'The Office': 3 Jokes Fans Might Have Missed in 'The Dinner Party'

“The Dinner Party” is one of the most hilarious episodes of The Office. You might have a favorite moment or quote from the episode, but did you catch these hidden jokes in the delightfully awkward Office episode?

‘The Office’ episode ‘The Dinner Party’ is a fan-favorite 

One of the most cringe-worthy episodes of The Office also happens to be one of fan’s all-time favorites. The season 4 episode features Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) hosting Dunder Mifflin Employees for dinner. 

In true Jan fashion, dinner is an Osso bucco that has to braise for three hours. “I don’t care what they say about me,” Pam (Jenna Fischer) whispers to the documentary crew in the bathroom. “I just want to eat. Which I realize is a lot to ask for at a dinner party!” 

Michael and Jan fill time with a tour of the condo, a game of charades, and plenty of awkward conversation. Michael also tries to rope his employees into investing in Serenity by Jan, Jan’s candle company. And we can’t forget his outburst regarding his multiple vasectomies.

These jokes are hilarious in their own right. But there are several other jokes writers worked into “The Dinner Party” that you might not have noticed. 

Hidden jokes in ‘The Dinner Party’ episode of ‘The Office’

According to OfficeTally, a site started in 2006 by Jennie Tan, there are a few jokes in “The Dinner Party” fans may have missed in their first (or fiftieth) viewing. In an interview with writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, one fan asked about “hidden jokes” in the episode.

“Jan’s ‘office’ was never really used,” the creatives reveal. “I don’t know if you can see on camera, but someone had the idea that the desk chair still had plastic sleeves on the arms.” 

Another hidden joke The Office fans might have missed in “The Dinner Party” is that every photo in Michael’s condo is of Jan with other men. “There was not one picture with Michael,” say Stupnitsky and Eisenberg. 

“Finally, in the garage, there [is] a Soloflex and a Bowflex back to back,” they add. “Many of the writers love the idea that Michael is completely taken by late-night infomercials.” 

‘The Office’ behind-the-scenes stories from ‘The Dinner Party’ 

Those hidden jokes aren’t the only thing Eisenberg and Stupnitsky share with OfficeTally. Fans submitted several other burning questions, like did the plasma TV really break during filming? 

“They put a protective plastic cover over the TV and then let Melora rip,” the writers share. “I think the shot of her hitting the plasma was the first or second take.” Ironically, this was one of the most challenging scenes for the cast to get through.

Another central element in “The Dinner Party” is Jan’s former assistant, Hunter (Nicholas D’Agosto). She plays his song “That One Night” for her guests, but it turns out D’Agosto isn’t the one singing the song. 

“That is the great Todd Fancey singing,” the writers reveal. “He did a bunch of different versions for us.” Plus, every “babe” Michael and Jan utter toward each other in the episode is scripted. 

If you missed any or all of these hidden jokes in “The Dinner Party,” you can go back and look for them — stream this episode of The Office on Peacock. 

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