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I Think We Broke His Brain: Office Characters in Meltdown
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May 6th 2008 edited

Perhaps Toby isn't so much evil as nuts. Several NAers have seen him as perhaps cracking under the pressure of Michael's constant abuse and his unrequited love for Pam.

So which of our other beloved Office characters do you see as having cracked under the strain? In what ways? And who might go next?

May 6th 2008

Well, Ryan has obviously had some sort of breakdown, but he had hints of evil before this season.

May 6th 2008

Don't forget Jan. She even predicted it (implode like a dying star). But I guess that was in the past, nobody knows how she's doing now. So I think our only current meltdown-in-progress is Ryan. Don't really see anyone else losing it until after we have seen Ryan get it together somewhat.

May 6th 2008

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Andy, who was constantly melting down when we first met him, but went to anger management and has been a relatively calm and peaceful dude ever since.

May 6th 2008

It must be that blue ocean lamp thingie that he has on his desk. It must calm him down.

May 6th 2008

And not letting the grumpies get to him.

May 6th 2008

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Andy, who was constantly melting down when we first met him, but went to anger management and has been a relatively calm and peaceful dude ever since.

Except for...well, you know...the occasional freak-out over his high school student girlfriend. :-)

May 6th 2008 edited

Redacted for redundancy

May 6th 2008

Don't forget Jan. She even predicted it (implode like a dying star). But I guess that was in the past

Actually, when I started this thread I never intended that we'd keep our conversation to just S4. I was talking about the whole run of the series. Any workplace (but especially a crazy one) can have a detrimental impact on one's sanity. So...who's not been responding well to the pressure?

Jan is probably the most spectacular example of a meltdown, IMO.

May 6th 2008

Jan is probably the most spectacular example of a meltdown, IMO.

On several occasions, yes.

May 6th 2008

When, in the show, do you think she started her slide from Super-Competent Executive Woman to Total Trainwreck?

Or was the whole Super-Competent Executive Woman thing just an elaborate front? Was she always a trainwreck waiting to happen?

May 6th 2008

The very moment she kissed Michael.

May 6th 2008

Ahhh....but what led her to kiss Michael?

May 6th 2008

No, it's the kiss. Up until that moment, she was safely behind "the line." The line that she walked was on the sane side of the world, and from behind that line if anyone every suggested her kissing Michael she could always laugh, and think "well I've got to be doing something right, if that possibility is ludicrous to me." But once that moment, that kiss was shared, she was across the line. No more could she play the high and mighty card against Michael, kissing her "brought her down to his level" and she lost all control because of it. She became just another person in the world who acts instead of thinks.

May 6th 2008

Interesting. You make a good point.

I still want to know what made her hold on the "sanity side of the line" so shaky, though.

May 6th 2008

Her divorce, and the fact that, most likely none of her corporate co-workers or her flaky fake friends gave a damn about her hurt, but Michael did.

May 6th 2008

I'll buy that.

Now...what's behind Dwight's lunacy? ;-)

May 6th 2008

Inbreeding, most likely.

May 6th 2008 edited

Dwight is the product of a very German, undemonstrative, hardworking, no nonsense family that punished little children for minor malfeasance. It amazes me that he has the depth of feeling that he does for Angela. I don’t really think the office has turned Dwight into Dwight. The patriarchs of his family influenced him and he thrives on hierarchy, structure, hard work, and efficiency which doesn’t endear you to too many co-workers. In a way, he also wants to be needed which is one reason he sucks up to Michael and anyone in authority. I see Dwight more as a possible source of insanity in others, like Michael.

Phyllis is another one that’s slowly losing her grip. She’s angry at Pam which I first noticed in FR when Jim and “the plot devise” were fighting in the break room. Phyllis turned around and glared at Pam like she was responsible for the break up. She’s also ready to boot Angela to the beet farm if she verbally attacks her one more time and she’s the butt of Michael’s inappropriate comments about looks and age. She’s another ticking time bomb, if you ask me.

May 6th 2008

So...who's not been responding well to the pressure?

Tom didn't respond very well to it.

May 6th 2008

Don't forget about the whole Sue Grafton debacle. Fuel to the fire.

Also, excellent post Madge.

May 6th 2008

Also, I'm so disappointed in Phallus.....er, I mean Phyllis. I really thought she was more of an advocate of Jim and Pam. She certainly seemed so in S2, and the beginning of S3.

May 6th 2008

Do you have penises on the brain, VG?

May 6th 2008

lemonade, let's not shed more light on the penises.

(also, everytime I hear the word penis, I always think of my radiation biology teacher in college. He pronounced the word penis as "pennis", like the word "pen", but with an "i and a s" at the end of it. That was many years ago. And yet I still think about it. I'm scarred for life.)

May 6th 2008

And now I will think of pennises. Thanks for passing that on, VG.

May 6th 2008

You're young, you have a chance to let time erase the memory.

May 6th 2008

Also, I'm so disappointed in Phallus.....er, I mean Phyllis. I really thought she was more of an advocate of Jim and Pam. She certainly seemed so in S2, and the beginning of S3.

Thanks, VG. I agree but then she bonded with Karen in TS and that's when she went to the dark side and started supporting Karen with Jim. She seems to have it in for Pam now. She still seems to like Jim, well, until getting locked in. She did vote against them and Pam yelled at her. :-)

May 7th 2008

So which of our other beloved Office characters do you see as having cracked under the strain?

There was Devon, who hucked a pumpkin at Michael's car back in "Halloween".

May 7th 2008

Hey MarkGregSputnik, I see you've had an account here for about a year, but you have a brand new name. Who did you used to be?

May 7th 2008

Mixed Berries: I was FloatingAndy, but I never really posted much using that name either. My problem is that I live in Tokyo so I usually don't get to see the episodes until 24 or so hours after everyone else does, so everyone else usually has my observations long before I get to post them!

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