The Office is just one of those shows that you can watch on repeat year after year. The stories of Michael Scott and his employees at Dunder Mifflin create an unlikely comedy series that fans have not forgotten about since it ended in 2013. One of the most popular characters in the show is the handsome, charismatic salesmen Jim Halpert, portrayed by John Krasinski. His pranks on his coworkers—though mostly aimed at Dwight—are what kept audiences enticed, but it was his ardor for the receptionist, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) that keeps them coming back for more.
Jim is every girl's dream, but every co-worker's nightmare. Sure, most of his pranks were harmless and admittedly hilarious to onlookers, but in a real office setting, a lot of Jim's antics should have gotten him canned. Here are ten reasons that Jim should have been fired.
10 He Didn't Take His Job Seriously
This is known right from the very first episode; Jim, who at this point must have been at Dunder Mifflin for a handful of years, admits that he doesn't want to be a salesman forever. He even says, "see, this is why the whole downsizing thing just doesn’t bother me." He clearly has never been concerned about losing his job, so why take it seriously? He goes on to say that all of the information he has learned at Dunder Mifflin about the tonnage price of manila folders is useless and that he bores even himself talking about it. Any manager who recognized this attitude would have seen right away that Jim isn't a good fit. It's a wonder how he kept his job for so long up to that point.
9 He Slacked Off
This is pretty much the focal point of Jim's persona, and a fundamental reason he should have been fired on numerous occasions. In some instances, he would actually stop working in order to play pranks on Dwight. Not only that, but he has also recruited other members of the office to help in his escapades, making the office as a whole deter away from their responsibilities. Sure, they were funny to witness, but in real life, an office manager would not have taken lightly to so much wasted company time.
8 He Undermined His Boss
Understandably, Jim doesn't really take his boss, Michael Scott, too seriously, either. Michael Scott is less productive than Jim, which is the only time that Jim seems to be able to get away with so much. Despite Michael's leniency, however, Jim works to undermine him at every turn. He blatantly refuses to go to meetings, doesn't support his work strategies, and clearly thinks he knows better than Michael.
This all comes to a head during the "murder" in the sixth season. While Dunder Mifflin employees fret over whether they will lose their jobs, Michael tries to distract them by playing a murder mystery game for the day. Jim, who finds himself in a management position, refuses. It's in this episode that the audience and Jim realize that Michael's own antics have a place in the office after all.
7 Some Of His Pranks Went Too Far
Dressing up as Dwight? Hilarious. Hiding Andy's phone in the ceiling? Pretty funny and harmless. But defacing his own daughter's picture and blaming it on Dwight? Not cool. In fact, this action almost had Jim fired by Andy who had taken over the Scranton branch. Despite the fact that it was a fireable offense, Dwight backed him up so that Jim wouldn't be fired.
Another time where one of Jim's pranks went too far is on their company trip to Florida to visit the Sabre office. Dwight complains of stomach pain, and Jim messes with him by convincing Dwight that he had poisoned him. Turns out that Dwight had appendicitis, which could have been more serious had Jim continued with his prank.
While Jim's pranks are perceived by the majority of The Office fans as entertaining gags, at a regular office, Jim's actions would probably be considered harassment. It's not uncommon for desk-mates to butt heads, but the way Jim eggs on the situation surely would have caused anyone anguish. Dwight is right in being uncomfortable working next to Jim since he knew he would face some form of aggravation from his coworker nearly every day.
5 Dating Coworkers
Dunder Mifflin's HR representative, Toby, makes it clear in one episode that dating amongst coworkers is actually accepted at Dunder Mifflin. However, Jim seems to only date people that he meets at the office. After a while, his managers should question how much time Jim spends flirting with his coworkers instead of working. Not only that, but, considering Jim dated Katy Moore (the purse saleswoman), Karen Filippelli, and Pam, it's only natural that one of these would cause a disturbance at the office. Jim and Karen's breakup was so harsh that it caused tension at work. So much so that Karen ended up leaving. After causing that kind of tension at work, Dunder Mifflin should have reconsidered their dating policies.
4 He Takes Too Much Personal Time
Jim's capers don't seem to get in the way of his work productivity too much—or do they? Jim does anything and everything to get him out of work. Whether it's going to the store with Pam to pick up treats for Kevin, talking to Pam consistently on the world's smallest Bluetooth, or even just hanging out a Pam's desk, Jim always seems to be putting his job on the backburner. He then calls off of work for a few days, claiming to be sick. However, it's later revealed that he needed the time to help Pam with the kids, despite that fact that his absence from the office caused problems with Dunder Mifflin's clients.
3 Splitting Time Between Dunder Mifflin and Athlead
When Jim gets the opportunity to help front a new marketing agency, Athlead, in Philidelphia, he begins to split his work responsibilities. After Jim misses key meetings with his new company, he decides to commit by spending half of his work week in Philadelphia. This doesn't decrease Jim's pay rate or incentives at Dunder Mifflin at all. It would be great if everyone could work on their side hustle on the dime of their current employer, but it's definitely not how it works in the real world if you want to keep your job.
2 Infiltrating Scranton Utica
Although this one was done on the insistence of Michael and Dwight, Jim's actions were just as condemnable. In "Branch Wars" the office hears that Jim's ex, Karen, is trying to poach Stanley from the Scranton branch. Because Michael believes that Karen is doing this to get back at Jim, the three of them head to Utica to play a prank. In full disguise, Michael, Dwight, and Jim arrive at Dunder Mifflin Utica where Dwight and Michael try to steal their copier. Granted, Jim stays behind, but he plays along with their charades. The copier ends up breaking after it falls down the stairs. Damaging such an expensive piece of company property would not have been overlooked at any other company.
1 Llyod Gross
When Jim and Dwight both meet their commission cap, they feel that they no longer have the incentive to work. Instead, they create a false employee, Lloyd Gross, whose commission is split between the two Dunder Mifflin employees. It sounds a little bit like they are defrauding the company, but as always, neither of them lose their job over this.