Preface: I haven’t seen the entire series yet. I’m only halfway through season seven. For that reason, I may be missing key couples, moments or information. This article includes spoilers.
When I started watching The Office routinely this winter, I realized that there were more workplace romances than just Pam and Jim. Many of these relationships, like the workplace itself, seem to be very toxic. I have determined a ranking of these relationships. Can you guess which pair ends up on top?
12. Pam & Roy
Prior to watching the show regularly, I was not aware that Roy existed. So, when I saw Roy in season one, episode one, I was upset. Roy literally sucks as a boyfriend; yes, I said boyfriend because he doesn’t even remember that him and Pam are engaged most days. He left Pam at one of his brother’s minor hockey games and drove home without her. He acts entitled to Pam’s time and attention. It’s also clear that there’s a poor fit because they have different love languages. Roy’s love language appears to be physical touch and Pam enjoys receiving gifts as a sign of affection. Let me remind you of the Valentine’s Day where Roy was planning on “giving” her the best sex of her life versus the Christmas party when Jim gave her a teapot with keepsakes inside because her tea gets cold at her desk.
11. Gabe & Erin
I think there’s a bit of a power imbalance here with Gabe representing corporate and Erin being a secretary at the Scranton branch. Gabe essentially picks out every movie that him and Erin watch for movie nights. They seem to enjoy each other’s companionship enough, but there doesn’t really seem to be any chemistry from the outside.
10. Kelly & Ryan
I was amazed when I realized that these two both liked each other initially. However, there seems to be a lot of lying in the relationship, and they both take advantage of the convenience of the other. Additionally, Ryan tries to dump Kelly every time he goes to work in the corporate office or Thailand. I think the defining quote of the relationship is said by Ryan: “Oh my god, I hooked up with her on February 13th.”
9. Angela & Andy
This relationship was so sad to watch. Angela was using Andy to make Dwight jealous, and Andy took advantage of Jim’s heart. Let’s not forget the moment when Jim paid for fireworks at the carnival to propose to Pam, and Andy had to seize the moment and ask Angela for her hand in marriage. Not only were they awkward to watch, but Andy was obviously way more invested (emotionally and financially) into this relationship than Angela was. Andy paid deposits on more than five wedding venues in different states with different vibes to please Angela.
8. Kelly & Darryl
Clearly, Kelly was just trying to make Ryan jealous by dating Darryl. I forgot that they were even dating when I was putting together this list. We know Darryl has a daughter and shares custody with his ex, but at what point in the series did Kelly seem like a person who genuinely cared about other people or children? Don’t get me wrong, Kelly has some funny one-liners – written by Mindy Kaling, I’m sure – but she doesn’t really give off motherly vibes.
7. Angela & Dwight
While this relationship was uncomfortable to watch at times, their personalities seemed to fit well, and they did have a lot in common. For instance, they both liked old things including Dwight’s barn, American girl doll clothing and fashion from the 80s. The lack of PDA in The Office was refreshing, and I applauded them for trying to keep their relationship separate from work. To my knowledge, they were the only couple who were able to hide it from most of the office staff, except for Jim and Pam. At the heart of it, they just seemed stiff in their relationship and Dwight literally tricked Angela into marrying him on the farm.
6. Michael & Jan
I’m not sure what is more embarrassing – Michael as a manager or Michael as a boyfriend. In every relationship, he gets attached very quickly, is super clingy and is not concerned about PDA. His relationship with his real estate agent, the bar manager and with Pam’s mom aren’t included because we didn’t get to see as much of those relationships, and they weren’t co-workers.
When Michael, a branch manager dated Jan, a regional manager for corporate, there was a very strange power imbalance. Jan felt uncomfortable going to corporate functions with Michael, despite living with him. Michael didn’t really understand that there are different standards and expectations of women in corporate workplaces. Michael shared a topless photo of Jan on their trip down South and didn’t understand why Jan might be upset with him when the email circulated. Jan wanted a baby more than she wanted to be with Michael, especially given that she went to a sperm donor bank without his knowledge while they were dating to conceive. The whole relationship was uncomfortable to watch, and it was a bit like a car crash. The scene that stands out the most to me is the dinner party at Michael’s house with Jim, Pam, Jan, Dwight and his nanny.
5. Jim & Karen
While they were both available when Jim went to the Stamford office, Jim was clearly not emotionally available during their relationship. This was evident when Karen could not sign a lease for an apartment on the same street as him. Also, Jim couldn’t tell Pam that he was seeing Karen specifically, so Pam had to figure it out herself. Karen clearly wanted a more serious relationship, as she got married and pregnant relatively soon after leaving Scranton.
4. Andy & Erin
These two seemed to have a decent amount of chemistry and there was a lot of build-up to their first date. They both seem to be quirky and sweet, especially when Erin goes to Andy’s play.
3. Michael & Holly
This was probably Michael’s best match during the series. Their sense of humour was in sync and they had fun together, but there was still a bit too much PDA for a workplace environment.
2. Phyllis & Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration
For a few seasons, Phyllis is the only person working in the office who is happily married. Everyone else is divorced or single, which I find crazy (I guess being married makes characters less interesting in shows). During the human auction, Bob bid on Phyllis after no one wanted to buy one of her hugs, which was sweet. Phyllis also stole a lot of wedding ideas from Pam, but honestly, I think Phyllis just idolized Pam and wanted to be like her.
1. Jim & Pam
Note that these two were just good friends for years because Pam friend-zoned him hard at first. There were sweet moments in season one where Pam would fall asleep on Jim’s shoulder during meetings or they’d talk to each other during work socials and parties. There were multiple moments where Jim professed his love to Pam, and she was too scared to reciprocate feelings.
It’s obvious how much they like each other when you constantly see their side glances during the workday before they even started dating. They both seem to really enjoy each other’s sense of humour, especially when they plan pranks on Dwight. You could argue that the audience gravitates to Jim and Pam because they are the two “normal,” easy-to-like characters in the show, but I think they show that they really care about each other.
Like I said in the preface, I don’t know which of the relationships will last. Most of the relationships are built around convenience and making people jealous. Those are my rankings of The Office romances from worst to best with my current knowledge! Let me know your thoughts!