Up until June 2022, Billie Eilish thought famously Irish band U2 were from Scranton, and it was all because she started The Office at such a young age that she mistakenly thought many of the jokes were true.
“Starting to watch The Office at a really young age, I almost didn’t understand any reference whatsoever,” the 21-year-old pop star told The Office costars and real-life best friends Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey on the latest episode of their Office Ladies podcast. “There’s so many things that are said, especially by Michael, in The Office that he says wrong on purpose, were written on purpose that, I didn’t even know the real word. So I said many words wrong because I learned them from Michael Scott.”
According to Eilish, the “worst one” was believing U2 were actually from Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the US version of The Office took place. “This last June, we were in Ireland,” she remembered. “I’m in my hotel and I get flowers delivered to my room and it has a little letter on it and it’s this really, really sweet letter and it says ‘From Bono.’ And I was like, ‘Why would Bono, who’s from Scranton…'”
“You thought Bono was from Scranton, Pennsylvania?” Kinsey asked.
“Yes,” Eilish answered. “I go, ‘Why would he send me something in Ireland? What does this have to do with him?’ And it was like, ‘Welcome to my hometown’ or something like that. But U2 is from Scranton. I kept asking everyone like, ‘What is Bono doing sending me flowers all the way across the world? Why would he do that?’ They were like, ‘Billie, what are you talking about? They’re Irish.’ I was like ‘No they’re not.'”
Eilish continued by saying, “I blame John [Krasinski] for this,” before referencing a conversation between Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Krasinski’s character, Jim Halpert, in a Season 4 episode titled “Goodbye, Toby Part 1.” While Michael is putting together a mixtape for his love interest Holly (Amy Ryan), he asks Jim, ” Hey, what’s the group that was from Scranton that made it big? Was that U2?” In typical Jim fashion, he says, “Yes” instead of correcting his boss.
“There’s no pause, there’s no laugh,” Eilish explained. “Honestly, in my head, I thought Jim thought, ‘Oh, that’s a stupid question’ because obviously, they’re the band that made it big from Scranton… I thought that was the vibe, instead of no, not at all. Their whole thing is that they’re Irish. This was in June!”
Listen to the full episode of Office Ladies below.
Bono has expressed his appreciation for Eilish’s music in the past, naming her 2019 single “Everything I Wanted” as one of his “60 Songs That Saved My Life.” Eilish later appeared in a tribute video when U2 was honored with a Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022.
This isn’t the first time Eilish — who told Fischer and Kinsey she’s seen the show 30 times from start to finish — has appeared on a podcast hosted by a star from The Office. She previously guested on Brian Baumgartner’s An Oral History of The Office in 2020.