The mystery was born nearly a decade ago in season two of The Office.

By Omar Sanchez
February 19, 2020 at 02:42 PM EST

The Office

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We finally know what Jim held back from giving Pam during the “Christmas Party” episode of The Office in season 2, and it’s something that brought Jenna Fischer (and us) to tears.

“I’m the only one who knows, and John knows,” Fischer says on the latest episode of The Offices Ladies podcast. Until now.

In season 2, episode 10 of the hit NBC sitcom, Dunder Mifflin’s employees do a secret Santa for the holidays. When Jim (John Krasinski) gets Pam (Fischer), he decides to nudge Pam about his feelings for her, so he gets her a teapot with little mementos inside. One of those was a personal note for Pam. Pam never opens that note. That is until the final season, seven years later.

“I’m on camera, and I open up the note that John had given me, and I just start crying,” Fischer remembers from shooting the season 9 episode where Jim finally lets her read the note.

As Fischer remembers, The Office showrunner Greg Daniels prompted Krasinksi to add a personal emotional connection to the note. Daniels had done this with Pam and Michael’s goodbye at the airport in season 7, episode 22, she says, when he prompted her to just “run up and say goodbye to your friend Steve.” This time around, Krasinski was told to write a farewell note to Fischer herself, since the show was actually ending soon.

“I’ll never say exactly what John wrote, but just know that it was perfect,” Fischer says as she holds back tears on the podcast.

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

The mystery of what was in that note has bugged hardcore fans since that season 2 episode. EW even interviewed The Office executive producer Michael Schur back in 2016 about the teapot, but we only got so much closer to unveiling the secret.

“We didn’t know what it was, but Greg was pitching it to the network and he said, ‘He’s going to buy Pam some sort of present that is something he knows she likes…like a teapot,'” Schur said at the time. “He literally just came up with it on the spur of the moment. He was just thinking of something that could have some other thing inside of it. So then, we were like, “Okay, what should it really be?” And it kept being like, “Well, I feel like teapot is the right move. He’s watched her, he knows that she likes to drink tea, so why not just a teapot?”

Shur went even deeper, talking about the inspiration behind the note itself.

“I believe Greg had the idea that he’d write her a note and that we wouldn’t see what was in the note,” he said. “But the idea was that the note was going to kind of push the envelope a bit in terms of him telling her how he felt. And in the moment that she had gotten the teapot back, what was going to happen was she was going to be so happy with it and was going to be so delighted by all the shared memories that he was going to secretly grab the note and pocket it in an emotionally smart way, where he realized, “This is good. This a good step forward for us, I don’t want to ruin it.”

Then there was season 9, episode 22 “A.A.R.M,” which stoked the flames. Jim is now in Philly at a new job. The distance plus a lot of miscommunication adds strain to Jim and Pam’s marriage. To ease the tension, Jim recruits the documentary crew behind The Office documentary to cut a video of the two throughout the years. Jim also gives Pam the long-awaited note.

And what about the pencil that was inside of the teapot? According to Fischer, it was a pencil Jim had thrown at Pam during a round of mini golf.

Related:

Episode Recaps

The Office

The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.

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