I Rewatched The 2005 Pilot Of "The Office" And It's Wild How Different The Show Used To Be

    The pilot was like a whole other show.

    It's been almost two decades since the American version of The Office debuted, and if you haven't watched that first episode in a while, it's wild how different it was from what the show ultimately became.

    First off, a quick summary: during the episode, we meet most of the main characters for the first time, with talking head interviews from Dunder Mifflin Scranton manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell); sales reps Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson); and receptionist Pam Beesley (Jenna Fischer).

    We also see a lot of the other Scranton team: Oscar (Oscar Nuñez), Angela (Angela Kinsey), Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), Stanley (Leslie David Baker), Phyllis (Phyllis Smith), Creed (Creed Bratton), plus Michael's boss, Jan (Melora Hardin), the new temp Ryan (BJ Novak), and warehouse worker/Pam's fiance, Roy (David Denman).

    ryan on the office

    There are a few people missing from that list, though — believe it or not, neither Toby (Paul Lieberstein), Kelly (Mindy Kaling), nor Meredith (Kate Flannery) are anywhere to be seen until the second episode, "Diversity Day."

    kelly on the office

    Darryl (Craig Robinson), meanwhile, doesn't appear until the fourth episode, "The Alliance."

    darryl and dwight on the office

    But there are some other faces rounding out the staff — ones we never see again.

    the conference room meeting in the office pilot with the regular employees plus two random ones

    During the very first conference room meeting of the series, there are the random employees seen above, as well as these two, who might have ended up as Meredith and Devon (the guy Michael fires in the Season 2 episode, "Halloween") following the pilot.

    oscar with two random employees in the office pilot

    The pilot was pretty different tonally from the rest of the series as well. The show is based on the British series of the same name, and while, overall, it's not an exact remake, the pilot of the US version is extremely similar to the UK version, with some scenes and dialogue being recycled.

    British and American humor is generally fairly different, and this is more obvious when it comes to sitcoms. British humor tends to be more subtle and often darker than American humor, and so the first episode (and season, really) of the American version of The Office adopted a similar tone.

    As in the British premiere, the American pilot ends with Michael fake-firing Pam, which is just brutal to watch (both for viewers at home and Michael's own personal audience, Ryan).

    Then there are the more visual differences, like how certain characters looked. When we first meet Michael, for instance, he's pretty average looking — with slicked-back, noticeably thinning hair.

    michael with thinning hair on the office

    When Season 2 premiered, though, Michael's hair was much fuller and not quite so coiffed. He also returned much buffer than in the first season, and it turns out the glow-up was largely because of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

    michael scott with fuller hair on the office

    Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey said on an episode of their podcast that the actor got in shape to star in the film and ended up maintaining the physique.

    steve carell after getting his chest partially waxed in the 40 year old virgin

    In terms of personality, Michael really was just the worst in that first episode. In addition to the fake firing, he sexually harassed Pam and did a Hitler impression — he was basically one giant walking HR violation.

    michael saying if you think she's cute now you should've seen her a few years ago about pam on the office

    The inappropriate stuff aside, he was just so, so annoying and unlikable. This continued throughout the rest of the series, but it was really amplified in that first episode when he essentially had no redeeming qualities.

    A few other characters seem a bit different as well. The fake firing aside, Ryan was a lot more willing to put up with Michael's bizarre behavior, even offering up the "put him in custardy" pun after Jim submerged Dwight's stapler in Jell-O.

    Speaking of which, I don't remember finding Jim as annoying right off the bat as I do now. Even though I would also find Dwight irritating as a coworker, having to bear witness to all the pranking would get old pretty quickly.

    I'd also forgotten that Jim and Pam are kind of snobby. They make fun of Angela for throwing a "cat party," and while I wouldn't necessarily want to go to a party thrown by Angela, I would love to go to whatever a cat party is.

    Give the pilot of The Office another watch and let us know in the comments what else you notice is super different about it compared to the rest of the series.

    michael holding his world's best boss mug on the office