The Office: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Michael Scott

When the world was first introduced to Michael Scott, he was a slick-haired confident paper company manager with a lot to say. He was also rather unlikable, not just to his co-workers, but also to viewers at home.

In the pilot of The Office, he closes a sale with ease, but mistakenly refers to the female client as “sir.” He deflects the embarrassment by claiming that she must have been a smoker.

Throughout the series, Michael makes similar blunders, much to the chagrin of his co-workers and whoever else he surrounds himself with.

After the first season, Michael becomes a much more sympathetic and likable character. The mistakes, bizarre decisions, and ignorance continue, but they become somewhat endearing.

Viewers still continue to cringe as they watch Michael make a fool of himself, but they also have reverence for him at the same time.

The result of this is Michael Scott becoming one of the most interesting characters in modern sitcom - a lovable goofball that provides countless laughs.

The Office takes its viewers on a journey with Michael as he manages, or tries to manage, a simple paper company. Along the way, there are a lot of decisions that just do not make much sense. Some of them are simple head-scratchers made by Michael’s character while others are bizarre decisions made by the writers of the show.

Here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Michael Scott In The Office.

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20 He was never fired

Michael Scott proudly displays his “World’s Best Boss” mug on his desk. While he has his redeeming and charming moments, it is clear from episode 1 that Michael is far from the best manager the world has to offer.

Michael proves himself to be a menace to his coworkers time and time again.

Arguably his most ruthless offense came when he tried to frame Toby by placing a bag of a certain (what he thought was) illicit substance in his desk.

It turned out that Michael himself got tricked as the bag was filled with Caprese salad, but nonetheless, the intent was there.

He has many other moments similar to this, but this one stands out because the intent was to get someone canned. It is surpsing that as a result, he did not get the boot himself.

19 He didn't know Toby was back in the office

It is a meme shown all over the internet - Michael Scott with his mouth agape and face stressed, screaming “no” at the top of his lungs.

The origin of that meme comes from the aptly named episode “Frame Toby”.

In the opening scene, someone mentions that Toby, the HR representative for the company and public enemy number 1 for Michael, is back to work after an absence.

Michael, disbelieving that this could be happening to him, goes to Toby’s desk

There he sees Toby, in all his mundane glory sitting at his desk and screams in protest.

While it is not surprising that Michael reacted the way he did, it is a bit hard to believe that he would not know that Toby was back. He is the boss, is he not?

18 He is the same age as Phyllis

Everyone in the office has an established personality or brand. Stanley is careless and uninterested, Ryan is manipulating and cruel, and Dwight is, well, he is just Dwight.

Phyllis Lapin Vance is the older and caring mother-like figure of the office.

It is very clear that Phyllis is one of the older individuals in the office. The actress, Phyllis Smith, was the second oldest original cast member, second only to Creed Bratton.

However, it comes as a surprise when we discover that Phyllis and Michael were in the same grade in high school.

This fact comes to light after Michael refers to Phyllis as a grandmother and she retorts that they are in fact the same age.

17 He won Salesman of the Year twice

Steve Carrel as Michael Scott in The Office

“You know who else didn’t go to business school? Lebron James. Tracy McGrady. Kobe Bryant.”

Michael, as a result of countless work-related blunders throughout the series, is called out for his deficiencies.

Each time, he deflects, making excuses for himself and ensuring everyone that he is more than fit for his position at the branch.

Maybe it is his confidence that earned him - as he mentioned in “Dunder Mifflin Infinity” - Salesman of the Year Award... twice.

It is hard to believe that confidence is all Michael needed to win these awards, as his blunders certainly outweighed his attitude.

His worst fiasco? It was either ripping up his salespeople’s leads or the Willy Wonka debacle. It's all up for debate.

16 His relationship with Jan

Michael is nothing without his humor. He attempts to inject it in any situation, whether it's appropriate or not.

Jan Levinson Gould, the Vice President of Northeast Sales at Dunder Mifflin, does not have a funny bone in her body.

Both are polar opposites in a lot more than just humor.

Michael is fun-loving and does not find it necessary to take every work day serious, while Jan is demanding and argumentative.

The differences in their personality results in a mutual and immediate disdain. Michael constantly made fun of her (behind her back, of course).

This is why it was such a shock when the two finally got together and established a long, albeit very dysfunctional, relationship.

15 Phyllis asks Michael to be in her wedding

Michael Scott and public situations do not exactly blend together. Whenever there is an opportunity for the crowd to laugh, he will strike up a joke.

In general, he is always seeking out every last bit of attention.

So the idea of Michael, not just attending, but also being a major part of Phyllis’ wedding seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

While it could have gone a lot worse, Michael provided his expected cringeworthy moments.

He prematurely introduces the couple for the first time (multiple times), refers to Phyllis by her former negative nickname, and causes a scene when he is upstaged by Phyllis’ dad who wanted to walk his daughter down the aisle.

So why did Phyllis invite Michael? She reveals it was the only way she could get her six-week honeymoon.

14 He was never sued

Michael and Dwight the Office

Michael has a tendency to deflect blame whenever he gets into trouble. Arguably his most ridiculous deflection came after a vehicular accident.

In the episode “Fun Run”, Michael accidentally hits Meredith with his car, causing her to flip onto the hood. She goes to the hospital as a result, as she has some pretty serious injuries.

Nonetheless, Michael has a shallow attempt at minimizing the situation.

Back in his office, he speaks towards the camera interview-style saying “occasionally, I’ll hit somebody with my car. So sue me.”

It’s a wonder how he never has never been served, as he has done countless other things worthy of a law suit.

Obvious examples of this can be found when he pretended to fire Pam or held the pizza boy hostage.

13 He drives his car into a lake

Navigating around an area that you are unfamiliar with can be hard sometimes, even with a GPS. Michael learns this the hard way when he drives his car into a lake - yes, that’s right, a lake.

In the episode “Dunder Mifflin Infinity”, Michael and Dwight visit a few former clients who they recently lost, bearing gift baskets to try to win them back.

After six unsuccessful attempts at wooing the men and women into taking Dunder Mifflin back, Michael begins his sullen drive back to the office.

On the way back, his GPS navigation system tells him to take a turn towards a lake. Despite Dwight’s loud protests, Michael drives the rental car into the lake, all the while yelling at Dwight.

Sure Michael was clearly frustrated and distracted, but that’s no excuse for driving into a body of water that is so clearly in sight.

12 He considers Jim a good friend

Michael clearly loves everyone he works with and tries desperately to be friends with all of them.

A lot of his co-workers blow him off, declining to come to his house for dinner, go with him on work trips, or go out for some drinks. Others have been downright rude to Michael. None of his co-workers did either of these things more than Jim.

Jim, while coming off as the nice guy of the office, has done some pretty mean things to Michael.

He has used subtle put downs that clearly went over Michael’s head. He also avoided out-of-work interactions with Michael.

However, maybe the meanest thing he did was what he did not do.

In “Koi Pond”, Michael comes back to the office soaking wet and everyone soon learns that he fell into a koi pond, making him the butt of the jokes for the day.

What everyone finds out later, however, is that Jim had the opportunity to help Michael, but he let him fall in anyway.

11 Ryan invited him to speak at his business school

“Hello everyone, I am Michael Scott. And I would like to start today by inspiring you.” This is how Michael introduces himself to Ryan’s classmates in the episode “Business School”. What follows after this statement is nothing short of a disaster.

Michael takes a random student’s expensive textbook, rips a page out, and gives it back to him in a bizarre attempt to make a point.

He then proves that he does not know much about the business world and is forced to defend his company when it is learned that Ryan is trashing it.

All of what occurred should be expected out of Michael Scott, which makes it so hard to believe that Ryan would have invited him in the first place.

Sure he was guaranteed a good grade by bringing his boss into class, but was it really worth it?

10 He was re-hired by David Wallace/Dunder Mifflin

When Michael temporarily leaves Dunder Mifflin to start the Michael Scott Paper Company, it is clear that there will be tensions between him and his old boss, David Wallace.

Naturally, a rival staying in the same town and attempting to steal clients would cause a riff.

However, this riff becomes exasperated when Michael’s company, due to their lack of funding, is forced to set up shop in the first floor closet just below Dunder Mifflin.

It doesn't make sense why would David Wallace provide an offer to buy the company.

The answer is simply that Michael was able to fool his former employer into thinking that his company was a legitimate threat to Dunder Mifflin. However, this still doesn't make the most sense.

9 The Michael Scott Paper Company worked (kind of)

No, Michael did not go to business school. However, he proved to know a lot more about business than he let on after creating the Michael Scott Paper Company.

Michael’s company seemed doomed from the start. He only had three other employees and they were stuck in a small basement-like space.

After Vikram left, Michael was left with only Pam, who had little-to-no sales experience, and Ryan, who just didn't care that much.

Somehow, Michael and company ended up landing a few clients and began to deliver the paper themselves.

After looking into hiring a driver, they soon learned that their success was not going to last and they were running out of money.

Michael was able to hide this fact from David Wallace long enough to receive and negotiate a buyout from Dunder Mifflin.

It turns out that Michael was a more shrewd business man than anyone thought.

8 Michael and Jan stayed together after "The Deposition"

Michael Scott and Jan Levinson

Michael and Jan always had a rocky relationship.

Ever since Michael accidentally shared a risqué photograph of Jan from his vacation with her to the entire office, it was clear that they weren't a great match.

Part of the problem with their relationship was that Jan did not seem to care about Michael.

This became very clear in “The Deposition”, when Jan used Michael’s diary as leverage when she wanted to sue Dunder Mifflin.

While it seems that Michael, who was head-over-heals for Jan, always did what she wanted, he ended up siding with the company over his girlfriend.

Crazily enough, both decided to stay with each other and continue down the path of awkward, uncomfortable, and downright weird interactions.

7 Michael has an older brother

Michael considers his co-workers to be his family and treats them as such. We never see much of his own family, however.

The pilot episode has the first mention of his brother, when Michael references him after yelling at Pam. He makes another reference in season 2, saying “I love my big brother.”

In the many seasons that followed after, there are a few other references. However, we never actually meet the brother who is sporadically mentioned, or any other family for that matter.

Possibly the strangest part comes from the fact that while viewers felt a connection to Michael after watching for so many seasons, they are unable to actually learn much about his life outside of work.

6 No one attends Michael and Holly's wedding

When Michael moved to Colorado with Holly, it was a shock to everyone, as we all knew how close Michael was to his co-workers.

Even if they did not always return the favor or accept his random and constant invites, Michael always considered his staff as family.

In the finale of the series, Pam looks through pictures that Michael has of his new life with Holly. He is now married to her and even has kids.

It is hard to believe that Michael, who also lives for spectacular and grand events, would not invite any of his family of co-workers to his wedding with Holly.

Surely, a lot of them, if not all, would have made the trip.

5 He breaks up with Pam's mom

After a honeymoon in Puerto Rico, Jim and Pam return to the cubicle life bearing candy.

Jim is surprised to learn shortly after that Michael has begun dating Pam’s mother, Helene, while they were on vacation.

Jim begs Michael to end it with Helene and to not tell Pam. However, of course, Pam finds out.

Pam, while being just as shocked as Jim, is also outraged and angry at Michael.

Helene seems like a nice, pleasant woman who doesn't have much in common with Michael. Because of this, it is a surprise when Michael ends things with her, citing her age as the major reason.

Pam was certainly not happy about that.

4 He is friends with Todd Packer

If Michael often seemed too inappropriate for an office setting, then Todd Packer should never have stepped foot in an office.

Packer, who formerly sat at Dwight’s desk, claims to be Michael’s friend. Michael, in return, acts like he's a fanboy of Packer, as he considers him to be one of the coolest and funniest guys around.

However, Packer generally treated Michael like garbage throughout their long “friendship.

Packer tells a lot of stories, including ones that involved leaving Michael at a bar to get beat up by a bouncer. He has also risked Michael’s job when he hired an exotic dancer for him.

His worst offense is revealed after someone catches a whiff of a foul smell coming from Michael’s office. Packer takes credit for the act, and while the object causing the smell is never revealed, it is assumed to be something especially gross. What a friend.

3 His salt and pepper hair in the finale

The departure of Michael Scott from The Office was crushing for die-hard fans and even casual viewers of the show.

Steve Carell left the show after season 7 to pursue bigger and better things (such as being nominated for an Oscar). He ended up returning for the very last episode of the series in season 9.

It seemed like it was a long hiatus for one of the most beloved characters of the show.

A lot happened between his “final” episode and his last appearance, including memorable events (Andy going on his boat trip) and countless guest appearances (Will Ferrell’s unremarkable stint as DeAngelo Vickers).

However, it was really only two seasons that Michael was gone, which left some viewers puzzled by the gray hair that he returned with in the finale.

2 He moves to Colorado

Michael had quite a few relationships with different woman throughout his seven seasons on The Office.

He had a downright disaster of a relationship with Jan, a short-lived one with a married woman in Donna, and a relatively stable one with Carol (played by Steve Carell’s real life wife, Nancy).

None of his former lovers could ever match up to his number one, Holly, however. From the moment Holly came to the Dunder Mifflin offices, he falls for her.

It seemed that Michael would never leave his co-workers and the city of Scranton. Without Holly, he certainly would have stayed there forever.

While it is still hard to believe Michael could leave everyone, it is a bit more understandable when considering his love for Holly. However, it still seems like a huge, unexpected step for his character.

1 The show continued after Michael Scott's departure

The Office Cast

Immediately after Michael’s departure, viewers and critics began to note the shows decline. They particularly noted its inability to find a focus after the lifeblood of the show was gone.

The Office tried a lot to regain its footing. The show re-worked some of the mainstays and made some secondary characters headliners. For example, Andy Bernard is moved from being a recurring to a main character and his he is shifted into becoming cruel and dislikable.

The writers also introduced new characters, such as DeAngelo Vickers (Will Ferrell) and Robert California (James Spader).

None of the new characters were able to provide the humor or charisma that Michael showcased in The Office.

The show struggled to maintain a consistency after Michael’s departure and less people tuned in to watch.

Surprisingly, the show was able to continue through the struggles, but fans still missed the lifeblood of the show. This is most likely a testament to the character of Michael Scott and Steve Carell’s perfect portrayal.


Can you think of any other things about The Office's Michael Scott that make no sense? Let us know in the comments!

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