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The Terrifying Andy Theory That Changes Everything On The Office

After nine seasons of "The Office" and eight years of binge-watching on various streaming platforms, it may come as a shock to many that the long-running NBC sitcom was not a sitcom at all — it was a murder mystery. This bizarre yet intriguing revelation is based on one particular storyline that began in Season 6 and continued for the remainder of the series' run.

The Scranton Strangler is first mentioned in "The Delivery," a two-part episode that aired toward the end of the sixth season. Since then, "Office" fans have speculated that the man charged and convicted of the killings, George Howard Skub, is actually innocent, and that Toby Flenderson, who became obsessed with the case, was the true murderer. Others have fingered Creed Bratton, a theory that holds water, given what we know of Creed's dubious background. However, one Redditor put forth a third potential suspect — Andy Bernard — and the evidence, while circumstantial, is overwhelming.

Andy has anger issues

u/KANNABULL proposed the theory in 2017 in a detailed post highlighting the various pieces of evidence that go a long way to proving Andy's guilt. Much of the theory is built on the premise that Andy suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which the National Alliance on Mental Illness states is "characterized by alternating between multiple identities." Over the course of "The Office," Andy adopts various names and personalities for himself, including Andy, Andrew, Drew, and Nard Dog. Let's not forget that for the first six years of his life, Andy's name was Walter Baines Bernard Jr., until his parents stripped him of the name and bestowed it upon his newborn brother, whom Mr. and Mrs. Bernard felt better represented the family name. If we accept that Andy had a personality disorder, the rest of the evidence is pretty damning.

In several episodes, we see Andy react violently to minor pranks. When Jim places Andy's stapler in a Jell-O mold, Andy explodes, shouting that if no one confesses to the prank, he'll lose his mind. In a later episode, Jim again pranks Andy, this time by hiding his cell phone. Andy's reaction? Punching a hole in an office wall (which resulted in a forced stint in anger management). Andy's uncontrollable rage appears again when Dwight decorates his desk with items from Andy's alma mater, Cornell University. While no fists were thrown, Andy does storm off shouting. Unfortunately, the wall would again become a target of Andy's anger when he is fired. During his dismissal, he throws a chair, smashes a picture, and punches a hole in the wall.

Andy may have been hiding evidence

With Andy's personality and anger issues laid bare, we can now turn to the evidence that links him to the Scranton Strangler. The first mention of the strangler comes from Andy himself, when he has the front page of the local paper framed as a gift celebrating the birth of Jim and Pam's daughter. Admittedly, the front page Andy initially has framed contains the headline "Spring has sprung," but Pam's long labor means he has to swap it out for the next day's headline: "Scranton strangler strikes again." The sight of Andy holding the paper, finger pointing to the headline, feels like a wink-and-nudge from the show's writers.

The next bit of eyebrow-raising behavior concerns Andy's car. In Season 4, Episode 16, "Did I Stutter?", Andy, who is in the market for a new car, agrees to sell his old car to Dwight for a price well below market value. The first question that comes to mind is: Why wouldn't Andy trade in his car to lower the price of the new auto? Could it be that Andy is worried about what the car dealership might find when they prep the trade-in for resale? 

Later in the episode, Andy gets surprisingly agitated when he discovers that Dwight is flipping the car for a profit. If money was a concern, which seems unlikely given the Bernard family's wealth, then a trade-in again makes more sense. Andy seems very eager to be rid of the car, but also equally concerned with where the car goes.

Andy knows how to stalk prey

After selling his car to Dwight, Andy purchases a Prius, and in Season 5, Episode 12, "The Duel," he uses it to attack Dwight after learning that Dwight is having an affair with Angela, Andy's fiancé. Andy catches Dwight unaware due to the car's ability to move silently when maintaining a low speed. Is it possible Andy has previously used the car's stealth capabilities to hunt down prey? Then, in Season 7, Episode 8, "The Viewing Party," Andy and his colleagues watch as the alleged Scranton Strangler leads police on a high-speed chase. Andy's first comment on the chase? "I bet he's wishing he had a hybrid." So, in addition to knowing how to use his car to hunt and attack, Andy is also immediately aware of the benefits of a hybrid in a long car chase.

Later, in "The Duel," while the office watches Andy and Dwight "fight" in the parking lot, Meredith mentions that her neighbor has been murdered. While the mention does not initially implicate Andy in the murder, a later interaction with Meredith is suspect. In Season 8, Episode 10, "Christmas Wishes," Andy offers to drive a very drunk Meredith home after the office Christmas party. It's interesting that Andy knew exactly how to get to Meredith's house, despite Meredith likely being too drunk to give him directions. Has Andy been in the neighborhood before, possibly "visiting" Meredith's neighbor? It's also worth noting that on the way to Meredith's house, Andy makes a brief stop to stalk his ex-girlfriend, Erin.

Andy's hands are strong proof

Other evidence supporting Andy as the Scranton Strangler comes in Season 4, Episode 17, "Job Fair" (which comes immediately after Andy unloaded his old car). In the episode, Andy, Jim, and Kevin are using a golf outing to land a potential client. Andy reveals significant injuries to his hands, which he claims are the result of hitting 1,200 golf balls the night before in preparation for the outing. While by no means a golf aficionado, Andy does state that he previously had golf lessons (though he preferred the sailing club, where he learned how to tie rope knots). One would think that given his past lessons and affluent upbringing that Andy wouldn't need such extreme practice, and if he did, that he'd know to wear golf gloves. Did Andy really injure his hands practicing his swing, or did one of his victims fight back as those hands were engaged in some strangling?

Again, there's no smoking gun that definitively proves Andy is the Scranton Strangler. However, given his anger issues, multiple "identities," eagerness to get rid of a car, hand injuries, stalking, and knowledge of sneaking up on prey, the Scranton PD might want to have a word with the Nard Dog.