Mindy Kaling Hated One The Office Scene So Much, She Threatened to Quit
When you're an actor you don't get much say in what happens in a show and quite often actors will have to do things they'd rather not.
Mindy Kaling, who played Kelly Kapoor in The Office, is open about how she used to get into arguments during her time on the show. In her hilarious book, Is Everyone Hanging Out with Me which was published in November 2011, she talks about one scene in The Office that she threatened to quit over.
Kaling referenced quite a few arguments she got into on The Office when writing her book.
She admitted to fighting with the show's creator Greg Daniels the most. She put this down to their differences: her being more intuitive and emotional, and Daniels being more logical. One of their disagreements was about the fan-favorite cold open (the start of the show before the title music) when Kevin spills a pot of chilli all over the carpet.
About the scene, she admitted to telling Daniels, "If we do that cold open where Kevin dumps a tureen of chilli on himself, I will quit the show." She obviously wasn't serious, though, as the scene went ahead and she didn't actually quit.
The Season 5 episode, entitled 'Casual Friday', begins with Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) arriving to work early and bringing along a large pot of chilli with him for his colleagues to enjoy. As the voice-over narrative describes the work and pride that went into making it, Kevin stumbles, tipping the contents of the pot over the floor. As if this wasn't bad enough, he begins clumsily and sadly shoveling it back in using office equipment, covering himself from head to toe in the process.
Fans of the show on Reddit too pointed out the chilli scene when discussing moments they find difficult to watch on TV. One fan said he couldn't watch the scene because Kevin had been so proud of his chilli, and he felt bad watching him scoop it all up. Another fan described the brutality of the scene because the narration continues as you watch him spill it, which means you can still hear how excited and proud he is, all while he's visibly scooping it up off the carpet. It's a masterpiece of television as the narration says "It's probably the one thing I do best" as it sits on the carpet.
But could Mindy Kaling have left because of something like this?
It seems to be one of those things that people say in an argument that they don't really mean. After all, it's unlikely that anyone would quit over the inclusion of such a scene. Yes, it was cringy, sad, and messy, but it's hardly controversial or particularly hard-hitting! The threat to leave was likely an over-exaggeration.