Got a ‘Night Out’ question for Mindy?

We are on a roll here, with The Office writers generously agreeing to do another episode Q&A! Thank you thank you thank you. :)

Do you have a question for Mindy Kaling about last night’s episode, ‘Night Out’?

Submit your question here.

This post will close at 9pm Pacific Time tonight, so get your questions in today!

Remember, non-spoilerish questions about ‘Night Out’ only. Thanks!


  1. Loved the episode!! How does one come about finding an actor that looks like a hobbit?

  2. Mindy, I really liked this episode! I thought the Toby storyline was a classic Office awkward moment! Was that Paul really jumping over the fence or a stunt double? Thanks, Wendy

  3. Toby’s moment has to be one of the most awkward ever. Was that really Paul scaling the fence?

  4. Mindy, I love how you wrote BJ’s part — it was fantastic. Very real. My question is: did Paul really climb that fence, and how many takes did you have to do?

  5. I’ve thought for a while that Ryan might have developed a drug problem living in New York (ex. his fast talking, the plethora of “new and exciting” ideas). Have past episodes been planting the idea of Ryan having a problem, or was this a new concept developed for the first time in “Night Out”?

  6. Great job Mindy! I liked the episode. When Toby touched Pam’s knee – I covered my eyes, I couldn’t even watch. Here’s my question – what was Toby thinking? Or was he just not thinking at all, and that was the problem?

  7. Mindy, great episode! I love and look forward to Kelly’s lines every week. Since you wrote this one, why not give yourself more hysterical lines? Or as the writer do you not want to come off as a line hog? :)

  8. Hi, Mindy. Great episode. (I also liked your 10 Things in the new Esquire, too. Beautiful photo.)

    I enjoyed the bookended ’80s references for Michael near the beginning and end of the episode. Did you write both of those, or did Steve Carell improvise either/both?

    In the headshots — that’s what you guys call them, right? I thought I heard that on one of the DVD commentaries — it seems as though SC is improvising. Is that the case, or are they more tightly scripted?

  9. Awesome episode! It seems that especially in this episode with assuming that the cleaning crew only spoke Spanish and in “Survivor Man” with the combined birthdays, we have seen Jim act a little more like Michael. Was Jim re-evaluating his career part of the original season 4 story arc or were these little tidbits just part of showing Jim’s less-than-perfect side?

  10. The cold open with Michael getting gum in his hair is a lot like the Simpsons episode “22 Short Films About Springfield” which I think Greg Daniels lead the writing on, is this a coincidence?

    Even down to the whole peanut butter thing.

  11. Hi Mindy!

    I’m thrilled to see so many references to “Back to the Future!” Most directly was Michael’s tattoo discussion. Was that planned, or ad-libbed? Are you or the other writers big fans of the trilogy?

    I’ve also noticed the other references–Michael’s Iococca/DeLorean confusion, Dwight & Andy’s fight in the “Merger” about a time machine and going to 1985. And, most indirect–Schrute Farms (house, barn, and land) is the same Disney-owned farm used in “Back to the Future” where Marty crashes the DeLorean into the barn.


  12. Great Episode Mindy!!!! When it comes to writing an episode, like THIS one, how do you go about writing YOUR character in? ‘How DARE you?’ Haha :D

  13. Two Questions)
    There were a lot of physical gags in last night’s show, like Pam hitting Meredith in the face and Toby scaling the fence and jumping over. I was wondering if the actors performed those or stuntmen?

    How did Michael end up talking to his mom in the club scene? I know he’s feeling rejected but did he actually call his mom for consolidation?

  14. First off, great episode Mindy. Ever since The Injury, I have been super excited when I know you’re writing an episode. Now the question…

    Ryan’s new found addiction fits perfect with how his character has evolved since his promotion. Was there ever a question of how you were going to present this in the episode? Did it start off as a dramatic twist or was it always supposed to be the subtle comedy built up over the length of the episode?

  15. My favorite scene was the one with Jim and Ryan – so uncomfortable – in a fabulous way!!
    What was the conversation Jim and David Wallace had at the xmas party?
    The suspense is killing me….. I hope it lasts

  16. I think this is one of my favorite episodes now. I was wondering, did Paul actually jump that fence or did he have a stunt guy? If he jumped it himself, he is completely awesome.

  17. I read that a Christmas episode was written and then scrapped due to the strike but that parts of the episode were going to be “vultured” and used throughout the rest of the season. In the kitchen scene, which seemed pretty pivotal, Ryan mentioned Jim speaking to David Wallace at the Christmas Party about DMI. Was there to have been a scene with Jim talking to David in the scrapped episode or was that written specifically for Night Out?

  18. Great Episode. Do you think you carry any of Kelly’s hatred of Ryan into the way you write him? From Kelly’s perspective, I can imagine writing “Night Out” would have been pretty satisfying. I love your episodes! I can’t wait for more!

  19. Great episode.
    How did Steve Carell feel with having a bunch of peanut butter in his hair? Or was it a wig?

  20. It seems that Ryan’s drug problem arose from the fact that he got too successful too quick. Is that the reason? or is there a different reason?

  21. Did you intentionally write your character the funniest line of the show, “Yeah I have a lot of questions. Number 1. How dare you?”

  22. MINDY! omg i’m so excited it’s you! youre a nice shot of estrogen from the writer’s room.

    1) How did you come up with Ryan’s rant when he was on his high?
    2) WHO WAS DWIGHT’S GIRL?! And did Angela also get Michael’s picture text?

    i LOVED the ‘how dare you’ from kelly. you rock!

  23. Fantasic episode. I’ve always admired your writing.

    Pam hitting Meredith in the face with a football was hilarious – How many takes were needed for that scene?

    This episode seemed a little darker, humor-wise. Was that the intent?

  24. Is BJ a good sport about you ripping on his appearance? (short and half-bearded)

  25. The Toby/Pam/Jim scene was BRILLIANT. I cringed and laughed and it was amazing. But I was wondering how Jim would have reacted if Toby hadn’t run away? Would he have beat him up Roy style? Is that why Toby ran away so very quickly?

  26. I have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you? Just kidding. Mindy, you’re my idol. Thanks for the great episode, and thanks for an extra 5 lbs from the Australian licorice on your blog. I loved the reference to The Wire after B.J. had blogged about people pressuring him to watch it! It kinda felt like an inside joke that I was in on, which is rare for me. Was that intentional, and were there other insider-y references that I missed?

  27. Hey there! In last night’s episode, we saw Jim and Pam team-up to lock the guys both in and out of the business park, saw Jim commit several cultural faux pas’ and saw Pam throw a football in someone’s face. Was it your intention when writing the episode to make them look the fools for once?

  28. Hey Mindy! Great episode. I never stopped laughing.

    Two questions though:

    1) How come Phyllis didn’t just call Bob Vance to come unlock them? Wouldn’t he have the keys to the gate?


    2)It seems as though in the past, Jim would have been horrified if Michael had some something to Oscar along the lines of “Will you speak to the cleaning staff?” and yet here he is doing it himself. Is there a reason that Jim is suddenly very much like Michael in terms of being a little bit naive about other cultures?

  29. Great work with the episode, especially Ryan’s storyline Mindy, perfect balance between tragedy and comedy! (And BJ did a great job too!)
    My Q: Was Pam actually consciously flirting with Toby in this episode, or was she just being nice? Because it felt a little like she was punishing Jim for messing up by being super-nice and sweet to Toby for a while there.

  30. Awesome episode, Mindy!

    In the past (Valentine’s Day & The Job) exteriors of New York were actually shot in NYC, were the exteriors for this episode faked? What goes into deciding/executing that?

    Also, was The Wire reference a jab at the other writers’ obsession with the show as you’ve mentioned before in your blog? Any other fun stuff like that?


  31. I also have a question about the Ryan and Jim scene in the kitchen, which obviously referred to an episode we never got to see — was there some thought to an episode about a big corporate Christmas party? Or was David Wallace supposed to appear for the Scranton branch’s party?

    I’ll also put it out there that the lack of Todd Packer this season has been criminal :).

  32. Awesome episode! Just wondering about the Toby-turning-super-creepy thing. Are we, the viewers, slowly but surely seeing in Toby what Michael has known all along? One of the best running jokes the entire series has been Michael’s unexplained hatred of Toby, and we’ve always been left to shake our heads and wonder about the source of the hatred. Are we slowly seeing that Michael is, in fact, some sort of secret genius about the true nature of Toby Flenderson?

  33. Hi Mindy, I was wondering if we were supposed to catch a specific reaction from Angela when Michael forwarded the picture of Dwight making out with some random girl… Was it purely disgust or was she slightly hurt as well?

  34. Great episode, Mindy! As a user of, I laughed when Ryan was getting raked over the coals for all the problems with his website, because the real website was pretty buggy for a while, too. Was that a deliberate acknowledgement of the issues with the real site, or was it just a way to knock Ryan off his high horse?

  35. one more Q — wouldn’t Creed be able to pick a lock or have some other mildly criminal way of breaking out of the office park?

  36. Hi Mindy, that was a great episode!
    With the whole Jim storyline, are you just trying to show that Jim has flaws or specifically that he has Michael-like tendencies?

  37. This episode was incredible. I just want to know whose idea it was to have Creed alone actually remember the security guards name.

  38. Bravo for some very funny moments in this episode! I was wondering how you came to the decision to give Jim the unpopular role in this episode. Was this just a continuation of his incompetence as demonstrated in Survivor Man? Did you guys ever debate the issue?

    Thank you, and I can’t wait for more.

  39. I know it’s been kind of a running joke about Jim turning into Michael. (With Survivor Man/birthday disaster) But what was with the Jim-Oscar moment when he just assumed that the cleaning ladies were spanish?

  40. LOVED this one, Mindy! I have a question about Toby. Did he make up the whole thing about Costa Rica to distract everyone else from the awkward knee caress, or was he serious?

  41. Is Toby really leaving or did he just say that to cover up for hitting on Pam?

    AMAZING episode by the way! I absolutely loved it!

  42. Mindy – great episode!!!

    My favorite line (out of many) “And you brought this guy!” (Ryan referring to Dwight at the club)

    Why didn’t Jim react more strongly when Toby touched Pam’s leg? (Jim put his arm around Pam when the bartender hit on her in an earlier episode).
    Seems that Jim “backs down” to a number of people (i.e. Roy, Ryan, Todd and now Toby!!)

    We need more David Wallace and Todd Packer (“What’s up ma nerds!!!!)

    Great job Mindy!!

  43. I recall on the commentary for Safety Training (i believe BJ wrote that episode) you asked Harold Ramis if he frequented coke parties with Bill Murray…and now it looks like Ryan’s a raging cokehead. You seem interested in cokeheads…I mean, who isn’t? Have you always wanted to write something like that into the show? I think it’s brilliant! Keep up the good work, lady!

  44. Was Michael’s comment about taking Ryan’s clothes off just another reference to his obvious man-crush for him?

  45. Mindy,

    It became very obvious, even while Ryan was in Scranton at the beginning of the episode, that he was high. How did the idea of having Ryan with a drug problem come about? And can we look forward to a Dwight Schrute “The More You Know” PSA?

    Awesome episode!
    Flooded Apartment

  46. Thanks to Tanster for arranging this, and to Mindy for agreeing to answer our questions! I loved this episode. If Back to the Future is Michael’s second favorite movie, what is his favorite movie?

  47. Was Ryan’s statement “I think my friend has a drug problem” really meant as his own cry for help? Cause the hobbit clearly wasn’t the one with the problem!

  48. When the staff is locked in the parking lot, why did Phyllis not call her husband, Bob Vance? As one of the five families, surely he would have a key to the parking lot, right?

  49. Did you or B.J. do any “research” into how a drug-addict would act?… if ya know what I’m saying…

  50. Mindy,

    I loved that you had Michael order a Midori sour at the club. It’s my favorite girly drink to order when I go out. You guys have referenced Midori in a couple of episodes. Is this a writer’s inside joke or just something you threw in there because you like Midori sours? I love what it says about Michael Scott’s character…but am scared at what it says about mine.

  51. Dwight is now my hero. How did he get so lucky with the basketball girl? After seeing his babysitter date, I wouldn’t have thought it possible.

  52. Hi, Mindy. What was your purpose in showing us how awkward Jim is when he’s managing the office? Why did he suddenly lose his charisma when in charge?

  53. -Why was everyone in the office so quick to turn on Jim when Michael has treated them much worse, and on purpose?

    -Why did the security guard lock up the parking lot FULL of cars without even investigating the situation?

  54. Why did the writer’s decide to make Ryan have a coke problem??? It was incredibly funny but also kind of sad.

    Also, was the hobbit his drug dealer?

  55. Is it a coincidence that Ryan became such a screwed up train wreck in an episode you wrote? Did you channel one of Kelly’s revenge fantasies in thinking up all these humilating moments for Ryan?

  56. Thank you, Mindy, for some of the best “Office” lines ever- I especially loved “I have a lot of questions. Number one: How dare you?”
    Anyway, two questions… How did you come up with having Dwight sing a German lullaby to Ryan? I found this ridiculously awesome.
    and then… are there any background jokes one might have missed when watching the episode?

  57. Sorry, one more question!

    While Michael was the one talking about his own loneliness, did the writers intend for the audience to perceive that, while unspoken, Ryan is actually experiencing the greater loneliness?

    Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I love that this show really has so many layers. Bravo.

  58. was ryan on e or coke?
    i’m thinking e because it’s a club setting, but coke because right after the focus on his shaky hands, he sniffed and gestured towards his nose!

  59. First off, I think this was my favorite episode of the season! I loved the entire Ryan storyline, was it fun on set for the writers and actors (especially BJ) to have Ryan going out of control since in the past his character has been so reserved? It seems like you guys have been setting up for this for a while, did you know at the beginning of the season that this is where Ryan is headed?

    Thanks for an amazing episode!

  60. Mindy,
    You are my hero! I cannot express how much I respect you, by being a smart, talented and beautiful woman in Hollywood. I just wanted to say that! Awesome episode! My question is, were you intending to create Toby’s character as the new Jim (in love with a woman already taken) and why didn’t Jim have a stronger reaction?
    Thank you so much!

  61. I have rewatched this episode and I think I get it, but it was kind of overwhelming for me in the changes to the characters.

    How did you decide the other sides of their personalities and behaviors for “Night Out”?

  62. I like how Jim and Pam were shown to be a faulted pair that sometimes makes mistakes are are basically human as opposed to being this perfect, shiny Uber-couple. Was that a conscious effort on your part?

  63. I absolutely loved this episode. You always come up with the most imaginative scenarios in your episodes (grilled feet, “hobbit” friends etc.) Do you lead an especially interesting and kooky life? Or do you just have the best imagination ever for getting these characters into the most messed up situations?
    Also, was Ryan intentionally hanging out with the shortest person he could find to make himself feel better about his height? Or was it just for the coke hook up?

  64. Hi Mindy! Just wondering if you can give us any behind-the-scenes tidbits. What scene was the hardest for the cast to get through?

    Also Kate mentioned in a blog that she did her own stunt when she got hit in the face by the football. Was that the only take you did or were there more (Hopefully only one for Kate’s sake!)

  65. I love the show, why did you decide to take ryan’s character in that direction? I knew there was something wrong with him when he was so happy to see michael and dwight.

  66. I admit, I’m just itching to know– was Steve wearing a wig as his hair was slathered with peanut butter in the cold open?

  67. Who played the “Amazon” basketball player that makes out with Dwight?

    Since Phyllis didn’t call Bob, is there going to be trouble on the homefront?

  68. Mindy! Wonderful job!

    I was wondering if you or any of the other writers referred back to the UK Office’s episode where David and Gareth go clubbing? I noticed that the Dwight and Gareth character’s had the same type of luck….So, was it your intention to take any of the UK’s version and mock it in yours? Or did that just happen?


  69. Hi Mindy!

    What was the back story behind the supposed christmas party where Jim spoke with David Wallace? Is there some bad blood between Jim and corporate since they had to settle for cokehead Ryan?

  70. -Was this whole idea for the club scene a throw-back to the British version of the show where David and Garreth go out to the clubs? Was the idea for Dwight to hook up with the girl a nod to Garreth’s makeout scene in the UK version?

    -I loved the awkward scene with Toby putting his hand on Pam’s thigh. Was that a difficult scene for the actors to get through? Did they laugh and break character a lot?

    -What scenes were the hardest for the actors to get through and which were the most fun to write?

  71. Dear Mindy: Thanks for the shout-out to my alma mater, Conn College! Did any of our beloved Dunder Mifflinites graduate from there? (I’m thinking Phyllis. Her sexual liberty reeks of “women’s school” . . .)

  72. Hey Mindy! I have two questions. 1) Was that really Paul who jumped the fence toward the end of the episode? 2) Did the comment about “The Wire” come from your love of “The Wire”/ to annoy BJ who has not started watching “The Wire” yet even though everybody is telling him how good it is?

  73. Hey Mindy… just one question: Why didn’t Pam push Toby’s hand off of her knee? I get she was “in shock” but… still.

  74. Are you at all concerned about trading consistency of characterization for a joke? It was funny that Creed (who normally can’t remember names, Ace) was the only one to know the security guard’s name.

    But Jim is a good salesman; part of sales is knowing people’s names. That carries over even to those you aren’t selling to. Andy is a salesman who’s into name repetition. Beyond that, the DM security guards wear nametags. How is it that Jim, Andy, and everyone in the office doesn’t remember the name?

    It’s a good joke, but I don’t buy it.

  75. Was the reference to “The Wire” based on your personal opinion of that show?

  76. Ack, I just gotta know. Silly question but that scene where the office peeps are leaving the office after successfully finishing up the extra work… The congratulatory gesture of Jim holding up his fist and Kevin high five-ing it, intentional?? Is it a Jim/Kevin greeting or improvised? I thought it was hilarious.

  77. Hey Mindy!

    In the scene where Ryan is dancing and freaking out, did anyone really get hurt? He was going crazy!

  78. Ryan’s apartment seemed very small for someone who is supposedly living the lifestyle of $200 haircuts and who has a big shot job in the city. Is it a good assumption to make that this is all he can afford given the amount of money he spends on his cocaine habit?

  79. Was the artwork above Ryan’s bed in his apartment the same one from Jim and Dwight’s sales call office in Traveling Salesman?

  80. Hi Mindy,

    I’m just wondering what is with the character change in Jim? It seems that now that he finally got Pam, he’s become sort of another Michael. I don’t think the Jim from season 2 would refer to Hank as “the african american” or assume that the cleaners speak spanish. These are things Michael would do and the character change in Jim to make him more like Michael seems too surreal.

  81. In the episode was it more of your intention to show that Jim is just a character with faults or that he really does have Michael Scott tendencies and is incompetent when it comes to leadership roles?

  82. I absolutely loved this episode–so very well done! There were so many great relevant bits that added to the hilarious whole: The social networking aspect of the website was brilliant; Creed of all people knowing the correct name; Michael saying he’s a bank teller to impress the ladies; Ryan inflating his sense of importance with coke; Dwight singing a German lullaby; not understanding the Wire, etc.

    How many takes did you have to do of the Toby putting his hand on Pam’s knee scene? The cast reactions were priceless and the acting was great. But I don’t know how any of them managed to keep a straight face.

  83. Funny episode.
    Were the scenes with Ryan (inside and outside the clubs, the Met) filimed in New York?

  84. In this episode, several people took unexpected turns in their character development (Jim’s ineptness, Ryan’s drug problem, Dwight’s sudden ability to attract hot basketball players). Which of these characters presented the biggest challenge for you to write in this episode, and why?

    Thanks for answering, and keep up the great work!

  85. It seems as if it would be hard to take a story line (Ryan being on drugs) that is serious in nature and find the “funny” in it. Did you have to be careful not to make a cocaine problem seem funny/cool?

  86. When casting for the part of Ryan’s friend, did you specifically ask for people who look like hobbits? How did that process go?

  87. Hi Mindy, great episode. My favorite part was Ryan talking about the possibility of a nuclear holocaust.. hilarious!

    How did the writers’ strike affect this episode? It does seem like you were forced to fast-track some storylines. There was so much going on! I don’t think anything came out of left field, but it definitely felt like this was a really pivotal episode.

  88. Hey, Mindy! Considering how good of friends you are with B.J., was it fun to write for Ryan to do things like the dancing, getting beat up, and just being drugged up in this episode? I mean, were you thinking “And I can get Ben-Jo do a speech about a nuclear holocaust”? Is there anything that he would put his foot down on?

  89. Did you find inspiration in typical, obnoxious men that you’ve met in order to create such ridiculous dialogue for Ryan in this episode? Example: “Keep it real, Scranton. Peace.”

  90. What is the song Dwight’s mother sang to him (if it’s a real song, lol)? What language is it in, and what are the words?

  91. Great episode!

    One question: How dare you!? JUST KIDDING!

    Do you treat the whole Ryan/Kelly relationship any differently than others, since you and BJ are doing the writing and the acting?

  92. 84 – Creed sleeps under his desk, so wouldn’t he be more likely to remember the name of the security guard? Plus, Hank’s a security guard not a customer, not a very important person, just someone who works in the same building.

  93. It seemed like Pam wasn’t too thrown off by Toby’s touch…is there something brewing between the two of them?

  94. Beautiful Mindy…..

    Dwight perceiving Ryans’s friend as an actual hobbit;

    Do you think this makes Dwight a bit too removed from reality??..or will it be more fun to write for him?

    I love the fact that he’s a wack-job…but it’s cool when he shows a bit of a “normal” allows you to pity him. Now he might just be crazy?

  95. Okay, this is weird and nitpicky, but why couldn’t Phyllis call Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration, to come and open the gate? Also, amazing episode. One of my favorites, for sure!

  96. Jim’s hair seemed a bit more unkempt and floppy than usual. Was this intentional?

  97. So much funny!! A lot of people have said that the last few episodes are more like the British Office – in terms of being cringe-inducing. Is that intentional?

  98. By the way, I heard that someone WAS leaving The Office and then Toby said what he said about Costa Rica and I AM HORRIFIED. I LOVE TOBY–“so much about the things he chooses to be!”

  99. Why did you decide to have neither Jim/Pam make a comment to Toby while he was putting his hand on Pams leg?

  100. Was this script completed before the strike commenced, and if so was anything changed (in this or any other pre-strike scripts) once you had a concrete number of episodes remaining?

  101. Why did Michael think Jim was single? Did Michael just stop thinking about the other couples in the office after he became single?

  102. Overkill Killer had this theory on the “Night Out” page:
    “Did anyone else get the feeling like maybe Toby planned this whole thing?
    Jim has a great idea everyone is impressed with (especially Pam) so Toby concocts an elaborate scheme heads down and talks to the security guard, gets his cell number, tells him to go ahead and lock up at the scheduled hour, waits patiently and becomes the hero when he magically whips out the cell number, makes a joke for Pam, just happens to have a football….I don’t know it seemed a bit like Toby to throw a wrench in Jim’s plans. Remember the “Love document” incident.”

    I love this idea… Did Toby actually conspire against Jim and plan this whole thing? Toby is the worst!

  103. Hi Mindy! Thanks for taking questions:
    Did it take you ‘longer than usual’ to write this episode? (I’m just imagining the discussions behind it because of the big character changes)
    Since a lot of us Office fans pay quite a lot of attention to detail do you feel a little added pressure for continuity and consistency? (Especially with this episode?)

    Great episode- and i loveee your frickin’ blog. :)

    Thanks for answering our questions!!

  104. Great episode!

    Is Ryan’s problem recent (maybe it started or escalated after the website problems?), or is this how his “cool life” has been ever since he moved to New York? Also, I, too, am wondering if Steve Carell’s actual hair was covered with peanut butter.

  105. Great episode Mindy! I loved the cold open, did you really put peanut butter in Steve’s hair?

  106. Mindy, great episode! Loved your delivery of “First question. How dare you?”.
    I couldn’t help noticing the character parallels…
    Jim has now messed up twice as acting Regional Manager. Was it intentional to put Jim on the path of becoming Michael?
    Ryan, now with Jan’s job, is on a path of self-destruction just as she is. Who pitched the idea of someone (other than Creed)having a drug problem?
    What was the rational of this being Toby’s “Casino Night”? Why does Pam drive the men away, lol.

  107. As you wrote this, did the character of Kelly take over when writing about the character of Ryan?

  108. Hi Mindy! Those of us who read your blog(which is hilariously awesome, by the way) know that you spend a lot of time in NYC! Did you use any of your own experiences when creating the “club-like” atmosphere and characters?

  109. Mindy, loved the episode! Despite being set outside of the office itself, this had a “classic” episode feel to it, so kudos to you! My question to you is: In hinting at Ryan’s recreational drug use, did you and the other writers spend a lot of time thinking through that story line and how it’s going to play out in future episodes or was it created on a whim?

  110. Why isn’t Dwight going to call that girl? He was so sure of himself that he would not.

    Seriously, great episode. So funny. How many times did it take for Pam to hit Meredith in the face with the football? Did she really get hurt?

  111. Did the idea for Ryan’s drug problem come from Harold Ramis going to a coke party with Bill Murray in the 70s? You were talking about in the episode commentary of season three’s Safety Training, and BJ was trying to get you to stop talking about it. Will we see more of Ryan’s drug problem?

    I also liked not only the fact that only Creed was the only one that knew the guard’s name was Hank, but that everyone else had a different idea on what his name was. And I loved the idea that Dwight is a hot basketball player magnet.

  112. Hi Mindy!

    I think you are basically anything that’s awesome. Your blog posts are as looked forward to for me as new episodes. Your writing and sense of humor are amazing. (Like both babies.)

    Anyway, I can’t think of a real question about “Night Out”, except that it looked like Ryan was breaking in a few scenes. Was he?

  113. Hi Mindy, Was Ryan’s behavior in welcoming Michael and Dwight into the club suppose to give a sense of Ryan’s inability to handle his new world? And they provided a sense of comfort for him that his new “friends” can’t? Thank you!

  114. Ok, first of all, you finally talking was epic.

    But I do have actual questions..

    A lot of loose ends seemed to be created here. Jim once again failing while in charge, Ryan’s drug problem, etc. Were these all intentionally left open for later? Do they all have a point eventually?

    And was Toby just in an awkward position, or does his Costa Rica confession hold any truth?

  115. Mindy, I was curious to know who’s idea was it to make Ryan a drug addict and Toby act like a creep with Pam? Were the writer/actors against these changes in the characters they portray?

  116. mindy – great episode. you always write such clever jokes and i LOVED kelly’s “i have a lot of questions. number one: how dare you” she is the best ‘woman scorned’ in the history of television.
    great character development. when michael said to ryan “its michael and dwight” after he seemed so happy to see them it seemed like the first time that michael acknowledged that they weren’t real friends. was this supposed to be a little reveal into michael’s true understanding of his relationship with ryan? i also admire these moments when the characters say or do things that are so quintessentially “them”. do the writers spend a lot of time discussing the true nature of each person and developing their personas behind the scenes? Do you talk a lot about how these different people might react to scenarios in order to keep them real and consistent and developed on so many levels? how collaborative is that process? p.s. i love your blog.

  117. Is Ryan trying to compete with Facebook with his Dunder Mifflin Infinity “community”?

  118. Mindy,

    Great episode! I just wanted to know why Dwight was a lady’s man at the club? Did you toy with the idea of having him be completely unsuccessful with women at the club?

  119. This was the first time we saw Dwight as the “Ladies Man.” I thought it was hilarious for him to be so uninterested in the basketball girl as if he deals with that kind of stuff all of the time. What was the inspiration behind Dwight being the Ladies Man in this episode?

  120. Hey Mindy,
    This episode was fantastic!! KUDOS! (Woah, middle school flashback) Anyways, I have two questions. Question 1: How hard was it for everyone to get through the scene where Toby put his hand on Pam’s leg?! I couldn’t stop laughing at everyone’s faces! Question 2: Did Paul really climb the fence?! If he did, that was very impressive! Again, great episode! I was laughing so hard I was crying!

  121. Hilarious episode Mindy!

    Did Paul Lieberstein actually hop the fence, or was it a double?

    If that was Paul, he has hops!

  122. Who was the actor that played Ryan’s friend/drug dealer? How many people did you look at until you found him? Thanks.

  123. Could you explain your thought process behind the development of Jim’s character in Night Out? It seems that Jim not knowing the security guard’s name, or not remembering to tip him, or not finding a fun way to fill the downtime while everyone is stuck behind the gate, is out of character for a guy who organized Office Olympics and is buddies with even the vending machine guy.

  124. I’m big fans of LCD Soundsystem, The Faint, and The Rapture, and was surprised to hear all three in the same episode! Who chose the music to be featured in the episode?

  125. This was probably my favorite episode of the season so far, and my favorite part was when Michael & Dwight showed up at the club and were greeted so enthusiastically by Ryan. Michael’s reaction was so precious, and I love the juxtaposition with the hug Michael tried to give Ryan earlier that day when he left the office. We got a little glimpse of self-awareness from Michael during that scene, with his surprise that Ryan was so happy to see him. Was that intentional bit of characterization? Do the writers typically see Michael as being that aware of himself & how others view him?

  126. Just how old was that tattoo’d girl supposed to be that she’s never heard of “Back to the Future”? How sad!

  127. Thanks for a great episode Mindy! This ranks right up there with “The Injury!” My favorite part of the episode was Ryan dancing in the club…too funny! What directions were given to B.J. for that scene…or does he always dance like someone on coke?

  128. We learned in this episode that Michael has been dating quite a lot lately, which makes it seem like last week’s episode took place a while ago. Does this mean that the events in the “Office-universe” have caught up with the rest of us?

  129. Loved Meredith’s Marsha Brady momement.The Toby incident was also brilliant.The faces were so amazing.
    Can you write a little about your directions for the scene?

  130. Loved the ep, Mindy! Who came up with the line about if Dwight is dead, it means the rest of the office has already been dead for weeks (or however it went)? And my question is, is this person (if it is one individual) receiving psychological help?? :) It continually fascinates us how detailed his thought life is with regard to warfare, survivalism, etc.

    Thanks for all your great work. We love you!!

  131. Hi, I was wondering; do you think dwight is over angela or was he just using that girl to see what he was capable of? It seemed like he was into her a lot but just because she was an “amazon” lol

  132. The girls basketball team that Dwight met in front of the bar..Was that a little “heads-up” for all other Flight of the Conchords fans? Episode:”What goes on Tour” when they meet the girls water polo team at the hotel bar? “Whoo!”
    “How dare you” (classic)

  133. Mindy, that was a FABULOUS episode! You are my favorite writer for the show. You totally follow my sense of humor. So here are my questions
    1.) Did Toby jump the fence or was that a stunt double?
    2.) How did you come up with the idea for “Night Out?”
    3.) Are we going to see more of Kelly? I want more hilarious Kelly moments and one-liners.

  134. Mindy ~ this isn’t an original thought and someone may have already asked it, but why couldn’t Phyllis call her husband and have Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration let them out?

  135. Hi Mindy! I might be looking too far into this, but when Kelly responded “Yes, how dare you!” what was she referring to? Was she referring to not being able to shop on Saturday because of him or was that bitterness in relation to their relationship?

  136. I’m really curious – did you really put peanut butter in Steve Carell’s hair?

  137. I thought I saw barbed wire at the top of the fence in one scene. Was I seeing things or did Toby really jump a fence with barbed wire?

  138. When they are trying to get into the second club, and Ryan tells the guy to check the list for ‘Ryan Howard, the baseball player’, that was awesome! I’ve been waiting for that joke for a while. Who thought of it?

  139. How long have you been planning for Ryan’s addiction? Did you drop any hints along the way prior to this episode?

  140. Hey Mindy, hilarious episode! I have a question for you: Ryan was clearly high off of something in this episode. I noticed he itches his nose, was that implying he was snorting cocaine or was the un-intentional? Thanks Mindy, kudos once again for writing an extremely funny episode :)

  141. Mindy! Thanks so much much for taking questions. You are my favorite writer. I would really like to know if this whole “jungle warfare” thing is the drugs talking, or if Ryan genuinely ponders this in between his trips to Vince Vaughn infested shops.

  142. I found Jim’s great-idea-backfiring plot relatable. I once found myself staring at my company’s locked parking garage with two clients after I had taken them to dinner (I didn’t know the garage went into lock up mode–I’d never been there at night!) Since you don’t work in a typical 9-5 office setting, how do you learn about the daily happenings of a typical office? You and the rest of the writers seem to have a keen eye on typical office happenings, especially the subtle things, and how do you go about researching or observing?

  143. Mindy-
    First of all great episode!
    I saw a lot of comments that said they were (in a nutshell) worried about Jim and Pam’s future relationship after Night Out. I didn’t pick up on that at all. It seemed like Pam was just as creeped out at Toby as I was. Were you trying to show some tension between them?

  144. Was it intentional to get some mild racial issues into this episode? What I love about The Office is that it handles race so fearlessly and in a smart way.

  145. But what will happen to Finer Things after Toby’s indiscretion and plans for Costa Rica?

  146. Hey Mindy! That was an awesome episode – your best work yet! After watching that interaction between Ryan and Jim in the kitchen, I have a question:

    Is there some new tension between Jim and Ryan? Does Ryan feel threatened that Jim went behind his back to the CFO and tried to get rid of Dunder Mifflin Infinity?

  147. Yay Mindy, thanks for a great episode! 2 questions:

    Which storyline was more fun for you to write- the Michael/Dwight/Ryan at the clubs, or everyone one else being stuck at the office (but out of the office).

    If you could change one thing about this episode, what would it be?

  148. Hi Mindy, You wrote a great episode, and I think you know it’s great when not everyone loves it. It’s easy to love an episode that is just full of good times. This episode does make people cringe a little: Toby making a fool of himself, Jim and Pam not being perfect, Ryan on drugs. This was a “very special episode” of the office. How did you, personally, feel after you wrote this episode? Do you think it had a very different feel than all the other episodes?

  149. This really was a great episode, Mindy! Thanks for answering questions. I love watching Kelly and Ryan together, and last night was great! It seems that Toby putting his hand on Pam’s knee shocked everyone so much, precisely because it seems most of them like Toby fairly well, that no one knew how to react, including Toby. After last week, it was a bit sad to not see much of the Jim/Pam story line. And if Toby leaves the office, I really hope he stays on like Ryan does and Jim did.

    Was Angela upset that Dwight made out with another girl? (“Dwangela” forever!)

    Why is it that whenever Jim takes charge he comes off more like Michael and can’t really handle it (with the exception of ‘Office Olympics,’)? He did seem to be under a lot of pressure last night though. I think it’s important to show Jim and Pam’s flaws, but last night seem uncharacteristic of Jim.

    Also, I’d love to know how the writers come up with such great ideas continually. I’ve noticed especially with the last three episodes that they’re all so different, yet they flow well and maintain the integrity of the show.

  150. Great job, Mindy! I’ve noticed that Diwali and Ben Franklin included rough patches for Jim and Pam. I’d add Night Out to that list. Is it the luck of the draw that you’re the one to write these moments or do you have it in for Jim and Pam? ;) Seriously, what was it like writing for Jim and Pam in this episode, knowing it followed Chair Model?

  151. Hey Mindy, great episode!
    In the pic Michael took of Dwight making out with the basketball player, is it supposed to look like she was doing…something else…to him? The picture was too fuzzy for me to tell.

  152. Was Creed one of the sexual predators on DMI? Also, how is it that he was the only one who actually remembered Hank’s name?

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