One Question Quiz
The Slough branch of Wernham Hogg post-merger with Swindon (Photo: Jennifer Taylor-Clarke)
The Slough branch of Wernham Hogg post-merger with Swindon (Photo: Jennifer Taylor-Clarke)

Pop CultureApril 14, 2024

A complete list of things I only know about because of The Office

The Slough branch of Wernham Hogg post-merger with Swindon (Photo: Jennifer Taylor-Clarke)
The Slough branch of Wernham Hogg post-merger with Swindon (Photo: Jennifer Taylor-Clarke)

A spider is an arachnid, not an insect… and 48 other fun and obscure facts, names, places and phrases.

In my late teens and early 20s one of my defining personality traits was simply “The Office”. I watched it on repeat, memorised large chunks of the script and recited quotes back and forth in a bad English accent any time I was lucky enough to meet a fellow Office watcher. These were some of the happiest times of my life. 

Two decades on I may have lost the fast-twitch Office-quoting reflexes I once possessed, but it’s all still up there. The quotes, the Brentisms (“in a way…”, “so…”, “yeah?”), and a huge wealth of useless trivia about British popular culture from before I was born. 

On my most recent rewatch (all episodes are available on TVNZ+, though some of these are from outtakes and deleted scenes exclusive to the DVD version) I wrote down all the things I only know about because of The Office. It was longer than I expected.

Film and television


Quiz shows. No substitute for a few semesters at the University of Life. 

Blue Peter

Children’s show with presenters who sometimes pop up in other things (training videos etc). 


A great detective and a fine actor.

Dixon of Dock Green

Policeman with the catchphraseEvening all!”


Darts show with the catchphrase “You can’t beat a bit of bully!”

Peak Practice

Medical drama for people who enjoy staying in with their lives.

The Dam Busters

Not to mention the dog’s name.

Telly Addicts

Cross it with Noel’s House Party and what have you got?

Enter the Dragon
Way of the Dragon 

Bruce Lee fights Bob Wall in both. Chuck Norris is only in Way of the Dragon.

Bob Wall

American actor and martial artist.


The villain from Popeye.

Roy Hudd Rod Hull

And Emu.

Mr Spock is half-Vulcan, half-human


Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

Russian dissident, born 1821 died 1881.

Sir John Betjeman

Author of the poem ‘Slough’.

The Canterbury Tales

Of Chaucer… and Shakespeare.


The sword of Damocles

Classical Greek symbolism. Much harder to have a laugh in the work-related arena when it’s hanging over you.

The Office BC (L-R: Dawn Tinsley, Rachel (Tim’s girlfriend in series two), David Brent, Neil Godwin, Jennifer Taylor-Clarke (offering redundancy), Gareth Keenan, Tim Canterbury, two of the Swindon lot)

The average age of a soldier in the Vietnam War was 19

See below.


John o’ Groats

The northernmost tip of Great Britain. Beefy Botham walked from there to Land’s End (the southernmost point) in 1985 to raise money for leukaemia.


The “Bloody Good Rep” road trip. Hotels!

Alton Towers

It’s rubbish.


Des’ree – ‘Crazy Maze’ 

“Money don’t make my world go round…”

Paul Hardcastle – ‘19’

If you only know this song via The Office pub quiz, please listen to it. I guarantee it’s not what you expect. 

Doctor and the Medics – ‘Spirit in the Sky’

A song for the end of the financial year.

Yazz / Yazoo

Not the same band. 

Mike and the Mechanics

Genesis side project/supergroup and one of Gareth Keenan’s favourite bands.


Ipso facto
Cogito, ergo sum 

Still not sure what any of these mean per se but that hasn’t stopped me using them.


A spider is an arachnid not an insect

Eight legs, six legs.

Cows have got four stomachs


There’s more sugar in a lemon than a strawberry

Pound for pound.


Don’t have a go at the eyes.


‘As an actress said to a bishop’

Say this when someone says something accidentally risqué. It’s not sexist.

‘Bunsen burner’

Cockney rhyming slang: “nice little earner”.


Pizza Express

Fast food restaurant; not to be confused with Beer Express.

Fray Bentos

Pies in a tin; not to be confused with Fidel Castro.


Bishop Muzorewa

Prime minister of Zimbabwe from 1979-1980.

Keep going!