The Office's "Dinner Party" Episode Originally Included a Murder

Steve Carell and Melora Hardin are the hosts from hell in The Office's infamous "Dinner Party" episode.
Steve Carell and Melora Hardin are the hosts from hell in The Office's infamous "Dinner Party" episode. / NBC Universal

Wait, what?! Apparently, The Office's iconic "Dinner Party" episode almost went down in a much different way than what made the final cut. As terribly awkward as the episode is, things nearly turned tragic when Jan Levinson was originally supposed to end the night with a murder.

In case you need a refresher: The season 4 episode shares a rare glimpse into Michael Scott's home life with Jan, when they host a dinner for a few "lucky" Dunder Mifflin colleagues. The whole night is truly unforgettable in The Office history all because of its unbearably cringe-worthy humor, but there was supposed to be even more to the story.

In an oral history for Rolling Stone, the cast and crew relived that famous episode and, according to writer Gene Stupnitsky, there was only one big change to the dinner party. "Most scripts get rewritten, and I think this was the only one ever done that didn’t. The only thing that was changed was that in our first draft Jan hits the neighbor’s dog and kills it on purpose," he revealed, with writer Lee Eisenberg adding, "We decided that was going too far." No kidding!

Elsewhere in the article, Melora Hardin, who played Jan, took some time to reflect on the pivotal episode. For the actress, the dinner party was especially crucial to her character. "Michael represented this possibility for her white picket fence, which is why the dinner party is so resonant," Hardin said. "That really is Jan’s moment of white picket fence. It’s her moment of 'here we are living together, and I’m gonna have a candle business, and we have a Warhol on the wall of me.'"

The dinner party may have been Jan's moment to shine, but it wasn't exactly positive attention she received. That being said, at least "dog homicide" wasn't on her very long list of offenses.

[h/t Rolling Stone]