‘The Office’ Fans Spot the Clever Nod ‘Community’ Gave to ‘Scott’s Tots’ Episode

The Office often cashed in on uncomfortable humor, and the “Scott’s Tots” episode was certainly no exception. In the episode, Michael Scott goes back on his promise to pay for college for a group of students. And it turns out that one of these so-called Scott’s Tots turned up on an episode of Community — even inspiring some fan theories.

‘The Office’ Season 6 Episode 12 ‘Scott’s Tots’ recap

In The Office Season 6 Episode 12, “Scott’s Tots,” Michael Scott (Steve Carell) has to tell an entire class of graduating high school seniors some disappointing news.

Years earlier, an overly ambitious Michael had promised the then-third-graders that if they graduated from high school he would pay for their college tuition. The kids were dubbed Scott’s Tots. The ever-optimistic Michael assumed he would be very successful and wealthy at that point in his life, making it easy to afford the multiple tuitions.

However, Michael never earned the massive wealth he had hoped for. So he had to go back on his word with the students and tell them he wouldn’t be paying for their college — but he could offer them some laptop batteries. Prior to that, though, he sat through glowing praise from the kids and even a performance in his honor.

Fans spotted 1 of Scott’s Tots on an episode of ‘Community’

Eagle-eyed fans of The Office on Reddit spotted an actor who played one of Scott’s Tots on an episode of Community. In fact, there is a whole Reddit thread devoted to the idea that this young woman attending the show’s Greendale Community College is the same high school senior whom Michael Scott disappointed.

The Redditors celebrated the idea that she had made it to college despite being let down financially by Michael Scott. Some questioned why she would move to Colorado where Community takes place from Pennsylvania where The Office is set. But others had theories, especially given that Michael ends up moving to Colorado as well.

“She moved to CO to follow Michael so she can get that tuition money but all Michael can afford is Greendale,” one fan wrote on Reddit. Others suggested the character might have followed Michael to Colorado out of revenge or even out of friendship.

Some fans of ‘The Office’ won’t even watch the ‘Scott’s Tots’ episode

Steve Carell as Michael Scott on 'The Office,' who played the central figure in the 'Scott's Tots' episode
Steve Carell as Michael Scott on ‘The Office’ | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank

If you’re the kind of person who would like watching a taxidermist or perhaps would enjoy watching someone removing a splinter from the hand of a small child, then this episode is for you. But for most fans of The Office, “Scott’s Tots” is the one episode they cannot sit through. Many fans have the same reaction as Pam when they realize what is about to unfold. Pam soberly informs Michael that he has done a “terrible, terrible thing.”

According to Bustle, there might be a scientific reason for what makes “Scott’s Tots” so unwatchable. When viewers realize what Michael is about to do — seriously disappoint a bunch of kids — it triggers a “cringe response.” “The cringe is associated with the stress hormone response being activated so there is increased cortisol, increased muscular tension, and sometimes increased hydrochloric acid in the stomach — all unpleasant sensations,” Dr. Judith Orloff told Bustle.

Viewers also have to reconcile this with the character growth they’ve seen in Michael Scott over the years — and how he was genuine in wanting to help the kids. So you might ultimately feel bad for Michael as well as the students. Perhaps someday we’ll find out what happened to the student who apparently made it to Greendale Community College.

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