Dwight leaps at every opportunity to gain power and authority, often using it to punish his co-workers, especially Jim Halpert. For example, he attempts to use his assignment of choosing a new health care policy as an opportunity to have Jim fired. He also seems to be the only employee with enough nerve to stand up to Michael.
Dwight seems to have an admiration for TV and movie villains, such as Lex Luthor and Anakin Skywalker.
Dwight is a pop culture and sci-fi buff who has expressed fanship of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, 24, Alias, Smallville, The Apprentice, Heroes, and Lost, as well as an apparent obsession with Battlestar Galactica. His all-time favorite film, out of the "over 240" he has seen, is The Crow. He hints at being afraid of androids taking over the world and mythical creatures such as vampires or zombies coming for him. Dwight also seems to collect expensive action figures that are "worth more than [Jim's] car."
Dwight, at one time, wears a World Anime Expo 2002 T-shirt, suggesting that he attended this (fictitious) anime convention. The image on the shirt is identified in a deleted Talking Head as (the fictitious) Konikotaka, whom Dwight describes as his ideal woman, as well as a survivor of monster rape.
Dwight once claimed to have a perfect immune system, though he has suffered some ailments and maladies in subsequent episodes. He claims to be able to raise and lower his cholesterol at will, simply by concentration. Around Michael's Birthday, he also claims to have tipped his Urologist for pulverizing his kidney stones, however he will not tip anyone for doing something he can do himself (e.g. delivering food, driving a taxi, etc.).
Dwight has a great understanding of the Hindu religion. He explains the origin of the Diwali (The Festival of Lights) and wears a kurta to the Diwali party.
Dwight attempted to win a Jethro Tull box set in a Rock 107 call-in contest. He served as DJ for the eighth annual Dundie awards and his music tastes include Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire," R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts", and Life of Agony's "River Runs Red." He uses Mötley Crüe to pump himself up, using "Wild Side" to prepare for a performance review and "Kickstart My Heart" to prepare for a sales call. On the filing cabinet next to his desk is a sticker for Froggy 101, a Scranton country-western station.
Dwight is musically talented as well. He has been known to jam on the guitar, and he is seen regularly playing the recorder. His repertoire includes "Greensleeves," "Mambo No. 5," "On the Wings of Love," and "The Longest Time" by Billy Joel. He plays guitar for Michael Scott on two occasions: He plays "Teach Your Children" on Michael's guitar on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and he accompanies Michael's Adam Sandler-inspired tune "The Diwali Song" at the Diwali party.
Dwight loves Count Chocula cereal.
Dwight is interested in muscle cars and drives a maroon 1987 Pontiac Trans Am which he restored and which gets eight miles per gallon. Prior to that, he owned a 1978 Nissan 280Z. He also has interest in the quality of auto parts, particularly shock absorbers.
Dwight's fashion sense exhibits his nerdiness in subtle ways. He wears a short-sleeved shirt to work regardless of the weather (special occasions excepted), and he wears a Casio calculator watch. He also cuts his own hair.
Dwight keeps an extra pair of Birkenstock sandals in his car "for special occasions".
Dwight has a collection of bobblehead dolls at his desk including a personalized one that Angela gave him for Valentine's Day. He also has former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal and former Phillies first baseman and current Baseball Tonight co-host John Kruk.
Dwight has repeatedly expressed his love for laser tag. On his blog, he tells fans that his team is named "The Gandalfs". He also says beginning in '02, his team went on a four-year championship run. When fooled into believing that he missed an episode of The Apprentice, Dwight explains that he was out drinking with his laser tag team.
Dwight is also a fan of paintball. He offered Phyllis lessons as his Secret Santa gift at the Christmas Party, and he used his paintball mask as protection against a bat.
Dwight owns an impressive array of weaponry. In addition to laser tag and paintball equipment, he has a crossbow range at his farm, hinted that he may bring a bo staff to work when he is named official security supervisor of the Scranton branch. He maintained a hidden arsenal of weapons at his desk, including pepper spray, nunchucks, throwing stars, a stun gun, a boomerang, handcuffs, a nightstick, a pair of brass knuckles, and a samurai sword, all of which were confiscated.
Dwight often refers to women as animals. He once said, "Women are like wolves. If you want a wolf, you have to trap it. You have to snare it and then you have to tame it. Keep it happy, care for it, feed it. Lovingly. The way that an animal deserves to be loved. And my animal deserves a lot of loving."
Dwight knows how to make traditional corn husk dolls.
Dwight claims to be Roman Catholic, although his family was historically Amish. The aforementioned deleted scene, and a deleted scene from Booze Cruise, in which Dwight asks Captain Jack if there is a monster in Lake Wallenpaupak who eats Catholics, suggest that Dwight's family may be anti-Catholic. On the other hand, Dwight's grandfather may have told that story to keep a young Dwight from going into the lake.
Dwight's personal cell phone number is seen on a hand bill he has just photocopied. Calling the number (1-800-984-3672) connects to his voicemail message, with special information about him selling his 1985 Firebird.
Dwight: Don’t you want to earn Shrute bucks?
Stanley: No. In fact, I’ll give you a billion Stanley nickels if you never talk to me again.
Dwight: What’s the ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks?
Stanley: Same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.
A running joke is that Dwight refers to himself as "Assistant Regional Manager" and is always corrected as actually "Assistant to the Regional Manager". Eventually, he is promoted to "Assistant Regional Manager" to humor him, though the new title has no bearing on his actual job.
Dwight was shunned from his family between the ages of four and six for forgetting to save the excess oil from a can of tuna. He explains that shunning is a common Amish practice. He lost a grade school spelling bee by misspelling the word "failure", in front of the entire school. In seventh grade, he played the invented role of "Mutey the Mailman" in a production of Oklahoma!
Little is revealed about Dwight's parents except that his father — also named Dwight Schrute — battled high blood pressure and obesity all his life, but often went hunting with his son. Dwight's father would take him and his brothers to a swimming hole on hot summer days as a child until 10:00 AM, then they would work the beet fields until well after midnight.
Dwight lives in a nine-bedroom farmhouse on his family's 60-acre beet farm with his cousin Mose, selling beets to local stores and restaurants. The farmhouse has only one bathroom, which is under the porch. Teenagers have been known to use the farm for sex.
Dwight's maternal grandfather, whose surname was Manheim, fought in World War II and killed twenty men before ending up in an Allied prison camp, which indicates that his grandfather was a German soldier. During Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Michael refers to Dwight's grandmother as a "Nazi war criminal".
Dwight's paternal great-grandfather, Dweide Schrude, was Amish.
There is a subtle plot line developing around Dwight's grandfather. During the Casino Night, Dwight arrived at the event wearing the tuxedo in which his grandfather was buried. A coffin is seen in the barn on the Schrute family farm. Dwight once said that his grandfather was reburied in an old oil drum.
He had an uncle named Gunther, a goat farmer, who fled the Allied invasion of Germany and married a Finnish woman with whom he had 17 children. He also had an Uncle Grit who revealed that the Schrute family has an on-going hatred of Harry S Truman because they were staunch supporters of Thomas Dewey. He mentions a cousin named Heindl, who lost 12% of the hearing in her left ear because of a ninja.
According to Dwight, the Schrute family "produces thirsty babies".
Inexplicably, Dwight worships his boss, viewing him as a model for success, and often jumps in on Michael's ill-conceived schemes, including an old-fashioned raid of Accounting by Sales. He even went so far as to give Michael his own urine to ensure he would pass a mandatory drug test (although he did it with extreme reluctance). He craves authority, and is thrilled when asked to handle any task, such as choosing a health plan and being appointed as an honorary security guard for the office building. He has also been known to assume authority even when it is not handed to him. He lists Michael as his emergency contact and injured himself with a concussion when crashing his car in trying to rescue Michael.
Dwight states that his favorite moment in Dunder Mifflin history would be his first day when Michael hazed him with the fire extinguisher.
Dwight received his long-desired "promotion" from Assistant to the Regional Manager to Assistant Regional Manager because Michael feels bad for embarrassing Dwight in a fight at his dojo, only to lose it a year later when the Scranton and Stamford branches merge.
Dwight sometimes feels threatened by Ryan, to whom Michael often assigns tasks, and he continues his resentment towards Ryan throughout the second season, often addressing him as "Temp." Dwight attempts to take Ryan under his wing, since he does not want to constantly be at odds with him as he was with Jim. After a failed initiation attempt, Dwight takes Ryan on his first sales call with negative results. Ryan however, retaliates at the company he failed to win by throwing eggs at the company building, with Dwight quick to follow. The two end up going out for beers afterwards.
Dwight is in no denial about his occasionally sexist and bigoted views. Dwight has also expressed homophobic views, but is unable to recognize homosexuality in others. He is also not above backstabbing, such as stealing a valuable sales commission from Jim or trying to undermine Michael by meeting with Jan Levinson to usurp control of the branch. However, Dwight is revealed to be the culprit behind both incidents to the victims. As a result of trying to steal Michael's job, Dwight is forced to do his boss's laundry for one year, even after he is forgiven. As far as his personal interactions with people in or outside of work, Dwight is leery of new people and never shakes hands with people unless told otherwise, even if they take the initiative.
Dwight develops a secret relationship with Angela. The relationship is hinted at by a few co-workers. The couple are caught by the documentary camera snuggling in the backyard during Jim's party. The pair discuss the rearing of children during Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Dwight also tries to attack Oscar when he pushes Angela out of his way after she makes a snide remark about his homosexuality.
Pam begins to suspect a relationship between Dwight and Angela just before Jim's BBQ by observing their interactions, suspicions which are strengthened in later and pretty much confirmed at a later date. Ryan discovers the relationship between the two when he overhears a coded conversation between the two in the kitchen. Jim discovers the relationship while coming out of the bathroom. It is no longer much of a secret.
Dwight firmly believes that the only thing that separates humans from animals is rules. Dwight's rigid adherence to rules irritates others at times, such as his immediate need to noisily shred documents and credit cards. He is frequently the victim of practical jokes by coworkers Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. As a result of this, Dwight and Jim have an ongoing feud that reaches a head, when Dwight threatens to quit unless Jim is transferred. Professionally, Dwight wins the 2005 Salesman of the Year Award, though this is likely due, at least in part, to his stealing Jim's largest client. But, the award is especially impressive due to the countless hours he has wasted helping Michael with his various antics.
As a result of the Scranton-Stamford merger, Dwight loses his number two position to Jim and is in an ongoing battle with new salesman Andy Bernard to gain Michael's favor as his right-hand man. The struggle comes to a head when Andy capitalizes on the events of Dwight's betrayal and convinces Michael to fire Dwight for being disloyal once again. In, Michael realizes his mistake and hires Dwight back.