We Almost Lost This Office Character Early In The Series

The Office is one of those shows that you can rewatch without ever getting bored, thanks to not only the brilliant writing, but the awesome cast of characters that seem to mesh so well in a dysfunctional work family that you can't help but love. And while each one of those unique Dunder Mifflin employees has had his or her share of bad luck (Kevin spilling his famous giant pot of chili, Kelly's unrequited love of Ryan, and poor Toby being constantly berated by Michael) no one came closer to being killed off than resident party girl Meredith Palmer.

It's true! In the Season 4 opener called "Fun Run," Michael hits Meredith with his car and breaks her pelvis, which was hilariously traumatizing in and of itself — but that's not exactly how the writers initially wanted the storyline to go. According to an interview with The Guardian, The Office showrunner Greg Daniels revealed that at first, the writers wanted to kill off Meredith during that fateful episode, but he had to veto the decision because it was too dark. He explained, "There were times where [the writers] would become enamored with a joke and I'd have to put my foot down. For instance, they really wanted Michael to kill Meredith with his car. That was an early pitch, where he runs her over in the parking lot and then comes back, gets a tire iron and finishes the job. I was like 'You can't do that, that's crazy!'"

Kate Flannery thought she was getting killed off when she first read the script

On Episode 56 of Jenna Fisher and Angela Kinsey's podcast, "Office Ladies," they broke down the "Fun Run" episode with Kate Flannery, the actress that played Meredith on the show. Not only did Flannery initially think Meredith had been killed off when she first read the script, but she didn't know until much later just how close her character had come to actually getting murdered by Michael Scott. Flannery explained, "I literally said, 'Does she live?'" She continued, "There's been articles saying that one of the writers decided that, ya know, they wanted to pitch that Meredith didn't live and then they thought that was too dark." 

It's a good thing they didn't write Meredith out of the show so early on because there was so much more to explore with her hilarious character. Can you imagine if there was no episode where she flashes everyone in that tiny romper on casual Friday?! More importantly, how would the writers get past making Michael Scott a cold-blooded killer? It would have definitely brought a more sinister tone to the light-hearted show we all know and love.