Face it: Jim Halpert is the worst. The resident heartthrob of The Office may be presented as the coolest guy in Scranton who gets the girl and becomes successful without trying very hard, but he’s your college boyfriend. He’s that guy who has to have an ironic detachment from everything he likes to protect himself from his feelings. He’s a headset-wearing douchebag who manipulates everyone around him. To put it simply, Jim Halpert is a scumbag. It’s already heavily suggested that Jim cheated on Pam, and if you were watching NBC in the mid-2000s then you know that Ben Wyatt was a much better husband than Jim could ever be. But just in case you’re on the fence, consider this irrefutable evidence that Jim is a horrible man.
Before you get too worked up, this isn't to say the show is bad. Not at all – The Office was such an important show for young comedy fans. It proved that a sitcom didn’t have to follow the same structure that had been run into the ground, it played with pathos as much as humor, and it put normal looking people onscreen. But the show made its hero Jim Halpert, who was straight up scum. If you need convincing, keep reading to find out why Jim from The Office sucks.
He's Terrible To Karen
If you're an Office fan, you're either Team Pam or Team Karen, but both are great characters. If you feel weird about Karen, it's because Jim gaslights her constantly. He basically replays the beginning of his relationship with Pam by swapping her out with Karen in Season 3, then he convinces her to move to Pennsylvania to be near him, but he won’t let her live with him. Even when Karen mentions that she found a house to rent a couple of blocks away from Jim, he stops her from getting it because it's too close.
When Karen finds out that Jim lied about his reasons for leaving Scranton, she wants to have a long conversation with him about their relationship. Jim treats this totally normal request like it's crazy. Then, when they both go to New York City to apply for Jan’s old job, he leaves her in the city to go back to Scranton and ASK PAM ON A DATE. From there he presumably handles the situation the way he handles everything else: by ignoring her until she goes away.
He Breaks Up With Katy On A Boat
Jim’s relationship with Katy is incredibly toxic and depressing, especially considering how brief it is. In the Season 1 finale, Jim only flirts with Katy the purse girl to make Pam jealous and to embarrass Michael. By the second season things seemed to have cooled with Katy; he even says as much to Ryan at his house party in “Email Surveillance.”
But when Jim knows he’s going to be stuck on a boat with Pam and Roy during “Booze Cruise,” he brings Katy back – only to break up with her when his gambit to make Pam jealous fails miserably when Pam and Roy renew their engagement. This is insane behavior.
He Secretly Invested His Family’s Savings In His Bro Job
Why does Jim think it's okay to make decisions for other people without having to consult them first? In the Season 9 episode “The New Guys,” Jim reveals that he invested his and Pam’s savings into his childhood friend’s sports management company, Athlead. That puts them on the hook for the business should it go under.
Jim doesn't discuss this with Pam. Even if he only invested his own money, he should still talk to her about the decision, because she’s his wife/partner/mother of his children. He obviously doesn’t care at all about what she thinks.
He Verbally Abuses Pam
Throughout The Office, Jim is presented as an ideologically perfect boyfriend who can anticipate Pam’s every want and need while keeping a boyish smirk on his face. But that’s just until things don’t go his way. There are peeks at the real Jim throughout the series, like when he plays basketball and gets super aggressive, and when he won’t stop trying to grab Pam at Dwight’s dojo. Trying to keep up the heavily plastered veneer of a nice person is a full-time job, and when Jim finally cracks it’s obvious how ugly he really is on the inside.
In the Season 9 episode “Customer Loyalty,” Jim’s façade is busted wide open. He’s been splitting his time between his home in Scranton and his job in Philadelphia, and one of his “Philly days” falls on the same day as his daughter Cece’s dance recital. He asks Pam to film the recital rather than driving the two hours(!) to Scranton to see his daughter. Jim doesn’t make the very short trip to see his family, and when Pam reveals that she couldn’t figure out how to work her phone’s camera, Jim absolutely freaks out and yells at her. It’s an ugly moment that proves Jim is a complete jerk.