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The Office: The Truth About Dwight And Jim's Relationship

The Office has earned its place as one of the most beloved and popular shows of the 21st Century so far, thanks in large part to its cast of colorful, borderline ridiculous characters. Out of that lineup, two of the most memorable faces undoubtedly belong to Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), salesmen at the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin, a seemingly unremarkable paper supply company with an unexpectedly exciting office culture.

Throughout the entire series, Jim and Dwight, who are immediately presented as polar opposites, butt heads almost constantly, playing pranks on one another and antagonizing each other until both men seem to reach their breaking points over and over again. There's more to their relationship, however, than you might initially realize.

Even though most fans might remember Jim and Dwight's relationship because of all the pranks Jim played on Dwight or all the times Dwight demanded that Jim be fired from his job, the truth is that these two frenemies ended up forming an invaluable bond by the time the show ended in its ninth season. From mean pranks to "güten pranks," here's the truth about Dwight and Jim's friendship, and how it evolved throughout the course of The Office.

Jim and Dwight didn't start off as friends

At the beginning of the series, it definitely didn't seem like Jim and Dwight could ever possibly be friends. Dwight constantly terrorized Jim, criticizing his work performance and being the all-around worst person with whom to share a desk. Jim, meanwhile, teamed with Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), Dunder-Mifflin's receptionist, to pull a ton of pranks on Dwight, from encasing his stapler in Jell-O to paying coworkers to call Dwight "Dwayne" to moving his desk to the bathroom. 

As often as Jim pranked Dwight, Dwight fired back from time to time. One of the most memorable examples started off in the season 3 episode "Product Recall," which featured one of The Office's most beloved cold opens. When Jim arrived for work, he was dressed exactly like Dwight, right down to the glasses and short-sleeved button-down shirt, which sent Dwight into a rage. As the episode closed, however, Dwight responded, "dressing up" like Jim, mussing his hair, and adopting a mimicking affect, though his impression wasn't quite as good as Jim's.

Ultimately, it felt pretty unlikely that these two could ever form any sort of bond, let alone a lasting friendship. As the series continued, however, Jim and Dwight revealed unexpected soft spots for each other, and a friendship began to blossom.

The real relationship between Jim and Dwight

After Jim left the Scranton branch of Dunder-Mifflin and returned in the third season, a new appreciation formed between Jim and Dwight. When Dwight left the office briefly, Jim even admitted that he "misses Dwight," and later, in the fourth season episode "Money," Jim comforted his co-worker when Dwight was heartbroken over losing the woman he loves, Angela (Angela Kinsey). This turned out to just be the beginning of a long-lasting bond.

As the series continued, Jim and Dwight found themselves leaning on each other more than ever, both inside and outside of the office. Between planning ill-fated birthday parties for their coworkers, running the office together, and even supporting each other for potential promotions, Jim and Dwight eventually left their childish rivalry behind and, by the time the show ended, Jim was serving as Dwight's "bestest mensch" at his wedding to Angela. Throughout his reign as Dwight's right-hand man, Jim played several "guten pranks" to surprise Dwight, finally putting his pranking skills to good use, all of which culminated in a surprise appearance by Dwight's mentor and hero, Michael Scott (Steve Carell, who left the show in season 7).

Ultimately, it looks like that tongue-in-cheek bond translated to the real-life relationship between Krasinski and Wilson. Recently, Wilson appeared on Krasinski's YouTube series Some Good News as a special guest, but the second he arrived on screen, Krasinski taunted him and eventually cut him off before Wilson could say very much at all.

If you want to relive Dwight and Jim's journey from enemies to friends, you can stream The Office in its entirety on Netflix before it makes its move to NBCUniversal's forthcoming streaming service, Peacock.