‘The Office’: Fans Hated Rashida Jones’ Character Karen at First

Fans of The Office were thrilled when Jim finally made a move on his flirty relationship with Pam in the season 2 finale “Casino Night,” but were devastated when she rejected him. It was a roller coaster, to say the least, but the ride wasn’t over. Jim transferred to a job in the Stamford office, which took him away from Pam in Scranton for part of season 3 and then he started dating Karen. Fans who wanted Jim and Pam to work out hated Karen (Rashida Jones) as a result.

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli on 'The Office'
John Krasinski as Jim Halpert and Rashida Jones as Karen Filippelli on ‘The Office’ | Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Jim said he loved Pam, but she rejected him

In the season 2 episode “Casino Night,” Jim finally got the nerve to tell Pam how he really felt about her. It was a vulnerable moment in the office parking lot, but she rejected him since she was going to marry Roy. When she called her mom from the office to share what had happened, Jim came in and kissed her and she reciprocated.

Fans of the series thought perhaps things would work out for Pam and Jim romantically but when the show picked up the moment again in season 3, the scene played out. Despite sharing the intimate moment, it was still a no-go for Pam since she was engaged. Jim decided that, since the relationship wasn’t going to work out, he would take a job at the Dunder Mifflin Stamford branch so he wouldn’t have to be reminded of his feelings about Pam.

Karen started flirting with Jim and fans weren’t happy

During the June 10 Office Ladies podcast, hosts Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey talked about season 3 episode 3 “The Coup,” which followed what Jim was up to in Stamford. While he bonded with his co-workers over the video game Call of Duty, it was also apparent that Karen was taking an interest in her new co-worker.

Karen was flirty with Jim and fans of the Jim and Pam coupling were not happy with the possibility that Jim could be interested in someone else. During the podcast, Fischer shared how there was a “big internet stir” as the distance between Jim and Pam was growing and a possible new love interest had entered the picture with “the first Jim-Karen flirt.”

Fischer said that “the message boards blew up” because people had a lot of “strong feelings,” but she felt some sympathy for Jones’ character because “she’s so cute” and “doesn’t know about Pam.” According to the actress, fans hated the Karen character but technically she wasn’t doing anything wrong because Jim didn’t bring Pam up or tell Karen about what happened in Scranton.

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This flirty moment between Jim and Karen wasn’t originally scripted

Though it was clear that Karen was flirty with Jim as she made fun of his lack of video gamer skills, there was a moment between the two that originally wasn’t in the script but was added to provide a connection between the two.

Fans were upset with “flirty Karen” at the start because they wanted to see Jim with Pam. “This is what got everybody very, very, very upset,” Fischer said.

“To wrap up this storyline of the Jim-Karen flirt,” Fischer shared how Jim packs up at the end of the day and then throws a fake grenade at Karen that is “their first inside joke.” It wasn’t in the script but was added later between the characters because they wanted “to show that there was a real connection between them, a playfulness.”