‘The Office’: Which Christmas Episode Was Filmed During a Heatwave?

Though there are plenty of memorable episodes of The Office, the Christmas episodes are pretty popular amongst fans. Whether viewers are cracking up at Dwight’s impersonation of Belsnickel or watching the cast fight to keep a straight face after Kevin sits on Michael’s lap, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments for fans to enjoy. But in order to produce such amazing episodes, a ton of work had to be done behind the scenes of the hit comedy.

The Office cast filming the first of their Christmas episodes
Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, B.J. Novak, and John Krasinski | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Diehard fans of The Office will likely recall the Christmas episodes entitled “Classy Christmas.” A two-part episode in the show’s 7th season, “Classy Christmas” marks Holly Flax’s return to the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office. The memorable episodes also feature the epic snowball battle of Dwight and Jim. It was fun for fans to watch Dwight outsmart Jim for once and mercilessly pelt Jim with snowballs. However, the scene was a challenge to film.

Fake snow was used for Jim and Dwight’s epic snowball fight

Though “Classy Christmas” takes place in Winter, it was actually filmed during the Fall. This meant that the snowballs were actually manmade and thus more difficult to work with. In a 2010 interview with Office Tally, Mindy Kaling, who wrote the Christmas episodes in Season 7 of The Office, revealed that the fake snow proved to be a challenge while filming.

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“The snow made for a lot fewer takes because snow does not cooperate very well,” The Office writer recalled about filming the infamous episode. “Manmade snow somehow doesn’t stick together the same way natural snow does, for some reason (natural snow has a better sense of comedy, I guess?). Our snowballs tended to explode before they made contact with John.”

The ‘Classy Christmas’ episodes of ‘The Office’ were shot during a heatwave

But the fake snow wasn’t the only thing that proved to be a challenge when The Office cast and crew were filming the aforementioned Christmas episodes. What made things even more challenging was that there was a heatwave going on when parts of the episode were being shot. In fact, Randy Cordray, who was a producer of The Office, recalled that the crew who created the fake snow, as well as Dwight’s terrifying snowmen, had to take precautions to ensure they wouldn’t get injured.

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“We created the snow effects out of 100 tons of chipped ice,” The Office producer shared. “Our special effects team built metal molds and hand-packed the dozens of snowmen needed for the day. And, of course, we shot these scenes on one of the hottest days of the fall. It was in the high-90’s and blindingly sunny that day, so the entire crew was outfitted with UV-protectant sunglasses since snow-blindness was a real possibility.”

How ‘The Office’ cast and crew stayed protected against the elements

Continuing on, Cordray revealed that The Office medic also kept a close eye on everyone to ensure that they were properly protected against the heatwave. “Our set medic monitored the working crew all day to make sure they were well-hydrated and slathered in sunscreen,” he confessed. “The actors, wearing heavy winter clothes, were kept indoors in an air-conditioned holding area until moments before each shot.”

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It’s pretty wild that parts of “Classy Christmas” were shot in Summer temperatures. Furthermore, it’s impressive that the cast and crew of The Office were able to create a believable winter-like atmosphere despite their many challenges.