Though The Office is available on streaming services, fans are still hoping (and wishing and pining) for a reboot or at least a reunion of the lovable staff of Dunder Mifflin. In her podcast Office Ladies, Jenna Fischer (Pam Beesly Halpert) relives her days on the set along with BFF and former co-star Angela Kinsey.
The Office alum is also quite active on social media. Apparently, certain lines of dialogue from the iconic sitcom are impossible to leave behind, where Fischer just used a fan favorite.
‘That’s what she said’
The infamous double entendre of “That’s what she said” became a hilarious staple on The Office. Initiated by office manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the tagline was soon a favorite on the show.
According to Thrillist, the phrase was used in the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975 during a “Weekend Update” skit. Yet the origin comes from an older British phrase – “As the actress said to the bishop” – in reference to actresses and clergymen keeping company. The sentence was used in the same way as “That’s what she said.”
When The Office first launched in the U.K., show creator and star Ricky Gervais often used the British line in the sitcom. Once the comedy headed to the United States, Carell picked up the Americanized version of the phrase as one of his top zingers.
Running joke on ‘The Office’
Once “That’s what she said” was let loose in the writers’ room, the joke became part of the Dunder Mifflin dialogue.
“We could not stop saying that,” writer Larry Wilmore told Andy Greene in his book The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s. “It was so hilariously funny that we’d be crying laughing. We were like teenagers doing the joke. … It was so ridiculous.”
Writer Jen Celotta was especially gifted in using the line, to the point where show runner Greg Daniels noticed her affinity for the phrase.
“Greg said to me, ‘All right, can you be slightly more selective in your ‘That’s what she said’s?’” Celotta recalled. “Greg since then has mentioned that he thinks there was a separate part of my brain always constantly on the hunt for ‘That’s what she said’s.’ I wish I could use that part of my brain for curing cancer or something.”
Jenna Fischer stumbled into it
Fischer frequently posts recipes and culinary creations on her Instagram account. Evidently, The Office star just purchased an air fryer which raised some questions from her followers.
“For those of you asking about my air fryer, we love it,” Fischer said on her Instagram Stories. “I just got it off Amazon. A friend of mine who is really big into the air frying thing – her advice was that they’re pretty much all the same.”
In continuing her friend’s recommendation, Fischer accidentally spilled the iconic phrase.
“Just get the biggest one you can,” the actor explained, then interrupted herself with a laugh. “That’s… (laughing) literally what she said.”
Fischer giggled through the rest of her story. “That’s making me laugh now,” she admitted.
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