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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Office Space31

By Jason Horton

You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting someone who has had some sort of office job. Get them talking and they’re bound to have a horror story or two to share. From “9 to 5” to “The Office,” our biggest office nightmares have been shared on small and big screens for everyone to laugh at. Even KoldCast TV’s own series Murder Squad shows us that even in the exciting world of homicide investigations, someone has to take care of the office paperwork. Well, in 1999, Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge took all of those cubicle-laden woes and spun a feature film yarn of awesomeness. That yarn was Office Space. Although the film flopped at the box office, the VHS and DVD sales were spectacular – giving the film cult-like status. There are things you know about the film Office Space, but here are 15 things that you likely didn’t know. If we missed any juicy trivia nuggets, let us know by Commenting below.

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1. Initech is real.

At least 5 different companies named Initech have been founded since the film’s release. Wow, really? Is this brilliant marketing or laziness? After those horror stories, who would work there? Who am I kidding, I would work there. I need a job!

2. The original Office Space was a series called “Milton.”

The film was based on a series of animated shorts by Judge titled “Milton.” Fox Studios wanted the film to be based solely on the “Milton” character, but Judge wanted to have an ensemble cast. Translation: Cast Jennifer Aniston from “Friends”

3. Mike Judge’s inspiration was born in an office while filing TPS reports.

We have to thank a boring desk job for giving us Office Space! While at work filing real TPS reports, Judge met a lonely co-worker who would rant about his bosses and how they constantly moved his desk. With this hilarious inspiration, Judge would go home and animate what would become “Milton.”

4. Chotchkie’s is actually “Aliigator Grille” in Austin, TX.

The set for Chotchkie’s, meant to look like a “TGI Fridays,” is actually the “Alligator Grille” in Austin, Texas. You can put lipstick on a pig, but the pig is still an obnoxious restaurant.

5. Judge turned down the chance to do a sequel.

Mike Judge was offered the chance to make a sequel called “Office Space 2: Still Renting.” (Apparently renting an apartment is considered a failure in the movies.) Unfortunately, Judge was so displeased with his experience on the first movie that he chose not to revisit it and turned it down.

6. Office Space gave birth to the red Swingline stapler.

The red Swingline stapler Milton used didn’t exist so the prop department had one specially made for the film. Three years after the release of the movie, requests for the stapler were so overwhelming that Swingline put the Rio Red 747 Business Stapler into production. Want one?

7. Judge has fun crossing references with Office Space and Beavis and Butthead.

In the film, Peter Gibbons lives in the “Morningwood Apartments,” a frequent theme and reference to Mike Judge’s “Beavis & Butthead.” Morning-wood, get it? No? Ok.

8. Office Space is purposefully in Anywhere, USA.

Mike Judge wanted the story to be able to take place anywhere, so the state is never mentioned. In fact, the license plates on the cars are stateless. Yes, you’ve been duped into thinking it was New York City.

9. Real gangsters sang “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta.”

Office Space wouldn’t be as memorable without the ghetto fabulous Geto Boys and their hit song, “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta.” And what does it feel like to be one? Ask Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys. One night, while depressed, drunk and suicidal, he went to his girlfriend’s house and asked her to shoot him. She refused, and he threatened to harm their baby. After a struggle, the gun went off, piercing his eye, leaving a bullet stuck inside his head. He survived the accident, but lost his eye. According to his MySpace page, he is now a born-again Christian.

10. Lumburgh got promoted!

Gary Cole, the actor that portrayed the dickish and somewhat incompetent Initech Vice President Bill Lumburgh, later went on to portray Bob Russell, the incompetent and somewhat dickish Vice President of the United States on the hit television series “The West Wing.” No further proof is needed to show that even in the make-believe world of Hollywood, assholes in middle management not only manage to survive, they end up getting promoted.

11. Office Space found its audience outside of the movie theater.

Long after the movie’s release in 1999, Comedy Central premiered the movie on August 5, 2001 for 1.4 million viewers. By 2003, the channel had broadcast the film another 35 times. By then, the film had sold 2.6 million copies on VHS and DVD. (90% of those VHS tapes now occupy garage sales everywhere.)

12. Entertainment Weekly could not decide if it loved or hated the film.

Entertainment Weekly gave Office Space a C-rating but named it one of the “The 100 best films from 1983 to 2008.” Critics.

13. Judge was not happy with his marketing. “Oh well,” said the Studio.

Judge reportedly did not like the poster, the trailers, and the ending of the film. Studio head Tom Rothman apologized and told Mike that the movie was just really hard to market.

14. Mike Judge was in the movie.

Mike Judge played Stan, the manager at Chotchkie’s, credited as William King.

15. Superman and Michael Bolton have something in common.

According to the character Michael Bolton, the computer virus that was used was the same as the one used in Superman III. Superman IV used another kind of virus, the movie itself.

Murder Squad, Episode 5: Andy Lee’s Hot Wife

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Jason Horton is a New Jersey native breaking all the rules in Hollywood. He is an actor, writer, comedian, and improviser performing sketch and improv comedy weekly at both iO West & the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He is also frequently in the top 100 viewed comedians on YouTube. He also wants pizza, now.

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  • Yiggy Pow

    Oh wow, OK that makes a lot of sense.


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  • Alex

    It never once crossed my mind that it was in New York. At what point does it even look like New York? It always seemed like California to me. I’m not from New York or California, so whatever.

  • Nikki j

    “Judge turned down the chance to do a sequel”

    YES This is the smartest thing he could have done. I think it would be almost impossible to live up to the first movie and would just besmirch the Office Space name.

  • Shaun

    I always thought it took place in Silicon Valley. I dunno, I guess living here at the same time it came out kinda made me think that.

  • Duh

    The movie was filmed in Texas. Much of it is in Dallas. Anyone who has been to Dallas can recognize that traffic and that skyline.

  • Turd

    Another fact: The movie was primarily filmed in Austin, TX. The Initech location for the movie was off Braker Ln. The Morning Wood apartments were near by. The Alligator Grill is actually “The Old Alligator Grill” and serves delicious fried alligator tail. Another shooting location was Houston, TX.

  • Chris

    The squirrels were MERRY, not married.

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  • Rob

    I told the accountant on my show about her red stapler actually being inspired by Office Space and it blew her mind.

    And Judge’s stock just went up in my book for refusing to do a sequel. There are very few comedies that have good sequels. IMO, this probably wouldn’t be on of them.

    And That Murder Squad show is actually really funny. My girlfriend almost spit soda at the screen when Andy Lee said “the google” Funny stuff!

  • Travis L. Clark

    The squirrels were “merry” dumbass

  • Jeff

    I live in Texas so I immediately recognized it as a typical suburban Texas office park … esp when they walk across the to the restaurant.

  • reallyNYC

    I never thought it looked liked NYC. There is no parking lots in NYC like the ones in front of Initech.. come on… And the field where they killed the fax machine? where was that supposed to be? in SOHO? give me a break. When i saw the apartment he lived in, it reminded me exactly of a Texas apartment complex.

  • Greg

    Re: #4. Actually, the Alligator Grill had pretty good wings. Unfortunately, the suits that owned the property wouldn’t renew the lease at reasonable terms, so they closed in January. Bummer.

  • i correct you

    your top graphic.. the quote is “merry,” not “married.”


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  • B

    You should also mention that Judge went on to make another cult classic”idiocracy” and got shafted pretty much the exact same way. Hopefully he won’t let this stop him though who could blame him if he never made another masterpiece again. ps I thought it was silicon valley too.

  • Yeah i’m from NY…

    Do some research before you blog. While the movie doesn’t indicate where it takes place, it doesn’t take place in New York… at all. It’s clearly supposed to be a business park in Silicon Valley (down to the LA style traffic in the opening).

    The blogger was the only one who thought it took place in New York City, and clearly he’s never been there (the image right after that fact shows them in a big open field with NO buildings in the skyline.

    Research before you end up on Digg.

  • Jason

    The ring Gary Cole wore in the film was his ring from the show Crusade that was cancelled right before he made Office Space.

  • http://www.webseriestoday.com modelmotion

    :) :):)

  • iEDGE

    The “I’m good with people” sketch is particularly brilliant!

  • Phil E. Drifter

    Chris-July 9, 2010 at 8:18 am: “The squirrels were MERRY, not married.”

    Incorrect. I’m 80% deaf thanks to legal ototoxic drugs i was inundated with when I was hospitalized in 2001, but it sounded like Milton said they were married, and the CC (closed caption) agrees.

    YOU = FAIL

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  • Toad

    The outside shots of the Initech were filmed on the corner of Freidrich and Woodward. The Initech logo at the front of the building was a wheelchair lift that they covered to look like the company mascot. The burnt building clean up was done in a parking lot one block over. I worked just down the street during filming.

  • Josie

    Whoever was duped into thinking this was NYC, has never, ever, been to NYC

  • Brian Griffin

    The squirrels were “merry,” NOT “married.” What sense would it have made to say they were married? How could Milton observe the squirrels through the window and determine that were married? He could, however, observe them from the window and see that were merry. This is entirely plausible, but it doesn’t make sense to say they were “married.” When reading, you also must include context clues to figure out what’s being said.

  • http://www.movie-hoopla.com/ Mr Hoopla

    Its hard to put a finger on why this movie was so popular.  But I must have watched it 20 times by now.

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