Why Jim Halpert Is the Worst Character in The Office: 10 Reasons

Jim Halpert might be a fan favorite, but look past his amusing shenanigans and you'll see that he's a pretty terrible person.
Why Jim Halpert Is the Worst Character in The Office: 10 Reasons

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With its debut in 2005, the US version of The Office grew and snowballed into one of the most popular TV sitcoms of all time.

The show deservedly received a lot of love, and it remains a feelgood fan favorite that's worthy of repeat viewings. Fans love the cast of lovable characters, with Jim and Pam often toply ranked.

Jim Halpert is one of those character types who might draw you in with snappy banter, funny antics, and soft charm, but the more his personality is put under the microscope, the less appealing he appears.

Here are several ways Jim Halpert has shown himself to be unusually terrible over the course of The Office.

10. He Flirts With Pam While She's Engaged

Is it a crime to flirt with an engaged woman? Especially when you're a love-sick puppy? Of course not. But in the case of Jim, his actions are that of a self-centered playboy who wants to sweep Pam away from Roy, who's basically a co-worker himself (just in a separate operation).

It's mostly the manner in which these flirtatious encounters happen—holding her hand, constantly chatting her up while everyone else is working, not to mention inappropriately grabbing her from behind and lifting her up only to expose her belly to passersby. It's all a bit much.

Sure, his feelings are reciprocated to a degree, which is why I've put this at the bottom of my list of reasons. But come on, Jim. Seducing someone else's fiancée is never a good look and it implies he isn't too interested in how his actions might impact others.

9. He's Lazy and Unprofessional

Over the course of the entire show, it's obvious that Jim is uninterested in actually getting any work done at his job. When everyone else in the office was striving to perform so that their branch wouldn't be downsized, he considered it beneath him.

The only person who ever calls him out on his lack of professionalism is Charles Miner, who made it painfully apparent on several occasions just how immature Jim really is and the delusional perception he has of himself.

8. His Charm Is Superficial

"I'm a pretty smart guy," Jim smugly assures Miner. However, it's unclear when he's ever actually proven that, despite making it very obvious that he considers himself above his work and his co-workers.

Jim actually doesn't have much to offer. He sees himself as the cool guy with a guitar strapped on his back, but he's the guy who can't even play guitar. All he can do is turn to the camera with a self-satisfied expression whenever a co-worker does something he considers foolish.

Instead of developing his own personality and growing into a character worthy of his own words, he's content in belittling others—particularly Andy and Dwight—for being different than him.

7. He Bullies Dwight

One of the running gags on The Office is that Jim plays pranks on Dwight. This continues even after Dwight saves him from getting beaten up by Roy (who is rightfully annoyed that Jim kissed his fiancée).

It's clear that these pranks both infuriate and distress Dwight. Though sometimes justified, many of these pranks are simply done in mockery. And what do they mock? Having hobbies outside of selling paper?

Jim is really just a school bully in an office setting—he's good at making other people miserable and not much else. If people weren't so busy fawning over him, he might see that he isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

6. He's Petty and Inconsiderate

Anyone who's ever had a bad roommate knows how infuriating it can be to live with someone who's petty and inconsiderate.

When Jim and Darryl become roommates for a short time, Darryl shows a great deal of restraint toward Jim's maddening behavior: leaving hair all over the bathroom, not cleaning up after himself, deleting Darryl's shows, and even using "dirty shirts as dish rags." (Gross...)

Darryl confronts Jim in a kind manner, even cracking jokes about it, but Jim's response is to be excessively petty about it. Instead of being mature and admitting fault, he acts as though Darryl is the outrageous one for calling him out on his behavior.

5. His Treatment of Michael

Over the course of The Office, Jim and Michael become friends—but that doesn't necessarily mean Jim is a good friend. In fact, he exhibits a number of traits that you wouldn't normally consider to be positive company.

For example, Jim and Pam pretended to schedule dinner with Michael when they know he has to work, making him feel doubly bad for having to work a night-shift to make ends meet.

But it goes beyond silly teasing. Jim lets him fall into the Koi Pond because he's envious of Michael being the better salesman. He knows what he did and he tries to cover it up, but the truth eventually comes out.

Not to mention that Jim regularly makes fun of Michael behind his back, like when he encouraged the entire office to print out copies of Michael's screenplay and perform it together. Was that a silly prank? Or did it cross lines into bullying, even sadistic behavior?

4. His Treatment of Pam

He initially won the world over with his boyish charm, but Jim loses his sweet-romantic facade in the second half of the show's run.

Jim left his wife and two children behind so he could pursue his dream job in Philadelphia without consulting Pam. He also bought a house without consulting Pam. He even invested all of their savings in his new company without consulting Pam. Sensing a pattern?

Marriage isn't always sweet and perfect, and we wouldn't expect zero conflict between husband Jim and wife Pam. But in this case, Jim comes off as properly uncaring towards his wife's opinions.

He even shouted her down on the phone because she didn't know how to record their daughter's dance performance... which he wasn't at... because he'd ran off to work his dream job. Yep, definitely Pam's fault.

3. The Way He Dumped Katy

Katy wasn't on The Office for long—a total of three episodes—but the way Jim ended their relationship was despicable.

Yes, he's totally justified in recognizing that he didn't see a future together with her. My issue isn't with the fact that he broke up with her, but more so the way he broke up with her.

After seeing a loving proposal, Katy keenly asks if they might ever have something like that. As cold and direct as a serial killer, Jim doesn't even look at her. "No, I don't," he says. "Let's break up."

2. The Way He Leads Karen On

When you have a crush on someone, you might invite them to move several towns over and join you in your hometown. Some might hear you do that and say that you're romantic and charmingly spontaneous.

But Jim did this to Karen while knowing that he still had full-blown feelings for Pam. That's just recklessly impulsive—perhaps even a bit petty, as it feels like a power move to make Pam jealous and show her that he can have a successful relationship without her.

He'd already struck out with Pam, so when he was forced to move back to Scranton, Jim didn't want to show up without an ace in the hole. He didn't invite Karen back because he cared for her; he was hedging his bets with a calculated move. That's almost sociopath-level behavior.

1. He's Selfish

Ultimately, every reason on this list boils down to this simple fact: Jim Halpert is conceited, self-interested, and arrogant.

He doesn't care about how well his company does (until he has a personal stake in its success). He's uninterested in how his actions affect those around him—his co-workers, his past partners, his current wife and family.

While his self-assured demeanor might strike others as playful or fun, it goes deeper than that. Jim isn't as nice as he makes himself out to be. Jim always comes first, even at the expense of others.

But he's got a nice smile, so forgive and forget I suppose.