but so funny! I could totally see Jan trying to impress people like that and Michael acting the way he did. My favoite line was Jim’s “they’re both winning” talking head. Poor guy looks so desperate to get out of there!

  329. I love this episode and the ending to it,I thought is was sweet/cute when I saw Jim and Pam in Jim`s car,it was sweet when Jim said that he took the CD for Pam, but funny when he started lip singing to it!

  330. This episode took a long stride toward making the office into something entirely different than it has ever been. This episode was farcical. It’s all very very funny, but the unrealistic nature of it disconnects the characters and will eventually undo the show completely if they don’t get the episodes centered back in the office. Firing Jan and bringing her in as an outside Dunder-Mifflin character is turning out to be one of the worst developments this show has seen.

  331. I loved this episode. I laughed from beginning to end. Jan is an unhinged nutjob; I didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified. Fantastic performance for Melora- bravo. Dwight showing up with his “date” and the two of them eating beet salad out of those old school Tupperware containers at the dinner table was hysterical. Kudos to Jenna, who I thought was brilliant. IMHO, Pam had some of the best expressive reactions of the episode to all of that Jan/Michael nuttery and her talking heads in the bathroom were snarky and hilarious, not to mention I loved how she threw a wrench into Jim’s escape plan. Pam Beesly for the win.

  332. so i have figured out why michael told jan that he and pam used to date. jan obviously slept with hunter (hence the song) and so michael told jan that he dated pam to kind of get back at her. pam is HIS personal assistant, aka the receptionist. that is the equivalent in scranton.

    i think that this episode tonight showcased the ladies. i thought that was a nice change of pace. as for over analyzing “i’ll see you at home” all that says to me is that they spend a lot of time together and are comfortable. they don’t live together, he just feels comfortable calling his place her home. its cute!

  333. I also LOVED Jim and Pam’s bathroom talking heads. The space was so little that they looked just as trapped as they must have felt!

    And Jim did say “See you at home.” Wow…what exactly does THAT mean?

  334. I thought Melora was awesome in this episode. It was a funny, smart, interesting episode and I can’t wait to see where they take it!

    And good point “tuna tuna tuna” about Jan and Hunter. This episode is a classic!

    “His first name is Tom and he likes to go on cruises. Katie Holmes?”

  335. Hey, we should allow Jim to be human and have faults like everybody else. When he tried to get himself AND Pam out of the party, and Michael cornered him, he didn’t know what to do. Pam acted like many girlfriends/wives and stepped into the “mom” role and made Jim do what he knew was right and stand by her after his passing moment of weakness. It wasn’t that he was trying to “prank” Pam, he just lost his composure a minute. Let’s let our fav characters have their faults but still love them!

  336. Fantastic episode – one of the most skillfully written ever. Very realistic – everyone who works in an office is faced with the problem of socializing with weird people they won’t dream of normally hanging with, including bizarre dinner parties. Too many little flourishes to count – how about the number of pillows on the master bed – no wonder there is no room for Michael! Jan’s paranoid side glances at Pam were priceless.

  337. I think Dwight just left his “date” at the bus stop, and the homeless man by the bench was showing that it was not a safe place for her to be but Dwight was unconcerned for her safety in light of Michael’s predicament.

  338. So sad that the entire condo bore the stamp of Jan, like all of Michael was eliminated from his own property. Kimono count = 3.

    The brilliant Beth Grant is the centerpiece of the cult classic “Sordid Lives” in her role as “Sissy”. I would love to see her date/baby sitter character recur in a few episodes.

  339. I loved how Michael was so proud of his “plasma” tv. Reminded me of when he showed off his Sebring to Ryan in The Fire. Jan has so overdecorated the condo . Way too many framed pieces on the walls, candles, lamps, pillows.

  340. One interesting aspect of this episode was Jan trying to glue the Dundie back together at the end. Jan and Michael’s relationship is completely dysfunctional, but we always get the idea that they may really care for each other, they just have no idea how to navigate a relationship.

  341. 430
    Tuna tuna tuna I could see Michael saying that to Jan in the heat of an argument and I thought it was because Jan was unstable. But remember Michael’s extraordinary capacity for idealization and exaggeration. According to Michael he and Ryan are good friends but we know that isn’t true. Remember in Diwali when Pam went to comfort Michael and he took it as a sign that she was interested in him and tried to kiss her. And Pam did see him naked, combine all of this in Michael’s overactive mind and Jan’s unstable brain and it is Pam is interested in Michael.

  342. this episode was weird and out of place with the other episodes. Touted as being the funniest? I don’t know…I liked the $200 plasma tv…but Jan was crazy! candles??! Let’s return to the traditional office and feature more than 6 characters please…

  343. This episode was absolutely fabulous.
    Jim’s reaction to Jan’s scented candles, Dwight bringing his babysitter, Michael’s table …
    I could go on and on. I loved it.

  344. tuna tuna tuna, I’d agree with you on “Jan/Hunter” analysis…that is IF she had told MIchael about this affair sometime before she got breast implants. Frankly, I’d say Jan is WAY more jealous of Pam than Michael is of Hunter.

  345. I only recently became addicted to the Office, from watching reruns on TBS over the winter. I eagerly awaited the episode like everyone else.

    I enjoyed the episode, but think it was over-hyped. Pam refusing to let Jim leave was my favorite moment. Andy was hardly used at all, making it seem that Andy and Angela were only used so Angela could provide the snarkiness. I’m really hoping the writers get the point and keep the characters mostly at the office (while an occasional excursion is fun to watch). To the writers’ credit even the best comedy writers need to break out of their regular mold now and then (I Love Lucy’s Hollywood and Europe episodes being good examples).

  346. Re: Michael and Pam thing… I doubt Michael would have told Jan that he had dated Pam. He’s not really a liar. What i think is more likely is that he told Jan things the same way he told her about the stripper, because he blows things up in his mind and feels guilty.

    And Jan is a bit twisted, so I bet she wouldn’t be able to conceive of Michael being the bad guy. So in her head, it looks like Pam is preying on michael and still trying because they had some ‘moments’ before.

  347. although i think that the REASON michael told jan about pam was to get back at her or maybe more so try to equal or one up her (michael is always trying to pretend that he is part of things or has had certain experiences that others have), but i agree with others than it probably seemed totally feasible to both michael and jan – michael because he is totally disillusioned about relationships and jan because she is clearly threatened by pam.
    also, while i agree that things like driving into the lake were over the top, this dinner party was not over the top. i know i am not the only person here who has experienced that. the reality of it is what made it sooo uncomfortable!

  348. This was a great episode. A strange thing about this show: You have to watch an episode at least twice or three times to pick up on some of the jokes. I think I laughed more the second viewing than the first.

  349. I cannot get the image of Jan dancing out of my head. She may be the worst dancer on television since Seinfeld’s Elaine!

    I agree that the argument and vasectomy stuff was over the top. But I think the episode was saved by Angela’s eternal rudness, and Dwight and his old babysitter showing up with a cooler.

  350. I do think that it is hilarious that the show is called The Office, but the characters are never there – or if they are, they’re having a party.

  351. I really want to know if the song is ‘so wrong’ or ‘so raw.’ Wish I would have gotten this in as a question to Gene and Lee!

  352. I loved this episode. The camera in the bedroom was so funny to me because it reminded me of ‘Women’s Appreciation’ when Michael told the girls that sometimes Jan videotapes them having sex and then plays it back for her therapist. LMAO! I was waiting for Andy to be a little more obnoxious, but I guess Angela was taking over for him. And this episode made me really feel sorry for Michael and I’m wondering if this is the beginning of the end for them. Hope so :) My 12-year son keeps walking through the house singing ‘That one night…’ too funny. We have got to get a copy of that CD!

  353. did you guys see Angela disapprovingly staring at Jan’s cleavage when she and Andy arrived?

  354. this episode is right up there with ‘Money’ and ‘The Injury’ for me. And that was the best office TWSS.

    :D it’s just so happy-making to see the quotes back at the top of OT.

  355. Perfect episode. Absolutely Brilliant! My favorite lines: “Not now Dwight!” and “When in Rome…” and when Jan said the wine they brought her would be great for cooking. Who hasn’t STRESSED like mad over what wine to bring to someone’s house, only to get some sort of similar off-putting reaction! Genius!

  356. Wow. This episode was packed to the hilt with every line and camera shot delivering a punch. So much good stuff! Loved the overly full wine glasses of Dwight & babysitter as if in a race to catch up to the others in wine consumption. Ha!

  357. I think that Michael got kinda jealous of Hunter because I can imagine Jan going on and on and on about him, so michael was probably like “yeah me and pam are like that too” or something. yeah and what 441 said.

  358. What a disgrace. What has happened to the show I once loved called the office? In season 2 the show was original and creative and did not need gross humor to get laughs. When I saw the video camera in the bedroom all I could say to myself was “come on…really?!?” I am a watcher from the start and I am sad to see the office go downhill. How can there be an office episode without Stanley or creed? NBC announced that an office spin-off will be airing soon but if you ask me seasons 3&4 are already spin offs of the flawless season 2.

  359. 463-

    While (IMHO) your take is a little extreme, I agree with you on some points. I felt the same way about season 3 while I was watching it. It seemed disconnected from the completely awesome season 2. On rewatching, though, I’ve learned to love season 3, just maybe in a slightly different way. I’m trying to do the same with season four. I agree with those who say that they need to get back to the office more, but at this point I think the show has changed so much that we need to look at its merits for the show it is now, not always the show it was. Because a sudden change that made it more like season 2 would feel really awkward. Just my opinion, though.

  360. My biggest laugh in this episode was the moment the words “…TWO HUNDRED DOLLAR plasma tv…!” came out of Michael’s mouth. Unexpected and hilarious. I found Angela’s ice-cream smashing equally perfect. When this show does funny, I feel the need for a new set of vocabulary to describe the moments. Thank you writers! You rock!

    Incidentally, I also was so pleased with the callback to Dwight’s former long-term one-sided relationship with the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department.

    The portrayal of Michael as a victim of domestic violence was taken straight out of COPS and struck the perfect pitch of scary and pitiful and ridiculous for Michael’s life. I have enjoyed the story arc w/Jan but it’s been a little too weird at times and overall I’m glad he seems to be getting the chance to move on!

  361. Have to agree with Season2Lover about the shift from clever, creative humor to shock-effect “humor”. I’ve been trying to articulate (to myself) what went wrong this season, and especially in the Dinner Party. Maybe there is pressure (real or imagined) to find new settings and situations to keep the show fresh. I hope the writers can realize they and the actors possess such great talent that an argument in the office over a pencil eraser can be more effective, if done well, than a twenty-minute screaming match wherever it may be staged. Personality cracks were fun, but realistically-acted psychotic episodes belong on daytime soaps.
    I really miss the serious but affectionate interchanges between Pam and Jim that we saw in earlier seasons. I think there is still opportunity for this even though they’re together, and hope to see it again!

  362. My fave part is when JAM continually called each other “babe” at the end, making fun of Michael and Jan. Hilarious!

  363. I was very disappointed, after all the hype. It was passable. Please, return to season 2, where things take place in AN OFFICE. Glad it’s back, though.

  364. i understand people having different opinions and liking certain episodes more that others but these reactions are so extreme. don’t you think the writers and actors enjoy taking the story out of the office, keeping it fresh? don’t you think that it is interesting to take ONE episode where they really focus on the main characters and develop them further. if the writers don’t feature every person in every episode people freak out! and i am sure we would all get pretty bored of show after show in the office with forced scenarios. cut the show a little slack! and let season 2 go!! i go in every week expecting to love it and i always enjoy it. of course in retrospect i think some episodes are weaker than others but it is so great to have something that i enjoy as much as this show and it is fun to actually enjoy it!

  365. I really need clarification on this.. could Hunter’s song be about Jan??? I mean from the looks of it.. and the fact the she was so dramatically into it (that or her alcohol level) shows something deeper than her really liking Hunter’s song?!

  366. Good episode. Great to have them back! I can’t believe it’s been 5 months. Yikes.

  367. I liked this episode of the office. It was more like the BBC version which plays to a darker side of comedy which I think for our society of entertainment isn’t one we like to tap into, but doesn’t mean its not good. It was just different. For an episode about a dinner party with Jan & Michael, a couple whose relationship is so extreme and pathetic but not too far from realistic of some real couples, they just tapped into other sides of characters through the painful akwardness of those two. Pam & Jim were still cute as can be with how they reacted and Dwight held true to his character, while Andy & Angela played up their characters well for the situation too.

  368. Angela definitely had the best quote of the episode.
    “The thought of popping one of your beets in my mouth makes me want to vomit.” I lost it when she said that!

    Great episode all around though! Can’t wait for this week’s episode.

  369. Loved Michael dipping his meat into his wine glass and putting up his neon beer sign. I noticed Pam pouring more wine at this time…I am guessing in anticipation of Jan’s reaction.

  370. Jana, I agree, this reminded me more of the British Office too. My aunt and I were talking about this one over the weekend and she loved it (she’s a HUGE fan of the British version and thought this was one of the funniest American episodes). Some people prefer dark humour over “laugh out loud funny.” P.S. I’m personally glad The Office has moved on from Season 2 – I wouldn’t appreciate the show so much if there was no character development and everything stayed the same.

  371. It’s odd to read the wide range of opinions on “The Dinner Party”. For me (and for Mrs. Hot Dog Fingers) this was a GREAT episode, possibly the best of the “cringeworthy” plots in the vein of “Diversity Day”. The level of detail and the subplots, like Jim’s attempted escape, made it a sensory delight. I gave “Dinner Party” a 9.

    It’s fantastic to have “The Office” back, and to be back here at OT!

  372. I have to say I liked this episode a great deal. Anyone saying the dinner party wasn’t realistic, I have been to a dinner party that was nearly this bad.

  373. this is in my top 3 favorite episodes: this, Money, and Dunder Mifflin Infinity (also all are 4th season)

  374. In the words of Kelly, are you kidding me? This episode was excellent. I haven’t laughed so hard at an Office episode since Safety Training. The humor of this episode was far more along the lines of the British Office. Just appreciate it for what it is, the most uncomfortable (Thank goodness! Wasn’t this show supposed to be about how horribly awkward Michael Scott is?) episode since the introduction of Yankee Swap in season 2.

  375. someone asked about hunter’s song, and whether it could be about jan. i was thinking that too, because she seemed very obsessed with it and was in her own little world every time she played it. that would be a VERY interesting twist if she had been involved with hunter!

    also…i loved the humor in this episode! there were some parts that had me doubled over in laughter. jim and pam are still the greatest couple in the world, but things seem to be changing between them…uh-oh!

  376. according to lee and gene the song is about jan (read the awesome transcript tanster posted a couple days ago). they also reassure jam fans about what they refer to as a “chess game” between pam and jim (aka the whole jim trying to leave pam scenario).

  377. I agree with the ones questioning the location of where the episode happens. It felt like a totally different show to me, even though I´ve been a big fan since day 1. I still like seeing how each character behaves outside of the office, leaving the “routine” behavior aside.
    Oh! one last thing … am I the only person stuck with “Hunter´s” song in my head? I´ve been singing that on my way to work every single day since the episode aired …

  378. I’m excited to have my “SecondLife” back. I though there were a lot of great lines, but at times it felt like the writers were trying to top themselves. Jan’s not being able to glue the Dundie together was sad and telling. As many have mentioned, the episode was really an homage to Virginia Wolf. I can only hope that NBC is selling one of Michael’s “Mose inspired” tables.

  379. Yeah… I guess I’m in the minority. I thought the comedy was forced, the writing was questionable, and Dwight and Jan are being misused as characters. The show is being dumbed down for the rest of America. I give it a C-.

  380. Hey remember when Karen jokingly told Jim at the party that she’d had a relationship with every guy there. What if Jan was actually like that!? All along, Michael is thinking they have something special, but instead he’s just one of many Jan conquests.

  381. Sebastian- I’m in that same minority. I’m not even that excited for the Office to come on anymore, because it has been pretty disappointing of late. I keep expecting the show to turn around, and it has maintained a new, poor course.

  382. I thought the best part of the whole episode was Dwight trying to talk to the cop and the cop saying ‘Not now, Dwight.’ hahaha.

  383. The biggest problem with The Office is that the entire show is taking place outside of the office. I don’t think the material is poor, it is just lacking its roots. I mean, the show is called The Office for a reason, and that is what we all came to know and love. I just miss all of the situational antics when the whole cast is together…in the same room. I just want my old elements back.

  384. (# 485)

    A lot of season 2 took place outside of the office; From the dundies, office olympics, the fight, email surveillance(the whole cast was there, but ..outside of the office), the client, booze cruise, the injury, dwights speech, michaels birthday, and a few others. Honestly you can only do so much comedy about their job. The dinner party is only one I can think of where pretty much the entire episode was out of the office and the cast was completely split up. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I can’t really tell too much of a difference. The episodes are always great, you know?

  385. I loved this episode! Can anyone tell me where I can find the guest cast list? Or who played Dwight’s date? I can’t figure out where I have seen her.

  386. I was just wondering if anyone watched this little ‘ol show called Arrested Development…
    because those hand chairs Michael had in his garage?
    SO Buster’s hand chair from Arrested Development. LOVE those chairs.

  387. so a late response to anyone who thought the end with the soundtrack over it was contrived or not true to the office. although i liked it, i also thought it seemed a little out of place. but i just watched the dundies (i am watching again from season 1) and at the end of that when angela and pam are driving off and jim is walking there is a song playing in the background. i have found that watching old episodes again puts the new episodes in a new perspective and they feel a part of the story more.

  388. I love Arrested Development! “Make love with your own hand mother” hahaha. I wonder if the writers are a fan and they put it in as a tribute?!

  389. Dwight’s date was a guest on Friends in the 2nd season. She was the homeless woman Phoebe gave her $2,000 to.

  390. I believe Dwight’s date/ former babysitter was also the woman who played Mrs. Farmer, the mean gym teacher in Donnie Darko. Pretty sure I looked it up when the episode first aired.

  391. This show has lost its focus and it needs to be filmed in the OFFICE. Hence, the name of the show. Cheers stayed in the bar. Friends stayed in Central Perk. The Office should stay in the office. Filming a dinner party? Please. The writers have forgotten what made this show sparkle. It’s fashizzle now. :-(

  392. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite Office episode. I can’t get enough of it! Melora is HILARIOUS. oh man. everything she does in this episode is pure gold. She and Steve Carell are great together. gotta love the dysfunctional side of the relationship between Michael and Jan.

  393. I’m starting to wonder if Michael makes fake overtime assignments all the time and then calls corporate to look like the hero.

  394. I liked it. I think Melora did a great job, and so did all of the other actors.But seeing Jan like this makes me feel really sad for her. I think maybe her character has had enough downfall and maybe they could make Jan get her life back together. Also, the song “That One Night” implies that Jan and Hunter had an intimate relationship, but Jan hired Hunter while she was dating Michael. Does this mean that Jan cheated on Michael?

  395. The Dinner Party is by far my favorite episode of The Office, although I have watched it so many times that I can practically recite the entire thing word for word. For one, I LOVE the fact that it is completely different and outside the norm and literally shot outside of the office. For me it’s all about the psychology of the characters lives, I love seeing what their lives are “really like” at home and this gives insight into why Michael is so miserable with Jan. The writing is brilliant, their arguments are haunting yet hilarious. Perfect come backs. Does anyone know if Michael ad-libbed the part about the three vasectomies? I’ve always wondered. The episode shows how wrong they are for each other and just how much Jan has fallen since being a big corporate boss. Kind of shows you what can really happen to a person when they “lose everything”. I love it! Please keep writing outside the box, office writers!

  396. Anyone invited to a dinner party thrown by co-workers during the 80s/90s will immediately identify with this episode. The tour of the drab, white-washed, cramped condo/home decorated by Pier One Imports. The scented candles. The drunk host hitting on a guest and making everyone uncomfortable. The henpecked husband/boyfriend. The awkward spats between the hosts. Too perfect.

  397. This is so old, but I just watched this episode again. I’m stunned that more people didn’t love it. It’s just perfect.

  398. I can’t believe Dinner Party is rated so low! It’s in my top 3 favorite Office episodes of all time. So many laughs. Just a perfect episode.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *