The Office: Free Family Portrait Studio, 8.24

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 | 128 comments



Writer: B.J. Novak, Director: B.J. Novak

Summary (NBC): Dwight offers free family portraits for the office — a stolen diaper leads to a high-speed car chase. With a little help from an old boss, Andy goes undercover as a janitor and stages a takeover. And a new business opportunity arises for Robert California. Guest stars: James Spader, Catherine Tate.

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The Office Free Family Portrait Studio extras


In a poll conducted May 10-14, 2012, Tallyheads rated this episode: 6.79/10

The Office Free Family Portrait Studio quotes

Oscar: I’m here to tell you that, yes, it does get better.

Kelly: Webcams make me look the way I look in my fantasies.

Robert: Sexuality is a spectrum.

Oscar: It gets better. Maybe not much better. But better.

Dwight: What’s even more precious to people than muffins? Their own children.

Darryl: You mean to tell me that no one wanted an energy drink for Asian homosexuals?

Darryl: What flavor is that?
Hide: Coconut penis.
Darryl: The coconut is pretty subtle.

Darryl: I would date the hell out of me.

Darryl: I would go crazy on myself.

Gabe: Oh how the mediocre have fallen.

Andy: I have a delicious secret.

Creed: This carpet’s overdue for a good mopping.

Andy: I convinced David Wallace to buy Dunder Mifflin back from Sabre.

Erin: Okay, you’re going to go through the hallway. Here’s a map.

Angela: The senator is the only man I’ve ever been with.

Andy: It’s go time.

Erin: After you’re manager, some of these images are going to be hard to shake.

Erin: Just calibrate.

Dwight: He defecated.

Darryl: Good slam.
Brandon: Thank you, Biggie.

Angela: No! Dwight! Give me the diaper!

Nellie: Oh get out, Skeleton Man!

Toby: Do you see David Wallace in the room right now?

Dwight: Operation Phoenix is a go.

Ryan’s sign: Kelly, I know you are with someone but I love you. I will wait forever.

Robert: This is the worst thing I have ever seen.

Robert: Why’d they add coconut? I miss original.

Andy: From janitor to manager? It’s quite a Cinderella story.

Andy: From total loss, to total boss.

Robert: I’m Bob. Bob Kazamakis.

Andy: Looks like I might get my delicious moment after all.

Nellie: The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven, upon the place beneath.

Andy: How dare you play the bard card.

Andy: All right, you sly bastard. When can you start?

Ryan’s sign: Missed connection — Caffeine Corner — you were blonde w/a hat? I work at Dunder Mifflin. Hope to see you again.

Robert: I want to see these girls right through college. Especially the gymnasts.

Senator Lipton: You know what this is about. Call.


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  1. 128. beverly  

    the robert california scamming Wallace showed how good robert is at tricking people, not so much that Wallace is stupid. i think over all that the writing is the best in TV.

  2. 127. Roy's Mugshot  

    #126 There is very little improvisation in the show even in the early seasons. The commentaries and interviews with the actors have indicated that almost everything is scripted, but they will try a few takes where the actors test different versions, but still close to the written word.

  3. 126. threatlevelmiddwight  

    One thing I’m curious about is whether the amount of improvised lines on this show have decreased since Michael’s departure…I feel like without the master improv skills of Steve Carell (much of which fueled the early seasons’ humor), the secondary characters aren’t as inspired to improvise their lines

  4. 125. randall  

    Meh is spot-on. The writers need to stop making caricatures out of the characters. Kevin is “Kevin” enough without having to make him act like a complete moron. Same goes with Erin. Andy has gone from uncomfortably funny (sometimes creepy) to Mr. Sweetheart, to annoying. Give us back uncomfortably funny Andy. The whole Robert California experiment was failed. An awful, ill-fitting character. Nellie has SOME potential, but alas the writers tried to make her the US version of the Gervais character. And they fell flat. Heck, even Oscar was written in such a way that his nature was betrayed.

  5. 124. Meh  

    This season was like a transition period of experiments to recapture the magic of the earlier seasons; unfortunately, many of those attempts fell flat.

    Writers (and directors) need to ground all of the characters and stop playing the absurdity card for cheap laughs. Writers especially need to step up their game, because this season was filled with examples of sloppy plot development and weak comedic payoffs. The Office is better than that.

    Season 9 will be an opportunity to start fresh, and prove that Michael Scott’s exit did not cripple the show beyond recovery. I hope they can pull it off.

  6. 123. Dean  


    Totally agree that the Jim/Kathy thing lacked a pay off.

    Wasted plotline.

  7. 122. Andrew  

    This whole episode was just bad. I think some of this season had some funny moments but what a way to end on a sour note. The whole thing with Robert California tricking David Wallace and then no one saying anything just seemed really stupid. Nothing was that funny.

  8. 121. jaydawg  

    ALSO- my one other thing regarding the show I LOVED. They don’t execute on potentially hilarious ideas anymore, dragging them out and opting for the wrong finishes; such as: Andy’s plot. Wallace showed up so why make it awkward and not funny by making it seem he wouldn’t? Then, why not give them their big moment? It would have worked so much better…..

  9. 120. jaydawg  

    Too often they write events in the current episodes to set up future stories without thinking about characters in the moment. And, the things they set up are no longer pleasing to the viewing audience or pleasant surprises. Not since “Garage Sale” has this group outdone itself and that episode was a hidden gem unlike what we’d seen since all the way back to Beach Games and the flashbacks. Why are they keeping Nellie? Why are they forcing dialogue to lose Robert? Why are they making David Wallace an idiot? Why are they… Why are they… IRK! The creative staff needs to sit down and hash out the season concepts (ala seasons 2 and 3) to not make it so wishy-washy.

  10. 119. Koos  

    I loved the tear-away velcro suit. Frustrated by David Wallace being duped by Robert.

  11. 118. Scio  

    I tend to agree with all of the critics on here. I was very excited to see this episode. I thought the lead up to it was great in the last episode. But they dropped the ball on making this episode a game changer. Instead of having Andy and David Wallace triumphantly take the office back from Sabre they had Andy act like a fool and they let Wallace be fooled by Robert California. Something is completely off with Erin/Andy; she’s not funny and there isn’t any realistic chemistry there. They could have saved the show with this episode if it was done right.

  12. 117. Little Stitious  

    I thought this was a great episode, it’s just too bad all of the episodes this season couldn’t have been as good. I think as a whole the second half of the season improved a lot since the first half. I LOVE that Dwangela is back :) :) and I thought the family portrait thing as a whole was hilarious. This episode had a lot more of the same feel of the early seasons. Does anyone know though what happened to the senator’s other son…the one he had at the hay maze? Wouldn’t he have brought him along for the portrait too?

  13. 116. Mike  

    I really hope Greg Daniels comes back as show runner next year and creates an amazing last season with David Wallace as CEO in New York, Goodbye Sabre finally. I’m so glad they did that. Also one episode with Michael would be nice. I try to focus on the good scenes with Jim, Dwight, Pam, David, and Mose . . . I stop paying attention whenever I see anyone else

  14. 115. Jessie  

    Oh, and also – Mose!!! Yay! Mose dressed as Dwight and being beaten by Angela, and then running away? C’mon! And Hide being back! Lots of Office fan favourites all in the one episode! Also, Gabe with the party hat and the little cake, running away after Nellie yelled at him really made me laugh. I don’t understand why people don’t like Gabe, I think he’s hilarious.

  15. 114. A.T.  

    @ 106 / remember to call: The character who reappeared alongside Hide was Calvin (played by Calvin Tenner). :-)

  16. 113. Jessie  

    Did anyone else feel really sorry for the Senator when they saw how much he doted on the baby? He seems like a really good father, I felt bad that it’s not really his son. Thought the portraits were a really nice touch – a lot of good callbacks. Liked seeing Toby, Meredith and Stanley’s kids again (and really glad they remembered to give Meredith’s son a face tattoo!), and Kelly and Ravi. And Jim was hilarious in the otherwise adorable Halpert picture! Also liked seeing Nate – he doesn’t have enough to do, hope he gets a bigger part next year. The Andy storyline was weird. Although I did laugh at him mopping the carpet and pretending to be drunk and giving Nellie the soup, it dragged on too long and stopped being funny. So great to see David Wallace back, and I disagree that him falling for Robert’s scam made him seem dumb. Remember that Robert talked Jo Bennett out of her own job and David is someone who always sees the best in people.

  17. 112. Pam  

    Nellie’s “Oh get out, Skeleton Man !!” was the BEST !!!
    Glad to see some progress with Darryl and Val.
    Annoyed that Andy was so obsessed that every step of his plan had to be perfect.
    Best wishes for Angela, Dwight and baby.
    Nice Mose cameo.

  18. 111. Cecelia  

    Cece just looks like Pam. So cute!! She seemed to cry before the scene.

  19. 110. BritishFans  

    It felt like an okay episode but didn’t have the usual feel of an end of season finale. It’s nicely set up for the next series with David back and still just stupid (suckit, sponsoring ‘Bob’ etc.) to permit the Scranton oddballs to work the way they do. I think Nellie will be the new Dwight, injecting crazy now and again.
    I presume Kelly will marry her doctor and Dwight will leave during the next series…. but will Angela and Baby Philip be with him?

  20. 109. Limey  

    @106 That is a very astute observation about Andy chanelling David Brent in the scene with Nellie. The way Andy triumphantly leans back in his chair is so very Brent!

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