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Office Space didn’t explode in popularity when it was first released. In fact, analysts initially considered it a bit of a failure because of its low box office. In the subsequent years, however, the film started getting recommended and passed around like an undiscovered gem until a really high percentage of the population had seen it. Now, it’s firmly entrenched as one of the more quoted and watched movies of the 1990s, and apparently, it had a lasting effect on the restaurant industry, as well.
You know those pieces of flair Jennifer Aniston repeatedly bitched about in Office Space? Well, they were based off the real life buttons many servers actually had to wear at the time at a number of chain restaurants including TGI Fridays. A few years after the film came out, however, the chain discontinued the use of flair. Why? Apparently because people wouldn’t stop making Office Space references about it.
Here’s a portion of what Office Space creator Mike Judge told Deadline…
"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."
We all owe Mike Judge a huge thank you because, I think, I speak for everyone when I say, flair was disgustingly ugly…
An overwhelming majority of movies come and go without having any lasting impact. Whether they’re good, bad or mediocre, people stop talking about them within a few years, and within a decade or so, they’re barely remembered at all. Fortunately, a lucky few of them stick with people. They offer something unique enough and memorable enough that we collectively decided to keep quoting and watching.
That’s the thing about Office Space. The technology might be out of date, but the way the characters interact and the nightmarish picture of mid-level management and bad bosses rings just as true now. The world is filled with Bill Lumberghs. There’s nothing Mike Judge can do to change that. Not even his hysterical new workplace comedy Silicon Valley can rid the world of shitty, passive aggressive bosses, but flair is certainly a good place to start.