Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) is a character who appears in the U.S. television series The Office. She is displayed as a crass, rude, irrational, and professionally/socially inept woman. Despite all her shortcomings, she is also ambitious and opportunistic, applying for jobs that she is often unqualified for. However, during the latter half of season 8 onwards, she is shown as being friendly towards her co-workers, and generally on good terms with most of them, with the noted exception of Andy Bernard, who held a bitter resentment towards her for stealing his job.
Nellie was born in the working class town of Basildon, England, where she grew up in poverty. Until the age of 32, she talked in a "horrendous" cockney accent. She appears to be religious, as she has mentioned that she attends church. She has claims to have once had a one-night stand with Hugh Grant's elder brother, John Grant, an act that she states she completed by "sheer force of will" (it is possible that this may be just one of her many lies). She had a long-term relationship with a stage magician, only to have him suddenly leave her for a waitress and vanish from her life. Her stated philosophy in business is "if the seat is open, the job is open", a motto which had led her to briefly race a Formula One car (for what were the three slowest laps ever recorded). She openly admits to her shortcomings, such as having little formal education, no real skills, and a lack of motivation.
Despite her outwardly tough appearance, Nellie appears to be quite vulnerable. Her massive credit card implies that she is a shopaholic. In addition, it is implied that she suffers from depression and loneliness since immigrating from England, having tried (and ultimately failed) to adopt a child.
Nellie made her debut in Search Committee, interviewing for the Regional Manager position at the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch, but during the course of her interview, she proves herself to be woefully inept for the position. She suggests that all position titles be removed from the office, only to immediately change her mind and state that there should be more titles. She also suggests a "Zen" office with no desks and a masseuse named Saki. Later, in a talking-head interview, she states that she believes that she will obtain the job, due to her friendship and recommendation from Jo.
Nellie reappears in the eighth season episode, Tallahassee where she explains that Jo hired her as President of Sabre's special projects after Bertram suggested the idea for a chain of Sabre retail stores.
In After Hours, Dwight and Packer compete to seduce Nellie after work at the hotel bar, in order to become Vice President of Sabre's special projects. Dwight wins after Gabe spikes Packer's beer with an asthma inhaler, but does not end up letting Nellie into his room. In Test the Store, after Dwight manages to make the grand opening of the Sabre s[[David Wallace|]]tore a success, Nellie appoints him as Vice President. However, in Last Day in Florida, Dwight is supplanted by Packer, just in time for Packer to be fired when Robert California shuts down the retail endeavor. In Get theGirl, after the failure of the Sabre store, Nellie travels to the Scranton branch, and decides that, with Andy absent (in Florida, declaring his love for Erin), the time is perfect for her to take over his job. Her goofy enthusiasm and non-detailed plan to give everyone raises eventually wins over most of the office, but Jim is clearly opposed to her, with Robert California being unable to stand up to her and taking on a detached Darwinian view of her antics. In Angry Andy, when Andy finally returns from his successful quest to win Erin's heart, Nellie simply refuses to leave the office, and California refuses to make her leave. Throughout the episode, Andy becomes so infuriated that he ultimately convinces the CEO to demote and then fire him, leaving Nellie as the official branch Manager. In Free Family Portrait Studio, Andy is appointed Regional Manager again, after David Wallace buys Dunder Mifflin from Sabre with the $20 million that he got from selling a toy-vacuum invention to the United States Military. Nellie begs him to show kindness, and Andy decides to hire her as a special projects manager.
Nellie has made a mixed impression on the Scranton branch staff, with some of them being won over by her ridiculous promise of unobtainable salary increases, and others, particularly Jim and Darryl, viewing her as unpleasant and unintelligent. However, in the episode Fundraiser, Nellie attempts to befriend Darryl, and they appear to bond a little bit when he buys them some tacos, a food which she has never heard of or tried before, and, after watching her struggle with the mechanics of consuming one, realizes that she truly is trying to be nice to and socialize with her employees. In "Turf War", Pam discovers many of Nellie's personal troubles and decides to be nicer to her, striking up a friendly conversation. Nellie reveals to the camera crew that she is deeply moved to have a real friend within the office. In "Free Family Portrait Studio", Nellie takes sympathy on Andy when he comes in begging for a job and she gives him the job of being janitor. She is later at the meeting when the staff worry about Andy's wellbeing and she calls Gabe "Skeleton Man" when he comes in prompting others to wish him a happy birthday. When she is later forced out of the managers chair by David Wallace, she appears to Andy's finer side by quoting Shakespear and Andy takes pity on her and assigns her to Special Projects Manager.
Upon the liquidation of Sabre, David Wallace assigns Nellie to work at Andy's old desk. Nellie expresses anxiety the day that Andy returns from his management camp knowing that he might be angry she is still there. When Andy questions why she is still there, Nellie pretends Andy asked her how she was doing by replying "wonderful thanks!". Andy later invites her into his office and tells her that their relationship is going to be very ugly. At a slackline contest, Andy embarreses Nellie by shoving her off the line the moment she gets good balance. Andy later puts up recycling bins around Nellie's desk so that when people throw their trash away, they might hit Nellie in the head. Nellie insists they are just trying to recycle but have terrible aim but she is later hit in the head by a bottle despite not being near her desk (New Guys).
Nellie attends Pam's "chore wheel" meeting and cheers along with the rest of the office as each staff member spins. Nellie later decides to initiate a special project that she knows Andy can't shoot down- a charity initiative. Things start going well until Dwight voices his belief that there is no proof that charity's actually work. When Nellie forces him to pick a charity Dwight decides to pick the Taliban. Nellie believes she will have to stop her project so Dwight won't donate to it but she comes up with an idea. She has Dwight sign a contract stating that he will abide by Taliban law but she prints it in a silly font so Dwight won't take it seriously. She then steals one of Dwight's pens and reminds him that according to Taliban law a thief must have his/her hand chopped off. She places her hand on a chopping block and gives Dwight a cleaver knowing that he won't do it. She sits around all day with her hand on the chopping block waiting for Dwight to finally do it but knowing he won't. Eventually Darryl plays a movie for them to get them to stay in there longer and she and Dwight start commentating on the movie and arguing over other movie related topics (Roy's Wedding).
Andy tasks Nellie with researching his ancestors and comes across the discovery that Andy is related to Michelle Obama. She later nervously taps her pen against Pam's desk until Pam asks her whats wrong. Nellie tells her that she has to take her driver's liscecse test today and she is a terrible driver and needs help. While driving around she proves to be a terrible driver and talks to Pam about what Jim could be hiding. Nellie believes Jim is having an affair however Pam rejects this. Nellie later confesses to Pam that she made up the fact that Andy is related to Michelle Obama and she did it to mess with him. Pam finds this amusing and starts to like Nellie. Andy later gets angry when people claim that the fact he is related to someone of African-American descent likely means his ancestors were slave owners. He texts Nellie to dig up dirt on everyone in the office's ancestors to which Pam and Nellie make up more facts. Nellie later parks in the parking lot and hits the bush fence. She tells Pam that since they bonded so well she has decided for her next special project to be Pam painting a mural on one of the warehouses bare ugly walls. She later encourages Pam to confront Jim about his affair even though that is not what he is hiding. She tells the cameras she intends to set her up with a Filipino man. She later talks to Darryl who through a misunderstanding believes that Jim and Darryl are having a three-way with the woman Jim is cheating on Pam with (even though Jim is not having an affair at all) Nellie appears annoyed at Pam when she makes up with Jim (Andy's Ancestry).
While Nellie is in the conference room she is never actually seen in Andy's fail video" meaning Andy probably never even put her on the team. Nellie later comes to Andy's office and asks if he could help her fulfill her dream of adopting a child by signing her letter to the adoption agency. Andy says no. When Dwight moves the rest of the office staff onto a bus Nellie is placed towards the front of it. Erin notices she is trying to adopt and having been an orphan herself offers to help. Erin and Nellie write the letter together however when she presents it to Andy he rudely rejects it telling her how aweful the letter is and how her dream of adopting a child will never come true. This upsets Erin more than it does Nellie and Nellie comforts Erin. Andy feels bad about this and later revises the letter grudgingly telling about how Nellie really does care sometimes before signing it and giving it to her. Nellie seems touched by this gesture (Work Bus).
Nellie comes in dressed as Toby and makes Pam guess her costume. She later becomes worried when Dwight discovers a pill that he learns is used to treat anxiety and believes that the person who takes it is derranged. Nellie does not want to admit the pill is hers and decides to help Dwight find the person it belongs too. Toby later realizes that she is dressed like him and he appears to try to kiss her however Nellie rejects it.She is with Dwight throughout his investigation however when Dwight believes that Meredith is the one who uses the pill and puts a butterfly net over her, Nellie admits that she is the one who takes it. She tells Dwight that she has a minor anxiety problem and that perhaps he could use some of his own. Dwight later asks for some for "Moes". Nellie agrees and a sign of friendship seems to form between them. Toby later walks up to her desk with flowers in hand however when he see's Nellie take her wig off, Toby seems to realize he only developed a liking to her because she was dressed like him (Here Comes Treble (Episode).
Nellie is recruited to help play a prank on Dwight by Jim when Dwight believes he will be interviewed about Dunder-Miflin on a radio show. Nellie plays the part of the interviewer Iris Black and does so in an American accent. She interviews Pam who plays an expert and talks about how the paper is extremely dangerous. Nellie also succeeds in convincing Dwight that the metal on his clothing is causing there to be a bad connection and convinces him to take his clothes off. Nellie later pranks Dwight by pretending to narrate a scene in which David Wallace has gone insane due to the company's failure and has kidnapped a mailman and the police have surrounded his house. Nellie and the rest of the staff appear worried when Dwight actually calls David Wallace to ask him to let the mailman go. She and the others are relieved when David dismisses his call as nonsense however. She and the others applaud Dwight when he comes out of the conference room (The Boat).
When Nellie hears about how Dwight is horrible with female clients she remarks that it could be trouble as Dwight has to land a massive client that has a female CEO. She and the other women of the office are recruited to try to train Dwight to be better with dealing with female clients. She tries to play a client however Dwight's creepy head bobbing trick makes her feel as though she will have nightmares. She also later asks Dwight several questions asking if he has ever killed any women and asks him to not kill her (The Whale).
Nellie watches with several other office members as Pete reads customer complaints from cards he has to organize but instead makes a tower of cards with them. As he reads a complaint that Darryl accidentally dialed a client while having sex Nellie teases Darryl however Darryl reveals that it was actually him eating sphaghetti in an interview. Nellie and the others later yell at Kevin when he knocks the card tower over however Pete tells everyone to calm down as no one in the room except for Pam has had a client complain about them. Pam later decides to break that record and have a client complain about her by calling a client and making a joke. When Pam is about to call Nellie tells Pam "You can do this Pam, you can fail, I see failure in you!". Pam ends up losing the client however she gets them to complain. Pete then uses the complaint card to complete the tower and Nellie can be seen in the group photo with everyone around it (The Target).
Nelle is in the kitchen with some of the office staff when she hears Toby telling his tale of the time he was on the Scranton Strangler jury. While everyone is bored by this, Nellie is the only one who seems genuinly interested. Toby begins to tell her about it however Nellie soon quickly grows bored. She tries to leave multiple times as she notices that everyone is having fun at the Christmas party outside but Toby keeps her there. Finally Nellie gets him to be quiet by putting a finger over his mouth and telling him to stop talking. Toby then asks "Are we going to kiss?". Nellie seems stunned by this question however finally replies "Yes" before the two begin kissing (Dwight Christmas).
When the office staff find themselves with lice, Nellie is one of the four (the others being Darryl, Phyllis, and Kevin) that don't have lice. Dwight orders them to move to the warehouse. When Darryl tells them that he has recently broken up with his girlfriend, Nellie mentions how brandy got her through her break up, however she notes its the singer and not the drink. When they notice that Darryl and Val still seem to have feelings for each other, Nellie decides that they should get them back together, unbeknownst to them that Darryl wanted to break up with Val so he can be free to join Jim's company in Philadelphia. When each is offering advice as to why Val should get back together with Darryl, Nellie talks about how she will go through a series of tragic and embarrassing events to get him back (she appears to be speaking from her past experiences). Val decides that they are right and decides to get back together with Darryl. As Nellie, Phyllis, and Kevin watch, they all make a motion towards the cameras expressing their feelings, Nellie's of which, is a bow (Lice).
When Darryl walks by dressed up, Nellie comments that he is looking good. He explains that he is interviewing at Jim's company. When Clark returns and brings an espresso maker, the office staff begin to try all the different flavors. Nellie comments on what her favorite flavor is and which one she doesn't like. She agrees with the other people that they should try all the flavors. She and everyone else later become very hyper and she tosses a teddy bear up and down when Oscar suggests that they move the copier. When they try to move it, it causes part of the carpet to get torn up. Nellie believes they will all get in trouble however Oscar suggests that the hardwood floor underneath it will look good. They all start tearing up the carpet, when Anglea starts complaining of a headache, Nellie suggets she just drink more coffee. When they all leave, she supposidly gets stuck in the traffic jam with the rest of the office staff (Suit Warehouse).
Nellie assigns Pete and Erin to work together on a special project to set up a Facebook page for Dunder-Miflin. She see's their work and is very impressed by them. She later visits Pete and Erin in the annex and is happy to see their first real like. Pete and Erin congratulate each other however Nellie realizes that they like each other. She becomes worried that she is responsible as she set them up together and she seeks to resolve this due to Andy having written that recommendation letter to the adoption agency for her. During a meeting on customer loyalty, Nellie tries to hint towards Erin that she is still dating Andy and to not have an affair with Pete. She succeeds in doing this as Erin feels embarresed when everyone realizes who she is referring too and everyone starts contrasting Pete and Andy. Erin tells everyone that she is still dating Andy and that she and Pete are just friends to which he agrees. Nellie is happy that she prevented them from dating while Andy is away however when talking to Toby in the kitchen, he cites several examples as to how Andy has mistreated Erin in the past. He then proceeds to hug Nellie and hold her hand. Nellie suddenly remembers that she kissed Toby during the Christmas party. Nellie later notices Pete and Erin being very formal to each other and seeming sad they can no longer talk without others judging them. Nellie feels guilty and decides to tell them that they must continue talking to each other as she plans to set them up to work on more projects in the future. Both leave clearly happy about still being able to speak to each other. Nellie returns to her desk and appears confused when Toby comes up behind her and starts to give her a shoulder massage (Customer Loyalty).
Nellie and the others begin to express concern when the applicants that Dwight brings in for the position of Junior Salesmen are all strange. Nellie describes them as "freaks" (Junior Salesman).
When Pam's mural is vandalized, she gets Dwight and Nellie to help her look for the warehouse worker that did it. Nellie comes up with a plan to make them all draw images of the ones that look similar to the one on the mural however they all realize what she is doing. She later interogates Nate with Dwight and Pam (Vandalism).
When the office staff realize that Andy will be back soon, they decide to spend their final day without a boss celebrating. They decide to go to the mall and take advantage of a couples discount by pairing up with another office worker. Nellie and Clark pair up. At the nail salon, one of the manicurists starts laughing at the fact that Clark's long hair makes him look like a girl to which Nellie also starts teasing him for. Clark then tells the manager that they are not a couple and to charge full price. Nellie then tells the cameras she can't even keep a "fake boyfriend". When Andy returns early and starts causing trouble for the office, they all consider telling David Wallace. Nellie however does not want to be the one to tell him (Couples Discount).
Toby is still trying to get Nellie to like him and decides to talk to her more about the Scranton Strangler as that is what they were talking about during the Christmas party when she kissed him. He talks to her about how he is considering sending a letter to him admitting he believes he may innocent however Nellie becomes annoyed about Toby talking about it and not doing it. This prompts Toby to not just write a letter, but in order to impress her, and against the advice of Darryl, to go visit him at the prison. However the Scranton Strangler attacks Toby and Toby is led out of the prison by medics, in a neck cast. Nellie drives him home and tells Toby that he can finally be sure that the man they have caught is the Scranton Strangler. She asks how long until his throat heals and admits she is impressed by Toby actually meeting him to which Toby raises his eyebrows at the cameras having finally impressed Nellie (Moving On).
When Dwight's aunt dies, Dwight goes around throwing dirt in peoples faces, the color of the dirt representing whether he wants the person to attend the funeral or to leave him alone. As only Oscar is invited, it can be assumed that Dwight threw black dirt in Nellie's face. When Todd Packer later shows up at the office to apologize for all his wrongdoings, Nellie and some other office staff members are willing to accept his apology when he offers them cupcakes. Nellie admits that she technically did fire him. She and the other staff (except Pam) later eat the cupcake which turns out to be laced with drugs. Nellie's cupcake causes her to have diarreah (The Farm).
When the office staff see the promos for the documentary come out, they all watch with excitement. When Michael Scott appears, Nellie appears confused as to who he is as the two have never met. She and the rest of the staff become horrified when they realize how much information they all thought was private the cameras had gotten. To which Erin express concern about sneezing and getting candy out of the candy dish once without using hand sanitizer. To which Nelly responds that in the past she has sneezed intentionally in the candy bowl when she had originally joined the office because at the time as she states “I thought I would get more screen time as a villain". Andy meanwhile spends the day arguing with people online about whether or not he is good at the banjo with someone taunting him with childish insults. The person turns out to be Nellie (Promos).
When Nellie notices that Pam will not be at the office, she believes that she and Jim are going on a romantic getaway however Pam reveals that she and Jim are getting marriage counciling. Nellie is very shocked and points out how that is the only kind of counciling she has never had. She lets Pam tell her about why her marriage with Jim is becoming troubling with his new business in Philadelphia. Toby meanwhile has a similar conversation with Jim. Nellie and Toby later meet in the kitchen and talk to each other about what Pam and Jim had told them (Stairmageddon).
During the office's paper airplane contest, Nellie is the referee. She however forgets to tell the office staff that there is a $2000 prize for whoever wins causing most people to get angry. She later addresses Dwight's complaint that Kevin did not fold his own airplane and she forces him to make his own. She later announces the winners for the final four and finally announces the winner is Dwight (Paper Airplane).
When Nellie learns that Andy is intending to quit his job to pursue his career in acting, Nellie tries to talk him out of it. Andy however does not listen and he leaves anyway (Livin' the Dream).
Nellie attends Dwight and Jim's meeting on No Nonsense. She later is present at her desk when another meeting is held on Dwight and Jim's search for an Assistant to the Assistant to the Regional Manager. She later dances with Darryl during the dance party in the office and is the second one to do so after Stanley. She goes with the office to a bar to watch the documentary and watches it while appearing very interested (A.A.R.M.).
A year after the documentary has aired, Nellie no longer works at Dunder-Miflin and now lives in Poland. She comes back from the airport to greet the cameras and runs into Toby who has been stalking her. She attends Angela's bachelorette party and later the interview of the office staff however no questions on camera were directed towards her. She attends Dwight and Angela's wedding and upon seeing that Ryan has abandon his baby with Ravi so that he can run off with Kelly, Nellie decides to adopt him, her dream of adopting a child finally complete. She is last seen smiling at the camera and cuddling with the baby telling the documentary crew "Tell Ryan that if he wants his baby back, we'll be in Europe" before asking the baby "won't we?" (Finale). She is now a mother.
- Search Committee
- After Hours
- Test the Store
- Last Day in Florida
- Get the Girl
- Welcome Party
- Angry Andy
- Turf War
- Free Family Portrait Studio
- New Guys
- Roy's Wedding
- Andy's Ancestry
- Work Bus
- Here Comes Treble
- The Boat
- The Whale
- The Target
- Dwight Christmas
- Suit Warehouse
- Customer Loyalty
- Junior Salesman
- Couples Discount
- Moving On
- The Farm
- Paper Airplane
- Livin' the Dream