Parks and Recreation is one of the best sitcoms to air in recent years. While it initially came across as a clone of The Office, the show later grew into a hilarious and unique comedy that soon established a cult following. With that introduction out of the way, here are the Top 10 Best Episodes of Parks and Recreation.
In this episode, Leslie hosts a charity telethon, and because it only runs early in the morning, everyone struggles to stay awake. To pass the time, Leslie gets high on sugar, April flirts with guys on the phone, and Ron naps while engaging in sleep-fighting. Leslie eventually gets desperate and tries to get Mark to propose to Ann on-camera, but her plans quickly fall apart, and her way of fixing it is entirely out of left field. We also see some eccentric performances courtesy of the telethon, including a cameo by former NBA player Detlef Schrempf.
9. Hunting Trip
Leslie and the ladies join the guys on their hunting trip to Ron’s cabin, and a battle of the sexes begins. The trip takes a turn for the worst when Ron gets shot in the head, and chaos ensues. Seeing the cast freak out as they try to keep things under control, specifically when they try to get Ron to “purge himself” of alcohol, is pure hilarity. We also get to see the budding romance between Andy and April as they watch over the Parks office.
8. End of the World
Hail Zorp! When a local doomsday cult hosts an end of the world party in the park, the gang joins them in celebrating the obviously false apocalypse. Each of them does so in many different ways as they ponder what they would do if the end were at hand. Even Tom hosts a massive blowout as his company goes out of business. The episode is capped off with an uplifting ending as everyone seizes life by the throat and enjoy their fake-last day on earth.
7. The Debate
Leslie takes part in the debate for a spot on the city council, and the show gets even more political. Aside from Leslie, the candidates spout nonsense, which couldn’t be a more apt parody of our election system. The episode features many of the show’s quirky and ridiculous side-characters, elevating the political satire even higher. Paul Rudd’s performance as the dim-witted Bobby Newport is especially funny, and even though he’s an antagonist in this season, you can’t help but love him. You also gotta love Andy’s reenactment of Road House and Rambo.
6. Harvest Festival
The Pawnee Harvest Festival was a highlight of Season 3, and the episode delivered an instant classic. It starts off by introducing an icon of the show, Li’l Sebastian, an adorable mini horse that everyone (except Ben) loves like crazy. The festival is later threatened when Li’l Sebastian disappears, and the media fixates on a supposed Indian curse. The episode cleverly displays the hilarious absurdity of Pawnee’s citizens while providing a memorably satisfying ending to one of the best arcs in the show.
5. Leslie and Ron
Season 7 may not have been as good as the other six, but this episode really stood out. As a form of extreme therapy, Leslie and Ron are locked in the Parks office by their friends to get them to stop arguing. Not only do we find out why the two of them hated each other for three years, but the episode also analyzes why they were friends in the first place. “Leslie and Ron” shows how two characters who have countless reasons to hate each other can still be the best of friends, and by the end of the episode, their bond is stronger than ever.
4. Ron and Tammy
When the local library threatens Leslie’s plans for a park, Ron is forced to confront his ex-wife Tammy, played by Nick Offerman’s actual wife, Megan Mullally. The explosive chemistry between Ron and Tammy results in some of the show’s most unforgettably funny moments. The episode also breaks Ron down in the face of his nemesis, and how Leslie tries to put him back together is a prime example of why the two are such good friends.
3. Flu Season
When Pawnee is struck with a flu outbreak, Leslie scrambles to keep things under control. April and Chris are among those hospitalized, and the results are just too funny. Chris’s hallucinatory hijinks shine the brightest, as we get to see the upbeat athlete break down from the flu. Meanwhile, Andy is hired by Ron to fill in for April, and two really hit it off. The father/son dynamic between the two is hilariously adorable, bringing out the best traits of each character. At the same time, Ben’s bond with Leslie grows throughout this episode as he tries to deal with her as she’s high on flu meds. This is how romance starts in Pawnee, kids.
2. The Comeback Kid
In this classic episode, Leslie begins her run for city councilwoman, but without Ben’s help, things quickly fall apart. Each member of Leslie’s crew flops in their various tasks, which all culminates in the hilariously drawn-out nightmare that is the ice rink scene. Watching the cast struggle to get to the podium to the tune of “Get Off Your Feet” is one of the show’s funniest moments. At the same time, seeing Ben go insane with boredom in the episode’s B-plot is just as entertaining.
1. The Fight
After Leslie gets Ann an interview for a job at City Hall, the two of them get into a fight at Tom’s new nightclub. It is there that the majority of the cast gets drunk on Tom’s new beverage, Snake Juice. They’re all at their funniest when they’re hammered, and that montage of them all drunkenly babbling to the camera is comedy gold, especially when Ron gets funky. The episode is also a well-done character study on Leslie and Ann, whose friendship is the very foundation of the show itself. And so, due to its laughs and heartwarming moments, The Fight stands as the best episode of Parks and Recreation.