I’m Sorry, Jim And Pam Absolutely Should Have Gotten A Divorce

The Office

I love The Office. On any given night, you can catch me watching either it, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, or Friends to fall asleep. Oh! I’ve been re-watching The OC too. What can I say? I live in the past. WHATEVER, MOM, IT’S FINE.

I jumped on the train way late and actually caught the show on Netflix after weirdly (and for honestly no good reason) refusing to watch it during its original run. Sometimes I do this stupid thing where I pretend I’m not interested in popular things because it’s soooo predictable. But then I realize there’s a reason many of those things became popular. So I watch. And I remember I’m an idiot. It’s fine. I’m in therapy.

Everyone and their mother is obsessed with Jim and Pam. They are #goals and hope that your long-suffering crush on a friend might turn into a fruitful marriage one day. Except, lolz, sweetheart…that’s not real.

Jim pines for Pam. Pam clearly has some sort of affection for Jim. Season 2 is peak Jim and Pam.  They are at their best when innocently flirting. When there’s something unspoken, but it remains that — unspoken.

The Office Jim And Pam GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

At the season 2 finale, Jim confesses his feelings and kisses Pam.

We come back in season 3 to see Pam reject Jim. Which is the realistic move. She’s been engaged to Roy, her high school sweetheart, for, what, 5 years? Pam is not going to be spontaneous. She’s not going to make a bold choice. Real life Pam probably marries Roy. She sticks with what she knows.

Jim leaves. Jim comes back. Enter Karen, Jim’s new girlfriend. The shoe is on the other foot as Pam then pines for Jim.

Also, can we take a second to acknowledge Karen was so, so hot? Did we appreciate Rashida Jones enough? Because it feels like we DID NOT.

The Office

So there you have it, a classic TV trope — the will they, won’t they?!

It works. It works because they aren’t together and we get to fantasize and keep our fingers crossed that the stars will align and Jam will happen. Pim? Jam? Ew. Either way. Ew.

First time I watched the show, I rooted for Jim and Pam because, duh, you’re supposed to. Because they are the couple everyone thinks they could one day be. Because you want to believe you fall in love with the receptionist and things work out. Timing is on your side. Blah blah blah. Hopeless romantics everywhere rejoice!

Yes, they have an easy chemistry. Yes, they are sweet and funny. Yes, there are undeniably cute moments between the two characters.

But once they do unite, it’s a gradual (slow, but still gradual) decline in interest.

I stop caring. I stop giving a shit about them together. And after they have a baby? IS MY INSOMNIA CURED??? BECAUSE I AM ASLEEP.

I appreciate aspects to their relationship. And even though I’m not a huge Pam fan (girl’s boring!), I understand what she does for the show and the balance she brings to Michael. I would be lying if I said the looks she and Jim exchange didn’t occasionally melt my cold, black heart.

Still, the relationship becomes less and less interesting. I’m not mad at that. They get married. They have kids. They are bound to lose some of the excitement, some of the original appeal. It’s not will they or won’t they anymore. It’s they will. They did. This is it.

Is this bleak? Yikes. I’m sounding like I think all relationships become stale.

…Do they? Asking for a friend.

Michael leaves and the show falters for a while. They wobble, (weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down!) but do regain some footing. It’s not ever what it was, but they make it work. Ish.

The ninth and final season of The Office focuses a lot on the relationship between Jim and Pam.

Now listen, there’s both a pessimist and an optimist inside me battling it out in a bar fight most nights. Most of the time, I believe in good. But the realist also emerges and whispers shit like, “Pam and Jim are not going to make it.” And I nod in sick agreement.

I Just Want It To Stop Jim Halpert GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I honestly thought Pam was going to have an affair with the camera dude and was disappointed a bit when it didn’t happen. Like, I’m SORRY, I don’t support cheating, but also, IRL Jim and Pam would not be together. I think I was just hoping for some catalyst for a divorce. Fans of the show would have been outraged and ratings would have plummeted, but LET’S JUST BE HONEST FOR A SECOND, CAN WE?

Jim and Pam do not stay married. In the real world, they outgrow each other outside of the “I have a crush on my co-worker” environment. Jim would have left Scranton for a cooler city way earlier. Pam would have married someone like Roy. The realist/pessimist in me won this round.

Jim, it’s not too late.

Karen might be divorced at this point, too. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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