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The Michael Scott Moment That 32% Of The Office Fans Believe Went Too Far

The US version of "The Office" succeeded on many different levels. The show was filled with lovable characters that fans got to see grow, was shot in a fake documentary style that helped viewers learn intimate details about those characters, and managed to evoke a real sense of an office in which many could see themselves.

However, for all the storylines that the show covered, and the pranks that Jim pulled on Dwight, the beating heart of the show — for at least the first seven seasons — was Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), the cringey boss at the center of Dunder-Mifflin. From the very first episode, Michael was the social train wreck that fans couldn't look away from, swerving from one awkward situation to the other, then doubling down on each one to make it even more unbearable for viewers, and anyone else caught in his way. While most of his coworkers, and the show's viewers, found ways to forgive the majority of his most uncomfortable moments, there was more than one time that Michael crossed the line. 

Looper polled over 600 fans of "The Office," from across the United States, about which Michael moment was the most out of line, and this is the moment 32% of them believe went too far.

Almost one-third of The Office fans think the show went too far when Michael ran over Meredith

By a significant margin, 32% of "The Office" fans polled think that the most egregious thing that Michael ever did on the show was running over Meredith (Kate Flannery) with his car. The incident occurred in the opening moments of Season 4, during the double episode "Fun Run." As Michael arrived at work, distracted by the documentary crew interviewing him, he ran into Meredith, sending her flying off the hood of his car onto the ground.

Of course, it's not just the accident that shocked fans of "The Office" and Michael's coworkers. Michael spends time making jokes about a point system for hitting pedestrians and then forcing Meredith to apologize to him at the hospital. While he eventually does earn her forgiveness, after holding an impromptu fun run and raising money in her honor, it is (as usual) a very circular way of giving her the apology she deserved.

In second place, with 25% of the vote, is Michael's unwanted kiss with Oscar (Oscar Nuñez) in the Season 3 episode "Gay Witch Hunt." This incident is perhaps the most visible of a series of terrible decisions on Michael's part, including his accidental outing of Oscar and intentional use of a derogatory term for a member of the LGBTQ community. Perhaps the most shocking element of the incident was that the kiss scene was never supposed to happen and resulted from some uncomfortable improvisation on Carrell's part.

Fans also think Michael Scott went too far when it involved race and mocked harassment

A solid chunk of "The Office" fans, 18%, were also unimpressed when Michael laughed at Phyllis (Phyllis Smith) when she was distraught after being flashed. As per usual, Michael couldn't leave his horrified office mates at simply belittling her traumatic experience, but had to take it even further, by simulating another flashing event in the office. After uncharacteristically realizing that his behavior had gone too far, Michael tried to atone for his actions by leading a seminar on the difficulties women face in the workplace, but unfortunately, made several sexist observations.

Plenty of fans feel that one of Michael's earliest offenses was the worst. In the second episode of the show, "Diversity Day," which 13% of fans think went too far, Michael commits several offensive actions related to race. These include performing a Chris Rock sketch which contains inappropriate terms for black people and trying to goad his employees into repeating racial stereotypes.

Michael's racial sensitivity barely seemed to have improved years later, when he dressed up as Darryl (Craig Robinson) in the Season 7 episode "Costume Contest." In that incident, which 11% of fans felt was the Michael Scott moment that crossed the line, Michael dressed in a warehouse jumpsuit and afro wig to go as Darryl in a misguided revenge plot. While Michael thankfully does not decide to change his skin tone to impersonate Darryl, fans on Reddit noticed that he does have a dark smudge behind his ear – almost as if he considered it but changed his mind.