The Office: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Michael Scott And Jan's Relationship

NBC's The Office featured a number of romantic couples throughout its nine year run. Two of its most notable relationships were Jim and Pam, and Dwight and Angela, both of whom were heavily "shipped" by fans of the series.

Other couples that received a decent amount of attention were Andy and Erin, Jim and Karen, and Ryan and Kelly. While these were prominent relationships in the series, they were typically hit-or-miss with audiences, with many viewers actually being against these couples. However, the most infamous and widely hated relationship in The Office had to be between Michael and Jan.

There are very few Office fans out there who will attempt to argue that Michael and Jan were right for each other. Right when their relationship started to take off in season 2, it was abundantly clear that these two were not a right fit, but the relationship still carried on through season 4, and even a little bit in season 5, before the two characters finally parted ways.

Even though Michael and Jan were surely the worst couple in The Office, this doesn't mean that they aren't one of the most entertaining. In fact, "Dinner Party", which is essentially the climax of Michael and Jan's relationship, is widely considered to be the best episode of the entire series.

Though these two certainly don't go well together, the horribleness of their pairing became one of the best aspects of the series.

With this in mind, here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Michael Scott And Jan's Relationship.

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The Office Pilot Jan and Michael
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20 Jan Was Completely Rewritten After Season 1

The Office Pilot Jan and Michael

When Jan first appeared in The Office, she was Michael's cold boss who was very to-the-books and gave no concern about emotions in the workplace. However, about halfway through the show's second season, Jan's character was completely changed, making her an unlikely romantic interest for Michael Scott.

While Jan's sudden change of character was briefly explained due to her recent divorce, looking at her change as a whole makes the situation seem a bit nonsensical. Even when Jan was being professional in the second half of season 2, and throughout season 3, she was drastically different from how she acted at the beginning of the series. While the changes made to Jan were certainly for the better, making her more interesting of a character, it makes viewers scratch their head when they go back to rewatch the first season, where Jan acts and talks like a completely different person.

19 No One Tried To Help Michael After He Got Back With Jan

Toward the end of season 3, many of the female members of The Office tried to help Michael when they realized he was in an awful relationship, and successfully pushed him to end the relationship. When Jan came back a couple episodes later to try to win Michael back, they once again stayed by Michael's side and (unsuccessfully) urged him to not get back with Jan.

However, beyond this point, Michael's coworkers did not really try to help Michael get out of the relationship. Jan made him sell his car, he "declared" financial ruin, and she would regularly visit the office, despite being fired, in order to misuse their supplies. Despite Michael being obviously distraught and unhappy, nobody stepped up to help him until the episode "Dinner Party", when Michael and Jan finally broke up. Even then, it was a police officer who pushed Michael to leave, rather than one of his friends.

18 Why Did Jan Want Michael In Astrid's Life?

The Office Jan and Astrid

One of the most surprising twists in The Office occurred at the end of season 4 when it was revealed than Jan was pregnant, but with an inseminated child rather than with Michael's. This story arc continued through the first few episodes of season 5, where Michael ignored his feelings for Holly because he felt as though he needed to be loyal to Jan and her daughter Astrid.

While this entire scenario was humorously nonsensical, the part that made the least sense was the fact that Jan was actually open to Michael being in her daughter's life. It was clear that she didn't want Michael to be the father of her child, yet she was seemingly comfortable with Michael being a part of her daughter's life after birth. She let Michael attend many of the parent counseling sessions before the pregnancy, and was okay with Michael being a part of raising Astrid.

17 Packer's Opinion Of Jan Completely Changed

There's no doubt that Michael Scott thinks highly of Todd Packer, the obnoxious travelling salesman that has a history of demeaning women. However, as soon as Michael started seeing Jan, Packer's commentary about Jan drastically changed. In the first season of The Office, Packer spoke up about how much he despised Jan a couple of times, which almost got Michael in trouble at one point. However, as soon as Michael revealed to Packer that he had gone on vacation with Jan, Packer's tone of voice implied that he was actually jealous, and started to see Jan as a catch.

While some may argue that Packer's sudden change of opinion could be to support his friend who had bad luck with women up until that point, this isn't really in his character. When Michael later got engaged to Holly, Packer actually tried to talk Michael out of the relationship, proving that he isn't really that supportive of a friend.

16 Nothing Ever Came Out Of The Photo Of Jan In Jamaica

The Office Michael's Jan Jamaica Photo

In season 3, after Michael and Jan had a secret vacation to Jamaica, Michael accidentally sent an indecent image of Jan from the trip to the warehouse, who then sent it to many of the other employees of Dunder Mifflin, including Todd Packer, who didn't even work in the office anymore.

The events of the episode made it seem like Jan was going to find out about the image, yet this never occurred, with Jan only arriving in Scranton to say she wanted to date Michael rather than to discipline him. This left many viewers thinking that Jan never found the image, and that the entire situation had merely breezed over. However, in season 4, the image resurfaced in Jan's court case, revealing that Jan did indeed know about the photo of herself. For reasons that seem absolutely out of her character, Jan never brought this up to Michael or used it as a means to discipline him.

15 Toby Didn't Report Them

Michael and Jan's relationship broke a number of rules regarding relationships made by Dunder Mifflin. Not only were both of them corporate level employees, but Michael was also Jan's subordinate, which in almost any workplace would be strictly against company policy. Michael and Jan dated on-and-off for over a year before they disclosed the relationship to corporate, but it wasn't unnoticed. Everyone at the Scranton branch knew about it, yet Toby never did anything about the matter.

Toby briefly told Michael that he needed to disclose the relationship, but when Michael refused and the relationship continued, Toby continued to do nothing, which was grossly against his job title, as their relationship was clearly a dangerous breach of company policy. To make matters worse, Toby still did not speak up about the issue when Jan attempted to sue Dunder Mifflin, even though he had information about their relationship that would have helped the company's case.

14 Michael Wasn't Too Concerned About The Possibility Of Jan Poisoning Him

The Office Michael and Jan

In "Dinner Party," when all of Michael and Jan's guests were finally sitting down to eat, Michael whispered to Pam that it was possible that Jan was attempting to poison them with the food. However, this was the only time that Michael brought this up.

For someone who genuinely believed that he was going to be poisoned, Michael really didn't seem to care, as after this point, he continued to eat his food without any concern. While this is semi-excusable, as it was merely an aside joke, it still seemed like a rather drastic change of view in the context of the story. Granted, in today's society, it would be rather far fetched to accuse somebody of poisoning someone else, but at the same time, it wouldn't seem too far fetched to imagine Jan poisoning somebody, making this entire situation a bit confusing.

13 Jan's Relationship With Hunter

The Office Jan and Hunter

One of the most surprising, yet subtle, revelations about Jan was that she was having a secret affair with her assistant in New York, Hunter. Unlike Jan's relationship with Michael, Jan's relationship with Hunter took place directly at corporate. Considering that Jan didn't do too great of a job hiding her relationship with her young assistant, it seems unlikely that none of the other corporate employees caught onto what was going on, and it seems even more unlikely that none of them would have reported the affair for being against corporate policy.

Not much was revealed about Jan and Hunter, but that's probably for the best. At the end of the day, it's probably a good thing that we don't know what those two did together, but we sort of get a glimpse of it in the song Hunter wrote and sang that was played in "Dinner Party."

12 The Documentary Footage Wasn't Used In Jan's Court Case

The Office Jan in The Deposition

When Jan attempted to sue Dunder Mifflin for wrongful termination, most of the evidence in the case was hearsay, with there only being a few written documents that helped to track Jan's relationship with Michael, which became an important aspect of the lawsuit. For the past four years, however, the documentary crew had been recording almost everything that happened at the office, including how unethical Jan was being. They certainly had enough evidence to disprove Jan's accusations and help defend Dunder Mifflin.

While it's likely that the documentary crew refused to show any of the footage in order to remain neutral, it seems unlikely that Dunder Mifflin did not at least attempt to strike a deal, and that they would continue to allow the documentary crew to remain with their company if they did not help them when they were being sued for millions of dollars.

11 Jan Wouldn't Have Acted In Threat Level Midnight

The Office Jan Threat Level Midnight

In the show's seventh season, viewers of The Office finally had the opportunity to witness Threat Level Midnight, Michael's action-packed home movie that he had been working on for over a decade. Much of Threat Level Midnight had been shot throughout different seasons of the show, which allowed numerous cast members who were no longer with the show to return.

One character who played a role in Threat Level Midnight was Jan. While Jan's appearance was a fun cameo, as she had not appeared in the show in about a year, it didn't really make much sense. Even though Jan was dating Michael, she was never supportive of anything that Michael wanted to do, so it didn't really make sense that Jan agreed to act for Michael in his movie. The cameo was surprising for sure, but it was also incredibly forced.

10 Michael's Money Issues Disappeared Without Explanation

In one of the more iconic moments from The Office, Michael "declared" financial ruin in the first half of season 4, largely due to how much Jan was spending using his money and credit cards. While Michael had never been good with money before this, Jan's spending put him over the edge, causing him to completely break down and attempt to run away.

The solution to Michael's issue came by him confronting the problem when he told Jan about his debt. However, this wasn't actually a solution to the problem, as Jan seemingly did not stop spending Michael's money, which was shown by how much Jan had bought for Michael's condo in "Dinner Party". Despite this, Michael's money issues never showed up again, which realistically does not make sense. In reality, Michael would be struggling with money problems for many years after.

9 Some Of Their Actions In The Bedroom Were Illegal

The Office Michael's Bedroom Dinner Party

Without going into too much detail, some of the actions that took place between Michael and Jan in the bedroom were actually illegal. Jan was certainly more "adventurous" in this sense than Michael, which made Michael uncomfortable a number of times. This led, as Michael admitted, to Jan having to pay Michael in order for their actions to continue, which, as most people know, is illegal.

While the documentary crew did have permission to record everything in the office without having to disclose the information to people, they are not above the law. Unlike churches and lawyers, a documentary crew is not legally exempt from reporting a serious crime, arguably making them accomplices in the illegal activities after Michael disclosed the information on camera.

8 Michael Not Knowing About Hunter

The Office Hunter's CD

Jan's secret affair with Hunter was subtly hinted at in The Office, but it wasn't so subtle that it went unnoticed. Even Pam, who had never met Hunter, was able to catch on that something was going on. While Michael has never been the sharpest tool in the shed, he's not completely oblivious. Later in the series, he was able to catch onto the fact that his girlfriend Donna was cheating on him, yet was never able to catch onto Jan's infidelity.

Michael should have been able to catch on that something was going on with Hunter, especially considering how obvious Jan was being about the relationship in his house. Jan would regularly play a song by Hunter that had the lyrics, "You took me by the hand, made me a man, that one night, you made everything all right, so raw, so right." Those lyrics certainly are not too indirect about what happened between him and Jan.

7 Michael Told Jan That He Dated Pam

The Office Dinner Party Pam

One of the running jokes in season 4 was that Jan was convinced that Pam was out to steal Michael from her. This running joke came to a climax in "Dinner Party" when Jan revealed that Michael had told her that he and Pam had dated, which as any fan of The Office knows is absolutely not true.

While this led to some hilariously awkward, yet horrifying, encounters throughout the rest of the episode, it still begs the question, why did Michael tell this to Jan in the first place? While it would make sense if Michael told a white lie like this to Packer, it doesn't make sense for him to tell this to Jan, as it would only make her angry and possibly make her want to leave him, which is the last thing Michael would have wanted.

6 Neither Of Them Were Fired For Their Relationship

The Office Michael and Jan Kiss

There were a lot of issues between Michael and Jan that were against company policy, not just including the time before they disclosed their relationship to corporate, that should have gotten both of them fired. While Jan did eventually face consequences for her unethical actions when she was fired, her relationship was only a small part of why Dunder Mifflin let her go.

Realistically, Michael and Jan would have both lost their jobs a lot sooner. Also, when Michael revealed to CFO David Wallace that he was back with Jan, his employment realistically would have been terminated shortly after, as he was clearly part of the problem. However, then again, Michael did a lot of things that should have gotten him fired over the years, yet still managed to keep his job.

5 Jan's Deleted Subplot With Her Neighbor's Dog

The Office Dinner Party Jan

In "Dinner Party", there was a deleted subplot throughout the episode where Michael revealed that much of the neighborhood did not like Jan because she fell asleep during their neighborhood watch, and their neighbor dog ended up being spray-painted by "teenagers."

Later at dinner, however, when Jan and Michael finally broke out into a full argument, Jan revealed she was the one who spray-painted the dog because it was too smug. However, this sub-plot was even darker in the original script, as Jan went on to purposefully run over the dog just to spite the neighbors. While this subplot would have done a good job of raising the stakes, it definitely feels as though it went too far. It's no secret that Jan is a little bit evil, but no one thought she would be so evil as to run over a dog. This entire subplot would have been incredibly out of character for Jan.

4 Jan's Abuse Of Power At The Beginning Of Season 3

The Office The Coup Jan

At the beginning of season 3, after Michael had chosen to date Carol Stills over Jan, Jan became horribly unethical in the workplace, which is something that everyone in the office visibly noticed. Jan retaliated to being rejected by Michael by enforcing strict rules against him, and even had his receptionist (Pam) essentially spy on him the entire day, which was more than likely against company policy.

While Michael is certainly an employee that needed harsher consequences, the reasoning Jan was punishing him was certainly unethical and unprofessional. Everyone at the Scranton branch saw that it was making Michael miserable, including Toby, who certainly should have done something about it, or at least have brought it to corporate's attention.

3 Michael Shouldn't Have Been Considered For Jan's Job

Michael SCott in The Office

At the end of season 3, Michael was one of the higher ranking employees at Dunder Mifflin who were asked to interview for an open position at corporate, which ended up being Jan's job. While it was later revealed that Michael was only asked to interview as a courtesy, and that he wasn't one of their top candidates, it's still completely inconcievable that he was even asked to interview in the first place.

When Michael was asked to interview, he wasn't back together with Jan yet, but having him take over Jan's position still would have been an insane conflict of interest. After all, Jan and Michael had only broken up about a week before Michael was asked to interview for the job, which is certainly not enough time before the company can overlook his relationship to their (soon to be) former VP.

2 Jan Wanted Michael Fired While They Were Dating

While Jan never went easy on Michael during her time at Dunder Mifflin, the details of her court case revealed that she thought horribly of him, even when they were officially dating. During her final months at Dunder Mifflin, when Michael and Jan were actually together and had disclosed their relationship, Jan had pushed for Dunder Mifflin to fire Michael.

While this doesn't seem too incredibly out of character for Jan when looking at her from a distance, during this time, she was actually happy with Michael. In fact, she had even said that the fact that they worked together was one of the most appealing parts of their relationship, as it felt wrong. Additionally, if Jan really wanted Michael to leave the company, she could have gotten a lot further by trying to convince Michael to quit herself, as her previous attempts to have him fired obviously failed.

1 What They Saw In Each Other

The Office Michael and Jan

Alas, the most confusing part of Michael and Jan's relationship was the fact that they would get together in the first place. From the first episode of The Office, it was abundantly clear that Michael and Jan were polar opposites.  While the show briefly went into why Jan wanted to date Michael, as it was one of her self-destructive tendencies that her therapist recommended she indulge for once, it didn't really explain why she stayed with Michael, except for the fact that she had lost her job.

Michael, on the other hand, didn't really have any reason to want to be with Jan. Sure, he was lonely and desperate, but he was clearly more miserable with Jan than without. Michael and Jan shared zero interests and had nothing in common. Realistically, these two would not have pursued a relationship together after that first, regrettable night, but then again, where would have been the fun in that?


Are there any other things about Michael Scott and Jan's relationship in The Office that make no sense? Sound off in the comments!

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