Michael Scott may have been the star of The Office, but as my friend once put it, Jim and Dwight are the lifeblood. Without them, the show would never have been successful, or at least, not as successful as it is today. Their relationship is a major part of what keeps the show together and when it’s not there, the show suffers for it.
Even though they may be buddies now, at first, they were natural enemies. Dwight’s obnoxious personality annoyed Jim (and probably the rest of the office), and Jim would find clever ways to get back at him. He would scheme some brilliant prank and set it up just for Dwight, often laughing over it with Pam in the process.
These pranks are usually the biggest source of comedy in the show. Sometimes they’re as simple as putting things in Jell-O. Other times they’re carefully planned and take place over an extended period of time, only for a hilarious pay off in the end that makes it all worth it.
As the show comes to an end, I thought it would be appropriate to look back at some of the best pranks that have taken place in The Office. It was incredibly hard to choose just 10 as all these pranks have been downright hilarious. But I have been able to compile a solid list that’s based on how funny and clever the pranks were, combined with how seriously Dwight fell for them.
I hope we get one last brilliant prank between the two for the finale, but for now, these pranks are moments in the show that have become instant classics and have made the characters of Jim and Dwight iconic. I can’t imagine Jim will ever let an opportunity to mess with Dwight pass by, even if they are friends now. It’s just the nature of their relationship, a relationship that is nothing short of legendary.
With that, we present to you our top 10 Jim and Dwight pranks from The Office. I hope you enjoy reliving them as much as we did.
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Jell-O: One of the first pranks ever pulled by Jim on Dwight (on-screen) had Jim putting Dwight’s stapler in Jell-O in the Pilot episode. This caused for a hilarious reaction by Dwight who was trying to show off to the new guy, Ryan, as Michael was showing him around. Michael seems to enjoy the prank too and doesn’t really do anything about it. The best thing to come out of this are the puns that Jim and Ryan come up with, such as “I’m your biggest flan” or “you should have put him in custard-y”. Michael of course tries to come up with one himself to fit in, but utterly fails at it like only Michael Scott can.
Conflict Resolution: This is a bit of a cheat as we never really saw this happen on-screen. But in Season 2′s Conflict Resolution, we see Michael read out a list of Dwight’s complaints against Jim, which are just a whole bunch of hilarious pranks. The best one has Jim putting nickels into Dwight’s phone every day, and as he gets used to its weight, Jim takes out all the nickels and Dwight ends up hitting himself in the head with the phone. I would’ve loved to see this play out on-screen, but just visualizing it makes me crack up, so maybe it’s better that way. Apparently, it’s also John Krasinski’s favorite prank.
Ben Franklin: In Season 3′s Ben Franklin, Jim convinces Dwight that the Ben Franklin ‘stripper’ (who’s actually just an educational impersonator) is indeed the real Ben Franklin. Dwight is 99% sure that it is not, but that 1% of uncertainty leads to asking the impersonator some rapid fire questions that only the real Ben Franklin could answer. The best part of this prank is when the impersonator answers all his questions correctly and instantly, leading Dwight to scream in failure.
Buttlicker: In Season 5′s Customer Survey, Dwight and Jim’s customer feedback is pretty bad (which is a whole other plot line involving Kelly). Dwight is specifically described as being aggressive. Michael takes it upon himself to manage them personally so that they can go back to handling sales calls appropriately. This results in a fake call training between Dwight and Jim where Jim acts as the client under the name “Bill Buttlicker.”
Michael takes this super seriously and Jim uses this opportunity to mess with Dwight and force him to mess up and scream things like “Buttlicker, our prices have never been lower.” The best part of this is how seriously Michael and Dwight take this and it’s like they are on an actual call. There’s real tension on Dwight’s face when Jim offers Michael a purchase a million dollars worth of paper in exchange for firing Dwight. You have to watch the scene to realize its true brilliance.
Future Dwight: Just because Jim transferred to Dunder-Mifflin’s Stanford branch doesn’t mean he’d just stop pranking Dwight. In Season 3′s Branch Closing, Jim reveals how he took Dwight’s stationery and faxes Dwight messages while claiming to be Future Dwight. In this particular instance, he warns Dwight of the coffee being poisoned by someone and to not drink it. Dwight instantly runs to Stanley and knocks over his cup while he’s drinking it. I would’ve loved to see Stanley say something back along the same line of rage as “Did I stutter?”
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The premiere episode of Season 3, Gay Witch Hunt, had Dwight learning that Oscar was gay and trying to find out who else in the office was. It was obvious through everything they said that both him and Michael were completely ignorant about gay people. They call Jim to ask about the ‘gaydar’ machine that he once mentioned. Jim plays along, and says it’s sold out. But he uses this opportunity to make one and send it to Dwight, who then tests it out on Oscar successfully as the machine beeps. Dwight is happy the machine works, only for the machine to start beeping when it’s in front of Dwight’s crotch. A look of horror passes through Dwight’s face as he realizes he might be gay. Half the time Dwight’s face alone is enough to make a prank worth it.
9. Magic Beans
In Season 7′s Garage Sale, Dwight trades his way through to get the most valuable item. Jim, as expected, takes this opportunity to prank Dwight. He places a packet of beans, “Professor Copperfield’s Miracle Legumes” on his table and pretends like it got there by itself. He claims to have gotten it from Jamaica and implies that they are magic beans. Dwight doesn’t believe him at first. But later on it appears on the table once again. Jim throws it on the floor to step on and destroy it in front of Dwight. And once again, it shows up on his table by itself.
This time, Dwight is walking with a telescope that he traded his way to get. Dwight is sold on the beans once he sees them on the table again and reluctantly trades his telescope for it. Jim walks away with a telescope, while Dwight proudly talks about how he started with a thumb tack and traded his way to the “most valuable thing” there, those magic beans. And there’s that look on his face when he realizes how stupid he sounds. Well done, Jim.
In Season 9′s A.A.R.M., Jim (who is Assistant to the Regional Manager) convinces manager Dwight that he needs his own Assistant. He conducts a series of tests to find someone who can be his assistant, but these tests are designed such that only one person can win it: Dwight himself. And he does. The best part is, Dwight loves being Assistant to Jim, because he believes only he is capable of being that person. So in effect, Jim is now manager because whatever Dwight makes him do, he can just give it back to Dwight and make him do it because he’s both Jim’s boss and his assistant. It’s an insanely clever prank that’s made better when we see Jim actually make Dwight do his work for him.
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7. Vampire Jim
Season 3′s Business School, directed by Joss Whedon himself, sees a bat fly around the office and cause mayhem, while Dwight finds ways to catch it. In the process, Jim starts acting weird around Dwight, claiming that he feels “strangely powerful” after the bat bit him and displaying signs that he’s now a vampire. As always, Dwight falls for it hook, line and sinker and you can easily tell from the look on his face that he’s all in.
According to Dwight the expert, this doesn’t mean Jim will turn into a vampire, just that he has the vampiric blood in him. He also recounts a moment where he shot a werewolf once that turned back into his neighbor’s dog by the time he got to it. The whole thing ends with Jim leaving the office in a coat, claiming to be really cold. Dwight only wishes him good luck. He doesn’t really do anything about it, but the fact that he believed it completely is victory for Jim. The funniest result of this prank comes when Dwight approaches Creed for help, asking if he has the tools to turn a wooden mop into a stake. To which Creed simply replies, “What size?”
6. Asian Jim
Season 9′s Andy’s Ancestry sees Jim walk into the office like any other day and sit down at his desk–only it’s not Jim, it’s Steve, an Asian actor friend of theirs. Dwight asks him what he’s doing and doesn’t believe he’s the real Jim. But Asian Jim sells it really well, getting all of Jim’s dialogue and quirks down perfectly and passing Dwight’s test questions. He even looks into the camera the same way Jim does. Dwight is about to lose it when Pam comes along and kisses Asian Jim, telling him about the reservation she made for them at a restaurant. Now Dwight is confused. But the real kicker comes when Dwight takes their family portrait and shoves it into Asian Jim’s face, claiming that the person in that picture is the real Jim. But he turns it around only to see that Asian Jim is in that too!
5. Dwight Impersonation
In the cold open of the episode Product Recall, from Season 3, Jim comes in dressed up as Dwight all the way from the hairstyle to the watch. At first Dwight doesn’t notice anything. Then Jim starts talking, getting Dwight’s exact speech patterns down. Talking about bears is enough to get Dwight interested. Then Jim lists the three things Dwight loves most: Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica. That’s when Dwight realizes what Jim is doing, but appears to be unfazed by it. But once Jim pulls out a bobble head, Dwight can’t hold it in anymore as he warns Jim that identity theft is not a joke, “millions of families suffer every year.” Jim just screams “Michael” the same way Dwight does and goes into his office. This prank deserves to be on the list just for Jim dressing up exactly like Dwight, but nailing his speech patterns and getting Dwight to talk about identity theft guarantees a spot.
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4. Fake Radio Show
Directed by Jim himself (John Krasinski), Season 9′s The Boat, sees a radio show host, Iris Black, offer someone from Dunder-Mifflin to get on the air and talk about local business issues. Of course, Dwight readily accepts. But when the interview is called off, Jim decides to call Dwight and pretend to be from the radio. Nellie acts as Iris Black and leads the interview, hilariously getting Dwight to strip to his underwear in the process.
Over the course of the interview, she slanders Dunder-Mifflin and makes it seem like stocks have plummeted and that police are outside of David Wallace’s house ready to arrest the CEO. This leads to Dwight calling David Wallace and telling him to let himself get arrested. Wallace just hangs up not knowing or caring about what’s happening. And once Dwight comes out of the interview (still in his underwear), the whole office claps for him, making it look like he saved Dunder-Mifflin’s reputation.
The best random thing to come out of this is seeing Kevin eating snacks in the background also in his underwear. This is quite a brilliant prank, especially considering it lasted the whole episode. They convinced Dwight that he had put Dunder-Mifflin in big trouble and the fact that he even fell for stripping to his underwear earns this prank a spot in the top 5.
3. Pavlov’s Theory
Pavlov is a physiologist who conducted an experiment with a dog where for weeks he would feed the dog after ringing a bell such that after a few weeks, the dog’s mouth would salivate the moment it hears the bell ring. Jim tests this theory with Dwight in Season 3′s Phyllis’ Wedding. Every time his computer makes the reboot sound, he gives Dwight an Altoid. We see Jim do this over a few weeks until finally when the computer makes the same sound, Dwight instinctively reaches out his hand for an Altoid. When asked what he’s doing by Jim, Dwight has no idea and is confused as to why his mouth feels disgusting. This is the best part, that Dwight doesn’t even know he was pranked. And the fact he’s the dog in this situation makes it even more hilarious.
2. “It Was Dwight”
In Season 8′s Tallahassee, Dwight, Jim and a few other members of the office travel to Florida for Sabre’s new project. It’s the first day and Dwight gets everyone up at 5am to make sure everyone is ready for work that starts at 9. The best part about this is Dwight thinks he’s going to be able to ruin Jim’s sleep, but Jim is able to get to him first as Jim gets up earlier than Dwight and spends his time setting up his room to look like a murder scene. Dwight and Erin walk in and they’re horrified at the place, especially when Dwight sees the message on the wall that says “It was Dwight.” Right there it’s a brilliant prank, but as a bonus, we get Jim falling out of his closet like a dead body, freaking out both Dwight and Erin. This is perhaps Jim’s most well constructed prank considering he only had a short amount of time to put it together, and he gets the perfect reaction out of Dwight.
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1. “Absolutely I Do”
This is another one of the first pranks Jim pulled on Dwight, from Season 1′s The Alliance, showing us for the first time just how far Jim is willing to go to get back at Dwight for…being Dwight. Combined with the fact that this has extremely hilarious results earns this prank the top spot on this list.
Due to the downsizing rumors in the office, Dwight approaches Jim to form an alliance. Jim realizes what a great opportunity this is and replies “Absolutely I do,” a phrase that both Jim and Pam have used often ever since that moment any time Dwight asks either of them to get involved in his crazy plans. This leads to Jim going around the office talking to others and finding out what he can. Or at least, that’s what Dwight thinks he’s doing when in fact Jim is just talking about sandwiches with Kevin or giggling with Pam.
As you have seen from this list, the brilliance of these pranks is how tensed up and serious it gets Dwight, and it’s no more apparent here when Dwight is led to believe that others are forming an alliance. He goes so far as to hide in a box in the warehouse to listen in on a meeting that Jim said would take place during Meredith’s birthday party. Unlike all the other pranks on here though, this doesn’t end well for Jim as when he gets in trouble with Roy, Dwight denies knowing anything about an alliance. But still, this is the first proper Jim prank that spawned all the rest, and seeing Dwight with blond hair always cracks me up.
So there you have it, we hope you enjoyed our list of the best Jim and Dwight pranks. As you can see, Season 3 had the best of the pranks but Season 9′s been doing a fine job as well. At the end of the day, no matter how we rank them they’re all awesome and great. They never fail to make me laugh no matter how many times I’ve seen them before. It’s an important part of what makes The Office what it is, and defines the Jim-Dwight relationship. I hope we get one final prank for the finale as it just wouldn’t feel right for the show to end without one.
What do you think are the best pranks from The Office? Let us know what you think in the comments and whether you agree or disagree with this list.Previous