Anyone who’s watched cult-favorite NBC sitcom The Office knows that there are a lot of cringe-worthy moments in the show. From boss Michael Scott (Steve Carell) asking employees if they were on their periods to the dreaded “Scott’s Tots” episode, The Office presents plenty of examples of how not to behave in the workplace.
But, while viewers expect outlandish antics from Michael, it’s more surprising seeing them come from the show’s apparent hero, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). The romance between Jim and Pam (Jenna Fischer) is many fans’ favorite part of the show. That makes the times where Jim crosses the line, whether professionally or personally, difficult to watch.
And as Looper pointed out, there’s one episode from The Office Season 2 that’s especially hard for fans of the Jim-Pam romance to watch. Jim crossed a lot of workplace boundaries, and Pam was visibly shaken by his actions. Here’s the Jim and Pam scene that probably wouldn’t fly if the show were made in 2020.
Jim picked Pam up inappropriately in The Office Season 2
“No touching” seems like a pretty good rule of thumb to follow in the workplace. But in The Office Season 2, Episode 6, “The Fight,” which first aired in 2005, Jim crosses the line with Pam in more ways than one. He’s already off to a bad start, having moved Dwight’s desk into the bathroom (in what world is that funny, really, no matter what a coworker’s done to you in the past?), and the episode only gets worse from there.
After Dwight becomes a purple-belt senpai at his martial arts studio, he and Michael get into a fight when Michael disagrees that Dwight could best him in physical combat. As the Dwight-Michael fight goes on, Jim and Pam get into their own “fight.” But things take a turn from jokey to uncomfortable when Jim grabs Pam from behind and picks her up, causing her shirt to ride up in the process. Meredith (Kate Flannery) ends up hearing Pam’s repeated pleas for Jim to put her down, and Pam’s embarrassment and discomfort are clear.
When Jim later leaves for the day, Pam doesn’t look away from her computer to bid him goodbye as he tells her to have a good weekend. (She does, however, take the Sun Chips Jim promised her for orchestrating the Michael-Dwight fight.)
Jim and Pam's relationship had other red flags
While Pam clearly forgave Jim for the awkwardness that happened between them at the dojo, it’s far from the only issue their relationship faced during The Office‘s nine seasons. From trying to abandon Pam at Jan’s dinner party to buying his parents’ house without consulting her, there are plenty of things Jim did over the years that weren’t OK. It reached a point where Pam considered leaving him for one of the documentary crew members, Brian (Chris Diamantopoulos).
It makes sense, then, that The Office writers considered having Jim and Pam separate in the final season and reunite in the series finale. (Of course, it could have made sense for them to separate permanently, too.) The show didn’t end up going in that direction, but it was a bit of a relief for viewers to see that their office romance wasn’t as perfect as it might have seemed at the beginning.
In 2020, it’s pretty safe to say that physical contact in the workplace among people who aren’t in a relationship is a general no-no. Jim’s attempt at playful flirting made things uncomfortable, especially when another coworker looked over. And in the wake of the #MeToo movement, it’s hard to imagine this scene getting the green light 15 years later.
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