‘The Office’: Ed Helms Said Andy’s ‘Roo-Doo’ Catchphrase Was Taken From Childhood Bullies

Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) loved to break out in song and say his catchphrase on The Office. The character has gotten backlash in the past by getting compared to Michael Scott (Steve Carell), but now many fans say the catchphrase. Find out where it comes from and more about the character.

Andy Bernard replaced Michael Scott on ‘The Office’

Ed Helms as Andy Bernard on 'The Office'
Ed Helms as Andy Bernard on ‘The Office’ Colleen Hayes/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Andy joined the show in season 3 by working with Jim (John Krasinski) at his new location. He was another employee at first, but he eventually took over Michael Scott’s job. This isn’t what writers actually wanted.

“The writers and the cast, generally speaking, were really excited about Dwight becoming the boss,” writer Brent Forrester wrote in the book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, according to the Rolling Stone. “It just felt correct, and that was our creative thrust. Mostly it was pushback from the network saying, ‘Well. Is there someone more famous that we can put in here?’”

He continued, “Of course, the creators always bristle at that and just want to do the right thing creatively. That was a big thing. But Ed Helms had this giant advantage because of course he was in The Hangover. Not to completely read the minds of the network, but that was my understanding of how that decision got made.”

Writer Amelie Gillette also talked about the casting decision. “I do think that Andy was an interesting choice too, and believe me, I switched camps a lot,” said Gillette in the book. “I think a lot of us did because you don’t really know until you do it. But we felt like we could still get some juice out of Dwight not being number one, but being a foiled number one.”

Andy had a catchphrase

One thing Andy loves saying is “roo-doo-doot-da-doo.” He was seen saying it before breaking out in song with “Drift Away” by the Dobie Gray and he start singing it after singing “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees.

There was also an episode where a whole crowd started chanting it at him. The catchphrase usually comes up when Andy is excited and happy. The other employees noticed this about Andy because Dwight (Rainn Wilson) says it when impersonating Andy.

The catchphrase is from childhood bullies

Helms was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He mentioned fans of the show still say the catchphrase to him. The actor explained the origin of the phrase.

“The ‘roo-doo-doot-da-doo’ that Andy says on The Office, a lot of people ask me where that came from,” Helms told Colbert. “It started as a thing that these bullies at my school would–after they gave you a wedgie or pushed you down or humiliated you somehow, they’d go, ‘Roo-doo-doot-da-doo!’ as a sort of, like, expression of dominance. Like, ‘I just owned you!’”

The actor went on to say, “It didn’t make any sense and that’s what made it even more terrifying. It’s just one of those irrational expressions. So I took that, and I made something positive. It became Andy Bernard’s expression of joy.” Now it’s a phrase that many fans love repeating.