Top 10 Parks and Recreation Episodes

Photo Credit:

So we’ve reached the end. There’s no more Parks and Rec. ever. To mourn the end of the show, and celebrate it as a whole, here are our top ten episodes ever.





Photo Credit: “Pawnee Zoo” (Season 2 Episode 1)

After the six-episode first season did little to differentiate Parks and Rec. from its cousin in Scranton, the second season hit the ground running with its first episode. This was the series first demonstrating its uncanny ability to take real-world politics and twist them into absurdity, with Leslie becoming a gay rights activist of sorts after accidentally marrying two male penguins at the zoo. The show would replicate this formula frequently afterward, but you can actually feel the kinks being worked out in the show’s first great episode. (Air date: Sept. 17, 2009)


Photo Credit: “Moving Up” (Season 6 Episode 21)

The season six finale feels like the true cap to the series, with season seven being more of an extended epilogue (though a pretty good one at that). Leslie gets the job of her dreams and we get the Unity Concert, a celebration of everything Pawnee. Just try not to well up when Andy welcomes Ron as Duke Silver on the stage, much to everyone’s surprise. It’s a series finale before the series finale, and a damn good one. (Air date: Apr. 24, 2014)


Photo Credit: “Leslie and Ben” (Season 5 Episode 14)

Parks and Rec. made a tradition out of surprise weddings throughout it run. Leslie and Ben’s was the best of those, mostly because these two are among the best TV romances of all time (as are April and Andy in my book). After Jamm ruins the first attempt, Ron finishing it by punching him square in the face, Leslie and Ben share an intimate ceremony in the office with their friends the only ones there to watch. It was instantly added to the list of great TV weddings. (Air date: Feb. 21, 2013)


Photo Credit: “The Comeback Kid” (Season 4 Episode 11)

A supremely underrated episode, “The Comeback Kid” is when the show started taking its election storyline seriously. It’s weird to say “seriously” when the episode’s best moments involve the characters slipping and falling on ice repeatedly while trying to make it to the stage. It’s one of the great ensemble episodes that gives everyone at least one great moment. (Air date: Jan. 12, 2012)


Photo Credit: “Hunting Trip” (Season 2 Episode 10)

This is another fun ensemble episode that makes great use of the entire cast. Ron accidentally gets shot in the head and no one but Leslie will admit to doing it, even though she didn’t. Ron’s endless ridicule is hilarious, but his respect for her when Tom finally owns up is the true reward of the episode. (Air date: Nov. 19, 2009)


Photo Credit: “The Debate” (Season 4 Episode 20)

This late season four episode shows the writers at the apex of their powers. Leslie squares off with Bobby Newport, not to mention the other city council candidates, in one final chance to earn votes. This frequently hilarious episode also showcases how strong of a political figure Leslie could be given the chance. Her closing statement might be the most genuine a politician has sounded on TV ever, fictional and not. (Air Date: Apr. 24, 2012)


Photo Credit: “The Fight” (Season 3 Episode 13)

Ah, the one where everyone gets drunk. Parks and Rec. never shied away from showing its characters under the influence of alcohol. These characters are just so fun to watch when they’ve had a little, or a lot, to drink. “The Fight” is by far the best demonstration of this. Leslie and Ann yelling at each other in the bathroom essentially over nothing is something every pair of best friends can relate to. Plus, Ron loves Snake Juice. (Air Date: May 12, 2011)


Photo Credit: “Flu Season” (Season 3 Episode 2)

One of the best demonstrations of pure comedy in modern television, “Flu Season” is hilarious start to finish. With several characters suffering from the worst case of the flu to go through Pawnee, we get great moments like Leslie wearing jeans as a scarf telling Ann she’s fine and Chris staring in the mirror to utter “Stop…pooping.” The episode is comedic masterpiece that makes great use of the entire cast. This is Parks and Rec. in its prime. (Air date: Jan. 27, 2011)


Photo Credit: Credit: “Ron & Tammy: Part Two” and “Ron and Tammys” (Season 3 Episode 4 and Season 4 Episode 2, respectively)

I tried to pick just one Ron and Tammy episode, but it proved an impossible task. In the end, the season two and season seven episodes don’t match up to these two brilliant entries. Tammy Two’s cornrow inducing run in season three is some of the funniest work Nick Offerman ever got to do. Then there’s Tammy One and Tammy Zero fighting for Ron’s soul in season four, resulting in an epic drink off that Leslie hilariously partakes in. Parks and Rec. wouldn’t be what it is without Ron’s love life. (Air dates: Feb. 10 and Sept. 29, 2011)


Photo Credit: “Win, Lose, or Draw” (Season 4 Episode 22)

Parks and Rec.‘s most dramatic episode proved just how much we care about Leslie Knope. The season four election arc came to a close with the series’ best episode. Far from the funniest entry of the series, just try not to cry when Leslie fulfills her dream to vote for herself. Then there’s Ron’s chat of wisdom with Leslie during the recount. But it all comes down to Amy Poehler’s reaction to when she wins. It’s the only time Leslie is ever speechless on the show, and it is well-earned. Her final speech is beautiful and rewarding. And she didn’t even end up needing Jerry’s vote. (Air date: May 8, 2012)


What are your favorite Parks and Rec. episodes? Let us know in the comments below!



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