"the Office" - Why does Michael hate Toby so much?

Okay, so I was a late-comer to watching “the Office.” I didn’t start watching it until a few months ago. I’ve been catching up with past episodes on DVD. I skipped the first year episodes however because everything I’ve read says that these episodes were weak, and that the show didn’t really get funny until the second year. So, perhaps there’s something I missed, but what does Michael have against Toby?

I realized Toby has the (thankless) task of having to intervene on behalf of the employees whenever Michael becomes too annoying or offensive, but I can’t remember a time when Toby didn’t back down and let Michael run roughshod over him. And Toby is such a pathetic sad sack, I can’t imagine Michael even noticing him, letting alone working up such a viscous attitude toward him. And it only intensifies as the series progresses. In season two, Toby is just one among the many annoying (in Michael’s view) office employees - if Michael had his way, only he, Pam & Ryan would work there. By season four (episodes I’m watching now), Michael is constantly singling out Toby for nasty abuse. Is there an actual reason for it, did Toby ever actually do anything to Michael, or is it purely Michael being irrational?

I think a lot of viewers excuse Michael’s buffoonery by saying he has a good heart and is generally a good salesman, but another trait of his is insecurity. It seems like Toby is the only one in the office who he can heap the abuse on and not fight back. Stanley usually rolls his eyes and make some monotonous comment about Michael’s ignorance, but when pushed, he will stand up for himself (ie. “Did I stutter?” :D) Seems like Michael has zeroed in on Toby’s reluctance to make waves no matter what and deemed him a target. Toby is the only person more pathetic than Michael in the office.

Because he’s HR. Everybody hates HR people.

Ours is awesome :cool: (our HR person, that is)

It’s because Toby is the only person in the office that doesn’t report to Michael. He reports to corporate. Michael’s insecurities cause him to heap abuse on Toby so that everyone in the office knows that he is “over” Toby as well.

Personally, from what I’ve seen, I think there’s some sincerity to the claim Michael makes of Toby that he’s a killjoy. It’s not so much that Toby ever actually stands his ground when he challenges Michael, but that he speaks up so often, (because he has to, in his job,) and Michael automatically sees that as being a nag. “Don’t do that.” “You should be doing such-and-such, Michael.”

Of course, the arguments about it being rooted in insecurity probably have something to them as well.

Toby will undoubtedly make waves when he gets around to blowing up the office (as he daydreams about doing!) :slight_smile:

But he’s in Costa Rica in a halo! He can’t possibly return…or can he?

Corporate HR’s refusal to back Holly up in the recent episode was disturbing–I wonder how much they supported Toby either?

Just wait until you step out of line and they’re coming for YOU! :wink:

As a casual watcher (hardly saw any S1 eps), I thought Toby was always unnecessarily the target of Michael’s ire until Toby started interfering with Jim & Pam, apparently due to his own crushing on Pam. Then I thought he lived down to Michael’s opinion of him.