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Heartwarming / Parks and Recreation

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  • 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.
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  • In the earlier episodes of Season 3, instead of creating a Love Triangle conflict between April's new boyfriend Eduardo and Andy, it creates a funny friendship between them.
  • "Sister City": After Leslie tears up the Venezuelans' check, 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.
    • In an odd way, the opening is this as well. There's just something charming about seeing the cynical, bickering Parks Department putting on a funny holiday skit and apparently enjoying it.
  • Andy and April bonding in "Hunting Trip." It's one of the first times in the series we really see April smiling.
  • Andy giving away $1000 dollars he'd been saving to get his own apartment so Tom could buy a share in a nightclub.
  • 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 the cover is a selfie of Andy and April.
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  • "Freddy Spaghetti": Ron, who hates the government and opposes all that Leslie stands for, telling Ben and Chris that they shouldn'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.
  • "Go Big or Go Home": Chris Traeger's life story, which is 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.
  • "Flu Season": Andy going to visit April in the hospital. Although she's asleep, he gently tells her that he still hopes things can be right between them and gives her a kiss on the forehead before he goes. It's all capped off with the reveal that she was pretending to be asleep when she starts smiling after he's left.
  • "Time Capsule":
    • Eduardo, April's new boyfriend, is an incredibly nice guy, and starts hanging out with Andy when they bond over a love of music.
    • The real reason Kelly wants Twilight put in the time capsule? The books are his daughter's favorites, and he wanted to impress her. The fact that he's so knowledgeable on the franchise also indicates that either he read them because his daughter liked them and genuinely got as into them as she is, or he simply made the effort to get to know the franchise because he knows the books make her happy.
    • The ending has Leslie arranging a screening of the first Twilight film on Lot 48, which Kelly thanks her for. He then settles in to watch the movie with his daughter.
  • "Indianapolis": April's talking head after she finally forgives Andy for the kiss with Ann after his motorcycle accident and 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 Fancy Party":
    • The "fancy party" itself is a surprise wedding between the two.
    • Leslie, who initially thought they were moving too fast and tried to stop it, changing her mind when she saw how right it was.
    • Andy and April's vows.
      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 don’t 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.
    • Ron telling Leslie that she couldn't have done anything anyway, showing support for Andy and April's wedding. He mentions that he was way older than them the two times he got married, and it did not work, mentioning that love is "finding someone you like and throwing the dice."
    • 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.
    • April's ex-boyfriend and his boyfriend having a part in the wedding as both flower girls and bridesmaids.
    • Leslie asking Ben to stay in Pawnee.
    • Andy wearing the football jersey April gave him in "Christmas Scandal" at the wedding.
    • Just the look on Andy's face when April walks down the aisle to the tune of "April, Come She Will" by Simon & Garfunkel, and April's nervous, excited grin. Yeah, their decision to get married was impulsive, but it's hard to deny that it feels so right.
  • "Eagleton":
    • It's a very subtle moment: Lindsey Carlisle Shay strides in and when Leslie introduces her to Ben and Ann, Lindsey insults them in the most condescending and passive-aggressive manner possible. The camera then cuts to April holding up a pair of scissors with a murderous glint in her eyes. Seeing as most of Lindsey's dialogue was insulting the two people April's gone out of her way to insult and dismiss, it's a nice, if violently-inclined, moment to show that she does care about them after all.
    • 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.
      • The best bit? We see him enjoying the film and eating the steak while the end credits roll. And it's not Played for Laughs this time.
  • "Ron and Tammy 2"
    • Despite their antagonistic relationship with each other in the first few episodes of Season 3, Ron defends Tom by standing up to Tammy 2, and then carrying him away in a Bridal Carry.
    • The police chief telling Ben that Leslie gets as many favors from the department as she wants because she uses her favors to help people.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • "Road Trip":
    • April singing "The Pit" with Mouse Rat for Andy, complete with her attempt at his singing voice and everything, and she stole back his guitar for him.
      Andy: I got the greatest wife in the world! We're married! We're totally gonna do it later!
      • The fact that April was willing to go to Ann for help when she hurt Andy's feelings. And while she still says an insulting remark to Ann, she immediately apologizes and admits that she just wants to figure out how to patch this argument up.
    • 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 state board:
      Ben: I've been to 40 some-odd towns in Indiana. Pawnee is special.
    • Ben and Leslie kiss. Finally.
    • Ron's little friendship with Lauren, a young girl who was on a field trip to City Hall with the aim of writing a paper for class on why the government matters. Ron takes the opportunity to tell her why it doesn't, and despite her young age, he treats her with genuine respect. And their 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 twenty-one.
      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.
  • "The Bubble": Chris' positive outlook and impossibly sunny disposition gets played for laughs a lot, but in one scene, 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.
  • "Li'l Sebastian": Ron, who is usually uncomfortable with any form of affection, openly talking about his love of Li'l Sebastian:
    Ron: I have cried exactly twice in my life. First when I was seven and I was hit by a school bus. Second, when I found out about Li'l Sebastian's death.
  • "I Am Leslie Knope"
    • Ben's gift for Leslie - a "Knope for City Council 2012" button.
    • Ron's Dare to Be Badass speech to Leslie, inspiring her to face her problems.
  • "Ron and Tammys": Aside from also being an Awesome Moment for Ron when he chugged the Swanson family homemade moonshine in one go, it is also heartwarming because he stepped in immediately after April tried to sub in for Leslie, only to spit it out and collapse. He was willing to sit back protesting while his mother, ex-wife and Leslie fought over his fate but when it hurt April, that was his last straw.
  • "Born and Raised":
    • Marlene didn't tell Leslie that she was born in Eagleton specifically because Leslie loves Pawnee so much. She even points to a picture of Leslie as a little girl, smiling after winning a competition for showing the most "Pawnee spirit".
    • Leslie has Jerry travel around town looking for information that Leslie no longer needs and she defends herself saying:
    Leslie: He just seems so happy!
  • "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 spent the whole time trying 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 learning outdoor survival skills 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". They are perfectly happy with this.
    • On seeing how stressed he's been lately, Donna and Tom invite Ben to "Treat Yo'Self Day", where they go to the mall and buy frivolous, indulgent things, none of which the naturally frugal and down-to-earth Ben cares for. Eventually, they figure out that he needs to be indulgent in his own way, and encourage him to buy a full Batman costume from a comic book store.
      • Not only that, he finally lets out that he's been seeing someone and they broke up, and it's making him miserable. Tom and Donna (not knowing that it was Leslie) give him some encouragement that he's a catch and he can move on to someone else, and Tom tells him "for now, treat yo'self to a good cry".
  • "Meet and Greet":
    • April actually doing something nice for Jerry 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.
    • After ruining the local business meet-and-greet, Tom makes it up to Leslie by convincing a local business owner to give her a second chance and support her campaign, as well as make a video about Leslie. The video causes Leslie to burst into tears of joy and proclaim she would watch it everyday for the rest of her life, and she declares Tom to be a very wonderful person in spite of his selfishness.
    • Ann and Ron fixing up some broken stuff around Andy and April's house, and actually bonding as Ron teaches her how to repair things, topped off with Ron giving Ann the toolbox he bought.
  • 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 friends 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.
    • A small one, but Tom, having had thought of everything for his party, arranged for a shuttle service to keep people from driving drunk (and having valets drop off their cars later) while also having gift bags prepared to thank people who were designated drivers.
  • "The Treaty": 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.
  • "Smallest Park": After struggling with knowing that Ben is going to leave Pawnee 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.
    • In the same episode, Ron funds Andy's college tuition under the guise of a scholarship because he has faith that he could better himself.
  • "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. Leslie then gets Ethel to reopen the transcript so she can declare her own love for Ben and have it put on the record, and later that night, they go to Ben's house and Ethel reads from the transcript that Leslie "loves Ben Wyatt with all her heart."
    • Right before that, Chris apologizes to Leslie for putting her and Ben in this position, and then states that of all the women he's seen Ben with, Leslie is the only one he sees as truly worthy of him.
  • "Citizen Knope": 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.
  • "The Comeback Kid:" Chris recognizing that Ben is depressed after losing his job and sticking by his friend to help him out of the rut he's fallen into.
  • "Bowling For Votes"
    • Leslie standing by Ben after he stood up for her against the Jerkass who called her a bitch.
    • April offering the movie tickets and a hug to Chris after Millicent breaks up with him at the end of the episode.
  • "Dave Returns" has a subplot where Andy tries to produce the theme song he wrote for Leslie's campaign. At first, he just comes off as high strung and overly controlling in the studio, but Ron catches him banging his head against the floor in a private moment, and Andy tells him that he just wants the song to be perfect because he feels it's the only worthwhile thing he can contribute to the campaign. Despite spending the whole episode trying to hide his smooth-jazz-playing alter-ego "Duke Silver", Ron helps Andy out by secretly remixing the song and even playing saxophone on it.
  • "Sweet Sixteen"
    • Despite being overwhelmed by campaign work and Parks and Rec business, Leslie still tries to put together a fun surprise birthday party for Jerry. Granted, things kept falling through the cracks, and shenanigans and dysfunction inevitably ensued (this is a sitcom, after all, and Jerry is the resident Butt-Monkey), but it was still an awfully sweet gesture on Leslie's part, and Jerry was clearly touched by her effort.
    • Andy realizing how lonely Chris is and telling him he can "borrow" Champion (the dog he and April adopted) whenever he wants. The last time we see Chris in that episode is him playing with Champion, laughing and saying, "He's kissing me!" Even April, who hates Chris, smiles when she sees how happy he is.
    • And before that, Andy starts putting himself down as a bad dog owner and feeling like he can't care for Champion properly, and Chris reassures Andy that he is a good dog owner and points out that if it hadn't been for him and April, Champion would still be at the pound and probably be dead.
  • 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.
  • In "Live Ammo," April becomes frustrated after her animal adoption fair only managed to find a home for a single animal. Tom manages to comfort her, in a way that showcases both how far both those characters have come and the Earn Your Happy Ending vibe of the series as a whole.
    Tom: Let me show you something. (holds up a photograph of the adopted dog and its new owner) Because you worked hard, this little terribly-dressed girl has a puuuuuppy. And this little puuuuuuuppy has a home. If Leslie's taught me anything, it's that yes, this job is frustrating and you hit brick walls. But the other 2%, it's stuff like this kid. And that puuuuuuuppy.
  • "The Debate"
    • Leslie's closing argument.
      "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.
      "Holy (beep) Leslie, that was awesome!"
    • 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.
      • From what the audience gets to see, Andy mainly acts out violent fight scenes from R-rated action films... And then he does the ending of Babe. The contrast is definitely played for humor, but it kind of says something about Andy that, while he loves stories about tough, badass heroes, he also knows a good heartwarming moment when he sees it.
  • In "Win, Lose, or Draw", Leslie standing in the voting booth, crying when she sees her name on the ballot. Win or lose, a lifelong dream of hers has finally been fulfilled.
    • And later on...
    Ann: The recount's over, they just called the race.
    Leslie: (clasping Ben's hand) Oh God.
    Ann: It's still 21 votes. But you won Leslie. You won by 21 votes. It's confirmed, it's over Leslie. You won!
    • 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.
  • 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:
    Andy: (bowing) Your Highnesses, we do humbly request thine permission to befix doth holes yonder.
    • Andy setting up Ron on a date with Diane Lewis, the beautiful single mother he develops an attraction to when he was fixing the pothole in front of her house. Also Andy playing with Diane's two little girls by pretending to be a princess with them.
      • Specifically, the reason Diane knew to go find Ron to ask him out was that Andy wrote a note in sidewalk chalk on the recently-fixed pothole telling her Ron liked her and where his office was.
    • Leslie embarrasses herself by doing the Pawnee Porpoise Call to the swimming team, only to learn the kids don't recognise it because it's been discontinued. Later, at the bill voting, the kids do the porpoise call for Leslie.
  • In "Halloween Surprise", Leslie and Ann accidentally startle Jerry into having a mild heart attack (combined with severe flatulence). Unlike the previous time Jerry was seriously injured, nobody is mean about this; even Tom is nicer to Jerry than usual (though he still cracks jokes about it being a "fart attack"). Leslie also takes full responsibility for what happened even after Jerry makes it clear he doesn't blame her for it. She and the rest of City Hall then set up a garage sale fundraiser to help pay his hospital bills.
  • 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.
  • Ben giving up a lucrative job in Washington to stay in Pawnee and propose to Leslie.
    • What's more, Leslie stops him, so that she can just comprehend how perfect her life is in that very moment. Considering that moment takes quite a bit longer, to the point that Ben starts checking out the house it can only say how incredibly happy she must be.
      Ben: Leslie will you...
      Leslie: Yes!!!
      (they kiss)
      Ben: Marry Me!
      Leslie:(giggles) Oh yes!
  • April convincing Andy that he makes an excellent cop without having to be Burt 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. Burt Macklin did. (puts on shades)
    April: No...
    Andy: FBI.
    April: (removes Andy's shades) Actually, Burt 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 Burt Macklin. Maybe it's time for Burt Macklin (dramatic pause) to hang up his shades.
  • "Ron and Diane":
    • Leslie spending the entire night fighting off Tammy 2 in order to protect Ron and Diane's relationship.
    • 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.
    • While driving to the restaurant they're going to have their annual fancy "Jerry Dinner" at and listening to the rest of the crew recall the various pranks they pulled on Jerry over the year, Donna realizes they've all been unnecessarily mean to Jerry and turns the car around to invite him to come along despite April, Andy, and Tom's protests.
    • Earlier on, Ann expressed disapproval at the gang mocking Jerry behind his back and treating themselves to a fancy dinner with money they collected over the year whenever Jerry made a clumsy mistake, and later, she stands guard at Jerry's Christmas party, refusing to let the people that are usually the meanest to him into the house. In short, Ann may rib on Jerry as much as the others, but she never goes out of her way to humiliate him.
    • Also, Tom, Andy, and April, the three biggest jerks to Jerry, realize that they were mean and they give Jerry the money they would've used on their fancy dinner in the guise of having raised money for his hospital bills to make up for the times they made fun of him.
    • 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).
  • Everything about the way Chris' depression is handled in Season 5.
    • In "Soda Tax", Chris has a breakdown while helping Andy train for the police academy, realizing how utterly alone he feels in contrast to how Andy is training because he wants to make April proud and provide for her. Tom and Andy encourage him to seek counseling, which he does.
    • In "Ben's Parents", after several sessions with his therapist have dredged up all of the emotional problems he's been keeping a lid on for years, Chris is an absolute wreck and spends most of Ben and Leslie's engagement party in tears. He isolates himself from the group because he doesn't want to ruin the party for everyone else. Ann, April, and Andy refuse to let him deal with it alone, and instead opt to spend the entire evening helping him through it. Andy and April even bring their dog Champion, because they know how much Chris loves him.
    • In "Ron and Diane", Ben and Chris attend Jerry's Christmas party together, and Ben sticks close to Chris for most of the evening, periodically asking him if he's okay. For the first time all season, Chris actually is okay, and at the end of the night, he thanks Ben for looking out for him.
    • In "Two Parties", when Chris learns that none of the other guys ever got a bachelor party for various reasons, he spends the whole night calling in favors and taking them everywhere they want to go, determined to give every single one of them the bachelor party they never had. Keep in mind that just a few episodes earlier, seeing other people happy made Chris feel miserable because it reminded him of how empty his own life felt. But in this episode, he doesn't think about himself at all, and is genuinely excited to do things that make the others happy. It just goes to show that with enough therapy and a lot of support from his friends, Chris has come a long way, and made great strides toward making peace with himself and finding true happiness.
  • "Two Parties"
    • 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.
    • The very end of the episode, which just sees the guys playing football on the Colts' field. No conflicting personalities, no mean jokes, just a bunch of friends having fun together.
    • Andy's summation of the night:
      Andy: How great a day was today? Oh, God, I could die. Greatest day of my life. I met Andrew Luck today. I met Reggie Wayne today. And I met Jim Irsay. I'm standing on the field. Lucas Oil Stadium. And I'm playing football with my friends!
      (Someone scores a touchdown. The guys all cheer and celebrate together.)
  • "Ann's Decision": While the way they go about it is played for laughs, Ron, Ben, and Chris going through the effort to try and reach Tom to make sure he's okay despite each being so debilitated by food poisoning that they can barely move is touching.
  • Leslie's speech at the gala in "Emergency Response":
    Leslie: And speaking of community, I'd like to thank my community—my friends. It's a lesson that I have learned over and over again, but it bears repeating—no one achieves anything alone.
  • "Leslie and Ben":
    • Chris' wedding present to Ben: a framed copy of the state letter that assigned them both to Pawnee where Ben met his future wife.
    • Ben and Leslie's impromptu wedding is interrupted by a drunk Councilman Jamm insulting Leslie. Chris and Andy jump out of their seats, and Ben is clearly ready to clobber Jamm himself, but Ron literally beats them to the punch and takes Jamm down with a single hit.
      • It's worth pointing out that Andy and Chris are probably some of the nicest people of the cast when it comes to people they care about. So to see them both stand up when Jamm comes in insulting Leslie, ready to throw hands for her, shows how much they care for her and don't want her special night ruined.
    • 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.
    • 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 itself, especially their vows, which is shown along 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 a subtle way, Ben trolls Leslie early on by saying he wants her to take his last name and that "it's really important that symbolically Leslie Knope disappears and becomes Leslie Wyatt." As she stutters through her reaction, he glances at the camera grinning and reassures her that he's just messing with her. The heartwarming hits when you realize Ben never for a second expected Leslie to take his name, and the idea is crazy enough that he's treating it as a joke. It's really a reminder of how supportive Ben is of Leslie and how much he respects her independence.
    • Another half funny, half heartwarming—the entire parks department (sans Ron) passed out drunk in Leslie's office after celebrating Ben and Leslie's wedding. Arguably the cutest is Chris. He's asleep in a chair, hugging a Li'l Sebastian plush toy.
    • Chris' encouraging speech to Andy after Andy learns that he failed the police personality exam:
      Chris: Andy, this is a very important moment for you. How we deal with tragedy defines who we are. I used to be terrible at it. Beyond terrible. You are not going to let this deflate you. You are going to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and we will figure out what the next step is.
  • "Bailout"
    • When Chris is feeling uneasy about being Ann's sperm donor, scared he'll somehow mess up the kid's life, Jerry of all people steps up and tells Chris that, as a father, he knows that all parents make mistakes raising their kids, and it sucks, but it's the moments like your kid graduating from school or taking their first steps that make it all worth it. He then loses his point and begins babbling incoherently, because no one has ever let him talk this long. Even so, Chris acknowledges that it was actually a very helpful, nice thing to say.
    • 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 be her sperm donor 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)
    • And this exchange:
      Ann: Here is your letter of recommendation, so you're off the hook. No need to pretend to be my friend anymore.
      April: Thank God.
      Ann: I can't tell if you actually hate me or if this is just how you are, but I had fun hanging out with you. So I don't care what you say, you're my friend. And I hope you get into veterinary school because I like you, so there.
      April: I got you something too. (she hands Ann a book with a bow on it)
      Ann: A baby-naming book?
      April: I hope it works out with Chris. And if it doesn't, I hope it works out with someone.
      Ann: (grinning) We're gonna hug now.
      April: Noooo...
      Ann: Yeah. (pulls April into a hug)
  • "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 freaked out, Stephanie mostly just gives Leslie and Ben slightly confused but genuine smiles. She seems honestly pleased with and approving of her new sister-in-law.
    • Also, Leslie brutally calling the people of Ben's hometown out on the fact that they still want to publicly humiliate him despite the fact that it's been well over a decade since the Ice Town fiasco. As well as stealing the key to the city.
  • 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.
  • "Are You Better Off": 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!
  • "London": 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 claims he didn't understand what she hoped for him to get from the trip.
  • When April is missing Andy at the city hall Halloween party, Chris spends most of the night trying to cheer her up. It doesn't work, but she's touched enough to tell him and Ann that she's happy for them and thinks they're a cute couple.
  • "Fluoride": Ron's advice to Chris after Chris gets worked up over accidentally buying a toxic crib:
    Ron: Nobody has all the right answers in parenting, including me. And that toxic crib you bought won't be the last mistake you make. But a man who's this worried about making all the right choices cares very much. That's all that matters. You'll be a great father.
  • In its own way, Jennifer Barkley's speech to Leslie in "Second Chunce".
    Jennifer: Now you might win. You're smart, Ben is smart, you might win. But why would you want to?
    Leslie: Because it's my dream job.
    Jennifer: Then dream bigger! Look, you love this town. It's being run by monsters and morons? Get a better job! Rise above their heads. Affect change at a higher level. Don't be the kid that graduates high school and hangs out in the school parking lot. Be the woman who moves away, climbs the ladder, and then confidently comes back and has sex with her hot old English teacher just for kicks. [...] Look, Pawnee has done you a favor. You've outgrown them. You've got talent, and you've got name recognition. Which means that you have a bright, wide-open future with a thousand options. State Senate, federal jobs, even congress! All of these are doable for you. And you can trust me because I don't care enough about you to lie.
  • "New Beginnings": 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. Andy and Donna are amused, but April is absolutely delighted at being sprayed with fake blood, tells Ben it was the "best prank ever" and takes a beaming selfie of herself and him with fake blood all over them.
  • "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 through the entire series, "I love you", and returning Ann's warm hug.note 
    • Ron's goodbye to Ann, while given in a very Ron-like fashion, is about as sweet as Ron gets, and Ann appreciates it.
      Ron: Goodbye, Ann. I have enjoyed parts of our time together.
    • 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.
      • Even though they present it to him as a group, Chris immediately figures out that it was Ben's idea, because it had that unique Ben Wyatt blend of thoughtfulness and usefulness. Just goes to show how well Chris knows his best friend.
      • Chris' last use of his catchphrase "This is literally the best (blank) ever," is the first time you truly believe it.
        Chris: You are literally the best friend that I will ever have.
        Ben: You too, man.
        (They hug.)
    • Chris telling Leslie that getting to know her and watching her work has been one of the greatest experiences of his life. Leslie tells Chris that he's the closest man on Earth to being perfect for Ann, and they embrace.
    • After Ann and Chris drive away, Leslie watches them with a Tearful Smile, before Ron simply asks, "Breakfast, Knope?" Then, as Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" plays, the remaining members of the gang all go off to get breakfast together. It's a simple, sweet way to end the episode, and it really captures the friendship between all these people.
  • "Anniversaries"
    • Larry helps Ben try to surprise Leslie with romantic gifts for their anniversary, but with Leslie being unwittingly busy, the two end up bonding over, of all things, the score from Enchanted, Larry's cooking ability, and even a shared tango.
    • The Pawnee-Eagleton Youth Committee planning the unity concert. After years of animosity between the two cities, it's nice to see representatives coming together to try to help bridge the rivalry.
    • In the same vein, the fact that Leslie really wants to make this merger work, when one season ago she was fanatically bitter and resentful of Eagleton and its snobbishness.
    • Ben making Leslie a scrapbook of his attempts to make her an amazing day (and her compliments to his scrapbooking instincts), as well as her followup.
  • Ron's pride in his newborn son John and spending time with him in the empty third floor at city hall as he repairs and spruces up the old place.
  • "Galentine's Day 2":
    • 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.
  • "Prom": This exchange between Andy and April.
    Andy: What's wrong? There's cupcakes and music! Why aren't you having fun?
    April: Because, this prom reminds me that you had, like, a million friends in high school and everyone thought you were awesome, and I spent four years making fun of everyone and hiding mops so the janitor would think he was going insane. If we went to high school together, we would have never started dating, which means that... we would have never gotten married, and I don't like thinking about that!
    Andy: Hey, maybe we wouldn't have gotten together if we were in high school. But that's because kids in high school are idiots. The only thing that matters is that we found each other right now, and it's the best. (hugs April)
  • "Flu Season 2": Leslie finds out she's pregnant and calls Ben (who's at a wine tasting event) 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."
    • April doing nice things for Jerry after Andy lies to her that Jerry is dying.
    • Also Andy deserves some recognition for his speech to Leslie when she was overwhelmed with the thought of being pregnant (even though at the time he thought her and Ben were getting a dog).
  • "One in 8000"
    • After finding out that they're having triplets, Ben spends all of the episode 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 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.
    • 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!
  • "Fluoride": 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..."
  • "Moving Up"
    • It's very subtle, and passes without comment at all, but Zoey and Ivy, who used to simply call Ron by his name, have started calling him "Daddy."
  • "Ron and Jammy"
    • Leslie and Ron deciding to help Councilman Jamm when they discover how much Jamm's relationship with Tammy 2 has destroyed him. It 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.
    • Tammy 2 offers to get Jamm to vote in Leslie's favor if she backs off and lets Tammy 2 have him. Leslie immediately shoots that down, saying that getting Jamm away from her is way more important than who gets the Newport land.
    • At the end, Jamm calling Leslie and Ron his "two best friends" and abstaining from the vote so he doesn't have to choose sides after they rescue him from Tammy 2. He's definitely still a Jerkass, but he's clearly still grateful for what Ron and Leslie did for him.
    • Although it's cut short, Ron and Leslie speak for a moment.
      Ron: I thought it was very big of you to not bend when Tammy promised you the vote.
      Leslie Well, I thought it was very big of you to help him at all. You didn't have to do that.
  • The entirety of "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.
    • When the two finally make up, they spend the rest of the morning having genuine fun as friends again and play around in the office, to the tune of "Buddy" by Willie Nelson. They dance around, Ron plays the sax, and is completely overjoyed when he finds the breakfast poster again. Seeing the two of them finally get past their differences and understand one another is just beautiful.
    • When Ron realized that the Morning Star development would mean demolishing Ann's old house, he salvaged her front door and turned it into a picture frame and placed a picture of himself, Leslie and Li'l Sebastian inside of it. This one item represents both of Leslie's best friends, with Ron in the picture and him having made the frame, and Ann's door being used as the frame.
    • Throughout the episode Ben is trying to help April with her career change. Near the end, April asks Ben why he is so invested in helping her out and he tells her that he knows what it's like to finally find a job he loves and he wants to help her because she's his friend. April says they're not friends, but when Ben gets up to leave April immediately gets up to awkwardly hug him.
  • "Gryzzlbox": The citizens of Pawnee decide to support Leslie to stop Gryzzl from invading their privacy.
  • "Donna and Joe"
    • Donna's wedding in general.
    • There's a small moment where Donna throws a bone to Terry 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 the B-plot of the episode, Ben is still conflicted over whether to take up Jennifer Barkley's offer to run for Congress. Leslie then states that even though their lives are rather hectic at the moment, she still encourages him to accept it and makes it clear she will support him every step of the way. Becomes an awesome moment when they get hounded by some reporters and Ben decides to announce his candidacy while listing the reasons why he'd be good for the job.
  • 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.
  • "Pie Mary"
    • 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".
    • While most of the kids in the audience are wearing Johnny Karate or Burt Macklin costumes, one kid is dressed up as Professor Smartbrain.
  • "Two Funerals"
    • 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.
    • 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. They are seen living long, loving and full lives together.
      • Before this flash-forward, Leslie takes a moment to say goodbye to Craig, stating that she's very proud of his work and is glad to leave the Parks Department in his leadership.
    • 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.
      • Gets into Heartwarming in Hindsight territory when you remember that two of the things Andy put down on his bucket list were to teach his son how to throw a perfect spiral and to have a son. One down, one to go.
    • 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 becoming Mayor of Pawnee for real, and is loved by the people so much that he occupies the seat for the rest of his life, and living happily to the ripe old age of 100, surrounded by his large and loving family. Even the way he dies is very sweet - he passes away peacefully in his sleep shortly after his birthday, holding hands with Gayle.
    • 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 Pawnee National Park so that he can spend his time walking around outdoors and taking care of the land.
      • Just the fact that Ron went to Leslie for help, showing his own development from the stubborn "tough guy" he used to be. And Willie Nelson's "Buddy", the song that played over Ron and Leslie's reconciliation, plays again over the scene of Ron rowing through the lake of the national park with a smile on his face.
      • Ron's introduction to his new staff is really sweet too, showing how much he's grown as a leader.
    "Show up on time, treat each other with respect, answer honestly, and we'll get along just fine. Dismissed."
    • 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.
    • Also from the Producer's Cut, Jamm of all people gets a sweet send-off as well, giving Leslie a (hilariously weird) painting of them together as a parting gift.
    • 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.
      • It's also something of a Funny Moment: while living in Washington D.C. and considering a major life change, Ben and Leslie call down their triplets for dinner, which turns in to a chaotic scene in which the kids clean off the table in less than a minute while Ben and Leslie inquire and remind them of things such as Hockey and Skating lessons and ensuring that they finished their homework. Yes they are two powerful governmental figures, but in the end they are Parents first, and have a normal, if hectic, family life.
    • The final text after the credits: "We Love You, Harris - The Parks Crew".
  • For those that were upset by the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, a writer from the show made a letter from Leslie reassuring everyone that the fight isn't over.
  • A small but sweet contrast can be found for April in the opening credits. In season 3 the opening credits change to include Ben and remove Mark, as a result all the clips for all the characters are updated. In the season 1 and 2 opening credits the clip for April shows her sneering at someone offscreen. From season 3 onwards it is a shot of her walking towards the camera, looking down with a small smile. It's small but noticeable.
  • At the Paleyfest reunion, Amy Poehler was on the verge of tears for the entire panel, overwhelmed by the love and support the fanbase has for the show, even after all these years. The lengthy standing ovation when she was introduced clearly meant a lot to her.
    • Also her admission that playing Leslie was really beneficial for her mental health. Knowing how rough SNL (Amy’s previous project) can be on its performers, this has a lot of weight to it.
  • In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the cast of the show held a reunion special in which the cast of the show checked in on each other to ensure they were all safe via a video call tree. Not only that, but even other members of the cast that were not part of the parks department show up! In addition to that, a fundraiser were held to assist in gathering money for those who need it during these times. And to top it all off, the cast is shown clearly caring for one another, giving helpful tips to stay safe, and giving the fans some amazing fanservice, providing some updates on how our favorite characters are holding up.
    • Leslie and Ben are still married!
    • Andy and April are still together, and being a little immature, as well. It's adorable.
    • Chris and Ann are also still together, and Ann and Leslie are still overjoyed to see each other.
    • Garry's hanging in there, and Leslie still ensures that everyone checks in on him. Even if he hasn't quite escaped Butt-Monkey status.
    • Tom is doing well on his own, as well.
    • Donna is also doing just fine, happily talking with Tom.
    • Ron is still with Diane, working away in his shed during the call.
    • However, the CMOH comes from Ron organizing the call so everyone is in it so Andy can perform 5,000 Candles In The Wind for Leslie to cheer her up. Some of the cast even sings along to it, and Ron is one of them! RON!
    • While it's mostly played for laughs, the simple fact that Bobby Newport appears in the special because "my friend Leslie said it was important" is touching.

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