In a recent Reddit thread, user OrdinaryEngineer1527 wrote that they have watched the series several times, and come to the conclusion that “Karen was better than Pam.” The user went on to argue that Karen is “more ambitious” and “more mature emotionally.” Indeed, Karen aims for the corporate vice president position at Dunder-Mifflin, and ultimately becomes regional manager of the Utica branch.
In a separate thread, Reddit user ijhopethef***youdo argued that Karen challenges Jim more than Pam does, and that her strengths complement his weaknesses. “Karen would help motivate Jim and help him make his dreams a reality,” this user argued, “while both Jim and Pam were more focused on the day-to-day and would think about their dreams without working towards them. Karen would talk with Jim about any problems in their relationship whereas Jim and Pam wouldn’t talk about the problems until they became unavoidable.”
Pam and Jim have great chemistry, make each other laugh, and work to support each other every day. Still, some fans think Karen would have been a better fit. Karen herself appears to disagree, however: When Karen learns that Jim and Pam are engaged in Season 5, she says she is honestly happy for them. Even she thinks that she and Jim weren’t meant to be.