The Office Fan Theory: Was Toby The Scranton Strangler?


Posted by: Zachary Pennace

 One of the most controversial fan theories from the tv show The Office U.S  is about who the Scranton Strangler is. The Scranton Strangler is a serial killer who is mentioned quite often in the later seasons of The Office. (Mental Floss, 21 Mar. 2018, ). The theme of the Scranton Strangler is incorporated in a handful of episodes and it’s been a running mystery of the identity of the Scranton Strangler. Many of fans have come up with their own theory on who it could be. Characters were narrowed down as possible suspects such as Creed, Gabe, Dwight, Evan (Pam’s Ex), and Toby. Out of the suspects many fans have narrowed the suspects down to Toby. In this blog post I will give all of the evidence from a few different episodes that connect the scranton strangler with Toby.


The first piece of evidence that connects and proves that Toby Flenderson is the  Scranton Strangler is that Toby is constantly being harassed and made fun of by Michael Scott. During the show Michael is always making crude comments and jokes about Toby. In result of this humiliation can be revenge and the anger that Toby is holding could result on him taking revenge as the Scranton Strangler to innocent victims. Toby has also dealt with a divorce from his wife which took a toll on him and is mentioned in couple episodes. Toby then gets rejected by Pam when he asks her out. In Season four Toby decides to take a vacation from the Office and to forget about his misfortunes he takes a trip to Costa Rica. However he gets in a zip lining accident and spends the rest of the time in the hospital until he returns in season five.


The crucial piece of evidence linking Toby is from Season Six in the episode called “The Delivery”. In this episode everyone except Toby goes to visit Pam and Jim at the hospital  after Pam had delivered their baby Cee Cee. This is a very important detail because Andy gets Pam a newspaper form the day she was born which reads “Scranton Strangler strikes again.” (“The Delivery.” The Office, Season 6, episode 18).


Coincidently Toby was the only member from the office that didn’t go to the hospital when Pam gave birth and on the same day the Scranton Strangler had committed another murder. The next episode the holds a piece of evidence is the episode “The Christening” in season seven.


In this episode their is a scene where Toby is entering the church where Pam and Jim’s baby is being christened. However Toby is having some second thoughts when entering the church and is hesitate in entering. However in the end of the episode he finally enters the church and asks God “God why are you always picking on me” (

this shows that Toby has some kind of guilt that was preventing him in entering the church and blames his misfortunes on God. This may be a small piece of evidence but it has the greater meaning that Toby has some guilt on his chest possibly having the guilt from the murders if he truly is the Scranton Strangler. The most crucial piece of evidence that could link Toby as the Scranton Strangler happened in the episode “The Viewing Party”, in season seven.


In this episode all of the cast members in the office are huddled around Toby’s desk watching the Scranton Strangler being chased. Their are a few aspects in this scene that bring up red flags. “First of all Toby is not present when they are watching the chase unfold. Secondly the car that the Scranton Strangler is driving in the chase is a green 2000 Mercury cougar which coincidentally is Toby’s car. The third red flag is that Toby’s phone is calling without Erin the receptionist having to forward a call to toby which could conclude that Toby is calling to confess he is the Scranton Strangler fearing that he will be caught.” (“The Viewing Party” The Office, Season 7, episode 4, NBC, 11 Nov. 2010). The next piece of evidence linking Toby comes up in the episode “Michael’s Last Dundies.” in season seven. “In this episode Toby gives an update on the case of the Scranton Strangler and says that he know believes the Scranton Strangler is not guilty anymore because Toby feels guilty because he put an innocent man in jail in fear he would be caught as the real Scranton Strangler.” (McCarter, Reid).


Finally the last piece of evidence to conclude this fan theory on connecting Toby to the Scranton Strangler happens in the episode “Moving On” in season nine. In this episode Toby goes to visit the so called Scranton Strangler in prison. However we never see the scene of Toby inside the prison but directly cuts to Toby going back into the car after the visit with a neck brace on. This scene could of two potential meanings Toby was wearing the neck brace because Toby could of confessed to the Scranton Strangler that he was the real strangler knowing the man in prison was innocent. The second potential reason for Toby to be wearing the neck brace is that Toby could be faking the injury to show Nelly and the his co workers that the Scranton Strangler is really in jail to totally throw his fellow co workers off guard of the fact that Toby is the real Scranton Strangler.


Work Cited

“12 Compelling Fan Theories About ‘The Office’.” Mental Floss, Mental Floss, 21 Mar. 2018,

McCarter, Reid. “Internet Sleuths May Have Discovered the Identity of The Office’s Scranton Strangler.” The A.V. Club, The A.V. Club, 15 Mar. 2018,

“The Delivery.” The Office, Season 6, episode 18, NBC, 12 Oct. 2010. Netflix, www.netfli“The

Viewing Party” The Office, Seson  7, episode 4, NBC, 11 Nov. 2010. Netflix,

US, The Office, director. YouTube. YouTube, YouTube, 16 Mar. 2018,



4 thoughts on “The Office Fan Theory: Was Toby The Scranton Strangler?

  1. As being a fan of The Office, I have watched the series multiple times through and the evidence that you give supporting the ongoing idea the Toby is the “Scranton Strangler” is very much correct. I think your evidence is very strong and persuasive to pull the reader in and to make them also believe that Toby is the “Scranton strangler”, Like when you stated the “years of miss treatment and harassment” from Michael . Also the “divorce from his wife” and how “Pam denies him multiple times”. When someone Is pushed to the limits , as Toby is constantly throughout the show, it kinda makes sense. Especially because he is using the perfect cover up, that he is an “Human Resources” head and he can never diffuse a single conflict in the office he kind of just lets everything go on and lets “anger” play out the problem. After reading this blog , and compiling my own ideas from what I’ve learned over my own viewings of the show, I would 100% agree that Toby Flenderson is the Scranton Strangler.


  2. Nicole Bruso – I love The Office, but have never even thought that Toby could have been the Scranton Strangler. He is oddly obsessed with the entire thing which I always thought was due to the fact that he finally had something interesting to talk about. It never occurred to me that he may have been nervously babbling about the entire thing because he was the possible murderer. I loved how you noticed Toby’s absences during the events surrounding the Scranton Strangler. When you think about his character, constantly rejected, lonely, depressed, overall unlucky, it makes sense as to why he would have so much anger within him. When he goes to the jail to speak to the Scranton Strangler, it is a comical moment when he comes back with a neck brace. This is supposed to ensure the audience that the Scranton Strangler is in fact guilty of the many murders. However, there could be an even darker side to this story. Toby, a very trouble minded man, could have tried to commit suicide. If he was in fact the Scranton Strangler, the neck brace could have been showing an attempt in trying to strangler or hang himself. While these theories are a little out there, dark comedy could be hiding in the lighthearted jokes of The Office.


  3. Mike Cratty: Toby is totally the Scranton Strangler. There’s too much evidence in favor of this theory for it not to be true. When they are watching the chase scene of the Scranton Strangler, Toby is the only one not present, and the car being driven by the suspect can be found in the Dunder Mifflin Scranton parking lot. I am totally on board with this theory and really enjoyed this blog.


  4. Meaghan Hudson- Honestly I have watched the Office episodes a decent amount of times because it is definitely in my top three favorite TV shows ever, I have been a huge fan since I had started watching it and love the sense of humor it offers. I found your blog post really interesting because I had not thought of Toby to be the Scranton Strangler, and I had no idea that there was even a conspiracy theory on how he could be. I feel like the evidence you produced in your writing is pretty convincing and would make sense if you have watched the show a dozen times like me. Next time I watch the show or a few episodes I will most definitely look out for these clues that you pointed out in your writing because I feel like I will watch the show differently now after reading this.


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