How did they clean the area of carpet Kevin ruined with chili on the Office?

Here is the relevant scene for those who have never seen it.

That’s really their set for the show and he really did spill chili all over it. I understand that you could get some of that up, but I think there would be a mark on the carpet forever.

One little detail that would have been nice is if there is some kind of rug covering that area in future episodes, but that is not the case. The area appears to be back to normal.

I suppose they could have re-carpeted the whole area, but is there another solution? Does the carpet come out in squares?

My wife and I have seen this scene many times and always wondered.

This is purely a guess, but I’ve always figured they just put down a piece of carpet that would be rolled up and thrown away afterward.

They’re a paper company! They just took a picture of a clean section and ran it off on the color copier and laid the sheets of paper over the stain.

In many offices, including the one where I work, the carpeting are series of carpet tile squares. They have a lot of the squares in storage, so if there is a noticeable stain they can just pull up a few squares and replace them.

On a single color floor, the tiles are not noticeable unless you look very closely.

More often than not, they are used to replace spots with high traffic wear.

So perhaps they even replaced the squares just for this scene, then flipped them back to the way they were before so they matched perfectly.

One of the comments to the YouTube video says, “In an interview with the actor that played Kevin he said he was supposed to drop the chilly at a different time. That was a real drop.” If true, the location wasn’t the one that was planned.

He did an amazing job. It’s a great scene that I would guess was filmed once.

BTW, Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin, is on Twitter. If you’re really curious, you could ask him directly. (He’s also on Cameo and made over a million bucks there last year.)

He’s great. I heard about the big money on Cameo. He works hard on his cameos and does a ton of them, so it is well earned that he made a lot of money. For him, it’s like the convention tour scifi actors go on. It keeps you getting paid while you look for acting gigs. Good for him.

He’s such a great actor, the moment he isn’t playing Kevin, you know immediately. He is entirely different.

I don’t know for a fact how they did it but there is no way they just cleaned it. Yesterday I spent 45 minutes cleaning several spots of spilled Ethiopian food from my carpet. Spilling 5 gallons of chili would make it a total loss.

Its a studio set. The expectation is probably that any and every piece of it can be pulled apart and replaced when needed. The carpet doesn’t look like its squares so its probably a biggish single piece. If they were planning a massive chili splat, they were probably planning a day or two of dismantling and replacing the carpet. They probably planned their shooting around it to do it at the end of the season or a shooting session.

I have asked on Twitter, but I would not be surprised if he gets asked these type of things all the time. I don’t see the answer anywhere, but I wouldn’t expect an answer.

Having said that, I have gotten answers on Twitter before.


Well, what do you know? They actually just did an interview and answered this. I’ll quote them:

So they laid an extensive layer of carpet over their carpet and put plastic underneath.

You can read the entire interview here.

Not spilled chili, but I was a background actor in Reprisal who was killed in a very bloody, I was going to say squabble, but it really was more of a tiff.

In a subsequent scene my corpse was laid out on the floor in an apparent puddle of blood. The set design guys had these red puddles made from polycarbonate or some other plexiglass like substance to simulate blood. This made the costume people happy, because I was coming back tomorrow as a different guy who wasn’t dead and they wanted to be able to reuse the costume, and that stage blood stains pretty badly.

I like to think that the chili is served at his bar.

I watched something on youtube a few months ago where they showed how the entire movie Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was done without any blood (fake or otherwise). Every single drop of blood you see was added in post production. It gave them the ability to reshoot a scene multiple times without the actors having to change and shower and the set having to be wiped down. It also meant that continuity wasn’t an issue. A trickle of blood on your arm in one shot will be in the exact same spot when they pan back over, even if it’s a different take.
David Fincher uses a ton of CG, but he does it really well and in places you wouldn’t think to look for it.

I have successfully cleaned spilled chili off a carpet before using a Resolve-type product. You need to use a huge amount of it which means it will bleach some of the color out of a dark carpet, and of course it will never be perfectly clean so a pure white carpet will have at least some perpetual stain.

For an off-white or grey carpet, a vigorously cleaned patch will be close enough that unless someone is really looking for the stain they may not notice it. I’m guessing that’s why most carpets in high-traffic commercial settings are that color.

Right after mixing a blender pitcher full of salsa verde, I took it off the blender base to pour to a container I had waiting in the sink. The @#$%&!!! threaded ring that holds the blade and gasket to the glass pitcher cracked and the entire scalding batch of salsa hit the ~4x5 foot rug I had in the kitchen at the time. ‘At the time,’ because I just rolled it up and put in in the alley to haul away. What a terrible mess, it was never going to come out.

For some reason the loss of the salsa strikes me as more tragic than the loss of the rug.

For reasons I can’t explain, this phrase delights me to no end. A tiff, not a squabble, you say? You’re sure it wasn’t a dust-up, or a spat? :laughing: