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The Office Recap: Episode 9, "Dinner Party"

The Office Rundown: Episode 9, "Dinner Party"

Welcome back, Dunderheads! It's been a long few months since we last hung out at The Office, and it was unquestionably good to see the crew back on screen this week. It was almost a relief — just like Michael releasing that pent-up "That's what she said!" must have been.

That said — and it's so hard to quibble after so much time off — I spent more time cringing than laughing in this episode. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as The Office does squirmy humor better than anyone else on television. I think for a first night back, I would have preferred something awkward but laugh-out-loud funny, and maybe something also set in the office so we could have reconnected with more characters. I've complained before about The Office leaving the office too much, and the same applies here — though, in the end, it's outweighed by the goodness of some serious Michael/Jan dysfunction and the wonderful feeling I get just from having the show back. Here were some of my favorite parts:

  • So, we know Michael's desperate to have friends, but desperate enough to stage a overtime work assignment for everyone, even the folks he's not inviting? Then again, once you get turned down nine different times, it must start to feel dire.
  • Michael's excuse for not inviting Dwight: "It's couples only. And besides, I only have six wine glasses."
  • Which is funnier: The version of the opening when Dwight runs away from the camera crew after the dinner party question, or the one where he sat there and sobbed? I'm going to have to go with the running-away one from the commercials, personally.

To read more of my thoughts and add your own, just


  • Jan on Jim and Pam's nice wine: "This will be great to cook with!"
  • OK, so it was squirmy, but I loved every moment of the tour of the condo — from Jan's office and workspace, to the video tripod by the bed and the spanking, to the bench Michael sleeps on. But the living room, with the plasma TV ("I will just stand here and watch television for hours") and the handmade table (Michael: "It's either pine or Nordic cherry." Jan: "It's pine.") was the best.
  • Michael on wine: "That was sort of an oaky afterburn afterbirth." (Even more cringeworthy than I originally realized — ew!)
  • Fantastic how Pam wouldn't let Jim get out of the party alone: "You can buy new stuff, but you can't buy a new party!"
  • Ack, Michael told Jan he dated Pam? Love Pam's response: "Not ever, not now, not then, not now, not ever . . . ever."
  • I suspected Dwight would show up with a date, but I didn't expect it to be the "sometimes I question your commitment to Sparkle Motion" woman from Donnie Darko . . . playing his babysitter. Also, how fantastic that they brought their own containers full of beet salad.
  • So, things really went downhill at the dinner party once Michael dragged out the St. Pauli Girl sign. Doesn't St. Pauli Girl always make things go downhill? I love the blue light it cast on everyone — especially during Michael's vindictive "that's what she said!"
  • Angela's face during the vasectomy talk so closely resembled mine. Too far!
  • As messed up as she obviously is, I felt kind of sorry for Jan gluing the Dundie back together.
  • And finally: Is it wrong that I kind of want to download that vaguely nasty song by Jan's ex-assistant now?

Your thoughts? Did it satisfy your Office cravings? What were your favorite lines?

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
nina_e nina_e 9 years
It's so good that this show is back on. The last episode was awkward, but still funny. Poor Michael! Can't wait for tonight's episode
Prosser91 Prosser91 9 years
Yeah, big let down. We have been waiting for the new episode in Australia for 3 months too, and when I finally watched it, my worst fears were realised. The writers have lost it! However, perhaps this was cornerstone episode where Michael sees Jan as the psycho hose-beast that she is and gets back with Carol (here's hoping!). "That's what she said!" was my only joy.
Melissa-June Melissa-June 9 years
BUZZ-- Jenna just added Hunter's song to her myspace today!
mariserin mariserin 9 years
OH and oaky afterbirth was too amazing
mariserin mariserin 9 years
my favorite part might be when jan was dancing and grabbed jim's hand to come dance and he just sat there and she kept dancing anyway....oh and the bench and the camera in the bedroom.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 9 years
I was just so happy it was back. I didn't care that they weren't in the office. Plenty of time for that. Whip, I didn't even realize Angela was pregnant...I mean, I knew that she was in real life, but it didn't even dawn on me till I just read your comment. I think my 100% most favorite part was when Jan shoved the candle into Jim's face and made him smell it. And the scent was "fire". Bonfire. She has so much pent-up rage, it kills me. OH! And Jan's dancing. Dancing of any sort makes me terribly uncomfortable (good, great, bad, etc.), so I knew exactly how Jim felt when she tried to pull him up! :rotfl:
sorano916 sorano916 9 years
I love this episode, too. Yes, it was cringe-worthy but that's what makes the show so good. The UK version was dark and cringe-worthy and the NBC version has a vein of those same elements. People have to remember that this was suppose to be the last episode of Nov. Sweeps, so the episodes before it "The Deposition," "Survior Man," and "Branch Wars" all had pretty good ensemble sections as well as in office parts. Yes, the episode might have sat well alongside those episodes but, eh... what can you do?
laneylaney laneylaney 9 years
I loved this episode! "THAT WAS A 200 DOLLAR PLASMA SCREEN TV!" hilarious.
aoitenshi aoitenshi 9 years
I spent the whole episode cringing too! But I loved it. I can't wait for the next episode!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
I love the office! I felt that the relationship bw Michael and Jan was funny at first, then it got painful to watch and usually I want to watch the office for funniness, but that was PAINFUL.
strokeshaped strokeshaped 9 years
Okay so I'm obsessed with the Office. This episode had some HYSTERICAL moments (like Dwight breathing really fast before he starts to cry, and Jim's face when he was in Jan's crazy candle room. SO FUNNY!) but the Jan-Michael passive-aggressive thing was just sad and upsetting. And yeah I sang the Hunter song afterwards hee!
elanakat elanakat 9 years
oh my god im so happy its back! this is gonna be long, so many good parts! i loved the whole charades thing! like how michael maade it totally obvious about it being tom cruise, but jim pretended not to know. and then when michael said the next one rhymed with arnold shmortenager and jim says "Tom Cruise!" the whole thing about michael and his vestectomies! when jan is like "oh im the devil!" and michael says "she is the devil! ah im burning in hell!" and angela says "don't joke about that!" when andy gives Angela the flower and she says "what am i supposed to do with this?" when the police comes and michael says "oh my girlfriend just threw a dundie at my plasma" AND the whole thing about his plasma! the whole thing about jim's apartment being flooded, and pam making him stay... when pam and michael are convinced that jan poisened the food... oh man, i missed it so much!
luckyme luckyme 9 years
I watched it twice and laughed a lot both times. I LOVED when Jim was in the candle room and had to step back to breathe in fresh air. That cracked me up. I love how he looks into the camera. Actually, Jim's interaction with the camera's is probably one of my favorite parts of The Office.
mudnessa mudnessa 9 years
Let's not forget Michael mentioning to Pam about Jan trying to poison him once the food is finally ready and then Pam in the bathroom, if Jan was going to poison someone wouldn't it be me!? Oh such a cringe worthy episode but I loved it. Buzz I agree Dwight running away was much funnier than him staying there sobbing. I will have to re-watch it just to remember the funny parts.
k-squared k-squared 9 years
Rofl. I've been scoping the comments. This episode wasn't my favorite, but because it was the first one from the writer's strike, it was ok. One of my favorite parts was the glass door explanation; "Michael broke the glass because he thought he heard an ice cream truck" and his response was "Well, the glass was so clear!" or something like that. Only something guys I know would do, which makes it all the more funny. Also, the vasectomy scene was pretty funny. I actually feel bad for Michael. 3 vasectomies?!! It would be cool to see him have a kid; well, not him, but Jan. I think he would be a great dad, if he toned it down a bit. It reminded me of that video he made with Dwight in an earlier episode to his "future son" telling him how to unhook bras and stuff.. It would be hilarious if he had a daughter. lmao.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
HA! Yes! "Snip, snap, snip, snap, snip, snap!"
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 9 years
I was slightly disappointed by the first episode, but I'm still happy to have it back! ...snip snap snip snap snip snap!
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Oh, yes, Buzz, I want Hunter's song as a ringtone! I loved this episode and was so glad it was back. Unfortunately, my local NBC affiliate kept going to weather updates. Um, hello? The Office is on and I already know it's storming!!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Personally I think if you actually had to work/hang out with someone like Michael you wouldn't think Jim/Pam were mean. I can't even imagine the frustration! I love this episode thought it was a great return. I loved Jan's eyes when she's like measuring up Pam. Awesome!!! And her candles. It's fire. BON fire hahahaaaaa
Francesca-Fiore Francesca-Fiore 9 years
Oh yeah, I knew Pam and Jim were using the "babe" term to make fun of Michael and Jan... that was so sad/hilarious. But sometimes I think (Jim/Pam) they walk a fine line between making fun of Michael and being genuine to him. I mean, yes, of course they have to make fun of him just to live their lives without going mad. But he's not all bad, and sometimes it can cross over to being a little bit mean. I think they skirted that line without crossing it in last night's episode. Hey thanks caratid! Glad to see another making fiends fan!!
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
Oh, and the Sparkle Motion lady was also in a Six Feet Under episode that I just watched the night before. She was the corpse of the week. And she was also the snooty lady at the pageant in Little Miss Sunshine. And she was Josh Brolin's bitchy MIL in No Country. She's been in a TON of stuff.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I was very impressed with Melora Hardin this episode. She can really hold her own with some heavy-duty comic actors. I agree that it was really cringeworthy. And I didn't think they could get more cringeworthy than the Deposition. I also agree that they should've spent more time in the office. I wanted more Creed, Stanley, Kelly, Phyllis, etc. "Oaky afterbirth" had me dying laughing. I loved Pam and Jim's hushed, urgent, whispery talking head interviews. Hilarious. I was so distracted by how they chose to hide Angela's pregnant tummy. She stood behind stuff. She held her bag on her lap. She sat in the car. Etc. I kept trying to get a glimpse of the bump.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 9 years
I loooved having it back. The whole vasectomy conversation was amazing. Jan: You want to have a baby? Fine! Let's have a f*ing baby! Michael: You mean that? You want to have a baby? :ROTFL:
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Hunter's song was classic. Dwight was the funniest one on the episode: how he said his relationship was "purely carnal" and telling the babysitter "go on, get out of here" when she says she's going to leave. That was priceless. I adore Dwight. I was as relieved as Pam when he showed up. I don't like the direction they took Jan, making her certifiable. I think they should have kept her as the frustrated boss to Michael.
aistea311 aistea311 9 years
francesca, jim and pam kept saying "babe" to make fun of Jan and Michael.
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