‘The Office’: Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak Share Their Favorite Michael Scott Moments

Everybody has a favorite Michael Scott moment, The Office writers included. While Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak both acted in the famous sitcom as Kelly and Ryan, they were also writers. Back in 2011, the actors/writers shared their favorite Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch regional manager moments. Their choices are unquestionably iconic moments in the series.

BJ Novak and Steve Carell as Ryan and Michael on 'The Office'
B.J. Novak as Ryan Howard, Steve Carell as Michael Scott | Dean Hendler/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

BJ Novak’s favorite Michael Scott moment in ‘The Office’

Novak’s character, Ryan, was often the object of Michael’s affection. Michael wasn’t shy about the fact that he thought Ryan was cool, smart, even (or, perhaps especially) sexy. Novak and Carell worked together quite a bit.

Novak says the moment he “fell in love with Michael Scott was the first time he used the phrase ‘That’s what she said'” in “Sexual Harassment.”


“Michael had been warned that he has to stop all inappropriate joking in the workplace. Heartbroken, he makes a dramatic speech to the office, announcing he will never make another joke. But then Jim starts baiting him: ‘That sounds long…and hard.’ ‘Well, you always kept me satisfied and smiling.’ Finally, Michael can’t help himself and blurts out, ‘That’s what she said!’ in an explosion of pure joy,” Novak told Entertainment Weekly. “He knows the consequences — he’s surrounded by his corporate supervisor and the company lawyer — but it’s still all worth it to him. It was Michael’s love of life that made his flaws so much fun to watch.”

Mindy Kaling’s favorite Michael Scott moment

Kaling’s favorite Michael moment occurred in “Secret Santa” in season 6. She could barely keep it together when Kevin sat on Michael’s lap.

“Michael has been angry and hurt all day that Phyllis got to be Santa, so against everyone’s wishes, he dresses up as a competitive Santa. Forget that Kevin, a grown man, is earnestly telling Santa all the toys he wants — it’s Steve’s reaction. When Kevin unburdens himself on Michael’s lap, Steve’s voice changed to this distressed, guttural mumble, showing the instantaneous agony he was in. This was literally a laugh out loud moment because you can see me laughing in the background, completely breaking character,” she shared.


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Kaling is in good company. Ed Helms was a guest on The Dan Patrick Show in 2018 where he spoke about needing to remove himself from the same scene because he kept breaking character and laughing.

“Kevin is sitting in his lap, and he’s so awful about it, because it’s uncomfortable for him, and he’s just being really rude and weird and mean about it,” Helms told Patrick. “I had to duck behind a plant — you can see in the actual episode.”

“And by the way, that was like take 30, because I had been laughing in every single take. He’s a genius,” he added.