Fans of The Office loved Jim and Pam’s will-they-won’t-they vibe and were thrilled when the two finally got together, had an epic wedding, and settled into married life. They also thought the couple started to get boring, so the show’s writers came up with a clever plot twist to introduce just a little bit of “angst” back into the relationship.
Jim and Pam finally got together
Viewers watched Jim and Pam’s flirty office chemistry weather plenty of misses — at the start, Pam was engaged and when she and her fiancé broke up, Jim was dating Karen. The timing wasn’t quite right but fans held out hope that these soulmates would finally get together. And then they did.
It was satisfying to see the couple come together, navigate some highs and lows, and get married. Fans count Jim and Pam’s wedding among their favorite episodes, as the two secretly left their planned church wedding and got married on the Maid of the Mist boat in Niagara Falls before returning to the church.
A lot of care went into developing Jim and Pam’s story
During the July 28 episode of An Oral History of The Office, host Brian Baumgartner discussed Jim and Pam’s relationship with actor Jenna Fischer, who played Pam.
The characters’ trajectory involved a lot of discussions about “how to play the relationship just right” and Fischer admitted, “John and I would fight hard for what we believed in. We were usually on the same page with Jim and Pam, we had like a singular mind when it came to Jim and Pam, for the most part.”
“There was often one Jim/Pam moment per episode and it was either where they’re going to connect in some super special swoony way or they’re going to misstep in some way where one of them gets their feelings hurt,” she added. “And there was this very fine line that we had to walk all the time.”
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This photo was taken by me on our final day on set. Jim and Pam as we always want them to be. In this weeks episode of an #OralHistoryOfTheOffice we explore the relationships that became the beating heart of the show. Including of course… JAM. Available now! Episode 5! @propagatecontent @spotifypodcasts
Fans thought Jim and Pam’s story was getting stale
At a certain point, however, fans weren’t finding Jim and Pam all that exciting, so the show’s writers brought in a bit of “angst” to shake things up again.
In a 2013 interview with Fast Company, The Office‘s executive producer Greg Daniels discussed how they developed a plot twist to remedy a big fan complaint about Jim and Pam. They broke the fourth wall and created the possibility of a love triangle.
Daniels explained, “there are people who in season eight were like, ‘They’re so boring. They just hang out together and there’s no angst. We used to love the angst with their relationship.’”
The writers provided a stumbling block for Jim and Pam in season 9, when Jim works in Philadelphia and misses his daughter’s ballet recital. During the recital, Pam gets a phone call and isn’t able to record their daughter, prompting her and Jim to later get into a huge fight. Pam breaks down crying and the boom operator from the documentary crew, Brian, steps into the shot to comfort her. It’s the first time anyone from the documentary crew is seen.
“What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?,” Daniels explained.
It was also a move that fans didn’t universally love, however. “They never did anything,” Daniels noted. “It was just to introduce worry in the audience, which I think happened.”
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