The US version of The Office is a show known for its eclectic cast of characters, most of which have like, a singular defining character trait. Michael Scott is a bumbling dumbass, Dwight Shrute is an ass-kissing weirdo and Jim Halpert is a sociopathic dickhole who spends the thousands of his own dollars harassing the shit out of his coworker.
For anyone who hasn’t seen The Office, the character of Jim is the closest thing the show has to a straight man, with him mostly serving as a foil to the more eccentric character of Dwight Shrute played by Rainn Wilson.
A recurring source of humor in the show is the juxtaposition of Dwight’s painfully uptight personality with the rest of the titular Office and how it clashes with Jim’s more laissez-faire attitude. In particular it’s established very early on in the show’s run that Jim seemingly takes great pleasure in fucking with Dwight via the medium of pranks. A facet of Jim’s characterisation that made his character seem more like an asshole the longer the show went on.
You see, while early pranks played by Jim fall into the realm of office banter between friends, such as Jim putting Dwight’s stapler inside a blob of Jello or changing replacing his pens with crayons. Later pranks require so much planning and foresight that it becomes abundantly clear that Jim is dedicating an unreasonable amount of time to pissing off his coworker. For example in one episode Jim reveals that he and his wife learned to communicate via Morse code just to fuck with Dwight and in another he buys an outfit identical to Dwight’s and wears it to work while mimicking his mannerisms and voice.
The amount of time Jim seemingly spends doing nothing but concoct new and interesting ways to fuck with a guy who’s just trying to doing his job got a lot of people curious and in 2015, someone posed the following question on Reddit. Approximately how much has Jim (The Office) spent on pranks that we saw/heard about throughout the series?
A question a large-penised hero of this Earth identified only as jmorley14 decided to answer, calculating roughly what each known prank Jim played during the show’s run cost and plopping all the results into a handy Google doc. The total? If you take into account all of the lost income Jim likely sustained as a result of dedicating so much of his time at work to playing pranks (within the context of the show he’s a salesmen who earns a flat commission per sale) it’s not unreasonably to suggest Jim spent over $10,000 just annoying Dwight.
Just think for a second how much of a jackass that makes Jim sound. Imagine if you can working with someone who spent the equivalent of a down payment on a new house playing a series of increasingly dickish pranks on you for no particular reason. Then, to top it off, imagine that every single time they got called on it, they played dumb and mugged for the cameras inexplicably watching your every moment at work.
As if that doesn’t make Jim seem like an asshole, it’s also worth pointing out that it’s established in the show that Jim absolutely cannot deal with a modicum of the shit he doles out to Dwight on a daily basis. For example in Season 9 Dwight makes a passing comment about the snow outside not being that impressive, to which Jim responds by walking outside during work hours, making a snowball and throwing it directly in Dwight’s face as he’s trying to work.
Dwight responds, somewhat understandably, by getting annoyed, pointing out that what Jim did was wildly unprofessional and demanding an apology. Jim, rather than admitting what he did was a bit of a dick move, sits down and heroically refuses to admit that what he did was wrong. Frustrated, Dwight challenges Jim to a snowball fight and then bides his time. A shortwhile later, when Jim least expects it, Dwight bursts forth from a snowman and nails in him on the swede with a snowball.
Rather than admitting that, for once, Dwight has got one over on him, Jim plays the victim and bemoans that Dwight is taking the joke too far. Especially when he dresses up as his wife and sneak attacks him with more snowballs later that same day.
Keep in mind that the whole thing started because Jim threw a snowball at Dwight when he was trying to work and that, throughout the series, has similarly dressed up as other people, including Dwight himself, to annoy him. Again, rather than congratulating Dwight on a clever prank, Jim bitches the entire time he’s being pelted with snowballs and has the audacity to say Dwight is taking the joke too far. Which is pretty rich coming from a buy who spent thousands of dollars and hours of his own time learning Morse code for a joke.
Weirdly the closest moment Jim ever has to realising that his jokes are mean spirited is when Dwight asks that the dozens of complaints about inappropriate workplace he’s lodged against Jim be discussed with management. During the ensuing confrontation you can actually see Jim slowly realise that he’s wasting hours of his own life tormenting a guy who’s only crime is being a little weird.
Of course Jim doesn’t learn anything from this because why would being confronted with the fact you’ve thrown away hours of your life being a dickhead be the kind of thing that weighs on a person.