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The Office

6.08 Koi Pond


  • Censored version
  • Uncensored version
Release: Jan 24, 2022 - Author: TheHutt - Translator: TheHutt - external link: IMDB - more from this series

"The Office", a very successful US adaptation of the British original of the same name created by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant, was not very successful at first, but due to word of mouth and soaring digital downloads it became a huge success. The fake documentary showing the usual office life madness of a paper company centered around an infantile boss went on for 9 seasons.

As far as censorship is concerned, "The Office" didn't have much of that. There were pixelations of naughty bits (especially from Meredith) and beeping of language, which are actually not real censorship, but a stylistic device. Also, there are some extended episodes, so-called "Producer's Extended Cuts" which are found on home media. Nevertheless, some episodes did experience real censorship, so that's what we're dealing with.

The "Koi Pond“ Controversy
The eight episode of the sixth season, "Koi Pond", is a unique episode. The version that first aired on NBC has some drastic differences to later reruns of this episode. The reason is the so-called "Cold Open", the scene before the credits. The office workers decorated the warehouse as a haunted house for Halloween, and the warehouse manager Darryl takes children on a ride through it. They encounter Michael who fakes suicide by hanging.

There was no public scandal per se, however, the then-CEO of NBC, Jeff Zucker, intervened. His then-wife Caryn was working in suicide prevention, and when she saw the premiere airing of "Koi Pond", she complained to her husband, as she thought the episode ridiculed suicide. Therefore this version of the episode was withdrawn and a recut version was created.

This censored second version removes the whole cold open altogether and replaces it with the scene that comes just after the intro. To pad the episode up to the full runtime of 22 minutes, some extended and deleted scenes were reinstated. So, Michael's sensitivity training has been considerably prolonged by contributions from other workers.

This second censored version of the episode was used in all of NBC's reruns as well as in syndication, international airings, DVDs and BluRays. The original cold open isn't even included in the deleted scenes.

This comparison compares the uncensored first airing version („Uncensored version“) with the recut version of later airings („Censored version“).
Scene 1
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:00:00
Timecode Censored Version: 00:00:00
It's Halloween at Dunder Mifflin, Scranton. The warehouse workers open the door, and Darryl, the warehouse manager, brings in a wagon full of dressed-up children. The warehouse has been dressed up as a haunting house. Michael is greeting the children:

Michael: Welcome, children of the Scranton Industrial Park community! Join your gangsta pumpkin on his pallet truck of doom. Don't worry about a thing. Rest assured you will see me later!

Jim explains it as shots of the haunted house are shown:

Jim, Talking Head: We are doing a haunted house this Halloween, which is actually kind of spooky, because, as legend has it, on this very site, there used to be a productive paper company.

Michael, Talking Head: I am going to scare these kids so bad.

Darryl is really struggling as he tries to excite the children.

Darryl: This is the spookiest warehouse in the world, kids. You don't believe me? Just take a look.

We see Kevin fake-disembowel Erin who is lying on a table dressed as Fiona from "Shrek". Erin lets fake intestines fly.

Darryl is struggling with identifying all the costumes.

Darryl: Scary, huh? This is a surgery with... an octopus and a burn victim.
Angela: Black widow.
Kelly: Leeloo from "The Fifth Element".
Darryl: Look, nobody told me what people were, all right? So label yourselves or take what you get.

Creed is dressed up as Dracula. Next to him, we see Ryan as Edward from "Twilight".

Creed: I vant to sell your blood!
Ryan: That's not the trend in vampires now.

Darryl tries to explain some more.

Darryl: Here is an old man and a goth dude, and then the old crone from "Drag Me to Hell".
Meredith: I'm a hobo.
Darryl: I asked for a list.

Dwight comes around the corner on a tricycle. He is dressed up as Jigsaw. He stops next to his cousin Mose.

Darryl: And a clown.
Dwight: I'm Jigsaw, idiot.
Darryl: You're not as scary as Bookface over there.

The camera pans to Jim who is dressed in his usual office suite. He has "BOOK" written on his face.

Jim: Yes, I am the popular social networking site known as Bookface.

Darryl is trying to motivate the kids more.

Darryl: Okay, kids, you all have been so good and unbelievably patient, so I think you are gonna get some candy!

Suddenly a chair is falling over. We see Michael who is pretending to have hanged himself. He is gasping and struggling, the children are screaming.

Michael: Kids, just remember, suicide is never the answer, all right?

Michael, Talking Head: Why is Christmas the only holiday that can have a message?

Michael, continuing: It is the easy way out. You are not alone.
Darryl: What the hell is wrong with you?
Michael: Who wants candy?

Time Difference: 02 minutes 17 seconds (Uncensored version longer)

Scene 2
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:02:38
Timecode Censored Version: 00:00:00
The censored version uses a different scene as the cold open. In the uncensored version, it comes right after the intro. It is identical except for the credits that come after the intro in the censored version.
Here some screenshots for demonstration. Left: uncensored version, right: censored version.

No Time Difference

Scene 3
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:09:29
Timecode Censored Version: 00:07:12
A small extension after all the coworkers have made fun of Michael. Toby is greeting him. Although he is genuinely friendly, Michael is freaking out.

Toby: Hey, Michael.
Michael: No! No! No more! That is it! Everybody in the conference room, right now!

Time Difference: 6 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 4
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:09:56
Timecode Censored Version: 00:07:48
More fighting between Michael and Toby during the sensitivity training.

Michael: You can only make fun of things that they have control over. Like, Oscar is gay. That is his choice. We can make fun of that. I did not choose to fall into a koi pond.
Toby: Michael, you still can't make fun of people for race or gender or sexual orientation or religion...
Michael: Who let the lemonhead into the room? You are a waste of life and you should give up. Is what I want to say, but I won't, because that is why we are doing this right now. So, Toby, welcome to sensitivity training for real.

Time Difference: 33 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 5
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:11:01
Timecode Censored Version: 00:09:24
After Michael admits he also fell into the fountain at the Steamtown Mall, Toby cannot help himself.

Toby: You fell into a second fountain?
(everybody is giggling)
Toby: Can you kick me out of the meeting now?
Michael: Go. Go. Starting today, teasing will no longer be tolerated.
Kevin: You mean there's no teasing of any kind?
Michael: No, no, no, just things that are on the list. That is the beauty of it.

Time Difference: 20 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 6
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:11:01
Timecode Censored Version: 00:09:44
The uncensored version shows here a wide shot of the conference room for editing reasons, and Michael's line starts off-screen. In the censored version, it's a continuing shot and Michael's line is on-screen.

Michael: Okay, who else? Who else? Dwight, come on.

Left: uncensored version, right: censored version.

No Time Difference

Scene 7
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:11:10
Timecode Censored Version: 00:09:52
After Dwight admits that his nose is too small, the camera zooms in on his face. The censored version inserts a Dwight interview. The uncensored version just pans to the left and zooms out, showing Oscar and Dwight.

Dwight, Talking Head: The geometric proportions of my face are perfect in every way but one. My nose is too small. I mean, it still works. I can smell things. I just have to be a lot closer than most people.

Left: uncensored version, right: censored version.

Time Difference: 12 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 8
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:11:36
Timecode Censored Version: 00:10:31
After Michael has written down "Kevin - Huge Gut", it's Angela's turn. Kelly is bitching in the background.

Michael: Who else?
Angela: I'm very sensitive about my petite figure.
Kelly: Oh God.
Angela: I am. I'm afraid to be thrown around like a football.
Kelly: Well, you know, Nicole Richie might think that you are fat. Does that make you feel better?

Time Difference: 12 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 9
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:12:02
Timecode Censored Version: 00:11:09
After Meredith sits down, it's Ryan and Creed's turn to spill the beans.

Ryan: Some of you may have noticed I'm in that kind of ill-defined relationship type of thing.
Michael: Okay, what do you want me to write?
Ryan: Just put "Kelly".
Kelly: Aw!
Dwight: That still going on?
Kelly: I will claw your tiny nose off.
Dwight: It's on the list.
Michael: Creed, your turn.
Creed: If I write it down, I can't be charged with it.
Dwight: Uh-uh, no one said that.

Time Difference: 21 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 10
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:17:06
Timecode Censored Version: 00:16:35
An inserted additional scene in Michael's office where Dwight is trying to cheer him up.

Dwight: You are not a joke.
Michael: I am.
Dwight: You are smart.
Michael: Jim is smarter than me.
Dwight: You are handsome.
Michael: Jim is more handsome.
Dwight: No, Jim is ugly. Please. I mean, I'd give anything for his nose. It's true. The rest of him, God, he looks like Popeye's wife.
Michael: Wow, Wilma.
Dwight: See, that is funny. That is a joke. I know jokes and you are not a joke.
Michael: Her name's not Wilma.
Dwight: Stop making me laugh.

Time Difference: 28 seconds (Censored version longer)

Scene 11
Timecode Uncensored Version: 00:21:33
Timecode Censored Version: 00:21:32
Michael Schur's credit as Dwight's cousin Mose has been removed from the censored version, as he only appears in the cold open that was cut out.

Time Difference: 0.5 seconds (Uncensored version longer)