Toby Wyatt Flenderson, is a fictional character in The Office played by Paul Lieberstein. Prior to his termination in the series finale, he was the Human Resources Representative at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre. He is generally soft-spoken and mild-mannered.
Character Information Edit
- Toby is divorced and has a daughter, Sasha.
- At work, Toby is hated by Michael because as HR representative, he is always stifling Michael's inappropriate fun. He also continually addresses Michael like an adult, instead of pandering to his antics. When Andy is manager, he begins developing a similar hatred for Toby. Additionally, when Jim is acting manager in Survivor Man, he's annoyed by a simple request from Toby, describing him as "a little bit much" despite having been on good terms with him in other episodes.
- Toby possesses a masters degree in social work from Temple University as seen in Counseling. The frame is crooked in the shot. In Season 4, Episode 2, a diploma is visible in Toby's cubicle that reads "California Coastal College \n B.S. in Psychology \n Toby Flenderson", as well as a bumper sticker from Penn State University.
Season 1 Edit
When Michael holds his own diversity seminar, Toby remarks, "We're not all going to sit in a circle Indian style, are we?" Michael then throws him out of the meeting, saying that what he said was "offensive and lame" and that he "should just get the hell out". This is the first instance in which Michael shows his hatred for Toby that persists throughout the series, though Michael's actions could have been written as such due to his desire to appear politically correct rather than a demonstration of the two characters' dynamic. (Diversity Day).
Season 2 Edit
Due to the recent events involving the company's CFO having had inappropriate relations with his secretary, Toby tells Michael that he must hold a seminar on sexual harassment in the workplace, about which Michael is less than enthusiastic. (Sexual Harassment).
When Jim learns that everyone around the office has their own little game to relieve them of boredom, he learns "Hateball" from Oscar and Kevin. Oscar later recommends that Toby teach him "Dunderball". Jim later plays the game with Toby. Toby partakes in the Office Olympics and competes against Oscar in a game involving a race around the office with a full cup of coffee in hand. Toby is present at the closing ceremonies (Office Olympics).
Toby stands around in the parking lot with the rest of the staff during the fire. He is seen in the background talking to various staff members and has no lines in the episode (The Fire).
Toby dresses up for Halloween, but as he only appears in the background, his costume is unclear. He appears to be wearing a dark green V-necked shirt. He is later invited to meet Devon at Poor Richard's for a drink (Halloween).
During Michael and Dwight's confrontation in the kitchen, Toby interrupts to see if Michael signed the paperwork yet as if he hasn't then that means he would have to stay late. Michael tells him to go away. Toby later asks Michael if he can sign the papers so he can go home but Michael responds with "Toby, you don't even have anyone to go home to". Toby and several other office staff members later end up signing the paper work for Michael (The Fight).
Toby is not present at the reading of "Threat Level Midnight". He was likely back in the annex doing work (The Client).
Toby was present at Michael's meeting on how to improve the branch but never says anything (Performance Review).
Toby was invited to attend Jim's barbeque. He is seen in the background playing video games with Sadiq (E-Mail Surveillance).
Toby was present at the Secret Santa ceremony. In a deleted scene it is revealed that Kelly got him and she got him a book of short stories. When Michael buys the office vodka, Toby tells him that alcohol is not allowed. Michael tells him to "zip it". Toby apparently goes slack on this rule as he says nothing more. Later Michael sends him to fix Todd Packer up with a drink, a vodka bottle in hand (Christmas Party).
Toby was present at Michael's motivational speech meeting. However, he was not on the booze cruise. A deleted scene explains that Toby got to the docks late on purpose in order to miss the boat (Booze Cruise).
Michael, trying to be Jim's friend, takes him out to lunch at Hooters. Angela, however, is upset, believing that Michael had no right to classify it as a business lunch. She takes the issue to Toby, who tells Michael that he just got his business debit card back and warns Michael that he may get it taken away again. It is revealed that Toby had taken it away after Michael bought a magic set to impress potential clients. During his argument with Toby, Michael accidentally reveals that Jim has a crush on Pam. Michael later blames Toby for why he let loose the secret (The Secret).
Michael decides to take the office staff on a field trip to the warehouse. Toby, the last in the line, sneaks away back into the office (Boys and Girls).
Michael moves Ryan to be near Kelly, which annoys Toby. He is unsure whether this was intentional on Michael's part. He has a crush on Pam and spends hours trying to win a stuffed animal from a crane machine that she likes only to have her suggest he give it to his daughter. Toby also brought a good looking woman as his date to Phyllis' wedding in which Kevin assumed that she was an escort but Toby stated that he met her at the gym.
Toby wins the 5K run in Fun Run. In Dunder Mifflin Infinity, Toby 'outs' Pam and Jim's relationship by sending out a company wide fax about PDA. Michael thinks it is about him, but Toby than reveals it is about them. In Night Out, it is revealed that he will move to Costa Rica. In one episode, Jim, Pam, and Toby start laughing, Toby puts his hand on Pam's knee. Jim sees this, and Toby announces "I'm moving to Costa Rica. I've thought it over... so yeah." Then he runs out the door and hops the fence. In the season finale, Toby has a huge going away party, which Michael says matches the joy in his heart. Toby purchases a camera just so he can take a picture with Pam.
In Weight Loss, Toby appears at the end. He's in a hospital in Costa Rica for breaking his neck in a zip line accident. Finally, to Michael's absolute horror, Toby returns in Frame Toby. Michael is desperate to get Toby fired and goes to the Vance Refrigeration warehouse to buy pot, which he then puts in Toby's desk. When the police come, they find that the alleged "pot" was just a Caprese salad. Michael seems to hate Toby even more, if possible.
During The Meeting, Toby and Dwight try to find out if Darryl is really hurt and bond over a mutual interest in trains. Toby accidentally calls Darryl's sister an asshole. In Niagara, Toby seems thrilled when Jim and Pam cannot be found and joyfully says, "Looks like this thing isn't going to happen." It does. In The Lover, Michael tries to befriend Toby to try to get him to stop Pam from being mad at Michael, but when Toby fails, Michael calls him a jackass.
When Michael pushes religion in the office during Secret Santa, Michael calls Toby the antichrist. In The Chump, Michael was interrupting Toby's meeting that Radon is silent but deadly. Michael quiped if he had a gun with two bullets and he was in a room with Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Toby, Michael would shoot Toby twice. Michael then corrects himself, only mentioning that he would only shoot Toby once. In Whistleblower, Jo Bennett criticizes Toby's mystery novel that he was writing in his spare time at work. However he does not appreciate her criticism and states in a floating head interview, "Write your own damn novel." In the same episode, Toby tries to get a candy bar that was stuck in a vending machine by tilting that machine over. Dwight comes over to help him but soon abandons Toby to answer a phone call. Toby is seen trying to hoist up the heavy machine.
When Michael spanks his nephew Luke, whom he had recently hired, he was forced into counseling with Toby (Counseling). Michael was resistant to cooperate, giving the silent treatment, telling false stories about his life, and eventually giving Toby the finger.
In the season premiere, The List, Toby is put on the same side of Robert California's list as Jim, Dwight, Kevin, Oscar, Phyllis, Angela, and Darryl. When his side is taken out to lunch by Robert, and Kevin starts talking about how he likes Elmo because of "the tickling", Toby says "I should not be here," and leaves.
Andy consults with Toby over firing Nellie. Toby refuses, as Nellie has no record of misconduct. Andy chews him out, saying "no wonder Michael hated you".
It is implied that Toby had a crush on Nellie since she dressed up as him in Here Comes Treble (Episode), he tried to kiss her in that same same episode but backed away. In Dwight Christmas, she kissed him while he was talking about being on jury duty for The Scranton Strangler case. After she did that, Toby took off his glasses and kissed her passionately.
Toby gets Pete and Clark to participate in the Movember fundraising program. Toby's mustache grows rapidly during this time, but in such a way that makes him look unsettling. In a deleted scene, he mentions how he can't pick his daughter up from school anymore because everyone assumes he's a child molester. Toby considers wearing a ski mask in the future.
Toby spends the rest of his appearances trying to woo Nellie. Nellie gets tired of hearing about the Scranton Strangler case and tells him to resolve the whole thing right now. Toby goes to the penitentiary and tries to make peace with the strangler, but is strangled himself and taken to hospital after his larynx is damaged.
Toby consults with Jim on his marital problems while Nellie talks to Pam. Toby implies that he, Kelly and possibly Ryan were all betting on how long Jim and Pam's marriage would last. Kelly called 2013. Toby may still feel sore about his divorce, because as soon as Jim brought it up, Toby snapped at Clark and muttered "I'm gonna kill him".
Toby was terminated in the series finale. He stalks Nellie, despite receiving several hints that she doesn't like him. Toby mentions during a panel discussion on the documentary that his life feels meaningless after the documentary finished. During Dwight and Angela's wedding, Toby gets to dance with Pam. He cries openly, stating that everything's wrong. He is later shown in better spirits as his old coworkers invite him to a warehouse party after the wedding.
Toby's parents divorced when he was a child. Both of them wanted custody, and both asked him to testify against the other in court. He was unsure what to do because he loved both his parents and didn't want them to get divorced in the first place. ("The Deposition")
Toby attempted to ask Pam out in The Convention, but was unsuccessful. He got nervous, and retreats by pretending to forget what he had planned to say.
Toby graduated from Bishop O'Hara High School in 1989, the same high school that Katy, the purse sales girl and Jim's girlfriend during the early part of the second season, graduated from. ("Hot Girl")
Toby joined the seminary but dropped out after a year to pursue a woman named Cathy. He followed her to Scranton and took the first job available, which was in Human Resources. The two married, and had a daughter, Sasha. They later divorced. ("Casual Friday") (This story contradicts the claim that Toby went to Bishop O'Hara High School, suggesting he grew up in the Scranton area rather than moving there as an adult.)
Toby attended Temple University with a degree in Social Work. ("Counseling")
Toby's ex-wife remarried and is now named Cathy Becker. ("The Fight")
Tony Gardner said that Toby was a nice and very helpful guy, as he helped him settle in which was the only reason he would have stayed before quitting because of Michael's management style.
Central Episodes Edit
- Toby will sometimes go out of his way to avoid Michael's activities.
- In a Booze Cruise deleted scene it is revealed that he intentionally arrived late enough to miss the boat.
- In Boys and Girls he pretends to follow Michael into the warehouse, but instead remains in the office.
- In other cases, Michael will exclude Toby from office activities, such as in Beach Games, in which Michael forces Toby to stay at the office while everybody else goes to Lake Scranton.
- It has been established that Toby has a crush on Pam, and Pam and Jim are aware of this, however, before Toby leaves for Costa Rica, Pam reveals to the camera that she thought Toby was cute.
- According to Weight Loss, Toby breaks his neck the third day in Costa Rica while zip lining.
- In the episode Survivor Man, it is revealed that Toby is allergic to mushrooms.
- Before the series began, Jim and Toby used to have desks next to each other, but Michael Scott had to separate the two because they talked too much.
- In Casual Friday, Toby mentions he participates in club volleyball when he offers to give Oscar his socks to cover his feet.
- Despite mainly being a passive victim to Michael's abuse, Toby himself has shown on a few occasions in the series that he enjoys seeing Michael in misery and has even stood up to him to. Examples include:
- In "The Injury" , Michael collapses in the restroom after burning his foot and Toby mocks his wimpyness by telling him that he only grilled his foot and lies to prevent Ryan from helping him at his request. As Toby closes the door to leave and as Michael struggles further, Toby is shown smiling.
- In "Casino Night", Toby beats Michael in a game of Texas Hold 'em and takes all of his money to Michael's visible embarrassment. Toby later tells the camera that it felt good to take Michael's money and that he will chase that feeling.
- In "The Deposition", during the meeting, Toby learns that Michael thinks Ryan is hot and laughs hysterically after one of the lawyers questions if they are trying to figure out whether Michael and Jan were engaged in a romantic affair or Michael and Ryan.
- In "Stress Relief", Michael does not allow Toby to roast him (most likely because he would have the worst things to say about him) however Toby is shown to be laughing and smiling when his coworkers brutally roast Michael.
- In "Koi Pond", Michael reveals that in addition to falling into a koi pond he has also fallen into a fountain at the mall and Toby appears to find this funny.
- In "Double Date", after learning that Michael has allowed Pam to hit him, Toby questions her if it is off company property and she says yes. Toby than instructs Pam on how to punch even harder as Michael watches from his office visibly afraid.
- In "Classy Christmas", after Holly finds her Woody doll ruined (as a result of Micheal) and confronts the office, Michael attempts to frame Toby for the vandalism but Toby fights back and stands up to Michael and immediately denies it and says he would never do such a thing but that the vandalism does seem like something Michael would do.
- In "Goodbye Michael", during the last time Michael and Toby interact, Michael does not insult Toby once, possibly showing that he will miss Toby somewhat. However Michael is visibly shocked when Toby reveals that he has a brother, Rory, who lives in Colorado and Toby encourages him to look him up once he's settled. This can be seen as Michael's final comeuppance for his negative treatment of Toby as even though he is moving to Colorado, he will still not escape Toby and will have to endure annoyance from Rory, who appears to be identical to Toby.
Behind the scenes Edit
- Writer Michael Schur came up with the name Toby Flenderson.
- Steve Carell mentioned that in his first scene with Paul Lieberstein, he already sensed a hatred for Toby Flenderson in Michael Scott.
- Toby's avoidance of (or exclusion from) Michael's activities serves a production purpose: It allows Paul Lieberstein to continue working as a writer instead of having to be on set.
Toby appears and speaks in every episode with exceptions noted below:
- Pilot - does not appear
- Health Care - does not speak
- Basketball - does not appear
- The Dundies - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Office Olympics - speaks only in a deleted scene
- The Fire - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Halloween - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Email Surveillance - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Booze Cruise - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Boys and Girls - does not speak
- Valentine's Day - does not appear
- The Coup - does not speak
- Traveling Salesmen - speaks only in a deleted scene
- The Return - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Ben Franklin - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Product Recall - does not appear
- The Job - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Launch Party - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Local Ad - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Dinner Party - does not speak
- Chair Model - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Business Ethics - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Baby Shower - does not appear
- Crime Aid - does not appear
- Employee Transfer - does not appear
- Customer Survey - does not appear
- Business Trip - does not appear
- The Duel - does not appear
- WUPHF.com - speaks only in a deleted scene
- Lice -d oes not appear
- Suit Warehouse - does not appear
- ↑ Office Tally: Michal Schur and Jen Celotta visit the OTCR
- ↑ Brian Baumgartner Interview, The A.V. Club
|Characters of The Office|
Michael Scott | Dwight Schrute | Jim Halpert | Pam Beesly | Ryan Howard | Andy Bernard | Kevin Malone | Stanley Hudson | Angela Martin | Phyllis Vance | Meredith Palmer | Creed Bratton | Oscar Martinez | Kelly Kapoor | Toby Flenderson | Darryl Philbin | Erin Hannon
Jan Levenson | David Wallace | Nellie Bertram | Roy Anderson | Karen Filippelli | Robert California | Bob Vance | Hank Tate | Pete Miller | Clark Green | Nate | Holly Flax | Todd Packer | Gabe Lewis | Robert Lipton | Glenn | Mose Schrute | Cathy Simms