John Krasinski can jump around in action movies all he wants, but everyone will always see him as lovable goofball Jim Halpert from The Office first, and everything else second. After nine seasons of playing the guy who gave the camera furtive looks, Krasinski made sure that Jim Halpert would be an enduring part of his legacy.
While we probably wouldn't appreciate Jim as much if he was our actual co-worker, he left enough genuinely perfect moments of comedy and drama to be one of the most memorable characters on the show. Here are the best of those moments.
First impressions are everything, and Jim introduced himself to audiences in the best way possible. After American audiences quickly realized that Michael was an incompetent man-child and Dwight was a sycophantic sociopath, they needed someone like Jim to knock them down a peg with a stapler in Jell-O. The first prank and the hint of his future relationship with Pam was all it took to make him the endearing hero of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch.
2. "PRODUCT RECALL"
"Product Recall" showed just about all sides of Jim inside of 22 minutes. One of the show's funniest cold opens (where he perfectly impersonated Dwight for the low, low price of $11) showed off Krasinski's comedic side, while his car ride with Andy demonstrated his sarcastic, fed-up attitude with his co-workers ("Lord, beer me strength."), and his subsequent sympathy after Andy realized he has been dating a high school girl gives the audience a view of his caring nature.
3. "WEIGHT LOSS"
Jim has always been quick-witted, but usually puts some thought into his more ambitious endeavors. That's why it was such a surprise when he randomly proposed to Pam at a gas station in the rain while she was studying in New York. The way he handled her dreams in general was admirable, and this was simply a logical culmination of his support for her.
4. "TRAVELING SALESMAN"
While the episode primarily focused on the Andy-Angela-Dwight love triangle, "Traveling Salesmen" also proved Jim's effectiveness as both an employee and a teammate. His unorthodox sales call with Dwight made them both look like marketing geniuses, and the fact that they could work together at all showed that their perpetual rivalry was built on a bedrock of genuine mutual respect.
5. "OFFICE OLYMPICS"
For the first season or so of The Office, Jim didn't seem to have much going for him at Dunder Mifflin; he was your run-of-the-mill, bored office drone. But then he was given an opportunity to make his workspace a little brighter and he took it, formally organizing and running the Office Olympics. It was clear how much true joy he was getting from the project and how pleased he was to be able to help Michael with it in the end.
6. "CUSTOMER SURVEY"
"Customer Survey" lives and dies on the improvised, three-minute bit where Michael tries to coach Dwight through a fake sales call with Jim, who is casually manipulating them as "Bill Buttlicker." Not only did this display Jim's capability to understand others on a fundamental level, but it was one of the series' single funniest moments.
Jim and Pam's wedding was one of the moments the show had been building toward from the very beginning. Their wedding, with the forced music number, secret elopement on the Maid of the Mist, and the adorable ruining of the clothes was all saccharine. But the moment Jim messed up and revealed Pam's pregnancy was a welcome reminder that he wasn't quite a perfect spouse.
What can be said. The video that Jim had made for Pam in the series's penultimate episode was as heartbreaking and touching as television can get, and him finally giving the Christmas card to her, a plot line that writers had been sitting on for the better part of seven seasons, was a moment of much-needed closure for the show.