The Repercussions of David Brent Appearing in Michael Scott's Office Universe

I know, I should just be happy that Michael Scott and David Brent finally crossed paths on last night's episode of The Office. Oh, sure, while I was watching the scene I felt nothing but unadulterated glee, but soon after I made the mistake of trying to think through the repercussions of Brent's appearance in Michael Scott's universe. (Yes, I've spent way too much time analyzing the Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis, which is also somewhat involved here, too.) What I'm left with is: How did these two people, living thousands of miles apart, once live a day with the exact same events occurring?

The pilot episode of the American Office was an ever-so-slightly altered version of the same script of Ricky Gervais' first episode of the UK Office. As separate entities, this makes sense. After the pilot, the American version deviated almost entirely from the plot of its UK counterpart. But now that it's confirmed that these two do exist in the same world, how could two human beings could live such eerily similar days -- repeating pretty much the exact same lines of dialogue?

For example, on the day that both Scott and Brent were told that their respective companies were downsizing, they both thought it would be a hilarious idea to fire a secretary for stealing Post-It notes in front of a new temp. How do we, as a viewer, explain this? Are these two just so genetically similar that they the odds were just in favor of them living the same day? Is it possible that Michael Scott saw David Brent's documentary and copied some of his actions? That's not completely unbelievable considering how much Michael loves paper companies, so a documentary on a British paper company seems like something that would interest Michael. If so, though, why didn't Scott recognize Brent when he ran into him in last night's episode?

Making this an even stranger occurrence? Both of these respective days were filmed by a camera crew for this supposed documentary on office workers. There is proof that such a strange paradox exists! Since it's been a few years, let's assume that Michael never saw the documentary about Brent's company, Wernham-Hogg. But when the documentary on Dunder Mifflin-Sabre is finally released to the world, there will have to be at least one person who notices that the beginnings to both documentaries are almost exactly the same -- probably the producers of the Wernham-Hogg feature.

What would happen next? After all of the legal battles for plagiarism and copyright infringement are settled, something miraculous: The footage of these two men, oceans apart, will be studied for decades on how two people -- who have never met -- could live a day with the exact same events. OK, maybe "miraculous" is too strong a word, but there will at least be a segment devoted to this on 20/20.



  • SunnydaZe says:

    Anyone who works in an office lives the exact same day over and over with amount of caffeine intake being the only defining variable.

  • Monica242 says:

    Goodness, it was just a fun little thing to do before Carell left, people are reading way too much into this.

  • Mike Ryan says:

    I openly admit this!

  • PK says:

    It was funny....ur dumb

  • A says:

    It always bothered me that even though they were both supposed to be part of the same universe, Laura Leighton appeared as one character on Melrose Place then another on Beverly Hills 92010.

  • Phil says:

    One possible explanation- it wasn't David Brent? It was just an English guy who happens to be similar to the David Brent we know in the real world, but in the fictional world of The Office, the UK office never happened.
    Or this English guy just happens to be similar to our David Brent, but in the fictional world of the office, his name is Michael Jones, or something totally random.

  • Sara says:

    Both are TV shows and these are just actors. Explained! 😛

  • Roy says:

    David Brent did not appear in the US office: Ricky Gervais did.

  • Chris says:

    Doesn't work. He calls himself David Brent.
    Also, the people complaining about this article reading to much into things and saying it's just a TV show have no sense of fun.

  • Scraps says:

    After viewing this encounter, I couldn't help but think how amazing it would have been if Brent had said "said the actress to the bishop" (which is what Brent always said on the UK Office) followed by a confused look from Scott followed by an ENTIRE episode of just Brent trying to explain what that means to Scott. You know, Scott would drop everything he was doing and go to some bar with Brent where he would awkwardly and incorrectly explain what that saying meant. Then at some point one of them would say something and Scott would say "that's what she said" and then he would try to explain that to Brent. By the end of the episode, they both would have tried to explain the same thing to one another without really doing it.
    Who wouldn't watch this!?

  • Martini Shark says:

    The problem I had was when the elevator opens there is no camera following Brent out. However he sees the camera following Scott and never acknowleges it is there. He surely would have been aware a crew was filming Scott in the same manner and this would have led to a bonding conversation. His lack of acknowlegement pulled me completely out of the scene.

  • Illexsquid says:

    Yes, it was supposed to be just a bit of fun, and yes, y'all are overanalyzing things worse than my ex-girlfriend ever did, and yes, you seem to know it but can't help yourselves. But you seem to be missing the point of the scene, which relates to the point of the entire series. (Props to Sunnydaze for touching on this.)
    The appeal of The Office is that it's so spot-on. So many people have had so many of these experiences with bumbling co-workers and moronic bosses that we all feel in on the joke. So in the show's reality, both Michael and David are such stereotypes that it is virtually inevitable that they react to the same situations in the same way, often with the exact same words. Indeed, it would be more surprising if one of them deviated to say something clever or original. Michael and David have the same immature mind; of course they'd love each other. And I, for one, loved the scene.

  • Paul Gee says:

    You lot do realise that Gervais is credited on the US Office along with Steve Merchant. The character Gervais plays is most likely David Brent, because in the final episodes of the British Office, Brent has left Wernham Hogg, and is trying to make it alone. Also he cites the character he is working on. Both Scott and Brent have their 'foreign' stereotypes in their arsenal of humour.
    This was an absolute classic episode and amazing that this was Gervais' only cameo in the US Office.
    As a Brit myself, David Brent epitomises the personality of a boss who was promoted largely due to a run of good luck, coupled with a lack of connection with his peers. Quite normal practice in office management in Britain.
    I don't think either Brent, nor Scott would last 5 seconds in each other's jobs though. Brent would quickly find himself having over-stepped the mark inadvertently, as his humour which British people understand and overlook, would be misunderstood and taken as extremely offensive in US. Brent would probably end up being sued and/or fired in a shower of flames.
    Scott on the other hand, with his powerful narcissism, would end up in physical conflict with members of his office team. The only time in US Office where Scott received such a reaction was at the Dundies, and then this was instigated by an outsider.