The latest episode of The Mandalorian gave fans a lot less Baby Yoda Grogu and a lot more wardrobe changes for its titular character. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t streamed it yet, but there was also a sly reference to the Mike Judge cinematic universe that wasn’t quite as viral as a tiny force-sensitive creature, but certainly had fans talking on social media.
The seventh episode of Season 2 had our hero swapping Mandalorian armor for something a bit more Imperial, then actually revealing his face when things got tight on Morak. But it also brought with it the return of Bill Burr, which is apparently as close to Boston as the Star Wars universe will get anytime soon.
Din Djarin and Burr’s Migs Mayfeld get into a tight spot with some Imperial officers on a refinery near the episode’s end, and before they eventually shoot their way out of the predicament Mayfield actually tried to talk his way out by saying they needed to fill out some “TPS reports.” Perhaps that’s a real thing somewhere in the deep well of Star Wars lore, current canon or otherwise. And though it quickly earned a place in the fan-run Wookieepedia, a lot of sharp fans thought it was actually a reference to Mike Judge’s cult classic Office Space.
In the 1999 film starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston about committing financial crimes amid the mundanity of corporate life, the film’s protagonist, Peter Gibbons, is hounded by several bosses (including Gary Cole) about an office rule involving TPS reports. The scene is one of the film’s most famous, an example of how dreadfully dull and pedantic the modern workplace can often be. The phrase “TPS reports” has become one of the most enduring jokes from the film in the two decades since its release, which is why many fans were convinced it wasn’t a coincidence, but an Office Space reference, when Burr’s Mayfeld mentioned them.
That meant a lot of fans taking their thoughts, and Mandalorian/Office Space photo edits, to Twitter.
— Garin Pirnia (@gpirnia) December 11, 2020
— David Pierdomenico (@DaveTheAuthor) December 11, 2020
— RSPlath she/her (@RS_Plath) December 11, 2020
— Problematic David Golden🗽 (@davidgolden99) December 12, 2020
— Jason Diamond (@jpd18) December 12, 2020
"Let’s go fill out those TPS reports." pic.twitter.com/Gxv4mNS9CH
— CD – Clique Dad Jeff (@Clique_Dad_CD) December 12, 2020
— Gino Sigismondi (@GinoSigismondi) December 12, 2020
— J. Scotty St. Clair (@JScott4Reel) December 12, 2020
Anyone else noticed TPS reports ref? pic.twitter.com/ZbWabuFDDI
— Steven Patrick Harris (@GingerStevie) December 12, 2020
Inevitably, that put Grogu in the office setting answering to Bill Lumburgh.
— Jay Downey (@JaysGolf) December 12, 2020
— AngryMongoAff (@AngryMongoAFF) December 12, 2020
Some wondered if it was a line Burr ad libbed or something that was actually in the script.
What’s the consensus that Bill Burr is allowed to improvise any dialogue in THE MANDALORIAN? I’m wondering if the “TPS Reports” reference is his own quick quip, or something already in the script (which is still cute). #TheMandalorian pic.twitter.com/u47t1uuvVg
— Hannah (@Han_So) December 12, 2020
Either way, the TPS report is officially part of Star Wars lore. Hopefully those stuck filling them out use the right cover letter. And maybe got out of that refinery alive after Mando and Migs were done with it.