- "I was born ready. I'm Ron f***ing Swanson."
- 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."
- From "Media Blitz": After spending the entire episode humiliating himself during interviews because of the Ice Town debacle, Ben finally pulls himself together and delivers this response to someone calling Pawnee Today claiming that he ran seven towns into bankruptcy:
Ben: Okay, first of all, why does everyone in this town use AltaVista? Is it 1997? And second, I am a budget specialist; I went to those towns because they were bankrupt, and now they aren't. And yeah, I screwed up when I was eighteen, but who doesn't do dumb stuff when they're eighteen? Joan?
Joan Callamezzo: I stole my gym teacher's husband.
Ben: ...So there you go.
- What really sells it is that Joan has been gleefully mocking Ben throughout the episode and now looks and sounds visibly uncomfortable and embarrassed.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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 drunken Jerkass who called Leslie a "bitch". Leslie even says right afterward that it was "awesome" and kisses him.
- And then Leslie not only refuses to let him resign to protect her image, but also defends him to a crowd and stands by him, saying that the guy had it coming, and making a joke about it to lighten the mood. And this actually wins several voters over!
- 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?"
"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.
- Andy spends the entirety of "Bus Tour" trying to identify out the mysterious figure who attempted to hit Leslie with a pie but hit Jerry instead. He eventually notices how weird it is that someone who hit Jerry with a pie would be aiming for Leslie, who was too far away from him, and that logically, they would in fact have been aiming for someone else. Andy then comes to the conclusion that Ben was in fact the target, and immediately decides to find a list of everyone Ben has ever fired in order to find the culprit. He correctly concludes that it was Joe, the sewage worker who Ben previously fired for texting photos of his privates to the women of the local government. He is unable to stop Joe from finally hitting Ben with a pie later, but still: Andy, of all people, shows actual cleverness, analytics, and deductive reasoning, and figures out the whole thing on his own from the get-go.
- 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 sue 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."
- In "Partridge", Leslie is furious that the people of Ben's hometown invited him to receive the key to the city only to attempt to publicly humiliate him for Ice Town once again, and this occurs:
Leslie: I would like to point out that we drove here all the way from Pawnee, Indiana—a city with some class, by the way—and sure, my husband made an honest mistake twenty years ago, but it was very meaningful that you were going to finally be able to forgive him!
Citizen: If it's so meaningful to him, then where is he?!
Leslie: He is in the hospital, sir! He has a calcified rock lodged in his penis! Frankly, Ben Wyatt is the best thing to come out of this crap town! [...] Ben Wyatt is better than all of you because he cared about this town and he tried to help it! You know what? Screw you, Partridge! And a sled is a stupid mascot!
- 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.
- In "Gin It Up!", Ben of all people forces Ron to reconsider his refusal to leave his children more than fifty dollars of his vast fortune:
"It doesn't matter how much money you leave your kids; what matters is that you teach them the right values. But if something horrible happens and you want your kids to be left alone with no safety net just so they can learn some kind of weird lesson, then by all means—leave your fortune to the wild boar who gores you to death."
- In "Filibuster", Leslie gets two in succession: first for completing the titular filibuster and then for pouring out a pitcher of margarita on Councilman Jamm's head.
- In "Fluoride," Donna's spot-on analysis of April and choosing of her spirit dog:
Donna: You're beautiful, yet cold and aloof. You pride yourself on being a loner. You do not obey, you choose to cooperate, and when you stop baring your fangs to pick a mate, it's for life. And you're fiercely loyal to your pack, which makes you a rare black Siberian husky.
- 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.
Citizens (chanting): WE'RE NOT AGAINST YOU ON THIS! WE'RE NOT AGAINST YOU ON THIS! WE'RE NOT AGAINST YOU ON THIS!
- Craig gets a small one in "Gryzzlbox" after April discourages a young woman from taking an internship with the Parks department, chewing her out for being ungrateful and self-centered.
Craig: April, you spent the last ten years doing amazing things with this Parks Department and learning from the greatest teacher in this or any business, Leslie freaking Knope! You'd be a check-out girl at a gas station if it wasn't for that internship! [...] You're lucky to have worked here, no matter what you want to do with the rest of your life, and I think you know that.
Ben: What Gryzzl is doing with our private information may not technically be illegal, but it's definitely not "chill".
Roscoe Santangelo: Whoa, that's a serious allegasche, homie. We are hella chill, and frankly, if you don't like our vibe, you don't have to use our shiz.
Ben: Well, we kind of do. I mean, the Internet is no longer optional; it's a necessity for everyone. And I think you do know that datamining isn't "chill", because you snuck it into the twenty-seventh update of a five-hundred-page user agreement. A person should not have to have an advanced law degree to avoid being taken advantage of by a multi-billion dollar company! You should be upfront about what you're doing and allow people the ability to opt out.
- Great one in "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer goes to Washington": Ben gets together a team of experts to help fix April's resume in hopes of getting her a job they think she might want. This include Donna, Craig and most importantly, in his own words:
Oh, you wanna photocopy? You guys wanna do all the mindless work? Yeah. I didn't think so, (Ben picks up the phone as the camera zooms in) Get me Garry Gergich
- "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.
"Sorry, but 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.
"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."
" 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."
"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."
"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 achieves 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.
- This exchange from "Hunting Trip":
Ron: (defeated) M'kay.
- Another, kind of gross, minor one from "Hunting Trip": When Tom offers everyone some chewing tobacco, Leslie enthusiastically accepts some. Instead of being squicked out by it, she's spitting like a pro at the end of the scene. Gross, but no less a Crowning Moment of Awesome for someone who probably never chewed tobacco before.
Ann: S'why they call it 'chew' and not 'swallow.' Am I right, Ron?
Ron: Yes, you are right.