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Examining Michael Scott’s Seething Hatred For Toby Flenderson On ‘The Office’

It’s no secret that Michael Scott despises Toby Flenderson with a burning hatred that any mental health professional would categorize as borderline psychotic. From Toby’s very first appearance on The Office, Michael makes it known that he dislikes him, telling Toby that his joke is “offensive and lame” and that he “should just get the hell out”.

Toby’s presence in the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office and his attempts to maintain a professional atmosphere at work are a call for Michael to wage psychological warfare. As evidenced by the following examples, Michael Scott’s hatred for Toby knows no bounds.


“I didn’t even invite you to my birthday party, why are you here?”

Regardless of Toby being in the office everyday Michael questions his presence at his party. It’s the sort of sarcastic questioning that probably had Toby second-guessing himself at any social event he went to from that point on and it’s doubly cruel because the best part of working in any office is the free birthday sheet cake.


“I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.”

Michael and Toby have differing managerial styles, but rather than work toward some kind of compromise, Michael would rather question Toby’s way of being and let it be know that he doesn’t just hate that Toby won’t tolerate his juvenile behavior, but he hates his existence as a human being.


Michael pushes Toby’s tray on the ground.

Foolish Toby. The guy thought he might be able to connect with Michael’s difficult decision to testify concerning Jan’s dismissal. Michael ruthlessly shuts down any attempt at connecting, though, not with his words, but by pushing Toby’s lunch tray to the floor like a middle school bully.


Michael enlists Dwight to help him frame Toby.

After returning from Costa Rica and shattering Michael’s world, Toby foolishly thinks he can simply return to his old job. Desperate to forever rid himself of Toby’s presence, Michael enlists Dwight to help frame Toby for smuggling in narcotics. It’s a weak attempt, but a testament to Michael’s hatred for Toby Flenderson.


“You’re a waste of life and should give up. Is what I want to say, but I won’t”

I gotta give it to Michael on this one. He sidesteps a potential HR write-up, yet manages to brutally insult Toby by framing his insult as an example of an insensitive joke. It’s just as mean as every other encounter he has with Toby, but cleverly disguised.


“Toby’s not really a part of his family.”

Oof, this one is just like a punch in the gut. Toby wasn’t even in the room to hear the insult, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he still had the wind knocked out of him from something like that being in the world, because that kind of hit you can sense.


Michael humiliates Toby in front of a woman.

Toby really should have known better than to try to flirt with the cute purse girl in front of Michael. Not only does this conversation end incredibly awkwardly for Toby and Katy, but it’s also a crystal clear example of Michael’s insecurity.


Michael checks Toby on the ice.

Perhaps the only time Michael takes his hatred of Toby to a physical level, this dick-ish move is right out of the 80s-teen-movie-bully handbook.


“Of all the idiots, in all the idiot-villages, in all the idiot-worlds, you stand alone my friend.”

Michael Scott’s never traveled across the universe, but it really says something about his dislike for Toby that out of all the possible worlds, there’s no greater idiot in his eyes.


“I hate looking at your face. I wanna smash it!”

Frankly, Toby was lucky he got out of this HR sit-down with Michael alive. There’s no doubt in my mind that if somebody had locked the two of them in a room together Michael would have treated Toby’s dopey-looking face like a piñata .


“If I had a gun with two bullets and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden, and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice.”

Not only is this insult about as cold-hearted as they come, but could possibly be construed as a threat of bodily harm. I mean, Hitler and Bin Laden, damn.


Toby returns and sends Michael into a psychological breakdown.

If there was ever any doubt of Michael’s complete and total hatred of Toby, it was forever put to rest with this freakout.

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