DON'T OPEN 'TIL X-MAS
(”Moroccan Christmas,” Season 4, Episode 12)
Jim Halpert, always thinking of what to get his bullpen-mate for the holidays, decided to wrap Dwight’s desk, chair, lamp, computer — basically everything in Christmas wrapping paper. Or, that’s what it looked like. It was the gift that keeps on giving…provided you watch it over and over again. Keep on going through the gallery to see Jim’s best. —Marc Bernardin
JELL-OH NO, YOU DIDN'T
(”The Pilot,” Season 1, Episode 1)
Say you’ve lost your stapler, or your calculator, or your ”World’s Best Boss” coffee mug. Someone probably borrowed it. Maybe you misplaced it. But if you work at Dunder Mifflin Scranton, your office supplies are probably encapsulated in a Jell-O mold, courtesy of Jim Halpert (John Krasinski). While it’s not his most elaborate or inventive hoax, Jim’s inaugural prank is a classic, especially when he denies his guilt while innocently slurping on Jell-O.
(”The Alliance,” Season 1, Episode 4)
What do you do when there are rumors of downsizing in your office? If you’re Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), you form a super-secret alliance with your arch-enemy Jim, schedule covert rendezvous in the parking lot to discuss suspicious employee behavior, and volunteer to seal yourself inside a cardboard box to spy on coworkers. While Jim and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) encourage Dwight’s paranoia, this is one prank that Dwight pulls on himself…right down to his disguise for spying on the Stamford branch — peroxide bleached blond hair.
(”Health Care,” Season 1, Episode 3)
Could someone in your office be suffering from Ebola? Mad cow disease? Leprosy? Flesh-eating bacteria? A government-created killer nano-robot infection? Or perhaps most deadly of all, Count Choculitis? Dwight’s in charge of selecting a new cost-efficient health insurance plan, but runs into some difficulties: How many insurance companies provide coverage for those suffering with hot-dog fingers? Pam and Jim have contracted nearly every infectious disease under the sun, and some not yet discovered, according to the forms they submit to Dwight. FYI, if your teeth ever turn to liquid and drip down the back of your throat, chances are you’re suffering from spontaneous dental hydroplosion. (Bonus disease: Pretendinitis. Warning signs: High-pitched noises coming from the receptionist’s desk.)
(”Conflict Resolution,” Season 2, Episode 21)
No one can truly appreciate the magnitude of Jim’s high jinks until taking a look at Dwight’s complaint files. Jim boasts an impressive rap sheet: he’s paid off his coworkers to call Dwight “Dwayne,” replaced Dwight’s pens with crayons, put a bloody glove in Dwight’s desk and tried to convince him he was a murderer. But perhaps the most elaborate prank in the hefty complaint file is Jim’s alleged tampering with Dwight’s telephone handset. Jim is charged with incrementally increasing the weight of Dwight’s phone with nickels, and then abruptly removing the change. The result? Dwight nailed himself in the face with his phone.
(”Dwight’s Speech,” Season 2, Episode 17)
When Dwight receives the highest honor that a Northeastern Pennsylvania-based midsize paper company regional salesman can attain, Salesman of the Year, Jim is more than happy to give him public speaking tips, including a copied speech by World War II-era dictator Benito Mussolini. Jim’s prank backfires, however, when Dwight’s impassioned speech is a big hit with his audience. (”I say, salesmen, and women, of the world, UNITE!”) The combination of Dwight’s fist slamming, arm waving, and mechanical laughter make this botched prank one of the funniest moments in Office history.
(”Booze Cruise,” Season 2, Episode 11)
When Dwight’s desk paraphernalia goes missing, he probably thinks it’s floating in Jell-O. But he’s flabbergasted to find his bobble head, name plate, and wallet showcased in the office vending machine. You decide which moment is more memorable: Pam buying Dwight’s pencil cup or Jim handing Dwight a bag of change so he can buy his stuff back, one nickel at a time. Pencil cup: One dollar. Watching a coworker buy back his own bobble head doll: Priceless.
(”Performance Review,” Season 2, Episode 8)
Dwight arrives to work on time every day, rain or shine, healthy or sick, showered or covered in beet juice and goose feathers. So he’s understandably upset when his perfect attendance record is marred thanks to Jim, who successfully convinces Dwight that it’s Friday, when it is, in fact, Thursday. After a well-placed Apprentice reference, Dwight is completely convinced that he has the following day off. He arrives to the office on Friday, hours late, unshaven, and in rumpled clothes, all of which will be duly noted on his otherwise perfect performance review.
DUDE, WHERE'S MY DESK?
(”The Fight,” Season 2, Episode 6)
Dwight seems to have misplaced his desk. But before he can whine to Michael (Steve Carell), Jim begins a game of Hot or Cold, which Dwight (a natural-born hunter, seeker, and ping-pong enthusiast) cannot resist. Dwight’s miffed when he finally locates his desk in the men’s restroom, but doesn’t confront Jim about his new office space. What can you expect from a man who cried at the end of Armageddon?*
*Claims to have cried because it was New Year’s Eve and it started to snow at exactly midnight
(”Product Recall,” Season 3, Episode 20)
Question. Which Dwight is best: Dwight Schrute or Dwight Halpert? While it’s less of a prank and more of a direct insult, Jim’s impersonation of Dwight is too memorable, and dead-on, to leave out of our Office prank countdown. With a pair of $4 drugstore glasses, a tie from the Salvation Army, a calculator watch, and an unfortunate hair part, you too can become a Dwight look-alike! To be even more convincing as a Schrute, be sure to ask a series of nonsensical questions.
Dwight’s revenge: A messy hairstyle, a few goofy smirks, and some unabashed flirting with Pam (in other words, an equally hilarious impersonation of Jim).
(”Business School,” Season 3, Episode 16)
Something’s wrong with Jim. He feels all tingly. He can’t touch garlic bread. His teeth feel…sharper. He’s sensitive to sunlight. When it comes to mythical creatures, Dwight has more experience with werewolves. But he can’t deny the telltale signs that poor Jim is morphing into a vampire. Besides, as Dwight astutely points out, if a vampire was in the U.S., it would obviously ”come to a ‘-sylvania.’ Like Pennsylvania.” Obviously.
(”Phyllis’ Wedding,” Season 3, Episode 15)
Inspired by Pavlov’s experiment, Jim trains Dwight to expect an Altoid at the sound of a computer log-in bell. After weeks of conditioning, Jim boots his computer, and Dwight robotically extends his hand. When he doesn’t receive a mint, Dwight smacks his lips and wonders aloud why he has such a bad taste in his mouth. Turns out paying attention in psych class pays off, and Dwight is successfully brainwashed.
YES, DWIGHT, THAT IS THE REAL BEN FRANKLIN
(”Ben Franklin,” Season 3, Episode 14)
When Jim is assigned to hire a stripper, he calls exactly who you’d think: the Scholastic Speakers of Pennsylvania. When Ben Franklin arrives, Jim reveals to Dwight that the man is not an impersonator; he is the real Benjamin Franklin. After trying unsuccessfully to stump ”Ben” with a series of historical brain busters, Dwight raises his fists and yells at the sky. ”I don’t care what Jim says. That is not the real Ben Franklin,” says Dwight. ”I am 99 percent sure.” (Bonus Beesly prank: When Ben tries to flirt with Pam by mentioning that he invented electricity, she reminds him that the real Ben Franklin had syphilis.)
HIGHLY CLASSIFIED PRANKING
(”A Benihana Christmas,” Season 3, Episode 10)
Pam gives Jim the ultimate Christmas gift: classified plans to a long-term prank on a completely oblivious ”CIA operative,” otherwise known as the assistant to the regional manager, Dwight Schrute. Dwight’s mission, as determined by Jim, is to report to Langley headquarters via helicopter for training, followed by an ice cream social. Upon discovering he has been compromised, Dwight aborts the mission and destroys all evidence. In this prank, Dwight not only loses his dignity but also throws a perfectly good cell phone off the roof of Dunder Mifflin.
FAX FROM THE FUTURE
(”Branch Closing,” Season 3, Episode 7)
When Jim steals some of Dwight’s stationery and sends Dwight faxes from ”Future Dwight,” Dwight isn’t the only victim. Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker) loses a perfectly good cup of coffee when Dwight bats the ”poisoned liquid” out of Stanley’s hands.
From: Future Dwight
Subject: Office coffee
Dwight: At 8 a.m. today, someone poisons the coffee. Do not drink the coffee. More instructions will follow. Cordially, Future Dwight
(”Gay Witch Hunt,” Season 3, Episode 1)
After discovering Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuñez) is gay, Michael and Dwight team up to out other coworkers. Luckily, Jim knows just the device the duo needs: Gaydar, the technology to detect homosexuality, available for purchase online! Jim breaks the bad news that Gaydar is sold out at Sharper Image, but manages to send Dwight the device, which has an uncanny resemblance to a metal detector. Dwight’s thrilled, until he scans himself and the Gaydar beeps wildly.
SPECIAL BONUS PRANK ROCKIN' ROBIN
(”The Return,” Season 3, Episode 13)
Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) never misses an opportunity to remind everyone of three important facts: He went to Cornell University. (”Ever heard of it?”) He was drunk all the time. And, most important, he was a member of the a cappella group Here Comes Treble. When Andy records his own cell-phone ringtone, a four-part a cappella version of ”Rockin’ Robin;;, Jim decides enough is enough. With the help of Pam, Jim hides Andy’s phone in the ceiling, and then calls it repeatedly. The prank sends the Cornell alumni off his rocker, and straight into anger management classes. ”Tweedly-dee. Tweedle-de-deet-deet….”
More fun in The Office! Read all about Jim’s next pranks and the weekly ups and downs at Dunder Mifflin the morning after each episode in EW.com’s Office TV Watch.