‘The Office’: Why Mindy Kaling Fought Against Jim and Pam’s First Kiss

There are plenty of elements of The Office that make it such an unforgettable show. The outrageous characters, the pointed looks to camera, and the memorable quotes to name a few. And while the series is undoubtedly a beautiful exploration of comedy, it also has a strong emotional heartbeat at well. At the core of that heart is the relationship between Jim and Pam. The slow burn of everyone’s favorite will they/won’t they couple is almost unbearable; thus when they kissed for the first time, many fans were relieved. But Mindy Kaling certainly wasn’t one of those people.

The Office cast members Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski on set of Season 9
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski | Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Kaling, of course, had a hand in making The Office the phenomenon that it was and is still is today. Fans will recall that she was a beloved member of the cast. Kaling played Kelly Kapoor, Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s customer service rep, to perfection. Somehow Kaling’s Kelly managed to come across as equal parts shallow and calculating, vapid yet loveable.

Mindy Kaling is responsible for some of the best episodes of ‘The Office’

Of course, Kaling’s contributions extended beyond the screen as well. She eventually became a producer for the show and she actually started her journey on The Office in the writer’s room. Fans have Kaling to thank for iconic episodes like “The Dundies”, “The Injury”, “Hot Girl” and “Niagara”. Considering Kaling’s sunny personality, bubbly character, and the fact that she was the only woman in the writer’s room, fans of The Office often assume that she is to thank for some of the show’s sappier moments. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Back in 2009, Kaling spoke with Office Tally about the way that she approached writing for The Office. According to the actor, she actually shied away from anything overly romantic or saccharine. “Given my personality, people usually think I’d probably gravitate towards the ‘romantic’ part of romantic comedy,” Kaling revealed. “Actually, I tend to worry too much that things will get sappy and slow. We’re a comedy, after all. So I err on the side of less romance.”

Kaling was against Jim and Pam’s first kiss

In fact, Kaling even argued with other writers when they wanted to infuse The Office with more romance. The Mindy Project star even fought with showrunner, Greg Daniels about Jim and Pam’s first kiss. While most fans recall the pair’s kiss in “Casino Night” immediately after Jim confessed his love for the receptionist, their first kiss was actually in “The Dundies” episode. Pam drunkenly plants a kiss on a stunned Jim after receiving her award. Viewers, and Jim, were completely taken aback by Pam’s display of brazenness and while fans were receptive to the moment, Kaling was against it.

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“Interestingly, Greg [Daniels], who is probably the funniest person I know, has a great love for pure romance,” Mindy Kaling shared about The Office creator. “Five years ago, Greg directed The Dundies, which I wrote, and we had a long protracted battle over whether Jim and Pam should kiss. Greg was for it, and I was against it! Can you believe the terribleness of my choice? And I, like, FOUGHT him about it. We still fight sometimes, but he mostly wins because he’s usually right, and also because he’s my boss.”

‘The Office’ writer eventually came around to the romance of the show

While Kaling was against the infamous kiss at the time, she seemed to come around to Daniels’ choice. We imagine fans of The Office are happy she was overruled about Jim and Pam’s first kiss. She may have felt it was too mushy, but most fans felt that it was long overdue.