The Toby Moment That Supports This Wild Fan Theory For The Office

Since the American version of The Office aired on NBC from 2005-2013 (per IMDb), it's become one of the most beloved comedies on television, having won dozens of awards and an incredibly loyal fan base. The mockumentary-style show follows the mundane, everyday exploits of the employees of a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, under the management of the incompetent but lovable Michael Scott (Steve Carell). With his leadership, the team gets into all kinds of shenanigans while they strengthen their bonds of friendship, and in some cases, love.

With so many seasons under its belt, the show was able to continue many running gags and fill scenes with enough innuendo that several fan theories have popped up. One of those theories offers an explanation as to why the characters' personalities seem to change over the years. 

There's one particular moment when Toby Flenderson (Paul Lieberstein) gives this idea quite a bit of credence. Still not sure what we're talking about? Don't worry, because we've got the lowdown on the major Toby moment that supports this wild fan theory for The Office.

Toby thinks everyone has radon poisoning

See, there's this crazy explanation that the whole crew of The Office is suffering from radon poisoning, which can cause several health problems, according to WebMD. It started with a Reddit post from a deleted user, in which they argue that radon poisoning would explain why the characters get "so weird" as the series continues.

The anonymous fan wrote, "The branch goes from a dysfunctional, believable office setting to getting so hopped up on espresso that they rip up the carpet. [...] Over the years, the radon in the building caused many of the Dunder Mifflin employees to develop brain cancer, greatly altering their personalities the longer they worked in the building."

They even note the amount of time Michael appears during the show's finale after purposely staying away from the office as evidence that there was something amiss in Scranton. In this case, Michael's brain was readjusting, and he returns to Dunder Mifflin in a healthier state of mind.

Michael shoots down Toby's suggestion

It's a running joke in The Office that Toby's concerned about the air quality, and he brings up testing the building for radon on several occasions. In fact, there's a very specific moment the theory points to as evidence.

In the season 5 episode "The Surplus," he pushes for Michael to use some of the leftover budget funds for air quality tests in the building. Exacerbated, Toby says, "We have radon coming from below. We have asbestos in the ceilings. These are silent killers." However, Michael dismissively sends him back to his annex office.

Then, in the season 6 episode "The Chump," Toby implores the office not to throw away the radon tests, which Michael eventually does anyway. Some fans theorize that it's the documentary crew intentionally poisoning the paper company employees with radon. Luckily, the real-life symptoms of radon poisoning don't match up with this wild fan theory, so we can rest easy knowing that the characters in The Office weren't suffering.