Karen is first seen in Gay Witch Hunt, where she replies in a talking head about how Jim is. She says that he's "Nice enough, but not sure if he's fitting in well," In addition to asking about one of Jim's signature looks towards the camera.
In The Coup , Karen is in the thick of the Call of Duty players. She plays a joke on Jim, by giving Jim advice on how to turn around, and then dramatically kills him. She is seen smiling to herself after Jim chuckles too, and then shares an intimate goodbye with him once work is finished.
In Grief Counseling, Karen shows hesitation and dread when Josh Porter makes Jim supervise her after she failed to complete some filing on time. She is next shown disappointed when the vending machine is out of her favorite chips, and Jim immediately has the two of them embark on a mission to find them. At the end of the day, Jim finds some and places on an overjoyed Karen's desk.
In Initiation, Karen is found having a playful back-and-forth battle with Jim about who gets the non-squeaky chair. They both decide to give Andy Bernard the chair, and hide their amusement when Andy tests it out.
In Diwali, Karen opts out of a repetitive drinking game that the Stamford crew is doing to pass the time as they work late into the night. When Jim is too drunk to drive home, Karen offers a ride, which he gratefully accepts.
Karen arrives third in the Scranton Branch and compliments Pam Beesly when she enters. She horses around around with Jim throughout the day and it is later revealed that she is starting to see him out of work ("The Merger").
Karen takes her shot at the Party Planning Committee in A Benihana Christmas, but is rudely kicked out by Angela Martin, who does not approve of Karen's fun ideas for the Christmas Party. With the help of Pam, Karen co-founds the Committee to Plan Parties and holds a second Christmas Party, where most of her coworkers go to instead of Angela's party.
Karen gets in a rift with Jim. She is thinking about buying a place near Jim's, but he disapproves, nonsensically saying that it would be like they were living together. However, Pam talks sense into Jim, and Karen is able to get his approval.
In Traveling Salesmen, Karen goes on a sales call with Phyllis Vance, and later confronts Jim after hearing that he used to have a crush on Pam. Jim explains, and Karen is satisfied with his answers. But in the next episode, she is still suspicious and once again confronts Jim, who admits that he still has feelings for Pam.
Karen goes to talk to Pam in Ben Franklin. Pam is preoccupied when Karen demands if she's in love with Jim, and gets a reply of "Yes." Karen is alarmed, but Pam recovers quickly, reassuring her that nothing is between them.
In Cocktails, Karen pranks Jim by claiming she used to be with lots of men at the party, and gets a laugh.
In Safety Training, Karen joins the betting crew, but gets cleaned out.
In Beach Games, Karen and Jim both apply for the Corporate job, and Karen is made uncomfortable when Pam declares, "I called off my wedding for you, Jim, and now you're with someone else!"
Karen now seems protective of Jim from Pam in The Job, leaving early with him so they could sightsee around New York. The next morning, both Karen and Jim have pleasant interviews. After seeing a sentimental note from Pam, Jim unexpectedly dumped Karen and left her crying at a fountain. Karen either withdrew her name from consideration to talk things over with Jim or her interview was awful. Either way, she didn't get the corporate job and instead took a post as the regional manager for Dunder Mifflin Utica.
In Branch Wars, Karen gives Stanley Hudson a job opportunity in Utica. Michael and Dwight , afraid that Karen will try to poach more of their people, rope Jim into an infiltration of Utica, which creates lots of awkwardness when Karen and Jim are alone together.
At work, Karen wears a business suit with slacks and a dress shirt (no necktie). It is normally a two-piece suit, though she wore a three-piece suit in "Ben Franklin".
In the episode "Lecture Circuit Part 1", she departed from her usual fashion by wearing a high-waisted blouse with a blazer and slacks. The looser top presumably accommodates her pregnancy.
- Karen was a regular member of the Party Planning Committee during her time at the Scranton branch.
- Ryan admits to having asked Karen out by email after the Stamford and Scranton branches merged. She turned him down. ("Women's Appreciation") Ryan lies about the incident to Kelly, turning the story around and claiming that it was Karen who had asked him out, and he turned her down.
- Karen dates Jim Halpert throughout the third season. Outside of the Office universe, Rashida Jones and John Krasinski dated for a brief period of time.
- Karen is the first female manager of a Dunder Mifflin branch seen on the show. The second female manager was Nellie Bertram.
- Karen was twice passed over for promotion in favor of someone from the Scranton branch. In a deleted scene in "Gay Witch Hunt", she mentions that Jim received the position of Assistant Regional Manager over her. In the episode "The Job", she is interviewed for the position of VP of Northeastern Sales, but the job ultimately goes to Ryan Howard.
- It is confirmed from a deleted scene, that Karen had a pet fish named Carrot.
- Karen's name has a cameo mention in “The List" inside of a notebook that Dwight once used to divide his fellow employees into lists to plan for various emergency situations. Among lists that detailed how to divide into life boats or life rafts as well as a list that Dwight describes as "who would eat who in an Alive situation."
Behind the scenes
- Greg Daniels got Karen's last name from NBC executive Rachel Filippelli.
|The Office: Season 3|
|"Gay Witch Hunt":||"The Convention":||"The Coup":||"Grief Counseling":||"Initiation":||"Diwali":||"Branch Closing":||"The Merger":||"The Convict":||"A Benihana Christmas":||"Back From Vacation":|
|"Traveling Salesmen":||"The Return":||"Ben Franklin":||"Phyllis' Wedding":||"Business School":||"Cocktails":||"The Negotiation":||"Safety Training":||"Product Recall":||"Women's Appreciation":||"Beach Games":||"The Job":|
|The Office: Season 4|
|"Fun Run":||"Dunder Mifflin Infinity":||"Launch Party":||"Money":||"Local Ad":||"Branch Wars":||"Survivor Man":|
|"The Deposition":||"Dinner Party":||"Chair Model":||"Night Out":||"Did I Stutter?":||"Job Fair":||"Goodbye, Toby":|
|The Office: Season 5|
|"Weight Loss":||"Business Ethics":||"Baby Shower":||"Crime Aid":||"Employee Transfer":||"Customer Survey":||"Business Trip":||"Frame Toby":||"The Surplus":|
|"Moroccan Christmas":||"The Duel":||"Prince Family Paper||"Stress Relief||"Lecture Circuit Part 1":||"Lecture Circuit Part 2":||"Blood Drive":||"Golden Ticket":|
|"New Boss":||"Two Weeks":||"Dream Team":||"Michael Scott Paper Company":||"Heavy Competition":||"Broke":||"Casual Friday":||"Cafe Disco":||"Company Picnic":|
|The Office: Season 7|
|"Nepotism":||"Counseling":||"Andy's Play":||"Sex Ed":||"The Sting":||"Costume Contest":||"Christening":||"Viewing Party":|
|"WUPHF.com":||"China":||"Classy Christmas, Part 1||"Classy Christmas, Part 2||"The Ultimatum":||"The Seminar":||"The Search":||"PDA":|
|"Threat Level Midnight":||"Todd Packer":||"Garage Sale":||"Training Day":||"Michael's Last Dundies":||"Goodbye Michael":||"The Inner Circle":||"Dwight K. Schrute, (Acting) Manager":||"Search Committee":|
- Kinsey, Angela and Jenna Fischer. Episode 31: The Coup, Office Ladies podcast, June 10, 2020.
|Characters of The Office|
Michael Scott | Dwight Schrute | Jim Halpert | Pam Beesly | Ryan Howard | Andy Bernard | Kevin Malone | Stanley Hudson | Angela Martin | Phyllis Vance | Meredith Palmer | Creed Bratton | Oscar Martinez | Kelly Kapoor | Toby Flenderson | Darryl Philbin | Erin Hannon | Gabe Lewis
Jan Levinson | Roy Anderson | David Wallace | Nellie Bertram | Karen Filippelli | Robert California | Holly Flax | Pete Miller | Clark Green | Bob Vance | Todd Packer | Mose Schrute | Hank Tate | Nate Nickerson | Val Johnson | Robert Lipton | Cathy Simms | Helene Beesly | Glenn | Hidetoshi Hasagawa | Madge Madsen | Esther Bruegger | Nick | Jo Bennett | Deangelo Vickers | Charles Miner