‘The Office’: Jim and Pam’s Wedding Originally Had a Very Different Ending
Any fan of The Office likely counts “Niagara,” Jim and Pam’s wedding episode, among their favorites. There’s probably nothing you’d change about the episode, but, interestingly, it almost had an entirely different ending that would have left fans scratching their heads.
The Office wedding episode turns 10
As The Office just celebrated the 10 year anniversary of Pam and Jim getting married, some of the players involved recounted the making of the “Niagara” episode in a new oral history in Entertainment Weekly.
Executive producer and writer Greg Daniels shared: “We wanted it to be like the Office movie. One of the great things about it was seeing the characters outside. It really opened up a lot of fun story pitches for all the different characters. And a wedding is a classic comedy setting; like, all Shakespeare comedies end with a wedding.”
The Office episode almost had a different ending
It turns out that The Office “Niagara” episode had a completely different and bizarre ending. Thankfully, it didn’t work out as they originally planned because the viral video dance-down-the-aisle moment was sheer perfection.
The team shared that the original ending involved Pam’s ex, Roy, riding in on a horse to object to the wedding and trying to “sweep Pam off her feet like a knight in shining armor,” according to director Paul Feig.
Feig continued, explaining, “And she’s like, ‘What are you doing? No, I want to get married.’ She sends him away, so he has to ride his horse back out of the church. But then, in an absolute insane thing, they had this crazy ending where Dwight gets the horse and rides it into the falls.”
Crazy is an understatement.
Why the horse angle didn’t play out
Daniels explained that he “was really committed to the horse for the longest time.” He noted: “It was like Dwight got fascinated with this historical display at the hotel that talked about various animals. It started with a cow had been swept over the falls and survived, and then a couple of people tried to go over the falls in a barrel and were killed, and then some sheep went over the falls and survived. And he came up with this theory that you could survive going over the falls if you were riding a horse, because a horse would have the instinct of how to swim properly.”
When Roy interrupted the wedding but didn’t succeed, Daniels shared that he “just abandons the horse and drives home.” He continued: “So Dwight gets on and goes into the river above the falls, but panics and jumps off the horse at the last second, while the horse goes over in the background of the wedding. I remember scouting this tank on the Universal lot and talking about how we’re going to shoot this horse being swept over the waterfall. Then we got to the table read and I was the last defender of the horse. The entire staff and actors were yelling at me: ‘Don’t ruin Jim and Pam’s wedding with a horse!’”
Feig added: “We were all like, ‘This is insane. You can’t send a horse over the falls.’ And Greg was like, ‘No, it would be really funny.’ And there was this whole debate that went on in the writers’ room, people are like, ‘I don’t know, I think this is kind of dark and weird.’”
Daniels said he “finally backed down and took the horse out.”
How that viral video moment came to be
In the absence of the horse ending, they had to come up with something and, as luck would have it, the viral video of a wedding party jamming down the aisle to Chris Brown’s “Forever” blew up. It was fate.
Feig shared, This was right when that viral video came out. It was so popular that we went, ‘Let’s just re-create that.’ It was a real last-minute addition.”