Television history is littered with iconic couples: Ross and Rachel, Homer and Marge, Ben and Leslie – but none are perhaps quite as endearing as Jim and Pam from The Office.
It pains me to say, then, that the original plan for the US workplace comedy’s rocksteady relationship involved Jim cheating on Pam.
As per Uproxx (opens in new tab), Jim would have kissed part-time receptionist Cathy during the show’s eighth season – but John Krasinski refused to film the scene.
In the new book Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office, Krasinski recalled the moment where he said no: "That’s the only time I remember putting my foot down. I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, I’m not going to shoot it."
On his reasoning behind being so protective of his character – as well as his relationship with Pam – Krasinski said, "My feeling is there is a threshold with which you can push our audience. They are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them. But there’s a moment where if you push them too far, they’ll never come back. And I think that if you show Jim cheating, they’ll never come back."
To this day, The Office creator Greg Daniels defends his decision to push the envelope, saying he had planned the moment because fans "were very comfortable with the show they were getting, and I needed to worry them that maybe I was going to give them a bad ending."
The Office is currently streaming on Peacock in the US and on Netflix and Prime Video in the UK. If you need more to watch, be sure to check out the best shows on Amazon Prime and the best Netflix shows.