Heartwarming: Parks and Recreation

  • 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 Comedys, 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 toward 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.
  • April's talking head after she finally forgives Andy for the kiss with Ann after his motorcycle accident & they become a couple - April tries & 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 youÖso I wanna spend the rest of my life with you, is that cool?
    Andy: Yes. Is it my turn? April, youíre 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 Ďem down. Iím getting mad right now even thinking about it. Iím telling you. I wanna spend the rest of my life, every minute, with you. And Iím 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.
  • 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 antagonization of 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:
    "Iíve been to 40 some-odd towns in Indiana. Pawnee is special."
    • Four words: Ben and Leslie kiss. Finally.
      • That's five words.
      • Dammit Jerry! Just let the fans rejoice
    • Ron and Lauren's final interaction:
    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?
    Lauren: Yeah.
    Ron: Can you autograph this one for me?
    Lauren: Sure.
  • 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 chauvenist jerk like the people who run the Rangers 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 realises 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 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.
    Iím very angry. Iím angry that Bobby Newport would hold this town hostage and threaten to leave if you donít give him what he wants. Itís 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 donít threaten it. You donít punish it. You fight for it, you take care of it, you put it first. As your City Councilor, Iíll make sure that no one takes advantage of Pawnee. If I seem too passionate, itís because I care. If I come on strong, itís because I feel strongly, and if I push too hard, itís because things arenít moving fast enough. This is my home, you are my family, and I promise you, Iím not going anywhere.
    • And of course, Bobby Newport's reaction to it is just great.
    Holy ---- 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 "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(Lucy Lawless) 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
  • 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:
    "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 realised 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 citzens 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 favourite 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/Gerry, 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 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/Gary offers up all of his daughters old baby clothes, Ron offers to build them a crib, April and Andy say they want to 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.
  • In "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 favourite music are "Seventies funk and 18th century opera") — and gets it wrong again before finally realising 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.
  • Leslie and Ron helping Councilman Jamm when they discovered how much Jamm's relationship with Tammy has destroyed him. Speaks volumes about Leslie and Ron as a person when they're willing to help someone out, no matter how much of a jerkass that person may be.
  • Finally, finally seeing Leslie and Ron become friends again.
    • The sheer fact that Ron almost asked for a job in the federal government cause he missed his friends.
  • The citizens of Pawnee decide to support Leslie to stop Gryzzle 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.