‘The Office’: Which of Jim’s Pranks on Dwight was Inspired By Real Events?
Fans of The Office love the show for a myriad of reasons. The dynamic characters, the sharp writing, and the fantastic improv to name a few. However, one thing that has always stood out to fans is the relationships that the characters manage to cultivate throughout the nine seasons. Jim and Dwight’s relationship, in particular, is one that viewers love to watch. The Office fans love to see the frenemies play pranks on one another and occasionally offer each other support.
From the very first episode of The Office, fans get to witness Jim’s penchant for playing pranks on Dwight. Annoyed with Dwight’s antics, Jim puts Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O. The pranks only escalated from there. Throughout the nine seasons of the show, Jim did things like putting Dwight’s belongings in the vending machine, putting his desk in the bathroom, learning Morse code to mess with him, and more.
One of the best pranks comes from a Christmas episode of ‘The Office’
Funnily enough, one of Jim’s most infamous pranks was inspired by real-life events. Fans of The Office may recall that in the cold open for the “Moroccan Christmas” episode, Jim wrapped Dwight’s entire desk in wrapping paper. The joke only got funnier when Dwight sat down and realized it wasn’t actually his desk. In a 2008 interview with Office Tally, Justin Spitzer (who wrote the episode) revealed that the inspiration for that joke came from real-life references.
“Ever since I started working on the show, I’ve been asking my friends in the corporate world what pranks go on in their offices, and the single most mentioned one is wrapping people’s desks, whether in wrapping paper or newspaper or aluminum foil,” The Office writer shared about how he came up with the idea for the prank. “I’ve been looking for an excuse to get some version of that prank in the show, and this was the perfect opportunity.”
It took lots of work to construct the infamous prank
Once Spitzer had written the prank into a script, it was up to construction to figure out how to execute the joke technically. According to Spitzer, it was a pretty elaborate process. “The construction guys went through a lot of different options to get the effect right,” Spitzer said about The Office crew. “The first thing they tried was this complex mechanism of boards and spring-loaded locking mechanisms (I’m just saying words — I don’t know what any of that means). But it was pretty elaborate.”
Finally, they were able to get the construction just right. However, they had limited tries to execute the prank. Fortunately, The Office writer revealed that the prank was perfected on the very first take. “What we finally ended up using was a cheap, simple box of foam core — kind of a cardboard/Styrofoam thing,” Spitzer shared. “The prop guys spent I don’t know how many hours making up four desks, which would give us four takes to get it right. Then the first take ended up being perfect and we moved on.”
It’s pretty interesting to think about everything that went into making the prank pay off. However, we’re sure fans of The Office appreciated the work that it took to pull it off.