"I don't talk trash, I talk smack. They're both different. Trash talk is all hypothetical like "Your mama's so fat, she could eat the internet", but smack talk is happening like right now, like, "You're ugly and I know it for a fact because I got the evidence all here"."
- Kelly talking about show she believes "smack talk" is different from "trash talk"Kelly Rajnigandha Kapoor (Hindi: केली रजनीगन्धा कपूर; born February 5, 1980) is a character in the NBC sitcom The Office. She is played by Mindy Kaling, who is also a writer and director for the show.
Kelly is a talkative customer service representative at Dunder Mifflin Scarnton, and is a known chatterbox. She frequently talks about things teenage girls might discuss, such as boys, dating, and celebrity gossip. She says that she wants to get married, and can't wait to "get pregnant and have babies."
Kelly is Indian American and a Hindu, however she frequently makes incorrect statements about her heritage and religion. Her parents were brought together by arranged marriage, and has three sisters, along with a fourth one who died.
She tends to engage in long-winded, one-sided conversations on relatively trivial subjects, often to the chagrin of Toby Flenderson, with whom she shares the annex, situated off the main office. Sometimes, it appears that Kelly plays dumb, as evidenced by a conspiratorial wink to the camera in "Boys and Girls." She enjoys shopping, especially online, as seen in "The Coup" and in "Dunder Mifflin Infinity" and she also loves clothing, as seen in "The Coup" and "Women's Appreciation."
Kelly spent a year in a juvenile hall for stealing her ex-boyfriend's father's boat.
Seasons 1 - 2
Kelly is portrayed in Season 1 very differently than later in the series. Rather than being loquacious and adolescent, she is just a mild-mannered employee who is just another target of branch manager Michael Scott's stereotypes. She is first featured in the episode "Diversity Day," where Michael conducts a diversity training seminar for his employees. When Michael suggests everyone state a race they are sexually attracted to, Dwight immediately responds "White and Indian," which gets a curious (and rather alarmed) look from her. Kelly leaves to go to a customer meeting and comes back in the middle of a game where everyone in the room has to put a card with a specific race on their forehead (with the race being unknown to themselves), and then must treat everyone as if they were the race on their card. Michael, frustrated that no one is playing properly, attempts to demonstrate how to play, by approaching Kelly as she walks into the room and speaking in a stereotypical Indian accent. He starts to get offensive, mentioning various Indian stereotypes, such as convenience stores and trying to offer her "some of my googi googi," to which Kelly responds by slapping him and walking away.
Kelly's race subjects her to embarrassing and insulting references from Michael. For instance, she wins the "Spicy Curry" award at the 8th Annual Dundie Awards. She angrily questions an evasive Michael about why she got the award. She dresses up as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz on Halloween, which prompts Michael to say, "Interesting take on Dorothy" followed by him suggesting that she wear a soccer uniform and dress like Jess Bhamra, a character of Indian descent from the movie Bend It Like Beckham.
During the company "Christmas Party," Kelly gives a possibly inebriated kiss to Dwight, possibly due to his comment in "Diversity Day," although this plot line did not develop (Dwight was already dating Angela). Instead, Kelly was involved in a wildly uneven relationship with Ryan Howard, the office temp. She hinted (often with little subtlety) that she wanted to marry him and have children as soon as possible, though he was strongly opposed to it and was not especially interested in her. The relationship was often rocky, as Kelly suffocated Ryan with her almost aggressively perky behavior. She tells Jim in "The Carpet" that she likes Beyoncé, pink (the color), Pink (the singer), basically anything that is awesome, hot dogs, and snowcones. In the episode "Take Your Daughter To Work Day," we see Kelly's manipulative side, after she witnessed Stanley's teenage daughter shadowing Ryan. Kelly lies and tells Stanley that Ryan flirted with the teenager, after which Stanley berates Ryan. In the season finale "Casino Night," Ryan wearily admits to Jim that he is still dating Kelly.
Seasons 3 - 4
In the episode "Diwali" , Kelly's parents criticize her choice in Ryan for not being committed to marriage and family and for not making enough money; they suggest that she go for a particular, more successful man of Indian descent. When Jim Halpert sees Kelly for the first time after the merger between the Stamford and Scranton branches, he asks her what has been going on in her life, to which Kelly responds by gossiping excitedly about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's daughter Suri and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Shiloh; when Jim reaffirms his question of what has been going on with her life, she blankly replies that she just told him. She joins Pam and Karen's party in "A Benihana Christmas" with Ryan.
Hurt by Ryan's comments in "Business School," Michael moves Ryan's desk next to Kelly's as a form of punishment. Kelly is excited by the move, though she and Ryan bicker (and passionately make up) frequently. In "The Negotiation," Kelly reveals that Ryan once laughed at her during a date when a boy on a Ferris wheelspilled his milkshake on her. Ryan just replies "Well, that was funny; that's why." She also questions Ryan's bravery, mentioning that he once called her for help when he thought there was a "murderer" in his apartment. All this bickering makes Toby wonder in a talking head interview if Michael purposely put Ryan and Kelly together next to him just to punish him. Toby comments, "If he did... genius."
Despite her often frivolous and immature behavior, Kelly is seen in a rare professional capacity in "Product Recall." She trains Oscar, Angela, and Kevin for taking customer service phone calls after an obscene watermark is printed on Dunder Mifflin paper, prompting too many complaint calls for Kelly alone to answer. She is very enthusiastic about this new task, and mentions that sometimes when she is bored she will make up a name for herself or talk in an accent (such as imitatingBridget Jones) while on the phone. Unlike Angela, who cannot bring herself to follow Kelly's advice and say "I'm sorry" to irate customers, Kelly demonstrates notable skill at soothing the angry callers.
In "The Job," Ryan abruptly ends his relationship with Kelly after receiving a promotion to the corporate headquarters.
Kelly spends most of season four getting over her breakup with Ryan and beginning a new relationship with Darryl Philbin. In "Dunder Mifflin Infinity," Kelly attempts to reunited with Ryan by telling him she is pregnant with his child. Kelly is overjoyed when Ryan agrees to have dinner with her, but the plan backfires when he learns that she is not actually pregnant. When he confronts her about it, she does not understand why the lie would upset him and is surprised and upset when he refuses to date her again. Ryan later asks Corporate to have her job outsourced to India.
A relationship sparks with warehouse foreman Darryl, after he protects Kelly from Dwight's anger over her purchasing paper online while he was trying to beat the website in sales. She delightedly confesses that she did not really need paper; she just loves the cute and friendly seeming website because she gets to hear the sound effect and the text that says "Thanks for shopping with Dunder Mifflin!"
In the episode "Money," Kelly and Darryl kiss in the conference room in front of Ryan, confirming their relationship. Kelly does not seem to have forgiven Ryan, however, during a grammar discussion of objective and subjective case, Kelly complains that Ryan used her "as an object." Darryl seems at times much less enthusiastic about the relationship, evoking Ryan's previous attitude toward Kelly. He declines to go on a date with her in favor of spending time with his daughter, and when Kelly presents him with an ultimatum (her or his daughter), he does not change his mind. However, he complains in a talking head interview that Kelly primarily seems interested in him when Ryan is around. He also gives her some rare straight talk, showing that he can view their relationship in a mature way. A bemused Kelly tells the cameras, "Darryl Philbin is the most complicated man that I have ever met. I mean who says exactly what they're thinking? What kind of game is that?"
In the episodes "Local Ad" and "The Deposition," it becomes clearer that Kelly and Darryl are dating. In the latter episode, Kelly becomes confrontational and insulting towards Pam when Darryl keeps beating Jim at ping-pong. Pam finally gets fed up and challenges Kelly to a game. However, it becomes clear immediately that Kelly and Pam are evenly matched at ping-pong, as they both are abysmal.
In "Goodbye, Toby," Kelly shows that she still bears a grudge against Ryan, who has been arrested on charges of fraud. She describes in detail how she looks forward to visiting Ryan in prison, where the other inmates would be sure to check her out and tell Ryan that they wish they had an ex-girlfriend as hot as her.
Seasons 5 - 6
In season five, Ryan seems to have a renewed interest in Kelly. However, she is still dating Darryl. In "Customer Survey," she changes Jim and Dwight's customer survey scores because they did not attend her America's Got Talent wrap party. They explain this to Michael, however he lets her off the hook after she had stated both that she was raped and loved Michael's tie. He says that he can relate to her because he often had trouble getting people to come to his parties as well. Michael comments that she often says she was raped when she is caught in a problem. She pretends to start crying, but they both end up laughing. In "Business Trip," Ryan moves back to the annex with Kelly in preparation for Pam's return. Kelly says she has no intention of getting back together with Ryan given the way he treated her, but the two are later seen passionately kissing. Ryan helps Kelly send a message to Darryl saying their relationship is over, and Darryl responds saying "it's cool." Kelly is overjoyed while Ryan is shocked and Darryl happily walks to his truck. Kelly and Ryan confirm that they are dating again. In the next episode, Ryan allegedly takes a trip to Thailand so they break up again. A confused Kelly agrees to give him money and have sex with him one more time before he goes.
Later, in "The Duel," after Angela remarks of her delight that two men are fighting over her, Kelly responds, "I guess people have fewer choices as they get older." In "Lecture Circuit Part 1" Dwight finds out from her personal record that she was in juvenile hall for almost two years, the reason being that she stole her boyfriend's dad's boat after he broke up with her. In Blood Drive, when she notices how upset Michael is, she sits with him, until it is closing time. When Michael quits his job, Kelly shows interest in her new boss, Charles, as does Angela. Kelly quickly befriends the new receptionist, Erin.
As of the beginning of season six, she is once again dating Ryan.
In "Double Date", Kelly lets Ryan take nude photos of her in the office for a series called, "Exposure in the Workplace."
In "Manager and Salesman", Kelly misinterprets Andy's Valentine's Day card towards her and kisses him. However, Andy explains that he likes someone else. Kelly says that she likes him harder now, signaling that Ryan and she are broken up.
Seasons 7 - 9
In the season 7 premiere "Nepotism," Kelly is encouraged by Dwight to attend the minority executive training program from Yale. Dwight originally encouraged her in hopes to become her svengali but later regrets his decision.
In "Counseling," Kelly is the one who comes up with the idea that Dwight should Pretty Woman the Steamtown Mall, but when Jim says that it is a good idea, she does not remember what she said. In a talking-head interview, she admits to the camera that she knows she talks a lot, so she's learned to tune herself out.
In "Sex Ed," she considers Meredith "gross" for having genital herpes. In a deleted scene, she asks Jim to open up a jar of Fluff for her. While Jim is having trouble opening it, Kelly rambles about how she's not sure if Ryan is capable of true love, because he told her if he was stuck in heaven and she was stuck in hell, he would not live with her in hell. When Jim is unable to open the jar, he hands it back to her, to which she responds with "you're just gonna hand it back to me?"
In the beginning of "The Sting," when Oscar rides into the office on his bicycle that is the same model as Lance Armstrong's, Kelly says she feels awkward because she is on Sheryl Crow's side (referring to their breakup). Later, when Michael announces to the office that rival salesman Danny Cordray has been hired as their new traveling manager, Kelly mumbles "Fuck me."
In "The Search," during the cold open, Ryan and Kelly announced to the office that they were getting a divorce, having married over a week earlier on the spur of the moment. They said the break-up was mutual, but after getting little reaction to their news, Ryan declared that the split was not amicable. After the divorce Ryan and Kelly continued to date.
In Season 8, wanting to get Kelly away from Ryan, Pam sets her up with Cece's pediatrician, Ravi. When Ryan forces her to choose between the two, she chooses Ravi.
At the beginning of Season 9, it was revealed that Kelly and Ravi got engaged and moved to Miami University. Kelly quit her job at Dunder-Mifflin, mistakenly believing she was moving to Miami, Florida, with Ravi.
In "Finale," it is revealed that Kelly is married to Ravi but she leaves him when Ryan returns, and they reunite. Ryan originally had a baby named Drake who had been left with him by its mother who Ryan had been dating, but he leaves him with Ravi when he and Kelly run away together. Both Kaling and Novak returned as guests for the series finale.