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Dwight And Jim Were Always Meant To Be Enemies On The Office

When it came to "The Office," the conflict between Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) was always a source of some of the best comedy. Even a quick rundown of the pranks Jim pulled on Dwight in "The Office" over the years will prove as much. So it was sometimes jarring when the two could wind up being kind and supportive of each other. Ultimately, it revealed that, beneath it all, past Jim's penchant for poking fun at Dwight's intense self-seriousness and past the resentment, the two were, at the end of the day, friends. Or at least that's what they evolved into.

So it is rather funny that, in the original conception of their relationship arc, Dwight and Jim were to remain enemies. But according to a recent episode of "Office Ladies" podcast — hosted by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey — that was indeed the original intent.

The episodes of "The Office" that Kinsey and Fischer recap in the podcast episode in question are collectively known as "Classy Christmas," Episodes 11 and 12 of Season 7. As the name implies, these are Christmas episodes. It is also when Jim and Dwight get into what Fischer initially calls a snowball war. But, as Kinsey responds, it is a very lop-sided war. When Jim throws a holiday-spirited snowball at him indoors, something snaps in Dwight. More on that later.

Dwight's revenge

While discussing Dwight's arc in the episode, Jenna Fischer reads a quote from an interview Mindy Kaling (who not only played Kelly Kapoor but also wrote the episode) did with OfficeTally.com. "Dwight is a complicated character," said Kaling. "He and Jim are not friends."

Kaling said that Greg Daniels (who developed the American version of "The Office") originally never wanted Jim and Dwight to develop a friendship. "I think a lot of sitcoms make enemies into best friends through some crappy sitcom feel-good formula," said Kaling. There is some truth to this. The enemy-to-friend device is frequent enough in film and television that it has become a trope (via The Mary Sue).

As it happens, Rainn Wilson directed this episode. This means that he had all the room in the world to highlight Dwight's sadistic pleasure as he creatively and mercilessly exacts revenge on Jim for a single snowball. By the episode's end, Jim is uncharacteristically traumatized and paranoid, worried that Dwight might pop out of any number of snowmen and pummel him. Dwight, of course, is on the roof of Dunder Mifflin, telling the camera that the greatest snowball is fear. Even if the two did wind up friends, their enemy-ship made for some classic moments.