Season 7 Episode 22 (“Goodbye, Michael”) was the farewell episode for Steve Carell on “The Office.” Granted, he did appear in the series finale for a guest spot, but Season 7 marked the end of his character’s story. In the episode, Michael says goodbye to all of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch employees in his own special way. Each farewell is tailored to the relationship between Michael and the specific employee, so we knew the one with Jim would be emotional.
Michael and Jim had an excellent back-and-forth for seven seasons. While Jim didn’t seem to respect Michael and his managerial tactics, he eventually grew to love his boss’s faults. In the episode, Michael leads his employees to believe he has one more day left in the office, but the current day is really his last. Jim figures this out halfway through the episode and goes into his boss’s office to talk to him about it. The two have a wonderful goodbye, where Jim tells Michael he’s the best boss he’s ever had. Both men are teary-eyed throughout the scene, and it turns out that wasn’t just good acting.
Krasinski told Rolling Stone in 2013 that filming that scene with Carell was incredibly difficult. “As soon as they called ‘action,’ nothing came out but moaning. Two men had a complete emotional breakdown on camera. For the first four takes, I don’t think anything was usable,” he told the outlet. Krasinski also added that people were “crying all over the place” that day, and he tried to tell his colleagues it wasn’t a big deal since they would see Carell again. As hard as he tried to fight it, Krasinski couldn’t hold back the tears, and it turned out to be a much bigger deal than he wanted it to be.