Andy’s departure on the family boat seemed abrupt for The Office, and it turns out that Ed Helms had something to do with his character’s storyline.
Andy Bernard fell from grace on The Office after his abrupt trip to the Caribbean, and it turns out that Ed Helms played a role in his character’s unlikeable fate. Andy was a supporting character throughout most of the popular workplace sitcom, with his musical antics and anger issues creating some entertaining moments for the show. He started as an employee at Dunder Mifflin’s Stamford branch before making the move to Scranton during the merger, later becoming the manager for two seasons after Michael Scott (Steve Carell) left The Office.
Things started going downhill for Andy’s character, especially upon his return from a work trip to Florida in season 8. After discovering that Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) took over his job as the manager, Andy overreacted out of anger and was fired. Former Dunder Mifflin CFO David Wallace (Andy Buckley) later reinstated Andy after buying back the company, but Andy’s attitude and actions throughout the rest of the series basically ruined his overall narrative.
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Andy’s sudden decision to sail his family boat to the Caribbean before it was sold didn’t make a lot of sense, but this happened because of Helms’ involvement in other projects. The actor ended up missing seven consecutive episodes during season 9 of The Office due to filming conflicts with The Hangover Part III, the final film in the comedy trilogy that gave him a rise in popularity. Rather than writing off Andy altogether, the character was given the sailing storyline until Helms was able to return.
However, Andy’s departure impacted his relationship with his coworkers, particularly with his girlfriend and Dunder Mifflin secretary Erin Hannon (Ellie Kemper). When Andy was left to pick up the pieces after his father fled with the family money, he acted with surprising maturity when tasked to sell off the family’s possessions. But once Erin convinced Andy to take the family boat out for one final rendezvous, Andy left for the Caribbean without much consideration for what that meant for their relationship — undercutting the show’s “will-they-won’t-they” buildup. Later, Andy’s resentment for Erin after learning that she moved on gave him a serious attitude problem toward everyone throughout the rest of the show. But he was the one who neglected Erin, and his failure to accept the consequences of his actions shows a lack of maturity.
The lack of regard for his job also made Andy Bernard unlikeable in The Office season 9, and tarnished his reputation on the show. The office managed to band together in their manager’s absence, even nailing a record-setting sale. But Andy, perhaps insecure in his position after missing so much at work, acted arrogant upon his return. It didn’t make a lot of sense as to why he was able to return with minimal consequences, even when he blew the big sale and when Wallace found out about the boat trip. He was essentially let off the hook. And it made things worse when Andy later resolved to quit and pursue his dream as a professional actor, undermining the grace he was given. There were just too many instances of Andy coming and going due to Helms’ engagements to redeem Andy’s actions by the end of The Office.
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