100 Reasons to Love Parks and Rec

I volunteered in small-town Alaska for a year after college. I only had room for the essentials, so I packed my Parks and Rec DVDs—just wedged them into my rain boots and set off. The DVDs got as much use as the boots did, and I could probably count on two hands the number of days I didn’t wear rain boots. I introduced the show to my roommates in our first week there, and it became our language. We said yes with “I think I will good lady” and yelled “MAKE YOUR FACE BETTER” behind the lens of every photo. At a Know Your Boo-style game night, we defaulted to the show for any answers we didn’t know about each other, so one roommate’s parents were named Ron and Tammy, and another’s favorite movie was books. At the end of the year, a friend called me her real-life Leslie Knope and I put it in a cover letter. 

I think we should all be glad to be like anyone on Parks and Recreation. The characters are so uniquely themselves and so confident in their voices. They genuinely like each other, and they like what they do. If they don’t, they move on to something better. The rules of comedy say not to be so optimistic, but the rules of government say the same thing, and you don’t see that stopping Leslie Knope. This is a show about doing the hard work every day in a hundred little ways for the people we care about, so here (in no particular order) are 100 reasons to care about Parks and Rec. Happy 100th episode, show. Thank you.

1. That proposal.
2. Those vows.

love  you and i like you

3. He never wrote her a concession speech.
4. “Let’s just say ‘screw it.'”
5. ben leslie harvest festival handshake

6. ben chris handshake7. “The Debate” I love this town. And when you love something, you don’t threaten it, you don’t punish it. You fight for it. You take care of it. You put it first. 
8. “With my claymaysh?”
9. Just the crows and the beef.
10. “I salsa your face.”
11. Marchtember oneteenth.
12. “I worry that what you just heard was ‘Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.’ What I said was ‘Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.'”
13. Ron knows more than you.
14. Thoughts for Your Thoughts
15. Pikitis.
16. Perd Hapley.

perd hapley worm
17. “I’m talking to you sir!”
19. Pawnee’s town slogans
20. “The moon shall join your coalition.”
21. “Listening to that tree lighting’s gonna be dope.”
22. “Can you Photoshop your life with better decisions, Jerry?”
23. Craig.

craig parks and rec it's incurable

Also I have eczema.

24. LESLIE: You’re not from here, right?
TOM: No, I’m from South Carolina.
LESLIE: But you moved to South Carolina from where?
TOM: My mother’s uterus.
25. tom haverford face
26.“The Fight” Jean-Ralphio, dance up on me. 
27. Apps and zerts.
28. “I hope no one minds if I live-tweet this bitch.”
29. “It’s not my favorite shirt, but it is my least favorite shirt.”
30. “I’m down to one word a minute. And the word is perflipisklup.

donna treat yo self

32. “Ben, is that your real name?…You could do better than that, I’m gonna help you out right now. Your name is Angelo. Angelo, thank you so much for coming out, get a thicker tie, it looks weird on you. It makes your head look like a fish. Secondly, I don’t know where the paperwork is, but when you find it, can you take care of it for us? We don’t have any pens because we’re afraid it’s gonna leak on our shirts. Lastly, I hate the name Angelo, I’m gonna switch it up for you right now. Your new nickname is Jello Shot. What do you think about that, J-Shot?”
33. “Someone is on fire in Ramsett Park.”
34. “Ron and Diane” I of course am Duke Silver and I would like to dedicate this first song to my duchess.
35. Li’l Sebastian

ron swanson lil sebastian

36. Drunk Leslie
37. Janet Snakehole and Burt Macklin
38. Ben plays Ultimate
40. “Soulmates” I think you just described the Phantom of the Opera.
41. andy flower petals

42. Andy’s songs.
43. MouseRat
44. “The Possum” It went into your laundry and your kitchen and it touched all your bras.
45. “I awesomesauce you.”
46. Marshmallow guns
47. “The calzones…betrayed me.”

parks food poisoning 2
48. “We have a couple of house rules, though. You can’t use the front door; you have to climb in through the back window. No personal phone conversations. If you ever speak to me in Spanish, please use the formal ‘usted.’ And no electricity after 6:00 PM. A couple more rules: if you ever watch a sad movie, you have to wear mascara so we can see whether or not you’ve been crying. There’s no noise allowed on Mondays. And no TV after breakfast.”
49. “In the room…doth right over there, uh, hence.”
50. parks-and-recreation-summer-catalog

51. “I never seem to hate you. So I wanna spend the rest of my life with you. Is that cool?”
52. Ben punched a guy in a bowling alley.
53. “Then we go back to my place and snuggle up. Like little buuuuunnies.”

55.  “I’d go to a banquet in honor of those Somali pirates if they served bacon-wrapped shrimp.”
56. “I ate it already. I could smell it in your purse before I even parked my car. And now it’s gone, and I hate everything.”

jerry pie
59. “Flu Season” I have to get ready for the Chamber of Secrets.
60.  Leslie’s history of bad dates
61. “I think if you would know anything about me, it would be that I prefer laying wreaths to lighting torches.”
62. “I have the Dorothy Everytime Smurf Girl trophy for excellence in female stuff.”

drunk ron swanson

64. “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
65. Ron hates metaphors. That’s why his favorite book is Moby Dick.
66. “Yeah, she died like twenty minutes after that.”
67. Ann gets her four seconds with April.
68. “Is she going to powder her vagina?”
69. Skymall camping.
70. cMo9PFk

71. Bucket lists.
72. Wedding presents.
73. Leslie’s impressions.
74. Game of Thrones

donna meagle can get it

75. “I named my car Michael Fassbender, because they are both German.”

donna fassbender

76. ben wyatt mic drop

77. “At one point, for no reason, I just took off my shoes and held them in my hand.”
78. Star Trek fanfic
79. Benji’s Cool Times Summer Jamz Mix
80. Ben tries whiskey.

jean ralphio insurance fraud
82. Ann Perkins is beautiful.
83. “Time After Time” singalong
84. “Jogging is the worst, Chris. I mean I know it keeps you healthy, but God, at what cost?”

chris traeger not lonely

86. leslie nutriyums sugar

87. Champion!
88. “A game is the foot.”
89. Pyramid of Greatness
90. “Emergency Response” Found one chair, got a lead on a second.
91. Morphine Ben

ben wyatt baby smurf

92. “No matter what I do, literally nothing bad can happen to me. I’m like a white male US senator.”
93. Leslie loves Joe Biden, and Joe Biden loves Leslie. He called it an “honor…to meet someone like Leslie Knope, who believes so deeply in public service. She’s an example for men and women across the country that there’s no higher calling than helping other people.” The Vice President was honored to meet a fictional character. Leslie is empathetic and enthusiastic and tireless. If you underestimate her, she’ll take you down, but she’ll still fight for your rights. And she can get you to donate your time and expertise to her cause even when she’s sick.

ben that was leslie knope
94. Galentine’s Day. Leslie’s love of Ann. Leslie’s mentorship of April. The Pawnee Goddesses. This is a show about ladies supporting ladies, and it’s glorious. Plus, there was that time Leslie mocked a sheriff for his ridiculous female stereotypes.
95. But feminism is for everyone, and Parks and Rec gets that. Ron Swanson loves strong ladies. Ben would never make Leslie change her last name. Andy takes an Intro to Women’s Studies class. Get it, guys.

andy dwyer goddess

96. “I lost my father when I was ten, I don’t have any brothers, and Ken Burns never wrote me back.”ron and leslie aisle

97. “He’s a tourist. He vacations in people’s lives, takes pictures, puts them in his scrapbook, and moves on. All he’s interested in are stories. Basically, Leslie, he’s selfish. And you’re not. That’s why you don’t like him.”
98. “Eagle Two.” “Oh thank God.”
99. No one achieves anything alone.

leslie ice rink comeback kid

100. “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles friends work, doesn’t matter. But work is third.”

leslie knope waffle


    1. Ohhhh, as if I could forget that one. It’s in there! I folded it into #93 (the link “mocks stereotypes in the process.”) Which in retrospect isn’t really fair to the majesty of this clip; it really deserves a number all to itself. But there was just TOO MUCH TO INCLUDE.

    2. Ok I actually moved it to #94. Slightly less buried now. Wouldn’t want anyone else missing out on the glory of “I thought there was gonna be chocolate!” YOU KEEP ME HONEST GINA.

  1. I just read this at work (shhh!) and my gut response is to print this out and tack it on my bulletin board for when I need to think happy thoughts. Unfortunately .gifs don’t really print, except at Hogwarts. – M

    1. I will now spend the rest of my morning imagining a world where Pawnee is Hogwarts. We already know Leslie would be Gryffindor: Seeker on the Quidditch team 🙂

  2. He never wrote the concession speech is probably the best. He had such faith in her, he knew she would not lose. Also, I think that the strong support of feminism on this show is so wonderful. When she tell Ron that she will not get married without him- tears. And when they actually do get married-ugh more tears. Craig is the best, I adore him.
    “I am excellent at bowling. Ask Ron.”
    “What are you doing”
    “I’m just reminding myself to tell Ron to tell you how good I am at bowling.”

    BTW- Lil’ Sebastian is my ringtone.

      1. I forgot to add the part when Ann tells her that she won.. Still chokes me up.
        “That was really sneaky Ann.”

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