‘The Office’: Jim & Pam’s Proposal Scene Was Almost Completely Different

We will never reach the end of our love for The Office. The hit NBC, documentary-style show may have gone off the air over six years ago, but it remains one of the best television shows of all time. With a truly brilliant cast, phenomenal writing, outlandish characters, and unexpected friendships, the show is legendary. But, perhaps one of the best things about the show is that it gifted us with one of our favorite TV couples of all time, Jim & Pam.

The Office Jim & Pamj
Jenna Fischer & John Krasinski | NBC

Jim & Pam’s incredible chemistry

From the moment we saw them interact with one another during The Office‘s series premiere, the audience knew that there was something special between Jim and Pam. The salesman and the receptionist had a strong friendship and undeniable chemistry, despite the fact that Pam was engaged to warehouse worker, Roy, at the time. Though it took several seasons for the pair to finally get together, their relationship progression is well worth the wait.

The proposal scene

Of all the scenes throughout all nine season of The Office, one of the most gratifying is easily the scene where Jim finally gets down on one knee and proposes to Pam. After his romantic plans to pop the question are thwarted by a clueless Andy, Jim is unable to wait much longer. After convincing Pam to meet him for lunch at a rest stop that is about halfway between Scranton, PA and New York, NY (where Pam is studying art for the Summer) he pops the question in the middle of a rainstorm.

Pam and Jim from The Office
Pam and Jim from The Office | Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Though the iconic scene was under a minute long, a great deal of thought went into making it a reality. In an interview with the Washington Post, Greg Daniels (one of The Office’s executive producers) opened up about his vision for the scene. It was very important to him that the scene be visually stunning in a deliberately understated way.

Dramatic yet ordinary

“I was trying to give the set a feeling of like Edward Hopper’s painting in a diner, very dark and dramatic, but the interior is very brightly lit, and it makes it very stagelike. Behind the actors are Snapple bottles and different colored things that are out of focus in the convenience store, which makes it colorful. The overall thing is kind of dark and stormy. So it’s a very ordinary setting, but we made certain decisions to give it a special dramatic feel,” Daniels said about the setting for Jim and Pam’s proposal.

The proposal scene could’ve been very different

In the interview, Daniels also mentioned that they almost went a completely different direction for this iconic scene from The Office. “One of the things that we decided at the last minute was to leave the sound in; we also had one version where it’s the exact same visuals, but you weren’t able to hear their dialogue. And that’s a very poetic way of doing it. The staff was completely divided down the middle, and I lost sleep over which way to go on that,” Daniels admitted.

John Krasinski & Jenna Fischer

What finally swayed Daniels to leave the sound in was actually the amazing work that John Krasinski (Jim) and Jenna Fisher (Pam) both did to prepare for this moment. “Ultimately, I felt that Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski had done this work, and their performances deserved to be seen. It was kind of artier to remove their voices, but I felt like after this length of time, you deserve to see what was going on and hear it,” the executive producer of The Office confessed.

We’re so glad that Daniels made the decision that he did. Truly, we couldn’t imagine this scene any other way. Jim’s determination and Pam’s surprised reaction from their proposal is one of the sweetest moments throughout the entire series of The Office. Leaving the sound off would’ve just robbed us of their brilliant performances. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to watch this episode (and all others) a million more times before Netflix destroys our spirit and takes it off their platform in 2021.