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"Frame Toby" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of The Office and the 81st episode overall. It was written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Jason Reitman. It first aired November 20, 2008. It was viewed by 8.40 million people.

Cold open

The Scranton branch enjoys brownies in the conference room. Michael opts to take two brownies so he may eat them later on. As Kelly takes two as well, she clarifies that she is giving the other one to Toby, to which Michael laughs and asks if she is going to mail it to Costa Rica. Kelly then says she will just hand it to him personally now, to Michael's confusion. Jim realizes Michael is genuinely confused and asks him to check the annex to see if Toby is there. Michael amusedly walks to the annex "for old times sake" and finds no one there. Just as he thinks this was a bad prank by Jim, he turns to see Toby standing in front of him and he yells "NOOOOO GOD! NO, GOD, PLEASE NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOO!"

Synopsis

Michael tries to get CFO David Wallace to get rid of Toby, but David Wallace is annoyed with Michael for misusing the term "911" instead and wonders why the office manager didn't notice Toby's return for an entire week. Michael says he has been unaware of Toby's return as he hasn't gone back to the annex since Holly was transferred. David says that he will just have to accept the fact that Toby is back and that he can only be fired for cause (and Michael saying "it's be-cause I hate him" does not qualify).

Michael tries to pretend to be friends with Toby, but he finds himself unable to do so. He then schemes with Dwight to frame Toby with a fireable offense. First, he tries to set up Toby up for sexual harassment via Pam, but Pam defuses Michael's scheme. He then knocks some pictures out of Toby's hand and taunts Toby to hit him, but Toby says he won't hit Michael. Michael decides that "the ends justify the mean" and buys "two pounds of marijuana" for $500 from a couple of workers from Vance Refrigeration and hides it in Toby's desk. Dwight then tips the police about possible narcotics in the office. Two policemen arrive and Dwight takes them to Toby's desk. Toby panics and Michael seems to regret his actions as he tries to call them off. The police search Toby's desk and find a bag of Caprese salad in one of the drawers, which the Vance Refrigeration guys had clearly sold to Michael on purpose, knowing he would not know the difference. The policemen leave and Toby berates Michael for calling the cops on him, specifically wasting their time when they could be out catching real criminals. Michael is disgusted that Toby is more worried about the cops' time than about possibly being framed, and begrudgingly accepts that Toby is again a member of the office. Creed clearly shows concern when the cops arrive, stepping forward with hands upraised when they head towards Toby's desk, and then telling the camera crew to pretend they are talking until the cops leave.

Pam gets frustrated when she finds a big mess in the microwave. She writes an anonymous memo on the microwave telling everyone to keep it clean, which nobody seems to care about, save for Angela, who agrees with the message, and Ryan, who tries to manipulate Pam into cleaning the microwave before being reminded that doing so is a temp's job, which he still refuses to do. Meredith all but admits to leaving the mess when she starts talking about how she doesn't have time to clean up after herself because she doesn't get paid to be a maid between her job at the office, tending to her children and being a part-time maid. Ryan tells Kelly that they have to break up again because he is allegedly going on a trip to Thailand with friends from high school (or, more accurately, friends from a high school). He asks her to have sex with him one last time and for any extra cash she may have, to which she hesitantly agrees.

It is revealed to the entire office that Jim bought his parents' house without asking Pam, mentioning to the camera crew that he is helping out his mother and getting a good deal. Jim begins to think keeping it a secret from Pam might have been a bad idea. Nevertheless, he takes her after work to show her. He gives her a tour of the imperfect house before showing her the garage, which he turned into an art studio for her. After noticing a seemingly disappointed look on Pam's face, Jim tells her he acknowledges that the house is not perfect and that he took a big risk buying it without telling her. He lets her know that it is okay if she does not like it, but Pam excitedly tells him that she loves the house.

Dwight's perfect crime

The episode ends with Dwight narrating his perfect crime as stated below:

"I break into Tiffany's at midnight. Do I go for the vault? No, I go for the chandelier. It's priceless. As I'm taking it down, a woman catches me. She tells me to stop. It's her father's business. She's Tiffany. I say no. We make love all night. In the morning, the cops come and I escape in one of their uniforms. I tell her to meet me in Mexico, but I go to Canada. I don't trust her. Besides, I like the cold. Thirty years later, I get a postcard. I have a son and he's the chief of police. This is where the story gets interesting. I tell Tiffany to meet me in Paris by the Trocadero. She's been waiting for me all these years. She's never taken another lover. I don't care. I don't show up. I go to Berlin. That's where I stashed the chandelier."

Connections to other episodes

  • Jim replies "definitely we should" after Creed says they should hang out together and throw things by the quarry. Pam reveals Jim previously advised her to always answer "Absolutely, I do" to Dwight's requests in "The Job", likely using the same advice here.
  • Pam previously mentioned wanting to have a house to live in when she is married in "Boys and Girls".
  • The clown painting is eventually removed in "Garage Sale".

Trivia

  • When Ryan presents his "cup of soup" to Pamthe "Maruchan" branding has been blotted out using what seems to be a liquid paper tool. This was done likely to avoid product placement and/or copyright issues with the Maruchan company.
  • In this episode, Michael says, "NOOOOO GOD! NO, GOD, PLEASE NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOO!" This has been an iconic line throughout the show and a major meme on the internet.
  • When Michael is giving his money to the “weed dealer,” his wallet can be seen containing a Lackawanna County Library System card. It is the actual logo, which is 4 books surrounding a globe.

Amusing details

  • Jim seems unaware of some of the features of his parent's house such as the clown painting being unremovable and the wood being paneling, despite growing up there.
  • Phyllis asks Jim where his parents house is and immediately gives an awkward "oh" and glances at the camera after finding out it is by the quarry.
  • Michael insisted that he tried to be friends with Toby, yet describes his conversation with Toby as feeling like he is "dying inside", although their conversation was pleasant.
  • Jim sets off his own ringtone so he can pretend to be taking a call.
  • Michael gives a look of betrayal when Ryan tells Toby to punch him, even though that was Michael's goal.
  • Dwight reveals he framed a bear for eating out of the garbage, implying he himself once ate out of the garbage as a child.
  • Dwight makes an effort to pretend that it was Andy who called the police about Toby having drugs, yet gives his own name to the police when they arrive.
  • Creed initially believes that the police are there to arrest him and raises his hands. He then goes into a talking head and tells them to pretend like they are talking until the police leave. Spoiler: Creed's full list of crimes is revealed in "Finale".
  • Angela guiltily looks away as Andy proudly proclaims that he and her have no secrets, due to her ongoing affair with Dwight.

Cultural References

Behind the scenes

  • "Frame Toby" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of the television series The Office, and the show's eighty-first episode overall. The episode aired in the United States on November 20, 2008 on NBC.
  • On November 25, 2008, a producer's cut of "Frame Toby" was posted on NBC.com. This cut ran approximately four minutes longer than the original airing. After nearly a two-year absence, this is the first producer's cut since season three's "The Return".
  • Show writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky make a cameo in the episode as Vance Refrigeration employees once again.

Cast

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast

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