In 9x22 "A.A.R.M" of The Office, when Dwight asks Jim to perform a test, only to be deferred to his assistant's assistant (himself), he gladly accepts the responsibility:

Jim: But don't worry, he's the best in the biz.

Dwight: Damn straight.

Jim: Unless you think he can't handle it.

Dwight: Hey, he can handle it.

Just hours later, however, when emotionally distressed about Angela, Dwight responds completely differently to Jim's identical tactic.

Jim: I have an assistant now who can help you with whatever you need. He is lazy, so crack the whip.

Dwight: Jim, I'm not kidding. I need you.

This begs the question: is Dwight being genuine in his attempts at creating an absurd work environment in which he has an assistant to his assistant, or is he doing it deliberately for the amusement of Jim and his fellow coworkers?

On one hand, Dwight is shown to genuinely stand behind his absurd changes to the office, and it seems a stretch even for him to institute such labor-intensive policies (the ludicrous security system, the dictator-like portrait of him in the conference room, etc.) purely for the sake of a big joke.

It does seem unlikely, however, that he approved what was essentially a field day to select the A.A.R.M without recognizing it as a blatant attempt to avoid work, making it a realistic possibility that his actual intent was to entertain his coworkers.

So, is Dwight truly ignorant regarding the title of A.A.R.M, or did he create the position solely for the office's entertainment?

1 Answer 1


Dwight always seems both power hungry and naive, fighting for a superior position, and fawning over the ones who have.
In (almost) all situations Dwight is earnest - something Jim eagerly employs for the entertainment of himself and others.
And whenever he finds an opportunity, his dictatorial tendencies surface, arguably because he has always been at odds with other people, not in the least because of his strictness.

When Dwight tells Jim "I'm not kidding, I need you", Dwight realizes Jim is referring to him, but dissuades him to make light of the situation, or even of him as the A.A.R.M. - not the position! - imploring Jim to be there for him emotionally, as a "friend" (whatever that entails).

I also think Dwight doesn't realize the absurdity of Jim referring to him in the third person, whereas others do.

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