The Quiz

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"The Quiz"
TheQuiz - 03.jpg
Episode no. Episode 3
Original airdate 23 July 2001
Written by Ricky Gervais
Stephen Merchant
Directed by Ricky Gervais
Stephen Merchant
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Work Experience Training

The Quiz is the third episode of the first series of The Office.


It's Tim's 30th birthday, so he shows up to work early, in the goofy radio hat his mother bought for him. David is excited because the quiz is tonight, and he and his pal Chris Finch, sales rep extraordinaire, intend to dominate, as they have in years past. But David fears a threat when he learns that Ricky was once a contestant on "Blockbusters," a television quiz show. Lee and Dawn present Tim with a giant inflatable penis. Lee talks about his plans for the future with Dawn. He figures they'll move in with his mum, and after having a few kids, Dawn might get a part-time cleaning job. "Got to dream a dream," sighs Dawn, and when Tim chuckles at this, Lee takes offense. Dawn tries to organize drinks for Tim's birthday, but David is worried that it will interfere with the quiz. Gareth is the quizmaster, which guarantees no shortage of questions about warfare. When Ricky and Tim team up to beat David and Finch, it leads to drunken recriminations, another challenge, and one employee's humiliation.


  • Ricky: You really are a couple of sad little men, aren't you?
    Gareth: Oh yeah, they're sad little men. He’s thrown a kettle over a pub, what have you done?
  • Gareth: What ones are your that I use?
    David: Same shit, different day, that’s mine. Exsqueeze me, instead of excuse me.
    Tim: Wankyou very much.
    David: Yeah, I invented that.
  • David Brent: To be honest I think you're mad to let me and Finchy on the bleedin telly. We're like Morecambe and Wise when we're together. No, not Morecambe and Wise, because there's no straight man, there's no dead wood. I'm more sort of character based, and he's more of a gag man. I do gags as well. But we're good together, by now. We sort of read each other's minds - we'll be doing a bit of shtick and we'll just start cracking up, and people watching will go 'Why's that funny?' and we tell them why and they go 'Oh yeah, yeah, you are the best.' It's their opinion.
  • Chris Finch: Give me half hour with her I’d be up to me nuts in guts.
  • David Brent: There are limits to my comedy. There are things that I'll never laugh at. The handicapped. Because there's nothing funny about them. Or any deformity. It's like when you see someone look at a little handicapped and go "Ooh, look at him, he's not able-bodied. I am, I'm prejudiced." Yeah, well, at least the little handicapped fella is able-minded. Unless he's not, it's difficult to tell with the wheelchair ones. Just give generously to them all.
  • David Brent: No, everyone does not get one point. 'Carpet Munchers' don't get a point, 'Dr Wankenstein' doesn't get a point, 'Stephen Hawking's Football Boots' don't get a point.

Cultural References

Don't grab it unless you have one ready. Slows it down.
  • Whose Line is it Anyway? - A popular British and later American improv comedy show. The show consisted of a panel of four performers who create characters, scenes and songs on the spot. At the conclusion of each episode, a winner or several winners were chosen arbitrarily by the host.
  • Crufts - an annual international Championship conformation show for dogs organised and hosted by the Kennel Club (UK), currently held every March at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, England. It is the largest annual dog show in the world, as declared by the Guinness Book of Records, and lasts four days.


  • When they all walk outside for the shoe throwing, Finchy holds up a left shoe stolen from Tim, before throwing it over the building. When Tim walks round the building afterwards it's his right shoe that's missing.
  • When Ricky is trying to print something, the photocopier has an "offline error 324," but when David shows up, he says it has an "offline 243 error."


External links

Series 1 Episodes:
Downsize | Work Experience | The Quiz | Training | New Girl | Judgement
Series 2 Episodes:
Merger | Appraisals | Party | Motivation | Charity | Interview
Christmas: Part 1 | Part 2 | "The Office Values" and "Realising Potential"
Main Characters:
David Brent | Tim Canterbury | Gareth Keenan | Dawn Tinsley
Secondary Characters:
Anne | Keith Bishop | Donna | Chris Finch | Neil Godwin | Ricky Howard |
Lee | Malcolm | "Oggy" | Rachel | Karen Roper |
Jennifer Taylor-Clarke
Minor Characters:
Alex | Ben | Book of Native American Wisdom | Brenda | Carol | Fish Fingers | Stuart Foot |
Glynn | Gobbler | Jamie | Jeff | Jimmy the Perv | Joan | Oliver | Rowan | Sanj | Simon | Sheila |
Paul Shepherd | Tony | Trudy