‘The Office’: This Infamously Awkward Episode Has an Extended Edition

When it comes to The Office, there’s certainly no shortage of episodes that feature cringe-worthy moments. From the sheer discomfort of the musical elements in “Scott’s Tots” to the kiss between Michael and Oscar in “Gay Witch Hunt”, the show is famous for giving viewers secondhand embarrassment. But, one episode of The Office typically beats out all the others in terms of overall cringe. That episode is, of course, “Dinner Party”.

The Office cast filming the Dinner Party episode
John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and Rainn Wilson | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

The “Dinner Party” episode of The Office comes in the middle of Season 4 and is filled to the brim with positively painful moments. After Michael hoodwinks Pam and Jim into finally coming over to his condo to have a dinner party with him and Jan, hilarity ensues. Between Dwight crashing the party, Micheal and Jan arguing over vasectomies, and Michael sleeping on a tiny bench at the foot of the bed, the episode is simply a nonstop, no holds barred awkward moment.

‘The Office’ cast struggled to get through the episode

Though the episode wasn’t appreciated by viewers when it first aired, it has now become a fan favorite. “Dinner Party” is so hysterical that even The Office cast struggled to get through it. In the outtakes for the season, you can see the actors consistently breaking character because they can’t get over how hilarious the situations are. In one outtake, you can even hear Steve Carell declaring they were never going to get through the episode.

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But, what even some diehard fans don’t know is that the “Dinner Party” episode that they know and love isn’t actually the full episode. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (who co-wrote “Dinner Party”) revealed that the original episode was about eight minutes longer than the one that aired. Unfortunately, The Office writers had to cut the episode down per the network’s regulations.

‘Dinner Party’ has an extended edition

“NBC was doing supersize episodes around this time, so some of The Office’s [episodes] are 44 minutes. That one, for whatever reason, could not be that long. We supersized it, but we didn’t air it; it was like a producer’s cut you could buy on iTunes. It was the single hardest episode we ever had to edit down to time. It was the most painful editing process. There’s a lot of scenes that we had to just keep cutting away, so there was a 29-minute version that exists where you can feel a little bit more of the [tension] we were trying to convey,” Stupinsky revealed.

“If you didn’t feel awkward and tense enough in the 21-minute version of the show, there’s a 29-minute version of the show that’s out there somewhere,” Eisenberg chimed in. Clearly, tons of thought went into making “Dinner Party” as painfully awkward as it could possibly be. While we don’t have the full episode, we have found the deleted scenes for your enjoyment.