I am suffering from the lack of new Parks & Rec happening in my life right now. The second I pressed play starting the last episode aired I knew I was in trouble. I was told this was the last season and would be without new material forever (false alarm, it’s returning in fall 2014).
Still, fall is too far away and the P&R references will never stop so I’ve decided to compile some of my favorite moments and Parks & Recs-isms to share with fellow fans… and maybe will draw some new ones in??
In any case, I would contest anyone who says this show won’t change your vocabulary, your outlooks, and likely want to make you abandon all career ambition to work for a small city’s government at some point or another. Let’s talk about the people that will make all of this a reality:
1. Tom (or anyone) any time they make fun of Jerry/Larry/Terry/Gary
Everyone has a Tom in their circle of friends. The guy who lives outside his means and is in constant search for the “next big business opportunity” even if the initial investment is their entire life savings. The one thing Tom will always have though is his sharp tongue; this being used mostly to make fun of Jerry, who doesn’t even get mentioned in his own bullet point because he doesn’t even go by his birth name (“people thought they heard Jerry, so why cause a fuss by telling them it’s Gary?”).
Outcome: “Am I the Jerry?” That is all you will be asking yourself next time you spill your drink at the holiday party or try to say two words at once and it comes out an amalgamation of the two i.e. “grool!” (great? cool? Poor Cady Herron)
2. April’s one, single outward emotion and her deep-rooted hatred of everything/everyone/Ann Perkins
Monotone. Unconcerned. April Ludgate. All synonymous. The intern-gone-lifer of city hall. She will tell you it’s because she doesn’t care enough to get another job but truthfully it is because she loves her job (or at least working with Leslie) and sort-of everyone there. Even her nemesis, Ann Perkins catches a break.
Outcome: April doesn’t care enough to change who you are, her character has nothing to prove to you. You will remain the same annoying person you surely are to April, even after 6 seasons.
3. Leslie and her pure, unadulterated love of waffles (and anything government)
Leslie loves everything and everyone but waffles, particularly from JJ’s Diner in Pawnee, have a special, cushion-y spot in her over-sized heart. I find myself eating an abnormal amount of waffles these days. I’ll just assume that means I’m craving some more P&R and leave it alone. You’ve not met a genuinely nice person concerned with the well-being of her fellow citizens until you have had breakfast with Leslie at JJ’s.
Outcome: You will eat more breakfast food and possibly buy the Costco 60 pack box of Kirkland brand waffles.
4. “Ann, you beautiful, tropical fish.”
If we’re being honest, Ann is only here because she spoke up at a City Hall Meeting on an issue that wasn’t a debate over sugar and saturated fat. She wanted a lot filled because her at the time boyfriend fell in a hole and Leslie immediately fell in love. It was insta-Ovaries-Before-Brovaries from there.
Outcome: No one you ever meet from hereon out will be as beautiful, nice, or unwaveringly faithful as Ann Perkins. You will also start to address your similar (though obvious paling in comparison) friends with elegant, colorful nicknames.
5. Andy Dwyer’s childlike innocence
Andy has worn and is still wearing a few different hats since he’s been on the show. He is a less aware, more casually dressing Tom, in his own way. A business man, Andy runs his own shoe shine business in the City Hall building. This is where he met his wife, April Ludgate, ironically, while stalking his ex-long time girlfriend and roommate Ann Perkins. April and Andy are happy and have never looked back, even when they adopted a 3-legged pooch named Champion and gained a 3rd roommate (Ben Wyatt).
Outcome: Your abs will be sore with laughter because there’s rarely a time Andy opens his mouth and the outcome isn’t accidentally hilarious.
6. Donna “Don’t Touch My Mercedes” Meagle
Donna Meagle will make you do a double take on how well you are really treating yourself. She is a woman of fine taste and as such is also a member of the coveted Whine and Cheese club, which meets in Ron’s office while he listens to Willie Nelson. If you’re ever out in the City Hall parking lot be sure to check for the tan Mercedes taking up 2 stalls because “Donna’s Mercedes needs some room!”
Outcome: The next time you are having a bad day you will realize it’s time to treat yo’self and likely buy a Tom-like lavish item a.k.a. it will have no function and cost 1/5 of your net worth. On a less dramatic scale, you will live tweet the next big office scandal as homage to Donna’s favorite show (Scandal).
7. Ron Swanson:
He doesn’t like eating his food’s food, the government, clear alcohols, or his 2 ex-wives both named Tammy. Ron volunteers as a troop leader for the city of Pawnee’s youth by which his only rule for survival is “Be a Man.” Ron now has 2 endearing step-daughters and a newborn baby boy, of whom he brings to work with him. A day of honest, hard work will shape this baby in to a fine young man is his belief.
Outcome: You will feel like less of a man simply by reading his beliefs. You will then in turn feel the need to compensate by purchasing fishing gear, woodworking equipment, or even a lake house with an unknown locale.
8. Chris Traeger LIT’RALLY, loving all that is life
LIT’RALLY, the most positive man you will ever meet. Scientists believe the first human that will live to be 150 has already been born, and he believes he is that person. Chris runs 10 miles a day and bikes whenever he can (even alongside the giant City of Pawnee bus) and enjoys brightening people’s moods before Ben tells them their entire budget has been shred to ribbons.
Outcome: You will never say the word literally the same LIT’RALLY, ever again.
9. Ben Wyatt completely not getting what all the fuss is about regarding anything in Pawnee
Ben has had the luxury of traveling across the U.S. with his positive partner in crime, Chris Traeger, auditing budgets for large corporations. Then Ben parks it in Pawnee, IN for the long haul. Ben is pretty unimpressed with a lot of things in Pawnee. Lil’ Sebastian? Unimpressed. Eagleton Rivalry Game? Unimpressed. McKayla Maroney is? Unimpressed. Ben, however, DOES care about everything that is Game of Thrones and Leslie Knope and in turn puts on a smile and plays a good sport.
Outcome: Your outter nerd will be your only nerd you know. Ben will have you creating your own board games and collecting Game of Thrones-style pieces for your own living/working space in no time. You may be a laid back individual now but soon you’ll meet the Knope to your Wyatt and quirky energetic blonds and all their ideas will be your new thing.
10. Ben & Leslie being the most adorable couple ever
No hidden messages or explanations needed.