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Steve Carell reveals the line from 'The Office' that fans always quote back to him

The actor starred in the hit NBC sitcom series for its first seven seasons.
/ Source: TODAY

"The Office" fans probably won't be surprised to hear the line from the NBC sitcom that trails its longtime star Steve Carell, over 10 years since the finale.

During an appearance on the March 7 episode of the "Office Ladies" podcast, hosted by former co-stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, Carell revealed his character Michael Scott's most enduring quote (of many).

"'That's what she said,'" Carell said.

Speaking to his former co-stars, Carell said people will sometimes stop and ask him to say lines into their phones. He'll do it for any line — but that one. "I'm happy to do it, but when they say, 'Can you say that?' I can't," he said.

Carell's character, a Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch manager, would often say the line after an innocent comment was made that could be interpreted with a sexual meaning.

As for whether "that's what she said" lives on for the cast? Carell said he never repeats the line in his personal life. Fischer, who played Pam Beesly in the show, said she does "throw them out" now and again.

The beloved NBC series, which aired from 2005 to 2013, was known for its documentary-style filming, with actors often breaking the fourth wall by looking directly into the camera during a scene. This habit, for the "Morning Show" star, was difficult to stop in his next projects.

"I have never had a job where I didn't look into the camera at some point," he said.

He pointed to his Oscar-nominated role as John du Pont in "Foxcatcher" as an instant when he probably slipped and went back to his Michael Scott ways.

"I'm sure on 'Foxcatcher' I looked into the camera and went, 'Nope, you cannot comment on what you just did because that's not this show.'"

Carell noted that the act of stealing glances at the camera was "kind of a learned strength" and applauded Amy Adams, who guest starred as handbag salesperson Katy Moore on the show, for her ability to play the camera.

"You couldn't be too savvy, especially at first," he said. "You couldn't play it too well. You needed to have an awareness of it without having an over awareness of it."

The show had a nine-season run before eventually coming to an end a decade ago. Carell's character departed earlier, during Season Seven.

While the sendoff was "a very emotional thing," Carell said he was ready for the goodbye.

“It was time for other characters to kind of step to the forefront and other storylines to be pursued,” he said. “The timing was right, I think for everybody. But simultaneously there’s just a sense of joy for me that we had experienced all of this and ... I was getting a chance to kind of take a lap with everybody," he said.