‘The Office’: Why Dwight’s Paternity Test for Philip Schrute Came Back Negative
The mystery surrounding Dwight’s son Philip gave The Office Season 9 one of its defining storylines. It concluded the saga of Dwight and Angela, creating another Dunder-Mifflin family as the sitcom sailed off into the sunset.
But the enduring popularity of The Office means the show never really ended, at least in the collective minds of its audience. That means lingering questions still get asked, like how did Angela fake the paternity test she gave Dwight?
Why Dwight’s paternity test for his son, Philip, came back negative
In the penultimate episode of The Office, “A.A.R.M.”, Dwight learns Philip actually is his biological son. This came after the paper salesman tested a diaper he thought belonged to Philip which revealed Dwight wasn’t the father. But how can the negative paternity test be explained?
In a 2013 interview with Office Tally, episode director David Rogers revealed why Dwight’s paternity test proved to be negative. According to Rogers, Dwight never actually grabbed a diaper that belonged to Phillip.
“In ‘Free Family Portrait Studio’, Dwight pulled a diaper out of the bathroom and had the lab run a DNA test from that,” Rogers began. “But between Jim and Pam’s kids, and other babies and children from the building complex being there, it’s safe to say that there were other diapers in the trash and Dwight grabbed the wrong one. If Angela didn’t think the baby was or at least could possibly be Dwight’s, she never would have went off and chased after him and the diaper in the first place. And when the doctor tells them that the baby isn’t his, she does have a look of surprise.”
‘The Office’ writers wrote dialogue for the paternity mixup
Rogers continued on to share that The Office writers did write dialogue to address why Dwight’s paternity came back negative. However, they opted to scrap it in case there were fans tuning into the show who didn’t watch the “Free Family Portrait Studio” episode and had no clue what the characters were discussing.
“We even had a line when Dwight brings Angela into his office to tell her that he thinks Phillip is a Schrute — he says, ‘It’s about Phillip. How do I put this… I still think there was some mix-up, or you gave the lab the wrong diaper, or lots of people can have the same DNA…’ And Angela also added a little something in the proposal scene, about Dwight maybe grabbing the wrong diaper after she told Dwight that Phillip was his son,” Rogers shared.
While we would have loved to see Rainn Wilson (who played Dwight) deliver the line about people having the same DNA, we can see why it was pulled. But at least fans of The Office no longer have the mystery of the diaper DNA hanging over their heads.