Frame Toby

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"Frame Toby"
The Office episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 9
Directed by Jason Reitman
Written by Mindy Kaling
Production code 508
Original air date November 20, 2008
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Business Trip"
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"The Surplus"
The Office (U.S. season 5)
List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes

"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 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".

In this episode, Michael has trouble accepting the fact that his least favorite employee, HR rep Toby, has returned to the office and enlists Dwight's help to frame him for using drugs so he will be fired. Meanwhile, Pam is disgusted over a mess left in the microwave that no one bothers to clean up, and Jim buys his parents' house – without telling Pam.


Michael is upset when he learns that Toby (Paul Lieberstein) is back as their HR representative, particularly because he is in essence replacing Holly. He tries to get CFO David Wallace (Andy Buckley) to get rid of Toby, but Wallace refuses. Michael says he has been unaware of Toby's return, which happened a week before, as he has not gone back to the annex since Holly was transferred. Michael tries to pretend to be friends with Toby, but he finds himself unable to do so. He then schemes with Dwight (Rainn Wilson) to frame Toby for violating company policy. They attempt to set him up for sexual harassment by using Pam (Jenna Fischer) as bait, but Pam quickly defuses the scheme. Michael tries to provoke Toby into punching him, which proves fruitless. Finally, Michael decides to plant drugs in Toby's desk, and purchases what he believes to be marijuana for $500 from two Vance Refrigeration employees. Dwight calls the police, who arrive shortly afterward (much to the concern of Creed (Creed Bratton), who steps forward with hands upraised when they head towards Toby's desk, and hides in the conference room pretending to talk with the camera crew until the cops leave). The police search Toby's desk. Michael, starting to feel guilty, tries to take the blame, but the police discover that the planted "marijuana" is really a bag of Caprese salad. After the police leave, Toby calmly scolds Michael for wasting the cops' time when they could have been catching real criminals. Michael is disgusted that Toby is more worried about the cops' time than about possibly being framed, and hates Toby more than ever.

Pam gets frustrated when she finds a big mess in the microwave, and writes an anonymous memo by the microwave telling everyone to keep it clean. Her coworkers find the note to be snobbish – except for Angela (Angela Kinsey), who agrees with the message, and Ryan (B. J. Novak), who unsuccessfully tries to manipulate Pam into cleaning the microwave. Meredith all but admits to leaving the mess when she starts talking about how she does not have time to clean up after herself because she does not get paid to be a maid between her job at the office, tending to her children and being a part-time maid. Ryan later tells Kelly (Mindy Kaling) that they have to break up again, saying he is going on a long term trip to Thailand with friends, before asking for sex one last time and for any money she possesses.

It is revealed to the entire office that Jim (John Krasinski) bought his parents' house without asking Pam, mentioning to the camera crew that he is helping out his mother and getting a good deal. Reviewing the house, Jim takes note of the shag carpeting and an ugly painting which is apparently built into the wall, and 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 house before showing her the garage, which he turned into an art studio for her. Noticing a seemingly disappointed look on Pam's face, and the fact that she has been speechless the entire tour, Jim tells her he acknowledges that the house has problems and that it may have been presumptuous to buy it without telling her. He lets her know that it is okay if she does not like it, but Pam is ecstatic that he bought her a house at all, and says she is happy with it so long as they do not have to sleep in his parents' old bedroom.

At the close of the episode, Dwight describes his perfect crime, which involves theft of a chandelier from Tiffany's, travel to Canada and Berlin, and having a son who becomes chief of police.


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