The untold truth of The Office

Fan favorite The Office was on NBC for eight years. Believe it or not, it went off the air in 2013 (it sure doesn't seem that long!). If you consider yourself a super fan, or have yet to binge watch this series, you'll want to find out who started out as a NFL cheerleader, who's still BFFs in real life and the unique Parks and Recreation connection. Find out all of that and more and delve deep into our untold truth of The Office.

The show almost had an entirely different cast

The Office may have had ended up with a completely different look when it came to its cast. Entertainment Weekly reported Adam Scott, whom many may know as Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation, auditioned to play Jim Halpert. Seth Rogen auditioned to play Dwight Schrute and Eric Stonestreet (Cam on Modern Family) was up for the role of Kevin (we could actually see that working!).

Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad), was the original Michael Scott but was quickly switched out for Steve Carell when a show Carell's was in was cancelled after just a few episodes. Odenkirk did end up playing Pam's boss (who reminded us an awful lot of Michael Scott) on the show for an episode.

Phyllis Smith worked in casting before getting a part on the show and was also a former dancer

Phyllis Smith was working in casting for The Office when executive producers took to her, deciding to create a role for her on the show—the naughty yet grandmotherly Phyllis Lapin (later Vance). It turns out, Smith actually has quite the interesting past. Yahoo reported she started out as an NFL cheerleader for the St. Louis Cardinals in the '70s.

"I was at the height of my glory, because I loved dancing and wearing the boots and the hot pants, the tied up shirts, looking really hot," Smith said to Slate.

The actress then worked as a burlesque dancer into her 30s, with a background in ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance.

Steve Carell called in sick to NBC during the '07 writer's strike

During the Writer's Guild of America strike in 2007, Steve Carell showed solidarity with the writers of The Office, many of whom were actors on the show (including Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak). Carell allegedly called in sick to NBC, stricken with "enlarged balls." Hopefully a "that's what she said" joke soon followed.

Without Michael Scott, the show couldn't create any new episodes and production stopped.

B.J. Novak and John Krasinski were childhood friends

B.J. Novak, who played Ryan on the show, and John Krasinski, who played Jim, actually knew each other as children. The two grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. As it turns out, Novak may have been the one to first inspire Krasinki's acting career.

The duo have known each other since they were young teens—13 to be exact—in Little League, according to The Patriot Ledger. Fast forward to their senior year of high school, when Krasinski decided not to join a sport again after running cross country and playing basketball. The Patriot Ledger reported Novak approached Krasinski and asked him to participate in the student/teacher parody that took place every year at their school.

"He asked me to be one of the leads," Krasinski told the The Patriot Ledger. "I remember saying that I couldn't act, but B.J. said, 'Just trust me,' and then he said, 'I think you're funny.'"

Later on at Brown University, Krasinski saw a flier for a sketch comedy group and auditioned for it, a move he says was due to his high school experience with Novak.

Also, fun fact: Novak and Krasinski weren't the only two high school classmates on the show. Ed Helms, who played Andy, and Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin, went to school in Georgia together.

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey are BFFs in real life

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey may have played enemies on the show, but they are actually BFFs in real life. Fischer is godmother to Kinsey's daughter Isabel. The two women also frequently tweet each other, with Fischer mentioning Kinsey in February 2017. Kinsey retweeted Fischer's The Office joke to B.J. Novak in March 2017.

The two often post nostalgic photos of their time on the show. In August 2016, Kinsey did a little #throwbackthursday when she posted to Instagram a photo of Fischer and her, writing, "#tbt to season 1 of #theoffice when I met the gal who would become my anchor through life. I love this photo of us giggling on set. I love that Phyllis took it and her finger is covering the lens," (via People).

The opening credits include some fun trivia

The opening credits with the show's iconic theme song featured shots of the city of Scranton, Penn., where the show was set. What many may not know is that John Krasinski actually shot the opening scenes while on a research trip once he found out he was cast, TV Guide reported.

The Jim and Pam proposal scene cost a lot of money

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer's big scene where Jim finally proposes to Pam ended up costing twice as much as the producers originally set out to spend. The Washington Postreported that the approximately one-minute scene ended up costing $250,000.

Executive producer Greg Daniels wanted the rest stop proposal he couldn't wait for to be at an actual rest stop along the real-life Merritt Parkway on the East Coast. They decided to fly the cast and crew out, but once they discovered it was going to be $100,000 they flew back to Los Angeles. The Washington Post said they ended up finding a parking lot behind a Best Buy and built a rest stop replica.

Daniels said, "It ended up costing twice as much, it was, like, a $250,000 shot or something. It's the most expensive and elaborate shot we've ever done, but it's also sort of the highlight of five years of storytelling," (via The Washington Post).

Fischer ended up taking a piece of the iconic scene home with her. Fischer mentioned on The Tonight Show (via The Huffington Post) that she took Pam's engagement ring home with her and has allegedly been seen wearing it around long after the show stopped producing new episodes.

Dunder Mifflin was actually named a member of the Scranton Chamber of Commerce

Of course, Dunder Mifflin was a fictional company but you'd never know it in Scranton. The paper business was actually named a member of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce due to its popularity. Tourism in Scranton rapidly rose because of The Office, so the chamber chose to honor Dunder Mifflin as it ultimately brings the city millions of dollars.

"It's a very funny show," said Mayor Chris Doherty (via Today), "and a great opportunity for the city."

Today also mentioned that referrals to eateries like Poor Richard's, Farley's and Abe's Deli are all real-life Scranton businesses.

"The basic artistic guideline of the show is to be observational and find the humor in real life, so it's good to be from a real place," executive producer Greg Daniels told Today.

The cast actually surfed the internet on set

Fansite Dunderpedia (via The Huffington Post), said cast members frequently surfed the Internet on set. Since their computers had Internet connections, most of the time when the actors in the background were supposed to be working, most were just playing around online.

The first year of filming, the working computers made sense as the show was filmed in an actual office building in Culver City, California, according to Southern California Public Radio. 

Parks and Recreation was almost a spinoff of The Office

Executive producer Paul Lieberstein came up with an idea to make fellow NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation a spin-off of the office — The Dunder Mifflin copy machine would break and would ultimately need to be refurbished in a warehouse, where it would would end up in Pawnee, Indiana, home of Parks.

Unfortunately, the idea never came to fruition.

The role of Oscar was not originally supposed to be a gay character.

Oscar Nunez, who played Oscar Martinez on the show, was originally not supposed to be a gay character. In an interview with StarPulse, Nunez said he was just playing the Oscar character then "they made him gay."

Apparently, his sexuality was not in the original description of the character. Nunez went on to say, "I was just playing a character then in the middle of the first season or the second season they made him gay. Greg Daniels comes up to me and is like, 'Hey, do you mind if we make your character gay?'"

The season three premiere, "Gay Witch Hunt," included an improvised kiss that Steve Carell unexpectedly went in for. IGN reported that during Paley Fest in 2007, executive producer Paul Lieberstein said it originally called for Michael Scott to just kiss Oscar on the cheek. He added, "One take, Steve just won't let Oscar turn away. He got closer and closer and it just got creepy," (via IGN).

The members of the cast that were on the panel at Paley Fest laughed and reminisced about laughing during the take and thinking about how fortunate it was that the camera stayed just on the two actors rather than panning out to the entire cast.