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Kate Flannery as Meredith Palmer
|First appearance||"Diversity Day"|
|Created by||Greg Daniels|
|Portrayed by||Kate Flannery|
Meredith Elizabeth Palmer (born May 12, 1959) is a fictional character on the U.S. comedy television series, The Office. She is portrayed by Kate Flannery, and is an original character, meaning that she has no equivalent in the British version of the show.
Meredith Palmer is the socially inappropriate and sexually promiscuous Representative at the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch (however, in the first season, her job was said to be an Accountant). Her computer always displays the solitaire game found in the MS package. Little is known about her early and personal life, but, over the course of the series, some tidbits of information have been revealed. She has been married twice, with one of her ex-husbands leaving her for a woman who works as a garbage collector (who is addressed as "Mom" by Meredith's children). She has two children, a son named Jake, whom she has custody of, and a daughter named Wendy (described as "The good one") who is in the custody of one of Meredith's ex-husbands. In a deleted scene from "Garden Party", Meredith reveals that she is a former boxer.
Meredith is an alcoholic, and it has been alluded to that she often arrives at work with a hangover, as she has complained that people talk too loudly and that the office lights are too bright in the morning. Although she has insisted that she does not have a drinking problem, there are many things she overlooks that are serious signs of addiction, such as keeping a flask under the seat of her mini van, knowing the names of numerous bars around Scranton, and even ingesting hand sanitizer for the alcohol in it. To the disgust of her co-workers, she reveals that she also suffers from pornography addiction.' In "Local Ad", it is heavily implied that she has been cast in pornographic movies, on considerably more than one occasion.
On several occasions, it is shown that she is attracted to her co-worker Jim Halpert, which visibly frightens him at times. More than once she has made advances on him, such as asking him to sign her cast for her fractured pelvis (which is located on her crotch). As Jim has no interest in leaving his wife, Pam, for Meredith, she has become hostile towards him; she once egged on a mild argument between Jim and Pam on what they would do if they won the lottery, whispering "Get a divorce", confided to Robert California that she finds Jim "Creepy", and provided Jim with an unwanted pamphlet about getting vasectomies as a Christmas present.
Meredith drives a very beatup Ford Aerostar, which she was once seen nonchalantly crashing into another car, in the episode "Women's Appreciation". It also appears that Meredith is rather poor; in "Frame Toby", she reveals that she works a part-time job as a maid, and in "Michael's Last Dundies", it is shown that she lives in an extremely run-down house.
It is also somewhat of a recurring gag that whenever there is any physically injuring consequenses that occur due the nonsense that happens in the office, Meredith is usually the one who suffers. Among other indignities, her hair has once been set on fire, Dwight almost suffocated her by stuffing her head into a garbage bag, she got rabies from a bat, that was one of several wild animals to gnaw on her during a single year, Michael accidentally hit her with his car, Pam once threw a football that hit her in the face, and, while "planking" on top of a bathroom stall, she was knocked down when Dwight sprayed her with a fire extinguisher.
Meredith first appears in "Diversity Day", and has her first speaking appearance in the next episode, "Health Care", in which it is revealed she had a hysterectomy; Dwight Schrute is somewhat confused as to what this means, believing her to have no vagina.
Office Manager Michael Scott forces the entire staff to throw a month-early birthday party for Meredith in "The Alliance", in hopes of boosting morale and relieving the stress from downsizing rumors. However, it is not much of a success, especially due to Michael mocking her age with an unintentionally offensive joke. In a deleted scene, a joke about her hysterectomy does not go over well, sending her crying into the arms of co-workers.
In the second season, Meredith's drinking problem is introduced to the audience, although it appears to be common knowledge to the rest of the staff. Meredith joins Alcoholics Anonymous and attempts to follow through on her New Year's resolutions to quit drinking, but does not succeed. She has also made another resolution for 2006 that she would stay away from alcohol "during the week." A scene in which a drunk Meredith lifts her top was deleted from "E-mail Surveillance," but the writers were so taken with the idea that they incorporated it into her character. She exposes her breasts to Michael in the closing moments of "Christmas Party", and in "Booze Cruise" she is briefly seen topless, except for a life preserver, after she had been having sex with the captain of the boat. Her son, Jake, is introduced in "Take Your Daughter To Work Day", where she tells the cameras that it works out perfectly having her son there, because he's suspended from school and this way she doesn't have to hire a babysitter. In "Boys and Girls", she says that in five years she would like to be five years sober, but quickly changes it to four and a half. In a deleted scene from "Casino Night" she confesses to not remembering men with whom she has had sex while drunk. In The Injury, Michael and Jim discover that she keeps a bottle of whisky in her van after they catch a concussed Dwight taking a drink of it.
In the season 3 premiere, she is caught eating Angela Martin's alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and her excitement over merger-day champagne was quickly quashed by Michael who says the beverages are for "guests only." In the producer's cut of "Branch Closing", she recalls a past agreement with a coworker to have sex together on the last day of work, but can't remember who she made the deal with. During a deleted scene from "Back from Vacation," Meredith implies that her tendency to sleep around was worth it because she's "seen the world." She joins Pam and Karen's party in "A Benihana Christmas" because it has alcohol. She declines the margaritas, saying that they are too sweet, and she takes a bottle of vodka. In "Ben Franklin" she yells "Shut up, Angela!" when Angela says that a male stripper has no business dancing in the office. In "Women's Appreciation," she is seen as a careless driver, with one hand controlling the steering wheel, while the other hand is holding a bag of potato chips over her head, pouring its contents directly into her mouth. Afterwards, she tosses the empty potato chip bag out the window. When Pam, sitting in the passenger seat, cautions her to not be a litterbug, Meredith replies, "My car, my rules." In a later scene at the Steamtown Mall parking lot, she attempts to wedge her minivan into a parking space too small, damaging several cars in the process. In "Beach Games" she accidentally exposes herself to the camera after forgetting she was not wearing her swimsuit underneath her clothes, also in another deleted scene she orders for the bus to stop because she needs to use the bathroom, even though there are no bathrooms in sight, but instead of going behind a bush she instantly squats right in front of the bus which everyone looks away in disgust (except for Creed). In "The Job," she describes Jim's haircut as "sexy-hot" and orders him to turn around so she can see it from all angles. When discussing Jan's breast implants in a talking-head interview, Meredith comments that "in my experience, guys are more interested in the back of you than in the front.". In "Business School", she is traumatized when a bat lands on her and Dwight encloses a garbage bag over her head in order to catch it.
In the first episode of season four ("Fun Run"), Michael hits Meredith with his car as he drives in to work, cracking her pelvis. The entire staff visits her in the hospital, where tests reveal that she may have rabies, likely on account of the previous season's Bat incident. Michael pesters her to forgive him, and she initially refuses, but later forgives him when she hears about the "Rabies Awareness Fun Run" he put together in her honor (Michael had not known at the time that rabies is in fact an easily curable disease). Upon returning to the office in the third episode of the season, she approaches Jim Halpert and requests that he sign her cast — which is on her crotch — and tells him in a whisper that she especially appreciated him coming to visit her at the hospital, suggesting that she finds him attractive. Jim signs awkwardly while Creed leers on in the background. During the making of Michael's alternative local Dunder Mifflin ad, Meredith notes that she is not used to making videos "with so many people around" and she later gives Jim a ride home from work when Pam stays late to work on the ad. In a deleted scene in "Goodbye, Toby", Meredith is introduced to Holly Flax and seems to like her, until she later interviews that she hates her, and "wants to cut her face."
In "Business Ethics", Meredith reveals she has been sleeping with a supplier in order to gain discounts on products for the company (and Outback Steakhouse gift certificates). Holly Flax thinks she should be fired, while Michael Scott tries to lead her into giving a non-damning statement (though he calls her a "stupid bag" when she simply restates her unethical behavior). She says she won't quit, but ultimately it turns out Corporate could not care less about her actions and actually seem to find them kind of useful in tough economic times. In deleted scenes, it's revealed Meredith made racist comments that Stanley overheard (though they weren't about him), that she admits she has no skill set to do any kind of useful work, and that she likes working at Dunder Mifflin because she can show up for work at 11AM and leave at 4PM (this last bit of information comes as a shock to Michael).
In the episode "Casual Friday", Meredith wears a highly inappropriate dress that barely covers herself. When Toby confronts her and asks her to pull it down more, she pulls it down too far and reveals her entire body above the waist. When her colleagues complain, she pulls it up too far, exposing her lower body. When Kelly asks "Meredith, where are your panties?" she replies "It's casual day!"
At the office Christmas party in "Moroccan Christmas", Meredith gets drunk and parties too wildly, accidentally setting her hair on fire while bellydancing. Michael stages an intervention, but the staff are unhelpful in getting her to admit her alcoholism. Michael then pretends to take her out for drinks, but instead takes her to a rehab clinic where he forcibly drags her inside and informs the staff that he's "making a deposit". When he finds out that she cannot be admitted against her will, he is determined to help her "hit rock bottom", as he somewhat proudly mentions he was able to do with Jan.
In the episode "The Promotion" it's revealed that Creed and Meredith have had sex. Creed didn't remember this until he makes another pass at her. In the season seven episode "PDA" Dwight reads an unordered list of people who have had sex in the office which includes Meredith and Creed, meaning that they possibly had sex together in the office. In "Koi Pond", it is also revealed that she has slept with a terrorist.
In "Nepotism", when the terrible new office assistant Luke is using her computer, she tells him to scram and calls him a twerp. Later, when the staff finds out Luke neglected to send out packages from the office, and instead kept them in his car, she breaks into his vehicle. She also tells Michael to "Sack up", when Luke is using a laser pointer to point at people during a meeting.
In "Andy's Play", Michael swipes a bottle of wine from the concession table, and during the second act, Michael, Meredith, Darryl, and Kevin are seen drinking the wine Michael stole, though Michael intended to have all the wine to himself.
In the episode "Sex Ed", Meredith tells the office that she has Genital Herpes. When Michael, Jim, and Dwight decide to set up a sting operation to see how rival salesman Danny Cordray is stealing all of their clients and observe his sales techniques in "The Sting", they set up Meredith, as the CEO of Solartech (a fictional company), in Dwight's office (fitted with security cameras), and watch from another room. Danny is then sent in to try to make a sale. All starts well until Meredith attempts to seduce him, forcing Dwight and Jim to send in Oscar and Ryan to save the sting. When Meredith strong-arms both of them, a grossed-out Michael rushes in to call the whole thing off.
In "Michael's Last Dundies", the first glimpse of Meredith's dilapidated house is shown when Michael and Deangelo arrive to give her a Dundie Award nomination. The door is left ajar and when Michael and Deangelo peek in to see if anybody is home, Meredith walks up the driveway behind them looking dishevelled after a night of partying. They decline her offer for breakfast and run away. Later in the episode, Meredith wins the "Best Mom" Dundie to the shock of the entire office, and then kisses Michael when accepting the award. After accepting the award, she gives her acceptance "speech" proclaiming that she's "not going to be a good mom tonight!". She later throws her award on the ground in anger when Erin wins the 'Cutest Redhead' Dundie Award instead of her.
In "Finale", the stripper for Angela's bachelorette party turns out to be Meredith's son, Jake. She dances with him and instructs him in more aggressive male stripper moves. During the reunion special Q&A, when asked if anyone was disappointed in how they were portrayed, Meredith says that it was never shown on camera that she received her Ph.D. in School Psychology during the first seven years, and that she chalks up all of her alcohol abuse to her being "in college" at the time.
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- Flannery, Kate. (Actor). 2005. "Christmas Party" [Commentary track], The Office Season One (US/NBC Version) [DVD], Los Angeles, CA: Universal.
- The Office - Season 2
- The Office - Season 3
- The Office - Season 4
- The Office - Season 5
- The Office - Season 6