When it comes to torturing your co-worker (or co-workers) with a morale-shrinking prank, the key expenditures are time and just a little bit of your black soul, but if you truly subscribe to the notion of “go big or go home,” then you may have to reach into your wallet as well.
For nine seasons on The Office, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) repeatedly pulled one over on his irritating co-worker, Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). But while the cost of a packet of jello or some (non-magic) beans could be covered by the change in your cup holder, hiring actors or renting heavy equipment demand a bit more money and also, respect. So, here’s a look at six of the most ambitious and expensive pranks pulled by Jim, ranked in order of which would cost the most replicate in real life.
Make Your Selection
The Prank: Jim takes Dwight’s beloved tchotchkes and puts them in the vending machine, theoretically making his treasures accessible to others for the same rock bottom price as a moldy bagged danish.
Breakdown: It’s hard to put a price on this. The act wouldn’t cost a thing but you’d probably have to grease the guy with the vending machine keys to get access and that could be pricey. Let’s guesstimate that it costs $50 for the guy to look the other way.
The Prank: Jim lives the dream and both annoys and becomes Dwight, complete with his enviable style and accessories. Because the one thing Dwight values more than office safety and Michael’s happiness is his brand.
Breakdown: Here, Jim supplies us with an actual accounting of what the prank costs (the drugstore reading glasses are $4 and the dress shirt and awful tie come to $7). But there are holes. This is why he isn’t in accounting.
Jim adds it all up on his calculator watch, but there’s no mention if the watch is a part of that $7 to construct the “ensemble,” so let’s say it’s not and that Jim didn’t just have that laying around at home. One of those goes for $18 on Amazon. But that doesn’t touch the cost of the Bobblehead and, quite possibly, the briefcase. Let’s estimate another $50 on those combined. That brings the cost of this prank to around $75.
The Ultimate Guide To Throwing A Garden Party
The Prank: Jim, inexplicably, takes time away from his wife and child to write and bind a full book of fake garden party etiquette tips (The Ultimate Guide To Throwing A Garden Party by James Trickington, of course) in an effort to get an afternoon’s worth of delight from the many micro-embarrassments it causes Dwight to endure.
Breakdown: We’re not estimating the cost of Jim’s labor on these, and that’s particularly relevant on this one because he wrote an actual book. And had it bound professionally, too. Online, that would cost about $130.
Not Really Jim
The Prank: Jim’s friend, Steve (Randall Park), pretends to be him while Jim is at the dentist in an effort to gaslight Dwight.
Breakdown: Pam (Jenna Fischer) identifies Steve as an actor so it’s entirely possible he did this all as a favor. Still, Steve’s gotta eat too and I can’t imagine there’s a lot of paid work for actors in Scranton, so maybe his pals tossed him a few bucks for a few hours worth of work. Probably not too expensive, but you’ll recall that, besides kissing Pam, Jim also used a family portrait (featuring Steve, Pam, and Jim and Pam’s kids) to clinch the mindf*ck. And that didn’t look like Photoshop.
Did Jim pay to get professional pictures taken at the mall? We may never know, but depending on the package (did they get wallet size to commemorate the prank?) and the cost of an actor’s time (assuming you don’t have a friends and family discount), this whole thing could cost you a couple hundred dollars if you wanted to make it happen.
The Tear-Away Suit
The Prank: Owing, perhaps, to his love of Dr. J and basketball, Jim hires a custom tailor to make a tearaway suit that he then sneaks into Dwight’s dry cleaning so he can pull off his suit in the parking lot exposing Dwight to ridicule and all of us to his boxers vs. briefs preference.