ST. LOUIS – Tuesday marks ten years since the end of an era for a generational TV series. “The Office” aired its final episode exactly one decade ago on May 16, 2013.

“The Office” is a fictional series that chronicles the lives of employees at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. It stretched nine seasons and thrived behind its unique mix of comedy and heartfelt moments.

Throughout its run on airwaves, St. Louis, Missouri, won a place in the hearts of those from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Most notably, three key characters are played by actresses from St. Louis. There are also a few other moments and symbols that give St. Louis spotlight throughout the series.

FOX 2 looks back at some of those special St. Louis connections.

Pam Beesley

Jenna Fischer in 2013 (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Actress: Jenna Fischer
High school: Nenrix Hall (Webster Groves)

Pam Beesley is the Dunder Mifflin receptionist-turned-saleswoman known who has a passion for art. After some ups and downs, she eventually marries her office love Jim Halpert in Season 6, and they have two children together. Pam had the final line in the TV series, saying “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” when reflecting on her final days in Scranton.

Some of the most memorable Pam moments, in addition to marrying and growing close to Jim, include her getting drunk and kicked out of an office part at a Chili’s, walking on hot coal to send a message to her coworkers and joining the Michael Scott Paper Company amid some uncertainty at Dunder Mifflin.

Pam’s actress, Jenna Fischer, played arguably the largest role among female characters in all nine seasons. Fischer was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series” in 2007. She also won Screen Actors Guild, Gold Derby TV and St. Louis International Film Festival awards for her work in “The Office.” Fischer is now a co-host of the “Office Ladies” podcast along with Angela Martin.

Phyllis Lapin

Phyllis Smith in 2019 (Photo by Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Actress: Phyllis Smith
High school: Cleveland High School (South City)
College: University of Missouri – St. Louis

Phyllis is a veteran Dunder Mifflin saleswoman known for being close and personal to most employees and clients, but also someone who might spread gossip. Phyllis married Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration in Season 3. She also develops a close friendship with older salesman Stanley Hudson.

Some of the most memorable Phyllis moments include her taking over the Party Planning Committee in learning about Angela’s affiar with Dwight, copying some of Pam’s outfits and wedding ideas and knitting some mittens for Michael before he left Scranton.

Phyllis Smith, using the same first name in her fictional characater, has won and been nominated for several Screen Actors Guild Awards for her work on “The Office.” She has taken on a few movies and TV series roles since “The Office” ended, most prominently voicing in Disney movie “Inside Out.”

Erin Hannon

Ellie Kemper in 2013 (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Actress: Ellie Kemper
High School: John Burroughs School (Ladue)

Erin is the primary receptionist for “The Office” series after Pam takes some breaks and settles into her sales role. She is known for staying positive when things get a bit awkward around Dunder Mifflin, though also a bit naive, silly and childlike. She has some dating experience with Andy, Gabe and Pete.

Some of the most memorable Erin moments include comforting Michael for an unfortunate situation in Scott’s Tots, celebrating Michael’s crush Holly becoming single and her uncharacteristic blowup on national receptionists’ day.

Erin’s actress, Ellie Kemper, won a Golden Nymph Award for most “outstanding actress” for a comedy series in 2010. She was also nominated for several Screen Actors Guild Awards for her work in “The Office.” Kemper was coached by fellow St. Louis acting star Jon Hamm while in school many years ago. Since “The Office” finale, her voicing and acting roles have been somewhat scaled, but notable in ongoing TV shows and movies.

Behind the scenes

Ken Kwapis directed many classic episodes, including the series finale, the pilot, “Casino Night” and “Booze Cruise.” He was born and raised in the Metro East and graduated from St. Louis University High School. Kwapis earned any Emmy nomination for directing episode “Gay Witch Hunt.” Erin’s sister, Carrie Kemper, was also raised in the St. Louis area for part of her life. She assisted with writing of many late-season episodes, including “Ultimatum” and “Junior Salesman.” She also had a brief acting role in season-nine episode “The Whale.”


Throughout much of the series, a plush doll of St. Louis Cardinals mascot Fredbird can be seen by Phyllis’ desk. Check around the five-minute mark of this Youtube clip from the episode “Stress Relief” and you’ll see him in front of other items at Phyllis’ desk. A Cardinals fan website notes that Phyllis, the actor, was a cheerleader for the NFL St. Louis Cardinals many years ago, likely part of an inspiration behind Fredbird’s cameos.

Ryan Howard

No, this isn’t the main Ryan Howard character who works his way from a temp to a vice president (along with other roles). In season 9, then-Philadelphia Phillies slugger and St. Louis native Ryan Howard made a one-time appearance on an episode, meeting series characters Jim Halpert and Darryl Philbin about their startup sports company “Athlead.” During the meeting, Howard pitches the idea of a sci-sports movie about himself, leaving Jim and others a bit confused.

Gooey Butter Cake

This connection is a bit disputed compared to others in episodes. One fan once pointed out a moment late in the series when Pam called her co-wrokers to the conference room. Apparently, Pam had brought in Gooey Butter Cake for her coworkers to share with co-workers as a New Year’s gesture, though not to the knowledge of her coworkers. The Riverfront Times also shared of a non-episode experience in which the St. Louis actresses treated the cast to Gooey Butter Cake in a bake-off.


The main Twitter account for “The Office” quoted a fan named Mary in 2013 who had mentioned in reruns there are times when Phyllis speaks with a bit of a St. Louis accent. A few fans mentioned her pronunciation of popcorn sounded like “pop-carn.” Perhaps this aligns with a trend for some around the region to speak “or” as an “ar” sound.

If you’re missing “The Office” or feel nostalgic with the finale’s anniversary, head over to Peacock and create an account to watch the series.