The Office has many quotable fan-favorite moments, but some of the best loved and most quoted lines were spoken in just one iconic cold open. The quick scene made for some fantastic merchandising opportunities as well, as the lines have landed on T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and more.
‘The Office’ cold open in the ‘Product Recall’ episode is iconic
The Office Season 3 episode “Product Recall” begins with a classic cold open. Jim Halpert, forever on a quest to prank and annoy co-worker Dwight Schrute, exceeds all expectations when he arrives at work dressed as Dwight.
In a talking head interview, Jim explains how he was inspired to pull the look together when he spotted the glasses in a store. The rest, as they say, is history, as he not only got Dwight’s look right, but he also impersonated him brilliantly.
Jim explains in the talking head, “Last week, I was in a drug store and I saw these glasses. Uh, four dollars. And it only cost me seven dollars to recreate the rest of the ensemble. And that’s a grand total of … [calculates total on his calculator-watch] eleven dollars.”
The scene featured two of the series’ most quoted lines
Tapping into Dwight required Jim to rattle off some facts in the style of his co-worker. The scene begins with Jim dressed as Dwight, saying, “It’s kind of blurry.” After he puts on the glasses, he says, “That’s better,” then asks his co-worker, “Question. What kind of bear is best?”
Dwight answers, “That’s a ridiculous question,” with Jim immediately responding, “False. Black bear.”
This gets his co-worker engaged, as he begins to argue, “Well that’s debatable. There are basically two schools of thought …”
Jim interjects, “Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.”
Dwight becomes annoyed, saying, “Bears do not — What is going on — What are you doing?!”
Dwight attempts to let Jim’s hijinks roll off his back, but then Jim takes things to another level.
“You know what? Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so I thank you,” Dwight tells him.
When Jim puts a bobble-head on his desk like Dwight’s, his co-worker reaches his breaking point, saying, “Identity theft is not a joke, Jim! Millions of families suffer every year!”
The cold open ending moved to the end of the episode
During the Oct. 21 episode of the Office Ladies podcast, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey discussed the episode and, of course, fans wanted to learn everything they could about the cold open.
“I remember filming this episode and John Krasinski was so funny. We could not hold it together,” Fischer said of the scene. Surprisingly, Fischer said they got through it in eight takes.
And, fun fact, Fischer shared, “It was [writer/producer] Mike Schur who pitched the line, ‘Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.’”
Another interesting tidbit is that the tag at the end of the show, where Dwight arrives to work dressed as Jim, was originally planned for the cold open.
“I want to tell you that this was originally in the script as the alternate ending to the cold open,” Fischer explained. “Dwight had a little talking head where he said, ‘To defeat your enemy, you have to become your enemy.’ And then he showed up to work dressed as Jim. But in the editing process, we split it up, which I think was genius.”
While Rainn Wilson could do an impressive impression of Jim Halpert, Fischer said that, as his character Dwight, he “couldn’t be as good of a mimic as Jim.”
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