The Surprising Way 'The Office' Cast and Crew Kept Michael Scott's Return in the Finale a Secret From the Network

'The Office' writers kept Steve Carell's return as Michael Scott in the final season a secret from the cast.
'The Office' writers kept Steve Carell's return as Michael Scott in the final season a secret from the cast. / Vince Bucci/Getty Images

There are certainly tons of heartfelt moments throughout the nine seasons of The Office, but some are much more emotional than others. Seriously, if you don't at least tear up every time you watch Jim and Pam's wedding, why are you the way that you are? Another major moment to cue the waterworks is in the final season, when Steve Carell returns as Michael Scott to attend Dwight and Angela's wedding. Though fans would probably all agree we wish we got to see more of him, his simple "That's what she said" line was really the perfect touch.

Carell's decision to leave The Office in Season 7 might still be a bit unclear, but it definitely made his appearance two seasons later all the more surprising and sweet. And it looks like fans weren't the only ones shocked by his return. The show's creator Greg Daniels spoke to Entertainment Weekly all about the finale back in 2014, revealing that a few measures were taken to ensure the network was kept in the dark.

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When asked about the writers' decision to bring back Michael, Daniels said it was a no-brainer, stating, "It wouldn’t have been a big finale without him." But when it came to the network, apparently that one minor part of the finale wasn't disclosed. When asked if NBC had any input in the two-part episode, Daniels explained:

"No, they were super supportive. They wanted it to be done the way we wanted to do it and helped us strategize about how to pull it off. That’s all. Well actually … you know, we didn’t tell them about Steve. They didn’t know about Steve and the line producer was a little nervous about it, I think he was afraid he was going to lose his job. But we shot the Steve stuff and we kept it out of the dailies and didn’t tell them about it. At the table reading, we gave the Steve Carell lines to Creed."

Oh, Creed, we knew we could always rely on you... I guess?

Considering even the most diehard fans of The Office would have to admit the ending was great, we don't think the network probably minded all too much. Though the season itself wasn't a fan-favorite (everyone missed Michael too much, obviously!), the finale really pulled at our heartstrings and made us remember why we loved the Scranton squad in the first place.