When you're a kid, you assume your parents are soulmates. My kids are gonna be right about that.
—Pam Beesly, Stress Relief
Jim and Pam's relationship caught the attention of the documentary crew from the very first moments, as their constant joking and quick exchanges hinted that they both had deeper feelings for each other.
- Michael (and other coworkers) have a strange lack of faith in their relationship. Several times Michael accidentally believes they have broken up, Oscar mistakes Jim and Roy, Meredith hates the two being together, and their coworkers believed Angela and Andy were a better couple in Night Out.
At the beginning of the series, Jim is single while Pam has been engaged to warehouse employee Roy for 3 years and has yet to set a date for the wedding.
Jim and Pam are shown to be great friends and to enjoy each other's company a great deal. It's clear from episode 2 (even earlier maybe) that Jim has feelings for Pam. The relationship in the first season can be seen in the end of the episode "Diversity Day", when Pam falls asleep on Jim's shoulder, and their respective reactions shine light on the situation. Jim's behavior around Pam is one of the first hints of the feelings he has for her ("Pilot"). Jim and Pam's friendship consists mostly of joking around and playing pranks on Dwight ("The Alliance").
Throughout the second season, Pam's romantic feelings for Jim become more evident although Pam herself seems to be ignorant or in denial of their existence.
Jim and Pam share their first on-camera kiss in "The Dundies", when a drunken Pam kisses Jim full on the lips after receiving a Dundie Award. Pam is exceptionally happy since this is the first year that she received a Dundie that wasn't for 'Longest Engagement', which is due to the fact that Jim convinced Michael to change it because he knew how much it upset Pam. Jim was also upset when Pam received the Dundie the previous year, even when her fiancée Roy did not notice.
Although at some points the tensions between them increase, Pam's true feelings for Jim become more evident as it is revealed that Pam's fondness for him extends outside the office ("Sexual Harassment"), and the two are shown to be playful outside work, though Pam chooses to retain a certain distance due to her engagement, evident by the fact that she was angry with Jim when he picked her up causing her shirt to hike up, which was seen by a co-worker. Jim, understanding this, chose to apologize and it was forgotten ("The Fight"). Pam's feelings are also evident in the fact that she seems to be relieved to find out that Jim's relationship with Katy isn't very solid ("Email Surveillance").
Jim becomes saddened when Roy and Pam decide to finally get married on June 10, finally being open to Michael ("Booze Cruise") about his feelings for Pam and going so far as to schedule a trip to Australia to avoid going to the wedding, which leaves Pam clearly disappointed ("Dwight's Speech").
After Michael reveals to the entire office that Jim has feelings for Pam, Jim tries to do some damage control by telling Pam that he used to have a crush on her when they first met, but Pam later finds out that he might not have told her the whole truth ("The Secret"), which she eventually learns during the casino night benefit hosted by Michael at the warehouse when Jim decides to come clean about his feelings, to which Pam responds by pointing out once again how important their friendship is. Jim, unsatisfied with Pam's response, kisses her ("Casino Night").
After Jim and Pam part from their kiss, Pam decides that she still has to honor her commitment to Roy and tells Jim that she plans to go through with the wedding. Disappointed and broken-hearted, Jim accepts a position at the Stamford branch of Dunder Mifflin. Pam eventually decides to call off the wedding and is seen clearly missing Jim's presence in the office, while maintaining that she broke off her engagement for various reasons ("Gay Witch Hunt").
Pam shows multiple signs of remorse over her decision to reject Jim and is clearly excited about his return to Scranton after the closing of the Stamford branch. Jim, however, doesn't seem too happy at the prospect but eventually decides to transfer back. While Pam is excited about rekindling their friendship, Jim is still unsure of how he feels about her and has started a relationship with Stamford co-worker Karen, who also transferred to Scranton, which causes their reunion to be rather disappointing to Pam. ("The Merger").
Eventually, Jim realizes that Pam is unhappy with the way things are and decides to go back to his old prankster ways by pulling pranks on Dwight and Andy alongside Pam, who also begins to develop a friendship with Karen ("A Benihana Christmas"). For a while, they both seem happy having gone back to being friends.
It eventually becomes clear, however, that Jim still has unresolved feelings towards Pam which start to cause problems in his relationship with Karen. In a role reversal, Pam now gives Jim advice on his relationship while mustering romantic feelings for him. Finally being honest to herself about her feelings for Jim, Pam breaks down and cries after realizing she is pushing him into the arms of another woman ("Back From Vacation").
Although Jim admits to Karen that he still has feelings for Pam ("The Return"), their relationship still seems solid and happy. Pam, distraught over this, gets back together with Roy, who had been trying to win her back since their break-up ("Phyllis' Wedding"), which leaves Jim clearly uncomfortable.
Looking for a fresh start with Roy, Pam decides to tell him about what happened in the casino night ("Cocktails"), which prompts Roy to act violently and eventually attempt to assault Jim in the office ("The Negotiation"). This event puts a strain on her relationship with Jim and they become ever more distant.
Pam eventually grows tired of hiding her feelings from Jim and, on the beach day, confesses to him in front of the entire office staff that he was the true reason she called off her wedding and that she misses his friendship ("Beach Games"). Later that night, Jim opens up to Pam about how he feels as if he had never really come back from Stamford because of how many unresolved issues they have. Even though they appear to reconcile, Jim's relationship with Karen and the possibility of him being promoted to a position at Corporate still keep them apart.
During his interview with David Wallace in New York, Jim finds a note that Pam had secretly put inside his sales records containing his yogurt-lid medal from "Office Olympics" and realizes that he can no longer fight his feelings for her. He then decides to withdraw his name from consideration for the corporate position, breaks up with Karen and drives back to Scranton. Meanwhile, Pam seems to accept that she and Jim weren't meant to be and that their timing was never right, but is ecstatic when Jim bursts into the conference room during her talking head and asks her out on a date ("The Job").
Jim and Pam seem both quite happy, but deny the allegations that they are dating. The camera crew then shows them footage of them kissing inside Pam's car after work, after Jim denying that they were dating, then Pam admits to the crew that they had been dating for a couple of months. ("Fun Run").
Their relationship is eventually outed to the rest of the office after Toby (who had a crush on Pam) sends out a memo on PDA after witnessing Pam kiss Jim on the cheek in the break room ("Dunder Mifflin Infinity"). The revelation is met with joy by most of their co-workers.
As a result of their new relationship, Jim and Pam are both more relaxed and incredibly happy all throughout the season, even taking pity on Dwight when his secret relationship with Angela comes to a sudden end and she begins to show an interest in Andy ("Money"). Jim is particularly sympathetic to Dwight's situation due to his own history with Pam. The realization that they were finally able to overcome all the obstacles and be honest with themselves about their feelings for each other only serves to strengthen their relationship even further and they are shown to be the happiest and most stable couple in the office ("Dinner Party").
When Pam's attempt to set Michael up with her landlady goes awry, Jim jokes that she's going to have to move out and suggests that they move in together, though she dismisses the idea saying that she wouldn't move in with a man without being engaged first. After a quick exchange in which Jim says that a proposal is on the way, he reveals to the documentary crew the engagement ring he had purchased one week into dating Pam and states that he was not kidding about wanting to marry her ("Chair Model").
Over the next few days, Jim teases Pam by phrasing ordinary requests in ways that cause her to mistake them for proposals ("Did I Stutter?") but, after giving Michael advice on how to get to Holly and realizing that he and Pam had come such a long way since they first met, as well as the importance of their workplace in their relationship, he decides to propose during Toby's going away party. Jim pays Phyllis to get fireworks for the party as a way of emulating the "first date" he and Pam had back in "The Client". During the fireworks display, Jim goes as far as getting the ring out of his pocket before Andy proposed to Angela in a very public fashion. Having felt that the moment was no longer appropriate, Jim doesn't propose, leaving Pam (who already suspected that Jim would propose that night) visibly disappointed ("Goodbye, Toby").
In a talking head, Jim reveals that after Toby's party he and Pam talked and decided they would rather not get engaged yet since Pam would be spending the summer in New York studying graphic design at the Pratt Institute and they both didn't want to spend the first few months of their engagement apart.
Jim, however, misses Pam terribly when she's in New York and, unable to wait any longer, convinces her to meet him for lunch at a gas station halfway between Scranton and New York and proposes to her as soon as they meet. Pam promptly accepts ("Weight Loss").
Pam's time in New York, albeit difficult for both of them, serves to once again show the strength of their relationship, as they are shown to be in sync with each other even when they're having a day off ("Baby Shower") and also to support and trust each other very much ("Crime Aid"). Pam's love for Jim eventually proves to be greater than her dreams of being an artist when she decides to return to Scranton instead of spending another 3 months in New York to retake a class she had failed ("Business Trip").
Jim and Pam eventually move in together after Jim buys his parent's house. Even though he does so without telling Pam and, at first, she seems disappointed at the surprise, she is ecstatic at the fact that they now have a home ("Frame Toby").
When Pam's parents' marriage starts to fail, Pam's father William comes to stay with them, putting a strain on their relationship that might have gone as far as to end it completely. Pam is saddened by the fact that her father won't talk to her about his failing marriage but thinks he might open up to Jim. After they talk, William decides to divorce Helene, and Pam gets worried thinking about what Jim could possibly have said and if one day he might say the same thing to her. Later, however, it's revealed that Jim simply told William how much he loved Pam and how he never doubted that they were perfect for each other, and William realized he had never felt that way about Helene. Pam touched to learn that Jim had loved her so deeply for so long, tells the documentary crew that they are soulmates ("Stress Relief").
Once again showing how supportive they are of each other, Jim supports Pam's decision of leaving Dunder Mifflin to start the Michael Scott Paper Company with Michael and Ryan. When she returns as a saleswoman, both are extremely happy at the prospect of being deskmates ("Casual Friday").
Having realized that a wedding is too stressful and expensive, Jim and Pam decide to go to Ohio and elope. On their way out of the office, however, they decide to stop by the former offices of Michael Scott Paper Company to join their co-workers at Café Disco. While dancing and having fun with everybody they realize that, even though their wedding day is a celebration of their love for each other, they both want to share that moment with friends and family ("Cafe Disco").
During a volleyball game against Corporate during the company picnic, Pam twists her ankle and Jim takes her to a nearby hospital. There, after Jim gives Dwight an update on Pam's injury, he's called back into the exam room. Although there is no audio, their expressions and Jim's subsequent call to Dwight strongly suggest that the doctor revealed that Pam was pregnant ("Company Picnic").
It is confirmed that Pam is 4 months pregnant, although they have yet to tell their co-workers. The secret is revealed accidentally, however, when Michael starts spreading out rumors about his employees. Jim and Pam eventually tell the office of their pregnancy to spare Stanley from having his extra-marital affair revealed. ("Gossip")
Pam and Jim decide to get married in Niagara Falls in order to save money, thinking that people in the office wouldn't be enthusiastic to drive all the way up there, but their plan backfires when Michael decides to give everyone two days off if they go to the wedding. ("The Meeting")
In Niagara Falls, during the rehearsal dinner, Jim gives a touching speech about how, even though he had to wait so long for Pam, he always knew it would be worth it. The moment, however, goes south when he accidentally reveals that Pam was pregnant, much to the disgust of her old-fashioned grandmother.
On their wedding day, Pam is upset because her pregnancy had prevented her from wearing the outfit she had chosen and because her mother couldn't stop talking about her failed marriage, and nearly reaches a breaking point when her veil gets caught in a doorway and rips. She calls Jim and they decide that, even though they want to share that day with everyone else, they also need it to be about themselves. They run away and board The Maid of the Mist, where they ask the captain to marry them. They return to the church for the formal wedding, only to see Michael, Dwight and Jim's brothers hijack the ceremony and recreate the JK Wedding Dance video. They still enjoy it, however, having already had their own private moment on the boat. After the ceremony, Jim reveals that he bought the boat tickets as an alternate plan the day he saw the video, but that the church itself was an alternate plan since what he really wanted was to have married Pam "a long, long time ago. Pretty much the day [he] met her". ("Niagara")
Over the course of the season, Pam's pregnancy advances and, after a moment of panic in which she admits to being scared of childbirth, she gives birth to their first child, Cecelia Halpert. ("The Delivery")
During the course of season 7, Jim and Pam are shown to be extremely happy having their own family and their relationship grows and strengthens even further than ever. In “PDA”, it is heavily implied that they had intercourse in the office.
Actress Jenna Fischer's real-life pregnancy made the writers introduce Pam's second pregnancy. When Sabre CEO Robert California places Jim and Pam on opposite sides of a list in which he names the people he thinks are winners and losers, Jim once again comforts her by deliberately allowing her to find a list he made himself where he elects Pam, Cece, and their new baby as winners, and everyone else as unimportant. ("The List")
About halfway through the season, Pam gives birth to Phillip Halpert.
As the shooting of the documentary comes to a close, Pam seems happy with her life in Scranton with Jim, Cece, and Philip. Jim, however, seems unhappy at the prospect of a calm and uneventful life.
Before the season began, Jim's old college friend started a sports marketing business in Philadelphia based on a concept Jim had while they were in college, Athlead. While Jim and Pam had originally decided that it would be impractical for Jim to take part in the business, Jim eventually decides to do so anyway without telling Pam ("New Guys").
When Jim finally comes clean to Pam about his decision, she supports him but is concerned that he kept it a secret from her ("Andy's Ancestry") and gets angry at him after finding that he invested a large sum of their money even though the company didn't need any further cash influxes at the time ("Here Comes Treble").
As Jim gets more invested in Athlead, he starts working part-time at Dunder Mifflin so he can spend part of the week in Philadelphia ("Dwight Christmas"). This puts further strain on their marriage, as evidenced by their lack of comfort around each other and brief conversations. The strain reaches an all-time high when one of Athlead's major investors decided to back down, leading Jim to misdirect his anger at Pam during a phone call. Pam breaks down in tears and is consoled by Brian, the boom mic operator from the documentary crew ("Customer Loyalty")
Upon hearing of what happened after their discussion ("Couples Discount"), Jim is worried because he realizes this is the same pattern that led Pam away from Roy and into his arms, and they decide to make an effort to communicate more by going to couples counseling ("Stairmageddon").
After a few sessions, Jim tells Pam that he is really glad that they're trying to fix their problems as he leaves the office to go to Philadelphia once again. Pam goes after him because he forgot his umbrella. As Pam walks away, Jim chases after her and hugs her. While at first reluctant because of the emotional barrier that had been placed between them, Pam eventually hugs him back and they realize that their marriage and their family are the most important things after all ("Paper Airplane").
Jim quits Athlead and goes back to Dunder Mifflin full-time to be with Pam, which puts their relationship back on track ("Livin' the Dream"). However, she overhears a conversation between Jim and Darryl in which Darryl tells Jim that Athlead had a buyer who was offering them a large sum of money to pitch the company throughout the country for 3 months. Pam starts to worry that Jim might eventually resent her for forcing him to quit his dream job and that she might not be enough for him. After Pam voices her concerns to Jim, he enlists the documentary crew to show her just how important she is to him. The crew puts together a montage of various moments of their relationship that were caught on tape, including the kiss at Chili's in "The Dundies", Jim's confession and their subsequent kiss in "Casino Night", Jim's proposal, their private wedding aboard the Maid of the Mist and ending with Pam opening the teapot from "Christmas Party" and Jim retrieving the note that he intended to give her with the teapot. After Pam finishes watching the video, Jim finally gives her the note. She reads it and understands once and for all how important she is to him ("A.A.R.M.").
Still feeling like she has to repay Jim for leaving Athlead (now Athleap) for her, Pam secretly puts their house on the market so that Jim can take back his job at Athlead, with the headquarters now in Austin, Texas. Jim is ecstatic to hear that she is truly on board now ("Finale").
Status: Married 11 Years (2020)
Behind the scenes
- In the earlier seasons, scenes advancing the Jim/Pam relationship were kept small on purpose, following the principle of "Less is more."