11 Jokes From "Scott's Tots" That 'The Office' Fans Are Totally Missing Out On By Skipping The Episode
Any fan of The Office knows that some episodes are more difficult to get through than others. That's not necessarily because of the quality of the show, but more because Michael Scott's cringe-worthy behavior can send some viewers running for the hills, unable to comfortably sit through some of his more horrifying antics. This is especially true with "Scott's Tots," but I'm here to tell you not to skip that episode, no matter how much secondhand embarrassment you might endure, because the "Scott's Tots" episode of The Office has some amazing jokes that you might otherwise miss.
That's right — it's time to strap in and analyze "Scott's Tots" in all its glory. In this episode, Michael visits a class of high schoolers to whom he, 10 years before, promised to pay their college tuition. Of course, he can't afford to pull that off, and now he's got to tell them that. Plenty of people skip this episode during an Office re-watch, claiming it's simply too much to handle. "That is the only episode I have not seen all of. It was to uncomfortable and cringy to finish," wrote Reddit user sheep6600 wrote. "The only episode I've never been able to watch more than once," wrote another user, ExistentiaI.
It's understandable. Sometimes, after a long day of navigating the stress of everyday life, you want to settle into another, more forgiving episode. Perhaps you want to ease into light-hearted laughs, or warm and fuzzy Jim and Pam moments, not watch Michael crush the dreams of an entire class of doe-eyed high-schoolers. It's not like other episodes, that might be cringe-worthy but overall are harmless. This Michael Scott blunder has real consequences, and there isn't a happy ending. I get it. But there are plenty of other episodes that are arguably as uncomfortable to get through — Phyllis and Bob's wedding, anyone? — and none of them deserve to be neglected completely. So, I urge you to revisit "Scott's Tots" when in the appropriate headspace, and bask in the glory of these hilarious moments you shouldn't miss.
1. Andy's Baby Talk
This takes place before the opening credits even roll, and long before the Scott's Tots dilemma is presented, so there's really no reason to miss out on this scene. Michael calls Andy into his office to speak about something, and when Andy asks what they're there to talk about, he does so in an excruciating baby talk voice.
It's then revealed that this is the main problem — people have been complaining about Andy's baby talk throughout the office, which is a very "Andy Bernard" problem to have. It spirals into Michael showing off his Elvis Presley impersonation, and nothing is resolved, as usual.
2. "Nip Slip" News Alerts
In the same episode, again, before all the Scott's Tots mayhem breaks loose, poor Erin is tasked with taking care of Michael's email inbox. Not only does he instruct her to leave all the "delivery completed" emails intact, rather than simply referring to his "sent" folder, as Erin earnestly suggests, he also has apparently subscribed to some interesting newsletters. Erin informs him that he has tons of "nip slip" news alerts that have piled up in his email, and Michael claims that he has no idea where they're coming from, and it must be the work of "hackers." Smooth, Michael.
3. Empty Promises
Michael slowly comes to terms with the fact that he has to face the high school kids and break the news that he can't pay for their college tuition, but he somehow still manages to try and make himself the good guy of the situation.
"I fell in love with these kids, and I didn't want to see them fall victim to the system. So I made them a promise," he tells the camera. "I told them that if they gradated from high school, I would pay for their college education. I have made some empty promises in my life, but hands down, that was the most generous." It's such a characteristic Michael Scott moment that even though you hate what he's done, you can't help but let out an exasperated laugh.
4. They're Lithium!
Michael, buddy, you've gotta do better than this. In perhaps the most outrageous moment of the entire episode, Michael tells the kids that though he can't offer them money for college, he can offer them a way to take online classes with a laptop... which are rendered useless without... batteries! He quickly dashes the hopes of students who think at the very least, they might get a computer out of this raw deal. "Wait, wait!" he screams at them. "They're lithium!" The absurdity of this line really seals the deal.
5. The Wet Dreams Comment
Another swing and a miss for Michael Scott. When talking to the kids about how his dream was somehow noble, even though he wasn't able to pull it off, he lets another quick joke fly, and it really would have been better off unsaid. "Some people have evil dreams, some people have selfish dreams, or wet dreams," he says before immediately moving on to another sentence. Um, OK.
6. Dwight's Diabolical Plan
While Michael grapples with his moral situation, there's also an "Employee of the Month" subplot happening in the meantime. Dwight masterminds the idea to convince Jim to implement an Employee of the Month program, and then manipulates the process to make it appear as though Jim tried to give himself and Pam the award. Yeah, there's really no reprieve from uncomfortable situations in this episode. It's one of Dwight's lowest moments, not even pretending that he has motives other than getting Jim fired, but Jim ends up keeping his job and the ensuing hijinks are bound to make you giggle.
7. Kevin's Stuttering
When Jim becomes frazzled and tries to stutter out an explanation for the Employee of the Month confusion, Kevin attempts to mock his stammering, but really just adorably says the same two words over and over again.
8. Creed's Issue
With a classic Creed one-liner, the mysterious character throws in his two cents about whether or not the rest of the office can trust Jim and Pam. "You know, I'm starting to think Pam's not even pregnant," he declares, while a VERY visibly pregnant Pam looks on, exasperated. Hey, at least he remembered her name this time.
9. The Cake
And, in an effort to make Jim look even worse to the rest of their coworkers, Dwight orders a giant cake with a huge photo of Jim's face printed on it, and it's kind of amazing. Can I have that same cake ordered to my apartment? Would that be weird?
10. Dwight's Impressions Of His Co-workers
Dwight leaves a plethora of messages for David Wallace back at corporate, trying with all his might to get Jim fired for the Employee of the Month fiasco. He impersonates Toby, Stanley, and Kevin, and the impressions are pretty much spot-on.
11. Erin's Singing
Erin, ever the sweet but clueless receptionist, continues singing the song that the kids wrote for Michael even after the whole fiasco goes down. What can she say? It's catchy! As Michael wallows out the window reflecting on what he's done, Erin drives them back to the office, bopping along to the now-useless tune. It's classic Erin, just indulging in the simple joys of everyday life without really thinking of the consequences, and honestly, I admire it.
"Scott's Tots" is a gem of an episode. Yes, it's horrifying and nightmare-inducing. But it's also one of the few episodes that really examines Michael's dimwitted flaws and shows that they have real-world consequences, which is an important distinction for the show to make. The Office frequently paints Michael as silly, tone deaf and inappropriate, but altogether harmless. "Scott's Tots" shows viewers that really, that's not totally true.
The pain we feel for Michael throughout the episode, though, despite his inexcusable mistakes, shows that he's still somehow redeemable, like a flailing family member we can't help but love and root for. People who skip this episode when they re-watch are truly missing out on not only that important plot point, but also the endless laughs packed into its 22 minutes.