During its six years of existence, Parks and recreation — created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur – became one of the most beloved and quoted sitcoms of its time. There’s no shortage of beloved episodes that remain entertaining no matter how long since their release, like “Hunting Trip,” for how quirky and hilarious their locales are. Combine that with the cast’s phenomenal acting and the fun they seem to have on set, and all the pieces of a classic political sitcom fell into place.
While the first season received mixed reviews, the team took on board the feedback they received and made major positive changes to Leslie’s character, helping every season from the second onwards to widespread acclaim. critical. Some of the most memorable episodes are those that have weird premise or moments that help them stay clearer in the minds of fans.
ten Ron Hilariously Tries To Eat Healthier (Season 5, Episode 18)
Some episodes are remembered not for having an overall weird plot, but rather a B-plot that’s so oddly hilarious it’s worth mentioning regardless. This is the case of season 5, episode 18, entitled “Animal Control”.
The episode mainly focuses on Leslie trying to find a new director for the Animal Control department and Ben trying to get more donations for the Sweetums foundation. However, the most memorable part is the strange subplot of Ron attempting to eat healthier foods by placing a banana directly on his Paunch Burger.
9 Chardbodies advertises their disgusting drink with innuendo (Season 6, Episode 12)
The twelfth episode of season six, aptly titled “Farmer’s Market,” deals with advertising and how far is too far when it comes to using sexual innuendo to sell your product. The episode focuses on the impossibly weird brand “Chardbodies,” using scantily clad models and innuendo to try to sell “chard,” their absolutely dastardly health drink.
The struggle over whether or not their marketing is ethical isn’t weird, but the idea of Chardbodies itself is. They even use slogans like “get a chard on”, and the whole concept is just hilarious and weird.
8 Fans Get A Glimpse Of Ron’s Hilarious And Cryptic Willpower (Season 6, Episode 5)
“Gin It Up!”, the fifth episode of the sixth season, is another where it’s not the episode’s main plot that’s oddly memorable. Rather, it’s another subplot involving Ron Swanson that ended up becoming not only a fan favorite, but a big online meme.
Ben finds out that Ron doesn’t have a will, which he finds concerning as Ron is now a husband as well as a father and has a new family to prioritize. Ron hands her a piece of paper that says, “When I die, all my property will pass to the man or animal that killed me.” When asked what the cryptic sigils underneath mean, he simply said, “the man who killed me will know,” becoming one of his most iconic moments.
7 Leslie’s MRI Date Is Straight Out of a Nightmare (Season 2, Episode 13)
“The Set Up” is the thirteenth episode of the second season and is one of the first dives into Leslie’s troubled love life that fans can see. She really ends up getting lucky with Ben because his other attempts are so weird they’re almost uncomfortable to watch.
Leslie goes on an appointment with an MRI tech named Chris, who takes her to the hospital for an MRI despite admitting she never had one. As if that wasn’t weird enough, he makes several overly creepy comments about his body while he performs the scan, prompting Leslie to end things immediately afterwards.
6 The Parks Department Hilariously Simulates a Citywide Outbreak (Season 5, Episode 13)
Season five’s thirteenth episode, “Emergency Response,” has some unforgettable moments that are made even better by how wacky the concept is. Jeremy Jamm sabotages Leslie’s proposal for Lot 48 by calling the Indiana Department of Emergency Preparedness for a surprise drill.
He then proceeds to sabotage Leslie at every turn during the exercise to make sure she can’t get out in time to make her proposal. To counter this, she begins to go all out against the book to kill everyone in the exercise’s mock Pawnee to end things as quickly as possible, going against her usual ethics to do so.
5 Leslie’s Former Flame Dave Returns, But Should Have Stayed (Season 4, Episode 15)
“Dave Returns” is the fifteenth episode of Season 4, and it’s another weird episode that’s more uncomfortable than anything. Leslie is finally happily open in her relationship with Ben when one of her former lovers reappears.
It’s not weird per se, but Dave then spends the whole episode berating Ben and trying to get in close and punch Leslie like they’re still close. He even handcuffs Ben in the men’s bathroom so he can be alone with Leslie, which makes this episode scary and often hard to watch again.
4 The Parks Department deals with a widespread flu (Season 3, Episode 2)
Season three of the show has incredibly strong opening episodes, including episode two, “Flu Season,” which later gets an equally funny second part. The former stands out more due to the fact that viewers can see what characters like Leslie, April, and Chris look like when they are sick.
Leslie understandably tries to act like nothing’s wrong and ends up sneaking out of the hospital, while Chris crumbles at not being the superhuman he thought he was. Finally, April abuses her situation to have Ann at her disposal, which leads to a satisfying scene of Ann venting all her anger as soon as she’s off the clock.
3 Tom’s New Alcohol Makes Everyone Hilarious and Incoherent (Season 3, Episode 13)
“The Fight” is the thirteenth episode of season three and has one of the funniest moments involving the entire main cast of the entire series. Tom invites everyone to drink and help promote his new drink, called Snake Juice, which Donna aptly notes as “essentially rat poison”.
Immediately after, a montage shows all of the Parks Department employees — plus Ann and Andy — drunk on their minds. This even includes characters like Ron and Ben, who are portrayed as mostly stoic so far, as Ben has yet to become the overtly nerdy man Leslie falls for.
2 Jerry Paints Leslie, and Later Tom, as Beautifully Odd Centaurs (Season 3, Episode 11)
“Jerry’s Painting” is the eleventh episode of season three and is one of the best Jerry-centric episodes in the series, as well as being one of the most oddly memorable. Jerry paints a picture of a fictional centaur Greek goddess topless, which wouldn’t be too weird, except that she looks exactly like Leslie.
The entire episode is a fight over whether the painting should be kept, discarded, or destroyed entirely. They end up settling for a second inspired version of Tom instead of being able to hang up without any issues.
1 Ron’s love life is much more volatile than anyone imagined (Season 2, Episode 8)
“Ron And Tammy” is the eighth episode of season two and is one of the show’s most memorable and bizarre episodes. Viewers learn about Ron’s love life and how awful his ex-wife Tammy One is.
The two begin to vehemently despise each other but find themselves on a passionate adventure where they lose all sense of themselves. This is especially true for Ron, who has been described as nothing but stoic, wise, and reserved thus far.
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