The Office Shares a Universe With Parks & Rec and Dexter, Theory Explained

The Office has well-known ties to Parks and Recreation; although, Parks isn't an in-universe spin-off of The Office. Shows not being officially connected has never deterred fans from creating their own shared universe fan theories. While The Office and Parks make perfect sense as part of a cohesive universe, Dexter doesn't, but the three shows do share a surprising connection that makes it possible that Burt Macklin exists in the same universe as The Trinity Killer and the Scranton Strangler.

In Season 6 of The Office, ownership of the company changes hands. Dunder Mifflin was bought out by printer company Sabre. The move meant that salesmen, like Dwight and Jim, hawked printers instead of paper. It also introduced recurring characters like Jo Bennett and Gabe Lewis. Sabre would remain Dunder Mifflin's parent company until Season 8, when Andy Bernard and former CFO David Wallace teamed up to buy Dunder Mifflin back from Saber, putting the printer company out of business.

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Before they were bought out, Sabre's business was doing well enough that their product could be found everywhere from the Miami Metro Police Department to Pawnee, Indiana, and these Sabre printers have been spotted by eagle-eyed viewers of Dexter and Parks and Recreation. Specifically, they can be seen in the Season 6 Dexter episode "The Angel of Death" and the Season 4 Parks episode "Meet N Greet."

It's easy to see the appearance of Saber products in Dexter and Parks as Easter Eggs, but it's hard to see how three shows having the same fictional brand are not intentionally connected. While there's not much of a chance that this would lead to a full-fledged crossover between the shows, even with Dexter's imminent revival, it's fun for fans of the three shows to imagine they share the same universe. The possibility that Dexter could have taken an interest in the Scranton Strangler, or the macabre April Ludgate following the various serial killers from Dexter, are entertaining ideas, even if they're best left to fans' imaginations.

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Unfortunately, for anyone invested in a connection between NBC's mockumentary sitcoms and Showtime's serial killer drama, it is more than likely a convenient coincidence. Dexter doesn't share any creatives with Parks or The Office. The Saber logo appearing in Dexter might have been a shout-out from Office fans on the show's staff, or it may even be a hint that Dexter and his co-workers were big Office fans.

What's more likely, but less fun is that Sabre is a placeholder company name. It likely wasn't adopted by multiple shows as a form of subtle worldbuilding or even as an Easter Egg, but because it had been verified by a production company's legal department. Sabre most resembles Morley Cigarettes, which have served as a stand-in for Marlboros in everything from The X-Files to System Shock 2. As enjoyable as it might be for fans to imagine Ron Swanson, Michael Scott and Dexter sharing the same universe, it's more likely that the only connection between the shows is a desire to not run afoul of the big printer.

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Robert Curran (437 Articles Published)

Robert Curran lives in Deep South Texas. He is a life long fan of comic books, video games, and pro wrestling. He spent five years in the trenches of his local comic book shop. His work has appeared in WWE Magazine (when WWE had a magazine), Comics Should Be Good, and Inside Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @RBCURRAN.

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