‘The Office’ Writer Thought 1 Episode Would End in a ‘Tragic Accident’

Members of The Office cast have always been candid about the fact that they’d loved working on the hit show. Even though the comedy boasts a large ensemble cast with a myriad of diverse personalities, everyone got along very well. Even after nine years of filming and 201 episodes, the actors and writers revealed that they loved going to work everyday. But just because their time working on the hit NBC comedy was enjoyable certainly doesn’t mean it was always easy.

The Office cast members Phyllis Lapin, Angela Kinsey, and Mindy Kaling as Phyllis Smith, Angela Martin, and Kelly Kapoor wearing hula skirts while filming an episode
Phyllis Lapin, Angela Kinsey, and Mindy Kaling | Byron Cohen/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Despite the fact that most episodes of The Office were right around 23 minutes, making an episode took a lot of hard work. There’s so much that goes into making a show that most people don’t even realize. Oftentimes, a simple scene takes weeks of planning and days of filming before it can be perfectly executed. Furthermore, sometimes the cast and crew had to actively work against some of the natural circumstances of a scene in order to make the factors of an imaginary scene believable.

Some episodes of ‘The Office’ were filmed under intense weather conditions

Something that the cast and crew often had to contend with while filming outdoor scenes was the weather. While The Office is based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the overwhelming majority of the show was filmed in Los Angeles, California. This meant that there was often a drastic difference between the weather the show was portraying and the weather that the cast and crew were actually filming in. For example, one of the famous Christmas episodes of The Office was actually filmed during a heatwave. Mindy Kaling (who played Kelly Kapoor in addition to writing for the show) even revealed that the cast once had to pretend it was Fall in 108 degree heat and shared that she nearly passed out.

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Another episode of The Office that proved to be a challenge to film thanks to weather conditions was “WUPHF.com.” Fans of the show may recall that this is the episode where Dwight creates a Hay Place: A Place for Hay in the parking lot. While the episode was supposed to take place in the Fall, it was actually filmed in Summer conditions. Not only was the cast overheated because they were required to wear heavy clothing, but Kaling was also concerned that the weather conditions could lead to a harmful accident. As the set was covered with hay for a long period of time, the writer became fearful that it might catch on fire.

Mindy Kaling was fearful that disaster might strike on set

“During the shooting of ‘WUPHF.com’, however, a few weeks prior, there was practically a heatwave,” Kaling revealed in an interview Office Tally back in 2010. “I was certain the hay would catch on fire and there would be some kind of tragic accident on set.” Fortunately, Kaling’s worst fears weren’t realized and the hay didn’t catch fire. Still, we imagine that the cast and crew of The Office all needed a lot of rest and hydration after filming in such intense conditions.