In S4E01 of The Office, Pam knocks on Michael's door - to correct his hilarious misunderstanding of what a "5k run" means - and Michael clearly tells her to come in. Pam then proceeds to open the door, only to find Michael hurriedly putting on his pants, with his private parts still exposed (blurred on TV).

Why does Michael ask Pam to come in if he's not wearing pants? Does he want Pam to see him naked (he is shown to be attracted to Pam almost throughout the show, although he never seriously pursues a relationship with her)? Or did he, out of stupidity, not realize that he wasn't wearing pants when Pam knocked? Other explanations?

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    I always thought it was his unconscious reaction to say "come in" when he hears someone knocking, he said it automatically without thinking that he is naked.
    – TK-421
    Sep 25, 2019 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


Echoing what TK-421 said in the comment, it just seemed like an automatic response he gives when someone knocks on his door. The joke here being that it's essentially a Pavlovian response to knocks at his door. (Similar to how Jim conditions Dwight with Altoids when he turns his computer on in another episode)

The main reason I suspect it was an automatic mistake is because he looks up and seems shocked/surprised when Pam walks in. That suggests he wasn't expecting Pam to walk in, which he would have been if it were on purpose (Michael almost definitely would have smirked if he was only acting surprised).

It's always seemed to me like he was in the middle of getting changed, and since he was distracted by that, his brain was on total autopilot, so "come in" just slipped out.

There is a blooper version of that scene where Michael very clearly wants Pam to see it though, so there's that I guess.

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    To address the blooper part of your comment, I believe that was merely Steve Carell trying to be funny, but then again who knows! Sep 25, 2019 at 20:13

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