The Office’s Jim and Pam are relationship goals, but they weren’t always destined to have a happy ending.
In fact, if it wasn’t for John Krasinski stepping in, things could’ve been very different for one of television’s most beloved couples.
According to Brian Bumgartner’s new book, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office, the show’s creator, Greg Daniels, actually wanted Jim to cheat on his wife.
I know, I know, we’re freaking out too.
John “Put His Foot Down”
As the story goes, Greg floated the idea of Jim cheating on Pam during the Season 8 episode called “After Hours.”
Pam, played by Jenna Fischer, is on maternity leave and is replaced by Cathy (played by Lindsey Broad). Cathy and Jim then go on a work trip to Florida together and in the original script, they make out in a hotel room.
That is, of course, until John said one big fat “NO.”
“That’s the only time I remember putting my foot down… I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, ‘I’m not going to shoot it,” he said in the book, according to The New York Post.
Wanted to “Respect” the Audience
John, who ended up playing Jim for over a decade, was worried about the storyline completely wrecking the audience.
“There is a threshold with which you can push our audience. They are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them,” he explained.
“But there’s a moment where if you push them too far, they’ll never come back. And I think that if you show Jim cheating, they’ll never come back.”
While Greg ultimately agreed that the cheating storyline wouldn’t work, he did want there to be a little turmoil in Jim and Pam’s relationship. So, as a bit of a compromise, John suggested the pair nearly separate.
“I said, ‘I think we should get borderline separated, and I think we can do it and then come back. He was so on board with that.'”
The good news is that the show ended with Jim and Pam still happily together. Thanks for that, John!