This Amusing Fan Theory Explains Why Michael Despised Toby So Much On ‘The Office’

Paul Lieberstein, Steve Carell, The Office, NBC, 042916

If you love The Office, then it’s no secret to you that Michael Scott loathed Toby Flenderson with a passion. In fact, in the fourth season finale entitled “Goodbye, Toby”, Michael is positively gleeful that Toby has chosen to resign from Dunder Mifflin Paper Company and move to Costa Rica. Though we adored Michael’s disgust for Toby, and all of the delightful one-liners that came with it, we never quite understood where all of this hatred came from. According to Michael, it was simply because, his job was to “make the office fun, while [Toby’s] job is to make the office lame”.


That didn’t seem like very sound reasoning (even coming from Michael). However, reddit user NanoDood has given us a much clearer explanation for all of the animosity. NanoDood suggests that Michael hates Toby so much because he thinks he will be Toby in the future.  If you’ve binge watched and obsessed over The Office like we have, then you know that Michael’s worst fear is being alone and unloved. This is why he can’t bear to be left out of the loop, and why he deals with psycho ex-boss Jan Levinson for so long. For Michael, Toby is the literal manifestation of everything that he fears. He’s divorced, bald, pathetic and rather miserable. Since Michael isn’t exactly known for his maturity, in order to combat his fears, he chooses to lash out against Toby.

Also if you never noticed, in “Goodbye Toby”, we also meet Holly Flax, Michael’s future BAE. Holly is everything Michael wants, so when he initially loses her and Toby randomly comes back in season 5, he is positively horrified. Luckily everything works out in the end for everyone, Toby even gets a new HR position at TJ Maxx.

Remember Toby’s delightful going away present from Michael?