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In the Office episode Night Out, everyone in the office works late on a Friday night to avoid having to come in and do busywork on Saturday per Ryan's instruction.

When they go to leave, they realize the gate has been locked with chain and padlock. They resolve to call the security guard to come back to unlock the gate. At this point, no one in the office is sure enough of the security guard's name. As Jim makes the call, everyone guesses a different name. Only Creed correctly guesses 'Hank'.

Creed is portrayed on the show for almost always getting names wrong. What is the takeaway here that he knows Hank's name? Simply irony? Are the two of them close for some reason?

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What is the takeaway here that he knows Hank's name? Simply irony?

Pretty much, yeah.

Creed constantly forgets everyone's name in the office and in the one time that they need to know someone's name, Creed actually gets it right but is completely disregarded.

Examples of Creed not remembering coworkers and/or their names:

  • Meredith: S04E02, refers to her as "the chick that [Michael] hit with his car"; S03E17, calls her "Mary Beth"; S02E21, calls her "the redhead"; and in S03E02 introduces himself to Meredith as if they've never met before.
  • S05E16: calls Andy "Jim" when giving dating advice.
  • S07E11: refers to Holly as "one sassy black lady".
  • S02E21: refers to Pam simply as "the receptionist".
  • S03E02: refers to Angela as "Andrea, the office bitch".

Creed knowing Hank's name is a bit of comedy that's not really picked up on unless the series is watched multiple times and/or the viewer is really paying attention the first time around.

It's even funnier that out of everyone in the office he forgets Meredith's name the most, given that they sit right across from each other.


Are the two of them close for some reason?

Though it's never shown, if Creed and Hank were friends then they'd have probably bonded through music since the two of them play guitar/sing. Also, they could have crossed paths frequently since Creed was once shown flying a drone on the roof the building (S08E09), as well as living in the office (though that was in the last episode of the series(S09E27), he could have been doing it in the past too).

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    My first thought was that Hank has had to bust Creed in the past for who even knows what, but that's complete conjecture. – Nuclear Wang Nov 27 '19 at 14:17
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    @NuclearWang I was thinking the other way if anything. Creed pays attention to the security guard so he doesn't get busted; or he's even buddied up to him so he doesn't get caught in all his activities. – JMac Nov 27 '19 at 14:31
  • I find Creed is kind of in another “world” when compared to the rest of the office, so I read that scene as potentially meaning he was closer to the security guard than to his own office colleagues. – Tripoelca Cosalbar Ymos Nov 27 '19 at 21:44
  • Am I the only one that noticed Creed getting more and more crazy/senile through each passing season? In Season one he was much more sharp and acted almost normally. – MissouriSpartan Dec 17 '19 at 21:24
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I always figured Creed knowing Hank's name was to emphasize the shady side of Creed.

Creed is portrayed as an extremely unreliable character - possibly senile, possibly a pathological liar - and we learn about his (past) crimes regularly (generally through the man himself).

  • Resourceful as he is, Creed always seems to be scheming something, especially for monetary gain, and him knowing Hank suggests that they've had several and regular dealings with each other, which could be for a number of reasons, likely involving illegal or disreputable transactions.
    (Note that Hank doesn't strike me as a dishonest man - he might not be implicated, helping out an 'old man' every now and then.)

There are other, less heinous explanations:

  • Creed is homeless, and their acquaintance could mean he regularly stays overnight, or checks in early to get some rest at his desk, etc.

  • It could also illustrate that Creed, being the anarchist/libertarian that he is, enters and leaves the Dunder Mifflin Scranton premises whenever he feels like it, striking up a (probably nonsensical) conversation with Hank to overplay his senility or keep him docile.

In any case, I think this scene allows for the audience to pick any of these options depending on their view of Creed's naturally extremely ambiguous character.

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