May 23, 2022

‘The Office’ stars chat about that famous finger guns meme

I do declare the “Murder” episode of The Office gave fans one of the show’s greatest memes.

On the latest episode of Stitcher’s Office Ladies podcast, former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey chatted all about the Season 6 episode, “Murder,” which blessed the world with the popular “finger guns” meme, which features Michael, Dwight, Andy, and at one point Pam, pointing their harmless hand weapons at each other in a conference room standoff.

For those who need a refresher, “Murder,” shows Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton employees partaking in a murder-mystery game. Michael uses the game to distract everyone from rumors that Dunder Mifflin is filing for bankruptcy, but some (read: him, Andy, Dwight, and at one point Pam) clearly get more into the festivities than others.

The episode ends with a memorable “shootout” in the conference room, which looks a whole lot like that Spiderman pointing meme when screenshotted. Before we hear the story behind the iconic scene, please take a moment to rewatch it in all its unhinged, overly dramatic glory.

Alright, now that you’re in the “murder in Savannah” mood, let’s hear what Fischer and Kinsey had to say about the levels of improv present in that scene.

“I’ll tell you what. In the script, it ends with Pam backing out of the conference room,” Fischer said. “It was supposed to just end on a standoff. And then on the day they started doing the shoot out, all shooting each other. And this is how it ended up being.”

“Greg [Daniels, showrunner] shared that when the guys fell on the ground and were like convulsing and everything, that was just them,” Kinsey added. “They were just having fun. He said it was like little kids getting to play.”

It’s hard to imagine this scene without that final shootout, which is SNL’s “Dear Sister”-level entertaining, so I’m once again thankful that this show not only embraced improv, but used so much of it in final edits. It looked like Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and Ed Helms had a blast filming this scene, and they weren’t the only ones.

“At 20 minutes, 44 seconds, I wanted to point out one thing,” Kinsey said. “The reveal of Pam is so great. And Greg shared what really made that happen was our camera operator, Matt Sohn. His ability to whip around in a circle like that is what really captured the moment. Matt and Randall [Einhorn, director] were so amazing, so whenever we can give a shout out to them — way to go, Matt Sohn.”

“It was so fun and it’s like a very popular meme of me,” Fischer said of her role in the standoff. “You know that [line] ‘I’m not going down for this?’ It was so funny. I remember the direction from Greg was like, ‘You need to act like you are 100 percent invested in this. Like, this is real in your mind. You have to get out. You have to get out and you’re going to get out safe.’ I was like, ‘All right, let’s do it.'”

Be sure to listen to the full podcast episode to hear more behind-the-scenes stories about filming the episode, “Murder.”

You can stream episodes of The Office on Peacock and follow along with the podcast every week on EarwolfApple Podcasts, or Stitcher.