The Office was known for many things. For the heart-warming moments, the craziness of Michael Scott, for the cute relationship between Jim and Pam, for the inside jokes, but to me, one of my favorite things about this show that became a running gag, were the pranks that Jim Halpert would play on Dwight Schrute constantly.
Whether that be just simply hiding his things to changing his whole entire race, Jim Halpert, played by John Krasinski, made sure that no matter what, there was some sort of prank coming Dwight’s way. And from that, we as the viewers get amazing jokes and bits that would last a lifetime. But through so many episodes, what were his best pranks on The Office? Look no further for that answer.
Honorable Mention: When Jim Makes Dwight Believe It’s Friday (Season 2, Episode 8)
While I don’t think it should be considered one of the “best,” there’s no denying that “Performance Review” in The Office definitely has one of Jim’s best minor jokes. In this episode, Dwight believes that it is Friday instead of Thursday, and when Jim and Pam discover this, they decide to continue to feed into this misconception, acting as if it is Friday as well to mess with him.
Because of this, Dwight goes home thinking that it’s the end of the week - only to find out the next day that it’s not and coming into work the next day later, frazzled, and panicking. He had never missed a day of work up until that point, but because Jim and Pam decided to not correct him, there goes his perfect record.
When Jim Puts Dwight’s Things In The Vending Machine (Season 2, Episode 11)
“Booze Cruise” gave plenty of fun moments throughout this episode of The Office, but one of the best is in the opening minutes. Dwight is confused as to where all of his stuff has gone from his desk, like his pens, his stapler, everything he could possibly need. He soon discovers that Jim worked with the vending machine guy to load each of Dwight's possessions into a slot in the machine.
And now he has to use money to somehow get everything back. Though his wallet is one of the items in the vending machine, Jim helpfully provides him with a bag of nickels to buy his stuff back.
It’s a prank that probably required a lot of work on Jim’s part, considering he had to literally move everything into there, but still a hilarious pay-off.
When Jim Sends Dwight Warnings From “Future Dwight” (Season 3, Episode 7)
In “Branch Closing,” Jim reveals that he tends to occasionally send faxes to Dwight, from Future Dwight, so he can mess with him. In this sequence, we see Dwight get a fax that says that the coffee was poisoned and to not drink it. As Stanley is about to sip his coffee, Dwight yells out and knocks it out of his hands, saying “you’ll thank me later.”
The look on Stanley’s face says it all. He looks angry but shocked and confused all the same. While it was a great prank on Dwight in general, the real victim here is Stanley.
When Jim Moves Dwight’s Desk To The Bathroom (Season 2, Episode 6)
Another great Season 2 prank of The Office is another instance where we are dealing with Dwight and all his stuff - except this time, Jim literally includes all of it and not just items that can fit into a vending machine.
In “The Fight,” Dwight shows up to the office in Scranton looking understandably confused when his entire workspace is gone, including his desk, his computer, and even his chair. When he confronts Jim, he has no idea what’s going on, but soon, Dwight finds the desk - along with all his stuff - in the bathroom, right next to the urinal.
What makes this moment even funnier is that somehow, everything is working and meticulously placed. It wasn’t even like Jim just placed everything there just for fun - he set up Dwight’s whole office in the bathroom. It’s hysterical.
When Jim (And Pam) Convinces Dwight That Jim Has Telekinetic Powers (Season 2, Episode 22)
“Casino Night” is filled with several big moments in the series, but one of my favorite parts is this quick yet efficient prank that Jim pulls on Dwight. During the company’s efforts to start a casino night, Pam says that she is a roulette expert, but Dwight says that roulette is not a game of skill, it’s a game of chance.
Jim goes along with that and says that he has no problem with chance, because he knows mind-control. Dwight, at first, doesn’t believe him, but after Jim tells him a story of his youth, and he’s somehow able to move a coat rack without touching it (thanks to the help of Pam with an umbrella’s handle), Dwight is stunned and believes him.
It’s hilarious to see the look on Dwight’s face, paired with viewers knowing both Jim and Pam are in on this quick little trick. So simple yet so effective.
When Jim Impersonates Dwight (Season 3, Episode 2)
“Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.”
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that quote everywhere at this point. In The Office, during “Product Recall,” Jim comes into the office in full Dwight-attire, with the same outfit, hair and glasses, sits down, and then does the same mannerisms that Dwight does to his face, asking him what kind of bear is best - and not waiting for an answer - and continues to confuse the heck out of him throughout the bit.
Seeing Dwight’s annoyed yet concerned face, snapping when he says “Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!” gets me every time. Plus, it only cost Jim eleven dollars. How could he not do the prank?
When Jim Mails Dwight A “Gaydar” Device (Season 3, Episode 1)
In “Gay Witch Hunt,” after the accidental outing of Oscar in The Office, Dwight called Jim -- who was working in Stamford at the time -- to ask him about the device called "gaydar," which Jim had apparently told him was a thing you could buy online. Jim, in response, decides to send Dwight the device, which was likely just a metal detector.
This one singular moment where Dwight is running the device over Oscar and it beeps (because it goes over his metal belt) but he believes it’s telling him that Oscar is gay - again, the moment is almost a “blink-and-you-miss-it” sort of deal, but it’s such a clever prank on Jim’s part.
When Jim Puts Dwight’s Stapler In Jell-O (Season 1, Episode 1)
Usually, the first episode of any show is meant to establish the characters, storyline, and motivations, but for The Office, they started off Jim’s pranks with Dwight as soon as possible as well.
In “Pilot,” it’s a simple prank - all Jim does is somehow get Dwight’s stapler into a mound of Jell-O, which is obviously not fun and no one wants that - but it’s the simplicity of this first prank - mixed in with all the other pranks that come after that, which makes this one of the best.
What makes it even more fun is that this prank was actually a call-back to the original British series that The Office was based on, starring Ricky Gervais. It's pretty cool to see the spin-off pay homage to the original show in a way that's so subtle only original fans would understand.
When Jim Gift-Wraps Dwight's Entire Desk (Season 5, Episode 11)
There have been so amazingly memorable Christmas episodes in The Office, but one of my favorites by far is “Moroccan Christmas,” if not for the craziness that happens within the first ten minutes of this episode. Regardless, in this Christmas special, Jim goes all out with presents to Dwight.
Well, not really presents. Instead, he seemingly wraps up every single one of Dwight’s things - including his desk, his computer, and his chair - in Christmas wrapping paper. And when Dwight comes in to see it, he says he’ll be able to unwrap everything quickly, but as soon as he puts his briefcase down and attempts to sit, everything falls apart, revealing that it was all cardboard beneath the paper.
I mean, come on. Someone who goes through that kind of serious dedication is an amazing prankster. You can’t even be mad at someone who’s able to do that.
When Jim Connects A 500-Foot Red Wire To Dwight’s Computer (Season 5, Episode 13)
During The Office, in “Prince Family Paper,” Dwight, while he is working at his desk, notices a strange red wire that was never there before. Jim seems dismissive of it, until Dwight begins to pull the red wire up, revealing that it was taped to the ground, under the chairs and desks of fellow co-workers, through the building, and outside up the telephone pole.
Jim later reveals he got 500 feet worth of red wire at the Flea Market. In the background, we see Dwight climbing up the telephone pole to disconnect the wire, not knowing its origins. Jim simply says that Dwight will be okay because he was up there too. It’s a funny exchange and a super simple prank that stands out amongst the rest.
When Jim Replaces Himself With His Asian Actor Friend (Season 9, Episode 3)
This is definitely my favorite prank of Jim’s, hands-down. In the third episode of Season 9, titled “Andy’s Ancestry,” Jim decides to enlist the help of his actor friend to pull the ultimate prank - faking his own identity. The actor friend, playing Jim, comes into work like it’s any normal morning, except now he is of Asian descent. Dwight, thinking it’s a prank, automatically calls him out, asking the imposter-Jim about a sale only Jim would know about.
The supposed Jim answers back perfectly what Dwight expected to hear, enters in the correct password for his phone, and then Pam comes over and gives him a kiss This is further continued when Dwight is still in denial and holds up a picture of Jim with his kids, but is instead replaced by the Asian man.
It turns out, according to Pam, the Jim that was in the office that day was an acting friend of theirs, named Steve, while the real Jim was actually at the dentist.
Dwight’s slow breakdown into confusion and dismay is made all the more funnier when you know the context of the scene. Truly, for all the work Jim did to get this to work, it was amazing. It's even funnier knowing that Randall Park, who played Steve, doesn't even remember doing this legendary prank.
When Jim Surprises Dwight At His Wedding With Michael (Season 9, Episode 24)
Alright, so this isn’t necessarily what you would think a “prank” is, but it’s a great moment in The Office that shows how far both Jim and Dwight have come in their relationship. During Dwight’s wedding, Jim, who was supposed to be the bestish mensch (otherwise known as the best man), tells Dwight that in order to be that, you have to be older than the groom.
While Dwight does seem visibly upset that Jim can’t be his best man anymore, Jim says that there’s nothing he can do, but then his eyes move towards the entrance to the room they were in, and Dwight turns around to see Michael, their former boss, standing there, surprising Dwight.
It’s a sweet and hysterical moment, where Michael even gets to say “That’s what she said” once more, but afterwards once Dwight and Michael have hugged, Jim says to the camera, “Best prank ever.”
Again, seeing the two of them, who had been at each other for so long with these pranks and rivalries, come so far in The Office, makes this scene even better. It was a great way to close out their long-winded frenemy-ship. And a great way to bring Steve Carell back to the show one last time as the series wrapped up.
Which one of these pranks were your favorite? Do you miss the constant gags we would get during The Office between these two? I know that I do. I suppose I’ll just have to watch whatever The Office cast is doing now to get my fix. Speaking of that, when’s the next season of John Krasinski’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan? Ugh, we need an The Office reunion.
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.