Over nine seasons, The Office gave us quirky character after quirky character. A number of these characters became couples with co-workers, doubling up on the weirdness. You remember some of the best couples: Andy and Angela, Dwight and Angela (secretly through some of the series), Andy and Erin, Erin and “Plop”, Michael and Holly.
Of course, the biggest relationship in The Office was between Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly. Jim was the forlorn paper salesman constantly pining for the receptionist, Pam, who was perpetually engaged to Roy until the “Booze Cruise” episode. In the early seasons, Jim dated while Pam was single, with Roy, or back in Scranton (when Jim was in Stamford).
However, Jim and Pam seem to be one of the more inconsistent relationships in The Office. This falls on the writers, and you can see changes in Jim and Pam after they finally got together.
This list examines aspects of Jim and Pam’s relationship that don’t make sense when you place it under a microscope. The examples given are all from events that take place with the show. No footage from behind-the-scenes or webisodes are used. That way, if you want to check out the examples in question, you can go to the normal episodes on DVD or on a streaming service like Netflix.
Ready for an analysis of Jim and Pam’s relationship, covering seasons one through nine?
Here are The Office: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Jim And Pam’s Relationship.
20 All-Around Liars
Jim and Pam lie a lot-- and they aren't little white lies either. Sometimes they lie as a couple, and sometimes together.
The odd thing is, both are completely okay with it.
Pam manipulates the office and lies to her co-workers to obtain the office administrator position. She tells the office she’s found a replacement building when Dwight starts cutting costs, but Pam never had intentions to move the branch.
Jim straight-up lies and makes up a story about his jury duty time: he was sent home early, but he took the rest of the week off to help at home. He and Pam find ways to lie to Dwight all in the name of pranks. Basically, they get away with a lot.
19 Jim didn't go to Pam's Art Show
When The Office started showing Pam’s artistic side, she eventually had some of her work featured in an art show. Pam invites everyone from the office, but on the night of the event in the episode “Business School,” very few co-workers show up.
Oscar and his boyfriend Gil make an appearance, except Gil isn’t impressed, calling Pam’s work, “motel art.” Michael Scott does come and loves the drawing of the office building so much he buys it. Roy comes, but only because he thought it would score him points as a boyfriend.
One person absent was Jim. Supposedly a good friend, Jim should have found a way to support Pam’s dream.
18 Pam Didn't Trust Jim with Cathy
Pam didn’t trust Jim, although he’d never really given her a reason not to. When Pam was about ready to go on maternity leave with her second child, she trained a new replacement, Cathy.
Cathy was cute, fun, and had a good sense of humor. It was the moment Pam saw Jim and Cathy laughing together that Pam’s jealousy surfaced.
To her, it appeared the two were flirting.
Pam wanted to prove that Jim found Cathy attractive, even though Jim vehemently denied it. She went to extremes, getting Dwight involved with his strange methods to prove it. Why didn't she take her husband's word for it?
17 Jim had to give up his dream for Pam
Jim had a dream in season 9 of starting a company based on an idea he and a roommate conceived in college. When his friend was actually going to do it, Jim got on board, excited to be a part of it. Now Jim had a reason to work hard at a job.
One of the main reasons he wanted to do it was to provide a better quality of life for his family. Jim was confident he could be very successful at it. Yes, Jim was aloof about Athlead, but Pam was stubborn about his time away.
She essentially took Jim’s dream away because Jim ultimately gives in and quits Athlead for a while.
Pam does change her tune, but probably because the guild was eating at her. And she probably remembered how Jim supported her art dream.
16 The lame proposal
For the most part, the writers have kept the characters consistent through the series. Attitudes, reactions, and behaviors remained steady. One stretch that didn’t make sense was with Jim and Pam.
When Jim was courting Pam, he performed what Pam called in season 9, “big Jim gestures”, like the teapot or with “dinner and a show” on the rooftop. Most required some planning on Jim’s part.
Jim’s marriage proposal to Pam was slightly out of character.
He conceived it while talking to Michael in the morning. By lunchtime, Jim had e-mailed Pam at Pratt to meet him at a gas station about halfway between them. He asked her to marry him in the rain. Even Angela had said later that the proposal was basically weak.
15 They don't fight until season 9
On a first viewing, Jim and Pam’s relationship seems sweet-- full of romantic gestures and scenes. They are so cute that you’ll often find newcomers to the show hoping to aspire for a relationship like theirs.
This goes on season after season. There’s really no turmoil between them until the ninth season, when Jim helps start the Athlead company. Up until then, as a couple, Jim and Pam barely had any fights or arguments. The worst occurred when Pam thinks something Jim said to her dad caused her parents to divorce.
For a show with a documentary theme, Jim and Pam didn’t have a realistic relationship either as boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife until the final season.
14 Jim mistreats other women
Jim’s crush on Pam was the catalyst that made Jim treat other women badly.
Jim was so focused on Pam that he treated the women he was dating poorly.
Katie was the first girl he dated in the show. Jim gave her a ride home, and they became a couple soon after. Katie helped Jim get his mind off Pam. Then, in “Booze Cruise”, when Pam and Roy finally set a date for the wedding, Jim gets upset and takes it out on Kate by breaking up with her.
With Karen, a similar thing happened. It came out that the timeline of Jim’s crush on Pam didn’t add up. Karen confronted him about it, and he eventually told her he still had feelings for Pam. Karen and Jim subsequently broke up.
13 Jim Reported Pam to H.R. out of jealousy
In the episode “Conflict Resolution”, Pam finds out someone made an anonymous complaint to H.R. against her. Michael took it upon himself to resolve all the complaints turned into Toby because Michael felt Toby wasn’t doing his job.
Pam is really bothered by the complaint and tries to get the person to confess. The complaint was that the person thought Pam shouldn’t be planning her wedding on work time at the office.
Near the end of the episode, during a photo shoot of the workers, Jim admits it was him that reported her. But it was more he was frustrated (and probably hurt) he had to watch her go through with marrying Roy. Pam was mad for only a moment, but she should have been angrier longer.
12 Jim Invades Pam's Personal Space Often
In the beginning, when Jim and Pam were friends, Jim encroaches on Pam’s personal space several times. On occasion, it’s flirty on both sides, but in some scenes, Pam is awkward with how close he is.
The worst moment was during “The Fight”. Michael and Dwight visit a dojo to settle a dispute by fighting. The whole office goes. Pam and Jim hang out in the background play fighting. At one point, Jim blocks a light punch and spins Pam around and grabs her in a bear hug.
Pam’s shirt gets pulled to her mid-riff, and she’s clearly uncomfortable.
Later, Jim tries to apologize through e-mail, but as is often the case with Jim, the apology or situation must be about him.
11 Pam is a doormat
It’s clear that Pam is an after-thought in many of her friendships and romantic involvements. Roy was in charge of their relationship, and many of his actions made us dislike him, but Pam still went along with what Roy wanted.
Similarly, with Jim, Pam’s emotions and feelings and emotions were often undermined. When Jim made her happy (with the teapot, for example), it was all about Jim’s feelings. When he confessed his feelings in “Casino Night”, it was still about Jim and his frustration when Pam didn’t say what he wanted her to say.
A big, abrupt change happened after she called off her wedding with Roy. She expressed and stood up for herself better when she realized she was interested in Jim.
10 Jim stopped encouraging Pam
When Pam realized she could attend art classes through Dunder-Mifflin in “Women’s Appreciation”, Jim told her she should do it. She was excited until Roy discouraged her.
As her boyfriend, Jim encouraged Pam to apply and go to Pratt. He helped her reason out why it was a great idea. It was her dream to go into art design more than casually, and Jim promised that they’d figure out how to make their relationship work.
Except while at Pratt, Pam didn’t do so well in a class and had to retake it. Pam wanted to quit because she was overwhelmed and missed Jim. Surprisingly, Jim let it happen, though it would have only been another 3 months.
9 Brian the Boom Operator messing with them
The boom operator for the documentary, Brian, suddenly became an important character in the ninth season. He obviously had a crush on Pam, which was evident when he playfully bumped Pam with the mic at one point.
Brian also saved Pam from betting beat up by Frank, then warehouse worker who drew butts on Pam’s mural. Pam got revenge, but Brian had to use the mic to knock Frank down. Then Brian fought him.
Jim knew about this incident, but Pam kept some of the conversations she had with Brian while she talked with him when Jim was away.
When Jim found out about one of the more emotional chats she had with Brian, he was upset she kept them secret.
He confronted her about it but then both seemed to let it go after that. More discussion was probably needed.
8 Pam is "Full-On Corrupt"
After unsuccessfully being a paper salesman, Pam decides to trick her way into a promotion. A vendor stops by the office and ultimately asks who the office administrator is when no one knows how to help him. Pam confidently stands up and proclaims she is.
Then she gets the bright idea to talk her way into an official position complete with raise. Since the Sabre/Dunder-Mifflin merger is relatively new, she uses that to her advantage.
Pam tells Gabe - who is really the one who can approve the job - the paperwork and raise must have gotten lost in the merger. Then, she manipulates the department heads for signatures. Gabe figures out what Pam is trying to pull, but she bluffs him when he should have told her no.
7 Jim Didn't support Pam's salesperson dream
When Michael Scott left Dunder-Mifflin to form his own paper company, Pam was the only one that quit to go with him. Pam had one stipulation: she wanted to be a salesperson, not a receptionist.
Pam did get the first account at the Michael Scott Paper Company. When David Wallace agreed to buy out Michael’s company, Michael fought for Pam to continue being a salesperson. But she wasn’t very good, maybe servicing five accounts or so.
As one of the top salespeople at the Scranton branch, Jim should have mentored Pam on sales techniques.
She was willing to learn and hinted once (when she asked Jim, “Tell me I’m a good salesman”), but Jim either didn’t pay attention or couldn’t be bothered.
6 Their sudden Communication breakdown
On the surface, especially in the beginning of their romantic relationship, Jim and Pam appeared to be a couple in constant sync. They had a moment of incompatibility when Pam went to Pratt, but otherwise they communicated well.
That changed when Jim started collaborating with his buddies about Athlead. He kept that from Pam, going behind her back to have phone meetings. When Pam did know, and they planned to invest, they decided to do so up to $10,000. Jim does as they had talked about so he doesn’t lose his spot, but Pam gets upset.
From that point until Jim steps away from his position at Athlead, their communication faltered, which was different from the previous seasons and probably contributed to the animosity.
5 Pam's Hypocrisy About Jim's parents' house
In the episode “Frame Toby”, Jim buys his parent’s house as a surprise for Pam. Because it was a surprise, Jim wasn’t able to talk to Pam about it. The only downside to the house was the picture of the clown that was apparently important to the “structural integrity of the house.”
Another surprise he had was the garage transformation to an art studio. Pam was ecstatic, amazed he had done something as grand as that.
In season nine, Pam vents to another person about how Jim bought the house without asking her, and he’s consistently prioritizing his company in Philadelphia without consulting her. Then, Pam goes ahead and sells the house without talking with Jim.
4 Pam doesn't tell Jim she broke up with Roy
The kiss on “Casino Night” is one of the best and memorable moments in The Office. Pam maintained her loyalty to Roy, which threw Jim for a loop. You can tell he expected Pam to give up that life to be with him.
Time passed, and Jim went to work at another branch to try to get over Pam. However, Pam called off the wedding to Roy, but Jim didn’t find out until “The Convention” when Michael told him.
Pam - who had always said they weren’t single at the same time - could have told Jim by email or phone.
Additionally, the office was aware of Jim and Pam’s deep platonic friendship and that it was probably more than that. They didn’t say anything prior to the convention either.
3 Jim is not a great dad
With both kids, Jim was excited to become a father, but it turns out, he is a mediocre dad, and Pam doesn’t call him out on it.
In “The Christening”, Jim was adamant he included an extra onesie when CeCe dirtied her diaper. In “Viewing Party”, Pam is left to deal with a fussy CeCe, and even when Dwight offers and is successful at quieting CeCe, Jim is reluctant to get beer and pizza for Dwight at Pam’s insistence.
Michael Scott gives the award for "Best Dad" to Jim in the episode, “Michael’s Last Dundies”, the thank you speech didn’t include Pam at all. She mentions it to him, but lets it go for some reason when Jim responds, “Didn’t I?”
2 Jim's stalkery tendencies
When you really take a look at Jim as a character, he exhibited the behavior of a stalker. One of the first signs was when Jim mentioned that one of the yogurts Pam was eating had expired. That’s a detail that provided an excuse to talk to her.
In the early seasons, Jim always seemed to be around Pam.
Jim showed jealousy when Pam was at Pratt. Roy had told Jim, “You were just a friend to her” when Jim mentioned Pam had made friends at the college, one who was chummier than the others. In a fit of distrust, Jim got in his car and almost made the trip to check up on her.
1 Jim & Pam Are Okay With Infidelity
Despite knowing Pam was engaged to Roy, Jim Halpert actively pursues her. He flirts, gets her to participate in pranks, and finds ways to be near her.
In "Casino Night", Jim openly admits his feelings for Pam and informs her he wants to be more than friends. Later, Jim goes to her in the office and kisses her, and Pam doesn't pull away. It was wrong for both of them.
They also knew Angela was cheating on Andy with Dwight. Neither Pam nor Jim stepped up to tell Andy. If they had, it may have saved some heartache.
No wonder they have trouble trusting each other.
What doesn’t make sense about Jim and Pam’s relationship in The Office? Let us know in the comments!