10 Underrated Parks & Rec Jokes That Deserve More Love

Parks and Recreation is full of memorable (and quotable) jokes, but some don’t get as much attention as they deserve. Despite following what would typically be considered one of the most boring government departments, the seven-season-long series took television by storm with its masterful comedy. Characters like Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, and Tom Haverford delivered puns in such a way that fans have been quoting them for years. However, some of their best Parks and Rec jokes have remained underrated.

With writers like Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, it’s no surprise that Parks and Rec hit the comedy nail right on the head. This worked perfectly in combination with the members of the cast (Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, and more) whose hilarious delivery and improvisation skills came together to give audiences all of their favorite Parks and Rec gags and jokes. Of course, with so many hilarious situations packed into every episode, not all of them could end up at the center of viral memes—but more should have.



10 Leslie Knope’s Emergency S’mores Rations

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Leslie Knope’s aggressive positivity is a big part of what made Parks & Rec work. She could be ignorant and naive at times, but she always reminded her team of the important things. One such moment in season 4 was when Ron Swanson ran off into the wilderness to avoid seeing his ex-wife, and Leslie joined him to get out of facing her own problems. When Leslie suggested they make S’mores, Ron said he had no supplies. Thankfully, Leslie very seriously explained that she always kept emergency S’mores rations in her car—apparently enough to last a couple of years.

9 Ron’s Handmade Chair Whirlwind

Parks and Rec Ron Swanson

As the official Garfield-like character of Parks & Rec, Ron Swanson was typically pretty crabby throughout the series. However, if there was anything that could put a smile on his face, it was woodworking. This became even clearer in season 5 when a chair he had made was nominated for an award with the Indiana Fine Woodworking Association. Though the character’s monotone delivery wouldn’t have suggested it, the slight smile as he called the experience a “real whirlwind” was wholesome as well as hilarious.

RELATED: Sorry, But Parks & Rec Season 7 Failed Ron Swanson In 1 Big Way

8 Leslie’s ‘Is For’ List During Her Campaign Ad

Leslie Knope in her office in Parks and Recreation (1)

As Ben Wyatt said in Parks & Rec season 4, episode 12, “Campain Ad,” there are many things that Leslie Knope was good at—just not making an advertisement for her campaign. In an attempt to keep things positive, the version that she produced saw her tell the camera all the things that she supported, followed by a massive list that scrolled across the screen. The comedy of this situation was the outrageous size of this list, but if audiences paused to read, they would see things like “legalize Korean,” “Start talking to Cuba again,” “Free cookies at every street corner,” and much much more.

7 Andy’s Song Performed At Li’l Sebastian’s Funeral

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Pawnee’s most famous celebrity in Parks & Rec was Li’l Sebastian, the miniature horse first introduced in season 3, episode 7, “Harvest Festival.” He became especially dear to Jerry, who connected with the animal since they took the same diabetes medication. Unfortunately, Li’l Sebastian passed away later in season 3, but the Parks and Recreation department decided to put on a lavish funeral. Andy finished the event with a song of his own making, which he stated would be 5,000 times cooler than Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind.” Fittingly, he titled the song “5,000 Candles in the Wind.”

6 Andy’s Post-Breakup Plan To Climb Mountains In Kansas

Parks and Recreation - Season 5 (1)

It took a couple of seasons before Parks & Rec found its footing with audiences, but that’s not to say the series’ early jokes didn’t hit their mark. Season 1 was back when Andy and Ann Perkins were dating, and since they clearly didn’t make much sense for either of them, it didn’t last long. Still, Andy was pretty heartbroken when Ann called it off, so he announced that he would head to Kansas to climb mountains and clear his head. It was precisely the kind of thing that made the Parks & Rec character so loveably stupid.

5 April’s ‘Nonprofit’ Shoe Shining Joke

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Though Andy and Ann never made much sense, he and April Ludgate were a match made in heaven. They were certainly an odd pair, but from Parks & Rec season 2 through season 7, they proved their dedication to one another time and time again. One such instance was in season 6 when the group headed to London. Ben (reluctantly) left Andy to overlook a nonprofit organization, but Andy wasn’t sure he could handle it. To comfort him, April reminded him that he had run his famous Parks & Rec shoe-shining business without making a profit for years, so he would surely be fine.

RELATED: Parks & Rec – Why Leslie & Ben Couldn’t Date (But Andy & April Could)

4 April’s Career Plan Struggles

Aubrey Plaza As April Ludgate on Parks and Rec gazing upward

Perhaps the best thing about April is that she hated everything. People, being an adult, everything Leslie Knope liked—in April’s eyes, it was all stupid. For this reason, her career search in Parks & Rec season 7 was no easy matter. Andy, who perfectly balanced his wife with his love for everything, suggested that she be a pilot—to which April answered that she hated heights. He then stated that she could instead pilot a submarine—and she said that she hated depths. It was a simple but effective joke that perfectly summed up her personality.

3 The Wamapoke Casino Slogan


Pawnee’s bloody history was often used in Parks & Rec as a way to poke fun at the way white Americans (like Leslie Knope) choose to ignore colonization. This was seen with the murals at Pioneer Hall that depicted things like the original Pawnee Zoo (which showed a Jewish man kept in a cage) and a witch burning (that seemed to have happened in the 1970s). It’s an uncomfortable yet comedic way to call out the passive nature of American society, but no character did this better than Ken Hotate. Tribal elder of Parks & Rec‘s Wamapoke Tribe and owner of the Wamapoke casino, Hotate’s slogan was “slowly taking back our money from white people one quarter at a time.

2 The Prettiest Pig Pageant Misunderstanding


The only character in Parks & Rec that could be considered as optimistic as Leslie Knope is Chris Traeger—and really, he could give her a run for her money. His anxiety balanced this out to a point and meant for several comical moments surrounding his character. One such moment was in season 5 when Chris had to announce unexpectedly that “Due to a tragic misunderstanding, the prettiest pig beauty pageant has been replaced by a pork rib barbeque competition.” The look of dismay on his face once he figured out precisely what this announcement meant was tragic but hilarious.

1 Andy’s 18 Seven Wonders Of The World

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When the cast of Parks & Rec took to London in season 6, audiences saw the comical result of characters visiting different regional attractions. Predictably, Ron Swanson pointed out all the ways England was worse than the United States, and April obsessed over any locations Jack the Ripper might have murdered someone. On the other hand, Andy went to Stonehenge, where he shared some outrageously inaccurate facts about the famous standing stones. He also pointed out that Stonehenge was one of the world’s seven wonders and proceeded to name the rest. Though Parks and Recreation cut a majority of it, Andy hilariously listed a total of 18 seven wonders.

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