Business School (The Office)

Infobox Television episode
Title =Business School
Series =The Office

Caption =Michael speaks to the class.
Season =3
Episode =16
Airdate =February 15, 2007
Production =03017
Writer =Brent Forrester
Director =Joss Whedon
Guests =
Episode list =List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes
Season list =
Prev =Phyllis' Wedding
Next =Cocktails

"Business School" is the sixteenth episode of the third season of the American comedy television series "The Office", and the show's forty-fifth episode overall. Written by Brent Forrester, and directed by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly" creator Joss Whedon, the episode aired on the National Broadcasting Company on February 15, 2007.cite press release|url=|publisher=NBC|date=2007-01-26|title=NBC PRIMETIME SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY, FEB 11 2007 - SATURDAY, FEB 17 2007]

In the episode, Michael is invited by Ryan to speak to his business school class. When many of the students question the usefulness of paper in a computerized world, Michael attempts to inform the class of the how essential paper is. Meanwhile, a bat becomes trapped in the office, leading Dwight and Creed on a mission to protect the employees.


Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) invites Michael Scott (Steve Carell) to speak at his business school class. Michael is excited, but Ryan admits in a talking head interview that he has only invited Michael because his professor promised to bump up the grade of any student who brings his boss into class. Later, as Ryan introduces Michael to his classmates, Ryan predicts that Dunder Mifflin will become obsolete within five years. Michael, who was out of hearing range during this speech is taken aback when one of Ryan's classmates asks for Michael's opinion of Ryan's prediction. Infuriated and hurt, Michael punishes Ryan by relocating his desk to the "annex," where Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) works. Meanwhile, Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) discovers a bat in the ceiling, and accidentally lets it loose into the office, sending the employees scurrying for cover. Stanley immediately goes home. As many of the employees hide, Dwight enlists the help of Creed Bratton (portrayed by the actor of the same name) to expel the bat. Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) sees Dwight's paranoia, and pretends that he is turning into a vampire. Pam Beesly, in the meantime, invites her co-workers to her art show after work, but few show any enthusiasm, leaving her feeling alienated and sad. The art show doesn't go as planned, and she begins to doubt her abilities. When Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nunez) shows up with his boyfriend Gil, they criticize Pam's artistic talent without realizing she can hear them. Michael appears just as she begins to take her work down and offers to purchase her painting of the Dunder Mifflin office building. Moved to tears, Pam embraces her boss.


"Business School" was the second "Office" episode written by Brent Forrester. Forrester had previously written "The Merger". The episode was the first to be directed by Joss Whedon. Whedon, who is a friend of both producer Greg Daniels and Jenna Fischer, and also met most of the production staff prior to the episode, stated that he chose to direct the episode "because I already know the writing staff and a bunch of the cast, and I adore the show." [ Interview with Joss Whedon] AV Club, retrieved June 24, 2008] When informed that the episode was about a bat entering into the office and one of the characters pretending to be a vampire, Whedon thought that it was a joke, stating "Didn't I just leave this party?" in reference to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". But upon completing the episode, Whedon stated "That was just coincidence. But that's how that happened. God, it was fun." Whedon stated that he was surprised with the amount of input he was allowed with the script. " I wouldn't say freedom to do things with it...But way more input was asked for than I would have ever anticipated." At Pam's art show, the piece which she was supposed to have painted didn't suit Whedon. "I got to the set and saw Pam's art, and I was like, 'This is not right.'" Whedon said that he held up filming for over an hour until the staff was able create a new piece of art.

For the scenes which involved filming with a bat, the production team used an actual bat, an animatron bat, and a mechanical bat. When around the actual bat, Kate Flannery, who portrays Meredith Palmer, stated that "...which we had to be extremely quiet around, basically pretending to scream..." [ [ More on Kate and the bat] "OfficeTally", retrieved June 24, 2008] California State University, Northridge served as the backdrop for Ryan's business school and the art show. [ [ CSUN Licensing - Facilities Use] California State University Northridge, retrieved June 24, 2008]


The episode received generally good reviews from critics. Brian Zoromski, of IGN, stated that "'Business School' was an exercise in what works best in an "Office" episode." Zoromski also praised Joss Whedon's directorial debut for the show, stating that" Whedon's direction and sense of humor was both excellently put to use and alluded to in the scenes in which Jim hilariously pretended to become a vampire." Zoromski went on to say that the acting of John Krasinski and Rashida Jones, who portrays Karen Filippelli, helped to make the vampire scenes the funniest parts of the episode. [ [ "The Office": "Business School" Review] "IGN", retrieved June 24, 2008] Abby West, of "Entertainment Weekly", stated that "This show has always been able to turn on a dime and take the comedy to a soul-stirring dramatic climax with just the lightest of touches, and last night was no different." West went on to praise Michael and Pam's scene at the art show as one of these moments. [ [,,20012160,00.html Gone Batty] "Entertainment Weekly", retrieved June 24, 2008]


External links

* [ Business School] at

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