It’s Debatable: In The Office, Is Karen Better Than Pam?

It’s Debatable: In The Office, Is Karen Better Than Pam?

March 9, 2018

Hello and welcome to the first episode of America’s new favorite show called It’s Debatable!

It’s the show where we take important, controversial topics and invite two experts to come in and settle the argument once and for all.

This week, we’re discussing the greatest American TV show ever: The Office. Specifically, we will settle the debate over who is better on that show: Pam or Karen?

Our two experts are here, so let’s get started!

Narrator (N): Thank you both for being here and welcome to It’s Debatable. This topic has been on people’s minds since 2007 and it’s been a hot debate ever since. Here’s how it works: I’ll get you two started on a topic and we’ll hear your arguments on each subject. At the end, a verdict will be rendered. Ready to go?

Pro Karen (PK): Ready.

Pro Pam (PPam): I’m ready as spaghetti.

N: Um, okay. The first topic is: who’s the better couple? This is in no way meant to be misogynistic, so keep your comments appropriate. The reason we’re discussing this is that many, many people believe that Jim and Pam are the best couple in television history. However, in recent years, there’s been a strong movement saying that actually Jim and Karen are the best couple in TV history. What are your takes?

PPam: Wait, are you serious? Who is saying that Karen and Jim are the best couple? It’s been a proven internet fact that Jim and Karen are the GCOAT (Greatest Couple of All Time). I mean, you’d have to go back to when? Sam and Diane on Cheers? Come on!

PK: Oh, ye, of little knowledge. When was the last time you took your head out of the sand? When you were on your dinosaur? Everyone now knows that Pam and Jim were actually a mediocre-to-awful couple, and that is entirely because of Pam.

PPam: Surely, you can’t be serious.

PK: I am serious, And don’t call me ever. Let’s list the facts. 1) Pam teased and tortured Jim into staying at a job he hated;  2) She led him to think they were something special–while she was engaged! 3) Then when he totally fell for her, she turned him down; 4) And when Jim tried to pick up the pieces and move on, Pam sabotaged his new relationship any way she could. As a wise man once said, “Pam was the devil in nerd’s clothing.”

PPam: Nobody said that.

PK: You’re avoiding the points.

PPam: She did it because she loved him. She was confused.

PK: Well, let me tell you who wasn’t confused: Karen! From day one, Karen was kind to Jim. She played video games with him (Pam never did), took care of him when he got drunk (Pam was too drunk herself to care–remember the Dundies??), and followed him to Scranton when the branch was closed (Pam instead left Jim and went to art school). Pam selfishly manipulated while Karen selflessly gave.

PPam: Jim and Pam got engaged in the rain. You can’t get more storybook than that!

PK: At a gas station!

N: Moving on. Next topic: quality of character.

PPam: That’s easy. Pam is kind and sweet. Sweeter than a june bug’s nectar.

PK: I agree. Because june bugs are one of the most troublesome summer insects! Look it up. From the start, Karen was always nice to Pam. She respected Pam’s past and her friendship with Jim. She liked Pam and treated her well. And what happened on that Office Retreat?? Pam made a ridiculous speech about wanting Jim back right in front of her. Rude!

PPam: She just didn’t want to keep it inside anymore. She wanted to tell the truth.

PK: The truth came out all right. The truth is: She’s a world-class jerk!

N: Let’s get to the next topic. Who was the most charming?

PPam: That’s definitely Pam. She was cute and nerdy…

PK: Devil in nerd’s clothing!

PPam: As I was SAYING, she’s cute and charming and definitely had strong appeal.

PK: Yeah, if you like Corn Flakes. Let me spell it out for you: Pam was C-O-R-N-Y (and flaky, too). By the time we got to the later seasons, she was downright cringe-worthy. Remember “mental pictures” at Niagara Falls? Yikes. Remember how bad she was at volleyball even though she was supposed to be good? Remember her corny “yes” cheers to herself? She was the worst part of the show by the end.

PPam: Yeah, well, Karen wasn’t even on the whole show.

PK: That was Pam’s fault! If Karen ended up with Jim like she was supposed to, there would be no argument.

PPam: But how about how adorable Pam was with Michael in the first few seasons?

PK: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And Pam finished horribly.

N: Last topic, people. Let’s discuss the overall body of work for each contestant. 

PK: Perfect! No contest.

PPam: Au contraire, mon frere.

PK: You’re French now?

PPam: Si.

PK: If we’re looking at overall lifetime bodies of work, Karen wins easily. We can start with Parks & Rec if you like. Who is more adorable than Ann Perkins?

PPam: I don’t know… She dated Tom Haverford.

PK: She never really liked him and broke up with him a hundred times. She can’t be marked down for that.

PPam: Hey, what about Blades of Glory? Pam was pretty awesome in that.

PK: She was good, I admit. But I’ll see your Blades of Glory and raise you “Woman in Love Contract” from Chappelle’s Show. You don’t see Pam on that all-time great show!

PPam: Fine. But what about Dewey Cox: Walk Hard, though?

PK: Oh. That’s a good one.

PPam: What about Dewey Cox, though??

PK: I hear you.


PK: Okay, okay. I didn’t want to bring this out. But, hey, you brought this on yourself. I just have two words for you: Angie Tribeca.

PPam: Oh no…

PK: Oh yes! Hey, what are you doing?…

N: Well, it appears that our Pro Pam expert has just flung himself head first out of a four story window. By virtue of that and the salient points made by Pro Karen, we can say that it’s no longer debatable: Karen is greater than Pam!

Thanks for joining us, everyone. This has been It’s Debatable, where every debate is a good one as long as the other person is wrong.

See you next time!


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.