The Office: The List, 8.01

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The Office: The List

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

Summary (NBC): The new regional manager of Dunder Mifflin is revealed and faces a crisis. The Dunder Mifflin staff accidentally discovers a list of their names in the notebook of the company’s mysterious new CEO, Robert California, triggering a frenzy of speculation.

The Office The List extras

The Office The List rating

In a poll conducted September 22-26, 2011, Tallyheads rated this episode: 7.48/10

See all The Office Season 8 ratings.

The Office The List quotes

Oscar: Basically you lie like a plank in weird places. That’s it. Sometimes you get run over. Welcome to the Internet.

Erin: Planking is one of those things where, hey, you either get it or you don’t. And I don’t. But I am so excited to be a part of it!

Jim: He talked her out of her own job, and I don’t really know how someone does that.

Andy: True, I may have been the second choice, but I was the first choice’s first choice.

Andy: I need a really strong number two. I want you to be my enforcer.

Pam: Right here. Little Michael Scott.
Jim: Nope. Told you I don’t like that joke.

Angela: Look, it’s Little Pregs and Big Pregs!

Stanley: It might be easier if you take a deep breath, lift from the knees, and shove it up your butt!

Stanley: It’s stupid, but it’s my thing now.

Dwight: Kids, don’t try planking. It’s dangerous. Especially with me around.

Pam: This dog, he just wants to protect his bone.

Erin: Robert California, let’s have a conversation!

Erin: Suddenly… I was awake.

Andy: Robert California, what does he think of me. Don’t know, super care.

Andy: Kind of a medium year for women’s soccer, no?

Jim: Dwight, can you throw me my phone?

Kevin: Warning! Warning! Warning!

Dwight: Who would eat who in an “Alive” situation?

Dwight: Pam, c’mon, don’t be such a right-sider.

Robert: Some people doodle at work when they let their mind run. They draw houses, penises. Funny how the houses are always colonials and the penises are always circumcised. Don’t you think?

Robert: I’m not an artist, so I draw words and lists.

Meredith: Maybe we’re supposed to do it with people in our group.

Dwight: And left side of the list… attack!”

Andy: Pizza! Party! Pizza! Party!

Robert: Jim, your daughter, Cecelia, what does she think of The Street?

Robert: Elmo. God save us, the Elmo Era.

Darryl: Apt. Apt analysis, Robert.

Kevin: The thing that I like about Elmo is the tickling.

Toby: Just picture me back there. I was never here.

Kelly: That’s just pizza. You need at least one other element for it to be a party.

Andy: Fans of classic pizza will be psyched.

Kevin (text message): Suck it, losers.

Ryan: Not to point out the glaringly obvious, but doesn’t the fact that I’m in this group make anyone feel just a little bit better?

Pam: Now I’m just a fat mom!

Andy: Come here, Pam. Chins up, okay?

Kevin: I just knew, my whole life, that everyone was wrong about me. My parents, my teachers, my friends, the doctors, everyone.

Andy: Not my job, not my prob, I’m going to the warehouse to polish my knob.

Robert: Let me tell you some things I find productive. Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement. Honesty. Let me tell you some things I find unproductive. Constantly worrying about where you stand based on inscrutable social clues and then inevitably reframing it all in a reassuring way so that you can get to sleep at night. No, I do not believe in that at all.

Robert: Life is long. Opinions change. Winners, prove me right. Losers, prove me wrong.

Robert: I’m not going to change my list, Andy, and I don’t use ballpoint pens.

Erin: I like my new group. I liked my old group.

Pam: I’m going to frame it. I can always unframe it.

Icon provided by pessimistreader.


  1. haha…
    the office will be split into two. and the two teams will be against each other because they think that Robert thinks that one team is better than the other.

    that would be soo funny

  2. Yes! They gave us the name! I’m so excited! Now it feels like T.V. season is almost here! Ha, they would put Jim and Pam on opposite sides of the list. I wonder where Dwight will be…

  3. The Office will find a two-page list on Robert’s desk with everyones’ names on it. They’ll think that there are two separate lists: the good workers and the bad, the funny and the dull, the smart and the stupid. In the end, it’ll just be a list for Robert to learn names or something. Predictable.

  4. I bet the list will be a mind-game from Robert, and totally arbitrary…!! I bet it’s a strange amalgamation of people like Meredith, Oscar, Jim, Creed, Stanley, Kevin, and Darryl…some great workers, and some mediocre, just to mess with their heads.

    I can’t wait for the premier!!

  5. What about new manager predictions, Tallyheads?

    OK, so the Search Committee chose Robert to be RM. We know that much. But he takes over as Sabre CEO. Then, using some sort of weird backward logic that only he understands, Robert promotes Andy to RM because the worst salesman understands better than anyone the difficulties of selling (or something like that).

    Then Jim will take it upon himself to mentor Andy for the foreseeable future, so the branch doesn’t implode and they all lose their jobs. Also, Dwight might try to compete with Jim to see who will be the power behind the throne. And this would kick the Jim and Dwight competition (and pranks!) into a whole new gear. How great would that be?

  6. I’m betting it’s Andy. His family is guest starring after all. And as far as the writers it makes sense. Ed Helms is now getting bigger in the film industry much like Steve Carell. After Steve, he is the next most marketable actor.

  7. Just because Ed Helms is now more popular doesn’t mean Andy should be manager. He’s not qualified at all. And i don’t watch the show for him. Of course, this isn’t the real world, and i too think Andy will be the manager.

  8. Max, I kind of think it isn’t Andy for the same reason. They’ve mentioned that whoever gets the position won’t have extra attention for the matter, so it wouldn’t seem likely that they would cast family of the new manager. The manager job will likely be the main storyline for that character. I’d imagine that Andy will have finally pursued Erin, and maybe there is the possibility of him wanting his parents to meet her…maybe.

  9. Personally, I wouldn’t mind if Andy became the boss. Although unqualified, he’s a goofball just like Michael and I think it’d work out. Can’t wait for the season to start and hopefully it’s a success!

  10. I think all these Andy-centered announcements are red herrings to make people think he is manager. I personally think Darryl will get the job. It was once said that Andy, Dwight, and Darryl were the in-house frontrunners but since then there has been more focus on Andy and Dwight (and even Jim and Kelly) as potential managers makes me think they will give it to Darryl. It would also fit with him being bummed out the warehouse quits (if that spoiler is true, I’m not really convinced) and Craig Robinson is also an emerging star like Steve Carell was when the series started in 2005.

  11. If you’re confused by my mention of more focus on Kelly as a potential manager, there was a promo I saw last week on NBC focusing on “Kelly Kapoor – Potential Office Manager”.

  12. OP is right, it will just be a list for him to learn all the names.

    Also, just because the manager won’t be the ‘lead’, doesn’t mean it will be a nothing role either.

  13. i wonder if they come here and read the comments to see what people are saying about their own show..haha anyways i just wanted to say that i’m a fan from Portugal! Yeah! That country! i don’t know a lot of office fans so thank you so much for creating this website because it allows me to communicate with other fans and catch up on what’s new on my favorite show! great job! :)

  14. Hasn’t anyone else noticed the cover of the Season Seven DVD? If they were going to begin to raise the profile of the next manager in any way, I think that person might have been snuck onto the cover image (in place of an actual billed star in BJ Novak, what’s more!), and that might be your clue!

    Since when has a member of the ensemble cast been featured so prominently on the cover artwork?

    And if you don’t know who I mean, take a look here:

  15. I too thought Darryl was the manager until seeing the Season 8 Sneak Peek where Robert California points towards Darryl’s office when asking Darryl (among others) to go to lunch with him. Unless this is part of him revealing who the new manager is, Darryl will still be in his current office and not the manager’s.

  16. @ 19, Karen and Andy were on the season 3 case. Andy was a guest star for a big part of that season. Karen was never a main cast character.

  17. And, frankly, considering the new mgt role won’t increase the character’s show time, why aren’t we focusing on actual logical decisions, like Oscar? Truthfully, that would fit well and really play off of his loyalty to his co-workers of eight or more years and his knowledge that 75% of the staff should get shown the door. Him biting his tongue and fighting the urge to can people for actions we’ve seen for over a half decade.

  18. I think it became pretty clear in season 7 that the position of regional manager is really important to the whole atmosphere of the office, and I think that’s why episodes like training day and the inner circle suffered. I don’t think that the writers knew who they were going to make the manager near the end of the season, and Deangelo was such a weird and abstract character that he wasn’t able to really carry the show. That’s why I think that it’d be too big of a risk to pull a wild card like Meredith or Oscar or something, which makes me think that it’ll be one of the obvious choices like Andy or Darryl (I’m thinking Andy)

  19. What’s wrong with having someone FROM the office become manager?? Have I gone insane thinking that someone like Jim, Dwight, Daryl, Creed, Stanley, Oscar, Pam, Angela, Kevin, Andy, Erin, Meredith, Kelly, Ryan, and maybe even Toby could be manager? Oh I’m sorry. Did I just list the entire original cast????? Oops…

  20. Why would they put all this pressure on someone totally new? I just feel bad for James Spader. Does he know how many people around the world are counting on him? Why producers, WHY?!?!?!?

  21. @Eat Beets Someone from the original cast IS going to be the regional manager. And everything points to Andy, or maybe Darryl.

  22. I’m so looking forward to watch the season premiere!!!!! I can’t hardly wait to see who the new manager is. The first Office season without its original (and former) leading actor, Steve Carell, who was the show’s biggest star, and World’s best boss ever, Michael Scott.

  23. @ 11. HowTheTurnTables…

    Actually, Andy is probably the most qualified for the position. He may not be good at sales, but at least he a has an MBA from Cornell, that’s pretty important. Also, he said that he wouldn’t change anything to the Office if he became the new Regional manager, and there don’t seem to be many changes being made. He seems like the kind of person who would get nervous in his new position and promise the world to the new CEO, which correlates with the second episode. Lastly, why would Andy’s family be brought into the show if he wasn’t a bigger part of the season? We never met anyone else’s family (sans Pam and Jim).

    With that said, I think that the new manager is going to be Creed. It makes the most sense.

  24. When was it said that Andy has an MBA? He graduated from Cornell, which he talked about constantly, but if it had been with any graduate degree I’m sure he would have gone on and on about that.

  25. My TV is broken…I’m counting on you all for some good, needed information. Thank God for Hulu!!

  26. I don’t know about you guys but I’m loving this so far. The character interaction is much stronger and the pace is just right.

  27. And it is indeed Andrew W. Bernard! That open was beautiful, as is the episode as of yet! Looking forward to the next two acts!

  28. i have to say it was a really solid episode, good start to season 8. california and andy had some pretty hilarious moments.

  29. Overall, pretty good episode, Way to go Andy for standing up for everyone. They have yet to explain why Gabe is there, He should be in Florida. And that last part with Jim’s little leave behind list, that was excellent.

  30. I really enjoyed this episode and I’m totally cool with Andy being boss. I do have to say that the episode was really sparse on laughs though. This is a comedy! And I always love a Gabe jab. Way to go Andy for keeping him on the loser list. LOL I thought Jo sent Gabe back to Florida though? I’m confused…

  31. I now have complete confidence that the show will be fine without Steve. That was an incredible episode.

  32. First thoughts, great episode. This is the first post-Michael episode that I honestly didn’t miss him. I loved Robert California, he is so strangely funny. The list thing is a classic that happens at all offices, and the show pulled it off pretty well. As for Andy getting office manager, all I can say is: awesome. He is the perfect successor to Michael, and I can’t wait for where the series goes from here. Great episode all around. Good job from the cast!!

  33. I thought that was really, really good. Not the funniest season premiere ever (though it certainly had its moments), but this episode had a complexity and subtlety that has been missing recently. And Andy was absolutely the star of the show.

  34. Not sure how I feel about it. It’s just so different. I’m gonna hold off judgment for a few episodes, cause it’s gonna take some getting used to. Definitely some funny moments though. Kevin’s “WARNING, WARNING, WARNING” was hilarious, as well as the planking. I liked Andy’s moment at the end as well.

    A few questions though: What is Gabe still doing there? Jo is gone, and he was supposed to be moved back to Tallahassee. And where’s the new girl, Jordan?

  35. What was the opening credits like? The same? Is Spader in it? Is he a “guest star” or listed as a cast member? Details! i’m on the west coast :(

  36. I have to say, I really enjoyed tonight’s episode and all of the developments. While I still miss Michael as manager and think that there is no replacing him, I have to say that after tonight’s episode Andy is going to be the best fit to keep the show going. The group dynamic is still strong, and as long as it is, the show could go on for as long as it wants.

  37. I think they relied on Kevin a bit too much to deliver the good laughs. It had its moments but the quality of the humor wasn’t as good as it typically is. I still don’t like James Spader, but I hope it gets better. It’s only the season premiere after all, and those usually aren’t amazing.

  38. I didn’t really enjoy it at all. The “planking” opening was beyond silly and over the top, way too much slapstick. I do love Spader, but even his character seemed like a different animal from the finale last season. I’ll tune in for a few more weeks to see what its like, but I just don’t think I have it in me to care anymore.

  39. Strong episode. I loved it! hopefully the office will stay strong this year. And the boss is Andy, which is not really a surprise, but yeah. Overall a great episode!

  40. Plotwise somewhat similar to Inner Circle, but otherwise I’m happy to say it was better than I anticipated. Some good laughs, some sweet ones, an all around good episode.

  41. @57 chris, same intro as the last few episodes of season 7, Rainn, John, Jenna, Ed, random cast footage, the only change came at the end where they added “with James Spader” and then a small clip of andy fumbling with a thing on his desk and having it fall off.

  42. I miss Michael Scott. But.. I still love The Office.
    It was a solid episode…had a few good laughs.
    I’m content :) Looking forward to this season.

  43. I don’t like that Pam was a caricature of a pregnant woman. Judging by the spoilers, that only gets more cliche.

  44. Great episode. LOVE Andy as manager, not too crazy about Robert California though. He’s getting on my nerves.

  45. It was surprisingly good for being without the great Michael Scott. Andy as the new boss actually kind of works, I like it. I will always love The Office! I’ve watched it so long I’m not just connected to all the characters. :)

  46. ..And that’s how The Office writers take “The Inner Circle” storyline and make it legit. out with ferrell, in with spader, and everything seems to fit :D

  47. I enjoyed it a lot. :) Especially Pam’s role. Good to see she realized how she’s changed over the years, and I’m not disappointed at all with the two pregnancies. But really.. Kevin? A winner??

  48. I thought the opening was great. Planking is not slapstick. It was like the Parkour opening, except add a few key elements to the story. I wish the episode had been an hour, as I think they could have fleshed a few parts out a little more, but I was pleased with it all. Looking forward to a great season.

  49. Other than the cold opening, this episode just wasn’t very funny to me (which is sad because this is supposed to be a comedy). I was happy to see Andy get the manager position, he was the most sensible choice.

  50. I do have to question the reason for the CEO operating out of a branch office. They tended to justify stuff like that in the past.
    I suspect a Gabe talking head is a deleted scene. The S7 deleted scenes seemed so much more substantial (story-wise) than past seasons. I think that trend is going to continue.

  51. I really enjoyed the cold open, although there was so much going on that I was a bit overwhelmed. It wasn’t non-stop hilarious but I think it had some funny moments. (and I did like all of the Jim & Pam interaction) There was definitely a new atmosphere which I think will take a while to get used to. Hopeful for what’s to come during the rest of the season!

  52. I loved Robert California’s evil genius in getting the office staff supporting Andy as their new boss by polarizing them so Andy would stand up for them. California’s grin as Andy walked out the door was a hint of what is to come, and just how multi-layered this new character will be.

    Still miss Michael though!

  53. I really liked the episode; I laughed aloud a few times and was happy with the choice of Andy. I’m glad they made Jim uncomfortable with everything… it makes him seem like the same old Jim, in contrast to how Pam’s changed. After she made her little speech about how she used to be young and kinda funny, Andy asked her, “Do these look like losers to you?” and I pictured season 2 Pam looking at who she was “stuck” with and understood her “Oh, no…” Overall, I missed MGS (of course), but I enjoyed the episode and am excited for this season!

  54. really liked the atmosphere- kind of more quiet and relaxed. nothing made me laugh out loud, but it was enjoyable. Where was Jordan?

  55. I loved this episode. Yes, I missed Michael, but if this continues… The Office will have a strong season ahead of them. Very impressed.

  56. I liked it, but agree that too much of it was slapstick. Meredith falling from the top of the stall? Dropping a book on someone’s head? The fight? Dwight whipping and presumably breaking Jim’s phone?
    Come on, might as well include a laugh track.

  57. I really enjoyed this episode! Loving Andy as manager so far, and only missed Michael a little bit. Pregnant Pam was adorable, and I loved what the note said that Jim dropped at the end. It was great seeing an adorable Jam moment. Looking forward to the rest of the season, hopefully it will be just as strong as I thought this episode was.

    Oh and I really hope that Stanley’s “shove it up your butt” won’t be the new “That’s what she said.”

  58. I loved the episode. I thought it was funny, nice, and all around a good vibe. Andy as manager is great and everybody was just really funny. Too slapstick? If we were to watch a real, regular office we would be bored to tears, it’s a comedy people! It’s supposed to be funny! Sheesh.

  59. Absolutely LOVED it. Teared up at the end when Andy stood at the office door looking out to everyone a bit. I loved Jim’s List and I loved the planking. This season is really
    Going to be awesome. So glad my Thursday nights are back :) <3

  60. Just watched it. Not a bad episode, but it created more questions than it answered. How did Gabe come back? Angela is supposed to be married, but they hardly mentioned that fact or showed any wedding. What made Robert choose Andy? Overall a good episode, but I hope they start getting funnier again.

  61. The Stanley “shove it up your butt” was semi funny the first time, got REALLY old after that. Most of the funny parts came from the senseless words of Robert California. The script felt kind of rushed (for lack of a better word). All in all though was decent, wished it were longer…got tired of all those horrible “Whitney” commercials. Oh, and what happened to that other office assistant lady that Will Ferrell’s character hired? The blonde lady.

  62. I was pleasantly surprised. That was a very solid episode. Better than most episodes from season 7, actually.

    Andy was the right choice for RM, his quirkiness is quite like Michael’s. Planking is old, sure, but the jokes about it made me laugh.

    I found myself liking Pam again. Also, I loved the fact Andy stood up for the others. Spader was pretty good, he needed more material though. I hope for some interaction between him and Dwight again- in the finale, that was epic.

    An overall solid 8/10 from me. Nice work, you guys.

  63. I miss Michael Gary Scott, but I think Andy is a good choice. I still have this hope that MGS will magically return, but anyway, I’m excited for Andy and this new season.

    I laughed plenty and thus enjoyed this episode a lot. As long as I’m still laughing, I’ll be happy.

  64. LOVED IT! Loved teary Pam (just when I didn’t think I could love Jenna more)! Planking! “Loser! Loser!” I laughed out loud several times. It just felt so complete. I have a good feeling about this season. :)

  65. #86 actually described 4 of the funniest moments of the entire episode.

    Overall very funny. Andy fits as the new manager, and it’s entertaining to see the team dynamic as they carry on without Michael. This episode was great at setting up the potential for the rest of the season. I was not expecting it to be this good.

  66. Liked the show and expect it to get even better. James Spader is great. Hope his character continues to evolve. The ensemble cast is great as well.

  67. Andy as manager, Angela pregnant. I was 2 for 2! And so far, i’m liking both decisions. This new dynamic is kinda nice. Right now i’m just so happy to have my favorite show back. No disappointments here.

    I thought the cold open was brilliant. I’m so happy it’s a boy this time and i loved emotional Pam. Adorable. And Dwight was hilarious, i haven’t laughed that much at him for awhile. Honestly, i thought it was a great premiere all around, better than last year’s. I loved California’s comments on “The Street.” Actually i loved all his comments.

  68. Great episode. Loved the 2 most important things about the episode: Robert California as CEO and Andy as manager. It was a good sign for the future.

  69. To me, this episode didn’t have the same feel as the previous seasons. Maybe it’s just that I’m still feeling the effects of Michael’s departure, but this episode didn’t really do much for me. It felt like they were trying to get too many cheap laughs. Stanley’s “Shove it up your butt!” was completely out of character, as was Pam’s crying I felt. I like Andy as boss though. That has great potential.

  70. Pretty solid episode, methinks. Robert California is a pretty wise guy, and I think I’m gonna start liking and relating to his character as the season goes on.

    The only thing I disliked about this episode is the fact that they had Kevin not know what the alphabet is, AGAIN. I mean, really? They really better come up with a good explanation for that.

  71. I was excited but dreaded the premiere at the same time. I wondered if the writers could pull this off. Glad to say I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
    My only quibble was that Angela is pregnant and married to the senator. I hoped she would get back together with Dwight and bear his fruit. They’ve always been my favorite office couple.

  72. Going by this episode, i have a very good feeling about this season. LOVED it! I was so surprised at how much i actually laughed out loud. Really a solid episode. Lots of new questions, new storylines to follow.

    I enjoyed Pam so much(YAY boy!), and most of all Jim was just perfectly Jim. His note was so sweet. As was Andy defending everybody. Those kinda moments mixed with all the funny makes for fantastic Office.

  73. @93, well if you notice when Stanley says it again, the room is pretty silent compared to how hard they were laughing the first time.

  74. Pretty good! I was thinking the manager would be Andy and I was disappointed at first, but the episode convinced me he would be the right choice by the end. Very persuasive writers. Well done.

  75. I loved the episode, my only complaint was that Stanley and Phyllis were cut from the credits to show Spader’s picture

  76. Awww I was hoping the 2nd pregnancy reveal would be Holly. And I still miss the legendary Michael Scott :(

    Overall, a solid start. The Nard Dog has come a long way! Anybody catch what’s in Andy’s office besides his Cornell banner? And I’m assuming that’s his framed Cornell degree on the wall where Michael’s Seyko certificate used to be?

  77. I was so skeptical of Andy. But i gotta give my hats off to the writers for making me do a complete 180 by the end of the episode. So far he is working. He’s still Andy but you can tell he’s trying hard. Of course he’s not qualified but i assume California had other reasons for choosing him.

    Sure it had a different feel, but i liked it. Everyone will get more screen time. It works. I loved Dwight tonight and adored Pam and Jim. I knew Jim would find some way of showing Pam she’s anything but a loser, and he came through perfectly.

  78. And i just noticed this was written and directed by BJ. Well done BJ! I love that guy’s episodes.

  79. I absolutely loved this episode beginning to end. It was hilarious and affecting. The show was still terrific even without Steve Carell’s talent. So happy to have a whole new season ahead of me. And after watching the two shows prior to it, I gotta say, the Office really was the best, and consistently is. It was funny and sharp and it had heart and soul. (BTW – I’m now so used to no laugh track that the fake sounding studio audience laughter on the show following the Office was jarring and I had to turn the TV off!)

  80. OK episode with winners/losers but the crying Pam subplot was AWFUL. What ever happened to the dry, understated Office that we all loved?

    Writers, you’re dealing with a reasonably intelligent audience here…Stop beating the jokes to death! (i.e., Stanley’s butt joke. Like we didn’t all see that coming from a mile away.)

    Don’t even get me started on the planking… Isn’t this show supposed to be within the realm of reality? When characters behave so ridiculously, it’s hard to suspend disbelief and get into the show.

    This episode had its moments, but showed hints of moving in the really bad direction we’ve seen it heading in since S5.

  81. I had my doubts about andy but not anymore, he’s perfect as manager and I loved how he defended his employees. I am excited for this season because I have no idea what it’s gonna be about.

  82. how has nobody mentioned the amazing Michael Scott reference?!!

    “Yep, it’s little Michael Scott!”
    and that’s how steve carell’s legacy lives on.

  83. Meh. It was a good effort, but I’m convinced this is the final season. The Office now feels like going to a gig where the band replaced the lead singer. It’s just not the same animal, irrespective of whether they’re playing the same songs.

  84. Pretty good episode! I thought the show wouldn’t have a leg to stand on without Michael Gary Scott, but that little MGS reference from Pam calmed my nerves and I ended up really enjoying the episode! But I don’t like new ‘fun’ Stanley. He scares the Hell out of me….

  85. First off, I thought the episode was really good. Loved the planking stuff, the note Jim left, the list Andy made, and Dwight’s “ATTACK!”.

    I do not like Stanley’s new catchphrase, it got tired really fast. I cringed at the title sequence, I thought Andy knocking it off his desk was a bit much.

  86. Really enjoyed the episode, I think Andy’s a great choice for manager and am excited for the rest of the season!

  87. I’m actually happily surprised. I hate Robert California, but at the same time I love him. If that’s what the writers are going for, they’re totally succeeding. Also, I think Andy is doing a good job filling Michael’s shoes, even though I’m still hoping he’ll somehow return.

  88. Very good episode! Pam was super funny – she got a bit annoying last year with the weird voice she did when she was trying to be funny, so I hope that voice doesn’t come back. Loved Andy!!

    I never thought I would string these two words together, but Poor Angela. It will be funny when the Senator gets outed, because obviously, there will be an episode when he gets caught. Probably Dwight will have to pick up her broken pieces.

    I do NOT like Robert California. He is too creepy and serious, and not funny. It’s sort of funny that he is so creepy and serious, but overall, not funny. And what kind of sucessful person writes down a list of winners/losers. ugh

    But I am glad Andy is boss!

  89. A very promising start – I really enjoyed Robert California and I’m glad Andy is the boss. I was in tears when Toby realized he just didn’t belong at the winners’ table and got up and left. I actually kept giggling all through the next commercial break. And planking was hilarious – I had just read an article on that and thought “what kind of idiot would do this?” Now I know. Great ending – both the regular ending and tag.

  90. A good start without Steve Carell. I have high hopes for this season!

    I do have one question that is rather pointless but still bothered me: how did Jim text Pam when Dwight presumably smashed Jim’s phone? Continuity error…?

  91. I thought the episode was short. Felt that there should have been more … or perhaps they just left me wanting more. Either way, I liked it.

    Kind of figured that it would be Andy as they are having an episode with his family and him doing a musical thing coming up.

    I just hope the “State Senator” isn’t using Angela as a surrogate in the long run.

  92. Holy cow, they threw so much into the beginning part that I had to rewind and re-watch it. I wish they would’ve picked either planking silly-ness or revealing all the new happenings with characters – not everything all at once.

    Like many, I am left wondering “WHY IS GABE STILL THERE?” And I guess Jordan had the day off? Suppose with only 20-some minutes, they couldn’t explain everything.

    I whole heartedly agree with @Allison, “Oh and I really hope that Stanley’s “shove it up your butt” won’t be the new “That’s what she said.””

    Good start to the season. Love me some Robert California. I think Spader was the right choice, and not making him manager was a great way to keep fans on the writer’s/producer’s side.

  93. I think the show has the potential to be BETTER without Michael.

    I often thought Michael was too much to be honest.

  94. Oof, I thought this episode was painful. I was super excited all summer for it, and I didn’t laugh out loud once. The cold open was ridiculous. I like how Angela is pregnant and they don’t even make reference to it for the rest of the episode. The Pam crying all the time thing was too much. Suddenly Jenna Fischer can’t act? What happened??

    Honestly, James Spader is an amazing actor, but I don’t think he can do funny.

    This episode was over the top and lacked the beautiful subtlety it normally excels at. This was slapstick comedy at best.

    I am REALLY hoping this episode is not an indicator of what’s to come.

  95. @#120 Not sure why you’re convinced this is the final season. This is NBC’s top rated scripted show, and Gervais wants 200 episodes. Last night’s ratings were good, and the episode got a positive reaction from most fans. Don’t think it’s going anywhere for a while.

  96. A great start to the season. I thought it was funny that Robert California wrote Old Man on the list instead of Creed. Supreme confidence in the ‘Nard dawg as regional manager.

  97. Loved it. So much happening, but it was awesome. Laughed throughout the entire thing. Robert California is so icky, but it’s great how uncomfortable he makes everyone. I think Angela is having Dwight’s baby. Was kinda hoping we’d find out that Holly was prego. John, Jenna, Rainn, and Ed shined. Looking forward to the rest of this season!

  98. Love, love, loved last night’s episode! I can agree that it’s not exactly the same as The Office many of us fell in love with, but can appreciate the changes that most of the characters have made. Robert California is delightfully creepy, and Jim and Pam are as cute as ever. I’m guessing they’re setting it up to name the baby after Jenna’s real life baby boy. I’m still trying to figure out what she’s saying at the end about unframing something- I watched it again, and she actually says “I can always unframe…” with no “it” at the end- wonder if something got cut?

    Stanley’s “shove it up your butt!” was a little far fetched, but I can definitely appreciate it. Still won’t replace TWSS in my book :-)

  99. Great episode, but I am worried that Angela’s pregnancy will be the end of Dwangela.. I really hope I’m wrong though, they are my favourite tv-couple.

  100. I think “angry Andy” will make a return from time to time, especially if Robert California’s going to rub people the wrong way.

  101. Here’s how I see it, and I don’t think or know if this has been mentioned – but I see Angela’s baby belonging to Dwight, and it’s okay, because the Senator is gay, anyway! Hey, it could happen!

  102. Andy = winner. I watched with 10 other people and we screamed and cheered when he was revealed.
    I really like how they address the fact that Pam has changed so much, even though the crying was a little much.
    The Office has become a whole different show. Don’t compare it to Season 2 or 3, because it’s completely evolved over the years. And it’s not a bad thing either, the show has accepted its ridiculousness, and I accept it too. Great episode.

  103. I thought the episode was good! I thought it was funny how different REAL pregnant Pam looks as opposed to the pregnant Pam before.

    I also felt so bad for her when she was crying about being on the losers list. Her little speech was heartbreaking, but also greatness. “I used to be cute and kinda funny and now I’m just a fat mom.” =(

  104. Excellent episode!!!!! I really loved it. It’s so amazing to see Andy as the new boss in Scranton. Pretty awesome!!!!! And also, that Pam is pregnant again. Kudos for the Nard Dog!!!!!

  105. Fantastic episode. I love Robert California and look forward to seeing how his character evolves throughout the season. Admittedly I am a bit biased as I am a James Spader fan, but I do feel that he is an excellent addition to the cast and can’t wait to see what he brings to the table.

    All-in-all, a strong start to the season. Missing Steve, but things are looking good thus far. :)

  106. RANDOM FACTOID: The bathroom where Dwight kicks open the door and sprays Meredith is the men’s restroom that the actors use off set but it’s still inside the same sound stage.

  107. I really hope a storyline this season involves everyone flying to Colorado for Michael’s wedding. They all have to go to his wedding, am I right??

    Overall I really liked the episode a lot. I agree how different Pam looked as real pregnant vs. fake pregnant.

    I am excited for this season.

  108. To answer some recurring questions-Jordan is not returning and Gabe is still corporate liaison to the Scranton branch. I personally loved this episode from the planking to the Michael reference to Andy’s “Dundie-esque” opening (smooth move, Andy) to the new Stanley to Pam realizing how much she’s changed to Andy’s moment at the end. And, of course, everything Spader, Dwight (“the Enforcer”) or Kevin did was hilarious. 8/10.

  109. Am I the only one that noticed the last 3 seasons have randomly started out with internet sensations?
    S6: Parkour
    S7: Lip Dub
    S8: Planking
    Just throwing that out there if anyone else noticed it. So much more to say about the episode. It was good though. :)

  110. I LOVED this episode with a passion! Even though Michael left, I, myself, am moving on with the fact he’s gone. He will always be remembered, but we can’t have a Grief Counseling session about it (;))
    To many “Why is Gabe back?!”- Gabe transferred back to Scranton to help them reorganize themselves with the loss of Michael and to see how well Robert would work out. (I LOVED this guy! I’m glad he’s there!)

    Cody Horn, unfortunately, won’t be on the series anymore. She I guess quit.

    And I like “Shove it up your butt”, but I hope it’s not “That’s What She Said”…

  111. I really liked it! I’ll admit, I wanted Darryl as manager, but now I can see why Andy would make a good manager. I don’t agree with many people that he’s similar to Michael. He’s totally different, especially on the inside. It’s a new dynamic which will take getting used to. And I absolutely LOVED the Jim/Pam storyline. It was so sweet how Jim made that list at the end. And the Angela being pregnant… I just hope it’s Dwight’s baby. Like Jim says in season 5, “Oh, eventually he’ll figure it out, when their kids have beet-stained teeth and giant heads.”

    Robert California — well, I liked him better than in the season finale. We’ll see. Overall, great start to SEASON 8!

  112. Good episode. Better than I was expecting for sure. I’m glad they made a Michael Scott reference too, because if I remember correctly they didn’t mention him at all after he left the show last season. I could be (probably am) wrong.

  113. Congratulations BJ! You crafted a winner! I really enjoyed this opening episode — especially weepy Pam and concerned Jim. Andy will make a great manager. As for California, he’s a little hard to read yet — he seems to be somewhere between contempt and preoccupied.

  114. @136 Premier eps usually rate well. Let’s see what the ratings look like mid-season. I have loved The Office so much that I’ve watched re-runs until I’ve practically bled! Now it just feels as though I’m watching my fave series wrap up. The magic isn’t there. Carell was the magic – the glue. You can’t evolve beyond that.

  115. I loved the episode! I loved seeing Andy as the boss, I loved Robert California, and after watching the episode again I noticed Creed was listed as “Old Man” on the list. Overall great episode, and the show definitely has a ton of potential even without Michael Scott!

  116. @#148 Don’t think there will be a Michael Scott wedding. Steve Carell’s exact words: “I don’t think Michael Scott should come back at all. I just think it’s better if he just moves along. I think the show should become whatever it’s going to become without people traipsing back in.”

    @#157 I get what you’re saying, but the ratings would have to tank completely (say 50%) before they’d pull the plug. Don’t see that happening. It’s still a moneymaker for NBC.

  117. A perfect season opener, executed confidentally and smoothly. I knew in my bones it would be Andy because the writers love him so much. But just as much as the question of the new boss, I wondered if the show would get the tone right. Season 6 was too dour, but 7 to me sometimes went over the top and became too ‘sitcomish.’ But this was perfect. Not too cold and not too hot. I’m excited about this season. Bring it on.

    I loved Pam’s indecision about Jim’s list. Their sentimental little moments are often sweet, but I still cringe at them. Congratulations to Angela on tying the knot, but I’m still waiting for the (State) senator to come out of the closet. It’s a delicious plot with so much potential.

  118. This episode was awesome, Andy really shines as the new boss. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

  119. I liked the episode, but felt like Ed Helms has been recast as Michael Scott, and plays the character with far less skill than Steve Carell did. At least it reels Andy in a bit, and Robert California / Pregnant Pam are great additions, too. Stanley’s new catch phrase…not so much.

  120. I thought it was a pretty good episode. It won’t make my top 20 next year, but it kept me interested in hanging around. Andy did a good job growing into his manager role. I hope they continue to show that. I think it was his best episode ever. And Erin was more under control which was good. I give it a solid 8 out of 10. I also liked a multi-layered title again. We saw lists from Robert, Dwight and at the end Jim <3 Like we had The Secret from Jim, Oscar and Dwight/Angela for example.

  121. Eh, I didn’t think the premiere was funny. Much of the cast was way out of character. Really? Stanley with his line?

    Pam was a caricature rather than a character. I enjoyed Robert California’s character at the end of Season 7, but I felt like he is acting more “over-jerkish” rather than “over-confident” in the Season 8 opener.

    I enjoy Andy as manager, but I’m disappointed by the writing and directing of this episode. Hoping for a better season!

  122. I loved that Stanley now had a catch phrase and tried to give his one-liner, now that Michael Scott has left, who always thought/wanted Stanley to be the funny black guy.

  123. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this or not, but I really love how Andy earned the respect of his co-workers at the end of the episode. I know Michael was well liked, maybe even well loved by his co-workers, but I’m not sure he truly gained their respect. I’m glad Andy is the new manager. I think Season 8 is off to an exceptional start!

    Exquisite episode from start to finish. :)

  124. 162: No, Angela is not pregnant in real life.

    As for people complaining about Stanley’s catchphrase – I think the idea is that it’s supposed to get dumb and overbearing after one use. The Office is (smartly) going back to the archetypal American office it was in s2, and we all know that guy who runs a moderately funny thing into the ground.

  125. @154 — you’re not wrong! I remember that they didn’t mention Michael after he left either (I hear a deleted scene did, but I haven’t seen it). It irked me they didn’t even acknowledge him after he left. :( I loved the reference to him in this episode!

    I liked the episode too, but see Andy starting to act like Michael a bit. I’m curious to see where the season goes!

  126. I liked it. I don’t think the show will ever be able to live up to the belly laughs from some of the earlier seasons, but it’s a really high bar. Even a just-decent The Office is better than most of the crap on TV.

    Pam was great – I’m roughly the character’s age with 2 small kids and what she said about how she used to be cute and interesting and a little funny, and now she is just a fat mom…that hit home so hard. I don’t know, maybe it all seemed like a little much with how much she was crying throughout the episode, but it really felt authentic to me.

  127. Overall not a bad episode. Stanley’s one liner kind of got old even after one use but I thought Kevin’s WARNING! was hilarious. Something I don’t get though is why Gabe is back. In last season’s finale Jo said that Gabe was going back to Florida with her and he left but now he’s back like nothing ever happened. I’m surprised that they didn’t even give an explanation on why he’s back.

  128. I haven’t laughed that much during an office episode in quite a while. I hope the rest of the season is as strong as this one was!

  129. An enjoyable episode, but so weird without Michael.

    Shocked: Angela is already married to the senator and preg (hope it’s Dwight’s).

    Loved: Dwight’s book of pre-planned lists; Meredith’s idea that the list is “who we’re supposed to do it with” and Jim’s “That’s not it”; Dwight delighted that his name is on the left side; Andy’s heartwarming stand of defense for his fellow employees; Jim’s list.

    Did not love: Stanley’s “shove it” line and hope it does not become repetitive; Gabe back in Scranton.

  130. “The List” made me laugh several times, but at the same time it saddened me. This isn’t the same show that hooked me with classics like “The Dundies” or “The Fire”. It has lost its sense of being rooted in reality, and I can no longer identify with any of the characters as “real” people. When “The Office” is only about silly laughs and no longer aspires to really satirize the daily slog of life, what’s the point?

  131. Even though it was never addressed in the episode, I’m thinking that Robert is working out of the conference room temporarily so he can evaluate Andy as the new RM. Once that’s done, he will move to Tallahassee (unless he also talked Jo into moving Corporate to Scranton!).

    And as Gabe was once Jo’s lacky, he is now Robert’s. I’m assuming he is there to assist Robert in his evaluation, and will leave when Robert leaves. Then Gabe may be dropping by from time to time, with or without Robert, throughout the season.

    And Jordan is apparently pursuing a career at Dairy Queen or In & Out Burgers (where she belongs!).

    This was a good start to the season, but if ever an episode needed an hour to sort out some loose ends, this was it! Too much was crammed into 22 minutes of airtime, and too many unanswered questions.

    If this episode is near the top of next summer’s Survivor Poll, something will have gone terribly wrong.

  132. Just a few of those unanswered questions from my last post:

    1- What did Robert say to Jo to convince her to give him her own job? (I guess they’re trying to keep him as mysterious as possible, behind the scenes.)
    2- Why did Robert choose Andy, the worst salesman at the branch, as RM?
    3- Where was the footage of Angela’s sham wedding? Was the best man, the (state) senator’s assistant, crying uncontrollably during the entire ceremony, and then did Oscar give a knowing look to the camera from the crowd? And what was Dwight’s demeanor?

    Oh, and one more from the episode itself. Stanley consistently has the highest sales in the branch? Jim reached the commission cap a few months ago, and Dwight makes enough sales to buy the friggin’ office park! And Stanley does better than either of them? (Note to the showrunners: If you’re looking for a Story Continuity Consultant, I’m available!)

  133. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this first episode of the 8th season. The episode had to incorporate a lot of information to get us up and running with the new situation at DMS and they achieved that in the most time efficient manner. I like the idea that they just want to get over with the transition and get things on a normal track for the season…don’t dwell on the past just get to the new and developing dynamics in the show.

    I liked Andy as manager better than I had expected to if he ended up with the job. Robert California could be a very interesting character. I love James Spader, but I wasn’t sure about this character as a full time addition…judging from the first episode I think he will be very interesting.

  134. @176 – I think he meant Stanley has consistently high sales, not consistently highest specifically.

  135. @Moseley – It was nit-picking, anyway. Andy was just searching for something nice to say about all the “losers”.

    I’m just shocked nobody has mentioned his comment about Erin being his “confidant”. Hmm…does that mean they are having some alone time? Let the teeth grinding begin!!

  136. I loved this episode. Gotta lot of laughs out of it and that’s what I’m here for. Andy had a lot of great moments like chins up, his door knock, his pizza party reaction, and defending the Office. Dwight’s getting back to his usual self again. And the cold open was spectacular. Also, I believe Gabe didn’t even have any lines. So win win. The only thing that bugged me was Stanley’s catchphrase. Instead, I think they should bring back Andy’s “Nerrfffin” line and make it his catchphrase. He’s said it at least three times and every time he did it was freaking hilarious.

  137. This episode was fairly solid, but I feel like its a whole new show. It has lost has “reality” vibe and now just seems like regular sitcom. I feel the story arcs have gotten out of hand as well. I miss the old days where it actually felt like that were in a boring office selling paper products. The show is getting too “big”. Instead of being a show about office workers and the minutia they have to endure, its a show about eccentric personalities that happen to work at an office.

  138. I CAN’T believe someone finally mentioned Michael by name! I loved when Pam said that:)! I thought The Office wouldn’t be able to survive without Steve, but this episode is making me doubt that. I wasn’t happy when I heard Andy would be the manager, but he did quite well. I’ll still be skeptical until I see more episodes. I loved many of his lines! I can’t believe Angela is already pregnant. I hope Dwight’s the father. I wish the episode would’ve been longer because there was so much going on. I thought Stanley was way out of character with his new catch phrase. Some things that I really loved were: Dwight’s new daily routine, Dwight’s lists, Dwight stopping people from planking, and Kevin’s warnings. I’d really like to know how Robert talked Jo out of her job. I find that extremely difficult to believe and I’m going to miss Jo. I don’t know what to think of him yet. His creepiness is a little funny, but I didn’t like how he called certain people losers. I don’t think this episode had many laugh out loud moments, so I hope future episodes will be funnier. Good job B.J.!

  139. Jono (#181): Very well-said. I agree entirely. You take “Email Surveillance”, “Office Olympics” or some other random episode from season 2, and watch it right after “The List”… well, there’s simply no comparison. And I mean that literally–the season 2 and season 8 episodes are so dissimilar that it would be impossible to compare… like comparing apples to… some fruit that nobody’s ever heard of. It really is like a different show today. I don’t like it anywhere near as much as season 2, but it seems there are people who do, so I need to learn to accept the show’s totally new tone and direction.

  140. This was easily one of the best office episodes I’ve seen in a very long time! Brilliant stuff. “Left side of the list attack!” – I cried.

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