"I sold paper at this company for twelve years. My job was to speak to clients on the phone about quantities and types of copier paper. Even if I didn't love every minute of it, everything I have, I owe to this job. This stupid...wonderful...boring...amazing job."
- Jim, on his former job at Dunder MifflinJames Duncan "Jim" Halpert (born October 1, 1978) is a character in the NBC sitcom The Office. He is based on Tim Canterbury from the original UK series, and is played by John Krasinski.
He is initially a sales representative at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, and plays a straight man role to that of Michael Scott. During the third season, he is transferred to the Stamford branch of the company. He returns when to Scranton when the two branches merge and becomes Assistant Regional Manager, and later co-manager alongside Michael Scott. When Dunder Mifflin is brought by Sabre, Jim is briefly made the sole manager before returning to sales, a position he keeps until his termination in the series finale.
His character is defined by tendency to pull pranks on his co-worker and desk-mate Dwight Schrute, and his romantic relationship with Pam Beesly, whom he begins dating in season four. They get married during season six, and have two children, Cecelia Marie, born during season six, and Philip, born during season eight.
Jim was born on October 1, 1978, to Gerald and Betsy Halpert. He has two older brothers, Tom and Pete, who share his love of pranking but come across as unpleasant and somewhat bullying to Jim and their younger sister Larissa. Jim has a niece named Vanessa, and another unnamed nephew.
Jim began working at Dunder Mifflin sometime between 1998 and 1999 (as evidenced in "Pilot" and "The Merger", where he says he still loves Michael saying "Wazzup!" after seven years).
In several episodes, it is stated that Jim is a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia 76ers. He appears to be of Scottish descent because his father is seen wearing a kilt to Jim's wedding with Pam.
Despite his initial feud with Dwight, it is shown the pair have things in common, such as knowledge of comic books and appreciation of the fantasy and sci-fi genres, as shown in "Take Your Daughter to Work Day", where they correct Michael on facts about Aquaman and Superman. As shown in "Traveling Salesman", Jim and Dwight are a successful and efficient sales team.
Seasons 1 - 3
In the series pilot, Jim is shown to be bored with his job and says its a temporary one, saying "This is work. 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 seen best in Jim's frequent and elaborate pranks on Dwight, his sarcastic remarks and facial expressions to the documentary crew, and his provoking comments during meetings. However, he is successful at his job and is one the most consistent salesman at the company.
A major park of Jim's character is his romance with Pam Beesly, which is often the object of speculation by office staff, however, Pam was engaged to warehouse employee Roy Anderson. Throughout the first two seasons, incidents such as Pam falling asleep on Jim's shoulder and drunkenly kissing him show that their feelings for each other might be mutual; however, Pam never acts on them and remains engaged to Roy. On one occasion, in "The Fight," his flirting with her goes a little too far, when Meredith Palmer 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 2 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 third season 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 in "The Convention" as "It's just, I kinda put it all on the line. Twice. And she said no. Twice."
In season two, Jim begins dating a handbag saleswoman named Katy. After they break up, Jim sends a message to try and ask out fellow Dunder Mifflin employee Brenda, much to Kelly's disbelief. Jim's misfortunes are assumed to be because he is unable to get over Pam. However, 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 obstruct 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 obviously accepts. 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?"
Seasons 4 - 6
In the season four premiere, "Fun Run", Pam and Jim reveal to the camera crew that they have been dating for a few months and are very happy. In the episode "Chair Model", Jim reveals his plan to propose to Pam, showing the camera crew a diamond ring, explaining that "[he] got it a week after [they] started dating".
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 sports writer, implicitly revealing Jim's lesser known aspirations, and a callback to "Email Surveillance" from Season 2, 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.
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 5 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, saying 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 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 kisses 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 re-hired 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 6 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 7, some of Jim's vulnerabilities are displayed. In "Christening" he loses track of his daughter at her Christening and in a panic accuses Angela of stealing her. 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 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.
Jim and Pam are invited to Gabe's apartment for a viewing party of Glee in "Viewing Party". In the episode, Pam has been having a hard time with getting Cece to go to sleep at night, so Dwight picks her up to try calm her down and stop crying. Pam is stunned to find out that Cece becomes completely quiet in Dwight's hands. To keep Dwight holding Cece, Jim is humiliated by him by being forced to feed him a pizza and a beer.
His sales skills remain strong, however, when in "WUPHF.com" it is revealed that he has already maxed out his sales cap for the year and cannot make any more commission, leading him to seek goofy respite in the office until an obnoxious Gabe Lewis chides him to stop bothering everyone else. Since Gabe was unsympathetic to Jim's situation, Jim then sets up a prank that ends with Gabe being forced to listen to Jo Bennett's entire boring autobiography.
In "Classy Christmas", Jim agrees to a snowball fight with Dwight after Dwight's dismissive comment about the "dusting" of snow leads Jim to peg him with a snowball. When he is first challenged outside, he eventually finds the doors chained and Dwight emerging from a snowman, throwing multiple snowballs at him and leaving him with a bloody nose. Jim is later caught off guard when Dwight disguises himself as Pam at her desk and hits him with another barrage of snowballs (Dwight reveals he has wigs to impersonate everyone in the office, including Meredith, Kevin and Stanley). Jim tries to get him back by hurling one at Dwight with a lacrosse stick, but ends up breaking a window, after which he is reprimanded by Michael and Holly with Dwight present. After getting tricked again by Dwight with a gift trap (Jim supposedly thought the gift was from Pam), he waves a white flag, but Dwight refuses his surrender unless Jim throws a snowball at Pam's face with Dwight watching, which Jim refuses to do. At the end of the day, Jim is too afraid to go outside, but Pam walks with him. They go out to find multiple snowmen, and Jim attacks them all hoping to find Dwight, who is revealed to be on top of the office building overlooking Jim attacking the snowmen, who were merely decoys.
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 "The Search", Michael and Jim go out on a sales call. After landing the sale, Michael needs to stop to use the bathroom. While at a gas station, Jim gets a call from Pam's mother Helene, who was taking a feverish Cece to see the doctor when she accidentally locked the child in the car. Jim leaves to attend to Cece, but not before attempting in vain to tell Michael through the door of the bathroom; he also tells a guy in coveralls to tell Michael what happened, but the guy is a customer rather than a gas station employee and drives away.
In "PDA", Jim and Pam have too much champagne during lunch, causing complications when they have to return to work. During the PDA meeting, Dwight mentions a list of people who have had sex in the workplace, and Jim and Pam (along with Kevin) are not mentioned. Due to their intoxication, they both agree to give it a try, but they have a hard time finding a place to do it, from hidden places in the warehouse to Ryan's closet. They eventually return from an undisclosed location with ruffled hair and wrinkled clothing. The two tell the interviewers that they left for a walk, but Pam smirks at the camera as the scene ends.
Jim plays the villain Goldenface in Michael's movie "Threat Level Midnight". In an interview, he says he did not like the character or the dialogue, but took the role to impress a receptionist (Pam), although he humorously says that the worker in question "shall remain nameless".
In "Todd Packer", when Todd comes to Dunder Mifflin looking for a desk job in the office and gets hired, Dwight and Jim scheme to get rid of Todd. First, they plan to pull pranks on him, but they eventually take more drastic measures. They call him, pretending to be Corporate offering him a job in Tallahassee, Florida, a job which Todd readily accepts. When Michael finds out about the scheme, he plans to tell Todd that Dwight and Jim have tricked him. Before he has a chance to, however, Todd insults Holly, which causes Michael to keep Dwight and Jim's scheme a secret and allow Todd to take the "job" in Florida.
In "Garage Sale", Jim is part of a group that tries to help Michael come up with the best way to propose to Holly. He and Pam share with the group the story of how he proposed to her. Jim also tricks Dwight into giving him an expensive telescope in exchange for "magic" legumes.
In "Training Day", Jim and Pam are eager to make a good first impression on their new boss Deangelo. They believe they have started off well by showing Deangelo pictures of their baby, but Deangelo soon gets annoyed with them.
In "Michael's Last Dundies", Jim is perplexed by Michael's impersonation of him as a surfer dude using California English. He wins the "Best Dad" award, but in a humorous twist, not only does Pam not win "Best Mom", but Meredith does, and he has to take a picture with her. Later, he and Pam participate with the rest of the employees in serenading the soon-to-depart Michael with an a cappella version of "Seasons of Love" with altered lyrics.
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 both men part on very good, respectful terms.
In "The Inner Circle", Jim is shown to be one of Deangelo Vicker'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 jump shot 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. Although Jim later regrets it when Jo offers the job to Dwight after, who readily accepts. Jo later calls Jim as "the only man who turned me down". Unhappy with Dwight's management style, Jim and the staff later blackmail Dwight after he accidentally fires off a gun in the office. When Dwight is demoted and feeling dejected, Jim candidly says that Dwight deserved his fate, but adds that all their orders had gone out on time and there were no incidents with sales.
In "Search Committee", Jim is one of three people scouting for Michael (and Deangelo)'s replacement. Creed is currently the interim regional manager, so this speeds up the process (since Creed is incompetent). The committee interview Fred Henry (Will Arnett), Robert California (James Spader), David Brent (Ricky Gervais), Warren Buffett (himself), Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate), Merv Bronte (Ray Romano) and a man simply known as "Finger Lakes Guy" (Jim Carrey). Andy, Darryl and Dwight even audition, with each failing to impress. Andy first appears competent and prepared, but Gabe sabotages his interview with generic trivia questions, Darryl forges a last minute resume, and Jim quickly dismisses Dwight (who failed to impress as an interim).
Seasons 8 - 9
Early in season 8, it is revealed that Jim will be a father for the second time as Pam is expecting a son. Pam and Jim were blessed with the off-camera delivery of Philip Halpert around the midseason mark, and Jim brought Philip into the office to try and mend relations with his angry co-workers (he had lied about spending a full week on jury duty, having actually been dismissed on the first morning, and ended up spending the week helping an overwhelmed Pam take care of their two young children). 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.
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 disastrous interview, he does get the position thanks to 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", Darryl reveals that Jim's sports marketing company is now located in Austin, Texas and has changed its name to Athleap. Pam sells the couple's home, unbeknownst to Jim, to show her support to Jim and allow the family to move to Austin so Jim can rejoin Athleap.