Fan-Favorite The Office Couple Dated In Real Life, Too

Fan-Favorite The Office Couple Dated In Real Life, Too
Image credit: NBC

Throughout the nine seasons of NBC’s The Office, several spouses and girlfriends appeared in cameos - some of which ended up being long-running roles.

But there was one real-life romance in Season 4 that not many people know about, even though it features one of the show’s most important characters.

Though he’s better known for his acting role as the oft-hated, mildly creepy HR rep Toby Flenderson, Paul Lieberstein has far more active behind-the-scenes duties. He was hired on to work in the writer’s room, only acting at the behest of creator Greg Daniels. By 2008, he began working as an executive producer.

Toby’s crush on Pam is one of the series’ longest-running and cringiest recurring jokes, finally coming to a head when he finds out that she and Jim Halpert are in a secret office romance.To combat this, he sends out a memo to the entire office reminding them of the anti-PDA rules.

Fan-Favorite The Office Couple Dated In Real Life, Too - image 1

When Pam assumes this is a cute congratulatory measure, Toby takes his spite up a notch. He later introduces the office to his new girlfriend, Amy. He plants a massive, not-safe-for-work kiss on her - right in front of Jim and Pam. Instead of making Pam jealous, this just turned into another cringey act by the awkward Toby.

Amy was played by Janine Poreba, Lieberstein’s girlfriend at the time. They were married shortly after. Poreba has been in a few of Lieberstein’s projects, including his directorial film debut (Song of Back and Neck) and a later TV movie (Out of Office). Her only other role was in a 2001 episode of Law & Order, with her character simply named “Girl.”

Beyond Poreba, there are several familial connections throughout the show. Angela Kinsey, who plays the uptight accountant Angela, is married to Warren Lieberstein - brother to Paul. Warren also worked as an Office producer in its later seasons. Warren and Paul’s sister Susanne is also married to Greg Daniels.

Maybe the most visible of the Office spouses is Nancy Carell, who plays real estate agent Carol Stills. Carol was the long-term girlfriend of Michael Scott, famously played by Nancy’s husband, Steve Carell.

Before working on The Office, Lieberstein had a few writing credits on shows like King of the Hill, the Bernie Mac Show, and the Drew Carey Show.

After striking fame with an acting and producer credit on one of history’s most popular sitcoms, he’s worked steadily as both an executive producer and writer.

His latest show, Lucky Hank, just began its first season on AMC in mid-March. It stars Bob Odenkirk - who also had a brief cameo on The Office.