|The Office character|
|First appearance||"Pilot" (2005)|
|Last appearance||"Finale" (2013)|
|Created by||Greg Daniels
|Based on||Tim Canterbury (British counterpart)|
|Portrayed by||John Krasinski|
|Nickname||"Big Tuna" (and several variations thereof, by Andy)|
|Family||Gerald Halpert (father)|
Betsy Halpert (mother)
Tom Halpert (brother)
Pete Halpert (brother)
Larissa Halpert (sister)
Vanessa Halpert (niece)
Marcy Halpert (sister-in-law)
Helene Beesly (mother-in-law)
William Beesly (father-in-law)
Penny Beesly (sister-in-law)
Dayne Logan (niece)
|Significant other||Katy Moore (ex-girlfriend) |
Karen Filippelli (ex-girlfriend)
|Children||Cecelia Marie Halpert |
|Based on||Tim Canterbury|
James Halpert is a fictional character in the U.S. version of the television sitcom The Office, portrayed by John Krasinski. The character is also named after a childhood friend of executive producer Greg Daniels. He is one of the few main characters whose middle name is never revealed on the show. He is introduced as a sales representative at the Scranton branch of paper distribution company Dunder Mifflin, before temporarily transferring to the Stamford branch in the third season. Upon the merger of Scranton and Stamford branches, he becomes Assistant Regional Manager, and later co-manager alongside Michael Scott during the sixth-season episode arc from "The Promotion" to "The Manager and the Salesman". The character is based on Tim Canterbury from the original version of The Office.
His character serves as the intelligent, mild-mannered straight man role to Michael, although it is also defined by a rivalrous pranking on fellow salesman Dwight Schrute and a romantic interest in receptionist Pam Beesly, whom he begins dating in the fourth season, proposes in the fifth, marries in the sixth, and has children with in the sixth and eighth. Jim's coworker, Andy Bernard, often calls him by the nickname "Big Tuna".
Krasinski auditioned for the role, along with Hamish Linklater, John Cho, and Adam Scott. Scott would later play Ben Wyatt on NBC's Parks and Recreation, which was created by The Office's creator Greg Daniels and producer Michael Schur. Lance Krall also auditioned, according to Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer in the Office Ladies podcast. Krasinski was ultimately chosen due to his chemistry with Jenna Fischer, who portrayed his coworker and future wife Pam Beesly. The couple is known for being one of the most recognizable and beloved couples on American television.
Jim has two brothers; Pete, who lives in Boston, and Tom, who lives in New Jersey. They are both characterized as sharing Jim's general love of pranks but have come across as unpleasant and they somewhat bully their little brother. While Pete and Tom have been seen in several episodes, portrayed by Tug Coker, and Blake Robbins, Larissa has never been seen on screen. In the episode "Branch Wars," while the writing is not specific on which brother is being referred to, he states that his brother's wife just had another baby. Jim enjoys cycling, and, as he reveals in a deleted scene from "Take Your Daughter to Work Day," at times will babysit Toby Flenderson's daughter, Sasha. He also lists soft-shell crab as his favorite food in the episode Halloween. Jim has noted that basketball "Was kind of [his] thing" in high school. No high school is ever revealed as his alumnus during the show, however, both Dunmore High School (as evidenced in a deleted scene from "Product Recall" where he asks a high school student about a former teacher) and West Scranton High School (as evidenced in "Email Surveillance", when Pam holds up his yearbook displaying their mascot name, Invaders, across the front) are referenced. In the episode "Dwight's Speech," Jim tells Dwight that he majored in Public Speaking, however, he later denies this. Jim began working at Dunder Mifflin between 1998 and 1999 (as evidenced in "Pilot" and "The Merger," where Jim says that he still loves when Michael says, "Wazzup!" crazily after seven years, and that on his first day at work Michael played an orientation video which parodied The Blair Witch Project).
In several episodes, it is stated that Jim is a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Philadelphia 76ers. Jim appears to be a fan of hip-hop, specifically Eminem, as Pam mentions him listening to the 8 Mile soundtrack on his iPod in "The Delivery." In the episode "Weight Loss," it is revealed that his screen name for AIM is JIM9334. Like his father, Jim suffers from high blood pressure, as revealed in the episode "Pam's Replacement."
Though Jim loves to play pranks on Dwight, he is shown to have some things in common with his nemesis, such as a knowledge of comic books and an appreciation for the sci-fi/fantasy genre; as demonstrated in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" when Jim and Dwight correct Michael on details about Superman and Aquaman. Despite their frequent conflicts, Jim and Dwight are also shown to be an extremely competent sales team in "Traveling Salesmen."
Jim Halpert is first introduced in the "Pilot." He is adamant throughout the series about his job as a salesman at Dunder Mifflin Paper being a temporary one, saying, "Right now, this is just a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train." This outlook is most apparent in the elaborate pranks that he plays on his workmates, primarily Dwight, as well as his sarcastic remarks and facial expressions to the film crew and his provoking comments during often ridiculous employee meetings. However, he succeeds professionally and is consistently one of the best salesmen. This is presumably because, as Pam mentioned later, "everybody likes Jim."
His facial expressions have later been dubbed the “Jim Look.”
A major part of Jim Halpert's character is his relationship with Pam Beesly, which is often the subject of office speculation. This is made worse by the fact that Pam was engaged to Roy Anderson, a Dunder Mifflin warehouse worker. Throughout the first two seasons, incidents such as Pam falling asleep on Jim's shoulder in "Diversity Day" and drunkenly kissing him in "The Dundies" show a possibility of the feelings being mutual; however, Pam never acts on them and she remains engaged to Roy. On one occasion, in "The Fight," his flirting with her goes a little too far, when Meredith looks over to see him play-fighting with her, causing her to shut him down immediately, startling him with her abruptness, though she eventually forgives him. He becomes so upset when he hears Pam discuss wedding details that he calls a travel agency and schedules a trip to Australia, deliberately making himself unable to attend the wedding. Feeling bored by his job, tortured by his situation with Pam, and guilty about a stack of complaints Dwight has filed against him, Jim investigates a transfer to Dunder Mifflin's branch in Stamford, Connecticut. In the season-two finale, "Casino Night," he confesses his love for Pam in the office. Pam, whose wedding to Roy was planned out and just weeks away, clearly shows her anguish but gently turns him down. Jim tearfully walks away, later kisses her in the office, and the season ends. In the season-three premiere "Gay Witch Hunt," it is revealed that he did transfer to Stamford despite the fact that Pam has called off her wedding and he clearly still harbors intense feelings for her. His reason is later stated as "It's just, I kinda put it all on the line. Twice. And she said no. Twice." in "The Convention."
Though in later seasons, after Ryan Howard's promotion, the relationship between him and Jim seems to be tense, in earlier seasons the two seem to be friendly. In "Casino Night," they are shown talking, laughing and drinking together.
Throughout season two, Jim dates Katy, who initially appeared in season one as the "Purse Girl" in "Hot Girl." After Jim and Katy split up in "Booze Cruise," he leaves a message asking out a fellow Dunder Mifflin employee named Brenda, much to Kelly's disbelief. Jim's misfortunes are assumed to be because he is unable to get over Pam. Things begin to look up for Jim as he befriends salesperson Karen Filippelli in Stamford, and when the company board of directors decides to close the Scranton branch, Jim is named assistant regional manager of the newly created "Dunder Mifflin Northeast." However the company's plans change when Stamford regional manager Josh Porter accepts a job at Staples. The Stamford branch then closes, with a few employees being offered a transfer to Scranton. The offer to Jim to be assistant regional manager stands, though now at Scranton. Jim is at first unwilling to return to Scranton because of Pam but eventually decides to do so. Karen, who has grown fond of Jim and wishes to pursue a relationship with him, also transfers to Scranton.
In "The Merger," Jim's and Pam's reunion is awkward. Pam is overjoyed, but Jim is clearly uncomfortable. He lets Pam know that he is seeing someone, and gradually Karen is introduced as his girlfriend. As Jim settles back in at Scranton, he uses his promotion as an excuse to avoid his old interactions and pranks with Pam, claiming that pulling pranks is not appropriate for his position. However, in time, Jim does return to his old ways, especially targeting Andy Bernard, a Stamford transfer, and Dwight.
Toward the middle of the season, it becomes clear that Jim's unresolved feelings toward Pam are affecting his relationship with Karen. In "The Return," Jim decides to pull a prank on Andy; however, Karen is unable and Ryan unwilling to aid him, so he turns to Pam, who readily agrees. Their interaction during the prank causes Karen to feel threatened. She confronts Jim, and he finally admits to still having feelings for Pam. Despite this fact, their relationship continues.
In "Cocktails," Roy trashes the bar when Pam tells him she kissed Jim during "Casino Night." Roy then attempts to attack Jim at work in "The Negotiation," but Dwight sprays Roy with pepper spray. Roy is fired, but when Pam assures Jim that it is over between her and Roy for good, Jim doesn't believe it and tells her so.
In "Beach Games," during a company outing at the beach, Pam confesses to Jim in front of everyone that he was the reason she broke off her wedding to Roy. She also states that she has missed their friendship since he left Scranton for Stamford. Later that night, Jim tells Pam that he feels as if he never really came back from Stamford, tacitly admitting that he has actively been fighting his feelings for her all year. However, Jim's relationship with Karen and pending interview for a corporate position which would require his relocation to New York City, still obstructing a potential romance.
In "The Job," Jim, Karen, and Michael each interview for the corporate position. During the interview, he notices a caring note from Pam in his briefcase. After the interview he drives back to Scranton, leaving Karen without a ride. Back at the Scranton office, Pam is describing her lack of satisfaction with the current state of her relationship with Jim. Jim then suddenly interrupts the session to ask her to dinner, much to her surprise. She becomes flustered and overjoyed, and accepts the invitation. Jim replies "All right. Then...it's a date," and leaves abruptly. Pam turns back to the camera, smiling, only to ask, "What was the question?" In a webisode titled "Office Summer Vacation" found on NBC's website, Karen states that Jim "dumped my ass" and left her crying at a fountain.
In “Fun Run” Pam and Jim tell the Camera Crew that they are dating, after being seen kissing after work in the last episode of season 3. In "Local Ad," Jim develops an avatar of himself for Dwight's game Second Life. Pam notes that his online alter ego plays guitar and is a Philadelphia sportswriter, implicitly revealing Jim's lesser-known aspirations, and a callback to "Email Surveillance" from season two, in which he has a guitar in his bedroom.
In the episodes "Survivor Man" and "Night Out," Jim takes on his role as manager while Michael is out of the office. Both times, however, his attempts at making the office better go awry. Ryan, annoyed by Jim's popularity with his boss David Wallace, gives Jim a performance warning in "Did I Stutter?" citing "goofing off with Dwight" and "spending time at reception" as productivity problems, despite his high sale numbers.
Though early on in the series Jim drives a Toyota Corolla, he, during this time, drives late model Saabs, including the Saab 9-2x and top-line Saab 9-3 Aero, then a Subaru Outback (which he shares with Pam). He mentions in "Niagara" that he has been able to drive a standard transmission since high school.
In "Goodbye, Toby," Jim shows his happiness and support for Pam getting into the Pratt Institute, where she will be for the next three months. He plans to propose at Toby's going away party until Andy proposes in front of everybody to Angela, who accepts. Jim puts his ring back in his pocket and postpones the engagement. Instead, he proposes during the season-five premiere, "Weight Loss," during a rainy last-minute lunch date at an Interstate rest stop between Scranton and New York City, where Pam is attending Pratt.
Jim and Pam keep in touch during her time at art school via webcam, instant messaging, and frequent phone calls. Jim eagerly awaits Pam's return in "Business Trip." He is sad but supportive when Pam calls to tell him she has failed a class and can't come home yet. That afternoon he finds Pam waiting in the parking lot, claiming that she hated art school anyway. He purchases his parents' house and begins to take his career more seriously than in previous episodes. When new Vice President Charles Miner (Idris Elba) arrives at the office to oversee Michael, he and Jim immediately clash as Charles condescends to, and dismisses, Jim as an underachiever and a smartass with a "made-up position." Charles scoffs when Jim is invited to sit in on a meeting with David Wallace about the Michael Scott Paper Company. However, Jim comes off as intelligent and professional and persuades Michael to be bought out. In the process, he finally stands up to Charles after Charles makes up to their boss, prompting Jim to make a snide remark to his face. Upon realizing Dwight's incompetence during the meeting, Charles encourages Jim to speak to Michael. As a new receptionist has already been hired, Pam is rehired in sales alongside Jim.
During "Company Picnic," Pam injures her ankle during a volleyball game and Jim takes her to the hospital. The camera crew is stationed outside an exam room while a doctor updates Jim and Pam on her condition. There is no audio as the camera shows Jim and Pam suddenly embracing, looking shocked and ecstatic, before Jim emerges to call Dwight and inform him they won't be returning to the game. It is heavily implied that Pam is pregnant, and the pregnancy is confirmed in the season-six premiere, "Gossip."
Jim is promoted to regional co-manager, alongside Michael, in "The Meeting." His promotion causes problems in the office as the staff doesn't take him seriously and he is often in a power struggle with Michael. When Dunder Mifflin files for bankruptcy and is taken over by Sabre, a company that sells printers, Jim chooses to become a salesman again (largely because Sabre's uncapped commission means a huge pay increase).
Jim and Pam marry in the highly anticipated, hour-long episode, "Niagara." When their guests' craziness threatens to ruin the wedding day, they run off and are privately married on the Maid of the Mist before returning to take part in their planned church wedding. Their daughter, Cecelia Marie Halpert (named after Jenna Fischer's niece who was born the day they shot "The Delivery") is born in another hour-long episode several months later, in "The Delivery."
In season seven, some of Jim's vulnerabilities are displayed. Jim displays some mild jealousy when he meets Danny Cordray, a superior paper salesman who went on a few dates with Pam while he was in Stamford. In "Costume Contest," after hearing that Danny never called Pam back because she was too "dorky" for him, Jim is inspired to dress up in his Popeye costume with Cece dressed as Swee'Pea for her (who is dressed as Olive Oyl), which he was initially reluctant to do, marking the first time he is seen dressed up in an actual costume. In "Classy Christmas," Jim falls victim to numerous snowball-themed pranks devised by Dwight. Jim is humiliated by being forced to feed Dwight a pizza and a beer in "Viewing Party" in order to have him get Cece to sleep for the night.
His sales skills remain strong, when in "WUPHF.com" it is revealed that he has already maxed out his sales cap for the year and cannot make any more commissions, leading him to seek goofy respite in the office until Gabe Lewis chides him to stop bothering everyone. Since Gabe was unsympathetic to Jim's situation, Jim then sets up a prank that ends with Gabe being forced to listen to an audiobook version of Jo Bennett's entire boring autobiography. In "The Seminar," it is revealed he has had the highest sales out of the entire Scranton branch for at least three months running.
In "Todd Packer," when Todd comes to Dunder Mifflin looking for a desk job in the office and gets hired, Dwight and Jim pull off a joint scheme to get him to leave the office.
In "Goodbye, Michael," Jim is the only one to figure out that Michael is leaving earlier than he said and opts to stay quiet to let Michael leave, but he tells Pam so she can get to him at the airport before he leaves. He also emotionally tells Michael he's been the best boss he's ever had, and they part on good terms.
In "Training Day," Jim and Pam try to make a good first impression on their new boss Deangelo Vickers. They believe they have started off well by showing him pictures of their baby, but Deangelo soon gets annoyed with them. In "The Inner Circle," Jim is shown to be one of Deangelo's favorites among the staff. He is temporarily banned from Deangelo's inner circle when he speaks up for the women after they object to Deangelo's sexist attitude. Jim later calls Deangelo out after the boss brags about a Michael Jordan dunk he can perform, which causes a traumatic brain injury and leaves Deangelo in a coma.
In "Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager," Jo Bennett offers Jim the position of interim manager after Deangelo is gone, which Jim rejects. Jo later calls Jim as "the only man who turned me down."
In "Search Committee," Jim is one of three people scouting for Michael's (and Deangelo's) replacement. Creed is the interim regional manager—based on seniority—so this speeds up the process (since Creed is incompetent).
Early in season 8, it is revealed that Jim will be a father for the second time as Pam is expecting a son (where Pam jokingly calls him "Little Michael Scott").The delivery wasn't featured in the show, and Philip's first appearance would be during the episode "Jury Duty". Jim also had to deal with a crush from co-worker Cathy Simms, who unsuccessfully tried to seduce him while they were part of the Sabre Store team in Tallahassee, during the episode of the same name.
In "New Guys," Jim reveals that he was given an offer to help his friend start a sports marketing company in Philadelphia called Athlead. At first, he turns it down but later reveals that he accepted the offer. Pam doesn't find out until "Andy's Ancestry," and although she is supportive, she is later concerned about Jim not having told her sooner and about how much money he has put into it. Jim gets permission from David Wallace to take up the second job, and in "The Target" he convinces Stanley and Phyllis to agree to cover his duties on the days that he is away.
In "Suit Warehouse," Jim offers Darryl a chance to join him at the new job and although Darryl has a not-so-perfect interview, he does get the position thanks to his preparation and Jim's recommendation. Later, Jim and Darryl become roommates, although in "Vandalism" Darryl is annoyed at Jim's messy and sloppy living habits.
Jim's weekly commute to Philadelphia causes increasing strain on his marriage until in "Customer Loyalty," it comes to a head when he misses Cece's dance recital and then angrily blames Pam for not videotaping it. Tearfully, Pam breaks down and confides in Brian, the boom mic operator of the documentary crew.
In "Moving On," Pam interviews for a job in Philadelphia, but then reveals to Jim that she doesn't really want to move there after all.
In "Finale," Jim serves as Dwight's Best Man during his wedding to Angela, where Pam is a bridesmaid. Jim and Pam also finalize their plan to move to Austin, where Jim will rejoin Athlead (now named Athleap) with Darryl. He plans to quit Dunder Mifflin, but Dwight insists on firing him and Pam instead, so they can receive a generous severance package. In his final interview, Jim thanks the documentary crew for giving him the opportunity to show his children many important parts of his life, and after a callback to his first interview, finally deems his job as "amazing".
Jim has appeared in every episode of The Office with the exception of "Mafia," in which only his voice is heard. The clip show episode "The Banker" features Jim in flashbacks of previous episodes, and Jim only appears in new footage momentarily, and without any lines. Additionally, in the season-seven episode "Ultimatum," Jim only appears in the cold open, and is absent without explanation for the rest of the episode. The cold open was actually filmed the previous season and recycled for the episode because John Krasinski was on location shooting a movie.
In the media, Jim is sometimes called an everyguy. In her article "Breaking Out of the First-Job Trap" for U.S. News and World Report, Liz Wolgemuth used Jim's character as a template for an essay on under-motivated, young, college grads. In an article on stereotypical office worker profiles, Jim was identified as the worker who is "drifting along in a job, [while] you put off asking yourself hard questions about career plans."
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