Fan's The Office Theory Explains A Lot About Bob Vance

Fan's The Office Theory Explains A Lot About Bob Vance
Image credit: NBC

Never forget that The Office is a mockumentary.


  • No matter how many times fans rewatch The Office, they always come away with new insights.
  • For example, years after the sitcom ended, a fan on Reddit realized that the odd behavior of minor character Bob Vance had a simple explanation.
  • Apparently, Bob is just a great businessman.

Even though it ended almost ten years ago (can you believe it?), The Office remains one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history.

The writing, the dialogue, the character introduction and development, and of course the unique brand of 'cringe' humor have made the show one of the most rewatched television projects of all time (thank goodness for reruns and extended cuts).

And every rewatch brings new insights and interesting theories. For example, a fan on Reddit came up with a plausible explanation for the quirks and idiosyncrasies of one of the show's most memorable supporting characters, Bob Vance.

Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration

What is your first thought when we say 'Bob Vance'? You can't help but add 'Vance Refrigeration' to the name, can you?

This is how Bob introduces himself throughout the show, from the very first episode he appears in (S2E10 Christmas Party). At the Christmas party, he says his signature 'Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration' to everyone as he shakes their hands.

Of course, he sounds like an oddball when he repeats the long introduction several times. This is why Ryan's joke (‘So, what line of work are you in, Bob?’) lands so well. However, fan theory explains that Bob is not some weirdo or egotist with a strange form of palilalia.

He is simply a good marketer.

Branding Done Right

After the first few episodes, it is easy to forget that The Office is a mockumentary. The fictional film crew is making a documentary about life in an average office. They probably chose the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company for that very reason: It is average.

But the people who work there turn out to be about as far from average as you can get. And since their own lives are much more important to them than the fact that they are constantly in front of the cameras, we forget about that aspect of the show as well.

Bob Vance, on the other hand, never forgets. When he includes the name of his company in his introduction, he is not interested in impressing Phyllis' coworkers. He takes every opportunity to get a free TV commercial.

This explains just about everything Bob does on screen. In S2E16 Valentine's Day, he floods the office with flowers and gifts for Phyllis, not forgetting to mention who they are from.

In S2E22 Casino Night, Bob donates a mini fridge as the grand prize for the event. Even at his own wedding, he is introduced to all the guests as Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration.

Of course, come to think of it, other characters have done this as well. For example, Jo Bennett is constantly looking into the camera and talking in slogans. But it seems that Bob Vance fooled us all and took his marketing to another level by building his entire on-screen personality around his company. Or was it always obvious to you?

Source: Reddit.

Was the Bob Vance trick obvious to you from the beginning?