'The Office' Fan Theory Argues the Real Reason Michael Hates Toby

'The Office' fan theory argues the reason why Michael Scott hates Toby Flenderson so much.
'The Office' fan theory argues the reason why Michael Scott hates Toby Flenderson so much. / Flickr

NBC's hit workplace comedy The Office has spawned enough fan theories to make anyone's head spin. There's even one theory that Jim Halpert actually wrote the entire show, and I'm sure plenty more will emerge over the years as more and more generations start becoming obsessed with the Dunder Mifflin crew.

One wild theory has to do with why Michael Scott hates Toby Flenderson so much. In many episodes, Michael makes degrading comments directed towards Toby, and he has no problem letting everyone in the office know how much he can't stand the HR worker. But what is the source of Michael's distaste? Seeing as how his antics would have gotten him fired many times over in a real-world office environment, Toby clearly doesn't try to hurt his boss' career. Well, as reported by ScreenRant, one fan theory suggests that his contempt comes from a childhood trauma.

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Fans of The Office know that Michael has a stepdad named Jeff, so the theory partially stems from the idea that perhaps he resents his biological father for divorcing his mom. Michael speaks about his issues with his real father during a counseling session with Toby. Since Toby is divorced, it could be that Michael transferred his hatred for his own father to Toby, who is just a placeholder. The theory says that Toby reminds Michael of his own abandonment by his real father.

Though there's not so much solid evidence to back this theory up other than pure speculation, it's actually a pretty popular one. Reddit user Athena_Nikephoros, for instance, writes, "Michael has no sense of subtlety or nuance, and so doesn't see that Toby is a far better father and human being than his own dad."

Pretty heavy stuff, huh? Even if we'll never get confirmation on whether or not this theory has any truth to it, there must be some deep-rooted reason why Michael holds so much hate for Toby. Maybe another Netflix binge will give us more ideas.