Yes, ‘The Office’ Filmed a Scene During an Earthquake

The moment was caught on video and happened while the NBC show was filming an episode for its fifth season.

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An earthquake once occurred on the set of The Office.
Image via NBCUniversal

Claim

An earthquake occurred while "The Office" was filming an episode and it was captured on video.

Origin

On Sept. 17, 2021, the @sometimesdoyouever TikTok account reposted a blooper video that showed an earthquake on the set of “The Office.”

@sometimesdoyouever

The set of The Office gets hit by an earthquake caught on camera 😳 #theoffice #office #theofficeclips #theofficebloopers #behindthescenes #bts #fyp

♬ original sound – Blake

The same clip had previously been mentioned on Reddit, where the video was no longer available.

The earthquake was a genuine moment that was filmed during the fifth season of “The Office,” which was mostly filmed in Los Angeles, California.

The scene was likely for the episode titled, “Weight Loss Part 2.” In the TikTok video, the characters were eating healthy food. Also, fruits and vegetables were seen inside the vending machine after they were placed there by Dwight Schrute, who was portrayed by Rainn Wilson. Actors Steve Carell, Amy Ryan, and John Krasinski were also in the scene, as well as one person only partially visible who might have been Leslie David Baker.

The earthquake in “The Office” blooper video might have been the same 5.4 magnitude event that shook Southern California on July 29, 2008. It happened at 11:42 a.m. local time. The day was a Tuesday.

The episode aired two months later on Sept. 25, 2008. On the day of the earthquake, The New York Times reported that it “was felt as far east as Las Vegas and south to San Diego.”

A moderate earthquake, the largest in Southern California since 1999, struck 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday morning. It swayed buildings and tossed food off grocery store shelves, but there were no reports of major injuries or damage.

The earthquake, which registered a 5.4 magnitude, was centered near Chino Hills in San Bernardino County and was felt as far east as Las Vegas and south to San Diego.

“This is moderate,” said Erik Pounders, a geologist with the United States Geological Survey in Pasadena. “Which means it was strong enough to be felt, but wasn’t even powerful enough to knock everything off your desk.”

The same earthquake clip also showed up on the bloopers for “The Office” on the Season 5 DVD set, beginning at the 5:20 mark in this video:

We were unable to find any panels or interviews where the earthquake was mentioned by cast or crew. However, we will add information to this story should more details come to light.

In sum, it’s true that an earthquake occurred in Los Angeles in 2008 while “The Office” was filming an episode.

Sources

“2008 Chino Hills Earthquake.” Wikipedia, 24 Sept. 2021. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=2008_Chino_Hills_earthquake&oldid=1046142240.

Steinhauer, Jennifer. “Earthquake Rattles Southern California.” The New York Times, 30 July 2008. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/us/30quake.html.