• Season 2 : Episode 18
  • First aired on March 16, 2006
  • Written by Mindy Kaling / Directed by Victor Nelli, Jr.
  • Recap by James Fan
  • Discuss this episode at The Watercooler, and remember to submit your vote at OfficeTally.
  • Thanks to flotsette for providing a closed captioning transcript.

Children of all shapes and sizes invade the office during an eventful Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Some view it as an opportunity to exercise their hormones, thereby provoking the ire of their overprotective fathers, while others are content with general mischief and tomfoolery. Still, others manage to make it through the day without uttering a defiant word, and, in the process, reveal a wisdom far beyond their years.

The Michael Scott School of Hard Knocks

Michael’s humanity is always exposed in the most painfully effective ways. Take tonight’s trip in the Way Back Machine, for instance.

Edward R. Meow : So, tell me, what do you wanna be when you grow up?
Michael : I wanna be married and have 100 kids so I can have 100 friends, and no one can say no to being my friend.
Edward R. Meow : [Pauses for several seconds]  Uh… oh, ok. Well, nice talking with you, Michael. Back to you, Miss Trudy!

As difficult as it was to watch little Michael embarrass his present-day self, the aftermath proved even more punishing.

Melissa : Did you get married?
Michael : Uh, no.
Abby : Why not?
Michael : Uh, it just never happened.
Sasha : So, do you have any kids?
Michael : Uh, nope.
Jake : Do you have a girlfriend?
Michael : I do ok.
Melissa : Was Chet Montgomery cool back then?
Michael : Yes.
Jake : Even I have a girlfriend.
Michael : Ok. Alright, ok.
Sasha : So you didn’t get to be who you wanted to be.
Michael : I guess not.

Michael Scott has got to be one of the most likeable unlikeable characters to have ever graced the television screen.

Dwight Being Dwight

Dwight belongs in Colonial America with a bonneted Angela at his side and an army of mini-Dwangelas working the fields.

Dwight : This is a very special story. It’s called Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann from 1864. The great tall tailor always comes to little girls that suck their thumbs. Are you listening, Sasha?
Sasha :  [Nods]
Dwight : Right? And ere they dream what he is about, he takes his great sharp scissors out and then cuts their thumbs clean off.
Michael : Dwight, Dwight.
Dwight : There’s a photo…
Michael : What the hell are you reading?
Dwight : These are cautionary tales for kids, Michael.

Dwight and young, impressionable minds are two things that should never be placed in close proximity to one another.

The Many Faces of Jim

It’s good to see Jim getting on with his life despite all that’s happened over the past several weeks.

Michael : I… am… like Superman, and the people who work here are like citizens of Gotham City.
Dwight and Jim : That’s Batman.
Michael : Ok, I’m Aquaman. Where does he live, guys?
Jim : The ocean.
Michael : I work with a bunch of nerds.

Something about his delivery here always cracks me up.

Confessions of a Receptionist

It’s funny, I actually imagined Pam being good with children given what we saw of her mother during Sexual Harrasment.

Pam : I am actually looking forward to Take Your Daughter to Work Day. I am not great with kids, but I wanna get better… because I’m getting married. So I put out a bunch of extra candy on my desk so the kids will come talk to me.  [Pauses]  Like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.

You know, the witch nabbed a bunch of kids before Hansel and Gretel put an end to her wicked ways.

The Jim/Pam Index

There wasn’t much dialogue exchanged between Jim and Pam during Take Your Daughter to Work Day, but the camera did reveal some telling observations. Four scenes caught my eye, in particular.

Jim : What are you reading?
Abby : From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.
Jim : Oh, best book.
Abby : Yeah, but I read it before.
Jim : Pssh. So have I. Hey, question: if you had to spend the night in the Met or the aquarium, which would it be?
Abby : Definitely the aquarium.
Jim : Definitely. Yes. Glad you said that. You don’t wanna help me with some of my sales, do you? ‘Cause I’m kinda swamped.
Abby : Sure.
Jim : Really?
Abby : Mmm-hmm.
Jim : Yes. And you’re Abby, right?
Abby : Yeah.
Jim : I’m Jim.  [Gives Abby a high-five]  And let’s sell some paper.
Abby : Alright.
Jim : Let’s start with your mom.

Pam may be absent from the conversation, but I’d say it’s pretty easy to read what’s going through her mind as she watches Jim work his magic, especially after he’s successfully coaxed Abby into helping him.

Pam : He’s not coming out. He won’t pick up the phone.
Jim : I can’t believe his mom dressed him like that. That’s the real tragedy.
Roy : [Wrestling with Jake] Pam, Pam! I love this guy.

Note her reaction at the end of this scene after Jim turns his back to her. And that, folks, is how you successfully fuel speculation in one second flat.

Kevin : [Encourages Abby]  Go ahead.
Abby : Do you wanna come over for dinner tonight?
Jim : Oh man, I would love to. I can’t tonight, but can I come over some other time?
Abby : [Nods her head]
Kevin : What are you doing? You never have plans.
Jim : Thanks, Kev. Um, I’m actually going on a date.
Kevin : Nice.

There is clearly some form of distress, be it jealousy or regret, evident in Pam’s face after she hears of Jim’s date. Words of affirmation they are not, but it’s something close.

Jim : Why does he own a guitar if he doesn’t know how to play it?
Pam : I think he thought his ukulele skills would transfer.
Jim : [Sneaks away as Pam is looking away]
Pam : My theory is that… [Notices that Jim is leaving and waves goodbye]

This final scene is more difficult to read, but the lingering camera suggests that the wheels are turning upstairs.

So, what we have here is a collection of assorted glances and gazes that, when taken together, would seem to support the notion that Pam is beginning to see the light. We’re definitely set for things to reach a breaking point sometime over the next few episodes — perhaps not the breaking point, but a breaking point, nonetheless — though a lack of concrete evidence keeps things in Even territory for the time being.

Supporting Nod

Stanley was bound to erupt at some point, although mistaking Kelly for a credible source of information seems like a pretty serious misstep. Paternal instincts interfering with his typically sound judgment, no doubt.

Stanley : That little girl is a child! I don’t wanna see you sniffing around her anymore this afternoon. Do you understand?
Ryan : Yes.
Stanley : Boy, have you lost your mind? ‘Cause I’ll help you find it. Whatcha looking for? Ain’t nobody gonna help you out there. Jesus can come through that door, and he’s not gonna help you if you don’t stop sniffing after my child.
Ryan : Ok.
[Cut to interview outside]
Ryan : Stanley yelled at me today. That was one of the most frightening experiences of my life.

Now that’s Stanley the Manly. I predict difficult times ahead for Melissa’s future boyfriends.

The Superstar

Michael, who demonstrates yet again that he’s got a surprisingly good singing voice. Listen to that falsetto!

Transmissions from the Office

  • Michael : Listen, I like kids. But this is not a kids’ environment. This is like HBO. No limits. Who knows what I’m gonna say? Crazy stuff. And it is R rated. It is not rated G.

    Next up: Dunder-Mifflin, Raw and Uncut.

  • Dwight : [Looks at Sasha, Toby’s daughter]  Hmm. Hello, tiny one.
    Toby : Come on.  [Hurries Sasha along]
    Dwight : You are the future.

    Toby recognizes the threat of prolonged exposure to Dwight all too well.

  • Kevin : Abby’s my fiance Stacy’s daughter. I think she’ll have a good time. I just hope she doesn’t look on my computer.  [Pauses]  Actually, I’d better go check.

    I hope Stacy realizes what she’s getting herself into.

  • Stanley : Michael, you remember my daughter Melissa.
    Michael : Oh, yes. Hello, how are you? Good to see you. Wow, you’ve really grown up. You know what? Don’t mind me saying so. She is turning into a stone cold fox. Better keep the frat boys away from her.
    Melissa : I’m in 8th grade.
    Michael : Oh…
    Stanley : She’s in middle school.
    Michael : Yeah, middle school’s amazing. It is extraordinary. An extraordinary time.

    The limits of cluelessness have never been stretched further.

  • Toby : Ok, tell ‘em what you wanted to say.
    Sasha : Do you need any help?
    Angela : No… thanks. We’d have to explain everything. It’s probably just easier if we do it ourselves.
    Toby : Alright, I wasn’t expecting that. Let’s, uh, let’s go draw.
    Kelly : Oh, my God. She is so cute, I wanna die. Don’t you just love kids, Angela?
    Angela : I guess I wouldn’t mind a pair of small, well-behaved boys.

    You know what this reminds me of? Captain Von Trapp and his pre-Julie Andrews progeny from The Sound of Music.

  • Ryan : Kelly and I both agreed that we would just have fun. And I’m learning that fun for Kelly is getting married and having babies. Immediately. With me.

    This can’t possibly end well.

  • Pam : I only have one goal today. To make one kid like me. Just one.

    C’mon, kids! How could you not like Pam?

  • Abby : [Shakes Jim’s hand]
    Jim : Ow, ow, ow, ow, you broke my hand.
    Dwight : There is no way that hurt.
    Jim : Really? ‘Cause she’s pretty strong, Dwight.
    Dwight : Little girl, come over here. Shake my hand. Come on, I don’t have all day.
    Abby : [Shakes Dwight’s hand]
    Dwight : I didn’t feel anything. Nothing. You’re so weak.

    Dwight’s children, assuming that such a troubling future is ever realized, will have pathetically low self-esteems.

  • Michael : Children cannot lie. They are innocent, and they speak the truth. And out of the mouths of babes, Michael Scott is freakin’ cool.

    Michael definitely has a way with words, for better or worse. Usually for worse, but for better, I think, in this case.

  • Angela : [Approaches Dwight so as to not attract attention]  You know, I never misbehaved in front of my father because he was a very strict disciplinarian. I can only hope my mate has some of those same qualities.

    Angela is to Dwight as a black widow is to her tragically screwed partner.

  • Jake : You’re just a middleman.
    Michael : I’m not just a middleman.
    Melissa : Wait, why doesn’t the sawmill just sell the paper directly to people?
    Michael : You are describing Office Depot, and they’re kind of running us out of business.
    Dwight : We have better service than they do!

    Probably not necessary to defend company practices to a bunch of kids, but hey, I’m not the Dunder-Mifflin Salesman of the Year.

  • Michael : This is Creed. And he is in charge of… something, right?
    Creed : That is correct.
    Michael : Say hi to the kids.
    Creed : Hi, kids.
    Michael : Yay!
    Creed : Have you ever seen a foot with four toes?
    Kids : Eww!
    Michael : What are you doing? Stop it, stop it! Just no no no. No, no! Would you cut it out? What is your problem?
    Creed : The hair covers it up, mostly…

    Don’t use drugs, kids, or you’ll end up with four toes and the inability to perform tasks lasting longer than a phone call.

  • Michael : That is Miss Trudy. Can’t tell from her costume, but she had an amazing body.

    Jim’s reaction says it all.

  • Jake : Mr. Poop, I have to tell you something.
    Dwight : Uh, ok, but first that’s not my name.
    Jake : You’re ugly.
    Dwight : Well, at least I’m not a horrible little latchkey kid who got suspended from school, so…
    Jake : Meredith!
    Angela : [Gives Dwight a look of approval]

    Dwight and Angela leave a trail of crying children behind wherever they go.

  • Michael : Yes, it is true. I, Michael Scott, am signing up with an online dating service. Thousands of people have done it, and I am going to do it. I need a username, and I have a great one: Littlekidlover. That way people will know exactly where my priorities are at.

    If there ever was a sure-fire ticket to prison, this is most certainly it.

  • Dwight : The Schrutes considered children very valuable. In the olden days, the women would bear many children so we would have enough laborers to work the fields. And if it was an especially cold winter and there weren’t enough grains or vegetables, they would eat the weakest of the brood.  [Pauses for a moment, then laughs]  They didn’t eat the children.  [Pauses again]  It never came to that.

    Good thing it didn’t. Otherwise, Dwight might not be here today.

Odds and Ends

  • The shot of Michael on the phone as Sasha is fiddling around with the toys in his room is one of the few times I can recall Michael performing actual work in the office.
  • The air of awkwardness in the conference room following the playback of Michael’s tape is thick, even for this show’s standards.

The Story in Pictures

Gallery Image

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This one is going to be good...

The time between episodes hurts so bad.

1Posted by Todd Packer "The pack man" on March 16, 2006

Rainn was on Leno a few nights ago, the clip from this episode was fantastic. Can't wait to see it.

2Posted by jeremy on March 16, 2006

I'm so excited! 5 more hours!

3Posted by Liz on March 16, 2006

Best moment of the episode...

"I need a username...something that gets my intentions out in the open...got it...little_kid_lover"

4Posted by Joe on March 16, 2006

Voting is now open. :)

5Posted by tanster on March 16, 2006

It will be interesting to see what James decides about the JPI content of this episode. It seemed almost nonexistant to me.

6Posted by Pat D. on March 16, 2006

The beauty of this episode is that it had the perfect blend on "heart" and laughs. The Ryan/Kelly relationship developed, you felt bad for Michael, Roy showed that he may not be all that bad, etc.

I can't wait for it on iTunes. There are a ton of good quotes that I can't remember...

- - - - - - - -
Sir, you're awesome. Here's a plaque! sale at The Scranton Branch. Ends 3/20.

7Posted by David on March 16, 2006

I agree, David. Mindy Kaling has got to be one of the funniest women, like, ever.

Stanley's verbal beat-down of Ryan had me rolling ("Not even Jesus would help you!"), but the thing that cracked me up the most didn't even involve dialogue - it was Edward R. Meow's reaction to Michael's grown up aspirations.

Who knew puppets could act?

8Posted by Steve in Houston on March 16, 2006

David, if you're looking for quotes I had a bunch up right after the show finished. Awesome quotes this episode! Check out my link below.

9Posted by Marc on March 16, 2006

There has to be a screencap of the puppet's reaction after Michael tells him what he wants to be. I almost died laughing from it.

10Posted by Anthony on March 16, 2006

Kelly is mean. Jim is cute. The puppet is funny.

11Posted by pam on March 17, 2006

actually, I think what caused Stanley to go off the most was Michael's comment to Stanley about watching out for the frat guys. He was already worrying about her looking older then, and Ryan trying to be friendly and nice was just the spark needed to set off the Stanley time bomb.

12Posted by Joe on March 17, 2006

"David, if you're looking for quotes I had a bunch up right after the show finished. Awesome quotes this episode! Check out my link below."

Thanks Marc - nice turnaround speed. I'm impressed.

13Posted by David on March 17, 2006

I nearly burst when poor little Michael Scott had his interview. AWWW! And how cute was Toby's daughter
Anyone uploaded the Rainn Wilson interviews on Leno or whatever to Youtube.com or sometihng? That'd really help us international useres who unfortunately do not have any U.S. network TV access.

14Posted by Jay K. Cagatay on March 17, 2006

I almost cried when the little girl said that Michael didn't get to be what he wanted to be and his reaction.

Genius ep.

The puppet's reaction was great.

For me the star was Dwight though, his laugh at the end was cute and quite un-Dwightish.

I hate to sound like some nitpicky Star Trek geek, but didn't Toby's daughter have brown hair in 'Hot Girl'?

15Posted by Liz on March 18, 2006

I know it's not my place to tell you how to do your job, James, but I'd like to humbly suggest that Stanley should get the Supporting Nod this week. The scene where he brought the fire down on Ryan was amazing.

16Posted by tad gupty on March 18, 2006

Stanley definitely ruled this week. As for the JPI ... there wasn't much there but there was something. I think we all saw that look of admiration pass over Pam's face when she saw how good Jim was with kids.

17Posted by Lauren on March 19, 2006

"As for the JPI ... there wasn't much there but there was something. I think we all saw that look of admiration pass over Pam's face when she saw how good Jim was with kids."

That was the strange thing tho...I mean, later on when Roy was playing with the Bully, she almost looked disgusted.

Very odd.

18Posted by Pat D. on March 19, 2006

Well, I think the reason why Pam wasn't pleased with Roy playing with Meredith's son is because she didn't see in him what she did in Jim. The moment she saw Jim connect with Abbey she saw him as a nurturing father figure and that fact that it came so easily to him impressed her. With Roy, he was simply goofing around with the problem child lol Her look of contempt showed that she doesn't want him to only be their kid's "buddy" especially if they are as bad as Meredith's son.

As for the JPI, I'm not sure. In this episode, she is slowly realizing that Roy is not the one for her, especially when it comes to children. And when Jim left her as she spoke to him she was obviously a little shocked. The thought of him leaving work early for a date instead of waiting for her, made her a bit jealous. It's cliche, but she's also getting a preview of how her life will be if she marries Roy. She's taken advantage of Jim's loyalty and now, she's beginning to see that.

19Posted by MrsData on March 19, 2006

I'm currently curled up in the fetal position, trembling and rocking back and forth as I can't bear the thought of not being able to read one of James's reviews by the end of the weekend.

20Posted by Plain White Jim on March 19, 2006

Sorry, PWJ. Real-life events conspired to prevent me from delivering this week's recap at the usual time.

Here it is, though, all ready to go. Enjoy.

21Posted by James on March 20, 2006

You have to love all the Scranton references.

22Posted by Tim on March 20, 2006

I think I'm in love with Toby. Or maybe just his daughter.

Kelly and Ryan were fantastic this week. As was Stanley. Stanley makes me happy.

Excellent review as always. I'm going to have to rewatch it and analyze Pam's facial expressions during those integral moments mentioned in the JPI. :)

23Posted by otahyoni on March 20, 2006

The playful wrestling between Roy and Meredith's kid wasn't so much playful as it was borderline abusive. He was getting a kick out of manipulating a middle schooler ... I wouldn't compare that to Jim's efforts.

24Posted by Lauren on March 21, 2006

A point that should have been addressed about Roy and Meredith's kid Jake: Pam and Jim's reaction appeared to be formed more by the fact that Roy best identifies with the meanest kid, not by the fact that he's giving the kid a noogie.

But since Pam surprisingly ended up getting along with Jake too, Jim probably lost whatever "points" he had gained on Roy in the arena of parenting that day. The JP Index definitely had to stay at even for this episode.

25Posted by Andy on March 22, 2006

FYI - John Krasinski is in this month's issue of PAPER magazine. Page 99.

26Posted by Lauren on March 22, 2006

Think you can get us a scan?

27Posted by Jane on March 27, 2006

What is it that Michael says to the kids when he dismisses Dwight from the conference room? For the life of me, I can't figure out what he says here:

"Ok, who likes _ ?" (and all the kids raise their hands).

Afterwards he makes the comment about how cool he is, so I'm guessing it was something that kids all love and know about, and I apparently am too old and uncool to know about it myself!

28Posted by Clark on March 30, 2006

Clark, that would be Dane Cook (I don't know much about him myself).

29Posted by James on March 31, 2006