Do you think the scream was improvised?

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NO! GOD! NO, GOD, PLEASE, NO! NO! NO! NOOOOO!

Unfortunately, yes. Sorry, Michael. Toby is back and he’s boring as ever.

On the latest episode of the Office Ladies podcast, Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey chatted all about the Season 5 episode, “Framing Toby,” which features Toby’s memorable return from Costa Rica and Michael’s dramatic reaction, which has since been turned into a glorious meme.

For those who need a refresher, this episode begins with brownies in the conference room. Everyone (except Angela and Dwight) is blissfully chowing down on the pastry cubes made of sugar and fat, until Kelly grabs two brownies and announces that one is for Toby.

How could that be? We know Toby left for Costa Rica because everyone (especially Michael) made a huge freaking deal about his departure. And yet, Kelly and Jim swear he’s sitting at his old desk back in the annex. As a joke, Michael walks back to Toby’s old office space, and much to his dismay sets eyes on his arch rival. In response to seeing this “evil snail” again, Michael screams, “NO! GOD! NO, GOD, PLEASE, NO! NO! NO! NOOOOO!”

The moment has gone on to become one of the most popular Office reaction GIFs to date, and fans have Steve Carell’s improv skills to thank.

Kinsey and Fischer revealed that while they have a special place in their heart for the scene of Michael screaming, they do wish one Toby line that got cut remained in the final edit.

“I want you guys to know at 1:23, as Michael turns to see Toby and he has that look of horror in his face, if you look at the wall behind him, you will see that there are three framed sort of things on the wall for Toby,” Kinsey said. “There is an award for Toby Flenderson, a certificate of achievement, and a diploma from the California Coastal College. So Jenna, he had been back long enough to hang up his framed items. And in the script, Toby had a talking head where he said this: ‘I’ve been back for six days. I think I’ve even talked to him.'” 

“I wish that stayed in,” Fischer said.

“Me too,” Kinsey agreed.

As for Michael’s iconic scream, Office Ladies listeners were eager to learn one thing: Was the moment improvised?

Yes and no. But mostly yes.

“People wanted to know if Michael screaming ‘NO’ and all of that was improvised or if it was in the script,” Fischer said. “In the script, it just says ‘Michael turns and screams in all caps.'” 

The script didn’t give any specifics, which means everything that came out of Michael’s mouth was all Steve Carell.

“That was Steve’s interpretation of that script note,” Fischer said.

“And how funny was that?” Kinsey replied. “You guys, if you read that you scream, I think most of us would just be like, ‘Ahhhhh,’ right? But Steve made a meal out of that moment.” 

“In the best way,” Fischer said.

“He’s a comedy genius,” Kinsey concluded, noting that she’s seen so many people use the reaction GIF of Michael screaming over the years.

Thank you, Steve Carell, for creating yet another beloved moment in Office history.

Be sure to listen to the full podcast episode for more behind-the-scenes stories from “Framing Toby.”

You can stream episodes of The Office on Peacock and follow along with the podcast every week on Earwolf, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher.




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