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The Best Pranks Jim Pulled On Dwight In The Office

The Office is a perfect amalgam of raucous comedy, tear-jerking drama, slapstick action, and oft-bumbling romance. It blends the serious and the light-hearted, the happy and the sad, all together into a nine-season ride that's captivated fans for well over a decade. But while storylines, settings, circumstances, and even characters change over the course of the show, there's one factor that remains steadily predictable from beginning to end — Jim Halpert's pranks.

From multiple gelatinous antics in the pilot to the "guten pranken" of the finale, Jim Halpert can always be counted on to deliver a good laugh at the expense of his beet-farming coworker, Dwight Schrute. The truth is, though, it's easy to get lost in the endless list of different pranks that Jim manages to pull off. With that in mind, we've collected our official list of the absolute best pranks that Jim ever pulled on Dwight, broken down in detail below for your reading pleasure.

Jim's stapler-in-Jello prank

There are some scenes that are too iconic to ignore in a list like this, the first and foremost of which has to be the time that Jim put Dwight's stapler in Jello. Taking place right in the pilot episode, the stapler-in-Jello scene is one of the first indications that The Office isn't your grandmother's sitcom. It's something special.

Coming out of the blue — and at a point when the audience has no idea who's who yet — the stapler-in-Jello prank sets the tone for Jim and Dwight's relationship from square one. Jim is even shown glorying in the afterglow of Dwight's incredibly personal reaction to the affront. He's shown eating Jello and even has the gall to rub further salt in his coworker's wounds by declaring that he's the paper salesman's "biggest flan." All of this just goes to show that the one-sided nature of the humorously antagonistic relationship is apparent right from the get-go, and it only heats up from there.

The Office's pencil fence

While we had to start with the famous stapler-in-jello schtick, there's actually one fantastic prank that appears even earlier in The Office's pilot. Less than ten minutes into the episode, Dwight is shown aggressively clearing off his workspace by shoving Jim's admittedly slovenly desk overflow back with a ruler. Shortly afterward, Dwight returns to the desk clump to find a wall of pencils facing him. Looking incredibly perturbed, Mr. Schrute cites them as a safety violation, claiming he could even fall and pierce an organ, before he begins to forcefully remove them with his phone.

The best part about the pencil fence prank is that it originally wasn't even pencils — it was boxes. Early in the filming, the scene was shot with Jim taking a page out of the original British show, where his English alter ego, Tim Canterbury, stacked up boxes to cut off access to his clump-mate. You can even see the boxes that Jim originally stacked up before they reshot the scene, as they can be glimpsed in the background during a conference room meeting later in the episode.

Moving Dwight's entire desk to the men's room

Jim cranks his prank efforts up a notch in season two. In the episode "The Fight," Dwight walks into the office to find that his entire desk, chair and all, has gone missing. Upset, he begins lecturing Jim and even threatens the entire office with punishment. In the meantime, Jim declares that it's "weird" that the desk is missing, even suggesting that Dwight may want to retrace his steps.

As an infuriated Dwight storms toward Michael's office, Jim begins playing "hot and cold" with him, leading his coworker on a merry chase that takes him right into the men's bathroom ... where he finds his desk set up and waiting for him. As he stares at his predicament, the phone rings, and Dwight answers only to find that Jim is on the other end of the line, asking an obviously posed question about current discounts that the company is running. As he hangs up the phone, the scene ends with Kevin leaving the nearby stall, only to be reminded by Dwight to wash his hands. Priceless.

A Mussolini-inspired speech

Occasionally, Jim's best pranks factor directly into the primary plot. For example, take Dwight's salesman of the year acceptance speech. In season two's "Dwight's Speech," the beet farmer finds out that he's won Dunder Mifflin's top salesman of the year award. Michael, who's won the award twice in the past, informs his assistant that it will be the biggest speech of his life, leaving Mr. Schrute in a tizzy.

As Dwight casts about for ways to prepare for the big event, who should show up with some helpful advice but his coworker, ninth-place salesman of the year, Jim Halpert. Claiming that he majored in public speaking — which he didn't — Jim offers Dwight a barrage of helpful tips that he found by downloading famous speeches from history. This interesting approach leads Dwight to use large portions from the speeches of one of history's most infamous dictators, Mussolini, as a baseline for his oration. Rather than blowing up in his face, the rousing exhortation ultimately whips the hall of other salesmen into a frenzy, leaving Dwight unexpectedly euphoric from and Michael predictably thrown off by the whole ordeal.

Jim's 'Future Dwight' faxes

Between seasons two and three, Jim decides to hightail it out of Scranton, nabbing a promotion at the company's Stamford branch and leaving his past life behind — well, most of it anyway. It turns out that old habits die hard, and Halpert can't bear the thought of never pranking his old coworker again. To ameliorate the situation, he smuggles a box of Dwight's stationery out with him when he leaves, using it to occasionally send misleading messages to Dwight ... from himself ... from the future.

In the episode "Branch Closing," we see Jim masquerading as future Dwight in order to tell his past self, "At 8:00 AM today, someone poisons the coffee. Do not drink the coffee. More instructions will follow. Cordially, Future Dwight." Upon receiving the alarming communiqué, Dwight looks up and sees Stanley about to imbibe a fresh-brewed cup of joe. Racing to stop him, he smacks the java out of his coworker's hands, informing him, "You'll thank me later." The gut-busting scene shows the sheer lengths to which Jim will go to pull the wool over Dwight's eyes, even when he's hundreds of miles away.

Pavlov's Dwight

In season three's "Phyllis' Wedding," we find Jim busy experimenting with the Pavlovian theory of pairing a stimulus with a conditioned response. How? Not by using a bell to make a dog salivate, that's for sure. He conducts his scientific research by causing Dwight to associate the sound of a computer shutting down with the reception of an Altoid. The comical scene shows Mr. Halpert shutting down his computer in a variety of different scenarios, always making sure to offer Dwight a mint after the machine beeps.

As the sequence draws to a close, Jim shuts off his computer, it beeps, and he does nothing. Without being asked, Dwight holds up his hand, expecting a mint, to which Jim asks with a smirk, "What are you doing?" Confused, Dwight replies that he doesn't know, adding that his mouth "tastes so bad all of a sudden." Along with being straight-up hilarious, the prank demonstrates Jim's tenacity when it comes to his work escapades. His willingness to steadily "condition" Dwight's response likely took weeks, if not months, and required a commitment that the paper salesman seldom applies to his work, let alone anything else in his life.

Jim is Dwight

Late in the third season, we get the cold open for the episode "Product Recall." In it, Jim arrives at work dressed exactly like Dwight. His hair is parted, he has a briefcase, and he's wearing a mustard yellow shirt, brown suit, a watch, and glasses. Even more impressive, he pulled the entire ensemble together for a mere $11.

After settling in at his desk and donning his spectacles, Jim aggressively asks Dwight which bear is best, proactively responding, "False. Black bear." He then follows this up with the Dwight-tailored quip, "Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica." As Dwight begins to catch onto the prank, Jim pulls out a bobblehead, clearly mocking his coworker's own collection. This pushes Dwight over the line and sends him into a tirade about identity theft. As the scene ends, Jim shouts for Michael and storms off towards the bosses office, followed closely by his thoroughly perturbed nemesis. The best part? In spite of his disapproval, Dwight will ultimately use a similar tactic in season five, when he gets under Andy's skin by dressing and acting like the Cornell grad.

The self-aware website prank

In season four, Dwight goes through a pretty bad rough patch. In spite of his condition, though, Jim still can't help but heckle the man whenever the opportunity arises. One such moment takes place in the episode "Launch Party" when Dwight obnoxiously challenges the new website to a paper-selling duel. In response, Jim and Pam try to convince Dwight that the new Dunder Mifflin website has become self-aware.

The couple begin IMing Dwight messages under the pseudonym "DunMiff/sys," beginning with the question, "Who am I?" From there, they launch into a conversation with the suspicious salesman, convincing him that the being he's actually talking to is a cognizant company website that believes it must destroy him "when it comes to selling paper." The ensuing battle drags on throughout the episode, only ending when Pam finally has a moment of empathy towards her depressed coworker, sending him the final message that, "You beat me. You are the superior being."

Mr. William M. Buttlicker

Occasionally, Jim will allow his humorous side to directly interfere with work itself, as is the case in the season five's "Customer Survey." In the entertaining installment, Jim and Dwight appear to have a sales slump when they both get bad feedback from a customer survey. As punishment for their apparent failure (in reality, Kelly framed them in retaliation for being bad friends), the pair of clearly skilled salesmen are treated to a one-on-two sales training session with the one and only Michael Scott.

As Michael oversees the "microgement" training, he asks Dwight to pretend to take an order from Jim in order to demonstrate his sales abilities. However, when Dwight makes the fake phone call, Jim kicks things off by declaring that his name is "Bill Buttlicker." From there, the conversation devolves as Dwight attempts to take the situation seriously, with Jim taking advantage of every opportunity to prod and provoke his coworker with his inappropriate fake persona. The entire debacle just goes to show how quickly and easily Jim can rankle his coworker when he's in the mood.

That crazy red wire prank

Sometimes the best part about Jim's pranks is their sheer unnecessary nature. This is on full display in the opener of the season five episode "Prince Family Paper." The scene opens on a quiet, productive office. As the camera pans to Dwight, the salesman notices an odd red wire coming out of the back of his computer. Following the crimson thread, Dwight finds himself on a harrowing adventure as he heads through the building and, eventually, right outside and up a telephone pole.

As he's shown trying to trace the source of the wire, we discover that Jim purchased 500 feet of red wire at a local flea market for $20, which is apparently a deal. What did he decide to do with his newfound treasure? Send Dwight on an utterly unnecessary treasure hunt that, as far as we can tell, leads him to a dead end. The results of all of Mr. Halpert's labor? A fun show and a big smile, which is clearly all he was looking for.

Jim the author

In season eight's "Garden Party," Jim takes his pranking adventures to all-new levels when he sits down to literally author a book. The title in question? "The Ultimate Guide to Throwing a Garden Party," written by "James Trickington." The masterpiece is written for an audience of one. Which one, you ask? A certain beet farm who's trying to expand his entrepreneurial pursuits into the event-hosting business.

The book contains a plethora of brilliant garden party advice, such as the fact that all garden parties must be valeted, guests must be announced as they enter, the host must perform the duties of "dance master," and there must be closing ceremonies that includes lit torches. Taking the prank hook, line, and singer, Dwight is shown throughout the episode putting this expert advice into action as he hosts Andy's special event, and we've got to say, he does end up throwing one heck of a garden party.

A Tallahassee murder

Mid-way through season eight, Jim and Dwight head down to the Sabre headquarters in the Florida panhandle where they plan on developing a store for the company. This sets things up for the opening scene of the episode "Tallahassee," which begins the adventure by showcasing Dwight's morning routine. After he gets himself ready each morning, the team leader spends most of his time waking up most of his sleepy coworkers.

When it comes to Jim, though, as the dad of two puts it, his parentally disturbed circadian rhythm means he's "up and at 'em at 4:15," with very little to do. This inspires the bored employee to set up one of the best pranks of them all — a murder scene in his bedroom. As Dwight enters with ice in hand and Erin in tow, he stops short to see a disheveled room and no sign of Jim anywhere. The television is fuzzy, the furniture has been knocked over, the sheets are tied in a rope and hung out the window, and fake blood can be seen on a towel on the bed. Additionally, an open suitcase with cash can be seen, and the words "It Was Dwight" and "Luwanda at The Alcohol Club" are scrawled on the wall. As the pair look on in horror, Jim's apparently lifeless body falls out of the closet, sending the onlookers into a screaming panic. End scene.

The tear-away velcro suit prank

One of the best things about Jim's pranks is that the show regularly drops hints that they're even taking place when the audience isn't looking. For instance, in the final episode of season eight, "Free Family Portrait Studio," it's explained that the previous week, Halpert conducted a prank that even he thinks may have gone too far. We then find out what it was, it's via a talking head and a quick flashback. It turns out Jim had custom-ordered Dwight a suit with tear-away velcro and then ripped Schrute's clothes off of him in front of everyone in the parking lot as he arrived at work.

The prank is recalled because, in the present day, Dwight is trying to get Jim to bring his children in for his free family portraits. Highly suspicious, Jim tries to keep his children as far away as possible, fearing what Dwight may be plotting revenge after his humiliation. The entire recollected event reveals just how rich the pranking history goes between the two coworkers, even when the cameras aren't rolling.

Asian Jim

In season nine's "Andy's Ancestry," Jim and Pam set up a prank that's so complicated that it requires Jim to be physically absent in order to work. As the paper salesman does double duty in Philly with his new company, Athlead, the couple's actor friend, Steve, literally steps into his shoes to help with a prank. Steve is Asian, and the trio decide to set up a situation where he poses as an Asian version of the very white Mr. Halpert. Steve arrives on the Dunder Mifflin premises equipped with all of the knowledge and tools that it takes to be Jim. He's dressed in the same clothes, has the facial expressions down, knows his character's computer passwords, and is even aware of recent sales that Jim has been working on.

As Steve flawlessly pretends to be Jim, Dwight becomes increasingly flummoxed. At first he challenges the impostor by stating the obvious fact that "Jim's not Asian," to which Steve responds, "You seriously never noticed? Hey, hats off to you for not seeing race." When Pam walks up to the pair a moment later, she informs Steve that she got dinner reservations, and then she gives him a quick kiss. Even the picture on the desk has been replaced by a version with Pam, the kids, and Steve. All of this leaves Dwight stuttering stupidly as the genius scene cuts away.

The Dunder Code

There's no doubt that Jim is always invested in his pranks. However, it turns out that he has so many irons in the fire at a time that, occasionally, one slips through the cracks. At least, that's the case with the Dunder Code. Showcased in season nine's "Customer Loyalty," the elaborate prank consists of a series of clues supposedly left behind by Dunder Mifflin founder Robert Dunder. They lead Dwight — and the entire office — on an epic treasure hunt throughout the building in search of a "golden chalice."

The best part, though? Jim set the prank up six or seven years before Dwight ever found it. The scene provides flashbacks to moppy-haired Jim, planting clues throughout the office as he sets up the magnificent jest way back in the day. While the quest is entertaining enough, the treasure itself appears to be a bust, since the grail is no longer hidden in the warehouse, where the final clue indicated that it should be. At least, that's how it looks until the camera pans over to warehouse worker Glenn, who's using the grail as a coffee cup — a perfect ending to a forgotten prank.