Awesome: Parks and Recreation

  • "I was born ready. I'm Ron f***ing Swanson."
    • Loses a little bit of its edge in context, where he's actually telling April he's ready to go to the hospital because he's spent the day in too much pain to move, but still.
  • Leslie, delirious with flu and barely able to walk, escapes from the hospital to give a masterful speech to the Pawnee Chamber of Commerce drumming up support for a community project. The awesomeness is in no way diminished by her immediately, upon the speech's conclusion, becoming completely incoherent again. An awed Ben says in a talking head:
    "That was amazing. That was a flu-ridden Michael Jordan at the '97 NBA Finals. That was Kirk Gibson hobbling up to the plate and hitting a homer off of Dennis Eckersley. That was... that was Leslie Knope."
  • Ron telling off Tammy 2 in "Ron and Tammy 2".
    Tammy 2: "You're not even a man anymore. Oh, and by the way, last night, I faked four out of the seven."
    Ron: "So did I."
  • The Harvest Festival episode showed that Ron Swanson is a man who would instantly solve everyone's problem just to shut them up.
    Ron: "All of you be quiet. Andy, she's mad because you said "awesome sauce" instead of "I love you too". April, he loves you. Stop being a child. Tom, you're clearly at fault here. Blaming Jerry won't save you. Jerry, we both know you were shotgunning funnel cakes instead of watching Li'l Sebastian. So everyone apologize to everyone else!"
  • Ron explaining to Chris why the changes he made to the Parks and Rec dept. aren't working and making everyone miserable. Before agreeing to a compromise of staying at the circular desk Chris made him use for a week while the rest change back to normal, Ron demonstrates great insight to his employees.
    Ron: "Tom only performs when there's someone to impress, so marooning him on 'Freak Island' isn't helping anyone. And you made April assistant to everyone? You know who April hates? Everyone. And Jerry can only function when no one's looking. You shine a light on him and he shrinks up faster than an Eskimo's scrotum."
  • In "Ron & Tammys", a drinking contest is held between Ron's mother and his first wife Tammy 1 and the winner gets Ron to come with her. They drink the Swanson family's mash liquor, whose "only legal use is to strip the varnish off of speedboats". Wanting Ron to stay at the office, Leslie joins in and gets drunk after a couple of shots. April takes one sip, spits it out and collapses. Finally wanting to end this and decide his own fate, Ron takes the jug in one hand and drinks down the rest of it with no problem.
    • This is also a retroactive one for Tom's Snakejuice drink, which actually succeeded in making Ron drunk in the first place.
  • In "Bowling for Votes", Ben punches out a potential Jerk Ass voter who called Leslie a "bitch". Leslie even says right afterward that it was "awesome" and kisses him.
  • In "Lucky", Leslie bombs an impromptu interview by showing up drunk. However she is saved by the tape of it being lost in airport luggage. The Stinger reveals that the airport staff, whom Leslie has done much for in the past, purposely threw it in the trash.
  • "Live Ammo": Leslie finds herself in an impossible situation after the release of the next city budget, with three scenarios emerging after she protests the Parks Department budget getting slashed and City Council re-configures their budget; the original situation, an animal shelter having to close down, or Ann losing her job. No matter what happens, she loses. So she decides to commit "political suicide" by offering Jen Barkley the chance to use the Newports' money to save the shelter and use it in advertisements.
    Jen: "I wasn't born yesterday. You've got to have an angle. This is a home run for us. We're going to dominate the news cycle for a whole week."
    Ben: "Well, you can have this week. We'll take the next one."
    Jen: "Oh, yeah? What makes you so sure?"
    Leslie: "Because in a week, we have a debate. And your guy, Bobby Newport, is going to have show up, and he's going to have to open his mouth. And I'm going to kick his ass."
  • Leslie's speech during her campaign in response to the Newports threatening to leave Pawnee and take their candy business with them if Bobby Newport doesn't get elected.
    "I'm very angry. I'm angry that Bobby Newport would hold this town hostage and threaten to leave if you don't give him what he wants. It's despicable. Corporations are not allowed to dictate what a city needs. That power belongs to the people. Bobby Newport and his daddy would like you to think it belongs to them. 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. As your City Councilor, I'll make sure that no one takes advantage of Pawnee. If I seem too passionate, it's because I care. If I come on strong, it's because I feel strongly, and if I push too hard, it's because things aren't moving fast enough. This is my home, you are my family, and I promise you, I'm not going anywhere."
    • Made even better by Bobby Newport's reaction.
    "Holy shit, Leslie, that was awesome!"
  • Donna sacrificing her Mercedes to get the senior shuttles for Leslie. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment.
  • When Leslie wins.
  • April threatening Ellis into getting him to do work for Ben in "Soda Tax" (Season 5 Episode 2).
    April: "Ben told you to finish the website, and if you don't do it, I swear to God, I'm gonna murder you in your sleep. I know where you live. 14th Street, right? I'm gonna get a melon baller and scoop your eyes out and eat them, and your congressman uncle is gonna have to buy you a dog to drag your eyeless face around. Do you understand me?"
  • Tom pushing Councilman Jamm into the pool (fully clothed) to stop him from telling some school children about the deal Leslie made to help them.
  • Ron and Ben's father reaching for the last shrimp at the party. Yes, Ron Swanson and Mike Ehrmantraut staring each other down.
  • In "Pawnee Commons", two Jerkass designers from Eagleton came in with a joke model for Leslie's park. Leslie's voice got really low and her eyes filled with murder.
    Leslie: "You have five seconds to get out of here, or I will rip your throats out."
  • Ron's friends decided to have a sudden wedding. But they can't find wedding rings in time. Ron does what any person would do: rips a lamp out of the wall, melts down the metal, and forges a pair of rings by hand.
    Ron: "People who buy things are suckers."
  • Ron punching Councilman Jamm in the face.
    • To add to this, Chris and Andy getting out of their seats in defense of Leslie, showing that the only reason Ron got the honor is likely because he was physically closer.
    • In a later episode, Jamm tries to sues Ron over it, and Tom and April assemble a file of the lies he told, threaten him with perjury charges, and top everything off by Tom faking an injury in Jamm's office. It may be the only time that Jamm actually admitted defeat.
    Jamm: [On the phone] "Yeah, it's me... We got Jammed."
  • Ann getting a reluctant April to sing Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" with her and Donna suddenly joining in.
  • Patton Oswalt's filibuster about what the new Star Wars movie should be like. All filmed in one take, and likely improvised. Observe.
  • During "The Trial of Leslie Knope", Tammy 2 was going to take the opportunity to slander Leslie. Chris then says the following.
    Chris: "Just remember that you're under oath and if you lie I will fire and prosecute you."
    • Tammy 2 proceeds to leave the room in a hurry.
      • The fact Chris managed to take down Tammy 2 with one sentence. Taking her down is impossible for Leslie, with Ron and Diane being the only ones able to subdue her and/or get her to back down normally, and even then they don't always succeed.
  • The Pawnee/Eagleton unity concert in "Moving Up" features Ginuwine (who is, in fact, Donna's cousin), The Decemberists, a Mouse Rat reunion and Letters To Cleo!
    • Culminating in a rendition of "5000 Candles in the Wind" by all of the above, plus a sax solo by Mr Duke Silver!
  • Jenn's speech to Leslie in "Second Chunce".
  • "Ron and Jammy": Councilman Jamm finally getting the nerve to tell Tammy 2 off and end his relationship with her. Also, Leslie repeatedly slapping him in the face to snap him out of Tammy 2's hold on him, purely for the Catharsis Factor.
  • Leslie getting in the running against Ron and his construction company despite bidding nothing.
  • After spending the entirety of "Gryzzlbox" refusing to get involved with Leslie's crusade against Gryzzl's data mining tactics because it didn't involve him personally and he found the fact that people (inadvertently) agreed to it, he show's up at Ben and Leslie's door at the very end of the episode with a shotgun in one hand and a disabled Gryzzl drone in the other. He "shot it out of the sky" because it invaded his son's privacy (his son is four and doesn't own a Gryzzl device). In the middle of a lightning storm. Bad. Ass.
    • The citizens of Pawnee supporting Leslie to get Gryzzl to stop invading their privacy. After 6 seasons of them dismissing Leslie, to them agreeing with her is an awesome moment for her.
  • Meta example: Jennifer Barkley, the Political Strategist, defiantly staying a happily unmarried and non-maternal woman as a counterpoint to the tropes of Career Versus Family and Career Versus Man as well as serving as a positive example for characters, especially women, who aren't married with children.
  • Craig gets a small one in season 7 after April discourages a young woman from taking an intern-ship with the parks department, chewing her out for being ungrateful and self-centred.
    Craig If it weren't for that intern-ship you'd be a check-out girl at a gas station right now!
  • "Pie Mary" has a few thanks to Ben and Leslie:
    • Ben decides to enter the Pie Mary (a pie contest with the candidate's wives) to subvert the Stay in the Kitchen attitude held by the contest and to change the idea of what a pie is by making a dessert calzone. Shaking up traditions regarding gender and pies? That's amazing.
    • Ben stating that Leslie shouldn't have to apologize for being her own person and having her own ambitions just to appease voters, even if it costs him his political future.
    Ben: "Sorry this whole thing, makes me queasy. I love how independent my wife is and because of that I will not let her speak... that came out wrong. The point is, Leslie is a great mother, public servant, all-around person and I am tired of everybody constantly telling her that she's making the wrong choice. (passes the mic to Leslie) You can say whatever you want. I couldn't care less about the political consequences."
    • Leslie telling off everyone for scrutinizing her as a candidate's wife and for all the Stay in the Kitchen-type questions that working women and women in politics (whether as partners, advisers, or candidates) are asked.
    Leslie: "I'm sorry that the spotlight is on me and not on Ben, because he's going to make a great congressman. Second, the Male Men? You're ridiculous, and men's rights is nothing. Third, I am now going to give you permanent answers to all of the silly questions you’re going to ask me and every other woman in this election over the next few months: 'Why did I change my hairstyle?' I don't know, I just thought it would look better, or my kids got gum in it. 'Are you trying to have it all?' That question makes no sense! It's a stupid question. Stop asking it. 'Do you miss your kids when you're at work?' Yes, of course I do! Everybody does! And then, you know, sometimes, I don't."
    Ben:" And, by the way, no one's ever asked me that question. No one ever asks me "Where's your kids?" or "Who's taking care of them?" (Whispers to Leslie) By the way who is taking care of the kids?"
    Leslie: "My Mom babe, everything's fine."
    Ben: "So Leslie doesn't fit your personal idea of what a candidate's wife should be. So what? That's good, because there shouldn't be just one idea anyway."
    Leslie: "It's great if you want to bake a pie and it's great if you want to have a career. That's great too, do both, or neither. It doesn't matter, just don't judge what someone else has decided to do. We are all just trying to find the right path for us. As individuals... on this earth."
    (People cheering and booing)
  • In "Two Funerals", after being mocked by others for the entire series, Garry becomes MAYOR of Pawnee.
    • A meta-example from the episode: after years of Amy Poehler and Michael Schur talking it up as a possibility, the fact that they got Bill Murray to play the part of Mayor Gunderson.
  • From "One Last Ride," the fact that over the course of the show that Leslie is able to achieve one of her childhood dreams: becoming governor of Indiana.
    • Garry being elected the official Mayor of Pawnee at the end of his interim run. And then staying in office until he passed away at 100.
    • It's also heavily implied by Leslie and Ben having secret service at Garry's funeral that Leslie eventually acheives her other dream: First Female President of the United States of America.
  • On a meta-level, Burt Macklin got a final send-off on Twitter...FROM THE REAL LIFE FBI.
  • "Chris and Ann": A heavily pregnant Ann grabbing Kathryn Pinewood into a headlock.
  • "Two Parties": Leslie and Ken Hotate teaming up against Jamm and Kathryn Pinewood, culminating with Ken using his trademark White Guilt-inducing weapons on Jamm.