Parks and Recreation

About Parks and Rec

Parks and Recreation is NBC's hit sitcom starring the perky government worker Leslie Knope and her adventures in the government of Pawnee, the small town in Indiana where she was born and lived her entire life.

She works with various coworkers (each with their own crazy personalities) as well as her macho-man boss, Ron Swanson.

The series's plot is centered around Leslie's attempts to fill in "the pit:" a giant empty lot that was dug into but then abandoned behind Ann's house.

Leslie additionally feels pressures throughout the series from the neighboring town of Eagleton, an ultra-affluent town involved in a longstanding rivalry with Pawnee that eventually merges with it, as well as all the crazy people she has to work with.

Andy dressed as his alter ego: "Burt Macklin"

Main Characters


Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, is the main character of Parks and Rec. She's a government worker in the parks and recreations department of Pawnee, Indiana. She enjoys her work more than anyone else in her wing and is often the only person to get anything done. Her boss, Ron Swanson, despises the government and continually is a detriment to her work. Additionally, there are many other people in the government building who are inefficient and don't do any of their own work. Although the show does have many different plots and things happening, the main focus on the show is Leslie's job to work on the plot of land behind her friend Anne's house, and turn it into something meaningful. She faces many difficulties throughout this job, ranging from chain restaurants wanting to build a franchise on her plot to a garden of drugs being planted in it. Regardless of all these obstructions, Leslie still continues to persevere in her goals.

Ron Swanson, the uber-private Libertarian boss played by Nick Offerman, rarely shares any personal information He grew up on a farm in a small town and is shown to have enjoyed woodworking from an early age, building his first chair at age five. Ron is the director of the parks and recreation department and although he holds such a significant job, he strongly opposes government. Multiple times Ron purposefully hired poor workers in order to slow down the government. Despite sharing a nearly opposite view on the role of government, Ron gets along well with Leslie, and the two share a strong mutual respect. Before the start of Parks and Recreation, Ron has two ex-wives, both of whom are named Tammy, which is also the name of Ron's mother. Ron despises and fears both of his ex-wives, and they are among the few individuals in the world who can break Ron's usually unwavering stoicism.

Ron swanson

Ann perkins, played by Rashida Jones, goes through many boyfriends throughout the series. In the beginning, Ann was dating Andy Dwyer, who was lazy and unemployed. Because Andy fell into the large pit near their house, Ann attended a Parks and Recreations meeting to advocate for getting it filled in. This is where she met Leslie. She and leslie always had a crazy friendship, mainly due to the fact that Ann is a seemingly simple person, whereas Leslie is anything but simple. The contrast their friendship brings throughout the series is one of the most comedic aspects of the show. Near the end of the series, Ann ends up getting into a serious relationship with Chris, who moved to Pawnee with Ben. Ann's compassion and rationality only make her character more funny because of the craziness of everyone around her.

April Ludgate is an apathetic college student who begins the show working as an intern in the Pawnee Department of Parks and Recreation, having been hired as Ron Swanson's assistant. Andy Dwire is Ann's unemployed boyfriend who is equally parts dumb and lazy. Early on, he takes a job as a shoe-shiner at Pawnee City Hall. The two end up dating after Ann dumps Andy and eventually get married later on the season. April and Andy bring a true meaning to "opposites attract," and between April's bad attitude and Andy's silliness, the two bring a lot of funny one liners and hilarious scenes. Oh and April ends up being Ron's best man at his wedding. Huh.

Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari works as Leslie Knope's immediate subordinate at the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department, often serving as her right-hand man. He displays an extremely sarcastic, mischievous and cocky attitude, and frequently attempts to secure favors from local contractors. Tom has demonstrated his talent and passion for entrepreneurship in many occasions, including Entertainment 720, Rent-A-Swag, and Tom's Bistro. Although he purchases clothes from teen/young boy stores, Tom takes his appearance very seriously.

Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger are state auditors who comes into Pawnee to evaluate the town's funds at the end of the second season. Compared with the exuberant Chris, Ben is very serious and straightforward, willing to tell the truth no matter how harsh. The two used to do budget meetings individually, but it didn't work out because Chris would never get anything done and Ben received multiple death threats. Ben and Leslie began dating shortly after he and Chris arrived on the show, even though initially Leslie hated him (because he was going to reduce their budget). Chris and Ann end up dating later on, and their relationship definitely brings out a new side to both Ann and Chris that is unseen before.

a group pic of the cast

Secondary Characters

Donna Meagle - The sassy office manager of the Parks and Recreations department. She begins the series as a background character and by the end takes a more prominent role.


Jerry Gergich - Tormented by everyone in the office, he is a goofball who struggles to do his work correctly. Everyone in the office is constantly changing his name to any variation of Jerry: Gary, Terry, Larry, etc.

Craig Middlebrooks - Craig is the former office manager of Eagleton's parks department, the equivalent of Donna's position in Pawnee. When the two cities merge, he is the only Eagleton member not laid off. His new position becomes "associate administrator."

Tammy 1, Tammy 2, Tamara 0 - Ron explains that Tammy 1 had been present throughout most of his young life: she delivered him as a baby, was his teacher, and was his first wife. Tammy 2 is a manipulative woman who uses her body as a weapon, and she constantly tries to make Ron miserable. Tamara 0 is Ron's mother who lives on the farm Ron grew up on, and has an entire room devoted to guns. All 3 are crazy and completely dominate Ron and completely change who he is when they're around.

The 3 Tammys

Jean-Ralphio Saperstein - The idiotic and cocky friend of Tom Haverford who, like Tom himself, fancies himself a pickup artist and baller, although he is looked upon with contempt by most people around him except Tom.

Diane Lewis - Ron's new wife who actually loves him and treats him right. He was originally intimidated of her due to her two young girls, but in the end they end up loving and respecting Ron.

gif of a waffle




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