Jim and Pam’s wedding episode of The Office almost had a very different, dark ending
We’ve never wanted to be a fly on the wall of The Office‘s writers’ room more than after reading Entertainment Weekly‘s oral history of Jim and Pam‘s wedding episode. In honor of its 10th anniversary, writers and stars talked about creating the fan-favorite “Niagara” episode—which, um, almost had a super dark, Dwight-centric twist that ended in death? What?
Five years was a long time for fans to wait for Jim and Pam’s special day, so the pressure to make an incredible episode was already high, said Mindy Kaling, who co-wrote the episode with showrunner Greg Daniels.
"The episode was very ambitious for us," Kaling told EW. "We obviously shot in a different state, but then we had the rehearsal dinner along with the other stuff, so logistically, for a show that is essentially a bottle show in the office, it was one of the biggest episodes that we’ve done."
If you don’t remember, in the two-part episode, the Dunder Mifflin staff heads to Niagara Falls for Jim and Pam’s wedding. There, the couple is afraid someone might leak the news of Pam’s pregnancy to her grandmother, but it turns out that Jim is the one who accidentally spills. However, that twist was nothing compared to the original ones writers had planned.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the original plan for the Office episode was…well, strange and dark.
Remember Pam’s ex-fiance Roy? He was supposed to come back to interrupt the wedding. On horseback. And it just gets weirder from there.
"Roy interrupts the wedding trying to do a big, grand romantic gesture that nobody wants and just abandons the horse and drives home," Daniels told EW. "So Dwight gets on [a horse] and goes into the river above the falls, but panics and jumps off the horse at the last second, while the horse goes over in the background of the wedding."
What in the Michael Scott?
Apparently the horse concept was so jarring to the rest of the writers and actors that they lobbied to get it removed from the script. After all, it was a wedding episode. A happy one, considering that Jim and Pam secretly escape the stress to get married on a Niagara Falls tourist boat.
In place of the horse death (seriously), Daniels and Kaling found a place for Dunder Mifflin’s plucked-from-YouTube wedding aisle dance to Chris Brown’s “Forever.” Kaling noted that if not for Jim and Pam’s secret ceremony, the misguided (but super adorable, right?) dance from their coworkers would have been “horrible and ruined the moment.”
Ultimately, the triumph of that episode is less about one particular scene, and more about the commitment fans had to Jim and Pam’s relationship—something that Krasinski and Fischer’s chemistry brought to the show.
“Their relationship was the best example of what could happen when you go to work every day,” Kaling said to EW. “Even if it’s a job that you don’t like, you could find the love of your life there.”