If you’ve ever worked in an office, you know that it’s oftentimes full of colorful characters. If you were lucky enough –or unlucky depending on how you look at it–you’ve had a co-worker as socially awkward and hilarious as Dwight Schrute from The Office. Everything about Dwight Schrute is strange, from his beet farming family in Pennsylvania to his extremely intense love for his tight lipped co-worker, Angela. While we learned plenty about Dwight on the show (probably more than we needed to), there are actually quite a few crazy things you never would have guessed about him.
While actor, Rainn Wilson made playing the part of Dwight look effortless, there are a lot of layers to the complex character that helped make him so fascinating to watch. Dwight’s outer appearance, his backstory and his many ridiculous interactions with his co-workers all told a unique story complete with twists and turns. We’ve learned about Dwight’s unwavering adoration for his ethically skewed boss, his incredible ability to change his cholesterol levels at will and his passion for Battlestar Galactica. Whether Dwight made you laugh or made you cringe, there’s no doubt he was a major reason why The Office was one of the funniest shows ever. Read on to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the world’s strangest co-worker, Dwight Schrute.
15. Rainn Wilson Is Responsible For Dwight’s Unique Coif
After watching Mackenzie Crook play the character on the British version of The Office, actor, Rainn Wilson told the LA Times that he couldn’t help but be inspired by the greasy hair-do. Wilson styled his hair around his big forehead, letting his hair part straight down the middle and curl at the ends in what he called, “very kind of baroque”. Wilson imagined that Dwight had been wearing his hair this way since high school and never bothered to change it. As for Dwight’s delightfully (mustard) yellow work shirts and olive-green slacks, that was all created in the costume department. On the show, Dwight says he gets his shirts in a crate from his “shirt guy”. From his long sideburns to his bland ties, we think it all fit Dwight’s personality perfectly.
14. Seth Rogen Almost Got The Part
We all know Seth Rogan from the hilarious blockbusters, Knocked Up, Superbad and Pineapple Express. But many viewers don’t know Rogen was pretty darn close to playing The Office‘s socially awkward Dwight Schrute. Just before starring in The 40 Year Old Virgin, Rogen auditioned to play the part, but his sweet, almost endearing portrayal of the character caused producers to pass. Curious about what other actors almost made it into the cast of the iconic comedy? Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk almost got the part of Michael Scott before they gave it to Steve Carell. Think how different the show would be if Modern Family‘s Eric Stonestreet had managed to snag the part of the pleasantly dumb accountant, Kevin? Or if Kathryn Hahn had landed the role of the soft spoken receptionist, Pam? After watching the incredibly funny show, it’s obvious the casting department knew exactly what they were doing.
13. He’s The Best Sidekick Ever
Dwight Schrute and his boss, Michael Scott made quite the hilariously dysfunctional team. Michael’s idiotic sensibility paired with Dwight’s unfaltering admiration for him made for some truly belly-achingly funny moments. Dwight was always there to laugh at Michael’s idiotic jokes, even when they were stale “that’s what she said” quips or pretending to walk downstairs behind a pile of boxes. Dwight was always quick to fill in for Michael when he was out of the office (that is of course, if Jim wasn’t present) and often felt like he was “hired to protect him.” Apparently, Entertainment Weekly couldn’t get enough of the perfect duo either– they placed Dwight Schrute as #10 on their list of “50 Greatest Sidekicks Ever”.
12. Dwight Was An Abnormally Large Baby
In The Office‘s third season, a deleted scene from the episode entitled “The Convict”, revealed that Dwight was born with an abnormally large head. In a casual conversation in the office kitchen over what seemed to be a butter sandwich, Dwight explains to his smarmy co-worker, Andy (Ed Helms) that he weighed 13 pounds and 5 oz at birth, making it so his mother couldn’t walk for three months. Dwight paints quite a picture, doesn’t he? Over the course of the show, we learned all kinds of disgustingly wonderful tidbits about Dwight’s childhood. Who could forget when Dwight explained that his brother fell victim to twin embolisation syndrome? In other words, Dwight absorbed his brother’s embryo in the womb allowing him to have strength of both a man and a baby. There are even more unbelievable stories from Dwight’s childhood we could reminisce about, but we just ate lunch.
11. Fact: Dwight’s Backstory Is Based On True Events
A big reason Dwight’s character was so fascinating, was the detailed backstory writers of the show gave him. Thinking about Dwight growing up on a beet farm alongside his red-neck family really explains a lot about his awkward intensity. Dwight’s family was actually inspired by The Office producer, Greg Daniels, who had grandparents that owned a beet farm in Poland before WWII. Dwight’s white trash roots were inspired by Rainn Wilson’s actual family. Dwight’s cousin Mose who made an appearance or two on the show was inspired by the program, Amish in the City, which one of the writers was very into at the time.
10. Dwight Did Halloween Differently In Season 9
If you haven’t noticed, Dwight always dressed up as either a science fiction character or video game character for Halloween. How could we ever forget Dwight’s Kerrigan from Starcraft, purple bra and all? However, season 9 was the only time Dwight strayed from his Halloween ways and dressed up as a low-key pig and jack-o-lantern. Dwight only put the pumpkin on his head to spook his co-worker, Erin (played by Ellie Kemper). Sure it doesn’t sound that funny, but Dwight ended up getting stuck in the pumpkin and had to keep it on all day long. Jim offered to smash it off his head with a bat, but not surprisingly, Dwight was reluctant to participate.
9. Dwight’s Obsession With Bobble Head Dolls
Perhaps Dwight’s love for bobble heads began when his uptight co-worker Angela, gifted him with his own bobble head for Valentine’s Day in season 2. Not only do bobble head dolls sit on Dwight’s desk at all times, they’ve been featured in many storylines on the show, like the time Jim (John Krasinski) held one of them for a $5 dollar ransom. Who could forget the heart-wrenching scene where Dwight dramatically threw his bobble head in the garbage when he learned that his one true love, Angela (Angela Kinsey) was sleeping with Andy? Or when Dwight teased Andy by wearing a Cornell sweatshirt and leaving a Cornell bobble-head by his desk? We can’t help but love Dwight as a bobble head doll– his big head really serves it well. At one time, the NBC store sold bobble head versions of the many colorful characters from the show. Which bobble head would you put on your office desk?
8. Dwight Has Some Serious Metal-Core Fans
Dwight has touched the hearts of many– even metal heads! Metal-core band, The Devil Wears Prada from Dayton, OH, was so inspired by Dwight on The Office, they wrote a song called, Assistant to the Regional Manager. In a nutshell, the song was written to inspire its listeners to rise up against personal struggles and overcome them. Just like Dwight overcame many hurdles during his time at Dunder Mifflin before finally becoming regional manager in season 9. The big question is, would Dwight listen to a band like The Devil Wears Prada? He probably would, seeing as he seriously rocked out to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Carol of the Bells season 8. Rock on, Dwight.
7. NBC Actually Released The Schrute-Space Blog
All the computers on the set of The Office were full-working and connected to the internet. This made it easy to mess around online and write during downtime on set. During the filming of the pilot, Wilson pretended to write a blog as Dwight on his computer. A producer noticed and thought it would be hilarious if Dwight actually had a blog on the show; hence the birth of “Schrute-Space”. During the run of the show, Dwight would write articles for this blog in between takes. At one time, viewers could even access it online at home and read it themselves. Thanks to Dwight’s blog we learned about his Uncle Gunther, a goat farmer, who escaped from Germany and later married a Finnish woman with whom he had 17 children. Thank goodness we had this extra information.
6. It’s Hard To Tell Where Rainn Wilson Starts And Dwight Schrute Begins
In November of 2015, Rainn Wilson’s memoir, The Bassoon King hit shelves. Wilson wrote about his dorky upbringing and how it influenced his unique comedic style. In his book, Wilson goes into detail about his geeky tendencies and admits that he was “bone-numbingly nerdy before there was even a modicum of cool attached to the word.” Taking a fun twist on reality, the actor’s memoir features a forward written by Dwight Schrute himself. In the forward, Schrute refers to Wilson as a “privileged Hollywood windbag”. The Bassoon King got pretty decent reviews, and even earned four and half stars on Amazon. Even long after the office is over, it’s obvious Dwight still holds a small place in Wilson’s heart. Let’s just hope he’s retired Dwight’s hair-do.
5. The Spin Off That Never Was
Just before The Office wrapped in season 9, Wilson was set to star in a spin-off called The Farm where we’d watch him try to run his bed and breakfast with his off-color family. According to screenrant.com, the spin-off was set to star several great actors including, Majandra Delfino, Tom Bower, Thomas Middleditch, Matt Jones, Blake Garrett and Michael Schur. If the spin-off had been picked up, Wilson would have been forced to leave mid season 9 of The Office, which would have obviously changed the show’s ending storyline. NBC ended up passing on the show, leaving us to wonder about what shenanigans Dwight would have gotten himself into on the family beet farm. While The Farm never got off the ground, NBC’s Parks and Recreation adopted The Office‘s single camera comedy in 2009. While Parks and Recreation isn’t necessarily a spin-off, it was largely inspired by the show.
4. Dwight’s Resume Was Actually On Monster.com
If you’ve watched The Office even once or twice, you know Pam and Jim love nothing more than to play pranks on poor, gullible Dwight. In season two, they post Dwight’s resume on various job listings, primarily in Alaska. Dwight’s resume actually gets interest from a company called, Cumberland Mills. When the company finally gets a hold of Dwight to set up an interview, Dwight argues with them about why martial arts are an invaluable skill to have. In real life, Monster.com actually let their paying subscribers view Dwight’s resume on the site. It’s too bad Dwight never got to use his martial arts training at Dunder Mifflin.
3. You Can Visit Schrute Farms Through Tripadvisor.com
On the show, Pam jokes about writing a review of Dwight’s bed and breakfast, Schrute Farms, on Tripadvisor.com. Jim and Pam even end up visiting Schrute Farms on the show where to their surprise, have a pretty nice time. To this day, Tripadvisor.com actually has a Schrute Farms page, where people can read and write fictional reviews of the Pennsylvania beet farm. Currently, the beet farm bed and breakfast page boasts four stars and over 1,000 views! That’s pretty good for a destination that doesn’t actually exist. Do yourself a favor and check out Schrute Farms on Tripadvisor.com when you get the chance… you definitely won’t regret it.
2. Everyone Loves Dwight’s Style… Even Babies
If you think you’re Dwight’s biggest fan, think again. On Halloween in 2016, the actress who played Pam, Jenna Fischer, Tweeted a picture of a baby dressed up as Dwight, and it was the most adorable thing ever. Many fans assumed it was Fischer’s child, but it wasn’t. The picture was actually taken by a fan, Ashley Gill, who sent Fischer the photo of her son’s Halloween costume. Gill’s son, Lincoln posed perfectly in character thanks to his cranky expression and the sign next to him that read, “How would I describe myself? Three words. Hard-working. Alpha male. Jackhammer. Merciless. Insatiable.” It quickly went viral for obvious reasons.
1. Dwight’s Role in Academia
While the thought of working in the cubicle next to Dwight Schrute may be unpleasant, a study conducted at Brigham Young University says otherwise. According to research done at the Brigham Young University, having a socially awkward outsider like Dwight Schrute in the work place can actually help a group’s problem solving abilities. One of the study’s co-authors explained that an environment with a group as diverse as the cast of The Office is an excellent breeding ground for creativity and new ideas. So, the next time you encounter a difficult hurdle at work, pause and think, “what would Dwight Schrute do?” That should help a little!