The Office (US Version) was a wildly successful TV series depicting the everyday lives of office employees over the course of nine seasons, but to who or what does this series owe its raging success? Maybe it's the relatability to the average working American or the stellar writing team, but most fans of the show would agree that the secret sauce was the character of Michael Scott (Steve Carrell).
Michael is endearing and annoying, insecure and narcissistic, vulnerable and resilient. Like an onion, Michael has many layers, but he's also full of hilarious one-liners that only a masterful comedian like Steve Carrell could deliver with a straight face. Here are 10 of the best Michael Scott quotes in the show.
10 On Superstition
"I’m not superstitious, but I am a little 'stitious."
The Office is filled with amazing quotes from Michael Scott, but this one is a fan favorite. In true Michael Scott form, he does love a good play on words and, let's face it, he probably thinks that "stitious" is an actual word. This quote has been given without any context clues to preserve the sheer randomness and prevent spoilers, but he does deliver this one-liner while looking directly at the camera. Good lucking finding it! Hint: it involves Meredith and a fun run.
9 On Being Loved
"Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."
This classic line was delivered by Michael Scott during season 2's "The Fight," an entire episode revolving around a showdown between Michael and Dwight at Dwight's martial arts school.
As absurdly funny as the episode is, this line is by far the best thing about it. So, is Michael Scott deeply insecure or slightly narcissistic? Probably a little bit of both.
8 On Bedtime Habits
"I'm an early bird and a night owl. So I'm wise and I have worms."
Season two was packed full of amazing Michael Scott quotes, including this one, which was delivered on episode three "The Office Olympics." Michael Scott's logic is truly mind-blowing, isn't it?
I'm sure he thought this was unbelievably clever before AND after he said it, especially as the part where he said he had worms went right over his head. Ah, to be that naive and sure of yourself.
7 On Toby
“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."
Fans of the show are all very aware of Michael Scott's hatred toward Toby, an unassuming, mild-mannered man who works in human resources, but we never really understand why. Saying that, the fact that we never know the source of Michael's vitriol makes it all the funnier (plus, who doesn't have a nemesis in the work place)? The depth of Michael's feelings is expressed perfectly in this hilarious quote from season six.
6 On Speaking
"Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way."
One of the most endearing things about Michael Scott is how unexpectedly relatable he can be at times, particularly with this quote, delivered in season five's "The Duel."
Sometimes people have a bad habit of not thinking before they speak, but at least Michael Scott is aware that he has an uncontrollable motor mouth that is constantly getting him into trouble. In an office environment, there are plenty of people who like to hear themselves speak, but not many people will admit that they have no idea what they're saying half of the time.
5 On Misusing Common Sayings
"It just seems awfully mean. But sometimes, the ends justify the mean."
Michael Scott is guilty of butchering common sayings all the time, and this is just another one of those times. Unsurprisingly, this particular quote is said in season five's episode titled "Frame Toby," so fans can probably guess what Michael's referring to. In another episode, Michael says "well, well, well, how the turntables," so his inability to properly use old adages is a constant source of laughs throughout the series.
4 On Inside Jokes
"I love inside jokes. I'd love to be a part of one someday."
This joke is both sad and funny, much like Michael Scott's character. This particular quote comes out of Season three's episode titled "The Convention," after Michael has lost Jim to the Stamford branch of the company.
Upon seeing Jim alongside his new boss at the convention, Michael brings the cringe by trying to be "in on the joke," but it's clear he has no idea what's going on. Again, it's that vulnerability that makes Michael Scott's character lovable.
3 On Faking It
"And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do."
Um, who can't relate to faking it in the office? Michael Scott delivers this iconic line in season five's two-part episode titled "Stress Relief," considered by many to be the best episodes of the entire series. After Dwight stages a very realistic fire drill, his co-workers truly believe they're trapped inside a burning building. Chaos ensues, but it culminates in Stanley having a heart attack due to the stress. As a result, Michael is brutally honest about how ill-prepared he was for an emergency.
2 On Wikipedia
“Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information.”
This quote appears in the 18th episode of season three, "The Negotiation," when Darryl approaches Michael about wanting a raise. In an effort to prepare himself for the inevitable confrontation, Michael turns to Wikipedia to look up "no-fail negotiation tactics." As you can imagine, the advice he finds is pretty awful, but leave it to Michael Scott to turn to Wikipedia for management tips.
1 On Dirty Jokes
"That’s what she said."
Hey, we saved the best for last! "That's what she said" is Michael Scott's trademark phrase, and any true fan of the show has probably thrown this sexually charged joke around in mixed company a time or two (or a few hundred).
Believe it or not, Michael Scott didn't coin the phrase, although The Office definitely popularized it. The earliest documented case of the phrase appears in a 1975 episode of Saturday Night Live when Chevy Chase used the joke during "Weekend Update" in the first season.