‘The Office’: Jenna Fischer Said This ‘Heartbreaking’ Steve Carell Moment Makes Her ‘Cry Every Time’ She Watches It

Steve Carell demonstrated his amazing range on The Office, delivering the cringe-factor with his character Michael Scott, while also showing a more vulnerable side from time to time. Jenna Fischer shared one “heartbreaking” Carell moment that she said makes her “cry every time” she watches it.

The Office: Steve Carell poses as Michael Scott holding World's Best Boss mug in his office
The Office: Steve Carell as Michael Scott | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank

Steve Carell has a touching moment on ‘The Office’

During a January 2020 Office Ladies podcast episode, Fischer and Angela Kinsey discussed The Office Season 2 episode “Halloween.” Michael (Carell) is supposed to fire someone by the end of the month, but put it off until the last day, when he tries unsuccessfully to fire a number of employees. When he tries to fire Creed, Creed convinces him to fire Devon.

Devon is, understandably, upset at Michael for the firing and invites many of the employees to have a drink with him at a nearby bar but excludes Michael, Creed, Dwight, and Angela. He also smashes a pumpkin on Michael’s car.

Michael is seen home alone, upset about having to fire Devon, when a group of trick-or-treaters come to the door. He has a sweet and playful interaction with the children and the moment definitely lifts his spirits.

Jenna Fischer said the ‘heartbreaking’ scene makes her cry

While discussing the Michael Scott moment, Fischer shared how the touching scene gets to her. “I cry every time I watch it,” she said. “Every time.”

“At the end of the episode, Michael goes home and you see him sitting alone, very lonely on the couch,” Fischer explained. “And then the doorbell rings and there are trick-or-treaters at the door.”

Fischer recalled the “big debate” about how the scene would go, including “whether or not the kids should be nice to Michael or if they should be annoyed by Michael… How Michael should be with the kids. Should he be off-putting? Should he be kind?”

“They also discussed if he should be happy or sad while handing out the candy and they decided that they were going to start on that spy shot of Michael looking sad and lonely, all alone on Halloween night, but when he gets to the door… I’m going to cry saying it,” she said. “He lights up. He makes his silly jokes. The kids laugh.”

“And it ends on him making a connection. I just think it is the most kind and heartbreaking, wonderful scene,” Fischer said. “I think it’s moments like this that make The Office so special. We just spend an entire episode kind of laughing at Michael Scott or finding him annoying. But then in the end, he just breaks your heart with his vulnerability.”

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Michael Scott changed a lot after season 1

During the July 21, 2020 episode of An Oral History of The Office, host Brian Baumgartner shared that creator Greg Daniels wanted Michael to be more likable in season 2.

Writer/producer Mike Schur said that Daniels spoke with the writers about how Carell’s role in the successful movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin helped keep The Office on the air. Daniels had an idea for how to slightly change the Michael Scott character to reflect a portion of what made Carell’s 40-Year-Old Virgin character endearing.

“We need to take 20% of what is so endearing and likable about that character and swirl it into Michael Scott and we need to take 20% of the optimism of that movie and swirl it into the show,” Schur recalled Daniels telling the writers. “And I want every episode to end with a little upswing.”

Michael’s moment with the trick-or-treaters perfectly illustrates that small “upswing.”