The Office: Work Bus, 9.04

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The Office: Work Bus

Writer: Brent Forrester, Director: Bryan Cranston

Summary (NBC): The office hits the road — when Jim convinces Dwight that the building is unsafe; Dwight rents a bus and sets up the office inside. Nellie asks for Andy’s help in adopting a baby. Meanwhile, Jim tries to make Pam happy with some pie. Directed by ‘Breaking Bad’ star Bryan Cranston.

The Office Work Bus extras

The Office Work Bus rating

In a poll conducted October 18-22, 2012, Tallyheads rated this episode: 7.86/10

See all The Office Season 9 ratings.

The Office Work Bus quotes

Andy: Can’t take the fail? Get out of the fail video!

Andy: Well, that’s all, folks! Ski ya later everybody!

Toby: You think I have a machine for measuring bee hives?

Andy: I was just asking a question, Toby. How are you not murdered every hour?

Dwight: It’s a wire, people. I’m not buying it a fur coat.

Andy: A baby what? A human?

Dwight: Statistical correlations exist between EMF radiation and various health hazards but mainstream studies are inconclusive.

Meredith: You better fix this! I already ditched my uterus and I ain’t losing any more good parts.

Clark: No, dude, I’m not. I’m not the tutorial.

Clark: So Creed is that dude’s stepdad?
Darryl: Correct.

Meredith: I’m not growing a third arm!

Dwight: Well sorry, Lucky Jimbo, I can live very happily in a magnetic field. Most of my childhood heroes got their powers that way.

Dwight: No nobbies, no probbies.

Dwight: Roll into the future. With Work Bus.

Dwight: A work bus is how tomorrow gets things done.

Erin: I never managed to get in the end zone. Not lovable maybe.

Nellie: He hates me. Thinks I’m a monster. Should go back to Loch Ness.

Stanley: Boy, I will hammer spank your rear.

Pam: You know what they say. Change is as good as a rest.

Dwight: Now you’re locked in a prison bus and your woman drips with beverage.

Andy: All right! The fat people have spoken!

Jim: Next stop: Laverne’s Pies Tires Fixed Also.

Darryl: Stop.
Clark: Come back.
Darryl: Too late.
Clark: Mmm.

All: Shabooya roll call. Shabooya, ya, ya, shabooya roll call.
Pam: My name is Pam.
All: Yeah.
Pam: I like to paint.
All: Yeah.
Pam: You think you’re better?
All: Yeah.
Pam: Oh no, you ain’t.
All: Roll call. Shabooya, ya, ya, shabooya roll call. Shabooya, ya, ya, shabooya roll call.
Kevin: My name is Kevin.
All: Yeah.
Kevin: That is my name.
All: Yeah.
Kevin: They call me Kevin.
All: Yeah.
Kevin: ‘Cause that’s my name.
All: Roll call. Shabooya, ya, ya, shabooya roll call. Shabooya, ya, ya, shabooya roll call.

Creed: Playing a little hooky from work today.

Nellie: I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make you a parentless 5-year old again. I would snap you up!

All: Next stop pies! Next stop pies!

Angela: So wait. When pies are involved, you can suddenly do math in your head?

Jim: What do we want?
All: Pies!
Jim: When do we want it?
All: Pies!

Kevin: Well now I don’t even feel like pie! Wait… no, it’s back.

Dwight: My trouser hives are void of honey.

Dwight: I had congress with Angela and the child that she bore did not issue from my loins.

Dwight: I thought I would be a father, and instead I am a eunuch. Neutered by my own building.

Nellie (reading Andy’s endorsement): “She’s tough in business, but tender with people she cares about. She’ll make a wonderful mother to any child who can overlook weird accents.”

Kevin: I insult you, Oscar.

Icon provided by pessimistreader.


  1. The other episodes sounded awesome and let us down. This sounds crappy and will probably be awesome. Pie? Really?

  2. Gah…The season was off to such a great start with the first episode. I hope it doesn’t start to tank in quality with pointless plots.

  3. The premises only give the background to the emotional aspect of the show. What’s behind Jim making Pam pie? What are they going through? And why is Dwight so concerned with safety all of the sudden?

    I wouldn’t worry about “stupid” premises. Yeah, in season eight that’s what the episodes tended to be all about, but when they’re just set-ups for confrontations — as they have been thus far in this season — it’s very, very different.

  4. My guess is Jim’s secret business comes out in 5.03 and that’s what’s behind the whole pie thing in 5.04

  5. On the one hand, I’m relieved that the earlier description, saying ERIN was asking for Andy’s help in adopting, was inaccurate. Nellie doing that A) fits with the brief window into her sad life in “Turf War” and B) will put Andy in an interesting situation, since he loves the idea of familly but understandably loathes Nellie.
    On the other, sigh, the Jim & Pam description makes me think that we’re going into the arc part where Pam learns Jim made the business partner decision on his own and is pissed at him about it. So, pie? Cherry or apple? Ugh.

  6. “Jim tries to make Pam happy with pie” reminds me of him bringing her hot chocolate when she found out her mother was dating Michael. When he doesn’t know how else to fix what’s wrong, he’ll make these ineffectual attempts to cheer her up, he wants so badly for her to be happy. Since it’s mentioned a specific plotline, I’m assuming that something more happens than he brings her pie, she tells him where to go. I think this episode might be an example of taking an underlying serious problem and doing something humorous with it for a while. Whatever happens I think the episode will probably end with Jim realising it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than pie to set things right.

  7. I like to view The Office’s premises as short stories or novels. Anything literary. Yeah, it’s about Michael misinterpreting Diversity Day or forcing Oscar to come out or going into counselling with Toby, for example, but there’s usually an emotional theme behind it.* We all know that this show is silly but it’s never been Seinfeld re: total nihilism.

    * (Save a small handful of episodes where I’m fairly certain the writers came in high, concussed or just plain forgot to arrive at work that day. Either way, I don’t think this is the case here.)

  8. This sounds like the worst premise I’ve heard in a long time. This season has proven to me that time spent on Nellie is wasted time. I want her to go away, but at least wish she’d become more of a secondary character like Phyllis – giver her some focus here and there, allow her to add commentary, but don’t focus this many episode plots on her.

    Bryan Cranston directing is cool but about 1/2 the Breaking Bad cool factor I want. Where’s the petition to get Aaron Paul into a guest role? Bryan Cranston is on 30 Rock this year. Giancarlo Esposito will be on Community. Parks and Rec is getting Jonathan Banks. Where’s NBC’s love for Jessie, [obligatory] bitch?

    Oh well, here’s hoping it’s a fantastic episode.

  9. Look, I don’t rant on the internet like this very often. And yes, seasons 1-3 of the show are almost undeniably the best, but:

    Some of you are being way too critical. Without being biased, read/think about some of the plots from seasons 1-5…Nothing groundbreaking or immediately attractive about them. I for one really, really enjoyed “Andy’s Ancestry”; and ‘Andy learns that he is related to Michelle Obama’ didn’t appeal to me in the slightest, but I still went into the episode ready to laugh. Just watch the episodes and stop analyzing every word in a 2-3 sentence description. Ok, I’m done now, lol.

    A true Office fan

  10. @ Richard: Yeah where is Aaron Paul!! Can we just have Pinkman back in The Office selling to Creed!! (also don’t forget Dean Norris on Whitney (he can so do better))

  11. I always find it amusing when people overanalyze a 2 sentence plot summary. Just watch the episode, then react.

  12. Hey, here’s an idea…

    How about we just WATCH THE EPISODE and THEN give our opinions about it!

    Now is that so difficult…?

  13. Hah, I guess Bryan Cranston likes to work in big moving vehicles. Would be kind of awesome if that bus looked liked the old meth-rv.

  14. Lol at all the Breaking Bad jokes, but aside from that, after reading the premise and watching the promo, this could go either way. I won’t have my hopes up for this one; my hopes haven’t been high since season 7. Doesn’t sound good to me.

  15. I think you all are underestimating the power of pie. I would totally forgive someone if they made me pie, especially if it was Jim Halpert giving me pie. Come on folks! Keep an open mind.

  16. This was cute! Poor Dwight, he didn’t impregnate Angela. Loved Jim and Pam eating their pie together. Did anyone notice Erin and the new Jim eating pie together?

  17. Great episode. Started out unfunny at first, but John and Rainn brought their A-Game. Many great moments from Kevin, Creed, Stanley, etc. The Andy-Nellie-Erin thing was great.

  18. Best episode of the season! So much great character work this episode and awesome directing by Bryan Cranston. Creed playing hooky absolutely killed me. And it looked like the cast was having a ball.

  19. amazing episode best one of the season and definitely one of my favorite of the series! kevin and creed were fantastic! great jim and pam moments!

    favorite line of the episode?

    “What do we want? Pie! When do we want it? Pie!” too funny!! great job Bryan

  20. Very…interesting episode

    Something distinctly felt kind of off about this episode; it was an “out of office” episode, but with a legitimate reason, which I appreciated

    Andy really came into form as his new incarnation of “douche Andy”
    LOT of solid character development in this episode, and I liked the overarching themes of parenthood within the Dwight/Jim and Nellie/Andy/Erin stoylines

    Very lackluster cold open, but overall, great rest of the episode (:

  21. Toby usually doesn’t have the line of the night, but his was one of my favorites.
    “You think I have something that measures bee hives?”

  22. This episode was hilarious!! I give it a 10/10! I was dying at the “shabooyah” part, and Kevin suddenly knowing math when it involved pie. I loved the nice Jam moments too. I want to eat pie with Jim.

  23. Favorite episode of the past seasons. Favorite of Season 9 so far.
    The one thing I miss about earlier seasons is that when a character talked, the camera shots would move and you would see the other characters’ reactions. In this episode, the shot was on the talking character the whole time, and it felt too long when someone talked. Like the Jim/Dwight scene on the actual bus about going to the pie store.
    Other than that, a really great episode! Solid everything.
    Except, can we please stop making Andy into Michael. The line where he said “Toby, why haven’t you already been murdered” led me to believe the show wants to force the hatred of HR back on us. Like, no one in the office hates Toby anymore (at least they shouldn’t, other than Dwight). Andy shouldn’t be someone that should douche it up.

  24. Loved it when Creed was ditching work and gets a ride on the bus, so funny. Bryan Cranston did a fantastic job directing.

  25. Loved the old school season 1 JAM flashback when Pam put her head on Jim’s shoulder at the end!! (and also at their wedding)

  26. Great episode! 3 cheers for the writer! The work bus concept was very funny. I liked Andy’s new forceful, negative energy. That suits him just fine. I loved Jim’s new energy — his wanting to please his wife was so sweet And Dwight….who knew how badly he felt at not being a Baby-Daddy. I love my Office again!

  27. Great episode overall. I loved the classic Jim vs. Dwight prank with the whole popcorn situation. It very much reminded me of older, previous episodes/seasons of The Office so that was nice. Every character had a bit of highlights. JAM moments were seamlessly incorporated into this episode which were really nice also.

  28. I may be a famously over-emotional British woman (ahem), but I really enjoyed Work Bus! It was the best episode for a while. There was so much good stuff in there. I loved Andy’s banjo roll call tag.

  29. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get this show anymore. Say we were in the middle of season 2, would this episode even have been considered as a viable option? Come on, work bus? It is so out there, the realistic value is just gone…

  30. I like the Darryl and Clark friendship that kind of formed. It’s funny because they both starred in Hot Tub Time Machine. Also, loved the Creed bit.

  31. I really liked this episode! I missed the Erin/Pete moments though. I hope I get to see a deleted scene from the picture (#12 that we saw where Pete might have had pie in his teeth? I think that might have been happening in the background when Kevin was trying to get Oscar’s pie in his face, haha. Am I the only one who really wants Erin and Pete to happen? Also, my favorite part had to be Creed getting picked up along the side of the road. I love this show and Bryan Cranston!

  32. Wow, this was so different for me from the Office norm, but I loved every single second of this episode. So many real, and touching moments for an awkward comedy and I thought it was brilliant. I now like Nellie. Never thought I would say that. Great entire cast episode!

  33. Well, that will teach me to never doubt an episode based on a plot synopsis again. What a great episode!

  34. LOVED this episode…so “classic” Office! Reminded me of the first 5 seasons! :) I loved that the whole cast was in the majority of the scenes together.. I’m sure they had a great time making this episode! I can’t say enough GREAT things about it! I love The Office!!! :)

  35. Kevin’s pie math is now my favorite all time Kevin moment. Now try it with salads instead of pie. Absolutely hysterical!!

    Also, #33 – HR is universally hated – it’s not just a Michael thing. David Wallace didn’t like the NY HR guy either.

  36. LOVED the episode! LOVED the B-stories! LOVED CREED AND KEVIN!

    I must say though, I’m starting to really not like Andy. Ed Helms is fantastic, but his character can be a real jerk, especially since Nellie is a consistently not horrible character anymore. What a fantastic dynamic between Erin’s childhood, Nellie’s new developments, and Andy’s personality getting in the way. Fantastic.

  37. Really liked this episode! Now, I need pie.

    The only thing I am concerned about is the Nellie-Erin thing. I hope they don’t set it up that Nellie is really Erin’s mom. They both have red hair, and if Phyllis could have been considered before, why not Nellie? They say a lot of questions will be wrapped up, and Erin’s birth mom is still one of those. Also, why all of the sudden is Nellie looking to adopt? just my two cents.

  38. @51 Nellie has been trying to adopt for sometime now as was shown in the last season when she struck friendship with Pam in Turf War.
    Episode was great. Probably the best Kevin episode there ever was.

  39. jenna fischer is a babe, hands down. LOVED this episode. had high hopes and it didn’t disappoint me. love some jerky andy.

  40. Enjoyed the episode but don’t like how Andy is becoming ‘the new Michael’ with everyone making fun of him, making weird videos etc. His character was great on its own and doesn’t need to change. Also really don’t like the Andy hatred of Nelle especially since it seems unwarranted now. funny episode overall though

  41. Awful episode. I’ve watched since season 1 and this was the worst one I’ve ever seen. Once I saw that moronic shabooya scene I knew this show couldn’t get any worse. I must watch the series until the end just bc I’ve watched it from the beginning but this season’s episodes are painful to watch. NBC needs to put this show out of its misery before they ruin it for all the hardcore fans. Nothing worse than the forced drama between Jim and Pam.

  42. Maybe the cold open wasn’t completely up to snuff, but I love it, if only for Andy exclaiming “Congratulations on your epic fail!”.

    The episode itself was great I think. It had a few laugh out loud moments for me, it had awkward moments and it had awww-moments.

    I love it when we get some quality Jam-time (obviously) and I love it when Jim and Dwight have their heart-to-heart moments. (“Regular or lady-on-her-back? You used lady-on-her-back, didn’t you, freak?”)

    Also the “supporting” cast had some awesome moments in this one. Especially Kevin (“Well, now I don’t even feel like pie. Wait – no, it’s back”)

  43. @45 Purse Girl, you are not the only one! I think Erin will discover more about Andy and go with Pete instead.

    The Erin/Nellie dynamics was really well done. Did you guys realize that “erin” is contained inside “Catherine Tate” and “ellie” is part of “Nellie”?

  44. @60 pete (I like the name, haha!) Thank you! I am glad I am not the only one! :) I guess I just love how it feels very “Season 2ish” of The Office with what the camera shows rather than what the character says. Like the part in Roy’s Wedding when Pete protects Erin from getting used by Clark. It reminded me very much of when Jim protected Pam from Michael’s mean “Longest Engagement” joke in The Dundies. So far, I am enjoying season 9 very much. Thanks!

  45. I’ve gotta say, I love it that they humanized Nelly this year. I actually cried when Erin cried. Also…best episode this year!

  46. I loved this episode. I am completely amazed at how diferent the show already feels with Greg Daniels back. These episodes have had such a distinct tone, very much like earlier seasons. I can’t even remember the last time I actually laughed out loud like last night (Creed obviously). Thank you Mr. Daniels for bringing TO back from the dead.

  47. “The Erin/Nellie dynamics was really well done. Did you guys realize that “erin” is contained inside “Catherine Tate” and “ellie” is part of “Nellie”?”

    interesting observation lol

  48. Good episode, not great. the plot was ok, and kind of stretched, and not all the jokes worked. But it had some great moments, and great Dwight character development.

  49. Had some genuinely good moments, but some genuinely terrible ones as well. The cold open springs to mind as something cringe-worthy in how awful it was. It felt like a fan-made episode of The Office with the “Andy” guy accidentally being written as Michael but being a terribly-written-and-acted imitation.

  50. The Office is just as good as ever. People made a mistake leaving when Steve Carell did. Jim & Pam’s romance, Andy’s antics Dwight being overdramatic, Nellie and Erin’s mother-daughter like relationship, and the small quirks of the other characters make this the best show ever!

  51. I thought this was a good episode. Not extraordinary by any means, but really up to par with the previous three episodes, which have been quite solid. Very impressed with how the ninth season of this show is going so far. I was going to give this a seven, but that bit with Creed playing hooky from work and getting on the bus was absolutely hilarious, so I upgraded it to an eight.

  52. Does anybody else wonder how Creed got to that part of the road in the first place? It’s not like he had a broken-down vehicle around or if there was some other place he’d visit a short distance away. (That and Kevin’s pie math were by far my favorite scenes in a long time.)

  53. @42: Yes. Yes it would be. It would nestle right in between “Booze Cruise” and “The Carpet” pretty easily.

    The first four seasons were not about people in an office sitting around and whining about their lives like some weird adult edition of Skins. I repeat: the first four seasons were not a drama revolving wholly around realism.

    Has anyone even watched the first few seasons lately, or are we going by memories from over five years ago? The tone of the show only EVER changed in S8 and I chalk that up to a lack of direction after Michael left. S9 is what S8 should have been, if only they could give Andy his own damn personality.

  54. Thank you, Greg, Brent, Bryan & the whole cast. This is the show I know and love! I’d rank it in my top 5 and I can’t remember the last time I rewatched an episode right away or the last time I laughed so much. Thank you!!!

  55. @Mike G – I’d like to introduce you to Scott’s Tots, or Koi Pond, or PDA or Get the Girl. Each far worse than the worst parts of this episode. And that’s just off the top of my head.

    I liked this one. Like most of them this year it’s not an all time favorite, but vastly improved over anything we saw last year. Loved the JAM stuff. Particularly Pam’s head on Jim’s shoulder as a callback. I wonder when we’ll get the rest of the drama about his waiting to tell her. I didn’t like Andy at all. He was OTT ridiculously mean to Nellie. I would probably be fired or sent to the police station if he talked to me or my wife that way.

  56. So…Creed is Jim’s step-dad?! I didn’t see anyone else talking about this, but, was it meant to be a joke between Clark and Darryl, or a subtle, under-played reveal about something everyone in the office knew, but we didn’t?

    This was one of my favorite episodes of the series…great all the way around, and hilarious!!

  57. I’ve liked this season better than last by a good margin, but I agree they have made Andy regress a bit too much. I don’t mind him being edgier and hostile to Nellie, that’s plausible considering, but of late he’s just mean to everyone even Darryl. Which seems too far as Darryl was becoming a real supportive friend to him. But I did kind of like Dwight in this one.

  58. @72 If you think the tone of S6-8 was anything like S1-3 then you should try watching an episode from each era back to back. It’ll make you cry.

  59. Really liked this one and the bus idea reminded me of when the staff was riding to and from “Beach Games” a few seasons ago. Love when the whole cast is a major part of an episode instead of just a select few.

    I especially enjoyed the Nellie & Erin bonding, very endearing. If it does turn out that Nellie is Erin’s real mom, Andy’s gonna have a meltdown. Or maybe Andy will realize that if he really wants to keep Erin, he will have some attitude adjustments to make (and towards everyone else as well), but Andy lives to hold grudges and don’t see that happening. It may just be that which turns Erin towards Pete. To be honest I don’t like Erin with either of them. It’s so weird though – Andy and Erin are barely communicating this season, it’s as if they’re already broken up !!

    The writers have been awfully quiet about Oscar and the Senator and Dwight and Angela. The short kiss between Dwangela at the hospital at the end of last season leads me to believe they’re not over, and am still hoping they finally and permanently get together.

    Great season so far !!!

  60. #75, @Daniel, it was a joke. Jim doesn’t have a step-dad, his parents are still married. Plus, if they revealed that Creed was Jim’s step-dad, now, after all this time, it would have zero credibility.

  61. #58 said absolutely everything I was thinking. I’m only watching now because I’ve been a viewer for so long and keep hoping something magical will happen that will make this show great again. It’s clear that ship has sadly sailed. This episode just wasn’t funny or touching, just ridiculous.

  62. Really enjoyed this episode. Favorite elements: the JAM stuff — so adorable, Nellie-Erin comraderie, Kevin’s pie math, Dwight-Jim dynamic, Creed on the side of the road, the whole cast together on the bus. Didn’t like: crazy, mean Andy. His personality is so bi-polar. I never know what to expect from him. He was really detestable here, and I find that I don’t really want him with Erin anymore.

  63. This episode was an improvement over the last 2.

    The cold open and picking up Creed as a hitchhiker did crack me up as did a few other scenes.

    However, Andy picking on Nellie is getting old.

  64. I thought this was an okay episode. I don’t get why so many people are gushing over it. Different strokes, I guess.

  65. The scene with Pam and Jim, in front of the giant rooster, and Angela, deserves a second look. See if you don’t think that the actors are playing out a barnyard scene. With hands on hips, Angela is a hen clucking about. Roosters do a courtship dance before mating. Check out Jim – one bent arm tucks down, then he pushes his chest out toward Pam (hilarious). Sadly, her body language says it’s a no go!

  66. Remember when Andy was overly competitive and insecure or when Kevin said “they said I was dull..”? THAT is when the show was good. Those two characters, for example, have completely changed.

  67. Excellent episode!!!!! I enjoyed every scene of it. The sing-a-long sequence in the bus scene and the final scene are great. And the Jim/Dwight/Pam storyline was amazing, so was the Andy/Nellie/Erin storyline. And the cold open with the “failing” moment is awesome.

  68. Finally saw this last night on On Demand and loved it (so nice to see an episode with only three one-commercial apiece breaks and made a huge difference in being able to enjoy it!) This was so well done and had me laughing my head off (Creed caught playing hooky; Dwight thinking the sterility due to EMF radiation was an amazing prank; the singing on the bus; and, Kevin’s idiot savant ability when it comes to pie math – to name just a few highlights). This episode felt so cheerful and captured so many great little character moments.

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