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For the group see: Scott's Tots (Group).

"Scott's Tots" is the twelfth episode of the sixth season and the 112th episode of The Office overall. It was written by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky and was directed by B.J. Novak, marking his directorial debut. It originally aired on December 3, 2009. It was viewed by 8.10 million people.

Cold open

In the cold open, Michael solemnly talks to Andy about his "baby voice" which Michael opposes since it "makes him look like he hires babies." Andy then tells Michael that some office employees find his Elvis imitation annoying, but that he, himself likes the voice. Michael and Andy then finish talking to each other in Elvis and baby voices.


Andy tells Jim that morale is not good in the office and then suggests setting up an employee of the month program. Jim decides to adopt the plan, and Andy is thrilled. While Erin tries to organize Michael's computer by deleting e-mails, Jim comes into his office to tell him that an employee of the month program would be a good idea, and Michael accepts the idea, after thinking he would be given the award. Michael also tells Jim that he made a horrible decision, and tells Erin to go away.

Meanwhile, Dwight has gotten Andy to believe that the employee of the month was his idea so that his plan can't get traced back to him. Dwight explains that if all goes well, Jim will later be fired by David Wallace. Dwight tries to convince Jim that he should get the employee of the month award and gives Jim a rundown of all the people in the office's work ethic. Jim decides to take it, however Dwight made sure that the people with the highest numbers are Jim and Pam.

Phyllis asks Michael about Scott's Tots. Stanley begins to laugh and asks if it's been ten years already. Stanley reveals that, 10 years ago in a moment of weakness while visiting an elementary school, Michael promised a group of third-graders college tuition if they graduated from high school. It had been taken as a serious offer. Michael had assumed his salary would increase over time and he would be able to afford the tuition. Pam tells Michael he did a "terrible, terrible thing" and refuses to accompany him to the school, a visit he's been putting off for weeks. She's no longer the receptionist and tells Erin that she must make sure Michael shows up. Michael and Erin go to the school and see a girl, Mikela, who is thrilled to see Michael. It is clear that Michael has invested emotionally in these kids, knowing their names, going to their plays and other activities and even had a reading room at the school named after him. Michael heads into the classroom, and sees people clapping for him.

Michael is then given a presentation where a bunch of the "tots" are thanking them because they are going to graduate this year. They sing an impromptu song, and Michael awkwardly claps, but begins to realize the scope of his promise. A teacher calls Michael a dream-maker and gets emotional. A kid tells Michael that he wants to be a president and also tells Michael that he is his hero. Michael starts to cry. Michael stands up and tries to tell the tots that he cannot pay for their tuition, however, they take it as a joke. When Michael insists that he cannot pay for the tuition, they become extremely angry. Michael offers them lithium computer batteries instead.

Meanwhile, Dwight goes up to Kevin and Oscar and collects twenty dollars from each of them for the employee of the month award, which Jim had never agreed upon. When the time comes to pull the number, he ends up pulling his own. He tries to explain it was a mistake as he cannot be the Employee of the Month, then draws Pam's number next. Pam has no problem believing she deserves the award as she's doubled her sales from two to four. The others protest what they believe is a rigged process in the Helperts' favor. Jim also denies there was ever a monetary award involved.

To make matters worse, Dwight ordered a custom cake, saying "It could only be you" with Jim's face on it which the employees believe Jim ordered for himself. After Dwight calls David Wallace posing as Stanley, Toby, and Kevin to complain, Wallace lectures Jim, only to then apologize. Later on, Dwight listens to his hidden recording device (a fountain pen in Jim's office) in hopes of hearing David Wallace reprimand Jim. Instead, Dwight hears David encouraging Jim's work, saying that he's got a great deal on his mind and knows Jim is doing his best, and they will be meeting for dinner soon. Dwight is stunned.

A student tells Michael that what he did was wrong. Michael promises to pay for his books and writes him a post-dated check. In the car, Erin starts to sing the "Hey Mr. Scott" tune and Michael tells her to stop. Erin tells Michael that the group of Scott's Tots has a greater graduating rate than other classes, and his promise (although he did not deliver) helped to motivate the students to complete school. Michael apologizes to Erin, and asks her about her goals with Dunder Mifflin, where she explains that she wants to try accounting, although she is doubtful of her math skills. Michael explains that he hired Kevin as an accountant, even when he applied in the warehouse because he had a "feeling about him". Michael then tells Erin that he has a feeling about her too, and the two begin to sing "Hey Mr. Scott" for the rest of the ride.

Ryan finds a copy of the Diabolical Plan in the copier and tells Dwight he wants to take down Jim Halpert. They agree to work together on this.

Newspaper article

Full text of historical newspaper article.[1]

Local Businessman Pledges College Tuition to Third Graders

By Randy Shemanski,

SCRANTON — This year's "Career Week" at Daniel J. Flood Elementary was not just the customary gathering of community professionals talking about their line of work and offering guidance to spry youngsters. Local employees and business owners were in attendance, and several speeches were given. But one person outshone the rest by offering much more than a mere presentation about his career. Michael G. Scott, Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin, is a modest guy who likes to wear jeans, cherishes his "World’s Best Boss" mug, and lacks a college education. He thought about playing for the NHL, but decided against it because he wanted to settle down with a family. And although he may not have that family yet, he has offered his leadership and his pocketbook to 15 third graders with dreams of going to college someday — something Scott never had the chance to do.

"I've fallen in love with these cherubs, and I don't want them to become victims of the system,” Scott said. "I told them if they graduated high school, I would pay for their college educations." "Scott's Tot's" may have been a program started impulsively, but Scott doesn't regret it. "Just seeing the sunshine spurting out of the kids' and parents' faces," he said, "is enough for me to keep the program going for years. I bet if colleges saw that, they'd let them in for free. Hmm, maybe I should make some phone calls."

Talib Johnson, a student in Alice Kay's class, has dreams of becoming a doctor. Talib's mother has already been trying to save for the daunting $120,000 dollar cost of medical school, and she was not sure if it would ever be a reality. But now that Scott has offered to pick up the tab, Mrs. Johnson said that Talib would undoubtedly be going to an Ivy League university. Scott was impressed, but encouraged Talib to consider the paper business.

Scott's Tots in third grade.

Mikela Lasker has aspirations of becoming a veterinarian. "I really love science and animals, and I want to take care of sick ones," she said. Just like Talib's mother, Mikela's parents were concerned about the high price of veterinary school. "She's got to get a bachelor's degree first, and then go on to vet school," Mr. Lasker said. "Her mother and I have tried to save, but we both really enjoy drinking Italian wine, and that takes a huge chunk out of our weekly income."

But now, thanks to Scott, the Laskers can continue to indulge in spirits, carefree. Scott was very surprised to learn that Mikela's veterinary degree would have to be earned separately from her undergraduate degree. When asked if he would be willing to foot the bill for postgraduate education as well, Scott at first seemed hesitant, but then replied with, "Sure, what the hell."

Connections to other episodes

  • In Season 1, there is an "employee of the month" plaque on the wall near the main door. That spot is later occupied by Pam's watercolor. 
  • This is the second time Michael assumed he can win an award. In "Hot Girl," Michael also thinks he could win the espresso machine for best salesman, even though Jan says it is only for the salespeople and not the managers.
  • Michael makes his receptionist Erin carry his heavy suitcase. In "Lecture Circuit Part 1", he made his receptionist Pam carry his heavy suitcase. In the British Office, David Brent made receptionist Dawn Tinsley do the same.
  • Spoiler: The Diabolical Plan is later seemingly brought to fruition in "Manager and Salesman."
  • Pam was eating yogurt, a callback from the "Pilot" when Pam admits that she loves mixed berries yogurt.


  • Michael made his promise to a class of third graders ten years ago. American high school ends in twelfth grade, which is only nine years after third grade. (This episode takes place in December, which is not late enough to make the time 9½ years, which one could round to ten.)
  • According to the newspaper article, Michael Scott was Regional Manager when he created "Scott's Tots" ten years ago. However in "Pilot", he says that he has been Regional Manager for only four years. It has been five years since that episode, so again, there has not been enough time to make it to ten years.
  • When Michael and Erin walk into the classroom, a placard reading "PE3" is on the wall by the classroom door. In the room, the whiteboard in the back AND a poster on the wall describe alternative energy sources, pointing to a science classroom. Posters in the front describe text-to-self connections and reading comprehension.  

Amusing details

  • Jim's cake says "It could only be you" at the bottom.
  • It is revealed that Pam currently has made only 4 sales for the month.
  • When confronting Jim in the break room, Dwight pulls out mustard, jelly, and BBQ sauce from the fridge.
  • Michael appears to be offering free laptops to the class, but then reveals he is giving them batteries instead.
  • Michael thinks that Erin is 12 years old when she points out the potential paths for the Scott's Tots to take after they graduate.


  • The lyrics of the song that was made by the "Scott's Tots" class was, "Hey, Mr. Scott, what chu gonna do, what chu gonna do? Make our dreams come true."
  • Michael has a good remembrance of people's names. For example, Michael remembered Sprinkles' name ("Fun Run") and also remembered the name of a former client. ("Dunder Mifflin Infinity")
  • Michael reveals that Kevin initially applied for a position in the warehouse, but hired he him for accounting anyway. This would explain how Kevin managed to become an accountant despite his lack of skills.

Behind the scenes

  • Prop master Phil Shea contacted the Scanton Times for a copy of their newspaper from ten years ago. After studying it, they asked if the newspaper could reproduce the "Local" page with a different feature story at the bottom. Randy Shemanski was asked to assemble the fake newspaper, drawing upon his experience at both the Scranton Times and the Times-Tribune. The show's writers provided the copy, but neglected to name a writer, so Randy used his own name, with permission from Phil Shea. After a few iterations, the fake newspaper was ready to be used in the show.[2]

Cultural references

  • The song performed by "Scott's Tots" is sung to Bad Boys, the theme of the television program COPS. The original lyrics are "Bad boys, bad boys. What you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you?"
  • Elvis Presley was a very famous American musician and actor.
  • Bear Sterns was a global investment bank. It was bought out by JP Morgan Chase during the 2008-2010 Recession.
  • Lehman Brothers was a global financial-services firm that declared bankruptcy in 2008.
  • Enron was an energy company that declared bankruptcy, to the surprise of many, and became part of a major accounting scandal.
  • AIG is an American insurance corporation.
  • Tots is short for a toddler, or a child from ages 2–4.


For quotes see: Scott's Tots Quotes.


Main cast

Supporting cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Suzanne Watson as Stephanie
  • Isheba Reene as Mikela
  • Kwame Boateng as Derrick
  • Monnae Michaell as School Staff Member
  • Charlie Sanders as Delivery Man
  • Fredrick Burns as Student
  • Micah Williams as Student


  1. Tan, Jennie. "Full text of 'Scott's Tots' article", Office Tally blog, December 15, 2009.
  2. Tan, Jenny. 'Scott's Tots' newspaper article. "Office Tally" blog, December 15, 2009.