‘The Office’: There Was an Alternate Ending Where This Character Got the Promotion Instead of Ryan

Many characters lost out on a promotion because of Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak). The dynamic then changed because an intern was now the boss. The Office stars revealed an alternate ending that showed someone else was chosen for the job.

Ryan became Michael’s boss on ‘The Office’

B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard on 'The Office'
B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard on ‘The Office’ | NBC Photo: Justin Lubin

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The end of season 3 put characters in new job positions. That’s because there is a job opening at corporate. Karen (Rashida Jones), Michael (Steve Carell), and Jim (John Krasinski) interview for the job.

But the episode surprisingly ends with Ryan getting the call that he got it. He’s just an intern, but he also finished his Master’s degree.

Paul Lieberstein was one of the writers for the episode. He explained on the Office Ladies podcast why they made this decision.

“I think we felt we would get a lot of fun comedy out of putting Ryan as Michael’s boss for a while,” Lieberstein said. “He was the temp that came in. He’s clearly a really good bullsh*tter but incompetent. And I think that’s how he got it.”

He also said they thought it would be fun to watch Ryan and Michael interact in this new way. “And we thought it would be just a fun dynamic switch,” the writer said.

This episode also shows Jim realizing he still has strong feelings for Pam and wants to be with her. He leaves New York and asks Pam to go on a date. Of course, she happily accepts. The audience never gets to see Karen again so her breakup with Jim is left to our imagination.

Karen almost got the job instead

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Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin, talked about the episode on the same podcast. They talked about one of the alternate endings to the season.

“You know lady, [editor David] Rogers told me they did shoot an alternate scene where Karen gets the job,” Fischer said. “Where she’s crying in New York and then the phone rings and then they offer her the job. So I just think it’s very, very interesting how they left options on the table for this big finale. I think maybe in some cases they were still debating who gets the job? How do Jim and Pam get together?”

Kinsey then added, “We also know what was going on at this time, which is Rashida booked her role on Parks & [Recreation]. And she was going to be starting that job. So A: they needed finally Jim and Pam to be together without any kind of distraction, and also Rashida just got a great new job.”

If Jones wasn’t leaving the show things could have played out differently. But that would have also made things awkward for Karen, Jim and Pam. It’s probably a good thing in the end Ryan got the job, at least for a short period of time.