The Pilot: Episode 1.01

101-pilot-bigger“The Pilot”
Season 1 Episode 1
Air Date: March 24, 2005
Writer: Greg Daniels
(original UK Office by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant)
Summary: A documentary crew arrives at Dunder-Mifflin Paper Inc in Scranton, Pennsylvania to begin filming the misadventures of Michael Scott. Among Michael’s employ are Dwight the eternally loyal Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, Ryan the bewildered temp, Jim the friendly but bored salesman, and Pam the shy receptionist.

1. Supplemental Materials
Pam Pong Scorecard, transcript at, old review of this Episode

2. Quick Recap
The Topic: A camera crew arrives at Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch run by Michael Scott, who thinks he’s the funniest, hippest boss on Earth (his employees, naturally, do not agree). Despite Michael’s upbeat demeanor, the Scranton branch is actually in danger of being downsized if numbers don’t pick up.
“1 word, 2 syllables: Demarcation”: Michael’s number two is Dwight Schrute, a man who takes his job seriously to a fault, and has no sense of humor. Salesman Jim Halpert uses this to his advantage in what appears to be daily pranks that he plays on Dwight.
A not-so-secret crush: Inside jokes about cat parties and Jim’s intimate knowledge of Receptionist Pam Beesly’s preferred yogurt flavor indicates these two are more than just coworkers. So what’s standing in the way? Just Roy, Pam’s long-time fiance.
You’ve been Xed, Punk: With new temp Ryan watching in horror, Michael tries to make a joke out of the downsizing rumors by pretending to fire Pam. But the joke backfires when Pam starts crying and calls Michael a jerk.
Michael’s Words of Wisdom: “What is the most important thing for a company? Is it the cash flow? Is it the inventory? Nuh-uh. It’s the people . . . [My proudest moment here] was a young Guatemalan guy. First job in the country, barely spoke English. He came to me, and said, “Mr. Scott, would you be the godfather of my child?” Wow. Wow. Didn’t work out in the end. We had to let him go. He sucked.

2A: Flonkerton Medal Ceremony
The “Copy Cat” Medal: This episode is practically identical to the first episode of The UK Office, with similar characters, dialog, and virtually the same plot, causing most critics to brush the show off as a “fail adaption”.
The “Hey, it’s just a Pilot” Medal: Many fans list this as one of the worst episodes, but come on, it’s a pilot. Like a book’s cover, you can’t judge a show by a pilot, and the pilot serves it purpose of introducing us to the main characters and has a decent amount of laughs (even if they are borrowed jokes from the UK Office).

Next episode: 102 Diversity Day

3. Flonkerton’s Favorite Quotes
Michael: [on the phone] Thank you very much, sir. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Oh, I’m sorry. OK. I’m sorry. My mistake. [hangs up] That was a woman I was talking to, so… She had a very low voice. Probably a smoker.

Michael: Did we get a fax this morning?
Uh, yeah, the one…
Michael: Why isn’t it in my hand? A company runs on efficiency of communication, right? So what’s the problem, Pam? Why didn’t I get it?
Pam: You put in the garbage can that was a special filing cabinet.

Michael: Am I going to tell them? No, I am not going to tell them. I don’t see the point of that. As a doctor, you would not tell a patient if they had cancer.

Dwight: One word, two syllables. Demarcation.

Dwight: You can’t do that.
Jim: Why not?
Dwight: Safety violation. I could fall and pierce . . . an organ.
Jim: [crosses fingers] We’ll see.

Dwight: Downsizing? I have no problem with that. I have been recommending downsizing since I first got here. I even brought it up in my interview. I say, bring it on.

Michael: People I respect, heroes of mine, would be Bob Hope… Abraham Lincoln, definitely. Bono. And probably God would be the fourth one. And I just think all those people really helped the world in so many ways that it’s really beyond words. It’s really incalculable.

Jim TH: If I left, what would I do with all this useless information in my head? You know? Tonnage price of manila folders? Um, Pam’s favorite flavor of yogurt, which is mixed berry.
Pam TH: Jim said mixed berries? Well, yeah, he’s on to me. Um… [Laughs]

Michael: What is that?
Dwight: That is my stapler.
Michael: No, no, no. Do not take it out. You have to eat it out of there, because there are starving people in the world [turns to camera] which I hate, and it is a waste of that kind of food.
Dwight: OK you know what, you can be a witness. [points to Ryan] Can you reprimand him?
Jim: How do you know it was me?
Dwight: It’s always you. Are you going to discipline him or not?
Michael: Discipline. Kinky! [Laughs] All right, here’s the deal you guys. The thing about a practical joke is you have to know when to start and as well as when to stop.
Dwight: Yeah.
Michael: And yeah, Jim this is the time to stop putting Dwight’s personal effects into Jell-O.
Jim: OK. Dwight, I’m sorry, because I have always been your biggest flan.
Michael: [Laughing] Nice. That’s the way it is around here. It just kind of goes round and round.
Ryan: You should’ve put him in custardy.
Michael: Hey! Yes! New guy! He scores.
Dwight: OK, that’s great. I guess what I’m most concerned with is damage to company property. That’s all.
Michael: Pudding. Pudding… I’m trying to think of another dessert to do.

Michael: What is the most important thing for a company? Is it the cash flow? Is it the inventory? Nuh-uh. It’s the people. The people. My proudest moment here was not when I increased profits by 17% or when I cut expenses without losing a single employee. No, no, no, no, no. It was a young Guatemalan guy. First job in the country, barely spoke English. He came to me, and said, “Mr. Scott, would you be the godfather of my child?” Wow. Wow. Didn’t work out in the end. We had to let him go. He sucked.

4. Trivia

  • “The Pilot” is an “Americanized” adaption of the first UK “The Office” episode. It has similar dialog and virtually the same plot.
  • In his very first scene, Dwight hums his own special rocked-out version of “Little Drummer Boy.”
  • Michael makes a reference to Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man, one of the few time he actually makes a “correct” pop-culture reference.
  • Regular secondary character Stanley, Phyllis, Kevin, Angela, Oscar, and Creed make their first appearance in this episode (though only Stanley and Angela are referred to by name). We hear Todd Packer on the phone, and reference is made to Josh the Stamford Manager.
  • Pam tells Jim to “have a good weekend,” indicating this episode took place on a Friday.
  • Possible continuity error: Michael proclaims at the beginning of the episode that Dunder Mifflin occupies the whole floor, but in later episodes it’s revealed Vance Refrigeration is down the hallway. This may be a result of Michael’s overly high opinion of the company.

5. Grade This Episode


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