The Office has found its way into audiences’ hearts well after its series finale. The show has stood the test of time thanks to its dry humor, clever writing, and likable characters. Well, some likable characters. In the Season 3 of The Office, one character became more annoying and disagreeable than any other, yet somehow lasted until the series finale. How? This is how the writers of The Office constructed the fall and rise of the Nard Dog, Andy Bernard.

Andy The Office analysis

Andy started as a foil

When Andy was first introduced to fans of The Office, he was pretty unlikable. Afterall, the Nard Dog was introduced far after The Office pilot script. So, incorporating a new main character can be difficult.

Not to mention, Andy’s eagerness to point out that he is Cornell alumni, his obnoxious singing, and his relentless butt kissing were among the many factors that made Andy Bernard, well, suck. And that was exactly what the writer’s of The Office wanted. At least initially. 

Best of Andy The Office US

When Jim left Scranton and transferred to Stamford, the show’s writers needed to present him with a new foe and foil character. So showrunner Greg Daniels met with Ed Helms through the studio and the two hit it off. They devised a character for Helms. One that would be so annoying and so unlikable that he would pose a problem for everyone in the office and be a continuous source of conflict. This worked phenomenally. 

As both the employees of Dunder Mifflin and fans of the show grew to despise Andrew Bernard, they were greeted with astounding catharsis at this climactic moment in which Andy writes his own resignation letter with a giant hole in the wall.

The Office  •  Andy punches wall

Even though this scene would have been the ultimate send off to The Office’s most unlikable character, the writers decided to bring him back. 

Andy The Office Evolution

Reinventing Andy Bernard

The writers of The Office loved Ed Helms and what he brought to the table. Unfortunately, they made his character the least redeeming character of the entire show. So they needed to construct a way to reinvent Andy Bernard and reintroduce him as a regular cast member of The Office.

He couldn’t be the humor juggernaut that is Michael Scott. Afterall, no one can follow up Michael Scott’s greatest quotes. He needed to be his own character. 

The plan? Have Andy Bernard go to management training — anger management training to be exact. All they needed was a reason to send him. And, oh, did they make a great one. In fact, anger is a critical part of Andy Bernard’s character as you can see from this compilation of his funniest freakouts. 

Andy The Office  •  Best Freakouts

From this, Andy transforms and reintroduces himself to The Office as “Drew” a name that does not stick. But what does stick, is Andy’s more turned down, less bombastic character.

To fit in regularly into The Office, the writers needed to pull the Nard Dog out of the spotlight for a bit. This allowed the impressions of his more disdainful character to fade from the audience's memories and make room for a more likable, yet weird Andy Bernard. 

Not to mention giving him romantic interests and relationships as well as a feud and friendship with Dwight to humanize him a bit more. This video by Nerdstalgic dives deep into the reinvention of Andy Bernard and how the writers brought him back from the dead.

How The Office Fixed Andy Bernard The Office

As mentioned in the video, when Andy was reintroduced to the show after the character's anger management therapy, it was rather uneventful. The writers of the show understood how necessary it was to treat this new character of Andy as a slow burn that would creep up on and surprise the audience with how much they started to like him. 

Andy couldn’t just reappear as this suddenly likable, misunderstood guy. He needed to be reintroduced as this in small bites. So, subplots of Andy’s feud turned to friendship with Dwight began as well as his romantic relationships with both Erin and Angela in which he is framed as an odd man simply seeking love. 

We, as the audience, grow to like Andy and Erin and appreciate the new role he had in the show. Until tragically, Andy Bernard yet again took a turn for the worse.

Andy The Office final seasons

The second fall of Andy Bernard

When Ed Helms became a huge movie star with his role in The Hangover, NBC wanted to put him in a more prominent role. Luckily, there was such a role open when Steve Carell left the show and Michael Scott vacated the manager position. 

There was a huge transition and speculation as to who the new manager might be. But to the surprise and criticism of many, the role was filled by none other than the Nard Dog, Andrew Bernard.

Andy The Office  •  Meet the New Boss

In reality, Andy Bernard became the manager of the office due to Helm’s celebrity status. And while the reasoning behind the decision made sense, the outcome did not fare well. 

At first, the writers tried to make Andy fill the shoes of Michael Scott and his personality which came off a bit forced. When Ed Helms inevitably had shooting conflicts and obligations, the writers also needed to force plot points that would write off Andy for a few episodes.

This made Andy extremely unlikable yet again and unfortunately he would never recover. 

While the last two seasons of The Office proved that the show had to come to an end, its reinvention of the character of Andy Bernard proved the ingenuity and creativity of the show's writers. There is a lesson to be learned in the rise and fall of Andrew Bernard. As a writer, as long as you know where or how a character should evolve, there’s always a way to get them there.

Andy Bernard quotes

Andy’s best quotes

The roller coaster of Andy Bernard’s character is filled with so many great scenes. The best of which have taken their place in history as some of The Office’s best quotes. Let’s take a look at the best Andy Bernard quotes from The Office

"Beer me that disc."

"I'll be the number-two guy here in Scranton in six weeks. How? Name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake. I'm always thinking one step ahead. Like a... carpenter... that makes stairs."

The Office US  •  Andy Bernard Quotes

 "Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship."

Andy punches Wall  •  The Office US

"I went to Cornell. Ever heard of it? I graduated in four years, I never studied once, I was drunk the whole time, and I sang in the acapella group, 'Here Comes Treble'."

Andy Bernard Cornel  •  Andy Bernard Quotes

“I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them.”

Andy bernard good old days quote  •  Andy Bernard Quotes

"Andy Bernard does not lose contests. He wins them. Or he quits them. Because they're unfair."

Andy Bernard - The Nard Dog Does Not Lose

The Nard dog does not lose

Andy Bernard is an interesting character study for writers and a hilarious character to watch for audiences. His evolution made the Nard Dog The Office’s most unlikely likable character. 

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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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