Pete Miller

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Pete Miller
The Office character
Pete Miller.jpg
Jake Lacy as Pete Miller
First appearance "New Guys"
Last appearance "Finale"
Created by Greg Daniels
Portrayed by Jake Lacy
Information
Nickname(s) "New Jim"
"Plop"
Occupation Customer Service Representative, Dunder Mifflin, Scranton
Family Mike (brother)
Significant other(s) Erin Hannon (girlfriend)
Alice (ex-girlfriend)

Peter Zachary "Pete" Miller is a fictional character on the U.S. comedy television series The Office.

Pete is portrayed by Jake Lacy. He is an original character and has no counterpart in the British version of the series, though his character is noted as having several parallels to Jim Halpert, who in turn is based on Tim Canterbury on the latter series. Pete, along with Clark Green, is one of two staff members hired as customer service representatives at the Scranton branch of fictitious paper distributor Dunder Mifflin, replacing the outgoing Kelly Kapoor at the start of the show's ninth and final season.[1]

Biography[edit]

Pete is said to be in his twenties and originally hails from Vermont (much like the actor who plays him). His interests include boxing, tennis, NASCAR, and The Amazing Race. His favorite baseball team is the Boston Red Sox.[2]

Little is known of Pete's family, except for having a brother who once dared Pete to memorize every line of the film Die Hard, which Pete would later say he loved doing.[3] In a deleted scene in a prior episode, he receives a text from his brother, whom he identifies as 'Mike',[4] however, it is unknown whether this is the same brother mentioned in "Dwight Christmas".

His closest friends (outside of work) are mentioned as being Scott, Glenn, and Rob,[5] as well as someone he refers to as "Flipper", who earned his nickname by once flipping a table while drunk, though Pete concedes that "Flipper" is "an idiot".[6]

His and Clark's vague resemblance to salesmen Jim Halpert and Dwight Schrute led to several office staff members initially referring to them as "New Jim" and "New Dwight", respectively.[2]

Season 9[edit]

Pete and Clark are introduced in "New Guys" as the new Customer Service Representatives. Several co-workers note their resemblance to Jim and Dwight, dubbing them "New Jim" and "New Dwight". After Andy Bernard returns from a wilderness retreat, he named Pete "Plop", supposedly because Pete is "always taking dumps" (despite having only known Pete for a matter of minutes), much to Pete's discomfort. Jim does not consider Pete to be "the new Jim", particularly after speaking with him and finding they have no common interests. Jim reconsiders this when Pete is interviewed by Angela Martin to potentially adopt her cat (something which does not particularly interest Pete), and Jim overhears Pete talking about his hopes and dreams, reminding Jim of his own dreams before he spent years at Dunder-Mifflin.[2]

In "Roy's Wedding", Pete is dubious when Clark invites Erin Hannon to a news audition at his apartment with various outfits, suspecting Clark merely wants to exploit Erin. Pete is stunned when Andy, oblivious to Clark's intentions, gives Clark his credit card and sends him to the mall with Erin to buy several additional outfits. Pete manages to thwart Clark's plans by convincing Andy to accompany her as a co-anchor (with Pete himself as "Andy's make-up guy"), much to Clark's disappointment. Andy soon becomes more preoccupied with his own performance than Erin's and requests additional takes. When Erin complains of being hungry, Andy asks Pete to take Erin out for a burger while he has a dismayed Clark continue shooting. Pete and Erin are later seen eating at a nearby diner, apparently enjoying themselves.[5]

In "Andy's Ancestry", Pete and Clark immediately applaud at the news that Andy may be distantly related to Michelle Obama, having learned that Andy appreciates enthusiasm, and therefore have learned to clap for almost any action or announcement. Pete is confused when Erin greets him in Dothraki, a fictional language she'd been learning to impress Andy. At the end of the day, however, Pete himself tells Erin good-bye in Dothraki, amusing both her and Andy.[7]

In "Work Bus" Pete, along with the rest of the staff, is confined to work on a bus rented by Dwight while the office undergoes renovations. In a deleted scene, he and Erin jokingly talk about a plan to kidnap Rupert Murdoch for ransom. After Andy refused to support Nellie Bertram's application for an adoption, Andy later overhears someone crying, which he assumes to be Nellie, until Pete coolly informs him it is actually Erin (who had herself been a foster child and never adopted). Pete and Erin are later seen talking in the background when the staff visits a pie stand.[8]

In "Here Comes Treble", Pete is one of the few employees, along with Jim, who does not dress up for Halloween. When Erin insists a student a capella group from Andy's Cornell, sing his signature song "Faith" by George Michael (despite admitting she finds his a capella drama "pathetic"), she then passes Pete's desk and tells a confused Pete that "this isn't stupid."[9]

In "The Boat", Pete seems someone puzzled by Erin indulging Andy's behavior (which she admits is juvenile), with thing like trying to cheer him up with "watermelon teeth", despite Andy being around forty years old. When Andy and Erin drive to Connecticut to see off the Bernard family boat, which is being sold to pay off family debt, Pete covers reception for Erin. After Erin returns without Andy (Andy decided to sail the boat to its buyer in the Bahamas himself, taking his brother, but not her, much to her disappointment), Pete invites her to join some of his friends for drinks and pool.[6]

In "The Whale" Pete grows a mustache with several other male co-workers for "Movember" at the suggestion of Toby Flenderson, but after Erin is visibly put off by it (awkwardly attempting to compliment it as a "handsome" eyebrow of a "cyclops whose eye fell out"), Pete is seen in the following scene emerging from the washroom, having shaved his mustache off.[10]

In "The Target", Pete has been given the redundant task of filling out customer service complaint cards, despite the information already being on a computer. A bored Pete begins constructing a large tower out of the complaint cards, with Erin, and several other co-workers joining in. When Kevin Malone attempts to add a card to the tower, only to knock it over, and is berated by the others for it, Pete defends Kevin, reminding them the entire tower is built on mistakes, which visibly impresses Erin.[11]

In "Dwight Christmas", Pete is surprised to learn Erin has never seen Die Hard, and tells her he knows every line, which she challenges him to recite. In the midst of doing so, however, Erin gets a text message from Andy, saying he'll be staying in the Bahamas an additional three weeks. Wanting to distract herself, she tells Pete they should watch the movie itself, which they do on a computer in Andy's office. Pete points out some items of trivia during the film, such as the fact that Alexander Godunov, who plays Karl, the main henchman, was a ballet dancer in real life. When Erin begins to cry, Pete puts his arm around her to comfort her. Erin reminds Pete that she is still Andy's girlfriend, which Pete acknowledges, though she tells him he can leave his arm around her.[3]

In "Lice", when much of the staff is infected with lice, the infected staff pair up to cover each other's hair with mayonnaise to kill the lice. When Creed Bratton volunteers to pair up with Erin, who quickly claims that she had already paired up with Pete. Erin appears somewhat uneasy when Pete later takes his shirt off before rinsing out his hair, and Erin avoids him for the rest of the day.[12]

In "Suit Warehouse", Pete gives Erin a friendly hello, though she continues avoiding him, instead focusing on an incoming shipment of pens that Pam Halpert (Jenna Fischer) asked her to take care of while she's away.[13]

In "Customer Loyalty", Nellie had assigned Pete and Erin to work on a special project, only to notice their mutual interest. Not wanting to upset Andy, who had reconsidered signing her adoption letter before he left, she discourages anything from happening between them by bringing it up during a staff meeting, much to their embarrassment, especially when it becomes clear everyone in the office is aware they've been flirting. Erin insists she is still with Andy and that she and Pete are just friends and asks Nellie to shut down their project. Erin and Pete appear somewhat awkward around each other after this, however. After noticing this, Nellie reinstates the project and assigns them both to it, something that seems to please both Pete and Erin.[14]

In "Couples Discount" Erin decides to break up with Andy, but Pete is doubtful. After attempting to break up with Andy, Erin is talked out of it by Andy. Later on, Erin goes and tells Pete she couldn't do it. When Pete smiles and says he just wants her to be happy she realizes she wants to be with him, kisses him, and goes inside and finally breaks up with Andy.[15]

In secrecy from Andy and the rest of the branch, Pete and Erin begin dating in "Moving On", while a moping Andy begins to suspect Erin has begun seeing someone new. Andy snoops in Erin's phones and learns she's been texting Pete, though he initially doesn't realize who it is, since he's been referring to Pete as "Plop" for so long he's forgotten Pete's real name. When he eventually figures this out, Andy attempts to fire Pete, though Toby notes Andy has no cause to do this. When Pete and Erin urge Andy to simply move on, noting that Pete did the same after his break-up with his ex-girlfriend Alice, a vindictive Andy gets back at them by not only hiring Alice as strategy consultant, but also Erin ex Gabe Lewis as a management consultant. The tension between exes soon devolves into bickering between one another, which pleases Andy to no end. A satisfied Andy later admits that seeing Pete and Erin unhappy, has made him happy.[16]

Pete did not appear in the episode "The Farm". In "Promos", his only role was to suggest Pam talk to her friend, boom mike operator Brian, after it becomes clear the documentary film crew have recorded far more intimate details about the staff's lives over the years than they realized.[17] [18]

In "Paper Airplane", Pete, Erin, and the rest of the staff compete in a paper airplane competition for a $2000 grand prize. Pete himself apparently did not progress very far in the competition and instead supported Erin. He seemed somewhat taken aback by Erin's excessively competitive attitude, particularly her taunting Clark after beating him. After Erin lost to Dwight, he attempted to calm the furious Erin, without much success.[19]

In Livin' the Dream, Jim temporarily joins Pete in the annex after Clark takes his desk. Their conversation is somewhat awkward, as the two still have no common interest. Later, Pete and Erin appear offended when Jim and Pam appear hesitant at Erin's suggestion of a double date.[20]

In "A.A.R.M.", Pete is dismayed when Dwight addresses him as "Plop", despite Andy having quit in the previous episode. Most of the staff agree when Dwight says "We owe Andy that much", which Pete reluctantly accepts. Along with the rest of the staff, he objects when Darryl Philbin, who was also quitting to work at Athlead, attempted to slip out without saying goodbye. He's seen dancing with the others when Darryl agrees to dance with them for one final activity, and later watches the airing the documentary at Poor Richard's with Erin and the others.[21]

In "Finale", which takes place one year after the airing of the documentary, Pete joins the staff at a panel, where he admits that everyone has since started calling him "Plop". He witnesses Erin being reunited with her parents at the panel, and they later attend Dwight and Angela's wedding and a documentary party at Dunder-Mifflin.[22]

Relationships[edit]

Erin Hannon[edit]

Pete quickly became friends with receptionist Erin Hannon, similar to Jim's early friendship with Erin's predecessor (and future wife) Pam Beesley. In "Roy's Wedding", he is clearly discomforted when Clark invites her to film a news anchor audition at his apartment, correctly suspecting this is merely a ruse by Clark to exploit her by filming her in various outfits. Pete manages to sabotage Clark's plan by convincing Andy, Erin's boyfriend, to accompany them as a "co-anchor". When Andy becomes more preoccupied with his own performance than Erin's, he asks Pete to take a hungry Erin out to eat, while the disappointed Clark is left filming Andy alone.[5] In "Andy's Ancestry", when Erin attempts to impress Andy by learning the fictional Dothraki language from the TV series Game of Thrones (which Andy, stressed by work problems, is not particularly receptive of), Pete bids her farewell at the end of the day in Dothraki.[7] In a deleted scene in "Work Bus", the two jokingly discussed pretending to kidnap Rupert Murdoch and could be later seen talking in the background, when the staff takes a trip to a pie stand.[7]

Though neither admitted it at the time, Pete and Erin each appeared concerned what the other thinks of them. In "Here Comes Treble", after telling an a capella group from Andy's alma mater of Cornell to indulge Andy's childish demand that they sing his signature song, she tells Pete, "this isn't stupid", much to the confusion of Pete, who had made no comment on the matter.[9] Conversely, in "The Whale", Pete grows a mustache with several other male co-workers for "Movember", but after seeing Erin's reaction to it, he immediately shaves it off.[10]

In "The Boat" Pete appears somewhat puzzled by Erin's willingness to indulge Andy's immaturity when his family undergoes a financial crisis. When Erin and Andy drive up to Connecticut to see off his family boat, which is being sold to a buyer in the Bahamas, Pete volunteers to cover reception for Erin. When Erin returns, disappointed that Andy had chosen to sail the boat to the Bahamas himself, taking his brother, but leaving Erin behind, Pete invites her to join him and his friend for drinks and pool, which she accepts.[6] Erin appeared impressed after Pete stood up for Kevin Malone from his berating co-workers after Kevin accidentally knocked over a "comment card tower" several of them had been making.[11]

In "Dwight Christmas", Pete and Erin watch Die Hard together in Andy's office, to take her mind off Andy sending her an email saying he'll be staying in the Bahamas an extra three weeks. When Erin begins to cry, Pete puts his arm around her to comfort her. She reminds him that she's still Andy's girlfriend, which Pete acknowledges, though she tells him he can leave his arm around her.[3]

In "Lice", Erin appears somewhat troubled at her attraction to Pete, after seeing him remove his shirt during a hair-washing. Pete appears disappointed when Erin has apparently left for the day without saying goodbye, unaware that Erin was deliberately avoiding him, something she continues to do the following episode.[12][13]

In "Customer Loyalty", Erin has stopped avoiding Pete and the two appear to enjoy themselves when assigned to work on a special project. The two are embarrassed when Nellie and others bring up their flirting during a staff meeting, though both of them insist nothing is going on between them. Nellie shuts down their project after this, but later reconsider after seeing their awkward encounters. Both Pete and Erin seem pleased at this.[14]

In "Couples Discount", Pete is somewhat skeptical when he learn Erin intends to break up with the returning Andy. Indeed, Andy initially talks her out of breaking up with him, but after hearing Pete say he only wants her to be happy, she kisses him and immediately breaks up with Andy. The two are subsequently dating in secret during the episode "Moving On"[15][16]

Pete and Erin's relationship is not referenced for several subsequent episodes, but seems to be continuing on good terms. In "Paper Airplane", however, Pete is somewhat taken aback by Erin's highly competitive nature (which Erin admits she worries about Pete seeing) during a paper airplane competition, particularly after she throws a tantrum at losing.[19]

Despite this awkward moment the two are seen getting along well in "Livin' the Dream", though Pete and Erin appear offended by Jim and Pam's hesitance at Erin's suggestion of a double date.[20] The two are seen dancing at Dwight and Angela's wedding reception one year later. They are also later seen leaving the Office hand in hand[22]

Andy Bernard[edit]

Both Pete and Clark are largely deferential to Branch Manager Andy Bernard, not having known him before his promotion, unlike most of the other staff. When Pete is first introduced to Andy in "New Guys", Andy assigns him the nickname "Plop", much to Pete's discomfort, because Andy claims Pete is "always taking dumps". The nickname would persist even after Andy quit.[2][21] In "Andy's Ancestry", Pete and Clark have taken to applauding nearly any announcement or action by Andy, however mundane, after discovering that Andy appreciates enthusiasm. The two note in a talking head that their applause is beginning to have a reverse effect, causing them to genuinely believe simple actions like making copies or drinking water are impressive. In the same episode, Andy tells Erin he likes Pete and contemplates setting him up with Meredith Palmer (apparently unaware of Pete's obvious discomfort when Meredith propositioned him in "New Guys")[8] Pete, however gave Andy a somewhat cold look in "Work Bus", when Andy's refusal help Nellie Bertram apply for an adoption caused Erin, herself a foster child who was never adopted, to cry.[8]

Any goodwill Andy had for Pete immediately evaporates after learning that Pete has been seeing Erin in "Moving On". Andy attempts to fire Pete for this, until Toby points out he has no cause to fire Pete. Andy later vindictively hires Pete and Erin's respective exes, specifically to cause tension, and later takes pleasure at their discomfort.[16] Despite this incident, in "Livin' the Dream" Pete and Clark emerged from the annex and listened with interest when Andy played "I Will Remember You" for the staff on his last day.[20]

Clark Green[edit]

Despite being roughly the same age, working in the same department, and being hired at the same time, Pete explicitly states in "Roy's Wedding" that Clark is not his friend, but is merely "the douche that sits next to me at the office". He clearly disapproves of Clark's attempt to exploit Erin with a fake news audition in that episode and successfully foils it.[5] There has not been any apparent tension between the two since then, however, and the two do agree on several things, such as how to behave around Andy.[7] The two were seen playing a computer game together in "New Guys".[2] In "The Whale" the two were seen hanging out with Toby Flenderson, Daryl Philbin, and Kevin Malone, all having grown mustaches for "Movember".[10]

Clark was apparently aware that Pete and Erin had been dating before anyone else in the office. He appeared somewhat amused at Pete's awkwardness around Andy before Andy found out, and later found it funny when Andy later hired Pete's ex-girlfriend Alice to work with him to get back at him.[16]

Pete and Clark's relationship has apparently improved over time. When Clark takes Jim's desk, briefly relegating Jim to Clark's desk in the annex, Jim suggests to Pete that he probably missed Clark, which Pete seems to acknowledge. Clark, for his part, sardonically warns Jim "it is very easy to get lost in Pete's beautiful, dead eyes."[20]

Jim Halpert[edit]

Though several co-workers in "New Guys" referred to Pete as "the New Jim", Jim himself dismissed this initially, particularly after chatting with Pete, and finding they had no common interests. Jim later overhears some of Pete's dreams, however, reminding him of his own, before years of working at Dunder-Mifflin, which motivates Jim to pursue an opportunity to join in a start-up sports marketing company.[2]

When Jim is briefly relegated to Clark's desk across from Pete in the annex, the two attempt to bond but are as awkward as ever, as the two still have no common interests.[20]

Toby Flenderson[edit]

Toby appears to enjoy interacting socially with the much younger Pete and Clark, though neither appear as interested in socializing with Toby.[2] In "The Whale", both Pete and Clark, along with Daryl Philbin and Kevin Malone agreed to grow mustaches for "Movember", at Toby's suggestion. In a deleted scene, however, Toby was dismayed when he saw that Pete had shaved his mustache off.[10]

When Nellie attempts to separate Pete and Erin in "Customer Loyalty", to prevent Andy from being hurt, Toby gently reminds her that Andy himself had not been a good boyfriend, but describes Pete as "a pretty cool guy". He's clearly impressed when Nellie reconsiders and puts the two back to working together again.[14]

Reception[edit]

The introduction of a new potential love interest for Erin in the show's final season, complicating her relationship with Andy, was conceived by show-runner Greg Daniels, with input from Ellie Kemper, who plays Erin. "I really appreciate how much he wanted my own contribution to what this potentially new love interest for Erin should be like and how this affects Erin," Kemper told TVGuide.com. "Erin has a habit of saying dumb things and not thinking things through, but at the end of the day, I do want to think of her as a three-dimensional character that has room to mature and develop. So, I think that is such a nice thing to happen in the final season and he spear-headed that." Regarding the potential love triangle, Kemper said "I think it's really important in terms of Erin's maturity to have someone else to relate to. In a surprising way, Erin is craving a more mature relationship that doesn't depend on acting on a whim. Andy and Erin have a lot of cute, but very childish bits that they do with each other. With Pete, it's more of a mature relationship. He's calm and sincere with her in a way that maybe Andy isn't always. ... There's a sense of stability with Pete that could be attractive to Erin."[23]

This met with mostly positive reviews. Regarding the storyline in "Dwight Christmas", IGN.com noted that "The writers remain determined to rewrite (Andy and Erin's) love story, but in a way that doesn't make the audience feel jerked around. It's more like being slowly led by the hand toward another possible destination. I don't know where this triangle will end up, but I don't resent the journey like I did last season."[24] Paste Magazine's response to the storyline in the same episode was more mixed. "It’s a sweet moment, but it seems almost too cookie-cutter for the show."[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'The Office' shuts down after this year". CNN. 2012-08-21. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "New Guys". The Office. NBC.
  3. ^ a b c "Dwight Christmas". The Office. NBC.
  4. ^ http://www.officetally.com/archive/the-office-deleted-scenes
  5. ^ a b c d "Roy's Wedding". The Office. NBC.
  6. ^ a b c "The Boat". The Office. NBC.
  7. ^ a b c d "Andy's Ancestry". The Office. NBC.
  8. ^ a b c "Work Bus". The Office. NBC.
  9. ^ a b "Here Comes Treble". The Office. NBC.
  10. ^ a b c d "The Whale". The Office. NBC.
  11. ^ a b "The Target". The Office. NBC.
  12. ^ a b "Lice". The Office. NBC.
  13. ^ a b "Suit Warehouse". The Office. NBC.
  14. ^ a b c "Customer Loyalty". The Office. NBC.
  15. ^ a b "Couples Discount". The Office. NBC.
  16. ^ a b c d "Moving On". The Office. NBC.
  17. ^ "The Farm". The Office. NBC.
  18. ^ "Promos". The Office. NBC.
  19. ^ a b "Paper Airplane". The Office. NBC.
  20. ^ a b c d e "Livin' the Dream". The Office. NBC.
  21. ^ a b "A.A.R.M.". The Office. NBC.
  22. ^ a b "Finale". The Office. NBC.
  23. ^ Stanhope, Kate (December 5, 2012). "The Office's Ellie Kemper on Erin and Pete, a Very Dwight Christmas and Mindy Project". TV Guide. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  24. ^ White, Cindy (December 7, 2012). "The Office: "Dwight Christmas" Review: Belsnickle is comin' to town!". IGN. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Stiernberg, Bonnie (December 7, 2012). "The Office Review: "Dwight Christmas" (Episode 9.09)". Paste Magazine. Retrieved December 16, 2012. 

External links[edit]