A few months before "The Office" would permanently close up shop after nine seasons, Jenna Fischer, who has played the loveable Pam since day one, was already getting nostalgic. She also laughingly remembered her shortsighted thinking when she first landed the NBC sitcom back in 2004.
"I was a huge fan of the British version, and I remember when we got hired to do the pilot, Ricky Gervais came in, had lunch and talked to us for an afternoon. We got to ask him any questions we wanted," she recalled at a final press day held on the Scranton-subbing Southern California set earlier this year. "I remember going home and thinking, 'Oh, my gosh, if nothing else happens except that I got to have lunch with Ricky Gervais, this is amazing. And now look, it's [almost] 10 years later and we made a whole show."
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And after making 200 half-hours of Emmy-winning TV, the sitcom's stars, just like its fans, have favorite episodes and scenes. Here's which ones they'd defend at the proverbial water cooler should the best-ever "Office" moment debate come up.
John Krasinski (Jim): "We all knew from the beginning that this show and this job is a gift. It is the one I am most proud of in my career, and I have so many favorite moments and memories. But if I had to settle on one, I'd say 'Casino Night.' It was one of the most important moments for me as an actor, for the show and for the Pam and Jim relationship. It took the relationship to another level for the Jam fans; we ratcheted it up a story in the high-wire act. I felt like I was now responsible for something that was really important to the fans, and I got excited by that. I got a similar feeling from 'Booze Cruise.' I will never forget how funny it was to have Steve handcuffed to the front."
Rainn Wilson (Dwight): "I like 'The Injury' from Season 2. I know that's a big fan favorite as well. It's such a classic in my mind -- Dwight getting in a car accident, [suffering a] concussion, throwing up on his car, and him actually developing a friendship with Pam because his personality changed from the concussion. Completely realistic, grounded. I love that one."
Jenna Fischer (Pam): "I was going to say 'The Injury' as well. I really love the episodes where Pam and Dwight become friends. We just did one, actually, where Pam and Dwight team up for a common goal."
Ellie Kemper (Erin): "'Dinner Party,' [in terms of] watching it."
Oscar Nunez (Oscar): "'Dinner Party' is one, if you watch the outtakes where Steve [Carell] is messing with the TV and pushing it back on the wall, John and Melora [Hardin] are losing it, and Melora is -- just one of my favorites too. I liked recently the 'Lice' episode, only because the special effects department had a lot of fun with the CGI. There's a scene where I believe everyone is shampooing Jake's hair, and they superimposed my arms on his body and it is seamless. It worked. If you watch it, you can't tell."
Watch a clip from the "Lice" episode:
Craig Robinson (Darryl): "My favorite scene was when Dwight had lied about going to the dentist and Michael knew he had lied so he asked him the name of the dentist and he said, 'Crentist.' I had only been on the show for a little bit at that time, and I was in a hotel room watching it and laughed so hard and realized how excited and lucky I was that I got to be a part of a show that told that joke."
Watch the "crentist" scene:
Ed Helms (Andy): "I'll never forget when I first came to this lot to chat with Greg about joining the show. I popped down to set to watch a little bit of filming, and I watched the scene of Steve smooching Oscar in 'Gay Witch Hunt,' and the prospect of joining the show was so exciting to me. (Executive producer Greg Daniels interrupted to remind him that he was in that episode.) There's a million favorites. I clearly mix some up."
Watch a clip from "Gay Witch Hunt":
Angela Kinsey (Angela): "I loved the first Christmas episode when we had Yankee swap and there was that weird Angela Martin poster of the babies. It's so weird. They didn't let us see the poster until we did the first take, and we all lost it. And Michael Scott being so angry with the mittens he got from Phyllis. One of my all-time favorites."
Phyllis Smith (Phyllis): "The episode where Phyllis gets married to Bob Vance. She is so proud and happy, and you just get so connected to your character and their journey over the years."
And after all the time the cast spent portraying the Pennsylvania paper pushers in the same set of San Fernando Valley soundstages, which are highly detailed down to the last Jam family photo, fridge magnet, and teamwork poster, they've also become connected to their character's stuff. We wanted to know what set pieces they hoped to keep as memorabilia.
Fischer: "I want Pam's watercolor that Michael bought at her art show, which is still on the wall, and the receptionist sign, even though I don't sit there anymore."
Helms: "I had my entire house remodeled to look like the bullpen so I'm taking a lot of the stuff for that. I've also hired most of the cast to live there with me. I actually really want Andy's Cornell diploma for some reason. I really like that."
Kinsey: "I have my eye on about three of Angela's cat figurines."
Smith: "I want my first Dundie award for Bushiest Beaver."
Kate Flannery (Meredith): "I actually [already] saved Meredith's pelvis cast."
Krasinski: "Maybe my Jim Halpert name plate or my fake family photo because I don't think they'd let me take home my fake kids."
Wilson: "I want to keep Dwight's car, so I'm sure the producers will make that available for me."
Creed Bratton (Creed): "I want the bags and bags of mung beans that have been piling up in my desk. We are going to fight over that car. Yes, indeed."
Greg Daniels: "It's worth less than the mung beans."
Jake Lacy (Pete): "I wanna … I wanna … I don't wanna keep anything. I just wanted to say something."
"The Office" series finale airs on Thursday, 5/16 at 9 PM on NBC.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Jenna Fischer
- Ricky Gervais
- John Krasinski