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Angela Kinsey Gives Context To The Prank Culture On The Office

One of the running themes of "The Office" throughout its nine-season run on NBC was Jim Halpert's (John Krasinski) constant pranks at the expense of fellow salesman and desk clump neighbor Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson).

Viewers get their first taste of Jim's impishness in the pilot episode when he infuriates Dwight by encasing his stapler in yellow Jello. The pranks are mostly silly pokes at Dwight's overly serious nature, and range from moving Dwight's desk and chair to the bathroom to pelting him in the face with a snowball while he sits inside working. 

In an interview with Nicole Weaver of Showbiz Cheat Sheet (via YouTube), Angela Kinsey, who played accountant Angela Martin, offered an explanation as to why Jim spent so much time and energy tweaking Dwight with his numerous practical jokes. She cited the youth of the main characters and noted that Jim "is pretty sure this job is not what he wants to do ... so he's bored, and that's where a lot of the pranks come out of." Kinsey added that Dwight's personality might also turn her into a prankster if she was in Jim's shoes.

Jim's pranks mature along with him during the show's run

As the series marches on and Jim matures, his pranks become more sophisticated and less antagonistic, culminating with a series of what he calls "Gütenpranken" just prior to Dwight and Angela's wedding: Jim makes arrangements for Dwight to blow things up with a bazooka, sets up a reunion with fired accountant Kevin Malone (Brian Baumgartner) at the bar that Kevin now owns, and even brings back Michael Scott (Steve Carell) from Colorado to act as Dwight's best man. 

The evolution of the pranks from juvenile and annoying to heartwarming and fulfilling reflects the transformation of Jim from a fresh-faced youngster — in what Kinsey speculated might be his first job out of college — to the co-owner of a successful business managing professional athletes, husband to Pam (Jenna Fischer), and proud father of two daughters. 

Dwight has also evolved, gathering self-awareness and respect as the show goes on and ultimately landing his dream job as manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, taking control of his family's large beet farm, and marrying Angela.