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The Office Fan Theory That Will Have You Looking Twice At Bob Vance

NBC hit The Office had quite the array of characters, from its strong leads to its spunky supporting cast, and it was rounded out by much-loved minor stars. Fans felt just as passionately about Michael Scott (Steve Carell) as they did Creed Bratton (Creed Bratton), no matter how big or small each one's role was in a given episode. Minor characters also got their fair share of love whenever they popped up in an episode, including David Wallace (Andy Buckley), Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin), and Bob Vance (Robert R. Shafer).

We're here to talk about the latter. Bob Vance — of Vance Refrigeration, of course — played the love interest of Phyllis Lapin (Phyllis Smith) and the owner of the refrigeration company just down the hall from the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch. Bob became known for his catchphrase, which was simply saying his company name after introducing himself to people, and was also admired for his unconditional love for Phyllis. On Reddit in 2018, one fan of the show even put forth a now widely popular theory that might change the way you look at Mr. Vance on your next re-watch.

Was Bob Vance taking advantage of free advertising on The Office?

The widely accepted theory, which was upvoted on Reddit over 5,300 times, suggests that Bob Vance kept repeating his business name every time he introduced himself on The Office as a way to take advantage of free advertising. After all, the employees of Dunder Mifflin were being filmed for a documentary. And although it would take a while before viewers got to see the final cut, the theory is that Bob decided to get in all the plugs he could to promote his refrigeration business.

When we first meet Bob in season 2, episode 10 ("Christmas Party") as Phyllis' boyfriend, he introduces himself to Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker), Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner), and Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) one after the other, and he still says "Vance Refrigeration" after each individual introduction. Bob and Phyllis' wedding officiant even mentions the catchphrase when he's marrying the duo in season 3, asking "And do you, Phyllis, take Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration, to be your lawfully wedded husband?" 

It looks like the businessman is not afraid of a shameless plug, no matter how silly it might sound at times, and that trait hints at him being a secret genius.