|The Office episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Dean Holland|
|Written by||Justin Spitzer|
|Original air date||October 28, 2010|
|List of The Office (U.S.) episodes|
"Costume Contest" is the sixth episode of the seventh season of the American comedy television series The Office, and the show's 132nd episode overall. Written by Justin Spitzer and directed by Dean Holland, the episode aired on NBC in the United States on October 28, 2010. This episode received positive reviews.
In the episode, Michael freaks out when Darryl goes over his head by taking an idea to corporate. The employees partake in a Halloween costume contest in the office. Meanwhile, Pam tries to get the truth from Danny about their dating history.
Stanley accidentally confuses Jim's mug of orange juice for his own mug of hot coffee, but does not appear to notice the difference. This leads a surprised Jim, along with the rest of the office, to determine what else Stanley won't notice. Kevin dresses as Phyllis; Andy sits at his desk while wearing a tie with no shirt; Jim places a cardboard box with the computer desktop on it over Stanley's monitor; Michael wears fake teeth; Michael talks about a Dunder Mifflin branch on Jupiter (which is up 8000% in sales) during a staff meeting where all the employees except Stanley are facing a different direction... with Stanley not realizing any of those things happened. However, he does notice that the office clock behind him is five minutes slow, and that it's 5PM, so he immediately heads out of the office, again not noticing that Pam is wearing a mustache and Dwight brought a pony into the office as they bid him goodbye.
The office becomes excited over the annual Halloween costume contest when Pam offers a Scranton-area coupon book as the prize for the winner. The coupons contained offer a total $15,000 in savings, which leads the staff (save for Oscar, who does not participate) to believe that the coupon book is literally worth $15,000. This still isn't enough to convince Jim to wear a matching couples costume (Popeye) with Pam (Olive Oyl), as he has never been a "costume guy". (A montage recaps his past meager costumes.) As the day goes on, several people realize their costume might not win, so they leave the office to switch into something more recognizable or provocative.
Gabe, dressed up as Lady Gaga, informs the staff of a sales idea where delivery drivers can suggest additional products for the customers they deliver to, increasing sales for the company. Michael realizes this idea sounds similar to a suggestion made by Darryl a long time ago; Michael, however, had initially shot down the idea, believing it to be no good. When Jim informs Michael that warehouse worker Madge has made her first sale, Michael decides to confront Corporate about stealing Darryl's idea. It is then revealed Darryl actually pitched the idea to Gabe, who sent it up to corporate, and has already received credit.
New salesman Danny invites everyone to a Halloween party at his bar after work. Almost everyone in the office is aware that Danny and Pam had a two-date fling four years ago. Kevin (dressed as Michael Moore) and Andy (Bill Compton) start a false rumor that Pam doesn't want people going to Danny's party, which incites Danny to confront Jim and Pam in order to determine the validity of the rumor. The conversation quickly turns to Pam and Danny's dating history, and while the three initially laugh about how their coworkers have been exaggerating its significance, it soon becomes clear that both Jim and Pam want to know exactly why she was rejected. Danny tells Jim he didn't call back was because Pam couldn't stop talking about Jim during their dates, but when Pam reveals she never mentioned Jim, Danny admits that he found her too "dorky." Jim realizes he loves Pam for being so dorky, and comes into the office wearing his Popeye costume, carrying Cece (dressed as Swee'Pea), much to the delight of Pam.
Michael becomes progressively more agitated over the fact that Darryl went over his head, and tries to get Darryl to apologize in front of everyone for 'backstabbing' him. Darryl refuses, criticizing Michael's poor judgment of his idea. Michael changes his outfit to Darryl's warehouse uniform in anger, and tries to rally the office behind him in declaring Darryl a backstabber. The two bring their argument to Gabe, where Darryl expresses his opinion that Michael has never done anything for him: Ed Truck hired him, Jo promoted him, and Gabe listened to him, whereas Michael always said no. Michael realizes he needs to listen more to his employees: Darryl apologizes to Michael and Michael apologizes to Darryl for "being such a jerk". Darryl wishes he were still operating down in the warehouse, but Andy inspires Darryl to further his career at Dunder Mifflin by recounting how he got involved with his a cappella group.
At the end of the episode, Oscar, who changed out of his costume to regular work clothing (though he says he's supposed to be a rational "consumer"), is declared the winner of the coupon book. A series of interviews reveal several employees' reasons for voting for Oscar – Kelly wanted to vote on whom she thought was least likely to win, Ryan for the underdog, and Creed because he thought Oscar was wearing an excellent Edward James Olmos costume.
"Costume Contest" was directed by Dean Holland, an editor on the series, and written by Justin Spitzer. Holland also directed the fifth season episode, "The Duel". It was the second episode to feature Timothy Olyphant, who was billed as a special guest star, in a guest appearance as Danny Cordray. David Koechner appears as Todd Packer, last seen in the sixth-season episode, "St. Patrick's Day". With the seventh season of The Office being Carell's last, the writers decided to divide the season into two distinct halves; the first half would "celebrate Carell's finale year and highlight different actors on the show", whereas the second half would focus on his departure and the search for a new manager. As such, "Costume Contest" was one of the first episode of the season to specifically highlight other characters, in this case Robinson's character, Darryl.
Within the week of the original air date, Hulu released four deleted scenes from the episode. In the first 87-second clip, Dwight and Michael try to destroy Darryl's idea by having a fake fight which eventually fails. In the second 79-second clip, Dwight kisses up to Darryl in case he is promoted. In the fourth 50-second clip, Toby and Kelly explain why they want the coupon book while Oscar looks for something good in the book.
- Michael as MacGruber, then Darryl (Oscar's afro wig and a warehouse uniform) before changing back
- Dwight as "The Scranton Strangler"
- Jim as Popeye
- Pam as Olive Oyl
- Ryan as Justin Bieber
- Andy as Bill Compton
- Stanley as a Samurai Warrior
- Kevin as Michael Moore
- Creed as a Mummy
- Meredith as Sookie Stackhouse
- Kelly as Snooki, then Nicki Minaj
- Erin as a hideous Monster
- Angela as a Penguin, then a sexy Nurse
- Toby as a Clown Hobo
- Oscar as a 70s pimp, then a "rational consumer" (but mistaken by Creed to be Edward James Olmos)
- Darryl as Dracula
- Phyllis as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- Gabe as Lady Gaga
- Todd Packer as a pregnant Nun
- Bob Vance as Dirty Harry
- Cece as Swee'Pea
In its original American broadcast on October 28, 2010, "Costume Contest" was viewed by an estimated 8.07 million viewers and received a 4.0 rating/11% share among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. The episode's rating improved 15% from the previous episode. In Canada, the episode was watched by 826,000 viewers.
The episode received positive reviews from critics. James Poniewozik of Time said, "It started excellently with "What can Stanley ignore" precredit sequence and it rolled on from there." He also said that this episode contained a number of nice character moments. Joel Keller of AOL's TV Squad called the episode a "slow-building but ultimately winning episode". Margaret Lyons of Entertainment Weekly called the episode "the funniest episode of The Office since season 5".
- Hibberd, James (November 30, 2010). "'Office' Plan: How NBC Will Tackle Replacing Carell". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Costume Party, Clip One". Hulu. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- "Costume Contest, Clip Two". Hulu. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- "Costume Contest, Clip Four". Hulu. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
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- Keller, Joel (October 28, 2010). "'The Office' Season 7, Episode 6 Recap (VIDEO)". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-11-01.
- Lyons, Margaret (October 29, 2010). "'The Office' recap: Costume Party!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-04.