In the movie Office Space, the main character and his colleagues modify a bank mainframe to skim money off transactions into an account they own. After things going south (transactions coming in a lot faster then they predicted) the main character has a change of heart, withdraws the money in some kind of cashiers checks, and returns it in an envelope to his employer. It is subsequently burned in a fire that destroys everything at the company.

Why didn't Peter's account continue to receive money after that initial withdrawal? The software was still modified. Are we to believe that all the software for making the transactions was hosted (and subsequently burned in that building)? At the rate they were receiving funds, it would seem that even from the time he made that withdrawal to the time the building burn, surely there would have been more money made and deposited into that account. If not that, at least there should be some offsite backups... otherwise people could no longer bank and all their funds lost? Seems unlikely.


4 Answers 4


Are we to believe that all the software for making the transactions was hosted (and subsequently burned in that building)?

Definitely. Because virus was planted in the accounting system of the company and not the bank.

And there was not much time between his withdrawal and burning of company. It was just one day.


He didn't make a withdrawal, he closed the account and they gave him the balance in a cashier's check. The virus would have been written to stop working after it discovers the closed account.

  • Closing the account is definitely what terminated the scheme. Their stated plan is not consistent with only infecting Initech's accounting software (which could only steal from transactions with Initech, not everyday interest calculations of bank account-holders). And it doesn't make sense that Initech would be hosting bank software long-term: banks will host their own transaction software for a variety of reasons, and anyway Peter describes Initech as a contracting company just doing Y2K updates for various banks rather than a dedicated fintech company.
    – Tom
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 19:21

I think that this is explained by the scene where Lumbergh is talking to Milton in his Storage B "office". Lumbergh is interrupted by someone who mentions the glitch and missing money. Perhaps whoever noticed the "glitch" also was able to reverse it.

And I agree that Milton most likely took the money to afford his beach vacation. I'm not sure how the money was withdrawn in such a way he could use it. It wasn't cash for sure, maybe a money order with nothing in the "Pay to the order of" field?

  • The glitch was not in the payroll system. The glitch was due to Samir malicious program. It would take days to troubleshoot and locate the that problem if gone by the book ( which most IT companies do). The money was withdrawn through cheque which peter drew from his account in order to return the money back to Bill.
    – Rahul
    Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 6:06
  • But was the check to Initech? And therefore Milton couldn't have taken it?
    – Sam Lewis
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 13:18
  • Cheque was probably drawn from Peter's account. Because money was credited to his account.
    – Rahul
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 14:09
  • Right, but one can't just get a paper that says it is worth that much money. Cash, yes, but checks need to be "to" someone.
    – Sam Lewis
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 15:25
  • 1
    Ah that makes sense. I had heard of those and I know Milton mentioned them at the beach scene, but I wasn't aware how they worked. So they're like printing a $X dollar bill. Which would make sense for Milton to be able to just take it.
    – Sam Lewis
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 19:51

Just watched this again last night on late night TV. When Milton entered Lundbergh's empty office to ask about his missing paychecks and stapler, he kicked the envelope that Peter left. Later he's seen at a beach resort drinking margaritas and mumbling about burning the resort down because of salt on the rim (or something like that). Maybe Milton picked up the envelope, reversed the computer virus, burned down the building and took off with the cashier's checks. Problems solved.

  • Milton was too dumb to create a virus and install it. If he knew he would had already because he seemed to be more frustrated than the rest of them. Because you know, finally he's the one who burned down everything :P
    – Rahul
    Commented May 18, 2020 at 9:49
  • I didn't say Milton created the virus. I said he removed the virus to cover up for the boys and that he took the money.
    – rico_pdx
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 17:53
  • My point was, Milton was too dumb to create, install or either remove virus. He was fired way before but he was not informed about it. Also he had no idea of boy's plan.
    – Rahul
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 6:15
  • The plan was revealed in Peter's letter in the envelope.
    – rico_pdx
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 7:08
  • He did took the cheque because they were with him on beach. Did he read the letter ? Can't say. It's not shown in the movie.
    – Rahul
    Commented May 21, 2020 at 10:01

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