In “Christmas Party,” episode 10 of The Office‘s second season, the Dunder Mifflin secret santa involves (among Michael Scott’s iPod debacle) a teapot given to Pam (Jenna Fischer) from Jim (John Krasinski). But it ain’t just any ordinary teapot — inside lies a special note written to Pam from Jim. A note that Pam never read, as Jim pocketed it last-minute — until the season nine episode “A.A.R.M.,” the penultimate episode of the entire series. In that two-parter, Pam finally gets to read the note, she cries, we cry, everyone cries. So, like, what the heck did that damn note say? On her beyond-charming podcast Office Ladies, alongside Angela Kinsey, Fischer finally got into some specifics of the infamous #TeapotNote.
On the podcast, Fischer and Kinsey rewatch every Office episode and break it down with delightful behind-the-scenes secrets and feelings. And on their “Christmas Party” episode, things got emotional when the teapot note came up. Apparently, it was not written in character. Executive producer Greg Daniels told Krasinski to write a genuine goodbye to Fischer, as two acting colleagues and friends, for her to read for the first time on camera. “I’m on camera, and I open up the note that John had given me, and I just start crying,” recalled Fischer, getting choked up herself talking about it.
It’s a similar tactic used in Pam’s goodbye to Michael (Steve Carell) in the season-seven episode “Goodbye, Michael.” That episode ends with Pam hugging Michael and telling him farewell with no understandable audio. To achieve the desired effect, Daniels had Fischer simply give Carell, her acting colleague and friend, a personal out-of-character goodbye. I love that Fischer got a taste of her own “emotional method acting” medicine, and I love how invested in real emotions the cast and crew of The Office were.
As for the actual, literal contents of the note Krasinski wrote for Fischer? “I’m the only one who knows, and John knows… I’ll never say exactly what John wrote, but just know that it was perfect.” And that, literally, is what she said.