‘The Office’ Writers Wanted Jan to Kill a Dog on Purpose

Over the years, The Office writers have been praised for their incredible work on the show. In fact, many fans assume that large portions of The Office was improvised due to the incredible dialogue. The writers had a knack for setting up hysterical situations and creating great characters. However, they occasionally took things a bit too far. An example of this is when they wanted Jan to kill an innocent dog.

Melora Hardin as Jan in The Office
‘The Office’ actor Melora Hardin | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

‘The Office’ writers gave Jan Levinson an incredible character arc

The Office writers certainly had a lot of fun with Jan’s character arc. Though she starts off as Michael’s no-nonsense boss, she becomes more unhinged as the series progresses. Between her over-the-top boob job, trying to sue Dunder Mifflin, and becoming Michael’s live-in girlfriend, it’s great fun for viewers to watch the character implode.

Jan really began to really spiral in the ‘Dinner Party’ episode

One episode in which Jan really unravels is in “Dinner Party.” The Office writers revealed that they wanted the episode to feel like Who’s Afraid of Jan Levinson-Gould. They wanted to show the toxicity of Jan’s relationship with Michael and showcase how far Jan had fallen from grace. To do this, they had Jan and Michael host the dinner party from hell.

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Jan’s behavior in “Dinner Party” is certainly off the wall. Fans will recall that the episode reaches its peak when Jan throws a Dundie at Michael’s flatscreen TV. However, in the original draft of the episode, The Office writers had Jan kill a dog. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (who co-wrote the episode) revealed this fun fact.

‘The Office’ writers admit they initially had Jan kill a dog

“The only thing that was changed was that in our first draft Jan hits the neighbor’s dog and kills it on purpose,” Stupnitsky revealed. But why the writers decide to amend their original script? “We decided that maybe that was going too far,” Eisenberg explained.

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While Jan didn’t kill the neighbor’s dog, she did decide to spray paint it. However, that bit of the episode ended up on the cutting room floor. While some fans may have appreciated the dark humor of Jan killing an innocent canine, it makes sense that the writers reconsidered their choice. Interestingly enough,The Office writers considered putting murder in the show more than once. Earlier in the season, they considered having Michael kill Meredith. However, The Office showrunner, Greg Daniels, stopped them from going off of the rails. It seems that fans of The Office will have to settle for the Scranton strangler if they were hoping for murder in the series.

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