Jim Halpert

Jim Halpert

Office character box
name = Jim Halpert


caption =
portrayer = John Krasinski
debut = "Pilot"
departure =
alias =
nickname = Big Tuna, Big Haircut Fat Halpert Jim-Bag Slim Jim
Jimbo Tuna
Wet Tuna
gender = Male
age = 28
eye color = brown
occupation = Paper salesman
title = • Sales Representative, Dunder-Mifflin Scranton • Assistant Regional Manager, Dunder-Mifflin Stamford • Assistant Regional Manager, Dunder-Mifflin Scranton
parent(s) =
spouse = Pam Beesly (fiancée)
Karen Fillipelli (ex-girlfriend)
Katy (ex-girlfriend)
child(ren) =
based on = Tim Canterbury

Jim Halpert is a fictional character in the United States version of the television sitcom "The Office", played by John Krasinski. The character is based on Tim Canterbury from the original version of "The Office". The character is named after Jim Halpert, a childhood friend of executive producer Greg Daniels.Wolgemuth, Liz (2008-03-24, [http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/careers/2008/03/13/jim-halpert-and-the-first-job-trap.html "Breaking Out of the First-Job Trap"] . "U.S. News & World Report". 144 (9):56-58 (accessed on 2008-08-23)]

Profile

At the beginning of the series, Jim Halpert is a paper salesman at the Scranton branch of fictitious paper-goods distributor Dunder Mifflin. Intelligent but unmotivated, Jim spends much of his time conspiring with office receptionist Pam Beesly to engineer pranks on his overbearing deskmate Dwight Schrute. Early episodes showed Jim yearning for Pam while she was engaged to Roy Anderson, and much of the dramatic content of those episodes of the show derived from Jim's secret crush on the engaged receptionist. It is often implied through the context of Jim's comments and through the comments of others that he is both overqualified for and uninterested in his job, to the extent that the first sale he claims to 'try' making is during the fourth season, despite a previously stated rank of Dunder Mifflin's ninth overall best salesman; he only stays because of his hope to be with Pam, a hope that was finally fulfilled in season 4. Due to his dry, deadpan manner, Jim is something of a straight man for the show and acts as the comic foil for Michael. He is also in the unfortunate position of being a brake to Michael's unrealistic and reckless schemes.

Characterization

Little is revealed about Jim's family or childhood, although he does note that basketball "was kind of [his] thing" in high school ("Basketball"). In the episode "Email Surveillance," the word "INVADER" is seen on the front cover of his yearbook, likely meaning Jim attended West Scranton High School, whose athletic teams are called the Invaders. Jim lists "Larissa Halpert" (presumably a relative) as his emergency contact ("The Fight"). In "Branch Wars," he states that his brother just had a baby, and in "Weight Loss," he mentions a nephew old enough to play T-ball.

Jim is characterized professionally by his success and apathy towards his work, his pranks, and his geniality with his co-workers. Even at the outset of the show, Jim has worked at Dunder-Mifflin some years, and the character is eventually promoted to the point of assistant regional manager, one post below the character Michael Scott. In the episode "Office Olympics", he mentions closing two sales during his lunch break. He also won an award for being the ninth best salesman in the company that year, with Dwight taking top honors ("Dwight's Speech"). However his professional success contrasts sharply with his discontent and apathy. Despite his years of working at Dunder Mifflin, Jim insists the job is a temporary one, saying, "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. Dwight has filed innumerable formal complaints again Jim for the pranks. While typically ignored, or even encouraged, by co-workers and even his boss Michael, these pranks have backfired on Jim on occasion; in the episode "Conflict Resolution," upon finding out his innumerable complaints were never actually sent to the "special file" at Corporate he demands that Michael either fire Jim or transfer him out of the Scranton office. In the episode "Goodbye, Toby", then-VP Ryan Howard issues Jim a formal warning for lack of "productivity".

Despite his mischievous streak, he often shows compassion to and camaraderie with his co-workers. Dwight asserts that Jim is a friend of the delivery man Steve ("Booze Cruise"); Sadiq, the company IT guy, attends a barbecue at Jim's house ("Email Surveillance"); and Jim quickly bonds with Kevin's fiancée's daughter on "Take Your Daughter to Work Day". David Wallace, the CFO of the company, remarks that Jim makes a good impression on everyone he meets. In Season 4, Jim, upon urgent looks from Pam, consoles Dwight after his difficult breakup with Angela in "Money," and, to the same end, even patronizes Dwight's unsuccessful bed and breakfast, later writing a good online review about it. When an uninvited Michael crashes his party and sings karaoke in yet another painfully awkward attention-hogging moment, Jim saves him from humiliation by joining in ("Email Surveillance"). When a dejected Jim considers giving up on Pam following her acceptance of Roy's marriage proposal, it is Michael he confides in. In turn, Michael encourages him to "never ever ever give up", which encourages Jim to talk with Pam in the episode "Casino Night". When Jim relocates to another branch, Michael is hurt, assuming Jim left because he did consider Michael as a good boss or friend. While visiting Michael's hotel room during a business conference, Jim assures Michael that he considers Michael a friend and "a great boss", and confesses that he left because of Pam.

He is revealed to be responsible, though somewhat of a loner, in his private life. While in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Jim rented a house with a roommate, Mark. Jim admitted to Pam that he did not have much of a social life, staying home and watching TV most nights, a fact that both Pam and Jim have made fun of on different occasions. He enjoys cycling ("Email Surveillance," deleted scene; "Fun Run") and sometimes babysits Toby's daughter Sasha ("Take Your Daughter to Work Day," deleted scene).

History

easons 1 and 2

Jim's relationship with Pam is occasionally the subject of office speculation, which was particularly uncomfortable when Pam was engaged to Roy Anderson, a Dunder Mifflin warehouse worker. It was revealed (in a deleted scene) that Jim and Pam went out for lunch together when they first met and had an amazing time, until Jim found out that she was already engaged to Roy. In the Dundies episode, Pam kisses Jim in front of everyone during the awards ceremony. But as Pam was both happy that she hadn't received another award for "Longest Engagement" and also slightly drunk after sneaking drinks from other tables (which resulted in her being forever banned from Chili's), she and Jim never brought it up again. For several months, Jim dated a purse salesgirl named Katy but Jim broke up with her on a company "booze cruise" after watching Roy suddenly announce to the whole ship, "It's time to set a date, babe" (for his wedding to Pam). Dejected, Jim privately reveals his feelings for Pam to his boss, Michael Scott, who in an uncharacteristically serious moment encourages Jim to "never, ever, ever give up".

From this point, Jim develops a seemingly unsteady attitude toward Pam's impending nuptials. On the one hand, he asks out Brenda, a corporate office employee who came along for the Booze Cruise; he also tells Kelly that if the guy she has a crush on doesn't like her, she should just forget about it and move on, indicating that he has done the same. On the other hand, he gets upset when he sees Pam and Roy eating lunch together, and most tellingly, becomes so depressed hearing Pam discuss the wedding that he calls a travel agency and schedules a trip to Australia, deliberately making himself unable to attend the wedding.

Feeling bored by work, guilty about a stack of complaints that Dwight has made about him, and tortured by his situation with Pam, Jim investigates a transfer to Dunder Mifflin's branch in Stamford, Connecticut. After Jan confirms that he's gotten the transfer, Jim confesses his love for Pam in the season two finale "Casino Night". Pam, whose wedding to Roy is all planned out and just weeks away, clearly shows her anguish but gently turns him down, yet he returns to kiss her minutes later. We learn at the start of season three that both of them had wanted to kiss for quite a long time, but Pam again told Jim of her intentions to go ahead with the wedding.

eason 3

At the start of Season 3, Jim has already transferred to the Stamford branch and been promoted to "Asst. Regional Manager" ("Diwali"). A few months into his tenure at Stamford, he admits does not fit in, remarking that he doesn't think the other employees even know his name. Aditionally, the Stamford branch plays Call of Duty during work hours as a team building excercise, which Jim proves to be spectacularly inept at.

When Jim meets up with Michael at a paper distributors' convention, he tells Michael that he considers him a "great boss" and admits that he only transferred because Pam rejected him. Jim has learned that Pam called off her wedding, but chooses to remain in Stamford. Things begin to look up for Jim as he befriends salesperson Karen Filippelli, 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 disgusted by Josh's disloyalty, saying in an interview: "Say what you will about Michael Scott, but he would never do that." 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 Scranton, 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 are not appropriate for his position. However, in time, Jim does returns to his old ways, especially targeting Andy Bernard, a Stamford transfer, and Dwight. However, the relationship between Jim and Dwight seems to improve slightly.

Toward the middle of the season it becomes clear that Jim's unresolved feelings toward Pam are affecting his relationship with Karen. Jim discourages Karen from moving out of the hotel in Scranton where she has been living since the merger and into a house two blocks away from his own because as he says, "it would be like we were living together." Jim only relents when Pam tells him he is being unreasonable. Even so, Pam is seen crying over seeing Jim and Karen move forward in their relationship. Karen, who had previously been oblivious to Jim and Pam's history, accidentally learns of Jim's feelings for Pam during a sales call with Phyllis. Karen then confronts Jim about it over coffee. Jim assures Karen that he is really happy with his new relationship.

During a busy day, 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 again confronts Jim, and this time he admits to still having feelings for Pam. Karen and Jim struggle to maintain their relationship, and although in Phyllis' Wedding, Jim hints that he would be interested if, hypothetically, Pam were interested in him, Jim then sees Pam leave the reception hand in hand with Roy, and declares, "Here's a non-hypothetical. I'm "really" happy I'm with Karen."

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. Jim tries different ways to thank Dwight for saving him only to have each attempt rejected. When Jim catches Dwight and Angela kissing in the office, he tells the camera crew he will not tell anyone about it as repayment.

Jim and Pam's relationship becomes tense again in "Beach Games" when on 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 obstruct a potential romance.

In The Job, Jim, Karen and Michael each interview for the corporate position. During the interview he notices an affectionate note from Pam. After the interview he drives back to Scranton, leaving Karen without a ride. Jim interrupts an interview with Pam to ask her to dinner, and after she accepts, he says "All right. Then... it's a date." In a webisode titled "Office Summer Vacation," found on NBC's website, Karen states that Jim "dumped her ass" and left her crying at a fountain.

eason 4

Season 4 shows a more relaxed Jim, because he has finally gotten together with Pam. Karen comes back to the office to confront him, but after initially asserting that she will stay in Scranton ("Fun Run'), she abruptly leaves the next day, and becomes the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Utica ("Branch Wars").

Pam and Jim initially attempt to keep their relationship status a secret from their office co-workers as well as the documentary camera crew, but when the camera crew catch them together sharing a quick kiss while parked on the side of the street, they admit that they have been dating for a few months and are very happy ("Fun Run"). In the episode "Dunder Mifflin Infinity", Toby reveals that Jim and Pam are dating to the office when he sees Pam kiss Jim on the cheek. The pair's union is welcomed by most people in the office, except Dwight who says both "could do better."

Michael takes interest in the relationship and repeatedly invites the couple for dinner with him and Jan, but Jim finds reasons to avoid accepting the invite, though he and Pam avoid making Michael suspicious of their disinterest by asking to have dinner on nights when Michael is busy. They eventually are forced to join Michael and Jan for a dinner party when Michael feigns an assignment from corporate to get them out of any original plans they might have had. At the dinner party, Jim and Pam are forced to witness various aspects of Michael's and Jan's deteriorating relationship to the point where they make a desperate but failed attempt to escape. Jim even attempts to escape without Pam after he couldn't get her out with him, but Pam gets him to stay. After witnessing the break up of Michael and Jan, Jim and Pam enjoy burgers in his car and they appear to be the happiest and most stable of the three couples that attended the party, the third couple being Andy and Angela.

Jim and Pam feel sorry for Dwight, whom Angela dumped for Andy. To cheer him up, they spend a night together at his Schrute's farm, which doubles as an agricultural bed and breakfast. Jim realizes that the trip is his and Pam's first night away together and comments that he had always imagined it in his head but that he always thought it would be different. They write a glowing review on TripAdvisor about their stay, however, to help bring Dwight out of his depression, but are unsuccessful. Jim comforts Dwight in the stairwell, explaining how he used to pine for Pam and how he was deeply hurt in Season 2 when Pam decided to stay with Roy, saying that it was not something he would wish on the worst of his enemies. After remembering how terrible he had felt before he was with Pam, Jim kisses her publicly. Pam attributes this to a passion for Italian food, which Jim confirms and says that he is "in love with Italian food", implying he is in love with Pam. Afterwards, when Dwight returns from the stairwell, he returns to his normal self, which pleases both Jim and Pam.

Jim has a Second Life avatar, that resembles him ("Local Ad"), but there are some differences, as Pam teasingly points out that his online alter-ego plays guitar and is a Philadelphia sports writer. In the episode "Survivor Man", we see Jim in a manager role while Michael is out of the Office. Jim attempts to combine all of the birthday parties into one big party, to save time. After being accidentally called 'Michael' instead of 'Jim', Jim realizes that he has done something Michael would have normally done. In a conversation with Michael at the end of episode, Michael reveals that he did in fact try to combine all the birthday parties earlier in his time as regional manager. We see Jim in a manager role again in "Night Out" when he plans to save everyone else from coming into work on Saturday to help with Ryan's website by staying late to do the work, a plan that is met with success until they find the gate locked with them still inside. Everyone else gets mad at him for not informing the guard of his plan.

In the episode "Chair Model", Jim invites Pam to move in with him, as she's looking for a new apartment; she explains she would only live with someone she was engaged to. Jim comically tells an incredulous Pam that he will soon propose; and then reveals to the camera crew a diamond ring, explaining that " [he] got it the week after [they] started dating". As he and Pam are leaving work, he gets down on one knee and looks at her expectantly, only to ask her to wait while he ties his shoe. In "Did I Stutter?", Jim pulls another faux proposal on Pam by "proposing" that she get him a coffee.

In the same episode, he receives a performance warning from Ryan, who cites "goofing off with Dwight" and "spending time at reception" as productivity problems. Toby (jealous of Jim and Pam's relationship) concurs. Jim counters that Ryan's accusations are due to Jim's critical comments to David Wallace about Ran's website initiative, though Ryan denies it. A shocked Jim returns to his desk and decides not to tell Pam what happened, though she can clearly see that something is bothering him.In a deleted scene, Jim is seen talking with Toby about the warning, where Toby informs that Ryan has used Dwight's complaints as a reason to attack Jim's productivity, though Toby agrees with the fact that Jim has good sales numbers. Ryan is then seen confirming the fact that he is going after Jim, despite and because of his popularity with Ryan's boss.

In "Job Fair", Jim decides to meet up with a potential client after Ryan gave him his formal warning, as he wishes to keep his job to secure "pretty big long term plans" with Pam. He goes with Andy and Kevin to meet the client on the golf course. Jim is made uncomfortable with Andy making jokes in front of the client and Kevin trying to force him into a wager. Jim tries to talk business with the client, but the client only accepted Jim's invitation just to get out of the office. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the client to sign with him, Jim holds him in the parking lot for fifteen minutes until the client finally gives in. Back at the office, when Pam returns from the job fair, Jim gives her the news and they share a congratulatory kiss in front of Michael, Andy, and Kevin. Once they realize Michael, Andy, Kevin, and the cameras are watching, Pam stops and shakes Jim's hand. Jim responds "You know what? Screw this." and passionately kisses her again.

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. Jim gets so frustrated over Ryan's consistent attempts to get him out of Dunder Mifflin that he decides to leave a message on Ryan's phone proclaiming he is not going anywhere. Later, Jim discovers a video on YouTube showing Ryan being taken out by police for fraud, after which Jim leaves another message on his phone making a joke about his arrest. Michael asks Jim for help on wooing the new HR rep, Holly. Michael wants to rush their new, potential relationship, but Jim tells him to take it slow and begins to recount his story about how he fell in love with Pam. Inspired by this, Jim reveals that he is going to propose to Pam during Toby's goodbye party. He pays Phyllis money to buy fireworks to set the mood for his proposal. While the fireworks are set off, Jim, sitting next to Pam, pulls out the ring and is about to propose until Andy proposes in front of everybody to Angela, who accepts. Jim puts his ring back in his pocket and postpones the engagement, which disappoints Pam, as she thought he was going to propose.

eason 5

In the premiere episode of Season 5, "Weight Loss", Jim tells to the camera crew that he and Pam talked about an engagement and decided they didn't want to spend their first three months of being engaged with him being in Scranton and her being at Pratt. He also said they didn't want the engagement to last a long time, like her engagement to Roy. They keep in touch via webcam and frequent phone calls. The combination of having to endure the typical office antics and finding it increasingly difficult for him to visit Pam takes a toll on Jim. He asks her on a last minute lunch date at an interstate rest stop between Scranton and New York City. At the rest stop, Jim surprises Pam by proposing in the rain. She happily accepts.

Reception

In the media, Jim is sometimes called an Everyguy. [Endelman, Michael, Greenblatt, Leah, Kim, Wook, Soll, Lindsay, Stack, Tim, Tucker, Hannah (2006-12-08), "What to Get Your JIM HALPERT". "Entertainment Weekly". 910:44] 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."HOW TO SUCCEED AT 'THE OFFICE'Preview By: Palmer, Kimberly. U.S. News & World Report, 3/24/2008, Vol. 144 Issue 9, p53-54]

Jim's pranks

One of the central elements to Jim's character as originally conceived is his devotion to playing pranks at the office to relieve boredom. By far, his most common target is his overbearing deskmate Dwight Schrute, and moves on to playing pranks on Stamford co-worker Andy Bernard when he transfers branches. More often than not, Pam collaborates with Jim on the pranks on Dwight. Here are some of the more notable pranks Jim has played on Dwight, Andy, or any other unsuspecting co-worker.

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* Dressed up as Dwight and parodied his speaking style. ("Product Recall") Dwight returned the favor later in the episode but was unable to successfully mimic Jim's pattern of speech.
* Hired Elizabeth the Stripper by convincing Michael she was a "rabies nurse". ("Fun Run")
* With Pam, sent IMs convincing Dwight that the Dunder-Mifflin website had achieved self-awareness. ("Launch Party")
* As Philly Jim in Second Life, puts Dwight's rocket launcher in jello. (Deleted scene from Local Ad)
* Along with Michael and Dwight, put on a fake moustache and infiltrated Karen's branch. ("Branch Wars") This was admittedly against his will.
* Deliberately guessed the wrong names playing "Celebrity" when Michael was giving blatantly obvious clues. ("Dinner Party")
* Linked Dwight's cell phone to his Bluetooth headset and took his calls. Additionally forwarded Dwight's office phone to his own. ("Goodbye, Toby")
* Told Dwight about a made up Olympic sport called "Slapface" that he wanted to trademark as an excuse to slap him in the face. Dwight and Jim then used the game to slap Andy in the face. (2008 Summer Olympics commercial)
* In "Weight Loss", Jim promises Michael he will lose 65 pounds for the company's weight loss competition.
* In "Business Ethics," after Dwight claims he has never 'stolen' time from the company by spending time on personal things during the workday, Jim obsessively times every non-work thing he does (such as yawning). He then stages a conversation with Andy and muddles the characters and plot points of various fandoms of Dwight's (Battlestar Galactica, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) and Dwight is seen painfully restraining himself from comment.

References


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