The Most Heartbreaking Pam Moment In The Office

One of the most incredible things about NBC's hit mockumentary series "The Office" is how nearly every character in the show managed to become a fan favorite. "The Office" introduced us to dozens of iconic characters like Michael Scott (Steve Carell), Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson),  and Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) — all of whom went on to become household names across America.

Another one of these iconic characters is receptionist Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), who (despite a controversial shift in her character later on in the series) remains one of the show's most beloved characters to this day. Pam's early time on the show was defined by her "will-they-won't-they" relationship with Jim, and as the series went on we watched the two fall in love, get married, and start a family. "The Office" provided us with the unique experience of watching Pam's life unfold on camera, and included all of the messy details along the way. As such, there are plenty of heartbreaking moments in Pam's journey to choose from — though there is one that easily stands above the rest.

Pam breaking down is Season 3 is absolutely heartbreaking

Season 3 as a whole is probably the most miserable we ever see Pam throughout the entire series. After Pam breaks off her engagement with Roy (David Denman), she realizes that she really loves Jim –- but that realization comes too late. Jim returns to Scranton with his new girlfriend Karen (Rashida Jones), and the strain of seeing them together each day is nearly unbearable for Pam. This culminates in the Season 3 episode "Back From Vacation," when she finally breaks down and starts sobbing in the empty office.

The scene is gut-wrenching because of how clearly miserable she is. At this point, she's working at a job that will lead nowhere, she doesn't have any real friends in the office (since Jim is barely speaking to her) and the person she loves is dating someone else. Fans on Reddit have frequently cited this as the most heartbreaking Pam moment of all time. "This is definitely the saddest moment," writes u/alex878. "I feel like Pam realized during this episode that this is what it was like for Jim when she was with Roy." "Seeing Pam crying by herself... I'm tearing up just thinking about it," says u/bettyfatstacks.

In classic "Office" fashion, this sadness of the scene is diminished somewhat by the arrival of Dwight, who upon seeing Pam sobbing bluntly asks, "So, you must be PMSing pretty bad, huh?"