But really, that’s just because you don’t talk about anything in The Office Gif Club for fear of being shunned or removed from the group.
The private GroupMe, originally the Michael Scott Gif of the Day Club, has about 400 members, mostly TCU students, and was officially created by sophomore economics and geography double major Bobby Neil in March 2017 with a very simple objective: Sending a single gif of Michael Scott to his friends each day.
The idea came to Neil after sending a gif of the Steve Carell character to one of his friends.
“It wasn’t out of the ordinary as The Office is my favorite show,” Neil said. “I’m not sure what it was about this gif. But I got the idea of sending her a different Michael Scott gif every day.”
The friend liked the idea so much she told some of her friends about it, which resulted in a group chat with about six other people. Neil then decided to take the chat to GroupMe to let the numbers keep growing.
“This lasted for about two days,” Neil said. “Then I figured I would expand it to GroupMe, so that I could easily add more of my friends and those friends could also add their own friends. The group probably started with around 12 members and grew steadily over the next few months.”
The group saw its membership peak in August 2017 with nearly 450 members. The same month, Neil changed the name of the group to The Office Gif of the Day Club, which broadened his arsenal to include any gif from the show.
“I decided that it was time for rebranding,” Neil said. “To be honest, I was running out of Michael Scott gifs.”
However, the next month proved to be the darkest for the group. Sept. 19 at 4 a.m. someone single-handedly removed over 400 members from the GroupMe.
“I don’t know who this person was, and I don’t know why they did this,” Neil said. “I would definitely put them in the category of people who just want to watch the world burn.”
The same day Neil recreated the group, naming it “The Office Gif Club Lives On” and added about 70 people who he remembered being in the original chat.
The group has made an impressive comeback and currently has more than 400 members.
Sophomore finance major Kaitlin Clare was one of the first people added to the new group. She’s a friend of Neil’s and said the simplicity of the group was what made her want to join.
“I like that it’s something really simple that makes you smile daily,” Clare said. “It’s important to have the little things to make you laugh every day.”
GroupMe warns that groups with more than 200 members often get noisy. To avoid this and ensure it maintains its status as a “gif of the day” club, Neil is typically the only one who posts. While he (and sometimes members) used to immediately remove anyone else who said anything in the chat, he’s recently taken a more lenient stance.
“I don’t want my image to be exclusionary,” Neil said. “Sometimes people still post their own gifs, but I let the fact their gifs never get many likes deter them from posting again.”
Anyone looking to join the group will need to find someone already in it for an invite. Neil takes requests for gif/caption combinations from any member via GroupMe direct message.