- The entire show could be seen as one. One woman fighting against impossible odds to change her Crapsack World into a better one. Most shows with this premise would be Black Comedies, while Parks and Rec not only shows Leslie's effort succeeding but also inspiring those around her into doing good. It's because of this that every episode is guaranteed to have several little moments that make you feel good.
- After Leslie tears up the Venezuelans' check in "Sister City", Tom secretly takes all the tips he earned making himself the Venezuelans' errand-boy and donates it all towards the park fund.
- The entire ending of "Christmas Scandal", from the department waiting for Leslie to light the tree to them welcoming her back to work.
- The ending of Summer Catalog, where after spending an entire episode trying to find a good cover for the titular catalog, they get the catalog and it turns out to be a selfie of Andy and April.
- April's talking head after she finally forgives Andy for the kiss with Ann after his motorcycle accident & they become a couple - April tries and fails to blow it off as nothing big, ultimately running away from the camera as she tries to hide a smile.
- April and Andy's surprise wedding in "Fancy Party". Also Leslie, who initially thought they were moving too fast and tried to stop it, changing her mind when she saw how right it was.
April: "I guess I kind of hate most things but I never really seem to hate you... so I wanna spend the rest of my life with you, is that cool?"
Andy: "Yes. Is it my turn? April, you're the most awesome person I have ever known in my entire life. I vow to protect you from danger. I donít care if I have to fight an ultimate fighter or a bear or him [referring to the female justice of peace], your mom, I would take 'em down. I'm getting mad right now even thinking about it. I'm telling you. I wanna spend the rest of my life, every minute, with you. And I'm the luckiest man in the galaxy."
- April's sister actually showing affection for her sister by saying that Andy is "kinda cool" and that she "sees why he'd want to marry April" was a sweet moment between two embodiments of the Emotionless Girl, it was only topped by April proceeding to embrace her sister with tears running down her cheek.
- Also, April and Leslie's interaction after the ceremony, after Leslie had spent part of the evening trying to stop April and Andy from getting married
Leslie: "Don't worry. I'm not gonna say another word. This is your day."
April: "I just wanted to say that I'm really glad you're here. I think you're awesome, and I love you."
- April dancing with Ron at the reception.
- Chris Treager's life story, which is basically the epitome of the optimism and positive energy he is always channeling:
Chris: "I was born with a blood disorder and my parents were told that I had 3 weeks to live. And here I still am, some two thousand odd weeks later, and I have enjoyed every one of them."
- In "Harvest Festival", the scenes near the end of everyone simply enjoying the festival to Tom Petty's "American Girl" followed by Leslie having Ben's curse removed and the two having their first strong embrace.
- Despite their antagonistic realtionship with each other in the season's first few episodes, there's Ron defending Tom by standing up to Tammy at the end of "Ron and Tammy 2" and then carrying him away like a wounded soldier.
- More like a little child!
- The end of "Christmas Scandal" as the whole cast lights up the Christmas Tree in Lot 48, April gets a hug from Andy, and Leslie gets a gift from Ron.
- Ron, who hates government and opposes all that Leslie stands for, telling the Ben and Chris in the second season finale that they couldn't fire her and insisting that they fire him instead:
Ben: "Every department's losing a Leslie Knope."
Ron: "No Ben, they're not. No other department has one to begin with."
- In "Eagleton", Ron, who hates making a fuss on his birthday, dreads the surprise party Leslie says she is planning. When it comes however, Leslie instead reveals that she set up a quiet night alone for Ron to eat his favorite food (steak) and watch his favorite movies (The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Dirty Dozen). Then Leslie asks Ron if he remembered what he said to get her to stay at Pawnee's P&R department instead of taking the job in the wealthier nearby town Eagleton five years earlier.
Ron: "I believe I said that I thought we worked well together and that I might disagree with your philosophy, but I respected you. And I said you'll get a lot of job offers in your life but you only have one home town."
Leslie: (smiles) "Yes, that's how I remember it."
- From The Fight:
- Ann and Leslie's apologies to each other after their first big spat.
- Before that, Ben's attempt to reconcile Leslie and Ann.
Ben: "All I know is, Leslie's always talking about how lucky she is to have you as a friend. And... I just wanted you to know that."
Ann: "You're nice. I can see why she likes you."
- And then Ben trying to act casual but completely unable to hide his giant grin, even while Ann is teasing him for it.
- From Road Trip:
- April singing "The Pit" with Mouse Rat for Andy, complete with her attempt at his singing voice and everything, and she bought back his guitar for him (okay, stole).
Andy: "I got the greatest wife in the world! We're married! We're totally gonna do it later!"
- Ben's speech to the Indiana State Athletic Commission - some months after telling Leslie in "Freddy Spaghetti" that "Pawnee is not special", he tells the Indiana state board:
Ben: "I've been to 40 some-odd towns in Indiana. Pawnee is special."
Ron: "All I'm saying is keep an open mind for a while. Listen to your teachers and read all the books you can. Then when you're eighteen, you can drink, gamble and become a Libertarian."
Lauren: "The drinking age is 21."
Ron: "I know Another stupid government rule. So you'll write a new paper?"
Ron: "Can you autograph this one for me?"
- Ben's gift for Leslie in the season 4 premier.
- In "Pawnee Rangers": During a camping trip, Ron's whole troop of young Pawnee Rangers including his assistant Andy defect to Leslie's girls club, the "Pawnee Goddesses" because they have candy and "puppy parties" and all the boys have been doing with Ron is sit around eating beans from a can. Leslie, who all day wanted to prove her club was better tells Ron that he's not a chauvinist jerk like the people who run the Rangers and he's a good troop leader. Ron admits to Leslie that he doesn't understand kids today and they don't understand him. He wistfully asks, "When did kids start getting interested in fun?" A week later Ron discovers a group of kids including some from the Pawnee Goddesses, waiting in his office that came for the new club. He discovers that Leslie put out an ad in the paper asking both boys and girls interested in a club for extreme outdoorsmen called the "Swansons". Ron sees Leslie in his office who gives him a salute and then he tells his new club that they're going to start by digging a trench and to not expect any "fun".
- April actually doing something nice for Jerry, whom she's always mean to, by stealing Chris' keys after the Halloween party at her house so he won't be able take Jerry's daughter back to his place to have sex.
- The entire ending to "End of the World", between Lucy giving Tom the one last thing he needed for his party to be perfect, Leslie apologizing to Ben about her reaction to him and Shauna Mulwae-Tweep, and - last but not least -April and Andy arriving at the Grand Canyon. Plus the fact that the Reasonablists aren't really a crazy cult: they're just a bunch of old guys who love to hang out for a night in the park together, play some music, and eat snacks in the guise of waiting for the end of the world.
- Ron giving Tom his old job back after his company went bankrupt and doing it in a way that wouldn't hurt Tom's pride.
- After struggling with knowing that Ben is going to move on from Indiana after one last project, the smallest park, Leslie realizes that she needs to be less pushy with Ben and listen to what he wants to do. The two reconcile that they can't date or see each other while they're both government employees, which ultimately leads to Leslie saying she doesn't care if being in a relationship with Ben will hurt her campaign because she loves him, and asks what he wants to do. He immediately kisses her.
- At the end of "The Trial of Leslie Knope", Chris asks court stenographer Ethel Beavers to read what Ben said at his hearing to Leslie. Ethel reads the transcript where Chris asks Ben if Leslie was worth the sneaking around, the scandal and losing his job. Ben replied yes, because he loves Leslie and wants to be with her. That night Leslie goes to Ben's house bringing Ethel who reads what Leslie said at her trial, that she "loves Ben Wyatt with all her heart."
- The entire office becoming Leslie's new campaign managers.
Leslie: "I can't ask you to put your lives on hold for me."
Ron: "Name one person here you haven't helped by putting your own life on hold."
- April offering the movie tickets and a hug to Chris after Millicent breaks up with him at the end of "Bowling For Votes".
- At the end of "Lucky", the Pawnee airport loses an unscrupulous interviewer's baggage, along with a tape of an embarrassing interview in which Leslie was drunk. Leslie comments to the camera at the end of the episode that they were really lucky that that happened, but as she's talking, a clip reveals that one of the baggage handlers, who was a friend of Leslie's, surreptitiously tossed the bag containing the tape in the trash while loading the plane.
- Leslie's closing argument in "The Debate" episode.
"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."
- And of course, Bobby Newport's reaction to it is just great.
Leslie, that was awesome."
- In the same episode, the fact that rather than being played for Cringe Comedy, Andy's attempt to entertain donors by acting out scenes from his favorite movies actually worked. It's kind of reminiscent of an also heartwarming scene in an earlier episode where Donna is entranced by Jerry's methodical envelope stuffing - in both cases, there's this idea that a character is so dedicated and earnest that you can't help but root for them.
- In "Win, Lose, or Draw," Leslie talking to Ben just before giving her victory speech.
Leslie: "Someday, when I'm more emotionally stable, I want to read the concession speech you wrote for me."
Ben: (looks at her and smiles) "I never wrote it."
- Earlier on when Ron tells Leslie that the department wasn't just supporting her for their own benefit, but because they really care about her. *sniff*
- In "Ms. Knope Goes to Washington", when Leslie is upset about how relatively little she's accomplished in comparison to the powerful women she met in DC and is worried about the future of her relationship with Ben, Andy reassures her that Ben would never leave her because she is "Kickass Leslie."
- In "How a Bill Becomes a Law," after two little girls demand that Ron and Andy ask their permission to work on the pothole in their kingdom:
- In "Ben's Parents," everyone threatening to hurt Ben if they ever hurt Leslie. Even though they're his friends too. It shows how much they care about Leslie.
- In "Ron and Tammy: Part 2," the police chief tells Ben that Leslie gets as many favors from the department as she wants because she uses her favors to help people.
- Andy setting up Ron on a date with Diane Lewis, the beautiful single mother he develops an attraction to when he was fixing the pot hole in front of her house. Also Andy playing with Diane's two little girls by pretending to be a princess with them.
- Ben giving up a lucrative job in Washington to stay in Pawnee and propose to Leslie
- April convincing Andy that he makes an excellent cop without having to be Bert Macklin.
April: (after Andy successfully helps a little kid find his mother) Wow, you made those two losers very happy.
Andy: Oh, no, I didn't. Bert Macklin did. (puts on shades)
April: (removes Andy's shades) Actually, Bert Macklin kinda made that little boy cry.
Andy: Well, he's a rogue agent who refuses to play by the rules.
April: Seriously, I think Andy Dwyer makes a better real cop than Bert Macklin. Maybe it's time for Bert Macklin (dramatic pause) to hang up his shades.
- Leslie spends an entire night fighting Tammy 2, in order to protect Ron and Diane's relationship.
- From same episode, Jerry's huge Christmas party with all of his friends and family having a good time in light of him being the resident Butt Monkey.
- Also, Tom, Andy, and April, the three biggest jerks to Jerry, realize that they were mean and they give all the money they collected over the year for whenever Jerry did something stupid, to Jerry.
- In the end: Diane daring to take on an arrested Tammy 2 without handcuffs and Ron inquiring about Leslie's whereabouts and safety (she was in the trunk).
- All of the bachelor parties, in their own way.
- Ben, Ron, Tom, Andy and Jerry giving Chris a trophy for "Best Man" for giving them their perfect bachelor parties and telling him he'll meet the right woman to marry someday.
- Chris' simple toast to Ron and Ron's reaction.
Ron: "Just perfect. Perfect, Chris."
- Chris' wedding present to Ben: The state letter that assigned them both to Pawnee where Ben met his future wife in a frame.
- Ben and Leslie's impromptu wedding is interrupted by a drunk Councilman Jamm and Ron finally punches him. While in jail later, Ron tells Leslie that they should hold the ceremony even though he won't be able to participate. Leslie's instant response:
Leslie: "Ron, listen to me very carefully. I lost my father when I was ten, I don't have any brothers, and Ken Burns never wrote me back. So I am not getting married without you there to walk me down the aisle. End of discussion."
- Ben and Leslie's wedding itself.
- The usually taciturn Ron tells Leslie:
"You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful."
- Ben and Leslie's wedding vows, which is shown with a montage of their significant moments together.
Ben: "In my time working for the state government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with 8 people, rural farming communities, college towns, I was sent to every corner in Indiana. And then I came here and I realized that this whole time, I was just wandering around everywhere, just looking for you."
Leslie: "The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You're all I need. And I love you and like you."
- In "Bailout" April needs a letter of recommendation from Ann to apply to vet school and Ann takes the opportunity to force the always hostile April to be friends with her. During this time together April finds out Ann is worried about Chris but she changes the subject and tries to get April to sing "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper with her and has the lyrics written on a dry erase board. April refuses and demands to know what's bothering her. Ann confesses she wants to have a baby and asked Chris to donate sperm but he's taking a long time to decide and she's freaking out about it. April is taken aback, not knowing what to say, then she starts singing:
April: "Secrets stolen from deep inside..."
Ann: "You know the song already?"
April: "Of course I do! Everyone knows the song! It's amazing! (continues singing) The drum beats out of time..."
(April and Ann sing together)
If you're lost you can look and you will find me/Time after time
If you fall I will catch you-(Suddenly Donna opens the door to the room and joins in) I'll be waiting! Time after time
(softly)Time after time(softer)Time after time
(Ann smiles and goes to hug April)
April: This never happened. (quickly walks out of the room)
- After seeing Leslie so upset over how much the citizens of Pawnee hate her, April decides to read her the nomination letter which was about how awesome and compassionate she is and how Leslie's purpose in life is to help people. This quickly turns into a Funny Moment, however, when she says it's from Satan.
- In the season 5 finale, Andy finds a positive pregnancy test that he thinks belongs to someone in the group. His reaction when April is the last one left is perfect. It's not her, but still.
Andy: *picks April up the air* MY WIFE IS PREGNANT!
- Ron, who seemed be physically sick at the thought of being in Europe, is sent by Leslie to England and Scotland's most scenic locations and the distillery where his favorite Scotch is made, culminating in him reading a poem picked by Leslie (Robert Burns' O were my love yon lilac fair) on the edge of a beautiful cliff. Ron didn't understand what she hoped for him to get from the trip.
- "Ann and Chris": Leslie and Ann saying "I love you" to one another before Ann drives off with Chris to their new home in Michigan.
- April telling Ann, whom she's shown nothing but outright dislike for for the entire series, "I love you", and returning Ann's warm hug.note
- Ben, Ron, Andy, Tom and Jerry (Larry) give Chris a "buddy box", a small chest made by Ron with all their initials burned on it as a going away present.
- Ben, in his new job as City Manager, wants the others to like him, so with Andy's help he devises an elaborate prank which will involve him apparently getting shot; but he breaks down and can't go through with it and starts telling them about it instead. The others are baffled, but then the squibs in Ben's shirt go off. The others are much amused, but April is absolutely delighted at being sprayed with fake blood, and she reassures Ben that they like him.
- Ron spending time with his newborn son John in the empty third floor at city hall as he repairs a radiator.
- Subverted in that he goes on to do the entire repair job on the third floor by himself with his baby son in a stroller by his side, including sanding the floorboards, which is something you really shouldn't do around a baby.
- Leslie going to see Ann who's just had her baby and the two of them like being friends like old times and arguing about Friday Night Lights.
- After getting tired of the others verbally abusing Larry/Jerry/Garry, the office Butt Monkey, Ben stands up on his chair (like the end of Dead Poets Society) and declares "I like Larry." and says "Oh Captain, my captain!" (also from Dead Poets Society). Everyone else is shocked and appalled, telling him he's throwing his career away. Larry is touched, then he farts, which ruins the moment.
- Leslie finds out she's pregnant and calls Ben who's at a wine tasting to tell him the news. Ben however is already drunk, having drowned his sorrows because his parents sold the family lakehouse and he drops the phone in the mud and doesn't get the message. When he comes home, he tells Leslie he realized the reason he was so upset over the lakehouse was that he had so many fond childhood memories there and he wanted his future kids to have them too someday. He tells her he wants to start a family right away, and Leslie smiles and says:
"Well buddy, I've got some good news for you."
- After finding out that they're having triplets, Ben spends all of "One in 8000" freaking out about the future while Leslie stays perfectly calm. In the end, when Ben melts down and asks Leslie how she can be so serene about the situation, she takes Ben with her to announce the news to the rest of the office. Larry/Jerry/Garry offers up all of his daughters' old baby clothes, Ron offers to build them a crib, April and Andy offer to help babysit and Donna mentions the connections she has with the local schools. As hard as it's going to be, Ben and Leslie have a great group of friends to lean on.
- Also from "One in 8000", Ron agrees to protect Donna from her ex-boyfriend, but when it turns out that Joe is a really nice guy, he encourages her to reconsider. He also spends a lot of time in a tiara playing with Diane's girls. Family man Ron to the rescue!
- After misidentifying Donna's "spirit dog" and insulting Donna in the process, because as Donna points out, April doesn't really know anything about her, April tries her damnedest to figure it out (including asking Donna lots of questions about her likes and dislikes, in the course of which we learn that among Donna's favorite music are "Seventies funk and 18th century opera") - and gets it wrong again before finally realizing that Donna is a cat. April's description of Donna is so spot-on that Donna is delighted and wraps April in a Bear Hug, to which April's response is "No ... no ... no ...".
- A few sweet, subtle moments in "Partridge". Leslie meets Ben's sister Stephanie for the first time. Any time she does anything excessively Leslie-like (spontaneous hugging, pulling out a binder full of questions about Ben's childhood to ask Stephanie, crying while listening to Ben practice his speech), instead of getting weirded out, Stephanie mostly just gives Leslie and Ben slightly confused but genuine smiles. She seems honestly pleased and approving of her new sister-in-law.
- In "Ron and Jammy", Leslie and Ron help Councilman Jamm when they discover how much Jamm's relationship with Tammy 2 has destroyed him. Speaks volumes about Leslie and Ron as people when they're willing to put aside their vendetta and help someone out, no matter how much of a jerkass that person may be.
- "Leslie and Ron"
- Leslie and Ron's reconciliation and becoming best buds again.
- Ron revealing that he hired Leslie despite their radically different political views because he respected her honesty and strength, and would rather have had someone who stuck to their guns work for him than a Professional Butt-Kisser Yes-Man.
- The sheer fact that Ron almost asked for a job in the federal government because he missed his friends.
- The citizens of Pawnee decide to support Leslie to stop Gryzzl from invading their privacy.
- Chris' positive outlook and impossibly sunny disposition gets played for laughs a lot, but in "The Bubble" he's shown comforting a weeping woman, offering her words of encouragement, and she hugs him in thanks. When Tom asks him what her problem was....
Chris: "I have no idea. I saw her crying... and I helped."
- Donna's wedding. And a small moment where Donna throws a bone to Jerry/Terry/Larry by marking his seat at the reception with his real name, Garry, which April and Andy start calling him. He becomes so excited that his co-workers are finally calling him by his real name, even though they are doing it mockingly and unknowingly.
- And Donna winks at Garry as it happens, so we know that it's not a happy accident - Donna fully intended for that to happen. It may be one of the nicest things any member of the Parks Department has ever done for him.
- In "Ms. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington", Leslie and April have a heart to heart; Leslie apologizes for blowing up at April and admits she really wants her friends to be happy and yet around, April soon gives her this speech:
April: "When I started working for you, I was aimless and just thought everything was stupid and lame. You turned me into someone with goals and ambition. Which is the reason why I'm even thinking about what I really want. (hugs Leslie) Just want to say thank you and that I love you very much... which is why I decided not to turn you into a sea urchin, which is what I could do 'cause I'm an actual witch with powers. And I'm evil and I hate everything."
- Leslie soon finds a job for April afterwards, with the latter deciding she wants to consult after meeting the career consultant. Just rather sweet and shows how far April has come since she first started.
- "Pie Mary" has a few moments:
- Donna and Garry hanging out together while he tries to retrieve his wedding ring and back-up ring, and Donna calling him a buddy.
- April telling Ron why she picked a particular tree to hide his keys in"
April: "This tree reminds me of you. It's strong and quiet and always there when you need it. Or whatever."
- Ben making sure that Leslie never has to apologize for being her own individual and telling off everyone who expects her to fit a narrow role for a candidate's wife.
Ben: "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."
- "The Johnny Karate Super Musical Explosion Show": April feels guilty that Andy is cancelling his TV show to be with her in D.C., but Andy reassures her that he is happiest wherever he's with her and just wants her to be where she's happiest.
- The fact that most of Andy's friends have appeared on the show regularly: April does an animal segment, Ron is "Carpenter Ron", Ben is "Professor Smartbrain", Donna is Da Chief to FBI Agent Burt Macklin, Garry is "Mailman Barry", and Leslie appears as herself where she and Johnny "try something new".
- "Two Funerals" ends with Garry becoming interim mayor. Perhaps the show's biggest Throw the Dog a Bone moment. Also Leslie's majestic ceremony just for him that she planned the second after hearing the news.
- From the same episode, Tom plans an elaborate marriage proposal for Lucy. However, when he sees her coming out of the airport, he changes his mind, realizing that Lucy wouldn't want a big proposal. Instead he treats her to a simple recreation of their first date. This is major Character Development for Tom, realizing that being honest and heartfelt is more important than being big and flashy.
- The interactions between Ron and Donna's hairdresser, Typhoon, when the latter takes over as Ron's new barber. They wax about the troubles with "Eurotrash" and bicycles.
- So, so many with the finale (as is often the case):
- Donna establishes a non-profit education program as a new adventure with Joe.
- Craig gets married to Typhoon. Typhoon's best man is Ron.
- Andy and April finally having a baby, and another on the way!
- From the extended cut Andy trying to convince Dr. Saperstein to change the date on the birth certificate to say the baby was born on Halloween because of how much it means to April.
- Tom writing a successful self-help book in which each path to success he lays out is named for one of his former colleagues (aside from the one he named after himself).
- Lucy is not only still with Tom but gets him out of the depression he was in after losing the bistro.
- Garry remaining Mayor of Pawnee for the rest of his life and living happily to the ripe old age of 100, surrounded by his large and loving family.
- Jean-Ralphio confessing his love for Leslie and her quiet response of "I know" is an oddly sweet exit for such an obnoxious character.
- Leslie pulling some strings for Ron and making him the superintendent of the nearest national park so that he can spend his time walking around outdoors and taking care of the land.
- Ron going to Leslie for help. Willie Nelson's "Buddy", the song that played of Ron and Leslie's reconcilation, playing over Ron enjoying the lake.
- The return of Chris and Ann.
- Chris and Ann's daughter is named after Leslie.
- In the Producer's Cut, we see that reporter Shauna Malwae-Tweep, who's had a string of failed relationships, finally finds love in 2018 when, after being left at the altar by her fiancee and crying on a bench in her wedding dress, she's found and comforted by Bobby Newport and they get married five hours later.
- Leslie and Ben are both approached to run for Governor of Indiana. After concluding that the pros/cons of either of them running are exactly the same, Leslie suggests that they just flip a coin since either of them would be amazing for the job and would support the other anyway. Ben graciously steps aside, announcing to their friends that Leslie's running.
- The final text after the credits: "We Love You, Harris - The Parks Crew"
- Andy and April bonding in "The Hunting Trip." It's one of the first times in the series we really see April smiling.