A mockumentary about the relatable awfulness
of work, The Office also featured the love
story of Jim and Pam, who evolved from work
friends to a married couple with kids.
But upon closer inspection, this sitcom romance
showcases some really messed up issues.
“What started as an affair has blossomed into
a family before our eyes.
It wasn’t an affair.
Yes it was”
A mean-spirited beginning
Every relationship has some kind of starting
point, and it probably bodes well if it’s
something healthy and sweet.
But that wasn’t the case for Jim and Pam.
Yes, they started off as friends, but the
basis of that friendship was arguably toxic.
These two got through their tedious days at
Dunder Mifflin by executing numerous mean
pranks against their coworker, Dwight Schrute.
“Put my stuff in Jell-O again…real professional.
It’s the third time”
While the stunts were usually Jim’s idea,
he could always count on Pam for the assist.
“Can you reprimand him please?
How do you know it was me?
It’s always you”
They continued to bust Dwight’s chops even
after they were married with children.
Pervasive nastiness just couldn’t have been
good for a couple’s dynamic.
Or could it?
“I don’t know who you are, but you’re not
This is Jim…”
Was that first kiss consensual?
At the beginning of the series, Jim is in
love with Pam, but Pam is engaged to a guy
Even so, Jim doesn’t accept that Pam is taken
and that he should just back off.
His actions come to a head during the “Casino
Night” episode, when Jim tries to claw his
way out of the friend zone by getting Pam
alone to tell her he wants to be her boyfriend.
“I’m in love with you.
What?…I’m really sorry if that’s weird for
you to hear, but I need you to hear it.”
Shocked, Pam gently turns him down, telling
him he “misinterpreted” her friendly gestures.
“You have no idea…what your friendship means
I don’t wanna do that.
I wanna be more than that.”
But after all that, Jim later plants a kiss
This “romantic” moment wouldn’t be so romantic
in the real world, where it could possibly
be considered assault by a coworker.
Jim steals five grand from Pam
Because married couples typically share their
finances, they also have to decide how best
to spend their cash.
No decent person would just spend somebody
else’s money without asking for and receiving
Except Jim does just that to his own wife.
“Are you sure you’re ok with me putting in
this much money.
Yeah, I mean, listen if we’re gonna do this
thing then we should do it right.
You’re the best”
When he’s trying to get his sports management
company, Athlead, off the ground, Jim persuades
a reluctant Pam to let him invest in the venture.
However, when he goes to a meeting with his
partners, Jim feels pressured to invest $10,000,
the absolute high end of what he and Pam had
discussed would be appropriate.
“We were thinking somewhere between five,
ten thousand…I can do the full ten thousand.
We should just …all in.”
He essentially drains their joint savings
account without really talking to Pam first.
“They said they were done with investing and
then you volunteered 10 thousand dollars?
I had to.
I needed to look like a team player Pam.
So you invested 10 thousand dollars to look
like a team player?”
Not exactly father of the year
When Jim helps launch Athlead, he’s forced
to split his time between Scranton and Philadelphia,
where the new company is based.
That means he leaves Pam to deal with working
full-time and caring for two very young children.
In the episode “Vandalism,” viewers learn
that Jim shares a bachelor apartment in Philly
with fellow Dunder Mifflin and Athlead colleague
“As much as I miss Pam and the kids, it’s
kind of nice to live the bachelor life again.
You know, let your hair down?”
He even admitted to being the messy one of
the duo, adding,
“How much fun is this?”
But does Jim even want to be married with
In Season 7, he does win a prestigious Dundie
for “Best Dad,” delivering an acceptance speech
that is smug, sarcastic, and self-centered.
“I don’t know, maybe being a good dad is just
all in your own compass.
I don’t know, I don’t know.
Pam then points out that he failed to mention
“Didn’t think to mention me huh?
Does anybody even like them?
It’s a bit odd that once Jim and Pam get together,
they don’t seem to have any friends.
In the early seasons of the show, viewers
get a glimpse of Jim’s roommate when he throws
a barbecue, but that’s about it.
Neither he nor Pam is seen hanging out or
talking with friends on a regular basis.
This could be attributed to having busy lives,
seeing as both Jim and Pam work full-time
jobs and are raising two children, or, it
could be a subtle nod to the show’s mock-documentary
Maybe the camera crew isn’t allowed to delve
that deeply into their off-the-clock lives.
But even in the show’s world of Dunder Mifflin,
Jim and Pam don’t seem to have much of an
interest in anybody but each other.
Their most notable workplace relationships
Jim constantly pranks Dwight and can’t stand
Michael Scott, while Pam often butts heads
When you really take a good look at them,
this couple seems pretty toxic and self-absorbed.
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