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What This Jim Detail In The Office Says About His Friendship With Oscar

When most people think of relationships on The Office — platonic or romantic — a few immediately come to mind: the inevitable love between Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer), the strange mentor-mentee combination of Michael (Steve Carrell) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson), and the disastrous coupling of Ryan (B. J. Novak) and Kelly (Mindy Kaling). Every employee has scenes with all the other employees at some point, but the finer details of certain pairings don't always come to mind right away.

Take Jim and Oscar (Oscar Nuñez), for instance. Both men are mild-mannered and smart as a whip, but they sit on opposite sides of the office, form circles with different employees, and approach their respective jobs with non-comparable mindsets. It's difficult to imagine what the two of them would talk about if they were put in a room together — Michael's non-stop and nonpareil antics, definitely, but after that? There's no animosity between them, per se, but there isn't any spark, either.

Despite all that, Jim might care more about his friendship with Oscar than he lets on (or vice versa, to be fair). He's not the kind of person who would walk over to Oscar's desk, pat him on the shoulder, and ask to grab a drink after work, but Jim is sentimental in his own way — even if that sentiment is most often on display around Pam. An eagle-eyed catch by Redditor u/jarhead is all the proof anyone needs.

A touch of luck

Uncomfortable holiday parties are par for the course on The Office, a trend set by the Christmas party in the aptly titled season 2 episode "Christmas Party." The Secret Santa portion starts out innocently enough, with the gift limit set to $20. Oscar gets Creed (Creed Bratton) a shamrock keychain, thinking the older man is Irish; Jim gets Pam a teapot filled with mementos and a note written specially for her. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Michael derails the whole thing by vastly exceeding the gift limit with a $400 iPod, then turning the Secret Santa into a Yankee swap when he's blatantly unimpressed by Phyllis' (Phyllis Smith) gift to him: a homemade oven mitt.

Pam chooses the iPod over the teapot — not having looked inside yet — causing Jim no undue distress. From that point forward, it's his mission to trade away until the teapot, now in Dwight's hands, is back with the person it was intended for. Jim offers Dwight the shamrock keychain in exchange, but the latter doesn't give up so easily; up against Pam's iPod, however, Dwight gives away the teapot no question. All's right in the world by the end — even though Jim steals back the note, not quite ready to confess his love to Pam yet.

Three seasons later, Jim is walking to the parking lot with Michael in the completely unrelated episode "Employee Transfer." Michael opens the door first, but once Jim steps out from behind, you can briefly see him twirling something in his hands. It's so easy to glance over, especially since the camera quickly zooms into Jim's face as he reveals his plans for the day — but Redditor u/jarhead caught what Jim was holding. Pause a second after Jim walks out the door and you'll clearly see he's holding the shamrock keychain, which Jim must've pocketed after his failed negotiation with Dwight.

Yes, Oscar originally intended to gift it to Creed, but after the Yankee swap catastrophe, few Dunder Mifflin employees ended up with the gifts meant for them. That being the case, Jim could've easily thrown the keychain in the trash, and yet there he is, years later, still holding on to it; it's a very Jim move to do something like that and not tell anyone. Somewhere deep down, he can't bring himself to toss the silly little gift away — not because he's a hoarder or anything, but because Oscar's worth more than a passing thought. It's a memento of a friend Jim's lucky to have, and keeping the keychain is a sentiment that goes beyond words.