For nine seasons, The Office entertained viewers from all walks of life. Despite a less-than-popular first season, the show collected the cult status moniker, and people are still being introduced to the show and becoming addicted today. That's why The Office will sustain its popularity for many years.
There isn’t a situation in real life that can’t be compared or equated to The Office. Whether it's a character, a scene, a snippet of dialog, almost anything you encounter in your day-to-day endeavors can be tied to the show somehow.
But certain parts of the show present interesting information and subtext that seems to need further exploration.
The sheer number of episodes - over two hundred - facilitates the opportunity for fans to fill in the gaps. Many of the crazy fan theories for The Office address subjects \not expounded on by the writers in the show. Details are pulled from the episodes and when they're pointed it, it forces you to go back to watch it to make sure that detail was really there. When you finally understand the fan theory - even though it might be a stretch - it’s hard to forget it.
This list includes fan theories about The Office with amazing evidence and explanations. The next time you watch that particular scene or come across the dialog the theory refers to, you may think the theory is 100% correct. Besides, it makes The Office more fun to watch.
Here’s The Office: 20 Crazy Fan Theories That Change Everything.
22 Michael Hates Toby Because of Divorce
Michael Scott clearly hates Toby. In most episodes he makes some quip or degrading action towards Toby as the H.R. representative. But where does this contempt come from? It can't be because Toby has wronged Michael in some way; we see that Toby should have had Scott fired many times over.
The theory says Michael doesn’t like Toby because he has hatred toward divorced dads.
It’s known that Michael had a stepdad named Jeff, so maybe Michael resents his real dad because he divorced his mom. Because Toby is divorced, Michael transfers that ire to his H.R. person. Michael just wants a family, which he feels Toby has messed up himself.
Plus, when Michael is tricked into playing board games in a “therapy session” with Toby, he eventually talks about the issues with his real father.
21 "Casino Night" - Jim & Pam Kissed Twice
Pam and Jim’s moral compass is out of whack from “Casino Night” and beyond. It’s been the belief for a long time that Jim sought out Pam that night in order to kiss her after he admitted his feelings for her. At first, she played it off, but insisted they stay friends.
Missing footage posits that Jim and Pam kissed twice, not once. In “Casino Night” they kiss but stand there not knowing what to do. But in “Gay Witch Hunt” (the season 3 premiere), the same scene is shown, but in mid-kiss. Once completed, Jim says, “You have no idea how long I wanted to do that.”
It’s theorized that that second scene is the second kiss: Jim kisses Pam, then Pam kisses Jim. In “Cocktails”, Pam tells Roy she kissed Jim.
20 Creed Bratton isn't Creed Bratton
A mysterious man, Creed Bratton is in charge of quality assurance, but does he really perform that job? More importantly, is Creed Bratton really his name?
Creed has stated that he’s transferred his debt to a person named William Charles Schneider. Then in one episode, he said that the “last guy to steal from [me]” was never seen again, and his name was Creed Bratton. The theory goes that Creed’s real name is William Charles Schneider.
William eliminated the real Creed and took his name.
The name William Charles Schneider comes up at another important time. In the episode, “Money”, Creed shows us his passport, which has the name William Charles Schneider in it.
19 Roy Betrayed Pam... With Angela
On first hearing that Roy cheated on Pam with Angela, it seems far-fetched. But take a look at the evidence:
First, Roy demonstrates some kind of attraction toward Angela when he says he’d hook up with her in a game of "Who Would You Do?" in “The Fire”. In “Casino Night”, when Michael gets the night started by saying “Old friends! New lovers!” Roy and Angela look at each other with subtle attraction.
In “The Negotiation,” when Roy returns to the office to get his last paycheck, Angela called him “very strong.” Kevin chuckles in the background, leading some to believe he knew that Roy and Angela had been together.
Perhaps Angels has always resented Pam because Roy chose Pam over Angela.
18 Jim Halpert is a sociopath
A few characters have been named as the Scranton Strangler. That includes Jim Halpert.
Could Jim be a sociopath, emotionally abusing the weaker co-workers like Dwight?
He doesn’t get in trouble, using his charm to talk his way out. And how often does Jim lie, whether for a prank, or in general conversation?
For example, he consistently agrees with Michael even when Michael is wrong about something, like when Michael asks Jim, “Who’s that band from Scranton? Is it U2?” Jim immediately answers "yes" with no hesitation.
The cameras are all around, but Jim is aware of them more than all his co-workers combined. Maybe he’s trying to keep the perception of him positive.
The most telling evidence? The Strangler strikes when Jim is in Scranton and under stress, like the night of Cece’s birth.
17 Kevin Malone is a Genius
Kevin gave viewers several pieces of evidence he’s smarter than he lets on. For example, when he answers questions in the first trivia contest and beats Oscar.
For other evidence, you have to go to the webisodes. In one, Kevin blatantly states his IQ is over 100. Also, Angela is the accountant that made an error causing thousands of dollars to go missing.
He can’t perform basic functions in an office like transferring phone calls? And he “accidentally” shreds his credit cards? The pretense is further solidified when Dwight pranks Holly Flax by telling her Kevin is mentally challenged. It's all just too convenient.
16 The Documentary is Actually an in-show Sitcom
From the very first episode, we learn that a documentary crew is filming the workers of the Scranton branch for insight into an American workplace, which becomes the eventual title of the PBS show later. But when you break it down, is it really a documentary? What if it’s a sitcom written by Jim Halpert?
Jim was the darling of the office for nearly the entire show. He was charming, funny, and played pranks we all wished we could do to our own co-workers. However, the few times he almost looked bad - when he went to Philadelphia, for instance - he still looked like the hero. Plus, Michael never punished him for any of the tomfoolery.
Were we all tricked by Jim? Maybe. The rest of the office looked like fools while he perpetually remained in the good light.
15 Creed is the Stranton Strangler
There’s a crazy fan theory out there that says Creed Bratton is the Scranton Strangler.
As we established, ans think Creed is actually William Schneider and he took Creed’s identity. If William did dispatch Creed, would his method be strangulation? Creed never comes out and explicitly says how the man went missing, but from the tone and content of the statement, foul play was the most likely outcome.
A few instances have showing Creed is not unfamiliar with darkness.
During a Halloween party, he shows up with real blood on his shirt, saying the party was good timing. What about the episode when Michael informs Creed that there's been a slaying and Creed inexplicably says he’s “gotta go, boss” and leaves.
14 Jim stepped out on Pam in Philadelphia
As much as you probably don’t want to believe it, Jim Halpert may have had an affair during his time in Philadelphia. And worse? The documentary crew and producers kept it hidden.
We know the producers left stuff out. Remember Meredith obtaining her PhD during the show? She mentioned it during the panel, but we saw none of it.
The boom operator Brian attempts to make a move on Pam. It makes sense if he knew Jim was messing around. Also, most of Jim’s life in Philly isn’t captured, unless it involved Pam.
Nellie throws it out there, when she and Pam are talking at one point, that Jim might be having an affair. It’s a quick statement never addressed again - supposedly a joke. Does she know something Pam doesn’t?
13 Stanley didn't survive His Heart Attack
A strange fan theory about The Office that emerged is based on Stanley Hudson’s heart attack in “Stress Relief, Part 1”. Some fans feel the show declined in quality after that because the characters turned into cartoonish versions of themselves.
Stanley actually lost his life from the heart attack, and the office is his personal hell/purgatory.
His life prior involved multiple affairs and an unhealthy disdain for his work and most people, especially Michael Scott. The office’s antics get weirder and his co-workers become more eccentric and outlandish.
Stanley does retire, but the theory states that it’s because he served his time in purgatory and is allowed to move on to heaven. Try watching episodes after “Stress Relief” and not thinking Stanley’s in hell.
12 Toby is the Scranton Strangler
One of the most popular fan theories out there about The Office is that Toby Flenderson is the Scranton Strangler.
The biggest piece of evidence is during the episode, “Viewing Party”. The cold open shows the employees watching the police chase the Scranton Strangler in cars. Toby isn’t in the office. Then later, Toby doesn’t show up to the Glee party held by Gabe and Erin.
Season 9 did have a reveal who the Scranton Strangler was (George Howard Skub), but fans aren’t buying it. Toby continuously brings up the Scranton Strangler, possibly because of his guilt of putting an innocent man in jail. Maybe he’s hoping his co-workers will understand he’s trying to confess.
Also, when Toby visited Skub in prison, it’s thought that Toby acknowledged the truth to SKub, and Skub tried to strangle him for revenge.
11 Michael Scott is Faking
Is Michael Scott bored of working at the Scranton branch? He’s worked there for decades. One theorist states that Michael acts how he does on the screen because life at Dunder-Mifflin is monotonous and has to find a way to amuse himself.
There are bouts of intelligence shining through at times, like when he makes the office play a mystery game. He doesn’t it not for himself, but for a distraction of the company going under. “They need this game,” he says confidently.
While he uses some words incorrectly, he uses many uncommon words correctly, without hesitation - like he forgot he’s supposed to be the fool.
His popular catch phrase, “That’s what she said,” is used to relief tension, as he admits seriously to Jim in “Survivor Man.”
10 Phyllis & Stanley's Secret Relationship
Stanley and Phyllis are the cantankerous and matronly (respectively) salespeople who are surprisingly good friends. One fan theory thinks they had an affair before the events of the first episode.
The weakest of the evidence states that Stanley is a known cheater, and Phyllis is known to be promiscuous. In one episode, Toby informs everyone that any office romance needs to be disclosed to HR. Phyllis asks if one-night stands counts. If it was in the past, should it matter?
In “The Merger”, Phyllis’s perfume offends Karen. Stanley has sat next to Phyllis for years with that perfume. Perhaps at one point he liked it, but now smelling it only brings up bad memories of their affair.
9 Kevin is Stealing Money from Dunder-Mifflin
Could Kevin be stealing money from Dunder-Mifflin? One theory thinks so and that Kevin just pretending to be stupid so no one thinks he’s smart enough to do it.
How did Kevin afford the bar at the end of the series, after being fired?
Directly referring to insider trading in “The Convict” episode, he states “I had Martin explain to me three times what he got arrested for… it sounds like what I do here every day.” Martin is the Stamford employee who was previously convicted for insider trading.
His gambling problem never seems to affect his finances. He uses petty cash for golf and basketball bets, but we don’t know how much he returns - if he does any.
8 Scranton Employees Suffer from Radon Poisoning
One of the theories on why the Scranton branch’s employees act stranger as the show went one - and Michael Scott acts normal after he moves away to Colorado - involves radon poisoning.
More than once, Toby brings up that it’s time for their office to get tested for radon, but it’s Toby, so no one pays attention. Michael is always the first to poke fun and dismiss the idea. Maybe Toby is on the right track.
There is so much radon in the air that its affecting everyone’s brains, which causes them to become more peculiar, season after season. Even those with consistently reasonable behavior, like Jim and Pam, act in dramatic ways that don’t befit them.
7 Dwight is Disconnected From Reality
Dwight has a problem separating fantasy from reality. This disconnect involves him in believing fictional stories and things to be real. One of the main reasons this is happening is probably because Dwight was never allowed to watch movies growing up, as mentioned in episode “Golden Ticket”.
As a result, Dwight believes Jim is slowly turning into a vampire and his neighbor’s pet dog is a werewolf.
Also, in “Diversity Day”, Dwight can’t discern between a superhero and a hero.
What about the Benjamin Franklin impersonator? Dwight barrages him with questions to prove he’s not the real Ben Franklin.
Dwight got into science fiction and fantasy later in real life, but at that point his brain found it more difficult to differentiate between what was on the screen and what was happening around him.
6 Camera Crew Kept Scranton in Business
For the first several seasons, the threat of the Scranton branch shutting down always seemed to be imminent. Michael is recklessly spending money on parties and constantly making financial mistakes, and any sales seen on the show are typically from the same two or three people.
One fan theory involves the camera crew. To keep the branch open so they could film the ridiculous shenanigans of the office’s employees, the camera crew kept buying Dunder-Mifflin paper. The documentary crew probably felt the craziness they witnessed early on was worth buying the paper.
Even though the documentary would air on PBS, they most likely had a TV deal that made any money back spent on paper.
5 Everyone Wants to be Famous
The characters acted stranger and stranger as the seasons went on in a bid to become famous. In the first two seasons, most of them seemed normal, bored employees of the corporate machine.
Realizing the potential of how many might watch the documentary, some employees went overboard.
Kelly wanted to be the next Kardashian and used Ryan to induce drama to get on screen more. Jim pranked Dwight because he wanted to be the star. Michael acted the way he did because it made for great reality TV.
As a result, the show became more about how weird the employees could be rather than about how an office functions. Eventually, the crew must have just said "forget it" and filmed whatever they could.
4 Michael is a Brilliant Businessman
Michael Scott pretending to a rude and idiotic manager is hard to fathom. With the amount of sexist, crude, and obnoxious things he says and the unfortunate ability to become involved in crazy situations, he couldn’t be faking.
But could everything Michael does be a way to get others to underestimate him so he can get what he wants in the end? In “The Client”, Scott moves the meeting with a potential client, which angers Jan, but in the end, the client relaxes and ultimately gives them 100% of the county’s business.
With a brilliant speech, Michael manages to get the very successful traveling paper salesman Danny Cordray in the episode “The Sting” to come work for Dunder-Mifflin after spying on Cordray in the most exaggerated manner.
3 Bob Vance is Getting Free Advertising
As a The Office fan, you can’t hear the name Bob Vance without hearing “Vance Refrigeration” right after. Vance’s company is next door to Dunder Mifflin Paper in the Scranton Business park; both business take up the second floor.
Why does Bob Vance - and even Phyllis in later episodes - constantly introduce himself as “Bob Vance, Vance refrigeration”?
One theory says that Bob has become self-aware in the documentary and is using the documentary crew for free advertising.
At first, you might think he’s trying an aggressive approach to selling products and services to those he encounters on screen. But think deeper: by repeating his name, he’s getting free publicity to the potential viewers of the documentary when it airs.
2 The Office, Parks & Rec, & Dexter
The Sabre printer company purchased Dunder-Mifflin in season six. Employees Jo Bennet and Gabe Lewis became memorable characters that elevated the show further. While the characters don't show that The Office, Parks & Rec, and Dexter exist in the same universe, Sabre’s products do.
Parks & Rec had originally been intended as a spin-off of The Office, but the concept was rejected. In season 4’s episode 5, a Sabre printer was shown sitting on the desk in Parks & Rec. The connection is at least more feasible there than on Dexter because of the spin-off origins.
On Dexter, a Sabre printer was also seen in one episode. Sabre is a Tallahassee-based company, so why wouldn’t Dexter use their products since he’s in Miami?
1 Creed is Looking for Nessie
It’s clear Creed is the most unstable of the Scranton crew. There’ve been many instances where he’s said some crazy things, but some of Creed’s nonsense actually make sense.
Two subtle pieces of dialog indicate that he is on the hunt for the Loch Ness monster.
In the episode “The Semina", when Andy is holding a meeting to sell to local business men, Creed comes in as a presenter. He rattles off body parts of the monster, then offers “all the riches in Scotland” for its capture.
Then in an employee interview with the documentary crew, Creed says, “If I can’t scuba, then what’s this all been about?” It sounds like a general question about life, but paired with his recruitment speech, it seems Creed is searching for something besides the meaning of life.
What's your choice The Office fan theory? Let us know in the comments!