For anyone who graduated from college from, say, 1996 to 2004, Office Space was the defining film of a generation. I remember watching that movie over and over and over again with my friends in college, and then — upon graduating and landing my first office job — feeling that sick, dawning realization that, OMG, OFFICE SPACE IS REAL. The repetitiveness, the dick bosses, the soul-crushing office jargon, even the goddamn computer equipment that never worked — it was all in there.
But aside from providing clueless college kids with a glimpse of reality as to what it’s like out in “the real world,” Office Space was quietly performing another very valuable service to society. In a recent interview with Deadline, Mike Judge explains how Office Space was responsible for ridding the world of dreaded “flair.” Yep, remember flair?
About four years after Office Space came out, TGI Fridays got rid of all that (button) flair, because people would come in and make cracks about it. One of my ADs asked once at the restaurant why their flair was missing and they said they removed it because of that movie Office Space. So, maybe I made the world a better place.
In my opinion, Mike Judge has made the world a better place in a whole lot of ways, but sure: Being personally responsible for the extinction of flair certainly ain’t the worst legacy a guy can leave behind. I can only hope this comes as some solace to the beleaguered “flair guy.”