‘The Office’ This Fan Favorite Episode Was ‘Universally Hated’ When It First Aired

When it comes to The Office, there are plenty of fantastic episodes for fans to enjoy. Whether we’re watching Michael Scott deal with a grilled foot in “The Injury” or watching Dwight Schrute hide in a box in “The Alliance”, the show is filled to the brim with brilliant episodes that fans of The Office can watch again and again. But, one episode manages to stick out as one of the best year after year, and that episode is, of course, “Dinner Party.”

The Office Season 4 Episode 13 cast
John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, Rainn Wilson | Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

“Dinner Party” is the 13th episode of the fourth season of The Office. Jim and Pam have been making excuses to not have dinner with Michael and his girlfriend, Jan Levinson, (who is also their former boss) for months. But, in typical Michael fashion, he manages to find a way around their reluctance. Andy and Angela also are invited to the party which, of course, makes Dwight jealous. As a result, the beet farmer manages to crash the party with his own date, and former babysitter, later in the evening.

One of the best episodes of ‘The Office’

The “Dinner Party” episode is easily one of the most beloved in the entire series. Packed with awkward moments, truly uncomfortable banter, and outlandish lines, it has become something of a classic to fans of The Office. But, despite it being one of the most highly-rated episodes now, fans did not like it at all when it originally aired back in 2008. In fact, Paul Feig (who directed “Dinner Party”) recalled that the iconic episode was universally hated when it first aired.

RELATED: ‘The Office’: One of Jim’s Best Pranks on Dwight Was a Complete Accident

Entertainment Weekly reports that Feig recently sat down to discuss infamous the episode. According to the accomplished director, fans of The Office originally found the episode too uncomfortable to truly enjoy. “When this episode first aired, it was universally hated. Just this vitriol came up. We made people so cringey-feeling that they just couldn’t take it,” Feig revealed. But, Feig said fans eventually came around and began to love the episode.

‘Dinner Party’ wasn’t well-liked when it originally aired

But what caused the huge shift in public opinion of the show? Feig reckons that it comes down having the curtain pulled back. When fans of The Office watched the episode for the first time, everything is new and they’re just trying to process all of the uncomfortable things that are occurring. However, once they know what to expect, they are able to sit back and enjoy the dumpster fire of discomfort. “What’s happened now is, once you’ve seen it once and you know what’s coming, then you can really enjoy it,” Feig stated.

Now, of course, fans of The Office find the “Dinner Party” episode to be one of the funniest in the series. And, they aren’t the only ones. The cast, in particular, remembers this episode being particularly difficult to shoot because they couldn’t stop laughing. Ed Helms, who played Andy Bernard on the show, even had a trick to stop himself from laughing at Steve Carell’s antics.

‘The Office’ cast couldn’t stop laughing during filming

“I had my little trick: If I was really laughing, I would began to look at Steve’s ear. That was my trick. I couldn’t make eye contact with him because I would laugh, so I would either look at his chin or his ear or even something behind him and just focus on that, just so that I could get through something and keep a straight face. There was probably plenty of scenes where I’m stiff as a board not even acting, so to speak, but just trying not to laugh,” The Office alum recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone. Clearly, the “Dinner Party” episode is one for the books. It’s currently streaming on Netflix if you’re in need of a laugh.