‘The Office’: NBC Series Gave Several Nods to ‘The Simpsons’ That Fans Likely Missed

Even though it first aired over 15 years ago, fans of The Office are more obsessed than ever. The workplace mockumentary has been off the air since 2013, but it’s still one of today’s most-streamed television shows, with fans constantly watching and re-watching on their favorite streaming apps. To prove how good of a show it is, The Office fans are still catching little Easter eggs for the first time. And one such easter egg is a tribute to The Simpsons that was subtly made on The Office.

‘The Office’ didn’t start out as popular as it has since become

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Based on the British series of the same name, The Office had trouble finding its footing. Show creator Greg Daniels had a hard time pitching the show to executives.

In fact, NBC was the only network that took a chance on it, and even they weren’t very optimistic about the series. Ratings weren’t great in season one, but the writers changed a few things up for season two, and The Office began to really take shape.

Rainn Wilson as Dwight in 'The Office'
Rainn Wilson as Dwight in ‘The Office’ | Byron Cohen/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

With more wholesome moments and less focus on cringe, The Office started gaining recognition from season two onward. The cast themselves began reaching out online — a first for the internet age — and started interacting directly with fans of the show.

The Office remained popular throughout the rest of its run, earning 42 Emmy Awards nominations. But the sitcom has since become an even bigger phenomenon, remaining one of Netflix’s most popular shows and turning Gen Z-ers into self-professed superfans.

The crew of ‘The Office’ liked to add Easter eggs

With its current popularity through the roof, fans have been catching little details that went missed during its run on the air. On top of that, the cast and crew have put together podcasts like Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey’s Office Ladies and Brian Baumgartner’s An Oral History of The Office, where writers, producers, and castmembers come together to give the inside scoop on all things The Office.

One such detail that fans have loved to scout for since hearing about it on Office Ladies is the Homer Simpson doll that makes an appearance throughout all nine seasons of The Office. Greg Daniels, the show’s creator, was previously a writer on The Simpsons so he added the Homer Simpson doll around the office as a nod to his past.

It can often be seen on the filing cabinet by Dwight’s desk and behind the reception desk. Keep your eyes peeled!

More trivia from ‘The Office’

Something else to keep an eye on are the computer screens. In the bullpen of the office, the computers all had actual access to the internet. Depending on where the cameras are pointed during any given scene, you may be able to see some of the castmembers surfing the internet in the background during certain takes.

Another fun fact from Greg Daniels: he based the season 2 episode “The Dundies” on a real-life award ceremony at a previous job. Daniels was a co-creator of the animated sitcom King of the Hill. Daniels created an award ceremony for his cast and crew during King of the Hill with joke awards, just like at the Dundies on The Office. The episode was based on those joke awards he gave out in real life.

A final trivia nugget stems from the pasts of some of the castmembers. Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner — who played Andy Bernard and Kevin Malone — are both from Atlanta, GA and went to the same high school. They graduated a year apart.

Likewise, John Krasinski and B.J. Novak — who played Jim Halpert and Ryan Howard — also went to the same high school in Massachusetts. They graduated together in 1997. Perhaps that’s part of the reason the cast had such good chemistry.