For most of The Office, Jan Levinson wasn't just Michael's girlfriend, but she was also the antagonist. As a person who just wanted to love and be loved, Michael fell in love with the idea of Jan—but not necessarily her.
Throughout The Office's nine seasons, we got to know many sides of Jan. She loved to work (mainly due to her yearning for dominance), she had a *thing* for younger men (her assistant Hunter, anyone?), and she hated everything Michael Scott was but kept him around out of convenience. In many ways, Jan was a tyrant and a bully, and yet, her dry and serious tones made so many parts of The Office the hit that it was.
Now that The Office has been off the air for six years, we're taking a look back at 10 moments where Jan wasn't the evil shadow hovering around Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Instead, she was a beacon of possibility.
10 She Ran To Michael During Her Bankruptcy Breakdown
In the fourth season in an episode called "Money," we see Jan and Michael having a conversation about redoing the interior of their condo. Michael begins to panic about how much all these changes are costing him and realizes he's in some financial trouble.
After having a full-on meltdown, he calls Jan to tell her he's filing for bankruptcy. While she insulted him for being "irresponsible," as soon as she heard he ran away from the office, she got in her car and chased him. What happened next was a touching moment between Jan and Michael with her sticking by his side no matter what.
9 She Travelled To Scranton To Support Michael's Casino Night
It's in the second season that we see Jan slowly getting feelings for Michael (whether they're purely physical or not). Knowing how much Michael likes the cat-and-mouse game between the two, he invited Jan to Scranton's Casino Night. She, at first, declined the offer, but later decided to drive two hours to show Michael support. Although Michael kind of messed Jan's plan up by inviting Carrol to the party, too, Jan still showed effort in this toxic relationship with her subordinate.
8 She Tried To Glue His Dundie Together After She Broke It
The Dundie Awards are a big deal to Michael. It's an award ceremony that awards the best of the best at Dunder Mifflin Scranton. The workers at the office may complain about Michael's antics at these award shows, but everyone likes feeling appreciated.
When visiting Michael and Jan's condo, we see Michael's Dundies on full display. But later, in a fit of rage, Jan grabs his Dundie and chucks it at his flatscreen TV. The TV smashes, and his Dundie breaks in half. Michael ends up leaving to stay with Dwight for the night, but Jan stays behind and is seen trying to glue his Dundie back together. If she really didn't care, she wouldn't have put that effort in as an apology. She's crazy, but it was a *sweet* gesture.
7 She Brought Michael Groceries
After Jan gets fired from Dunder Mifflin, we find out she moved in with Michael to start a new life in Scranton. The camera crew tours Michael's new living arrangement, and we see him eating breakfast. "Jan made me breakfast this morning," he says while munching on cereal. "Well, she bought the milk."
Okay, so Jan isn't exactly loving domestic life with Michael, but at least she made a small effort in their relationship to buy some groceries for them, right?
6 She Encouraged Pan To Chase Her Dreams
In an epic episode called "Boys and Girls," we see Jan having a seminar with the women of Dunder Mifflin Scranton. No one really knew why they were having a seminar on "women in the workplace," but Jan noted it was to see if there was any potential for positions with corporate.
In a sweet attempt to get to know the women of the office, Jan finds out Pam is interested in graphic design. While the other women had goals of becoming housewives, Pam wanted to further her education. Instead of shooting Pam's dreams down (like Roy did), Jan encouraged them. She told her of Dunder Mifflin's design program in New York and that she would pull some strings at Corporate to get Pam to work part-time while attending the program.
5 She Chose A Sperm Donor Over Michael, But At Least She Invited Him To Her Lamaze Class
One of the worst things Jan could have done to Michael is going to a sperm bank instead of using Michael's sperm. What's worse is that she did this while the two were dating! Michael ignored the horrific thing Jan did and was just excited that his former lover was having a baby; a baby he hoped to be apart of.
Jan could have totally written Michael off when he found out, but she instead gave him the courtesy of telling him the truth. She also included him in her birth by inviting him to Lamaze class, something most fathers enjoy. Although Jan handled the pregnancy in a secretive way, she did handle Michael with kid gloves instead of her normal cold tone.
4 As The White Pages CEO, She Extended An Olive Branch To Dunder Mifflin
Once Jan and Michael officially broke up, we saw less of Jan. No longer a part of Dunder Mifflin, there wasn't a need for her to be around the office anymore. As we find out in later episodes though, Jan eventually became the CEO of the White Pages. After being approached by Dunder Mifflin about the White Pages' paper needs, Dwight showed up to make the pitch.
Jan, however, was expecting the CEO, David Wallace. She only took the meeting because she wanted to prove Wallace wrong, but, in a classic turn of events, Jan decides to choose Dunder Mifflin as the White Pages paper supplier to extend an olive branch between her and the company. Though the meeting started off as a joke, it showed real maturity for Jan.
3 She's An Exceptional Mother
As we soon find out Jan is pregnant with a baby girl, she planned on naming Astrid. Since she planned the pregnancy by going to a sperm bank, it was clear she wanted to be a mother. When Jan had the baby, she attended Michael's baby shower and showed great love for her daughter.
Fast forward a couple of years when Jan is working as a buyer for a nearby hospital, Jan's daughter comes running into her office and Jan is elated with joy. She even asked Astrid questions about her day in the form of song...
2 She Complimented Michael (Once)
After Jan and Michael kiss for the first time, Michael lets it go to his head and begins questioning Jan about their love. After a few days of Michael's unwanted advances, Jan tells him coldly that she doesn't want any kind of relationship with him.
"Michael, it has nothing to do with your looks, okay? It's your personality." While that sounds kind of harsh, she notices Michael's upset and redeems herself by saying, "Listen, you're a great guy. You were very sweet, and you stayed up with me and talked to me and cried with me and I appreciate that." And, although she threw a long line of insults this way, her few compliments were what gave Michael hope.
1 She Saw Real Promise In Jim
As it appears, "Casino Night" was one of Jan's nicer episodes, which is funny because she drove two hours only to be shut down by the man she drove there for. After realizing Michael is on a date with his realtor, Carrol, Jan goes out for a smoke when she runs into Jim.
It's then that we realize Jim is up for a promotion and a transfer to another branch. Jan encourages Jim to talk it over with someone else and that he should take the position because he's clearly qualified for the job. It's not every day we see Jan shell out compliments, so this was a big moment for her.