How the turntables refers to a memorable quote from The Office, uttered by Michael Scott, in a failed attempt to say the colloquial phrase “How the tables have Turnt.”
Both the series and the character have provided viewers with countless expressions, that are adopted in real life conversations, including the humorously botched “How the turntables”, as well as They’re the Same Picture and No God Please No.
“How the turntables” was first featured in The Office episode “Broke” which was first aired in the US as the Season 5 Episode 25 chapter of the series on April 23rd, 2009.
The episode features a scene where Michael (portrayed by Steve Carell) is approaching David Wallace (portrayed by Andy Buckley) with demands, that have been previously unmet.
Michael attempts to highlight this shift of advantages with the colloquial phrase “How the tables have turned”, however, he accidentally says “How the turntables”.
The episode quickly gained popularity among fans of the series, with the first isolated clip of the scene, containing “How the turntables” having been uploaded to YouTube by Oxcorp on October 14th, 2009.
In the following years, the quote was experiencing moderate use online, however stating in 2017, its popularity started rising, and shot up in November 2019, possibly due to the Urban Dictionary entry added on October 21st.
Image macros, GIFs, and YouTube videos, containing the quote became a more and more frequent occurrence online, especially following 2020.